Our lives seem to be so full and so busy that we don’t have much time to think. We act on impulse rather than with clarity and sound judgement. I believe we need to make time to stop and think, and evaluate what we are doing, how we are doing, and how it can be improved. We all have room for improvement. We all have bad habits that we could learn to drop. Notice I said we could learn? You have to be willing to admit you have a bad habit, and be willing to change it though. And that’s why we need to stop, and have reflection on our lives. We shouldn’t be going through our lives on auto-pilot, and do the same things the same way, because we’ve always done it that way.
I found some really amazing quotes that I want to share, and they did make me stop and ponder. I hope they do the same for you too, and cause you to make necessary changes in your own lives.
“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”
This is a fantastic statement. Forgiveness doesn’t magically erase what was done, it just means it doesn’t control you or your thoughts anymore. If you choose to stay angry at someone, it will only eat at you, and tear you apart. You will be consumed with revenge thoughts, and you’ll end up being bitter, especially if the person who hurts you moves on in life and is successful. Once you’ve let go of your hurt, if you forgive the person, then that event shouldn’t keep surfacing in your mind. You won’t be triggered if you see that person either. When you forgive, you release yourself from being a victim. Forgiveness is what you need to do, in order to be free from pain that was inflicted by someone else. One of my favorite quotes is, “Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you, for hurting me.” Indeed.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply.”
Oh boy. I have to admit in all honesty that I am guilty of this. I have been slowly training myself just to listen. Not to interject or offer advice, but just to LISTEN! My mom was a great listener. Whenever I went to talk with her, she would put down whatever she was holding, or stop whatever she was doing, and would direct us to sit at the table, or the couch, wherever there was somewhere to sit down. She would fold her hands, and keep direct eye contact with me, lean forward, and just listen. She never interrupted. Wow. I always felt so comforted talking with my mom. She was the best listener I have ever known, and I’m working on being able to listen just like she did. It’s hard, let me tell you, because we all have an opinion, and we sure do want to share it. Most people are not looking for advice, they just want to be heard. Be the listening ear. Offer silence instead of advice. I think we could all use a little bit better listening skills, don’t you?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Gulp. Yup. I have so many regrets. I have so many cringe-worthy memories of opening my big fat mouth and saying things that were not appropriate or right. I have gossiped, slandered, lied, and it’s embarrassing. I haven’t been doing that for a long time now, but in my early twenties? Yikes. I shudder to think of it. I have said things that I deeply regret. I am a firm believer in making things right though, and I have made amends to those I have hurt. Some have forgiven me, some have not. I have to live with the consequences. My conscience pricks me on a fairly regular basis, and sometimes I realize that I’ve done it again, and I’ve had to go to someone and apologize profusely. If we stopped and thought about our words first, before uttering them, I’m sure we would be more inclined to be careful. I love the acronym, THINK and the advice it shares:
“No-one is busy in this world. It’s all about priorities.”
Ouch. I wrote about this in another article. There is no such thing as not having enough time, or being too busy to read a book. Yes there is. It IS a matter of what our priorities are. If you like being fit, then you are probably someone who gets up at the crack of dawn to go jogging, or visit a fitness centre. People who work out and are in shape have worked hard to get there. They find time, and sacrifice time that could be spent staying in bed, or watching TV. It’s a decision. There are so many examples I could list. I had a friend who said she didn’t have time to read. But yet she had time to watch two hours of television. Uh huh. Priorities. Our lives are certainly different at stages in life. When we are growing up, we are busy with school, and homework, and extra-curricular activities. There are only so many hours in a day. We can’t choose how long we want to be in school, it’s a set amount. But all the rest of it is our time, and we need to learn how to manage it. Once we graduate and start working, we have work all day. Again, set hours. But what we do before and after work is our call. Once we get married and have kids, the kids seem to take up all our time. But guess what? It doesn’t stay that way forever. Learn to find moments to yourself. Plan get-a-way times for yourself, and maybe for you and your spouse. You need to take control of your life, and not complain that you don’t have any time. It’s you who are managing your schedule, after all. Make what you want and need your priority. Set aside time each day, or even once a week if that’s all you can manage, depending on what stage of life you are in. There is always time to be found, even if it means getting up early (and you’re not a morning person). Change your mind about it, and decide you ARE a morning person, and just do it. Trust me, it will change your life. Don’t let your negative words become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – either way you’re right.”
Our brains are pretty powerful things. What we say about ourselves is what we will do, and how we behave. As I mentioned in another article before, there is no such word as can’t. You are actually saying “won’t”. Try exchanging that next time you hear yourself saying, “I can’t!” “I can’t clean those pots, they are too dirty to scrub!” What you just said is you won’t. You actually don’t want to do the thing in question, that’s why people use the word can’t. They don’t WANT to do it. Grab yourself by your bootstraps, pull yourself up, and eliminate the word can’t from your vocabulary today. Tackle the unwanted chores, tackle the things that seem insurmountable, and say, “I CAN do it, because I’m amazing!” Try it – I dare you! Start giving yourself some positive verbal commands, and see how much you can do because you just affirmed that you CAN. If you want to learn more about your brain, and positive affirmations, have a visit here: www.success-affirmations.com
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
I love this. A good reminder that we need to be content with who we are. Each one of us is unique. There might be others out there that may have similar looks or qualities, but each one of us is entirely different. Even identical twins are different. Embrace that you are different, and don’t try to be someone you’re not. You do not need to be more like your sister who gets straight A’s, you don’t need to be more like your brother who is a jock, you do not need to be a mother who makes amazing birthday cakes like your neighbour, you do not need to try to keep up with the Joneses. You just need to be yourself. Don’t compare, don’t agonize, and most of all, don’t be jealous. Every person is different, every family unit is different, and we are all going to have a completely different life than everyone else. Who cares if you are skinny or fat. Tall or short. Loud or quiet. Blonde or brunette. Green eyed or brown eyed. It doesn’t matter. Be yourself, and enjoy it!
“The time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted.”
This is a good one. I had to think about it, and re-read through it slowly so that it actually sunk in. Wow. Profound. Sometimes we need to take a break, and sit outside in the sunshine with our feet up, perhaps drinking a wine smoothie with a book in hand. Oh wait that would be me wasting time, ha ha. I’m sure we all have something we could call a time waster. I really enjoy playing candy crush. When I’m working on housework, when I finish one chore, I go reward myself by playing a few rounds of candy crush on my computer. I love it! I find it relaxing, and enjoyable. So, really, it was wasted time, but yet, it wasn’t wasted, because I enjoyed myself, and the break it offered me. We can’t push ourselves 24/7 to get things done, we need to find those moments in time and do something that gives us comfort or joy.
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
What a fantastic quote. Perfect actually. It’s so simple really. Don’t get caught up in lying. Always tell the truth, it’s so much easier. When my son was younger, I always told him to tell me the truth, and that he wouldn’t get into trouble, as long as he told me the truth. One day I asked him about something, and he had a funny look on his face. I then asked him if he was lying. He looked at me, and then vigorously shook his head yes. We talked about it, but in the end, I didn’t punish him, because he had admitted it. If you tell the truth, then yes, you don’t have to remember what lie you concocted. You are never in any danger of getting caught. You will live guilt free. What a great way to live, right? RIGHT! Don’t lie. Life becomes so much easier if you keep this rule.
“What we dwell on is who we become.”
That is a loaded statement. It’s so true though. If we only focus on negativity, then we will become nasty, horrible whiny complainers who go through life crying “it’s not fair!” If we dwell on people who hurt us, we will become bitter, twisted, revenge seeking angry individuals. No thanks! If we continually compare ourselves to a friend who is more beautiful, is skinnier, has nicer clothes, then we will be green with jealousy and envy, making us again bitter twisted, angry individuals. No thanks to that either! We need to focus on our own happiness instead, and try to live out the life we have. If you don’t like something about your life, then change it. If you are fat, find a diet and start exercising. If you are in an unhappy relationship, seek counselling and change it. If you are in a job you hate, start looking for a new one. But for pete’s sake, don’t stay stuck in a situation and complain – CHANGE IT! Only you can make the change, no-one else is going to do it for you. Stop focusing on past hurts, and learn how to forgive. Focus your attention on what is before you, and live each life to the fullest. Have love pour out of your heart for others, and be kind to everyone you meet. That is what we should all strive for! If you have love in your heart, it will come out. If you are bitter and angry – drop it off, let it go, and see the impact it has on your health. You can do it! Try forgiveness today, and STOP dwelling on painful memories.