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Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

Some Hard Things You Need to Hear

The list below is a highlight of some advices I’ve ever been given. Some hard things I remind myself of often … some hard things we all need to hear sometimes.

  1. When you hear only what you want to hear, you’re not really listening.  Listen to what you don’t want to hear too.  That’s how you grow.
  2. Fantasizing about other times and places can be dangerous.  Don’t cling so tightly to the past, or dream so fervently about the future, that you miss out on the real value and beauty that is here and now.  Don’t live entirely in your head.  Don’t miss your life!
  3. You often waste your time waiting for the ideal path to appear.  But it never does.  Because you forget that paths are made by walking, not waiting.
  4. You will never feel as confident as you want to feel.  Stop believing that you should feel more confident before you take the next step.  Taking the next step is what builds your confidence.
  5. Distractions will get the best of you if you let them.  Study your routines, figure out where your time goes, and remove distractions.  You become a true master of your life when you learn how to master your focus—where your attention goes.
  6. There’s a big difference between empty fatigue and gratifying exhaustion.  Know the difference.  Life is too short.  Invest in the activities (and relationships) you deeply care about.  Value what you give your energy to.  Focus on what matters and let go of what does not.
  7. Self-neglect is super common.  Realize this!  Your needs matter.  Do NOT ignore them.  At times you have to do what’s best for you and your life, not just what’s best for everyone else.  There’s absolutely nothing selfish about self-care and self-love.  We can’t give what we don’t have.  Enrich your life and you’ll be life-giving to others, too.
  8. You don’t give yourself enough credit sometimes.  Remember that time you thought you couldn’t make it through?  You did, and you’ll do it again.  Don’t let your challenges get the best of you.  Appreciate how far you’ve come. You’ve been through a lot, but you’ve grown a lot too.  Give yourself credit for your resilience.
  9. Your response is always more powerful than your circumstance.  A tiny part of your life is decided by completely uncontrollable circumstances, while the vast majority of your life is decided by your responses.  Where you ultimately end up is heavily dependent on how you play the hands you’ve been dealt.
  10. Everything gets a bit uncomfortable when it’s time to change.  That’s just a part of the growth process.  Things will get better.  Be patient.
  11. Patience is not about waiting.  Patience is the ability to keep a positive, focused attitude while working hard to move your life forward.
  12. New, good habits don’t form overnight.  It takes roughly 66 days to form a habit.  So for the next nine weeks, look at the bright side of your life, and you will rewire your brain.  Then apply this same principle to other areas of your life. 
  13. Mental strength is incredibly important, and easily overlooked.  Go to environments that expand your mind.  Spend time with people who truly inspire you.  Read books.  Learn.  Grow.  Get better.  Your life is your choice.
  14. Old patterns are hard to break.  Be aware.  Act consciously and consistently.  Don’t fall back into your old patterns.  Toxic habits and behaviors always try to sneak back in when you’re doing better.  Stay focused.
  15. Sometimes it’s better to let go without closure.  Actions and behavior speak volumes.  Trust the signs you were given and gracefully press on.
  16. If you always play the victim, you will always be treated like one.  Life isn’t fair.  But you don’t have to let the past define your future.  Try to take life day by day and be grateful for the little things.  Don’t get caught up in what you can’t control.
  17. Life doesn’t always give you the circumstances you want.  Life gives you the circumstances you need … to learn, to grow, and to fall in love.
  18. When you really pay attention, everyone and everything is your teacher.  Take time to observe and listen.  Take time to learn something new.
  19. No one wins at chess by only moving forward.  Sometimes you have to move backward to put yourself in a position to win.  This is a perfect metaphor for life.
  20. Your hardest challenges will teach you your best lessons.  There is an opportunity in every difficult situation to understand yourself more deeply, and also to improve your life.  Take one small step at a time.
  21. The vast majority of your stress is self-inflicted.  And the most powerful weapon you have against stress is your ability to choose one thought over another.  Learn to manage your thoughts, before your thoughts manage you.
  22. Your mind will forever produce negative thoughts.  So the goal isn’t to get rid of all your negative thoughts.  That’s impossible.  The goal is to change your response to them.  In fact, the strongest sign of your inner growth is realizing you’re no longer worried, stressed or pained by the things that once used to drain you.
  23. Calmness is a superpower.  The ability to not overreact or take things personally keeps your mind clear and your heart at peace.  Once you begin to value your inner peace over your need to react and be right, you will in fact experience more inner peace, and happiness.
  24. You are holding on to things that hold you back.  When things aren’t adding up in your life, begin subtracting.  Life gets a lot simpler when you clear the clutter that makes it complicated.  Not everything and everyone you lose is a loss.
  25. “Busy” is mostly just an excuse.  In a world with so much noise and clutter, you must make room to hear yourself and others.  Embrace silence and space.  Breathe and listen.  Be where you are.  You’re where you’re supposed to be at this very moment.  Every step and experience is necessary, and can be enhanced with your presence.
  26. You ignore your inner voice too often.  Give yourself the space to listen to your own voice—your own soul.  Too many of us listen to the noise of the world and get lost in the crowd.
  27. You often seek validation from the wrong sources.  You will never find your worth in another human being—you will find it in yourself, and then you will attract those who are worthy of your energy.  So stop waiting for others to tell you how impressive you are.  Impress yourself.  Show yourself that you can grow and get better.  It’s never about competing with others.  In the end, it’s just you vs. you.
  28. Popularity is irrelevant.  Forget popularity.  Just do your thing with passion, humility, and honesty.  Do what you do, not for an applause, but because it’s what’s right.  Many of the kindest gestures you’ll ever make, and the most important things you’ll ever do, will never be seen publicly.  Do them anyway.
  29. You have been impressed with some people for the wrong reasons.  Be less impressed by money, titles, degrees, and looks.  Be more impressed by generosity, integrity, humility, and kindness.
  30. People will not always tell you how they feel about you.  But they will always show you.  Pay close attention.
  31. Your expectations of others cause you unnecessary pain.  Don’t lower your standards, but do remember that removing your expectations of others is the best way to avoid being disappointed by them.
  32. You will end up heartbroken if you expect people will always do for you as you do for them.  Not everyone has the same heart as you.
  33. Life is too short to argue and fight.  Remember to be selective in your battles.  Peace can feel better than being right.  You don’t need to attend every argument you’re invited to.  Count your blessings, value the people who matter, and move on from the drama with your head held high.
  34. You will gradually attract people that think and behave like you.  If you want to be surrounded by positive people, you need to be positive too.  And the opposite is also true.  So do your best to surround yourself with people who push you to be your best.  Less drama—less mess.  Just higher vibrations and intentions.
  35. You need to learn to be more human again (we all do).  Don’t avoid eye contact.  Don’t hide behind gadgets.  Smile today.  Ask about people’s stories.  Listen. 
  36. Sometimes you subconsciously dehumanize people you disagree with.  Be careful.  In our self-righteousness, we can easily become the very things we dislike in others.  Ultimately, the way we treat people we disagree with is a report card on what we’ve learned about love and compassion.  Every single person you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.  Know this.  Respect this.  And be extra kind.
  37. “Bad” people can change for the better.  If somebody is working on themselves and changing for the better, it’s unnecessary to keep bringing up their past.  People can change and grow.
  38. Forgiveness is necessary for personal peace.  Forgive others, not because they absolutely deserve forgiveness, but because you absolutely deserve peace.  Free yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.
  39. Life will take things from you, and give things to you, gradually and continuously.  It’s funny how we outgrow what we once thought we couldn’t live without, and then we fall in love with what we didn’t even know we wanted.  Do your best to embrace life’s uncertainties.  Some of the best chapters in your life won’t have a title you feel fully comfortable with until later.
  40. Everything you have right now is in the process of changing again.  Look around, and be thankful for your life right now.  For your health, your family, your friends, and your home.  Nothing lasts forever.

Which point above resonates the most with you right now?

Mantras for NOT Taking Things Personally

Like you, I’m only human, and I sometimes still take things personally when I’m in the heat of the moment.  So, I’ve implemented a simple strategy to support the practice of watching my response.  In a nutshell, I proactively remind myself NOT to take things personally.  Anytime I catch myself doing so, I pause and read a few of the following mantras to myself.  Then I take some fresh deep breaths…

  1. You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal.  Rarely do people do things because of you.  They do things because of them.
  2. You may not be able control all the things people say and do to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
  3. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you detach from other people’s beliefs and behaviors.  The way people treat you is their problem, how you react is yours. 
  4. Take constructive criticism seriously, but not personally.  Listen, and then operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.
  5. You are GOOD enough, SMART enough, FINE enough, and STRONG enough.  You don’t need other people to validate you – you’re already valuable.
  6. If you truly wish to improve your self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth, stop allowing other people to be responsible for them.  Stop allowing other people to dominate your emotions. 
  7. All the hardest, coldest people you meet were once as soft as a baby.  And that’s the tragedy of living.  So when people are rude, be kind, be mindful, be your best.  Give those around you the “break” that you hope the world will give you on your own “bad day” and you will never, ever regret it.

Afterthoughts

Finishing up this post, I am reminded of all the senseless hatred and violence we see in our world today.

Please don’t attach yourself to it.

Do your best NOT to take it personally.

Do your best to let it go – to rise above the hate and drama.

It’s Not Too Late To Do This

YOU are NOT too late to make the best of things!

You’re exactly where you need to be right now.

Which means . . .

1. It’s not too late to start doing the hard things you need to do to be happier.

All great achievements require time and hard work. Good things don’t come easy. And consistent practice is the only way you can endure the gray periods.

When we want things to be easy, and expect them to be, we are inevitably disappointed. Our disappointment then motivates us to give up too soon. And the thing with giving up too soon is you never know. You never know whether you could have put in the effort and done something incredible with your life. I’ve personally pushed myself pretty hard over the years, because I was sick of the same old problems. What about you?

Find the courage to do the hard things in life. The things no one else is doing. The things that frighten you. The things others can’t do for you. The things that make you question how much longer you can hold on and push forward. Because those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between existing and living—between knowing the path and walking the path… between a life of mediocrity and a life filled with happiness and success.

Yes, find the courage!

And remember, courage doesn’t always roar out loud. Sometimes courage is simply the quiet voice at the very end of the evening, whispering, “I will try again tomorrow.”

2. It’s not too late to be a beginner.

We are products of what we know, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it. When you stop learning you stop living a meaningful life. Life’s richness does not come from always residing within familiar and comfortable territory. It’s when you venture out away from the familiar that you grow stronger and more capable.

You must hold tightly to your core values while at the same time opening your heart and mind to new ideas, feelings and experiences. Your own perspective will become clearer when you look at things from different angles. Find ways to provide a healthy challenge to your current understanding of life, and you will discover and experience far more of life’s magic in the days ahead.

Bottom line: As long as you are breathing, you are only just beginning.

3. It’s not too late to stop comparing yourself to everyone else.

Let go of the foolish need to compare, and you’ll free yourself to accomplish what matters most to you. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you don’t have to always be and do what everyone else is being and doing.

If you compete with others, you will become bitter. If you compete with a previous version of yourself, you will become better. It’s as simple as that. You are not in competition with anybody except yourself—plan to outdo your past, not other people.

And keep in mind that when you’re not competing against others, you can instead work with them on a common goal. You can use your combined insights and talents to achieve what none of you can alone. Incredible personal growth and learning occurs through relationships when the competitive spirit is replaced with a collaborative one.

4. It’s not too late to give yourself a loving stamp of approval.

I don’t need anyone’s affection or approval in order to be good enough in my own eyes.

Repeat that to yourself and let it sink in.

Your worth isn’t contingent upon other people’s acceptance of you—it’s something inherent. You are alive, and therefore you matter. You’re allowed to think things and feel things. You’re allowed to assert your needs and take up space. You’re allowed to hold on to the truth that who you are is worthy. And you’re allowed to create some healthy distance from anyone who insists on making you feel otherwise.

5. It’s not too late to stop taking little daily annoyances personally.

Another driver cut you off in traffic. Your friend never texted you back. Your coworker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a daily basis. But what caused you to be offended? You took things personally and dramatically. You made it all about YOU by assigning negative intent to these otherwise arbitrary actions. And you let your temper roar.

Don’t do this to yourself. Don’t pretend like everyone’s daily actions are about YOU. They aren’t. People’s actions are about THEM. So let it GO!

How would your life be different if you walked away from drama, gossip and nonconstructive assumptions?

Let today be the day you find out.

6. It’s not too late to make yourself a daily priority.

Life gets a lot easier when you are your own best friend. So don’t forget about YOU out there, and don’t be too hard on yourself either. There are plenty of others that will do both of these things for you.

Remember, there’s absolutely nothing selfish about self-care. If you don’t take good care of yourself, then you can’t take good care of anyone else. Because we can’t give what we don’t have. Treat yourself right and you’ll be life-giving to others.

7. It’s not too late to feel the warmth and joy of lifting others up.

Once your own self-care is in order, there is no exercise better for your heart and mind than reaching down and lifting people up.

Truly, generosity isn’t just to help others, it’s also to liberate you. It’s what keeps the things you own from owning you. Which is why you cannot live abundantly until you have done something nice for someone who can never repay you. Meditate on this and live graciously today.

8. It’s not too late to stop thinking and thinking, and OVER-thinking EVERYTHING.

Sometimes your mind unnecessarily wrestles with events that aren’t even remotely likely. Your sore throat is life threatening. Your lost driver’s license fell into the hands of a miscreant looking to steal your identity. Negativity like this only breeds more negativity. It’s a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from the shore and, if you don’t swim away, it will pull you under.

Stop over-thinking every dilemma. Answers come to a relaxed mind. Space allows things to fall into place.

When your fears and anxieties have you looking too deeply into things, it creates problems—it doesn’t fix them. If you think and you think and you think, you’ll think yourself right out of happiness a dozen times, and never once into it.

9. It’s not too late to sincerely embrace the life you’re presently living.

Before you can truly LIVE today, a part of you has to die first. You have to let go and bury what could have been, how you should have responded and what you wish you would have done differently. You have to accept that you can’t change a past experience, opinions of others at that moment in time, or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally accept this truth, then you will finally understand the true meaning of forgiving yourself and others. From this point you will finally be present and free.

Remember, you’ve been through a lot, but you’ve grown a lot too. Give yourself credit for your resilience, and step forward again today with grace.

Time To Clean Your Closets

 

Walk-in-Closets-Chandelier

Most of us have spent so much time, energy and money on what we wear and how we look that the last thing anyone needs is more fashion advice.

I will however tell you what not to wear if you want more peace and ease in your life.

1. You never again have to wear the guilt of your past.

Guilt and regret about the past aren’t serving your present. In fact, because of that guilt, you aren’t fully enjoying your current life. Whether it is guilt about letting go of something in your closet that you spent too much on, or guilt about a past relationship or anything in between, you have paid enough. You’ve paid with your money, time, attention and emotion. You can stop paying now. Let go, apologize, forgive and choose to live free of guilt and regret.

2. You never again have to wear your pain.

How many times have you tried to shop away your pain? Retail therapy is an expensive way to relieve the pain of boredom, frustration and heart ache and it only delivers temporary relief. You can’t shop your way out of of pain. I tried and it didn’t work. I did learn though that you can shop yourself into a tremendous amount of debt which leads to more pain, and then more shopping.

Instead of wearing your pain, trade shopping for self care. When you are in pain your heart isn’t saying, “Let’s go shopping.” It’s saying, “Please, take care of me.”

3. You never again have to wear the pressure to prove yourself.

I rarely bought clothes because I actually needed more clothes. I had plenty. Instead I purchased clothing to feel a certain way and to be perceived a certain way … to prove myself. I wanted to feel smart, beautiful and loved. I wanted other people to think I was those things too.

I tried to prove who I was by what I wore and by what I accomplished. The problem was that there was always more to prove and eventually I forgot who I was in the process.

If you have to prove yourself to people you love, that isn’t love. If you struggle to prove yourself at work, maybe you aren’t doing the right work. If you don’t believe me, just stop for a while. Stop pushing and proving and wishing that people would see you the way you think you need to be seen to succeed. Instead, let them see you for you. It’s then that you can finally really be you.

4. You never again have to wear your failures.

Failure gets such a bad rap but it’s nothing more than a stepping stone to success. It’s through the failures that we learn new approaches and ways of doing things. You don’t have to feel sad or bad for failing because if you are failing, that means you are trying. If you must wear your failures, wear them with a smile. You earned them and now you are using them to better your life.

5. You never again have to wear goals you’ve outgrown.

Letting go of goals and dreams can be the most challenging of all. As our lives change, we change, and things that seemed so important years ago may slowly fade away. Instead of beating yourself up for not achieving your old goals, focus on your new dreams and develop goals or bucket lists that reflect who you are right now.

Additionally, make sure your goals are your goals. Are they yours or are they goals that you think other people have for you or expect from you. Let go of any that aren’t yours. The difference you will make in the world when you start chasing YOUR dreams and goals will be extraordinary.

6. You never again have to wear everything you think.

Often, our thoughts can weigh us down but thoughts are just thoughts. Some are true and real and some aren’t. When we cling too tightly to believing everything we think, we distance ourselves from the truth. Questioning the truth of my thoughts has prevented me from over reacting in some situations and helped me let go of other things more easily. Once you realize that all of your thoughts aren’t true, they will be much lighter.

7. You never again have to wear other people’s expectations.

Giving myself permission to let go of my need to meet other people’s expectations or to feel any kind of way based on judgements (good or bad) helps me to trust myself and allows me to love my life regardless of outside feedback. I’m not good or bad or right or wrong because of what anyone else thinks. I can’t control what they think and I’m not going to change myself trying.

When you stop wearing the weight of other people’s expectations and judgements, you’ll be more connected to who you are and to what matters to you. When you let go of what other people think, you’ll gain clarity and freedom to enjoy your life.

Now, it’s YOUR turn…

I would love to hear from YOU in the comments section.

Painfully Obvious Truths We Forget in Tough Times

an-obvious-truth

You know how you can read or hear something dozens of times in dozens of different ways before it finally sinks in? The little truths listed below fall firmly into that category — timeless life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, yet for whatever reason we tend to forget in the heat of the moment.

This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all, especially as we collectively cope with the evolving reality of COVID-19…

1. Life is short, and nothing is guaranteed.

We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.

LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death — or the imminent dangers of COVID-19 — but don’t be afraid of life either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take positive action today. Death is not the greatest loss in life, neither is illness. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive and well. Even in these difficult times, be bold, be courageous, be a scared to death, and then take the next step anyway. Just change the way you do it.

Invest your heart and soul into whatever you have right in front of you. Bring passion into otherwise ordinary moments. You don’t have to be surrounded by lots of people. You don’t have to be going anyplace new. You can distance yourself from COVID-19, and still passionately engage in each moment.

2. Everything will change again soon.

Embrace change and realize in many ways it’s necessary. It won’t always be obvious at first, but in the end most forms of change are worthwhile because they force us to grow. So keep yourself in check right now.

What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow. You never know. Things change, often spontaneously. People and circumstances come and go. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day. It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.

Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives. A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth. Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event. And these events are always happening — like the COVID-19 epidemic right now.

So just remember, however good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can count on. Accept it. Breathe. Be where you are. You’re where you need to be right now. There’s a time and place for everything, and every hard step is necessary. Just keep doing your best, and don’t force what’s not yet supposed to fit into your life. When it’s meant to be, it will be.

3. Changing your response is what puts you back in control.

Have patience with everything that remains unresolved in your head and heart. And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard to stay true to your intuition and values. This is your life, and it is governed by your choices. May your actions speak louder than your words. May your daily choices preach louder than your lips. May your inner sense of satisfaction be your noise in the end.

And if your present life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it. Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land — even when there are so many unknowns — be brave enough to stand up and listen to your heart. Remember that the most powerful moments in life happen when you find the courage to let go of what can’t be changed. Because when you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself — to grow beyond the unchangeable. And that changes everything!

4. Life’s storms can be a great source of strength.

Hard times are like strong storms that blow against you. And it’s not just that these storms hold you back from places you might otherwise go. They also tear away from you all but the essential parts of your ego that cannot be torn, so that afterward you see yourself as you really are, and not merely as you might like to be.

Ultimately, you realize you are here to endure these storms, to sacrifice your time and risk your heart. You are here to be bruised by life. And when it happens that you are hurt, or betrayed, or rejected, let yourself sit quietly with your eyes closed and remember all the good times you had, and all the sweetness you tasted, and everything you learned. Tell yourself how amazing it was to live, and then open your eyes and live some more.

Because to never struggle would be to never grow. You must let go of who you were so you can become who you are. Again, it is within the depths of the strongest and darkest storms that you discover within you an inextinguishable light, and it is this light that illuminates the path forward.

5. You don’t need all the answers right now.

Accept the feeling of not knowing exactly where you are going, and train yourself to love and appreciate this sensation of freedom. Because it is only when you are suspended in the air, with no destination in sight, that you force your wings to open fully so you can fly. And as you soar around you still may not know where you’re traveling to. But that’s not what’s important. What’s important is the opening of your wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as your wings are spread, the winds will carry you forward.

Truth be told, some of the greatest outcomes that transpire in your life will be the ones you never even knew you wanted. As long as you keep your mind open to new perspectives and yourself moving forward, there really are no wrong turns in life, only paths you didn’t know you were meant to travel. And you never can be certain what’s around the corner.  It could be everything, or it could be nothing. You keep gliding steadily forward, and then one day you realize you’ve come a long way from where you started.

All details aside, someday all the pieces will come together. Unimaginably good outcomes will likely transpire in your life, even if everything doesn’t turn out exactly the way you had anticipated. And you will look back at the hard times that have passed, smile, and ask yourself…

“How in the world did I get through all of that?”

Now, it’s your turn…

What else would you add to this list?

Which point above resonates the most right now?

40 Amazing Things You Will Never Forget

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Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late.  For everything you lose, you gain something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.  You don’t have to like it, but it’s just easier if you do.

Every day you can either regret or rejoice; it’s your choice.  When you choose the latter, life opens doors to amazing experiences you will likely remember forever.  Here are 40 such experiences…

 

  1. Flowing and working through life’s great challenges. – No matter what happens, do your best and smile.  You won’t enjoy your life if you don’t enjoy your challenges.  Great challenges make life interesting, and overcoming them makes life meaningful.
  2. The freedom that comes from acceptance. – The secret to happiness and peace is letting every situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and then making the best of it.
  3. Moments of sincere gratitude. – Appreciate life even when it’s not ideal.  Happiness is not the fulfillment of what we wish for, but an appreciation for what we have.  When life gives you every reason to be negative, think of one good reason to be positive.  There’s always something to be grateful for.
  4. The beautiful happenings that made it all worthwhile. – When you can look back on painful events and feel that you were blessed for how you grew, for the love you knew, for the very fact that you did live through those times, then, and only then, can you truly appreciate gratitude’s vital role in the process of letting go.
  5. Walking comfortably in your own shoes. – We are all weird in some way. What sets you apart may seem like a burden, but it’s not.  Most of the time it’s what makes you so incredible.
  6. The moment you start listening to your inner voice, rather than defying it. – Sometimes your mind needs more time to accept what your heart already knows.  Breathe.  Be a witness, not a judge.  Listen to your intuition.
  7. Aligning what you do with who you are. – Make the rest of your life the best of your life.  Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.
  8. Using your unique ideas, perspectives, and skills to make a difference. – If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world, and you must be bold enough to show it.
  9. Designing your own life, your own way. – No matter how you live, someone will be disappointed.  So live a life you are proud of.  Live YOUR truth and be sure YOU aren’t the one who is disappointed in the end.
  10. Working hard on something you love. – Hard work becomes easy when your work becomes your play.  Never underestimate the value of loving what you do.  When we lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there, too.
  11. Knowing deep down that you gave your dreams a fair chance. – Most of the time the only difference between a dream that came true and one that didn’t, is a person who wouldn’t give up and one who did.
  12. Reflections of your own bravery. – When you’re scared but you take the next step anyway, that’s bravery.
  13. The glory of conquering an old fear. – Fear is a feeling, not a fact.  The best way to gain strength and self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.  Dare to stretch yourself.
  14. Being courageous enough to grow and evolve. – It takes courage to grow and become who you really are.  Don’t fear change.  You may lose something good, but you may also gain something great.
  15. The way you feel at the end of highly productive days. – Laziness may appear attractive, but work leads to happiness.  You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.  Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals.
  16. When your patience finally pays off. – Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act and how hard you are willing to work while you’re waiting for your work to pay off.
  17. Making the impossible possible. – In most cases, impossible is not a fact; it’s an opinion.  Almost anything is possible if you’ve got enough time and enough nerve.
  18. When you have a great reason to be impressed with yourself. – Spend less time impressing others and more time impressing yourself.  Climb a mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.
  19. Engaging deeply in your own journey, drama-free. – Let the tasks of refining, improving, and appreciating your own life keep you so busy that you have no need and no time to criticize others, or engage in their drama.
  20. Standing up for yourself. – Sometimes we suffer, not because of the violence others inflict on us, but because of our own silence.  When someone tries to bully you, stand up for yourself and say, “Not so fast, buddy!  Your delusion of superiority is your problem, not mine.
  21. Relationships that make you a better person. – Know that it’s less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.  Surround yourself with people who make you better, and cherish every moment of your time together.
  22. Knowing deep down that you truly matter to someone else. – Someday you will be just a memory to some people.  Do your best to be a great one.
  23. True intimate love. – True love is not about how many days, months or years you’ve been with someone.  True love is about how much you actually love each other every day.
  24. Appreciating the beautiful imperfections of another person. – Imperfection is real and beautiful.  It’s how two people accept and deal with the imperfections of their relationship, that make it ideal in the end.
  25. Following through with your promises. – Unless a real commitment is made there are only empty promises and hopes, but no real plans or results.  Remember, commitment means staying loyal and keeping a promise long after the mood you made the promise in has left you.
  26. Giving a struggling soul a little extra leeway. – Don’t be so quick to judge.  The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about.
  27. Helping someone who desperately needs your kindness. – Those who are hardest to love often need it the most.  So treat everyone with kindness, even those who are rude.  Give them a chance.
  28. Knowing you did the right thing. – True integrity is doing the right thing, no matter what, even when nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.
  29. Seeing genuine smile you helped create. – Few things are more satisfying than helping someone else smile a little more than before.
  30. Coming to a loving compromise with someone special. – Sometimes we must choose to be wrong, not because we really are wrong, but because we value our relationship more than our pride.
  31. Moments of mindful presence. – If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?  Stop over thinking and worrying.  Life is too short for that.  Worry and rumination are the worst enemies to living happily in the present.  Take a moment here and there to just be and breathe.
  32. The liberation of letting go. – Letting go of the past is your first step toward happiness.  So finish each day before you begin the next, and build a solid foundation of rest between the two.
  33. The process of growing through failure. – Remember, your failure does not define you, your determination does.  Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, smarter than before.
  34. When the sun finally shines through the dark clouds again. – Don’t give up on yourself.  Keep fighting.  Sometimes you’ve got to go through the worst of times to get the best.
  35. Surprising new beginnings. – Every ending is the beginning of something else.  Every exit is an entry somewhere else.  As long as you are breathing, it’s never too late; every day is a new opportunity.
  36. The nimble feeling of being a beginner. – Allow yourself to be a beginner.  No one starts off being great.  Do the best you can until you know better.  When you know better, do better.
  37. The exhilaration of first time experiences. – You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once.  And that makes doing so worth it.  Many of the great times you will remember for a lifetime are the ones when you stepped outside of your comfort zone and tried something new.
  38. Becoming a parent. – Being a mother or father is discovering strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed.
  39. The happiness YOU create for yourself and those you love. – In life, you often have to create your own sunshine.  So read something positive every morning when you wake up, and let it inspire you to do something positive before you go back to sleep at night.  That’s how memorable days are made.
  40. Every moment you are busy living through love. – Today is one of the good ol’ days you’re going to miss someday.  So be sooo busy loving your life and those in it that you have no time for hate, regret or fear.

Your turn…

Truth be told, talking about our problems is our greatest addiction.  Let’s break this negative habit and talk about our joys, our loves, and our victories instead.  So tell me this:

What makes life amazing?  What makes a moment worth remembering?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

8 Things You Must Give Up to Find Peace

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Peace of mind transpires and thrives when you let go of the things that limit your growth and happiness.

You work for this peace every time you give up…

1.  Old regrets and excuses.

You can’t always choose what happens to you, but you can always choose how you feel about it and what you do about it.  You don’t have to be defined by the things you did or didn’t do in the past.  Don’t let yourself be controlled by regret.  Maybe there’s something you could have done differently, or maybe not.  Either way, it’s merely something that has already happened.

Be done with these old regrets; they’re just an excuse for people who have failed, and failing only happens if you learn nothing and give up.  Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making these empty excuses.

Think about it, you rarely fail for the things you do.  You fail for the things you don’t do, the business you leave unfinished, the things you make excuses about for the rest of your life.  

2.  The burning desire to have all the answers.

Accept the feeling of not knowing exactly where you are going, and train yourself to love and appreciate this sensation of freedom.  Because it is only when you are suspended in the air, with no destination in sight, that you force your wings to open fully so you can fly.  And as you soar around you still may not know where you’re traveling to.  But that’s not what’s important.

What’s important is the opening of your wings.  You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as your wings are spread, the winds will carry you forward.

3.  The false hope of a pain-free life.

Pain is a part of life, and life’s pains have many shapes and sizes.

There’s the cold feet pain of moving on ‒ graduating, taking the next step, walking away from the familiar and into the unknown.  There’s the sharp growing pains of trial and error, of failing as you learn the best way forward.  There’s the immense, dizzying pain of life slapping you in the face when everything you thought you knew wasn’t true, or everything you had planned for falls through.

There are the more ambiguous aches and pains of successes, when you actually get what you had hoped for, but then realize that it’s not quite what you had envisioned.  And then, from time to time, there are the warm, tingling pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of sweet perfection, a priceless instant of achievement or happiness which you know cannot possibly last ‒ and yet will remain with you forever.

Even though so many folks forget, pain is actually a good thing.  It means you’re breathing, and trying, and interacting with the endless possibilities in this world.  Pain is for the living only; it’s worth fully accepting and dealing with while you still have a chance.

4.  Ties to insensitive people.

People are extremely difficult to change.

Throughout your lifetime people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad.  Don’t consume yourself with trying to change them or win their approval.  And don’t make any space in your heart to hate them.  Simply walk away and let karma deal with the things they do, because any bit of time you spend on them will be wasted, and any bit of hate in your heart will only hurt you.

5.  Obsessing yourself with negative news.

For every prominent newscaster who howls about how bleak and unjust life is, there are thousands of other people behind the scenes working tirelessly to make a positive difference in the world.  For every disheartening crisis that is breathlessly reported, there are thousands of real, meaningful success stories that don’t get the attention they deserve, but that have an enormous positive ripple effect on humanity.

Try not to obsess over the negative news; learn from it and use your knowledge to work your way eagerly toward a brighter tomorrow.  Life does get better and better when you choose to make it so.

6.  The belief that fulfillment resides in the end result.

Fulfillment is not a matter of achieving a specific goal.  It is a matter of mindfully enjoying the process required to achieve that goal.  Fulfillment flows from focusing your life around specific and authentically held intentions – ideas and activities that genuinely speak to your purpose.  When these intentions are clear, consistent and meaningful, you have sufficient means to bring fulfillment and joy to your life, whether you ever fully achieve your intended goal or not.

In other words, the right journey is the destination.

7.  Measuring your success by material wealth.

We’re bombarded with images of stuff, with the implication that this stuff somehow elevates personal value and success.  So I encourage you to think about how much of your self-worth is connected to owning, giving, and getting STUFF.  Because truthfully, success, happiness, and peace of mind have little to do with STUFF.

So what does help create these things?

To laugh often and love genuinely.  To respect others and judge less.  To win the affection and sincere smiles of children.  To earn the regard of honest peers and endure the betrayal of fake friends.

To appreciate the beauty surrounding you wherever, whenever you are.  To find the good in people and situations.  To give what you can and leave the world a little better than you found it.  To have explored ideas and passions and sung at the top of your lungs with jubilation.  To know that at least one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is what makes a life successful.  This is how happiness and peace of mind are attained.  

8.  The need to keep everything the same.

Things change.  People and circumstances come and go.  Life doesn’t stop for anybody.

Life moves very fast.  It rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds.  It happens like this to people every day.  It’s happening to someone right now.

Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives; a seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth.  Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event.

Most of the time these changes come when you’re not asking for them and not expecting them, but they happen.  So are we helpless?  Are we puppets?  No.  These changes are going to come; you can’t help that.  But it’s what you do afterwards that counts.  That’s when you grow; that’s when you find out who you truly are.

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