Turns out there’s a lot of really bad wisdom out there.
- “What’s for you will come to you.” No, it won’t. You’re not a train station. Do something!
- “Believe in yourself.” What if you don’t; are all bets off? Just get into action, will you?
- “Surround yourself with positive people.” Yeah . . . but what if those “positive people” think you’re the asshole and want no part of your bs?
- “You become what you think about.” So close . . . but no. If you don’t act on those thoughts, you won’t become your thoughts at all. Also, I think about puppies quite a bit and still no sight of a tail.
We hear these cliché phrases from our friends when they’re trying to make us feel better, we read them on greeting cards and inspirational posters, and they’re all over social media. The truth is most online materials are designed to give you momentary relief, to make you feel better about your mess without waking you up to a change. Often it just allows you to confirm you were right, even when there’s that nagging doubt you may not have been. Feeling better just isn’t enough.
We’re here to make real, lasting change with our lives, and that’s why it’s so important to dig down into some real wisdom to consistently guide your decisions and actions.
Lasting, powerful love is consciously choosing to love another for all that they are, not just the good bits that we approve of or find most agreeable.
#1 “Love is the responsibility of the person who has it in mind.”
If you don’t have enough love in your life, the issue is with you. Always. Love is an expression, not a destination to arrive at or a trinket to somehow find and collect. You create more love in your life by being loving, not by seeking it in others, and if you’re not satisfied with who you’re supposed to be loving well, that’s on you too.
#2 “You cannot ‘have’ love.
The more you release yourself from the pressure of having love, the more room you’ll have to express it, and expressing love is the only kind of love you have any say in anyway. If the love in your life is a product of self-expression . . . what are the limits?
#3 “The ultimate expression of love is loving another in the way they want to be loved.”
The only way to connect, to truly bond with that other person, is to express love in a way that works for them. And finding that out is as simple as asking them. It can be directly, or you can feel them out in more indirect ways to get an idea.
#4 “When someone says they don’t love you, it doesn’t have anything to do with you.
Move on. Get back in the game. Even if they’re blaming you, and they most likely will, although if it’s not you, they’ll point to some circumstance or mystery of the universe to explain where they are at. As always, take responsibility for your own actions; learn from the experience; and, where appropriate, clean up your mess.
Love only starts to get limited when you compare one love to another. You’ll never enjoy a strawberry if you keep expecting it to taste like the cheese you had before. All the loves of your life are still love.
#5 “The secret to love, is to love who they are.”
To fully love who someone is, their humanity, their foibles, their past, their incompletions, and their views. You don’t need to adopt any of their stuff as your stuff, you don’t need to be a doormat or a victim to anything. This is all about the freedom to be you, and how you do that is by granting others the freedom to be themselves.
You can always choose to engage with loss in such a way that it empowers you rather than smothers you.
#1 “The only stuff you can’t get over is the stuff you’re holding on to.”
Most people have little or no idea that they are holding on to stuff from their own past. In their mind, it seems like there is something clinging to them.
This might be an uncomfortable item for you to face. It’s okay, you can do this. You can turn the tables on yourself so you come roaring out the other side and are ready to take your life on again.
#2 “Today is also one of those days you’ll never get back.”
This could be that moment. This could be your day. And the death that you experienced, the grief that you’re feeling, could be the spark that starts the fire that propels you forward. It’s just a matter of changing the way you look at it.
#3 “It’s okay you’re overwhelmed. It’s appropriate, not permanent.”
it’s not going to last forever. There’s a time limit. Eventually you’ll either overcome the shit you’re dealing with, or you’ll get so used to dealing with it that you don’t even break a sweat doing it.
To fear is to be alive. It’s your job to understand that and to push past it.
#1 “Your fear is meaningless.”
It’s an empty cup that you fill with whatever explosive, unstable load that eventually derails you. And it can become so woefully misplaced that you are quite literally bringing your entire life to a standstill.
Think about this. Is asking someone out on a date the exact same kind of scary to everyone? How about requesting a raise or going to the gym or telling someone how you feel? Public speaking, anyone? There’s nothing about those things that will actually hurt us.
#2 “The line between compassion for yourself and self-pity can disappear without warning.”
It’s the difference between I don’t think I can do this, referring to a particular task or situation, and I can’t do anything, as if you’re worthless or the world is out to get you. Sometimes what we need is not to be easier on ourselves, but to push through that adversity, to hold our own feet to the fire and see what we’re made of.
#3 “To fear is to be human; to avoid fear is to avoid your own humanity.
Fear has nothing to do with you. It’s not a fault, a weakness that only you have. In fact, it’s as natural as your hair growing. It’s an essential, unavoidable piece of your humanity.
And the things you have in mind in life, those goals you’ve set, dreams you’ve thought up, if you want to actually accomplish them, you’ll have to do them alongside fear.
Who you are is successful. The thing that you’re chasing, you already are that thing. Right here, right now. It’s not about becoming anything but rather using this moment of time to express who you already are.
#1 “When the responsibility for the quality of your life lies with anyone but you, you become the victim.
Blaming people for the things that happen or happened in your life doesn’t resolve them. Finding someone to point the finger at doesn’t fix anything. Good luck with waiting for that apology too; even if you eventually do get it, it most likely won’t do a thing for you, no matter how much you’ve convinced yourself it will.
#2 “I don’t love failure, but I’m not afraid of it either.
We work toward becoming comfortable with the possibility of failure. Not too comfortable, not in love with it, but just comfortable enough that you can see failure peeking out at you from the next horizon, but still you keep pushing. That it doesn’t stop you dead in your tracks.
#3 “Being positive is overrated.”
Like all emotional states, positivity comes and goes, hangs around fleetingly or sometimes longer, but you should never use it as a sign of how or if you should proceed. In fact, if there’s anything you could start to develop, it would be the ability to act powerfully in your life in the absence of that positivity or motivation or enthusiasm.
#4 “True strength doesn’t come from your character, but from your willingness to go beyond it.”
True strength isn’t a product of character. True strength is when you’re doing something you’ve never done before, when you’re thinking “I don’t know” or “I’m too tired” or “I can’t do this” . . . and you go beyond. Because that “beyond” is exactly where you’ll find those new levels of strength and an array of wide-open pathways to new results for you to explore.
#5 “Life only ever changes in the paradigm of action.”
In most professions, you don’t get paid less if you do your job while you’re in some negative mood as long as you do your job. But you do get paid less if you don’t do the work while you’re floating on cloud nine.
That’s because it’s the action that matters, not how you feel. Kind of brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “get your act together” now, doesn’t it?