Start your engines
Just as automobiles need fuel to operate, we also need various types of fuel (physical, mental, etc…) in order to operate our lives. As you know, there are several types of fuel available for purchase at a gas station. Whether it’s just regular ol’ unleaded or the super charged variety that makes for a smoother running engine, the fuel you add to your gas tank ultimately serves as a reservoir of potential energy.
Let’s imagine that our self-esteem is symbolized by an invisible fuel tank that resides in our heart. A full tank would represent an extremely high self-esteem and consistent positive thinking, whereas an empty tank would represent a rather low self-esteem and consistent negative thinking. If you’re like most people, then I’m sure your fuel levels tend to vary from time to time. What you may not be aware of; however, is the type of fuel that you are adding to your tank each day.
Imagine going to a gas station and seeing a sign for “toxic” gas that is designed to erode or burn off all of your good fuel. Would you choose to put any of this into your tank? I’m assuming your answer is no. Well, what if I told you that the primary reason for a consistently empty tank is the “toxic” fuel that we choose to add, consciously or unconsciously, every day? The fact of the matter is that each one of us is either adding toxic or super charged fuel as a result of our daily thoughts and actions. Only one of them, however; contributes to improved self-esteem.
Below are a few examples of each type of fuel. These may seem like common sense, but as you know, common sense isn’t always common practice.
SUPER CHARGED FUEL – Positive Energy
We are the only ones that know the real truth. Furthermore, when we tell the truth, we free ourselves from the burden of buried lies. Perhaps equally important to honesty with others is the ability to be honest with ourselves. In other words, each time we try to be someone or something that we know we are not, we add toxic fuel and therefore lose positive energy.
Not only do we make promises to others, we also make countless promises to ourselves. Think about all of the times you’ve said things like…
- This is the day that I start working toward my goal.
- I am going to get up early and go to the gym.
- I will forgive him/her and move on.
There’s a reason why we make promises to ourselves more than we do to others. It’s much easier to break them. After all, we can easily justify, blame, or make excuses when no one else is involved. Furthermore, we convince ourselves that we are “right” in our justifications and fail to recognize how these actions impact our fuel tank.
We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. However, it’s what we do following a mistake that ultimately affects our fuel tank. Owning our mistakes simply means that we take full responsibility for them. Regardless of the level of outside influence, we still have the ability to own our part of the mistake. Each moment we spend deflecting the responsibility to someone or something else, we are essentially missing out on an opportunity for good fuel.
TOXIC FUEL – Negative Energy
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to lie and get away with it. As I mentioned before, we can justify and reason why a lie was okay, but the fact of the matter is that each of our lies acts as toxic fuel and therefore sucks our tank dry. While the outside world may never know of our lies, our fuel tank always pays the price.
In my opinion, the personal promises we break (i.e. I’m going to the gym tomorrow no matter what) have a bigger impact on our fuel tank. While no one else is aware of the broken promise, we certainly feel it.
BLAME, JUSTIFY, MAKE EXCUSES
We’ve already established the fact that blame, excuses, and justifications are toxic to our fuel tanks. Don’t waste your fuel.
Here’s to a full tank of super charged fuel. I’ll see you on the road.