Growing up, I was always told “Just do your best.” In most moments I heard this, it frustrated me, and I always wondered why. It sounded like positive advice. “Just do your best.” Of course. "OUR BEST" is what we ALL want to do in life.
Here are some of the times I heard the “just do your best” phrase during my adolescents:
- The night before a big test or project presentation.
- Before the 400 meter race at a track meet.
- During the middle of a crazy busy week filled with homework, sports, and clubs.
It took about a decade and a half to discover the root of my frustration at hearing this “just do your best” phrase.
I was misinterpreting it. You see,
Doing my best didn’t always mean doing the hightest I was capable of, ever, in the history of me.
It only meant performing at the highest level I was able to at THAT MOMENT IN TIME.
I was grocery shopping in Sam’s when a shock of inspiration hit me. I literally had to PULL MY CART OVER, grab some napkins (because I didn’t have my journal), and start scribbling my little heart out.
In the end, this is what poured onto the page: A DECLARATION FOR UNIQUENESS. (Both mine and yours.) As you read, speak it to yourself. I wish I’d had access to this frame of mind when I was a teenager. I hope you will embrace the truths in this declaration, pull them deep into your heart, and make them your own.
BTW, the picture above is of THE ACTUAL napkins. Look at that legible, non-messy handwriting! (Confession: I was forced to write slowly because of the frailty of the napkins. ;)
Okay, here goes:
DECLARATION FOR UNIQUENESS:
Today, I hereby declare not to be like anyone else in the world. I’m done comparing. Finished with thinking someone else’s way is the right way. This only limits me from expressing myself fully and living to the highest potential.
Today, I hereby decide not to be like anyone else. I will let my light shine, in hopes that others will see that they, too, are free from the confines of comparatism, if only they should so decide it for themselves.
Today, I hereby insist. I will be an individual—not for the sake of individualism itself—but rather to open myself up to others, and them to me.
My newfound freedom will allow floodgates of joy to flow between me and every fellow human being I encounter. It is for them that I push forward. It is for them that I press onward with my beacon of “Self” lit brightly, so that when I encounter each individual, they do not see me, but instead, see their own Self in the light.
Written by Heidi Tankersley
Onward and upward my fellow beacon carriers.
Have you ever people watched? Have you ever seen a really attractive person in stylish clothing who is walking with her shoulders hunched forward, her head slightly dropped, her body settled into a posture of low self-confidence? Have you noticed how that changes everything about her appearance? Suddenly, she’s not as “vibrant,” not as “approachable,” not as attractive.
And, have you ever seen a person who’s not necessarily “Holywood” attractive, but she’s walking with her shoulders back, a smile on her face, and is using a strong, confident gait? Have you noticed how it makes all the difference in the world about how you perceive her? Suddenly, she looks beautiful. She’s like the goddess Athena. You just want to hang out with her and see what’s making her life so awesome.
This is because how we carry ourselves changes everything about how other people perceive us.
Did you know that the extent of a person’s vocabulary is directly related to their professional ranking? One particular study showed that scores on a vocabulary test administered within a corporation of 500+ people directly correlated with their positions within the company. Without a single exception, the higher up the professional ladder, the higher the vocabulary scores on the test. Without a single exception. Isn’t that crazy? From the CEO with the highest vocabulary, to the janitor with the lowest.
But, vocabulary does more than help you land your dream job. Having a wide-ranging vocabulary opens up the ability to communicate better with others. Most everyone in this world speaks in order to communicate with others. Most everyone, at some point or another, has to write, just like I’m doing now.
Knowing the correct word to say, how to say it, and when to say it are crucial to communicating with others.
Hi teens! It’s time for tip. I want to talk about letting yourself sweat. Yes, I’m serious.
Sweating is an amazingly healthy way for your body to get toxins out of you. Your skin absorbs chemicals into the body, but it also excretes toxins via sweat glands. This is one reason why exercise and sunlight are so healthy. Your body needs to sweat.
LOVE THIS QUOTE.
“Go for it! Take a chance. There are times you must trust that silent voice inside you. The experts don’t always have the right answers. According to the laws of aerodynamics, the bumble bee cannot fly. I guess no one bothered to tell the bee. Keep flying!”
-Mrs. Jackson Brown
I am going to tell you a true story, hopefully one that inspires you. It was shared in the late 1800’s by Doctor Russell H. Conwell as he raised money to start Temple University. Later it was included into the published work “Acres of Diamonds.” Perhaps you have heard of it.
It starts in the county of Africa, where a farmer owned a sizable parcel of land.
Soon, word came to him that diamonds were being harvested in the other areas of the country and people were making their fortunes. As you can imagine, the lure for his own fortune was strong, and so the farmer sold his land, loaded a small pack, and left in search of diamonds.
I really like this saying: If you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin. And do you know why? Because your skin absorbs everything into your body, just as if you were eating it. Chemicals, additives, toxins, it can all get in your body through your skin. Afterall, this is how the nicotine patches work, right? The chemicals in the patch get absorbed through the skin. What you put on your skin really is going into your body. It really is!
Ok, so here's what you need to do to make this knowledge a part of your "Healthy Home Repertoire." Start reading labels on what you are buying and putting on your body. This includes lotions, soaps, sunscreens, cosmetics, shampoos, deodorants, detergents, etc. You will be shocked at the number of items on the label that you cannot even pronounce.
Don't feel overwhelmed. How about start by finding just ONE product per month that you can remove from your current selection, and replace it with something natural? Remember one idea I mentioned in a fall newsletter last year? Use coconut oil for body lotion, deep-treatment for hair, softer lips, etc. It's edible!
Here is why you will be glad you switch to more natural products:
-Less skin break-outs, itchy skin, exema, and sensitive skin
-Less skin redness
- Less toxicity in your body which means less "old" looking skin
and less cellulite
- Less wrinkles over time
- More shine and natural glow to your complexion
- Less overall illness and feelings of malaise