a daily check up
from the neck up
to avoid stinkin’ thinkin’
of the attitudes.”
I’ve been a serious student of positive thinking since about 1973. It was really sooner, but I can’t put my finger on anything that stood out. Yet, in 1973, I began reading “motivational authors,” as I used to call them. One of those was Zig Ziglar. He used to talk so fast, you had to pay close attention, but the message was always positive and uplifting. He spoke and wrote so much about the need for a positive self-image and believing in yourself.
Fast forward to today, and John C Maxwell’s latest book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth to this quote: “If your desire is a 10, but your self-esteem is a 5, you’ll never perform at the level of a 10. You’ll perform at a 5 or lower. People are never able to outperform their self-image.”
I think that is such an interesting statement. I think that we often think that we can outperform our self-image and that is where the “motivational authors” strut their stuff, which is why so much of what I read and heard way back then didn’t stick very much. I was always trying to overcome my own low self-esteem and I just couldn’t get past that place. In fact, when I think of the word motivation, or how I always used to hear and see it used, it was all about trying to move people beyond their own self-esteem. I learned well, and see it so clearly now that this is an impossible task.
Nathanial Branden says it this way: “If you feel inadequate to face challenges, unworthy of love or respect, unentitled to happiness, and fear assertive thoughts, wants, or needs–if you lack basic self-trust, self-respect, and self-confidence–your self-esteem deficiency will limit you, no matter what other assets you possess.”
So, the answer is not motivation, it is acceptance. It is not positive thinking, it is self-love. It is all about self-development, or the building up of the self. If you have or had parents who encouraged and built you up as a child, how fortunate you have been, but even if you had abusive parents, you can retrain yourself by loving yourself, accepting where you are now in pursuit of where you want to be, and by looking within instead of without.
That study is what I’ve been brought to in my later life and it is making all the difference in me. In fact, it used to be all about doing and having and having more and so often that was about money and possessions as a status of success. Now it is a personal joy of learning to accept and love myself as I grow and develop in who I am for my own enjoyment first, and others as they choose to accept me. What a very powerful difference this is.
And, The Best Way To Start And Build On This Process Is To Add Value To Others, Love Others Where They Are Now, And Accept The Power They Have In Themselves To Do As They Choose For Themselves.
Spread Some Joy Today–Your joy is in simply choosing to experience joy. It is that simple. No other rules.