You can be certain that this year will include uncertainty. Yet that should not stop you from moving forward on the abundant landscape stretched out before you. There will be fears along the way. So we tend to dread fear. All uncertainty has a certain amount of fear. Seth Godin poses another alternative, “how can I dance with fear?”. Fear is not the enemy. Paralysis is the enemy.
So as you approach your day, week, month, year here are 3 things that you will need to keep your well-being tank gassed up. These 3 will serve you throughout your year with great results. Let’s call them your AAA CARD. They are always there for you but they only work if you use them.
Everyone of us will encounter high’s and low’s this year – with a little boredom in between. You will develop some deep relationships, and even deepen others. You will have some victories in business and life in general. There will be new children and grandchildren to brighten your life. A new pet will enter your world.
Yet the year will have some lumps and bumps along the way. No one wants to think about these kinds of things. But denying reality only makes them tougher to face when they arrive. A relationship might break up. A job might end. That back pain might be more serious than you thought. One of our adolescent children could make a bad decision. Or our beloved pet may leave us unexpectedly. We might grieve a family relationship that is gone. We’ve all felt those holes in our hearts and electrical static in our stomachs when losses occur.
This is where our choice comes in. We can go into a free fall or get stuck in a view of life that is filled with sadness and lacks a sense of well-being. The other choice is to face the future with a more sobering and improved understanding of our own experiences and the experiences of those around us. They have those same choices, but too many choose to live lives of quiet desperation.
Your attitude is the vehicle that allows you to choose the path you will take as you go forward. It’s not a crowded path. In fact it’s “the road less traveled.” Seth Godin reminds us, “it’s uncertain, but it’s not risky”. It’s uncertain because it leads to undiscovered territory. It’s not risky because it will change your life for the better in ways you haven’t imagined.
My 20 month old grandson is so much fun. He looks at things I take for granted and his excitement reflects a person seeing something for the first time – a raindrop, a sunset, the magic of a huge piece of steel streaking through the sky, an ant scurrying along the crack in the sidewalk. Curiosity is fueling his journey.
There are more than 200 known fine tuned perimeters for life to exist on our planet. Every single one of them must be met or the whole thing falls apart. How often do I marvel at that? I need the attentiveness of a child. Taking things for granted is an escape from reality. It’s exciting for him to veer off the beach path to pick a wild flower that amazes him. He helps me see the world again for the first time. Remember your first times? Rekindle those visions and reinvigorate yourself with what that felt like.
The side affect is that it will increase your attentiveness to others. Your empathy will grow. You will appreciate others more wholly. And it will expand your sense of well-being.
Faith Popcorn uses the term “brailing the culture.” Reach out to touch as many parts of the world around you as possible. It’s a matter of being attentive and making sense of the whole.
This is about being who you are. It’s a common trap to become what we think others expect. We end up finding ourselves being accepted for who we aren’t. Posing leads to fitting in – being accepted for what they want us to be. Authenticity leads to belonging – being accepted for who we are.
Authenticity comes from the word author. The life we are living is the one we are authoring vs. living out the scripts others have penned.
Authenticity leads to vulnerability and that’s the bridge that links one heart to another. Authenticity is about individuality. Individualism is living for yourself (self-absorbed). Individuality is accepting yourself (self-awareness). They are very different, and so are the results.
We are the only species on the only life-giving rock in the universe with millions of things to experience. What will we do with all our options that come our way in 2015?
It starts with attitude. It’s fueled by attentiveness. It’s expressed through authenticity. And it expands your well-being.