Beliefnet
Because This Is Your Life

It seemed like just another day on a school bus filled to capacity.

 

The ride to the high school was 6 miles. Approximately 25 minutes each way.

 

While it may have looked like just a regular school bus on the inside, it’s what you didn’t see on the outside that was worth thousands of words…and stories.

 

Not only that but in many ways it set the stage for the future of those riding the bus.

 

I was one of those students who rode that school bus for 3 years…

 

Seems like no big deal…right?

 

It was to me because I always made it a point to sit as far in the back as possible because that’s where all the “cool” kids sat. And along with that some of my friends were sitting back there as well.

 

Still seems like no big deal…right?

 

Well here’s the thing…

 

Every single person  in the last 4-5 rows from the back of that bus made it a daily habit of smoking…both cigarettes and marijuana.

 

The only one who didn’t…me. Never did and never tried it either.

 

But what was really interesting is that I was “allowed” to stay back there…while the so called “nerds” and less popular kids took up the first 6-7 rows.

 

And even though at the time it didn’t seem like a big deal to the other kids, I knew that it was setting the stage for my future.  

 

How?

 

It was preparing me for life. It was helping me to be able to stand up for who I really am.

 

So, my question to you is…

 

“Are you standing up for who you really are?”

 

…And what is it that gets you to realize that?

 

1. Where are you going

Many people will say what goes on in school is an important factor that determines your future. But how many will say the same thing about what takes place on a school bus…not too many.

 

And in my case this was an important factor…

 

Because after all, I would get the other kids blowing cigarette and pot smoke in my face. In fact, there were times when it was like living inside of one big cloud of smoke…the size of a bus.

 

Along with this they would also try and get me to do drugs. Then of course came the occasional, “you’re a wimp”, along with the other ways they would make fun of me.

 

But it didn’t work. I stuck to my guns and wouldn’t give in.

 

Now my question to you is, “how do you handle a situation when someone tries to get you to do something against your will?” And keep in mind that this can be in any area of your life.

 

Look back through your life and see how you dealt with these situations. Did you stand up for yourself? Did you cave in because “others were doing it?”

 

And most importantly…

 

Has this actually dictated the way your life is currently?

 

What I mean by this is that you want to know where you’re going in your life. And you especially want to know if all those situations throughout your life have actually conditioned you to just lay back and accept life as it comes.

 

Because you may actually be giving up what is truly most important to you…what you would love to do most in your life, and not even realize it.

 

In my case, I just knew by not giving in to what others “wanted me to do” each day on the school bus would condition me on how to stand up for myself throughout my life.

 

And it certainly determined where I was going in my life.

 

2. The truth of the truth

One thing that was pretty obvious to me back in those high school days was the fact that I really didn’t fall into any one group. Back then you had the jocks, the burn outs, the rich kids, the brains (smart kids), and the nerds.

 

Even though I was very much into sports and fitness, I never really hung out with any one particular group…

 

Instead I was friendly with a few people here and there from each group.

 

It didn’t make much sense what this meant back then…but now it does.

 

I can now see that this was a way of realizing that every person in some way was a mirror. In other words, I was seeing parts of myself in each of these people who were in each of those groups. This way of identifying with people from different groups continues for me to this very day.

 

What this has allowed me to do is to realize the truth of who I am while also standing up for myself…while at the same time respecting others for who they are.

 

For you, what type of people and groups do you identify with? Is there any one in particular or are you a “rover” as I like to call myself?

 

And along with this here’s something else to realize…

 

No matter what you do…no matter what group of people you identify with, you’re going to be liked and disliked, supported and challenged, praised and criticized equally.

 

Not only will you get this from friends and acquaintances, but from family as well.

 

Since this is the case, then you may as well be true to yourself…even if at times you feel like you’re alone and seen as an outcast.

 

Because the truth of the truth is that you’ll get both sides no matter what you do.

 

Whether you try and please others or defy them doesn’t make a difference. It’s standing up for who you are that counts.

 

And yes, you’ll anger people along the way. You’ll have people come in and go out of your life. But through it all you can be guaranteed of having one very important aspect of your life…

 

You.

 

3. You being you

Earlier I mentioned that what you didn’t see on the school bus was worth thousands of words and stories…along with how it set the stage for the future of those riding the bus.

 

As time went on and we left high school each person went their separate ways. I would occasionally come across some of those kids here and there. But for the most part I lost contact with them…until recently.

 

It was interesting to see how those I’ve reconnected with turned out. The people I’ve spoken to live in the same area in New Jersey. Some of them are doing well and others still have their “stuff” going on…but for the most part things turned out well for them.

 

Each person who rode that bus with me has a life story that is important. They may not have realized it back then as much as they do now. And just speaking with some of my high school bus mates, it is pretty obvious that they appreciate life more now than ever before.

 

Let’s now talk more about you…especially about you being you.

 

And I’d like to start by asking, “What is it about who you are that brings value to the world?”

 

By answering this question everyday, not only do you get clear on the tremendous amount of value you contribute to the world through your uniqueness, but you are actually conditioning yourself to stand up for who you are.

 

Because when you fully realize how much value you give to the world, you become more confident. You become more certain. You get in the habit of living a life of “I love tos” rather than “I have tos.”

 

This, along with embracing both sides of life—the positives and negatives equally—puts you in a position to stand up for who you are.

 

Remember…

 

In order to care for those people that matter most to you, it’s important to take care of you first. And this begins by you being your magnificent self.

 

It begins by standing up for who you are.

 

And notice that I said, “it begins” and didn’t mention that “it ends”…

 

Because it doesn’t end.

 

Even after you pass on physically, the legacy of who you are lives on. Being remembered for you being you will always live on.

 

And this also includes how special of a person you really are…

 

And that you really do matter in this world.

What happens when you watch a movie on TV?

You see a story that has a script to it.

It has a beginning, an end, and the events that take place in between.

But sometimes it doesn’t go the way as planned…even though it may seem like it’s supposed to at first.

In many ways this sounds like your life…right?

Now there’s something else you quite often don’t see in the movie that also happens to be in your life as well.

And it has to do with how your life turns out…even though it’s something most people do anything in their power to avoid like cancer.

Not only is this something that can strike the fear of death into you, but it’s also the very thing needed to turn your life around when it seems like all hope is lost.

What I’m talking about is “The unknown”

And more specifically…the Great Unknown.

Let’s face it…

It’s only natural as a human being to want to know how things will work out…the script of how things are to go in your life and having it be predictable.

But as you already know it quite often doesn’t go that way. And with it comes the eventual fear along with the unknown of what today, tomorrow, and the future brings.

What happens as a result…

Feeling paralyzed of what to do which quite often leads to giving up.

Interestingly…

This is the best time to “dive in” and discover this great unknown because it’s where the solutions to the biggest problems in your life are.

So the question is…

“What (and where) exactly is this great unknown in your life”

…and how do you discover it?

1. Navigating the unknown

There are two things that you, I, and every human being will always face in life no matter what and these are right at the backbone of dealing with the unknown…making choices and taking risks.

With that said here’s a quote of mine…

“Life is full of choices. One of these choices is taking risks. And unless you’re willing to sometimes take risks your life will never change.”

Because many of the most important choices you’ll make in life comes with an increasing amount of risk…whether they have to do with your family, your career, the people you choose to associate with, your finances, and even who you are as a person.

And by knowing how to be courageous and brave enough to make these choices is what leads to discovering the greatest reward of all. It’s life’s most treasured payoff you’ll get as a human which is only attainable by navigating through the unknown.

I’ll come back to what this is in a few minutes.

But first the question here is…

How do you effectively navigate through the unknown?

Well, it’s the same way for all human beings…

By embracing life from a two-sided perspective.

Every situation you come across, whether you take risks or not, will have two sides to it.

Meaning…

No matter what you do you’ll have people liking and disliking you, supporting and challenging you, praising and criticizing you, putting you up and putting you down, being nice and mean to you…EQUALLY.

And the same is true of yourself. You’ll have moments of feeling happy and sad…equally. Moments of building yourself up and putting yourself down…equally.

There’s no escaping this.

And the interesting part of this…

Whether you step in to the unknown or go through life “playing it safe” and trying to avoid the unknown…you’ll get it anyway.

This brings up another quote that comes to mind…

“The real risk in life is doing nothing.”

Therefore…

It’s wise to make it a point to take risks because this is what gives you the courage to navigate  through and “step in to”, take on, and go through the great unknown in your life.

And since you’ll get the both sides of life that I just mentioned, then you may as well  “dive in” anyway…right?

Now of course when I say to take risks I don’t mean reckless, out of control, and highly emotional risks…

What I do mean are “healthy risks” that see the different situations involved from a two-sided perspective, along with seeing the equal amount of benefits and drawbacks of each.

When you approach it like this, you dance your way through the unknown and out the other side…which is the greatest reward I spoke about earlier.

In fact, there’s two greatest rewards.

Let’s look at the first one now.

2. Destination…Truth

Naturally there are as many different life journeys as there are people in the world. The nice part of this is the fact that your journey is unique and special. What is the same for everyone however is that all life’s journeys have a destination…

The truth

…And it’s here where the core of the great unknown in your life exists.

In fact…

This is where the first greatest reward of your life lives.

Because it’s here where you discover the truth…the truth of who you are, why you’re here, what you’re made of, and what you’re willing to go through.

It’s also where you discover the other different truths…the truths of the many different events you go through in your life.

If there’s such a thing in life as an ultimate destination in life…this is it.

However…

As much as a life reward this is, far too many people avoid what it takes to get there…stepping in to the great unknown.

Strangely…

Even though all human beings want the truth, most are afraid of it. They avoid it like cancer. And ironically, more often than not it has to do with stepping in to and discover the great unknown in their lives.

This again goes back to what I said earlier about taking risks…along with making the choices to take those risks.

And one of the main reasons for this is because most people are striving for a one-sided fantasy life…seeking more happiness than sadness, more pleasure than pain, more kindness than cruelness.

The world is not…was never…and will never work that way. It was never designed to in the first place.

It’s designed to work in a two-sided manner…and this is where you discover all truths in life…along with the great unknown in your life.

Remember…

No matter how you go about life, there is no getting around making the choices that involve taking risks…which will always include having an equal amount of benefits and drawbacks to whatever is included in that “risky” situation.

And this is something I’ve certainly experienced in my life as well…especially when starting my own business. But it didn’t end there as I still to this day deal with many different types of situations that involve stepping in to the great unknown.

Not only have I dealt with it in my business, but in my personal life as well.

During my life I’ve moved several times, and with each move comes a new unknown in my life to deal with.

There are the unknowns of what the new place I move to will be like…who will I end up meeting and becoming friends with…how will I adjust to a new surrounding.

After many of these moves I ended up moving back to New Jersey. And even with those moves back to a place I’m familiar with came many unknowns as well.

The people who know me wonder why I move so much and see it as a disadvantage…but there are an equal amount of advantages to it as well…such as being conditioned to deal with and navigate through the great unknown in my life.

And the same is true for you as it relates to your life.

In fact…

Once you make it a habit of seeing all events and moments in your life as having an equal amount of benefits and drawbacks (two-sided) you’ll condition yourself in how to anticipate dealing with “future events” before they come up.

Because whether you’re looking at the past, present, or future events in your life you still go about how you see them the same way…from the two-sided perspective I’ve been speaking about.

As a result…

You’ll uncover the different truths in life I mentioned earlier along with the second greatest reward life gives you.

3. The hidden blessings abyss

Now of course there’s the other side of what happens as a result of taking the different risks in your life…the rewards. And what’s fascinating about this is the fact that even if the risks you take don’t go the way you want you still get an equal reward.

This brings us back to the second of those great rewards that you get…

Finding the hidden blessings in your life.

And it’s here where you find the true meaning of your life.

It’s here where the things you may see at first as making no sense start to make sense.

It’s here where you realize why things happen the way they do.

And it’s also here where you discover not only the hidden order in the chaos of life, but what the great unknown is in your life.

This brings up another quote of mine:

“Instead of fearing and avoiding the unknown, look forward to the hidden blessings that the unknown reveals.”

This is what I call the hidden blessings abyss because within the great unknown of your life is an endless supply of hidden blessings that are there waiting for you to find them.

One such example in my life took place back in 2006. That’s when I had the failed business partnership that ended up costing me over $50,000. This resulted in my transitioning out of the fitness industry and into what I do today as a human potential specialist.

As a result…

I discovered who I am, why I’m here, and it conditioned me to effectively deal with the many different unknowns that have occurred in my life since.

Your life is full of hidden blessings…all designed to help you discover what your life is all about.

As scary and risky things may seem at times the rewards that come out of it for you make it all worth it…especially the hidden blessings you discover along the way.

Life is meant to be lived and in a way that is unique to who you are.

You’re here to find out what makes you the unique and special person you are.

Now when I say special I don’t mean feeling “entitled”…

What I do mean is… what it is about you that brings value to the world…and in a way that helps others do the same in their lives.

And doing it in a way that allows you to shine…to be the person you were put in this world to be.

You do matter…

You do make a difference…

And you do deserve to be loved and appreciated for who you are and all you do.

How can something at times be the messiest thing you’ll ever see…

While at the same time is one of the most important and neatest things in your life?

And not just during different moments throughout your life…but all throughout your life?

Along with this…

How can this very thing also be the source of uncovering the truth in every one of these moments you experience?

Not only that…

But once you see how this works you’ll be in total control of your life, regardless of what your situation is right now.

What I’m talking about are the “details.”

That is…getting the specifics…the details about the different situations you deal with throughout your life.

Because this is what’s necessary to live the type of life you want. And even though you usually won’t see or hear anyone talk about it…it’s the driving force behind the success you see people having.

And it’s also one of the main driving forces behind discovering the truth.

So the question is…

“What are the details of your life?”

…and how can they be used to transform your life?

1. Specific is terrific

It’s subtle and seems so innocent at first. Quite often it starts out looking very easy and simple and then over time quietly has people giving up…while having the person attribute the reason to something other than what it really is.

This is what commonly happens when you get information from someone…especially the type of information that you’re looking for to help you in some way.

For example…

How many times have you seen someone make a promise that you can transform your life in some way. They’ll make it seem so easy, fast, and simple. And they’ll even have other people claim that it was that way.

Yet…

You’ll almost never see the “specific details” of what it took them to get there.

I’m quite familiar with this because I see it all the time in the personal development industry…but you’ll see this just about anywhere you look.

You’ll get general information from people but how often do you get the specifics of how they got those results?

Rarely…unless you ask…and you still may not get a straight answer.

Well guess what?

This is the same type of thing that is running your life unless you get down to the “nitty gritty” of it all…getting the specifics…because it’s these “details” that are the driving force of the results you and every other person gets.

And it’s the absence or consistent presence of them that’s necessary if you want to live the type of life you’d love to live…whatever that is for you.

There’s a saying that goes…

“Unless you plan the details of your life, someone else will plan them according to the way they want, and you’ll be living their life instead of your own.”

And unless you make it a daily habit of paying attention to the details, you’ll end up
living the details of someone else’s life.

It’s all about the “details” and it starts by getting the “specifics.” And even though it may seem messy at first, the specifics are terrific because they bring with it the many rewards you seek in your life…with one of these being the truth.

However…

There’s something to be aware of when it comes to this.

2. Truth be told

There’s something fascinating that takes place when it comes to discovering the truth. In fact, it’s actually a paradox. People want the truth but at the same time they don’t want to hear the truth unless it plays into their fantasy.

And the fantasy I’m referring to here is that of a one-sided result…such as wanting more happiness than sadness, more pleasure than pain, more praise than criticism, and so on.

This is not the truth because the truth involves seeing both sides equally…rather than more of one side than the other.

So what does this have to do with knowing the specific details?

It’s in the “specifics”…the “details”… is where you get both sides equally. There’s no escaping this…but most people try by dodging the “details” and craving the “general.”

This is what happens when you have someone marketing and trying to sell you something. They’ll sell you the “hope” (in the form of general information) of what can be achieved rather than the specifics of what it really takes.

Why?

Because it makes it seem “easy”, “fast”, “simple” and therefore dodging the equal amount of both sides you’ll get along the way of what those who succeeded actually went through.

Therefore…

The details won’t be mentioned because most people want the one-sided fantasy rather than embracing the details and the fact that you’ll always get both sides when paying attention to the specifics and details. Because if most people get the details of what it takes they’ll have a high probability of giving up.

This is the thing to be aware of that I spoke about earlier.

So the obvious question here is, “What can you do to change this? What can you do to want to crave the details and specifics so you can take control of your life?”

First, always make it a point to ask what the “specifics” and “details” are that’s involved. This way you get the full picture and the truth of what it takes.

For example…

Let’s say you’re currently struggling financially. Finally after looking around you come across a program you feel can help you. While checking this program out you see all the testimonials of others who got the results they wanted. As a result, you decide to sign up.

Now unless you make it a point to question those results by asking for the specifics…the details…of what else was involved and contributed to how people got those results, you won’t get the full picture and have a high probability of not getting the same type of results.

The second thing to be aware of is…are you willing to go through whatever it takes?

Because again, you’ll get both sides along the way…the praise and criticism, the people liking and disliking you, the pleasures and pains of what’s involved….equally.

And this involves loving whatever it is you’re looking to accomplish.

When you can say “I love” doing this, “I choose” to be doing this, and “I’m inspired” by doing this, instead of saying “I have to”, “I’ve got to”, or “I’m supposed to” be doing this…you’ll then embrace both sides equally and be willing to go through the specifics and details involved.

As a result…

You get to see the neatest part of all…a lifetime of rewards…and two in particular.

3. Ruler of your life

Let’s revisited the quote I shared earlier…“Unless you plan the details of your life, someone else will plan them according to the way they want, and you’ll be living their life instead of your own.”

This brings up what happens as a result of paying attention to the “specifics” and “details”…

The lifetime rewards you get

…and there’s two of them.
The first one I spoke about earlier…discovering the truth.

The second one is secretly contained in the quote you just read. I’ll now reword it for you…

“When you plan the details of your life, you plan them according to the way you want and you’ll be living your life instead of somebody else’s.”

This is what allows you to be the ruler of your life.

And it all starts here…

Because all of the different lifetime rewards you get…whatever those mean for you…centers around you planning out the way you want your life to be. And it all starts by paying attention to the “specifics” and “details.”

Your relationships…your financial destiny…your career…your physical health…your mental state of mind…and even the people you choose to associate with…ALL have to do with planning out the details.

Now I understand this may sound like a lot of “work” at first…

But the most inspiring and fascinating part of it all is…even though at first it may seem like it takes more time and work…that upfront effort you put in actually saves you far more time overall than if you were to try and take the so called “quick”, “fast”, and “easy” way out.

Not only that…but it can and does add more quality time—years—to your life.

Yes, I realize that at first you may be asking, “how”…”How do I know what the details are of the way I want my life to be.”

This goes back to something I’ve said many times…

“When you have enough ‘whys’ of what you’d love to have, the ‘hows’ take care of themselves.”

This is what allows you to steadily and consistently plan the details of your life.

And once you get into the habit of doing this the more natural it becomes for you because when it comes naturally for you…

That’s when it’s heartfelt…that’s when it’s real…and that’s when you know you’re living your truth instead of a lie that is really disguised as someone else’s truth.

And this is the most meaningful of those lifetime rewards I spoke about earlier…

Because it allows you to be real…

It allows your uniqueness to be seen…

It allows you to shine…

And it gets you to show the world how valuable of a person you are…while helping others do the same in their lives.

Have you ever wondered how just a few words can make a big difference in someone’s life?

It could have been something you said that transformed someone else’s life.

It could have also been something that someone said to you which transformed and impacted your life.

Now think for a moment…

What about all of the people out there who you know (and possibly even those you don’t)…what are they saying about you?

Here’s something very interesting which is quite often overlooked.

The people who achieve the most wealth in any area of their lives (spiritual, mindset, career, financial, family/relationships, social, physical) will endure an equal amount of positive and negative, and this is certainty true of what others say about them.

Taken a step further…

If you are looking to make a large impact on the world just know that the larger the impact you make the more you’ll have people both praising and criticizing you.

Take a look in your own life and you’ll see it. For example, let’s say that you want to make the biggest impact in your family, just know that you’ll get an equal amount of support and challenge, pain and pleasure, etc.

This is true in any area and along with it comes people who will take on both sides, the positive and negative.

This ties right in with your vision and how big (or small) you want to play in the world.

How far are you willing to embrace pain and pleasure or support and challenge?

Because the magnitude of support and challenge you can endure will determine the evolution you can handle.

If you can’t handle 1 billion people disliking you then don’t expect 1 billion people liking you. A leader must be able to handle both of those paradoxes. If you want 1 billion people liking you but don’t want anybody disliking you…then if all you can handle is 10 people disliking you, then that’s the size you’ll go.

Now for you it may not be 1 billion people. Again it all depends on the size of your vision. Just know that as long as you are willing to embrace both sides equally, you’ll achieve the level of success to that degree.

So be humble to all of the praise you receive and thank those who praise and support you.

Be thankful for those who criticize you and use that as feedback to grow.

And know that both sides are there to wake you up to your own brilliance.

When you are aware of this you grow and your magnificence will shine.

In fact you are already a special person with so much value to contribute to the world.