I’m not a huge fan or a huge detractor of Facebook posts that are imported sayings. Some are meant to be funny, some inspirational, some inflammatory. But every now and again I’ll read one and go, “Wow! I like what that says and how it makes me feel (or think).” The following was written by Paulo Coelho a Brazilian writer. His book The Alchemist was a New York Times bestseller.
In my view some of the above shared wisdom has been trivialized by over-use. Popularization and exposure doesn’t affect the innate value of “love and forgiveness” (for example), but for me it makes those concepts part of our everyday background noise. Other words or phrases he uses seem to be simple fillers but are actually useful devices to make us think about small every-day actions and consequences. I’ve chosen to explore just a couple of his suggestions for a happier self that really resonated with me.
“Be Present.” A strong opener, eh?
Writers on this blog speak indirectly and directly about this topic every week. A frequent indirect reference in Runitlikeamom.com is a discussion of investing in one’s health. Running, or whatever daily exercise we choose, allows us to be more present each day. Making good health decisions also contributes to an overall feeling of wellbeing. If you feel well, there is more to give and receive. Perhaps that is my definition of “being present” — giving and receiving.
“Embrace Conversation.” This follows “avoid small talk.”
I interpret Coelho’s intent here to mean: listen well. Conversation all too often is one-sided. It doesn’t matter if they are big and important conversations in the media about world and domestic affairs or small day-to-day exchanges such as “how was your day dear?” If we take the time to listen — to hear both the spoken and unspoken — we learn a lot.
“Know your worth” is a real bell-ringer for me.
All too often we either accept outside judgement (positive or negative) when we ourselves should be the ones who keep an internal tally of who we are and what we are worth. Moreover, we need to be more accurate and honest about ourselves. I know people who (in my opinion) over-estimate their worth but more often I know people who under-estimate their worth. We need to practice assessing our strengths and weaknesses and make adjustments to improve as necessary.
“Let go of what doesn’t make you happy.”
Oh, so easily typewritten yet perhaps the hardest of all to incorporate into our daily lives. What grabs me about this one is if you think about it, all the previous steps and skills he notes enable us to do just that.
We cannot remain static and live to our fullest potential. How incredibly fortunate are we that each of us, no matter what our circumstance, has the opportunity to learn and change?
I’m going to print up Coelho’s bit of inspiration and put it on my fridge. Perhaps it will help me to remember to be my best self and to appreciate not only each day of my life, but also myself.
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