No Whining Wednesday – The Strength in Others

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, your (and mine!) weekly reminder not to whine, complain, or criticize for this twenty-four hour period. If you’re new to this blog or this segment, please refer to the first post HERE which explains in detail. (You can also see the other weeks we’ve done so far. Just click on the pingbacks)

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

Today’s reminder is all about looking for the strength in others, instead of the weaknesses:

“It is much more valuable to look for the strength in others. You can gain nothing by criticizing their imperfections.”
– Daisaku Ikeda

We have a habit of seeing only the bad in people. Every day we place judgment on others in subtle ways. Maybe we saw a blog post we didn’t agree with so we murmured under our breaths. Maybe someone bypassed us on the street and we wondered why they wore those shoes. Maybe we rolled our eyes because someone did something we thought was the wrong thing to do. Maybe an author is not winning in our eyes. Maybe he or she is losing because they aren’t doing it the way we’ve been taught it should be done. Maybe, maybe, maybe. These “maybies” add up. Sometimes they come out of our mouths. Other times they stay in our heads. Either way, consciously or subconsciously, we tend to see the negative in people first and then, only if we’ve chosen to accept the person anyway, do we see the good.

What if we could see the good first? What if instead of counting my weaknesses, you can count my strengths? What if instead of seeing what I am doing wrong, you can see what I am doing right? Today, try not to criticize people’s imperfections. Instead, look for their strengths.

“Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes.”
– Elvis Presley

I challenge you to list a strength you see in someone in your life in the comments section! Could be a fellow blogger, author, sister, brother, mom, friend. Anyone in your life. (You cannot talk about yourself).

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Choices

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There are many paths before us,

a starlight fantasy for our dreams

a dose of reality for our truths

and a playground for our games

all candy coated to look alike

and we shackle ourselves

to the decisions, we make

paths unfold like red carpet occasions

so that we may sharpen discernment

and choice spreads its arms wide

like a mother

beckoning for her children

inviting us to lay our head

in her bosom

and there we feed on the free will

to choose our own verdicts

what will history write in our favor

and what will we leave behind?

Choices.

We live on them

like the breath, we breathe

inhale and exhaling ourselves to the next step

what will become of this poem?

will I dare to save a life?

is it possible

that one can live on these words

desperately

nourished simply by the right

to choose

to read them

The Walls You Build

Walls

There are two kinds of walls that hinder us in our lives. The first wall is there naturally and I wouldn’t even call it a wall. It is more like a warning; that blockage there to indicate a possible or impending danger. It exists to stop you from being involved in situations that do you harm or that cause you to make a life altering mistake. It’s that internal alarm that rings, warning you that something is not right, something does not vibe, or that something is about to go wrong.

Some people call it anxiety, fear or paranoia and while these exists, this feeling is none of these. You’re not paranoid. Your body is just telling you that something is wrong. Sometimes it happens when you’re around certain people. Sometimes you’ll say, “It’s something about him or her”. That’s because when the vibe isn’t right, the entire body reacts.

I remember having that feeling when I was eighteen years old. I was out on a date and I got this extreme nervous, anxiety feeling. I wanted to turn around but felt it was too late as we were already entering the restaurant. That night ended with me in the hospital and five staples in my head.

We were jumped by a group of men and women. There were just too many of them. We were thankful to make it out alive.

Even so, not all walls are natural internal clocks. Some walls are built by us.

Sometimes the wall exists because you built it. A person cannot move their hand to do what the mind does not already believe it is capable of doing. Not having the strength to persist is one thing but having the strength and choosing not to be strong is another thing entirely. Growth isn’t always what you can see but we often walk by sight and not faith. As such, we hinder ourselves because we didn’t really believe it was possible.

I know that people say to “Believe in yourself”, but that’s the problem.  I don’t believe achieving anything of value is about believing in yourself but in something greater than you. But you do have to reach inside of yourself and find that excitement for the possibilities. Not even that you’ve made it, because none of us have, but the mere possibility. As my sister says, have a now faith not just a future faith. Rejoice on the journey, not just the arrival. And while the goal is so much bigger than you, the choice to begin starts with you.

There’s a quote by Andrew Murphy that says, “You’re confined only by the walls you build yourself”.

“People only work within the confines of how they perceive themselves, and when your self-esteem is low, that perception is usually far from the truth. You won’t be successful until you believe that you are truly worthy of it.” – Stephanie Lennox

Sometimes it’s worth considering that we’re not limited by resources, or understanding, or support but by our own walls. It’s mind over matter. It’s like people who sit down for a card game and proclaim, “I’m not really good”. I guess you’re not. You took yourself out of the equation before you even started. These are the walls we build.

Ultimately, the only time anything possesses power over us is when we weaken ourselves.

Your Peace

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The only time anything negative possesses power over us is when we weaken ourselves. Indeed, darkness will be there lets face it, just as the sun rises it also sets. Still, light prevails and if you’re looking closely enough you’ll see that sometimes growth comes from knowing tomorrow’s peace begins with today. Everything is energy and as positive energy is higher than negative energy, a stress-free life begins with operating outside of that negative space. As such one can then use and control the positivity and live with daily productivity, growth and advancement. To control energy. It means that you have the power to change everything around you, for every situation that wishes to show its face today also has a solution. If we’re willing to look close enough we can see the purpose. Yes, its hard but beneath the surface is a purpose and that purpose is to cultivate something in you. If we choose to look close enough, we can discover what that is. If we choose to endure. If we choose light even when it’s lonely. Even when it’s difficult, and even when it’s painful. If we choose to command our peace to be still.

How I Stay Positive – The Four Agreements

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•Be impeccable with your word.
• Don’t take anything personally.
• Don’t make assumptions.
• Always do your best.

I try to stay true to these steps and in return they help me to maintain peace and positivity in my life.

Be impeccable with your word

We’ve all heard it before: “All a man has is his word”. This is the truest thing ever spoken. It doesn’t matter if that man is poor, if he is rich, if he has a successful career, etc. What sets him apart from the other is his speech. The things he says, how he says them and why. A good man or a good woman can always be dependable when it comes to their words. They are not gossipers, they are not slanderers, and they are not backbiters or murderers of the tongue. They make sure that the words they speak will not bring about negativity and strife either to themselves or others. Be impeccable with your word. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Flattery will get you nowhere. Let your actions speak.

To be impeccable with your word means to:

• Speak with integrity
• Say only what you mean
• Avoid using words to speak against yourself
• Avoid using words to speak against others
• Use the power of your word for truth and encouragement

2. Don’t take Anything Personally

This was a big one for me and I do believe for most people. The origin of strife and drama is usually because people choose to take things that other’s say way too personal. In return, they react (either by word or deed) in a defensive way. We forget that others have opinions and that these opinions are based on their own experiences and perspective. This means their words are a reflection of them NOT YOU. However, this is rarely if ever understood and we allow negativity to come into our space because we are so caught up in ourselves. We think that the things people say and do is always about us. Even when those things are about us, we are so quick to give up our power. But when we avoid taking stuff personally, we take away the power that others try to have over us and can instead focus on encouragement and positivity for ourselves and others.

Here are some techniques to help:

• Use “I” statements.
• Don’t put yourself down.
• Don’t use excuses or blame others.
• Offer any possible alternatives.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions

This one is just as big as the last one: Don’t Make Assumptions! The problem that leads us here is usually our own convictions. We have issues (as we all have) and sometimes someone gives a message, or comment, or opinion that exposes these issues. The people or person exposing these issues are not intentionally targeting a specific person or group, they are simply stating truths. However, there is almost always someone who will be convicted by such truths and in turn become offended. As a result, because they cannot be sure if such a thing is targeted toward them specifically, they create the assumption that it’s just them and the other person in the world and the other person had so much time on their hands that they decided to speak negatively about them. The product of an assumption is always because someone took something personally or did not verify their sources. To avoid making assumptions, it is always best to gather all of the facts since many assumptions are made because people don’t ask for clarification. I chose to rid assumptions from my life by communicating as much as possible as not to create drama, gossip, and confusion < all of which are the result of an assumption.

4. Always Do Your Best

Stay away from the bare minimum and strive for excellence. Deny yourself the satisfaction of being lazy; instead, approach every project with the same level of professionalism despite the reward. The key to this agreement is to recognize when you are doing your best and accept those results despite the quality. Too often we set our goals by what other people deem important instead of what we know to be important. We whine and we complain that our results are not their results and this is a recipe for disaster and robs you of the positive in your life. As long as you look for confirmation from others you will always be second best. Instead, look to do things differently and to the best of your ability. Create a uniqueness that is exclusive to you and be good at it. This is what draws people into you, whether it is your writing or your blog. Always do the best you can and notice those small progressions in your life. To focus on being positive, encouraging and doing your best, stop focusing on the problem and work toward a solution. Learning comes by trial and error, so do not expect everything to succeed. Sometimes you’ll have to learn by doing it wrong. As such, you will begin to see why it did not succeed and try again the next time. Only this time you are so much more knowledgeable and wise about that thing. You did not focus on the act of failing, you focused on what you can do to succeed. Positive people always see the good in things because they focus on the good.