February 11, 2008

Well I’m heavenly blessed and worldly wise

I am 36 and a half years old. I must say I like being 36. It seems to be a good age for me because while I’m not too old to have any quality of life issues, I’m old enough to finally feel like I know what I’m doing. My sense of self has come into a clearer focus than ever before. And while I truly believe life is one long lesson to teach you about yourself, for the first time I feel like I’d end up with a passing grade on the Test of Life.

Part of this positive sense of self has been reinforced as I start my new job as the unquestioned leader. And while I firmly believe that you don’t need to be the boss to be a leader, this is the first time that I’ve actually been both. It’s really caused me to be introspective because I want to give those who work for me my best. I want to help them grow like my mentors did with me. In order to do that, I need to know myself and feel connected to that solid core, residing deep within my chest, that never sways – even when the rest of my world is filled with chaos and change.

As I begin to learn about myself, I thought it would be important to pass some of the wisdom I have learned along to Swee’Pea and TheMonk. Perhaps this will help them someday when they are trying to find their true self. Perhaps it will help them learn more about me and who I am and how I came to be who they see in their teens and into adulthood. So, below you will find some of my thoughts on life and how to be the best you can be.

Who you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying
This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson speaks of the power of character. You cannot shout from the rooftops about how great you are when those around you would sing a far more humbling tune. Your voice will not be heard if people do not recognize you as someone who is honest, forthright, earnest and humble. You cannot be a leader just by your words, your actions must come first and the words can only follow.

You must do the things you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Fear is the single most debilitating thing in life. How many lives would be different if fear was not present? What would you do if you weren’t afraid? The thing to remember about fear is that it is only an illusion that seems real but is really just a visceral reaction to a stimulus. Those butterflies in your stomach or that tightness in your chest is an involuntary reaction that your body creates. How your mind interprets that reaction is entirely up to you. In other words, butterflies can be interpreted by fear of failure or, just as easily, excitement at the prospect of success. You choose. But I guarantee the moment you confront your fear, the fear becomes insignificant. From that bogey monster in the closet that you are sure is there until you get the nerve to turn on the light to that thing you can’t stand to face at work that goes away the minute you address it, the fear is never as big as what you make it out to be. Do not be held back by fear. Use fear to become the person you know you want to be.

A goal without a plan is just a wish
Everything you want, desire or even do should begin with a vision. Vision is important because it forces you to slow down to clarify what it is you really want. Those without vision give up. They don’t know what they are running after and give up because it’s so hard to catch what you don’t know you’re chasing. Write down your goals. Cut out photos from a magazine and paste it to a board to represent all that you want. Think big. If you shoot for the stars, you may miss but still hit the moon. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Find your path and keep moving along it with all of the passion you can muster. And, most of all, don’t hang around people who don’t share your vision.

It’s not my business what you think of me.
Too many times we worry about what other people think. Too many times we give up our power to someone else who, in all likelihood, is also worried about what you might think. I have learned to push aside that voice that worries about what others think. Instead, I say to myself, “Your perception of me is your business. Not mine.” I know who I am. I know the good person that emanates from my insides and I refuse to let you or anyone else keep me from being me.

Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Love really does make the world go ’round. Learning to freely love is a gift that comes with a sense of peace and belonging. Putting aside the possibility of hurt and risking pure, passionate, heart-on-a-sleeve love is something that will take you far. Love who you are with. Love who you are. Love those who make it especially difficult to love. Hate tears down, but love builds back up. Find what you love. Find who you love and then love those things with all of your heart. Most importantly, love yourself – unconditionally. Then, you will know peace.

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The title of this post is from an 80′s song. Can you name it?

5 Comments

  1. Well said.

    Comment by Mam├íChanga — February 11, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

  2. Timbuk 3, The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades, 1986. Hey, I just mentioned this not too long ago. Coincidence? I think not.

    Excellent advice, by the way. You should write a book. You’re writing a book, right? Let me know when you need an editor!

    Comment by Becky — February 12, 2008 @ 7:33 am

  3. Matt, that is some excellent words of advice, especially the fear part…since my husband and I just seperated, that paragraph really helped me put things in perspective a bit better :) Thanks!!

    Comment by Tiffany — February 12, 2008 @ 8:07 am

  4. Well said, indeed. Hey, I’m going to be 37 next month- is that when I worry about my quality of life?

    Comment by Whit — February 12, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

  5. I’m so glad that you’re writing this stuff down…

    Comment by Deanna — February 13, 2008 @ 10:19 am

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