If you think you do not have the power to make someone happy, think again.
It doesn’t take money. It doesn’t take position. It doesn’t take intelligence.
It only takes a smile.
Or a thank you.
Or a text.
Or a good wish or prayer.
You don’t even have to walk or talk for that.
(But, if you have money, power, and/or position use those things too.)
The problem with depression is that we spend too much time thinking about what we can’t rather than about what we can do.
Right now, I’m going to think love and send love to someone who needs it.
And the next time I feel useless, I’m going to do the same.
The world is full of people who will never tire of that.
If I just live each day as it passes rather than in fear or resistance of what might happen, I win.
Either way the future goes, I win.
If what I want to happen happens, I will not have wasted my time worrying.
If what I fear happens, I will learn and grow and become stronger (or I will die, which no amount of worrying will prevent). So, I may as well face whatever the future holds with a smile and be heroically sexy. (Courage and power and joy are very attractive.)
The alternatives are the antithesis of sexy:
- self absorption
I choose the attractive, sexy hero option.
Breathe life back into whatever is dying within you.
Relationships? A breath of fresh air comes with focus on the things we delight in about someone.
Goals? Fresh eyes for your whys.
Work? Life-breath for work comes with wholeheartedness.
Projects? Fresh air flows in with questions versus abdication. (i.e. What would it look like if it were easy?)
I tried it the other day when I was sighing about my stranded suicide prevention project.
I asked myself:
- Is it a worthy project? Yes.
- Have others given their energy for less worthy projects? Yes.
- Do I have confidence that it can help others? Yes.
- Is there one step I can take today on the project? Yes.
And, voila, the project has new life.
I wanted to argue with Stephen Hawking about this, but his tenacity made that difficult.
The movie about his life, The Theory of Everything inspired me to let go of my many excuses…
But, I have failed too many times.
But, nobody wants my work.
But, I don’t know what to do next.
But, people will laugh at me.
But, I don’t have connections or anyone to help me.
Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, also reminded me that the success of anyone’s work is the work, not the fame, or the fortune, or what the audience or critics might say about the work.
If there are things inside me that want to be born, why would I shame them into silence with my excuses?
(Original post 2015)
“How will I survive?” or “How will I be successful?” are the wrong questions. The important question is, “How can I be useful?”
Jim Collins was speaking to entrepreneurs and business owners in this quote, yet it has critical application to our personal lives.
While working on a suicide-crisis line, I met countless people driven toward suicide because of these two wrong questions just as the questions had reeked havoc in my own journey.
How can I be useful? is my new mantra.
Shifting to a simple surrender of our assets to meet needs around us restores momentum and sanity.
Fear-based decision making will always drive us off course.
So often when I have felt like giving up or despairing, I have said a little prayer for help that, remarkably, changed everything. It wasn’t a prayer of self-pity, begging, pleading, or hopelessness. It was a prayer of humility: “I’m at the end of my resources. I need help.”
Here are a few examples of the specific provisions I have received out of nowhere (each with quite a story!):
a victimless tornado
a turtle for my son
roll of quarters
hole in a traffic jam
reprieve from pain
crazy help with making a feature film
relief from writer’s block
courage for action
direction when I was lost
the ability to forgive
healing for a broken heart
Someone is listening.
Original post 2014
This advice is especially important for me when feeling weighted down or bound by my workload, sadness, self-doubt, loss, or anything else that steals my energy.
I’ll remember that I can be just like this doggie…running wildly, flaunting my freedom, and singing my freedom song.
I’ll sing it loud and I won’t stop until I am completely convinced that possibilities exist and that fences, gates, or bricks and mortar (physical, mental, or emotional) are not strong enough to hold me back!
I’ll jump and run and sing with passion…like somebody left the gate open!
Original post: March, 2013
Nothing kills my happiness and motivation faster than comparing my success or performance to someone else’s; someone who might appear wealthier, more talented or credentialed, smarter, better looking, or just plain luckier.
Since I’ve been down that painful road many times before, I now stop myself and repeat this mantra:
“Using my gifts to benefit others is my purpose in this life. That purpose and mission has nothing to do with what the purpose and mission of someone else might be.”
When things don’t seem to change or the fight goes on too long I have been known to quit. It seems the logical thing to do.
“What’s the use?” I say to myself.
People such as Lincoln, Gandhi, Mandela, Harriet Tubman, and countless others assure me there is a “use” for perseverance, good reasons to keep going.
Heroes are heroes because they continued on, resisting the darkness of discouragement, clinging with their last breath to the belief that right must prevail regardless of what happens to them.
Today, this legacy of character charms me past myself, moves me to a bigger life, inspires me to reach for the inspiration from the angels…and from the men and women who have changed the world for me.
Original Post 2013