Ayshah | Victoria

Living my Passion | Living with Purpose | Living in Peace


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When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough… For YOU!

I was thinking about the meaning of the term “BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE” and had one of my meditatively-induced revelations. Being the BEST that you can be has TWO MEANINGS and only one of them is really important in our everyday lives.

The universal thought process behind being “the best that you can be” implies that in whatever you do, you do it to the best of your ability, using all your knowledge, experience, mental and physical faculties and efforts – i.e. – the BEST that you CAN be. Sound about right – right? Well almost…. because I have come to the conclusion that this definition is only a part of it and not the best part either.

I believe this universal way of looking at being the “best that you can be” is synonymous with an automobile’s ability to function at its fastest speed at all times. Operating using all mechanical and electronic aspects of its body. This way, it is at its optimum performance level and in a race, a Ferrari will speed past a Civic. But a Ferarri is a Ferrari and a Civic is a Civic – built to function differently with different purposes and therefore different servicing needs. If that Ferrari has not been serviced properly, a few years down the road, it will break down at an unexpected place while watching the well-maintained Civic stroll by.

In our daily lives, many of us strive for this uber-performance mindset – at work and at home. Being “the best that you can be” has been taken to correlate with developing the characteristics of a “high achiever” which in my opinion is an entirely different thing.  The definition of a high achiever can be generalized as a person who strives beyond the reach of the average thinker to achieve extraordinary goals.

However being the best that you can be (as it is generally written), means to do the best that you are able to with the hand you have been dealt. It also gives the underlining message that you do not have to be as good as the next person, just the best that you yourself can be. In essence – this is true. But should you operate at your optimum mental and physical levels all the time?

Or is there a different meaning of “CAN BE”? I believe there is. For example, if a man has recently had to undergo some difficult surgical procedure and his wife has just unexpectedly left him, I would say that the best that he CAN BE has significantly decreased since he has had to deal with emotional trauma and physical healing. But there is still a “best that you can be” here. It is the BEST way that you can deal with TODAY – with the cards that you and you alone have been dealt. Your Best IN THE NOW!

In this day and age, I find many people suffering from low self esteem and a sense of being “less able” than the next person to “keep up”. We are fed daily – via our surroundings, interactions, the internet and the media with stories and impressions that other people are “put together” and “in control” of their lives in a way that we seem to fall short of. This is a repetitive worry that I find in my practice from people at all stages of their life and career. It really bothered me and I kept finding myself incorporating this simple thought into our sessions which seem to resonate well with my clients – so I am sharing it with others in the hope that it may bring about some much needed peace of mind.

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This note is for …

  • The single mother of 3 who thinks that she isn’t doing enough to keep the kids busy
  • The c-level executive who thinks that he doesn’t have what it takes to do the job she has and is afraid that others will “find out”
  • The entrepreneur who can’t get past the anxiety she deals with on a daily basis
  • The working parent who is juggling so much and feels that others seem to be doing a better job
  • The teacher who feels he isn’t making a difference
  • The broker who strives to be on the front page of the latest real estate publication
  • The doctor who blames herself for the unexpected results of that last surgical procedure.

In short, this note is for everyone who may sometimes get that feeling of “ I am not doing my best. I feel bad about myself”.

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I propose a different take on the notion of being the best that you can be. First, we must eliminate the notion of using the perceived lives of others as a benchmark to measure our progress in life which in turn impedes on our sense of self-worth.

points to consider;

1. There is no one else like you on this planet

2. You cannot control other people’s behaviors, you can only control your reaction to them

3. There is nothing you can do about yesterday – and tomorrow never comes. You live in today and always will

4. The choices you make are yours alone to make

5. Any external negative input should immediately be eliminated before it takes root

6. Each day provides a different set of experiences and these experiences meet a different ‘you’ every time

7. You can only do what you can do with what you have available – mentally and physically

I would like to therefore extend point #7 above to state that the “best that you can be” should mean that you are operating to the best of your ability with the current mental and physical strength you have at this given moment. Sometimes you are mentally stronger than other times – and that’s OK.

You cannot be at your strongest ALL THE TIME, Everything has a season and this extends to your mental and physical health.

It is therefore important to know when you need to “recharge your batteries” – i.e. take a rest, schedule some “me-time” and re-evaluate the path you are on as well as your TRUE goals.

This may sound simple in theory but it is very difficult for most of us to do – because we are always running to catch up with an invisible energizer bunny or superhuman entity. This running is exhausting and you will find that re-adjusting the way one thinks about “being the best you can be” will pay off in the long run by allowing you to achieve more than you initially hoped for without burning out, having a break down or giving up.

We have to listen to our “best selves” and know when we are out of tune with who we really are because we were busy trying to conform to what we think we SHOULD be.

This process requires some introspection but it is truly worth taking the time to reflect and re-adjust how tough we may be  on ourselves.

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Here are 7 Simple, Yet Powerful Habits Worth Developing; 

1. Get enough sleep so that you wake up refreshed

2. Make time for meditation, prayer or introspection in the morning

3. Make the decision to be in tune with your mind and body so you will be better aware of the state of your health. This way you know when you are in peak performance mode and you can adjust your schedule accordingly

4. Frequently connect with people who make you feel good about yourself & terminate negative relationships (old and new)

5. Tackle your daily tasks one at a time and have confidence in your own accountability

6. Trust your judgement about your life and develop your goals accordingly

7. Give of yourself (in a humanitarian capacity) as much as possible – it is a substantial part of your existence

In conclusion (for today…) look at yourself through your own eyes, knowing that you were made (perfectly) to function in your own unique way that may or may not be similar to the next person. Be aware of yourself through the eyes or others but do not live by it.

Originally written: 2010 | All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers


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Let It Go…

– You can’t touch YESTERDAY, but TOMORROW is all yours to shape. So why waste time dwelling on things you can do nothing about when that time can be spent enhancing your future?

You have goals (desires, dreams, hopes and wishes) for your life and you CAN achieve them. All it takes is you making the decision to make achieving them a reality. If you are not sure how – ask me.

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Bloody Pavement

Know any cantankerous, bad-tempered, difficult, bitter people? Met anyone you may term a grouch, sour-puss or cross-patch who is not happy unless there is something to complain miserably about? Look at anyone who has lived past the age of sixty and you will find that their outlook on life is clearly marked on their face. Is their face set in a permanent scowl or do their eyes dance with light?

Now, I am sure that no one goes through life planning to end up an old curmudgeon,but rather, may become so due to choices made during their lifetime. I know there are those that sincerely believe that you have no choices in how your life turns out at the end; that if your life was meant to take on a stream of unfortunate occurrences then there is little you can do to change the forgone conclusion

miserable people

My point here is that despite how each and every one of us came into the world – completely innocent and pure, we were meant to exist for the purposes that we were created. We don’t have to know what those purposes are because not all of them will be revealed to us.

The conclusion then would be to make the right choice from the information that is available in the environment we grow in and with the people we associate with. Two infants presented with the same amount of clay with which to create anything they please will unlikely create the same thing and the same goes for two identically trained architects when building their own personal abodes.

 I am not speaking here of the whole “nature vs. nurture” argument which has been hacked to death over the decades. I am simply speaking of the uniqueness and significance of every single person alive. Unique because each person is an original and has a choice in everything they do and therefore solely responsible for the results of their own actions. Significant because even when a tragedy occurs in a person’s life that makes no sense as far as one is able to reason with the limitations of our human thinking, the tragic event itself had a purpose. This purpose may never be known for a decade or a century, but could just as easily be revealed in the next 5 minutes.

CONSIDER THIS…

One winter evening on a busy street in Manhattan, Helena James fell from her tenth floor balcony, landing on the concrete pavement below. She dislocated her jawbone, damaged her spine and broke her legs in twelve places upon impact. She was rushed to the nearby hospital and had to have half of her left leg, just below the knee, amputated. The balcony was found to be faulty in its construction and the property builder had to face some harsh questions.

So who is Helena? Did she deserve this? Some may thing that it would depend on who she was and what type life she lived. If she was a pregnant nurse with three young boys to raise and a husband away in the military, some may feel that such a thing happening to her was unjust and cruel and made no sense. However, if Helena turned out to be a diseased prostitute or a drunken child molester, some may feel she deserved her fall. Why do we judge? Perhaps we do so instinctively..…but that is a topic for a separate discussion.

Going forward, Helena is confined to a wheelchair. Let’s say she is the Helena that is described first who now has to find a way to care for her family while her husband is away fighting a long drawn-out war. She lost her baby and is told she cannot conceive any more. There goes her hope of having a little girl. A month after the accident she is told that her husband had been killed in the line of duty. He was a hero. She hadn’t even seen him since the accident and her sons are too young to comprehend the concept of never seeing their father again.

Consider that across from the condominium building where Helena took her fall was a small unobtrusive bar inside which a young girl of about twenty-two sat hunched over her third vodka. Val watched Helena fall and thought she had imagined the whole thing until the noisy ambulance appeared. She  also saw the pain in Helena’s eyes before Helena passed out. Val watched the 3 little boys screaming as their mother was taken away, yet she was too numb to register any emotion at that time. Her vodka was the anesthetic.

While staggering home with her mind on the plan she had conceived over the past few days, she kept seeing Helena’s face swimming before her. Back at her dishevelled apartment, even when she pulled out the gun from the back of the closet, she saw Helena’s face. Val had decided to splatter her blood over the bedroom wall, with the express hope that her stepfather would be the first to find her.

Now instead, Val dropped the gun and fell asleep with Helena’s face spinning in her head. Later that night, she awoke to the sound of the phone ringing. It was her bible-quoting friend Melanie, who kept bugging her about coming to hang out with her. Melanie revealed that ” something told her to just keep on ringing until the phone was answered….” They talked for a long while.

 
Fast-forward a few years an we find that Val founded a center for abused children with a special focus on the effects of incest. She has single-handedly saved countless children from living in fear, self-hatred and hopelessness. She never met Helena, but also never forgot her face. What happened to Helena? Well, Helena learned to walk with a prosthetic addition below her knee and cannot remember not having it. Her experience developed strength in her she never had before which earned her the courage to create a non-profit nursing home for disabled women. 

The complexities of life and the very frailty of our humanity  can create confusion regarding choices. However, making those basic choices in life are simple. Having the right foundation enables us to move through our time on earth with the peace in knowing that being happy is a choice.

Therefore, one can instead end up a perpetually joyful octogenarian without so much as a backward glance in regret. No one on earth knows what it is like to be anyone else other than who they are. It is a choice. It’s that simple.

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Originally written: 2006 |  All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers