You Still Can Shine!!
YOU STILL CAN SHINE ©2009
“The WINNER says things won’t be fine, but Keep the Faith, YOU STILL CAN SHINE!”
This quote is from my own poem “WINNER”. (I don’t know if it’s an acceptable practice to quote yourself, but this line fits my story better than any others I could find). I’ve been in quite a rut lately (10 years or so) and I like to borrow Coldplay’s line, “Just because I’m losing, doesn’t mean I’ve Lost.” So to counteract my frustrating reality I spend a significant amount of time positioning myself to be ready the next time Opportunity knocks, and also pondering what in even means to Win- to be a WINNER. I voice my conclusion in “WINNER”, in the form of the fictional character that I strive to become.
This article will mean the most to those currently facing a tough adversity, or know someone who is. Regardless of the adversity which has knocked you down, you truly must take strength in the old saying “That what don’t Kill you, can only make you Stronger.” I think it’s fair to say that each of us have things in our lives that are major disappointments, maybe even terrible setbacks or shortcomings. Sometimes they create what may seem to be insurmountable odds. Well THEY’RE NOT!! In my poem “WINNER”, it goes on the venture, “Each of us will face our strife; that’s why the WINNER’S flame’s so hot.” If I’m correct, then you should take Pride in each adversity that you overcome. It just may be that you are being sharpened and strengthened in preparation for GREAT Things! So Hold Your Head High! Stand Tall! You Still Can Shine!!!
You are where you are. There no changing that, no denying it. It doesn’t matter how you got here- what matters it that you’re here and you don’t plan to stay like this. I really like this line in Kanye West’s song “Everything I Am”- “Everything I’m NOT, made me everything I AM.” I would also add “Everything that’s Been, has made me everything I AM.” But just remember that where you are at right now, the adversities that you now face, any weaknesses you may have, even any strengths, do Not define WHO you are. I explored the topic of Who I AM, several years ago and came up with a very basic concept of what I feel it to be. I wrote this very rough, unrefined poem entitled “I Am”:
I AM ©
“They say you’re good, I wanna see:
For 26 years I’ve been me
I’ve wasted, soared, and now I flail
Life struck but couldn’t steal my star
Now I don’t know who I’ve become
And you say, “What do you feel you are?”
I am not what I am
And I’m not what I’m not
I’m not what you say I am
Nor what I claim to be
Not what I’ve said or done
And surely not what I’ve got
I’m not how I’ve succeeded
Nor the ways that I’m weak
I’m not the trials I’ve faced
Nor the gifts I’ve been given
I’m simply the man Who I am
Livin’ the life that I’m livin’
I am Who I am
I’m not a thing- I’m a soul
I Am NO “work in progress”
I AM the damn goal!
I am here and I’m now
Looking you square in the eye
I’m a bit overdressed
Until I spoke I seemed shy
I am the world’s worst liar
What you get you will see
I may not be what you want
But all I can be is ME
I am Who I am
I’m not a thing- I’m a soul
I Am NO work in progress
I AM the damn goal!
(haha- I told you it was unrefined.)
***The following are some steps that I’ve taken/am taking, and which I would advise so that YOU STILL CAN SHINE! :
Acknowledge and embrace the problem
The first step toward remembering/ learning how to SHINE is to acknowledge that fact that there is problem, that there is an adversity, that there is a weakness. Just like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) the first step is to admit that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. This does Not mean that you should make excuses for your dilemma. No one likes the whiner who makes excuses for their lack of success. The reality is, that any success, any failure, any strength, any weakness- Anything- it’s all beside the point. Things simply ARE, not How or Why they should be or might’ve been. I think of it like this: Anything that happens is neither “good” nor “bad”. They simply ARE. The details of what has happened in the Past are completely irrelevant. Just accept where you are and ask yourself if you’re willing to do what it takes to Win. I love the insight by Rudyard Kipling in him timeless poem “IF”, where he says “If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken, Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools; Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools…” he follows by saying ““If you can make one heap of all your winnings; And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings; And never breath a word about your loss…..” His conclusion is that “IF” all of these things, then “Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it; And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!” (Please read this poem!) “IF” has been one of my main inspirations and has had a great influence on my writing.
"IF" by Rudyard Kipling
Weaken the powerful grasp of your Past
As I’ve mentioned in other posts (and will continue to at nauseam), perhaps the most influential book I’ve ever read, other than the Bible, is “Think Like a Winner,” by Dr. Walter Doyle Staples. In it he reminds us to “Adopt the Key core belief that there is some benefit to be had from every adversity.” Remembering this and searching for that positive can help to weaken the power of our Past. I have several other ideas that may help. #First, sit down in your favorite thinking area, maybe where you meditate or pray. Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the center of the page. Be honest- write down all of your problems and things that are discouraging you in the left column …..ALL of them. Then on the other half of the page, list all of the blessings that you have in life….ALL of them. Be specific- for example: Loving wife, beautiful kids, roof over my head, shoes on my feet, car to drive, decent job, freedom, integrity, etc., etc. Now study your list. If you’ve been thorough, your right hand ‘blessing’ column will undoubtedly be longer. Think about what that should mean to you….. #Consider these words from the Bible “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”- Philippians 4:8. #Now ask yourself, “I m here and I’m now- what is there that I can do today that I couldn’t before my issue?” What changes have taken place in my life by overcoming?
To again quote “Think Like a Winner”, “It is impossible to experience fear if you hold your mind in the present moment and concentrate solely on what is currently taking place.” Consider the words of the legendary philosopher Shawn Carter (aka, Jay-Z), in the insightful lyrics of “LOST”- a great song in which he collaborated with Coldplay. He asks, “The question is, is to have had then lost, better than not having at all?” From my experiences, I would have to conclude that this is a redundant question. Of course it’s better to have had then lost, just like I’d rather to have loved in the first place, even if lost. I’m sure that it’s hard to Lose something of great value to you, but it Really sucks to NOT have at all!! I feel like I would just be more thankful for the time that I DID have with this blessing in my life. I don’t know…… what do you think?
This is pretty self explanatory. What have you done your whole life that’s empowered you, that’s strengthened you, that makes you happy? Do that! # I believe that it’s very important to surround yourself with positive influences. Surround yourself with people you admire, that you want to be like. Find a mentor to give you guidance. #The same as the positive influences, surround yourself with positive thought, with motivational books, stories of success and inspiration. Eliminate any thoughts of Failure, Fear, Doubt, Worry, Regret, Pity, and any other thoughts which drag you down personally. I like to, every time I think a negative or self defeating thought, shout “STOP” (sometimes out loud) and quickly replace it with a detailed vision of Success. Always “Think Like A Winner”. #Act out your Faith. As a Christian, my Faith is in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of the living God which resides Inside of me…….but this can work for anyone. Whatever you place faith in and lean on for strength, actively live in that = Walk your Faith! # I would recommend not get too caught up in the evening news, in the paparazzi, the mud slinging, the evil in the world. They’ll be fine and carry on without you. # I would recommend reading at least 1 inspirational/motivational book each month. My first recommendation is the aforementioned “Think Like a Winner”, by Staples. But there are so many more: “The Power of Positive Thinking”, by Peale; “How to win friends and influence people” by Carnegie; etc. You find what strikes you. They’re all helpful.
# Do things that you enjoy- things that you are good at. A huge Key in (re)learning to SHINE is to start by simply having more wins than losses in your life. No matter how small, make note of your Successes and Joys. # And finally, learn to love yourself. Until you love yourself, you’re not capable of Loving others to your potential, and may not even allow others to love you. If you’re struggling with feeling like a Failure right now, I don’t think this is the time to worry about being conceited. What we’re working on right now is getting your confidence back. Getting your SWAGGER back!
Walk Big- Stand Tall- SHINE!
“Big Drama, Big Story; Big Stage, Big Glory; Big jungle, Big Knife; Big challenge, Big LIFE = you GOTTA walk big!” (a little except from my poem “WALK BIG”) Just remember- everything happens for a reason. Embrace that fact and Find YOUR Reason! Find your purpose in life, your calling, and sell out to it. Perhaps my favorite thinker of all-time is Henry David Thoreau. This is my favorite quote of his:
“If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
- Henry David Thoreau
To quote Staples two final times, “What you present yourself to be, in the end, is what is drawn out of you.” & “Only 7 percent of what you communicate to others is in the form of Words. 38 percent comes from the Tone of your voice, and while the other 55 percent is represented by your body language…”
Hopefully by this point, you will be getting your Swagger back. That is very important because in order to SHINE, you’ve gotta Glow! Get to the point where you can say: “I will fulfill what you see, as big as I walk I will be.”
Embrace the WINNER inside of you that says “Things won’t be fine, but keep the Faith, YOU STILL CAN SHINE!!!” So, Hold Your Head High! Stand Tall! You Still Can Shine!!!