How have you done with the self-examination that has been a part of this short, 2-part discussion? If you're not sure what I'm talking about then be sure to go back and listen to the podcast from yesterday as well as today and also be sure to read the blog entry from yesterday on this topic.
Simply put, many of us get caught up in the negative influences that surround us and we end up giving anything BUT our best in many - if not all - areas of our life!
Now, remember that I have encouraged you to always listen to the podcast AND read the blog, right? Why? Because what I write here is many times similar - yet different - than what I discussed on the podcast. This will likely be the case today as my mind is running in a different direction this morning as I type this!
You see, here's the thing - when you really think about it, the reason many of us DON'T give our best - 100% - is due to the negative influences around us! Really think about it and see if you don't agree. At your job - what's the general attitude with those that you are around during the day? What kind of attitudes are exhibited about a good relationship with those that you spend time with? Do THEY have a good relationship or are they always griping and complaining about theirs?
I want to use the steps we just got through discussing in our recent series on making wise or stupid decisions and see if we can't apply these principles here as well.
First of all, let's consider the foundational principle of "mapping out our future" and determining what we want our lives to look like! This can ALSO apply in this situation!
Instead of griping and complaining and giving a sub-par performance (at work or in your relationships) why not look and consider what you'd LIKE it to look like? Picture it! Imagine it! Visualize it! And then, instead of listening and being influenced by the negative influences around you - LIVE IT! Decide NOW to go for what you WANT your life to be and not what you have SETTLED for your life to become! That's a BIG difference - wouldn't you say?
Step 1: WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO? - Wow, this plays a BIG role in this scenario as well! Just like we talked about in the discussion of making wise decisions the same is true for us in this situation - you WILL become like those that you spend your time with! If you are spending your time with people that whine, complain and put out "half-effort" at best then, guess what? That's what you will do as well!
Now, step back and look at this picture for a moment. Really, try to picture yourself actually stepping back from this environment and picture those people and the atmosphere that is prevalent - DO YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF THAT? Do YOU want to become like one of THEM?
I hope not! But you WILL if you continue to allow this negative influence in your life!
Now, let's go to the same principle (who are you listening to?) in relation to those we spend time with in connection to our relationships. Is it the same group of people? If so, I can already tell you that all they do is gripe and complain about their spouses and/or their family. Am I right? I can tell you already that I am right about this!
How do I know? NEGATIVE PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS BE NEGATIVE!
Do you spend time with other people after work before going home? Why and who is it with? What kind of attitude do THEY have about their own relationship? What kind of advice might they give you concerning YOUR relationship?
Do you REALLY want to be taking advice or allowing this person to influence you in YOUR relationship? Again, I hope not!
You MUST shake these people off! I'm serious!
You CAN NOT allow these influences in your life! Yes, I know that if you work with them that you cannot totally separate yourself from them BUT you CAN limit the amount of "chit chat" time that you spend with them.
THIS IS A MUST!
Why should you allow others to determine your mindset and attitude toward your job and your family and/or other relationships?
If you have set out your map and you know where you want to go and you know what you want your life to look like then you MUST take control of your mindset!
Do not allow this negative influence to continue! You may want to try to change the subject and talk positive for a change - see what happens!
Instead of spending that time at the bar with that negative person who knows NOTHING about how to have a positive and healthy relationship - GO HOME and work on giving your best in that relationship!
You can only LIVE your best when you GIVE your best!
How can you feel good about your life otherwise? I don't believe you can! I know I don't feel good about my day if I feel like I have wasted it in any way - do you?
Now, let me once again clarify something that I said on the podcast that I don't want anyone to misunderstand. I suggested - and suggest here as well - that if you want your relationship with your spouse to improve - GIVE MORE! See what happens when you decide to give! ---- Here's the deal. Again, I KNOW that in some relationships one gives and gives and gives while the other does nothing but take. I understand that and I'm not talking about that type of situation - PLEASE HEAR ME ON THAT!
Here is what I mean though - for many of us in our lives and in all areas of our lives (work and home) we have become TAKERS and not GIVERS!
Do you remember one of my 7 Daily Affirmations being, "I am a GIVER not a TAKER!" ?
We have become a society that seems to think that everyone OWES us. And, with that thought in mind, we will sit back and wait to be served and then, MAYBE, we'll do something in return.
We have gotten this way in our jobs and we have gotten this way in our relationships and we MUST turn this around and become GIVERS instead of TAKERS!
LIVE your best by GIVING your best and you WILL BECOME your best!
Isn't that what we all are striving for with our lives?
Think about it. Put it into practice and...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"