Motherly Wisdom on – Building a Life

light_on_pathAh, life’s milestones – perpetually bittersweet. When you marry, you leave the safety and familiarity of your family to set out on a new adventure that holds the key to life itself. When you begin a new career, you devote yourself and your energies to becoming a force in the world – at the exclusion of a thousand other viable options. Yes, for everything gained, something is lost, and vice versa.

IMG_4532In the past two weeks I have moved both of my children out of the temporary permanence of the dorms and into the next phase of their lives. As the last of the boxes were loaded into the car, what motherly words of wisdom were imparted on this momentous occasion? “Do you have everything that you need?” And “Drive safely.” As the words fell from my lips they felt incredibly shallow and inadequate. 18 years of mental pictures flashed through my mind, and that was the best that I could come up with? But what was I really wanting to say? What can you really say to someone as they embark upon building a life?

After some thought, here’s the information that I wish I could have magically imparted as the car pulled out of the driveway.

Build your confidence

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When we’re just starting out, our dreams are big – but our experience is small. This coupled with the fierce competition of today’s world can make us feel defeated right out of the gate, if we’re not careful. Allow yourself to revel in small victories. In truth, it’s a series of baby steps that result in huge leaps forward. Nobody gets there overnight, so allow yourself to celebrate each effort. It’s this process that helps us to truly discover who we are, both the positive and negative aspects of ourselves, and to continually fine-tune until we become the person we “want to become.”

Build relationships

Courtesy: www.morgefile.com

While we must walk the path of self-discovery alone, we are never truly alone. It’s the people around us that make life worth living. Take pleasure in sharing your time, your laughter and your kindness with others. In the process, you’ll build a support system to help you through your weaker moments too. Our compassionate nature is what sets humanity apart from all other species on Earth – so do your best to avoid becoming too self-consumed. The love you give away truly does come back to you. It is never a waste of time.

Build resilience

Relax MGD©

Challenges are not only a part of life, but also a valuable part of our steering system. Hardships allow us the clarity of knowing what we don’t want so that we can better create the life we do want. The key is to let go of the notion of perfection and allow yourself to learn. Kindness towards yourself, combined with the support from those around you, will help you to develop the resilience needed to keep growing in positive ways. Set a goal for the future – but then focus only on this moment, and making it the best that you can.

Build your legacy

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Eventually, and it comes much quicker that we realize, we see that the only thing that truly matters is “what we stand for.” Yes, all of the status, titles and accomplishments were nice and in some way proved to the world that we are worthy – but then deep inside we knew that anyway, didn’t we? In later life it can almost seem like a lot of jumping through hoops, just because everyone else did. People may have a limited lifespan but our legacies live on. How did we touch other people and serve as an example of a life well-lived? Did we offer encouragement, joy and the wisdom of our hard-earned lessons? All human beings face the same pleasures and the same pain – so strive to make your life a welcome inspiration to others.

P1000704In hindsight, perched upon my empty nest, I suppose all of these carefully chosen words fall short in comparison to what I’ve really given them – the wings to fly. And the fact that they’re now soaring off to new and wondrous locations should be honored and appreciated as the accomplishment it is – for all of us. I suppose I’ve answered my final question myself – “Do you have everything that you need?” Yes. Yes, I suppose you do.

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Marci Wise is the award-winning author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2015 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.

The Real Meaning of “Don’t Give Up”

It’s the credo of success – “Don’t Give Up.”

Courtesy: MorgueFile
Courtesy: MorgueFile

In a world that’s focused on personal advancement, we’re taught from our earliest moments to set our sights on the future, design goals and persevere. We realize that we will encounter hardship and challenges along the way and are devoted to tirelessly reaching the finish line. And while that mindset is highly effective for moving the bar forward towards our dreams, something very important often gets lost in the process.

If you’re one of the droves of people who live by the motto, “Don’t Give Up,” just a little fine tuning can broaden the definition – and your chances of success – in every area of your life.

moto casalDon’t give up…yourself for someone else (because you’re swept away). While our minds set the direction, our hearts can sometimes grab the steering wheel. The powerful emotion that’s felt between two people can be intoxicating. We want to immerse ourselves in it and utilize that relationship as an oasis away from our daily cares. Slowly, and often without our conscious awareness, we may begin to let go of who we are. The little things that we love, our hobbies, interests and favorite pastimes, begin to fall away as we devote all of our time and attention to object of our affections. While understandable, it’s important to remember that it’s our uniqueness that makes us interesting. Our own special talents are what set us apart and will eventually lead us to our ultimate happiness and purpose. Because of this, the best gift that you can give your significant other is the whole you.

file000957276158Don’t give up…your loved ones (just because it’s inconvenient). It seems that there is only so much time and energy to go around. The result is often lost opportunities to make precious memories with those that we love the most. It’s easy to take our strongest support system for granted – but cherishing those individuals should be one of our top priorities. They say the only thing that’s certain in life is change, so hold on to those who mean the most to you for as long as you can. What good are reaching the goals anyway – if you don’t have anyone to share the success with when you get there?

Don’t give up…on mankind (just because people are imperfect). Yes, people can let us down. The nightly news illuminates the darker side of humanity, in vivid detail, on a regular basis. But for every tragic act, there are numerous heroic actions that you never hear about. This is simply because today’s world subscribes to a “fore-warned is fore-armed” mentality. Its intention is to keep you safe – but its result can leave you feeling jaded and defeated. Luckily, human beings learn from their mistakes, albeit not as quickly as we may like, and eventually find solutions to create positive change. One look at history proves that we are evolving – and the greatest change starts with us. If we can take it upon ourselves to exemplify kindness, charity and innovation, then we can significantly change the world one person at-a-time.

א צעד קטן לאדםDon’t give up…discovering your true self (just because it’s hidden). Too often we define ourselves by the labels that the outside world gives us – seeing ourselves through other people’s eyes. At first it feels good meeting other people’s expectations, but there comes a time when we realize that we were born to exceed those expectations. You are – who you say you are. You are – who you choose to be, as evidenced by your actions. When we can open our minds to that concept, the field of possibilities broadens exponentially. Our goals become bigger and grander – and success isn’t even reached by achieving them – but instead by living a life filled with positive intention. In the end, we realize that we have grown beyond the next worldly goal and instead have become the goal ourselves. Living and loving completely – making progress, relationships and memories all at the same time.

So it pays to remember, you can do it – just “Don’t Give Up.”

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Marci Wise is the award-winning author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2015 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.