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...
Large projects. Small projects. It all needs to be finished by yesterday! Whether you are working for yourself or someone else, a whole load of tasks screams for your attention every day. Competing priorities is a struggle that most people face. Unless you want your life to simply happen to you, you’re going to need to take some initiative and make some plans.
Consider these thoughts about balancing out competing priorities:
The Tyranny of the Urgent
The difference between important and urgent may sometimes be difficult to distinguish. Along the lines of Charles Hummel’s book from the 1960s, the demands in your life can get out of order. Even though making cookies might not be first on your list for the day, if your book club president calls at the last minute to say they’re coming to your place tonight, all of the sudden you start baking! Even though you really don’t have time.
In reality, you’re trying to build your business and...
Do you hear voices inside your head? If so, you’re not alone! In fact, almost everyone does. Not necessarily the kind of voices that are audible, but most people have a dialogue inside their heads.
Call it a gremlin. Call it an internal monologue. Call it the remaining influence of an overbearing mother-figure. Whatever you want to call it, it’s your inner voice.
Your inner voice has the power to be helpful and useful. It doesn’t have to fill you with fear, stress, or hesitation. It can guide you in decisions. It can encourage you to go to that job interview. Your inner voice can even remind you to enjoy life, even when you’re wanting to eat healthier but really want to choose the greasy French fries instead of the salad… “just this one time.” After all, life is too short to suck… right?
When the inner dialogue says you aren’t enough, not worthy, or lack value, the self-criticism can become an irritant that could steal...
Have you ever met one of those people whose life seems to be absolutely ideal? Someone who never seems to encounter difficulty or struggle in any way? (You know, the folks whose lives are so great that you secretly want to hate them!)
However much it may seem like nothing goes wrong for these people-with-perfect-lives, that’s simply not true. No one has a perfect life. These seemingly perfect-people-you-want-to-hate encounter struggle and difficulty the same as everyone else. They get flat tires. They get cavities. Their pet ferrets run away.
So what’s the difference between these seemingly perfect people and “normal” people?
The difference is the way they handle life’s challenges.
The difference is resilience.
Resilience is all about being flexible or malleable. Being able to recover when things don’t go as expected. Resilience is a quality that allows a person to experience difficulties and then get up, dust off, and move forward.
Armed with the knowledge that happiness can be in an indicator of health, and health can predicate longevity, we would all be wise to consider ways we might be able to usher a bit more happiness into our lives!
Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.
Each day we can decide whether to see our circumstances as “ordeals or adventures”.
As difficulties or opportunities.
As problems or prospects.
Some people seem to naturally be more cynical/negative/unhappy than others. We have all met our share of grumpy-Ebenezer-Scrooge-types. Maybe you are one! These negative people, regardless of circumstances, seem to have a natural bent toward being more of an Eeyore than a Tigger. But even the deepest melancholy can often be overcome with positive thoughts.
If “look on the bright side” doesn’t chime with you at first, don’t be alarmed. You aren’t destined to fail at being happy. But you may have to work a...
You want more than just the status quo from your life. So much more than just the bare minimum is available to you! You would love to reconnect with your passions, strengthen your relationships, develop you career, improve productivity and find a deeper sense of fulfillment in your life.
Now is the time to silence that voice of doubt and insecurity. It’s time to overcome those fears that are keeping you from your goals and dreams. In order to accomplish anything, you first need to believe that you can. When you dispel the myth that you aren’t “good enough” or you don’t “measure up”, then you’ll make a start toward clearing away the debris of doubt that is cluttering up your path toward success.
Have you ever noticed how resilience is held on a pedestal? It’s that intangible something that allows people to rebound after setbacks, tragedy or suffering. And it turns out that most people really are resilient. It may take some longer than others to move through adversity to a happier time, but most eventually recover their joie de vivre.
What are some of the factors that foster resilience? Strong, trusting relationships; holding a positive view of yourself; the ability to make realistic plans and stick to them; managing emotions effectively; viewing yourself as a fighter, not a victim.
The American Psychological Association offers 10 suggestions for building more resilience. Here are five of them:
Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. Interpret and respond to stressful events in a way that gives you hope for change rather than a sense of despair. Don’t blow a situation out of proportion.
Accept that change is a part of living.You might not be...
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” — Denis Waitley, motivational speaker and consultant
Have you ever considered the mixed messages about failure in our culture? Riding a bike is the metaphor we often use in talking about failure. We encourage children to believe that they can learn the tricky balance required to ride only by falling repeatedly, brushing away the scrapes and the tears and trying again. Yet as they move through elementary, middle and high school, children are often given the message that failure is sign of weak character or for losers. The message is this: Failure is not an option!
We suggest that the first message is the right one: Failure does, indeed, ultimately open the door to success. Here are a few other things to keep in mind about failure:
Failure helps you learn...
What is the one thing that not one of us can avoid but which we can influence for good or for bad? Aging! Day by day, we grow older. For some, that realization packs a fear-inducing wallop. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can embrace reality and choose to age well, which will influence both your well-being and your actual experience of aging.
Here are some tips for staying young at heart — even if you are no longer physically young.
Stay mentally active. Whether it means entering a Scrabble tournament or volunteering on a political campaign, stay engaged with the world. Make friends, including younger ones. Read a book, watch a movie. Remain curious about the world and the people in it.
Be social. Friends are incredibly important to our well-being and can actually help protect us from some mental health maladies. Wondering how to meet people? Perhaps you could join a civic organization or volunteer for a non-profit.
Be active. Aging is much easier for...
“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” — Jean Houston
Do you have any idea how good laughter is for you? Increasingly, science is finding that laughter is a natural balm. It can actually induce changes in your body, according to the Mayo Clinic, which says laughter has these physical benefits:
It stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles because of the intake of oxygen-rich air, and increases your brain’s release of endorphins.
It fires up and then relieves your stress response, which results in a good, relaxed feeling.
It soothes tensionby stimulating circulation and aiding muscle relaxation.
But as great as the physical benefits are, laughter also is good for our mental health and social connections. It’s hard to feel sad, angry or anxious when you’re laughing. Have you ever noticed how a good laugh sticks with you, brightening the rest of the day?
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