Self-doubt is a huge, hulking form that sneaks up on you, leaps into your mind and tackles dreams to the ground, smothering them.
Self-appraisal, by contrast, always comes to mind up front and honest, a warm companion you welcome in to assess your progress toward a dream and offer you creative guidance. Invite it to stay and serve as a dream-guard, fending off all self-doubts.
You are at the steering wheel. If self-doubt approaches, lock your passenger doors before it can get inside to be your backseat driver!
Excerpts From: “Life Lines - “Thoughts To Hold Onto Through Bad Times–And Good"
Character actress Ruth Gordon, best remembered for her roles in Rosemary’s Baby and Harold and Maude, was a frequent guest on late-night TV talk shows in the 1970’s.
One evening, while discussing her career and current projects, the animated, enthusiastic Miss Gordon turned to host Dick Cavett and proclaimed, “I made up my mind years ago—I will grow older, but I will never grow old.” She stayed true to this pledge. Youthful spirit and a love of life accompanied her to the finish line.
Growing older affords you the opportunity to commune with your life experience. Now you can put it into better perspective, bringing intensity and meaning to what you were too preoccupied to notice at the time you lived through it.
Your knowledge and past, combined with introspection, enable you to make wiser choices, to seek rewarding ways to utilize your unique strengths in service to others.
Age is no roadblock to productive pursuits. On the contrary, the accumulation of years opens countless new roads of possibility to you. Your life experience is a powerful guidance counselor. Consult with it regularly.
People who say, “I’m too old to learn” are announcing to the world that they have been alive too long to be intelligent, independent, reasoning human beings.
Should you find yourself thinking, “I’m too old to learn something new,” stop and take your pulse. If you still have one, you can (and should) be learning something new. Follow your passions and forget your years.
Know that your creative spirit is boundless.
“I don’t have a creative bone in my body” is one of the saddest statements any human being can make. It simply isn’t true. Holding onto this mistaken belief keeps you blind to your potential.
All young children are riddled with creativity, and you were no exception. Imagination, curiosity, and a sense of wonder were constant companions. You may have allowed these qualities to recede, but they have not left you. Rekindle them now and watch your creative spirit catch fire.
People who complain, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body” or "I'm too old to learn something new" are functional atheists, no matter how religious they claim to be.
Humor is our internal mechanic. It inspects, adjusts, and lubricates our mental machinery to keep it in good working order. A playful attitude can reawaken a child-like sense of awe and wonder about life and unlock our potential as human beings.
Humor nurtures our imagination and creative spontaneity. Coupled with a passionate desire, these become valuable tools in the pursuit of our dreams.
A sense of humor is also necessary to rein in our ego and feelings of self-importance. It helps us to maintain a healthy view of life and our place in the world.
If you can’t laugh at yourself, then you’re missing out on some of the funniest comedy material available. A sure sign of self-acceptance is the ability to laugh at yourself. To do that, you need to step back and take an objective look at who you really are: Assess your strengths, definitely—but also your frailties and shortcomings. This requires a degree of maturity and humility we all should cultivate.
Laughter is our “cosmic night light,” because it touches emotions felt universally. Through humor we see our common fears, insecurities, hopes and dreams. Good comedy makes for camaraderie. Comedian Victor Borge used to say, “The shortest distance between two people is a good laugh.”
“We can’t all enjoy prestigious careers or businesses,” people tell me. “Some of us are destined to collect garbage or work the assembly lines—jobs which don’t exactly make your life as you would like.”
Too many of us link career or business happiness to professions which seem glamorous. I think we hunger for glamour because it looks attractive and exciting and easily captures our attention.
But glamour is always a fluff food. Take a bite and feel it dissolve, like cotton candy, on your tongue. It can’t sustain you. You need something more substantial from life’s menu—something more meaningful.
Prestige and glamour are not synonymous with personal fulfillment. Any job can be rewarding when done with the right attitude. Your vision makes all the difference. What you do always holds less significance than how you do it.
People with vision see their work as an opportunity to serve. They interact with co-workers and their community on a personal level, knowing that a loving outlook provides deep meaning to what they do.
Any activity done with love makes a positive difference. Be kind and compassionate in all you do. This is your calling—no matter what your job or business.
While you may not be able to add years to your life, you can add more life to your years—by looking back and learning from those who came before you.
Books can be our personal time machine. They transport us to other eras and places where we can meet people who cared enough to put thoughts and ideas into permanent form for our benefit.
What a wonderful legacy they have given us! Virtually all the genius this world has ever produced is available for us to tap into, learn from, and use for our benefit.
Keep learning the ideas of great minds. Your own mind will continue to expand as you add centuries of breadth and depth to your life. Avail yourself of the countless teachers and leaders this world provides—both past and present.
I’m thankful for all the desire-driven people whose words have touched my life and helped to point the way for me to achieve greater understanding. I believe that absorbing new ideas and concepts can stimulate anyone’s mind to think more creatively.
The list of individuals whose words can enrich our lives is endless—and all that wisdom is reached through a library card.
We can stare at an old photograph all day and never change its composition, but we attempt to do just that if we’ve ever dwelled on the past with regret.
Through the years, I’ve met many people tortured by regrets. They dissect the past as if it were their lab assignment. Even worse, they’ve barricaded themselves in the stale lab and refuse to come out to enjoy the fresh air of the present.
Sometimes we learn what we need to know only after it’s too late to apply it. That opportunity is gone, but we must turn from our regret, taking the lessons learned through pain and sadness and applying these, now, to some good purpose.
Two of the most powerful words in the English language are “let go.” If we’ve made foolish choices and embarrassing mistakes in the past, we’ve joined the ranks of everyone who has ever lived. But if we’ve learned from our errors, made any needed adjustment and left all our regrets behind, we’re among the minority and should congratulate ourselves.
It’s impossible to close the book on your past if you focus on, memorize, and repeat everything written there. Commit yourself now to letting go. No one can travel back to yesterday, so why keep planning an itinerary for the trip?
When people complain that they haven’t enough time to pursue their dreams, I refuse to believe it. Even if you’re raising a family and stuck in a full-time job you don’t enjoy, time can always be “found” to fulfill a cherished desire. The key is to use time more wisely.
Surveys tell us that Americans watch about 15 hours of television each week. If you’re unhappy with your current career or business, begin to restructure your routine by eliminating the tube-time.
Another productive time period is the lunch hour. You can eat and read simultaneously, so why not devote five lunch hours each week to study?
Set your alarm clock just fifteen minutes earlier than usual in the morning, and invest this time in reading an inspirational book, or material associated with the goals you want to achieve. Do this for a month--then set your alarm back another fifteen minutes. Continue this practice over a period of several months, until you have a full hour devoted to your goals.
Use this “found” time—a minimum of sixty minutes daily--exclusively for your personal and creative development. Guard it from interruptions and never skip a day. Over the course of a year, this string of hours represents 45 eight-hour workdays—plenty of time to get started toward achieving some cherished desire.
The quest for safety and security may doom you to a lifetime of mediocrity.
The moment you make safety and security your primary goals in life, you begin to die. To settle for comfortable routine is like doing all of your grocery shopping at a convenience store. You’ll pay an exorbitant price for what you purchase there. The cost is your precious potential.
In our quest for security, too many of us choose to ignore our potential capabilities. It is certainly possible to opt for mediocrity in life and still have all of our basic needs met. We can get food, shelter, and clothing without pushing ourselves very hard; however, we were not created to be average. We were designed to excel and succeed—in our own unique ways.
The path of least resistance often becomes heavily rutted with boredom and dissatisfaction, because the spirit of creativity is built into us. To ignore it in favor of comfortable routine is to squander the greatest of gifts—our human potential.
Mark Twain wrote: “It’s good to take your mind out once in a while and dance on it. Otherwise, it gets all caked up.” That’s a colorful way of saying that we need to push out of habitual routine into new, positive directions. Life offers an abundance of opportunities when we do so.
Want to get more out of life? Make the choice to get more out of yourself.
Everyone has potential talents and abilities to share.
We all can become creative contributors whose work, in one form or another, will survive us. That is our mission here—to be of service. That’s what ennobles us as human beings, gives purpose to our lives, and brings lasting happiness and joy.
Our individual potential, acted upon in a spirit of faith and goodness, is all we can truly claim to own in life. Actions are our only possessions. Through them we expand beyond skin and bones to touch the lives of others and make some positive difference in the world.
Seeds of great potential have been sprinkled into every human being. It is tragic when people don’t realize this and fail to “germinate.” With the flowering of what is best within us comes the deepest satisfaction and peace that life can provide. To squander our potential is to lose sight of our purpose for being alive.
Think of historical figures whose lives we admire and respect. The most influential have always been those men and women whose desire-born talents were used in service to others. Each of us has the power to become such a person.
Nurture and develop your unique gifts, and use these to create a meaningful legacy.
Artist and author Bruce Garrabrandt believes the secret to success can be summed up in just nine words: "Do what you love in ways that serve others." In his books and speaking presentations, he emphasizes the truth that each of us has unique contributions to make to life. "We're on this planet to unlock our potential as human beings," he says, "to transform our passions into talents--and then use these abilities through positive, loving actions. Life is all about service."