Ever been in a bit of a rut? Wonder how to get out of it? Consider what I did: look in the mirror. LOL. Lately I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut. Things are moving along, nothing to complain about, just not feeling great about my progress. Frankly, I’ve been feeling a bit negative. Ever felt that way?
I’ve been reflecting on my new keynote, “Sponge! What’s Filling You?” I gave it for the first time in February of this year at Lady and the Champs. Now I’ve been asked to give a shorter version of that speech to open the Toastmasters International convention in August. I even have a little reminder on my desk about my overriding question, “What are you sponging?” It is right there. I see it every day I’m in my office. Ever get a heavy dose of your own medicine (message)? I did.
When thinking about condensing my speech and looking at the stack on my nightstand of books I’ve been meaning to read, I realize that I never seem to make the time. To be completely open, when I’m working a long day and into the night, I like to have the TV on in the background after 5pm. It keeps me company. One of my favorite shows is Forensic Files, and I often keep it running endlessly as I work. I love seeing how they solve crimes, but there are also a lot of negative visuals and caustic vocabulary in the shows. Yikes! Bad habit. That shouldn’t be filling me; those books should be.
I made a decision this weekend: I need to make reading a higher priority. I need to fill myself with better ideas and perspectives. I’m working on learning more about my own Christian beliefs. I committed myself to reading a book that was about the way we live our lives. I won’t mention the title, because there are things about the book I don’t like. The author seems to be focused solely on selling me the idea of doing personal consulting with him. The more I read the book, the more I was turned off. Now, I’m all for your selling me on your next step, but first give me great content, and let me love you and want more. Some of it felt manipulative, and that made the book heavy to me. I just didn’t want to pick it up.
I’m decided to limit myself to no more than one episode of Forensic Files daily and to taking in at least twice as much positive influence. So, in an attempt to be more positive, I put myself in a nurturing environment by water and asked myself a better question before I picked up the book again: “What can I learn from this?”
I have to admit that when I finally opened the book, I was right at the chapter I needed to read. It was powerful. It helped me with my challenge to make personal fun and recharging a priority. I grew up in an environment in which life was all about serving others and not serving oneself. It is one of my personal struggles. That chapter was just what I needed to read. Honestly, my eyes actually got a little teary. I firmly believe that if I had read that chapter with my previous cynical attitude, I might not have seen the gold that was exactly what I needed.
It was a great reminder; there is good and bad in almost everything. What we see comes from within us. We need to look at what is filling us. How about you? What better questions can you ask? If you are feeling like you are in a rut, don’t look at others. Look in the mirror and ask, “What can I do to change this?”
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