Monday, September 29, 2014

Carry Your Own Weather

I'm going to share a story today from years ago.  I swear my dad got personal amusement and pleasure in torturing my brother and me, though always with a higher purpose. We resisted, but he was the boss. I use the word torture loosely, but it was just not the fun stuff most parents did with their kids. Not the going to the ballpark kind of stuff. I think most parents try too hard to make their kids lives easy, to focus on fun and being friends. 

My dad adopted a different approach. The wake up early, get your tush out here and help me cut down trees and carry lumber kind of stuff. Sometimes physical labor, sometimes mentally challenging tasks like understanding how to balance a checkbook, or sometimes instances like I am about to share. On a family vacation we were driving to the Outer Banks, and dad decided we would start the vacation by listening to the audiotape version of  Steven Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. The book is now a sort of family joke yet also a book that has come to mean a lot to each of us individually. My brother and I can exchange a look in about 2 seconds that screams "seriously". Yep, seriously. You are going to listen to this book, and then we are going to talk about it. 
I love this image - posted on this blog with a great lesson! 

After working a challenging weekend in the ICU and dealing with a few personal things, I was reminded of my favorite tip from Steven Covey: Carry Your Own Weather. I may just have a little umbrella tattooed on my body, as I think if there is one thing I need to be reminded of every day, it's that. We get to choose our reactions, our moods, and set our own internal barometer each and every day. Put on negative glasses, and you will find negativity all around. I'm wearing my virtual sunnies today - and damn it, it feels good. Not because everything is good, but because I'm looking for and choosing to see the good today. 

With all that aside, Habit #1 is Be Proactive. We all have the inner power to choose how we feel and how we react to the various circumstances and instances in our lives.  Here is a paragraph from Steven Covey: 

“Your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.”

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Car... I really needed to hear this speech this week.