Quotations and Advice for Realistic Living - Day Twenty



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Daily Tasks for Realistic Living

Most of us feel, right or wrong, that we are truly not in control of our lives. That we are simply being swept along, day to day, by an illogical wave of endless meaningless actions.

How many times have you thought, "if only I could do this, or if only I could do that, I would happier and more satifisied." So who is stopping you?

We blame our jobs, our spouses, our kids, our parents, our responsibilites for this horrible trapped feeling. And we hate the feeling and how that feeling makes us see ourselves. But the blame really belongs in one place.

You. Me. Us.

Realistic living requires that you take back control. You are where you are, in your job, marriage, or relationship, because at some point you chose to be there. Why now do you feel you have no choices, except to stay? You always have choices.

But changing jobs or relationships is not always the best choice. A different job or marriage isn't necessarily going to make your life any more meaningful.

Your sense of meaning, worth, and significance doesn't come from the job or relationship... these things only have the meaning or significance that YOU give to them. They become important when they become important to you. They give back to you what you give to them.

What you do becomes fulfilling and satisfying only because YOU make it so. The pride you feel from your work doesn't come from accolades of hundreds of faceless people; it comes from knowing that you did your job to the best of your ability.

You will never achieve success in the world's eyes. The world is selfish and isn't really even looking at you; it's too focused on itself. Success in your own eyes; worth in your own eyes needs to be your goal.

Why do you care if the boss recognizes your hard creative work? Your boss won't. Your boss is too busy covering his own needs. You know your work is good because YOU chose to make it good; not for your boss, not for the company, but for you.

We need to take back control. We need to make choices in our actions that declare to ourselves who we are.

And we know that what we do makes us who we are.

As redundant and trite as this idea is, we often forget this simple truth.

Perhaps another way of hearing this will help us remember: what we have done is who we have become.

"What we have done" means our every day little mundane thoughts and actions; what we think about, what we say about other people, how we approach our jobs, what we expect in our relationships, what we dream about, even what we say to ourselves about ourselves.

And like it or not, our self portrait is the millions of our insignificant thoughts and actions now integrated, blended, magnified, and reflected back to us everytime we look in the real or figurative mirror.

Most of us don't like everything we see; most of us hope to see ourselves differently. Most of us desperately crave a huge dose of that elusive happiness to make our life make sense; like "more relevant jobs," "more meaningful relationships," or the feeling that we are "doing something significant" in our lives.

No doctor, no counselor, no friend, not what's written here can write you that impossible prescription. You can, however. You can take control of your live by modifying the seemingly insignificant actions that define you.

You cannot stop the ocean waves, but you can decide how you want to ride them.

Taking control of our life; removing that feeling of helpless insignificance, requires that we do something.

The tasks listed here suggest changes you can make happen in your life that will remind you to make choices. These tasks do not ask for radical, life-altering behaviors. These tasks do not require hours of introspective meditation; only three or four simple daily tasks, that, if followed daily may help you recognize the difference between " who you are" and "who you would like to be;" help you see that what you feel, for better or worse, is YOUR choice.

But change requires energy and discipline; daily discipline. Taking control means assuming personal responsibility. Control requires discipline, mental and physical. How can you blame other people for making your life decisions when you refuse to make them for yourself?

In these tasks, we hope to recognize the control we have over--

Our physical surrounding, our workplace, our diet, our social interaction, our thoughts, our self esteem, our emotions, our relationships, and our bodies.... ultimately our perception of our life. We need to look at our life realistically and objectively. See what we are and where we are realistically. Hopefully these tasks will help you see a small twenty day slice of your life "as it really is." Hopefully you will be inspired to change the parts of your life that you find unacceptable.

Will you find some of these tasks "silly?" Probably. Have you heard some of these before? Hopefully. So what? Try them. Try them completely with committment, honesty, and personal integrity.

Taking control isn't about turning your world upside. It starts one task at a time; tasks that change the way we think and act. Let's live a realistic and informed life. Let's be responsible for our own happiness.

Spend the next twenty days testing how to the spend your many other twenty days.

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