I love this Chinese proverb because it says so much in so few words. It highlights the importance of what kind of light we shine in the world. What we put into our body and mind is what comes out, and what the world sees.
I just came back from a holiday and am feeling a bit out of sorts. I am trying to re-establish my routine and get myself in a better frame of mind.
I wrote several different pieces thinking I would post them on the blog, but they didn’t seem right. I feel like it’s time for some relief from the reality of life, so why not some encouragement and hero stories of inspiration and hope.
Take a Break
Take a break because it gives you a chance to reset, catch your breath, and really see what is going on. It allows you to see things anew and things that you have stopped seeing.
Ditch the guilt about taking a break. I sometimes feel guilty when I take a break because I feel like there is so much to do and a break can wait. From my leadership studies, I know that taking a break is a priority for leaders in order to function effectively.
Learn to relax. When you take care of your mind and body, you’re better able to cope with challenges in your life. Get quality sleep, try out a new exercise, or use physical relaxation techniques, like deep breathing or meditation. Do something for you that you like.
My favourite story about mental reset is from Marshawn Evans Daniels‘ life. She is a former Miss America contestant and runner up, a former contestant on the television show, “The Apprentice”, and a lawyer turned business entrepreneur and coach.
Success seemed to follow her everywhere she went, until she experienced a series of losses. It was from this terrible time, that she wrote a book called “Believe Bigger”. In dealing with her losses, she took time off to reset herself and regain her mental equilibrium. That time off allowed her to see things from a fresh viewpoint, and opened up new opportunities and possibilities in her life.
Last year I participated in an online mentorship program that changed the way I looked at things. The program offered practical information and tips from business experts on strategies, dealing with successes, failures, and a lot of focus on creating the proper mindset.
What I enjoyed the most was the personal hero journey stories. I loved hearing how people made their mess, their purpose. All of these success stories highlighted the need to be curious, ask questions, embrace failure, ask for help, and to be bold. Many of these experts were simply looking for a way out of dire circumstances to pay bills and provide for their families. In addressing their problem, the solution often became the springboard to the success they experienced.
The inspiration and hope offered by theses stories helped me strengthen my mental health muscle. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things by being bold and taking a risk. These heroes are no different from you or me. They just didn’t give up, they kept trying until they solved the problem, one-step-at-a-time.
In the last few weeks, I revisited the program and got inspired all over again. I was reminded that we can all do extraordinary things. The common element in the hero stories, is the ability of the hero to shift his/her thinking in how they see themselves. In each story, the hero had to adjust his/her mindset and recognize that they matter and are worthy of success.
One of my favourite inspiration hero stories is about Paulo Coelho, and how he came to write the “Alchemist”, a best-selling book. He had a rough beginning, was misunderstood and institutionalized, overcame the obstacles in front of him through taking bold steps. Because he believed in himself, he went on to live out his dream. His interview with Oprah Winfrey motivates me because he is inspiring and genuine and funny.
Be Bold, Take a Risk
One way to shake off the ho-hums, is to step into boldness about the thing you fear. Take the first step, then the next, and see what happens. Thomas Edison’s hero journey story involves being bold, taking risks, and embracing failure.
Thomas Edison was awarded 1,093 U.S. patents for a wide range of technologies and 2,332 patents in other countries. His record was not beaten until 2003.
I had a chance to visit the Edison-Ford Complex in Fort Myers. Being able to see the compound where the two inventors (Thomas Edison and Henry Ford) spent their summers was inspiring. Curiosity and the willingness to keep trying was at the core of their success.
Thomas Edison embraced failure and is credited with saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10, 000 ways that won’t work.”
Look at the legacy he left for the world!
Have Some Fun
Exercise your “having fun” muscles. Step away from the news for a while, have a good laugh or a good time with family and friends to help re-balance life. Remember that there are good parts to life; reintroduce yourself to them.
Mind your environment. It can make you peaceful or anxious.
- Look at who you spend most of your time with. Do they lift you up or bring you down? What hero stories inspire you-maybe it’s time to revisit them.
- What do you listen to, or read? Do you feast on a steady diet of bad news, and negativity or… does your diet look for solutions, inspiration, hope, and empowerment?
- This doesn’t mean you ignore what is going on in the world, but maybe you can look at how you can make your world a better place for yourself and those in your immediate circle.
P.S. these stories helped me shake off my ho-hums.
How do you shake off your ho-hums? I would love to hear!
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