Susan Jeffers

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Words of Wisdom From the Archives
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Each month we will include an article, excerpt or thought that we feel will enrich your life in some way. Enjoy!

Adapted from the works of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

It's is a brand new year with so much to look forward to! As the saying goes, ''When one door closes, another door opens.'' Isn't this a wonderfully positive expression? It tells us to not dwell in the past and to look to the future, but in truth, it only tells us part of the story.

The full quote came from Alexander Graham Bell, who said, ''When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.''

We all have something that we'd like to have happen in 2019, maybe several things, but if we keep focusing on the closed door - or in this case the previous year - we aren't going to be able open the doors to new things. Doors will keep opening, all right, but probably not the ones we want.

Susan wrote in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, ''Most of us do not 'sculpt' our lives. We accept what comes our way ... then we gripe about it. Many of us spend our lives waiting - waiting for the perfect mate, waiting for the perfect job, waiting for the perfect friends to come along. There is no need to wait for anyone to give you anything in your life. You have the power to create what you need. Given commitment, clear goals, and action, it's just a matter of time.''

So, not only do we need to be hopeful for the future, we also need to be prepared to open the doors ourselves. We can't expect the Universe to do all the work!

''One of my students said to me,'' Susan continued, '''I read and read, and I assume one day one of those books is going to take!' I shot back, 'No. Nothing is going to take unless you take it!' DON'T WAIT FOR IT TO TAKE! TAKE IT! Use it. Live it. Absorb it. Take action. Nothing is going to work for you unless you do the work.''

How do we take action? How do we begin to ''sculpt'' our own lives?

  1. Know what you want. Let's look at the top New Year's resolutions - lose weight/eat healthier, self-improvement, make better financial decisions. Do you see the commonality in them? They are all incredibly vague. The more specific your aspiration, the more likely you will be able to achieve it. To streamline your wish, ask yourself some questions to get to the heart of the matter. Why do I really want this? What do I hope the end result will be? What steps can I take to get started? Asking yourself and answering these types of questions is a great first step to get on the right path towards creating the life you want.
  2. Put it out in the Universe. When you know what you want, you need to let the Universe know. Talk about it with your friends and family, add it to your prayers, meditate on it, journal about it. Note it on your screen saver, or do it the good old-fashioned way - put a reminder on your refrigerator. Visualize what you think your life would look like if your wish came true. The more you make your dream part of your life, the more likely it will actually happen.
  3. Take action. You know what you want: you've communicated that to the Universe. Now you have to start working toward it yourself. Create 'To Do' lists, read books, take classes, join associations, go to seminars. Do whatever you have to do to get started on making your wish come true.
  4. Keep an open mind. This might be the hardest step. When we are focused on what we want, it can be hard to see other opportunities that present themselves to us. If we are focused on taking a dream trip to Europe, we might miss a chance to go with a friend to Asia. If we are focused on becoming a manager in our department at work, we might miss the opportunity for a better job at a different company. Susan advised, ''If you are focused on 'the way it's supposed to be,' you might miss the opportunity to enjoy the way it is or to have it be wonderful in a totally different way from what you imagined.'' While knowing what you want is a good thing, being open to what the Universe offers you is a great thing.

One of Susan's favorite quotes is from motivational guru Zig Ziglar. ''Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.'' For Susan, success didn't necessarily mean money or status. She thought of success as that which allows you to feel fulfilled in life - whether it's a big family, a career you love, a hobby, or something else. When we take action towards the things that will make us a better person, when we open new doors for ourselves, we are achieving that kind of success.

As you close the door on 2018, what door will you find and open in the coming year? The choice, and action, is yours.

Copyright © 2018 Susan Jeffers, LLC All rights reserved.

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