Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's You!

It's not your mother or your father. Not your sister or your brother. It's not your God or your Government. It's not the high school bully or your eighth grade home room teacher. It's not your therapist or your wife or your boyfriend. It's not luck or even circumstance. It's not your height, weight or age that makes life great, or not. It's You! It's you that makes you happy or sad. It's you that makes you smart or stupid. It's you that eats right or not. It's you that chooses to exercise or to sit on your ass. It's you who puts the cigarette in your mouth. It's you that yells at your 3 year old daughter. It's you that doesn't have patience when you need it. Your parents created you, but it's you that decides to make something of yourself. Point the finger in the mirror because that image before you is the only creature on earth that can guarantee happiness, fitness, health, love, joy, purpose and a state of well being. Hoping and wishing that everyone and everything else is going to bring you a better life is a farce and a fantasy.

When you learn how to rely on yourself, you discover that it's not really about you anyway. When you finally stop relying on others for your happiness and blaming them when it doesn't happen you'll see life for what it really is. A community where we help each other. The transition from "me and my problems" to "how can I help." is easier for some than others, but it needs to happen if you want a full and happy life. You have to get your act together because important people in your life need you. They need you to be thoughtful and trustworthy. They want you to listen and NOT give advice unless they ask. They hope you'll be patient, caring and understanding. If you pull this off you'll also learn than perfect strangers are willing to listen to you, because you'll have something they want. You'll have the formula for a good life. A happy life. A healthy life. You will no longer need to rely on others for your happiness because your happiness will come from helping others.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Holding On And Letting Go

Look at your life and ask why you're holding on to things that don't make your life better. Now ask yourself if you have the strength to let go of these things. I see in my own life how I keep things around that no longer serve me. Even simple things like the clutter of paper and old useless junk in drawers, closets and on shelves. It's hard to abandon safe, old, familiar objects, philosophies and people in our lives. This would require letting go of the things that make up who you are; even if who you are isn't who you want to be. Most of us are two people at once. The person living in this moment and the person planning, rehearsing and preparing for the future. The person that was, is dead. No need for discussion about that person here. You have right now and the days, weeks, months and years (if you're lucky) in front of you. The person you are right now often becomes unhappy when the plan for the future doesn't come to fruition. Quite often our hopes and dreams are dashed because we couldn't let go of the things that are holding us back.

There are two things that make change hard. Letting go of familiar and safe behaviors (that don't work) and adapting (sticking with) new unfamiliar more difficult activities to create change and a better life. You can't hold on and let go at the same time. You can't do P90X and eat junk food. You can't workout in the morning and get drunk after work. Tip-toeing your way to dramatic change can work for some people but my belief is that sometimes you need to clean house completely to prepare yourself for life altering, long term change. This doesn't mean you still can't take small steps when it comes to letting go. I'm not promoting that a 350 lbs person with no fitness background jump into P90X. I am saying that a person like that needs to STOP doing nothing and start finding fit people to hang out with and talk to. If you went around your house right now and threw out and gave away all the crap that's been sitting in your house for years, you'd feel phenomenal.

Letting go of the junk you've been holding on to requires finding a more powerful replacement. In your heart you need to trust that the simple act of releasing tired old worthless behaviors is going to bring about a better life. Why is it that when 100 people all get the same life altering information, only a small percentage of those people run with it? It's because the majority of those people can't let go of the people and belief systems that keep them right where they are. Life is frightfully short and I'd hate to see anyone miss out on the incredible opportunities available to all of us. We're all capable. We're all deserving. After reading this write down all the things in your life that aren't working. Then make a list of the things you plan on doing to make your life better. Is it a letter, an e-mail, a phone call or another TO-DO list? Be proactive not inactive! Let go and get going.