I did nothing so I lost everything ~Woman featured on Hoarders: Buried Alive
The woman who spoke the words of the quote above was in tears. All of her plans had collapsed in a heap. Her family had tried to help her; strangers were willing to pitch in. She couldn’t move forward, couldn’t get rid of even the littlest bit of clutter and junk clogging her house and yard. She was so resistant that she frustrated the volunteers, professionals, and her family. Everyone ended up walking away, even her family. Eventually the town officials had to step in and haul everything away. As they were literally shoveling out the house, they discovered that the woman’s hoard had damaged her house to the point that the officials had to condemn it.
Not at all a fairy tale ending. Not even a hopeful ending.
Which got me to thinking….
Sometimes we’re lured into thinking that doing nothing is maintaining the status quo and keeping us safe. Moving forward seems so perilous and dangerous. It feels as if we’ll lose everything, even with the tiniest tidbit of a step.
But this is not true.
Staying put—not moving forward—is far more dangerous. Like the hoarder whose house rotted out from under her, every time we don’t move forward, we’re losing. Little bits and pieces of our self esteem, confidence, and hope in the future are decaying.
Your homework is to take the next step. Break it into the tiniest bits possible. The smaller the little tidbits and specks, the more likely you will be to do them. Promise yourself to do them and then get busy. Your life depends upon it.
Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act. ~Maxwell Maltz
The most important thing you can do is to act. You will never achieve your dreams if you don’t act.
Sometimes, taking action can be very intimidating and overwhelming. It seems much easier to stay put, not act, learn to accept the status quo.
But you don’t have to do that. You can take action.
You take action by breaking the action steps into tiny pieces and bits. Keep breaking them down into the smallest increments possible—increments that you know you can easily do—then do them!
Your homework today is to take a step toward your dreams. Break it down into small pieces, tiny bits, jots, and specks. Then do them!
I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up. Most people in this business gave up and went on to other things. If you simply didn’t give up, you would outlast the people who came in on the bus with you.
– Harrison Ford
You don’t have to be the smartest or most talented. You don’t have to be the oldest or the youngest. You don’t even have to be the best. All you have to do is to hang in there just a little bit longer than everyone else.
Your homework is to celebrate the fact that you’re still going. It may not be pretty and perhaps it’s by the skin of your teeth, but you’re still plugging away.
“Go where you are celebrated – not merely tolerated. If they can’t see the real value of you, it’s time for a new start.” – Unknown
When you stop and think about it, it’s silly to hang around people who don’t celebrate you—people who make you feel bad about yourself. You’re wasting your time and talents on people who don’t really care about you. It’s obvious that you should avoid these people, or at least limit your contact with them.
Less obvious are the people who are more subtle. While they don’t exactly make you feel bad about yourself, they don’t really make you feel terrific either. Perhaps they don’t pay attention to you or they don’t make an effort to spend time with you or they don’t try to understand you and what’s important to you. Maybe they are always late every time you get together or you’re the one that has to turn your schedule into a pretzel in order to meet with them. And, when you are together, perhaps you have to compete with them texting on their phone.
You and your life are more valuable than this person is—or these people are—giving you credit for. Don’t be afraid to move these people out of your life. As you keep taking steps toward your dreams, you will meet people who are more compatible with you. You’ll be much happier hanging out with people who share your interests—they’ll be better able to appreciate you!
Your homework is to increase the time you hang out with people who genuinely like you, appreciate you, and want to be with you. The more you do this, the less time you’ll have for the people who only tolerate you. This will increase your confidence, self-esteem, and your overall satisfaction with your life.
The very first step to take toward your dreams before you do anything else is to control your own mind. That means knowing that not everyone is going to be supportive of you but not letting that deter you. It means knowing that even your most enthusiastic supporters will become doubtful from time-to-time, but not letting that take you off course.
Being in control of your mind also means being vigilant about turning off—or turning down the volume on—the negative self-talk. It means limiting—or eliminating—your contact with the Negative Neds and Nellies in your life.
Sitting in the driver’s seat of your mind means doing what you have to do to maintain a positive, can-do frame of mind. That may mean doing things that others think are dumb or a waste of time. Examples are: Watching uplifting movies such as The Secret and The Compass, reading self-help books, immersing yourself in inspirational and motivational writings, putting up quotes around your home and work space, making a vision board for yourself, attending seminars and workshops, and doing other things you think are helpful.
It also means that when people give you well-meant advice and suggestions, you listen in case there’s a tidbit that can be helpful, but in the end, you keep your own counsel and you do what YOU think is right.
Taking control of your mind means that you hold fast to the Still Small Voice within and you follow the whisperings and urgings of your heart and soul.
Your homework is to take the next step—the one that YOU think is the right one. Not the one your friends and family think you should take; not the one the latest guru on the financial channel thinks everyone should take. No. The one YOU think you should take.
Break it into the tiniest tidbits necessary so that they’re just right for you. Then do them!
No matter where you are in your journey or what you’re faced with, find a way to be glad today.
There are small beauties waiting for you to discover them.
There are moments of joy ready to delight you.
There are opportunities for growth, development, and improvement.
There are pockets of time for peace and tranquility.
Your homework today is to notice and take advantage of all the little opportunities to be glad. While the big things—graduations, weddings, award ceremonies—are wonderful times to be glad, it’s the small moments in each day that are what makes life meaningful.
When you find the moments, make sure you pause so that you can truly delight in them and appreciate how they enrich your life.