Archives for category: Self Respect

Accountability_wordle
Accountability.

Today’s Virtue is Accountability. For any challenge or self-improvement one undertakes, it is best to be held accountable to stay on track. Yesterday’s first post for my Gratitude Challenge: Using the Virtues started with Acceptance. When we are held accountable, we achieve much more than we expected. It forces us to drum up our essence, the excellence within, that we might pay less attention to when we think no one is watching. Many challenges I’ve participated in require a partner to ensure my goals are met. Much of the time, the community built around the challenges provide an equal push. I am grateful for all who share the same path during the challenges, especially the accountability partners. To ensure actions are completed, each of us must admit whether or not we have done the work. No fudging the truth; sometimes I must explain my actions, or lack of action during the challenges.

Each of us is accountable for what we do in life – it’s one of the more strict virtues in the list. It suggests that we are weak and tend to shirk responsibility. Ouch. I’ll admit to having let a goal or two dissolve during my lifetime. I don’t always fill the shoes I intend to fill. This blog might be one of them. Sometimes we can justify it by calling it choice. When I choose to write, I will. Or I might say that I need some inspiration to write. Well, where does that inspiration come from? It depends on what I want to achieve. What about setting goals to lose weight or write that book? It might be difficult to be inspired to live out a dream.

I am reminded of a poem by Langston Hughes, called “Harlem.” The first line asks the very question many of us ask, “What happens to a dream deferred?” Because this line is so famous, most people think the title should match. Without a community built around the same goals, we end up in the same place we started – with a dream without action.

For major goals in life, seeking out someone to partner with is extremely helpful. I’ve gone through some strict detoxes over the past couple of years. Without others who inspire me to make sure I’m drinking my green smoothie or walking 10,000 steps each day, the tasks seem too hard to accomplish on my own. A cheerleader on my side is a blessing. I feel stronger than ever to maintain my convictions for healthy living.

Does this mean that we cannot be accountable on our own? No. Not at all. Sometimes the goal is enough. Many people are certain that as long as we know why we want to achieve some major change, we will do it based on a strong will and determination. Thank goodness, perseverance is instilled in all of us at birth. We have heard about the many who have achieved great things. We are no different.

I am thankful to find the wonderful people in my networks who help me to be my best even when I don’t feel up to it. Be accountable; practice making it a habit. Find an accountability partner to ensure you meet your goals. In return, be an accountability partner who helps another achieve a goal.

Joy,
Cheryl

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Success is not measured¬†by the amount of material wealth you’ve accumulated; it is measured by the valuable lessons you’ve learned.

Joy,

Cheryl

Mountain View of Lake Tahoe

Mountain View at Lake Tahoe

2015-04-25 14.13.25

Sometimes, flying alone is the key.

Have you ever been asked to do something that just didn’t feel right? Giving into peer pressure can hurt your sense of self awareness and self-respect. In these types of instances, some people will try to convince you to do something you would not necessarily do on your own accord. The suggested task makes you feel some sort of way that may or may not be immediately explained. Whatever it is that is asked of you usually comes from someone else’s agenda. And it might not be a positive agenda at that. The task or event might be something they were pressured into and don’t want to go it alone. For your own sake, don’t do it. The pressure you feel is precisely why they call it Peer Pressure.

Now, you may be tempted at first, especially if approached by a friend, but don’t give in. Chances are, those who ask you to do something against your nature are only involved in themselves and their own reasons (self-centered). And for that, they will not miss you if you decide not to go ahead with their wishes. Remember, you never have to give in to any situation in which you do not feel comfortable. In the future, you may have to re-evaluate your friends.

It is when you break free from giving into the pressures of others is when you have reached the threshold of maturity and integrity. You are becoming your true self.

Joy,

Cheryl

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We are responsible for our own lives. Each of us must recognize what has worked for us in the past, what has not worked, and make new decisions based on that knowledge for the next move.

We have all made mistakes.

We must determine if we are present in life or absent from it. If we are present, we continue to move forward understanding ourselves and how we react to good and not good times in life and are able to understand what we can correct as far as our behaviors those things we do that hinder our progress. If we are absent from our lives, events will continue to happen to us and should be no surprise that we have no control.

Which is better? To be an agent and act in such a way that we make our lives happen for us the best we can, or shall we allow the world and circumstance to toss us about like a boat with no anchor?

Joan Didion’s essay “On Self-Respect” can serve as a reminder to accept our own failures and make them our own. Maturity does not come as we hit benchmarks in age, only when we can make peace with our failures and shortcomings. The honor society that Joan hoped to join did not allow her a second chance because she messed up. It was her own responsibility to perform in such a way that would gain her the recognition she thought she deserved. Her aim for the essay is to help us see the errors we make as just another happening or occurrence in life, to help us understand that we control some of those unfavorable outcomes. We may not live up to the expectations that are either placed on us by others or the expectations we place on ourselves. Those mistakes, regardless of the matter, are our own. At this time we move on. We will carry the memory of our errors, but we must not live there. We keep pressing forward. We respect ourselves for what we did or did not do. Nielsen used to say to me, “The choice you made, either good or not good, was the right choice for you at that time.” We own our choices and move forward, not stopping to dwell in the past.

We do not stop living after a mistake. We do not need to stop trying to be the best we can be due to past errors. We do not stop striving for excellence.

Setbacks are setbacks.

A future will happen. Will you be awake and present for it, or will you be absent? It is your choice.

Joy,

Cheryl

#choice

Are we not sometimes troubled by rejection and or disappointment? Our reactions can bring on the worst sort of depression and self-loathing. We wonder what is wrong with us, where we failed, how to next proceed. It isn’t uncommon to feel lost. Our perceptions seem almost deceived. We find ourselves in a foggy place, somewhat unrecognizable. We might even shed a tear.

Rejection and disappointment occur in many areas of life. It’s essential to know this because the healing techniques are the same across the circumstances.

First, acknowledge that as an autonomous individual it is the ego that experiences the pain. Each of us knows the desire to proceed in life and obtaining our goals comes from a deep place within. The ego is mighty. It deserves to have what it wants. It becomes a bit crushed when something doesn’t go as planned.

Second, recognize that the ego can adapt to the new reality. Don’t allow it to become fragile and lose your self-esteem. Remind yourself that what happens externally need not affect your self worth.

Third, accept life as it happens. Live in the now, not the past. The only reality is what happens at this very moment.

Reclaim your life’s dreams. Understand that the universe may have something better in store. The possibilities are as endless as you choose them to be. Reinvent yourself if you didn’t get the position you thought should have had. Make a list of your skills and add new skills to create a wider scope of your abilities. Any experience is an asset. Take a class. Take a tour of an area in your town. You’d be surprised at the gained knowledge a short detour from your regular day to day life can bring. Because you’ll be adding strength to yourself, you’ll see life and yourself differently. Having a new perspective will help you see your circumstances in a better light.

If your pain has come from relationships with others, understand that people will always disappoint because it’s our nature. Learn to accept others for their weaknesses and strengths. From this angle, see each person anew. Remember when your actions have disappointed others? What you did or didn’t do was not intentional if you’re authentic. You were merely being yourself. And if you feel you cannot be entirely yourself with others, these are not the people with whom you want to share your time anyway. Be free.

Go and add something today. Breathe in the moment and recognize it. Love, for it’s the best thing you can do at a time like this.

Joy,
Cheryl

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When was the last time you pretended to be someone or something you’re not either to impress or fit into the crowd? Perhaps you purchase certain types of clothing or listen to specific music though deep inside each of these makes you uncomfortable. Has your vocabulary changed? Maybe your hair style?

Is your outward appearance more important than what’s inside your heart? Do you value the opinions of others over your own truths?

Time to take a good look at your value system. Sometimes we believe hanging with the “right” crowd will make us better people. You know this is hardly true. Usually, the scenario goes something like this: You’re spending time with someone only to be ridiculed for having your own thought. Initially you are taken aback, but continue to press forward. As time goes on you find yourself watching the things you say, and feel stifled that anything you may say or do will be met with similar reproach.

This is no way to live if you’re to be the free person you are. If the people you spend time with do not allow you to be your best self, it’s better to be without them. Instead, enjoy the company of those whom you do have the freedom to be yourself – The freedom of authenticity. We should never be drones without self worth. Speak your ideas freely, particularly with like-minded people. You’ll find that’s the way to thrive and become your best self. Don’t let others stifle you or your ideas.
You may find true friends as well.

Joy,
Cheryl

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

Henry David Thoreau

As synchronicity would have it, this quote, which I’ve used so many times, winds up as another’s comment in a discussion I’m reading through on LinkedIn. That’s because we are all connected. I’m certain you’ve all had moments, events, that seem coincidental. Don’t overlook these occurrences. Pay attention to them; they may prove more meaningful than you’d think.

On with the chosen quote. Thoreau, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, has influenced me in many ways. This time, we should look carefully at what’s been written here.

‘What you get’ implies that goals are things or heights we strive to obtain in order of some importance to us. The end result seems the final destination. What’s in it for me? Sometimes it’s the body we desire after countless days spent in the gym. Sometimes it’s the degree we’ve earned through years of reading and writing papers. The end result. Yes. Ahhhh

‘What you get by achieving your goals’ leaves out the journey, the means to the end result. Think of this: there’s a mountain over there, lets call it your goal. You could reach the top by helicopter, yet nothing is gained in this manner. Would you know the terrain to make the journey again? No. That would be like cheating on a test and ‘getting’ a good grade. You still don’t know the material, so the reward isn’t yours. You’d need to continue to cheat, but the result remains unknown as a vast canyon. There’s something about stomping up the side of the mountain a step at a time, maybe slipping a little too, that helps you understand yourself a bit more.

Think of a time when you’ve achieved something rather fantastic. Did getting the thing, the trophy, the degree, the job leave you almost with a sense of emptiness? Were you still looking for the triumph to last longer than it did? Did you ask, “Is this it?” Perhaps you’ve forgotten to stop at each small step along the way in your journey to the end result and assess what has happened to you as a person. This is the most important part of your hike to the peak. What did you add to your character on the way? Are you more efficient at time management? Did you recognize where you slacked? Will you be able to understand now how to get past the snags? How have you changed?

Try a free questionnaire provided by the Via Institute. It’s a character test. Do the test now, and at a later date (perhaps after achieving a goal, like starting a budget) to test how much you’ve improved or evolved.

Here’s the site address:
http://www.viacharacter.org

Becoming Self Aware is the first and best thing you can do for you. Find out what your character strengths are; you’ll be glad you did.

Joy,
Cheryl

I typically won’t use first person narrative in my blog posts because the concepts I explain are universal. This post tells a story that helps me provide a basis for what I’m about to share.

One of the many salutations I could use to end my posts just wouldn’t capture the essence of what I felt when one of my favorite teachers had ended an email addressed to me with “Joy”. At first I was upset. Really? I complained. I had just sent a desperate note to him that I had a terrible case of writer’s block 40 pages into the dreaded 80 page thesis paper, due within days. The word jumped off the screen to me. Never has anyone used this salutation to end an email before. Never was I so disturbed. How did he expect me to muster up joy when writing the longest essay I had ever written?

Teachers are like this, Yes?
Assignments are difficult. Life is difficult. The thing is, the love he sent through email that day changed my life. Yes, love. Remember in the last post when I quoted John C Maxwell? Maxwell’s definition of friend resonates the type of challenge Dr. Daly posed to me. I grappled with it for a day or so before realizing something. I had forgotten to enjoy the assignment, the challenge, the journey, and my knowledge about the chosen subject. Once I felt “joy”, I was able to move through the last 41 pages like a breeze.

You see, the journey for writing that essay is a metaphor for life. Sometimes, about half way through, we panic. Sometimes we want to quit and turn in the gloves because we tire easily from the fight. We’d rather give up and go home. Friends around us can help make the struggle a bit easier. As a friend, you can ease another’s concerns. – We are all connected. Each of us needs another to stand along side through tough times. We are like blades of grass. Just one blade does not make a lush field. Stand with friends and give support. It doesn’t need to be much. It could be just a salutation. . .

Joy!!
Cheryl

(1 of 3) Speaking of change. . .

This post will come as three parts:
Speaking of Change,
Don’t Wait for Permission, and
No. You Don’t Have Time.

Mt. Shasta

I’ve delayed in writing this particular posting as I have been deep in the midst of my own change. Typically, I like to throw myself into changes just to see how they work out. Get Your Wisdom On blog is one of the fairly recent changes to my scope of work. Writing this particular post hasn’t come as easily as I hoped, so I took some time to contemplate the reasons it’s taken more mustering than usual.

If you have ever embarked on a part of your journey that you’ve no comparison, it might seem that the path is difficult to navigate. I speak of a change that’s so foreign, you wonder why you should even attempt it. Ha, I suppose that’s the beauty of the new thing. Many of us have moved out of neighborhood or stepped away from a job that had become what seems like part us. If done often enough, that type of move can become banal and not worth the time spent thinking about it; we just do it. I don’t mean to demean this type of move, though. Changes like these can be complicated, as you take into consideration many aspects. You may ask yourself if your decision is the best one or not.
*Let me say:
The best decision is the one that is good for you right now.

You’ll know soon enough for sure; then you may make additional changes to make it fit your life.

Let’s get back to the choice you may make that will change everything you know and embark on an epic journey, the one you have never had an inkling of experience. We will never know our futures, nor will we ever be secure in our choice to make the plunge. What I mean is simply that the future isn’t certain. The road we’re on feels comfortable to us only because it’s familiar. Familiarity isn’t safe. If it’s a job change, we think because it pays a certain salary each week, it’ll be waiting for us forever. I’m going to play havoc with that belief system. Many people over the years have thought that job security exists. It doesn’t. Companies change. Those who run companies change their minds about how that company is run. You’re most often the chess piece used for the sport of making that company money. Yes, I know you’re loyal and you feel they’ll be as well. One can never really tell. My suggestion is to follow your dream.

If you plan to do anything in your life, realize that change is inevitable. And it is neither good or not good. It’s change.

What helps is to understand change and the fears that come with it. One of the keys is to embrace change no matter what.

Before you learned to drive a car, snow board, earn a degree, or anything new, you didn’t know how it would change you. Your choice enabled you to feel freedom, pleasure, or accomplished. Good things came from your change, but you didn’t know that at the time. You struggled through the beginnings of it. You might even had fears such as running off the road, falling over a snowy cliff, or failing miserably. But as you worked further, you found that you gained confidence. A lack of confidence keeps us from something we wish to attain through change. Exploring your fears helps to identify what holds you back from entering the door before you.
Do you think you’ll lose friends if you change? Do you think you’ll miss out on something else if you change? If you become successful at the new thing, who do you think you’ll hurt?

Think about this: change happens all around us each day. Most of these we accept without much thought. Technological changes are the norm. We expect the latest gadget to become obsolete within the next few months. Other changes are not so commonplace. In the US, the health care system is changing. In this instance, some of us will embrace it while others will resist.

What about changes we decide for our own lives?
Do we or should we resist our own desires if we feel the slightest fear of the unknown? Surely we’ve gone through other changes; and today we look back at what now seems trivial. We say, “Of course it can be done. I did it.”
How about how others will see us as we change? Do we often feel like we should ask for permission?

Read my next post entitled. Don’t Wait for Permission.