I’m listening to an audio book called ‘What Would You Do If You Had No Fear, by Diane Conway. I just started it today. Early into the first c.d. it mentions symbols, and no, not the ones we use when we want to let someone know, via text message, that we’re angry. These are different symbols.
Symbols; like things that remind you of, or represent something. Like a rabbits foot can help someone feel good luck will be with them.
The book says that there’s really something to using symbols, that works for people. Personally, I agree. During the course of a day, I know I can’t always have my nose in a book, be in the car listening to a motivational c.d. or reading an inspiring story or blog on the internet, so I use symbols.
I have them on my computer at home and at work. At home, I use a screensaver that says Dream. On my computer at work, I have a side bar where I put pictures of my children and quotes that motivate me, focus me, or keep me positive and talk to my soul.
Around my house I keep an award or two that remind me how hard I worked for a certain promotion in the past.
During my divorce, I wore a small gold disk on a tiny chain around my neck which bore the Chinese symbol for strength. In my bathroom I kept a framed picture of my children, the frame had an Eleanor Roosevelt quote on it, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. Both were to remind me not to give up.
Once the divorce was finalized, I had a family picture taken of me and my three children. I had it blown up and framed. It was a major turning point in our lives. I see that picture every single day and recall how much courage it took to do what I had to do and how young my children were. It was the end of one life and the beginning of another. I don’t want to forget it, we are who we are today, because of it.
In my car, I keep a picture of my kids, and on the visor I have a sticker of Super Man that my son gave me. Attached to Super Man is a quote that says “Success is not a destination, it’s a journey”. Super Man helps me remember that I am strong enough to endure anything life throws at me, and the quote reminds me not to stress about things needing to be done to perfection, yesterday..but to relax and enjoy the ride, today.
For the last year, I’ve had taped to the refrigerator, a piece of paper with the date of when I phoned an attorney to seek custody, and the phrase, “This is your lucky day”, which was what the attorney said when she heard that I couldn’t get anyone else to take my case, though she would. Below it, I taped a penny, on heads; my son had found it the next day. Looking at those symbols every day, no matter how ugly things got and how financially burdening they were, helped keep me stay hopeful, and believe that in the end, it would all work out…and that it was all worth it, and all signs were pointing to a victory.
Five years later, my divorce is long over and a promising new life has been in the works. A year later, the custody battle is over and everything worked out perfectly. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t do life without visual reminders of what my intentions are.
I’ve mentioned before, I have a black and white framed photo of ripples of water that were affected by a single drop. That’s my daily visual inspiration of how I want to touch others with the life I’ve lived and the experiences I’ve had.
Recently I learned a new way to visually stay motivated; it’s called a goal card. It is a laminated card that you keep in your pocket or wallet, which lists your long term goals. But not just any long term goals. Those big lofty long term goals, the dreams that everyone thinks you’re e crazy for thinking...I’m going to try that one next.
I’ll let you know how it works out.