Yesterday, as I made a roadtrip with my 83 year-old mother and pondered my good fortune concerning family and friends, I identified three messages that we should avoid if we want to stay powered-up.
1. I have to be successful so everybody will love me.
Success isn’t what makes people love you. In America, success apparently involves building edifices, having bad hair, and yelling “You’re fired!” Success brings competition, not acceptance. Those coworkers who kiss your ass now might run the other direction if your success wanes.
So, ask yourself this Kojak question – Who loves you, baby? You’ll probably realize that it’s your family and friends who have seen you at your worst and loved you anyway. And, hopefully, you love yourself . . . because if you don’t love yourself, you’ll never be able to accept love from others.
2. I have no real talent – I am average at best.
Excuse me, but the people who watched you grow would beg to differ, as would the Creator who came up with the entire concept of you. I’m not sure how you describe “talent,” but I can tell you this – there is nothing average about you. Talent isn’t about what you do, it’s about who you are.
Remember Oseola McCarty, the woman who had a 6th grade education and spent her life washing people’s clothes so she could provide college scholarships to young people? I have no doubt that when she entered the gates of heaven, God’s first words were, “What a talent.”
3. Life’s not fair.
Life’s not fair – get over it.
Know that life can never be “fair” because we all define fairness differently. Some of the most boring, flaccid souls I’ve ever met were given everything in life and faced very few hardships. I know it sounds cliché, but our power is strengthened when we face and overcome obstacles.
Don’t think obstacles are a breeze for me. I hate the times of life when my soul travels through a dark place. I moan and groan and cry and stomp my feet and yell, “I don’t want to grow! I’m good right where I am!” But when I finally sit in the darkness and shut-up, amazing things happen.
Your Turn: [In comments below] What is another message that takes away our power?