What Changes Everything

Before you try to mold or change anyone in your life again, take a look at yourself and work on your own. By Madeline Johnson

When you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself. And that changes everything.  – Marc & Angel

It is better to pay attention to the harmony and disharmony within yourself and eliminate the impossible task of trying to control and shape others.

Before you try to mold, shape or change another person in your life again, take a look at yourself and work on that which needs adjustment in your own life.

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Stop trying to control that which you cannot. Focus on the things within yourself that you can change.

Controlling your own behavior . . .

  • Your present and future behavior,
  • How you respond to the behavior of others,
  • How you spend your time,
  • Who you spend time with, the friends you keep, your participation and behavior in relationships,
  • How you apply your talents and strengths.
  • The strengths you choose to acquire, develop, and apply.
  • Initiative, drive, commitment, tenacity, focus,
  • Who waits for whom,
  • The promises you keep, and the people you betray,
  • Your level of nutrition and fitness,
  • Habits, both good and bad
  • The choices you make,
  • Preparations and plans you make,
  • Impulse control,
  • Integrity, authenticity, congruence, reciprocity
  • The path you take,
  • Your behaviors that annoy others,
  • Where you live, where you work, where you play, your career,
  • The responsibility you take for yourself, and who you choose to blame,
  • When you appease, when you acquiesce, when obey, when you submit, when you rebel, when you protest, and when you blow the whistle.
  • Where you shop, how you spend, and how you save,
  • When and how you use your power.
  • Reappraise, apologize, forgive, let go, and take responsibility for yourself.
  • Deciding to do your best, or less than your best.

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What you communicate to others . . .

    • What you say, how you say it, who you say it to, and when you say it,
    • The authenticity of your expression,
  • Who you greet, and how you greet them,
  • Facial expressions, body language, gestures, posture,
  • Grooming, dress, and personal hygiene,
  • The attitude you project,
  • What you write, say, and share,
  • Who you include and who you exclude,
  • Your public image,
  • The topics you avoid, and those you engage, when you are patient, when you show impatience.
  • Authentic information or deceptive, manipulative, incomplete, or disingenuous disinformation.
  • The promises you make, when you say “Yes”, and when you say “No”.
  • Who you like, who you trust, who you dislike, who you distrust,
  • The symmetry of the power relationships, including: deference, respect, fawning, condescension, leadership, or disrespect.
  • Who you show respect to and who you are disrespectful of,
  • What you are willing to tolerate, and what you take a stand on,
  • Who you interrupt and who you allow to interrupt you.
  • The trust you extend and the trust you earn.

What you know . . .

  • Facts you have gathered,
  • Understanding,
  • The evidence you consider,
  • The theory of knowledge you use to choose your beliefs.
  • Expertise, skills, and how you apply your talents,
  • Literacy, logic, quantitative skills, domain knowledge,
  • What you study, read, listen to, and learn,
  • What you question and what you accept,
  • Your self-image, including your understanding of your authentic self.

How you think . . .

  • Your values and goals.
  • What you believe,
    • stereotypes,
    • religious beliefs,
    • loyalty
  • The assumptions you make, the questions you ask,
  • Who you trust,
  • The points of view you adopt,
  • What you value, how you evaluate information, the priorities you set, what you want.
  • The focus of your attention, what you regard as important and what you regard as unimportant, your priorities.
  • Your mood, attitude, and point of view,
  • Your explanatory style; optimistic or pessimistic,
  • The alternatives you generate and consider,
  • How you balance inquiry and advocacy,
  • Your level of innovation,
  • Your compassion, empathy, and understanding of others.
  • Your level of skepticism, and openness to new ideas
  • Interest, investigation, imagination, and curiosity,
  • How you choose friends and who you regard as friends,
  • Who you choose as enemies, and who you fear,
  • Your willingness or refusal to hate others,
  • Who you love and who you decide to hate.
  • How you learn,
  • Your level of emotional competency.
  • The integrated and introjected regulations you maintain and respond to.

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What you hope, dream, and aspire to:

  • Your goals,
  • Your hopes and aspirations,
  • Your role models.

This post was wildly inspired by Leland Beaumont

Inspired Reading  Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Getting Back to Happy by Marc & Angel

You can’t control everything that happens to you in this crazy world, but you can control your response to it. Marc and Angel provide a grace-filled guide to navigate life and find happiness regardless of your circumstance.”
—Joshua Becker, founder of Becoming Minimalist and author of The More of Less

Featured Artwork

Denis Sheckler

You are the Eyes of the World

From Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on Behavior and the wonderful expressiveness of the human body.

Wise men read very sharply all your private history in your look and gait and behavior. The whole economy of nature is based on expression.

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The face and eyes reveal what the spirit is doing, how old it is, what aim it has. The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul. . .

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An eye can threaten like a loaded and leveled gun, or can insult like hissing or kicking.  . .

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Pavel Guzenko

or in it’s altered mood by beams of kindness, it can make the heart dance with joy.

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The eye obeys exactly the action of the mind.

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Our eyes are projections of the self-absorbed movies we produce inside our minds. When we are lost in our self-delusional narrative, the imaginary stories we tell ourselves, we risk projecting our true soul.

 

Featured & posted drawings

Overdrawn Face Illustrations by Stefan Zsaitsits

Inspiration

On Trusting Yourself

tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640Perhaps stumbling through and failing at life sometimes moves us to lose the deep trust in ourselves that we need to thrive.

That loss of self-trust keeps us down, frozen and afraid to move forward.   Perhaps if we raise our “royal minds” and learn again to trust ourselves; no matter how many mistakes we make, as Ralph Waldo Emerson suggests in his essay “Spiritual Laws” we can begin to understand the importance of trusting oneself.

What a man does, that he has. What has he to do with hope or fear? In himself is his might. Let him regard no good as solid but that which is in his nature and which must grow out of him as long as he exists.”

What your heart thinks great, is great. The soul’s emphasis is always right.

Emerson moves me so. If I ever get a dog (which I will one day), I will call him Emerson.

On another random note, after reading Daily Rituals “How Artists Work”, I have added two  new rituals to my day – the act of taking an “air bath” – a walk in the cool air to cleanse my mind after a long day as Ben Franklin did every evening and enjoying a “sun downer” – a glass of wine like Carl Jung.  So fun.

 

 

Clarity in Times of Uncertainty

 

out to liveExperiencing “clarity” can be an incredibly liberating experience. The origin of the word clarity (latin: clarus) is so hopeful, it has ties to “glory”, “divine” and “splendor”.  Having clarity in uncertain times like these is not only beneficial but absolutely necessary to staying sane.

I very much value feeling free of extraneous worry and stress and have recently lost all need to ruminate about problems I can not solve. I take care of what I can, give everything my best shot, try not to hurt anyone and get a good night’s rest. I love this helpful mantra, something to tattoo on your brain

Do you have a problem in life? No? Then why worry?

Do you have a problem in life? Yes? Can you do something about it? Yes? Then why worry?

Do you have a problem in life? Yes? Can you do something about it? No? Then why worry? 

It’s just too damn difficult to allow myself to become overwhelmed by life. Clarity feels way too good to ignore. It feels like the burden of confusion and fog is just lifted from the shoreline of the mind.

Softening a Hardened Heart

I feel light and carefree but at the same time grounded and confident. Clarity certainly has its rewards and I have personally found that it is not something that just came to me, it was something I had (and have) to work towards and struggle with daily. It took a lot of work to defrost my numb emotions  and restructure my brain, while also listening to my heart.

This “clearance” came with commitment. A commitment to searching my emotions for triggers and a commitment to trying new ways of doing everything.

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I hope this post inspires you to be brave, bold and work hard towards finding clarity for yourself.

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New Ways of Seeing Old Problems

It is difficult to find the time during the average day or night to reflect upon one’s life; to check in with your heart and to examine your feelings. But you must. I start early in the morning with a moment of gratitude and stream of consciousness writing.

Clarity from the Inside Out

It is also challenging to only look within for answers because we will inadvertently reinforce old ways of seeing the world and outdated views of ourselves. This is why it pays to open our minds to new mental models.

A detailed plan of action will also help organize messy areas of your life and help to eliminate worry and anxiety about what to do next. Sorting out a solution and writing out a solution plan truly does add clarity.

Stumbling Towards Clarity

To get clear, one must take action. Take one tiny step with enthusiasm, trust your gut and move on and try something else when something is not working.

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We just came back from St. John USVI. A great place to clear the mind.

Regular Mental & Emotional Check Ups

Tracking progress with status updates and wake up calls fuels progress and keeps you on course. One cannot get clearer without measuring efforts.

Eliminating old cognitive biases eliminates making the same mistake over and over. This simple essay per day book has helped me – The Art of Thinking Clearly

Daily meditation will help clear mental clutter and exercise clears the mind with dopamine bursts to the brain.

I have noticed that some recommend supplements, plants and other ways to maintain clarity. This is a pretty good list here from @shiftisnow on Twitter.

I am curious, what do you do to stay focused?  Has finding clarity helped you follow your true passions?

 

Maintaining Momentum

How to be irresistibly relevant in your life and your career by taking extreme ownership over your future.

1. Adapt

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2. Update

I liken this to updating your internal operating system. Discover the essential actions you need to do, the specific knowledge you must have and the most efficient skills needed to become great at what you want to do.

3. Skill Building

Soak up the knowledge needed to build these skills by using on demand learning tools like Udemy, Coursera and Lynda. Education has never been more accessible and affordable. Stumble your way to success by learning, practicing and doing. Practice your new skills daily.

4.Tune in to News

Set your Twitter, Instagram and SmartNews channels to key words for up to the minute news and information about your profession, industry, career path or passion.

5. Meet Up, Connect and Communicate

Join communities of people that are committed to doing the same. It could be a special invitation on eventbrite, meet up or a Facebook group. Connect with others and learn from them. 

Emerson

#motivation

#mondaymotivation

Living Intentionally

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I have come upon a shift in thinking.  It’s the difference between living a life that is unprepared, off-the-cuff and according to the demands and cries of others TO a more deeply connected, intentional and thoughtful life.

A life designed to inspire and ignite others.

It’s a conscious decision to move away from my “ad-libbed” life, towards an artful, improvised life with deliberate purpose and meaning.

“My life is not an apology, but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.” Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson    Read Self Reliance

I will no longer live a reactionary life as I move away from ” making it up as I go” TO steering my life with clear intention and genuine vision, headed in the direction of my heart.

Honoring myself and the eternal verities every step of the way.

This choice I have made, to live a responsive and purposeful life. A deliberate and well-designed life sparked by deep inquiry.

I arrange each day in such a way that I am living thoughtfully, mindfully and respectively with the best version of me.

Inspired by

Actor and HB Studio Acting Coach David Deblinger 

Jonathan Fields

Michael Port’s Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life

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Mastery synthesizes the years of research Robert Greene conducted while writing the international bestsellers The 48 Laws of PowerThe 33 Strategies of War, and The Art of Seduction and demonstrates that the ultimate form of power is mastery itself.

Mastery

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In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The willful warrior, the worry-free wanderer, the mindful self-mastered and the curious creator . The spontaneous-seeker summoned by synchronicity.  The truth teller. May we all live intentional and thoughtful lives.

How are you living more deliberately today?