The world has become so fast paced and we’re all running to keep up. Nowadays, life is like a treadmill fixed at 20mph; we are required to keep the pace, regardless of any physical, mental, or emotional deficiencies. It’s sink or swim. And here lies the problem…
Where we choose to focus our attention makes all the difference; much like looking out the window as you’re driving. Objects in the foreground zoom by quickly while objects in the background appear to move much slower. When focused on the foreground, everything is blurred, making it difficult to comprehend and fully appreciate what you’re seeing. But when you focus on things further in the distance, there is increased clarity and more time to enjoy the scenery.
Similarly, while we’re busy keeping pace with the rest of the world, we can unintentionally miss the beauty that surrounds us. Life becomes a blur and its many precious moments go unappreciated. Only when we look beyond the hustle and bustle does life slow down, allowing greater enjoyment and appreciation for what we experience.
There are times in our lives when it’s helpful to look at the “big picture.” At other times, it’s beneficial to focus on the finer details. In my experience, the most effective way to deal with life involves continuous zooming between these two vantage points.
There are many instances in life where we experience pain; both physical and emotional. Pain means you can “feel;” that you’re not numb. As uncomfortable as it may be, it is at least reassuring to know that we’re capable of feeling something, anything.
Physically, the body perceives pain to alert you that something is wrong, as to bring attention and care to that area. Equally, we experience emotional pain when our thoughts and feelings need assistance. Imagine the physical/emotional damage we could inflict upon ourselves if we were impervious to feeling pain; we would all end up as worn down stumps in padded cells (eroded and psychotic).
There is beauty in feeling pain; it gives us hope and makes us appreciate our well-being. It also allows us to empathize with others and extend compassion to those who endure similar struggles to our own. But most importantly, it serves as a reminder that we are alive, human, and not desensitized mechanical beings.
Last month, a friend of mine passed away suddenly from a brain aneurism. He was 24 years old and an absolute sweetheart of a guy. Luckily, I saw him the day before and feel SO grateful to have spent that time with him. This unexpected news stirred up a myriad of thoughts and emotions. I was inspired to write this:
“Why do we fret over stupid/insignificant things when there’s no guarantee we’ll be here tomorrow? Why do we stress ourselves out over things which we have no control? Why does it take tragedy to remind us of how precious life is? Even the resulting perspective and inspiration quickly dissipates. We spend a good amount of our lives focused on money, success, and acquiring materials, all of which we leave behind when our time is up. We endure years of misery from our jobs, relationships, and our own underdeveloped emotional states. Why? Because of fear: fear of change, fear of pain, fear of being alone. Regardless of the suffering we may experience, there is comfort in familiarity. Unfortunately, the path of least resistance is usually counterproductive to personal growth.
My friends, there is a world within this world that we are blind to. Not because we don’t want to see it, but because we’ve been conditioned to close our eyes and follow the handrails of tradition. We are capable of achieving inspiration and gratitude without tragedy occurring. We just need to invest more into ourselves and each other (the grass is greener where you water it).
Without hesitation, tell the people in your life that you love them and squeeze them a little tighter. Write/email/text/call your loved ones and let them know what they mean to you. Don’t wait and make excuses. Sometimes, there is no tomorrow.”
Only when we trip and stumble can we improve at catching ourselves.
As children, we lack the skills to prevent falling down. As we grow, we develop our footing and learn to catch ourselves. But one cannot practice losing balance – it’s an unexpected event that triggers an instinctual reaction. Therefore, the only way to get better at catching yourself is to unexpectedly trip.
Embrace the uncomfortable; trust in your ability to recover. After all, you’ve made it this far.
Confidence: (defined as) – belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.
Confidence is such an integral part of our lives. Having it can make us, while lacking it can totally break us. Where does confidence stem from? It’s possible to achieve it through external sources (in the form of compliments or praise), but that’s not the kind that will stick and allow us to conquer our fears. One must prove to oneself, over a period of time, that his/her goals can be consistently achieved. Remember this simple equation:
REPETITION + TIME = CONFIDENCE