I have for years wanted to achieve certain things and often feel my wheels are spinning but not much is happening. When I started to ask myself this question daily and then looking back on the year to date as to what has made me most proud I had a much more grateful perception of what I am doing and my place in the world.
Last week, I had seven high profile speaking engagements that were pretty exciting. I’ve had feedback from people who’ve said some really flattering things, the thing that made me most proud though was calming a distraught little girl who had lost her way from her mother at the farmer’s market. It felt really ‘soul good’ to help.
When I look at the start of the year and how things were shaping up I am amazed to see how differently they’ve gone. Some of the things I thought I would be most proud of have not yet eventuated and there are completely unforeseen things that have come up that have created opportunities for me to grow exponentially.
In the last couple of months I’ve turned down endorsing food products targeted at children potentially worth over $120, 000 for literally a few days work….ouch!… but proud? Yes! You see even though the food products were approved by a school canteen association they were unfit to be sold as ‘good for children’ in my opinion and not good enough.
I was flown across the world to do a lifestyle makeover on a client that we both agreed made the difference for his survival. It was some of the most challenging work I’ve ever done but both the client and myself are better people for it.
I went on a 7 month television diet leaving my tv in the garage until the manuscript of my book was handed in to the publisher….life changing.
On Sunday at the graduation of the first lot of chefs from the Fifteen Foundation one of the young recruits from the new intake came up with a beaming smile to report that since my presentation in June he had lost 15kgs from giving up fast food and lowing his Coke consumption from 15 litres to 1 litre a week. His vibrancy and excitement was one of the best gifts ever. Good on ya Matt!
I’ve had numerous testimonials of people making life changing choices and enjoying better quality of life, health and vitality. Yesterday at the Farmer’s market a woman who attended one of my cooking classes said the changes she’d made have meant she has much greater mental acuity, friends ask here what new skin cream she is using and she feels so much better, her “keep up the good work” almost brought tears to my eyes…thank you Ruth for sharing.
Forgive the ‘all about me’ section, I use those stories to highlight two things; One, the things I thought would make me most proud in hindsight, failed to compare to the results of simple everyday choices made from gut and character. Two, everyday people have the choice to act on something that moves them to want to make a better life for themselves and others, Matt, Ruth and my client overseas all made great choices and built on them to create a better life for themselves which always impacts others, the ripple effect is amazing.
It doesn’t have to be big things that make the difference, in fact it is the sum of the little choices you make that outweigh the big decisions. Paying a little more and buying the product that is better for the environment, having a shorter shower, making the business choice that means making less profit but a big difference to the community, having an apple for breakfast instead of the sugary muffin, going for a walk or run when the weather is cold and wet, taking time for to talk to complete strangers and share something uplifting or just listen.
Carving a life based on what feels right in your gut, (strong decisions over weak ones) what you feel compelled in your heart to do and simply doing the right thing (for you) turns out (for me) to be more rewarding than anything I previously thought. I knew it intellectually but living it is a whole different feeling and it is an amazing feeling!
What have you done today, this week, in the last 30 days or six months to make you feel proud? Make a list. If it isn’t long enough to make you feel great, just start with one simple thing each day.
There are literally thousands of ways all around us to make us feel more proud of the lives we are living. Be creative. I promise, finding just one little thing you can do each day will bring a whole new meaning and purpose to your life.