Everything conspires to crush your individuality. ~Sidney Lumet, American Film Director (1924 – 2011)
I watched the re-airing of PBS’s American Masters program entitled “By Sidney Lumet”. At one point in the documentary Sidney Lumet said the above quote. He went on to say that it’s a life-long struggle to be an individual–to express one’s true self.
What do you think about that quote? Do you think the world is trying to fit each of us into its mold? Have you ever felt this pressure?
Share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!
As we craft our soul-prospering life, we’ll come across people who think we’re ridiculous or ill informed or out-right dumb for our dreams. This week we’ll talk about standing on our own two feet.
Here are some quotes to get us going and to keep in mind this week: different aspects of standing on your own two feet.
Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you. Joel Osteen
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.Bradley Whitford
Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. George Herbert
We have to stand up for what we believe in, even when we might not be popular for it. Honesty starts with being ourselves, authentic and true to who we are and what we believe in, and that may not always be popular, but it will always let you follow your dreams and your heart. Tabatha Coffey
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. Abraham Lincoln
Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight. Bob Marley
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.J. K. Rowling
Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.Miguel de Cervantes
The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there… and still on your feet.Stephen King
I’ve worked too hard and too long to let anything stand in the way of my goals. I will not let my teammates down and I will not let myself down. Mia Hamm
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. Friedrich Nietzsche
I believe that if you’ll just stand up and go, life will open up for you.Tina Turner
You must stand for something! It does not have to be grand, but it must be a positive that brings light to someone else’s darkness. Anthony Carmona
The strongest thing that any human being has going is their own integrity and their own heart. As soon as you start veering away from that, the solidity that you need in order to be able to stand up for what you believe in and deliver what’s really inside, it’s just not going to be there.Herbie Hancock
When you stand for something, you’ve got to stand for it all the way, not half way. Kevin Gates
For a lot of people, Superman is and has always been America’s hero. He stands for what we believe is the best within us: limitless strength tempered by compassion, that can bear adversity and emerge stronger on the other side. He stands for what we all feel we would like to be able to stand for, when standing is hardest. J. Michael Straczynski
In this world, one thing you should definitely strive for is originality. Just be who you are, and be your own person. That’s what will make you stand out. Nolan Gould
If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. Peter Marshall
Do not let your grand ambitions stand in the way of small but meaningful accomplishments. Bryant H. McGill
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
You can start right where you stand and apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for.Napoleon Hill
To me, what this means is that we look at rough patches and tough spots and rocky portions of our path from different perspectives. Doing so can be a way to get through them quicker, easier, and come out a stronger and more effective person. But while we are looking at things differently, still keep the courage of our convictions. This means that we don’t modify or abandon what our gut, our instincts, and our heart and soul is telling us is our truth.
The point is to look at situations from many different perspectives so that our creativity and inventiveness can be energized but still holding firm to the dream in our hearts!
Other ways to look at your situation differently are to take a far view as well as a close-up view of it.
Questions to ask yourself:
~What if I would take a very long view of this?
Can you mentally back up or get above the situation and see it in its entirety rather than the piece that’s right in front of you? Perhaps the situation you’re facing is not isolated but rather a part of a whole or another facet of an issue you’ve dealt with previously.
For instance, what will you think about this situation when you’re five years down your path and taking a retrospective view of this? Where do you think you’ll be in your life and how do you think this situation would have helped get you there?
~What if I would look at this in detail, in the tiny bits and pieces that makes up the whole?
Perhaps taking a microscopic view will show you a significant piece, and once that is resolved the rest of the situation is much easier to handle. Also, this might be the piece that holds the gift for you.
Additionally, taking a very close look might show you a pattern that runs through the whole and this pattern might be connected with a larger, overall issue you’ve been dealing with.
When you’re taking this long view and the microscopic view, jot down your thoughts and the ideas that come to you. Remember that all thoughts and all ideas are valid. They may not be ones you’ll take action on, but they are valid. In other words, don’t judge or dismiss them!
To get a fresh perspective on your circumstances, change your location!
If you live in the city, try getting out to the country. If this isn’t possible, go to a neighborhood park that you’ve never been to. If your only option is to go to your usual park, then go to a different part of it–not your usual walking path and not the usual place where you sit. Change it up! The slower pace may be just what you need to let go and open to your inventiveness.
If you live in the country or a town, go to a nearby city–or a town that’s bigger than yours. Is it busier than what you’re used to? Is it noisier, too?
Perhaps you feel discombobulated because the pace and the noise are jarring. Change your thoughts about this. Instead of thinking of this experience as confusing and upsetting, think of it as stimulating and energizing you in a new way. How is this sparking your creativity–how can you think of this in a way that does spark your creativity?
What would I see if I would look at this situating from the top, from underneath, from the side, or at an oblique angle? To do this when you’re looking at problems–a difficult co-worker or trouble with your personal finances–it’s metaphorical to look at it up, down, backward, inside out, and you can also do this literally.
For instance, if you live in an urban area, is there a tall building with an observation deck or a restaurant that overlooks the city? If you live in a town or out in the country, is there a scenic overlook where you’re viewing the town from a higher elevation. Is there a place where the view gives you a wide open perspective of endless open space?
Also, is there a place where you can go low? Perhaps there’s a small valley or low spot in your town. Do you have a basement you can sit in quietly for a time, or maybe there’s a restaurant or other public place that’s in a basement-like area.
The point of this is to shake it up, change the way you’re looking at your situation. This is all exploratory so you aren’t committing to anything. You’re trying to jar loose some ideas that are different from the ones you usually get from your habitual ways of thinking.