You are Inspiring!
I used to say that life is like a walk in the park. You can peer into the deep shadows beneath the trees to see what lurks there, or you can experience the stunning beauty of the rose garden as you stroll by.
Either way, it's the same walk.
And either way it's a very different walk, too.
How do you look at your life? How does it occur for you? Is your experience of your life positive most days, or more like a flat tire or a leaky boat as you try to struggle forward through life?
One thing we all have in common is we go through our lives from beginning to end, one step at a time. There are no detours. Do-overs are not allowed either. Each moment is a gift that is freely given to us. A gift we get to open only one time, then we are on to the next. What we do in that moment, who we choose to be, is entirely up to us.
Every day has ample reasons to be down and discouraged, if you allow yourself to react that way. The good news is that every day is also filled with reasons to be inspired! Which experience you have, is something you can freely choose for yourself.
On this very day, if you opened your eyes and you could see, if you climbed out of bed under your own power, if you could hear water running as you washed your face, if you were able to put on clothing that was in good repair, if you had something nourishing for breakfast to get you going, and if you headed out into the day with some purpose for your life, you are living a life that many people of the world dream of!
The challenge is, when things are so good for so long, we come to perceive them as "normal" and we no longer see them as special anymore. Is that true? Let's say you receive a raise at work. Very cool, right? Yet a year or two later, for some reason, we long for more. Our raise that was a boon is no longer something we appreciate.
Here's some tips for a better way to view life (and it won't cost you a cent of that raise)...
Everybody has something to appreciate, right this minute. If you take the time to appreciate what you have right now, you will be properly impressed! Make an actual written list and be sure to look in areas like your friends, your family, your health, your accomplishments, times when you have been appreciated, opportunities you have taken to contribute to the life of another, your hobbies, your experiences, the things you love to do, and on and on and on and on.
The point is to briefly stop and realize how much in your life is good at this moment; something worth appreciating. If you take just a few minutes, you will be surprised at how long the list becomes!
Your physical environment is filled with many wonders. Look around you right now as you read this. What beautiful colors do you see? Can you feel the warmth of the sunshine or feel the caress of a gentle breeze? Are there aromas or sounds (or lack of sound) that you find pleasant? A flower is a creation of extreme beauty and wonder, whether we stop to admire it or not. The fact is that there is more beauty and joy and mystery in the world around us every day than we have the ability to take in or appreciate. Just be sure to notice some of it every day.
You are a wonderful person, right? Of course you are! Just to yourself (so no one looks at you funny), say what you are good at. This is a time for honesty, not modesty. Tell it like it is. I promise no one will challenge you on it. You are just noticing the things about who you choose to be that make a difference in your life. Do you like to help people? Are you compassionate or considerate? Are you a loving person or a high performer? Are you a good and loyal friend? Do you sing like a bird or dance like a butterfly? Are you the kind of person who gladly shares information with others? Don't keep count, but recite to yourself at least 20 things you genuinely like about yourself. Now then. You sound exactly like the kind of person I want to get to know!
You are up to great things in life. I know they're great because you have devoted your life to them! Are you a mother or father? I can't begin to list the things you do to support, encourage and care for your children, no matter what their age, even to the point of sacrificing something of your own for them. Are you a husband or wife? Are you a friend? Think what you are committed to in their lives and recognize that you have something pretty special there. Where in life are you a leader or an example for others? Where do you make a difference in the lives of others? Do you volunteer? Do you encourage? Do you compliment? Do you offer forgiveness to others, even when they don't deserve it? Do you give at Christmas time to Salvation Army or food bank or to a family in need? Do you give to I Love To Help or any other charity?
If you stop to think about it, you make a difference in the lives of thousands of people, whether you have ever met them or not. Like a swan on a lake, you stir the waters around you as you move through life, and the lives of others are touched by your passing. Isn't that cool?
You have dreams. You have purpose. You have a reason to live and great things to accomplish. Feel the power of the things that draw you forward in life. For example, I am writing this article for you so that you may realize, at some level, what an amazing person you are, in the hopes that your day will be just a little bit brighter today. What are you up to in life that is worthy of devoting a portion of your life to? Whether small or grand, list at least five things that pull you forward in life and get you fired up. Awesome!
Give me five seconds to complete our exercise. For these five seconds, think about what you came up with to appreciate and take the very next step: Smile.
Just for a moment, feel the spectacular, wondrous journey your life is and the sheer joy that there is in living it.
Are there problems? Of course. Are there challenges that seem too big to handle? There always will be. You have to deal with what you have to deal with, and that will always be the case. But don't allow the daily struggles of life to dim the intense beauty and joy that fills your life to overflowing at the same time!
Be inspired by what you have. Be inspired by where you are. Be inspired by who you are and what you're up to in life. Be inspired by what lies ahead of you around the next bend. Let your inspiration fire you up to succeed and excel beyond what you know to be possible in life.
Your life is a walk in the park. Remember that a flower is most beautiful when viewed in the sunshine where the delicate details of the petals are clearly seen and the vibrant colors take your breath away. That's not to say we ignore the shadows as we walk by. We need to be aware of what surrounds us to stay safe. But the most pleasant journey though life is one where the beauty we are passing does not go unnoticed.
Smile. Live long. Live well. Live powerfully. And make a difference for someone else today.
Jerry Hignight is a businessman, author, coach, trainer and speaker. His current positions include:
Jerry served on the founding board of the Center for Fathers and Families, a non-profit organization that benefits families and continues to support them today.
He is former President of Pacific Pointe Insurance Agency, Inc.
And if that wasn't enough, Jerry is also in the process of writing two new business books. It's no wonder he is the recipient of Motorola's Overachiever Award!
Children in need give us an opportunity to give back. Visit ILOVETOHELP.ORG to find out how you can easily make a big difference in the life of a child!