The second building block successful people–people who are living a soul-prospering life–have in common is taking time to study in their particular area of interest. This area of interest may not have anything to do with how they earn their living. For instance, by day they may be an acclaimed scientist or “only” an office worker in the accounting department, but they may be fascinated by woodworking, gardening, or learning how to be a better parent or spouse.
People who are living a life that they love make it a priority to pursue those things that interest them, regardless of the other responsibilities, obligations, and cares that are on their plate.
And, the very first thing in the morning is a perfect time to immersing themselves in something they enjoy–taking a few minutes for this, at least.
This thing that interests them is something that’s important and meaningful to THEM. Not to their spouse, or kids, or boss. It may not be something that’s popular or that others value. But it’s important to them and they pursue it anyway.
What are your interests–especially the ones you don’t have the time during the day to pursue? Promise yourself that in the mornings you’re going to study and learn more about it–even if you have only 5 minutes to give it. It’ll be one of the best investments you’ll make of your time.
This was originally posted on November 5, 2016. I’m re-posting it here because the people we surround ourselves with are critically important to whether or not we craft a soul-prospering life for ourselves. Not only will frenemies hold us back from crafting a soul-prospering life, but they’ll also limit the joy we get from that life.
It’s important at each stage of crafting our soul-prospering life that we pause and evaluate the people in our lives as to whether or not they celebrate and encourage us.
Enjoy the post! Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.
Frenemies = People With Dirty Feet
I will not let anyone with dirty feet walk through my mind. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Toxic people are hurtful. Even if their venom isn’t aimed at us but rather is in the form of always complaining, always seeing the negative side, and always focusing on the bad “stuff” in life; it still harms us.
The good news is that these people are generally easy to spot. They’re the ones that don’t have much of a sense of humor; usually they’re the people with the dour look on their faces and are unpleasant to be around. Even though we may not be able to eliminate them from our lives (they may be a family member, part of our team at work, or a member of the same club or organization we belong to), it isn’t too hard for us to move them to the periphery.
But what about those people who are toxic to us but in a very subtle way–you know, frenemies?
These are people who seem pleasant and welcoming on the surface but that’s where their friendliness ends. This is definitely a case of a metaphor being true-to-life: These people are icebergs. Their type of “friendship”–if you even call it that–is cold-hearted and just below the surface lurk deadly, razor-sharp edges that will rip you to shreds.
I’ve found that these people are the toughest to deal with. They are masters of subtlety and oftentimes others in the group don’t notice what’s going on, especially since your frenemy is usually a loyal friend to the others.
When this has happened to me in the past, I’ve made excuses for their treatment of me or–worse–thought maybe I was being to sensitive or reading into the situation things that just weren’t there. And I’ve justified staying in the group because the others were nice and I enjoyed their friendship.
It can take a while for it to sink in that the one friend is actually a lethal frenemy. Once you recognize this, thought, then leave as fast as you can.
I’ve found that I’ve had to leave the whole group of friends, even though a few were very nice people with whom I had wanted to stay in touch (I had tried to remain in touch but I couldn’t because they kept including my frenemy).
The realization that made me finally take a stand and move the whole group–frenemy as well as the nice people–out of my life was when I realized that the frenemy could indulge in her behavior because no one in the group called her on it.
The tipping point for me came when my frenemy made a callous, untrue comment about me when we were all at lunch together. One of the others spoke to me privately and told me she was mortified that my frenemy had been so heartless. This wasn’t the first time that she and a few of the others had privately said that my frenemy’s comments to me were uncalled for.
But later on when I thought about it, I clearly understood that as long as my frenemy would go unchallenged, she would be as disrespectful of me as she pleased. Because of the dynamics of the group, my choices were to put up with my frenemy or leave the group entirely.
In that moment I knew I deserved better.
I want people who won’t remain quiet when somebody is talking about a friend.
The others in the group weren’t willing, even in a gentle or friendly way, to call my frenemy on her behavior, then they were just as guilty of tromping through my mind with dirty feet as my frenemy was.
I’m no longer willing to let that happen so I’ve left the group.
Naturally I sometimes miss my nice friends and when I see on Facebook an activity they’ve done together I feel the pang of missing out. But I also remember the painful price I had to pay to “belong”.
I’ve discovered that because I am no longer spending time with this group, I now have time to spend with people who are true friends to me.
And that’s a very nice payoff!
Have you had similar experiences with frenemies? What did you do about them? Let me know in the comments below!
If, in crafting your soul-prospering life, you’ve lost your way or if you’ve lost your hope, you can always begin again. You begin again not by going back to the past, but rather by starting right here and right now and taking the next small step.
Sometimes you may find yourself caught up in the trap of thinking “woulda, shoulda, coulda”, which is thinking that there is some way we can go back to the past and do it over, this time with a better outcome. This seems especially attractive if you’ve gotten yourself into a bit of a mess. But this thinking about somehow changing the past is a waste of time. The past can’t be changed. The only way you can have a different outcome is by boldly and bravely facing forward and doing the best you can in each moment.
It’s true that facing forward might not be easy or fun but if you take little actions each day you will work yourself out of the jam you’re in to something better that awaits you.
I happened to find an old TV program on YouTube that illustrates this perfectly. Here’s the link:
I thought the program did a good job of showing that the past is over and done with and if we could and would go back, we would be in a loop of our past behaviors. Our only hope is to move forward
What did you think of the program? Feel free to share your thoughts below. Thanks!
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When you review these first few months of 2018, you may find that instead of tweaking your schedule or your intentions for 2018, you may need to totally rethink and revamp them.
You may find yourself totally tossing out some of your intentions. This is okay!
In fact, I recommend that you look at your intentions with an eye to which ones or what pieces of them can you throw out. Perhaps some of the intentions are ones that you took on because a loved one thought you’d be good at “it”. Maybe you put too many intentions on your list and you need to pare down. You may find that while you have the right amount of intentions, there are only one or two that are totally captivating you.
In each of these cases, it’s absolutely okay to “lighten the load” and focus on only the intentions that interest and intrigue you, that you find engrossing; ones that make your heart and soul sing.
The most important thought to keep in mind as you craft your soul-prospering life is:
You CAN begin again!
At any moment you are allowed to press the reset button and begin again. The steps to take are (1) Decide to begin again, (2) take time to review what isn’t working (3) choose a small tweaks you can make that’ll set you up to be more successful (4) follow through every day and do a little something that will help you craft your soul-prospering life.
Guess what today is? It’s the FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!
I am glad to leave the cold and the snow of winter behind, although according to the weather forecast, winter still has a grip on the region where I live. Even so, spring is officially here today at 12:15pm EDT in the USA.
Here are 6 + 1 quotes to help us celebrate. Enjoy!
The year’s at the spring And day’s at the morn; Morning’s at seven; The hillside’s dew-pearled; The lark’s on the wing; The snail’s on the thorn; God’s in His Heaven– All’s right with the world!
No winter last forever; no spring skips its turn. ~Hal Borland
Spring is Nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party!” ~Robin Williams
Sunshine is the best medicine.~Unknown
Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can be. ~Unknown
If winter comes, can spring be far behind? ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
Actually, the title of this post is a little misleading. These quotes aren’t meant to banish frustration and anger but rather they’re intended to help you harness the power of these strong feelings.
Here are quotes to help you take command of these forceful emotions:
In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive. ~Lee Iacocca
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. ~Chinese Proverb
Frustration is a very positive sign. It means that the solution to your problem is within range, but what you’re currently doing isn’t working, and you need to change your approach in order to achieve your goal. ~Tony Robbins
If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size? ~Sydney J. Harris
Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success. ~Bo Bennett
It is wise to direct your anger toward problems–not people; to focus your energies on answers–not excuses. ~William Arthur Ward
Which quote(s) did you like best? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!
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