What has been the outcome of the wars you’ve been fighting from one year to the next? What have you won and lost? And how have the memories of your battles affected you?
Today is the day that we here in the United States of America have chosen to remember all those brave men and women soldiers who have gave their all—paid the ultimate price in order to fight for what they believed in. It is a day that serves as a payment of homage to those who have fought in wars and lost their lives for causes that they deemed worthy of such a sacrifice.
With great respect I honor the memory of all those who have gone on before us.
But…what of those of us who remain? What of those of us who fight not just against the physical enemies to our freedoms and ways of life—but the metaphysical ones? What of those of us who continue to fight to become better men today than we were yesterday?
What about you? What has been the outcome of the wars you’ve been fighting from one year to the next? What have you won? What have you lost? And how have the memories of your battles affected you? What are you commemorating this day?
Outside of the definition of Memorial Day that has just been given, let us break it’s meaning down even further to it’s base:
Of course a “day” is merely a spot on a calendar—a unit of time used to measure the duration of an event. In conjunction, a “memorial” is something—anything that is created for the purpose of preserving the memory of a person, a happening, an experience, or an event.
In addition, a memorial is a structure, a monument—an edifice erected to commemorate an event that holds something of great significance to you. You see, what happens to us—what we experience in our lives, can often impact us in very distinctive ways mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—not just physically. As human beings, we are the most adaptive of God’s creations. Whether the outcomes of the things we fight for is positive or negative, we have a unique ability to view the majority of these events in any way we choose.
What do you choose to build a monument to—your successes or your perceived failures?
Recognize that the things we choose to focus on grow, while the things that we choose not to focus on shrink out of site. Sometimes, the things that we don’t choose to consider, remember, or value can fade so far out of our view to the point where we’re lucky if they even remain within our peripheral vision. Meanwhile the things that we do choose to focus on begin to loom larger and become even more entrenched in our consciousness. So much so, that we begin to shape, form, and fashion our opinions of ourselves based on whatever our interpretation is of what we’ve experienced. Then, once we’ve “decided” the meaning of what has happened to us, we begin to construct our self-image with everything else that happens to us that coincides with this “chosen” opinion that we have of ourselves. And on and on the process of mental, emotional, and spiritual “monument building” goes until we have enough supportive thoughts and beliefs that we have successfully built a stronghold.
What is a stronghold?
A stronghold is a place of refuge—a well-fortified place. A fortress. A stronghold is also a place that serves as the headquarters from which all your actions in life receive their marching orders. A stronghold is the main command center that directs the choices that you make in life. A stronghold is a mental, emotional, and spiritual structure of conscious or unconscious ways of thinking that can ultimately determine whether you’ll be successful or unsuccessful in life.
So again: What have you chosen to build monuments to in your life—your successes or your perceived failures? Have you chosen to consciously or subconsciously build strongholds that reinforce a “failure” mindset?
If you’ve chosen to spend today (or any other day) observing a Memorial Day in honor of failure, I encourage you to also choose today as a good day to stop. Understand that rehearsing past failures only prevents you from learning, growing, and achieving future success. All reliving failure does is strike devastating blows to your self-worth and recasts the image that you have of yourself as a person of low self-esteem.
Decide today to consciously choose to view the bad things that have happened to you in the past as part of your training to become a better man today than you might have been the day that you experienced them. Whatever you’ve gone through in your life, resolve not only to remember the licks you taken——learn the lesson.
What’s good about what you went through? Or, what good CAN come from what you went through? How can you use what you went through to arm yourself with enough ammunition that you’ll be able to blast through it if it ever happens again. Or, even better——-retrospectively, how can you gather enough Intel whereas you will never ever have to go through it again?
In order to begin weakening these strongholds, these are the kinds of inner conversations you need to start having. But, that’s just part one of a strategy to take you from a defeatist way of thinking to a victorious way of thinking. For after you do this, you still have to deliver the deathblow to these long-held, deeply entrenched though processes.
How do you destroy failure strongholds?
You destroy failure strongholds by replacing them with success strongholds.
Remember, what you choose to focus on becomes more stronger, more solid, more real to you, while what you choose not to focus on becomes weaker, less solid, and less real to you. In order to overthrow a failure mindset you must begin focusing on all the successes you’ve had in your life. By routinely commemorating, celebrating, and concentrating on your successes you multiply the powerful impact that they have on your mind, your will, and your emotions. A basic fact of life is that we gain future confidence by remembering our past successes.
On this day…this Memorial Day, I encourage you to:
- Stop thinking failure and start thinking SUCCESS.
- Stop wallowing in defeat and start celebrating your VICTORIES.
- Stop talking negative and start talking POSITIVE.
- Stop reliving bad times and start reliving your GOOD TIMES.
- Stop fighting AGAINST your own happiness and start fighting FOR your own happiness.
Always remember that every day alive is another day to get it right. Out of respect for all those who are no longer with us, out of respect for YOURSELF and all you have to offer the world, let today be your day to make new memories for yourself. Let today be the day that a year from now, you’ll be able to look back on and commemorate as the day that you really, REALLY began to turn your life around for the better.
Originally appeared at Victory Unlimited
Photo: Flickr/Raman Sharma