How to Save the World and Yourself

red_coatWe encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to discover what makes a product or service unique so they can stand out from the competition.

Yet, as kids we’re raised to shave down our individuality so we can fit in and belong. It’s not good to be too smart or too funny. It’s not good to be different. If we sparkle a little too much, we make others uncomfortable.

But to be successful in the world (and I mean in every definition of the word) we need to be genuine. We need to find the thing we have that others don’t because that’s what the world is starving for.

We need less John and Jane Does and more Sabrinas and Zeniths.

We need people who are courageous enough to embrace their strengths.

If I want anything for my children, it is to know what makes them weird makes them special.

You could spend years trying to replicate someone else’s success. But you will find your own when you free yourself.

That inner soul who loves to sing, draw, dance or stand up for people’s rights, make others laugh or write poetry in a delightfully odd way, that’s the missing piece of your own puzzle. That’s the gift you were given. It’s what the world hasn’t yet seen. So we need you to be brave enough to risk showing it.

My favorite lines from The Neverending Story:

The Childlike Empress: Bastian. Why don’t you do what you dream, Bastian?
Bastian: But I can’t, I have to keep my feet on the ground!
The Childlike Empress: Call my name. Bastian, please! Save us!
Bastian: All right! I’ll do it! I’ll save you! I will do what I dream!

Dear readers,

Please face your fears. Stand up for yourself. Believe in your dreams.

We’re all waiting for you to discover it, recover it and reveal it to the world.

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You Have Permission to Just Be

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Like reptiles we shed our soft baby skins and soft, playful spirits when we leave childhood. We embrace a tougher skin and more brittle insides that we think come with adulthood.

“We’re grown-ups now,” we say to ourselves. That means no more lounging around, letting our souls dream, and watching the day roll on by the way we used to as kids.

We allow ourselves to harden the way flowers do when they’re on the their way to die. And we forget that life is about growing, not sinking into ourselves.

And why shouldn’t we?

Life gives us more than enough reason to. It takes away our loved ones, our dreams, our hope. And it does so in such an insidious, unexpected way, how can we not relinquish the playfulness and whimsy that characterized our youth, and grab onto what’s left: fear, discouragement, disappointment?

It is, but a choice.

{The rest of my post can be read on my Beliefnet Health column, “Happy Haven.”}

 

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How Much of an Impact Do You Really Have in the World?

Your True Purpose

There will come a time when you doubt your influence and significance in life. Maybe in your twenties you thought you were invincible and believed that you had the power to change the world.

In your thirties, your dreams began to shift a bit. You scaled them down as other things and people took priority.

Somewhere along the way you began to lose sight of your dreams. You now worry that you may never fulfill your purpose. And that regardless of any fame or recognition you’ve gotten over the life of your career, the most important thing is having a sense of purpose and meaning. But you’re not even sure you managed to do that.

Here’s what I think. I think you deserve a pass. Just for today, consider the impact you have by just being here.

Don’t believe me?

Ask your kids, your friends, your partner, what you do for them that makes them happy and what they love most about you. It won’t be your job promotion, your book hitting the best seller list or anything else you think you need to have in order to have a meaningful life.

My grandfather, for example, had one of the biggest influence on my life. Not because he worked three jobs on the plantation to support his family. In fact, on paper he didn’t do anything grand or momentous except for the fact that he loved his family and he loved me. He had a very simple, ordinary life.

Sometimes we get too hard on ourselves for not “making it in life.” We’re not all meant to be millionaires, best-selling authors, and spiritual gurus. What we are meant to do is to truly be who we are.

Just by the act of being authentic we free ourselves and others to be the loving, influential beings we are all meant to be.

For today, try learning to wear a garment of gratitude instead of hard cold armor. Try it and in doing so, watch as the meaning, and influence you’ve always wanted doesn’t just flow into your life effortlessly.

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Finding Inspiration in Individuality: Why You SHOULD Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb

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I was tiny as kid. And very conscious of it. I saw my own shadow and was appalled at how “small” I really was.

I think I was surprised because inside I felt big-HUGE even! My spirit poured out from beyond my childlike body like hot, liquid gold, bright and all glowing.

Yet, my enthusiasm came out in sometimes unkind ways. When I drew grass, for example, I made sure there was dirt below it. A layer of brown crayons and then a shade of green.

And when the other girls pointed and laughed, I argued my side and they fought back. But I stood my ground (no pun intended).

They could make green grass all they wanted. But I insisted that mine’s be brown and green and I would leave it that way.

It was definitely a sign of what was to come-my desire to be an authentic me-to stand out like a sore thumb and be as different as I could possibly me. (My poor mom!)

And to this day, I advocate and have always advocated for others to learn to embrace their uniqueness-to find what makes them brown instead of green and to be as true to themselves as they can be.

While it’s not always easy to stand apart from the crowd, being authentic, being who you were meant to be, is the easiest way to find your true calling in life.

I know for a fact that I could have still been a Research Assistant or an Administrative Assistant if that’s what I wanted to be. But my innate quirkiness, insatiable curiosity and maddening borderline insane desire for creativity, makes me shed sameness and throw my finger up at conformity. Then, out of exhaustion and pure laziness I opted to just accept who I am…warty and all.

Can’t say it’s the easiest path in life. Nor can I say it’s always happy. But in the end, I know who I am, who I love, what makes me happy and why I do what I do. And being able to say that is purely priceless to me.

How about you?

Hi there! Glad you stopped by!

You’ve found one of my blogs on everything inspiring.  I also have one on writing and freelancing tips for new writers and entrepreneurs here. If you are in search of a writer to get all of your words in order, I’d love to work with you!

I am a published writer, blogger, and copywriter that can help you with all of your writing needs. You can find out more about me here.

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