Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Are You a Chicken or an Eagle?

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  That's really how I could sum up 2021.  With the pandemic still in full effect and no REAL income coming in, it would have been easy for me to just give up and wait for everything to blow over.  But I'm not very good at waiting so I decided to reinvent myself via TikTok (@bevspeaks) with the help of my grandson.  And now, 400K followers later, this 60-something-year-old woman has created an Auntie Bev brand and is soaring to new heights.  

I refused to listen to the naysayers who told me I was too old for the platform or that no one would care what I had to offer.  I refused to allow my age to dictate how I would be perceived.  I chose to use my age as an advantage because with age comes something called wisdom. 

But what about you?  Are you living in your best OR worst of times of BOTH?

We all want to live life to our fullest potential. Nobody wants to struggle through life with less than what they could have achieved. Wouldn't it be the greatest shame that we live to the end of our lives wondering what it might have turned out like if we only followed our dream earlier in life.

There is this wonderful story about an eagle that illustrates this point well: 

Once upon a time, there was a large mountainside, where an eagle's nest rested. The eagle's nest contained four large eagle eggs. One day an earthquake rocked the mountain causing one of the eggs to roll down the mountain, to a chicken farm, located in the valley below. The chickens knew that they must protect and care for the eagle's egg, so an old hen volunteered to nurture and raise the large egg.

One day, the egg hatched and a beautiful eagle was born. Sadly, however, the eagle was raised to be a chicken. Soon, the eagle believed he was nothing more than a chicken. The eagle loved his home and family, but his spirit cried out for more. While playing a game on the farm one day, the eagle looked to the skies above and noticed a group of mighty eagles soaring in the skies. "Oh," the eagle cried, "I wish I could soar like those birds." The chickens roared with laughter, "You cannot soar with those birds. You are a chicken and chickens do not soar."

The eagle continued staring at his real family up above, dreaming that he could be with them. Each time the eagle would let his dreams be known, he was told it couldn't be done. That is what the eagle learned to believe. The eagle, after time, stopped dreaming and continued to live his life like a chicken. Finally, after a long life as a chicken, the eagle passed away. The moral of the story: You become what you believe you are; so if you ever dream to become an eagle follow your dreams, not the words of a chicken.

How often do we let ourselves be defined by other people, we let them determine our self worth whether we realize it or not. In order to live your full potential you must first believe you were born to be more than you are, you must believe it with such conviction that you follow your dream no matter how often you may be ridiculed or how often you stumble. For it is in the act of following ones dreams that your potential will be realized.

The worst thing that could happen in life is to wake up one day and realize too late that we have been held back from our dreams because we were too afraid to lift ourselves out of the chicken pen and from the small thinking people.  While they may mean well, some can only see possibilities through their limitations and not from your possibilities.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Frustration Sets You Up for Success

The outside world can invite you to become upset and frustrated.  It's up to you to decide whether to accept the invitation.

I posted this quote on my Twitter page today after dealing with some frustration.  I won't go into details but I will say when you are in business for yourself your hardest hustle can still result in a weak or NO return.  The frustration kicks in when you believe you've done all you can to make things happen---but nothing happens and you're left shaking your head.  

I spent about 30 minutes on the frustration trail and then realized if I allowed that feeling to permeate in my spirit, the rest of my day would not go well so I had to change the channel of my mind and meditate on a quote from Tony Robbins:

All successful people know success is buried on the other side of frustration.  

I can go with that!  So why am I sharing this?  Because I know someone is going through something similar---if not more complicated than me.  I have learned a lot about me over the past several months and, believe me, not all of it has been good.


Here are my takeaways:


1)  Stop fighting with the noise inside your head:  The negative thoughts will keep you from moving forward.  Life itself is full of ups and downs.  You only make matters worst when  you keep harping on your "woe is me mentality."


2)  Learn to manage stress:  When I find myself slipping into a mental place I don't want to go to, I pray, read my bible or play some old-school, upbeat music.  It changes the channel of my mind and takes me to a happy place where I can rejuvenate and renew my spirit.


3)  Be around people and things that inspire you:  When I disconnected from social media (especially Facebook) I cut out more than 80 percent of the noise that was affecting my world.  I became overwhelmed with the "perceived" success of my friends.  When I stopped connecting online,  I found other things to inspire me like taking walks and doing more writing.  


4)  I am still resilient:  In my 60 plus years on this earth I have learned that I can bounce back after bad things happen and I am still employable.


When babies are learning to walk, they will fall many times before they finally gain the confidence to stand and walk on their own.  We all fail from time to time but it doesn't mean we are a total failure in life.  Failures are a part of life.  If you don't fail, you don't learn and if you don't learn you will never change.  

I am now choosing to muddle through my frustration because I am confident my success is on the other side.