Under The Influence

One of my favorite modern day philosophers, Jim Rohn once wrote:

“You must constantly ask yourself these questions:

Who am I around?
What are they doing to me?
What have they got me reading?
What have they got me saying?
Where do they have me going?
What do they have me thinking?
And most important, what do they have me becoming?
Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay?”

We so underestimate the power others have to influence our lives. Rohn later states; “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Have you ever thought about that? Who are you spending most of your time with? Think about their personalities – are they optimistic? pessimistic? happy? grumpy? givers? takers? Take a serious inventory of your life right now. Are you headed in the direction you want to be going? If not, quite possibly the environment you are in and the people you are around have something to do with that. If it’s not okay, then what will you choose to do about it?

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Autopilot

The autopilot function was invented sometime in the early 30s to help ease the rigors of transatlantic flights for military bomber plane pilots. Any pilot today will certainly vouch for the value of this significant contribution to flight navigation. The autopilot function in life however is not quite as helpful. A plane can fly without the captain at the wheel while the autopilot is engaged. My life however, doesn’t fly so well when I leave the cockpit. Oh it’s such an easy button to push though, isn’t it?

Here’s the problem. When we put our lives on autopilot, we tend to coast for a while, thinking everything is okay. But what happens when we check back into the cockpit and find that we’re considerably off course? I hate that. It’s a chaotic feeling. It’s almost like those moments after waking up from a bad dream and trying to decide if it was real or not. There’s a better way to avoid all of that. Why not stay present and conscious? You are the navigator. You get to choose your path. It’s your flight. Have you reviewed your flight plan recently?

Morning Fog

If you’ve been a reader of my musings for any length of time, you are probably aware that I am a huge fan of journaling. For me personally, it has become my lifeline connection; it’s my rants, my gratitudes, my prayers, and my conversations with God, and my inner self. That time and experience brings me back to center. Unfortunately my mornings are usually kind of foggy. Do you get that? My brain just isn’t perky until I get a cup of my favorite java and get into my quiet place. And on days I can’t get there, I can tell I missed it all day long.

My journal also becomes a refuge throughout the day as I pull back and reflect on my morning revelations. Today happened to be one of those more profound mornings. The fog was more thick than normal, and the gloom seemed to be waiting to pounce on me. So, pen and journal in hand, I thumbed through some pages of the current books on my reading list; grabbed a couple quotes, a passage or two from the Bible, and let it all soak in. What filtered out was (for me at least) a profound moment. Not so much revelation, but reminders of basic principals that are so easily robbed from our conscience mind. So I now share them with you in hopes that they will help you reset and refresh as you continue about your journey.

1. Stay connected to your vision
2. Remember it takes time
3. Enjoy the process
4. Discipline is the bridge
5. Set goals and take action
6. I am in charge of how I feel
7. Choose happiness (it’s a feeling)
8. Have a plan, draw a map
9. Stick to the map
10. Keep showing up

Evolution

Life is a journey.
Are you kidding?

How many times have you heard that before?

Of course it’s a journey. Try going to Walmart on a Saturday night. Now, that’s an exciting journey.

Well actually, it’s an excursion. But for many, it is the pinnacle of their life’s journey.
But life itself is really the journey. A journey of evolution; personal evolution.

I’m not talking about the big bang theory either. Although some of us act like monkeys from time to time, I don’t believe we are descendants.

Humanity is the only creature with the capacity to evolve; at least to a degree that’s obvious. Look around. We used to live in cabins, and tents, and caves. Now we build sky scrapers. We used to put a letter in a pouch on a horse and wait weeks for a reply. Now we have email, and instant messaging, and texts … as a species, we have, and are evolving.

And as individuals, we are too. “Bill Thrall, author of the book The Cure, writes, “Nothing you believe and depend upon is more magnificently freeing than this single truth; you are no longer who you were, even on your worst day.”

Abraham Maslow wrote, “If our true nature is permitted to guide our life, we grow healthy, fruitful, and happy … yet 98% of us die before we taste the nectar of our magnificence.” You are not the same person you were yesterday. You never can be. But today has a whole new set of opportunities to embrace life and this journey of evolution. In fact, I believe it is the key to authentic living. We are often at war with ourselves trying to hang onto some flag we’ve planted in the sand. Call it a career, a retirement plan, a vacation home, or just maintaining an image we think everyone expects us to portray. Is that living? I’m more inclined to believe authentic life begins to flow forth when we are no longer attached to the fruit of life. When we embrace our own evolution journey as life, the fruit; success, status, material goods, etc. are byproducts. We appreciate them when they come, but we are not attached to the need of them. We know that we are merely journeymen, passing through this land on our way to something bigger and more grand than we can ever image.

Now that is a journey to get excited about.