For your convenience

by Rod Smith

A Week of Mercury columns

All 5 / Healthy Habits for a Fabulous Week – longer than usual but ready for anyone interested to print or share…..

Just for Today

These are inner-conditions and can be exercised without announcing the decision.

#1 Plan your emotional boardroom.

Make an executive decision and about how you are going to be for the day (not the week, or month or forever. It’s just for the day. Or for the morning if you have to break up the day into parts. Making the decision is crucial. It’s a beginning. You may or may not be successful but you ensure failure if you refuse to plan.

Three things I will do today:

• Speak well of myself and others.

• Advocate for myself and others by speaking up when necessary.

• Affirm, thank others, and be highly cooperative as far as possible.

Three things I will not do today:

• Be a victim to anyone no matter who they are or what position they hold.

• Victimize anyone at all – not in subtle or gross, covert or overt ways.

• Say yes when I mean no or no when I mean yes.

#2 Get rid of inner-clutter.

Rid your inner-work space of unwanted books, chapters, and unfinished essays with their faded, ripped pages and thumbed edges. It’s useless clutter – all of it.

That story, told and retold to anyone who will listen and told even if no one is listening – rip it out. Dispose of it. Not only is it boring to hear, it’s doing no one any good. Especially you. The let-down story, the lost-job story, the overlooked-for-promotion story, your list of slights, these are the unfinished chapters.

Toss them. Never tell them again. They darken your gaze, lower your sights, and take their toll by eroding your sense of worth.

Just for today.

They are the bad poetry of your life. Rip them out. Burn them. Just for today.

You’ll know you have finally cleared your inner-desk when these old stories cease to be your default talking points and when you realize you have so much that is new and positive to share.

But, be kind. Be kind to yourself. Such ripping and ridding cannot usually be done in one foul swoop. We have carried these things around with us for years. We have played host. They have served a purpose and will return like belligerent carpet stains.

The things we remember, the stories we tell about ourselves, not only become rehearsed shtick, but become stepping stones that shape our futures.

Write a new script – just for today.

You may even get a few new and eager let’s listeners

#3 Know, then state what you want.

Clarify what you want. Using as few words as possible write it down. Post it in gold capitals on your inner-bulletin. Don’t write what you want for your children, your spouse, or your aging parents. That kind of answer to “what do you want” is a copout. Think hard. Make notes. Develop a statement of what you want for you. This is neither selfish nor indulgent. It’s necessary for the continued journey toward self-awareness. It is a lack of self awareness that usually results in selfishness. Besides, how will ever know if you have what you want and are doing what you want if you don’t know what it is?

Just for today:

Know what you want.

Steer your life towards what you want in ever-increasing measures.

Try to refuse the things that will shift your direction away from what you want.

Be careful. I am not suggesting you do not meet your already-established commitments or that you don’t participate in the common pool of human tasks required of us all.

Here’s mine – for today.

I want to communicate by all possible means that people can live healthy, powerful, effective lives as both individuals and in communities. I want to be a strong an effective parent, a generous brother, a good friend, and a positively contributing member of a local community.

#4 Arrange your starting blocks.

Decide how you will behave ahead of time and before you have to. I literally try to “breathe in” default conditions, modes of operation, ways of being – just for today, for this morning, this moment, whatever period of time I think I can handle.

Starting blocks:

• Offer forgiveness. It will be absolute, even if undeserved and for all.

• Offer generosity. I will give, be open, and make room for ideas and for others.

• Be responsive. I will look ahead, initiate, and imagine helpful, creative possibilities.

• Offer hospitality. I’ll be open to friends and strangers, short and long-term.

I know from many years of trying that it is difficult we have to start somewhere or pick up where we left off.

Like all good starting blocks they stimulate the possibility of success, and success will breed more success. While we are not divine, these starting blocks certainly are. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling really good about the world and everything in it when you try to live this way, no matter how tough and challenging it may be.

#5 Be committed to listening and learning.

There is something to learn and hear from every encounter and within every environment if you have the heart, mind, and ears for it.

Try it. Just for today. Try it, even if it is only for the next hour.

To begin to learn and to hear you (we, always we) will require a determined effort to slow down and embrace the following attitudes.

I acknowledge:

• I have more to learn than I have to teach, no matter what the topic, circumstance, and no matter how learned, qualified, or skilled I may already be.

• I can learn something from anyone no matter how unskilled or unlearned they may be or I may perceive them to be.

• Some things I think to be true are not; some things I think are untrue are true and there is quite a lot “in the middle” of most extremes.

• I am open to new insights, new ways of seeing the world, and new ways of thinking. I will be aware of other possibilities, not only those that support my already established thoughts, feelings, theologies, and philosophies.

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