A letter to two of my daughters that I thought was useful.
I happened to be on Facebook – rare for me anymore – when I happened on the post by Caleb when he announced he was bored after having finished college. I read your convo and how lost you feel right now. I have to say I was there when I was your age. Even Caleb would admit he was there not all that long ago.
Some of life is accidental but most of life is intentional. It is meant to be experienced. The only way you know you like or don’t like something is to try it. College is just one very conventional way to try it.
I “tried” life through college. Didn’t like it. I tried living with a job or two or three. Didn’t like it. I got married and had a family. I loved it and at the same time didn’t like it. I have a job now that I love. AS a matter of fact, I just plain love life.
I found out that life is what you make it. Truly. YOU MAKE your life. If you don’t like it, you can change it. Don’t like how you look? Don’t like how you feel? don’t like where you live or who you’re with or… you name it – change it!!
The old serenity prayer says it all:
Grant me the courage to change the things I can change, to accept the things I can’t change – and wisdom to know the difference.
Let’s tease that apart… Get out a piece of paper and list all the things you don’t like about what is going on in your life. You don’t like your weight? That I know you know you have the power to change. You don’t like being alone? Find places where people hang out.
If you feel like people don’t like you, it’s often because you don’t like yourself. Learn how to love yourself. How? Do things in your life you can be proud of. Not what I’d be proud of or what your dad would be proud of. Not what you think anyone else would be proud of. You! They don’t need to be big things, either. they can be something as “little” as getting out of bed early and on time. Taking a shower and following a routine. Keeping the bathroom tidy. Starting and finishing the laundry. Choosing not to eat pastries or a whole pizza or buy a full meal deal at McDonald’s.
Bigger things like having plenty of money, a job you’re proud of, a comfortable place to live in.
These are all things you can change!
Now, look at the things you can’t change. It’s a pretty short list!! I mean you can see, you can hear and taste and move. You have a smart mind. Imagine being blind. They can’t change that they are blind but they can change how they move around in the world. What if you didn’t have legs? watch any video with Nick Vujicic and that will take those excuses.
Now, on that list of things you can change, don’t get overwhelmed. I know it’s pretty big. Mine is too. Anyone who is honest has a list of things they are always working on. All successful people do. And by successful I don’t necessarily mean rich, I mean they are happy with where they are in life. Happy but always willing to expand and grow and be the best they can be.
You are already doing the “improve my income” change by looking actively for work. You have “get healthy (lose weight)” on the top of the list as well. So, work away at it steadily. And don’t knock yourself for the times you fall off the wagon!!!! Just get back on.
Meanwhile, work on other personal development skills. Choose to build people skills over TV and movies. I almost obsess over this, personally. I just bought a big ass TV and I don’t even use it!! Because I am so obsessed with self-improvement. Not from an “I’m worthless” point of view. But expanding ME as a soul in this vast universe. STOP comparing yourself to anyone. They are on their own journey. and chances are even they are not happy with themselves. If they are, like Sadhguru or Michael Singer, they don’t waste time wondering what to do. They just live and serve and love. That is really our reason for being. to expand the soul to live and enjoy life, to serve and to love.
Okay, so you need to pay attention to your health (by eating better choices) and hygiene (caring for your body and hair). Get an accountability partner. Someone you admire and who you can take their input without getting defensive. If that person says, you need to take a shower, don’t get defensive – do it! If they tell you to watch your words, thank them and learn to either reframe your words or not talk at all. I bet, if you asked, Lindsay would be glad to help. I know she’s busy but if you don’t take a lot of her time, ask for her insight. Take one bit of advice master it, then ask for another bit of advice. If she sees you are in earnest, I am sure she’ll continue. But you are your own best teacher. Learn from those you admire but take responsibility for you.
“I am my own damn fault. I get the blame if things go south and I get the glory if things go north!!”
You love the excitement of peopling. You just need to get peopling skills!! THE classic book on that subject is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Norman Vincent Peale. Borrow it from the library. Read it. Study it. Apply it!!!!
Maybe you’d like to get into sales?! In order to do sales, you need to be approachable. (And don’t use the excuse of being overweight. Plenty of obese people make good salespeople).
Stop making your weight the reason you are not succeeding in life. Get obsessed with life, loving and serving your fellow man. Focus on others. Give. Love. Be. If it becomes superfluous, your weight will come down all by itself. Why? Because you are concentrating on giving yourself to you and to others and there won’t be time to eat and eat and eat.
But even Jesus said, if I might paraphrase, you can’t love your neighbor unless you love yourself first! So, I challenge you to, first of all, google “how to love myself” and read about that. chew on that and meditate on that. Learn to see past your outward appearance and see the sunny soul that you are.
I know you have a huge heart of love. Love You First then let it spill over…
With the deepest love,