Thursday, August 18, 2011

Elements of Life

You woke up today, took a deep breathe of air into your lungs and got yourself out of bed. That may not sound like an amazing accomplishment but it’s something to be endlessly thankful for. Not everyone is as lucky as you.

We often take for granted the fact that we’re alive and healthy, choosing instead to complain about our jobs or our relationships or whatever miniscule nuisance we may be faced with at the moment. But if you just pause your life for one minute, step out of the physical world that’s immediately in front of you and look at the big picture of things, we are incredibly blessed. How fortunate we are to be experiencing the ups and downs, the good and bad, the happy and sad. That is life, and we are so privileged to be a part of it all!

Don’t wait for your last days on this planet to start appreciating the magnificence and beauty that surrounds us. It’s everywhere we look, we just need to remember to open our eyes and see past the immediate charade that constantly keeps us moving in circles. What’s really important is something much greater than that promotion you want so badly or that new car you’ve been saving up for. It’s the ever-present opportunity to smile at a stranger, the one guarantee we have that the sun will always rise tomorrow, and those three simple words that cost us nothing but earn us everything we need: “I love you”.

So take that minute right now to put aside any of the stress and negative emotions that may be distorting your vision of reality and fill that space with the countless amazing things there are to be thankful for and cherish. If you’re having trouble finding them, go take a look in the mirror because one of them is sitting in your seat right now.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Balancing Pride

You’ve heard it before and know it’s true: life is all about balance. It’s just like surfing. Sometimes the waves are knocking you down and sometimes you’re shredding them with grace and style. Every aspect of our lives needs to be in balance and it takes constant practice and awareness to reach a happy level of equilibrium.

There’s one particular aspect that this applies to twofold: Pride.

First, there’s the sense of outward pride you have with yourself and other people. And I think the golden rule in this sense is to “check your ego at the door”. Humility is a virtue and one that should be practiced by all. It doesn’t matter how much money you make or how popular you are, you’re just as much a human being as every other person on this planet so don’t ever act like you’re better than anyone else. Always stay modest and humble because no one likes the company of a cocky person.

Second, there’s your inner pride, your self-confidence. I think that it’s good be aware of the areas of your life that need improvement because that allows for you to set goals and take steps towards reaching your full potential. But too much attention on your shortfalls can be very unhealthy and cause damage to your self-esteem. We can’t always focus on what we’re not happy with. There needs to be balance. We must also recognize the greatness within ourselves and take pride in knowing that we are amazing people with lots of wonderful qualities.

I think the key to finding balance in this area of our lives is to stay outwardly humble and inwardly proud. Practice modesty and humility in your interactions with others but also make sure to take the time to appreciate and acknowledge yourself for your accomplishments and character. Check your ego at the door then give yourself a pat on the back.