Don’t Believe Everything You Think…

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Most of the thoughts we have aren’t even our own. So why do we believe them?

We like to believe that we’re thinking for ourselves, but when we delve deeper we often find that many of our thoughts are really the thoughts of our societal and familial influences; advertising, media, education, parents, peers and partners.

And even when they are our own, they can be warped by fear, by preconceptions, by expectations, by surroundings, or by our feelings in the moment.

So when we have a thought, maybe we need to think about whether or not we should believe it.

And if it doesn’t feel right or true, just say “Next” and move onto the next thought – make no mistake they will continue to come without any intention on our part – until we arrive at a thought that feels right, that serves us. Not that indulges us, but that resonates, that rings true, and authentic.

This week try to sift or filter your thoughts and let the ones that truly aren’t yours to just float on by… 

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Rethinking the Bucket List

How would you live every day as if it were your last?  Go skydiving? Attempt to ride a bull for 2.7 seconds?

This TED talk is so good it begged to be shared!

Kathleen Taylor has spent over 20 years as a counselor and community engagement facilitator for the dying and has found that in the last chapter of their lives, most people become their authentic selves. They become courageous – they change their minds, apologize, forgive… they find joy in the smallest moments. In this TEDx talk, Taylor urges us not to wait until we are at the end of our lives to find our true selves.

Video from KarmaTube

 

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What Happened to Original Thought? Have We Edged it Out?

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Do you ever find that you’re so busy taking in information, that you have no time or space for original thoughts?

I sure do…the noise gets quite loud in there sometimes.

I have to wonder if it’s that we’re obsessed with gathering information…that we’re afraid to miss out on something…or that we’re trying to distract ourselves from the need to think for ourselves, because we’re afraid we don’t have the answers or perhaps because we’re afraid we do and we don’t really want to know what they are.

Is it information overload, obsessive curiosity, or plausible self-deniability?

An interesting question…

It’s true there are some people who are prolific thought originators despite the noise, but that’s simply not most of us and it’s certainly not me.

This week, try to slow the information deluge to a dribble and see if you can’t make some room for original thoughts. They don’t have to be earth-shatteringly creative, or innovative, they just need to be yours instead of regurgitation of someone else’s…

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How Do You Deal With the Elephant? And Why It’s Important

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Just think about this for a minute. Think about how you react when faced with a situation where there is an obvious “elephant in the room.” You know what I’m referring to – unresolved conflicts, difficult conversations, hard feelings, anger, embarrassment, hurt feelings, touchy subjects, things that make you fidget internally (maybe externally too.)

It’s that uncomfortable “thing” that’s there, you can’t see it, but you can sure feel it.

How do you behave? What are you thinking? What’s your strategy for getting through the discomfort?

We pretty much fall into 3 camps.

The Evader“If I ignore it, it’ll just go away.” To this person the thought of conflict causes a great deal of anxiety. They prefer to leave it alone and live with the discomfort. Perhaps they’re afraid of the consequences, perhaps they simply don’t know what to do.

Either way they turn away from the elephant and try to pretend he’s not there – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t…

The Prompter“This must be resolved. It’s driving me nuts. I have to do something.” To this person anything unresolved or uncomfortable that’s left hanging out there is a source of great frustration and anxiety, a thorn in the side.

They can’t rest until the elephant is addressed…so they poke it to prompt a dialogue, sometimes with a gentle nudge to start the conversation, sometimes with a sharp jab to get the elephant’s full attention. Again sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t – resolution or escalation…

The Accepter “I really don’t need to address this.” This person believes either the elephant is not a big deal, it’s not their responsibility, there is nothing they can do to resolve the issue or it’s simply not the appropriate circumstance. This is different from avoiding or ignoring. This person accepts that the elephant is there, but has intellectually determined that it does not require addressing for whatever reason.

What differentiates this person from their cousin, The Evader, is that there is no anxiety, only acknowledgement. It certainly seems that this strategy would be less stressful, but there is a risk of evasion being masked as acceptance and a reluctance to act even when appropriate. It’s a balancing act and again sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

One is not necessarily better than the other; it’s often a matter of personality, priorities and communication style.

But the reality is that the way we deal with the elephant in the room is also the way we handle life in general. (Feel free to Tweet that.)

So the question to be asked is not whether your style and strategy is wrong or right, but whether it best serves you. Does it cause or alleviate stress? Does it help get the results you want or interfere?

Something to think about…

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On Sharing Your Genius…

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We all have a genius within us and when one of us doesn’t develop or use our special gift, a cosmic void takes place.

Originally posted on DailyOm…So spot on that I had to share…

Each of us is born with a specific genius that was bestowed upon us so we can do our part to make this world a better place. All of us have a role that we’re uniquely suited for. Imagine our planet without trees, oceans, or clouds. In this same way, when one of us doesn’t develop or use our special gift, a cosmic void takes place.

This unique talent or ability may be hidden from your own sight like a golden treasure buried under shifting sands. Often, we spend so much time dazzled by the talents of others that we can overlook our own gifts. It may even be that our unique ability is something we view negatively. Perhaps we find it difficult concentrating on any one subject for long; meanwhile, others are thrilled by our ability to weave various ideas throughout our conversations.

Or, you might think of yourself as “frivolous,” when it’s likely your charming approach to life casts a light of inspiration that others can’t help but follow. It’s important for all of us to try to find our special gift and discover how we can best express it. Ask others to name what they think is your most overlooked talent or character trait. Their answers may change your life.

Explore these riches that are yours to express, and you may find yourself helping others discover and develop their own blessings. Acknowledge and appreciate the gifts you see in those around you. Tell your neighbor that loves to garden how much her green thumb enlivens the whole block. Thank your coworker for always greeting your days together with a smile. Tell your close friends that their ability to listen makes your world a better place.

Our unique gifts are like golden rays of expression that can encircle the world with light.

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