Change equal self-improvement. Push yourself to places you haven’t been before. – Pat Summitt
Seems like this is the time when everybody is looking back over the past year. Seeing what worked, and what didn’t, and then of course there are the resolutions. I make resolutions, but I don’t keep them. I know I lack what I call staying power, but I think it’s more than that. Resolutions usually mean change. I mean, come on, you don’t ever hear about somebody resolving to keep things exactly the same, do you? I never have, anyhow. Instead, people resolve to stop smoking, eat healthy, get control of their finances – the list is endless. But all those things are about change, and change is scary. Even if your life is completely and totally messed up, there is a certain comfort in what you know. But as much as the status quo has that level of comfort, we need to change and grow, to improve ourselves. We can’t languish and stagnate. Imagine what would have happened if our founding fathers hadn’t pushed for change? We’d all be speaking the Queen’s English and be crammed into the East coast. The same could be said for those of us who wish to improve themselves. If we don’t push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we’ll never be able to make the changes that really matter. It’s scary and it’s hard, but you can do it. You owe it to yourself to be the best possible version of yourself that you can be. So don’t wait until January 1st. Start now, and push yourself and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. – Ernest Hemingway
I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time looking around at other people and comparing myself to them. I don’t know what’s worse, when I don’t measure up in my own mind, or when I think I’m better. Neither thing is good. It’s never good to think you’re better than anybody else. I hate when I get that way, and I really try to quash that feeling right away. It’s egotistical, and just wrong. But it’s equally as wrong to look at other people and think that they are superior to you. You don’t have to be better than anybody else. When it comes right down to it, the only person you need to be better than, or superior to is the person you were yesterday. It’s actually kind of a freeing way to live. Every day, try and do better and be better than you were yesterday. And you know what, if you’re not, that’s okay, you get to just try again. I think if everybody did more of that, the world would be a much happier place.
There is no stress in the world, only people thinking stressful thoughts. – Dr. Wayne Dyer
When I first read this quote, I’ll be honest. I pretty much exploded with laughter. How could the late great Dr. Wayne Dyer say there was no stress in the world. I personally am under so much stress that it’s not even funny. There is stress all around us, right? Well, no, when it comes right down to it, there really isn’t. What there is, are our perceptions of things. I have debt in my life. Now, right away, that’s a stressful thought. No, it’s not, it’s a thought. Me freaking out about it and perseverating over it is what makes it stressful. That’s a pretty simplistic breakdown I realize, but it’s also pretty accurate. How we thing about things is what makes them stressful.
Let’s go back to my debt. I have debt, I’m doing my best to pay it. I’m making my payments on time, and I’m trying not to incur any more debt. Where is the stress? The stress is in my own mind. Me saying “Oh no, I owe this much. Oh no, I’m never going to pay it off. Oh no….” on into infinity. We need to change the way I’m thinking about things. Don’t stress. Do your best and be happy with it and proud of yourself for doing your best.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. – George Bernard Shaw
It’s the time of year when everyone is thinking about the new year and all the changes they are going to make in their lives. At least I don’t think that I am the only one who is doing that right now. The thing about change is that it’s hard, and it’s scary as heck. I’m petrified of change and to change. Not that who I am is super perfect (or perfect at all) or super successful. I’m none of those things, but it’s who I am, and who I have been. It’s odd, I’m not overly happy with the way things are going in my life, but I’m not willing to change because I’m afraid. Where I am doesn’t make me happy, but there is a certain feeling of safety in staying the same. It’s a comfort zone kind of thing, and it’s hard to step out of your comfort zone.
That is why change is so hard, at least for me. But we can’t stagnate, we need to make changes and move forward. And to move forward, those changes have to start internally. We have to make a concerted effort to change our thinking, about who we are, what we do, and how we do it. Only then can change truly begin to take place. And yes, you can wait until the calendar page changes and that date says January 1, 2018, or you can start right now. Make a decision about what to change and then just do one thing differently. If you want to start exercising, make that decision, and then, start small. Take the stairs instead of the elevator for one flight, or park a little farther away from the store entrance. If eating healthier is what your change is going to be, try cutting out one soda a day for now, or adding a little less sugar to your coffee. If you want to change your attitude and outlook on life, try smiling a little more, or paying someone a heartfelt compliment. Your changes don’t have to be huge. Your changes need to start in your mind first, and then start implementing them. Start right away. Start small and build up to bigger changes. You can do it, and so can I. Let’s start now and make the coming year the best one ever.
Wishing you Peace, Love and Happiness
I’m not using the quote today for the blog post. It’s a great quote, but I saw this on Facebook, and I just had to share it. It really spoke deeply to me, and of course, it made me do some serious thinking. It’s an amazing wish for peace love and happiness in the new year to come.
I’m walking into 2018 with a clear heart and mind…If you owe me, don’t worry about it – you’re welcome…If you wronged me, it’s all good – a great lesson learned…If you’re angry with me, you’ve won…If we aren’t speaking, it’s cool (I wish you well) and I want you to be GREAT…If you feel I wronged you, and you have told everyone but me…peace be unto you…Lie is too short for me to have the pent up anger, holding of grudges or to not receive the same love that I give. Here’s to 2018.
What an awesome attitude to have. I want to have this attitude, I really do. I try to have this attitude, but I don’t always succeed. I’ve been wronged, and while it is a good lesson learned, the best thing to do with that is learn the lesson and move on. I struggle with the moving on part. And when someone is angry with me, I always want to know why and I want to fix it. I’m a champion at that. Guess what, sometimes, it’s on them and you just have to let it go. Life really is to short to hang on to stuff like this. Keep trying to let it go and move on away from it. Put some distance between you and the drama. You may not always succeed. That’s okay, you can’t always be successful. What’s important is that you keep trying. I’m wishing you peace, love and happiness, you deserve it. We all do.
Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground. – Theodore Roosevelt
I am a dreamer. I spend so much time in my head that I often forget to live in the real world. Given the state of the world, that doesn’t always seem like a bad thing, but realistically, it’s not a practical thing either. At the opposite end of the spectrum I have friends and acquaintances who are so practical and pragmatic, I don’t think a daydream has ever flitted through their head. That isn’t a criticism of them. We need dreamers, and we need the pragmatists in equal measure. According to good old Teddy, the best thing would be someone who can do both. I’m certainly not going to argue with our late great president lol. What I’m starting to see, is that kids aren’t encouraged to dream as much. Kids play with video games, and computers and ipads, and their lego sets have plans to follow. I don’t understand this trend. When my kids were little, they built amazing creations with their blocks and legos. They didn’t do anything in reality, but in their imagination, they were planes and rocket ships and submarines. I think we’d want to encourage our kids to dream big dreams. They didn’t have coloring books, I bought them reams of paper, a trash can, and all the crayons and markers they could ever want. Are either of them artists? No, but they were not afraid to draw, and they created wonderful illustrations. It’s all about balance, I think. We need to encourage people to dream and find the whimsy, while at the same time teaching them to get things done.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius
I’ve talked about this plenty of times before, but it bares repeating, especially today as my students just got progress reports. So many of them look at a failing grade on a progress report and just give up. I wish I could get them to understand that it’s never to late because in real life, we can’t give up. We’re not going to be perfect. We’re going to make mistakes, and sometimes, yes, we are going to fail. That is a fact of life. And what we need to realize, is for the most part, those things are okay. If we’re smart, we learn from ever opportunity and every failure. Use it as a stepping stone to try again and again, and again. To me, that shows true strength and determination. It is the true measure of who you are as a person. Are you someone who gives up when things get tough, or are you a strong individual who uses failure as a tool to create bigger and better? It’s okay to take a step back from something that you have not succeeded at. Take the time to look at what you did or didn’t do, re-evaluate and plan, and then dive back in. That is where our true measure lies, not in what we accomplish but in never giving up.
Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think. – Benjamin Disraeli
When I was a kid, there was a commercial for the United Negro College Fund which ended with “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I didn’t think much about it back then, because as I said, I was just a kid. When I read this quote, that tag line started reverberating through my head because it is so true. Just like we have to put good gas in our cars, and good food in our body to fuel it, we have to put good thoughts into our minds so that they can grow. Good thoughts can be a variety of things. The most obvious one would be knowledge. We need to put knowledge into our minds. But more than that, we have to fill our minds with positive thoughts. If you look around at the world, it’s a pretty negative place. The news is always filled with such depressing stuff, that it can really start to weigh on you. That is why it is so important to try and create a positive mind. Fill your heart and mind with joy. Rise up higher than the negativity that surrounds you.
Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.- Michael Jordan
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had smooth sailing for every task that we had to undertake. No roadblocks, no challenges and no difficulties? It would be great, but that world exists only in my fantasies, and we live in real life. In real life, things go wrong, we hit speed bumps and challenges along the way. I see it happen a lot in school. Kids who have sailed through elementary and middle school hit high school and a subject that they start to struggle with. It totally throws them for a loop. Many of them have no idea how to cope and end up just dropping that class or dropping down to a lower level. It kills me to see them do that. The same thing happens in life, we get stuck, or we hit dead ends on projects or what seem like insurmountable barriers. Don’t give up. Keep pushing through. Maybe take a break, enlist reinforcements or whatever else you have to do. But don’t give up. There is usually a solution to almost every difficulty. Even if you just break through one small aspect of your obstacle, it’s still a start. And who knows, that one small break make cause another break, and another until you have powered your way through.