The KEY To Change

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” —Leo Tolstoy

Everything begins with a belief.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life consists of what a man is thinking about all day.”

Along those lines, what we think determines who we are.  And who we are determines what we do.

Our thoughts determine our destiny, and our destiny determines our legacy.  As British philosopher James Allen, author of As a Man Thinketh, said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you.  You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”

People who go to the top think differently than others.  Said differently, small thinking is self-limiting.  It holds you back from achieving great things.  On the other hand, nothing expands possibilities like unleashed thinking.

The good news: We can change the way we think.

Believe it or not, the #1 challenge to making personal changes is your feelings.  And you can control your feelings by controlling your thoughts.  In other words, you can control your thoughts, and your feelings come from your thoughts.

Unfortunately, because few people control their thinking, they fail to control their lives.

How can you change your thoughts?

  • Think big picture. The KEY to Change_5This allows you to see beyond yourself.
  • Think focused. This allows you to remove distractions.
  • Think creatively. This allows you to get out of your box of limitations.
  • Think realistically. This allows you to have a foundation for change.
  • Think strategically. This allows you to have a plan for change.
  • Think possibilities. This allows you to look for and receive the best.
  • Think reflectively. This allows you to gain a true perspective of yourself.

Long story short, what we think informs what we believe, for belief is a byproduct of what we’ve thought about long enough and decided to buy into.  Our beliefs inform our expectations, which impact our attitude.  Attitude to behavior, behavior to performance, and changing your performance changes your life.

If you followed along there, you see that everything is traced back to our thoughts.

To Your Change!

October 10, 2019

Living Life within the Margins

“I live life in the margins of society, and the rules of normal society don’t apply to those    who live on the fringe.” —Tamara De Lempicka

Many of us are drawn to extremes.  We are wired to want to explore the edges of things, test boundaries and push ourselves.  Of course, going to extremes can be good — at the right times, in the right amounts, and on occasion.  But when it’s the norm, when it’s persistent, and when it’s the way of life, it’s hazardous Do the Workers feel Milkedpractice.  Simply put, you’re playing with fire, scarecrow, even though prevailing culture tell us:

    • Work longer hours
    • Sleep less
    • Spend more money
    • Stretch to a better lifestyle

These messages, generally speaking, are harmful and destructive, and more specifically, we weren’t designed to live with extreme calendars, extreme finances, extreme approaches to work, extreme obsessions with physical health, or extreme hobbies and interests.

We were designed to live with margin.  You can think of margin as the amount of time, money or what have you that we hold back in order to maintain productivity, stability, and integrity.  And margin applies to various areas of our lives:

    • Calendar margin means reserving time for rest, solitude and the people who matter most.
    • Financial margin means living within our means and even changing our lifestyles, if needed.
    • Work margin means focusing on what we’re made to do and excluding things we aren’t.

Pumpkin ParadiseMargin is a gift.  While you may be persuaded to believe that there are valuable things to be gained in the extremes (such as status and comfort), you’ll find much more valuable things in the margin: relationships, restoration, joy and peace, which are all vital inputs to healthy, productive lives.

And these are things that we must have sufficient amounts of if we’re going to positively impact others.  We care for others by caring for ourselves.  You know what they say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”¹  Or, if you’ve ever paid attention on an airplane, you’d know that you should always put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others.

How can you build more margin into your life?  What are the areas where you’re living on the extremes?  Instead of trying to live up to the world’s standards, how can you better honor yourself and others?  What’s one concrete, measurable change that you can make today?

¹ Or as reported on Shark Tank… “No balls … no baby!”  🙂

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