My girlfriend took this photo the other day on our walk. The walk was in one of my favorite places – Point Whitehorn. I love the meandering path through the trees as you head to the beach.
I have always loved this tree. I think the reason why is because it has such character. I mean, look at it, imagine the adversity it must have grown through to create such a twisty, curving trunk. It’s fascinating to me.
This tree represents life to me. The path of life isn’t one straight line from birth to death. Life is a journey that twists, corners, rises, sinks and causes you to grow despite what environment you are placed in. As long as we are growing, pushing ourselves to keep going, be better, and challenge our circumstances then we each become this glorious reflection of life in the world. Each beautiful in our uniqueness.
Celebrate what makes you special. Embrace the winding path of life you are on because this IS life!
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” A mathematical way to work that out is to take the income of your five closest friends and then divide by 5. It usually comes out to or close to your yearly income. The theory is that if you want to increase your wealth start to move in a circle of people that challenge you to “rise” to their level.
On the flip side of that, if you aren’t strong in who you are and where you are going, your friends have he ability to “lower” you to their level even if you are the biggest earner in the group. All in all it’s a conversation about these theee things:
- Don’t let who you associate with being you down to their level.
- Are you content being the average of your friends?
- If you want to grow and increase then find a group of mentors who are living In the lifestyle and financial bracket you desire and spend the majority of your time with them.
That doesn’t mean if you are on welfare and barely making ends meet that you try and hang out with Richard Branson. There are a lot of steps between where you are and where you want to be.
I didn’t believe this theory when I first heard it it I did the math and it was almost spot on. I also have checked when my finances are ebbing to see who I am spending time with, and yes, it was proven again. I’ve surrounded myslelf with people I would class as doing better than me and realized that they motivate me to be better, do better, stretch and grow.
It’s an interesting concept to ponder. Try it out and see what you think. You might be surprised by what experience in the process.
Double Dipping…. I am not talking about double dipping your veggies or chips in dip. Although I am sure I could make a post on that too. No today I am using the reference of double dipping in regards to the fact that for the next 90 days I have agreed to take part in the Team Heart 90 Day Live Facebook challenge and I blog. A lot of what I am doing in the 90 day Live video challenge is stuff I could just as easily write and post to my blog.
I guess I decided to save myself some time and share across platforms as I can and maybe not have to create double the content. Cheating? Um….probably but that’s okay it won’t be word for word, just maybe theme for theme.
So today in my live video I talked about taking action even when afraid. Now I am no expert on doing something despite my fear. I can honestly admit that yes, I have allowed fear to hold me back. I have allowed fear to make my decisions sometimes. It sucks. What’s worse is that no matter what I have told others I know the real reason I didn’t move forward, chase a dream, or take action. Living with my self after that is way worse than if I had just faced me fears head on and taken action.
Fear can be debilitating. Paralyzingly so. You can literally have a whole body physical reaction to fear. I’m learning to not let fear stop me. I’m learning to take action despite the risk, real or imagined. I’m learning to stop the conversations in my head about doubt and unworthiness and I am learning to quit making excuses so I can stay in fear. I mean, who wants to live there anyway?
Everything I want, everything I dream about is literally on the other side of fear. I have to want those things more than I want fear in control. Believe me it’s a work in progress but at least I am consciously working on it. I’m choosing every day to take at least one step beyond my fear.
Am I a raging success? Well, no but I can be as long as I don’t give up. As long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other. My point to all this? You can do it too. Just push yourself through the rapidly beating heart, sweaty palms, barely breathing moment and do it. You’ll live – I promise!
I believe it is important to have a dream that you are working toward. I also believe it is important that your dreams push you, challenge you, stretch you. I’ve also discovered that a dream should frighten you. Not to the point that you are too afraid to reach for the stars but it should scare you…. just a bit.
I think most of my life I have been happy with the status quo and been too afraid to reach for my dreams. I’ve settled instead of believing that I could achieve the secret dreams of my heart. The thing is, I am technically middle aged and I realize that if I don’t reach for my dreams I will never risk the chance of achieving them.
So, there are a a couple big audacious dreams in my life:
- Travel internationally at least once every other year.
- Visit every state in the US
- Become a published author
- Be a philanthropist and patron of the arts
- Earn a 6 figure income – through one or more income streams.
- To have the wardrobe of my dreams
- To live in a large house with plenty of room to entertain
They may not seem like amazing goals to anyone else but to me they represent an entire way of life that I have yet to achieve. Every day I want to move towards these dreams becoming a reality. It will require lots of growth on my part and hard work and diligence but I can’t give up.
I think to some extent everyone has some kind of goal(s) that they are working on. They may not be public about it but there is generally always a goal people are trying to achieve.
I try to set reasonable goals. You know, with easy to reach milestones. I try to be realistic in what I can accomplish but I also push myself not to make it too easy. I used to think I understood goal setting but I’ve recently begun to realize that I have more to learn.
Did you know that as humans we slow down our own success by slowing down how hard we work once we get close to our goal? It’s as if we put the goal as the highest mark and once it close we don’t see ourselves bypassing it so we slow down our progress so we only hit the goal, not shoot past it.
I didn’t believe it at first but the more I have talked to people the more I have realized it as truth. So, now when I set a goal I over set it. For example, I don’t just want to get my finances in order, I want to be debt free by the end of the year. Go BIG! Think BIG! Act BIG! Achieve BIG!
Do you ever get in a conversation with your friends and family about where they best place to be is? You know… the best place to eat, get a coffee, buy a book, see a movie? Maybe the best neighborhood to live in or the best place to work? Everyone has an opinion. That is just part of life. The key is to make up your own mind and not be dependent on other people’s opinions. The key is to listen to your own internal voice about what is right for you but I digress a bit.
This post is about the best place to BE. For me that means the best place to BE as a person. So here is my opinion (funny as I just said to ignore other people’s opinion!) I think the best place to BE as an individual is open. If we are open to life experiences and learning then we will forever BE in a place of growth. Growth is really important. If you aren’t growing you are stagnating and stagnation leads to death ad decay and seriously….who wants that?
Being open to life has been a learning process for me. Its not as easy as it sounds. Lots of situations come up and challenge me to be open to different ideas, different concepts, different traditions etcetera. Even in the middle of situations I have to verbally remind myself to be open and non-judgmental. I will say this…. I have found life to be more enjoyable when I have been open to other experiences and I have learned a lot by keeping an open mind.
So here is my challenge to you: Can you stay open? Try it for an hour. Then try it for two. Then try if for an afternoon. Then a whole day. Keep working on it until you are actually staying more open than closed off. It will change life.
I have a friend who passed away a year and a half ago and they were one of my closest friends. We talked about so much. It was so clear to me that he was an Agent of Change. He had this way of seeing people and working with people who allowed them to recognize things within themselves and create change. Real change. Lasting change.
He sometimes hated that chaos and disruption tended to follow in his wake but he didn’t see that we cannot change if we are comfortable in the status quo. We need disruption, we need challenge and trial to prompt us out of our comfort zone. You can’t grow if you are happy where you are. If you aren’t growing then you are stagnating.
It has taken me a long time to get to the place where I welcome change. To the place where I face challenges with an eye to how I am going to grow through the situation. It has taken me a long time to accept my active role in the creation of my life, good or bad but since I have I am realizing that being an agent for change is a really good thing. If I can help bring about change in other people’s lives then I am assisting them to grow and if I am an agent of change in my own life then I am allowing myself to grow.
I refuse to look at chaos as a bad thing anymore. Chaos is simply the universe shaking things up so I can see something in a new way, experience something in a new way, learn something that will better myself. It isn’t easy to face life this way but it is so much more rewarding than to think I am a victim to circumstances and have no control over my own life.