NARRATE YOUR LIFE STORY

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At moments of sorrow and exhaustion, it is only too easy to look back over the years and feel that our lives have, in essence, been meaningless.

We take stock of just how much has gone wrong: how many errors there have been; how many unfulfilled plans and frustrated dreams we’ve had. We may feel like the distraught, damned Macbeth who, on learning of his wife’s death, exclaims at a pitch of agony that man is a cursed creature who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.

[Life] is a tale, Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. No life can avoid an intermittently high degree of ‘sound and fury.’ The question is whether it must also ultimately signify nothing.

As Macbeth’s lines hint, this will depend on who is telling it. In the hands of Shakespeare’s (bracingly termed) ‘idiot’, the story of a life may well turn into unintelligible and dispiriting gibberish.

But with sufficient compassion and insight, we may equally be able to make something different and a great deal more meaningful and redemptive out of the same material. The difference between despair and hope is just a different way of telling stories from the same set of facts.

Only a small number of us ever self-consciously write our autobiographies. It is a task we associate with celebrities and the very old – but it is, in the background, a universal activity. We may not be publishing our stories, but we are writing them in our minds nevertheless.

Every day finds us weaving a story about who we are, where we are going and why events happened as they did. Many of us are strikingly harsh narrators of these life stories.

We hint to ourselves that we’ve been morons from the beginning. We’ve stuffed up big time. It’s been one disaster after another. That’s how we go about narrating, especially late at night, when our reserves of optimism run dry and the demons return. Yet there is nothing necessary about our self-flagellating methods of narration.

There could always be ways of telling very different, far kinder, and more balanced stories from the very same sets of facts. You could give your life story to Dostoevsky, Proust or Jesus and come out with a rather bearable, moving, tender and noble story.

Good – by which is meant fair-minded and judicious – narrators know that lives can be meaningful even when they involve a lot of failure and humiliation. Mistakes do not have to be absurd; they can be signs of how little information we have on which to base the most consequential decisions.

Messing up isn’t a sign of evil; it’s evidence of what we’re up against. Not all the disasters were wasted anyway. Maybe we spent a decade not quite knowing what we wanted to do with ourselves professionally. Maybe we went through a succession of failed relationships that left us confused and hurt a lot of people. But these experiences weren’t meaningless because they were necessary to later development and maturity.

We needed the career crisis to understand our working identities; we had to fail at love to fathom our hearts. No one gets anywhere important in one go. We can forgive ourselves the horrors of our first drafts. The good storyteller recognises – contrary to certain impressions – that the central character of the story isn’t always responsible for every calamity or triumph. We are never the sole authors of anything that happens to us.

Sometimes, it really will be the economy, our parents, the government, our enemies or simply the tragic dimensions of human existence.

Good narrators don’t over-personalise.

Every day, we are induced to narrate a bit our life story to ourselves: we explain why there was pain, why we forgot to seize a chance and why we’re in an unhappy situation.

It does not need to be a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing.

It can be a tale told by a kind, intelligent soul signifying rather a lot: like almost every life story, it is in truth a tale of a well-intentioned, flawed, partially blind, self-deceived but ultimately dignified and good human struggling against enormous odds and, sometimes on a good day, sometimes succeeding just a little in a few areas.

Iklan

WHOLESOME – WHOLENESS – NOTHING – DEATH QUOTES

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Searching for wholeness within yourself means that you stop relying on others to fill you or complete you. Instead of falling into a relationship with significant other to find meaning, you look for meaning within yourself, within the things you do, within your emotions and perspectives and opinions. And as you do this, you discover that you were never lacking. You never needed someone’s love to fill you, as if there were parts missing. You have always been, and will always be, completely whole and full on your own. —via thoughtcatalog


You appreciate yourself for the imperfect, complex, and astounding being you are.

Discovering your wholeness means falling in love with yourself. It means seeing, for the first time, how incredible you are. It means taking the time to put yourself first, to pamper yourself, and to celebrate each success. It means building yourself up after you fall and speaking words of love and encouragement to your heart when you’re down. It means understanding that you are imperfect, but taking pride in your flaws and failures, as they have created the person you are today. It means giving yourself the pure, raw love you’ve been giving everyone else for so long. It means seeing your worth—both body and soul.


You realize the magnitude of your spirit and the strength within your skin.

Finding your wholeness means realizing how incredibly strong you are. It means resurfacing and taking a breath of fresh air, confident and renewed. It means noticing the way your muscles move, the way your body shifts, the way your spirit brightens an entire room as you walk in. It means acknowledging all that you’ve pushed through and will continue to push through, every single day. Finding your wholeness means seeing, in a new and beautiful light, how truly astounding you are.


You discover that you were always whole, always complete, and never lacking on your own.

Searching for wholeness within yourself means that you stop relying on others to fill you or complete you. Instead of falling into a relationship with a significant other to find meaning, you look for meaning within yourself, within the things you do, within your emotions and perspectives and opinions. And as you do this, you discover that you were never lacking. You never needed someone’s love to fill you, as if there were parts missing. You have always been, and will always be, completely whole and full on your own.


“Like religion, war demands its persecutions, its holocausts, its lurid heroic cruelties; like them, it is noble, primitive, brutal, and mad. Now, as in the past, religion, lagging behind private consciences through the weight of tradition, steels the hearts of men against mercy and their minds against truth. If the world is to be saved, men must learn to be noble without being cruel, to be filled with faith and yet open to truth, to be inspired by great purposes without hating those who try to thwart them. But before this can happen, men must first face the terrible realization that the gods before whom they have bowed down were false gods and the sacrifices they have made were vain.”

—Bertrand Russell, Why Men Fight (1917), Chapter III, p.116

“Why Men Fight” was written in response to the devastation of World War I, “Why Men Fight” lays out Bertrand Russell’s ideas on war, pacifism, reason, impulse, and personal liberty. Russell argues that when individuals live passionately, they will have no desire for war or killing. Conversely, excessive restraint or reason causes us to live unnaturally and with hostility toward those who are unlike ourselves.

Image: Abandoned child sits holding his stuffed animal in the rubble of his home after a V2 bomb hit, London, January 1945. At the time of the photograph the child is unaware his parents lie buried dead underneath in this rubble. The orphaned boy survived the war.



I may be an abyss.
But at least I’m filed with nothings.
That still exist.

Reach inside my depths.
Grasp for something tangible.
Explore the negative.

Spaces.

Delve deeper.
Deeper.
All the biotic coolness to wrap
Lethargically.
Between your fingers.


Meaninglessness

The reason dying is so easy is because death has no meaning… And the reason death has no meaning is because life has no meaning. All the same, have fun!

Janne Teller, Nothing…


“Meaning is not something you can sell”
Janne Teller, Nothing


“We cried because we had lost something and gained something else. And because it hurt both losing and gaining. And because we knew what we had lost but weren’t as yet able to put into words what it was we had gained.”
Janne Teller, Nothing


“We were supposed to amount to something. Something was the same as someone, and even if nobody ever said so out loud, it was hardly left unspoken, either. It was just in the air, or in the time, or in fence surrounding the school, or in our pillows, or in the soft toys that after having served us so loyally had now been unjustly discarded and left to gather dust in attics or basements. I hadn’t known.”
Janne Teller, Nothing


Life has taught me that you can’t control someone’s loyalty, No matter how good you are to them, doesn’t mean that they will treat you the same,. No matter how much they mean to you, doesn’t mean that they will value you the same. Sometimes the people you love the most, turn out to be the people you can trust the least. Sometimes people come in our life to make us learn something, so that we can learn from them.


‘I remember mystep father had beated me with hanger, pieces of wood and all kind of stuffs. After every beating he would tell me, “you hurting me more than that i’ve hurted you. I did it cause I love you” it is kinda communicate me with kind of wrong message about what love was..’

‘So many years, I thought love was, It is all about hurt, and I hurt everybody that I love.. and I measured love by how much pain someone hurted by me.’


If you were to stab me in the back, i would say sorry for bleeding on you


 

Depression – Suicide – Hope

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In the early hours of March 13, 2013, I got out of bed, left my sleeping family, drove to a nearby bridge and jumped.

I don’t remember the fall or the impact; I remember being found, I remember a neck brace being fitted and been put into the ambulance.

As I was been taken to a hospital, two policemen would knock at my door and break the news to my husband.

From there, the news would spread causing shock and disbelief. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t in great physical shape; many of the bones on the right side of my body were broken: my lung had collapsed, my pelvis shattered neither was I in great mental shape.

Thinking I’d already hit rock bottom, I now contemplated a life as a social pariah confined to a wheelchair with limited access to my kids. So how on earth had I reached this point?

It’s difficult to say when my story begins – roots into depression are complex – but let’s start with the loss of my father. His death had prompted a major re-evaluation of life. It was time to make some big changes, so together with my family, we decided to up stakes and move to Devon. We didn’t know a soul here, but we believed we’d find a better quality of life; we’d live the dream.

There were a few setbacks in our new life, but nothing we thought we couldn’t handle.

However, a year into our time here in Exeter, I realized that things weren’t quite right.

I started waking early; things I previously enjoyed, I didn’t want to do; I was becoming withdrawn, social occasions were a real effort, my concentration levels were flagging, my thinking was becoming muddled, making simple decisions became really difficult.

What was going on? A little time on the Internet suggested. I was suffering from depression. Depression? Me? How embarrassing.

What did I have to be depressed about? I thought about confiding in friends, but they had real problems: a seriously-ill child, a dying friend, financial problems; I’d come to Devon to live the dream – whining to them that I was feeling a bit depressed?

“Really? Pull yourself together.”

I thought about going to see my GP, but I’d met a doctor at my practice socially; I didn’t want her finding out my shameful secret so I contacted the local depression service.

They suggested a course of cognitive behavioral therapy, and as time progressed, my depression lifted. I could laugh and enjoy things, I could concentrate and engage with people. It was such an enormous relief.

I decided to make up for time; it was time to come back and suck the juice out of life again, I was never going back to that dark place. With gusto I threw myself into every aspect of my life.

Few months later, I remember feeling a little under the weather. I just thought I was coming down with something but no, the depression returned. This time, the descent was much more rapid, and it hit me much, much harder.

I couldn’t do the simplest of things: a trip to the supermarket was overwhelming. I stopped taking my post, my emails, I had no appetite. I tried to keep up appearances, but it was hard work so I started to avoid people. I just seemed to shut down. My concerned husband made me see a doctor.

I was given a questionnaire to gauge the severity of my depression. My answers confirmed that it was indeed severe, but I lied on the last two questions, the ones about suicide. How could I confess to feeling suicidal? What if they take away my children? The doctor prescribed antidepressants; said they might make me feel worse before I felt better.

Worse? Worse than this? I wasn’t taking them. And taking them will be proof of my failure to sort myself out. I noticed the way I was behaving was starting to impact on my children; unable to focus or function properly.

I couldn’t give them the usual levels of attentional support. My mind corroded by depression, I started to believe that this thing that was destroying me would take my family down too.

I would not let that happen. Each morning, I’d wake at 1 a.m., I’d lie there for hours telling myself how pathetic I was, what a coward I was for still being here, a burden to my family; I would be disgusted with myself by sunrise, for still existing.

This had to stop.

Of course I knew my family would be upset, but through this depressive lens, I believed that they’d be better off without me. My husband is an amazing father, he would do an excellent job in raising our children.

We had a holiday planned, they’d have time to bury me, grieve, take a holiday to get over it and come back to start a better life without me.

Surely proof the depression does terrible things to your mind. The day before my suicide attempt, after dropping the kids at school, I pulled over on the side of the road, I just sat in the car feeling numb. I remember watching the buses. What if I just stepped out in front of one?

But that wouldn’t be fair on the driver. And what if it didn’t work? I just maimed myself that wouldn’t help anyone.

I then drove to a bridge where I sat in the car for hours. At one point I wrote a suicide note and then ripped it up in shame.

As I drove off, I remember the diary in my bag that revealed my struggle with these awful thoughts; that would be too painful for someone to read after I’d gone. I stopped the car and destroyed it.

I picked my daughter up from school and took her to a swimming lesson. She just moved class so I was surprised to see familiar faces. I knew I look dreadful, pale, greasy-haired, exhausted, I was far from the bubbly, chatty person they knew, but I was beyond faking it.

That night, I went to bed, and as usual, wake at 1:00 a.m.

This time no backing out. You have to do this! Don’t stop, don’t think, don’t kiss them goodbye!”.

So that’s how I came to be lying on the road that cold March morning – a physical, mental, emotional wreck. As I lay there in my hospital bed fearing the worst, something very beautiful happened: a big tidal wave of love and kindness from friends, family, and community arrived to carry me through this dark chapter.

This was shown in all sorts of ways, but what stood out were the many compassionate messages from people telling me of their own struggles with mental health. These were people I thought I knew, sharing sides I never knew existed.

I had no idea the scale of this problem in our society. In my mountain of hospital post I received a gift, from George, a schoolfriend of my son. This beautiful, hand-knitted bookmark had a single word stitched onto it; that word was ‘hope.’ This 10-year-old boy had summed up in one word what I so badly needed at that time.

Hope is in short supply when you’re depressed; severe depression is a place of complete, total, and utter despair. I needed to understand I’ve been extremely ill, and I needed hope that I could and would recover My physical recovery was long and painful; had a clear structure to it. There were milestones along the way showing encouraging signs of progress.

My route back from depression would be less clear. With time, the medication seemed to kick in, my emotions returned, I was able to cry, and what felt like a very long time, I started to re-engage, to function properly. I just felt like my normal self.

I was put on a waiting list for psychotherapy, but waiting lists are long even for bridge jumpers. It would be two and a half years from my suicide attempt before I started therapy on the NHS. It became clear to me that building on my science of recovery was going to be down to me so I started to research depression to understand this cruel illness, to understand my own triggers and my own toxic mix of circumstances that had led me there. This helped enormously, not just in my initial recovery but still today, in my efforts to stay well and thrive.

I’m all too aware that my story could have had a very different ending. I look back at my own story and wonder what would have made a difference. I

That starts with increased understanding: depression is not a weakness nor a character flaw it’s a debilitating illness that affects how we think, feel, and function. When depression becomes severe, suicidal thoughts are common. These thoughts can progress to plans and then to actions.

If we learn to recognize signs of depression both in ourselves and others, early intervention can prevent the illness from ever escalating to the point of suicide. Many of us are quick to judge things we don’t understand.

I hear suicide described as selfish, cowardly; I believe that’s us looking at the situation through the prism of a healthy mind. Usual rules don’t apply when you’re in the depths of depression, it warps your thinking.

Sharing our stories is so important; it sends a message to others that they’re not alone that we all struggle to cope from time to time and that it is possible to find a way through this.

Like me, you might be surprised to find out how much compassion and understanding is out there. Once we start the conversation. When I was at my lowest ebb in the depths of despair.

You’re still here — Living after suicide

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You so this is how it feels to lose someone to suicide in the first moment it’s just avoid it’s airless, lightless, senseless, hopeless all you can feel is a crushing weight that presses out all potential light air hope and sense that first moment is a millisecond that lasts forever.

Because it’s timeless in the second moment you breathe and you say oh my god I’m still here oh my god I’m alive this person I loved was dead but I’m still here and in that second moment you grasp all that’s been taken from you and you say what am I going to do.

How is this going to work if I’m still here, if I’m still living how is this going to work in that second moment can also be a split second and that also goes on forever I was 11 when my father attempted suicide he was 67 an older father he was very accomplished an author a music critic.

A man of great love and life but he was addicted to sleeping pills and he was depressed and he took enough sleeping pills my mother always said he took enough to kill a horse.

It didn’t kill him though it put him into a coma for nine days and when he came out he went into a psych hospital for six months pure talk therapy never made another attempt he had some dementia.

Some brain damage but he never made another attempt but when it happened what I remember is my mother’s face as she told me it’s not your fault I remember her looking squarely at me.

This fixed gaze she was determined that I should understand, this it’s not your fault it’s nothing you did and I don’t know at that age whether I believed her was even capable of believing her.

And in 1992 17 years later my older sister Lucy also a beautiful accomplished educated classically trained pianist she killed herself she OD on psych meds, she had been sick for years she had made one previous attempt.

She finally finally did it in 1992 she was 31, I was 28 and my mother and I knew enough to say to each other we said to each other it’s not your fault.

It’s nothing you did, we both knew that we had loved her as well as we could as much as we could that we couldn’t have stopped her from killing herself. We knew that we had tried and we knew that, we had to say it’s not your fault.

We also knew, we had to try to believe it. I don’t know that we did three years ago my husband Chris my beloved husband of 20 years leapt from the roof of a parking garage not far from here, he was also beautiful and accomplished.

He was an author a journalist a man of great life in love and still he jumped for six months, he had spiraled into insomnia, anxiety, depression and nothing worked.

And when he died, I told myself only because : I knew, I had to tell myself it’s not your faul,  I knew I had to say it.

I also knew, I would never believe it. I would never believe it, I would always have to say it because, I knew the guilt would hit me, I knew the guilt would never leave but I knew that the rational part of me had to recognize that the guilt was irrational and so I told myself and I still tell myself more than three years later ‘it’s not your fault’.

The human irrational emotional part will always feel guilty the rational part says Oh God the guilt it’s not real in the second moment that second moment when you realize all that you’ve lost.

I remember this after my sister died and after my husband died there’s a paradox because you recognize all that you’ve lost and at the same time it’s the first moment of hope because you say I’m still here.

I’m still here, I’m going to keep moving forward through time and space. I’m going to keep living. I’m going into a future without my beloved sister, without my beloved husband, you’re supposed to go through life with your sister and your spouse you’re supposed to get old with them.

You have all these shared memories with them from the past but you’re also supposed to continue creating memories with them and I’d lost all of those future memories but in the midst of that horror that moment of horror was also the first moment of hope.

Because I saw that I had a future, it was a future without my sister and my husband but it was a future and it was terrifying, it’s a terrifying thing to realize, you’re still here. How is that future going to work, how am I going to march into this future that which has a scope I can’t comprehend.

I can’t see it all, I can do is go through the moments, the first moment.

The second moment they return they always come back at you.

Third moment : tears.

I’m not an authority on grief I’m only in a on what happened to me and I can tell you what I did. I got out of bed that’s actually a pretty big thing to do after a suicide you get out of bed, I swore a heck of a lot I cried more tears and more snot.

I laughed when I could I got my kids out the door to school, I went to work tried to go to work tried to do whatever I had to do to get through today, I talked, I talked a lot, I talked about the grief.

The irrational guilt I talked about all of that. I talked about anything that made sense to anyone who would listen. I talked about things that didn’t make sense because we have to talk about suicide.

I said aloud, I won’t kill myself, I said that to my kids : I won’t kill myself.

That was something I could do, so it was something that I did do and they had to hear it because we all have to say that to each other after a suicide because we all feel guilty.

I made a list it’s going to sound corny but it was my list so other people can make lists the sound corny to other people but it made sense to me, it was a way of dealing with the lack of sense in my life and lack of order live it’s obvious right.

I’m still here what choice do I have give got me out of my head got me to think and do something other than fixate on my own guilt.

Love that seems obvious right, I’m going to love my kids, I’m going to love my family, I’m going to love my friends but after a suicide it’s a terrifying thing to still love because you could lose again.

So I had to actively tell myself to love and to open myself to love maybe even make new friends, new loving relationships and that was scary.

Laugh.

Grow because if I am still here I can’t be static, I have to look at myself, I have to keep changing if that’s possible assess my own failures flaws foibles try to move on learn it’s related to grow again anything that not so much got me out of my own head but put other things inside my head besides my own guilt the things I couldn’t control what could I control.

Well I could expand my world, I could acquire new skills one of the things I did after my husband died was I started taking jazz violin lessons because I’d always thought about it and I finally said I’m going to learn jazz violin and I still quite haven’t but I’m working at.

I can’t control the horrors that have happened, what I can do is look at my beautiful children, my health, my life, my friends, my family be grateful be present it’s all I have.

I can’t go into the past, I can’t see into this terrifying future make music again. I love playing the violin it’s healing. I like to sing gets me doing and thinking about something other than that knowing guilt have faith and stand up straight because I’m a terrible slumper and I need to remind myself constantly stand up straight.

At the bottom I wrote exercise, because it’s a major mood elevator and I also had to keep myself healthy for my kids.

They kept hitting me and I couldn’t control those moments we have this idea or rather hope that grief will be orderly we all have internalized the Elisabeth kubler-ross stages of grief denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

And those are all components of grief but in my experience at least there’s no order to them grief is a monster it hits you whenever it wants to.

It hits you hits you out of order sometimes they hit you with everything all at once you think you’re avoiding everything then it all comes back and hits you you think you’re done with one component like I’m done with the anger and then six months later you’re throwing dictionaries around the room so in the midst of all that you think well what can I control, I can’t control.

That and after a suicide, you control even less because you’ve got that awful guilt that just slams you and it happens and everyone who loses someone to suicide in the aftermath.

What did I do, well I got the sense of life as a process of self reinvention. I realized that I had to reinvent myself whether this was conscious – unconscious a little of both.

I don’t know but I had to figure out a new way of being because I had so little control over what happened to me, what happens to any of us, I had to focus on the things over which I did have control it’s like someone who loses a leg and first moves through space in a wheelchair and then on crutches and then finally with a new leg a prosthetic.

They learn how to move forward and it’s the same after any trauma you just have to refigure yourself out, your light has gone off, I found myself trying to decide I doing sort of triage like can I do this, should I do that.

What’s the most important thing should I start trying to instigate adventures myself, how will I be in the aftermath.

We all have to reconfigure one thing, I think the creative process of sorting through grief is one of creating a narrative and I found it enormously helpful.

Nothing is all we can do because there’s so much out of our control in life. I can’t go back in time and stop my husband from jumping, I can’t do that, I can’t go back in time and stop my sister from swallowing those pills and curling up on her bed.

I can’t go back and give her the phone number of where is going to be that weekend so she could call me, I can’t go back and give my husband a longer hug before he went off to work that morning.

I can’t ever get rid of my own guilt, I know that, I know what’s going to hit me, I know it’s irrational but, I know it’s going to hit me, I can’t ever answer the questions why that happened had to happen to him.

What on earth that could have been done it’s a mystery, all that I can do is keep plotting forward taking the moments as they come living each moment choosing to live each moment to the fullest and so I make dinner at night.

I go over to the fridge and I see it, I can live, I can give, I can love, I can laugh, I can grow, I can learn, I can pray, I can be grateful, I can be present, I can make music, I can have faith and if I remember to which I usually don’t it’s not very often I can stand up straight.

WORRYING – HERO (THE POWER OF ZERO TOLERANCE)

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So, there’s a five-letter word that’s used by the majority of the human race every day.

Many times a day, actually, for some of us. Yet, This word has the power to kill. This simple combination of letters kills creativity, it kills individuality, it kills performance, and, worst of all, it kills dreams.

And that word is “worry.”

1980 was the year when I had my first face-to-face colision with worry. “Why? Why are you doing this to yourself?”

“Do not, I repeat, do not be afraid to speak your truth. If you can’t say no to what you don’t want, Isabelle, you will never have the time and the energy for what you do want.”.

However, however nice this was at the time, I was livid! (Laughter) Livid! I am livid, but yeah, in that moment, my life changes forever.

Yes, I do muster the guts to say no to Stephanie, the bully, thank you very much.

And no, my world doesn’t implode, it actually expands, and, as a result of that, over the years, I became completely obsessed with what causes worry versus peace of mind.

And I noticed a very interesting pattern, a pattern that helped me uncover the culprit that leads to most of what we worry about and that robs us of our peace of mind, and it goes like this: ‘What you tolerate, you worry about’

What you tolerate, you worry about.

What I’m saying is what you are tolerating right now, you are worrying about.

Meaning, when you say “yes” and you really want to say “no” – you know those moments where all you want to do is say no, or should say no? – is what you tolerate, and what you tolerate will always, sooner or later, drive you to worry.

Now, would it surprise you to know that 95% of North Americans either go to bed or wake up worrying about something every single day? We, ladies and gentlemen, are a bunch of professional “worryaholics.”

In fact, we worry so much nowadays that the phrase “I’m thinking about this” has now culturally been replaced by “I’m worrying about this.” Yet, 40% of what we worry about will never happen.

It will never happen. That, my friends, is like putting a 40% down payment on a house you’ll never own. (Laughter) How ridiculous would that be, right?

Putting a 40% down payment on a house you’ll never see, smell, experience, or own. Yet, when it comes to worry, we do it every day.

Thirty percent of what we worry about – get this – has already happened. (Laughter) Has anyone ever accidentally hit “reply all” – (Laughter) on a massive rant email that was meant for Bob’s eyes only?.

And I call this my “HERO” formula. “H” is for “hush.” First, you’ve got to hush the noise and hush the chatter, upstairs, in the drawer, so that you can reconnect with what you truly want. What do you wholeheartedly believe in? What are your non-negotiables?

Because what you tolerate you worry about. “E” is for “evaluate.” Evaluate what and who you are tolerating in your life. Are you tolerating a jam-packed schedule every day?

How about high-maintenance clients, right? How many of those are slowly but surely dimming your light? Trailblazers like we know them to be, they all have a few simple daily rituals to be and stay at their best. Not working past 3 o’clock in the afternoon, for example.

Wouldn’t that be nice? Sleeping eight hours a night. Having daily inspiration time, which I call “me time.” Now, keep in mind that not all rituals have a positive impact. Oh, no, that would be way too easy, wouldn’t it?

Successful people know that their performance is a direct result of their daily habits and of their daily rituals. They truly do know what they need to be and stay at their best. So, I’m curious.

What’s your winning ritual?

What do you need to do, on a regular basis, to feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled, instead of being worried?

And, most importantly, what the heck are you tolerating that is keeping you from doing it?

Because what you tolerate you worry about. Hush, evaluate, ritualize, and finally my absolute favorite: “Own.” See, it’s not enough to know it, you’ve got own it. Own what you stand for. Own your non-negotiables.

Own the fact that you are responsible for what you choose to worry about, and that, as of today, right now, you will no longer tolerate the things, the people, and the habits that are causing you to worry. Peace of mind is a choice. It’s a choice that requires a lot of commitment, I’ll grant you that. It’s also a choice that requires a whole lot of guts and courage.

Why? Because it’s not easy to say “no” to someone we love, of course it’s not, but it’s freeing.

No, it is not easy to go to the gym day in and day out after long, hard days at work, it’s not, but it’s energizing. And it is certainly not easy to treat ourselves as importantly as we treat everyone else, but it is massively rewarding. So, the next time you worry about something. apply the HERO formula – hush, evaluate, ritualize, and own – and ask yourself, “What am I tolerating?.

Who am I putting up with?”

And, if all hell breaks loose and you can’t remember the HERO formula – which probably will happen, right? – here is my backup plan for you: I want you to set yourself a date with worry.

Oh yeah, set a date with it. A friend of mine has a time slot on Fridays reserved exclusively to worry. (Laughter) And I actually think it’s absolutely brilliant. As she goes through the week, and as worry hits her in the face, left, right, and center, here’s what she says, “Pause. I will schedule you in. I will schedule you in and I will worry about you on Friday, between 10:00 and 10:30.”.

And, as ridiculous as this might sound, when Friday comes, how many worries are left in her worry slot, you think? (Laughter) Most of the time, none.

Now, I was nine years old when I embraced the HERO in me. So, my question for you is this: If – and “if” being the operative word here – if you are worrying and tolerating something or someone right now in your life, will you choose to worry, or will you choose to embrace the HERO in you?