In February I was at a gathering at which I was asked to speak for two minutes on the topic, “If These Were My Last Remarks.” Rather than interpreting “last remarks” as those I might make on my death bed, I decided instead to approach this invitation from the perspective of my last opportunity to address this group. I chose to share some transformative insights – i.e., wisdom from others that, at one point or another in my life, had a significant impact on the way I see the world. I offer these thoughts for your consideration as you continue your journey through life.
1. Live life joyfully! As I was growing up, the message I picked up from my Irish ancestors was, “Life is hard, and then you die.” I later learned that life doesn’t have to be a struggle. In fact, we can choose joy. Why not do so?
2. We always have choices about how we experience any situation. While we often cannot control the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we always, always can choose how we experience them. Choose to see the opportunities rather than the obstacles.
3. By focusing on opportunities rather than on challenges, we will find many more of the former than we had imagined possible. And we may find them in places we never would have thought to look!
4. Watch your language! Questions are fateful: they send us in the directions in which we seek answers. Whether we choose to look for the positive or the negative, we will find it. What kind of questions are you asking yourself and others?
5. Become aware of your self-talk. Choose to be supportive instead of beating yourself up. Lift yourself up instead of putting yourself down.
6. Be kind to yourself. If you find this concept difficult to grasp, try this: imagine that someone you love very much is in the situation in which you find yourself. What is the best advice you would give that person? Follow that advice yourself.
7. Look at what you have done well, and build on those successes. Focus on your strengths and talents, and find ways to compensate for your weaknesses. Focusing on strengths has a much higher ROI (return on investment) than emphasizing weaknesses.
8. Sometimes we have to let go of the good things in life to make room for the great things. Clear some space, even when you don’t know at that moment what the next “great things” are.
9. Live your passion. Bring it into your life and your work. Drop the word “should” from your vocabulary. Do the things that make your heart sing.
© 2012 Pat Lynch. All rights reserved.