"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

Just Three Words.....

Monday 5 Things…..Just Three Words…..

A few weeks ago, I was enjoying a solitary lunch on a terrace overlooking Carmel Bay, basking in an uncharacteristically hot day in California, sipping on the most exquisite Schrader RBS Napa Cabernet. My view, and palate, were interrupted by a couple having a somewhat deep conversation. Alas, I was not close enough to interlope on the details of their tête-à-tête, but the intensity of their dialogue changed with three simple and clearly genuine words. Taking her hand and clearing this throat, he said; “Please forgive me”. She leaned in and kissed him. He stepped up and apology accepted. I went back to the intense finish of the most wonderful wine, and they left the terrace arm in arm. They also left me with thoughts for a future M5T that was built around “just three words.”

1. “Change your perspective.”

Hang around me long enough and you’ll hear this from me. What is important to you? How are you viewing your current situation? What is your perception of what you are dealing with? Are you mired in negativity? Blinded by chaos? Stop stressing and worrying about what you can’t change. Focus on solutions to what you can. Change your perspective and change your state of mind. Blessings are found in both positive and negative situations. Your perspective will dictate what you do with either. Changing your perspective requires that you be intentional and deliberate. Be flexible. Adapt. Changing your perspective allows you to focus on what is truly important to you in your life. It allows for growth and developing strength. It shifts thinking to the lesson from the issue. Changed perspectives create new beginnings and opportunities. It turns you from accepting negativity to embracing and attracting positivity.

2. “Be a warrior.”

Being a warrior is beyond the physical. It’s your mind, spirit and body. It’s a long-term mindset to realizing objectives, goals and dreams. Being a warrior takes focus. Its active engagement to carry on no matter the obstacle. It means being persistent and disciplined, yet flexible to alter your path as situations may dictate. Being a warrior is being ready. Always. It’s understanding a proper level and balance of patience and aggressiveness for various situations. Warriors commit to objectives and goals without fear, without shame and without apology. They allow no distractions and refuse to be beaten down. Warriors have well defined and honed inner strength. Warriors endure. They know when to push forward, when to set camp, and when to retreat.

3. “Please forgive me.”

I thank the unknown couple for the inspiration of today’s M5T. It is never easy to ask for forgiveness. These are three potent words. A year or so ago M5T wrote about saying sorry. Asking for forgiveness can be a gateway to grace, giving the hurt person a chance to restore their dignity, to forgive and to heal. These three words are not words of weakness. Rather, because they can be so hard to say, they are actually words of strength realized from failures, life lessons, and transgressions against others. They can put a stop to negative thoughts and behavior by both people. They show growth and maturity in choosing trying to repair a relationship over one’s ego or pride. They are vulnerable and powerful. They are three words that can open communication and give the other person a chance to extend forgiveness. They can dissolve guilt, allowing you to move on in life. They can diffuse anger and withdrawal and can be an antidote to toxic thinking.

4. “Avoid being average.”

Be a leader. Acknowledge your weaknesses but focus on your strengths. Don’t settle for average, for mediocre or for ‘good enough’. Push yourself to excellence in all you do. Assert yourself. Go the extra mile. Learn to listen to your own voice; not the voices of others telling you what to do, what to think or how to live. Take risks. Fail without regret. Push to do your absolute best; then take it a step further. Step up where others won’t. If you are pushed down, get back up. Every. Single. Time. Don’t compare yourself to others – set your own standard; and set it high.

5. “Meet a need.”

If you see a need, meet the need. In your household, in your place of work, in your relationships. Meeting needs requires opening your eyes to people and situations around you. It means developing empathy for others. It requires you to be informed, to educate yourself, to sort through the chaff of other misconceptions and outright lies. Meeting needs means asking questions. A lot of questions. But you need to be prepared to hear the answers. Meeting needs means purposely getting involved and then proposing solutions. It means really caring about others. But meeting needs also includes yourself. You can choose to meet your needs. Your needs are real; you have worth. You can set boundaries and priorities, but you need to understand the difference between caring for yourself and selfishness.

Here’s to a week of stepping up, recognizing and acting on the importance of just three words.

© 2019 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com