"You're someone that I look up to"
This was said to me recently. I struggled with a response. It is a huge complement and one that my gigantic ego appreciates. It is also extremely hard to respond to. Because I look up to so many people. I'm inspired by people who face much harder obstacles than I ever have. And when they tackle their seemingly insurmountable challenges with a gusto, it brings tears to my eyes.
Every day I see behaviors by people that I can either be disgusted by, or inspired by. I choose to seek out the ones that inspire me. And when somebody tells me that I do that for them I'm truly embarrassed. And honored And excited.
I've really struggled lately. I'm so proud of the business that my employees and I have built over the last 11 years. National Powersports has become a really big success. Over 35 people depend on my company for their livelihood and I take a huge amount of pride in the fact that we do things the right way. We respect our customers and appreciate how much they have supported our company. My primary goal when starting the business was simply to surround myself with people who felt the same way that I do about telling the truth. And the bi-product has been a very successful company. That is incredibly satisfying.
But somewhere deep in my heart I feel like I have a more important mission to accomplish before I leave this world. Perhaps this is a natural part of getting older? I am so concerned with how many people are unhappy. Unhappy about how they look. Unhappy with their jobs. Unhappy with their life. And I want to help. I wish that I could help more people to realize that they are not innocent bystanders in their lives. I wish that more people could realize that it is in their control to change.
I know what it is like to be miserable. I know what it is like to feel trapped. To (think that I) have no options. To feel like there is an elephant sitting on my chest, crushing me with depression. To the point that its hard to breathe. But I'm on the other side now and I am so in love with being alive. All I want is for everybody to feel that way. And the thing that drives me is that I know that we all have the power to do it.
But how? It has taken me over 12 years to get where I am now since I started changing my life. And I also know that the more I know, the more I realize that I have so much more to learn.
What I've come to realize as the truth would have made me laugh and possibly ridicule 15 years ago. It has come from a combination of reading books, changing my thought process, admitting to myself that I'm not as smart as I thought I was, being open to change, exercise, surrounding myself with other successful happy people, changing my views on religion, changing what I put into my body, and working hard every day to exercise and practice these new beliefs. Most of all, I've become aware of the connection between what I think and how it affects what happens in my life.
Our lives today are a bi-product of our thoughts of yesterday. So...what you think today will become your life tomorrow. You can change your life simply by changing how you think about it. It really is that simple.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
The quote above is often attributed to Nelson Mandela, but it was actually written by Marianne Williamson. Substitute the word God for "The Universe" or "Jesus" or whomever you believe to be the higher power in your life. Its more important to think about the message here. Give yourself permission to shine. That's one of the reasons your here. It is disrespectful to the rest of us to not take the gifts you were given and use them to the best of your abilities.
I don't know where I'm going with this post. This thought has been gnawing at me for the last several years that I need to do more for others. On a much bigger scale. I can't shake the feeling. And I've learned that instincts are very important. Ignoring them is a mistake. I know that when the time is right, what I am supposed to do will reveal itself. For now, all I ask is that you give yourself permission to be happy. You are worth it. We all are worth it. And we all can have it.