I was having lunch w a friend recently and found some new information. We haven't been seeing eye as of late and I see shes going through some phases, changes and evolving in a direction, one that I feel could land her into an over-complicated life with unnecessary stress and "drama." We've discussed her situations many times, but those conversations ended in heated debates, usually with her walking away annoyed with me.
So at lunch on this day, it hit me.. stop reacting. Stop engaging in the debate. Just lead.
I thought to myself "I cannot continue to react to her story or past, this hasn't worked yet, because its been negative. If I want to guide her into seeing a future, I need to show positive outcomes within a path." It's like smacking a puppies butt after the p on the rug or punishing a player after they break a rule, those things dont do much to retrain the brain to think a certain way. Its like saying "Its raining outside, so we'll just close the blinds and ignore the weather."
There is always a lesson and a way.
So I thought more on this at home... and its still a little fuzzy to put into words at the moment. Partly because I'm usually concerned the writing will come off "ego," or someone may say "who the heck is this guy telling me how to think?"
To briefly generalize "who the heck is this guy," maybe this will help. My mom passed away 29 days ago... instead of diving into a hole and letting everyone give me a pass and time away, I searched for the lesson and energy. Within everything, there is always a lesson to learn and way to learn it, a way to adapt and evolve. A way to turn anything into a positive.
I saw a recent Gary V video where he ranted about the loud negative and quiet optimist, and it really struck a chord with me. I see it often and I've also caught myself nearly becoming trapped by it. Social media can be a great assistance in that, becoming negative or skeptical. But when the tears stopped, or slowed down, I asked myself "How can I begin to transform all I've learned, all those books, all those classed, all these experiences, all the pain and happiness, the yin and yang of life, how can I turn this into a tool?" Rule #1; Be Useful
I began setting time and became more mindful of meditation. Not with an intent to find a zone, but just to quiet the storm. Just to turn the volume down on life. I strongly feel this tool is needed now more than ever, for everyone. So when this became consistent and with much practice, a vision of sorts continued to arrive for me. One of non-judgement, compassion, empathy and understanding.
So in getting back to my lunch friend, my attention was longer to treat her as she was, but to approach her as she is. A human, trying to balance and figure life out on a crazy, rocky, unpredictable path. When you write out what life means to you, it might take an entire page or one sentence. You might and draw a dark picture with small amounts of light or the opposite, sunshine and flowers with some darkness. And it's all perspective. It's your reality. What is scary to me, isn't scary to you. Whats fun to me, might not be fun for you. Our realities are different. So we cannot judge or treat each other as we see them. We may influence or attempt to highlight our vision, but at the end of the day, our minds are our minds.
All we can do is lead with who we are. I think thats an extremely powerful statement, to lead with who you are.
Now the trick is this... who are you?
When we meet, do I leave you with optimism and hope? Do I leave you challenged for self improvement and awareness? Do I leave you happier than when we met? Thats just myself, how I approach and engage life. You may never see me walk in a bring a room down, very very very rarely do I walk in and someone asks "whats wrong?" And again, if you read this with judgment.... read it again, but after a walk of clear thoughts. Dont read this after sitting in traffic for 45 minutes or after a fight w a friend, because look at what that does... everything is "F you," after that, right? Perspective and reality, but only for that moment.
Take a moment and understand how reactionary we all can be. We often react to a certain situation or react to momentum of a person, place or thing vs acting and leading. So in thinking that, understand that your current surrounding, your tribe, your workplace, your home, could be reacting off of you. If you accept that, understand you have control of the landscape you present. And whether happiness or sorrow, stress or clear, it could be your energy/vibe/actions that push the needle in a positive or negative direction.
Very similar to finny meme or quote you'll from time to time that reads "If you think everyone around you is an asshole... maybe its not them." Maybe its your vision. I recently spoke about levels in terms of "leveling up," like a video game in referencing life experience and evolving as a student of life. If you imagine a ladder, you can take one step up. How much did your view change? Now take another step... not that different from the first but fairly higher than the original place. Now climb to the top of the ladder... how far can you see? How different do things look? You're still you. You're still in place x. But the view, your vision is different.
When you begin to settle the monkey brain down and relax into who you really are, things unfold. But that leads us back to the trick question and riddle of finding out the most important answer and acknowledgment. Who are you? And can you accept it?
I will continue this thought in the next blog.
And then another wonderful song that you should listen to.