Being kind, considerate, generous, warm, enthusiastic, encouraging, positive, and polite is always a choice.
Your quirks. Your interest in unusual things. The small things that bring you joy. The odd things you do because they feel right to you. The unique things that you find funny — or fascinating — these are the things about you that make you truly unique and different from others — and they are among, if not the most beautiful things about you.
It can take bravery to be yourself and exert your individuality, but the alternative — to conform — is to become less of an individual. While there is an implied comfort & safety in conformity, conformity represents the ordinary. The status quo. And it is the enemy of creativity.
It is ok to fit in, but to actively change yourself to be just like the crowd is to yield your personal power & influence to others.
Every time you change something unique about yourself in order to be just like someone else, a piece of the best part of you dies.
Don’t think of it as being “weird” or “different”, think of it as being limited edition. Be extraordinary. Not ordinary.
- It’s OK to be weird
- Not everyone will understand your journey…
- When you truly know who you are…
- Resistance isn’t futile
- The mock of shame
- The unique you is beautiful
- The problem with the expression “Be yourself”
- I’d rather be interesting than normal.
- Offsite: If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.
- Offsite: Normal is…
- Offsite: “Masks” by Shel Silverstein
- Offsite: Neil deGrasse Tyson: Be Yourself
- Offsite: Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine
- Offsite: Be uncommon
- To be yourself, it isn’t easy
- Offsite: Weird is just a side effect of being awesome
- Offsite: To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else…
- Offsite: When you are brave enough to be yourself…
- Offsite: Am I going mad?
As you progress through life, you may begin to notice that the more you own, the more your life tends to be influenced by those things. And in many cases, restricted and controlled.
It has been said that the more you own, the more what you own ends up owning you.
“He who buys what he does not need, steals from himself.” – Swedish Proverb
So it is wise to ensure you don’t fall into the trap of acquiring possessions for the sole sake of simply having them or assuming that acquiring that one more thing will finally be the answer to the happiness you seek.
The truth is, we rarely make full use of what we already have. And much of what we own sits in a closet, an attic, a garage, or a storage unit where it is nearly never used and simply takes up more and more space year after year.
We have been fooled by a consumer driven society that more stuff equals more happiness — or is a sign of “success” — but it has been shown, the opposite is closer to the truth.
The less you own and need to be responsible for, the more you are able to exercise your free will, and the more you are able to appreciate and make use of the things you have.
“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” – G.K. Chesterton
Be careful not to judge the value of your life by the material things you own — or you’ll find that you never have enough. The real measure of one’s wealth is not how much one has, but how much one is worth when they have nothing.
You can’t measure some of the most important things that matter most in the world. And yet, this has no impact on the tremendous impact they have on our lives.
It’s not the having of something that’s powerful, it’s what you choose to do with it. When one simply collects things that ultimately go unused, one not only uses up their valuable resources to keep it, they waste a tremendous opportunity to make a significant difference in someone else’s life who could actually use it.
Your greatness is not measured by how much you’re able to gain in life, but by how much you’re able to give.
Always remember that you may not be able to do everything, but you can always do something.
Whenever you catch yourself focusing on a problem or obstacle (which is discouraging), remember to turn your attention to possible solutions (which is encouraging).
While immediate solutions may not come to mind, you can aid yourself in the process by using the awesome power of asking yourself good questions and letting your subconscious guide you.
Don’t let what you can’t do stand in the way of what you can do.
A lie is still a lie even when you use it to comfort someone. Tell the truth, even if it hurts.
We, as a society, are addicted to the word “can’t.”
“I can’t [change something I want to change about myself] for the better.”
“I can’t quit [this habit].”
“I tried, I just can’t.”
“I can’t. It’s just not in my nature.”
“I can’t — I’m just not good enough.”
But there is a big difference between “I can’t” and “It just isn’t a high priority”.
When a person says, “I can’t”, it means they are incapable of doing something.
It does not mean, “I don’t want to.”
It does not mean, “I just don’t have time.”
It does not mean, “I don’t want to work to accomplish something.”
What many people actually mean when they use the word “can’t” is “it just isn’t a high priority.”
Before you say, “I can’t” or resolve to tell yourself, “I tried, I just couldn’t” — consider the following…
- How educated did you become regarding the aspect of the goal you wanted to achieve?
Sometimes all we need to achieve our goals is a bit more information about whatever it is we want to achieve.
Consider this: If someone tasked you with climbing a cliff — and you knew nothing about rock climbing — how could you possibly expect to smoothly accomplish your goal by learning from as-you-go experience alone?
- Did you acquire the resources necessary to help you achieve your goal?
Sometimes we have all the information we need to achieve our goal, but we fail to take the steps necessary to acquire the resources necessary to do so.
Consider this: This is like having the information necessary to climb a cliff, but failing to acquire the equipment (climbing gear) necessary to make your task easier.
- How motivated were you to meet your goal? How was this reflected in your life?
- Was your goal a high priority?
- If your goal was a high priority, how was this reflected in your life?
- Did you list the upsides of meeting your goal and the downsides if you didn’t?
Without proper motivation, even the simplest tasks can feel like a burden. We tend to lower the priority of those things which we feel less motivated to do — and raise the priority of those things we want to do.
When seeking to accomplish a goal, it is important to have the motivation necessary to see you through to the end of that goal. Always be aware of the benefits of achieving your goal and the downsides if you don’t.
Consider this: If your life — or the life of a loved one — depended on you climbing a cliff, your motivation to climb the cliff would be much stronger knowing a life was in the balance than if you saw no reward or benefit for climbing a cliff. Motivation matters!
- Did you write down your goal?
It is a fact that writing down your goals enhances goal achievement. The question is, if it’s so easy to do and has been shown to have a dramatic positive effect on goal achievement, why would you not write down your goal?
- Was your goal measurable?
- Did you track your progress to achieving your goal?
- Did you focus on how much progress you made vs. how far you had to go?
If your goal isn’t measurable, then it is too abstract to be called a goal. Anything you expect to accomplish must be able to be broken down into measurable tasks.
It is a fact that those who break down their goals into achievable tasks — and then track their progress towards reaching their goals are more likely to accomplish those goals than those who don’t. So the question again is, why wouldn’t you?
- How many attempts did you make to achieve your goal? Did you simply try once and decide you couldn’t do it?
- How many different things did you try before you gave up?
- How many days, months, years did you work at it?
This is self-explanatory. Making a single attempt at accomplishing a goal and then giving up, would be like telling your friends that your child will never walk because they tried once and failed.
- Did you have a support system in place or sources of encouragement?
- Did anyone know you were trying to make the change?
Depending on the nature of your goal, there are times that having a support system in place can greatly enhance the likelihood of you achieving your goal. Not only does this help provide motivation, but it can also make you accountable for the things you say you are going to do.
If you didn’t put much effort into these things before you declared, “I can’t”, it’s NOT that you can’t — it’s that you didn’t want to.
Your life is a reflection of your priorities. There is a big difference, “I can’t” and “It just isn’t a high priority.”
Did you really make an effort to achieve your goal? Can you answer yes to most of the following statements?
The breaking the “I can’t” excuse addiction checklist:
- I educated myself to the best of my ability regarding my goal.
- I acquired the resources necessary to help me achieve my goal.
- I was highly motivated and this was reflected in my life in a number of ways.
- My goal was a high priority and this reflected in your life in a number of ways.
- I wrote down my goal.
- My goal was measurable in some way.
- I tracked my progress towards achieving my goal.
- I focused on the progress I made rather than on how much further I had to go.
- I listed the upsides of achieving my goal and the downsides of not.
- I made a number of attempts towards achieving my goal.
- I tried everything I could think of to achieve my goal.
- I worked at my goal for as long as it was necessary to accomplish.
- I had a healthy support system in place and sources of encouragment.
- People were aware of my desire to achieve this goal.
If you can’t say “yes” — with confidence and brutal honesty — to the majority of the items on this list, then you are likely using “I can’t” as an excuse.
Live with intention. Every day.
- What you do in your free time determines what you’ll be doing when you don’t have a choice.
- Offsite: If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want…
- Offsite: If you don’t build your own dream someone else…
- Offsite: Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
- Decide what you want and do the work to get it
- Offsite: Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get
Not everyone will understand your journey…
The only person that is truly aware of your emotions, your intentions, or your interpretation of experiences — which is all they can be — is you.
As much as others may — at times — identify with you or your actions, it is impossible to go through life without occasionally being misunderstood. While you can control what you say and how you act, you cannot control how others choose to interpret it. And it may sometimes seem that no matter how much you try to explain yourself to others, they just don’t “get it”.
This should be expected.
Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.
September 30, 2015:
Today I am truly honored by Quote Investigator (AKA Garson O’Toole), who, after thorough research, has verified that I am the original author of the often shared, but rarely attributed quote, “Not everyone will understand your journey…“. Thank you, Garson.