Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day #20 - Control What You Can Control

It is amazing how much progress we can make if we really begin to focus on ourselves and create written goals that we are committed to reaching. There are certainly events and circumstances in our lives that we just cannot control. But if we take control of those things that we can control, we will be in a better position to manage our way through those things that we cannot control.

Three years ago when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, it was a very intimidating moment. However, because I had changed my lifestyle at the beginning of that same year – walking at least four miles every morning, drinking plenty of water, eliminating the consumption of sweets – I was able to anticipate and experience a speedy and complete recovery after my surgery. Often the problems that we could not avoid are made worse by our having failed to prevent the problems that we could avoid. This discovery has been liberating for me.

With the remaining days of this month, I will share more of the principles and practices that I heave learned about creating and reaching personal goals. I have been sharing this process with you even as I am updating my own personal goals. And I gave myself a deadline of July 31st to have completed my own revised plans for the next few years of my life. And as you know I have been blessed to have a tremendously productive month.

One way to have a vision for whatever length of time you are planning is to answer this question: “When I look in the mirror on this date _______________ , who will I see?” That is really the question our goals seek to answer. “By August 1, who will I see – or who will others see – when we look at me?” The more we ask and answer this question, the more likely it is that we are making the most out of our lives.

For some people this whole discussion is uncomfortable because it feels like we are placing too much emphasis on our individual needs and wants. Many people are uneasy hearing and thinking about themselves as much as I suggest. But the reality is that we are not in a position to help others if we have not addressed our own needs and potential. On every airline flight that I have taken I have been instructed that in the case of an emergency to place the oxygen mask on myself before I attempt to help anyone else. The sense behind that advice is this: If you are not all right, you will not be able to help other passengers make it to safety.

I am simply trying to show you how to place the oxygen mask on yourself to better position you to be able to help others.

It is now July 20. Who will you see in the mirror 12 days from now?

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