“He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.” – Edmund Burke
Friendship is a two-way street. Whether it is a more casual connection, a best friend or an intimate partner, mutuality defines each relationship. I may prefer my friendships to simply provide support, maintain the status quo, and not rock the boat. If so, I will look for others seeking a similar dynamic. Or, I may look for people to challenge and encourage me – helping me to grow and evolve into my best self.
What is your approach to friendship? Do you avoid confrontation at all cost OR try to be a beautiful enemy?
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
Imagine this: you work in the HR Department of your organization. At today’s staff meeting, your colleague is scheduled to present on your new benefits package. At the last minute, she gets the flu and your boss asks you to do the presentation instead. You aren’t prepared for this, but depending on how you perceive this request – as a challenge or as a threat – your response could be excitement, strategizing and embracing OR shutting down, fight or flight, or totally stressed out.
Do you normally perceive difficulty as a threat OR as a challenge?
“I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.” – George Eliot
Life is full of rhythm – from the beat of our hearts, to the in and out of our breathing, and even the cadence of our step. As children, we are naturally tuned in to the rhythm of the moment — we sing and dance spontaneously. Enjoying music and dance is life-affirming and energizing at any age. As writer William Purkey implores us: “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching…sing like there’s nobody listening.”
What do you tend to do -- ignore the music OR sing, dance, listen?
“Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the right stuff to turn our dream into reality.” – James Womack
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The shortest distance between making and achieving a goal depends on the obstacles, challenges and delays encountered along the way. One strategy for meeting roadblocks on your path is with persistence, resourcefulness, and stick-to-it-iveness. Another is with discouragement, frustration, and giving up
Is your habit to avoid challenges OR commit to overcoming hurdles?
“Self-concept is destiny.” – Nathaniel Branden
Each of us has a critical voice inside our heads that reflects our self-doubts and insecurities. It reinforces the negative aspects of our self-image with thoughts like: You don’t deserve to be happy. You are overweight and unattractive. You will never amount to anything. We can work to replace these negative thoughts with more positive statements that affirm how we would like to perceive ourselves, like: I deserve to be happy. I am attractive as I am. I can be successful and achieve my dreams. It takes work, but the negative thoughts need not dominate our self-concept.
Do you normally resign to the image you have of yourself OR try to become who you want to be?