Saturday, July 26, 2008 11:44 PM
We settle. Alot. In work, relationships, activities...we settle. We don't, for whatever reason, insist on higher standards in our life. We're more than happy to just go through the motions, living out our lives with small glimmers of intense joy happening only sporadically. We dream, we play what if, we watch movies with Cinderella plots because we can only dream of someone coming to save us from our simple, routine lives.
The reality is that there is an agent that's out there sabotaging us. A being that instills fear, doubt, and insecurity. This is, as one author puts it, the vile bitch upstairs: always with a comment, always with an opinion, and always voicing it regardless of being asked for it or not. The catch of course is that this vile agent is you.
You are the only person that has any say in whether your life improves, stays status-quo, or degrades. Your actions, outlook, decisions, demeanor, creed...all of it comprises who you are and what you will become...and yet so many of us allow these to remain tainted by fear and negativity to the point that we're slaves to our own insecurities and poor self image. Nobody is a bigger critic of us then ourselves, no matter how many people hurl words against us.
If you want to break out of this holding pattern, if you want to try and take a step towards igniting your life, I present you with The 5 R's (Click on the links to jump to the various articles that have been written):
- Escape the Cult of Personality
- Use Your Illusion
- Discover Your Inner Power
- CEO of You Inc.
- Choose a Life Less Ordinary
- Make Your Life Results Based
- No Man Is An Island
- Find Your Tribe
- Opportunity is Constantly Knocking
- Live Performance Driven, Not Perception Driven
Each of these represents an area of our lives that we need to examine, assess, and be honest about. We need to see how each of these plays into the larger picture of what makes us who we are and how each impacts our ability to rule over our lives.
The young man leaves his cubicle job to get medication, only to have a mysterious woman inform him his father was an assassin.
Neo looks to Morpheus who has just offered him two options: the red pill or the blue pill. "I offer you truth, nothing more." he quips.
All of us must come to a point of realization. Of finally stepping back and viewing the landscape of our lives. This might come from an external person pointing out what we can't see, or from an event, or simply having an epiphany. However it happens, we need to make some hard realizations about our life. On realization we'll talk about creating our own illusion of life, escaping the widespread Cult of Personality, and how to discover your inner power and start to wield it.
Nobody is responsible for you except you alone. Not your parents, your spouse, your employer, your friends, your government. Nobody...but you. Yet many people don't want to take responsibility for their lives. I think this is for two reasons. One, that some people are just lazy and don't want to take responsibility of anything, much less themselves. However, I think there's another reason that the majority of people face: fear. Fear of failure, fear of negative repercussions, fear of humiliation. Taking responsibility for anything holds some risk, but with risk comes reward. On responsibility, we'll talk about you being the CEO of your own life, making your life results based (not as scary as you might think), and choosing life...but being smart about it.
You will not and cannot ignite your life without relationships fanning the flames. Relationships are important...incredibly important...possibly the most important. In her book Rules for Renegades, Christine offers a calculation that I've come to adopt as my own:
Live = The people you meet + What you create together
Many of us, me included, DREAD having to foster and manage relationships. C'mon, we've all done it: You're walking in the mall and you see so-and-so. Instead of rushing up to that person to say hi and see how they're doing, you check to see if they've seen you...and if not, you avert all eye contact...maybe you start looking at something to try to avoid having to *gasp* have a conversation! Why are we like that?! It could be for many reasons, but one of them could very well be that we don't have the right view of relationships. Under this heading, we'll discuss how to get into the mindset that the *most* important resources of all are humans, the importance of creating your own tribe, and nuances of dealing with different people.
Ideas are a dime a dozen. People who implement them are priceless - Mary Kay Ash
Whether we're talking about a business venture, or a volunteer opportunity, or a way to strengthen a relationship by doing something nice for someone, reacting to opportunity is key to igniting your life. Life is a contact sport, a collection of activities, a body in motion. When we see a chance to do something, how do we react? We'll talk about how opportunity is constantly knocking and also how we need to avoid adding more bricks into the road paved with good intentions.
Yoda warns of the path to the darkside:
"Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering."
I have a similar motto:
Fear leads to distrust, distrust leads to control, control leads to...
Control can lead to various things. Hurt relationships, hindered business progress, strained health, etc. We'll look at how fear is everyone's Kryptonite, and also what the difference is between a Leader and a Controller...and what we need to be honest about with ourselves to gauge which one we are.
So are you ready to ignite your life? Are you ready to take an honest look at yourself, and answer the question: Am I ok with where I'm at, with who I am, with what I'm doing, or do I want more? Am I ready to make the changes I need to make to live my life and not just survive it?
It only takes one spark to create a raging fire. I hope this series provides you the spark you're looking for.