Monday, August 25, 2014
You deserve to be happy. You deserve to live a life you are excited about. Don’t let the opinions of others make you forget that. You are not in this world to live up to the expectations of others, nor should you feel that others are here to live up to yours. In fact, the more you approve of your own decisions in life, the less approval you need from everyone else.
You have to dare to be yourself, and follow you own intuition, however frightening or strange that may feel or prove to be. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t get discouraged by their progress or success. Follow your own path and stay true to your own purpose. Success is ultimately about spending your life happily in your own way.
2. Stop expecting them to respect you more than you respect yourself.
True strength is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles. It’s about having faith and trust in who you are, and a willingness to act upon it. Decide this minute to never again beg anyone for the love, respect, and attention that you should be showing yourself.
Today, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you, and from now on I’m going to act like it.” It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself. When you practice self-love and self-respect, you give yourself the opportunity to be happy. When you are happy, you become a better friend, a better family member, and a better YOU.
3. Stop expecting (and needing) them to like you.
You might feel unwanted and unworthy to one person, but you are priceless to another. Don’t ever forget your worth. Spend time with those who value you. No matter how good you are to people, there will always be one negative person who criticizes you. Smile, ignore them, and carry on.
In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, the toughest battle you’ll ever have to fight is the battle to be yourself. And as you’re fighting back, not everyone will like you. Sometimes people will call you names because you’re “different.” But that’s perfectly OK. The things that make you different are the things that make YOU, and the right people will love you for it.
4. Stop expecting them to fit your idea of who they are.
Loving and respecting others means allowing them to be themselves. When you stop expecting people to be a certain way, you can begin to appreciate THEM.
Pay close attention, and respect people for who they are and not for who you want them to be. We don’t know most people half as well as we believe we do; and truly knowing someone is a big part of what makes them wonderful. Every human being is remarkable and beautiful; it just takes a patient set of eyes to see it. The more you get to know someone, the more you will be able to look beyond their appearance and see the beauty of who they truly are.
5. Stop expecting them to know what you’re thinking.
People can’t read minds. They will never know how you feel unless you tell them. Your boss? Yeah, he doesn’t know you’re hoping for a promotion because you haven’t told him yet. That cute guy you haven’t talked to because you’re too shy? Yeah, you guessed it, he hasn’t given you the time of day simply because you haven’t given him the time of day either.
In life, you have to communicate with others regularly and effectively. And often, you have to open your vocal cords and speak the first words. You have to tell people what you’re thinking. It’s as simple as that.
If there’s a specific behavior someone you care about has that you’re hoping disappears over time, it probably won’t. If you really need them to change something, be honest and put all the cards on the table so this person knows how you feel and what you need them to do.
For the most part though, you can’t change people and you shouldn’t try. Either you accept who they are or you choose to live without them. It’s might sound harsh, but it’s not. When you try to change people, they often remain the same, but when you don’t try to change them – when you support them and allow them the freedom to be as they are – they gradually change in the most beautiful way. Because what really changes is the way you see them.
7. Stop expecting them to be “OK.”
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle, just like you. Every smile or sign of strength hides an inner struggle every bit as complex and extraordinary as your own.
Remember that embracing your light doesn’t mean ignoring your dark. We are measured by our ability to overcome adversities and insecurities, not avoid them. Supporting, sharing and making contributions to other people is one of life’s greatest rewards. This happens naturally if we allow it, because we all share very similar dreams, needs and struggles. Once we accept this, the world then is a place where we can look someone else in the eye and say, “I’m lost and struggling at the moment,” and they can nod and say, “Me too,” and that’s OK. Because not being “OK” all the time, is perfectly OK, in as much as you don't stay there.
Monday, August 18, 2014
1.Explore what YOU love, and own it. – If you spend your life trying to define yourself by what someone else loves, you’re going to be miserable. Try things – try everything. Explore. See what makes you hear music inside and what makes your heart swell, and then go do it. Find out everything you can about it. Find other people who love it too. If you waste time pretending to like something just because other people you think are “cool” like it, you’re going to end up with the wrong people and circumstances in your life. Love what you love and be yourself, and you will end up with a lifestyle and relationships that make you truly happy.
2.Live YOUR idea of your life, every day. – As you’re working on point #1, you will inevitably meet people who want to steer you in a different direction – their direction. Just remember, what’s right for them may be wrong for you, and vice versa. The truth is that the world isn’t really as it is, but as we see it. And we all see it differently. If you end up living a boring, miserable life because you completely ignored yourself and instead listened to a parent, a peer, or some gal on TV telling you how to live your life, then you have no one but yourself to blame. Honestly, the smartest and most courageous act is simply to think for yourself and listen to you own intuition. It’s better to die your way, than live someone else’s idea of your life.
3.Wake up every morning and get the RIGHT things done. – The world does not owe you a living. You owe the world a life. So stop daydreaming and start DOING. Develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Take full responsibility for your life – take control. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now; the somebody the world needs is YOU. Focus on being productive, not being busy. Don’t just get things done; get the right things done.
4.Put down your smartphone and be more present. – Is there anything worse than getting somewhere and not realizing how you got there? Even worse is only realizing how great something is after it’s gone. Living in the present is a basic notion, but as with most simple things, we often find a way to complicate it. But there’s nothing complicated about learning to appreciate and notice life as it’s happening. There’s nothing complicated about being present. You won’t remember the cool Instagram photo you saw on your feed anyway. You will, however, want to remember the conversations you had and the stories you lived through. So put down the darn phone.
5.Practice relentless kindness. – Kindness is always the best response to any situation. When you grow older and you look back on your life, you will inevitable forget a lot of the stuff that seemed so important when you were young. You probably won’t remember what your high school or college GPA was. You will look at your old classmates on Facebook (or some other online social network) and wonder why you ever had a crush on that girl/guy. And you will have the toughest time remembering why you let certain people from your past get the best of you. But you will never forget the people who were genuinely kind – those who helped when you were hurt, and who loved you even when you felt unlovable. Be that person to others as often as possible.
6.Love yourself, too. – More likely than not, the first person who caught your eye wasn’t “The One.” And the second, third or fourth probably wasn’t either. You know why? It’s because YOU are the one. Love isn’t something out there somewhere that someone else can give to you. It’s already inside you. It’s that sacred part of each of us that makes us human. And some of the best moments in life are when you truly connect with someone else and share the love you already have inside with them. But don’t ever forget to love yourself, first. When you start by loving and respecting yourself, it makes giving that love to other people infinitely better. You’re going to meet so many amazing people in your life, and I hope you do fall in love with someone else. Just remember to fall in love with your own life too, because no one else can do that for you.
7.Work a little less and spend a little more time smiling with people you love. – You’ve heard the saying, “The best things in life are free.” Well spending quality time with family and friends, enjoying the antics of a pet, seeing your son smile, experiencing intimate and heart-felt moments with your significant other – these times are precious and priceless. Don’t get so caught up in the rat race, working 60+ hours a week, to the point where you are too stressed and exhausted to enjoy your closest relationships. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to live on less, and thus work fewer hours and enjoy more of what truly matters.
8.Say what you need to say. – Speak up. Don’t hide your thoughts and feelings, especially when you can make a difference. Be brave. Say what needs to be said. Many people suppress their feelings in order to keep peace with others, or to shield themselves from potential rejection. As a result, they settle for a mediocre existence and never become who they are capable of becoming. Even worse, many of these people develop illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carry as a result. Don’t be one of them. Hearts are often broken by words left unspoken, and this includes your own heart.
9.Leave toxic relationships behind. – You deserve respect. You deserve it from your family, your friends, your coworkers – from everyone in your life. The best way to receive respect from others is to begin by respecting yourself. Speak clearly and keep your head up. Stand up for what you believe. Make choices that you feel good about. And if someone in your life is being disrespectful‚ call them on it. If things don’t change, you need to limit the amount of time and influence they have in your life. We need people in our lives who challenge us and disagree with us, so we can see things from new perspectives. We don’t need to be constantly torn down by toxic people who don’t respect us though. It can be difficult to leave a long-term relationship, even when our inner-wisdom tells us it’s time to let go. But make no mistake, all failed relationships hurt, but letting go of a toxic relationship is a gain, not a loss.
10.Let go of those who are already gone. – You’re going to mingle with a lot of people in your lifetime. You’re going to have first kisses you feel all the way down to your toes and think “Oh my gosh, I love him,” but really… you loved the kiss. You’re going to meet a friend you think you will know forever, but then something will change and you two will go your separate ways. You’re going to explore different parts of your life with different people who aren’t in it for the long haul, and that isn’t a bad thing. Life is a series of stories, and the way our stories intersect is remarkable. Sometimes people are in our lives for the whole story. Sometimes they are just a short chapter or two. It takes a brave person to know when that chapter is over, and then to turn the page. Be brave. Embrace your goodbyes, because every “goodbye” you receive in life sets you up for an even better “hello.”
Monday, August 11, 2014
Monday, August 4, 2014
How do you pour encomium on a man that is praise personified?
How do you eulogize 50 golden years of enviable feats?
We probably will never aptly do this, but we will try.
To some, he is a colleague
To some others, a father
To a few, a pastor
To us, he is an embodiment of friendship
A brother for all seasons
A friend for all times.
Though 50, you still have the admirable features of youth
Though 50, your swag has never diminished
Though 50, your carriage remains the envy of all
Though 50, your energy is still at its peak
Though 50, your panache still dazzles us
Though 50, your wit remains infectious
Though 50, your looks will perennially attract any beauty queen.
Your unending smile captivates us
Your large heart astounds us
Your forgiving spirit marvels us
Your accommodating soul beats our imagination
Not just for today, but always
And while our sojourn in this company will someday elapse
Our friendship will always linger
Happy golden anniversary birthday
And while words may fail us at this point
Always remember that we will always love you!
Many more fruitful and productive years may you yet see!
This poem was dedicated to a colleague and mentor on his golden birthday anniversary.