“Don’t be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same as everyone else.” -unknown
It’s easy to compare yourself to others and worry about living up to society’s expectations. Sometimes it’s hard being different from family members, coworkers, school mates, or friends. Those that try to blend in with others are truly taking the easy route; they aren’t required to think their own thoughts, so they just end up going with the flow.
Being different by thinking outside of the box is what has helped many people become great leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
Be an inspiration to others by forging a new path and staying true to yourself today!
“If you really want to do something you’ll find a way, if you don’t you’ll find an excuse.” -Jim Rohn
It’s easy to put off boring or tedious tasks, but if you want to be successful, you have to complete them. Many of us can easily procrastinate these menial duties (me included). Checking email, completing forms, and simply planning may seem unimportant at the time, but finishing every task without procrastination is a habit that will make you truly productive.
Completing long term goals, following your dreams, or just doing your job well will require that you finish small tasks daily. These tiny steps add up and can cause you to succeed or fail over time.
Choose to be productive today, so you will reach all your goals tomorrow!
This iconic quote is full of optimism and imagination just like Mr. Disney himself. Some might disparage these words, arguing that it leads one to believe that all dreams are possible. I would reply that those who dream are more likely to achieve their goals than those who do not.
Dreaming and doing can not live separately. Dreams are what inspire and propel one into the process of actualization. It is a rocket to the moon before the first steps on lunar soil. It is the hot air that fills a balloon before lifting it off the ground. It is the fragrant smell of coffee that draws one to drink a mugful.
Dreams can only be fulfilled by working hard. While dreaming is the inspiration, hard work is the less glamorous, nitty-gritty process that usually includes mistakes and failure. These only contribute to the journey of success. This middle ground of learning and discovery is actually where creativity and problem solving cultivate.
No, not every dream is possible, but it is more likely to come true if it is combined with hard work, discovery, learning, and patience. So start dreaming and start doing!
“Some people want it to happen. Some wish it would happen. Others make it happen” -Michael Jordan
Wishing and doing are two completely different things. Wishing is wonderful; it allows one to use his imagination to start planning goals for the future. But if that person doesn’t take action, he will be forever waiting around for something to happen instead of trying to actually achieve his goals.
It’s easy to look at successful athletes, singers, and entrepreneurs and wish we were like them. They worked hard, took risks, and took full of advantage of every opportunity that was placed in front of them. We may see an extraordinary lady’s end game and think she just got lucky, but the truth is that she got where she is today by taking action, working hard, and not giving up until she saw her dreams manifested.
Remember that whatever you do today will shape your tomorrows, so get started and keep going until you achieve greatness. Make it happen!
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” -John Lennon
Without dreams and goals we wouldn’t accomplish much. We might make carefully laid out plans for our lives, our years, our weeks, and even our days, but we never know what life will throw at us. I believe that to succeed, you have to make plans, but you also must learn to be flexible.
Life is full of surprises. Some are pleasant, such as an unplanned visit from a friend you haven’t seen in forever. Others are an unexpected burden like an illness that results in a mountain of medical bills. Those who succeed have learned to navigate through their unforeseen circumstances gracefully. This week, plan to be successful by working hard to achieve your goals, but don’t drown in disappointment if things don’t go your way. As you journey through each day, alter your plans to fit your life. If you want to accomplish much, you have to be flexible, and then you will truly succeed.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” -Mark Twain
I hate getting out of bed most mornings. I hate cleaning. I even hate the thought of writing on some rare occasions. Once I actually start a task, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. As a serial perfectionist and an avid procrastinator, sometimes it’s hard for me to get started on any work that I have to do for the day. I avoid whatever I have to do, because I think I won’t do a job well enough. Or I might get overwhelmed by all the projects I need to finish that I end up surrendering before I start. Instead of the focusing on the grain of sand, I see an entire mound; maybe even a steep mountain that I feel I must scale before my day is done.
As Mark Twain stated, it truly is easier to get a head start on work by simply beginning. As you start to conquer this week, whether you’re heading off to work or school, don’t let your duties and responsibilities overwhelm you. Take one day at a time or even one moment at a time, putting one step in front of the other as you follow your dreams and aspirations. If you’re writing a book, take on one chapter or one page at a time. If you’re trying to get promoted at work, do what you can for today, but don’t worry about tomorrow. If you’re trying to ace a final, study hard and do your best, but do not linger over one wrong answer. God has provided you with the energy, talent, and resources that you need for today. Make use of these, but do not labor ahead into the future. Simply begin today’s work, and you’ll be one step ahead of those who don’t take that first step.
I have lived in the same house for nearly all of my 28 (almost 29) years of living. This home is full of so many memories. Echoes of my past reverberate around me daily. Like a time traveler, I cross my own time line more often than I realize. Sometimes the ghosts of me are suffocating and sometimes they remind me how far I’ve come.
My childhood memories are like a distant dream. I jumped on a trampoline in this yard, I played with dolls in my room, and I lay on this same living room floor while I did my homework.
My awkward, uneasy teenage years were spent here. I cried in my bedroom as I battled insomnia. I wrote poetry in my journal. I got ready for prom and graduation. I grew up.
After college graduation, I returned here. I dreamed of leaving this place. I left and discovered that the real world could be unpredictable and unpleasant. I tried to move away twice, but returned each time and I’m still here. This house has been my launching pad, but for some reason, I always find my way back.
Almost every day I wish I was somewhere other than here. I complain about how small my town is and that I don’t have many opportunities here. It seems like I spend most of my time wishing instead of growing. Instead of blooming where I’m planted, I whine and become bitter. Because life doesn’t always go the way I expect, I forget how I blessed I really am. Though my roots are firmly planted here, that doesn’t mean I can’t learn, thrive, and blossom. This town might be the perfect soil I need to help me dream, write, and create.
If you feel like you are stuck as I do sometimes, know that you are where you are for a reason. It doesn’t matter your location, but what you do with the talents and resources you’ve been given. You and I must learn to let our roots provide a solid foundation for us as we grow upward and strive towards our full potential. As we let our past water us with wisdom, we will look to the rays of hope shining down on us, and leading us to a brilliant future.
“We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.”-Voltaire
Everyone hates waiting whether it is in the checkout line, waiting for a package to come in the mail, or just waiting for the weekend to arrive. We complain about stores that don’t hire enough cashiers and how we’ll never find our soul mate. We hate waiting for our food to arrive in a restaurant and for the next chapter of our life to begin.
What we fail to realize is that we don’t have to wait for overall change. Yes, waiting will always be a part our days, but that doesn’t mean we should sit on the sidelines our entire life. Instead of expecting happiness and success to drop out of the sky, we should take an active role in pursuing them.
In ‘Tangled’, Rapunzel spent years staying inside her tower, because her mother (or who she thought was her mother) told her to. She spent her days waiting around and doing activities to keep her from boredom instead of taking a risk and finding out what was in store for her outside. She wondered when things would get better for her in ‘When Will My Life Begin’:
Just as Rapunzel trusted Mother Gothel, sometimes we trust others instead of heeding ourselves and what we know we should do. Instead of following our dreams or doing what we’re called to do, we listen to the people around us that tell us to be realistic. We confine ourselves to a predetermined form of life instead of thinking creatively about our aspirations.
We hate waiting, yet it is so easy for us to wait instead of taking action. We expect things to happen on their own. We look ahead to the future for an event or circumstance that we think will make us satisfied. We should live more in the present, taking small steps that will help us achieve our goals. Life is brief; a few breaths and then it is gone. Life is what is happening while we are waiting for something better to come along, so appreciate today.
Many people are throwing around the word Yolo (you only live once) these days. They might use it to describe why they are doing something exciting or to rationalize taking risks or making bad decisions. The original Yolo was Carpe Diem or Seize the Day. It means to take hold of every moment, to attempt to achieve great things daily, and to live each day intentionally
It is so easy to get caught up in the routine of life: wake up, get ready, go to work, school, or church; eat, drink, and sleep. We make lists and check them off. We come home after a long day and veg in front of the computer or TV. We go to bed and then we do it all over again the next day, but do we stop and analyze our life? Do we think about what we are doing to make our life better for ourselves and those around us? Do we make lofty goals and ponder the steps it will take to reach them? Most of the time, we can answer no. Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost our passion, our joy, and our courage.
“You’ve lost your muchness,” the Mad Hatter tells Alice in the film Alice in Wonderland (2010). He’s trying to tell her that she’s become too fearful to kill the Jabberwocky. It seems that she’s lost her gumption and her sense of adventure since she’d last been in Wonderland:
We too lose our will to overcome obstacles. Maybe we’ve had too many bad days, or maybe we’ve merely decided to breeze through life. It’s easy to cower in the background. It’s easy to do as little as possible if we can get away with it. It’s easy to get caught up in our routine and never challenge ourselves to be a better person.
It’s harder to think deeply about our problems and search for ways to solve them. It’s difficult to try new things that we’ve never done before. Routines were meant to be broken and lessons are waiting to be learned. Therefore, we have to seize the day every day, because it will be worth it in the end.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”~ Robert Frost.
This quote can mean many things to various people. To me, it means forging your own trail. Instead of following the crowd and being marked as status quo, it means choosing the unfamiliar in order to reap the rewards of learning life lessons. Anyone can excel at something if they put hard work into it. Many, if not most, people can go to college, get some sort of job, work every week, and earn money; but can everyone invent the latest gadget? Can everyone become an entrepreneur and start their own business? Can everyone become famous from their fabulous talent, good looks, or brilliant personality? “No,” we think, so we don’t try. Some of us would rather get a degree that will most likely land us a high-paying job that will, in turn, lead us to an early retirement. Ignoring our God-given talents and the whispers of heart telling us otherwise, we might end up choosing a life of pain-staking work and count the hours until we can go home for the weekend. Is this truly living or is it merely surviving?
In ‘The Matrix’, the main character Neo is given a life-altering choice by Morpheus. Consuming the blue pill would allow him go back and live in the reality he once knew. He would be comfortable and not know that he was missing out on the truth. The red pill would allow him to escape the fabricated world of the matrix and lead him into the real world. Things would start to get messy. He would have to train and learn new skills in order to get ready for future battles. The choice was that simple: go back to his easy former life or be brave and adventurous enough to see what he’s made of.
Our society is all about taking the easy route: fast food, online shopping, DVRs and honestly, anything else we could possibly need or want can be found on our smartphones. We get angry if we have to wait at a slow traffic light. We complain if the temperature isn’t too our liking at school or work. It’s no wonder that we don’t take the time to follow our passions in life when we’re mainly focused on our own sense of safety and comfort.
Those that are brave enough to create their own path, follow their dreams no matter the cost. They know that if they don’t try, they will never come true. They define success not in what looks good to others. Instead, they relish in the fact that they’re doing exactly what they were made for. Instead of working at a job just for a paycheck, they may end up creating a job that fits them perfectly. They work hard at becoming a better version of themselves. They may make mistakes along the way, but each one is used as a learning experience. There are two roads: one leads to mediocrity and one leads to excellence. It’s our choice today.