What do you stand for?

I challenge you to take a long, hard look at your life. Are you happy with your life? Are you being everything you have always imagined you could be? Do you have everything you've ever wanted to have? Even though you might have accomplished or acquired certain things, I would wager that you aren't as satisfied as you thought you would be. It's a very strange phenomenon when we go after something we really want in life, and then once we have achieved it, we are left with a feeling of "now what?"

Years ago, I was reading an article about Pink Floyd, and something caught my attention. Floyd had been around for a long time playing as many shows as they could, refining their sound and delicately crafting their art, but never reaching massive success. Their main goal was to become the biggest band in the world, and with the release of 1973's epic "Dark Side of the Moon", they were showered with worldwide adoration and massive riches. It took them 8 studio albums to get to that point, but their hard work eventually paid off. However, this newfound success, while it made them extremely happy, also left the band with a feeling of "now what?" Where do you go once you've reached "the top"?

The truth is, there is always something else you will want to do or have, and you should always be pursuing it to expand yourself - expand your awareness, expand your being. In reality, there is no "top". Just because you accomplished one thing does not mean you should not go after anything else. Expansion is hard-wired into the human race and we are always seeking and striving to be something better than we currently are. Consistent, continual improvement is what we should be striving for. In the case of Pink Floyd, they went on to make 3 more classic albums in 7 years, culiminating with "The Wall", before they parted ways and began a different journey.

We have to remember that life is supposed to be fun. It is easy to get bogged down with day-to-day operations and lose track of going after what we really want. The stand you must take in order to live how you really want to live is nothing more than making a decision and sticking to it, no matter what obstacles are put in your way. You must develop sharp, accurate, pinpoint focus to stay the course once you've made your decision.

So what do you stand for? For me it has always been 4 things:

• Truth
• Loyalty
• Honor
• Integrity

Seeking truth is something that fascinates me. When I was a kid, I loved anything to do with Hollywood and movies and television. But in my teenage years my truth seeking was fueled by my contempt for the artificial world that was being presented to me. My teenage rebellion was crying out to discover the reality behind that artificial world. As I got older, truth seeking became much more - who was I? Who are my friends? Why do people do what they do? Why are some people rich and others are poor? Why am I so blessed and others are not? Why don't I enjoy working a normal job while others are perfectly content? I've been seeking for so long that it's just a natural part of who I am now.

Loyalty is a no-brainer to me, but for many people, loyalty is fleeting. This is evident in the rate of divorce, the dissolution of business partnerships, and best friends that turn into bitter enemies. Being loyal to my family, friends, and significant other is so important to not only keep me grounded, but also to remind me of the joy I get from giving that kind of stability to the people I love. It's the promise that I will always be there for them, and do my best to help out in any situation they are faced with, and hopefully they will always be there for me too.

Honoring my responsibilities and my word is very important to me. I have to make sure that I follow through on the promises I make to myself otherwise I end up feeling horrible. It's not always easy to do, and there have been times where I have over-promised and failed. But I have to remember to keep things in perspective and tell myself that life is a process of growing and learning. If I have fallen, I must get up and keep going.

Integrity. This is huge for me. Every day we see people acting in ways that utterly idiotic and embarassing. Turn on the TV and I'm sure you will not have to wait very long until a money-hungry attention-seeker pops up on your screen. The quality of programming on television these days is the main reason why I rarely watch it anymore. The behavior exhibited on the majority of shows spills over to real-life and then everyday people become a by-product of it. Gone are the days when people dress well, speak eloquently, take pride in themselves, are educated, unconditionally love others, are willing to make short-term sacrifices for long-term gain - the list goes on. My parents instilled this quality in me, and although I have stumbled and lost my way from time to time, I am dedicated to working on myself every day to make sure I am living a life of integrity.

When you are thinking about what you stand for, I want you to remember one thing - this is *your* life. It doesn't matter what your parents think, or what your boss thinks, or your siblings, or your husband/wife, or your best friend. Too many of us worry about doing things that others disapprove of. Going after the career we want because others think we aren't suited for it, or asking for a raise because we are afraid of the reaction from our boss. It can be extremely hard to conquer this fear but you must develop the courage to step out and take your life into your own hands. Once you start to analyze your fear, you will see that, in the long run, none of that matters. What matters is what you want, for your life.

So, once again - what is it, that you stand for?

Author's Bio: 

Michael Brion is recognized as a leading expert in the area of self help and personal development. Helping people all around the world live successful and enriched lives, Michael teaches you how to change your life and achieve your dreams with his latest program, Your Great Power.