view from my office, 5:30 p.m.
When I went up to my old bedroom upon arriving at my parents' house last Wednesday, several presents were awaiting me, including our very old Microsoft Flight Simulator ("now for Macintosh!" -- which begs the question: why did we have that, when we didn't own a Macintosh? were we running a Macintosh program on our Apple //e? because we were certainly running that program--all the time), an old slate on which it's still possible to see the traces of decades-old child scrawls, and a new jewelry box from the company that makes my father's favorite tool chests.
Also awaiting me was a blue plastic card wallet I recognized from my youth. Inside it is a mystery picture (one of those "this is an ordinary object--can you see it?" images), my 1987 school photograph (hello, braces!), and a stack of five 3x5 index cards bearing the following statements, which I have taken to reading daily:
- I like and respect myself. I know I am a worthy, capable, and valuable person.
- I guide my own destiny and I am accountable for the results of my decisions and actions. I reinforce my successes and correct for errors.
- I'm optimistic about life and I look forward to and enjoy new challenges to my awareness.
- I enjoy my life, my profession and my relationships with other people.
- I am warm and friendly toward all I contact; I treat everyone with consideration and respect.
- I easily anticipate and experience events in my imagination before they actually happen.
- I enjoy improving my product and search for new and relevant examples to improve my empathy for teaching others.
- I am my own expert, and I am not affected by the negative attitudes and opinions of others.
- Pressure is exciting and stimulating to me--I do an even better job when I am under pressure.
- I have a positive expectancy of reaching my goals, and I bounce back quickly from temporary setbacks.
- I know that people feel better when they do things well and it is easy for me to trust people to do their best.
- I have pride in my past performance and a positive expectancy of the future.
- I assume the full responsibility for achieving a workable level of understanding in my communications with others.
- I feel warm and loving toward myself, for I am a unique and precious being, ever doing the best my awareness permits, ever growing in wisdom and love.
- I have a clear and specific set of goals, and I review them continually.
A couple of these raise my eyebrows ("Pressure is exciting and stimulating to me..."; the "I am my own expert" part of that particular line), but for the most part, when I read them, I hear many of my own values and self-expectations echoing--which makes sense, given that these ideas formed a big part of the backbone of my upbringing. Now, at least one other site has a very, very similar list of affirmations (same number, even), and I'm imagining that that site got them from the same place I (indirectly) have: The Pacific Institute, whose impress is on the blue plastic sleeve that has, as far as I know, always held these cards. And so I suspect that what I have in front of me right now is a packet my father received as part of a workplace development seminar when he was about my age, back when he still worked for General Motors. (There's an easy way to get the answer to this question, of course, but I'm enjoying imagining the seminar or workshop that started these five cards and seventeen statements on their way to me.)