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Jul 27

Role Models

Mindfulness isn’t only about meditating every day, developing a sense of presence throughout the day, calming our mind and bodies, learning to focus, or realizing that we don’t have to follow every thought that occurs to us. Although it is all of that—and more.

It’s also about creating a greater awareness that can help us in every area of our lives.

Mindfulness can help us obtain direction and understanding.

We can learn to make a habit of stepping outside our doubts, fears, and worries, and take action steps that will make our lives more meaningful. 

You can do whatever you are capable of doing now—not only for yourself, but for the sake of others.

We live in a competitive culture, where we see so many photos of people who are rich, famous, or otherwise seem to live in a different realm, that it can cause us to feel deficient.

Life isn’t about making it to the top of some mythical mountain, it’s about choosing how to live with our own challenges and obstacles, doing the best we can, today, tomorrow, and the day after that.

When you feel that you are facing too many challenges to ever make a difference, think of some of the people below:

Viktor Frankl  (1905-1977) Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, Frankl spent four years in concentration camps where he almost died. He developed logotherapy, a type of therapy based on finding meaning and purpose in life, even in the most dire circumstances.

Thomas Edison (1847-1931) He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

At the age of seven, he was sent home from school because of his constant interruptions and questions. He was impulsive, restless and fidgety, and he hated school. He was at the bottom of his class.  His mother was a school teacher, and decided to teach her son at home.

Although the exact number of tries has been debated, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 attempts, Edison eventually successfully created the electric light bulb.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Van Gogh is considered one of the greatest artists of all time, yet he only sold one painting in his lifetime. He made almost no money, yet he created over 900 works of art. Even though his talent went unrecognized during his lifetime, he continued to do what was meaningful for him—and now for many others as well.

Marlee Matlin (1965-   ) Marlee Martin lost her hearing at a young age. Nevertheless, she pursued an acting caeer and won an Academy Award in 1986 for her role in the film Children of a Lesser God. She has continued to work both in film and television.

Helen Keller (1880-1968) At 19 months old, Helen Keller contracted an illness that caused her to lose her sight and hearing. She went on to become the first deaf and blind person to earn a college degree, wrote 12 published books, and traveled to many places in the world.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) Churchill struggled in school, failed the sixth grade, and faced many years of failures, defeated in every political election until he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the age of 62. He also won the Nobel Prize.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Edison