Be the Change

As we go about our lives, it is easy to sit back and do your own thing. In the world that we live in, we are surrounded by struggle and pain, so it becomes easy to either numb yourself to it or to accept defeat. However, the most joy that we can receive in life is by reaching out and creating change.

When we look for personal gain and self satisfaction, we will only find disappointment. The monetary things in this world do not hold lasting value or happiness. For that, we must look outside of ourselves. Find what bothers you, something that you are passionate about, and then find a solution to it.

One of the biggest lies that we fall for is that we cannot create meaningful change. That things are too bad to even try.

In an article I read this week entitled “Irresistible Opportunities and Great Injustices,” it talks about how many of us struggle with this. It then goes on to list four ways that we may start to find a passion that moves us.

We must slow down, try being more grateful, spend time with others not as fortunate, and be sensitive to your instincts to know what to do next. As we do this, we will become tuned into things, no matter how small, that make a difference. This can be in your home, your business, in your community, or even on a global scale. It doesn’t matter. (This link leads to one of my favorite motivational videos.)

Mother Theresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

So go out and do what you can. Create. Build. Solve. Do what you were born to do. When you feel weak, find your strength. But never give up, for to give up is to accept defeat and lose.

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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

This week I have thought a lot about the basic foundation of our country. With the elections taking place, I have been contemplating how far we have strayed from the basic, fundamental ideals and principles that governed our country.

The-Declaration-of-Independence-1

For my business class I read several articles on the foundation for success. A lot of this had to do with how we perceive money and power. However, the one that stuck out to me the most was founded on the Declaration of Independence. In the beginning of the article it states, “The unalienable right to the “pursuit of Happiness”* is burned into the DNA of every American. Many believe it was instrumental in creating the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the planet; others blame it for the materialistic excesses of a people who have lost their way.” From there, it goes into how our pursuit of happiness impacts each of our decisions.

The first section after the intro, it talks about learning the basic difference between happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment. The article goes into how the different feelings affect our lives, but didn’t break it down enough for me. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, these words are defined as follows:

Happiness = A state of wellbeing and contentment; A pleasurable or satisfying experience.

Satisfaction = A happy or pleased feeling because of something that you did or something that happened to you.

Fulfillment = To succeed in achieving (something) : to make (something, such as a dream) true or real.

Each of these are worthy goals, but the way in which we focus on them and seek after them determines how likely we are to achieve these states of being. While this is a bit of a long quote, I feel it is worth mentioning here.

“Quite simply, we long for fulfillment while engaged in a futile pursuit of happiness. We are lured into a rat race, believing that money or sensual pleasures will pave a path to satisfaction and fulfillment. Ironically, we already are happy, are likely to be equally happy in the future and are even likely to be quite satis ed with life in our later years. It’s just that our human nature leads us to be so wrapped up in a self-centered quest for an unattainable “heaven on earth” that we miss the chance for a Hero’s Journey that would lead to a more meaningful life. We remain locked in a downward spiral that leaves us more self-absorbed, less joyful, less satis ed and ultimately, we die less fulfilled.”

To truly enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we must be careful about how we go about these things. Our perspectives matter and make a large impact on this! The way that we think largely impacts this! Even down to our job and the weather has a large impact on this.

If we want to successfully attain happiness, we must stop focusing on the pursuit, but enjoy the happiness that we already have, then work to keep it going. Only by doing this will the Hero’s Journey be a worthwhile journey.

Struggling to Become

Today, I was reintroduced to a fantastic video. In this short scene, the young football player is taught a valuable lesson on perseverance and goals. Often times, when we have full sight of what is ahead we sell ourselves short. Going forward blindly with the direction of others that have the full view is, in the end, far more frustrating, but has far better results.

In my life, I often feel like a blinded football player carrying 160+ pounds on my back across a seemingly never-ending field. With this in mind, I have gained a lot of what it means to make it through the struggle of becoming. This won’t come easily though, for to become is a lifelong effort. One important thing to remember though is that going through and experiencing the struggle does not give us permission to simply endure.

Life is not about enduring; it is about enduring well.

The football field is hard to cross, but if we listen to our mentors and never give up, then it will be well worth it in the end.

Set goals and make them known! If our friends/family/support system does not know what we are working towards, then how can we expect to receive help from them? We need coaches in our life to encourage us and keep us going when we lose sight of the bigger picture.

To become is not an easy task and is not for the faint of heart. But those who do continue through the struggle and truly become never regret it later on.

Leading with Execution

The “theme” of the week is leadership! I am not going to pretend to be an expert on this one, because generally I am really good at following. Being an introvert, this is where I am happy. I like to listen and assess. However, I have been working on my ability to be a leader in appropriate situations.

Among other things, one of my assigned readings for my business class was “A Message to Garcia.” The general subject matter of the article is the importance of execution. “The ability to execute is more valuable than education or talent, because it is far rarer.”

People with the drive to execute don’t stop to ask useless questions. Instead, they get to work and make a plan. If resources or information are necessary, then seek assistance, but then get right back to work.

When one masters the art of execution they will never be out of a job. This type of a person does more than the average person.

To become this, I know that I have some changes to make. I have a tendency to allow fear to take over in a lot of situations. This is probably my biggest struggle in making big life decisions. Fear. As I read the article about Garcia though, I found a really great quote.

“Turn away from the temptation to dwell on negative thoughts. Dwelling on fears only gives them more power. e best way to rid yourself of a fear is to take positive action. Courage isn’t the absence of fear but rather the ability to act in the face of it.”

This is what it takes to be a leader. The fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s when we allow it to take control that we begin to have problems.