The first few years of life people live selfishly. Not knowing the difference of course, but the motives of an infant and of a small child is for oneself. Most of the thoughts that surround our actions are how they will benefit our own well-being. However, as we grow up we can either adopt selfish behavior as part of our character or learn to gradually diminish the character trait entirely. Being selfish is not something most people aspire to be. We were not created to be selfish and to live life for our own pleasure.
Don’t get me wrong, being selfish can have “benefits.” You can choose to spend money on new clothes instead of on a present for someone else. Or you can choose to not spend time with a loved one in order to do something more enjoyable for yourself. The fact is that doing selfish acts will never be truly satisfying. Giving someone your time or a small gift of love and appreciation will always bring far more happiness than what you could’ve done for yourself. God made us with the longing to love and give to others. And that is why it is so often a far more positive and gratifying experience to grant someone else your time or possessions.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Without hope, life will lack purpose. It will not only lack purpose but it will dissolve who you are. A loss of hope has the ability to transform even the strongest people to despair. Hope is a part of human existence that many people may overlook. It is necessary to hope in order to live life to its fullest capacity. I believe that hope can bring us peace even during the most arduous circumstances.
Hope to have a better life. Hope to see loved ones again in a new life. Hope that life is extended beyond earth. Hope to advance in your career or exceed expectations of yourself for your loved ones and God. It is when we grow in hope and faith that we are able to see a light at the end of a dark tunnel. Hope grants us the strength to surpass the difficulties that lie ahead. We should use our moments of misfortune to truly grow in hopefulness. Hope will bring us a sense of tranquility in life that nothing else quite can. Through God we can find hope and faith and receive utter happiness.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Life has an immense amount of beauty. It presents itself in a variety of ways. The best beauties of life connect us closer to who we are and our true paths. One of the most astonishing beauties of this world is friendship. Significant others and family members can also bring us closer to a more elaborate understanding of ourselves. However, a good network of friends supplies us with the ability to take on life’s challenges even if the other relationships aren’t present in our life.
Friends are there for our deepest painful experiences and they cheer us on during our victories. They can become the light to our brightest destinations. When we establish a meaningful connection with someone else, we get the chance to cherish and enjoy unforgettable memories. Building valuable friendships with others allows you to enter your life journey at full force. There is beauty in surrounding yourself with people who compliment you, make you grow and transform your entire being.
“A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” ~Douglas Pagels
I believe that there is something that every one can work on in order to improve themselves. Self-improvement has essential external and internal factors that take place. I think when we start being more open to creating new relationships, strengthening old ones especially with God and building confidence to do new things (aka external effort from internal motives) we allow a new potential in ourselves to be unleashed.
It starts with getting uncomfortable. It starts with granting yourself the ability to take on new opportunities. It could be volunteering at your local church or in the community. Taking on a new journey for yourself may require joining a new work-out class, cooking class or any kind of group you are unfamiliar with. It could be as simple as starting to say hi to more people and smiling more often and then just maybe having the confidence to start new interesting conversations. Living life truly and enhancing personal growth starts with stepping outside of your own world and embarking on the world around you. Whatever your comfort zone may be, step on out of it.
Not living for yourself but living to make a difference and seeing the world from a whole new viewpoint is imperative to truly live life fully. Stepping outside of your own realm will also give you the opportunity to learn more about yourself, meet new people and maybe even become acquainted with your new best friend or the love of your life. You never know what will happen until you look outside of your scope of life and into the lives of others. Live life truly and uncomfortably.
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Fear is experienced in every day life. Sometimes we may be scared to take on a new opportunity, talk to new people or to simply say no. Fear is instilled in every one of us. It is the fear of not being good enough in front of others that may makes us hide who we really are. It is the fear of failing or letting go that may make us stagnant through our life without ever truly growing or changing. We may miss chances or stay in a failed relationship out of fear. It is fear in every day life that makes some of us not live life fully. It is when we aren’t living life to the fullest that we often have regret later on.
However, fear is also what makes life so exciting and worth it. It is fear that allows each of us to learn more about ourselves and lead us to our life destinations. It is fear that can help bring us to where we are suppose to be. Fear can be discouraging but it is also uplifting. Because once you are able to get past what you are afraid of, nothing can stop you.
As Christmas came to a close, I looked around the dinner table to take it all in. My grandma sitting across from me, my brother diagonal from me, my step-dad at the other end of the table, my sister sitting to my right and my mom to my left. I no longer see them as a single member of my family, but as a mirror image of myself. My grandma who is courageous and loving to each one of us. My brother who is compassionate and has a kind-heart that shows empathy and understanding. My step-dad who is humorous and hard-working and is a positive influence for my siblings. My sister who is fearless and moves graciously and beautifully through each day without grasping truly how amazing she is. Lastly, my mother who has demonstrated self-discipline and strength during both of our challenging trials and has moved through them with a strong heart and mind. I realized while examining each of them not only how vital family is to have, but how crucial it can be in order to really understand ourselves.
It takes years for some people to truly appreciate their family members. When my dad passed away, I started to treasure time with my loved ones more than ever. Some people grow up with minimal or no family. Some people are blessed with a big supportive family. The family you have may not be blood. They may be people you have accumulated over your lifetime make up a new family you never had. Whatever your family may look like, it is critical to be appreciative of that family.
There are chances that each person is given in a lifetime. We have the chance to change lives, grow into ourselves and find what we are meant to do. However, I think there are a few chances that are once in a lifetime kind of chances. The chance usually requires us to take on a challenge we didn’t think possible. & those types of chances we just don’t get a do-over with.
The Chance for Potential Growth
These chances will most likely be at a time when you are least expecting them. It will be the type of chance that can change your whole life. Maybe it is risky. It is okay to hesitate at some of the chances that are presented to us. It is normal to be cautious about accepting something that may either make or break us. But, if there is something I have learned over the years, it is that I regret the opportunities that I didn’t take. Of course, there are instances that I disregard as “missed opportunities” because they have brought me closer to my so-called “destiny” or they were not meant for me to begin with.
However, those aren’t the chances I’m speaking of. I’m addressing the chances that we are urged to take. The ones that if we accept we know will bring us growth in unimaginable ways. It may scare us to undergo such a transformation. But, once we are able to welcome this opportunity into our lives we will be able to advance ourselves in ways we never thought possible.