If you have ever been down. If you are down now, please please understand that it is in these moments that success calls. These tough times are simply a test, simply part of the path to achieving our destiny, our brighter days, our calling!
Enjoy this great compilation that says it so well (6 min):
I heard a speech given by a friend recently who talked about his tour at the offices Facebook in California. He described how everywhere you turned there were posters and banners that asked this one simple question. “What would you do if you were not afraid?”
That really seems to be the gist of it all. Imagine pursuing your dreams with no fear. No fear of failure. No fear of success. No fear of what people might say. The list seems endless. Imagine for a moment that you can do anything you want with no real negative ramifications should you fail.
Imagine being able to have it all!
I know that when I remove fear completely from my mind I can, at least in my imagination, truly accomplish great things. But yet the fear really is there. The thing that I do know however is that whenever I take action. Whenever I use action to cure fear I always move forward until I may not always succeed the fear always goes away.
But when I do succeed I know that I would not have reached that success without having had to overcome certain elements and certain levels of fear.
So imagine what’s possible. Overcome your fears in order to achieve your goals. But in order to set your goals take fear of the picture so that you can get a clear picture of what your true goals really are. The of course, pursue them!
Pain. It’s really a matter of choosing which pain you prefer. The pain you are experiencing in your current situation versus the pain of change. Usually people stay in the same situation because in their minds it is more painful to go through change than it is to endure the pain of sour relationships, weak or even worse, negative finances, and poor health. Choose your pain point and see what’s more important to you. A better life which sometimes (usually…) requires painful change, or being easy on yourself today because that is less painful. As they say, be easy on yourself and have a hard life or be hard on yourself and have an easy life.
Once you understand that the temporary pain of change is worth “suffering” as compared to the chronic pain of a bad situation you have in your hands a great motivator to make progress towards success.
Among the many “single most important factors” on the road to success is the one of taking 100% responsibility for all that not only has occurred in our lives but more importantly, what will occur in our lives.
It is quite easy to find all the reasons in the world why we either have not progressed, cannot progress, or will not progress towards a better life. Whether that better life be in the area of relationships, health, finance, what have you, we always find an excuse, some way of pardoning ourselves from a more satisfying, rewarding, or even acceptable life.
Yes, as any successful person will tell us, the only way to achieve what we want in life is by taking 100% responsibility. When we look at the word “responsibility” we see a clue that can guide us on our quest. It is the “ability” to “respond”. In every situation that life presents us we have the free choice to respond how we wish. That response is what will shape our future in the short and long term.
Should we “choose” to blame the economy, our spouse, children, boss, weight, bank manager, parents, what and who ever, we in essence choose to allow others to design our lives for us. In the words of Jim Rohn “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
When we choose however to design and create our own outcomes then we choose the path of success, in all areas of life. Of course, all the external factors play a roll in what we can do to a certain extent but they can never determine the final outcome. No, we cannot change others. If we have truly done our best and are still “stuck” in that bad relationship, that depressing job, that toxic neighborhood, that not-so-great financial situation, then we very well may not be able to even set the positive example needed in the hope that others will change. We may need to make some very hard decisions and change the environment we are in by leaving it.
There’s a story about school boy who would open his lunchbox every day and complain, “Here we go again, I always have tuna sandwiches for lunch!” One day, his friend asked, “Why don’t you ask your mom to prepare a different lunch for you tomorrow?” The boy replied, “My mother doesn’t make my lunch, I do.”
Do you have a “tuna sandwich” in your life? A situation you complain about every day but don’t do anything about? Don’t do anything to change your outcomes?
- Do you hate your job so much that you get chest pains every morning before work?
- Are you in a relationship that makes you cry more than it makes you laugh?
- Are you aware that you’re carrying some extra weight, but planning to start exercising tomorrow? Next week? Next month?
- Do you know that incorporating fruits and vegetables to your diet is beneficial, but you never buy fruits and vegetables?
The reason people are living “tuna sandwich” situations is because they are not taking full ownership of their lives. 100% responsibility, 100% of the time! In my own personal experience I’ve learned that the most important step a person must take in order to create the lives of their dreams is taking 100% responsibility of their lives. Not 99%, 100%!
The word “rationalize” come to mind. When we stop “rationalizing”, making “rations” of the amount of personal responsibility we have for our own outcomes, and start understanding and “knowing”, that the only person who can truly bring a better life to ourselves is ourselves, we start moving towards that better life.
Quite powerful, this short film (5 min), is the story of a father who truly loves his son and yet is forced to make the ultimate choice. Sometimes in life when we pursue our goals the plan doesn’t always go the way we would like. As a matter-of-fact from personal experience and from hearing the stories of others almost everything, if not everything, comes through sacrifice. As is seen in this story of this man’s pain he comes to realize his ultimate mission.
No words needed here, just watch (3 min):
Sometimes in life we come across things that aren’t exactly the way we would like them to be. We wake up in the morning, having our day planned, and then all of a sudden “life” hits us. We plan on picking up the dry cleaning at a certain hour only to find out that it will not be ready until the next day. We call our spouse and are blindsided by an onslaught of “questions” that sound more like an interrogation than a search for “understanding”. Or, we planned our monthly budget only to find out that a not so minor repair will be needed at home which blows the budget. Or G-d forbid we receive news of an illness or tragedy in the family.
The question is, how do we look at these things? Should we take them as a bullet to the chest? Or can we take them somehow in some more positive light?
The answer quite simply, and as I mentioned above, is just a YES! That is, we can of course say NO to the circumstance, and either way we will feel pain. We will feel the pain as we fight our emotions, and engage the situation. And we will feel the pain even if we accept the situation (by saying Yes). But, when we say “no” we are trying to fight the reality that just cannot be changed. When we say yes we are in essence accepting the reality, albeit with the pain that goes along with it, but by saying yes we are now empowered to do something about it. That something may well include a plan and the ability to change the reality were presented with. Or, it will be simply to accept that reality and find ways to positively cope with the things we did not plan on and would rather do without. One comes from a point of being a victim, the other of being a creator, a person with power.
So just say yes to life and feel the relief that can bring along with the inspiration.
I just finished my first reading of Susan Jeffers’, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. In it she describes her “whole life” approach to resilience. Basically what it says is that when “life” hits you in one specific area of your life, for example, your relationship with someone very important to you, if you look only at that aspect of your life, or rather, if your life is literally based solely on that one area, you are surely going to be not only very upset but quite likely quite traumatized and very much unstable.
Quite simply, if your life is made up only of one aspect, such as the current relationship failure you are in, then should that relationship fall apart the following will happen.
At first your entire life looks like the following picture with your relationship being a label of your whole life diagram.
A healthier approach to life would be to realize that there are many aspects that make up your life. The following diagram, taken from Jeffers’ book shows how you can find joy and stability within many many areas of your life and especially in the collection of them all together. Then, using the same example as above, should one aspect become “broken”, i.e. the broken down relationship, you can easily see how the rest of your life is still quite full. It also helps you feel very much stable.
The additional point of course is that not only is a this much healthier outlook, and makes life more promising, but that we begin recognize and realize all the good there is in all blessings that we truly have.