MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “encouragement”

The intruding spring

http://static.wixstatic.com/media/454789_6bb4a3a05395479b9e1bac474f5a0268~mv2_d_4272_2848_s_4_2.jpg_srz_4272_2848_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzHenry woke up when a bed spring penetrated his mattress and scratched his knee calf. The sting was enough to make him jump out of bed. Then, he had to get up.

He wasn’t a morning person. Not everybody is. Despite the fact that he was well aware of the French saying that the world belongs to those who get up early (“le monde appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt”); he was more of a supporter of the Italian one that it is sweet to do nothing (“dolce far niente”).

This was one of those mornings when he’d rather stay in bed. Henry was the type of person who upon knowing that he had a list of things to do, could not find the urge to do any of them. Instead, he would find other things to do, making his list grow longer.

He was the person who would always find something to do. His problem wasn’t not having something to do, but rather never having enough time to do it. Sometimes even desire.

But today it was different. The intruding spring made him realise that sometimes it is better to get up early because you enjoy more of the day, particularly on mornings illuminated by sunlight. Plus, you often have the chance to spend more time with the people you love.

So despite the inappropriate wake-up call, the day would develop much better and by nightfall Henry would be glad he was pushed out of bed so early.

There is always a more positive side to everything; if you’re open-hearted enough to see it.

The loudness of insecurity

girl-umbrellaIt was the first time Max had found himself in a psychologist’s office. He was postponing it for too long; he needed someone to listen to all the things that had accumulated inside him and were causing him stomach aches. The main problem he had to face was that he cared too much – he over-thought and over-worried about anything. Maybe this doctor would be able to show him how to care less, or at least how to not allow things to affect him as much.

Outside in the waiting room was a sign on the wall, a blue canvas with the inscription “Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.” It resonated with Max, as he thought about all the people in his life who annoyed him the most and who he wrongly permitted to distress him – they were all people who claimed center stage, those who thought that everything should be about them, who adopted an attitude close to that of a bully, and who pretended to mask their low self-esteem in (often overly) socialization.

For an hour, Max poured out his feelings to the person he had just met sitting across him in the small, yet cozy, room. He found himself telling him stories and emotions that he had never even admitted to himself. Psychologists, he realised, have a way of making you feel comfortable enough to share your inner most thoughts without dwelling too much on what you’re saying.

When the psychologist’s turn to talk came, Max took out a small notebook to write certain things down. They may have been just phrases, but they would help him in changing his own attitude and facing the situations he was forced to deal with on a daily basis.

“Insecurity is an ugly thing. It makes you hate people you don’t even know. More so, insults are the last resort of insecure people with a crumbling position trying to appear confident. Insecure people seek approval. They try to talk everyone down so that can feel superior. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap. Try, as much as you can to ignore them. Just don’t interfere in their lives so that they won’t interfere in yours. Remember, you only give them more power the more attention you devote to them. So simply turn the other way. Demonstrate your own confidence by shying away from the spotlight; let it chase you, not the other way round. Do something different instead: build people up, remind them they’re worthy, tell them they’re incredible; be a light in an often too dim world”.

Max left the office feeling uplifted. Sometimes, all it takes is some words of encouragement to view the situation in a different aspect.

Do something more

lucy-sol

©Lucy Fridkin

“Do something every day that scares you”. Her grandmother’s prompt echoed in her ears every time she felt her heart grow sore with exhaustion. She needed a change. Routine was turning out to be lethal after all.

She woke up determined to take that extra step. So that day she went to the café with a view to the port.

It was cloudy, but ships were sailing.

She had time if she really wanted to do it.

She connected to the Wi-Fi and loaded the website. Tickets were booked in less than a minute.

She would finally go to him.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Losing to Find

rainy-bridgeIt was in your pocket the last time you looked. Or maybe in your bag. On the back seat of the car. Or was it in the trunk? Either way, you certainly remember having seen it somewhere. But how long ago was that? Where was it now? How did it go missing? And why does it bother you so much?

Losing an object sometimes evokes feelings as strong as losing a person, because we have become so accustomed to associating material goods with memories, people, emotions, moments. No matter how small or insignificant these objects may seem, they are intertwined with our lives, to the extent that sometimes they become an integral part of who we are. That is why when we lose them we panic and feel lost ourselves. It is not really because we realise how much we needed that object. It’s not really a matter of need, but rather of want. It’s wanting that object to exist in our lives so that we are reminded of everything and everyone associated with it.

But sometimes, we lose things so that better ones can arrive. It’s like the wilting of a rose so that a fresh one may bloom. There is supposedly a reason for everything that happens. You just have to trust that whatever that reason may be, it is for the best, for your own good. So for your own inner peace and sanity, sometimes you just need to let go and accept the loss. Better things lie ahead if only you choose to believe it.

“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive” – Haruki Murakami

What it takes to feel good

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_chSWwsAhn0o/TT5BDKaYMUI/AAAAAAAAC8g/oinnbegau6E/s1600/1239972_kite.jpgIt doesn’t really take a lot to make a person feel special or to lift their mood when they’re not feeling well. Contrary to popular beliefs, the way you feel isn’t affected so much by the material you surround yourself with, but rather the people and their attitudes. To make it clearer: it’s not the technology or the objects you have that will make you feel better. It’s the people you share them with. Those who can make you smile no matter what. Who see you’re not well and ask what they can do to make it all better regardless.

You find the greatest expression of sentiment in the smallest of things. In the slightest gestures that mean a lot. Those small things that demonstrate that the people around you are listening to you and remembering the things you say – what you like and don’t, your dreams and desires, a funny story that can be associated somehow at any random moment.

And it is those small things that have the largest impact. It is what can boost your morale and make you feel good even on the cloudiest and darkest of days.

After all, confidence is often gained from what you don’t see. From the new underwear you put on, to the wink of a loved one when only you are watching, to that song that gives you chills when you listen closely to its lyrics.

It doesn’t take a lot to feel good. All it requires is some attention to the things that matter.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Realize

The value of your worth

http://kurld.com/image.php?pic=/images/stars/stars-05.jpgIf you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value,” she told him as she took a tray of cookies out of the oven. They were still steaming hot. “What you need to do is show people what you can do. To be so good they can’t ignore you”.  He tried to interrupt and say something, but wasn’t fast enough. “Just because some people won’t be able to see your worth, doesn’t mean that your value as a person decreases”. She placed a box of the cookies she had just made in his hand and as she escorted him to the door said, “remember, it is not the people or their words that give value to our lives, it’s the memories and the actions”.

He was left standing outside the door of an elegant brick-red house with a large yard and a white veranda. The trees were providing much needed shade from the hot sun. And he was eager to bite into the cookies that seduced his nostrils from the moment she had opened the oven and allowed him a peek at them.

He had come with one question. How to make himself important. And she had simply replied, “you can’t. You either believe you are or you’re not”.

She had told him what he was unable to understand. That everything you emanate diffuses from within your soul. A smile radiating from your lips increases your face value. Confidence makes you appear decisive, knowledgeable, maybe even respectable. Your behaviour and your sense of determination gives you the image of a stronger person. An elegant attire adds to your sex appeal and your style. But whatever you do, your value will always stem from the way you feel about yourself. From the satisfaction you have with your life, the level of happiness you have reached with the people who surround you, the work you do, the hobbies you keep yourself busy with. Ultimately, like Warren Buffet said, “price is what you pay, value is what you get”. The trick is knowing how to distinguish between the two.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Value

Determined to succeed

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/378800000386057424/700b2ca43fd3ddec52c8adb98e8f7f8d_400x400.jpegIt takes a lot to wake up in the morning with a goal in mind. Heck, it sometimes takes great effort simply to get up in the morning, let alone set targets to achieve.

Albert knew it well. He battled his bedcovers every day for at least fifteen minutes, before he garnered the willpower to get out of bed.

The day usually proceeded smoothly after that – well, after a couple of hours, a good breakfast, strong coffee and a very slow easing into the day’s workload. But at the end of the day, he would also return to his bed satisfied with what he had achieved. He was a person who believed that you had to manage to do something that pleases you each day. Be it mastering something outside your comfort zone, perfecting a skill you already have, or simply expanding your horizons. Either way, 24 hours were enough to make you do something that would lift your spirits.

But there were days when even Albert could simply not get out of bed. Those days when he just wanted to be lazy and stay under the covers, hoping everything would disappear and he would continue to live in that hazy world he was dreaming of.

It was exactly those days, however, when his grandfather’s words sprung to mind, like Yoda appearing to instruct a young Jedi: “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination. You can’t expect to accomplish something without putting some effort into it. The secret to achieving success, is not that because you are destined for it, but because you are determined to. Because in order to make those dreams a reality, you need to replace excuses with effort, swap laziness with determination, and be able to self-discipline yourself. Everything else will fall into place. Having determination is harder than it sounds. It is not enough to say that you’ll do something. The hard thing is to do what needs to be done, even when you don’t feel like doing it. You see, you can always find inspiration from others, but determination, that is solely your responsibility.

That would usually be enough for Albert to jump out of bed and not let another day go wasted. Even if it would be spent simply sitting on the couch and thinking about nothing and everything, he would be satisfied that at least he did something that calmed him and restored his mental balance. The next day he would be ready to conquer the world. At least the one he had constructed in his mind.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” – Albert Einstein

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Purpose

Teaching how to disassemble the chaos

http://www.newyorker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/O-Neill-X-Games-on-Ice-1200.jpgShe screamed something incomprehensible, slammed her hands on the table, sturdily got up and left the room. If there were a door, she would have slammed it in anger.

He remained staring at the empty seat. Motionless. Unreactive. He had become accustomed to such bursts of anxiety, as he called them. He knew that she would soon blow off steam and come to realise that he was right all along. But that was something she should do on her own. She needed the space to calm down and process it all. He knew she could do more. She just had to believe it too.

She soon returned embarrassed but full of thirst for more. He had succeeded in awakening her desire to improve. To reach the potential he had seen in her from the very first day.

She loved ice-skating. It was the perfect combination of dance, expression and imagination. And on the ice, she felt more liberated than ever. It brought some tranquility to her otherwise chaotic life. Because no matter what went on at home, during her busy schedule, or in the world in general, on that ice rink she forgot it all, and got lost in the music, allowing it to drift her away, into a parallel universe, a utopia.

She was a smart girl, craving knowledge, demonstrating a general interest in everything that surrounds us, and with a fantasy as large and open as her heart.  She generally respected her teachers, especially those who inspired her and taught her to love learning. Those who showed her where to look, but left her to see things for herself. The ones who taught her to be critical of everything she heard, and, no matter what, to always try and improve; to compete, not with others, but with herself.

But the one who she loved the most was her ice-skating teacher. He was the once who acted as a mentor, a guide, a psychotherapist, a friend, a family member. He was so much more than a teacher and that is why she could so freely unleash every emotion in front of him. Because she knew he would understand. And he would support her either way.

Like Albert Einstein had said, “it is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge”. Because it is a fact that the (right) teachers are the ones who create all other professions, the ones who inspire you to be the best you can be, and to find some order in the chaos that is our world.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Chaos

Willpower is not an energy drink

In a period where all you hear is “no” and all you get is rejection letters, how do you find the motivation not to give up? With the highest youth unemployment recorded in decades, how do you convince young disheartened spirits that the best is yet to come and that their future lies ahead, when even that now seems so bleak? When at the most creative period of their lives, all they can do is watch idly as it passes by and disappointment settles even deeper. If like the Ancient Greeks said “the beginning is half of everything”, how do you get a chance at even starting something when the perpetuating contradiction reigns: you can’t get a job if you’re not experienced, and you can’t gain experience because you’re not given a job.

Motivation is key to success. To prevent your morale from sinking into gloom and despair. To convince yourself that there is  always light at the end of the tunnel. And that you will eventually take your first step that will lead you closer to achieving your goals.

Motivation can be found in a variety of places. From the wise words of a friend, to the courage demonstrated by another; from the moral of a book, a quote of an inspiring intellectual, to simply the galvanizing of the willpower within to just not give up. As humans we are the source of so much energy. All we need to do is harness it for the right purpose.

Strength lies in having the power to continue despite rejection, defeat, failure. A Chinese proverb says “fall down seven times, stand up eight”. Strength is inextricably linked to motivation and finding ways to engage yourself in opportunities that will demonstrate and even enhance your skills, is a clever way of both keeping yourself active and of setting up the right conditions. The right opportunity will come when the time is ripe.

All you have to do is look ahead and don’t despair.

Good things may come to those who wait, but they come faster to those who make an effort.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Pep Rally

 

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