Fair Weather Thinking – Part I

finding possibilities(Part 1 of a 3 part series  – “Fair Weather Thinking” is designed to help you identify more possibilities in your life by helping you clear the path of mental and physical debris that can cloud good decision-making. This series is presented in 3 distinct parts – Own Your Stuff, Set Clear Boundaries and Take Care of You.) 

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”         ~Thomas Merton

When the skies are clear and the weather is fair, it’s easier to see the stars. Stars are light infused inspirations – they remind me of possibilities.

Possibilities are the embers of hope – the kindling for the fires of our lives, that ignite potential and meaning (click to Tweet) 

With the exception of the gifts we’re given and the challenges we’re issued, our lives are a grand compilation of the choices we make. (click to Tweet).

Since we make choices based on the options we perceive, it’s important to have clear mental skies. When clouds come in, if there’s fog,  during dust storms or if fear freezes over cognition, “possibilities” get lost in the storm. Consequently, we can make poor choices and suffer the consequences. Sometimes people refuse to take responsibility for their choices – a decision that is most unfortunate. They find themselves doomed to cloudy days, always blaming someone else that they forgot their umbrella.

Clear heads are better able to survey the landscape of possibilities and make the choices that create the lives we want, but, how do we keep our heads clear? Many people feel they could no sooner control their lives than control the weather – thankfully, both may be possible. Empowerment is key – and yes, you can do that for yourself. Do you want to see possibilities with more clarity? First own your “stuff.” Here are a few tips.

1. Take responsibility for your own choices and the life you are living. When you do so, you are EMPOWERED. You are no longer a victim of fate, but the Master of your destiny. You are the Master of your destiny anyhow…you always have been. (click to Tweet)

This is great news. You’re no longer dependent on the goodwill of others for your well-being. Goodwill is a gift – not to be expected, but appreciated when it does land your way.  In turn, hopefully you will share your fortune with people and gift them as well.

Your choices created your current situation…if you aren’t happy now, make different choices. I haven’t always lived the Well Lived Life, but I’ve always understood, even through the times money was extraordinarily lean, I was a single-mother or I was doing work I didn’t have passion for – those were the results of my choices. Own it, change it, love it!

2. Be aware the choices you make create the habits that either drive you – or stop you. You can make a Finding possibilitieschoice to change your habits or replace poor habits with more productive ones. You may need some help doing this…if you do, mental health professionals, coaches and mentors are all willing to help you find your way and, as a coach myself, we are happy to call you out on your ‘stuff.’

Habits are what you do repeatedly, eventually, it stops feeling like a choice. Habits can impact, among other things,  the way you eat, how productive you are and how timely you deliver on commitments. Habits can support your success or failure. Habits can be internal or external. They include how you think about yourself as well as how you behave in the world.

Take stock of your habits. Are they helping or hurting you? You may need help managing time, building momentum, improving communication or building your business – whatever it is, there are people who will happily give you the help you need…just don’t be in the habit of not asking for it!

3. Get comfortable saying “no.” –  Over extending yourself pulls you off focus, depletes you, alienates you from your own possibilities and, quite likely, interferes with the person you are “helping” by keeping them from seeing their own possibilities. It’s great to lend a hand, but not at the expense of fulfilling your own destiny or keeping someone from fulfilling theirs.

When we say “yes” to the point of overcommitting, our lives become unruly. It makes it difficult to honor the commitments we make to the best of our ability. It can make us stressed, angry and resentful. That isn’t doing anyone favours. I hate to break it to you, but you probably aren’t the ONLY person in the world that can do the helping. In fact, it may be hurting everyone to say “yes,” so learn to say “no” when you need to. (Click to Tweet)

One example is knowing how long or how much to help our children. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was say no to helping my grown children. Guess what? Now, they can help themselves.  Don’t get me wrong. I watched like a hawk from the sidelines. From. The. Sidelines. I’m so proud they figured it out – I always knew – okay, hoped – they could!

So, now that you know ways to be the boss of your own self – go practice. Start now. Take control! Next time we’ll discuss building barbed-wire boundaries (kidding….sort of).

Until then,

Count Your Lucky Stars,

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Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams,  helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. Writer, Artist, Coach         

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18 Replies to “Fair Weather Thinking – Part I”

  1. Hi Michelle,

    Wow…this is so timely for me! I’ve been pulled away from my studio because of a commitment I made two years ago to volunteer for a community organization. Unforeseen circumstances have made my choice to be their treasurer more unwieldy than I ever imagined! I thought I would be spending my summer full-time in my studio in Georgia but have been called back home for board meetings, etc. Saying “no” has always been difficult for me but you’ve made me realize that it’s something I need to do soon, before I begin to regret the decision I made to help. My term is up at the end of the year and I will graciously resign the position as I don’t want to leave suddenly. In the meantime, all their tasks have been completed and I can return to the mountains next week. And this time, I have taken precautions (taking the checkbook with me) to handle any emergencies from there…

    1. Deborah, so glad you caught yourself before you ended up in unpleasant territory. Good for you! Thanks so much for telling your story. Carry on and thoroughly enjoy your time in the studio when you do get it. ~m

  2. Very nice read Ms Andres! I think people will find life more rewarding if they’re genuine and honest with themselves, accepting responsibility and taking control. lol, I sensed great deal of emotion in reading your words. That’s good though. I love it.

    1. Hi Rock…I don’t know about a great deal of emotion, but I have helped people navigate these waters for years. Not that they’re in those waters for years – you know what I mean! LOL! Thanks for your words, I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  3. Hi Michelle, my head has been in the clouds for too long, I would love to see some stars. I have been going through some challenging times with my life and career which for the most part I do know have been the result of decisions I have made or one particular decision to leave a “dream” job behind to focus on my health and family. I would love to have my creative energy back again, so my mental clarity and intuitiveness can return. Your blog has been a tremendous inspiration as I get back on track again.

    1. Teresa, I’m glad it’s a timely post for you. We all get lost in the clouds now and then…so glad you recognized them. Keep reading. This post was one of three on how to get out of your own way so you can recognize possibilities – and get back on track. And be kind to yourself…it’s always good to focus on health and family. ~ m

  4. I enjoyed reading part 1. Look forward to part 2. I learned from a psychologist long years ago that there are 5 things a person needs to know. One is Learn to Say No. I did pretty well for many years but having aged I now find it difficult to say no to overdoing things that I loved to “overdo.” These same things are more than my health and age are “up to.” Makes decision making difficult when I know I must say NO. I’m trying to use common sense and make the proper limitations. Involves saying NO to myself. Frustrating. But the best way to enjoy life.

    1. I agree….it’s hard to say “no” when you want to say “yes!” But, when we look back on it, we enjoy a well-rounded and happier life when we’re not overcommitted. Let your energy go to what you wish to create for yourself. Sometimes it involves making some choices. All the best!

  5. “Since we make choices based on the options we perceive, it’s important to have clear mental skies. When clouds come in, if there’s fog, during dust storms or if fear freezes over cognition, “possibilities” get lost in the storm.”

    This line stood out to me. How we perceive is so important, one could almost say that that is what possibility is.

    And taking control. I just shaved my head because I was frustrated with what I could not control–my receding hairline. So I took control of the situation. And it’s interesting how when you do this in one area of your life it becomes easier to do in other areas. And sometimes a “drastic” action can make you feel as free as you are.

    1. I love the thoughts you’ve shared, MT! It feels incredible when we take control. Possibilities in every area explode, don’t they? Most of the time, when we are helpless, or victims of circumstances, if we examine the situation, we realize we put ourselves there. That’s great news, because WE can get ourselves out, too! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Inspiring. I really like your blog- offering me tips .I enjoy writing and doing art. But both have suffered a little backwardness, though there are reasons for this. But your post instills hope. ‘We must again learn to fly’

  7. well – another thing related to this to remember is that the sun and the stars are always there on the other side of the clouds – so if you keep your mental vision on that fact they you will never go off course –

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