Thoughts …

One of my goals in life has always been to Inspire people. To Motive people. To d2154830196dcd73066a94431e0520f3_thought-bubble-png-hd-thoughts-clipart-hd_4001-3604.pngEncourage people. To Captivate people with my words and my stories. To remind people that they are important. They are valued. They are able to do anything that they put their minds to. Remind people that they can overcome any and every obstacle that may come their way.

My goal, One of my main goals, has always been to have my presence felt and always remembered in a good way.

I have always said, when I leave this earth, I want people to remember me for the things that I have done without a doubt, but more so for the things that I say. I can only hope that when one meets me and engages with me, that they are elated and take something from me. That my words are felt and not taken lightly.

God puts us all here for something, and I believe that he truly put me here to bring joy and to be the light that shines bright in peoples lives the same way people have done for me.

I say all this to say … You may be going through something, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You may be feeling low, but that feeling doesn’t last always. You may not have everything that you want right now, but you are living and have what you need.

Continue to press forward and let nothing or no one stop you in your journey. We all are here for a purpose. We are all here for a reason. Let your light shine, and you will go far. Sometimes, that may mean standing alone, but that’s ok. Because later … you will be able to look back and say, I DID that. I made it.

 

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Stop Comparing, Start Living

Most of us understand the foolishness of trying to compare ourselves to others. We would readily admit that no good ever comes from it. Yet, whether we are comparing our home size, paycheck, physical features, or any number of measurable (and even unmeasured) things, we do it all the time.

 

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Even though we know there are inherent problems contained in the process:

  1. We most often compare the wrong things. Because we can most easily compare the things that we can objectively measure, we live in a world that is great at measuring and comparing externals. Somewhere along the way, we decided that we could determine who is living a more valuable life by comparing clothes, cars, homes, paychecks, beauty, or Twitter followers. But externals are rarely a good measure. Net-worth has never been a good indicator of self-worth.
  2. We always compare our worst with their best. Comparing your life with others is always a losing proposition because there will always be people who “appear” to be better off than you and seemingly live the perfect life. After all, we always compare the worst of what we know about ourselves to the best assumptions that we make about others. Be advised, their life is never as perfect as your mind makes it out to be.
  3. There is no end to the comparison game. There is an infinite number of categories upon which you can compare yourself… and an almost infinite number of people to compare yourself to. Once you start down that road, you will never, ever find an end.
  4. Life isn’t graded on a curve. How you measure up against others holds absolutely no importance in your life anyway. It simply makes no difference. The goal of life is not to be better than 50% of the other people on the planet. The goal of life is to be the best you that you can possibly be.
  5. Comparison puts your focus on the wrong person. You can control one life – yours. When we consistently compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than our own.
  6. Comparison robs you of joy. Comparing yourself to others will always cause you to regret what you aren’t, rather than allow you to enjoy who you are. It will always steal the joy and happiness that is within your reach… and place it just outside of your reach instead.

Many a contented life has surely been stolen by the unhealthy habit of comparing ourselves to others. Comparing ourselves to others will always rob us of gratitude, joy, and fulfillment.

But even more than than, it prevents us from fully living our lives. It calls us to envy someone else’s life and seek theirs rather than ours. It is robbing us of our most precious possession: life itself. And while the temptation to compare may never be completely eliminated, there are certainly some practical steps that we can take to move past it. Consider a few of these:

1. Recognize the inherent problems in comparing yourself to another.Take a good look at the list above. Why would we want any habit in our life that promotes feelings of inferiority? Or consistently promotes envy, competition, and strife with no end in sight? Sometimes, just a reminder of the foolishness contained in the habit is the most important step in overcoming it.

2. Celebrate who you are. There are many wonderful things about your life. You are an artist… or a businessman… or a mother… or a good listener… or a generous soul. You have much to celebrate and are entirely unique. Any comparison between you and another person is like comparing apples to oranges. They aren’t living your life, you are. Therefore, you should expect the results to be completely different.

3. Focus inward. Value generosity, humility, goodness, kindness, and love. Begin to focus on developing the inward qualities of a simplified life and the externals will lose their beauty. And the quicker we find beauty on the inside, the sooner we’ll stop comparing things on the outside (skin-deep beauty, paychecks, or power).

4. Realize life is not a competition. There may be times when competition is appropriate, but life is not one of them. We have all been thrown together at this exact moment on this exact planet. And the sooner we stop competing against others to “win,” the faster we can start working together to figure it out.

5. Remember that nobody is perfect. We live in a society that glamorizes perfection. Consider that magazine racks are full of models and celebrities with perfect faces telling one-sided stories of great triumph and fulfillment. One important step to avoiding the lure of comparison is to remember that one snapshot in time never tells the whole story. The story is never told of the hours in a make-up room or the photo editing technique to cover the blemishes. The story is rarely told of their insecurities or failures (except to mention how they overcame them). That story doesn’t sell nearly as many magazines. But the truth remains: there are no perfect people – including you and including me.

6. Live as intentional as possible. Too many people live their lives without intentionality or thought. They rarely find a quiet moment to sit in meditation or solitude and examine their life – who they are and who they are becoming. As a result, lives are lived as a reaction to the events around them. But when a life is lived intentionally and thoughtfully, the comparison game becomes less attractive.

As humans, it is in our nature to compare ourselves to others. But nothing good ever comes from it. So let’s stop comparing ourselves to others. We were not born to live their life. There is no sense wasting our life (or energy) being jealous of theirs. Instead, let’s start living our lives. Let’s determine today to be good at it. After all, we only get one shot.

Lost and Found

Sometimes getting a little lost is the best way to find your true self. You can discover new paths you would have otherwise missed if you stayed in one direction, stumble onto new ideas you would have never imagined, reignite a spark you once lost and even recognize what you love and what you hate. During this time you can learn to understand what you’re truly capable of as well as face your deepest fears and insecurities. Sure, getting lost can make you feel angry, scared, uncomfortable and confused, but it can also be an eye-opening experience if you let it be. Realize that because you chose to carry on as the unrelenting hero and not the victim, you have already won.

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Choice to act

Conditions, advantages, situations, resources, skills, timing and knowledge are all important factors in what you do, but not nearly as important as your choice to act on them. The conditions may be perfect or they may be awful as hell, in either case and all of the ones in-between, you can get good stuff done. Think about it as a sailing ship. A sailing ship can reach its destination whether that destination is upwind or downwind. The main difference is that the upwind journey providers sailors with more experience. No matter how this day started or how its been going thus far, you can still make progress. Whether good things are falling into your lap or your situation has fallen into disarray, you can move forward. Remember what matters is your choice to get it done and make it through. The wind will shift, the sky will clear and then darken, people will criticize you and then praise you, support you and then oppose you. Through it all, continue to make the choice to act and you’ll make progress in all that you do no matter what.

Keep Going

How do you keep going when everything seems to be against you? How do you push forward when it feels like the whole world is pushing back at you? The way you keep going is to remind yourself why. There is a reason you’ve chosen this path, and connecting with that reason will keep you on the path. When you started, that reason was clear, visible and present, fresh in your awareness. It gave you the energy, enthusiasm, drive and determination to get started. Go back now and revisit that reason. Claim that enthusiasm and energy again, recharging yourself with it all in the present moment. You have what it takes to keep going, and it’s been there right from the start. Remember, reconnect feel the love, feel the purpose, and engage the positive energy to push through whatever is yet to come.