Wherever we are right now in life is traceable to the decisions and actions we made in the past. Therefore, I am a unique embodiment of everything in the past. This got me thinking, why am I this person now and what were the things, big or small, that shaped me?
If you had the chance to read a couple of my entries here on this blog, you may recognize the suggestions of positivism in each of them. Perhaps you see a pattern of me trying (at times too hard) to show to you that there’s a better way – that positivity is just right at the corner. I’d like you to know that I am not the person I am today if it weren't for the cornerstones that I’m made of.
I’d say that I’m proud for these cornerstones for it made me see life differently. I believe that they saved me from my old self who is a depressive guy, waiting for the world to end while hoping for nothing. Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way saying that I’m perfect or better than any of you, I am just here to share how I reach such thoughts and how these thoughts enabled me to lay most of my insecurities and fears down consequently allowing me to dream higher and deeper. In short, this is an attempt for me to reach out and tell you why in the world I think like "this and that." If you’re interested, then read on.
This is a main turning point for me and I can easily admit that this cornerstone is the precursor why I prefer positive perspectives in life. PALS stands for Personal Awareness Leadership Seminar. You can say that it is about leadership, but what really made an impact on me is the personal awareness part of it. It opened my eyes to many things. In fact, if you join this seminar, you’d be surprised that almost everything I talk here on this blog is based from the things I learned from there.
In this seminar, you re-discover that you have infinite potential. It also teaches you that you are responsible for your life. Furthermore, it imparts very interesting ways on how to communicate with people emphasizing on the types of listening and handling difficult situations. Most of all, it helps you understand the “oneness” of the world. I’m confident to say that the lessons you learn from this seminar saves you half of a lifetime of learning if you were to learn them on your own. It’s a crash course to life.
I am no book reader. The truth is it takes me ages to finish a book. However, I could never deny the importance of them. Self-help books are what keep me motivated. It refreshes my mind and it helps me stay in the right track. They’re great for references when faced with situations. They’re also very relatable.
I continuously read books that keep the dreamer in me. If I were to recommend books, I’d include the following: Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think and Grow Rich (where philosophies of PALS are based from), Psycho-cybernetics, and books from notable successful people like Dale Carnegie, Warren Buffet, Brian Tracy and so on. I have to admit, there are a lot of books but you can actually see a clear pattern from most of them. There’s this one message and that’s, “If they can do it, you can do it.“
It’s already been proven that when you surround yourself with positive and supportive people, you get to become one as well. I never thought I’d find them in the Immanuel Fellowship group, a church that I belong with. These church friends of mine, although they may not know it, keep me motivated to do better things in life. You may not agree with me, but the church has a lot of positive things that can keep you going. From what I see it, it’s easy to form dreams just by being part of a group that has a mission to reach out and serve. I don’t want to be bias on this, but basically, you can have any group as long as they support you and your dreams, or at the very least, keep you a dreamer. It’s just that, you’ll find them mostly in such congregations who have a vision mission to reach out.
Immanuel is worth the mention since it’s a venue for me to continuously strive and become better just because I discovered a purpose other than myself. You’d realize that there are bigger things than us, and sometimes the bigger things keep us away from the boring, mundane, and destructive smaller issues, which by that I mean the dramas we think we have, the minor discomforts, and so on.
I don’t know if my ideas come solely from the seminar or books, my unique experiences, my “we-are-infinite” way thinking, or the combination of all these. The point is my ideas are now different than what they were before. I discovered that one can meet tons of ideas when one looks at the big picture and think out of the box. I may be wrong, but I think if you have such a thought process, your ideas encompass a lot of things and not just anything restricted.
Formulating positive ideas and acknowledging them as my own is one aspect that I didn’t expect to be a cornerstone. What I know is that you are your thoughts. Thoughts form attitudes, attitudes form habits, and habits form “you” as seen by the world.
Vision and Expectations
Do you know about Pygmalion theory? If you do, then I’m actually setting high expectations for myself. If you don’t, then Pygmalion theory is just the theory that people act accordingly on what society expects from them. Basically, if the people around you expect you to become great, then you’re more likely to become one for you subconsciously try to meet those expectations. The sad part is when they don’t expect much from you.
Actually, I found a hack on this. You just need to set high expectations for yourself and act as a standalone source of expectations. This enabled me to have a clear vision what I will be 5 years from now or even 10 years from now. I can see a clear picture of myself. I know it can be crazy (even delusional) of me, but no, I’m just setting high expectations for I deserve the best even if it is just lies in my imagination. I know eventually that people will see these expectations I set for myself, thus inadvertently you dictate them what to expect from you. And there goes your Pygmalion theory hack.
As you noticed, I never included my formal education in the list. I think my formal years of study have not developed me much as the person I am now. It’s ironic to say that what I learned in college is not so helpful to me now. However, I would never forget the great mentors that contributed along the way. If I were to choose my own path, I’d rather had done self-study (or a more focused form of study) and learn from actual experiences and people who really made it. But it’s also important to note that we’re better off with no regrets. We don’t have to be too radical. It’s important to consider that each step, no matter how useless or long it may seem, is necessary for anyone to reach the now. Your past tenses are essentially what bring you to your present tenses.
After sharing all these cornerstones to you, I’d now like to ask you several questions. What do you think are the influences in your life that led you to think the way you think right now? What are the cornerstones of your life that built who you are right now? What will you do if no one stops you from becoming what you want? What will you do if you can be what you wanted 5 or 10 years from now? Will you still settle for less? I hope not and I hope you continuously strive and build a firm foundation. I bet my 25 centavo that it’s better to aim high. Therefore, I’m going to leave you with this, “Always dream higher than the sky and deeper than the ocean.”
(All photos used in this post copyright of Kevin Abad)
(All photos used in this post copyright of Kevin Abad)