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One Piece

12 Oct

There are billions of people in the world. A billion is a number so large it’s hard to comprehend. There are people on every continent and every corner of the earth. Although technology can make the world seem small it’s quite huge encompassing a vast expanse and there are people everywhere. When we think of the enormity of the view we may feel insignificant. We’re such a small part of the whole human race we may think we don’t matter. Our personal lives may seem inconsequential and unimportant. But think about a huge, enormous jigsaw puzzle with billions of pieces. Each piece is small but if you put it all together and there is one piece missing it will be a glaring deficit. It won’t be complete without every piece in place. It’s the same with us. We may feel small in comparison to the whole world, and we are, but we are an important piece of the puzzle. We count and our contributions are valuable. We make the composition whole. Without us the world would miss an integral part of its experience. Our lives may be small but we impact everything around us and everything we do makes the world what it is today. No life is inconsequential or without value. We all count. We are all worthwhile and essential. Remembering how important we are to the whole will help us cherish our lives more deeply. We are precious and priceless. Everything we do has value and our part is necessary to complete the puzzle.

There are kings, presidents, rulers and others with incredible influence all over the world. They have the power to change how things work and what happens in countries and nations all across the earth. Although we may not have those attributes in our personal lives we are powerful in very personal ways. Our impact is felt with every decision we make and everything we do. We can show great love and care to those around us and bring happiness and joy into other lives. Everything we do changes something. If we are mindful and do the best we can we may change the whole world for good.

As we go about our daily routines and our personal issues we may forget how important we are in the big picture. Our choices bring changes into our lives and impact the lives of those around us. If those choices are made well our impact will be positive. If we are careless and create problems as we move forward, we may leave behind a trail of trouble and despair. There is no way to get through life without affecting those around us. What we choose will bring joy or sorrow, and happiness or grief. If we choose to be the best influence possible our personal gifts will be precious and may change the world for good.

Today if you’re feeling like you don’t count, and your contributions are insignificant, remember your piece of the puzzle is priceless. Nobody else can fill your space. You are the only one who can do your part. Everything you do changes the world. Be confident and go forward knowing you are valuable and precious. Nobody else can bring the gifts you give. You are important and essential. The influence you bring is unique and we need you here.

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Impact

21 Feb

The world is a huge place and there are billions of people living in it and going about their lives making choices for good or bad. As we hear about the many places far away, we may feel very small and wonder if we have any influence at all on the world around us. It can be hard to feel we matter when we consider the big picture. While it’s true the world is huge and countless things are happening all the time, it’s also true that our lives, no matter how small we believe they are, matter. We have an impact on those around us and as we make decisions we influence the world. We may not cause a tidal wave of change, but even small stones tossed into a pond create ripples that change the surface. Every person we interact with is changed in some way because we are here and every situation we engage in is modified because of our choices. There is no way to be invisible as we go through our lives. Every single person is important. We all have gifts to offer and each gift changes the world in some way. Believing we are insignificant is an illusion. We all count and matter in ways we may not comprehend. There is a reason we are here. Remembering our importance and how valuable we are will increase our confidence and help us understand our place in life. Our presence is important and everything we do changes something in some way.

If we live in a big city with millions of people it may be more difficult to see how special we are. When there are many voices it may be hard to believe ours can be heard. But every voice is important and even whispers will be heard by those listening. Someone will always hear us no matter where we are. It’s impossible to be here and not have an impact on those around us. Everything we do changes something else. Everything we say opens new ideas. We are integral to the evolution of the world around us. Understanding that influence and using it wisely will bring us great satisfaction and happiness.

Sometimes we may feel we don’t count, that nobody sees us, and that no matter what we do we’ll never change anything. We may think our contribution is so small it will go unnoticed and that our presence means little. But it isn’t possible to live a life with complete autonomy separate from those around us. We weave in and out of other lives and everything we do changes something. We can make our impact positive and loving, and we can choose the highest path going forward. If we do our best, we can change the world for good. Every choice we make will have an effect. We can decide to make the best choices to bring about positive change and leave the world better than it was before we came.

Today if you feel your life is small and insignificant, remember everything you do will affect those around you. You have the power to change the world. You can be the stone in the pond that causes ripples of goodness to flow forward. Choose well, be your best, and never underestimate the power you have to impact the world around you. You have so much to offer and we’re all better because you’re here.

No Limit

17 Jan

As we go through our lives, we travel many different roads and go to many places. Sometimes our destinations are what we’re seeking, sometimes they are surprises, and sometimes we end up somewhere we never thought we’d go. There are a lot of factors influencing our direction and even when we have a specific destination in mind, we may get diverted along the way. We may alter our direction when our plans change and modify where we’re headed. The future lies before us and no matter where we’ve been in the past, no matter what decisions are behind us, we can make the way forward any way we choose. We may continue on the same roads we’ve traveled that are familiar and comfortable or we can make a wide turn and travel through unknown paths to reach someplace new. What we’ve done in the past does not determine what we’ll do in the future, and where we’ve been doesn’t decide where we’re headed. We can go anywhere and do anything even if we’ve never done it before. Our lives belong to us and we may turn our course at any time. We know what we really want and we know how to achieve it. We can do anything, go anywhere and accomplish any goal we choose. Turning our path takes confidence and determination, and we have plenty of both to find success.

Some people prefer to keep their lives as predictable as possible. They feel comfortable with what’s familiar and don’t like to extend beyond their comfort zones. A simple existence that is routine and expected may be our goal but life sometimes has other ideas. There are times when the unexpected arises and even if we try hard to keep things the same, they change. No matter how much we prefer routine, our lives may take us to places we don’t anticipate. We are capable of managing anything that comes to us and even if it’s uncomfortable at first, will find our way through. We have an extraordinary ability to adapt and adjust to anything that comes, and we can modify our plans going forward and find happiness and comfort.

Expectations of others sometimes enter into our plans as we move forward. Perhaps our friends and families suggest we do a thousand things we haven’t considered. There may be opinions about where we should go and we can certainly hear them all and there is no limit to what we can choose going forward. We don’t have do anything the way we’ve done it before, we don’t have to do what’s expected and we don’t have to follow any norms. We can choose any path we like and go anywhere we want to go. Our lives are our adventures to design. They are unique to us and we can reach for the stars and make all our dreams come true.

Today if you want to expand your horizons to encompass new destinations, do what is needed to chart your course. There isn’t anything you can’t do and nowhere too far to reach. You have everything you need to do anything. Make your life exactly the way you want it. It’s yours to design. Reach as far as you like. You have everything you need to succeed.

Solo Journey

29 Nov

When we want to accomplish something specific we may have a driving need to move forward that consumes us. We become determined and our focus is laser sharp. If others try to help or join in we may tell them we want to go it alone, preferring to manage all the decisions ourselves and control our progress. But climbing alone will lead us to the summit by ourselves. And when we get to the top there will be no one there to share the victory. It’s great to win but it can feel hallow if there is nobody to celebrate with us. Including others as we move forward heightens our experience and enhances our feelings of accomplishment. When there are others with us to celebrate the victory, it feels more intense and the shared happiness is profound. We can do anything we want to all by ourselves, but if we let others share the journey the reward will be sweeter.

When we’re pushing forward toward a goal we know what we want to do. We make decisions that move us closer to the destination and keep our eyes looking forward. But when we do it all by ourselves we have only the wisdom and insight of one. Everybody has a different perspective and we all have gifts to offer. How we see a situation may be entirely different from the way someone else sees it. If we seek the advice and counsel of others as we press forward we have the benefit of seeing things through other eyes. Being able to understand a situation from someone else’s perspective may open up new avenues for us to follow and new ideas for success. We may see things we couldn’t see before. Letting others in as we move forward will broaden our horizons and may open up completely new roads to the goal.

When we want to get to a destination before anyone else it may be hard to share. We want to be the winner and prove ourselves, by ourselves. We can do anything alone and hope we’ll see every road possible to get there first. We might succeed but if we let others share their impressions and suggestions we have the benefit of many ideas which may get us there faster. We can always fly solo if we want to. We can always do things all by ourselves and show the world how competent and capable we are. But if we open up and let others share the journey we may get to the goal faster and more expertly. Two heads are better than one and two ideas offer more options than one. We can let others in and find glory together. And then at the top when victory is ours the celebration will be richer and more meaningful.

Today if you’ve been working alone and forging ahead by yourself remember those around you. There are many ideas and interpretations to every situation and you can’t see them all. Let others share the journey and enhance the experience by broadening your scope. You’ll get to the destination faster and more successfully. You can’t see every perspective by yourself. Enhance your experience by letting other join the journey. When you get to the end you’ll be happier as you share the victory.

Hit and Run

12 Aug

Suppose as we approach our car in a parking lot after doing some shopping we see someone has hit it while we were inside.  There is no note anywhere with information about who did it.  There is nothing but a smashed up car we now have to deal with.  We’ve become the victim of a hit and run.  Somebody hit the car and simply drove away.  Unless there is a witness who saw the event and is willing to come forward with information, we’re stuck with the damage and making the repairs.  It’s unethical to damage anyone’s property and not take responsibility for it, but some people don’t care about ethics, or what is right.  And so we have to deal with what’s happened.  It’s cowardly to hit anyone or anything and run away afterward.  And when it happens to us we may feel angry, and frustrated.  There is no way to make things right if the offender has disappeared and we are stuck repairing the situation on our own.

Ethics is an interesting subject.  We define what is right and it’s ethical to maintain the standards we set.  It’s unethical to impose pain and suffering on others and not be accountable for it.  But if we want to we can make all kinds of excuses for bad behavior.  The idea of “situational ethics” comes into play.  It’s a convenient excuse when we know what we did was wrong, but feel the situation warranted it and we shouldn’t be responsible for it.  For instance, we miss an important turn as we’re driving somewhere and need to turn around.  There is a no U turn sign but we look around, don’t see anyone and do it anyway.  The situation called for us to turn around and go back, and since nobody saw us, there’s no harm.  But the problem with embracing situational excuses is there will always be a reason to compromise our values, and if there isn’t we can make one up.  We are what we do and if we want to be ethical and honest we must choose what is right even if nobody is looking.

They say the best way to cook a frog is to put it in cold water and slowly heat it up.  That way the frog won’t resist as the water slowly warms until it’s cooked.  When we make decisions that take us away from what we believe is right and then make excuses for them, we are in the water as it begins to heat up.  The next time a decision comes and we want to step out of our standards a little it will be easier because we’ve already stepped away before.  If we keep taking steps further and further away from where we want to be our perceptions of right and wrong will change and our standards will follow.  And like the frog, we’ll be cooked before we know it.  We have to decide what kind of person we really want to be.  If we want to be firm in our convictions we can’t risk wavering.  We can’t hit and run and hope it won’t matter.  What we do always matters.  We can be strong in making choices that keep us on the road we want to travel and define who we most want to be.

Today if you feel tempted to turn away from your standards just a little to accomplish something, hold fast.  Choose well and be firm in what you know is right.  You will prevail and earn the respect of those around you.  You are worth more than you can imagine and your influence on the world is great.  Make it the best influence it can be.

The Straw

8 Mar

Most of us are pretty resilient. We can endure challenges as they come along and find our way through. We figure out how to go forward when things get hard, and we know what we want to do. Sometimes we get into situations where those around us make us feel uncomfortable. Maybe someone continually insults us or criticizes us, or someone close to us lets us down again and again. We can put up with those things for a time, but eventually we will get to a breaking point. We finally get to that straw, the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. We all have limits, and limits by their very definition have end points. We can endure something for a time, look the other way, and take it, but at some point we will have had enough. When that happens we have to change the situation. Sometimes because we’ve let bad feelings or resentment fester, when we get to the point of no return we may lash out and say things we regret later and make the situation worse. If we can be proactive and change things before that happens we’ll be more successful in changing things. We are all entitled to speak up and state what we don’t want. If we wait, endure in silence, and get pushed too far, we may find ourselves acting in ways that don’t reflect the standards we want to keep.

Some people are rude. Some people are mean, and some people don’t care if they hurt others. We all get to choose what kind of person we want to be and for some those choices are hurtful or demeaning. We’ve all known, or had to interact with, someone who was unkind or abrasive. Every situation is different and if our dealings with them are limited we may choose to endure it and say nothing. But if we must interact with them over a period of time and each time we’re uncomfortable, we can speak up. We don’t have to be rude or unkind. We can patiently and clearly say what is offensive to us and ask them to stop doing it. That may be uncomfortable at first, but often once we’ve stated our feelings, the other person will change their behavior when they are with us. Even if they don’t change, we will have more confidence going forward because we’ve expressed our needs and know they are aware of the situation.

If we wait until the last straw when we can’t stand one more moment of the situation, we may give up our ability to control how we handle it. It’s harder to control our behavior when we’re furious or angry than it is when we’re calm and in control. If we say something the first time we’re offended, we have a better chance of being in control of the situation instead of allowing it to be in control of us. We are entitled to feel comfortable in our dealings with others and we deserve to be treated with respect. If that’s not happening we can politely express our dissatisfaction the first time we feel it. If we clearly state our boundaries and say how we feel we may turn a turbulent relationship around. If we say nothing, our only option is to suffer in silence, which gets us nowhere.

Today if you’ve been insulted or hurt by something someone did or said, talk to them. Tell them how you feel. Just speaking up will empower you. You deserve only the best of everything. When you speak up you have the best chance of getting that. You have so much to offer. Ask for the respect you deserve. You’ll feel better and your confidence will rise.

Connections

17 Feb

We all love our electronic devices when they’re working as designed to. But sometimes they have problems and often the problem has to do with a connection of some sort. Maybe there is intermittent access at our location or we can’t get a signal to latch onto. If the connections for our devices are poor, they will not work well for us. The same can be true of our lives. We work best when we have good connections. If we have others around us willing to help us, support us, and befriend us, life is inherently easier. There are lots of people around us every day but we don’t connect to everyone in the same way. We build relationships with some, and are passing acquaintances with others. But every connection we make can be beneficial in some way. It’s nice to have friends to rely on, people who care about us and support us in our endeavors. But how do we build good, strong connections? How can we make sure our network is working when we need it?

We’re all unique in many ways but we’re all drawn to those we feel we can trust, and who extend themselves to us. We’re attracted to those who are warm and inviting, who seem genuinely interested in us, and who always seem willing to listen. Even when we meet someone new, if they are open and engaging, they will pull us in. It’s in our nature as human beings to want to connect with others. When we are near those who welcome us, listen to us, and are supportive and kind, we feel a connection. It’s a natural response to positive behavior. We all feel it and unless we’re determined not to get close to anyone, it’s almost impossible to resist. We want to feel connected, we want to feel part of the group, and we want to be accepted. When we’re around others that make us feel that way, we naturally draw close to them and want to build a relationship with them.

This life can be complicated and sometimes things go wrong. When they do we may feel angry or upset and need solitude to work things out. During times like those we may not care about building connections or even welcoming anyone into our lives. But eventually we may want to reconnect with those around us for advice and support. If we have a network of friends and associates who know us, who care about us, and who want only what’s best for us, we can turn to them for help and counsel. But we can’t have that network if we don’t let people in. We can’t expect to have people close to us if we’ve kept them away and resisted building relationships with them. It doesn’t take a lot of time to make connections with others, but it does take effort. Just like we’re drawn to those who are kind and welcoming, we’ll pull others close by being the same way. We have to be willing to open our lives a little, let people near us and be as supportive to them and we want them to be to us. We’re all in this together. We can either take this walk alone and face our dragons all by ourselves, or bring others along with us and share our struggles together. Two is always stronger than one. And as we navigate our days, any extra strength we can expand is well worth our effort.

Today if you’ve been keeping yourself apart and trying to do everything alone, reach out. There are lots of people around you who want to share your life. Let them in. Love them and support them, and be there when they need you. The time will come when they will return the favor back to you and their connections to you will be priceless. Reach out and make a friend. You have so much to give. Share it and the blessing will return to you ten times over.