So, you want to be all you can be. Well, it’s not always that easy, even in the Army. Too often, we choose to see ourselves somewhat contented with our lives and situations just the way they are. But of course when you are up to your waist in alligators, it is hard to remember why you went to the swamp in the first place.”
Bills. Health. Famliy conflicts. Life has real issues that we must address daily whether we want to or not. As a result, we tend to forget the fact that life has deeper meaning. There is the gnawing of “something” within us urging us to seek something more meaningful from life. But life presents challenges. Life presents problems. We all have them. Some small. Some large.
Even with what we perceive as problems, we shouldn’t be bothered or hindered in trying to become more than we are right now. As children we had lofty aspirations. We daydreamed about being a doctor, a lawyer, a fireman, an astronaut or scientist. That child continues to live within us, waiting for the opportunity to be set free, to soar, to achieve even though it might be short-lived or as long as we could hold on to the dream. “They” say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Let them say. What do you say? Are you ready to do things differently? Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone? Are you willing to change your thinking, just a little? Your answers to the questions that follow will determine what makes you really tick. Questions to ask as you begin to improve yourself just a little more—or maybe, a lot.
1. Do you know exactly what you want?
That’s the starting point. For example, “If it is a new job you desire, you must see yourself in that position being, doing, and having the things that come with it” (Smith 2011:120). If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, you will spend your days doing what others want rather than realizing your dreams. Make a dream list and eliminate items until you can clearly define what you want and can achieve. Set goals and objectives and work on at least one objective a day until your goal is realized.
2. Am I willing to make a change?
In any endeavor, we must change for a change. We must change the way that we think and we must change our actions. If you are not ready to make a change, the question then becomes “Why not?” Are we resisting change because we are afraid of what might follow? Or perhaps we are afraid of failure. Until we are willing to make a change, we will remain stuck in our current situation. Take the first step to change today.
3. What is the bright side of this situation?
“What you are looking with is what you are looking for. If you view your situation with optimism, you are likely to have a positive outcome. What you see is what you get. If I have a problem with you, it is not your problem” (Smith 2011:63). Throughout the day we have so much going on around us that we may not take the time to reframe our thinking. However, if we get into the habit of seeing “the bright side”, it will become intuitive and we will generally have an optimistic outlook. Let’s begin today to cultivate a brighter outlook on life and your possibilities.
4. Do I feel comfortable with what I’m doing?
You will never get out of life what you want. You will only get what you feel comfortable with. Prosperity is an attitude. It is a feeling that we have about ourselves and life in general. “To the extent that we feel that we are prosperous, we will attract those things that represent prosperity to us” (Smith 2011:102). This is true as it relates to your vocation, companionships, health and yes, money. We must arrive at a point in consciousness that we expect the best to happen to us and for us. But it can only happen through us–our thinking. Change your thinking and you will change your life.
5. Have I done all I can do?
All you can do is all you can do. Are you doing all you can do to bring the good about that you seek? Are you waiting for someone else to do it for you? Someone else to motivate you? Do you have a good excuse for having done less than your best? You must be willing to exhaust all possibilities in your efforts to achieve your goals. You may not have to do everything on your list, but you must to willing to do so if necessary. If your vision is clear, your efforts persistent, and your attitude determine ave you, or is there something more you want to do? Discontentment in every aspect can be dangerous in large doses, but in small amounts you’ll be able to see and do stuff you could never imagine doing. We will have the second installment of this two-part series next week.
J Thomas Smith is host of “Sunday Morning Live” on “The Real Sound of Htown” KMJQ/Majic 102.1 (9-11 cst). He is an attorney, author, keynote speaker and mental health consultant. Your comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @drjtsmith102 on facebook.com/jthomas.smith.12 and instagram.com/drjtsmith102.