Self-love and self-acceptance are the very foundation for creating positive, lasting impact on our personal development. Whatever our goals are – managing stress, reducing sugar intake, create lasting energy, embarking on a new career, starting a new relationship, working toward a healthy lifestyle, writing a book, getting into a new sport, joining a new team, learning a new skill, learning to live with a life-altering disease and whatever else we are working on – the first thing to recognize is that we deserve good things, and to be aware of our gifts. Recognizing what we have will then empower us to see what we can do.
Wherever we are on our journey, we’ll find lots of helpful information along the way. This “helpful” information can be both directly conducive to our goal, or send us on a path that distracts and diverts us. However it plays out, it all serves as a learning opportunity.
Lessons in personal development, in whatever shape or form they take (from courses, seminars, workshops, conventions, a friend’s advice, a mentor’s counsel, a compelling video, a rousing motivational speech, books, podcasts, videos, films, stories and such), are going to be derived from the author/speaker/creator’s perspective and his or her own life experiences.
If we follow just one thought leader, we’ll only have his or her own perspective, from his or her own life story. As rich and as amazing as those experiences may be, they are limited to just one person’s experience.
Where is our advice coming from? Our friends, families, associates and teammates?
Or is it coming from people who have what we aspire to achieve?
What difference does it make?
It’s kind of a big deal, actually.
Jim Rohn surrounded himself with empowering and supportive folks, and in turn, mentored and advised some of the most impactful personal development leaders in the world, including Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield. He understood this concept well – being around great people raises us to greatness!
Everyone has an opinion. However, experts have insight. They have experience. They give counsel.
Our friends may be trying to be helpful, but have you noticed how some of the most well-intended people have nothing to back their opinions with? Have they been successful at the thing you’re trying to do? Are they offering suggestions about something they’ve never done?
Or is our input coming from people who are successful at something we want to do?
I’ve noticed an interesting trend in the personal development space; advice seems to go from one end of the spectrum to the other.
Eric Thomas is responsible for this quote. He’s VERY hard-working, highly athletic, immensely intense, and delivers powerful motivational messages in print, media and in his speeches.
Then there’s Arianna Huffington, an incredibly successful master of media. She’s another hard worker who is seemingly relentless, and yet learned the important of rest in quite a scary way after she was hospitalized for exhaustion. It’s a thing. It happens. Huffington’s TED talk How to Succeed? Get More Sleep covers it!
Here’s my favorite of the examples – Lionel Riche. Mr. Riche started his HUGE singing career at 19, and at 45, developed throat cancer. He was forced to take three years off, and in that time, fell into a dark time. However, in this interview, he says that those three years saved his life. He mentions that folks who didn’t take any time off ultimately crashed.
If we only listened to one person in particular, we’d be limited by their insight. They may mean well, but we on the whole tend to be a bit dogmatic in our advising because we want to be significant, we want to be important, we want people to really do what we tell them to do (because it’s working SO well for us, right?).
I heard an awesome story about coffee: at an event, many people gathered from several parts of the world, and they all boasted that their coffee was the best. There was a taste test. Of all the coffees tasted from around the world, one was the clear, stand-out winner. When the folks asked the young man where his winning coffee came from, he said it was a blend he picked up from the store!
Here’s how I see it – we’re all given ingredients, and it’s our job to throw it all in a pot and make up our own favorite stew. It can be a shepherd’s pie-style stew, chicken and dumplings, gumbo, West African peanut stew, cassoulet, or whatever else we absolutely love. We can do a lot with all kinds of ingredients; some we can even omit for certain recipes!
We’re SO hard on ourselves. We say how we want to do something, don’t do it, and then get upset with ourselves when we don’t do that thing. Our brains go haywire when we try to process two conflicting thoughts. When is it enough?
Let’s aspire to be great. Let’s chase our dreams and SMASH our goals. We don’t have to take tremendous leaps. It happens in steps, one at a time. Mighty things are built progressively, not immediately; there’s power in the small, subtle things.
This is a lesson I’m learning in quite a visceral sense. I have to mix up my motivational speaker influence with my meditation and yoga practice. Most importantly, I have to do the things I recommend here. What a concept!
Let’s be ambitious and work hard, and also give ourselves a moment to recharge and refresh ♥
All my love,