26. Reinvent

“I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone.” – Henry Rollins

Many of my friends are looking for work. They may be depressed because they cannot find the right kind of work or their pride will not let them take a job that is beneath them. I have experienced both situations. I think back to about three years ago when I was really struggling. I did not have the right kind of experience for the jobs that I wanted, I never finished my college degree, and my ego was out of control. Even in a situation where I had lost everything due to some bad investments and poor life choices I still felt like I deserved a leadership role or that I was entitled in some way. I struggled looking for work and complained about the alleged economic crises.  

A friend explained to me, “just get something for the time being while you look for something better. “ The best little nugget of advice I heard was think about how you can help or be of service in the workplace. Up until then I was always thinking about what is in it for me?  Instead of the job being just a paycheck or hating the job, I thought about what I could do to add to the stream of life.  How can I bring something positive to this world, my workplace, or my fellow man? When I bring that attitude into the world I am rewarded with bigger and better opportunities.

Reinventing yourself is never easy. Taking an entry-level job, and being grateful for the opportunity is a humbling experience. When I thought about what I could do to help the reputation of my company or better serve their customers, I got a sense of pride in my work. I got the most out of that job and eventually moved up to better paying gigs. When I set aside my pride I was able to be grateful for my humble job, knowing that it was a stepping-stone to something greater.

Affirmation: I honor my true self by being the best me I can be!

Call to action: In order to become the best I can be in the future, I have to start living today as if I had that perfect job or situation.  It is Friday so for the rest of today, do the work in front of yourself as if it is saving lives, the truth is it just may save the dream life the you so desperately want to experience…

Thank you to NotesFromTheCouch.com for the use of this picture.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

25. Pause

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” – Walter Hagen

June 1st I released most of my personal obligations by resigning from a job and handing on my belongings reducing my responsibilities to just eating, sleeping and hygiene. My assumption had been that with so little to do in a day I would have an incredible amount of free time, no worries and I would never be in a rush.  Well, you know what is said about assumptions… What changed were my outside circumstances, without changing anything else, I was still busy rushing through situations and concerned about getting things accomplished.  I realized that no matter how much I change on the outside, if I do not do the inner work, nothing will truly be different. 
The beautiful thing today, thanks to cylfriday and other outlets of positive practices, is that it only took a few days to realize what I had been lacking. I found that I was not taking time to pause during the day and recognize the beauty around me. I decided it was time to slow down, chew and enjoy my food, consciously breath in the air around me, look around and feel all of the different textures of the world. 
I had become so busy with life that I had forgotten about those simple things.  As I reflect back on this last year I can think of many other times that this occured. A little reminder to pause would have saved a great deal of hurry, worry and indecision.  Life is short and today I choose to not rush through the pages of my days to reach the next big break or score.  I will take time today to enjoy what is beautiful right here and now.  Thank you so very much for joining me this week for a short pause.
Affirmation:  The most amazing and beautiful experience that I have had in my life is THIS ONE RIGHT NOW.  I am so blessed to see the beauty around me.
Call to Action:  Set an alarm on your phone to go off once every hour and take a pause from what you are doing to identify some beauty in the world that you are a part of.  Please share that experience and the beauty with us.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

24. Service

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” –Rabindranath Tagore

I had the opportunity to talk to a very wise woman this week. I was drawn to this woman by the fact that she had been involved with, studied, and practiced many different religions. Her life journey included multiple Christian traditions, Buddhism, New Thought and Religious Science. She has come full circle and returned to the tradition that she started with as a young girl. I was intrigued and asked “Why the return?” “Easy” she replied “service.”  Our conversation continued, but all I could think about was that one word, service.

I joined the Navy straight out of high school and thought I was doing a great deed serving my country. My reasons for joining the service were all selfish. I was able to get out of my home town, it guaranteed me money to go to school, and I knew that I would have a good paycheck every two weeks. I hated most the time I spent in the Navy and the act of serving brought me no joy.  Gandhi reminds us “Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.”

When my life is filled with service backed by joy and no ulterior motives I can truly understand the second half of the above Gandhi quote “But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.”  Today I can comprehend why a woman would be led back to a tradition of service. Now when someone thanks me for my past military service I can smile and thank them because I understand that others benefited from my time working for Uncle Sam.

Affirmation: My life is full of love and joy. I serve all just as happily as when someone is willing to help me. Thank you Life for the chance to serve today.

Call to Action: Look around as you move throughout the world today. Find one instance that you can be of service to another without looking for something in return. Share your service with us in the comments.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

23. Influence

“Man’s nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been known to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature.” –Mahatma Gandhi

I spoke at a youth detention center earlier this week. Usually at my speaking engagements I share a certain message with slight variations to accommodate for length and audience. As I watched these children walk in the room, labeled criminals by our society, it dawned on me they may have no hope for the future. Upon release most criminals go right back to crime. As a member of the CYLFriday crew and a believer of positive change I knew what message needed to be conveyed. I am not sure if they got what I was saying, but they listened. To get a group of 11-17 year olds to listen to you for an hour is quite a task.

When I was younger my parents told me many things, including I could be anything I wanted to be. The problem was I did not know what I wanted to be.  I did not listen to my parents and did not allow myself to believe them. I was a troubled youth, which followed me into early adulthood. I looked up to the people who influenced me positively. I listened to these people even though they usually said the same things my parents did. I am not sure of these youths’ background, but I do understand the power of positive influence. I get so wrapped up in my own life that I forget to pass on what I have learned.  I have to ask myself; “How often does my busy life keep me from helping my community? How often do I forget about the youth?”

Affirmation: I am a positive influence on all people I encounter. My life is a positive example to those that are looking to me for Light.

Call to action:  How many of you have younger family members, neighbors, friends children or children of your own? Am I doing all that I can to be a positive influence? Do I take the time to acknowledge the youth in my community? Please share your experience with the CYLFriday community.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.