Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Journey to Me-Dom

I have to start the challenge for this week by telling you a little story about an experience I had this past week.  After a typical work day I stopped at the gas station in my town for a quick fill up.  It was about 7:15pm so it was dark outside but still well within the early evening hours.  It also was a typical crisp fall evening, but not so cold that I even needed a jacket.  As I climbed out of my car and glanced around noticing the hustle and bustle of a typically busy gas station I also noticed something that I found very disturbing.  As my eyes scanned the crowd a sense of horror came over me and I quickly assessed the situation so I could get a real grasp of what was happening.  At first glance I quickly counted 8 people including myself that I could easily see with a single sweep of my eyes and of the 8 people I could see within a split second, 5 of them, count them... FIVE... one two three four FIVE, were wearing some version of PAJAMA PANTS.  It was only 7:15 and more than half of the crowd that I could immediately see and count were out in public in their ratty worn out pajama bottoms.  I have to admit a million thoughts rushed through my brain and none of them were nice.  I thought  1. I can't believe how lazy people have gotten!  2. No wonder I have only found three different gentleman attractive in the last 10 years!  3. How in the world am I going to maintain a successful business trying to sell real clothes to people in a town where they don't wear anything but pajamas no matter where they are going?  4. I need to change my business and start selling second hand pajama bottoms and sweat pants only.  5. I need to pack up my entire family and closest friends and move them somewhere else immediately.  6. This is what starts to happen to people when drugs and alcohol are starting to permeate neighborhoods.  7. It makes me so sad to see a city outlying another major city that you grew up in and had such pride in going downhill so fast that it makes you want to move away.  8.  What ever happened to the idea of taking pride in your appearance?  9. Pride... that's the problem... there is a complete lack of pride in oneself happening and it is taking over like a plague.

So this weeks challenge has to do with having a sense of pride in oneself.  Now, I admit that my thoughts were a bit nasty and full of venom, but they were honest and real and held a tinge of truth and really expressed my gut reaction to what I was seeing.  The days of taking real pride in oneself and the care and presentation of oneself are gone.  Now, there are still the attempts at getting people's attention by doing things like shortening the skirt and heightening the heel and buying bigger cleavage, and masking flaws with extensions and fake coloring and applied nails but none of those things are driven by pride... true pride.  We seem to be driven by insecurity, jealousy, the need for attention, showing off, gluttony, lust, but it seems we have lost the simplest of ideas in which presenting ourselves in a way that we can feel proud of is the most rewarding motivator of all.  What happened to wanting to feel and express ourselves at our ultimate best?  What about the idea that we are leaving an impression on others about who we are every time we walk out the door and wanting to be the best we can be?  What about the confidence that comes with being pulled together?  This weeks challenge is about finding your sense of self-pride.  The pride that makes you take care of yourself and groom and bathe and dress in a way that presents the nicest sense of style you can manage and that leads you through your day with confidence and that inspires people to want to work harder to try and emulate you in the best of ways.  It is about knowing there is a time and place for everything and that the best thing you can do for yourself and your success is to always enter every situation having prepared ahead of time with the idea of pride without arrogance in mind.

While I was having that stream of consciousness of disgusted thoughts I ultimately landed on the idea that if people had more pride in themselves they would never do things like drugs or theft or any of the other things that make the world a terrible place to live in the first place.  They would never want those things to become their reputation, their place in this world, how people know of them.  A true sense of pride naturally brings about humbleness, and courtesy, and sympathy, and compassion, and a drive to do the right thing.  It is about having complete self-awareness and realizing the impact that a day dressed in pajamas in public brings to your life as far as your own quality of life and the impression you are making on others.  You may have heard before that a person makes their first and most important judgment of you within the first 3 seconds of seeing you for the first time.  What judgments are being made about you as you move through this world?  Of course the idea here is not to always be worried about what other people think about you, but to take responsibility for how you would like to be seen.  Do you want to be taken seriously?  If you do then you have to lead with a sense of pride and self-awareness.  You have to be aware of the impact and the imprint you leave in this world.

Now, what does this mean for me?  It simply means on the days when I haven't slept all night I still need to get up with enough time to fully get ready in the morning rather than sacrificing doing my makeup or my hair for 10 more minutes of lying around still not sleeping.  It means I make sure to stay on top of my laundry so I never have that mismatched laundry day outfit on because I ran out of clean clothes that actually go together. It means even though I work from home and often won't see a single person all day that I still need to take the time to put myself together even if it is just in case of emergency.  It means that I wait till a little later at night before I finally give in and put on something more comfortable so that I don't put off things like taking out the trash or other such tasks that I would never do in my pajamas because I won't go out in public in my pajamas.  It means that I just make choices that ultimately I can feel more proud of.  It is so easy to get lazy, to give ourselves that excuse to not do something simple.  For me this is about making sure I don't let myself fall into the habit of being lazy.  It is about more than just wearing pajama pants out in public.  It is about my journey to living my best and most authentic life.  It is about the sense of freedom that pride and self-awareness can bring.  It is about my journey to Me-Dom.  What changes will you make this week to find your true and honorable sense of pride in yourself?  We all are on our own journeys through life.  Make it the best journey you can.

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