Why can’t you be more like…?

Has anyone ever asked you, why you can’t be more like someone else?

Was it a parent, spouse, employer or friend that asked you? How did it make you feel? Did the question make you feel inadequate and question yourself? Or were you able to shrug of their question and remain confident in whom you are?

The ability to remain resilient to a world that is constantly telling you how you should be is a skill that can serve you well. This is not to say that you shouldn’t model other people if it serves you in achieving your goals, but don’t forget that even those you attempt to imitate have flaws that you’ll never see.

Remaining strong in your endeavor to be yourself regardless of the constant pressure to be someone else will serve you well over the long term. And the world will benefit from your uniqueness, not you trying to be someone else.

The Wall

What will you do when you hit a wall? Not a physical wall, but a metaphorical wall?

When you hit a wall in your relationship will your first thought be, how can I get out of this?

When hit you hit a wall in your career will your first instinct be submission?

When you hit a wall in your health will you give up on yourself?

The wall in any aspect of your life is inevitable. Think of the wall as the fall before you learn to walk. Imagine if you had given up on your first attempt.

The size of the wall will be relative to size of what you are trying to accomplish. Almost anyone can hop over a single brick but only some have the skills and resourcefulness to overcome the big daunting walls.

How you think about the wall will determine your approach. If you see it as a dead end then that’s what it will be. However, if you see it as part of your journey to a worthwhile destination then your approach will be different and you’ll find a way to overcome it.

Re-focus

How will you see the world today?

What will you decide to put your attention on?

Will you start your day reading or listening to the news telling you about all the bad things going on in the world?

Will you focus on the traffic, the construction, the ‘bad weather?’

Will you be looking for faults in people around you?

Will you think about all the things you don’t have?

Or will you decide to re-focus and drive your attention towards all that is good around you and be grateful for what you do have?

Your attention is focused awareness and with practice you can train yourself to ignore things in your surroundings that you can’t change and focus on the things you can.

Try an experiment today. When you find yourself complaining or thinking about something negative that you have no control over, quickly re-focus to something positive in your life. Over time and with practice this will become easier as you re-wire your brain to your new habit and soon enough you will find this will be your new natural state.

If you can’t say something nice

What if it were your job to only say good things about people?

What if your happiness and success in life depended on the words you use to describe your family, friends, acquaintances etc.? If this were true, who would you choose to be around and how would you change your thinking and language about people.

And, what does shining a light on some ones assumed shortcomings say about you? I say assumed because you never truly know the reason an individual is behaving the way they are.

As a kid you probably heard ‘if you can’t say something nice then don’t say nothing at all,’ and there is truth in this.  So, the next time you speak about someone be aware of what you’re going to say, and if it’s not nice then consider refraining because what you’re about to say is as much a reflection on you as it is about them.

A little more

When was the last time you pushed yourself just a little more, physically or intellectually?

Pushing yourself to do a little more is your key to personal growth because it gives you confidence that you control your mind and that you can reach beyond your current capacity.

Doing a little more can be a simple as adding an extra minute to your exercise routine, reading an additional page of a book or spending a few minutes researching or learning about something that you’re working on.

The power behind a little more is that your efforts compound over time and your ability to control your mindset of being able to do a little more is a transferable skill.

Make an effort today to do just a little more than you think you can and notice how you feel a sense of pride as you realize just how much power you actually have over yourself.

Getting Even

What do you do when someone treats you poorly? Do you spend your time and energy thinking of ways to return the sentiment? Do you say things like, if that’s’ how they behave then I’m going to respond in a similar manner? Do you become more like them?

If you have a set of guiding principles that you believe in for your own life then why would you compromise them based on someone else’s actions. Yes, it can be easy in the moment to react with a, I’m going to show them attitude, but where does that get you.

Not responding when you feel attacked or slighted is difficult because your ego jumps in to protect your identity. But if you’re confident in your identity then why does it matter what someone else says to or about you?

Don’t spend your precious life dwelling on or thinking about what people have said and done that has hurt or offended you. Instead, refocus and think about all the people that have been kind and thoughtful towards you, and you’ll see that your life will be much brighter.

No Complaining

Do you complain about things you can’t change, things that you have no control over? Why do you do this? Does it make you feel better or change the situation?

Do you complain about?

The weather

The traffic

Your coworkers

Your family

The news

The economy

Or do you have any other personal favorites?

Complaining puts things you don’t like into greater focus which in turn makes the thing you’re complaining about seem more relevant than it is.

What if today you made the choice not to complain about the things you can’t change? And instead of complaining you just re-focused your mind.

When you find yourself complaining about something that you have no control over, learn to get in the habit of quickly changing your thoughts towards something you’re grateful for. By practicing this over time you won’t even notice the things you once complained about.

You’ve already won

If you’re reading this then you’ve already won. Why have you won?

You’ve won because:

You know how to read.

You have the time to read.

You have a device to read on.

You have the command of the powerful language in the world. Yes, the majority of all worldwide business communication is conducted in English.

So now that you know that you’ve already won, what will you do with your winnings? Will you squander all your time and skills on trivial activities that waste away all that you’ve already won, or will you build a life of opportunities? The choice is yours.

Empty Space

How often do you leave space in your life for magic to happen, to experience serendipitous interactions and opportunities?

Living with your days crammed with activities and things to do leave you with little or no room for ‘by chance encounters.’

You don’t have to schedule hours of empty space but you do have to make an effort to make time for opportunity. You can do something as simple as go to a coffee shop and talk to a stranger with no agenda or outcome in mind. You can take a walk without listening to music or talking on phone, just looking and absorbing your environment.

There are numerous examples in history, such as Newton and his apple or Archimedes and his bathtub where inspiration for a new idea struck when least expected because of empty space.

Make it a practice to add, or perhaps better said, to remove constant activity and input to your life. Leave some empty space for yourself and see what magic you experience.

No Blueprint

Are you trying to follow a blueprint of someone else’s life to fix or improve your own life? The problem with blueprints, templates and other such mechanical terms is that they only work for mechanical objects.

Take a diet for example. A 100 people could be on the same diet down to the last calorie counted and measured, and yet there would be 100 different results because no two individuals are the same.

When you find yourself saying, but it worked for her or that’s how he did it, you are inviting yourself down a slippery road. You are making the error of assuming you are the same as the other person.

Now there are guidelines you can use to direct your life and they can help you move in the general direction towards what you want to accomplish but guidelines don’t guarantee ‘success.’

Someone else’s life blueprint can be a good starting point for you, but only as learning tool for you to continue to conduct your own life experiment and find a way to a unique to you.