How do you treat people who cannot (or choose not to) repay you for the good things that you have done for them? Do you hold a grudge, speak ill of them, or constantly keep score? Think about a homeless man in need of a hot meal, the elderly woman who cannot open the door by herself at the store, or a lost child. Probably none of these individuals could equally compensate you for any sacrifices you make on their behalves. There remains but two choices--help or ignore. Our minds easily jump to putting them out of our minds and going about our days. But imagine the good you could do if you took a small moment of your time or the change out of your pocket. Such a small sacrifice (from your perspective of course), could have a 10-fold positive impact!
Every season in life is full of learning experiences. One step leads to the next and we can draw on the past and walk confidently through trials as our wisdom grows. Our thoughts eventually turn into our habits, which determine where our lives go. Put your dreams in capable hands--your own. Don't let the "wisdom of the world" become the internal voice that guides you. What has your own life taught you? What experiences have brought you to where you are now? Think about what it takes to overcome the roadblocks in your life. What skills do you need in order to achieve you goals? Take a writing class to jumpstart the book you've always wanted to write. Shadow a friend who knows how to sew, or research a trip to the country you have longed to visit. The common denominator for all successful people is having the right tools to realize their goals.
In the face of conflict we might be tempted to just go with the flow and not make waves. The path of least resistance is saying "yes" when you want to say "no" and that road is always paved with regrets and mistakes. While compromise is good and a necessary part of healthy relationships, no one should have to fully deny their feelings and remain voiceless while others dominate a situation. It might feel easier to nod your head and passively agree, but in the long run you are being cheated. While there might be a whole list of justifications and excuses for stepping off the path of your principles, staying true to yourself reaps countless more rewards than selling out to appease someone else. Reconcile today the negative passivity you have displayed in the past.
Trying (but failing) to see your goals realized can be frustrating. Margaret Thatcher once said "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it," and she was absolutely right. You've got to believe that you will succeed! Never admit defeat as long as time and effort remain. Our greatest asset is patience; our greatest weakness is throwing in the towel. Banish discouragement and feelings of impossibility by working hard, doing more, and not giving in! A diamond was only made beautiful after millions of years as a lump of coal.
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