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Friday's Inspiration Weekly
Que Sera, Sera

How tempting it is to offer advice, to try to fix the problems of those I love. How ineffective I am in doing so!
Where might my energy be better directed to improve my relationships?

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A man's weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own and not another man's. They are brought about by himself and not by another; and they can only be altered by himself, never by another. His condition is also his own, and not another man's. His sufferings and his happiness are evolved from within.
Everything's gonna be, alright.

Entrée: What They Choose To Be by Vic Johnson
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How often it is we find ourselves attempting to change someone else’s life. Usually it’s someone close to us – someone we hold near and dear like a spouse, a child or a sibling. Our intentions are generally good and aimed at making life better for someone we care about.

But, oh, how next to impossible it is to control someone else’s life. And so painful!! Wayne Dyer writes that most of our suffering in relationships is tied to the failure of other people to meet our expectations; of them failing to do what we think is right for them (or that satisfies us).

I have been helping my 16-year-old, who will be a high school senior this year, plan for college. My experience and knowledge suggests a path for him that I think best utilizes his talents and gifts. But it is not a path that he wants to pursue – and no amount of persuasion on my part will change that. It is frustrating – and somewhat painful – for me to deal with that. As parents, we always want the best for our children – at least what we think is best.

However, I must allow my son to go down the path he has chosen, with full knowledge that “his condition is his own, and not another man’s.” And that ultimately “his sufferings and his happiness are evolved from within.” While I can offer him advice, my best help will be by becoming the best example I can be of James Allen’s teachings. We can directly measure our progress down our path by how detached we can become when the direction of another's life conflicts with what we think is best for them. When we can act with the assurance that they must follow their own path just as we must follow ours, we will have taken a great leap in our personal growth.

Should we have high expectations of those who are close to us? Absolutely! As Denis Waitley says, “Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may not get what you want, but in the long run you will get what you expect.” So how do we handle it when others don’t do as we’d like? In the words of Wayne Dyer, “love them for what they choose to be regardless of your opinion about what they choose.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

About the author:

Between 1994-1997 Vic experienced more “character building” days than any other time of his life. Two books saved his life and both books came into his possession in an off-handed way. At a garage sale his former wife purchased a copy of Make Your Life Worthwhile, by the late Emmet Fox, because it looked like a book he’d be interested in. Several years earlier he had purchased a big bundle of books at a discount book sale and buried in the bundle, to be fully discovered later, was James Allen’s As A Man Thinketh. That one small volume is partly responsible for the creation of the entire personal development industry, comprising a discourse on the power of our thoughts. Earl Nightingale, widely regarded as the father of modern day personal development, in his best-selling recording, called the ideas in this book, "The Strangest Secret." The secret, he said, is "we become what we think about". Click here to download your free eBook - As A Man Thinketh

Main Course: As You Will
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The 8th grade graduating class, all twenty-some of us, sang the song we had chosen to express our hopes and dreams, "Que Sera, Sera.... whatever will be, will be... the future's not our's to see... Que Sera, Sera..." Finally! We were just that much closer to becoming adults. "Will I be handsome? Will I be rich?" The words come back to me, carried on a tune long past Hit Parade status, even then. Soon - much too soon - a few of the young men next to me, singing their hearts out, will have passed on. One in a horrible car wreck at 16, one from a heart attack at 38, one from a drug overdose at 53. Because of their choices? Yeah, most likely. At that moment, my next choice was to perform the instrumental solo that the program said was soon to come... I was terrified... I didn't choose to become a professional musician, later in life. I think I made that choice, right then and there.

The real message of this song to our graduating class was choices - lots of 'em! And, more to come. Better choices, worse choices, good ones and bad. My choices would help me become what I would become That message is still appropriate, today. The future will take care of itself, if I just live the best I can, today.

My son-in-law, recently experiencing his first Father's Day, asked me, "What is the most rewarding thing for you, as a father?" It didn't take much thought. I fired back, "The real reward comes when your child actually becomes whole and complete as an adult, whether you have helped in the process or not, whether you were even involved in the process or not. Because, I realized, parents are involved and they are helping, either by presence or absence, by negative or positive example - by what parents do and who they are. That's how parenting works, with a willful child or even one that is easily molded. It's not up to me. In the end, it's really up to them!"

How it doesn't work (it never does!), is for me to try to control someone else's choices, simply because I may be attached to the result. Wouldn't it have been wonderful if I could have chosen how my children's lives were to play out? I could have said to them, "this is what you need, this is what you will choose, because it is best for you..." Right, perhaps, but how sure could I be of that? I honestly can't. What does work is to make the best choices I can, and live the best life I am able, and hope that they figure out their stuff sooner in their life than I did in mine. And, to only offer advice when it is sought, without ever expecting them to follow said advice.

So, to my children - and, for that matter, to all of my friends and those that I am lovingly close to - live your life as you will, earn and grow and do as you will, and let others do as they will. As much as I might like to be the producer and director of someone's life-movie by writing the script for them and telling them just how to play the part, I know that I would do a poor job of it. I will leave that project to someone or something else, and take only what they have to willingly offer in our relationship. I can only be responsible for my part in it, bacause after all, I have enough to do putting my precious energy into making good choices in my own life.

Could I have seen my future back then (in my early teens), would I have wanted to live it? The knowledge would have frightened me much more than hitting a wrong note in my 8th grade solo, now that I can look back from here to there. No, I didn't turn out rich (but my life is abundant), and if you think I'm handsome, I'll have to take your word for it. I don't want to know everything the future holds for me from here forward, either. I'll just live this moment as I will, and so will you.

Que sera, sera, indeed: What will be, after all, will most certainly be.

Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2005

Second Helping: Being Intentional by Alan LeStourgeon
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I was talking with my wife, who is a mental health counselor, the other day and she was lamenting a bit about some of her clients not wanting to make the necessary changes in their lives to get over their issues. She was mulling over why people don’t or won’t get better and then she came out with this statement, “Some people just don’t want to do things intentionally in their lives.” And that started a long discussion about getting out of the ruts we are in, and living successful lives.

For many, their lives have become nothing more than a usual boring routine, going through the next act, what we would call a day, on the stage of life. It is very easy to stay in the rut. It has been carved out for you and the path is leading you towards a life of mediocrity every day. Go ahead, grab your coffee, head off to the job that you hate, argue with the boss, come home, pet the dog, eat dinner, watch American Idol, go to bed, get up the next morning and do it all over again.

The lyrics to a Pink Floyd song are appropriate here. See if you know this one...

Tired of lying in the sunshine
staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long
and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
that ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
you missed the starting gun

Ponder that for a moment…

Have you asked yourself that question lately? Where have the last ten years gone? Of course, most everyone wants to be successful and dreams about getting out of the rat race and achieving whatever level of success they deem appropriate to themselves. But are you doing anything intentional about it? Are you, every day, purposely doing something different to change the circumstances that have gotten you to this point in your life? Being intentional means making the decision to stop talking about the dreams you have and to start taking action to achieve them.

You don’t have to start with the action that will make you the million dollars you want. You can start with something very minor. I started by taking a different route to work everyday just to break up the monotony. I was intentionally doing something different every day. The next ten years are going to go by whether you decide to better your life or not. They will go by whether you take a risk or not. Don’t wait to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do and then realize ten years down the road you wished you had started ten years earlier.

Being intentional about your decisions and actions will separate you from the millions that just go through the motions of life every day wishing their lives were different but unwilling to do anything about it.

Don’t let time trick you into becoming comfortably numb..

About the author:

Alan and his wife, Jean, are internet success stories in a world where many are called, but few chosen. Alan coaches people in home-based business opportunities and Jean is a spiritually-oriented counselor. Formerly a graphic artist and part-time MLM marketer, he was forced to quit his other jobs and pursue his present work, often doing so sitting by the river and enjoying the sun and fresh air. Learn more about being intentional by visiting Alan's website.

Soup to Nuts: From the feedback button
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Aly shared the following with another group she and I belong to, and I would like to pass it on to you. "I have a little red glass heart a friend gave me awhile back, a pretty thing that plays nicely in the light. Lately I have taken to putting it on my desk at a prayer...a reminder. It is a reminder to be kind. It is a reminder to stop in the blur of the moment and listen to the language of compassion speaking through that moment. That is what enriches my work life. To do the simple work I have been entrusted to do accurately and efficiently is important to me. Ultimately, that is what the patients and the hospital need me to do. I also want to remember to take a moment see the human beings with whom I interact, because without that the work is rote and meaningless. If there's one complaint my co-workers have with me it seems to be "Relax, Aly!" (My stress begins to stress them also.) Some compassion for myself is called for also...some trust in the flow of life. At night I put the heart away in a small red silk bag, for two reasons: to help keep honest people honest, and so that I will have to consciously take it out again in the morning...and pray anew." Wonderful, inspiring thoughts, these. Thank you, Aly.

Prayers are requested for Kathy H's daughter, for Vicki, JoanS, and LoriH, and dearest Maralyn. Yours truly will be changing jobs (again?!) around the first of the month, as my present contract has come to an end, and a direct-hire position has been offered. I appreciate the abundance in my life, that I am given so many positive choices in this respect. Please remember that, even though you don't hear from me as often as you should, you are never far from my thoughts and prayers.

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