What Emotion Is Driving You?

cointracker16
If you could place every word you’ve spoken
and every action you’ve taken into one of two boxes,
fear or love, which box would have the most?
fear boxlove box
The professionals who study minds and human behavior say the emotional basis for all thoughts and actions are either fear or love. That’s it. They say those are the only two emotions, so underneath of everything you say or do is either the feeling of being afraid or the emotion of love.
Most of my words and actions would go into the box of love. Of those that would land in the box of fear, the majority of them are fear-based words and actions taken against myself. I have talked myself out of more things that anyone else ever has. I have stopped myself from trying things out of fear, I have used negative self-talk due to fear, and I have allowed fear to dictate where I won’t go or what I won’t do. I’ve allowed the voice of fear to drown out the one of love.
I’m great at encouraging others, I want people who are doing great work or striving to improve, or going after their dreams, to succeed. But when it comes to me, I’m often a bully to myself. (You know the deal with bullies right, they’re the people who are supposedly so annoyed by you and hate you so much that they can’t leave you alone, which doesn’t make sense. Really, they’re projecting their insecurities and fears on you; they fear you’ll succeed and they won’t.) As much as my rational mind knows I’m capable and wants to see me win, my emotions get the better of me and. These instances don’t happen often, but when they do, I get honest with myself and shift to loving thoughts and actions.
Today is election day in the Unites States. It’s been a rough presidential race to witness as members of both parties have done an excellent job of using fear-based, bombastic tactics. Imagine how much more pleasant and effective politics would be if the candidates were transparent, honest, and loving. Imagine leaders who genuinely cared, who made policies and campaigns based solely on wanting the best for people and not for the sake of notoriety, money, or position.
I don’t have a desire to reform the political system, but I’m all in when it comes to leading the movement of everyday people who want to tell their truth and share honestly. Fear and love both serve a purpose and are healthy emotions. But if your box of fear is overflowing, meaning the majority of the things you do and say are down out of fear, it’s time to do the work to figure out why.
Get honest with yourself about what you’re afraid of and work to switch to thoughts and actions based in love.

Wonderful Life

Inspiring-Wisdom-Quotes-From-365-Days-Of-Tumblr-1I have said before that Life is Perfect. By perfect I don’t mean that things don’t go wrong, bad things don’t happen, I don’t get mad, sad, frustrated, bored, etc. I just mean, the balance of all the good and all the bad and all the opportunities and experiences make life, well, my life at least, wonderfully perfect.
I love that quote because perfection is relative. What may be perfect for you may not be for me and vice versa. What is great is that, each time I wake I get another chance to enjoy this life experience.
{Bee Tee Dubs, I’ve never seen that movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, mainly because it’s in black and white and I have eyes that are used to 2013 ultraviolet retina display HD color and I just simply don’t want to. I’m pretty sure it’s a Christmas time of year flick, like the classic Home Alone series, but check it out and let me know how it is. }
We have all been there when you want to quit life, hide, disappear, or swap lives with someone else. We have also been extremely happy, excited, entertained, loved or felt loved, and smiled. Situations that are sometimes beyond your control cause you to find yourself in places, with people, or situations that aren’t perfect or wonderful, but, in the grande scheme of things, you have the power to produce the life you want. It may require sacrifice, patience, friendships, etc., but it’s your life, make it wonderful.

workhardIt sounds simple and that’s probably because it is simple.

Work hard.

Don’t just halfheartedly go to work, create a company, workout, volunteer, babysit, or whatever. Do it to the absolute best of your ability. Commit yourself to whatever task you are currently presented with and honestly give it all you have. Go the extra mile, push yourself harder, take some initiative, go above and beyond, surprise yourself.

Be Kind.

There’s no magic potion to make you kind, you have to be kind, if it doesn’t come naturally, work on it, work hard on it. Be pleasant, be polite, be kind, be courteous, be nice to others, ESPECIALLY when they aren’t to you, that’s when they need it the most.

Working hard and being kind are rewards in and of themselves.

work-hard

Work Hard & Be Kind

Validation

grey__s_anatomy_quote_by_seashelby.png

Validate. 

It’s one of those verbs turned nouns (validation) that is someone tricky to master.

When you’re little, you practice independence, you want to tie your own shoes, feed yourself, put your own clothes on, and parents encourage it because we need to learn to do things for ourselves. That independence though, you want recognition for; the first time you pee in the potty alone, you expect a Sesame Street parade down your block like that commercial. When you, as a child, paint, what you feel is an absolute work of  museum worthy art, and your parents oooh and awwe over it so much that you are reaffirmed, your thought that it was beautiful is validated, and soon your frig is covered with scribbles and stick figures that, truth be told,  only you truly view as art.

As you grow up though, having someone approve you, agree with you, support you, and even accept you can become somewhat dangerous if you fail to recognize when the transition occurs. I think there in lies the difference.

The healthy side of validation leans to, “do you share my opinion about what I’ve done, created, chosen, purchased, etc.?”, it’s external.

The unhealthy side leans to ‘prove to me that I am worthy, I am loved, I am good enough, and that you approve of WHO I am’, it’s internal.

That internal part is reserved only for you, that’s not a power you want to hand over to another person.

al-inspiring-quote-on-self-acceptance

wpid-170503535862395390_9U0u1Cvc_f.jpegIt’s been said that it takes 21 days to form a habit.

That’s 21 friggin’ consecutive times of doing something before you begin to start doing it without having to remind yourself or consciously think of it.

So, if you find yourself motivated to start, but having trouble remaining motivated, see if you can get 21 times of practice under your belt.

I think motivation keeps you going too but it sure is easier when it becomes a habit.

And once it becomes a habit

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 9.40.28 AM

So, cut yourself some slack. Things take time.

Form Habits. Become an Expert

wpid-176555247861325552_nPvCTykj_f.jpeg

We all know people who, as much as you try, you don’t like, don’t understand, or who are just hard to love.

Maybe a family member, a friend of a friend, a classmate, a coworker.

People aren’t born unlovable. Babies are the MOST lovable little squishy faces around.

Through growing up, life experiences, hurts, pains, issues, people develop callouses and hardened hearts.

Have you ever heard someone say a person has thick skin? It’s usually a good thing meaning that things don’t affect them but when it comes to an emotional callous, versus the gross foot callus, it’s like they’ve built up these layers around their heart that don’t allow love in or let love out.

In actuality, they have built up layers or walls to protect themselves. So, it seems like they aren’t lovable because they can’t allow love in, but really, they’ve built up this emotional wall to keep hate, hurt, and pain OUT.

 

Hard to Love

Lead Greatly

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 9.28.39 PMYou’re never too young to lead. You’re never too old, either.

Don’t be fooled though, you probably shouldn’t call yourself a leader if you turn and realize that no one is following you or walking beside you.

Leaders come in all sizes and dynamics. You can be the leader of a household, a team, a group of people at work, you can even lead other leaders.

I remember having teachers and mentors who were great motivators, they were very encouraging,  extremely supportive, and were always kind enough to express how much they believed in me and my peers. That was great and I am very grateful for them, sometimes all you need is an encouraging word or to know that someone sees something great or greater in you.

Other times though, I remember wanting, not so much a cheerleader or supporting cast, but a director, an instructor, someone to help me pull all the great things other people saw within me, out of me.

I don’t think I have found one of those yet and maybe I no longer need one, but I know for those who look to me for help, advice, and encouragement, I’d like to be able to offer them the best of both worlds.

I think about my little cousin, who at age 8 was helping my mom learn to work her new phone. She was such a patient and encouraging teacher and at the same time she was an instructor, she showed her what to do then had my mom try it on her own. She never once doubted that my mom would get the hang of it and just say forget it, like I would have, and just bought her one of those phones that only has like 4 buttons. It was funny and adorable. Whether you lead by doing  something simple like showing someone how to use their phone, edit a video, or learn an instrument, or something greater like helping another person discover how to use their gifts, or how to stand up for themselves, or how to reach their potential, greatly lead.

Listening > Hearing

images

That was a lesson I learned the hard way.

It took three different friends on three separate occasions explaining this to me to finally understand.

I am not a share-er by nature. So, when I am telling someone something it’s usually because I want to know their opinion, I seek their advice, or  I need their help.

I now understand though, that for some people, they enjoy talking, venting, expressing, and they just want someone to listen. Sometimes, they may not have anything to say, they may just want you to be near them, to be present.

Give them your undivided attention, (not the kind that plays candy crush while they talk because  you can do two things at once) offer a few moments of your life where they have all your attention, and let them get off their mind or heart whatever they need.

The thing to remember about listening is the difference between listening and hearing.listen

Hearing is inactive, you have no control over it, it’s just the sounds your ears take in. The sounds of traffic, clocks ticking, water dripping, those are things you hear because you have the sense of hearing.

Listening is active, it’s intentional, it’s done consciously. When you choose to help by listening, pay attention, listen to what they’re saying, what they’re not saying, and let them know you are there and that their voice is being heard.

Don’t just hear, listen.