More often than not, we equate January with the only time to make new goals, new resolutions or make new year plans.
But, realistically any arbitrary date in the year can serve the same purpose. It can be July 1st, your birthday, your anniversary, or your half-birthday (the day that is exactly 6 months on either side of your birthday).
What day you decide to change your life and your dreams is up to you.
This is What Louise Did
Louise was a quiet woman, born in Alabama in 1913. Even at an early age she understood that black people were treated differently than whites. She grew up, married and helped with fund-raising for her husband’s organization. She also worked in a department store.
In 1955, at the age of 42, she was on her way home from work. Later people would attribute her actions to being physically tired, but she countered with the explanation, “I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
It was that historic day that Rosa Louise Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and moved the entire country forward.
She did not set out that morning to make history. She did not intend to get arrested after work. She had not intended to ignite the civil rights movement and create an environment in which Martin Luther King Jr. would continue to shine a light on the deplorable conditions that affected half of Americans.
She did not intend to, but she did.
Rosa Parks had enough and determined in that moment to say “NO!”
She faced a nation of people who both supported her and criticized her efforts to change the status quo.
When you make changes in your life, it can shine a light on the deficits in other people’s lives. You won’t get support from everyone.
BUT, you are the one living your life. You experience the effects of changing or not changing. You are responsible for your own life.
As you begin a new journey in the next weeks, gather your motivation and inspiration from others who have come before you.
Her siblings died, her clothes were made of potato sacks, but she became America’s best friend
She has been called America’s best friend and most influential woman. And yet, she came from a dramatic background from which two of her half-siblings have since died. One sister died from cocaine addiction and a brother from AIDS-related illness. A third half-sister was put up for adoption at an early age.
Living in rural poverty with her grandmother until she was six, her dresses were made of potato sacks. She was nick-named “The Preacher” because by the age of 3 she could read and recite Bible verses in church. When she was six, she moved back in with her mother, who worked long hours as a maid.
From the age of 9 to 13 she was repeatedly raped by a cousin, an uncle and a family friend. When she was 14 she ran away from home, became pregnant not soon afterward and gave birth to a son who died.
It was at this point that she moved in with her father in Nashville, Tennessee. He was strict, but encouraging and gave her the structure she needed to excel. By her senior year in high school she was an honors student and voted Most Popular Girl. She won oratory contests, State beauty pageant and studied communication.
In 1983 she took a radio show that was in last place in the ratings to overtaking the Donahue show and quickly became the highest rated talk show in Chicago. The name was changed from AM Chicago to the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah is a household name because she believed in herself and had a couple support people in her life that gave her to courage she needed. She credits her grandmother with giving her a positive sense of herself and her father with the structure and encouragement she needed.
Oprah didn’t come from a privileged background. She was born and raised in poverty.
She didn’t go to the best schools, but made the best of her school.
You have the ability to make changes in your life. Those changes can change your outlook, your future and your joy. Find the people in your life who can give you the support and structure you need to succeed. Fight against that little voice inside that says you can’t . . . because YOU CAN!
You Life Depends on Your Perspective
A psychology professor stood in front of her class holding a glass of water. She held up the half empty glass and looked at her class expectantly. Each student expected the usual story about a glass half empty but was surprised by her question.
“How heavy do you think this glass is?”
Students started calling out answers and asking how many ounces as they grabbed for their calculators and conversion tables.
She answered, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of the glass doesn’t matter. If I hold this glass for a minute or two, it’s light. If I hold it for an hour then weight will make my arm ache a little. If I hold it for a day, my arm will cramp and be incredibly painful. In each of these cases the weight of the glass didn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels.”
“Your emotional and mental stresses and worries are like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and you feel some pain. Think about them all day long, and you will feel disabled and paralyzed.”
Remember, it’s important to change what you do and how you do it so you aren’t repeating old patterns. By letting go of the fear that paralyzes your action you can make a real difference in your life. No matter what happens during each day, put down your burdens and commit to beginning the day fresh tomorrow – with a new outlook and a new way of doing things that you learned from the mistakes you make today.
If this is the time of the year that you will make changes, then it’s time to change the WAY you do things. If you are dissatisfied with life and nothing has changed over the years, then it’s time for YOU to change. If you do things the same way, you’d better be prepared to get the same results.