I keep myself from burning out and becoming jaded by doing my best to focus my mind on the following things:
1. Praying: My primary repetitive prayer is: “God teach me of your will for me and give me the courage to carry that out.”
2. Renewing My Commitment To Help: I keep reinforcing that “we keep it by giving it away.” When we help others without trying to control those we are helping and without allowing ourselves to be exploited it helps me to keep a positive perspective.
3. Knowing My Limitations: I am just a fallible human being. I cannot help everyone at all times. Sometimes the best way to help is to get out if the way so other people can help in ways that I cannot. When I am trying to save a life by applying direct pressure to an arterial bleed, I gladly get out of the way at let trained and equipped paramedics take over.
This is often difficulty for me. My grandiosity gets in the way. I have the mistaken belief that I can do all things and save all people.
4. I Dream Big: I see myself as a part of the revolution of the human spirit and human consciousness that will slowly, one person at a time, create a sober and responsible world. I find it takes no more energy to have a big heroic dream than it does to have a small intimidating dream. I have found that big dreams based upon solid values inspire others to strive to do better.
5. I Manage My Expectations: I hope for the best when doing my work. I am prepared for the worst. I take time to enjoy the many beautiful and incredible wonders that surround be every day. I am strive to be constantly greatly for all the good things that are freely given to me in life.
6. I Keep Perspective: I can’t do it alone, I can only do my part. I realize the power of a team of people working in harmony towards the same goal is powerful. I strive to stay focused on building a sober and responsible world one day at a time with the help of others.
7. I Take Time For Myself: I have areas of interest that focus my mind on many other things that I find inspiring or helpful. I read voraciously and take the lessons from everything I read that can lift my spirits and give me a positive and heroic fantasy life — kind of like I am “The Walter Mitty of the Addiction Field.”
8. I Strive To Consistently Move Forward Even When I Don’t Feel Like It: I strive to work day-by-day to contribute things to others that will leave the world a better place. This is called building a legacy in the minds and hearts of others.
9. I Deal With Reality: I Deal With the immediate reality that confronts me by trying to do the next right thing to keep moving toward creating my life goal of leaving the world a little bit better because I passed this way.
10. I Strive To Transcend Fear: I have developed the habit of facing fear without letting the fear control me. One of my favorite tool for this is Frank Herbert’s Litany Against Fear:
- “I must not fear.
- Fear is the mind-killer.
- Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
- I will face my fear.
- I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
- And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
- Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
11. I Use The Serenity Prayer: I reflect often and deeply upon the meaning of The Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I find The Serenity Prayer to be a useful tool in helping me to both step out of my grandiosity and step up to my human duty to help even when I am afraid:
- GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY (I attempt to help others when I am at peace within myself and connected with my Higher Power)
- TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE (I recognize that there are people I cannot help. I have learned to detach with love and without guilt),
- THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN (I strive to shut down my grandiosity which tells me that I can save the world world in a single day all by myself.)
- AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE (I strive to learn from experience by becoming better at knowing when and how to help and when it us better to detach, recharge my batteries, and perhaps ask others to help me. I pick my battles and invest my limited resources where they will do the most good.
11. I Collect Quotable Quotes: My two favorites are:
- “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy; and
- “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” ~ Albert Einstein.
12. I Try Not To. Take Myself to Seriously: I try to learn something from everyone I meet and everything I do. I strive to be humble by “accepting the things I cannot change, changing the things that I can, and learning to know the difference.” I act upon my strengths without asking for permission. I overcome or compensate for my weaknesses by asking for and receiving help.
To sum it up, I recognize that I am a fallible human being; that I will die and have limited time to live; and that it’s up to me to do the best I can with the cards I am dealt in life. I know that I might be wrong so I stay open to learning, changing and growing. I accept the fact that I am responsible for my life, what I choose to do and not do, and what I choose to focus my mind upon. I look up all words I read or hear to understand what they mean. I realize that language programs the brain/mind so I am careful about what I say to myself and others.
Carpe Diem! (Seize the day)
Illigitimi non carborundum! (Don’t let the bastards wear you down.)