Archives for October 2012

The Power of Decisions

Use a permanent marker. Make a choice. Take that trip. Order that dessert. Speak UP!

Usually, when I come across two common themes from separate outlets (written by people I respect), I pause and wonder if the Universe is trying to tell me something.

Today it was about DECISIONS.

Amy Spencer wrote a fascinating and very uplifting essay on the freedom that making a decision gives us. Rather than bouncing around between ideas of what you could/should/would do, just DO! Amy’s post, TOSS YOUR ERASER, is filled with some very inspiring suggestions for making decisions and the feeling of pride and accomplishment that decision-making will give you. She called it “Today’s little happy life idea” and it is just that. An idea to help make your life a little happier. Amy quotes John W. Gardner’s idea that “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” Amy goes on to add, “No, you don’t have an eraser, but you have a huge, bright, empty piece of paper in front of you to draw in whatever direction you want to go next.” She also points out that no decisions are permanent. Even the ones written in permanent marker (or tattoos, or marriage certificates, or down payments). “There are few decisions or mistakes in life that can’t be fixed. Sure maybe you end up with a little headache trying to fix it…but weren’t you giving yourself as much of a headache in struggling over the decision in the first place?” Smart advice!

Danielle LaPorte recently wrote about her new DESIRE program. She detailed her decisions to go forward with an idea and how she likes to put it out into the world immediately, while the fire’s still hot. She tells the world her intentions. Makes the statement. Marks her calendar and starts running in the direction of her dreams. Danielle says it’s all about a feeling of urgency. A need to get the word out about an idea, a decision, a move.

We are in an age when we are afforded more opportunities than ever before and we are becoming paralyzed by choices. The opportunity to be, do, experience, learn, create, and succeed is exciting, tempting and exhilarating. It can also be overwhelming. We can begin to feel anxiety over of making the “wrong” choice. What these two smart and inspiring women are saying, the themes that are echoed in their thoughts, is that any decision, if made with conviction and excitement for the possibility of success, is a worthwhile decision. We can’t get anywhere if we are frozen in one spot. The only way we can succeed is by moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other and saying YES to life.

Find Your Groove

Everything can overwhelm us.

We are programmed to be overwhelmed.

It’s in our DNA. It’s instilled in us from a young age. It grows with age and tightens around us every year.

It starts so young. “I have so much homework!”

“I have so many after school activities.”

“I don’t have time to play, shower, sleep.”

The list goes on and on. We begin bemoaning all of our “to-dos” because they give us a sense of importance. “Look how busy/important/smart I am.” The more you have to do, the more adult you are. The less you have to do, the more childlike. Why is being childlike so bad? Why do we look down on people who talk about the relaxing day they had reading/writing/watching bad reality tv/playing? Maybe if we spent our time seeking out the things that bring us the most joy and work towards creating time and space for them in our busy/hectic/overwhelming lives, we would feel more satiated, more centered, more FULL. Life should be FULL. It should be FULL of happiness, it should be FULL of enjoyment, it should be FULL of accomplishments that make us proud.

Prioritize the things that really matter. Make time for the enjoyment that you are “working towards.” There is an old cliche about a man on his deathbed and how no one will ever hear him say, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” It’s true. You will never wish you took more business calls or spent more hours at your desk. You will never live out your full potential if you spend your day wishing you were somewhere else, doing something else. The only way you will really begin to appreciate your life is to really LIVE it. Live every inch of it. Do the things that you know will make you happy. Because in those moments of doing what makes you happy, you might just stumble upon that which will fulfill you and make your dreams come true. Find your groove and live there.

Rough

The days are long but the years are short. We hear this often but we don’t really listen. It is important to really LISTEN. To NOTICE. To pay attention to all that is going on around us. The desire to find the easy way out, the shortest path, the quickest way to do things, feel things, process things is always the one we are most drawn to and seek out most frequently. But sometimes we have to get through something slowly, diligently, with patience and resolve. The obstacles life throws us will be rough, difficult, verging on impossible. They challenge us. They push us. They scare us. But the only way to get over something is to go through it. To feel every inch of it, no matter how painful or difficult. Life is a roller coaster filled with ups and downs. None of it can be expected, prepared for or predicted. We can only strap ourselves in, take a deep breath and move forward. We have to believe in ourselves, believe in the path and have hope, faith and grace. There is no easy way out, no magic pill, no instruction manual. Life is difficult. But it is also beautiful and miraculous and filled with blessings. Enjoy your days and find the blessings in every moment. Years from now you will thank yourself for having faith and you will feel proud of yourself for surviving. Even thriving.

Run Away to Reconnect

 

“You are not your to do list. You are not your have-nots or must-dos. You are not your job. Although your first waking thoughts likely focus on the needs of others and all the things you want to accomplish, you are, most important, yourself. Take time every day to remember that – even if it means running away from everyone and everything you love so you come back refreshed and recharged. The world can wait. You shouldn’t have to.” -Self Magazine, November 2012

Do you ever notice that the more you do for people, the more you resent them or the time you lost? Even if these are the people you love most in the world and you are doing things that you really want to do, you can sometimes still feel deflated afterwards. There has been a lot of talk about the power of meditation and yoga and relaxation. The reason these activities are growing in popularity is not because we are becoming a more spiritual population but because we are realizing the importance of giving ourselves something so precious and fleeting, time. We are often so busy running around doing for others, even at the expense of our own inner peace. What we don’t realize is that by constantly giving of ourselves to others, we are taking away our own personal comfort. Always being there for others is a sign of great character and kindness. It is a powerful gift and one that should never be taken for granted. However, the word selfish gets a bad reputation. Sometimes being selfish is the greatest gift you can give to yourself…and to others. Taking time for yourself, saying “no” to a request, stepping away from everyone to give yourself a moment to regroup and relax is sometimes the best thing you can do for others. By resting and doing what YOU want, you will be recharged and ready to help others tackle their problems, support them when they need you or celebrate their achievements. ¬†Putting yourself first can give you that boost of confidence and clear thinking that will help you take the next steps in your generous life.