Okay, I need to give it to you straight, without sugar coating my words, YOU ARE AWESOME.I am serious. Whether I know you personally or not, I admire you. You inspire others in ways you may not even know. As someone who is reading this, you inspire me. I appreciate you being you.
When you feel down, lonely, anxious, depressed, sad or any other feelings that don’t allow you to be you, remember this, I CARE ABOUT YOU. Never underestimate the power of knowing that others truly care about you. Let nothing in your life let you forget that. You are awesome.
I came across the following poem that I love. I hope you will not just read it but think about the message.
You’re More Than Awesome
A poem by Noel S. Williams
You’re more than awesome
You are one of a kind
Your personality blossoms
and your bright soul is not confined
You’re smile is beautiful
You’re hope is bright
Your spirit is lovable
You shine through with your light
Sometimes you’ll forget these things
When your life gets tough
You’ll feel as if you’re tied up by strings
You feel like your life is rough
But when you get to that point
When you can’t remeber all the good
When you’re being torn apart joint by joint
Look back at this and remember what you should
You’re perfect in every way
You are the light in the dark
Your spirit is yellow not grey
And you are the start of a hopeful spark
You’re more than awesome
You’re one of a kind
You’re beautiful like a blossom
and your soul is not confined.
You are a hero and heroes rock.
When I talk about “Inner Strength” I am referring to a combination of mental, emotional and spiritual strength. Each of these play such an integral part of making up how we feel, the decisions we make and the outcomes we achieve. These strengths are developed and strengthened based on our values. To define values in a simple way, they are those beliefs that guide our thoughts and actions. They define who we are and what we stand for. Understanding our values at the core of developing Inner Strength.
The key is to find values that you believe in and know that no matter what, you can maintain through any situation.
Values are one of the most important things that we carry with us throughout our life. They are what truly define us. The best part about values is that each person defines them for themselves. The problem comes when people allow for their values to be influenced in a negative way. We have seen many examples of what happens when people, leaders and organizations let their values slip.
Defining your values will be one of the most important things you will ever do. You need to take a deep look into your inner self to know what it is you stand for. Then, you must be sure that those values are immovable. You must stay true to them no matter what the situation is. This can be hard and there are going to be times when your values are challenged. Inner strength comes when you overcome the temptation to put your values aside. You become stronger each time you keep your values intact. Whether you know it or not, people are watching to see who you are based on your decisions. It won’t really matter what you say if are not true to who you are.
Don’t let the world define your values. This may sound like common sense but look at how much social media influences you, me and all those around us. Are you clicking the “Like” button because others who are popular clicked it? Are you posting things you have no interest in but know it will cause contention, pain and other negative emotions? How would people define you based on your social media presence? When you have defined your values, then live them. This is especially true when using technology. Let others see this and not some fake or “other you.” You control this and it starts with knowing your values.
So don’t compromise, be strong, be true. When you have strong values, you can provide true value and that is when you will see noticeable improvement in your Inner Strength.
You are a hero!
How are you going to develop values that can withstand any storm?
With 2015 coming to a close and 2016 getting ready to make its presence known it is time for some reflection. Whether you have done this before or have only ever actually thought about doing it, taking some time to reflect can have a number of great benefits. There are numerous ways to reflect upon the year that was but I would like to share one way that you may find useful. It’s all about focusing on what you learned.
See, we may be able to quickly reflect about what happened in 2015 by thinking of key experiences that took place. We may simply think about them for a minute then move on to the next experience. Although this is a good start, what if you took some quality time to really ponder what you learned from those key experiences? Two very important things happen, first you document what you have learned which helps to reinforce those items and second, you now have the opportunity to set some solid goals for 2016 based on those learning’s.
Click on the image below to see a helpful tool I created. You can recreate this tool any way you want; this is just a simple example.
As you can see with this example, based on a Key Learning from 2015 I was able to establish a goal for 2016. It is important not to overwhelm yourself by listing tons of learnings and/or goals. You may actually go through a couple of iterations to help you narrow down and focus on those experiences that provided the greatest learnings for you. Then you can dial in on the 1 to 3 goals for 2016.
Leaders have the ability to learn from every experience. The best leaders have the ability to take those learning’s and make both themselves and those they lead better. Ironically, heroes are those that are always learning from their experiences, it makes them more effective in the future as they are in situations that require them to act and react quickly.
You are a hero and a leader. I have said it before but you don’t need a title to be a leader and most people will not be called a hero even though do heroic things. There are people around you watching what you do and what you say whether you notice it or not. You have the ability to make a positive impact every day on others. I hope you will take some time to identify what you learned in 2015 to make 2016 even better.
Here is to each of you, my heroes, to an awesome and successful 2016.