The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Decisions, decisions, decisions. They are such a big part of our everyday life, and no matter how many times you and I decide to go with the flow and let life “work out,” in the end we all make decisions that will have a lasting impact.
I like today’s thought because, once again, it is a reminder that we all choose our outcome. I know that many will argue with me on that thought because they have bought into the belief that life handed them the deal they have, and they are powerless to get out of the rut they choose to live in.
As you can well imagine, I completely disagree, and I am growing more unwavering on that thought. As I look around and see my friends and clients who wallow in their current misery, I am amazed how they refuse to see the path that led them to this dead end years ago.
Thinking about decisions, I have two friends who are on a weight loss journey. One weighed close to 500 lbs and the other almost 400 lbs. One of them lost weight by sheer will and working out and the other by surgery. Both are doing great. I am not sure what decisions they wrestled with before they drew their line in the sand, so to speak, and chose to walk, run and learn to eat a different way, but they did, and today they are different people. I celebrate them for the hard work, sweat and tears that brought them to their place of success.
They made a decision to change their life. It was not easy, and it was heroic. To watch them week after week, month after month and, in one case, year after year take this new endeavor seriously, showed us all that with their commitment to become the person they had decided to be, they made the change and they made it work.
So let me touch on a few reasons we would all do better in life if we were truthful with ourselves about our excuses and how to change the self-defeating chatter to something more in line with our personal goals and beliefs.
When I think about the truth of the quote for today, it leads me to a conclusion that admittedly stings. Your excuse or problem or whatever it is you want to tell me that is holding you back from becoming the person you decide to be is based most likely on the false assumption that you imagine you can’t have what you want, so you don’t think about it or work towards it.
That is a faulty assumption.
I am not sure how I can say that more clearly than to speak truth to you today and remind you that most of the hopes and dreams on your life list are doable if you will do your part. And that is the hard work that most people think about and then walk away from so nothing ever happens.
I’m never going to tell you it will be easy. I am here to tell you to preserve through the tears and want and desire to achieve the goal you say you want for your life. No one can do it for you, and no one is going to make it easy on you. I don’t know why that is, but it is the truth, so let’s admit it and move on. Frankly, I think there is a bit of crankiness in all of us that makes us refuse to make it too easy for the next person because we know in our own lives that persevering through the battle is what builds the character, muscle and strength for the future.
So, understanding and believing that you can have what you say you want and setting aside the false assumption that you can’t have what you want, should propel you to think about your goal, dream and desires and work towards them hourly, daily, yearly; okay, for the rest of your life. Because the only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
The other thing that I hear so many people bellyache about is the same old worn out excuse about spending more time on the things that really matter in life, whether it be their family, friends or football.
Come on, you make time for the things you choose that matter to you. The false assumption that there is not enough to go around, believing in the made-up scarcity mentality, is so untrue that it is laughable. Hear me. There is no such thing as being too busy. If you really want something, you’ll make time for it. We all make time for what we desire. It is not the time that is the problem. Admit it–it is the will that is lacking.
While I can admit that some things in life are not equal, the truth is that we all get the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months a year to make time for what we truly want.
You know the hundreds of reasons you need to buckle down and get to work instead of wasting time. The truth is, when all is said and done and you look back over your life, you most likely will be able to calculate the hours you chose to waste hanging out doing nothing (because you never had a plan) that you could have used doing the things you claim you wanted to do had you had a bit more willpower instead of being a time waster.
I know you most likely have to work, and I know that prep for meals, families, yard work, homework and office work take up a lot of time, but I also know that hours are wasted when you don’t plan your week. You’ll spend hours planning a week’s vacation, pushing yourself and your exhausted family to doing everything on “the list,” but then you return home and fall back into the routine of doing the requirements of life without any further planning for the few extra hours that could be short, fun, inexpensive adventures.
Last week Hurricane Irma came to my town and disrupted everything (not to a great extent thank goodness). What I saw in the disruption for many who had lost power were the neighbors who pulled out their grills, brought food from the refrigerator and made a street party out of it, families playing cards by candlelight, and couples sharing quiet time watching the fireworks of nature. The storm forced our hand to take the time we claim we didn’t have to create the moments that we had been given.
Please remember this quote, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot,” and you always have been, so if you want to become the person you decide to be, now is the time to take back charge of your life.
My final thought is this. I find that so many people struggle with who they are and what they want to be, not because they don’t know or because they don’t have a dream, but because they have not slowed down long enough to figure out for themselves what they value in life. Hard to become the person you dreamed of being if you didn’t set your path years ago or still have not given it much thought in the here and now.
When you were a kid, life was easier. You go to school, you graduate (hopefully) and then you get a job. You might be lucky enough to find someone to marry you, and then–lo and behold–you have a family, a house, a car, a yard and an image to live up to. So where along the way did you get the chance to stop and think about your life values or who you want to be? You probably never did. It’s funny, back then time was slow, and nothing moved fast enough for you. Now time seems to fly, and you can barely hold on between one year and the next.
I am sure you hear it occasionally when your friends and family get together and, in those few odd, quiet moments of introspection, they admit that they struggle to find a purpose for their life and it bothers them. They come clean and admit that they never sat down and put pen to paper to chart a path or timeline for their life’s direction because it seemed like such a waste of time. And here they are years later having accumulated the expected lot in life, and yet they still have a deep longing for something different, something important, something of value that will be their remembrance when they leave this earth.
So how do you fix it or change the direction of the presupposed outcome of your life? You start by deciding what you value, and that will determine what legacy you leave.
Starting today, you get to decide what stories and memories and good deeds your friends and family will remember about you when they eulogize you on that final day.
Starting today, you can change your daily plans to create the memories that will outlast you.
Starting today, you can unload the junk you’ve been carrying around literally and figuratively, and lighten your load and use that money and extra time and energy to create the moments those you love will remember.
No one needs flowers when they are dead. No one needs your tears of regret when they are gone. No one cares about your apology when they can’t hear you. So tell me, dear friend, what are you waiting for?
Not to be gloomy, but the truth is simple. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” So before another year passes, consider the things you have always wanted to do, make a plan and get to work on your dreams. Starting now, figure out what you value in life and even who you value in life, and then do the things that are necessary to make those opportunities come to completion.
Truth is written here today. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”