In starting this blog, it was my goal to inspire others through my stories of perseverance. I have always believed that I was put on this earth for a special purpose and the pain and suffering I’ve gone through was meant as spiritual, military training. It is my mission to show people with breathing issues that they could stay passionate and joyous about life. But I feel that being open about my personal joys and passions also means being honest about my sadness and tribulaltions. It is not good enough to speak in the abstract, especially if I’m trying to connect on a meaningful level.
One of the toughest challenges to my self esteem occured in jr. high school. During those years, I was bullied by being excluded from recess sporting teams or from sitting with peers at lunch. During lunchtime I’d regularly try to sit with nice guys among a table among bullies, “You have no friends who want you here. Leave” the bullies would say. My so-called friends wouldn’t stick up for me because they feared loosing face amonst the popular crowd. I’d stand alone with my lunch tray, looking around anxiously, hoping for a lifeline. Other bullies were more blatent with their prejudice. They would intentionally seek me out to put me down.
One of the worst experiences came during a jr. high P.E. class. Our usually stern but fair PE teacher Mr. Macgee was absant so we had a substitute, who didn’t wield any authority. Our class was out on the diamond playing baseball. For some reason the “thing to do” that day was pick on me. As a result of spinal surgeries my neck it fused; I can’t turn it. After my initial swing and miss, every player -even the ones on MY team- mimiced my swing, shouting my name. My best friend tried to stick up for me but was hit by one of the bullies. Where was the substitute? Good question.
In that moment, I felt alone and insecure. I went through a period of frustration because I couldn’t understand why a nice person like me would be excluded?!? The silver lining, and why I can attest that it is the darkest before the dawn, is that those early tribulations forced me to face my fears (being alone; feeling powerless; am I of value?) and realize that I can use them as fuel to strengthen other parts of my life.
The idea of turning anguish into triumph is best summed up by Maya Angelou.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
As I grow older and trade insecurities for beathing ability, I am quite certain that I still have something to offer the world. I realize that it’s my responsibility to find the courage and take the steps in order to reach my fullest potential.
Here is a list of 5 goals that, no matter your aspiration, if you make them a part of your daily routine, you will feel more energized, passionate and fullfilled in life. So without furthur ado:
1. Jot Down Your Goals
That’s right, pen and paper! I call it a bucket list but you can call it whatever you like. It’s important to write down legitimate, measurable goals. Saying, “A dream career” is not enough, but saying, “A career in travel writing as a blogger/journalist” is a step in the right direction.
2. Focus on Your Dreams Completely
If you are serious about living your dreams, you may have to put a few things on the back burner for awhile or let go of the past. I was a school teacher for eight years but it wasn’t my dream job. I needed to accept that just because I went to school for eight years to be a teacher, doesn’t mean that my life should be confined to that career. Figure out what’s meaningful to you so you can be who you were born to be. Don’t waste your life fulfilling someone else’s dreams and desires. You must follow your intuition and make a decision. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only a select few of us actually work on it. Remember, life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Achieving your dreams can be a lot of work. Be ready for it.
3. Seek Inspiration
Follow those who inspire you. Seeing others achieve their dreams is extremely inspiring. You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. If you spend your time with the right people, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone.
4. Lose the Negative Attitude. Think Positively
Negative thinking creates negative results. Positive thinking creates positive results. That’s it. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. The mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it.
5. Measure your Success in Baby Steps
Don’t measure your success by looking at your final goal but instead by each and every baby step you achieve along the way. Sometimes we discourage ourselves by withholding cheering for our accomplishments until we reach our final destination. Cheer, cheer, cheer and build momentum along the way.
As R.Kelly penned, “If I can see it, then I can do it. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it. I believe I can fly.”
~ Breathe This Life ~