My good friend, Michael B. Ross, author, consultant and all-around spiritual up lifter recently posted this on LinkedIn. Once I read it I think it highlights the importance of relationships as well as personal missions and well being. In Michael’s books and teachings he focuses on character as an underpinning of all that is good. I happen to agree with that and believe with strong character anything is possible for the individual. I asked him if I could share it with all of you and he agreed. My comments will be in red so you can separate his comments from mine.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a magic genie grant you three wishes?
What would you wish for? Who would you help? What world problem would you eliminate? What would you do for yourself? The magic genie scenario is fun, but it also helps us keep focused on what we want most in life. Cornell University shows that 84 percent of people look back on their life with regret. We’ve all used the “I-wish-I-would’ve…” phrase when looking back. But what if we didn’t have to? What if we were our own magic genie and granted our own wishes?
Here are 7 common wishes we have control of:
- I wish I would live a life true to myself, not the life others expect of me
This is the number one regret of the dying. Most people know deep down the life they want to live, but they allow the demands, expectations and busyness of life to rob them of that life. The second hardest thing in life is to identify and design the life you want to live. The hardest thing in life is to stay on course when the demands and expectations of others come. Being true to oneself is something most people can’t say. They sell out to the man or sell their soul to the devil. Wouldn’t it be great to be proud of what we accomplished and know we made a difference in this world? How great would that be?
- I wish I would spend more time with my family
In a fast-paced, action packed, smart world it is challenging to slow down, turn off the phone when you’re home, leave the office early (on days you can) and focus on your family. When people are older, you never hear them say they regret spending more time with their family, but you do hear the regret of not spending enough. No one ever said “I wished I would have spent more time at work.” Get to the kid’s soccer games, play catch with the football and baseball in the back yard, take a walk, go to the zoo, travel with your children and enjoy the fruits of your labor. It is important.
- I wish I would stay in touch with my old friends
The average person influences 15,000 people in a lifetime, but the average person only has 2-3 close friends. The average friendship lasts only 7 years and the reason is people don’t stay in touch. With all the advances in communication technology we should have no problems keeping in touch, but it requires a little discipline. We need to keep this quote in mind, “Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs a ton.” To me with social media today, there is no reason to not stay in touch but many of us just don’t do it. Influence much but stay in touch much more to support all that need your support. Show your compassionate side. It will reward you many times over.
- I wish I would take care of my body better
This wish is especially true as people age and their joints begin to ache, blood pressure rises, and prescriptions increase. Our bodies are our life vehicles meant to help us reach our life vision, dreams, and destinations. The better we take care of our vehicle, the further we can travel. Change the oil, recharge, easier said than done but important nonetheless. Find an activity that lets you stay in touch with people and interact. It may be golf, tennis or racquetball but use it as a vehicle for your success.
- I wish I would be myself with people
Bitterness and unforgiveness are the killers of authenticity. Hurting people hurt people and are easily hurt by people. Everyone fears pain. We subconsciously avoid it and that causes us to be inauthentic. Pain is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to control us. Practicing forgiveness daily is like having body armor for relationships without having to lose authenticity. Practice humility, compassion and caring because that what you want the world to be. Think of the people who taught you that and just how they influenced who you are, what you became and what you are to be in the future.
- I wish I would make more money
For those living in a capitalistic society this is a simple fix. You look for opportunity, find the one you like, put yourself in the right position, dedicate yourself to serving others, and stick it out until you succeed. Money has no feelings. It doesn’t care who gets it, but it is constantly flowing like an ocean. If you position yourself properly and serve others, more money will flow your way. The decisions we make daily control how much money we make however, money should not be the key. Leading a fulfilling life is far more important than money. Fulfill yourself by giving yourself away. Realize that you are a gift (in most cases anyway).
- I wish I was smarter
We live in the Information Age. Scores of information comes our way in a multitude of mediums. We process information at an amazing rate. The problem with most people is they don’t think. Statistics show that 80 percent of people don’t think for themselves. If people would critically think about the information they are bombarded with, they would feel empowered, and smarter. Listen and learn. Practice your listening skills and you might hear things and uncover things you have never heard or understood before.
Jim Rohn said, “Don’t wish for things to be easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for a better wind, wish for the wisdom to set a better sail.” It’s so easy to get caught up in regret and wish Doc would bring us a time traveling DeLorean to change things around. We can’t change what was. But we can look at what we wish for, position ourselves properly, be mindful of the demands and expectations of others, and set our sails to take us wherever we want to go.
Be your own magic genie and continually ask yourself, “What do you wish?”
Great keys to making oneself better and like Jim Rohn says above be better. Every day, you get up ask yourself how you will be better today? Great job Michael B. Ross and thanks for letting me embellish and post.