“If you want to change the world . . . start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.”
I love the words of the author when he says “we will all find ourselves neck deep in mud someday. That is the time to sing loudly, to smile broadly, to lift up those around you and give them hope that tomorrow will be a better day.” We each have our way of dealing with stress and bringing some happiness to our lives. Nothing makes me happier than turning on some music and singing my heart out until I have a smile on my face, even if it does not sound all that great.
I spend a lot of time in my car. It gives me much time to think about my mile-long to-do list and the upcoming commitments I have made for myself. It often seems like there is not enough time in the day to get it all done, but somehow, I make it all happen. My commute in the mornings is the perfect time to have a private praise session, and it sets the tone for my entire day. I notice a huge difference in my days when I do not have that, so when it feels like I am drowning in my own work and thoughts, singing like no one is watching makes me feel pretty good.
“If you want to change the world . . . don’t ever, ever ring the bell.”
Getting knocked down is never fun. Standing back up and dusting yourself off is the best thing we can do for ourselves. The reaction we give to not achieving what we set out to make or not accomplishing the goals we wanted to reach shows the world what kind of person we are. That message we send should say we are strong, resilient, and determined.
When life throws its punches, we can dodge them or take them, but giving up and breaking under pressure is not an option. Find a reason to be stronger than the battle that is trying to hold its control. There will be people for and against you, but when the fight to find yourself and reveal who you are to the world has been won, your story may be the one to inspire someone else to persevere through anything. Never back down.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018
“If you want to change the world . . . don’t back down from the sharks.”
Swimming with sharks have never been and never will be on my bucket list. I am not a huge fan of meeting creatures bigger than me and that have the capability of causing great bodily harm. I even struggle with facing them in an aquarium because of trust issues and fragile glass. Some things are not worth risking.
While I will always draw a line between actual sharks and me, it does not mean I will let the sharks that lurk around me in my life off the hook. Sharks are the things in life that try to knock us down and scare us from trying. They always seem to bite back when we are already drowning in work. All it takes is coming back up for fresh air and a moment of serenity to know how to prove the sharks wrong.
No matter who or what your shark is, know you have the power to be in control of the situation. Sharks smell fear, so never let your sharks know you are afraid of them. Be the bigger person, and let your sharks know who is boss.
“If you want to change the world . . . be your very best in the darkest moment.”
Life is not always a bed of roses. The thorns hurt, and sadness pours out. As much as we all wish this was never the case in life, we must be realistic with ourselves. In those times of low moments, looking forward to happier days will surely help in some way.
It sometimes feels like the world has a way of making sure to knock us down even more when we are already down. And even though I usually find myself being a positive and happy person, it would be easy to let the world capture my happiness and hold my smile for ransom. We must show that we are stronger than what is thrown our way.
How we deal with challenging circumstances and react to what is going on around us says a lot about us as an individual. We can either let the world know we are vulnerable and be torn down when life gets a little too hard, or we can take whatever comes with strength and determination to come out stronger on the other side. I like the second option best, but it is ultimately your decision.
Let your smile rule the world, and not the other way around. Smile, the world is watching.
“If you want to change the world . . . don’t be afraid of The Circus.”
I often joke about that when chaos ensues in life that it is not my circus and certainly not my monkeys to tend after. Just by telling myself that phrase, I usually laugh and cheer up despite the spiraling craziness around me. I am usually pretty content to be an observer to the circus, rather than a participant. But, that is not the approach Admiral McRaven has proposed.
His version of The Circus and my version of the circus in this context are drastically different. Admiral McRaven’s idea of The Circus is yet another SEAL training experience that I can, with great assurance, say that I would never survive. It consists of hours upon hours of torturous conditions to ensure that the best of the best and strongest SEAL trainees make the ranks.
My version of the circus is any potential for a shift in my routine or excitement that I am less than thrilled to encounter. Obviously, my circus encounter is hardly comparable to that of the SEAL team’s Circus, but I can make the connection and gain the same life perspective.
I may not always enjoy the circus that I am a part of for the time being, but there comes the point in life that I guess warrants us of becoming the ringleader of our own circus. We ultimately have the power to decide how and when our circus packs up and moves on to the next unsuspecting ringleader.
“If you want to change the world . . . slide down the obstacle headfirst.”
Any challenge or obstacle we must conquer will inevitably make us stronger on the other side. There is no denying that. We may be faced with a challenge, and our eyes only show us what failure can look like as the outcome. The deceit we believe hinders our ability to see the potential we all contain.
If we go into a trying time with the mindset that failure will be the outcome, there is no chance of having a healthy confidence level. The shift of our thought process must occur for the fear factor to be removed as a determining factor in decision making. Once I learned this lesson, I appreciated having the option of failure.
It sounds like a weird thing to appreciate. I do not view it as a crutch when something does not go the way I envision. Instead, I look at it like this: each opportunity is filled with lessons, so if I succeed or if I fail, the act did not happen in vain. I give it my all either way, and however it ends will prove to me the very reasons why it was worth trying to begin with. With each try, it builds character and teaches us to take on every opportunity with courageous strides.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018
“If you want to change the world . . . measure a person by the size of their heart.”
You can tell a lot about a person by how they act and speak. It is imperative in today’s society, where just about anything goes, that we are diligent in making our actions and words matter. Not much in life comes free, but one thing that has always been and always will be free is kindness. The world may not owe us anything, but we owe it to the world to add something positive to it.
The author of Make Your Bed relates many of these life lessons to his days in SEAL training. He brings to life a narrative of having the perseverance to prove the skeptics wrong. That was the lesson to learn from this chapter, and I especially appreciated what he had to offer as far as advice goes. “Proving that size didn’t matter. Proving that the color of your skin wasn’t important. Proving that money didn’t make you better. Proving that determination and grit were always more important than talent.” Although these were the lessons that applied in SEAL training for Admiral McRaven, I can see how each of these can be carried over into everyday life.
There is more to a person than what is seen on the outside. There is always more to the story than what is being told. We must look beyond what our eyes show us and see with our hearts. I hope for the day when our eyes stop deceiving our hearts and let actions speak before words.
“If you want to change the world . . . get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.”
Maybe an unlikely pairing of perspectives to include in an inclusive idea, but just hear me out. In theory, sugar cookies are fragile and delicate, so they break easily. They are a tried and true favorite of mine, and I look at sugar cookies differently now after reading the reasoning behind this concept from the Admiral.
Life happens, and sometimes it hurts. It is not always fair or easy. We get bruised and broken along the way, but we have a choice to make. We can be sad about falling in the valleys of life, or we can return being stronger. Although Admiral McRaven was not talking about edible sugar cookies, instead he meant a training tactic that involved a face full of sand and rigorous maneuvers, it made me think about the stamina it takes to overcome the obstacles we face.
We may not always like the situations we are thrown into, but we get the chance to learn from them and gain a new appreciation of what we have in life. Learn to be strong under pressure. Grow from the mistakes that occurred. Respect the process of becoming yourself.
Genuine actions paired with the outlook to be a tough cookie instead of a sugar cookie will have us making strides in life. Everything we do should be meaningful to us, and even if something is hard or not as enjoyable as we would like, it should not stop us from being wholly invested in whatever it may be.
Adopting this new mindset may have us reevaluating our thoughts. From ‘an eye for an eye,’ I think the shift should look more like living heart by heart.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018
“If you want to change the world . . . start by making your bed.”
Right off the bat, attempting to change the world seems like a daunting task, but adding to it making your bed seems even harder. I hate making my bed. Between my frequent napping habits and my rough mornings, leaving it undone is like having an open invitation to return at any moment during the day. Excuses aside, I am sure there is some science behind productivity levels related to making our bed, so I will go with it for the sake of making a point.
Having that sense of accomplishment, especially in the morning, gives us the boost we need to continue the streak. Albeit simple, making our beds of the morning could quite possibly be the first act of the domino effect to what changes the world. I wonder how many days could have been that pivotal day for the world had I taken a few extra minutes to make my bed? I guess it will be added to the list of life’s mysteries.
But seriously, I think Admiral William H. McRaven makes his case for why making your bed every morning is important. It does start off the day by getting something done, adds some regularity to a routine, and deters horizontal life pauses (naps). Making your bed can kickstart the day of productivity, as opposed to not making it and allowing a lazy day to transpire.
A new year has just begun, and what better time to start something like the present. I am going to make a conscious effort to make my bed and see where it takes me in my quest to change the world somehow.
“If you want to change the world . . . find someone to help you paddle.”
Life can be hard. We cannot expect to tackle it alone, so know that it is okay to ask for help. It can be hard to swallow some pride to ask for help, but admitting you need help with bearing the load, whatever it may be, shows vulnerability. In a rough and tough world, this transparency in asking for help can start a pay-it-forward movement.
Sometimes, a person will not ask for any type of help if they need it. So, if you see the need, offer your assistance with no expectation of getting something in return. Those can be some of the best moments when you are able to provide a helping hand or caring heart and not be rewarded with tangible thanks. Knowing a good deed was done should be all the thanks we need.
The Admiral talks about his time in the military and the training maneuvers him and his fellow SEAL trainees went through. Teamwork and reliance were crucial features of the characteristics his SEAL team had to learn and appreciate. His perspective of this idea came from a challenging time in his life and is a testament to how he made it to the other side. His colleagues, friends, and family did not give up on him, so he did not give up on himself.
I will not call it my resolution per say. What I am willing to call it is a mission. This year, it will be my mission to create change. It may not be major, but it will be significant. The year 2018 will be dubbed the year I figure out how to change the world in some way in 365 days.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018