Watch your thoughts – they become words.
Watch your words – they become actions.
Watch your actions – they become habits.
Watch your habits – they become your character.
Watch your character – they become your destiny.
Recently, I came across this thought provoking poem, and I not only wanted to share it with my friends but I wanted to start a series of blogs on the workings of my own body and mind. So, here is a precursor of what is to come….
No matter the differences, there are always unifying commonalities among all of us. When you are sad, don’t you cry? Or, when you feel lonely, don’t you usually yearn for companionship?
The foundation of life is all the same; the only difference is someone’s purpose. We are constantly striving for a sense of meaning or a sense of balance. Isn’t it ironic that life is created in extremes of opposites – love vs hate, happiness vs sadness, success vs failure, etc.
From my experience, I have discovered that there are three types of people (1.) the extremist – the ones that are constantly on one side of the spectrum. These people are constantly fighting the “in between” (2.) the middle-ist – the people that are just content with falling in between the situations of life. These people are the ones that I have always envied. How is it possible that someone can be content between “success” and “failure”? If I can mimic this behavior, I would definitely not have ulcers, that’s for sure. And, finally there are those that create their own niche of behavior. Basically, I created this group as a default category.
So, what type of person are you? Are you an extremist or middle-ist? Can you define your purpose for life? For success, or even love? As perplexing as life is, I want to think out loud and explore the phases of my own life starting with my first entry the next few weeks on the first sentence of the poem – “Watch your thoughts – they become your words.”
I’ve spent my entire life going through the motions – church, family, school, friends, and work. I’ve accepted ultimatums and embraced obligations. And, very rarely did I ever make decisions based on what I wanted or felt that I needed. People use to call it selflessness. I call it being out of control. Up until now, I’ve been surrounded by people that I couldn’t get away from. From high school to college, then from graduate school to internships, I had no control over who I was going to spend my time with or what I’d be doing. The only thing I knew for certain was that I needed to please others, and so the vicious cycle began…
Effortlessly, I would spend my days following the footsteps of others and never asking questions. I developed the mentality of a true military brat – “It is what it is.” But here I am today feeling in control. I can finally say that the time that I invest in now are the things that I know will soon be rewarded by the satisfaction of my own choice. So the truth of the matter is, this foreign feeling of control is not only invigorating but extremely addicting.
Control is the theme of my life right now. I pick and choose what I do, when I do it, and the way I want to do it. I’m sure this feeling doesn’t last forever. Nothing ever does, but until then this is my life, and I plan to do exactly what life intended me to do – live.
If there is one thing that gets me all hot and bothered, it is a confident person. Whether it be for a brief moment or for a lifetime, confident people just make a lasting impression. Confidence will get you the boy that you’ve been wanting to date, the job you’ve been dreaming of, and the respect that you’ve wanted all your life. It is essentially the quality that everyone notices but not everyone possesses. It is definitely difficult to define, but once you’ve got it figured out it can take you places. But, the question is where do you want to end up?
I don’t think there is an answer. It is like asking people how they lost weight. There are so many diets out there and what works for one person might not work for you. Usually what ends up happening is you try it anyway hoping you get the same results, but instead you try to force yourself into someone else’s submission and you end up gaining twice the weight. Confidence is abstract. It is what you want it to be. For instance, what you define as confident, I might consider it arrogance. And, what impresses one person might turn off another.
I’ve always believed that confidence is about being comfortable where you are now and not worrying about where you’ll end up. I have yet to reap the rewards of this, but I’ve always been a believer that confidence doesn’t “get” you anywhere – fate does. Confidence just lets you enjoy the process of arriving to your destiny. From the highs and lows, being confident that you are where you are supposed to be is the key to unlocking the mystery of confident people. Thomas Paine said it perfectly when he said, “I love a man that can smile in trouble, gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm and his conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”
Confident people don’t seek to be confident because in their minds, it isn’t about defining confidence. It is about being who you want to be. No more or less, just being you. And once you have that figured out, somewhere along your journey in life you develop a sense of awareness of what you are capable of and what you aren’t and being completely content with the fact. It’s about believing in the people around you even when the same people have doubted you. It is about facing adversity, conquering it, and moving forth for more challenges. It’s about lending a hand to the same people that you fear will surpass your success. It is about advancing at your own pace, on your own time, in your own style. It isn’t about comparing achievements and ridiculing other people’s accomplishments. That is what insecure, ugly people do. Confident people are beautiful, pure, and real. They don’t compete. They overcome. Confident people are sexy. They are people that you meet for a moment but you remember for a lifetime. Confident people are contagious and everyone wants to be infected. So let’s start infecting our neighbors, our lovers, and our friends. Let’s let it consume our lives and our pride.
And, going back to my analogy, there are a million types of diets but there is one thing that works in favor for everyone. Exercise. It enhances the lifestyle of everyone, and so does seeking confidence in a mind-over-matter approach. You shouldn’t look for it because you’ve already got it. You just need to start allowing yourself to make mistakes, get rejected, and stop thinking twice and start running the marathon of life, love, and happiness…
Growing up, I was usually a quiet kid. Parents liked me. My peers were drawn to me. And, my teachers adored me. But, when someone would tease my friends or my brother I got really feisty and would defend them like it was my own life. My favorite “comeback” as a child was “I’m rubber; you’re glue.Whatever you say will bounce off me and stick to you.” My classmates hated it and it drove older kids crazy.
Now that I am a young adult, I still find myself defending others but now my favorite “comeback” has evolved to “I know I’m not perfect, but are you?” I’m not as confrontational as I use to be but I still find myself in childish ultimatums and quarrels with my adult friends. I suppose the inflicted pain of betrayal or slander still hurt the same even as we get older. It just takes a little longer to get over them now then it did as a child. When we were 5, it took ten minutes or less to forgive, forget, and start playing again and now it takes 10 days, weeks, years, or maybe never to forget a single one-time mistake or regret. We are all guilty of it, and I don’t have a solution to change it. All I know is that it exists and I despise it.
I’m not proud of this and I DON’T recommend this, but I deal with people issues by doing one of three things (1) avoiding, (2) ignoring, and/or (3) replacing. Why? Because, it is an easy way out. Why else? But honestly, I try every time to deal with the issues directly with my nemesis, but I think my natural response to conflict kicks in before I can. My instincts tell me that time is the only thing that will heal my pain and as the days, weeks, or months pass by I realize how pathetic and cowardly that excuse is, but by then it is too late. And, most of the time I end up replacing my fight, argument, or disagreement with something that ends up consuming me from the inside out anyway. Most of the time it is regret, guilt, or something in between, you would think that I would appreciate the alternative, but I’m stubborn and rarely like change.
However, recently I have realized that people come and go for a reason. People make mistakes and sometimes you aren’t able to repair the damages that have been made. But, what you can do is learn from it. You can do better to your next friend, or your next relationship. You see, I’ve learned that sometimes when confrontation arises between two people you both receive a gift, a gift of choice. You can choose to work things through, to forgive and forget, or to forgive and let go. There isn’t a right answer and the answer is circumstantial. But, it is a choice that should be made. Don’t be like me and just ignore, avoid, or replace the inevitable because then you are turning down a gift of choice. You end up giving away your obligation to choose the details in your life. Who comes in, goes out, and stays constant. You essentially lose control of your life and that will only drive you crazy or make you more depressed. I suppose with new year just around the corner, and I could use my own advice. I could use some controlling in my life. I mean out of all the things that were out of my control in 2010, at least I can control the people I confront, forgive, rebuke, or forget. The thought is exhilarating, so I can only imagine how it will feel when I put my thought into action. I’ll keep you posted on how it works for me… hopefully it’ll translate into my professional ambition as well. *Fingers crossed*
December 7th marks the twenty-forth year of my existence. I’ve been told since I was young that you are born for a purpose. I mean, beyond the religious reason. I’m talking about your calling during your life in the secular world. However, the irony is that they never tell you what that purpose is and you never really question it. You simply just agree with it. Then, as you get older you begin to wonder what they meant by your purpose in life. Some adults find it early; they become surgeons, religious leaders, educators, or entertainers. Others just go through the motion of life and hope that they stumble upon their calling. But, what if “not knowing” is part of the divine purpose? What if discovering pieces of your puzzle of life is all a ploy for you to discover your purpose and genuinely appreciate it?
I realize that 24 years is still very young; my mom and I call it my diamond years. But, I don’t think its a coincidence that people make more mistakes being YOUNG than they do as they get older. In 24 years, I think the life experiences are the same but the details are different. We experience love, work, school, hurt, regret, friendship, betrayal, trials and tribulations, happiness, etc. But as you get older you begin to view your experiences as opportunities. You begin to create your own paths and I think that’s when you begin to unravel your personal gift of life. Otherwise, you’re just indulging on the SWAG – Stuff We All Get (thanks CG).
More recently, I’ve been struggling with patience. I’ve been wanting things in an instant, and I’ve neglected to enjoy my divine purpose of life, which is to live, enjoy the journey, and unravel my personal gift of life when the time is right. I’ve been so consumed with things that weren’t going my way and began to doubt my own purpose. And as people were wishing me “happy birthday” on Facebook, in person, on the phone, and through text messages, I got exactly what the doctor of life ordered – a quick slap in the face. This is my purpose – “to live and let live” (thanks Ghandi). So, to all the people that wished me happy birthday on my facebook wall, status, private messages, those people that texted me, called me, or spent the day with me – Thank you for the best birthday gift of all – a reality check and a purpose to live in suspense again! For those that didn’t care – that’s okay – get off my blog, go eat a Big Mac, and you too should live and let live…