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Are You a Lantern or a Lamp?

Are You a Lantern or a Lamp?

The greatest freedom we have and the one many people give up is the freedom of choice. You have the freedom to choose who you want to be and how you want to impact the world.  Whether or not you intentionally exercise that freedom of choice, you impact the world around you.

What is your impact?

Is it positive? Do you leave things better than when you found them? Do you even care?

More specifically, what is your impact on the people around you?

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I encourage people to take an inventory of all the roles they play in life.  For example: I’m a dad, son, brother, uncle, grandson, cousin, friend, employee, trusted adviser, etc.  You get the point.  What is your expectation for yourself in each role? How do you want to show up?  What impact do you want to have?  Most importantly, are you meeting your expectations? If not, what needs to change?

If you’ve read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” you may recall the Emotional Bank Account.  It’s a brilliantly awesome concept for managing your relationships. Simply, your relationship with someone is like a bank account where you make deposits and take withdrawals.  When you do something positive that is a deposit.  When you do something negative that is a withdrawal. Like your bank account, the more deposits you make the more value and reserves you build up.  The bigger the positives, the bigger the deposit.  The bigger the negative, the bigger the withdrawal.  You want to build as much value and reserves as possible.  This means you care.  Where people get into trouble is the take too many withdrawals, forcing the account into the RED. This isn’t good.

Just be cool and make deposits!

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Another analogy I like to use is: The Lantern & The Lamp

Let’s start with the lamp.

Lamps are valuable as they shine light wherever they stand. Lamps help people see clearer and allow them to maneuver in the darkest places. However, a lamp’s impact is limited. Many lamps stand in one place and do not move. They stay in one position, and therefore only shine light in one place. You have to come to the lamp, and many times they are only valuable if you are beneath them.

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How about the lantern?

Though they serve the same purpose, the lantern’s opportunity to impact is much greater, which makes it more valuable.

For starters the lantern is mobile.  Wherever it goes, its light benefits everyone around it. It isn’t designed to stand above people or stay in one place.  It will go wherever light is needed.  It can be hung high or sit low, which gives it the ability to provide light from different perspectives.  It’s designed to go beside you. Its handle is its offer to help; just grab it!

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Are you more like the lamp or the lantern?

Do you stay in one place and only shine your light on those who stand beneath you?  Or does your light shine everywhere you go, impacting everyone around you?

I like the lantern.

The unfortunate reality is many people aren’t even aware they possess this light and have no clue of their potential to positively impact people and the world around them. Maybe it’s with their spirit or attitude or passion. For some reason many people don’t allow this light to shine.

That’s a tragedy!

Take some time and think about all the roles you play in your life and the expectations you have in those roles.  What does your Emotional Bank Account look like in each role?  Are you making deposits or taking withdrawals? What if you were a lantern and allowed your spirit, attitude, and passion to confidently shine on everyone around you?  Think about the impact you would have on them.

Think about the impact this would have on you!

Shine!

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Last Updated on September 12, 2019

12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

Here are 12 things to remember:

1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

10. Journal During This Time

Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

Final Thoughts

Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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