It is easy to look in the mirror and see all of our faults. Not only is this easy, but it seems to be a trait of human nature. If you are lucky enough to either not own a mirror or be one of the rare few who are not focused on your faults, fear not there are plenty of others, the media included, who will be happy to point them out for you.
I am here to tell you something you do not hear enough. You are perfect the way you are. I know that may seem hard to believe, but you are. Yes, there is always room for improvement. Yes, things might not be as you wish them to be. If this is true how can I say you are perfect? Simple, the life you were given was made for you. You may have been born with a physical or mental challenge or limitation. Certain situations may have happened to you that are beyond your control. You may have experienced terrible loss. You may have financial troubles. You may have went through physical, emotional or sexual abuse. These things are all terrible and should not happen to anyone.
If this is the case, how can our lives be perfect? Those challenges and limitations were not given to us to stop us, they were given to us to either serve us or help us serve others. Often times both. Some of the most inspiring people I know show me how their physical or mental challenges do not stop them. Not only does it allow me to feel grateful for my own health, but reinforces the fact I should not allow any of my health limitations serve as an excuse.
Some of those closest to me have went through terrible situations. Things they, nor anyone else, deserve to go through. Not only have many of them served as a great example of how to overcome those challenges, but they offer a hand in helping others facing challenges of their own. This is help that would certainly not be as beneficial had it come from someone who had not faced that situation. It has made them emotionally stronger. Some of them had to work through a great deal of pain, both physical and emotional. Through these struggles they have learned so much about themselves and help come out as stronger individuals.
No matter what you are facing at the moment, understand it was given to you for a reason. You are perfect. Even your mistakes can provide you examples in forgiveness and humility. Please feel free to share this message with those who need to hear it.
We ended last week by discussing stories. The stories we tell ourselves to prevent us from trying new ideas and concepts. I shared some of the stories from my life and how they have affected me. We even looked at stories that others tell us about ourselves. We looked at how we view stories, events and people from our past and how that can have an effect on our future. All of these examples can show how important stories are to our development and overall well-being.
Today we are going to look at your story. In the last few years I have learned so much from listening to the stories of others. Whether it is the stories from my friends Cari and Kelly who show me that even people coming from some of the most challenging circumstances can grow into some of the most loving people with wonderful souls. Listening to the stories about my lovely Margie helped me to better understand the woman I love and the people in her life that helped form her into the divine lady that she is today.
I know I could learn a lot from your story as well. That may sound like a bold claim considering the people who read this span the entire globe. You may be asking what can I learn from the individual from Tunisia who read this on Sunday? I can’t say exactly, but I can tell you for sure something. The examples may not be something I can relate to, for example I have friends who were abused, in foster care, divorced, lost children and a host of other challenges I have not faced. In them I can learn the principles of hope, faith, determination and love. I am eternally grateful to each and every person who shares their story with me.
You may think that your life does not offer any inspiration, but I am here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth. I have heard stories from a friend in Romania about listening to certain music on the way to work. I have heard stories from my friend in Australia about the way she discovers indigenous medicine by visiting local markets. My friend from Mexico shares challenges that the local economy and health care cause him to face in his country. These are but a few of the countless stories I hear each and every day. Even those who share stories about their love, good fortune or healing give me a joyous feeling in my heart.
Perhaps you still think your story is nothing special? “I am just a person who wakes up and works to pay the bills.” Let me tell you that your story, and your life may be just what someone else needs to hear. It may be the challenges or amusing stories you have to offer about your chosen line of work. It may be amusing stories and episodes you have had raising your children. Maybe it is even the way you have approached a health challenge you have. After more then 20 years in the self-improvement field, I can tell you without a doubt, one of the most common feelings people deal with is feeling alone. Knowing that there is somebody else in the world who is facing the same challenge or has even made it through that challenge, can give their heart a little peace.
Please share your story. It may not seem like much to you and you may not understand how it will help anyone else, but it will. Whether you wish to start a blog like this one, write your own book or start a YouTube channel, please get your story out there. Someone is needing to hear just what you have to say. They may be in Armenia, Brazil or Zaire but they are out there. If you need any advice or suggestions on how to get started you can ask yours truly or make good use of Google which has many helpful tutorials.
Yesterday we looked at the things negative people have in common. I did that for a couple of reasons. One to show that positive or negative is not a result of bad genes, or luck or destiny. What those are is excuses. Whether your life has more joy or sorrow is a matter of decisions. it is a matter of small choices we make daily. If you are not satisfied with the amount of joy that appears in your life it is time to stop looking at outside circumstances to blame and start looking at the decisions you make. So what decisions should you make? That is a great question.
Here is the first big decision you must make. It encompasses several areas we will look at in greater detail in just a moment. That decision is what to focus on. If you are deciding on trying to add more joy to your life you have already made a positive decision on what to focus on, what brings joy into your life. This sounds like a no brainer until you are asked by some innocent bystander or an inquisitive blog writer at the post office. How long would it take you to rattle off 5 things that bring bliss into your life? If you can right off the top of your head you are in better shape than most. now let us take a look at those five things. Do any of them contain things you wish were not in your life-like our example of our negative lady yesterday? If you said “it would make me happy if I didn’t have to go to work” or “drive through rush hour traffic” you are missing the point here. you are focusing on what your life is lacking. Everybody’s life is lacking in some areas and abundant in others. The trick is here that positive people focus on what they have. My friend George, the insurance man I have mentioned in here before was one of the first ‘happy people’ I asked for his secret to maintaining joy. Without a second of contemplation he answered “I count my blessings I suppose” in other words George focuses on what he has in his life. I am sure George would rather be retired and drink coffee while talking town history with the locals, but he does not focus on that. he focuses on the fact that he has a job where he does get to meet people and help a good deal of them. Now I imagine in the insurance business as with any business dealing with the public there are a few challenging customers, but I have never heard him focus on that either. Just mention that he enjoys meeting so many wonderful people.
Another secret positive people use, and one I use frequently myself is to focus on the goal you are striving for verses everything that stands in its way. If for example your goal is to get to and maintain a healthy weight, do not focus on what you way now, or how many times you must work out, the food you must give up. These are all thoughts that will discourage you and bring unhappiness and failure. Instead think about all the pluses you will have. More energy, more vitality. You will be able to wear different outfits, do more things. It is like the issue of quitting smoking. How many people tell you they are going to “Quit smoking” they are already focused on what they have to give up just by the mere title of it. Plus, quitting is generally not used in good terms. Few people say “I am working to become smoke free” that is focusing on what you have to gain. A more pleasant smell, more stamina, more energy, longer and healthier life.
I believe it was Earl nightingale who gave us this definition of success “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal” what this means is as soon as you decide on a worthwhile goal and begin to pursue it you are a success. Even if you haven’t achieved it yet, even if there are bumps along the way and you may take a step back or stumble. if you keep pushing towards that goal you, my friend are a success.
So there are the two most common traits of happy people. They have a feeling of gratitude while focusing on all the good they have in their lives. As well as focusing on the goal they are striving for and all the good that will come with it instead of where they are now and all the obstacles they will have to go through. So I hope you have developed a plan for this weekend. Begin to appreciate all the good in your life that you have to enjoy and stop focusing on what your life lacks. Have a little money? it’s better than none! Pick a ‘worthy ideal’ to strive for, imagine all the benefits achieving it will bring you. Stoking your ‘why’ enough to get you excited. Ask the people in your life what makes them happy. Take away what you can and develop some of your own secrets. Have an excellent weekend my friends!