Sometimes you meet someone who will greatly impact your life. Someone who will change the way you look at things and make you realize how powerful you are.
Sometimes you know the person, other times that person isn’t even aware of your existence.
For me, this was the case with Wayne Dyer. (A.k.a. the “father of motivation”). If you’re not familiar with his work yet, I’m stoked to introduce you to this philosopher, renowned author, and motivational speaker.
For him, life didn’t start off easy. But, despite spending his childhood in orphanages and foster homes, he managed to make his dreams a reality.
Wayne has been an incredible inspiration for me. Here are some of his most powerful life lessons:
1. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
This one is powerful. The same situation can either be the worst thing that ever happened to you, or the greatest blessing. It all depends on how you look at it. We can either see ourselves as victims – or we can see difficult people, events, and circumstances as what we need in order to achieve what we desire. They are our greatest teachers.
2. “If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t you will see obstacles.”
If you really want something to happen, you’ll find a way to make it a reality. If not, you’ll come up with excuses, reasons or blame as to why it won’t or hasn’t worked out. Basically, you’ll find what you look for. So, keep your eyes on the prize.
3. “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.”
We tend to see happiness as a destination. Something we’ll obtain once we’ve accomplished certain things, made a certain amount of money and checked off certain to do’s in life. But, if we let our ego be the master, we’ll always have new things to obtain before we can be happy. (Meaning: we’ll never be truly happy.) Don’t be tricked by the mind. Instead, choose to make happiness the path towards happiness.
4. “Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.”
It’s easy to mistake abundance for things to be gained. But, that way of looking at it just puts us in a state of scarcity. Because we say that something is missing today. The thing is, we’re always surrounded by abundance. But we only see it if we’re able to acknowledge it. We have roads to transport ourselves on, air to breath, potential friends everywhere (online and offline), endless possibilities, and unlimited information to access in libraries and online. As Wayne said, it’s not about acquiring abundance, it’s about tuning into it.
5. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
You cannot control how other people behave. You know this. But no matter how someone behaves, you are always in charge of how you react. Do you treat people in the same manner they treat you, even if it means lowering your standards? Or do you choose to step above and act as an example? When you feel pushed or frustrated with others, take a deep breath and then respond consciously to the situation or person.
6. “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”
When you judge someone else, you put limitations on yourself. You shut down new perspectives and create a separation of “you” versus “me”. What we judge others for can always be mirrored back to ourselves. For example, last time I judged a person in my family for being “narrow-minded”, I realized that he wasn’t the narrow-minded one – I was. Be curious of your judgement, what is it trying to tell you? Allow it to teach you.
7. “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”
We spend the majority of our days at work. If we don’t do something we love, we spend the majority of our time either in discomfort, numbness, or feeling like we’re wasting our time. Abundance can come in many ways, but if we don’t spend our days in a way we enjoy, we cut ourselves off from it. Take steps every day, even if they’re tiny, so that you can spend your time doing what you love. If you don’t know what that is yet, make it your mission to find out.
8. “Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”
Life can end in 5, 18 or 55 years from now. Or it can end tomorrow. There is no point in waiting to live the life you want. As dating coach Matthew Hussey said: “Only two things come to those who wait: the wrong thing or no thing”. Don’t be someone who waits, instead, step in and create what you want. Take full advantage of what you can experience on this planet while you’re still here.
9. “Practice being the kind of person you wish to attract.”
If you want people in your life who are caring, authentic, inspiring, loving and generous you need to first become those things yourself. Whether it’s a love relationship or in business, focus on becoming the person you wish to meet. As they say: your vibe attracts your tribe.
10. “You’ll seldom experience regret for anything that you’ve done. It is what you haven’t done that will torment you.”
Regret is an ugly emotion. It doesn’t show up like other emotions – as a direct response to something that has happened. Instead, regret creeps up slowly, in response to what hasn’t happened. Don’t fear making mistakes or looking like a fool – that means you’ve tried for something. Instead, make sure you don’t leave this planet full of regrets of things you didn’t do.
11. “There is no stress in the world, only people thinking stressful thoughts.”
Nature doesn’t stress or hurry to get things done. Yet, it manages to give life and to nourish millions of plants, animals, and people. At the basis, there is not stress on this planet. The stress that exists is self-created. Don’t tune into stressful thoughts. Don’t allow your life to be full of stress just because others make their life so.
12. “It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”
Motivational speaker Lisa Nichols once said, “Mediocrity is crowded, but there’s a whole lot of room up in excellence.” Funny thought, no? So, instead of focusing on being where everyone else is, start looking for ways on how you can achieve the extra. Who do you need to become and what do you need to do to place yourself among the players of excellence (instead of fighting in mediocrity)?
13. “You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.”
That’s right. You decide if you’re stuck or not. Change “I’m stuck” to “I’m in motion” or “I’m figuring things out”. If you don’t know what to do, then start taking the next logical step forward. What can you do to gain clarity? Who can you contact? What film/book/blog can you read to get moving again? Take charge and step in as the author of your story.
14. “The fact that you are willing to say, ‘I do not understand, and it is fine,’ is the greatest understanding you could exhibit.”
Let’s face it. Some things can be hard to understand, like different viewpoints, values and life choices. But, to reject something you disagree with only creates limitation and separation. Accepting that you don’t understand something enables connection, growth, and potentially a whole new way of looking at the world. So, next time you face a situation in which you feel uncertain or judgmental, remember that’s it’s OK not to understand and then stay open to new perspectives.
15. “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
There’s a big different in being lonely and alone. Loneliness is that feeling of having a hole in your life you can’t seem to fill regardless of what you do. Being alone is very different. It’s about taking time to reflect, energize and enjoying things by yourself. Loneliness is a state of mind; aloneness is a state of being. Next time you feel lonely, instead of throwing a pity party, ask what you can do to truly care for yourself? Maybe you need a delicious meal, a bath or just some time with a soul-nurturing book?
16. “With everything that has happened to you, you can feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”
We label everything in our life. Getting fired can either be a disaster or a great opportunity to try something different. Lacking money can either be a misfortune or a great incentive to make even more money. A breakup can either mean a new ending or a new beginning. In short, it all depends on how we choose to label a situation. Make it a habit to look at situations in life in a way that empowers, not destroys, you.
17. “There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love. There’s only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.”
There’s no lack in ways to make things happen. What is lacking is the decision and commitment to go after what you desire. My experience is that when you start taking steps towards your dream, somehow doors tend to open and the right people and ideas tend to appear. My point is that the are hundreds, maybe even thousands of ways, in which things can be accomplished. So instead of worrying about the how, pour your energy into committing to what you want to make into a reality.
18. “The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.”
Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Start acting, behaving and thinking like that happy, successful and brilliantly wise person. Ask yourself, “How would the ideal version of myself act and think in this situation?” Stop postponing who you want to become and what you want to do and start being it.
Change Your Perspectives Until They Serve You
We all have situations and people that drain our energy, makes us crumble and wanting to set up camp under a cover. But, what if you can deal with wherever is holding you back, just by changing your perspective on the situation?
What if life, isn’t happening to you, but for you? What if your greatest challenge means tapping into your biggest strength? What if someone you struggle to get along with, holds the key to the greatest insight about yourself?
Stay in charge of how you look at things. Choose to see them from a perspective that serves, not hinders, you. Be active in turning confusion into clarity, denial into empowerment, and laziness into energy.
As Wayne said, “I am realistic – I expect miracles.”
Photo cred: Sofie Stenmark, Model: My Charlotte Lestander