“Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.”
—Mary Flannery O’Connor, 20th Century American writer
image from Unsplash by Giulia Bertelli
To what degree do you see yourself as a work in progress? Where in your world are you in action through daily baby steps (and the occasional giant leap) to realize a better future for yourself and others in your various communities?
Where does the concept of acceptance of yourself and those around you come into play with regard to leading a fulfilling life?
Where might embracing your own humanity and a bit less of the inner critic provide confidence in your potential to be that better version of yourself?
Where would you most benefit from greater self acceptance? In what areas of your life are you most committed to becoming better?
Feel free to reply to this post with your answers to these questions.
The Little Engine that Could is an American fairy tale that became widely known in the 1930s. Through an online poll of teachers, The National Education Association rated it as one of the Top 100 books for children, because of its key message of the importance of optimism and hard work.
The story’s signature phrase, I Think I Can is a key memory I have from childhood on the importance of self belief and self determination. My wife Wendy and I did our best to instill this concept in both our children.
Where and with whom would a bunch more “I can” and “I know you can” statements support greater achievement and life satisfaction in your personal and professional communities?
“When science discovers the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it.”
-Bernard Baily, DC Comic Book artist
Image from nasa.gov
Early man believed that Earth was the center of everything, since they observed moons, planets, and stars revolving around it in the night sky. As science advanced, we learned that Earth is actually in an elliptical orbit around the sun.
With further advances in science⏤particularly in astronomy and astrophysics⏤we now know that we are a small speck on a small planet in a small solar system tucked away in the far corner of one out of two trillion galaxies in the universe.
And yet, many people believe they are the center of the universe, and that the world should somehow work out in whatever way they desire. History has clearly proven this idea ridiculously untrue, yet many still want to believe it.
How would seeing yourself and others as part of the oneness of all things provide you greater peace of mind and contentment? Consider the fact that we are all stardust, and that we have an important role to play in this infinite universe.
As I write this, I’m in Florida with my dad and wife. I can’t believe how much self-reflection I’m doing as I observe everyone going about life as seniors and in many cases super-seniors.
Social clubs and activities abound, and I feel as if I’m in what my wife Wendy refers to as “winter camp”! Of particular note is the level of youthful spirit I see in those around me as I go to the gym, play golf, go out for meals with friends, attend shows and even go out for frozen yogurt at my normal bedtime back home!
These people are still very much the same age inside – and though time has provided a number of bumps that may slow them down a bit, their youthful zest for life keeps them looking forward to each new day.
Examine how your own external image of yourself reflects of your internal age. What thoughts do you have daily that reflect a significantly younger you?
Consider taking the Real Age test to compare your chronological age to what they describe as your “real age.”
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism
We all love to be right, to have the correct answer, to know the truth. We think we will then find clarity, stability, and even peace of mind. But what if in being “right” about ourselves we have defined ourselves into a safe and limited box?
Defining something limits it. Perhaps, instead, we could distinguish ourselves and open up the possibility of who we could be.
How and in what ways can you rediscover yourself, by releasing yourself from self-limiting beliefs?
If you find this difficult, ask a family member or a close friend for their perspective.