Viewing entries tagged
motivational

Your Perspective Changes Everything

Once upon a time, there was a man who was traveling on a pleasantly warm day. He walked for many miles and eventually saw a little house at the side of the road, where there was a woman working in the garden.

"Good morning, Ma'am," the traveller called with a cheerful grin.

The woman looked up from her work. Peering at the man suspiciously from under her sunhat, she squinted in response.

"I'm just on my way to the next town," he continued without missing a beat.  "I was wondering, could you tell me, please, what kind of people I'll find when I get there?"

The woman's face puckered as if she'd just eaten acid-covered lemons. "Oh, they're awful!" she said, shaking her head in disgust.

"Really?" said the man in surprise, waiting to hear more. But the woman returned to her work in silence.

After a few moments, the man went on. "What's so awful about them?"

Frowning and pursing her lips, the woman looked up with an exasperated sigh, obviously not appreciating the interruption. "They're terrible. They're miserable, unfriendly. You can't trust 'em as far as you can throw 'em! You'd do well to stay away and go somewhere else!" she warned.

"Well!" said the man, raising his eyebrows.  "Thank you very kindly. I wish you a good day."

"It'll be just as awful as those people are! I have all this work to do, and in this blistering heat, too!" she scowled.

The man nearly disputed her comment on the weather, as it was only pleasantly warm. But he thought better of it, tipped his hat and carried on.

A little while later, he came upon another little house at the side of the road. A woman sat on her front porch, rocking in an old chair with a cat in her lap.

"Good morning, Ma'am!" he called.

"Oh, good morning to you, sir!" she called back. Gently putting the kitty on the porch, she rose and walked down the path to meet him. "I'll bet you could use a cool drink," she offered, opening the gate.

"Why, yes, Ma'am, I really could. Thank you," he replied.

"Please sit down in the shade on the porch and I'll be back in a minute," she offered, gesturing toward her chair.

The woman returned a few moments later with two tall glasses of icy lemonade, "Where are you headed, if you don't mind my asking?"

"Oh, just up the road to the next town," he replied. "Tell me, what kind of people will I find when I get there?"

"Oh, they're lovely!" the woman enthused. "Very kind and helpful! The friendliest people you could hope to meet anywhere!"

Sipping on his lemonade, the man smiled.

(Photo courtesy of Johan Stydom, freerangestock.com) 

How to Climb The Mountain That's Staring You in the Face

Have you been to hell and back a million times in your life? Have you felt like you were standing at the base of a mountain, your destination the other side of it, but not seen one bit of figurative climbing gear to be seen? - not one harness, not one descender, nope, not even one little crampon?

I know what it's like to look up at the top of that mountain. You feel like you'll never get there - but you know you have to do it; there's no turning back. So now what?

If it's too much to look up, turn your attention to the base of the mountain. You'll feel a little less pressured if you just focus on what you can achieve right now in this moment, and leave the rest to unfold as it will.

I know that sometimes when I've glanced up at that mountain top, I've felt immobilized. I've wanted to give up before I started. So I just grabbed onto the first bit of rock I could reach, picked up a foot and found a little step up. As long as I continued to do that, I made progress. Looking up was not an option. I could afford to look only at what was directly in front of me.

Whatever it is that you're facing, find the first rock that you can handle and take that small step. Leave the biggest, scariest rocks if you can, and get some of the smaller ones out of the way first.

Soon you will feel a bit of relief. Your anxiety will diminish; you will feel stronger. It will reinforce your belief that you must not, under any circumstances, look up, not just yet. To do so might be paralyzing. Forward movement and momentum are paramount. So just keeping grabbing for one small rock at a time, and don't look up.

Before long, you will feel ready to tackle the most challenging rocks. They might not put you at the top of the mountain right away, but you'll be well on your way to reaching it. You might even be able to look up after that. Because the beauty of it is, you'll also be able to look down and see how far you've come.

Crank That Wheel Away From the Skid

"Oops."  (Photo courtesy of freerangestock.com)

"Oops." (Photo courtesy of freerangestock.com)

You know that heart-stopping fear that fills you with ice water when you're driving along, and suddenly you find yourself in a skid? Your car fish-tails back and forth, back and forth, spitting gravel or spinning on ice and visions of a rather messy and imminent death race through your mind.

Your stomach flips as adrenalin floods your taut body. You grip the wheel in white-knuckled terror, and you wonder if your mouth is really filled with cotton balls all of a sudden.

Those seconds hang like years, and you're sure you've lost a few off your life after this too-close-call that leaves you shaken and trembling at the side of the road.

Growing up in Western Canada where the weather can be brutal and extreme, I learned how to drive in some pretty vicious conditions. There's nothing like plowing through tons of snow on several inches of solid ice, with a raging snowstorm obscuring your vision - by night.

Many of Canada's country roads are gravel, which can send you into a nasty skid and land you in the ditch in as big a hurry as that ice under your wheels will do.

What makes it worse is the instinct that some people have to crank the steering wheel into the direction of the skid. A big no-no! And on top of that, some people find themselves staring at whatever they're trying to avoid. Another vehicle, a wall, a sharp embankment that drops off and will send them plummeting below and into a raging river... And whatever they're seeing is where they are heading.

I "came out of the chute" in the middle of a sharp skid, born to a frightened young teen and after a time was taken from her and adopted into yet another skid. Much of my life was spent fish-tailing back and forth, back and forth, every heart-stopping moment spent cranking the wheel hard in the opposite direction of that skid, and doing my best to stay focused on the road, and not on the ditch, the wall - or too many times, the cliff above the river.

I was not always successful. In fact, I was very unsuccessful on far too many occasions for far too many years.

With the passage of time and continued practice and focus, the skids are now a lot fewer and farther in between. They don't usually land me in the ditch any more either, because I've learned to stay focused on the road.

And if you don't already know how to do it, you can learn, too.

Positively Positive

I don't read the paper.  I don't listen to the news.  In fact, I'll go a step further.  I won't read the paper and I won't listen to the news.  There's so much torment and tragedy, murder and misery, nothing but story after story about man's inhumanity to man, about horrible accidents, Acts of God that cause death and destruction.  Do I really need to hear every possible rotten, awful thing that has happened out there?  Does it add anything to my life? Will I be worse off for not knowing about these terrible incidents?

No.

I figure that if there's anything I really need to know, like the sky is falling or Armageddon's happening after dinner on Tuesday, someone will tell me.  I told a journalist friend once that I thought I ought to start up a newspaper that was full of only good news.  He said it wouldn't sell because people want the blood and guts (my words, not his, but that was the general idea).  He said good news doesn't (or wouldn't) sell papers.

I think it would.  Some of us want to be surrounded by positivity.  Some of us want to know the good news, the happy events, the wonderful moments and miracles that are happening in the world.  Some of us want to be uplifted by the beauty that exists in the perfect stories of love and kindness that are taking place around us, especially when they happen between strangers.

Some of us prefer to be connected with light and lovely positive energy that allows growth and movement, rather than heavy, oppressive negative energy that keeps us stuck and stagnant

I refuse to give attention to the negatives in my life or my environment, above and beyond what is absolutely essential in order to deal with certain issues.  Beyond that, negative thoughts are chased away and replaced by positive ones.  If I find myself wandering into contemplations about anything that is distressing or upsetting - particularly if it's nothing I am able to change - I dismiss it, focusing instead on what I want - and not on what I don't want

I've spent - or rather wasted - far too much of my life enduring and choking on negatives already.  I refuse to give that rubbish any more of my precious moments because they would only harm me.  They would not add anything to my life; they would only take from it.  Well, they would if I let them.  But I won't.

Instead, I am immersed in sparkling, radiant, shimmering, positive energy of the purest kind. I will not feed the demons that thrive on negative energy; I let them starve to death, bloody tormentors that they wish they could be, if only I would allow them to ravage my life the way they used to do.  They tore and clawed at it until it was in shreds, lapping at the dark red pools beneath the carcass of any dreams I might have had.

No, there is no room for them in my life, my heart, any part of my being and they are unwelcome beasts.  I have banished them from the sacred space that is Me.  I am far more powerful than they could ever hope to be and they shall not destroy me again, nor shall I allow any more destruction of my time in this life.

Why would I choose to do anything else?  Unless, of course, I had some burning desire to destroy my own life, my own happiness and wellbeing.

I have complete control over what I think and how I respond to anyone or anything.  I have complete control in deciding where to focus my attention and energy.  I can choose to make my life better - or worse.

I know what I'm choosing.  How about you?