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Tag Archives: Mother Teresa
J = Joy.
Our natural state of being is joy. But you’re often your own thief of your own joyful experience. You rob from yourself that which is innately yours. Thankfully, joy is a never-ending commodity and it can’t be diminished entirely. But you do compromise it when you continue to re-write history and tell yourself stories that are not only blatantly untrue, but also make you feel like shit about yourself. Stop it. Tell a story of joy instead.
K = Kinesthetic.
Learning by doing. Get in the game of life. Stop sitting on the sidelines bitching, complaining and bemoaning. You learn by doing. Try. Crash. Burn. Do things that scare you. Attempt. Fail. This is not only a kinesthetic experience, it’s an experience of being alive.
L = Laughter.
Keep things in perspective. Stop taking everything so seriously. As long as you’re moving forward and experiencing new things in your life, being challenged and moving beyond your comfort zone – there’s progress. Celebrate what’s working. Stop being so dramatic about what’s not.
M = Mistakes.
Make them. The younger you are the easier it is to do that. As you get older it gets scarier because you become invested in what you’ve become, how you’re perceived, what you earn, what’s your identity and what you’ve created. These illusions can trap us into not taking risks because we’ve become so identified with the stuff we’ve amassed. Be like a kid: scab your knee, overreach, get yourself into a pickle. You’ll discover that you’ll survive.
N = Navigator.
You are the pilot and the co-pilot. You are setting the path and driving the vehicle. You have your own inner GPS system. If you don’t like the co-ordinates you are putting into your system, change them! No one is making you take the paths you don’t want to drive down. You decide where you want to go and you start moving in that direction. Follow your heart. Be a rebel.
O = Occam’s Razor.
The law of economy, the law of succinctness. The law of simplicity.
Which means, the simplest explanation for something is generally the correct explanation for something that may seem to have many hypothesis. The answer that has the least amount of assumptions is usually the truth. Stop assuming worst-case scenarios and doom-and-gloom stories about your life.
The agent didn’t sign you. It doesn’t mean you sucked.
You didn’t get the call-back. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
The agent didn’t sign you because you reminded him of his ex-girlfriend.
You didn’t get the call-back because they already made an offer to someone else.
K. I. S. S. = Keep. It. Simple. Silly.
P = Purpose.
The purpose-driven life? Not sure what that is. I know it’s a best-selling book. Your life already has purpose. Purpose is created by showing up in our own lives more totally. More fully. It’s created by being more present with what’s in front of us right now. It’s not about being with someone and also answering our phone and responding to texts and sending emails and tweeting and watching an episode of 30 Rock and worrying about what’s going to happen in the future. It’s not about placing ego demands on yourself that you have to change the world or become famous or make millions of dollars.
True purpose transcends the ego-labeling of what we do as a career or how we define ourselves or the descriptions of what we do. Purpose is created in the minutiae of the moment. And it changes moment-to-moment. But we’re constantly missing the calling of purpose because we’re so distracted by our ego needs of, “How do I look?” “Will this sell” “Am I popular?” “What will they think of me?”
Mother Teresa said it best: “Let no one come to you without leaving happier and better.”
Holy crap. If you can just do that with every interaction you have in life, your life will rip open right in front of you, your ego demands will fall away, you’ll stop focusing on the ego self and its fears and maintenance of the status quo and your life would become one of the most joyful celebrations you could ever imagine.
Now that’s purpose!
“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” ~ Albert Einstein
When we’re on the outside looking in, when we compare ourselves to others, when we listen to the glossy, photo-shopped stories the media feeds us about people who’ve “made it,” we often feel like there’s something wrong with us. We lack what other people have.
I remember early on during my spiritual path when I first started learning to meditate (and even after one of my first trips to India), I struggled with questions of faith. I thought I would wake up one day and all my doubts and insecurities would be gone because I was on a “path.”
They didn’t. In fact, they got louder.
And when I compared myself to the images and stories being spun of saints who seemed to have conquered all their fears, I felt even worse about myself.
Similar to when I was in my 20’s starting to act. No one in any of my classes talked about their struggles with the work. It was always about discussing the “character arc” and objectives. Here I was feeling doubt and loathing, excitement and dread – all these contrary emotions – but no one else was talking about them.
Years later I read an autobiography of the spiritual icon (and Nobel Prize winner), Mother Teresa. It was a watershed moment. The woman who had been publicly portrayed as the most saintly and devout of nuns actually had many dissonant feelings about her faith. She struggled and felt alone and lost. She said she was hypocritical because the outward face presented to the world was smiling and beatific, but inwardly, she often experienced absolute confusion and disbelief. Who would have thought that the woman who was considered the most faithful woman in the world actually struggled bitterly with her faith?
The moral of this story is twofold. First, and foremost, because of her contrary thoughts, Mother Teresa was even more a hero because she continued to do such serviceable work. She helped millions. Her inner battles didn’t leave her feeling sorry for herself or inert. They didn’t stop her from doing good. She persevered.
It also is yet another example of how we aspire to be like the often air-brushed images that are sugarcoated and fed to us making us believe that people who are achieving great things have something extraordinary that you and I lack.
We need to stop comparing ourselves to glamorized images. We need to realize that the same stuff you and I struggle with is the same stuff everyone on the planet works through.
The true heroes are the people whose work is not abandoned because of their fears or doubts. They’re heroic not so much because of the work they do (although that itself can be inspiring) but because of their honesty and bravery in pushing through their challenges to continue creating the work.
Compare yourself less.
Realize the hero is your own hero within.
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” ~ Mother Teresa