Reflecting Success!

Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves. Hearing God’s teaching and doing nothing is like looking at your face in the mirror and doing nothing about what you saw. You go away and immediately forget how bad you looked.
(James 1:22-24)

Are you unhappy with some things in your life? Are you not having the successes you thought you would have? Are your relationships in the tank and not seemingly getting any better? Have you looked in the mirror lately?

In his excellent book “Lead the Field” author Earl Nightingale relates a story of a woman who had the impression that everyone in her new neighborhood was unfriendly and unwelcoming so she prodded her husband to move them back to the area from where they had come. Nightingale questioned the husband when he saw them packing after just a few months and asked him if his wife had taken any steps to let the women in the neighborhood know she was interested in making new friends. The crux of the story is that the ladies saw this woman as cold, unfriendly, and to herself. How could that be given her desire to fit in? It was because of the way others saw her and the “image” she reflected.

So many times I see people who are unhappy and unfulfilled in life and they can’t see for themselves what’s causing the problem. When you spend as much time with people as I do, you can generally pick up the problem quickly and in almost every case the person they are reflecting is a negative, surly, person that nobody would want to be around. At least nobody that wants to feel better about themselves. These types of people tend to attract just who they are “reflecting” and what happens is a horrible cycle of bad relationships, wounded self-esteem, and a life wasted. In this state of mind it’s easy to find others who reflect the same bad attitude and don’t want to change. You can “coast” along in life and never change.

This affects all age groups. Teenagers are just as easily affected as business professionals. A teen girl without a true fatherly role model can easily see herself in a mirror as unworthy of true love and she desperately tries to make it happen by hooking up with boys who are quite eager to take her physical love from her and leave her when they tire of the experience. Why do you think TV shows like “Teen Mom” are so popular with the younger audience today? The girl is often left a shell of herself after a few of these “relationships” and her reflection worsens over time.

So how do we fix this? It’s not easy but you have the complete control in this matter. As the quote I began this post with states, you can look in the mirror and see what needs changing. You have to be intentional though. What are you reflecting right now? What do people see? Have you ever asked? You might be surprised. Here’s a start-up list of some ideas to improve your reflection:

1) Find someone outside of your present circle of friends who reflects success. Find people who are where you desire to be. Spend time with these types of people. At first, this might be difficult since you’re so used to “coasting” along in life. You might even have to start by finding these “mentors” in books at your library and read their inspiring words. Audio books work well too. For me, Earl Nightingale and Jim Rohn were friends from audio books that challenged me.

2) Decide on one action you will take that will improve your reflection. Are you overweight like me? Then start walking and make better choices as you eat. How do you dress? I’m not saying you have to wear a suit but do your clothes look like they belong in the 80’s or 90’s? If so, upgrade a bit. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve found nice clothes at the Goodwill and Thrift shops in town along with discount and department stores. The point is ACTION. Do something today to improve your reflection.

3) Journal. This one will not resonate with many. Writing in a book is not something many folks are inspired to do but there’s something about capturing your thoughts on paper that will benefit you in the long run. Journal today about how you feel and what you want to achieve in the next year, 3 years, and 5 years. Be honest. This is your private document. Let go of everything that you fear and spill yourself onto the notebook. Trap those thoughts in the prison of paper and review them from time to time. This will inspire you to make the changes needed to improve your reflection.

I hope you will decide to continually be improving yourself. I’m not where I need to be either but am continuing on the journey. Chaos is all around us. Only YOU can bring the order you desire. Take action today!

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Reflecting Success!

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