Archive for category Inspiration

Don’t Overlook The “Simple” Things

In this high tech and ever connected world we live in it can become so easy to overlook the simple things in life that are taken for granted. With such a commercially driven culture that says you are not going to be happy unless you own the latest toy, gadget, car, etc…or if you don’t have the body of “supermodel/fitness model” you are not living life, it becomes very easy to be driven by an appetite to be like what advertisers say you should be instead of appreciating who you are, what you have, and discovering what you truly want. When my plane landed on Saturday morning and I had to drive home I knew what I wanted most after being away for 2 weeks was to see my families faces, to sit in my home, and just relax in my own space. I wanted to watch my son play, hear home laugh, and enjoy his smile.

This morning is now the 3rd day back from my most recent trip to India and I find myself not really thinking about the “necessities” of American life and “Western Culture” but I do find myself thinking about the smile of my son, simplifying my life, breathing deeply, as well as several other things labeled “simple” in this overly and unnecessarily complicated society we live in. India and its wonderful people have really taught me some very valuable lessons about what’s really important to me versus what I thought was important and has really given me an understanding that I need at this stage in my life. It really is worth it to go outside of your own comfort zone and live (even for a short period of time) in foreign environment. You could come back with something that many people (at least in my opinion) are severely lacking, Perspective.

As for me, well let’s just say that I have a lot of work to do to get where I want and need to be, bit it will get done and I will be the better for it.

What “simple” things are you overlooking in your life and what will you do about it once you see it for yourself?

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Who Are You?

You know as a teenager I always found myself trying to be someone else depending on who I was with.  I was an honors student throughout my school years and in my high school many of the “popular kids” were honors students.  So like many other teenagers, I tried to lie my way into popularity and I was popular for all of the wrong reasons, lying being the chief of those reasons.  I just wasn’t happy with who I thought I was as it seemed to me that who I thought I was wasn’t someone that most people wanted to be around.  The truth of the matter is that I didn’t have a clue as to who I was at that point in my life.

 

So many people spend their lives trying to be someone that they are not all because they are not able to answer one question; who are you?  When you are asked that question by a random stranger the most common answer is to give your name, but if you think about it, that doesn’t answer the question at hand.  The question of who are you doesn’t deal with the name that you’re given.  It does however deal with your character, values, dreams, and goals.  This question is the very question that solidifies your identity; not in the aspect of what your license shows, but in the aspect of what your character personifies.

 

I’ve said this to some of my former students (as many of them can attest to) if you tell me your dreams, I can tell you who you are because hidden within your dreams are your values and morals, the very things that your character and identity are based on.

 

I’ve met so many people that base their lives on what their favorite celebrity is saying, doing, wearing, and endorsing.  In fact, I believe (and I could be wrong) that if you asked 10 people to tell you who they are using what I have stated is the basis for this question that at least 6 of them wouldn’t know how to answer the question without a  reference to pop culture, fashion, music/music videos, or movies.

 

It is vitally important for you to know who you are, because if you don’t know who you are, then someone else will not have any problems molding you into someone that you were never meant to be.  It’s similar to a saying that I’ve heard very often in my life, “If you don’t have a plan for yourself, you’ll be a part of someone else’s plan.”  I’ll modify this just a little to illustrate my point, “If you don’t know who you are, you will become whatever someone else decides they want you to be.”

 

I believe that everyone of every age group goes through periods of reflection and revision (when they already know who they are) or self-discovery (when they are trying to find out who they are).  Both events are equally important and are heavily influenced by significant life changes that can occur.  But it’s only when you are fully aware of who you are that you can make lasting changes in your life as well as begin to realize your dreams and goals.

 

It’s better for you to find out who you are and be that person rather than a clone of someone else.  Your were created and made as a unique creature that has no duplicate in this world, so be who you are for the world needs what you have to offer!

 

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Keep Your Eyes On Your Prize!

Notice I didn’t title this Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, I purposely said Keep Your Eyes On Your Prize!  When you put your eyes on someone else’s prize, someone else who is in a place of achievement that you strive to be in,  you can potentially cause yourself to lose track of your own prize as you now start to fall into two places that you shouldn’t have fallen into at all; discouragement and distraction. 

It is through Discouragement and Distraction that you tend to lose the determination, courage, and focus that you had when you started pursuing a goal.  Discouragement and Distraction can be used as tools by people who don’t want to see you achieve your goals for whatever reasons, or more commonly, used by you as to why you should just quit when the path to your goals starts to seem hard and unachievable.  I know this because I’ve lived through it.  These two obstacles in your path of goal achievement usually stem from a particular mindset that is best articulated in the following quote:

“Some people would rather live in a known hell than explore an unknown heaven.” –Les Brown.

When your eyes are kept on the prize it’s hard for you to get moved from your goal.  Stephen R. Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says it best in one of his 7 habits, “Begin with the end in mind.”  This is not to say that you will never get discouraged or distracted but if you follow this advice, it’s hard to remain discouraged or distracted when you have the end result in mind that you want to achieve, a result that once fulfilled will be a wonderful accomplishment and blueprint for achieving more goals in your life.   

 It is always good to look at the journey of others for inspiration as well as to encourage them on their way to achieving their goals and attaining their prize.  But examining the journey is different from looking at their prize, so as I said when I started this post, Keep Your Eyes On Your Prize and don’t stop until you have it in your hand!

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