This is a guest post by Steve Rice from Karmic Kappuccino.
She was sharply dressed with fine features and kind eyes. Her voice was soft and encouraging.
“Did you write this?” she asked, gesturing to the pages on the desk in front of her.
“Yes,” I responded.
“All of it?” There was the glint of fire behind the kindness in her eyes.
“You’re a communicator,” she said.
This was the first time anyone had so clearly recognized and observed latent talent in me and pointed it out to me.
(An excerpt from An Imperceptible Spark: Finding the Courage to Live a Life of Joy)
The Greatest Lesson
From that interaction with a business counselor at my local university, I learned the greatest lesson in personal development that I have ever learned.
This lesson is so simple and practical that it has transformed my life in every way.
If someone else’s opinion of you that is greater than your own,
adopt it until your belief exceeds theirs.
We’re all slaves to the insecurities, doubts and fears that attack us and paralyze us. This lesson has helped me to replace the “noise” of the call of those demons.
Application in the Real World
We each choose how to filter the voices that cloud our minds and hearts each day.
You decide the voices to which you will pay attention. You decide how heavily to weigh the truth of what they say. Ultimately, you decide the meaning of each message.
KEY 1: Feelings Follow Focus
Your emotions are generated from the situations to which you assign your focus, and your experience of your life will follow where you have put your focus.
Focus on the drama of any situation and you will likely feel overwhelmed. Consequently, chaos will fill your life.
Focus on the actual event (what actually happened, versus all the peripheral exaggeration and panic) and you will be able to think more clearly and will feel more powerful in the middle of the chaos.
Key 2: What Does It All Mean?
None of us can control what happens in life. The flow of circumstances is the flow of life.
All of us, however, can control our perspective of those situations that occur. We are the masters of our circumstances.
Man is not the creature of outside circumstances;
he is the creator of them. – James Allen
This is power. We create the truth of our circumstances and by so doing, reform and reframe them.
Key 3: What Does It Mean…to You?
This is the ultimate key. You decide what your circumstances mean…to you.
Everyone else around you may be having panic attacks, nervous breakdowns and public meltdowns. How can you retain your composure when hysteria fills the world you observe?
Recognizing that you have absolutely no responsibility to engage in another person’s drama—none—is powerful !
It is okay to observe another’s experience. It is okay to sympathize with the suffering that they have engaged in response to those experiences. You have no responsibility, though, to empathize (take on) with their pain and suffering.
Really, it is selfish to do so. When you engage in and take responsibility for another’s pain and circumstances, you have lowered yourself into the mire of the pigpen with them.
This is useless to yourself and to the one you would help. You are close enough to wallow in it, but not far enough to pull them from it. When you retain responsibility for your own feelings and circumstances, you stand at the edge of the pigpen.
This does not mean that you do not see or refuse to recognize the mess another person is in. Instead, it means that you stand in a strong enough position to extend to them a hand to pull them out of the mire, and if they will not (or cannot yet) reach for help; you stand as an example of what is possible for them.
The Crux of the Matter
When it comes down to it…YOU DECIDE!
If you feel like you are sliding and don’t know how to regain your footing, look around.
Find one person who is standing firm and adopt their opinions and beliefs. As yours grow stronger and as you gain your footing, you will find that you are able to move forward one step at a time.
Before you know it, you will look back and realize you’ve been striding down the path of success all along by taking the next step you could see.