Mental health is gaining more awareness these days, but it has always been important for each of us. What good is a strong body if our mind is weak? Chances are that if your body is weak, it is because your mind isn’t healthy! Our minds are powerful. They can help us achieve the impossible or they can prevent us from doing the simple. What’s the state of your mind?
- Criticism can snatch joy right out of your life. Are you hard on yourself? Tough on others? Lighten up! Each time your thoughts go to the dark side, combat it with something positive.
- Control can squeeze out your happiness. Wanting to be organized can serve you well but obsessing over order can wreak havoc for you and your loved ones. Pay attention to what bothers you and why. Does it really matter? Sometimes putting things in their place can reduce stress, but when you find yourself stressing out because things are in disarray, take a deep breath and let it go.
- Jealousy and a case of the wants can crush your spirit. We only see the good on social media, and we can be left feeling like we are the only ones who don’t have it all. Nothing good ever comes from comparing yourself to others, so if you can’t scroll through Facebook without feeling bad, DON’T! Focus on what you do have and be grateful.
- Perfectionism is your enemy! The only perfect human being was nailed to a cross, so stop trying! Instead, strive for excellence. Give your best and then entrust the results will come. Know when good enough is good enough.
- Solitude will destroy your peace. Even Han Solo had Chewbacca, so don’t try to go it alone. We were designed for relationships. Yes, they take work and can be messy, but it beats the alternative of suffering alone in silence.
See yourself in any of these? Pick one to start working on today. Good mental health requires daily attention, and we all benefit when we make it a priority.
Freedom is something we take for granted, unless we’ve ever lost it. We are very fortunate in our country to be able to say and do just about anything we want, yet many are giving up their rights of choice. Remember the Matrix movie trilogy with Keanu Reeves? He was given the opportunity to take the Red pill or the Blue pill. One would introduce him to the truth, and the other would keep him in denial. He opted for the Red pill, and he saw the real world with all its faults and problems instead of the programmed perfect version.
The Blue pill would have been much easier and safer. He could go about his life without concern for the greater good. When his eyes were open, however, he could never go back…even though it was much more painful. He now knew of a bigger cause than himself.
I was pondering this on a hike the other morning, and I believe each pill represents something different for each of us. For me, the Blue pill would mean settling into a steady job and living out my days in the town I grew up in. Nothing wrong with it, but it would be a small life. I took the Red pill a long time ago knowing I yearned for more. I knew I wasn’t average and wasn’t going to live a life that was just OK. I felt something inside of me saying there was more for me to do than a “job.” The world was calling!
My choice has been exciting, and it has stretched and grown me beyond belief. It has required me to move and live in multiple cities. I’ve worn many hats in my business and accomplished things I never would have dreamed were possible back in my Blue pill life (like eight published books and being on radio stations across the country just to name a couple). I’ve met a ton of people and have experienced some incredible places I would have never known if I hadn’t taken that Red pill. My choice has had a price to it, though.
I have had to put myself out on a limb and try new things that were uncomfortable. I’ve been continually challenged, and I’ve grown so far outside of the Blue pill that I would never fit there again. I’ve learned that the bigger the life, the more risk, and with more risk can—and usually does—come BIG falls. You don’t get to the top of something without some setbacks.
The greater you stretch yourself, the harder the fall might be. I am experiencing one of those free falls, wondering where the bottom is and when the suffering will end. Oh how much easier and safer it would have been if I had never taken that Red pill! As soon as I even consider taking that Blue pill, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I just couldn’t live that life. I would be bored and left feeling empty and useless. I would also feel like I wasn’t fulfilling my purpose.
The Blue pill suits some people, and I don’t judge them. Small lives lived well can be enjoyable, but we get what we give. Greater rewards come to those who give much—just like our founding Fathers. They sacrificed much, including their lives, for something greater than themselves. What about you? Are you a Blue pill person wondering if there is more to life? What would a Red pill life look like for you? If you are a Red pill person, you know the journey can be hard, but you wouldn’t have it any other way. I encourage you to continue on my friend! I know I am grateful for the Red pill people in our history who gave us the choice. Choose wisely.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve watched Wonder Woman since it came out, but I can’t help myself! Each and every time I watch it, another powerful message hits me between the eyes. The latest is early on in the movie when Wonder Woman first discovers her powers. Her mom hid her destiny (Aries killer) from her thinking it would protect her, so she had to figure out on her own what she was made up. And boy did she! The scene where she realizes that she can jump, soar, and bash through walls is like watching a kid ride his bike for the first time all by himself. Her joy and excitement is contagious.
Do you remember when you first realized you had special talents? Were you young or did it take a while? As the years go by, we can sometimes forget them. Our roles and positions are the perfect opportunity for us to use our abilities as well as discover new ones. Every job requires different skills sets, and every company pushes us in unique ways. How thrilling!
Facing financial and budget constraints? Work on your endurance through the trials. Moral low? Beef up your encouraging spirit! See a peer struggling? Extend compassion. In all things, strive to be honest and helpful.
One way to step outside of your comfort zone is to speak in public. Before you walk up to the podium, get a copy of my booklet Speak to Any Audience to get the confidence you need.