This is the time of year to reflect. It's the perfect opportunity to take stock of oneself and look to the future. The passage of time is relentless, so why not do it now? I believe there are some things that can help us all deal with our past, thrive in the present and plan for the future with some confidence and optimism. Looking inward can help us achieve balance, but some individuals never invest the time to reflect on their lives and see all the possibilities. They get caught in petty and trivial matters that can tie their lives up in knots. It's so easy to fall prey to the negative side and allow certain circumstances to dictate how you live. I'd like to share four elements that I think are destructive, yet they're things we grapple with almost every day. I'm specifically talking about grudges, envy, holding the attitude that the world owes you a living and feeling sorry for yourself.
Let's start with grudges. I know people who have gone to their maker holding grudges against certain individuals -- grudges they held for most of their lives. I know others who at the drop of a hat will tell you how terrible some company is because they were fired there many years ago. These destructive feelings eat away at one's soul like a cancer. Sure, life can be tough and it isn't always fair, but to waste energy on yesterday's events is foolish. Live for today. Get rid of the negative garbage and look to the bright future that's out there if you choose that direction. Grudges are for losers.
Then there's envy. I'm talking about people who look around to see what others have and then covet another person's lot in life. They're never content with what they have, just anxious about what they don't have. This is negativity of the worst order. It can destroy a person. Why bother to dwell on what others have? Work on yourself and what you hope to achieve, then commit to it and vow to persevere. Concentrate on your own dreams.
Another destructive pattern is the attitude that the world owes you a living. Many people honestly feel that way. They see life as one big entitlement program. They want a handout or a freebie just because they exist. That attitude will get you nowhere. If you go through life thinking everyone owes you something, you're sure to turn off everyone else who believes that you have to earn your way to success. There just aren't any guarantees in life, and the sooner you learn that the sooner you can proceed to grab the opportunities that are out there for the taking if one is willing to do the hard work. To think otherwise is simply a formula for failure.
My last piece of advice is to quit feeling sorry for yourself. We all do it from time to time. The reasoning goes something like this: I'm special and the world isn't treating me fairly. Yes, the world treats a lot of people badly. But generally behaving like a spoiled child isn't going to improve your situation. Find the positive in your life -- everyone can find something to be upbeat about -- and do what you can to eliminate the negative. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, concentrate instead on all the meaningful things in your life, like family and friends. And don't forget this country we're blessed to live in. Make the system work for you by giving every day 100%.
It really is a wonderful life. Don't let excess mental turnoffs get in the way of achieving your dreams.
They're out there for the taking,
Charles S. Lauer