More critical than ever before for us today is to each stand up and claim our strength and our independence. Why do I say that? Because we see the incredible “influence” almost like a dominating trance that is over so many people today. We ask ourselves “why are people behaving like this?” “Why are they laying down their moral authority to people like this?” Those are critical questions and ones each of us must open our eyes to as this world around us has taken a turn for the worse.
This behavior is truly breaking apart relationships and tearing down the church, splitting long-time relationships nothing quite like I have experienced in my 60+ years on this planet. Why is it happening? I think people are looking for some messiah other than the true one we already have. I think it is also the pursuit of material wealth like so much money is moving around and everyone seems to want a piece of it. And, I also believe that the weakness in the character of so many people is so acknowledged but if they can hide behind a false leader, they can find support through the shadows within they lurk.
Here are some concepts to lead and guide us as we walk along this slippery slope:
- Stand up and announce your values. Do not be afraid to “go against the wind” as it blows through your friends, family, and towns. If you are a strong independent person, you truly don’t wait around to see what your friends’ or acquaintances’ opinions are because you have your own. Choose to be unwavering in your beliefs, and if someone challenges them, hold strong.
- Don’t worry about butting heads. Some personalities avoid conflict at every opportunity. Wrong! This means you are a blade of grass blowing in the direction the wind happens to be blowing on a given day just to be liked? Or belong? Stand tall! Arrogant people are everywhere as they acknowledge that it is their arrogance that gives them control over weaker beings who flee from conflict and avoid their own thoughtful analysis. Choose to listen but be open to disagreement. Think through the information they provide, much of which may make no sense. Challenge yourself to research some of it so you too can discover the untruths that have become so popular in our society today. Having good mentors who perhaps you trust more perhaps than your own judgment is a great step to take…but still beware as they too can be a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
- Be Content. We all have some level of insecurities in our lives as that is just part of being human. But as independent thinkers, we can truly rise above the negative behavior and thinking to truly ignore those who are so obstinate about their self-righteousness. You can choose to surround yourself with people who may differ but who honor your decisions and positions instead of applying the “bully pulpit” approach to convince you of your “wrongful ways.”
- Choose Independence. This is a big one as we all need to be independent of others. This is not about husband-wife, mother-child relationships where there is always some level of dependence, but even in those relationships how beautiful is it to see each other love and honor one another even where there are inconsistent beliefs.
- Focus on your Future. Have a plan for where you are going, how you are going to get there, and what the experience will be for you. Without direction people really are like tumbleweed in the windstorm. Those are the times when we are so malleable in the hands of others who attempt to control us, as they rise up to some “self-appointed” superior level and convince us they are right. Failure to plan is a plan to fail and then, you truly get victimized by many a “flim-flam” person who crosses your path.
- When a problem arises, ask for help. So many insecurities arise for many who are afraid to ask because “what will the other person think of me?” Wow, they will feel honored that you are reaching out and trust their judgment to support you in whatever that decision process is you are going through. You never have to take a person’s advice, but it will always support you to get others’ opinions in formulating yours. Why? Because we have only one set of eyes. Multiple eyes see the world a little differently and can give you the insight you will never come up with on your own.
- Choose financial Independence. This is huge in that if we live our lives coming from a mindset of abundance, we will create an incredibly different result than one from scarcity. Where do we get the scarcity mindset? It typically comes from our upbringing: either our parents had a tough financial situation and there was always a lack of funds as a child, or they and others around us in our early years saved every penny, taught us we had to work hard to get ahead. Or even worse those same influential people kept reminding us that “rich people are….” using every negative connotation they could think of. So, of course, we now have a very mangled understanding of wealth. You want to be financially well-grounded and that is …ready?…just a choice! Wow, news to you? Not! If you choose the right mindset around money and finances “Katy bar the door.” I have seen it happen hundreds of times, peoples’ financial status change on a dime by just choosing an abundance mindset. “To think is to create.” Hmm…
- Enjoy learning new skills. What is crucial for all of us especially in this fast-paced world of ours is to consistently be bettering ourselves. If you read a new book every week of your life you would not even make a dent in the public library. How do we know that? Because with every week that passes, several new ones show up on the shelves. So, choose to read those books that truly enhance your knowledge in areas you are interested in or even perhaps in areas you need greater learning. I also suggest you attend seminars and webinars where you can get incredible training that provides more information perhaps than you would ever get in just reading books. Yes, you can! And furthermore, associate with people you honor and truly supply you with insights you perhaps would not gain otherwise. Those who disagree with you just provide you the opportunity to test your own resolve…not a bad thing!
Finally, recognize that “independence” in and of itself may not be a good thing as we need others around us for joy, for growth, for expression of love, for even greater enlightenment. But it is our “follow the crowd” mentality that we need to truly be aware of. Look at the principles the leaders espouse before you jump in…this is where each and every one of us needs to exert independence. Your world…our world depends on it.