So much happens in our lives every day that we often forget what we have learned. In effect, the only thing faster than the speed of our thoughts is the speed of our forgetfulness.
Here are seven important reminders to jog your memory…
1. Attitude makes all the difference.
Two people can be affected by the same circumstance and respond in completely different ways; it just depends on their perspective. One might see themselves as a victim, while the other discovers and makes the most of an opportunity the circumstance provides.
When you expect life to be unkind, it will always live up to your expectations. On the other hand, when you consider yourself to be in a fortunate situation, you will find yourself in many more.
It’s important to remember that there is value in every situation and circumstance. Positive possibilities are generated by every possible turn of fate. No matter what happens or doesn’t happen, life is what you choose to make it. You just have to choose to make it great.
2. Some sadness is necessary.
You cannot completely shield yourself from sadness without also shielding yourself from happiness. Sadness is part of the journey. Life is a series of highs and lows – an adventure that requires you to take chances and actions that have the possibility of both success (happiness) and failure (sadness).
When you find your path, you must not be afraid to step forward. You need to have sufficient courage to take chances and fail sometimes. Disappointment and sadness are the tools life uses to show us the way.
In the end, we learn even more from our failures than we do from our successes. Every step is a step in the right direction. Read Learned Optimism.
3. You can’t fight fire with fire.
Don’t spew hostile words at those who spew them at you. Tone it down and replace the stink of confrontation with the fragrance of resolution. The louder the opposition wants to yell, the calmer and more confidently you need to speak. Keep your composure; don’t let them get to you.
Be an example of a pure existence having a pure understanding of reality. Communicate and express yourself from a place of peace, from a place of love, with the best intentions. Practice good judgment in what you say and how you say it, in the thoughts you carry, and in the emotions you reveal. And most of all, use your voice for good – to inspire, to encourage, to educate, to spread the notions of love and understanding.
4. Everyone struggles in some way.
When you deal with your own issues, use your head; when you help others deal with their issues, use your heart.
The questions you should be asking yourself: How much could I possibly know about the troubles in another’s heart? How much can I hope to understand this person who has suffered from a specific circumstance of pain or disappointment than I have known?
And even greater than your ability to inspire them with hope for a brighter future is your capacity to motivate them to directly confront the worst in themselves and deal with it upfront, so they can rediscover and reclaim the best in themselves over time. Read The 5 Love Languages.
5. Fear always exists.
Every new experience triggers a least some fear; and that’s okay. Fear can help you to assess risk and prepare for all kinds of important, challenging situations. But first you have to understand that the purpose of fear is not to stop you.
Fear helps you evaluate the path forward. Certainly it is important to pause and look carefully before you move into unknown territory. However, it is just as important that, after sufficient due diligence and preparation, you do indeed move forward.
Let the fear sharpen your awareness, and then let it inspire you to act. Your success cannot be built by seeking refuge in what is already familiar and comfortable. You must journey out into the unknown, prepared for the challenges and determined to do whatever is necessary. The way to get beyond your fear is to go through it. Do the thing you fear and the fear loses its control over you.
6. Small steps get you to big places.
The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing simply because you can only do a little. In fact, it is far more productive to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a giant leap only to stumble and fall and never get up again.
Bottom line: The path to every goal requires a hundred small steps – one after the other. Figure out where you want to go, take a step, and keep on stepping. Diligence and persistence will get you there. Read The Power of Habit.
7. You can only change yourself.
Don’t wait for someone who hurt you to make it up to you; this kind of thinking only keeps your old wounds from healing. Waiting for them to change is not the answer. You have no control over them, and they may never change.
Inner peace is found by changing your thinking, not the people who hurt you. And you change your thinking for yourself, for your joy, your peace of mind, your own understanding, and your bright future that has nothing to do with this person or what they did to you.
So forgive those who have hurt you in the past, and even more importantly, forgive yourself for allowing them to hurt you. Then smile like you’ve never cried, re-open your heart and mind like you’ve never been hurt, and live the rest of your life like you’re running out of time. Read 1,000 Little Things.
Photo by: Werner Kunz