Being kind, considerate, generous, warm, enthusiastic, encouraging, positive, and polite is always a choice.
Author | Photographer | CG Artist | Filmmaker
Author | Photographer | CG Artist | Filmmaker
As you progress through life, you may begin to notice that the more you own, the more your life tends to be influenced by those things. And in many cases, restricted and controlled.
It has been said that the more you own, the more what you own ends up owning you.
“He who buys what he does not need, steals from himself.” – Swedish Proverb
So it is wise to ensure you don’t fall into the trap of acquiring possessions for the sole sake of simply having them or assuming that acquiring that one more thing will finally be the answer to the happiness you seek.
The truth is, we rarely make full use of what we already have. And much of what we own sits in a closet, an attic, a garage, or a storage unit where it is nearly never used and simply takes up more and more space year after year.
We have been fooled by a consumer driven society that more stuff equals more happiness — or is a sign of “success” — but it has been shown, the opposite is closer to the truth.
The less you own and need to be responsible for, the more you are able to exercise your free will, and the more you are able to appreciate and make use of the things you have.
“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” – G.K. Chesterton
Be careful not to judge the value of your life by the material things you own — or you’ll find that you never have enough. The real measure of one’s wealth is not how much one has, but how much one is worth when they have nothing.
You can’t measure some of the most important things that matter most in the world. And yet, this has no impact on the tremendous impact they have on our lives.
It’s not the having of something that’s powerful, it’s what you choose to do with it. When one simply collects things that ultimately go unused, one not only uses up their valuable resources to keep it, they waste a tremendous opportunity to make a significant difference in someone else’s life who could actually use it.
Your greatness is not measured by how much you’re able to gain in life, but by how much you’re able to give.
A lie is still a lie even when you use it to comfort someone. Tell the truth, even if it hurts.
We, as a society, are addicted to the word “can’t.”
“I can’t [change something I want to change about myself] for the better.”
“I can’t quit [this habit].”
“I tried, I just can’t.”
“I can’t. It’s just not in my nature.”
“I can’t — I’m just not good enough.”
But there is a big difference between “I can’t” and “It just isn’t a high priority”.
When a person says, “I can’t”, it means they are incapable of doing something.
It does not mean, “I don’t want to.”
It does not mean, “I just don’t have time.”
It does not mean, “I don’t want to work to accomplish something.”
What many people actually mean when they use the word “can’t” is “it just isn’t a high priority.”
Before you say, “I can’t” or resolve to tell yourself, “I tried, I just couldn’t” — consider the following…
Sometimes all we need to achieve our goals is a bit more information about whatever it is we want to achieve.
Consider this: If someone tasked you with climbing a cliff — and you knew nothing about rock climbing — how could you possibly expect to smoothly accomplish your goal by learning from as-you-go experience alone?
Sometimes we have all the information we need to achieve our goal, but we fail to take the steps necessary to acquire the resources necessary to do so.
Consider this: This is like having the information necessary to climb a cliff, but failing to acquire the equipment (climbing gear) necessary to make your task easier.
Without proper motivation, even the simplest tasks can feel like a burden. We tend to lower the priority of those things which we feel less motivated to do — and raise the priority of those things we want to do.
When seeking to accomplish a goal, it is important to have the motivation necessary to see you through to the end of that goal. Always be aware of the benefits of achieving your goal and the downsides if you don’t.
Consider this: If your life — or the life of a loved one — depended on you climbing a cliff, your motivation to climb the cliff would be much stronger knowing a life was in the balance than if you saw no reward or benefit for climbing a cliff. Motivation matters!
It is a fact that writing down your goals enhances goal achievement. The question is, if it’s so easy to do and has been shown to have a dramatic positive effect on goal achievement, why would you not write down your goal?
If your goal isn’t measurable, then it is too abstract to be called a goal. Anything you expect to accomplish must be able to be broken down into measurable tasks.
It is a fact that those who break down their goals into achievable tasks — and then track their progress towards reaching their goals are more likely to accomplish those goals than those who don’t. So the question again is, why wouldn’t you?
This is self-explanatory. Making a single attempt at accomplishing a goal and then giving up, would be like telling your friends that your child will never walk because they tried once and failed.
Depending on the nature of your goal, there are times that having a support system in place can greatly enhance the likelihood of you achieving your goal. Not only does this help provide motivation, but it can also make you accountable for the things you say you are going to do.
If you didn’t put much effort into these things before you declared, “I can’t”, it’s NOT that you can’t — it’s that you didn’t want to.
Your life is a reflection of your priorities. There is a big difference, “I can’t” and “It just isn’t a high priority.”
Did you really make an effort to achieve your goal? Can you answer yes to most of the following statements?
The breaking the “I can’t” excuse addiction checklist:
If you can’t say “yes” — with confidence and brutal honesty — to the majority of the items on this list, then you are likely using “I can’t” as an excuse.
Live with intention. Every day.
Not everyone will understand your journey…
The only person that is truly aware of your emotions, your intentions, or your interpretation of experiences — which is all they can be — is you.
As much as others may — at times — identify with you or your actions, it is impossible to go through life without occasionally being misunderstood. While you can control what you say and how you act, you cannot control how others choose to interpret it. And it may sometimes seem that no matter how much you try to explain yourself to others, they just don’t “get it”.
This should be expected.
Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.
September 30, 2015:
Today I am truly honored by Quote Investigator (AKA Garson O’Toole), who, after thorough research, has verified that I am the original author of the often shared, but rarely attributed quote, “Not everyone will understand your journey…“. Thank you, Garson.
It appears that “being awesome” is all the rage these days. Social networks are full of “just be awesome” related posts.
This is great — except that no one seems to really draw attention to what “being awesome” actually means. As if the simple act of existing is “being awesome”.
The people who leave fast food trash in the parking lot next to their car are not being awesome. People who put others in danger by texting and driving? Not being awesome.
Rudeness? Arrogance? Selfishness? Judging people? Not awesome.
The majority of Youtube comments? Not awesome.
Being “awesome” doesn’t mean simply existing.
Being awesome involves acting in a way that contributes something of value to the people, places, and things that you connect with throughout your day.
Unless your mission is to be so annoying that people will feel relieved when you are not around, if your presence doesn’t add value, your absence won’t make a difference. And if you’re not making some kind of positive difference, that’s not “being awesome”. That’s not putting in any amount of effort. That’s simply existing.
So if you truly want to be awesome, always strive to contribute in such a way that you’re adding something of value wherever you may be and to whoever you come in contact with by doing more of what you’d like to see in the world.
This can be as simple as going out of your way to be kind to people.
It is in this way of adding value wherever you go that you will not only make a positive difference in the world at large, but also in your relationships, your work affairs, and any systems in which you play a role.
And that is awesome.
As Henry David Thoreau said, “Be not simply good; be good for something.”
If “Plan A” doesn’t work,
don’t worry, you still have 25 letters left.
The truth is, you don’t always get a 2nd chance, let alone a 3rd. But every mistake or failure provides valuable lessons to learn from.