We’ve covered 5 of the 7 Decisions that determine personal success as laid out in Andy Andrews’ book, The Traveler’s Gift.
- The Buck Stops Here
- I will Seek Wisdom
- I am A Person Of Action
- I Have A Decided Heart
- Today I Choose To Be Happy
In this post, Mr. Andrews moves into the 6th of the 7 Decisions That Determine Personal Success:
I Will Greet This Day With A Forgiving Spirit.
This decision is one of those “bottom line” messages that carries extreme importance in life. And here’s why.
How often we immerse ourselves in resentments toward those whom we perceive to have “wronged” us.
When we do so, we diminish our own functionality and effectiveness because we allow anger and other negative thoughts to occupy our minds. And what happens is that we block out our pleasant and productive thoughts and experiences.
For example, we may have been criticized by someone. We can hold on to that thought and plot revenge – lose sleep over it. That thought can take over our mind throughout the day. Instead of paying attention to what is at hand, we can easily be preoccupied with that person. It can even affect our relationships because we are not truly “present.”
Creativity within us is diminished as well as forward-thinking plans at these times.
So how did this even happen? Many times, in order to have been in a position where someone would even bother to criticize us, we were standing out in some way. We may have been taking a stand on something we believe in – speaking our voice.
It is at times such as these, when we are true to ourselves, that we are likely to encounter “naysayers.”
Some people say that life has three levels of influence:
The first level is a baseline level where we live our own personal life and take care of ourselves.
In the second level, we step into a position where we take care of not only ourselves but also our families and those who are important to us.
The highest level of influence is when we have something to offer the community or society at large to change it for the better.
The higher our level of influence, the more likely we are to encounter negativity from others.
On the other hand, to avoid criticism is to do nothing and be nothing. Becoming the object of criticism is an indication that we have surpassed mediocrity.
We need to be aware that we can’t please everyone. Public opinion is fickle – easily swayed. But the bottom line of right and wrong is stable and dependable. If what we believe in and act upon is done so in an ethical and benevolent manner, we can take comfort in standing firm.
We can come to be the object of ridicule or criticism – or be wronged in one way or another – or perceive that is so, whether it truly is or not. At such times, we need to be ready to forgive for reasons stated above – to let go of our negative preoccupations.
The interesting reality is that the “other” is often, if not usually, totally oblivious to our feelings. They don’t know that they are taking up space in our minds – that we may thinking all sorts of negative things about them.
Forgiveness allows us to let go of all that and to regain our own presence in all areas – personally, in relationships and in our activities and endeavors.
Forgiveness is not a reward. It has nothing to do with whether it is deserved or not.
Forgiveness is a gift – mostly to ourselves. It allows us to release our demons and “create a new heart.”
And unfortunately, the person we most often overlook to forgive is ourselves. How often we harbor self-judgment. How frequently to we get disgusted with ourselves. How often does that negative self-talk and judgment lead us into paralysis – paralysis of emotion, of thought and of action.
To be our “whole” selves, we need to be easy and forgive ourselves.
Remember this saying each morning … I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.
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