R-E-S-P-E-C-T…

…find out what it means to me”…come on, you know you want to sing along like Aretha :).

In case you didn’t get it…I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what respect means to me (and what it should mean to you, just kidding that’s for you to decide).  IMHO (in my honest opinion), respect can come in a variety of forms and I would argue that you cannot get respect without first giving respect, in fact you don’t really “get” respect at all…you earn it. 

But how does one go about “giving/earning respect”? 

Earning respect starts with learning to respect yourself and your own efforts.  Once you have developed a strong sense of self-respect you become self-disciplined.  Self-discipline leads (whether consciously or subconsciously) to an abundance of healthy practices.  I’m not just talking about healthy in terms of eating well and exercising, but I’m also talking in terms of limiting stress, helping others, being reliable, a positive influence, and a friend.  Self-disciplined people don’t make excuses for themselves and they always strive to give 100% of themselves to everything that they do.  Additionally, they know when to ask for help and when to say no.  Learning to say ‘no’ is, arguably, one of the hardest things that anyone is tasked with learning but it can provide significant benefits in regards to living more of a stress free life.  Not to mention, learning to say ‘no’ can help you become a more reliable person in the sense that you won’t be making promises you can’t keep. 

Once you master the art of self-discipline, as well as the art of self-respect, you begin sending those vibes out into the world.  I’m not trying to get all hippie-dippie on you (as Diane and Liz, from Balanced Bites, would say) but I truly believe that you get out of this world, what you put into it.  Send good vibes out, get good vibes back.  Send out reliability, honesty, openness, and compassion…get all those things in return.  Quite often, choosing to do this isn’t always the easy choice to make, but in the long run, it is the choice that will make you a respectable person.

And that my friends, is my spiel on respect. 

My wish for you this week, is to think of ways you can improve your own self-respect and self-discipline.  Is there a particular task you have been wanting to accomplish but you haven’t made the time to get around to it?  Is there a friend that has been asking  for your time but you keep putting it off because you are too busy?  If so, go out and make it happen over the next week.  I promise that you’ll feel a lot better that you did!

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