When you are a person of character, you know who you are and where you want to go. You’ve already spent a great deal of time thinking about it. You’ve been working on the parts of your personality that will make you better—your attitude, your health, your time-management skills. You’ve been putting it all down on paper. And you’ve developed positive self-direction.
As you talk with yourself every day, how often do you ask, Is what I am doing today getting me closer to where I want to be tomorrow? Because here’s what you don’t want to ever do: kid yourself. Kid your neighbor and kid me and kid the marketplace if you want to, but don’t kid yourself. You can’t wait around with your fingers crossed hoping you’ll arrive at a good destination when you’re not even headed in the right direction. You say, Well maybe the wind will take me. There’s a chance, of course, but it’s about as likely as winning the lottery. You’ve got to take charge.
Ancient scripture says that hope, if it’s delayed long enough, can make the heart sick. You’ve got to ask yourself often, Am I performing the disciplines that are taking me in the direction that I want to go? I don’t want to delude myself and think I’m on the way to financial success when there’s not a prayer. I don’t want to delude myself into thinking there’s someone else who will take care of it. Nobody else is going to take care of it. Nobody else is going to take care of me.
What if all of your negative-thinking relatives turned positive? What would that do for your fortune and your future? Not much. If prices came down a little, what would that do for your sophistication and your culture? Not much. If the economy gets a little better, what would that do for you? Not much.
If you don’t make plans of your own, you’ll fit into someone else’s plans. And what do you think they have planned for you? Not much. Most people wake up every morning counting on this “not-much” list. And that’s all they have: not much. Not much hope. Not much promise. Not much progress. They’re driving what they don’t want to drive, living where they don’t want to live, doing what they don’t want to do.
Forget the thief waiting in the alley to snatch your purse. What about the thief in your mind? He is tempting you to become lazy, not stimulated by thoughts and questions. Don’t become a victim of yourself. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is this the direction that I want for my life?
- Is this someone else’s direction?
- Is it a goal that has been ingrained in me since my childhood?
- Is it my parents’, my spouse’s, my boss’s or my children’s?
- Is it mine?
Ask yourself these questions. Get into the debate of your inner mind.
- What am I doing that works?
- What am I doing that doesn’t work?
Debate it all. Work with your mind to figure out the best possible direction for you. This is your self-direction.
Adapted from Leading an Inspired Life