We see people we know living successful lives: they have it all together and it seems like they’re always in the right place at the right time. We see advertisements of what successful people look like: accomplished, calm, and in control of their lives. None of these resemble our lives at all and we think we’re doing something wrong. We wish we had what they have.
When this happens, we need to change our focus from outside of us and turn it inward. We need to be thankful for who we are, where we are, and what we have.
Your homework today is to say your thank you’s. You don’t have to be thankful for anything in particular. Keep saying to yourself “thank you” as you go through your day. It’s amazing how just doing that will brighten your day.
I was running errands the other day and passed by an old cemetery. I knew the inhabitants in that particular cemetery had lived in the 1700s and early 1800s. Most of them had been dead for 200 or more years. I wondered what they would have thought of how different our world looks when compared to theirs. It occurred to me that they’ve been dead far longer than they were alive.
Then a thought zapped me like a lightning bolt: I, too, will spend much more time dead than alive! Same goes for you and for every single one of us in this world!
Even if we live to be one hundred years old or more, we’re still going to spend far more time dead than alive. Even if reincarnation is guaranteed, we won’t get the same life, the same circumstances, the same opportunities.
There is no do-over!
So, what the heck are we waiting for?!
Your homework today is to get busy! Take the next step. If that’s too large or too overwhelming, then break it into small pieces, little parts, and tiny bits. Then choose a tiny bit and get busy completing it!
On one of the Retro TV stations, I was watching the Perry Mason TV show that aired in the 1960s. In this particular episode, Perry was defending a young woman, who was from the wrong side of the tracks. She was charged with the murder of a man in elevated social circles.
Perry was questioning a witness and, as usual, Hamilton Burger, the prosecuting attorney, was objecting on the grounds that Perry was on a “fishing expedition” with the questions he was asking the witness and was straying far afield from the evidence in the trial.
The judge turned to Perry and said, “I’m wondering, too, Mr. Mason. How does this all relate?”
Perry answered, “I assure you, Your Honor, I’ll connect it all up.”
The judge replied, “You’re sure…?”
“Yes, Your Honor, I’m sure.” Said Perry.
This got me to thinking…. What if I substituted “The Universe/God/Higher Power” for the name “Perry Mason” and switched out “the judge” and put in my name instead….
When we’ve lost our way or are faced with a challenge that seems too big or too hard, how many times have we wondered what was going on and who was at The Controls?
Whether we believe in Something-Bigger-Than-Us or not, we have to admit that when we pressed on through the challenge, eventually things worked out—everything connected up.
It may have been hard, it may have been scary, it may have been discombobulating, and it may have taken a long time. We may have given up hope from time-to-time and wondered if we’d lost our sanity. But we pressed on anyway and finally things fell into place and everything worked out.
This made me realize that there are much larger currents and plans at work in the world and in our lives. When we’re faced with challenges, oftentimes we don’t understand what’s going on, especially as we’re going through it. It’s only in hindsight that we may catch a glimpse of the much Larger Picture and the Guiding Hand that’s at work in the world and in our lives.
Your homework today is to have faith that things are working out—Someone is at The Controls and is connecting it all up. It may take a while and it may not work out as you had imagined or wanted. Whatever the rough patch was, at least it gave you the gift of becoming stronger, adding depth and breadth to you and your life, and giving you a more solid and grounded presence in your world.
Today is a celebration of love—a time to spend with family and friends, celebrating your love and caring for each other.
It’s also a good day to look around and see love everywhere. Of course you’ll see the usual displays such as people holding hands, sharing a meal, and purchasing gifts. What other glimpses of love can you see today?
Your homework today is to look for the extraordinary love displays that are hiding in plain sight! Make a game of it by how many pockets of love that you can find in unassuming and unexpected places. This is a fun game to play with your loved one.
Make a note of all these things—take pictures if you can. Refer to these when you’re feeling discouraged, worried, or anxious. It may be just the boost you need!
Your final piece of homework is to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. Enjoy!
I know the popular culture is that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day. Let’s turn that on its head!
Your homework today is looking for all the luck you had this week.
As you review your week, look for all the lucky breaks, the happy coincidences, and the delightfully serendipitous events. Keep your eye open for the small, seemingly inconsequential things—they matter, too!
Also, keep your eye out for the progress you’ve made this week. No matter how tiny or modest, all progress makes a difference—it all adds up.
Your final piece of homework is to celebrate: Applaud your progress, be grateful for the luck you had this week. Invite your friends and family to party with you!
You can do it!
I’m so proud of your progress. You’re awesome!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
PS: Happy Colgate Day to all the ‘Gaters out there!
We all run into rough patches. Sometimes it’s tougher moving through them, taking longer and more effort than we thought, so it seems that this rough patch isn’t a passing phase but rather our New Normal.
This can leave us feeling very discouraged and wondering if it’s all worthwhile. The rough patch makes us feel that we’re losing time as well as losing ground, especially when others around us seem to be zooming toward their dreams.
We begin to listen to the rough patch’s siren song urging us to quit struggling against the odds and just get used to it. We begin to think that perhaps it’s true, perhaps we don’t have what it takes. Perhaps this rough patch is delaying us for too long and now it’s too late for us. Perhaps we think it’s all over, we’re done.
None of this is true!!
YOU ARE NOT DOWN!
YOU ARE NOT OUT!
YOU ARE NOT DISQUALIFIED!
YOU HAVE NOT BEEN SIDELINED!
YOU HAVE NOT MISSED OUT!
YOU ARE NOT ALL WASHED UP!
IT IS NOT ALL OVER FOR YOU!
You DO have what it takes!
~You’re intelligent – you can brainstorm ideas and you can figure your way out!
~You’re resilient – you bounce! Get up, brush yourself off, and try again. You can do it!
You ARE talented, your abilities ARE valuable!
You have a deep well that’s full of talents and abilities. Reach in and surprise yourself with the wonderful gifts you discover there!
I believe in you!
I know for sure that you are in the right place at the right time and things are working out for you—as long as you don’t give up!
Your homework today is to say these statements to yourself. Say them as you stand in front of your mirror in the mornings. Have a big smile on your face, stand tall, and look yourself in the eye when you say them.
Say these statements with strength, conviction, and confidence—even if you don’t really feel it and you have to make it up. If you keep at it, soon you will genuinely have these feelings.
Keep these statements handy and repeat them to yourself throughout the day, especially if you’re feeling unsure, confused, worried, or disappointed. If you keep repeating these statements, you will soon feel more stable and assured that you can do it.
Keep at it! Don’t give in! Dig your heels in against the rough patch!
You can do it!
I’m so proud of you!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
PS: Don’t worry about the negative affirmations. Sometimes it’s good to know where the line in the sand is. It’s good to draw the line and tell yourself what you won’t tolerate any longer, what is now unacceptable.