“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Stopping & Starting …..

Dsc 0705Photo: D. Paul Graham, “Red Flag at T12”, Sonoma 2023

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Stopping & Starting …..

Nothing stops momentum on a racetrack than a red flag.  Thankfully, during this weekend’s race, there weren’t many red flags. The wide-open space, undulating topography, and the sunny skies of wine country at Sonoma raceway allow for a lot of walking and thinking as I shoot. Red flags got me thinking about stopping. And starting. And M5T took form.

1. Stop looking for approval from others.

Start looking for opportunities. Stop running from your problems. Start seeking solutions. Stop trying to buy your happiness. Be grateful for what you have. Someone else is always better looking, smarter, funnier, younger, or more successful. Create stability for yourself first. Love yourself first. You don’t have to explain yourself. Others can’t make you happy. Stop looking for ‘friends’ on Facebook and hearts on Instagram. Start recognizing who your real friends are.

2. Stop spending time with the wrong people.

Life is too short to allow others to underestimate you and overlook your worth. Start spending time with those that lift you up, encourage you, and love you for who you are; not for who they want you to be. Stop accepting those who always want you to put their needs before yours. Be resolute in refusing to lower your standards to those that refuse to raise theirs. Avoid the stress, negative energy, and friction of toxic people. Spend time with those that energize; those that seek balance in a relationship with you; those that truly listen will be honest with you even if it hurts. Start saying no… without feeling guilty.

3. Stop lying to yourself.

Stop making excuses and blaming others for your problems. Stop being idle; start taking action. Stop making excuses and feeling sorry for yourself. Start taking personal responsibility. Stop being fearful about the future. Stop listening to the lie that you’re not ready, not good enough or not smart enough. You are ready, you can take chances, you can fail and survive. You can move out of your comfort zone and move toward your dreams. Stop living with the confusion of living as others expect. Live your own life. Stop whining and complaining. Start admitting to yourself that things aren’t right. Stop accepting complacency and mediocrity and start conquering complacency and demanding excellence for yourself. Stop ignoring warning signs in your relationships. Start recognizing divine appointments.

4. Stop being jealous.

Stop needlessly competing against others. Count your blessings. Stop holding grudges and spreading poison through gossiping. Start holding your tongue and practicing forgiveness. Stop being ignorant and start seeking wisdom. Stop being ungrateful, mean and selfish. Start finding joy in the smallest of moments. Celebrate all your victories; small or large.

5. Stop doing things that don’t work.

Stop trying to be perfect. Accept that you’re not and you never will be. Stop seeking the quick fix and the path of least resistance or pain. Start to plan for the long term and don’t shy away from the hard things. Stop trying to be all things to all people. Start focusing on things that you can impact and that you can control. Stop negativity and start practicing positivity. Stop overcomplicating, wasting time and procrastinating. Don’t wait any longer. Start. Just start. Stop being lazy; physically, intellectually, and spiritually. Start exercising your body, mind, and spirit, even if for a minute longer today than yesterday… everyday.

Here’s to a week of stopping and starting for all the right reasons.

© 2023 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 11 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T.

You can reach Paul by email at dpg@imagegraham.com