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During this last month, I have encountered some things that have really heightened my emotional awareness. I am really driven to be the best me possible, however it's not just me in the world. So I began asking myself, how does this drive impact others? Does it provide a positive impact? Do I really care one way or the other? These transparent moments of questions AND answers should be guidance to help me understand and reinforce my purpose and they do just that. However, the next level of questioning is what really gets me challenged. Once I've answered myself, then I go on to question my answers… Is this the answer because of MY Truth or is it what I THINK is expected of me.
I have found it very easy for myself and others to look at the lives of other people and attempt to pull back the layers of their life and criticize or celebrate them accordingly. However, it's often difficult for us to do it for ourselves. Are we allowing pride to keep us from meaningful relationships? Are we allowing walls of hatred to keep us from happiness? Are we allowing fear to isolate us from our success?
This month, I encourage us to pull back our own layers instead of looking at others to identify opportunities for growth and improvement.
So what is this month's Life Empowered Moment… It's simply this… Ask yourself, be honest with yourself, and deal with yourself in a manner that will build you not bury you!
What do you KNOW?
This past semester was my first opportunity to teach as an adjunct professor at the college level. Talk about excited, grateful, humble, and just enthused about the opportunity to serve our next generation. Going in, I really didn't know what to expect other than greatness. I loved the subject and I went in with ideas of the students running to my class, eager to learn and grow. Needless to say, it didn't quite happen like that. As a matter of fact, at the end of the semester, although I received some positive feedback, I also received some that wasn’t so positive. Of all of the good, the one thing that really stood out to me was that a student thought that I didn’t care about the class.
I was really stunned by that statement because of what I KNOW regarding my thoughts, efforts, and attitude towards the class. I know that I loved the students, I loved teaching, and that I did the best with what I had and knew to do. However, this is the situation that brings me today's Life Empowered Moment. Some things, in spite of what others say, you just have to KNOW and stand on.
Please keep in mind that feedback is a gift and it should serve to make you better at whatever you are doing. However, you must understand the difference between the gift to help and the gift to hinder. Either way, standing on what you KNOW to be true vs what is perceived to be true about you is what I want to remind you of today. KNOW that you have done your best and stand on it.
How Do You Define Success
It's so easy to look at people and think "I want that life". I want to be rich like (fill in the blank). I want to be happy like (fill in the blank). I want to live like (fill in the blank). The perceived success of others looks glamourous, and it is enticing. However, cost is the difference between the look and the life. I am not sure that we understand the cost of success. Yes, we have an idea, but we really don't understand it. After all, success is paid for through persistence and failures. If we really understood that, we wouldn't be so intimidated by it. Maybe we would be happy to fail if we embraced the fact that accomplishing goals will require failures.
If we understood that success includes sleepless nights, consistent criticism, self-discipline and sometimes flat out discomfort, maybe we wouldn't we wouldn't be so disappointed when we can't go to that fun event or hear someone important to us insult our efforts. If we only understood.
Being a success really boils down to two things… 1) How do YOU define success and 2) Did you LIVE your purpose? Regardless to how others define success, you have to define it for yourself. While financial wealth is often the barometer used to define success, reality says that true success isn’t quantifiable in dollars and cents. True success is getting up daily with peace, joy, and purpose.
What is today's life empowered moment? It is simply this, align your purpose with your path and you will enjoy success based on your definition of it.
I have been reflecting on all of the important people in my life and those that I have been able to watch and learn from. I am grateful that they have taught me so many things, often, without saying a thing. For example, my grandmother who has had severe back trouble for some time now. She still gets up and moves around… maybe not as fast as others, but she is yet mobile. I remember sitting and talking with her and she said something very powerful... "It hurts when I move and it hurts when I stay still, so if its gonna hurt, I may as well go on and do what I gotta do."
She must have said that to me about five years ago and it has stuck with me. Sometimes we allow pain, inconvenience, hurt (emotionally and physically) cause us to stop our lives from moving forward. What I mean is that we are still here and existing, but we are not living. We must live our lives to the fullest, regardless to the ailments that we deal with. If we focus on the living and not the pain to live, we will find that the purpose that we have found in living will alleviate the pain of being alive.
So what the Life Empowered Moment for today? Live Life!!!
Move from Excuses to Execution
There are so many reasons why we should not do something. I don't have the time, I don't have the resources, I don't have the support, somebody is already doing it. Those are typically the excuses that are used to justify not moving.
However, in the very same breath, those are also the reasons why you should move. For example, someone may say, "I can't go to school because I don't have the money." Studies show time and time again, that more education, nets out a larger salary. Another example is the “I don't have the time to get my education.” Meanwhile, you are working 60 hours a week to make ends meet. What if you allocated just some of that time to studying? These are just a couple of examples of what we say and why.
What's also important to highlight is that this is mostly self-talk. What are you saying to yourself to justify the state that you are in? How long before you'll be honest with yourself about your goals and dreams?
Let's be honest here, everyone doesn't want to be the president of the United States and that is ok. Everyone doesn't want to be a rock star and that's ok. But everyone does want to do or be something. What is your something? And what's keeping you from doing it? I am convinced that with some sincere effort and patience, you are capable of achieving any goal that you set out to accomplish. Where there is a will, there is a way.
So, what is the Life Empowered Moment for today? Identify what your something is and move yourself from excuses to execution. Remove the internal barriers that hold you back.
There is a bible story that I truly take issue with and I am working to better understand the purpose of the story even being chosen to be in the bible. It is the story about the man that waited by the poolside for 38 years. This pool was troubled by the angel on occasion and whoever was first to enter the water was healed. I struggle with this story because when Jesus approached him, his reasoning for not being whole, was that no one would put him in the water.
My question becomes, how long do we wait for someone else to help us get to the next level in our careers, families, and in our lives? My question becomes does the accountability belong to someone else for our improvement and development? Yes, I certainly believe it takes a village. I also believe that we are better together, but even an infant knows to cry when something is wrong, without being taught.
With that said, let's leverage the help, but let's not wait for it. In 38 years, could he have slid, rolled, or scooted his way to the water? In your life span, what can you do to get closer to your goal, to move towards your financial freedom, your picture of success? What can you do? If you have identified just a couple of things to do then start with those. The very first one would be to believe that you can.
What is the life empowered moment for today? Believe that you can move and then do what you can to move.
During my journey, I have found that there have been so many instances in which I have had to take a deep breath and jump. I have looked for the pattern of when I have taken that breath and jumped and often, it is when I have done something that I have never done before. It is those times that I am not positive of my capability or not sure if the endeavor would receive the desired impact. However, the end has always resulted the same, I survived. Not only did I survive but I learned, I grew, and I moved a little bit further out of my comfort zone. And, I opened up the possibility that things could and would go as planned and that I am capable. But I had to do something, I had to possess something, regardless to my fears, reservations, and apprehensions. I had to possess and leverage courage.
About the Author
Passionate, motivator with the skills and the desire to empower, encourage, and inspire others.