In the absence of any self direction we often adapt and take on that which is imposed on us from within the cultures and environments where we live and work. Growing up with externally set ideologies can shape our response to situations from small to large. The external pressure to live a certain way can be a demanding and challenging part of our daily life and work.
In this context then acknowledge from where your thought and beliefs originate. If you are adopting what others say blindly then you are simply following blindly. If you are however considering and then integrating into your own system then you are honouring your own self perspective.
As the writer of these words, I respect and understand the diversity of cultural and environmental influences shaping your life. You are a person in the world within which you live. The opportunity (and I am distinct in saying opportunity rather than challenge) is for you to live by these words within the world you circulate.
What may make for interesting experiences, is when living by these words puts you in the spotlight. Yes this will happen if you are in an environment where these words are the last anyone would speak or say. This again is your opportunity. So when referring to context consider your own stage of personal development. To what extent are you self aware? Constructive? Emotionally resilient? Balanced? When you consider your own behaviours and actions how do you fit in? Are you one that people avoid or one that people seek out for guidance, leadership, mentoring, wisdom, insight, knowledge and / or help?
The challenge for you as an individual taking the positive and constructive path is to stay true to this path. To be the one who gets what it means to live this way and to actually live this way shows others it is possible. Such a way also can evoke negative responses from those less inclined to think in this way. Being amongst people who are effectively against you can make it even more difficult to step into living by these words.
Another way to look at this situation is with the analogy of a light turned on in the dark. This reference may seem trite and obvious. Yet when applied in practice to you living and breathing these words well then it is not as easy. You are encouraged to live by these words as a way to be like the light. Such an approach is another way of taking the opportunity mentioned above. In other words SHINE. You and everyone who choose to live by these words can be like a beacon of light. You are a projector and symbol and example. You are not here to tell or make people do this but show them. This again makes it simple. You are to shine as an example. Through being this way then everyone can learn by observation and less from dictation or hypocrisy.
Consider the people that you meet in life. Some impress upon us in such a way that we feel uplifted simply in their presence. Then their are others who are in such a state that the thought of them is almost like a fog descended in our way. Neither of these people are better than the other. One is simply clearer than the other about what they have to offer and how to bring this into the world around them.
Think further about the way you feel when you encounter uplifting versus foggy individuals. Do you find that these people are consistent in this way? Or perhaps one day they are uplifting and then another like a fog.
What if when you encounter the person they are in an uplifting state because of YOU! What a switch you might say. That when people are around you what you see is really yourself uplifting them. Maybe you are the one with the light so bright that it shines and influences your encounters.
So now look in the mirror instead. Do you see yourself as the uplifting one or the one in the fog? Are you at times uplifting and at others in a fog? Be honest, it is for your own benefit to see the truth. Now knowing how you see others and how you see yourself what do you want such encounters to be like? I am going to take a risk here and assume that you would like to be uplifting more than foggy. Another way of looking at this is that you can not expect others to be one way or another. Their state is their state. They have control, free will and a personality that drivers their behaviour. This of course means that you have the same. So you can choose to be the one uplifting and sharing your light rather than the fog.
Look there is really nothing wrong about being in the fog, having foggy days or moments. For it is the contrast of the fog that when cleared reveals the beauty of what it hides. The fog gives you a moment to stop and focus inward, not see too far from your centre. This is a good place to check your bearings, recharge and refocus. To stay in this way though may be more draining than it is sustaining.
Overall the intent of this book is to inspire you to live life fully and enjoy what you do in your life and work. Your presence is what cuts through the fog. Your connection to your self and your commitment to being the brighter version of you is what shifts you from lack of clarity to full blown sight. You see in the light. Others see in the light. Your light is what let’s the world know that you are here and you are here to be you. Again you are an example for others just by living in this way, fully shining.
So what do you do? The answer is summarised in two words, “Shine Light”.