|Dress: The Impeccable Pig, Shoes: Nordstrom, Bag: Lotus (I think)|
I spend quite a bit of time reading.
I used to read predominantly fiction, but in the last few years I've started reading more books about intention, money, and stories that inspire me to live my "best life". You know, the type of stuff that makes you sit back and think. Where you close the cover of the book and really evaluate what you just read. Swallow it whole. Books with messages that hit home... heavier stuff with meat that sticks to your bones.
I just finished reading a book by Napoleon Hill that made me do just that. The first page of the book had a quote on it that I must have read about 3 times before turning to the next page.
"FEAR is the tool of a man-made devil. Self-confident faith in one's self is both the man-made weapon which defeats this devil and the man-made tool which builds a triumphant life. And it is more than that. It is a link to the irresistible forces of the universe which stand behind a man who does not believe in failure and defeat as being anything but temporary experiences." - Napoleon Hill
Let THAT shit sink in for a moment.
Fear is man-made.
Self-confident faith in one's self is the weapon which defeats fear and is the tool which builds a triumphant life.
The irresistable forces of the universe (God, nature, positivity) stand behind a person who does not belive in failure.
Failure and defeat are temporary experiences.
Maybe you're thinking... what the hell is she talking about? And why the HELL am I still reading it? But, stay with me.
Have you ever met those people that seem to have the worst "luck"?
Every time you talk to them or hear from them they lead with bad news or a story about their misfortune? Someone (usually themselves) is sick, broke, in a bad relationship, sad, mad, a victim of someone else doing something to them? Most of what they post on social media is pessimistic or depressing (or an attempt to fish for sympathy). They "wish" they could change, but they "just can't" and it's not their "fault". It's just that nothing seems to go their way. Then, when you do try to offer an alternative way of thinking/solution/option they are too scared to change? Scared to leave a relationship, terrified to be alone, nervous to lose money, to meet people, to try new things, to make lifestyle changes that may in fact just make them happier?!?!?! They'd rather stay unhappy because their identity is tied up so tightly in some mess they always seem to be in. These are usually also the first people to talk smack about people around them who seem to be happy and doing "well".
Now... don't get on my ass. I'm not talking about people with clinical depression. I'm referring to people who find it preferable to go through life with a woe-is-me attitude all the damn time.
If you think back through people you've known for a long time, or at least a few years you can probably recall a few of these people in your life. The Eeyore's of the world. You know... the loveable, but forever gloomy character in all of the Winnie the Pooh stories. It seems a rain cloud follows them wherever they go (but speeding up or changing direction to lose it never crosses their minds).
Then there are the other people. The one's who seem to "have it all". Rainbows and stars shoot out of their asses. They are always doing something, going somewhere, posting about their loved ones, sharing something inspiring or encouraging. They may look good. Glow almost. They travel, have lots of friends. Money, success, fortune and all around "good luck"? It's as if nothing too bad really happens to them. They are always doing something, trying something new, swallowing life whole. They are the people you love, but also love to HATE.
Well, the book I just read said that the difference is that the "Eeyore's" of the world live a life ran by FEAR, and the "rainbow and star" people of the world live by FAITH. Faith that everything will work in their favor; faith that defeat is temporary. That you're much more likely to live a happy, successful life when you set your mind and intention on doing so. When "Eeyore's" get knocked down, they stay down making every excuse in the book why their life is harder than everyone else's. The other people fight the same battles. They get sick, hurt, disappointed, lose money, jobs, relationships, get scared and fall down. The difference is though that they decide that down is not where they are going to stay. They don't waste time wondering if people are talking about them, annoyed by them, "hating" on them. They don't even see those people because their focus is fixed. Their gaze is forward. Always.
In his book, "Outwitting the Devil" the author calls the first set of people, Drifters, and the second set Non-Drifters. He gives characteristics of both that I found fascinating. I'm sharing them in the hopes that not only will you also find this interesting, but that if you find yourself falling into the first category over and over again, the list of points from the second or third group will provide you some direction as how to "right your ship" so to speak.
Most of us want to look back at our lives and see that we were positive people. People who helped, gave, loved, dared greatly, provided our children and loved ones with great examples of faith. Living our days to the fullest. Not so consumed by fear that you were paralyzed, negative, and unhappy.
Some characteristics or things you will notice in-
- Total lack of a major purpose in life
- Lack of self-confidence
- Never accomplishes anything requiring thought and effort
- Spends all he earns and more
- He/she will be sick or ailing from some real or imaginary cause
- Will have little or no imagination
- Will be ill-tempered and lack control over his/her emotions
- Personality will not attract other people
- He/she will have opinions on everything but accurate knowledge of little
- Be a jack of all trades, but good at none
- He/she will neglect to cooperate with the people around him
- Intolerant, ready to crucify those who may disagree with him/her
- Begins many things but completes none
- He/she will eat too much and exercise too little
- He/she will criticize others who are succeeding in their chosen calling
- Always engaged in doing something definite
- He/she has a major life goal in which they are always working, and many minor goals, all of which lead toward his/her central plan
- The tone of voice, quickness of his/her step, sparkle in their eyes, quickness of his/her decisions all clearly mark them as a person who knows what they want and is determined to get it, no matter how long it takes
- He/she extends many favors to others
- He/she will be found up front, whether they are simply playing a game or fighting a war
- He/she is a go-getter and a go-giver
- He/she is an inspiration to all who come into contact with his/her mind
- He/she has a mind of their own and uses it for all purposes
Now I think we could all find that we fall a bit into both categories and at different times in our lives more into one than the other. << LAWD knows I've spent all my money before and even money I don't have and I have damn sure (for years) eaten too much and not respected my body enough to exercise.>> But there was something about seeing all of that written out for me. It hit me like a ton of bricks...
In the rest of the book, Hill, discusses his seven principles to attain spiritual, mental, and physical freedom:
1. Definiteness of Purpose (Intention)
2. Mastery over self
3. Learning from Adversity
4. Controlling the environmental influence (watch the people you associate with)
5. Time (giving permanency to positiive, rather than negative thought-habits)
6. Harmony (becoming the dominating influence in your own mental, spiritual, and physical environment)
7. Caution (thinking through your plan before you act)
I'm not sure if any of this interests you at all, but I have not been able to stop thinking about the book since I finished it, so I thought I'd share.
Essentially: You cannot control everything life hands you, but you an control how it ultimately shapes you. And... if you don't like the shape you're in, lucky for you there's still time to turn it around!