“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown our your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” —Commencement address, Stanford University, June 12, 2005
Preach it Steve Jobs! I love this quotation from Jobs. It speaks to the heart of the way I am trying to live my life.
Living free of the stigma of other people’s opinions can be tricky. We are so often triggered by what other people think of us. So much so that we allow it to hinder what we do or don’t do, what we say or don’t say, even what we wear or don’t wear.
Fortunately, we now live in a world that (for the most part) will legally let us live our lives as free as we want. Unfortunately, many of us still allow the culture we live in to dictate our lifestyle. Culture is an all encompassing word and can include nation(s) or population(s), but typically we allow local culture to define us—family, friends, city, region, etc. It reminds me of the saying, All politics is local politics. I believe this is mostly true for cultural influences. Cultural views usually close in proximity to us effect us the most.
Many spiritual gurus offer advice on thumbing your nose at culture. They talk about finding your Truth or Living Authentically. For me, this direction seems too big. It makes me break out in a sweat to think about finding my why. So I have learned to break it down into something that feels easier.
I am redefining almost everything for myself.
Not in a huge gigantic way, but in small situations as they arise. When I notice that a circumstance or person has triggered an uncomfortable reaction in me I pay attention to what I am thinking.
Paying attention is a curious process. It can point out exactly what is ready to shift. Usually when I am ready to let go of a belief that is no longer useful to me, I notice I am bored with that thought. Yep. Bored. I am tired of thinking that way.
Being bored with a thought is wonderful because it means the thought no longer has any emotional energy behind it. A thought without emotion is easy to release. I consciously decide that thought is ready to go. It’s a decision that’s all. An unemotional decision.
Noticing when you are bored with a certain way of thinking takes all the drama out of changing your life. (Changing your life does not have to mean drama. But that is for another day.) Deciding from this vantage point is empowering because you are making a deliberate decision to shift. Deciding allows space for the energy that supports your new thoughts to move into place. This combination of decision + energy then allows new experiences to move towards you. Which by the way, is the definition of changing your life.