Awakening One’s True Potential
CROMWELL - I’m optimistic that we’re all still around to read this month’s Chronicle, you know since the Mayan Calendar ended on 12/21/2012 (just in case you forgot, the 2012 Winter Solstice had been hailed as either a Great Awakening of Global Human Consciousness or the initiation of an Apocalyptic Age.)
NASA scientists have stated that nothing would change; one year would end and another would begin--in the Mayan Calendar as in in the Standard World Calendar--and so we begin a New Year (or, if you’re Mayan, a new baktun).
If Einstein were alive today, he might say, “Awakening! Apocalypse! No matter! It’s all a matter of perception.”
It’s true; science has shown this in research on stress and resiliency: Two people go through the same or very similar stressful situations. Doesn’t matter what it is, a big exam, a sporting event, an unexpected medical diagnosis. One person perceives the situation as stressful, catastrophic thoughts run through the mind. Fear and feelings of defeat affect that person’s ability to work through the situation to the best possible outcome. Meanwhile, another person sees the same situation as an opportunity and flourishes. They may not ace the exam or win the race, but they perform their very best; they live their best life despite the medical challenges. They feel a sense of accomplishment.
How you perceive the world and all the daily hassles and major life events that come into your life has an affect on how you feel about yourself and your life as well as the way you relate to other people, the choices you will or will not make and even your vulnerability to, and recovery from, illness. So, it’s fair to say that the “New Agers” have been right all along--thoughts and feelings about yourself and the world around you co-create your reality. “Co-” referring either to a Higher Power and/or the forces at work in the world (people, events, etc.) as you interact with it.
We read books to young children about little engines that could and a Grinch whose heart is changed because one little girl believed in him. We teach our children and, hopefully, show by our own example things like “If you think you can, you will; if you think you won’t, you won’t.” We encourage them to “try as if you might succeed” and to “dream, believe, achieve.” When teaching and practicing such wisdom we must also be sure to teach “thinking” and “doing,” because dreaming and believing alone do not bring about success of any kind. Adults and children must think for themselves and must take action toward their dreams and goals.
What do you notice about people who have achieved success in life, whether that is in sports, business or raising self-sufficient children? Most people I’ve known, or whose biographies I have read, emphasize over and again that success does not happen in a vacuum. Upon receiving their lifetime achievement kudos, men and women alike will thank everyone from mom and dad to spouses to college roommates who stood by them through all the ups and downs of chasing their dream, thinking and believing along with them (co-creating?).
These people are fully aware that they were able to do what needed to be done, despite any obstacles that got in the way, because of the way they think and feel about the journey toward success, and the importance of a network of people who--through the ups and downs of that journey--stand by them.
People like Steve Jobs and J.K. Rowling also never downplayed the failures encountered along the way. They admitted to feeling like they should give-up in the face of every botched computer program and rejection letter--but they never gave in to those feelings and fears.
So, in this new year, examine your own perceptions about the world and your place in it. Let this be the year that you get started on (or in my case, finish and market) a novel. Let this be the year that you reach out to an estranged family member and let the past be the past. Let this be the year that you work smarter, not harder, and enjoy your family more. Let this be the year you stick to an exercise program and participate in your first 5K.
Don’t let the curse of instant gratification disillusion you and derail you from your goal or dream. We can get so much instantly, when the success we expect doesn’t happen according to our timeline, we can feel defeated. Don’t give up and accept a life of mediocrity, having barely given yourself a chance to share your greatness with the world.
Yea, that’s right, I said “your greatness.” We all have greatness within us. We all have a place in the world, and a place upon which to shine our light. It takes time to figure that out, longer for some than for others. It all depends upon what you think, what you believe, what you do and who in your life helps you co-create the conditions necessary to reach your star.