Much more important than the expectations and opinions of others is understanding who you are. This is not about what your name is, what your job is or what your roles are in relationship to others. This is about being willing to look at yourself objectively, determine that you have value, and take a look at what your purpose is in life. This is about coming to terms with who you are—not who others think you are.
When you discover who you are, you can find freedom from the constraints of others’ opinions and expectations. You can discover wisdom that helps you make decisions on how to move forward. And you can experience less inner conflict as your actions match up more effectively with your identity.
But how can you find out exactly who you are?
Well, the simplest way is by walking down the path of self-reflection. For some people, this may feel a bit uncomfortable at first. Many people avoid self-reflection because looking in that proverbial mirror might...
Let’s take a minute to think about how babies eat as they start on solid food. Most of the time, they are very satisfied with their mushed-up peas, strained carrots, and weird-looking rice puffs. No salt, no spices, nothing fancy. Usually, they’ll just eat whatever is put in front of them. And sometimes they’ll try to eat things that aren’t even edible!
When you were a kid, the same thing probably happened. Your parents probably filled your plate with food at dinner time and you simply ate it with very few questions. There was likely a time in your life when you probably didn’t have much of a choice as to what was on your plate. You simply ate what was put in front of you.
Sometimes our lives can become like a plate that someone else is filling. Our plates can be full of all kinds of things we don’t want or need, things that we didn’t really choose. If your plate is full and you’re wondering what you can do about it, then read...
Voices in our world today come in all shapes and sizes—and volumes. And the loud ones? Well, those certainly aren’t always the best ones! In fact, the loudest voices that you hear may be working against you and stealing away a great deal of your joy. Making conscious choices about what we choose to hear and do can change everything about the way we live our lives.
Where Do Loud Voices Come From?
Loud voices often come from the bullies in the room. Those people who have to rely on sheer volume in order to be heard may not actually be worth listening to! Maybe the loudest voices you are listening to come from famous or rich people from the internet or in your personal life. Loud voices may not even originate from an individual but from cultural norms and expectations and messages that you have believed.
Loud voices can also come from inside ourselves. These internal voices often originate in childhood—many times as a form self-protection or an attempt to act as a...
Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.
If you’re a person who has ever relied on public transportation, then you know what it’s like to desperately need to catch a bus. Especially if it’s the last bus of the night! If you don’t get it? Well, you’ll be stuck in a place where you just don’t belong.
Sometimes, people wake up in the middle of their lives and wonder how we got to where they are. You might be asking yourself if you missed the bus—or got on the wrong bus. Chasing your passion is sort of like catching the “bus” of life. First, we need to make sure we know what our passions are (getting the right bus) and then we need to run to catch that bus!
Define Your Passions.
If you’re thinking that you’d love to chase your passions but you haven’t yet defined them, you’re certainly not alone. Many people have been living so long to please others that they...
Have you ever considered the fact that you will never have today again? This day, once it’s finished, will simply be part of the past. For some people, this might be very good news. If today has been a challenging day for you, then you might be looking forward to its conclusion! But if you’re enjoying your day, then you may never want it to end.
In either case, today is really the only thing that you have power over. Yesterday has passed. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. So, what are you doing to make today count?!
Consider Your Attitude.
Sometimes just changing your mindset about your day can change everything else too. If you wake up in the morning with dread about what’s ahead, you’ll likely go through your day with an Eeyore-shaped dark cloud floating above you. On the other hand, even when you know that what you have to face might be difficult, you can still look for the silver linings. Changing your attitude can turn a day that had the potential to be...
Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.
Life happens. Plans fall apart. It’s a common theme and no human is immune! Consider if any of the following scenarios ring true with you.
Your perfectly planned trip abroad gets cancelled because of:
The job you always dreamed of is handed to someone else because:
The business investment that was a “sure thing” fell apart because:
First, you might need to get rid of that pesky cat…. But even in the worst of times, you can...
It doesn’t take much more than a slight change of circumstances in your life—or a major crisis—before voices from far and near begin telling you what they think you should do. Usually in an effort to be helpful, people you know (or random strangers on the street) are all-too-eager to dish out guidance, instructions and recommendations.
Maybe it’s something big like changing jobs or sending your kid to college, or something smaller like redecorating your kitchen. As soon as word gets out that something is changing in your life, the advice starts flowing.
In many instances, the advice includes what others define as "success" and include the things that make them happy. It also includes what they think is possible, achievable and can include their own fears and limitations.
However, too much advice ringing in your ear can become noisy and confusing. Of course, you want to take the good advice and leave the rest behind. But how can you know the difference?
Naysayers are everywhere. All throughout time, people have been saying now and declaring things impossible. What’s exciting is when something that has been said to be impossible is eventually accomplished!
In 19thcentury Britain, it was believed that a human body could not withstand traveling at more than 30 miles per hour (the speed of a typical horse at the time) and would suffocate if a person rode any faster. Obviously with train, car, airplane and space travel, we know that this “impossibility” has become possible.
Computers in the 1940s weighed 15-20+ tons and the idea of a home computer seemed impossible. Today most of us carry tiny computers around in our pockets that allow us to instantly connect with people anywhere in the world.
Our lives are something akin to the Jetsons (although the flying cars are still to come!). For the people of the past, space travel and video phones were just fantasy. But someone had to believe the dream was possible and then...
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
We all have dreams that we want to accomplish. Whether yours are along the lines of starting a business, losing weight, or learning how to juggle bowling pins, making your dreams into reality starts with many small steps in the right direction.
The beauty of dreams is that they come along with limitless possibilities. When you dream, you can fly. You can conquer the world! When you’re functioning in visionary mode, the sky’s the limit. Dream big. Aim high. Go for broke!
Setting those dreams into motion to become a reality, however, requires some feet-on-the-ground thinking. Honing your dreams into visions and attainable goals requires living in a bit more reality. That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to fly (just ask the Wright brothers), but it does mean you need to begin from where you are—with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
No matter how much we might want it to, real life doesn’t allow us to travel through time in the same way that we see in the movies or on television. Whether you imagine yourself saving the world (ala Dr. Who) or you’re just trying to pass your project for history class (more along the lines of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure), eventually you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that you can really only live for today.
We cannot change the past.
We cannot step into the future.
Ultimately, the only thing we can truly have control over is the present.
Appreciate This Moment
It’s easy to get distracted by past hurts or future worries and forget that this moment, right now, can be good. Even in the midst of hard times, we can find something to learn from and be thankful for. That flower bursting forth through the crack of the sidewalk. The sounds of laughing children on a playground. The smell of fresh brewed coffee. Each day, remember to...
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