MAWMonday Motivators 08/07/2016

Allowing-Dandelion1Life is full of seeming contradictions. From healthy eating tips, to exercise routines, to self-help advice, it can seem confusing to do the right thing. Consider the grown-up version of the challenge. It’s not as simple as doing the right thing. As an adult, you have to “Do the right thing for you.” This requires that you know yourself. When you know yourself, advice has a proper filter. If you speak well and in supportive tones to yourself, you balance outside advice with your personal truth. The proof is the result your life reveals.

This week, I offer seemingly contradicting ideas with which you can practice your self-knowledge and train your inner voice. Twitter provides the advice. You challenge a greater knowledge of self.

1. Don’t Stop
A common motivating cry. Don’t quit! Some have even promoted the idea of continuing because stopping would label you a quitter. I say. Stop when you need to. Change direction if it’s not working. And also realize that difficulty does attend that final leg of the journey toward a breakthrough. Bottom line: You have to get the information that informs your choice. Choose what is best for you. Then, you have to live with that choice. I always support moving to something better if that’s your informed choice. You will want to be content with your choice. You don’t have to accept any label, but you do have to live with consequences.

2. Let Go
Let go seems to say quit. But, it is a call to much more than that simple action. As the tweet illustrates, letting go is a rather advanced mindfulness technique. It may be best described as “allowing.” It is a combination of faith, acceptance, and releasing. Faith in what is coming in a future supported by mindfulness. Acceptance of the present reality and opportunity. And, release of any expectation, ambition, and anxiety that would frustrate your ability or cloud your interpretation of information.

3. Be Still
As I fail more and grow older, I have lost a lot. Most notably, I have lost my naive and really immature view of the world and success. I still have my high school graduation “future book.” In this book, you predict the future. I famously wrote that, in 10 years, I would earn a salary of $120,000. I have never made that amount of money. But more importantly, I have learned more in the last 5 years about what I could have done with the money I have been able to earn. I have learned that earning money in exchange for work is the most rudimentary of income propositions. I have also learned that money is an inferior life goal. Your knowledge of yourself will certainly be challenged by what you think you know, and what life reveals as rubbish.

4. Don’t Give Up
After being told to let go and be still, don’t give up seems a great contradiction. The other two admonitions emphasize that there is definitely something to be given up. Pride. Ambition. Achievement. Competition. Becoming. All these are seductions of a lower nature. A higher nature begins with belief, patience, acceptance, and stillness. The challenge is to understand this in the context of our current world. Indeed, that understanding is the goal. Don’t give up on the revelation of a life well-lived. Remain open to insight relating to those elements of life that matter above others.

5. Risk Embarrassment
There is not try. For many reasons under the heading of mindfulness, trying, attempting, achieving, acting, are lesser pursuits. And yet, openness to failure and experience is itself a grand pursuit. Many of us are resistant to the revelations of experience because it sometimes makes us appear less than what we would like ourselves to be. But, honesty is about what truly is, not the perceptions that we construct or the presentations we project. Let go of trying to be something. Be simply who you are. Sometimes you make mistakes, but you always learn. Accept the lessons. Allow your growth to be organic and true. Live a life without regret even if it means living without some things.