If at first you dread...
"Doing what is right is not always popular, and doing what is popular is not always right." -Einstein.
Think about all the activities that at first you dread, but you feel great for having done them. Those are the activities that require discipline. Discipline is not wanting to do (or say) something, and doing (or saying) it anyway because you know the positive outcome of having done (or said) it . It is doing what is RIGHT, rather than what is POPULAR. Most people are NOT very disciplined.. Only about 5% of all people are financially independent, and it's not because people don't want to be. It's that most people are not disciplined enough to be. So next time you dread an activity, concentrate on how you will feel when you are finished with it, do more than you intended to, and get excited about it. Go do it with enthusiasm knowing you'll be better for having done it! As a leader, the most difficult person to lead is YOU. Self discipline is difficult. You may dread it at first...
Input Leads to Belief
What we believe begins with a source of input. Something said to us; something we saw; something we felt; or smelled... ("whoever smelt it dealt it" is a subject for another day). And depending on when the input occurred, we have allowed that to become a "truth" in our lives. Allow me to explain the last statement: in our formative brain, we allow unfiltered input as truth until around the age of 6. After that, we begin to consciously decide what is truth with some sort of discernment, and scrutiny. The scrutiny that we use later in life (for most of us, after the age of 12) may be filtered through what we THOUGHT was true earlier in life. I have begun to look at what I believe, and ask myself if it is "true" to me, or is it just something I thought was true. I believe people are good, generous, compassionate, and honest at their core. I believe they sometimes choose actions that are contrary to their nature, and we tend to focus on those "out of character" moments to define them as cynical, negative, and hopeless. Most people are not like that- only about 20% are (another subject again #20/60/20rule). So what you believe says a LOT about who YOU are, and what is in your character and belief system...not so much about those "other" people.
Think Like a Rookie
If you ever want to get some inspirational motivation, follow a leader on Twitter, or read a blog, or a book. After you read (or listen), figure out what to do with the information you just encountered. I recently read a tweet liked by John Gordon in which the original "tweeter" posted an excerpt from one of John's books. The passage was about thinking like a rookie. (Paraphrasing here...) The rookie doesn't long for the good ol' days, he makes them every day himself. He creates the good ol' days that somebody ELSE will long for some day. He doesn't get caught up in how bad things are today compared to yesteryear, rather, he gets busy making today as amazing as possible, and makes today the most valuable day in his life. What will you do today that will make somebody's day better? What will you do to add value to somebody today? Get your daily dose of motivation, then do something with it. Zig Ziglar said that inspiration is like bathing- it wears off quickly, so it should be done daily. Acts of kindness are similar in that respect. Who will be your random recipient today? Ready, set, go!
That's How I See It...
A driver is driving very aggressively honking their horn and trying to get through traffic. The driver is flailing his arms out the window, trying to get through traffic by sheer will. You notice the driver approaching in your rear view mirror, and you think to yourself, "Settle down, buddy. We're all stuck here in traffic. You should have gotten up earlier, and don't be in such a hurry." Lots of other things cross your mind in this situation, and most of them are not very positive or kind, are they? Now, let's look into the car of our "crazy" driver, and see that his 7-year-old daughter is injured. She was trying to help make breakfast for her dad, and in a hurry ran into the edge of the kitchen counter. Her head is bleeding, and she is unconscious. The hospital is only 1.5 miles away, and the nearest ambulance is 30 minutes away. Now, how do you feel? Do you want them to get through traffic? What other situations do we jump to conclusions that we don't know enough about? What person do you give less forgiveness because you don't "like" them, since they are an enemy of your friend? What do you really know about that person? What do you need to do today to improve your relationships with others? Compassion is sharing the common human experience. Try it.
Dan and Amy Allen are Educators and Advocates for Students.