"SELF MATTERS" by Phil McGraw 

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Additional thoughts of Graham White in highlights

If your life includes things you profess to hate that indicates self-betrayal.

It's time to say, "Hey, wait a minute here.  Screw the expectancies; screw living for everyone else.  They (whoever 'they' are) don't pay my rent, don't dome home with me at night and look after my kids and cook dinner!  Why am I living for what I think some ill-defined bunch of people expect of me?  They don't get a vote anymore.  I will no longer give my power away.

I want to make me happy by being true to myself doing what I care about.  If I love music, I want to have music in my life.  If I want a career, then I want to find a way to have it.  If I'm tired of being fat, I want to prioritize that change in my lifestyle.  If I'm not being treated with dignity and respect, that's not okay, not now, not ever.  I would rather be alone than sick with someone else.  If I miss God being in my life because my spouse is not spiritual, then they will have to adjust, not me.  I'm tired of being scared all the time.  Scared about kids, money, job, boss, parents and acceptance.  

I want some upside here.  I want to feel alive.  I want to feel valued by others and myself.  I want to get up in the morning, instead of dreading it.  I want to have tremendous clarity about why I am in this world and what I am supposed to do while I am here.  I want my kids to have all of me instead of some half-assed counterfeit.  I want them to really see all of me, my interests, my sense of humor, my values.  I believe that children learn what they live and I want to teach them by example to be proud, instead of showing them how to compromise.  

I want to live with peace, fulfillment, joy and excitement.  I want to be able to finish a day and say that the day 'felt really good.'  I want to be proud of myself and to feel calm and peaceful.  I want to feel like I belong and I deserve what I want just because--just because!  I want to like me for being there for me and putting what's important to me on my priority list."


  • Music
  • Art
  • Work
  • Kids
  • Spiritual life
  • Honesty
  • Free time
  • Pride in your work
  • Pride in your appearance
  • Living with dignity
  • Health
  • Being out in nature
  • A career that uses your strengths
  • Permission to say, do and be who you are
  • Volunteering for causes you believe in
  • Hobbies
  • Passion
  • Independence
  • Meaningful relationships
  • More fitness

When you ask someone, "Who are you?"  They answer with WHAT they do, because the can't answer with WHO they are.  You are the composition of all your unique gifts, skills abilities, interests, talents, insights and wisdom (developed from experience, yours and learning from others).  It is all of your strengths and values that are uniquely yours and need expression, versus what you have been programmed to believe that you are "supposed" to be and do.

When you start living your life with an authentic sense of self, then all of your energy, all of the otherwise wasted life energy starts speeding you down the highway of your life.  You gain speed, efficiency and smoothness.  You become so much more successful in your life by being who you are want and need to be.

In his book Real Age, Dr. Michael Roizen points out that for every year that you live with high stress, you shorten your life expectancy by three years.  According to his research, if you don't have an outlet for your true passion, it costs you another six years.  If someone is draining your energy due to contrast, turmoil and conflict, you lose another eight years.  In fact, if you add up the number of years that might be lost because of stress and living unauthenticaly, it is 32 years!  Thirty-two years is more than a third of your expected life span, all because you choose to continue living in your fictional cage, rather than discovering and living your life in congruence with your authentic self.

Remote consequences, such as health problems that will not affect you for another 30 years are not powerful motivators.  The idea of a shortened life span can seem irrelevant in early and midlife.  Let me assure you:  Those consequences will be very real at some point in your life.

Think of having those extra years now.  Think about being the age you are at without getting any older for 15-30 year.  Or you pick the age you'd like to hang on to for 20 years without aging!  It's the same as adding the years on at the end.

We have all encountered people that seem to have it all.  There seems to be no boundary between working and playing.  Watching them at work, it's as if they're at play and you just happened to have come by.



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