The box is a metaphor for our lives. The items in the box represent everything that we have: traditions, criticisms, judgments, experiences, assumptions, achievements, beliefs, relationships, principles, and the like. There exist things like a new job, new relationships, new emotions, new fears, accomplishments, dreams, visions, money, happiness, freedom, and truth that lie outside of our box. Every one of us has “something” that we want, but are fearful of grabbing because it lies outside of our box.
Our box provides us with comfort, security, and control through predictable patterns of behavior. For example, many of us drive the same way to and from work. Some of us eat at the same restaurants. Others constantly talk about their dreams but never go after them. And still a small group of us complain about the things that we don’t like in our lives but we never do anything to bring about change. Welcome to your box!
Our boxes also contain excuses that we generate to explain why we have not succeeded, reached our goal, or tapped our unlimited potential. Our excuses or thoughts will generate actions that keep us inside and safe.
Keep in mind, not everything in our box is bad. The box or comfort zone is a great place to go. Conversely, when we step outside of our boxes we tend to experience discomfort, lack of control, and even anxiety. It is the fear of the unknown and lack of control that justifies staying in our box. People that live happy and successful lives do so because of their willingness to risk. They risk comfort that is either perceived or real to create extraordinary results in their lives. I have only encountered a few individuals that are living the lives they dream about. Most of the people that I know and have met along my journey only dream about the life that they desire. And having been there, I am familiar with staying in my box because of fear!
The exclamation mark in the icon depicts that excitement associated with discovery. The discovery that occurs when we do something different like drive down a new street, challenge our assumptions and beliefs, or quit that boring job to start a business. Discovery is a tedious and oftentimes uncomfortable process, however the rewards are unlimited. This is the period of self-actualization that the psychologist Maslow refers to. It is our ability to meet our own needs. This does not mean to exclude others from our lives. Rather, it means to demonstrate an understanding of who we are and what we want, coupled with the ability to constantly meet our needs and redefine ourselves.
Discovering what’s outside our box fills us with happiness, pride, and a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, the discovery process removes limitations, constraints, and old ways of “being” that prevent us from acquiring our heartfelt commitments and dreams.
There is a warmth associated with satisfaction and joy. This is depicted in the icon by the fall colors: burnt orange, mustard yellow, burgundy. These seasonal colors also represent the continuous changes that we undergo as we move through our discovery process and our lives.
Lastly, the box and the exclamation mark represent the joy that we bring to the lives of others when we share ourselves authentically. And the authenticity of the gift that we are is imbedded in knowing: 1) who we are, 2) that all things are possible, and 3) that everyone is significant and has something to give. It is when we give that others have an opportunity to experience us as loving, kind, fair, unique, respectful, generous, tolerant, and showing concern for others. These are the traits that my parents referred to when they told me as a child, “you are the best gift that you can give!” And I say to you, “You are the best gift that you can give!” However, you have to discover this for yourself and it will require that you risk!
Here are a few questions to contemplate. Do you know what’s in your box? Do you know which things work for creating a happy existence? Do you know what’s outside of your box? Are you aware of the thoughts that stop you from opening up to the world? Do you accept 100% responsibility for your life? Or do you hold others accountable? Can you identify moments when you “take” and when you “give”? Are you living the life that you dreamed about? Or are you merely existing from day to day? What are you waiting for? How much time do you think you have before it’s too late to make a difference?
This is the only moment that we can be certain about. You and only you have the power to fill your box with the things that you really want! And with this power comes responsibility, accountability, and a proactive attitude. Our world is rich and abundant and every one of us can have the life that we want. I invite you to discover what’s outside your box today and share it with the world. It’s the only way that we will build supportive, nurturing, protective relationships. The world will only come together when we do!
THINK outside your box and view the world and the people in it differently!
STEP outside the box and access your heartfelt commitments!
DISCOVER what’s outside your box and grow, experience happiness and success, and our world will benefit!