- Religion and Philosophy»
- Non-denominational Beliefs & Practices
How to make life decisions, spiritually and sensibly.
Rise above it, whatever it is.
Does it feel right?
One of the best gifts my father gave me was the ability to think for myself and speak my mind. Whenever I approached him with a tough decision growing up he would say, "Do whatever makes you happy."
The irony of the statement is that today I took the time to remind a friend that instant gratification can sometimes interfere with long-term happiness. So its important to keep in mind the context of the statement of "doing whatever makes you happy" not to be confused with "doing whatever makes you happy right now."
One of the most difficult parts of making a life changing decision is taking into consideration all of the players. If it's a physical move, or a job move who will be left happy, unhappy, etc. We've all heard that expression "you can't please everyone all the time, but you can please most of the people most of the time." The bottom line is that we are here to fulfill our own dreams, our own desires, our own destinies.
The other cliche' that comes to mind is that trying to please everyone is one sure way to fail. It's a cliche`, yet it's true. The moment we begin to live our lives for other people's happiness we become spread thin, and we often fail to nurture ourselves.
When it really comes down to it, that feeling in your gut is the one that's right. It shouts at us, and lets us know when we're not listening. Sometimes through a physical feeling, and other times through a nagging thought.
Weigh the ego.
What is ego? The word "ego" is often associated only with the meaning of someone having a "big head". While that is one part of ego, what I am referring to here is personal ego. I find that one of the largest sources of stress in our culture is the mentality of keeping up with the Joneses.
What will people think? This only matters if you allow it to. Making any decision based on what other people think means that you are basing your decision on ego. The bigger question that you need to ask is: What do I think? Here are a few statements that you should remind yourself of when making life decisions. Especially when in regards to work, money, home, purchases, etc.
- You are not your job.
- Your worth is not based on where you shop. (Hey, I'm a thrift store junkie and PROUD OF IT!) ;)
- Money does make things easier, it does not define you
- There's someone out there who's got it worse than you.
- You are not your bank account.
- You are not your home.
- Whatever it is (even something tough like losing a home, filing bankruptcy, getting fired) it's NOT the end of the world.
- If someone claims to care for you, then sways because your life is tough, they are not a true friend. See this as an easy exit door for them, no matter how painful, you've learned the quality of people you surround yourself with.
- The best things in life are free.
- Don't compare. You do NOT need to keep up with the Joneses.
- Do what's right for you.
Sometimes it seems like the ego's job is to talk down to us. To tell us we're not good enough, we'll never make it - and those things are simply not true. Each of us arrived here with gifts, and our job is to help one another in whatever fashion we choose. Some people write, some people volunteer. Some people raise wonderful children. All of these things are contributions to humanity. The scale does not matter. I think it was Mother Theresa who said "If you can't help a million people, help one."
Don't let your ego tell you otherwise. If you can remove (or redirect!) egoic thoughts in the mind your worry will ease. The tension will lift. Your goals and strengths will become clear. Keep your eye on the prize - and do what you can do today. Focus only on what is within your control. Those things are usually small steps that you can take today. If your ego begins to nag - get busy with your goal.
The ego resides in the right brain. It's creative and tricky. By switching to a left-brain activity your ego will automatically calm down. I find that if worry overwhelms me and I begin to work, write, or design my ego gets quiet. Don't let the bully in your own mind hold you back. We all share this battle!
Get creative, share, work, produce. Create something new every day, and don't let your ego win.