Continued from: The Traveler’s Gift- Decision One
The Guided Decision
I Will Seek Wisdom.
Knowing that wisdom waits to be gathered, I will actively search her out. My past can never be changed, but I can change the future by changing my actions today. I will change my actions today! I will train my eyes and ears to read and listen to books and recordings that bring about positive changes in my personal relationships and a greater understanding of my fellow man. No longer will I bombard my mind with materials that feed my doubts and fears. I will read and listen only to that which increases my belief in myself and my future.
[Five years from today, you would be the same person you are now- but for the books you read, the people you meet and the influences you let into your life. They say travel ‘broadens your mind’. What is travel but an attempt to ‘let new experiences and influences’ into your mind…? Of all the ways you can life plant new seeds into your minds, the easiest is to read books. There are three quotes I love the most about books:
1. When Books are opened, we discover that we have wings. Helen Hayes.
2. Every man who knows how to read, has in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting. Aldous Huxley.
3. It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts and pour their souls into ours. God be thanked for books. The are the voices of the distant and the dead. They make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are true levelers. They give to all who faithfully use them, the society and spiritual presence of the best and greatest of our race. William Ellery Channing.
A past business associate, a lady I admire tremendously, was talking to another associate about books. She told him that leaders were readers. He shuffled his feet and said, “That’s alright Nancy, but I don’t like reading books. I have never been a reader.” To this, with her customary forthrightness, Nancy replied, “Read my lips. Did I tell you to like reading…? I only said READ. I don’t mind if you don’t like it… I don’t even mind if you hate it. Just READ..! If you still think you can’t… get out of this business and stop dreaming of a better life.”
The rest of us ALL got the point as well.
**Plain speaking is brutal, but very effective. Cutting through the flak does save a lot of time. :D**]
I will seek wisdom. I will choose my friends with care. I am who my friends are. I speak their language, and I wear their clothes. I share their opinions and their habits. From this moment forward, I will choose to associate with people whose lives and lifestyles I admire. If I associate with chickens, I will learn to scratch at the ground and squabble over crumbs. If I associate with eagles, I will learn to soar great heights. I am an eagle. It is my destiny to fly.
[Talking about choosing friends with care, here is the gist of what I read in a book- I forget which one. Sawrie. 🙁 I do however, remember exactly what the writer suggested. :D.
The people you associate with should be categorized as ‘10 minute’, ‘30 minute’ or ‘2 hour’ people. The 10 minute, 30 minute or 2 hour is the time it takes for their negativity to begin affecting you. Naturally, the more negative a person is, the shorter the fuse you allow them before they blow you to kingdom come. The writer recommended that you love people- from a distance. He suggested that you let the love flow in short bursts if need be. For example, if a person in your life- family or friend- begins to start throwing negative vibes or words after a fifteen minute conversation, make sure you give them a hug in the eleventh minute and excuse yourself. The part this writer didn’t mention, but I will, is that you might do worse than to examine your own words. If you are a perpetual whiner, clean up your act. Or you’d end up talking to the mirror more often than you want to handle.
The words you use shape the thoughts you will have. There are some words which should not be used except in extreme provocation. One example that really hit me between the eyes was this:
You are travelling. Your flight was supposed to come in at 4pm. Due to mechanical trouble, you had to sit cooling your heels at an out of the way airport where the pilot had to emergency land. There was no food on board so you had to insult your stomach with the bilge they served at the airport. Your flight lands finally at 2am. You are exhausted, hungry and irritable and you have a 8am meeting. When you land at the reception desk, you are already struggling with an overpowering urge to crumple up at the lounge and sleep for 20 years.
And the supercilious clerk at the check in tells you, there is no reservation in your name- though you made the booking yourself- a week in advance.
I’ll give you three words to choose from to describe your mental state: Ballistic, Peeved, Murderous.
I bet you didn’t select ‘peeved’. Murderous ballistic- though a weak phrase- is probably more in line with what you feel. Yet- what if you say to yourself- ‘oh man..! I am peeved…!!’..? There is something faintly funny about that word (peeved) that makes me smile whenever I use it. And you can’t be murderously ballistic when you smile. Try it if you like. I did.
This is the stuff they teach you in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
**I’ll end up becoming a fan of plain speaking at this rate. Guess I had better get into the habit of talking to the mirror too. Of course, one might do worse…! :(**]
I will seek wisdom. I will listen to the counsel of wise men. The words of a wise man are like rain- drops on dry ground. They are precious and quickly used for immediate results. Only the blade of grass that catches a raindrop will prosper and grow. The person who ignores wise counsel is like the blade of grass untouched by the rain—soon to wither and die. When I counsel with myself, I can only make decisions according to what I already know. By counseling with a wise man, I add his knowledge and experience to my own and dramatically increase my success.
[I would use caution here. I would select my advisors with care. For example, if I am trying to learn how to play the violin, I would identify an violin maestro as a wise one to take advice from. I wouldn’t take advice from someone who made a half-hearted attempt for a month or two and then gave it up. What I’ve found is, the ‘clueless ones’ actually get mad when you don’t listen to them. **For all you know, I might be one of those too. :P**]
I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. A wise man will cultivate a servant’s spirit, for that particular attribute attracts people like no other. As I humbly serve others, their wisdom will be freely shared with me. Often, the person who develops a servant’s spirit becomes wealthy beyond measure. Many times, a servant has the ear of the king, and a humble servant becomes king for he is the popular choice of the people. He who serves the most grows the fastest.
I will become a humble servant. I will not look for someone to open my door—I will look to open the door for someone. I will not be distressed when no one is available to help me—I will be excited when I am available to help.
[This one too… made me pursue my lips not a little. The ‘popular choice’ phrase made me squirm. Playing to the gallery has always seemed manipulative to me. The only way to be a ‘servant’ to people is to do it with no hidden agenda… without keeping a sly eye out for how it benefits you. For the serving to be the raison d’être for doing it… and if your path is made easier because you gave someone a leg up… so be it. To serve another with an eye to the main chance and to demand your pound of flesh from life, is not done. The difference here is of intention. **Exercise caution for this one too I’d say. :|**]
I will be a servant to others. I will listen to the counsel of wise men. I will choose my friends with care.
I will seek wisdom.
The Traveler’s Gift- Decision Two