July 12, 2008.
"Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears."
If there's one thing for certain nowadays, it's that way too many of us are presently under the influence... of others. That's right, many of us unknowingly live each day under the influence of those all around us. Worried about what others may think, we alter the way we act. Anxious about what others may say, we modify the way we think.
Instead of just being ourselves, we work overtime at pleasing just about everyone under the sun. Preoccupied and overly concerned with how others view us, what they think about us, we begin to change. We change the way we act, how we think and what we say. As we undergo a complete makeover, transforming ourselves into something more pleasing to those all around us, we lose something along the way.
We lose sight of what we're all about - and what we were destined to become.
"It is not so much the example of others we imitate as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words."
Why would we ever put our own hopes and dreams on the back burner? Why would we allow our goals and aspirations to take a back seat to the casual whims and quirks of others? These are easy questions to ask, not nearly so easy to answer however.
Maybe we just want to fit in. Maybe we want to be liked, appreciated or loved. There's probably a thousand or more reasons we can list here. And while it's perfectly normal to want others to like us and accept us, are those good enough reasons to sacrifice what we're all about?
I don't think so.
"Seek always for the answer within. Be not influenced by those around you, by their thoughts or their words."
OK, so if being under the influence of others is bad, how do we get out from under? For starters, how about just being who we really are? Rather than worrying about what others think, molding ourselves to simply please everyone else, why don't we try something different - and dare to be different ourselves?
Instead of wasting one more waking moment doing what others think we should be doing, we need to start doing what we need to be doing. Right here, right now. We need to listen to our hearts and passionately chase our own dreams. Not the dreams of others, not the dreams others think we should pursue. But the dreams that burn deeply within our own hearts and souls.
"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It's the only thing."
Are you presently setting the pace in your own life, making things happen in your own way - or are you constantly allowing others to set it for you? Are you boldly charging ahead, setting your own rhythm and tempo - or do you continually permit everyone else to dictate your speed and direction?
Rather than being influenced by those all around you, why not step up and become the commanding, powerful influence you seek? Instead of allowing others any say-so on how your life should go, why not take control of where you are and where you're headed?
Instead of permitting others to set the example, you need to be the example. That means living your life in your own way, doing those things you want to do; making the most of every day on earth. And being the best God put you on earth to be.
The Bottom Line: Do it your way, all day, starting today.
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