Sunday, April 24, 2011

De-fense! De-fense!

Do you ever have the feeling like you need to defend yourself? Like someone is attacking your character and forcing you to stick up for your actions or beliefs? It’s a very annoying and frustrating position to be in.

However, we don’t NEED to defend ourselves against anyone! When someone is “attacking” you it is usually a reflection of that person’s own insecurities and lack of inner strength. Think about it, if you had solid confidence in yourself and true control over your emotions why would you ever be concerned with criticizing and judging other people? You wouldn’t! You would be fine letting other people live their lives as they please, unaffected by the decisions they make or beliefs they have.

We often react to such “attacks” by becoming immediately defensive, like a turtle pulling into its shell at any sign of danger. We get a tightening inside our chest and stomach that tells us to go into self-protection mode. But it’s important to realize that the problem is not with you, you are doing just fine and walking the path you choose. It’s the people that lash out towards you in discontent that have the real issues here.

Now that’s not to say that we should just unconsciously plow ahead with our lives, ignoring anybody else’s opinions and advice. It’s important to honor constructive criticism and really listen to people because many times you can greatly benefit from making some adjustments in your life, nobody’s perfect after all. But if you are investing the proper time and energy into your personal growth and have a firm understanding of who you are and what you stand for, let those that are less evolved say and think what they will. You are fine just the way you are.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What if?

No one wants to have any regrets in their life but we often can’t help but wonder “what if”? What if I decided to be a dancer instead of going to law school? What if I had asked out that girl I‘ve always had a crush on?

For me, it’s what if I had gone to UC Berkley and played rugby? I didn’t get accepted into the school when I applied but after winning the state championship with my rugby team senior year of high school there was a good chance I could have just waited one semester and started in the spring. I have this vision of me becoming the captain of the team and winning four national championships as an NCAA athlete. What if?

But unfortunately we can’t go back in time and live out these alternate realities we imagine in our heads because what happened has happened and we are where we are today for a reason. However, we CAN prevent ourselves from having these “what if” moments in the future and limit the amount of regret we have in reflecting on the past.

You probably have a good idea of where you’re heading in life right now, in the next one year, five years, maybe even ten years. You also probably have a good idea of what you truly desire in life, a vision of yourself living out your greatest dreams imaginable. Now ask yourself this question: Do the actions I’m taking today correlate with my true desires? Do they point me in a direction that will help make this vision I have become a reality?

Many people think their dreams are so big and so far-fetched that they are too scared to even try to make them come true, the probability of failure is too great. But that probability is never 100%, nothing is impossible afterall. Even if there’s only a 0.1% chance that you will succeed in accomplishing your goal, it’s worth taking the risk. Because let’s say you go for it and actually succeed. . . you would be living out your greatest dreams and desires! How incredible would that be?! And let’s say you don’t succeed? So what! At least you gave it your best shot and you can take pride in having the courage to try. But if you never even take that chance and attempt to follow your dreams then I guarantee you will find yourself in one year, five years, maybe ten years saying those two little haunting words and looking back with regret. What if?

So take a minute to listen to that little voice inside your head, the one telling you what you really want deep down inside, and go for it! Take action today to put yourself on the line and at least make your most valiant attempt. What have you got to lose?