“Practice rather than preach. Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.” ~ Alexander Haig, Former US Secretary of State …
It is those of you who convince yourselves that you are not capable of success–of realizing your dreams, of positively affecting the lives of those around you, of making this world a more ideal place–who allow their dreams to die a natural death and ultimately let themselves down. You are all capable of extraordinary things, but you must “practice what you preach;” you must strive to “make your lives an affirmation, defined by your ideals.”
What is an affirmation and how do we go about making our life one? An affirmation is simply to declare something that is true. And we can make our lives one by maintaining consistency between our words and our actions; by displaying our authentic values and our beliefs to others throughout the day. When we move our lives to such a level, and go beyond, we no longer need to preach to others–our very lives will be the only message that is necessary to send to others.
We each have the capability to go beyond the ordinary in life and make our lives a positive affirmation to the world of our ideals. But it will never just happen; it requires us to choose: will we make our life an affirmation of our higher selves, the ones that love courageously, risk fearlessly, share selflessly, and feel compassionately, or will we make them affirmations of our fears, our frustrations, our selfishness, or our animosity? The real question we should ask ourselves is this: “Will we try to make ourselves feel better by negating and cutting down the ideals of others, or will we simply build ourselves up to a point at which we have no reason or need to ruin others?”
Practice what you preach.
Questions to consider:
How might you go about making your life an affirmation today?
What does it mean to define our lives by our ideals rather than by the negation of others?
How can you “dare to the level of your capability and then go beyond?”
For further thought:
“Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like seafarers on the desert waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.” ~ Carl Schurz, excerpt from an address at Faneuil Hall, Boston, 1859