It’s Not Beer Goggles Nor Rose Colored Glasses

So you’ve heard of 20/20 vision, you’ve heard of beer goggles (when people look better than they are because you’ve had too many beers) and rose colored glasses (insisting that all is pretty in pink and peachy keen, when – it ain’t).

Well, if you are reading this, then it’s time to think about and feel good about some mirrored glasses. These would be glasses that allow you to see life as it is, but most of the time they help you focus on you. After all, you are the main character in this, the story of your life.

As I look around, I see so many people struggling – sometimes they know it and sometimes they don’t. There is the saying about trying to keep up with the Jones’ but you don’t just try to keep up with people or things you see in life. You also try to outpace your own insecurities. On the outside you exercise more because your youthful beauty is slipping away; on the inside you try to find something remotely meaningful to do in life because if you aren’t busy every minute of the day then a quiet moment can allow a flood of emotions to come forward, drowning you in disappointment about you and your life. I hope this doesn’t quite apply to you, but it happens to a lot of us because our culture doesn’t teach us to stop and face that flood of emotions and work through them. Quite the contrary, we are encouraged to try harder to make life get better because we must not be doing enough. The problem is that life – ironically—is on the inside, not the outside. The story of your life and the way you experience your life are born in you, not outside you. So, you can work harder and harder, but that doesn’t necessarily change your experience. It does, however, land you in the rat-race.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143

Shakespeare

Even the word ‘meaningful’ has become relative because there are so many ‘meaningful’ mems on social media; people dedicate their lives to ‘meaningful’ things in a worthy cause or a career they bleed for. People race down a long, rough road expending their time and energy and at the end, there is no prize. I’m not pessimistic, I promise. Actually, I’m the opposite. I want to ensure success in my heart as much as possible, so I focusing on where the road leading, not just the promises that lure you onto the path. The same should be true for you.

Let me be a more specific and give you some examples:

My daughter’s school teacher has dedicated over 20 years to teaching and she’s so proud to be in the top 30% of some teacher ranking. However, she’s overwhelmed, complains about teaching and is not nice to the kids. On paper her career looks shinny, but the reality is that she’s turning into a bitter, unfriendly person. A ‘meaningful’ career is leeching her happiness – that’s not a road I want to journey down.

I had a client last summer who started a non-profit nearly 20 years ago to help people who can’t help themselves. If you knew more about the non-profit you might deem it worthy or unworthy, but regardless, one problem is that things haven’t changed for her (the client who started it) in probably 30 years. She’s been going to people and businesses to beg money for 20 years as she herself is going bankrupt, both financially and emotionally. Her road is based on an idea that running this non-profit will make her a better person, but she’s been trying to be that better person for so long that she’s missed the boat on improving her own life. She’s left herself no income, no mate and no life. I know you’re smarter than that, most people are. The only reason to sacrifice your life for a career or a worthy cause is because you’ve been fooled into thinking it will benefit you at some point. Some of get fooled more than others.

I also have a friend who jumped feet first into a business she bought, but she bought it before she fully understood the landscape of the industry. Needless to say, it’s tough financially, emotionally, physically. Life is tough and she and I don’t fear a tough road, but it’s one thing to put your heart and soul into yourself and it’s another to join the rat-race hoping for a different outcome than the guy before you. Needless to say, she’s experiencing the same difficult outcome as the guy before her who sold her the business.

See Ya

Our new mirrored glasses would be all about looking in, at you. When you are focused on you everything changes; when you invest in you, you can’t go wrong (and you take yourself out of the rat race). When you decide what you are doing and why you are doing it – and when that answer includes a real benefit to you—then you’re on an uplifting journey in life.

You are the main character. To be successful in your heart, you need to develop your story, you need to focus on you. Most people look outside themselves, looking to have their lover, their career or some other external thing to fill the void within them. They hope and expect that a good cause or a good lover will bring them meaning and make them feel better and bring success. They are hoping for a magic pill they can pop that will change it all for them.

This takes me to a new show this season called Limitless. The main character takes a pill everyday and taps into all of his brain’s potential. He has no personal life and struggles valuing himself when he doesn’t have the abilities the pill gives him tho, so he’s still empty, missing the boat of his life. (I love the show- two thumbs up.)

However, what does it all mean? What is meaningful to you?

It’s not until you can feel good about you that things will mean anything at all. It’s not until you know why you wake up every day that your day will have meaning.

What Do You Mean, Kalyn?

We think that things, our career and even the wonderful people in our lives are meaningful, until we can’t figure out why we sabotaged our marriage without realizing it. Sabotage sucks because you then can’t figure why you would ever sabotage your job, relationship or anything else. But you do it because something was off inside of you. You were missing your core self.

You know that saying ‘is the glass half-full or half-empty?’. You are the glass. You are either filled with meaningful things in and of yourself or you are not. You are either a school teacher because you love teaching or you are empty and being pulled upon as you stand in front of the chalk board.

You are half-full (hopefully more) when you like you, when you take time to listen to and take yourself seriously. Do you have children? With children, we need to take the time to talk to them and stop to listen to what they say. They’ll say things that make no sense to you as an adult or they’ll express problems that are nothing to you, since your problems are ‘real’ in comparison, but we need to listen to them because it is their experience that is important. By listening and engaging with them, we validate them, letting them know that they are meaningful and that what they say is meaningful too.

Do the same with you. Listen and empower your hopes and dreams. Validate your problems and help yourself deflate them as you offer suggestions to solve them or handle them, the way you would with a child.

Take 5 minutes (or more) to every day to talk to you with the same compassion, love and interest you would with a child. Make time with yourself meaningful so that you’re wearing those mirrored glasses and seeing what’s truly meaningful and what will truly make your life a success.

Mark on Ellen

A couple of days ago I turned the TV on and caught Mark Walhberg on the Ellen Show. He was sharing his routine: he wakes up super early, eats a salad and some other healthy thing, goes out to play golf, spends time with his wife and then does work during the day and is in bed by 7 pm. I’m missing some details here, but my point is that he looked great – healthy, in shape – he sounded great – he is centered, happy, knows what he wants and is living it – and he was full of himself.

If you are new to Kalyn’s world (the way I see things and the way I tap into and live in the flow) then I need to point out that when I say someone is “full of themselves” I mean that they are rocking it because they are full of their own authenticity. Their own self. Mark Walberg had presence, which most people lack. Most people aren’t connected, tapped in, living their dream and prioritizing themselves, so they are full of something, but it isn’t themselves. Generally, they are full of ideas and schemes to try to make life work, to get ahead, to make ends meet. They are filled with high hopes that the rat race will work out differently for them. Who can blame you, if this is you? We’ve all been there. However, what sets someone like Mark Walhberg apart from the crowd is his focus, his self-presence.

Can you imagine going to bed at 7? He says his wife complains to him about this, saying he acts like an old man. Still, he sets his schedule according to his needs and that’s meaningful. He listens to what he deems important for himself and adheres to it. He doesn’t care what food you eat, but it sounds to me like he eats dinner at 5:00 am. It works for him and that is meaningful.

Coming up in Part 2:
What is self-presence and how does a skinny mirror blur your self-presence?