Example is not the main thing in influencing others.
It is the only thing. – Albert Schweitzer
We tend to forget that we, along with everyone else, are learning by example. Sometimes its subtle while other times much it’s much more overt. Knowing that doesn’t necessarily mean we are aware of the example we are giving others, especially with children.
All of us have a powerful gift of influence solely based on the example we provide. The choices we make, the reactions we have, the words we choose, the actions we take, the friends we hang out with and etc. are all important examples for someone, somewhere. We may not know it, but someone is learning from our example.
The first thing to do is to become more conscious of the example we are giving. At that point we can choose to change if need be.
Real change in the world starts with us. If we all tried a little bit harder it would have an immense impact on a global scale. All we have to do is focus on improving the example we are to others. It’s really that simple.
I know I am constantly invited to meditate. I know that the structure of the room where I meditate intentionally prohibits my meditation practice and that part of me resists changing it. What do I want? I really want someone to help me get thru the stuff and create an inviting space. My spouse and I have both had to hire people to help us with periodic filing issues. It has helped clear paperwork but it hasn’t help me get a system for organization down. There is a book out, something related to a year of organizing with week by week tasks. I like the sound of it – the week by week part.
Reality – there are many things on my plate and deciding what to prioritize becomes a bit of a job so I act like an ostrich, head in the sand and maybe butt in the air, letting other things take priority. Hiring someone to clean the house weekly has freed up so much time for me. Not that I spent hours cleaning, but I did spend hours trying to clean•do office paperwork•make food and all the other stuff that I do. That was a start – how do I get to the next step?
I miss meditating; the rush of ideas that land in that space that never truly empties. That’s a funny part of meditation for me – the way there is never really nothing but there is less interference, less noise of all the busy intrusive thoughts that run races in my head. So when I sat, facing the bookcase and wall, there were moments I actually settled, noticed my body, felt myself seated and breathing. At other times the rush of getting in the room, the self-inflicted pressure to do it vs. invitation to do it, created resistance and unwillingness to sit. I felt like a rebellious teen, drug to do something I didn’t want to do. Really it’s a gift that I keep pushing away.
The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can. – Robert Cushing
Too many times I’ve stood on the edge of doing something big, only to stop short due to fear. More often than not, the best solution is to just jump in and see what happens. I relate this to getting into a lake, pool, stream or other water source that is not that warm. It’s really hard to slowly walk in. You end up shivering, freezing and most of the time decide to back out. It’s better if you just run and jump in. The cold is sharp initially but you quickly adapt and almost immediately feel okay. It’s not as cold as it seemed when walking in slowly. You end up having a lot of fun.
Most of life is just like that cold lake. It seems cold, unfriendly and a little scary at times. So, we hold back. We don’t take the crucial step that could change our lives. We don’t participate in something that could ultimately be the most fun we’ve had or at the very least very enjoyable.
So, when you are that moment of decision, don’t walk, run. Run and then jump in feet first and see what happens. If you can’t do it yourself, do what I did when I was younger. I got my dad to throw me in. It worked. Get a friend to help you, push or pull you in. You may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ”tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ”If I had my life to live over again. ”Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. – Og Mandino
Wow! This quote blew me away. I don’t see how to add much to it. It’s perfect.
Live this day like Og Mandino suggests. I’m starting now.
Take a day to heal from the lies you’ve told yourself and the ones that have been told to you. – Maya Angelo
Lies can be pervasive and subtly undermine your ability to be who you truly are. They come from a variety of places, but most come from our own minds, our own thoughts. Sometimes we may not realize the lies we tell ourselves. It’s a form of habitual thinking that becomes almost unconscious. One way to start making them conscious is to ask yourself some thought-provoking questions. Here are a few to get you started:
What guilty feelings do you have for decisions made in the past?
What is your overall view of yourself?
Do you accept who you are? (that means all parts, positive and negative)
What are some of your deepest fears? This is important because most of the time we view ourselves negatively based on our fears.
What things haven’t you tried because of lack of belief, ability and etc.?
What 3 things seem to affect your self-worth?
What are you not doing that you absolutely love to do? What are the beliefs that are stopping you from doing it?
So, take a day. Stop the lies for a few hours. Say what you mean. Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Just for a day. Try it out. See how it feels.
We have so much freedom that we can choose to be in bondage. – Abraham-Hicks
That’s a huge choice. I’m sure most of us would not consciously choose bondage over freedom, but unconsciously we do almost every day. We make that choice by the thoughts we think, the actions we take, the television programs we watch, the foods we eat, the hours we work and the friends we hang out with.
How do those things make us feel like we are in bondage? It’s simple. If the things you choose to think and do make you feel less than who you are, then you’ve chosen bondage. If they make you feel exhilarated and alive, then you’ve choose freedom. But, wait you say. Don’t we have to do things we don’t want to do sometimes? Maybe, if you mean something like “I don’t want to do the dishes now” or “I don’t want to do such and such activity.”
We always have a choice. Always. At the very least, we can always choose what to think or not. Actually that’s a much bigger choice than most people give credit to. With our thoughts we can control our reaction to events around us, our state of being (more happy or less happy), our attitude, our view of ourselves (positive and negative) and what actions we are going to take.
No one can make us think a particular thing. It’s completely our responsibility and completely in our control.
What thoughts are you thinking right now? What choices are you going to make right now?
I’ve been working on losing a few pounds over the last month. My method has been the South Beach Diet. I have to say it’s working well for me. I’m down 11.4 pounds which puts me in my normal range. My goal is 3 – 5 more.
I’m actually more happy that I was able to get my mental state (i.e. thoughts) in line to do this. It took me a little while to get there. But, once I was there, the rest seemed to just flow easily. I believe that is the case for any goal or thing you want to achieve. You’ve got to get your thoughts going in that direction.
For me, I started with not feeling good at the weight I was at. I was uncomfortable. My energy level was low. My mind wasn’t as sharp as it normally can be. My body simply wasn’t happy. So, I had a choice. Change or continue to feel poorly.
First, I had to be okay with where I was physically. It’s a funny thing. You can’t change yourself until you are okay and accept wherever you are at that moment. Once you accept the current situation, the ability to change comes easily. When you don’t like who, where or what you are, no change can happen. You actually perpetuate the situation that you don’t like.
But, once you garner acceptance, magic happens. You start feeling motivated to take small actions that begin the process of change. You feel inspired. At first, only slightly but it builds over time. Before you know it, you’ve made significant steps to towards your goal, whatever that may be.
Work on the acceptance first. You’ll find your path of change to be much easier.
On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died. – Adlai E. Stevenson
Why do we hesitate? What are the underlying causes? I’m specifically talking about hesitating when we don’t do what we feel like doing or be who we feel like being.
I think a lot of times fear is the underlying root cause. As we know, fear comes in multitude of flavors. For me, I typically hesitate because of a fear of being judged by others. I usually hesitate around expressing my true self whatever that might be at the time. I can sometimes be uncomfortable allowing who I truly am come to out, especially when it is around people that may only know a few sides of me, like work colleagues, acquaintances and etc.
This is an old habit pattern for me and thankfully it doesn’t come up that often anymore. But, every now and then something will set it off. If that happens to you, it’s important to acknowledge that message and consciously focus on it.
The ultimate way to break through the hesitation is to do what you are hesitating to do. Is it something you want to say? Is it an expression of opinion? Is it a view of your creativity? Is it exposing a side of yourself that others may not know?
Whatever it is, go ahead and do it. The long term benefits of truly being who you are at every minute are exponentially greater than the few moments of anxiety, dread and fear you may experience. If you have a fear of being “exposed” to others or if you feel you may be judged, ask yourself if it is worth having friends that don’t accept you for who you are. Here’s a hint: it’s not worth it.
Be who are as much as you can. Your life will have a sense of fulfillment that many don’t experience.
I was chatting tonight with a friend that I hadn’t talk to in quite some time. She was talking about how her job was not that satisfying. So, she was questioning where she wanted to go and what she wanted to do.
That’s the key question: “What do I want to do?” I think it’s the best question to start making a major change in your life. Why would you continue down the path of doing things you don’t want to do? The answer seems obvious but many times, people come up with a host of excuses to continue doing things they don’t want to do.
I told her that she was already ahead of the game by asking that very important question. The next step is to visualize those things that you want to do. Imagine what it would feel like doing them. Picture yourself actively involved in the situation you are imagining. All these steps help to fuel your creativity and put you in a state where you can see new opportunities when they arrive at your doorstep.
It sounds simple, but this is a very powerful technique for making a change. I told my friend that she should be very encouraged as she is on the way to making life changes that will bring her more happiness and feeling of satisfaction.