Do you ever feel scared about taking the first step on a new path? At some point, we all do. Starting a new career, ending a comfortable relationship, moving on after a death…all of these can be frightening things to deal with. In life, you must be willing to take risks. Although that first step can be the most frightening, most of the time it is the most rewarding. It is the step that can launch you into success. So, risk it…and take that step you’ve been scared of.
Change is the natural order of the world. When something tries to stand against the force of change, it’s eventually destroyed. Cliffs are eroded, trees are uprooted, granite cracks. People can crack too. For us to grow and live – to flourish – it takes adaptation and learning. Stubborn attachment to a single set of “knowledge” or way of doing things leads to stagnation of the mind and spirit. Remember to keep an open mind to new people and new ideas. Challenge yourself to always be learning something new. Focus on the possibilities of a fresh start, instead of hanging on to old frustrations. Sails are made with cloth for a reason. When they’re stiff, winds beat against them until they tear. But if the sails are relaxed and workable, the wind can take you to places you’ve never been before.
Do you back up what you say and what you believe in with your actions? Most of us find sometime during the day that this is not the case. We find ourselves doing or saying something that does not agree with our values or purpose. This is something we can work on, just a little each day, to get better and better.
Have you ever thought about the power of having a purpose? Everyone needs something that gets them moving in the morning, keeps them going through the day, and makes them continue to work toward a goal. Take some time to think about the activities your are involved in and how they relate to your personal purpose or how they do not relate. For the activities that don’t relate ask yourself why you are participating. Perhaps you need to reevaluate your commitments and renew your conviction toward your purpose?
Life is a funny thing. It’s an ever-going marathon, yet no one knows where his or her finish line is. We just keep running and running, hoping we still have a long way to go. We do whatever we can to prolong the run, but sometimes despite our best efforts, the marathon is cut short. So many of us are only concerned about the distance we are traveling, we lose focus of what’s going on during the run. And this is the important part, so take advantage. Stretch some personal boundaries, work outside of your comfort zone, try something new. There will be bumps along the road, shortcuts, and paths that lead into dead ends. These are all parts of the journey; how you deal with them will determine where you go in life. Remember, we don’t always determine the distance, but we can determine the path.
Yes, work is important. We need to work to earn money, so we can provide our family with food, shelter, clothing and all other essentials to survive. But there are more important things other than work. Like your family. This group of people is who you depend on, love and cherish. As you get older, are you going to wish you spent more time with them, or more time going over spreadsheets at work? Friends are just the same. So think about the areas of your life you cannot imagine living without and you have found what really is terribly important.
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is capable of doing something immensely stupid. (Some of us may feel more “capable” than others.) But everyone is also capable of learning from their blunders and making a fresh start. Yes, even the most thick-headed person has hope. Have you ever bungled something so bad that you actually felt ashamed? You might still wish that you could have that moment back to do things differently. We all have those moments. And even the smallest mistakes can be upsetting. There is a way to recover. It takes learning and it takes smarts. If you use that error to make your future better, you just got a little smarter. So you might say that part of your intelligence and success comes from stupidity. Just don’t be stupid in the same way twice.
Are you curious? Curiosity is a skill that leaders need to have. In order to be a leader a person must be able to ask questions and develop new ways to solve problems. Sometimes we let our lives become habitual and predictable and we let curiosity fall by the wayside. If you have fallen into a rut, start asking questions. Let your curiosity work magic and allow you to see your life through a new perspective.
This reminds us how important it is to not stop dreaming and setting goals to get there. Use the completion of one goal as a foundation for achieving another. Each goal that you complete will make you stronger and more able to move ahead. Building this strong foundation will also help you when you experience a step back.
Do you ever get frustrated because things are going too slow in your life? Many people don’t realize that building a Foundation that will lead to success does not happen overnight. It is a slow process in which you are constantly building and learning. It is extremely important to create a Foundation that will remain strong even in times of failure or crisis. This takes time! You may have to remind yourself that failing is only failure if you quit…otherwise it is a learning opportunity. So, don’t worry if your life seems to be in slow motion. Concentrate on building a solid foundation and learning from your steps back.