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Enthusiastic on Purpose
Does some hype give you a headache? Do some motivational sources leave you shaking your head in defiance? Have you caught a case of the grumbles & curmudgeons? It can happen to even the most positively spirited amongst us at times. Some days we may just have to push our own boulder of joy uphill to realize desired results. I am grateful that I come from a long line of determined, enthusiastic & inspirational family legacy. The word “quit” does not exist in the vocabulary that I learned within my family. I love that big time! That is great news because when life comes at you with one of those hurling balls catapulted like the game “Krush the Castle” there is fight enough & more & the rascaliness(yes I know I just made up yet another word) to keep trying. The realization that even on the bad days I will plough through contains no room for denial of the challenge or rah rah emptiness of flakey words or strategies. Rather it consists in the knowledge that along the way to adulthood I have undeniable evidence that all the strength I need is there for whatever fight comes along. Some days are a willful confrontation of the truth. Those are the days when type 1 has been an especially punishing beast & it would be the easiest thing in the world to feel sorry for myself aka accept the role of victim. The rascal in me refuses to be a victim period. You hear a lot of people say “I have diabetes but it doesn’t have me.” That is true although I use more rascally words then those when I describe the battle over daily life with type 1. One thing I know for sure is that days turn into weeks & months & years & it would be very possible to have a large collection of bad days if I chose not to step into the ring of choosing which thoughts to keep & discard each day. Life is precious & type 1 obviously was not in my plans however it does not reduce the preciousness all the same.
Speaking of inspirational legacy, my Dear Heart Dad sent along an article by Dr. Bradberry outlining habits & impacts on emotions. Within the article, the brilliant quote by Benjamin Franklin chosen by Dr. Bradberry describes the essence of our choice over our thoughts: “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” The rascal in me believes with every fiber of my being that joy is a choice best not left to chance because life is short & precious. While I am not crazy about motivational content I am a huge fan of inspirational content. We are each beautiful originals so we can disagree on this & more & still remain the greatest of friends. Personally I find a lot of motivational content empty, flakey, false, technique (y) , and brain numbing. Inspirational content however is the polar opposite & embraced in my personal experience. Motivational content may point us to “get over something” aka deny the validity of whatever the struggle is. Come on! The absurdness of that is beyond hollow & insulting I believe. Inspirational content though provides us I believe with hope. Others have gone the distance that have had similar struggles to us & they did not give up even though it was beyond difficult. What sets these giants of inspiration apart? Could it be their thoughts? Did they get to joy on purpose or did it just happen? We each answer that question for ourselves. My answer is that these every day heroes found joy on purpose.
From my youngest childhood memory I remember my Dad being a huge pillar & example of the enthusiastic attitude in action. I am grateful for the gift of having had (and continuing to have) such a strong leader & example of kindness & compassion in my Dear Dad. I learned early on that attitudes are created on purpose versus happenstance. It is fitting indeed that about a month ago my Dad sent one of his lovely notes to me with the link to the author of a book on the topic of emotional intelligence. The specific link was to an article by Dr. Travis Bradberry who is the author of the book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” entitled “10 Troubling Habits of Chronically Unhappy People.” I found this article to be fascinating & bang on. Please be sure to seek out the article on the Huffington site to enjoy the entire article. In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the following quick list of the 10 troubling habits outlined by Dr. Bradberry. With this knowledge we then get to do something pretty powerful & that is to turn things around that need tending to because hey, no one wants to be unhappy right! Dr. Bradberry’s list includes:
- Waiting for the future. (I have fallen prey to that one & failed to live & enjoy the present moment & continue to tackle that one) How about you?
- Spending too much time & effort acquiring things. (very cool stats on how certain levels of money can actually detract from contentment)
- Staying home. (It is the principle of do it anyway…the things that will help to encourage us to have a better attitude are difficult to do when we are feeling down)
- Seeing yourself as a victim (I feel allergic to that idea…how about you?)
- Pessimism (we all likely know someone who is a negative thinker no matter what help they are offered or how much brighter their lives become)
- Complaining (It is one thing to share honest feelings yet quite another to become a chronic complainer about everything)
- Blowing things out of proportion (I remember learning during my university days that words we use carry power as well…like calling a flat tire a “disaster” or a party that did not go as planned a “tradegy.”) This is doom & gloom thinking on steroids.
- Sweeping problems under the rug (face problems head on is my motto)
- Not improving (letting life happen to us versus getting in the game)
- Trying to keep up with the Joneses (comparison may make us feel quite inferior & we are each beautiful originals so why choose this behaviour?)
If we soul search do we find ourselves falling prey to any of the 10 habits outlined by Dr. Bradberry? Congratulations if you answered yes to any of the above because it just means that you & I are human. The great news though is that we get to choose to do something meaningful & positive with the information. The 2 of the habits that I have fallen prey to over the years (especially since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes) are number 1 (waiting for the future) & #3 (staying home). I put in enormous effort to combating #1 & # 3 and have learned to conquer # 3 by telling false thoughts off. I don’t want to become a bully to myself so number 3 does not get to become a runaway freight train of isolating myself versus going out into the world even on my especially bad days living with type 1 & the other 3 autoimmune diseases. If I made another choice I would miss out on some pretty amazing experiences. The rascal in me refuses to be less than in the game of life. You won’t see me climbing any mountains & stuff like that (although a friend of mine that I admire who has type 1 diabetes did climb Mount Kilimanjaro) yet you also will not see me quit or throw in the towel. It just is not in my genetic makeup. Thanks Dad xo.
My heart’s hope for you is that you take a long loving & gentle look within yourself & realize that you have come a long way. Some days you have carried the weight of the world on your shoulders. Our struggles can be profoundly invisible to others yet our strength is like a neon sign of inspiration to many. Eyes are upon you watching to see if you are going to choose as much joy as possible for yourself struggles & all. Be that light of inspiration. I bet you already are.
Smiles, Saundie :)
May you be joy filled on purpose this whole week. Next Monday's sharing is in the creative ether. As always be gentle with yourself.