Tag Archives: Influence

Chipping Away

20 Mar

It would be wonderful if everyone around us was supportive and kind. We could face each day knowing no matter what happened we could count on others for help. While many of us are helpful and willing to shoulder burdens with those around us, not everyone embraces that model. There are all kinds of expressions and some people are frankly rude and mean. Others are selfish and don’t care about anyone but themselves. If we’re in a situation with people like that we may feel stranded and alone. If we do something they don’t like they may ridicule and demean us. They may criticize and treat us with distain, and each exchange with them may chip away a little of our confidence. Continual exposure may leave us feeling insignificant and worthless. Everyone makes their own decisions and some people choose poorly. We can only control what we do and if we have to deal with those who hurt us, we may struggle to stand tall. It’s not easy to endure people who demean and it’s hard to remain confident near them, but we have all the strength and courage we need to stand strong. Those who want to chip away at others may do so, but we need not internalize their criticisms and judgements. We don’t have to accept anything that diminishes us and can simply let it slide away. It doesn’t matter why someone is being destructive, and it doesn’t matter what their objectives are for employing bad behavior. What matters is how we feel about ourselves. We know who we are and nothing anyone says can change that. We can stand tall, brush off any criticism, and continue forward with confidence. Our lives belong to us and we can choose to make the best choices as we push ahead.

If we’re in a situation with someone who makes a point of putting us down or hurting us, we can walk away. No matter what the relationship is, we don’t have to stay and endure personal attacks. We don’t have to fight back, and we don’t have to engage and defend ourselves. We can simply walk away. We can take control of the situation and take care of ourselves. We are courageous when we manage our actions effectively and protect our self-esteem.

If the decisions of others impact us negatively, we may do what is necessary to correct the situation. We may disengage our relationship with them, distance ourselves from their influence, and stand up and hold firm in response. We have so much to offer. We are good and strong, powerful and wise. We need never fall down under the criticism of anyone else. Our presence is a gift to the world and we can honor that and remember how valuable and precious we are.

Today if someone has demeaned you and made you feel small and unworthy, remember who you are. You are amazing and bring light and goodness to the world. We’re all blessed because you’re here. Stand up and stand tall. You are extraordinary and precious. Every success is possible and nothing will hold you back. Remember who you are and move forward with confidence.

Sitting Tight

19 Jul

There are times in our lives when we wait for something to happen. Maybe it’s something as simple as waiting on a train or a cab or a bus. Or maybe it’s something more complicated like waiting for a change to happen for something we really want. Waiting for a bus is easy. We can read, chat with those around us, enjoy our surroundings while we wait, or spend the time thinking. But waiting for important changes to occur can be more difficult. If we’re waiting for someone to change their mind, or for our lives to move from one situation to another, or for something important to happen, the wait can be interminable. Sometimes we wait because there is nothing we can do to move things forward and we are dependent on the actions of others. Other times we may sit tight in a situation simply because we haven’t yet figured out what to do next. If we aren’t sure how to take the next steps we may wait and see if things will change on their own and move us through. That rarely happens and if we wait for a situation to move us forward without doing it ourselves, the wait may be long or even endless. We can sit and wait for as long as we want but doing nothing will not change our circumstance. If we want the change we’re waiting for to happen, it’s often up to us to do what’s needed. Instead of waiting for things to change on their own, we can pro-actively move our lives in any direction we choose.

When we’re waiting we have no control over the situation. We have no way to direct our progress or move forward. Waiting keeps us where we are until something else happens. Because we are dependent on an action outside ourselves we have no power to determine when the needed development will occur. But we do have power over ourselves and we can decide when the wait will end. If we want to, we can take control and change our personal situation to move things forward on our own. We can determine to set our plans in place and take the next step. We need not wait any longer than we are comfortable for something else to happen first. When we’re ready, whether the anticipated change or development has happened or not, we can move ahead.

Sometimes because of our relationships we may feel we need to wait. Perhaps someone depends on us to stay where we are or keep things the same. Everyone has their own desires and expectations about their lives and if we’re involved in them they may have influence over our choices. We can keep our commitments to those around us and still control our own lives. If we need to change something and move in a different direction, we can. We can be kind and gracious and still make decisions that direct our lives the way we want them to go. It’s up to us how we’ll move forward. Having control over our decisions is appropriate and important. We know what’s best for us and we need not wait for others to approve of our choices or embrace them. We don’t have to wait for anything. We can move forward whenever we’re ready.

Today if you feel like you’ve been waiting for something to happen so you can move forward, take the first step on your own. You know what you want to do and where you want to go. You have everything you need to get there. You don’t have to wait. You can start today. Take the first step.

Making it Better

23 May

Everywhere we go and with everything we do, we leave an impression that we were there.  People remember us and the things we do, we impact our surroundings in different ways, and there is no way to prevent leaving evidence of our presence behind.  We change our environment every time we are part of it.  Sometimes the marks we leave are clearly evident and sometimes they are small but they will always be there.  We have a choice therefore, to either leave behind something negative or something positive.  If we don’t care or don’t pay attention as we go through our lives, our impact may not always be the positive influence we may want it to be.  But if we tune in and remember that everything we do changes something, we can leave each situation a little better.  Even if all we do is have a positive attitude as we attend to our responsibilities we may lift those around us.  There is no way to be invisible and no matter what we do, it will make some kind of difference.  Making that difference better helps everyone around us and makes our days a little easier.

Everybody has a bad day from time to time.  Maybe we don’t feel well, or we have pressures on us that are complicating our lives, or the weather is making our day difficult, or a thousand other things.  If we let our discomfort define how we act it can make things worse.  If we’re grumpy and pass that on to others, our interactions with them may be more difficult.  If we don’t feel well and ignore those who come into our circle, we may make a negative impact on them.  Things go wrong and we all have times when we don’t feel happy or at our best.  But we don’t have to share our bad fortune with those around us.  If we need time alone to get through our situation, we should take it.  If we need rest we should make sure we get it.  And if we must interact when we aren’t at our best, we can remember the issue is ours and doesn’t need to become everyone else’s.

We can’t control what comes to us but we can control our response to it.  If something uncomfortable is going on we can display that discomfort to everyone around us, or we can choose to be positive despite it.  That doesn’t mean being dishonest with our feelings or pretending things are great when they aren’t.  It just means managing our response in ways that don’t accentuate the negative situation we’re dealing with and remembering that no matter what we’re facing we’ll get through it.  Even if what we’re going through feels like the end of the world, in time we’ll move on to something better.  If we focus on the big picture and trust ourselves we will face our challenges more confidently and positively.  If we choose to be an example of grace, patience, endurance, and peace even when we’re working out a problem, our influence on those around us will be positive and uplifting.  Everything we do will make a difference.  We can make that difference a benefit and be a blessing.

Today if you’re feeling down or angry or upset or frustrated or whatever, and not at your best, remember you can manage anything that comes to you.  You have a lot of influence over those around you.  You’re going to touch a lot of people every day.  Let that touch be kind, loving, and patient.  Your consideration will return to you over and over and everyone, including you, will be happier because of it.

Not This Again

27 Apr

We learn a lot as we go through our lives. Each day brings opportunities to learn new things, develop new skills and new behaviors. Sometimes trials come upon us and we try to overcome them, or solve them, or just try to get through them. But we all have lessons to learn. If we learn what is needed to get through a situation, we can move forward. No matter what problems come upon us, they aren’t permanent and will eventually go away again. However, if we didn’t learn anything from the experience, and only endured it until it changed, odds are good we’ll get to go through it again. Life has a way of looping our problems back around when we don’t figure out how to solve them.  If we never change our patterns or response to an issue, it may become a recurring nightmare. Given that, it’s in our best interest to try and not only endure our problems, but take the time to figure out why we have them, and then do what is needed to solve them once and for all.

Practice is the key to proficiency in most cases. When we’re learning a new skill the more we do it, the better we get at it. Repetition helps us remember how things are done and effectively teaches us new patterns. But repetition in our problems isn’t always pro-active. Having the same problem over and over doesn’t make us better people. It doesn’t make us proficient at anything but going through the same thing again and again. If we find ourselves in a familiar situation that is unpleasant and difficult to manage, the familiarity is our clue that we have something to learn. If we look at the situation objectively we can identify what we need to do to prevent it from returning.  Identifying the underlying issue is just the first step though. After we see what needs to change to prevent the same problem from recurring, we must adopt the change to end it. Just understanding what causes the situation is never enough. If we want to stop repeating the same behaviors, we actually have to stop repeating the same behaviors.

We are in charge of our lives. Sometimes the difficult issues we face over and over again come to us because of our associations with others. Perhaps they aren’t the best influence in our lives, maybe they have personal issues that impact us, or maybe they exercise authority over us in unproductive ways. If contact with them brings us hardship we may choose to distance ourselves from them or eliminate our interactions altogether. If the relationship is important to us, or has been in our lives for a long time, that decision may be difficult. We don’t want to hurt others but it’s important to recognize when our relationships are hurting us. If they are, we can modify them so we can move forward. We know what we need better than anyone else. If we need a change, we can make it. We are completely capable of managing our lives in positive and beneficial ways that bring us happiness and peace.

Today if you’re facing the same problem you’ve faced before and want to move forward, look at the situation clearly and see what you need to do to change. You can make any change you need to be happy. You are capable of understanding what needs to be done. Learn everything you can this time around and solve the problem once and for all. Look ahead and see where you want to be. And then, do what it takes to get there.

I Wish

13 Jan

We have so many decisions to make in our lives.  They come at us from all directions at all times and in all ways.  There are the simple ones we make without even thinking about them and then there are the ones that leave us tremulous and worried.  We all want to make good decisions, and mostly we do, but sometimes because we don’t have all the information, or someone has deceived us, or things change unexpectedly, the decisions we make end up badly.  When that happens we may have regrets and wish things had gone differently.  Unfortunately it’s impossible to know everything or what’s coming.  We have to choose from where we are and see things as they seem at that moment.  When we look back and regret a choice we made and wish things had gone differently, we must remember that we may not have known then what we know now.  It’s hard when things go south and we get hurt because of a choice we’ve made, but nothing is certain in this life and sometimes we don’t have all the facts available to us.  No matter what’s happened, we can only go forward from where we are.  Learning from the past will help us choose more wisely the next time, but the decisions that have been made will remain forever.

We all have some regrets.  It’s impossible to live our lives perfectly and make the absolute correct decision every single time.  Sometimes things will go wrong.  And sometimes it’ll be because of something we chose.  Nobody makes decisions that bring them pain and heartache on purpose.  We do the best we can where we are.  If we take the time to see the whole picture, and ponder the ramifications of our decisions we have a better chance of things going well.  When they go well, we often don’t even think twice and just proceed on with our lives.  But when there’s a sudden stop, when something we’ve decided causes problems, our attention is clearly focused on the situation.  We may question our decision, we may regret our choice, and we may obsess over what we think we should have done, but nothing can change what’s happened.  The best we can do is move forward and amend the situation the best we can.

If our decisions are highly influenced by those around us, we may be heavily impacted.  We may doubt our ability to make good decisions without their input and if we get bad advice, we may choose a path that doesn’t work.  But we don’t need to rely on others to make good choices.  We have everything we need inside ourselves to choose well.  We can look at any situation objectively, weigh our options and if we want advice we can ask for it, but in the end we can make the best decision ourselves.  Wishing and hoping for things to go well will not ensure a good outcome.  Only by taking the time we need to evaluate the situation and see all the possible outcomes can we make the best choices possible.  Then if things go wrong we will be confident that we did the best we could.  And that confidence will carry us through until the situation improves.

Today if you’re concerned about a decision you’ve made, if you have some regret over the choice involved, remember you made the decision with all the facts you had at the time.  If things don’t go as planned, you can adjust your focus and alter your plans going forward.  Setbacks teach us how to go forward.  Be confident.  You are capable of making excellent decisions and you can choose wisely.

Sunday Drive

18 Nov

We get a lot of advice from others around us. Family members may tell us what they think we should be doing, bosses may tell us how they want us to go forward, friends may tell us what we should change, and it seems everyone in our circle has an opinion about how we’re living our lives. There is nothing wrong with getting advice, but if we did what everyone else thought we should be doing, we might end up doing nothing we want to do. It’s easy to be swayed by someone close to us when they tell us what they think we need to hear. And sometimes we may even believe they know more about us than we do. But we are the experts on ourselves, and we know what we want and need better than anyone else. We can be confident in making our own choices and we can be independent of those around us. We love them, but we control our lives, and we can manage them our way.

Having confidence in the ability to manage our own lives comes easily for some, but is more difficult for others. If we’ve been held tightly and given a lot of supervision and direction, we may come to rely on that support. Over time if we continue to let others make our decisions, or heavily influence us, we might not realize what we really want. Going along is easy. We just do what we’re told and play the game. But the problem with going along is that we may get lost in doing what someone else has decided and over time may forget that we, too, have a voice.  And our voices are valuable. We are just as relevant and important as anyone else. If we continually sit in the back seat and just ride along with other people’s plans, we can’t drive our lives where we want to go.

Speaking up and saying what we want empowers us and gives us confidence. We don’t have to be forceful, or domineering, but we can state our preferences. If others disagree, we can accept that and still be confident in doing whatever is best for us. Our lives are unique, and we get to decide where they go, what we do, and how we’ll go forward. We can think about what we want, and then we can do what it takes to get it. There is nothing that will stop us if we want something badly enough. Other opinions may be valuable and we may listen to them, but when it comes to making the decision, we can determine which way to go. Nobody knows us better than we do. We know what we want, and we certainly have everything we need to achieve it.

Today if you’ve been going along and taking lots of advice, remember that you can choose your own course. You can decide what’s best for you. Your life is yours and you have everything you need to make the best decisions. Be confident. Whatever you choose to do will be right for you. Design your life exactly as you like, and it will be perfect.


31 Oct

Most of us have watched some sort of crime movie and seen investigators look at the evidence available at a crime scene and brush for fingerprints. Because we all have unique prints, if we’ve been somewhere and touched anything, we leave behind proof we were there. Every whirl and curve on our fingertips is ours alone, just like every thought, every action, and every expression we share. When we think of the billions of people on the planet and understand that we are the only ones exactly like us, it’s astounding. Even if someone looks like us, they can never be our exact replica. While we may share similarities, there is nobody anywhere identical to us. Even identical twins aren’t completely identical. We are it – the one and only.

Because we are unique, our life experiences are unique as well. We have the power to impact others in ways only we can. The impact we make can’t be made by anyone else. There is something divine about that. Wherever we step, whatever we say, and whatever we do can never be duplicated exactly by anyone else. As we navigate our lives, we will touch many others and if that contact is positive our impact will be beneficial. However, if we are negative, if we are rude and unkind, if we are uncaring and mean, that impact will be felt as well. This is our time to make a mark. The type of mark we leave is up to us. Nobody can live our lives for us. We are the ones who will decide.

We all make mistakes, and sometimes we have regrets about something we’ve done. There is no blueprint for our lives or instruction manual that tells us to watch out for certain events or warn us about certain people. We learn as we go. Each day we get more information. What we do with that is up to us. Sometimes we choose well, and sometimes we falter. But over the course of time we learn what works and what doesn’t, and if we’re wise we concentrate on the things that bring hope and happiness to us and those around us. This life is a one-time shot. We get the chance every day to make a difference. If we make those differences positive, our mark will be impressive. We have the power to be an influence for good. We can change the world one action at a time. Remembering that power is important, but whether we remember it or not, it’s always there. We can choose the higher way, we can choose to be noble, and we will find peace and happiness if we do.

Today, choose to make the best mark you can. Be kind, be caring, and be thoughtful. Your gift to the world is yours alone. Make it count. You have the power to change the world one day at a time. Make decisions that bring happiness to you and those around you. Be wise and you’ll never regret your choices.