Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tell Yourself

Friday morning I got in a cab and headed to the airport. Once I arrived, my cab driver didn't have enough cash to give me change nor could he process a credit card payment. I ran into the airport only to discover that the ATM was out of money. I would have to find another ATM in order to pay my fare, but that meant I could be charged extra for the mileage and time. Still, I walked out thinking, "It doesn't matter. You're going to Spain today."

After finding an ATM and paying the taxi driver, I checked in for my flight. It was delayed, and continued to be delayed, for two hours. I am pretty good at passing time, but the airport I flew out of had less activity than I have in my apartment. Plus, I was facing an eight-hour flight so I didn't want to waste my reading and writing on the ground. Instead of grunting I told myself, "It doesn't matter. You're going to Spain today."

While it is great that I didn't get frazzled by the elongated cab ride, flight delays, or nearly missing my flight from Madrid to Santander--another blog for another time--what if I wasn't going to Spain that day? What if on a typical Friday I was met with challenges and delays out of my control? Did I need something as big and unusual as a 4,000 mile trip to help me keep life in perspective?

Life often presents us with detours and speed bumps. Even when we have done all we can to prepare and anticipate challenges, circumstances out of our control jerk us into back-up plans and at times, we need to create a back-up for our back-up. What mantra do you tell yourself to get you through the uncertain times? How do you encourage yourself through challenges and maintain proper perspective?

On Friday I was able to get through 24-hours of traveling hiccups and changes by telling myself I was going to Spain, but on a normal day, when I am simply planning to go to work, buy groceries, cook dinner, and pay bills, it is even more important for me to have a mantra to get through issues in the office, the sad phone call, unexpected expenses, health concerns, or rejection. In order to keep challenges in perspective I need to keep what is more important in my life at the forefront of my mind. While I spent more time in a cab and more money on the outbound trip than I expected, I still had the ability to travel. Although my flight didn't leave at the time it was scheduled, I was still going to have an amazing experience in country I'd never visited. Even though my day did not go exactly as planned, the end result was the same--I was going to embark upon a life-changing journey. How wasteful and sad would it have been if I allowed my journey to be hindered before it fully began?

Your journey is filled with a range of experiences. There will be excited times when you greatly anticipate what life has in store. There will be times when you are thankfully reaping the benefits of good decisions and hard work. There will also be times when you gracefully live out greatness when your choices could have warranted less. Just as often there will be moments when you are unsure, thrown off course, confused, and upset. Difficulty and relentless struggle can seem to follow you more closely than your shadow. You may feel stagnant and like you cannot make progress no matter what you do. During these challenging periods it is more important than ever that you remember not to lose focus or faith. You cannot spend more energy on 200 difficult miles of your journey when there's 4,000 miles in total. Do not get caught up in the preliminary pieces and uncertain moments when greatness lies just beyond your fears. Tell yourself, it doesn't matter. You are intended for more joy, fulfillment and love today, and it all begins with the messages you tell yourself and believe.

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