Thanks, Dad! I wouldn’t be where I am in Life nor would I be who I am if it weren’t for your support, encouragement, and love.
To all who are stepping up to the plate every day to do their very best at being a father, and to those who also step up to the plate every day and do their best to filll the role of Father, thank you!
In yesterday’s post we talked about sitting in Stillness for a time and then holding that feeling as we reviewed the goals we set for ourselves back in January. Then we talked about letting the goals perk in the back of our mind as we focused on peace, calm, and serenity throughout the day. We did this so we could connect our Still Small Voice with our goals so that we could hear the guidance as we then settled ourselves in the evening to tweak our goals as needed.
How’d you do?
I’ve found that one day isn’t enough to review my goals.
This review of my goals is too important to only give it a lick and a promise, or to think that a few hours is *good enough*. The rest of this year–which is a portion of my life!–depends upon well thought out goals and plans. This is way too important to dash it off and then move on to the next item on my To Do list.
In some areas of my life, good enough is indeed good enough. But not when the quality of my life depends upon it!
I’ve already meditated this morning and, as with yesterday, I’m focusing on maintaining peace, calm, and serenity throughout the day.
Today’s item that’s simmering on the back burner of my mind is thinking through the categories for goals. For instance, Jim Rohn has three categories: Economic, Things, and Personal Development. Michael Hyatt has seven categories: Health, Family, Marriage, Business, Financial, Recreation, and Spiritual.
In doing a simple search on the Internet, I’ve discovered systems of nine categories and another one of twelve categories, along with other systems of varying amounts of categories.
In the Internet search, I came across Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs–a Blast from the Past and my Psychology 101 days in college! The article I came across was on The Simply Psychology website. I thought it was a good article explaining this system, including the updates to it
I like the expanded version: Biological/Physiological needs, Safety needs; Love and Belongingness needs, Esteem needs, Cognitive needs, Aesthetic needs, Self-Actualization needs, and Transcendence needs.
I’ll be letting these categories perk in my mind as I go through the day today: I may want to combine some of these categories or further differentiate categories. Not sure yet, which is why I’m letting it perk!
How about you? What are your categories for your goals? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, please share this post with a friend. Thanks!
Oftentimes when we’re reviewing our lives–or even just a day or a week of our lives–and we’re trying to find where we went wrong and how things have gotten off track, we look for errors and mistakes–the Big Stuff. Many times we find them in the form of difficulties such as an unexpected bill, getting laid off or having your job downsized, or a friend or co-worker betraying you or just not being there when you needed them. When we find these things, we come up with strategies and plans of what to do to fix them.
On the surface, this sounds like a great strategy. And it works sometimes because there are phases of our lives when things outside of us go haywire and create all sorts of havoc for us.
But what about the times when we can’t really find anything that’s causing our life to feel “not right”?
That’s when we have to look at ourselves and what we’re doing–or not doing–that’s created the situation.
Oftentimes, if we can bear to be very honest with ourselves (and I highly recommend this!), we’ll find it’s the little things that we’ve done–or haven’t done–that have had a ripple effect and have inexorably led to us where we are right here and right now. And we may also find–as much as we don’t want to admit it–we may have even had a hand in the big stuff that’s seemingly totally outside our control.
Because it’s the little things.
It’s the small habits, routines, and thought patterns that are the culprit. They’re so small that we don’t notice them–or if we do notice them, we think they don’t really matter.
But they do matter because they add up and become a determining factor in whether or not we’re living the life of our dreams.
So what are some of these small things?
Perhaps you are in the habit of putting aside projects that aren’t quite completed, saying that you’ll get back to them tomorrow or next week. But you know as well as I do that it’s difficult to get back to them later on so usually the project is left incomplete. As a result, there’s a pile of papers related to the project that’s taking up space on your desk or on the end table near the chair you sit in when you watch TV. Multiply this by several projects and multiply this by weeks or months or years, and no wonder your house or office is disheveled and you can’t find anything and you don’t have room to work!
Or, perhaps you know you need to get into better shape but instead of parking at the end of the lot and walking a longer distance to your office building, you tell yourself you’re a little tired today or you’re running late so you’ll park closer today and park farther tomorrow. And you’ll take the elevator today instead of the stairs, but tomorrow…and you’re pressed for time so you grab something from the vending machine or the fast food place for lunch, but tomorrow…. And then weeks, months, years down the road you wonder why you haven’t lost weight and why you’re still out of shape.
It’s the little things.
So as you look over your week in preparing to set yourself up for a great upcoming week, search for the little things that you can tweak that DO make a big difference down the road. Then be very mindful–and very, very honest with yourself–as you follow through on these tweaks whether or not you feel like it, whether or not it’s convenient, whether or not it’s hard, whether or not it’s comfortable….
You may have had a really tough week and the last thing you want to do is look back over it and be reminded of all the times you fumbled and stumbled. You don’t want to think about all the projects at work and at home that are still undone; all the emails from friends and family that you still haven’t replied to; all the myriad of ways you just aren’t measuring up.
First of all, whose measuring stick are you using to gauge yourself by?
Secondly, I’ll bet you’re doing just fine.
Here are a few reasons why I think so:
~Perhaps instead of coming down hard on someone–justifiably so–you erred on the side of kindness and compassion and gave them a break–cut them some slack–and it turned out to be just enough elbow room for them to take the next step.
~Maybe you held the door for someone, smiled at a passerby, let someone pull in front of you in traffic. It could be something as simple as returning a library book and the timing was such that a person who desperately needed its wisdom was able to check it out.
~You showed up in your life. You did the best you could to take care of your responsibilities and obligations. And by doing so, in hundreds of ways that you’ll never know about, you helped make the world a little softer and gentler.
Don’t turn your nose up at the small things because you just don’t know the ripple effect they’ll have not only in your life but in someone else’s as well.
Celebrate the small stuff! It’s all good–it all counts!
Most people have a general idea that they would like to be a success but beyond that everything is vague. They go along from day-to-day figuring that if they have a job today they’ll have it tomorrow; that somehow they will be looked after in their old age. They are like a cork on the water floating aimlessly, drawn this way and that by various currents and being washed up on the shore, becoming waterlogged, and eventually sinking. ~Claude Bristol, The Magic of Believing
Most people have never defined the word “success” for themselves. They never sit themselves down and insist upon a definition of success than nails it for them–a definition that they can sink their teeth into and that gets them fired up and rarin’ to go.
Another reason why people have a lukewarm desire for success is because they’ve accepted someone else’s idea of what defines success. They may have accepted advertiser’s definition of success (fancy clothes, snazzy car, huge house, exotic vacation, etc.), or what society and the current culture says indicates success.
While it’s possible to have a good life without a strong definition of success, one will always feel that something is missing. And, more importantly, you’re handing over your life to luck and fate–hoping that things go well for you; lucky you if they do.
A strong and personally compelling definition of success is one of the ingredients that goes into making the rocket fuel that will power you to your dreams. You’ll know where you’re headed and why you’re headed that way. Your life will be exciting, fulfilling, and deeply satisfying.
Take the time to get answers to the questions:
~How do I define success?
~What do I mean when I say I want to be successful?
~When I see someone and I think to myself that they are (or are not) successful, what makes me come to that conclusion?
~Are those parameters ones I came up with and ones that are meaningful to me or are they someone else’s that I adopted without much thought?
These are some of the most important questions you’ll answer so stick with it until you’re satisfied.
When all else fails and it seems as if nothing works, everyone has turned their back on us, and we’re totally and completely alone, we can turn to Something MUCH Bigger Than Us. Actually, we should probably turn to this first rather than as a last resort! 🙂
Please note: I am not religious, however, I am deeply spiritual. I respect all traditions that honor and welcome all people regardless of race, orientation, belief, country of origin, etc.. The resources mentioned in this post are ones that I, personally, have found helpful. I hope they are helpful to you but, if not, please feel free to search further. And, please feel free to connect to the Something MUCH Bigger Than Us in the way that nourishes and renews you.
Here are a few resources and practices that I have found helpful:
~We can turn to turn to Holy books, other inspirational readings, contemplation, meditation, prayer, and other practices;
Even if it’s so black that it seems as if there is no light, pause a moment, let your eyes adjust, and you’ll see a direction that isn’t as pitch black. While you may not see any light, there usually is a path that it isn’t as black as the others.
Today, I’d like to share a post of Michael Hyatt’s where he talks about not quitting before the whistle blows–before the play is over. It’s directly applicable to what we’ve been talking about because so often we want to throw in the towel and walk away when changes don’t happen quickly–especially when everything seems to be crumbling around us.
Let me know what you think of his post in the comments section below. And, as always, if you know of a friend or loved one that can benefit from receiving this post, please feel free to pass it along to them. Thanks!
I saw this post by Kate Northrup about how, when you’ve committed to making a change in your life–even the small stuff of cleaning out the junk drawer in your kitchen–the project seems to morph into this total mess that seems hopeless to clean up, much less that it would turn into something that can take you closer to your dreams.
She’s right that you have to muddle on because quitting surely won’t get you anywhere but stuck–back at square one, to boot. If you muddle through you at least have a chance of putting something together out of the muck and mire and that might just help you take the next bit of a step.
And you never know what’s around the corner!
What do you think about Kate’s post? Let me know in the comments below!
And, if you have a friend or loved one who you think might benefit from reading this post, please feel free to pass it along! Thanks!
In yesterday’s post, we talked about some of the reasons it can be hard to change (click here to be taken to that post). I’ve discovered that change can also be painful. Not only is it psychologically painful–we “give up” our comfortable routines, habits, and activities–but it can also be physically painful.
We may sleep poorly and wake up stiff and sore. We may feel guilt or shame that may center in our chests. We may get a headache from staying mindful of our thoughts and actions.
When this happens we need to be alert. This is when we’ll hear that voice inside telling us this is too hard and painful. It’ll whisper that today’s a bad day, tomorrow will be better. It’ll try to bribe or seduce us into thinking that if we give ourselves a break now, that we’ll make up for it by working harder tomorrow. And we’ll want to give in, to do something–anything!–to make the pain go away.
Don’t do it!
That’s why I urged you in yesterday’s post to think about the things you can do to soothe yourself–people who will help you hold steady or activities that can take your mind off the pain while you stay the course. It’s at these times, when the pain is right there and the voice inside is shrieking at you to stop, that you must hang in there.
So, once again, I urge you to take out a pen and paper–or whatever means you use to capture your thoughts–and brainstorm things you can do during these crisis moments. They pass, I assure you these moments pass, but make it easier on yourself by having your list handy so you don’t even have to think about who to call or what to do. Already have your thinking done in the form of this list.