How To Improve Your Self Esteem With These 7 Powerful Secrets

improving self-esteem

Improving Your Self Esteem

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” 
August Wilson

How many of us suffer in silence from low self-esteem and self worth problems?

I, for one, have suffered my whole life and have bravely fought to banish my inner demons. At this time, I can finally say, without any reservation, that I have conquered those demons. It wasn’t easy and it took every ounce of my being to to overcome those deep beliefs and now, I want to help you overcome your feelings of inadequacy and give you a firm foundation to stand on.

Here are some questions I want you to ask yourself right now about your own belief system.

  1. Are you happy with who and what you are today? Don’t reserve your love for when you reach your goal of losing weight, getting a better job or finding the right partner in life.
  2. Do you base your level of self worth on how others have treated you in the past? Remember, the past is gone. You don’t have to relive it anymore. What happened yesterday has no bearing on today unless you let it.
  3. Do you recognise the difference you make around you? How often do you look at the difference you make in other’s lives. As humans, we tend to worry about our own situations and how we feel but if you reverse the thought process and see how you affect others you’ll have a better understanding of your place in this world.
  4. How often do you complain about things in life? I used to be one of those people who never stopped complaining, I complained about my job, my bills, everything I lacked instead of being grateful for what I have. My advice is to stop complaining and start being grateful. Learn to appreciate what you have because it could all be taken away as quickly as you got it.
  5. Do you know who you really are? This is more than just a philosophical question. It gets to the root of your very being. Who we want to be is less important than who we really are. It all starts with being authentic. Stop hiding the real you because you want to impress others. The Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived between 384–322 BC, once said:Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

Wisdom is the key word here. The more you know about yourself the easier it is to root out the underlying causes of your self-esteem problems.

Before I unveil the 7 powerful secrets to having high self-esteem and self worth, let’s tackle the main problem I see that does more harm than good in getting people to feel better about themselves.

5 Self-Esteem Myths That Sabotage Your Self Worth

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
 Buddha

Let’s start off by breaking down some harmful myths about self-esteem and self worth and why most people get them all wrong.

Myth #1 – You Need To Be Worthy Of It – Having healthy self-esteem has nothing to do with being worthy. No matter what you do in life, you are worthy enough to be loved. It’s not a prerequisite for obtaining self-esteem nor is it something you need to acquire. If you are not popular or well-liked, it doesn’t mean you are not worthy of that love and care. Many times, the other person/people are going through their own problems and are apt to take it out on you

In Jeremiah 29:1, we are told,For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

God tells us that he has plans for us and we should be hopeful in His love. Does that sound like a God that doesn’t think you are worthy of His love? Not al all. So please drop that from your thought process.

Myth #2 Self-esteem comes from being successful – This idea is taught by most people in the medical field and it is a downright lie. You are not measured by how successful you are and you don’t need to measure your own success. In fact, you don’t even need to be successful to have self worth.

God created every one of us to be something special. In 1 Samuel 16:7, God shows us what is really important to Him. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

It’s important to note that God’s love doesn’t depend on how rich we are, how good looking we are, nor how important we are. He looks far beyond those petty things and it’s something you need to as well!

Myth #3 – Self-esteem and confidence aren’t the same thing – This one idea bugs me more than any other myth in that we are told that the more confident we are the better our self -esteem will be. Just because you are confident does not mean you have high self worth. What happens when your confidence is shaken? Does that mean your self-esteem slips as well? Stop linking the two together. Instead, understand the concept that confidence comes from your belief in your own talents skills, and abilities and how ell you do them. Self-esteem is rootes in how we feel about ourselves at the inner core of our being.

Krizia Loquido, the health & lifestyle editor at Verily states in her article, 5 Myths About Low Self-Esteem You Need to Forget, “Some of the most powerful people in the world are totally confident in their career capabilities, while other areas of their life are riddled with anxiety and unhealthy relationships that stem from low self-esteem.”

I’m not saying you shouldn’t focus on being confident in your own abilities but don’t equate them with how your feel about yourself.

Myth #4 – Obtaining things will elevate your self-esteem – Getting what you want is never a cure for self-esteem issues. Ever felt buyer remorse? That gut feeling you made a big mistake in your purchase. Too often, people acquire things as a way to compensate for what they lack in self love but things cannot make us feel better about ourselves.

A great example of this happens on Christmas morning. Watch kids open their presents and you will see them go crazy with happiness for what they received but check back in a week or so and they’ve abandoned most of the toys and gifts. Why? It’s that high we get at the start but the high never lasts.

Myth #5 – Self-esteem is based solely on what we do and how we behave – If this was the case, then everything we do, say and feel is based on our behavior. When our behavior takes a nosedive then so should our self-esteem. Our lives would be one crazy rollercoaster ride if this was true but it isn’t.

Dr. Christina Hibbert writes, “If our worth is based on our performance or behavior, then we are bound to feel poorly about ourselves when our performance or behavior drops; and it will drop—it’s human nature. We are more than what we do and how we behave.”

Now that we have the myths out of the way, we can focus on the 7 powerful secrets I have learned from years of study, from making a million mistakes myself, and from watching others.

The 7 Powerful Secrets To Improving Your Self Worth

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

Do you want to improve your self image and feel better about yourself? Of course you do but you’ve probably read a million books on the subject, listened to a ton of so-called “Self-help gurus” who had more charisma than knowledge and still your self worth is in the toilet.

Well, I’m going to give you the truth about improving your self-esteem from all my years fighting to feel good about myself.

Here they are:

Secret #1 – You Are Loved – Admit it. Do you really feel loved? If you knew how much the world loved you you would never feel bad about yourself again. But the problem is, do we really believe it? That was my problem for a good many years. I thought no one cared about me, no one appreciated me, nor understood the real me.

It was all an illusion my ego put over me like a blanket. Until I felt that love, I couldn’t believe it. Then God showed me a love so powerful it shook me to the core. It changed everything inside me. It finally made me whole. I wasted so many years feeling sorry for myself, wasted so much time thinking about things that didn’t matter, and wrestled with so many fears that it paralyzed my ability to function as a normal human being.

Once you open up your heart to love, all those fears and self debilitating thoughts will disappear and the real feelings of self love will shine through! I’m a living, breathing example of this!

Secret #2 – Love First Ask Questions Later – The title comes from a Ringo Starr song of the same name off his 2003 Ringo Rama album and it perfectly encapsulates what life is about. Why are you so worried about everything under the sun? Just give love. It doesn’t matter how much you give but that you give it in the first place.

We are all part of a beautiful world that God has given us. Why fight about things that have no meaning? We’re so worried about what others have, what others are doing and how much they make that we can never live up to the comparisons we make it our minds.

Love is the most important thing we have. Not just for others but for ourselves. If you spend more time thinking about acquiring things and not loving the real you inside you’ll never improve your self worth and you’ll always be unhappy.

Ephesians 5:29 tells us, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” Be the example of love you can be and allow that love to fill your heart. That’s all that is required of you.

Secret #3 – You are not your daily circumstances – Since when do circumstances define who you are? If you let them then you will always feel ashamed of yourself, blame others for your failures, and be locked in a life and death struggle for control of the real you.

Author Beverly D. Flaxington makes the point that “Life is more random than we’d like to think. It’s important to develop an air of objectivity, and to learn to step back from what happens and observe it as an outsider.”

That’s a key point I don’t think many people pick up on. You have to stand back once in awhile and see things from a different point of view. Don’t look at yourself from your own eyes but from those of an outsider. No judgments, no negative comments, just an air of total honesty.

Be honest with yourself without resorting to comparisons. The truth may hurt but it gives you a place to start and that’s all you can ask.

Secret #4 – Focus on what you can change in your life – How much time and effort have you wasted worrying about things you can’t change? You’ve allowed these things to break your will and crush your soul. You have to understand you can’t change the past, you can’t change others… you can only change yourself.

Once you understand this you can put all that wasted energy into something positive for yourself. You will have less stress, you will feel better about yourself, and you will unclog your mind of all the garbage that worrying has imprisoned you with.

Focus on the positive things in your life and what you have power over. Don’t let others hold power over you. You’ll end up like a puppet. Cut the strings and empower yourself. Be the person you want to be not what others want you to be.

As soon as you release the chains everything changes. If you like being chained to misery be my guest but I’m guessing you want to be set free. Take my advice… put your focus on what really matter in your life… YOU!

Secret #5 – Unlearn what you have learned about yourself – If you have ever watched the Star Wars movies, you know how poignant Yoda can be. One of his greatest lines from the movies was this, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Why is this line to important to your self-esteem? People with low self-esteem tend to believe every negative thing about themselves. They see things about themselves others don’t see while at the same time, making up things that become real to them.

What you need to to do is go back into your past and start unlearning those different behaviors, thoughts, and actions that keep you bound in chains. All those things you think others see or say about you are not important. The things you feel and experience are important but they are in the past. Today is a new day.

Wipe the slate clean and begin by honoring the good things about you. Open your heart the beauty that is all around you. Don’t cling to what is negative or distressing. Instead, appreciate what has happened to you and see that it is a part of you, not all of you. Your past doesn’t define you.

Learn how to treat yourself with respect and dignity. Look at the real you in the mirror and marvel at the beauty God has made. All these things were probably last on your list before but now it’s time to see yourself in a new light.A new door has opened up for you.

2 Peter 1:5-11 tells us why we are a new person in Christ.

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities[b] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

You have no reason to have low self-esteem anymore. God has made you a new person in Christ. That is your miracle. Now go out and be all God has envision for you!

Secret #6 – Eliminate self-criticism and introduce yourself to positive self-compassion – Everyone has an inner voice. Problems arise when the inner voice decides it wants to run your life. Most of the time, your inner self talk is makes you believe you’re not good enough and throws reason after reason why you should believe it.

Self-criticism is akin to beating yourself over the head with a hammer. It never does any good and it hurts like hell! I live by this one rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you. So why in the world would I mistreat myself if I’m treating others as I would like to be treated?

It doesn’t make sense yet we allow ourselves to be beaten up by our own egos and left to rot on the side of the road. No one is as hard on ourselves as ourselves. Read that again. It’s so true as we are our own worst enemy. We blame others for our own problems yet we beat ourselves silly criticizing every move we make.

Take it easy on yourself and give yourself a break. You’re not as bad as you make yourself out to be. In fact, I know you’re a pretty good person inside. You just don’t believe it.

What needs to be done?

Start being more compassionate with yourself. If things happen and you get hurt, get back up and use the power inside of you to succeed. You have everything you need to live in this big world. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop blaming yourself for everything that happens, and stop trying to get others to feel sorry for you.

I hate to say it but suck it up! It’s never as bad as you make it so be more compassionate towards yourself and start loving yourself more. I know, easier said than done but you have to grow up and work on feeling good about yourself.

If you can’t then you deserve all the misery you pile on to yourself.

Secret #7 – Face your fears head on – Nothing works better at boosting your self-esteem than getting into a fight (no, I don’t mean a physical fight). What I’m talking about is forcing your ego to come out and deal with it’s fears. You’ve got to make a stand, one way or another. Your self worth is going to stay in the toilet unless you fight for it. And yes, sometimes it may feel like a life and death struggle but you gotta do what you gotta do!

Inner turmoil is normal for most people but unless they get pissed off enough, they’re always going to stack stuck behind their own prison bars.

Most professional will tell you to stroke your ego and do things that make you feel good but not me. This is a war and war calls for drastic measures. Unless your willing to fight nothing is ever going to change!

Below is an infographic with some great tips in dealing with low self-esteem. Try your best to incorporate them into your daily routines.

10 Tips to Deal with Low Self Esteem

From Visually.

In conclusion, sometimes it sucks being you but most of the time it doesn’t. I’ve been where you are right now and I’ve suffered a great deal including depression and low self-esteem but there’s always hope.

It doesn’t come from others. It has to come from deep within you. You have to open up your heart and let love in. Love yourself first and foremost because no one else will if you push them away.

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How Far Could You Go In Life If You Had No Limits?

no limits in life

The No Limits Way Of Thinking

“You will find that there are no limits to what you can accomplish except for the limits you place on your own imagination. And since there are no limits to what you can imagine, there are no limits to what you can achieve.”
Brian Tracy

How far could you go in life if there were no limits put on you by the rest of society, by your family, by your friends and especially by your own mind?

We live in a world that puts limits on everything we do. You hear it all the time from people when you tell them what you want to do with your life.

Here’s a few examples I’ve heard from my own past experiences.

  • Why do you want to do that for?
  • You’ll never make any money doing that!
  • How can you do that if you’ve never finished college
  • Music will never pay the bills. Why don’t you get a real job.
  • Stop playing around and get serious with your life.
  • You, a writer? You must be joking!

And my all-time favorite which reverberates throughout my soul…

  • You’re not good enough to compete with all the great writers. You’ll just be wasting your time.

There is nothing you can do or say that can stop you from doing something magnificent with your life unless you decide you can’t do it.

Henry Ford, the iconic founder of the Ford Motor Company and the person responsible for developing the assembly line technique of mass production knew no limits in his own life. What he couldn’t do by himself, he found others to make his dreams come true. The one quote that still echoes through my heart and spurs me on everyday is this.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Henry Ford

Your mind plays the biggest role in how far you get in life. It takes you where you want to go but it can also limit you and keep you from ever achieving the greatness you deserve.

Are you living your life by someone else’s rules? You may think you aren’t but society demands we play by its rules or we have no chance at happiness. It favors those who become part of the collective but life isn’t like that.

You need to look at what makes you happy. You need to listen to what your heart is telling you not your parents, guidance counselors, friends or family. They don’t walk in your shoes nor do they have to deal with what you are dealing with.

Find Out Here

You can soar like the birds or you can fall flat on your ass. The choice is yours. I don’t need to tell you what you are capable of doing. You know deep down in your heart what you want to do… the problem is doing it!

I believe you have to live your passion. That burning desire in your heart must resonate or it will do you no good.  Use your god-given talents and skills and share them with the world.

Be bold! Be confident in your abilities because no one else will do it for you.

But, what if I can’t?

What if there are too many obstacles?

Keep reading… and I’ll show you what you can do!

Overcoming Obstacles That Limit Us

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
George Bernard Shaw

What is holding you back from achieving greatness?

Do you blame others for your failures or do you own your life?

As a life coach, I see too many people get defensive about what has happened in their lives. They tend to blame others for their circumstances and use it as an excuse for failure.

Want an example of someone who lived his life with no limits?

How about the late, great Bruce Lee?

Bruce was one of my all-time greatest heroes. He pushed himself beyond what most people could take. Why was he able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time?

Did you know he was laid up for many months because he injured his back to such a degree that he could hardly walk? The injury led him to delve much deeper into the both the spiritual and mental belief aspect of martial arts.

Part of his philosophy regarding his Jeet Kune Do was that of using guided thoughts. He believed that in order to fully express oneself, one must” “have no limitations.” It’s a philosophy that is foreign to many as most people put limitations on themselves.

Bruce went beyond that type of thinking. Hie describe his philosophy as a mirror in which to “see ourselves.” He believed we needed to cast off what is useless. Whatever was unessential needed to be removed so that what remained could be used to better one’s self.

When you look upon life as having no limits you lose the rigidity that society dictates. It allows you to be fluid and able to adapt to any situation that comes your way. Bruce believed strength comes not just from the physical side but how you control the mental aspect of your being.

Here are three quotes from Bruce that show why limiting yourself is for the weak.

“If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Have you reached a plateau in your life? What are you doing to go beyond your own limits?

“A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Any goal you have should be used as inspiration and motivation to be the best you can be. It is not about the accomplishment but how you get there that is the most important part.

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

This is what most people don’t quite understand about expectations. We tend to base our expectations on what others expect of us instead of working at accomplishing and exceeding our own expectations.

If you had no limits as to what you could accomplish do you think you would push yourself to get there?

Most of the obstacles we face are not physical barriers but mental ones. We put up walls around us and then make excuses why we can’t climb or them. Or, we plan how we can climb over but never take action to actually make the climb because we’re too scared to fail!

Think what superhuman skill you have that could help you achieve anything your mind could imagine.

Here’s an infographic of some of the greatest superhuman skills known to man. Do they inspire you to reach for the no limits mindset?

Superhuman Abilities

From Visually.

Putting The No Limits Mindset Into Action

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.”
Arthur C. Clarke

 

Do you believe achieving your dreams are possible or impossible?

If you believe they are impossible then why have dreams in the first place?

But if you believe anything is possible then let’s find a way for you to achieve those dreams.

Everything starts in the mind. Where your thoughts take you is totally up to you. The proper mindset is all you need to live a life without any limits but you need some rocket fuel to make those thoughts blast off into the farthest regions of space.

So, how do you get there?

Here are the seven ways to putting the no limits mindset into action:

1- Seize The Opportunities Afforded You – Opportunities don’t come around vert often and when they do, they are like a door with a timer on them. If you don’t take advantage now, it will close before you have the chance to make things happen.

2- Learn How To Try New Things, New Ideas, And New Ways – Think you know it all? Think again. What keeps our mind and thoughts fresh is a different perspective on life and the things around us. Your mind will stay stagnant if you don’t make it work. Try new things… you never know if you will like something unless you give it a shot. Listen to new ideas. Maybe you will get that aha moment that will change your life. Seek out new ways to do things. Sometimes, the tried and true ways need an update. Be the one who puts a new wrinkle in old thought.

3- Remove Your Limiting Beliefs One By One – What separates you from the most successful people on the planet? Your limiting beliefs, that’s what! Every limiting belief you have is like a brick that gets put up on top of all your other limiting beliefs and so, over the years, you have built a mighty wall that is stopping you in your tracks. Now, instead of knocking the whole wall down, let’s start by breaking single bricks until you have broken all the bricks and there is nothing stopping you. Why is this method easier and better to implement? Those limiting beliefs are like old habits. You can’t break every one but you can do it one at a time. Every time you break a brick, you build more confidence and your mind gets stronger.

4- Throw Out Your Mental Garbage – Every Thursday night, I have to take out the weeks trash and put it out to the curd for the garbageman to take. Your limiting beliefs are the same. Take the time to throw them out and replace them with positive and uplifting thoughts. Even if your life sucks right now and you feel like you have nowhere to go, just the idea that you can flush those dirty thoughts away can bring hope and inspiration to your life. This kind of habit takes work but just like emptying all the trash in your home, make this habit one you do everyday.

5- Stop Accepting The Status Quo – Just because everyone does things as they have always done doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Sonia Thompson, a contributing writer to LIFE – the blog says, “Stand up against “the way things are” and show others that “the way things could be” is truly possible. You don’t have to accept the norm. Instead, find out what works for you and go with it. That’s where your possibilities are hidden.

6- Live Life Outside The Lines – It’s not about just being different. It means stepping outside your comfort zone and tackling those things that scare you shitless! It’s about moving into uncharted territory and going against the norm. You become the explorer in life… you chart a new pathway… and you discover new places for yourself. In order to accomplish this, you must overcome any and all resistance that comes your way, including your own fears and thoughts. Explore the vast options around you and you will see that self discovery is an unending process.

7- Trust Your Own Instincts – Your gut feeling is usually right but most of us second guess ourselves. In fact, we do it so often that we tend not to trust our own judgment and that’s where we allow negativity to seep into our thoughts. Your instincts are an important tool so use it wisely. According to Susanna Newsonen MAPP, “Your intuition is shaped by your past experiences, and your existing knowledge which you gained from them.” That is why experience is your best teacher. She goes on to say, “Your intuition is encoded in your brain like “a web of fact and feeling.” That code will help you make the proper decision because it’s part of you. So start listening to it.

God has given us every talent, trait, and wisdom to be the best version of ourselves possible but it’s up to you to make it happen. Being fearful of what may happen next, failure to take calculated risks, and staying in your own comfort zone is a recipe for a boring, mind-numbing life where the only soaring you’ll be doing is watching others make the life they want to live.

Now is the only time to start living the no limits lifestyle. What are you waiting for?

No limits

Stop Living Small: 5 Ways To Go Far Beyond Your Comfort Zone And Live The Life You Were Meant To Live

fearless

Why Are You Living So Small?

“Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.”
Hugh Hefner

Are you living small?

Are you living the life you were meant to live?

Do you feel like you’re being held back from your true purpose in life?

The way we live is today far different from the way our parents and grandparents lived and as such, many of us feel lost when it comes to how we can attain our dreams. We’re looking for a way to be free yet we tie ourselves up with excuses and lies.

We live in a shell in which we protect ourselves from pain and attachment. We lose sight of the real us because we’re fearful of what to expect.

Many people avoid confrontation so they hide themselves away but secretly wish they could face life head on. They invent excuses that keep them from taking action which can bring some form of fulfillment but instead, keep them locked inside their own prison.

But what if we could embrace our innermost fears and overcome the walls we put up around us?

What if we could break out of this prison and open our hearts and minds to the wonders and beauty of the world in a way that brings pure joy and happiness to everything we do?

What’s Stopping You?

The biggest thing stopping most of us from living the life we were meant to live is fear. Fear of rejection… Fear of looking stupid… Fear of making a fool of ourselves… Fear of the unknown… but the biggest fear… is the fear of failure.

The fear is so great most people would rather not try and stay where they are than to make a concerted attempt at success than to risk failure. But failure is not the true problem here. Putting yourself out there is hard but success and happiness come with a price and if you don’t pay it you’re trapped.

Naguib Mahfouz says, “Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life.”

Your fear is preventing you from living the life you were meant to be and if you let your fears overtake your mind and heart, you will never experience what real living is all about.

Below is an infographic about how to overcome fear. Sometimes, when fear is right in front of you, there’s no other way than to face it head on.

 

Outwitting the Ghosts of Fear

From Visually.

But a perceived barrier to entry is when we think something stands in our way… but it’s not real. It’s only in our way because we let it be.

Are You Sabotaging Your Own Dreams?

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

What is your focus in life? Are you making the most of the talents that God has given you or are you focusing your efforts on avoiding pain or embarrassment?

It’s time you gave yourself the chance to be best you can be. It’s time you believe in yourself. You matter, you have value, and you have dignity. These are things we forget when we make the attempt to be successful. Our belief in ourselves must be front and center in your attempts to make your life better.

What I’ve seen as a life coach is how much people devalue themselves and feel stuck in life. It’s a shame how much people sabotage their chances at success.

How do we sabotage ourselves?

  1. We avoid confrontation – Instead of confronting those things that have a hold on us, we end up backing away and giving in. We live with the problems and allow it to dictate how we act. Why can’t we fight back?  You will never get what you want cowering in fear. You need to stand up for yourself and push back.
  2. We’re afraid to tackle the big stuff – Too often, we push the big stuff off for later to tackle the easy stuff right now. What’s really happening is called procrastination. Procrastination kills momentum. It’s better to prioritize and do now than to plan for perfection and never lift a finger.
  3.  Setting unrealistic expectations – Sometimes we set unrealistic expectations so we allow ourselves an excuse to fail. We can look back and say, “Well, that was too hard. Next time, I’ll try something easier.” Those unrealistic expectations are just an excuse to fail. For many people, it’s easier to fail than to succeed and have to meet those expectations the nest time.

Stop Making Excuses For Living Small

“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”
Stephen Hunt

What is it about life that causes us to shy away from taking a stab at success?

I can remember many times when I wanted to do something but shied away because I feared success. That’s right. I was in fear of being successful. It was the old, “If I was successful then I’d have to continually prove that I was good enough” belief that many of us use as a n excuse.

Excuses are what living small is all about. We use them to explain away what we feel we can’t accomplish. Those excuses end up becoming boulders on our shoulders and weigh us down until we believe we can’t do anything and use the fear of failure as an excuse.

Molly Cain, a writer for Forbes Magazine relates the story of a mother who posted a sexy picture of herself in her workout gear standing next to her three young children. This woman wanted to show that she got this body because she didn’t give into excuses. She could have used the excuse she’s too busy being a mother and a career woman but instead showed what you can do when you live big.

Molly explains, “We hate to be reminded that our excuses are explaining away laziness, failure, giving up and self-doubt. They’re there when we need them and we reach to them far too often. Our excuses drive us to failure because they let us take the easy way out.”

That was me for a long time. I took the easy way out and it frustrated me to no end until I got busy and started living big. That’s when good things started to happen. I was able to get signed to a big named publishing house, I published book after book and overcame shyness because I didn’t want to be a living billboard for excuses anymore.

Molly finishes up by stating, “We all have things we could blame for derailing us in life. It’s only when you identify the excuses you’re using in life that you can really get ahead.

Who and/or what are you blaming for not living the life you want?

What are you going to do about it?

Are you going to live the rest of your life being stuck with excuses?

Here’s an inspiring quote from the actor and comedian Jim Carrey that he made at a 2014 college commencement. He explains what you need to do to go beyond that “Thinking and living small mindset” and make a difference in both yours and other peoples lives.

“You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based on either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it.”

Does what you want seem so far out of reach that the only way is to quit before you begin?

That’s a sad commentary on life. Why try something if we’re only gonna fail at it anyway?

Because you never know what’s gonna happen unless you try. Don’t stand on the sidelines while everyone else plays the game of life. It’s a boring place to be with no action and no happiness. Why don’t yo get into the game and see what life can offer you!!!

Jim tells us that “Like many of you, I was concerned about going out into the world and doing something bigger than myself, until someone smarter than myself made me realize that there is nothing bigger than myself. My soul is not contained within the limits of my body, my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul.”

You can fly but you have to believe you can. Don’t worry about what others say or think about you. You only have to please yourself. And since when is failure the end of everything?

You learn from your failures and go forth, always striving, always looking ahead, and giving it your best. When you live small you box yourself into a corner with your wings clipped.

The Consequences Of Living Small

“Fear is temporary. Regret is forever.”
Deirdre Van Nest

What type of signs come into play when you are living small?

I call it the “Wallflower Syndrome” and it’s exploited to the max by people who say they are too shy. Once again it’s just an excuse that helps you avoid living life to its fullest!

Here are the 5 tell-tale signs that you are living small and why you won’t change.

The first tell-tale sign is…

1-You wait for people to come to you – Instead of making the first move, you wait patiently for everyone to make the first move and if/when it doesn’t happen, you give a big sigh of relief because you don’t actually have to make any type of commitment. This way you avoid any type of confrontation.

The second tell-tale sign is…

2- You stuff your life with inconsequential things – No matter how busy you get, you gravitate to the small things such as errands, chores, to-do lists that don’t mean anything. Those things that are a big deal get pushed back all the time. You end up missing the big picture in life because you occupy your mind, your time and your life with the wrong priorities while everyone else is busy making things happen.

The third tell-tale sign is…

3- You let criticism beat you down like a hammer – Any type of criticism is like a huge billboard confirming everything you already felt about yourself. You’re not good enough, you don’t belong, and you will never amount to anything. We, that’s all bullshit! It’s just a way for you to deal with life. Stop wearing a coat of armor. It’s heavy, uncomfortable and it can’t protect you from anything real.

The fourth tell-tale sign is…

4- You’re a planner not a doer – Living small consists of small plans, small ideas and small details but they never amount to much. Why? because you never carry them out. You’re a dreamer with no concrete way to make them happen. You put up walls (excuses) everytime something comes your way. You spend your whole life planning for something that will never happen. You never take chances because you’re worried of ridicule, indifference, or worse yet, falling on your face from failure but as I am fond of saying… who cares? Get up off your ass and do something! Even if it fails at least you tried. Learn from your mistakes and carry on. You’ll be able to learn what you did wrong so you can make corrections the next time around.

The fifth and final tell-tale sign is…

5- You live in a world of escape – You’re so unhappy with the life you have, you escape to a world where you can’t fail. Your dreams are filled with actions you would never take yourself and you play the hero. To you, reality is an illusion and dreams are the real world. Every mistake, every trial and tribulation is magnified to the point where you hide away in your own magical wonderland. What’s so hard about being human and screwing up at times? We all do it. It’s those type of people who get back up and have the “Never say die attitude” that live big and get the most out of life. Isn’t that what really scares you?

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? It’s a question you need to ask if you want to live the life you’ve always wanted.

It’s time to take off that negative mindset that’s weighing you down and just start living and moving forward. You don’t have to succeed all the time and you don’t have to go fast. As the song goes,“Put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor.”

From now on, you have to take advantage of your opportunities to live the life you were meant to live. It is the new commandment for your life!

Living Small

The Best Ways To Live Happier And Healthier In 2019

2019

Living Happier In The New Year

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Buddha

Let’s face it, 2018 didn’t work out so well for many of us but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to use last year as a learning process to make 2019 your best year yet. You deserve to live a happier and healthier life no matter what your circumstances are as of this moment.

Those resolutions you made last January are long gone so let’s put the past behind us and begin by taking stock of what we can do now to make 2019 a very special year.

Do you want to live a happier and healthier 2019 without feeling like you’re going through the same old motions?

What was it about 2018 that gave you the most trouble?

Did you have money issues? Health issues? Relationship problems?

All of us can use a little more help in these areas and hopefully, you can open both your heart and mind to allow some worthwhile strategies to get the most out of your time, money and relationships.

Let me ask you this. How did 2018 turn out for you?

For me, health and money problems topped the list. Having been a survivor of 2 near-fatal car accidents, I know the value of being healthy. Two major back operations topped my list of the most painful moments of 2018 but I am working towards getting back into better health.

As far as my finances go, my health took it’s toll on my financial situation as well. Because I was laid up for a good portion of 2018, I wasn’t able to write as many books as I wanted and my business suffered for it.

So, what am I doing to make 2019 my best year ever?

In order to help you with your own problems, I’m going to show you some of the things I’m doing to improve my own 2019 and beyond. This way, we can work together to improve our lives on a daily basis.

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before we begin.

  • Did you feel like you didn’t accomplish the things you wanted to accomplish?
  • Did you feel like it was a lost year in terms of happiness and fulfillment?
  • Did you have trouble dealing with problems as they came into your life?
  • Did you fight and/or resist change as it happened?
  • Did you complain about things without looking for real solutions that work?
  • Did you allow or block God from helping you learn from your trials and tribulations?

I hope you answered these questions as honestly as possible.

Why?

Because, we as  humans, have the tendency to sugarcoat things and not accept the obvious as well as make things out to be worse than they really are.

This is what stops us from getting the most out of our talents and living happy and healthy lives. We don’t look at the true nature of things and search for ways to get better.

2019 might have sucked but so what? It’s time to change your mindset and get on the pathway to an abundant life.

You can use my real world experience to solve your real world problems.

So, where do we start first?

Boosting Your Mindset In 2019

If you want to boost your overall health and live a life you can be proud of in 2019 you are going to have to make some kind of small but significant changes that can maximize your health, wealth, and happiness.

As we alluded to earlier, your mindset needs a reset.

How you look at and feel about certain things makes all the difference in the world. It’s not about how others see you but how you see yourself. The more you allow negativity to seep into your thoughts and actions the easier it will be to fail.

Negative thoughts lead to negative actions and once that happens it become self-propelling like a snowball down the side of a mountain.
What can you change about your mindset?

Here are 5 things you must do to change how you think and what patterns your thoughts take.

  1. Take Note Of What You Are Thinking At Any Given Time – Your thoughts matter and if you give them weight they can either knock you down or build you up. Stop with all the anxiety of any given situation and start thinking of positive outcomes. The more you put out positive thoughts the more they will change your circumstances. Don’t let your thoughts rule you. You must take charge, be strong and be the owner of what you think and feel.
  2. Don’t Be Manipulated By Your Feelings – How many times in the past have you let your emotions rule how you act? Probably too many to name but if you can control your emotions, you can control your thoughts. You don’t have to submerge your emotions like Spock from Star Trek but you do need to put a lid on them when they start to boil over.
  3. Put Your Thoughts Into Positive Action – Thoughts are great to have but if you are not taking the next logical step and putting them into concrete action then they are just taking up space in your mind’s hard drive. When a good thought arises, take out a notebook (you are carrying one with you wherever you go aren’t you?) and make a plan to put that thought into action. What do you have to do to make that thought a reality? Whose help do you need to you make it a reality? What steps can you take that will bring success to the forefront?  These are important questions you need to ask yourself so that you have all the information necessary to make a wise decision.
  4. Learn How To Be Logical In Your Thought Process – Logic plays a key part in how we act and feel. Without logic, we’d all pretty much go crazy. The idea is to think in logical steps. Learn how to outline your thoughts so they make sense and are easy to articulate. If you can’t explain what you want then draw them out. Anything to make your voice heard. When you know how to follow through on your thoughts life is much easier to handle.
  5. Learn Which Thoughts To Believe And Which Thoughts To Shut Out – Your mind is like a magnet. Every thought seems to get stuck in one place where they rattle around causing you stress. Soon, your mind is overloaded and you can’t think straight. Find a nice, quiet place where you can delete the thoughts you don’t need and rearrange the thoughts you want to keep into separate folders. I know the computer imagery may sound overwhelming you but if you learn which thoughts are important and which thoughts aren’t then you can concentrate your powers on those that lift you up and make you happy.

Now that we have your mindset problems taken care of, you can now put all your energies into making 2019 a year to remember.

A Healthier And Happier New You

If you want to be healthier and happier in 2019, there’s nothing stopping you from achieving your goals except one thing… you.

You can have it all but you need to believe in it. Take the appropriate action and keep working at it.

Below are my 7 lists of things you need to work on to be the best you in 2019. Use them to improve your physical. mental and emotional wellbeing.

  1. A Healthy Mind Is Nothing Without A Healthy Body – Start working out your body like you would your mind. Practice builds muscle tone and helps alleviate stress and who doesn’t want to be less stressful? Strive to eat a balanced diet that gives you the nutrition you need as well as the energy to live a healthy life. I know money plays a big part in what type of food we buy but be mindful of what you are putting in your body. The more food you eat that has artificial chemicals in them the harder your body must fight to stay healthy. If you can, learn what ingredients are in the foods you buy and try to eat more organically grown food. Because organic foods are healthier for you, you don’t need to eat as much to fill you up thus saving you money in the process. I know we can’t all totally eliminate junk food from our diets but if you strive to do it little by little it will make a big difference in your overall health.
  2. Learn How To Adjust Your Expectations So You Can Find Lasting Success – What are your expectations for your life? Contrary to popular belief, the majority of people have lower expectations of themselves than they should. Whether it comes from not believing in themselves, not wanting to do the work necessary to achieve greatness or feel it’s not worth it in the end. expectations can and should be met as part of healthy self-esteem. Lower expectations bring on lower self-esteem yet if we fail to achieve our life’s ambitions, it should not impact our love of self. In fact, it is usually in the pursuit of success that we find out who and what we are truly made of.
  3. Invest Both Time And Money In Taking Care Of Your Needs – Most people tend to spend more time taking care of others and less time on their own needs and end up tired and overwhelmed. It is not selfish to take care of yourself and it is not selfish to make sure your needs are met first. It is in balancing the two that we find happiness and fulfillment in life. How can you take care of your own needs? Take care of your own mental and emotional health by always trying to affirm the good things about yourself and working to improve what you lack. Take up meditation to improve your mind, schedule time for yourself, and probably the easiest way to take care of your needs is by laughing. Learn to laugh at yourself and just be silly. It can be just what the doctor ordered.
  4. Live With A Realistic Budget – Not accounting for emergencies, most people have no idea how to plan out a realistic budget that is both financially viable and feasible to implement. This is the reason why so many are living paycheck to paycheck. Most of the time it is not about how much you make but how much you keep. Can you live on less and still be happy in the age of economic uncertainty? This is a question you must alone decide. Do you really need that 60 inch tv or the top of the line iPhone? Once again, happiness is not derived from competing with others and what they have but being grateful for what you have.
  5. Create A Loving Heart In All Matters – Because finances, job and family take up most of our time and money, we forget what role love plays in all things. How we deal and feel about others is an important part of who we are. Unconditional love is a powerful vehicle for attaining happiness and health in your life. It can be so beautiful when we put it into practice. Things such as forgiveness, appreciation, friendship, unselfishness, and giving are all parts of a loving heart given to us by the example of Jesus on the cross. Life is not a race to see who can acquire the most. Instead, it’s about connecting with others and God in a more personal way. It’s about taking time to help others that are in need and it’s about acceptance of both ourselves and our situations. When you live by the example our Lord has given us, you can experience love in so many ways.
  6. Challenge Yourself To Get Better – It doesn’t matter what the challenge is. Your hope is to accept the challenge and try your best to better yourself and truly make a difference in your own life and the lives of others. It’s means pushing yourself harder than you ever done before and getting out of your comfort zone. It may also mean pain and disappointment but life has no guarantees. Only you can guarantee things if you work hard enough and not give up at the most critical time. Learn to embrace each new challenge put in front of you and don’t worry about failing. Failure is one of the ways we learn from and when you do, use the knowledge to better yourself for the next challenge that comes your way.
  7. Embrace Life’s Journey – In the Spring 2019 issue of SUCCESS magazine, they talk about finding success in life. They write, “Success is not so much a destination as a journey, and we are at our best when we are growing.” This is what life is really all about. It is a journey we are all on and sometimes we fall and sometimes we succeed but we have to make the attempt. The more you embrace life the more happiness, joy and abundant health you will receive but you have to go out and get it. Don’t expect it to come after you.
Bonus Tip For A Better 2019

life's a challenge

Like anything in life, you have to work at things to get better. One of the things many of us are suffering from is sleep deprivation. We’re all trying to get ahead in life and when we overwork ourselves, our health suffers.

Below is an infographic that shows the seven essential mental activities we need to incorporate into our lives so that we can function mentally at full capacity.

The Healthy Mind Platter - Visualised

From Visually.

Sleep is so important to feeling your best but for many who are sleep-deprived, it can be a long road to nowhere. Good sleep habits refresh the body and keep the spirits up. It is also one of the best ways to keep you sharp mentally and in the type of society we function in, it’s a must!

Here are 3 ways to get more sleep and help you tackle each day, rested and relaxed.

  • Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle – This cycle, better known as your circadian rhythm, is the best way to setup a your sleep pattern for a restful night sleep. This means going to bed at the same time every night. No matter how tired you are, you will be able to get to sleep without having to take medication or count sheep.
  • Control your exposure to light – Melatonin is a natural hormone the brain secretes when it is dark. When you allow your body to do its job the proper way, you won’t have any problems sleeping.
  • Clear your head before you attempt to go to sleep – Never try to go to sleep with problems on your mind. Try to keep anxiety and chronic worrying to a minimum before you lay down. Since you can’t solve all your problems right then and there, be wise and let your subconscious take care of it. More often than not, the answer will come to you after sleeping on it.

I hope these tips and important information will help inspire you to make the supreme effort to improve both your 2019 and beyond and give you the impetus to embrace life. Without happiness and health, what do we have to look forward to?

happier and healthier

How Do You Define What Happiness Means To You?

feeling happy

What Is The Real Definition Of Happiness?

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. “
Helen Keller

Happiness means something different to everyone but as its very root, finding happiness is what everyone is searching for. The very definition of being happy is to be satisfied, contented, and fulfilled in whatever you are doing at the moment.

But happiness is not defined by momentary pleasures. We want to go much deeper than that. We want something that is sustainable, something that stays with us and something we can access at any time we want.

Now, let’s take a look at the literal definition from Webster’s dictionary to see how it defines happiness.

It states that happiness is:

  1. A : a state of well-being and contentment : joy
  2. B : a pleasurable or satisfying experience

Definition A is important to you to understand as it uses a keyword that most people do not fully understand… that being joy!

Joy is something most people think of as a synonym for happiness but it gets to the heart of what we feel as opposed to what we experience.

Joy is not about pleasure or stimulation that makes us feel good. Joy is the embodiment of love. It is what’s left over when pleasure and contentment are gone. It’s what God has given to us as a gift that we must cherish.

In Lamentations 3:17, we feel the heartache when we lose our happiness. “My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.”

But true happiness comes from God. Despite all the problems, Romans 12:12 tells us, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

According to author Donna Labermeier in an article she wrote entitled, “Do We Really Know What Joy Is?” she speaks of the true nature of joy when she writes, “Joy is a sustained, elevated, super-fast vibrating energy that most people are not at all used to. A state of true joy reveals an eagerness and enthusiasm for life that many dear souls have probably never felt before.”Is that the kind of happiness you seek?”

Joy takes happiness to a new level. It’s what is inside of each and every person yet most don’t know how to access it and even worse, don’t know how to enjoy it

Do you want to get an immediate boost to your happiness? Listen to the MP3 below for the real secret.

What Does Happiness Mean To You?

“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.”
Lou Holtz

Everyone wants to be happy but do you know what happiness means to you? Do you know what it takes to make you happy?

Are you living the life you imagined you’d live? So often, we look back on our lives and wish we could have done things differently. We wished we could have avoided the painful things we encountered while enjoying the little things a bit more.

King Solomon built some of the most beautiful projects known to man. He had at his disposal all the money a man could ever want and used it to bring happiness to himself. After taking a serious look at what he had built, he lamented on the sheer waste of it all as he finally understood the principal of searching for joy when it was already there through the love of God.

“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done… and found it to be nothing but vanity and a striving after wind” Ecc 2:1-12.

This is how many of us look at happiness. We gather up riches here on earth yet none of it makes sense until we take a long look at our lives and what these possessions have given us.

What’s truly important to you?

What is the one thing you can’t live without? Is it love? Friendship? Your family? Your job? Whatever it is, that’s what you will focus on. If you focus on things that don’t fulfill you then they will take up valuable real estate in your heart and will waste your time, money, and your feelings.

Download “How Do You Define What Happiness Means To You?” Cheatsheet Here

How To Find Lasting Joy In Your Happiness

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”
Walt Whitman

Happiness is like a game for most people. They go on a mad scramble to find lasting happiness yet they never finish playing the game. All the things they think will make them happy are disposable and move on to the next thing they think will fill their hearts.

Let me tell you why all of this is in vain. In fact, let God tell you in his own words and you will see why joy is what you are really lacking.

Treasures in Heaven

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Joy is short-lived if it is done with selfish intent. Real joy comes from investing ourselves in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Dr. D. W. Ekstrand brings this out beautifully in his article, “Genuine Joy And Happiness” when he writes, “A Christian’s joy can be just as short-lived as anyone else’s, if he seeks it for itself as the world does. Biblical joy is a fruit, a byproduct, an additional blessings, not an end in itself. It flows into and grows within the person whose life and energies are not focused merely on being “joyful.” The lives of those in this world who so zealously chase after it prove this point. If they are still chasing it, then they must not have it!  On the other hand, when we follow God’s prescription, He feeds us in such a way that we experience real joy and satisfaction.”

How are you feeding this joy? Is it with the fruit of the world or the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

If everything you do comes from a genuine love of the Jesus Christ then joy will follow you all the days of your life. You will not descend into the depths of debauchery but be lifted through the unconditional love that God shows you.

It’s so easy to get caught up in this world. The problems, the acrimony, the greed, the jealousy, and the gossip. We waste so much of our time on things that bring no sense of joy. Instead, we let life and society dictate our own brand of happiness.

Think about it. Are you able to enjoy yourself to the fullest knowing that someone might make a comment on what you are doing that you may not like or appreciate? Does what others say or believe influence your happiness?

I hope not! But let’s be real here for a minute. If you enjoy things that others don’t, doesn’t it make sense to to find others that enjoy the same things you do and enjoy it with them? Why let others spoil what gives you pleasure.

Let me give you an example of this. When my brother and I hit our early twenties, we finally had enough money to go to Comic Con in New York City. Comic Con is a festive held in both New York City and San Diego where fans of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies and science fiction go to enjoy themselves. Some people dress up as their favorite movie and comic characters while others go to soak up the atmosphere.

As we are big science fiction fans (Star Wars and Star Trek to name just a few), we went to meet some of the cast members and enjoy the festivities. When we told some people we were going, we got some funny looks and one person even commented, “Why would you want to go there for?”

I will never forget that. They tried to spoil our fun because they thought it was stupid to waste our time there. Happiness doesn’t depend on what others think or believe. It should come from deep inside. As a writer, I wanted to go to understand what made these movies, shows and characters click. It was a chance to meet our heroes.

God knows what makes us happy and puts things in our life to enjoy them. He wants us to be happy. He doesn’t want us depressed or feeling like life is a drag. We tend to forget what God wants for us and go off and do our own thing until we realize God has other plans for us.

Going to Comic Con inspired me to take my writing to another level. God was leading me in a direction and I followed. Why is this important?

We read it in Psalm 16:11 where David encourages us to seek out God’s joy. “Thou will make known to me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever” 

Now, does that sound like a God who doesn’t care whether we’re happy or not? Of course not. He is guiding us and watching over us all the time and through this, He offers his joy which brings us the true pleasures of the world.

Where would you be if you had to do everything yourself and no help whatsoever in accomplishing your goals in life?

Probably not too happy but when you allow Jesus to guide you and show you what real joy is then you can experience happiness in a brand new light.

The Purpose Of Joy

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”
Thomas Jefferson

Without joy, it would be a pretty boring world wouldn’t it? Day after day, slogging through life without any hope at all. That’s not what God offers us.

In fact, there’s a purpose to God’s joy. He want to bring us close to Himself where He can bring out the best in us. Pastor Dr. D. W. Ekstrand says it best when he writes, “Biblical joy is inseparable from our relationship with God, and springs from our knowledge and understanding of the purpose of life and the hope of living with God for eternity when there will be joy evermore. Joy is the sign that life has found its purpose and its reason for being.” 

Have Passion

From the article, “Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old” author Eric Barker talks about happiness and purpose. He states, “People who have purpose in life are not only happier and healthier —  they live longer.” He goes on to say, “What drives you? What inspires you? Feed that now and reap the benefits later. Don’t have hobbies — have passions.”

We are all equipped to be happy. The problem is, we don’t give in to our passions we give up our passions to make a living. It’s when we combine them that we find our happiness and the joy of life.

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

That quote by Thich Nhat Hanh explains why most of us are not happy and don’t feel the joy in our life. You’ve got to live to be happy. Happy people enjoy the life God has given them. They are not just actors in their life but actually live out their passions.

If you want to define happiness and joy, it all comes down to this: Joy is a response to God’s word. Pastor Rick Warren chimes in with his definition which I like the best because it brings us to the heart of how joy works.

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”

What is your definition of happiness and joy and are you a living example of it?

Let me know in the comments section how you feel about being happy.

How Do You Define Happiness

5 Amazing Ways God Can Help You Start Living A Happier Life

happy place

Finding Happiness in Life Despite The Ups And Downs

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” 
Steve Maraboli

Everyone wants the dream of living a happy and healthy life without all the stress and grief that comes with it. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped to handle the everyday problems that make finding happiness a real chore.

Even if your life seems to be stuck in a rut where everything is going wrong, there are ways to instantly boost your level of happiness and enjoy what life has to offer you. You may not be able to get rid of all the stress that’s affecting you but there are ways to keep stressful feelings and reactions at bay so it doesn’t ruin your happiness and severely affect your lifestyle.

Regardless of your circumstances, joy is truly present in your life… you just have to look for it. God has given you everything you need to be happy but for some of us, we forget many of those blessings when we go through tough times.

For me, I look to Jesus first for my joy even in the midst of all my pain and suffering. Having nearly died in two separate car accidents I am grateful for the life I have now despite the physical pain from the 2 major back operations I’ve had to endure.

Life isn’t easy but that doesn’t mean happiness should be cast aside. As Christians, God has called us to lead happy lives filled with His joy not the fleeting happiness of a corrupt society that has very little to offer.

In this article, you’ll discover 5 amazing ways God can help you start living a happier life right now. And, you’ll be better off for learning this in the long run.

#1 Way To Living A Happier Life

1- It’s Not What’s On The Outside But What’s On The Inside That Really Matters

Remember, people care about you because of you, not what you own. All the money in the world cannot buy you lasting happiness if God is not part of who you are. Most of the time, we try to fill that void in our lives by buying things to make us happy but after awhile, those things lose their appeal. All you’re really doing is throwing money down that void trying to fill it with worthless junk.

Look at all the rich and powerful celebrities over the years who have died from overdosing on drugs, chasing fame and got caught up in a life filled with sex, booze and lost everything they had. They are lost souls who put their salvation in the hands of the devil and ended up with nothing.

If you base your happiness on strictly what you own, you’re losing a long and painful battle. Too many people are slaves to the newest technology, designer clothes and latest cars, all to make themselves look good to other people. However, people like you for the person you are on the inside.

Think about all the good you have done for others. How you’ve treated them over the years and been there when they needed you. Was it because of your money? Of course not. Friendship doesn’t care about money. It goes much deeper than that.

So, what does God say about this?

In Luke 12:15, we are told about greed. “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Once again we read it in Proverbs 23:4-5 where it states, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

It’s not about how much money but what you do with it that is important to God. Money and possessions are worthless it you are not a good steward with them. You have two choices to decide…

  1. Let money rule over you
  2. You rule over your money

God has given you so many things to be grateful for so enjoy what he has given. His unconditional love is filled with all the joy you need.

Let go of the notion that your worth depends upon your possessions and look to God for your true version of happiness.

#2 Way To Living A Happier Life

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”
Marcus Aurelius

2- Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

“Comparison is the theft of joy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Want the secret to happiness? Stop comparing yourself to others because you’ll always feel like you cannot measure up. This is a surefire way to ruin your happiness and live a life filled with lack. We all have problems and even though no two people are the same, we have this bad habit of comparing ourselves and our lives to others without knowing what these people are going through. The problem is, it’s like comparing apples and bananas. They’re both fruits but that’s where the comparison ends.

God doesn’t want us to worry about what others have. According to author Cindi McMenamin, “Comparison is an ugly game. Jesus warned us not to get caught up in it, especially when it came to how we “look” religiously.”

This game is never played on equal footing. Remember the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14? He compared himself to the tax collector but Jesus put him in his place when he said:

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

We all have different strengths and weaknesses and because of this we must recognize the opportunity to practice humility when it presents itself. We’re never going to live up to our version of others so we need to rely on God’s opinion rather than the opinion of others.

Comparison all based on our insecurities and when we let those insecurities run wild, that’s when jealousy, self pity and greed come into play.

Cindi goes on to explain why we compare when she states, “You and I compare ourselves to others out of our insecurity. We hope to feel better about ourselves if we end up ahead. We also compare because of our competitive or perfectionist nature – we have the desire to be right, perfect, or just better than another. But comparison rarely leads to humility, which pleases God and saves us the stress of constantly running our measuring stick over others in front of us.”

When you stop comparing yourself to others, you’ll notice you become a much happier person.

#3 Way To Living A Happier Life

“If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” 
Roy T. Bennett

3- Do What You Love

Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Those 17 words can be the difference between a life of mediocrity that you hate doing and a life filled with happiness and excitement.

God has given each one of us certain gifts and talents that when used properly, can do His will on earth while helping us fuel our passions. Your job, as Mission Impossible states, should you choose/decide to accept it, is to find a passion that both excites you and uses your gifts for the glory of God.

According to author Ruth Zive, “Our truest passions emerge in childhood, only to be squelched by real life pressures. So think about what you loved long before you had to worry about your career. Getting back in touch with those instincts is an important step in finding your passion.”

Studies show that happy people tend to earn higher salaries because they have jobs they love. I know the job you have now pays the bills but what is your heart aching to do? What is it that makes you get up in the morning and motivates you?

You might think you’re stuck with what you have but the yearning you have is telling you something. Everyone who went into business and did something they loved had a job to pay the bills but they broke out of their comfort zone and made things happen. Success and happiness go together but if you aren’t doing what you love you’ll get neither of them.

Everyday life experiences are where you learn how to live but you can’t live in a classroom all your life. There’s comes a time when you have to get out on your own and ultimately do what makes you happy.

If you listen to what others say you’ll stay stuck in the same old grind but listen to Steve Jobs when he says, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Don’t settle for mediocrity. That’s where unhappiness lives. Make the decision to do what you love and happiness and joy will always challenge you to be a better person!

Download Your “5 Amazing Ways God Can Help You Start Living A Happier Life” Cheatsheet Here

staying happy

#4 Way To Living A Happier Life

“Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.”
St. Augustine

4- Be A More Prayerful Person

Are you surprised by this selection? Most people only pray when they’re going through tough times but God asks us to pray unceasingly. We read this in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where is states,Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

If God asks you to rejoice and pray then it must be important. The happiness comes in communion with God. Whenever you’re down, seek out His compassion and His love. It’s there that you will find His joy.

Here’s a quote from St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars that explains the point like no other.

“Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When our heart is pure and united to God, we feel within ourselves a joy, a sweetness that inebriates, a light that dazzles us. In this intimate union God and the soul are like two pieces of wax melted together; they cannot be separated. This union of God with His little creature is a most beautiful thing. It is a happiness that we cannot understand. . . God, in His goodness, has permitted us to speak to Him. Our prayer is an incense which He receives with extreme pleasure.” 

When you trust God, it gives you a level of satisfaction you can’t anywhere else. It’s in your daily habit of prayer that you realize how happy God makes you feel, how joyful it feels to be unconditionally loved and to be able to talk to the creator who actually cares what’s going in your life.

Even as everything around you is falling apart, God is watching over you and that is something you can count on..

So what does joy mean to you?

Michael Youssef, Ph.D. says that “Joy is a spiritual result of our focus on God. It is tied to our salvation and our walk with Christ.”

Studies have shown that those who pray are much happier people that is why your prayer life is critical to your state of happiness.

#5 Way To Living A Happier Life

“Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur everyday than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.”
Benjamin Franklin

5- Be In A Permanent Fellowship With God

Happiness is in God’s nature. He wants you to be happy and knows what is best for you. Too often, we think we know what will make us happy but in the long run, we end us sad and unfulfilled. We give into sin to experience momentary happiness but that’s not where true happiness lives.

Wes Adams says that “We are exchanging the happiness and joy of fellowship with God for the “fleeting pleasures of sin”

This is why you need to take a big stand on what actually makes you happy. Is it what God wants of you? Is it what God has planned for you.

Just because it makes you feel good doesn’t mean it’s right for you. When we veer away from real fellowship with God we’re like a car who loses a wheel and goes off the road. We need God to fix that tire and bring us back onto the right pathway filled with his love and care.

Wes goes on to say “Jesus shocks us by saying the happy ones are those who:”

  • are poor in spirit
  • mourn
  • are meek
  • hunger and thirst for righteousness
  • are merciful
  • are pure in heart
  • are peacemakers
  • are persecuted for righteousness sake.

Happiness is different for everyone but God sees things differently. He wants us happy but He also wants us to be holy. That’s most important thing important on His agenda.

We forget that GOD IS THE TRUE SOURCE of our happiness and that He will lead us down the pathway of righteousness but author Eddie Foster gives us this to think about when he writes, “Because happiness so often seems to be elusive, people often try to find it in all the wrong places. Many times they fall for an artificial happiness that they create with behaviors that give temporary pleasure.”

Anyone can find pleasure but true and lasting  happiness can only be found in God. Without Him, you’ll bounce from one thing to another always trying to feed that insatiable appetite for happiness. Instead, seek out God’s unconditional love and you’ll find the type of joy that will give you real contentment.

So there you have it – 5 ways God can help you start living a happier life right now.

What do you think?

Let me know how God has impacted your level of happiness and what you are doing right now to seek His joy.

How To Stop Worrying About What Others Think Of You

stop worrying

Why Do You Care About What Others Think Of You?

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the crowd. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

From the time we’re born we are influenced and shaped by the people around us. We listen to their every word and watch their every action as we grow but when we let what others think of us become more important than what we think of ourselves, it can be devastating for our self-esteem.

We all want to be liked by those we come in contact with so when we tailor our actions to fit other’s opinions of us, we lose out on the person we really are. We becomes puppets on a string that others can manipulate when they find out they have certain powers over us.

So, why worry about what others think about you? Why let what others think, say and feel influence how you feel and act on a daily basis?

It all comes down to how we feel about ourselves.

Think about it. Low self-esteem means we care too much about what others say and not enough about who we really are on the inside. We don’t think we’re important enough to make a positive impression on other people so we miss out on what it really means to be unique.

I remember when I was in high school. I was very shy and it was hard for me to make friends (having moved around so many times in my life) so I decided to let my actions do the talking. I was a very good athlete, having played basketball, baseball, football, and soccer, but it didn’t matter. Whatever people thought of me was out of my hands.

They still talked about me behind my back, made insulting remarks about my looks and actions and treated me like I was carrying the plague but I learned I couldn’t control what others thought or said about me, I could only control my own actions. This taught me a very valuable lesson as I got older. The more people I dealt with, the stronger a person I had to become or I would ultimately let others dictate who I was as a person.

What about you?

Do you worry what others will think about how you look, what you do, or even how you think?

Lolly Daskal, President and CEO, Lead From Within says this about worrying too much what others think: “When we give over our power to others and allow that their impressions to become how we perceived, we lose out on who we really are. The only reality we can see is how we believe others see us.”

Your reality should not be based on the power you give to others but the power you have inside. Success in life is not determined on what others think of you but how you feel about yourself and what you do to achieve your goals. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence puts you at a disadvantage when dealing with others and can derail any shot you have at being successful.

Who do you want to dictate how you live your life? Will it be you or other people? It’s as simple as that.

How Can You Eliminate The Worrying And Free The Authentic Person Inside?

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” 
Carl Gustav Jung

According to Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, “Studies show that we consistently overestimate how much, and how badly, others think about us and our failings. An unfortunate consequence of this is that we are far more inhibited and far less spontaneous and joyful than we could be.”

This is a very important idea to understand. The more you overestimate how much others think about you the harder it becomes to be more open and more spontaneous.

One of the reasons why shy people have difficulty opening up and enjoying themselves is not about knowing what to say or how to act but is more concentrated on their belief of what others may think about them.

I suffered from this type of behavior for many years. I was so self-conscious of what others were going to think about how I looked or how I carried myself that stayed stuck in my shell. It was so hard to be comfortable when I felt everyone was looking at me.

But here’s the kicker, no one really cares about you. Most people are so into themselves that you aren’t important enough for them to spend time judging you. Having learned this one idea freed me from those self-conscious feelings and I was able to function without the fear or phobia of social interaction.

Here are seven more ways you can eliminate the worry that has a firm hold on you.

1- Break The Cycle Of Your Social Disorder – We have been programmed from an early age to act a certain way, dress a certain way, think a certain way and these types of ideologies force us into social acceptance. There seems to be no room for self expression if it doesn’t conform to the norm.

Take social media for instance. We are forced to like people and things on both Facebook and Twitter to feel part of something bigger than ourselves. This goes against who we really are on the inside. Non-conformity has become a pariah in society and we pay a heavy price for being like everyone else.

Who says you have to be liked socially to fit in? No one needs to give you permission to be liked. That comes from you. The more you understand that concept, the easier it will be to stop worrying about what others think about you and how to fit in without becoming just another face in the crowd.

2- Think about the bigger picture in life – We constantly worry about how we will fit into society and this leads people to do some crazy things to be part of the group. This type of thinking is very short-sided as it has its workings in the present day instead of looking at the bigger picture and where your future lies. If you’re always chasing acceptance, it means you cannot fully accept yourself at this time and will always look for it wherever you go.

The bigger picture shows you things you might have missed when you concentrate on this moment in time. Those things are very important to how you view yourself and the people and things around you.

The bigger picture also changes your point of view. The spotlight is not always on you nor is the pressure you put on yourself. Slow down and get a grip on who you are not what you are perceived to be.

3- Stop letting others live your life for you – Have you ever had a windup toy that you pulled the lever and it went wherever you led it to go? Or a remote controlled toy that you controlled its action? That’s what worrying about what others think of you is like. They have complete control over your thoughts and movements because you’ve transferred that power willingly.

No one is living your life, making your decisions or feeling your feelings. You know best how to live and get along in the world so why let others do those things for you? Learning about yourself comes from making your own mistakes and seeing how far you can go before you make a mistake. You can’t learn anything when you are filled with worry.

Download The “How To Stop Worrying About What Others Think Of You” Cheatsheet Here

4- Stop trying to please everyone – The only person you need to please is yourself. That’s it! It’s impossible to live up everyone else’s expectations and when you have low expectations of yourself, you end up accomplishing very little. Just try to please yourself and let life fall where it may.

When you try to please others so they will like you, they end up liking the person who is pleasing them and not the authentic you. The inauthentic self becomes a ball they can kick around for momentary pleasure. Once you’re gone, your not important to them anymore. Is that how you want it to be?

5- Don’t sow what you don’t want to reap – How you are to others is how you will be treated back. If you have no backbone, people will push you around. If you can’t say no, you will allow yourself to be used time and time again.

You can’t be everything to everyone so be what you want for yourself and yourself only. When you let others dictate your path in life you cannot control what you sow and you will reap a bittersweet harvest.  Raj Raghunathan goes on to say that “Life is an echo: what you send out comes back. Too much worry about what others think of you can become a self-fulfilling prophesy that eventually governs your behavior and thoughts.”

6- What others think of you is none of your business – Dr Kelly Neff, a psychologist and founder of the “Lucid Planet” states that “The root of the problem with caring about what people think about you is that you’re attaching yourself to an outcome that you have no control over.”

Think about it. What outcome do you want to have happen? Can you force that outcome? Of course not but that’s what we all try to do. We make it our business to know and control what others think and feel about us because of our egos.

Ego forces us to do things based on pride instead of the truth. We try to get “On the good side of people” without realizing we’re trying to manipulate how they think and feel about us. This type of manipulation actually causes people to reject us unconsciously.

Let go of what others may think and grab hold of how you feel about yourself. By making that of greater importance than what others think, you free yourself from living up to others expectations and you can direct your energies to things of real importance.

7- Get out of your inner mental prison – Author Ed Latimore gives a great example of this when he talks about the relationship Bruce Wayne has with his alter ego Batman. Bruce Wayne is caught in a struggle between good and evil and needs Batman to carry out his whims. Batman does all the things Bruce Wayne wants to do but can’t because he is too worried about how he’ll be perceived. He’s stuck and tortured by his ego and it has put him in a prison.

Let me shine a light on how this works. Have you ever been invited to a party and you start talking to people? You feel your life isn’t as exciting as everyone else is so you start to make things up to sound more interesting. When everyone else starts drinking, you drink as well. In fact, you try to out drink everyone to “Look cool” and be interesting but you’ve put the real you inside a prison and have adopted an alter ego.

That alter ego is very hard to live up to, especially when you’re expected to be that person no matter where you go or who you meet. What’s needed is a prison break.

Ed states that “Carrying out a prison break isn’t easy especially when the prison is an invention of your own mind.”

What Steps Can You Take To Stop The Worrying From Overtaking Your Life?

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” 
Corrie Ten Boom

Most of us are pleasers. We want to please others so that we are liked but when we focus on the external outcomes such as being validated for our actions and our status in life we lose sight of what is truly important in life.

What makes you happy?

Are you doing enough to bring happiness into your life?

Are you living the fulfilling life you’ve always dreamed of?

If you answered no to questions 2 and 3, you care too much about what others think and don’t put enough emphasis on what it takes to be the real you. That is why happiness and fulfillment have not partnered with you to bring the joy you envision for yourself.

What does it take to stop worrying and start being yourself?

Are you afraid to say what you really think and believe out of fear of what others may think?

Fear is a mighty big word. It’s like a huge tidal wave with nothing to stop it but you have the power to turn it off anytime you like, you just don’t believe it’s possible.

Let me tell you it’s not only possible but within you grasp if you believe in it.

1- The first step is to show yourself some love – Transfer the power that others hold over you to yourself and you will see a huge difference in how little you worry about others. It may seem impossible, but remember, you deserve to be loved and no one has the right to take that away from you.

As you build confidence in yourself, the worry tends to lessen because you are putting the bulk of your thoughts on things that make you happy. You are satisfying your ego instead of challenging it to a duel and satisfaction is a an important ally

2The second step is to stop putting yourself in uncomfortable positions – You are feeding your negativity by putting yourself in positions where you feel you can’t win. You cannot avoid all stressful situations but you can learn how to deal with them without feeling like you are being tested and everyone is watching you to see if you pass or fail.

Once you get through these stressful situations you’ll start to build confidence in your abilities. Self-confidence is worry’s worst nightmare. It’s like taking Popeye’s spinach for your belief system.

3- The third step is to develop your own life story – Instead of living the story you believe others have of you, start developing your own internal story. Stop listening to your inner critic that wants to write your life story and work on your true authentic self. Find those things that represent the real you. learn what makes you unique and build your belief through them.

Accept your faults but think of all the things you done in life and how they made you feel. Do they represent what others think of you or do they show what the real you is capable of?

4- The final step is to control what you put your attention on – This is a mindset practice that takes time and patience but one that reaps many benefits. You are on a lifetime mission to learn and to love. What you put your attention on becomes your focus.

If you are always worried about what others think then you will focus on that worry. If you focus on what you can do to better yourself, you allow the subconscious brain to take over and focus on an answer. The brain won’t stop until it finds a solution.

What do you focus on the most during your day?

That which you focus on will become your reality so doesn’t it make sense that you focus on that which you want to happen? If you focus on being happy, your brain will find ways to bring happiness and joy into your life.

If you focus your efforts on making money, your brain will lead you to opportunities you hadn’t seen before.

If you want to focus on something, focus on what makes you a better person and allow your brain to show you the way. Look for opportunities to better yourself. Look for opportunities to build confidence. Look for ways that helps you gain knowledge and wisdom. Pure focus is the only way to overcome anything that stands in your way.

The real you is in there somewhere. It’s up to you to unleash it upon the world and be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Worrying doesn’t pay the bills or make you a better person. It only forces you to neglect what’s really important… doing what God put you on earth to do.

What does God say about worrying?

Let me leave you with these verses from Matthew 6:25-27.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

And, as the singer Bobby McFerrin once sang, “Don’t worry, be happy!”

How To Stop Worrying

7 Amazing Tips To Follow Your Passion In Life

find your passion

How To Really Follow Your Passion In Life

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
Oprah Winfrey

Marie Forleo, the famous life coach, motivational speaker and bestselling  author states this about passion: “One of the biggest stumbling blocks to finding your passion in life is figuring out what you’re passionate about in the first place. Passion can’t be found in your head because it lives in your heart.”

Everything we do comes from our heart. It was planted there long before we were born and this is the place we must connect to to find what it is we were put on the Earth to do.

All the time and effort we put into living can be best summed up in one sentence: Unless you find your passion, all that time and effort is all a waste.

How many people go through life and have that eureka moment when they find out what it is they are supposed to do. I’m not saying everything that came before is a waste. It isn’t. It’s a learning process but too often, we don’t allow our passion to take over.

We listen to others tell us to mind our business and they scare us off. But you can’t scare the spirit. It already knows.

They say, passion drives the spirit and when the spirit is driven, good things follow. Throughout your life, you are being called to make things happen but if you don’t listen to that little voice, something will always be missing.

According to Tony Reinke, Senior writer at desiringGod.org, “Actions speak louder than words — but desires speak loudest. The pursuit of pleasure is what drives all our actions and decisions, driving us into relationships, driving us to watch football, driving us toward excellence at work. We authentically pursue what we are convinced will bring us pleasure.”

So my question to you is, what is driving your spirit and what are you truly passionate about?

To take it a step further, are you following your passions in life? Are you making your dreams come true? Are you living like those dreams matter?

Passion is what drives you to achieve your special dreams.

Passion sustains you when you feel you can’t go on in life.

Passion is what allows you to sacrifice yourself for the greater good.

Passion is what turns the impossible into the very possible

Passion is what turns the dull and boring into an enthusiastic pursuit.

If you don’t have passion, what are you waiting for? The longer you wait, the harder it will be to discover what your passion is and how you can make it a reality.

Listen to “How To Be A More Passionate Person” audio track below.

What Exactly Is Your Passion And Purpose In Life?

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. “
Harriet Tubman

If you want to find your true passion in life you must know what your true purpose on earth. Purpose and passion go together. Where there is purpose, there is a world of possibilities. Most people are too afraid to try new things out of fear of failing. They are so scared of the unknown they don’t know how or where to go to look for what they should be doing.

Even worse, some people never find their purpose and live a life without any passion whatsoever.

Do you want to be that person? Do you want to have regrets for living a life without any purpose at all?

God has given you all the talent and passion you will ever need but it’s up to you to find it, nurture it and implement it to take advantage of the power it holds.

Before you start can you answer these 5 questions:

  • Is what I’m you are doing now satisfying my inner passions?
  • Where does my passion come from?
  • Do you get a charge out of getting up every morning to go to work?
  • How do you feel on Sunday night thinking about going to work on Mondays?
  • Do you dread having to get up in the morning on Monday, or does it excite you?

Ceil Ryan, a Christian Blogger, Writer and Speaker links passion with purpose when she writes, A passion becomes a purpose when I make a commitment to take those interests, and move them to serve more than myself.”

To me, commitment is what brings your passion and purpose into the light. It’s how you take what God has given you and make a dent in the universe.

The following tips will help you discover what your passion is and how to take the necessary steps to make it a reality. Waiting is not an option anymore.

In the movie, Kung Fu Panda 3, Po talks about teaching the other pandas Kung Fu but the only way he can do it is by taking advantage of their strengths and making them the best they can be. That’s what passion is all about. It’s all about taking the best you have to offer with the talents you’ve been given and putting them all together for the good of the world!

STEP ONE – Open the eyes of your heart
When we feel like something’s missing in life the first place we need to turn to is the heart. The heart sees all and knows what it needs to do. You need to reconnect with your passion and gain clarity about how to create meaningful change and move forward with your true calling because the secrets of the universe are revealed inside your heart. In Psalm 37:4, we see how this is revealed. “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.”
Wanda Sykes

STEP TWO – Look beyond the ingredients you possess and see what you can make with them
What is the focal point of your life? Are you just a grab bag of innate ingredients that has yet to be mixed? Everything you are needs to be have a recipe that only you can make. It is a God-given gift that is like a puzzle you put together. These ingredients may seem unconnected but if you look through the events of your life you will see they are telling you what your life story should be.

Corrina Gordon-Barnes, the champion of employment states it this way: “This is the time to look beyond the ingredients and seek an umbrella; something that all of these ingredients can fit beneath.” This is how you stand out and find your true calling.

“If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion.”
Mia Hamm

STEP THREE – Interest plus engagement will fire your passion
I first learned this formula from Christie Mims, a professional career coach who taught me how to dig down deep into my hobbies and what I enjoy doing and look for themes and trends that make me both happy and fulfilled. When you do the proper research she says, “You’ll likely find that your passion’s been staring you in the face this whole time. And better yet, if you connect enough dots, there’s already a job out there for you.” But it goes far beyond just getting a job. In fact, your life’s passion can take you places you’ve never imagined going and meet people you never thought you’d meet.

“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.’”
Lydia Sweatt
STEP FOUR – Strengthen your passion muscles
As adults, many of us have lost sight of the imagination and eccentricity we had as kids and it has taken it’s toll on our life. We seem lost and don’t know where to turn. Does that sound like you? It’s time to fly! It’s time to strengthen those passion muscles by opening yourself up to your dreams. Let your imagination fly and take you where you want to go.
This is what Robbin Phillips, author of the bestselling book, “The Passion Conversation” means when she states, “Passion is what you discover about yourself along the way. It’s not something you just magically wake up and have.” So, how do you do this? By engaging the brain. The more you engage your brain, the more you find what really pushes your buttons. It’s all about finding what excites you and then doing it!

“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Nelson Mandela

Download Your “7 Amazing Tips To Follow Your Passion In Life” Cheatsheet Here

STEP FIVE – Be a creator and follow your curiosity
Passion allows us to create the life we want whenever we want it. Take your creative juices and pour them out to the world. But don’t just create things… create your vision of who you are and what you want to be. Always be curious about life and what it has to offer. Let that curiosity drive your passions so you can create your masterpieces.

Don’t worry about what others ay or do. Be yourself, be bold and let your creations have their moment. What good is it if you lock away your creativity and cage your curiosity. Be alive! Let your passions run wild. Life is not meant to live small so start creating what your heart is overflowing with. Seek out knowledge and allow it to inspire you to take the bold steps you need to find your purpose in life.

“Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams.”
Donovan Bailey
STEP SIX – Make your passion hunt an adventure
Ever heard the phrase, “Life is adventure, join it!” Without true passion you’ll always been sitting on the sidelines. There are people who push their passions aside and never go on any true adventures. I’m a big movie freak and the adventure idea really comes into play with the children’s move called “Up” It’s about a young boy who goes to the cinema during the 1930’s and watches the adventures unfolding before him and decides he wants to be an adventurer when he grows up.  Well, life gets in the way of his adventures.  He gets married to a girl who also loves adventures. They buy a small house and make just enough money to get by. When she dies, he is heartbroken at missing out on life’s adventures. But, when his house is about to be taken away, he goes on the adventure he and his wife always dreamed about. His regrets turn into real happiness.
You have the capacity to make things happen…RIGHT NOW! What adventure do you want to go on? What is your heart telling you to do? The real adventure comes in the hunt for your passion and allowing that passion to fly in the face of life’s misfortunes. Your passion should excite you and inspire you to make life an adventure. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Don’t waste your life and only look back on sorrows and regrets.
“It’s your place in the world;  it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”
Mae Jemison
STEP SEVEN – Stop thinking and start doing
Action! That word should be your main inspiration in becoming what you were meant to be. But how many people just talk about what they want to do? How many people actually do what they say they want to do? Even worse, how many people push their dreams away because they’re afraid of what others may say?
The only way you make your passion come alive is to pursue them. So you fail at times. Big deal. You won’t always hit a home run but isn’t it better to try than to sit on the sidelines and watch others have their day? It isn’t whether you win or lose but how you live your life. So stop thinking about things and start making choices.
  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • How am I going to pursue my dreams?
  • Who and what inspires me?
  • What is my plan of attack?

The only thinking you need to do is make a plan. After that, let life take over and have some fun! Be adventurous. Take chances and risks and go for your dreams. Don’t let your dreams remain in your heart. You need to live… really experience life before it’s too late!

“You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.” 
Sabrina Bryan

Start Taking Your Life’s Passion To The Next Level

There are many places to explore when it comes to discovering your passions. Unfortunately, it’s up to you to find it. No one else can find it for you. Since your passions are unique, it’s a mission that you – and only you – can complete.

In your quest for passion, concentrate on enjoying the journey itself. Sometimes when you stop stressing about your life’s purpose, it falls right into your lap!

You can sit on your ass all day and think about your passion but until you actually act on your passions nothing will ever change. Just imagine what your life could be like if you act upon your passions. Would you be happy? Joyful? Excited at the opportunities that life has to offer?

Without passion, everything is dull and boring. Acting on your passions spices things up and brings out the excitement in life.  What could you accomplish if you put your passion into play? Would you be able to see your dreams take flight and fall into place?

So, what’s holding you back?

Could it be fear of change?

Sometimes the thing that holds you back from self-discovery is a fear of change. There’s always comfort and safety in not taking risks, but you also may never discover your life’s true purpose. Passion is your friend. Learn to embrace change because life is constantly changing around you and you’ll get left behind if you don’t!.

Start reflecting on the moments in your life when you’re most happy. What are you doing at these times? Is passion driving your happiness? Then go with it. Follow your passion as it leads you to your purpose.

Keep engaging in activities that have a deep inner meaningful to you. This way, each day of your life will feel like it truly matters and you will be able to fulfill your life’s purpose.

Using Self-Awareness To Find Your Passion

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
Farrah Gray

You spend everyday with yourself, but how well do you actually know who you really are? Sit down and list your passions. Think about where you are in life at this moment. Be aware of what your feelings as they will push you towards your passions.

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Are you doing the things you love?
  • Are you taking time to have fun?
  • What are your hopes and dreams?
  • What is the one thing missing from your life

Once you answer these questions, it will be easier to discover what changes you need to make to find your passion.  Joy Tanksley, a certified Martha Beck Life Coach, says this about passion: “Passion can feel like a quiet inner light…an opening in the chest or a soft flutter in the belly. When you’re passionate about something, it feels like a yes,” 

The yes is what you are looking for. Once you find it, you are on your way a realizing your purpose.

Finding your passion in life may not be as hard as you believe. Use these strategies on your daily journey and one day soon you’ll see the one feature of your life that makes everything worthwhile.

Follow Your Passion

5 Daily Habits You Absolutely Need To Build A Happy And Fulfilling Life

new choices

Building A Happy And Fulfilling Life Through The Use Of Good Habits

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” 
Colin Powell

What do your daily habits say about you and the life you lead?

As humans, we are defined by our habits, whether good or bad, yet we fail to see the link between how happy we are and habits we engage in.

Have you ever sat down and looked at your habits and what they are doing to you?

Probably not but now is a good time to take inventory of what you do and what you need to change to become a happier and more successful person.

In this article, I am going to lay out the 5 daily habits you absolutely need to build a happy and fulfilling life that you can easily incorporate into your own situation but let me give you a word of warning… this is very important information that you need to learn or you’re doomed to living a life less than what you envision.

Why Are Habits So Important To Being Happy?

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken. “
Warren Buffett

Before you can learn these five habits you must understand the importance of creating good habits and turning them into techniques that bring you happiness and success.

Aristotle says that 95% of everything we do is the result of our habits so if you form good habits, logically good things will happen but it actually goes much further than that. You want to make those good habits your master instead of allowing bad habits to rule your actions.

All habits are learned so you don’t really unlearn those habits. The idea is to replace the bad habits with good habits and continually develop those good habits.

Think about what you do everyday and prioritize those good habits. Life is about getting good results so you must become a results-oriented person.

The key to creating good habits is self-discipline.  Self-discipline then, is the foundation which makes everything else possible.

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Jim Rohn

The Top Habits of Happy, Healthy, Productive People

Grapic courtesy of zipcode.org

Here Are The 5  Daily Habits You Absolutely Need To  Build A Happy And Fulfilling Life

“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. “
George Washington Carver

Many of our everyday habits are so ingrained in our daily adventures that we don’t actually think about them until they come up. The five habits I talk about here are things most people know about but don’t really practice enough. I have found these habits keep us humble and unselfish and at the same time while forcing us to become the best we can be.

1- Practice Generosity – Above all things, generosity leads to happiness. For those who give of themselves, happiness is spread throughout the world. It is the seed that never stops giving. 

In PSALM 41:1–3, we read about God’s promise to the generous.

“Blessed is the one who considers the poor!
In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
in his illness you restore him to full health.”

It’s important to understand that God responds to the kindness and generosity we show to others with His ultimate protection, good health, and the abundance of his love.

This type of habit has been lost in this generation as people put too much emphasis on getting rich, buying things and looking after their own needs first.

Are you a generous person?

Do you give with your heart or your wallet?

The Lord loves a cheerful giver. According to Rev. James L. Harvey III, “When we use our money as God intends, giving a generous portion to His kingdom work regularly, we will feel God’s pleasure because we are doing what we are made to do.” He goes on to say, “God’s grace abounds to us in every good work of giving.”

According to bestselling author Michael Hyatt, there’s a ton of research showing how generosity enhances the quality of life for everyone involved.

He lists 5 ways generosity gives back to us:

  1. It makes us healthier Studies show the act of giving lowers blood pressure and reduces the the risk of dementia. It also helps stave off chronic illnesses, like heart disease, by lowering the disease risk factors.
  2. It makes us happy  According to researcher Christian Smith, happiness is a byproduct of doing good. It also triggers all the feel-good chemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin which enhances the happiness we feel. Being generous also affects our moods.
  3. It improves our relationships – Everyone likes to be around generous people because they bring out the best in us. When others are generous to us, we want to be generous back. This habit can’t be taught. Instead, it must come from the heart. Giving brings people together by helping us stay connected to one another.
  4. It extends our lives – Have you ever volunteered for a charity or at church or for any function at all? How do you feel after helping others? A study in The Journal of Health Psychology of 2,000 people in Marin, California, found that volunteering dramatically reduced mortality rates even better than exercising. “Subjects who volunteered for two or more causes had a 63 percent lower rate of mortality than people who didn’t volunteer during the study period.”This should be a huge difference maker for those who don’t like to give. In fact, older adults who liked to volunteer their time found a better sense of purpose to their lives, higher levels of self-esteem and a stronger sense of personal control over how they live their lives. This is how being generous improves the quality of life for everyone involved.
  5. It lower our levels of stress – According a study from social psychologist Liz Dunn, people’s cortisol levels rose when they became stingy but for those who gave without being forced their stress levels tapered off. Another study in 2014 study from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia backed this up. They found that stingy behavior increases stress. The researchers played a money bargaining game with subjects, in which the participants had to divide up a certain amount  of money. Researchers found that the participants who decided on making low offers experienced an increase in heart rate and stress levels while those who made high offers had lower rates of stress.

Download “5 Daily Habits You Absolutely Need To Build A Happy And Fulfilling Life” Cheatsheet Here

2- Surround Yourself With Inspiration Life would be so boring if there wasn’t any inspiration in the world. According to Nina Amir, the Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, “To achieve that state of being, you must know what makes you happy. Then you have to allow those things to be part of your life. You can’t allow life to get in the way of doing the things that make you feel good and joyous. If you do, you become unhappy—or less happy than possible.”

Think about it…

What inspires you to get up and actually live?

What is it that gives you purpose in life?

What actually makes you happy?

Are you living that happiness or do you live on autopilot?

Inspiration is a habit that not many people look upon to give them happiness. In fact, inspiration seems to be unimportant to most people. They feel they’re too busy to be inspired or that only creative people are inspired in life. This is a great fallacy that has hindered finding happiness for too many people over the years.

From pockemindfulness.com blog, they state, “We all need a touch of inspiration to reignite the fire in our soul, be it to stimulate creative ideas for a project we are working on or simply to break the monotony of life’s autopilot and lose ourselves in the moment of possibility for a while.”

It is in that moment of possibility that we find the secret of happiness and success. It’s not about money or power but looking for that fleeting instant of inspiration that pushes us forward in life.

The most successful people in the world find inspiration in the little things in life. They make it a daily habit which brings out their gratitude for life and what they have at that moment in time.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
Helen Keller

Helen Keller saw and heard more than most people will ever experience. What was her secret? Inspiration!!! She was a lifelong learner who wanted to make a difference in the world and used the habit of inspiration to become one of the most prominent women of the 20th century.

Why is inspiration so important to being happy and successful?

Most of us take life too seriously. We work too hard and don’t take enough time to enjoy life or what it has to offer. In a November 1, 2008 article by Scott Barry Kaufman entitled, “Why Inspiration Matters” he talks about why inspiration is so important and why it is so elusive. “In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities.”

Psychologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot say that inspiration has three main qualities:

  1. Evocation – Inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention.
  2. Transcendence – Is transcendent of our more animalistic and self-serving concerns and limitations. It involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities.
  3. Approach Motivation – In which the individual strives to transmit, express, or actualize a new idea or vision.

According to Thrash and Elliot, “Inspired people were more open to new experiences, and reported more absorption in their tasks.” This is important to understand how inspiration enhances our experiences and helps us enjoy life to a much greater degree.

Finally, inspiration is the springboard for a more creative and happy life. Be inspired to create the life you want on your terms!

3- Challenge Yourself – Most people see challenges as a “Me against the world” fight and a “Win or lose proposition” but challenges are what makes life interesting. Just like inspiration makes our experiences that much bolder, challenges force us to actually be a part of our own lives.

What types of challenges are you facing right now?

Are you learning from them?

Are you making the most of them?

Here are some challenges that will inspire positive habits in your life.

  1. Challenge your beliefs regarding what you are capable of – Stop with the I can’t excuses and start pushing yourself beyond your supposed limits.
  2. Challenge your ideas about life – What does life mean to you? Are you following the crowd because you don’t want to think for yourself or are you afraid of being/feeling different?
  3. Challenge your commitments – Are you guilty of  failing to finish those things you want to do but never get around to doing?
  4. Challenge your opportunities – Are you scared to take advantage of opportunities because you might fail? Sometimes, you need to dive head on and find your purpose while other times require you to make quick decisions. This is where doors open to a life you may be hiding from.
  5. Challenge your thoughts – Are you one of those people who is filled with negativity? Work at being  aware of what your thoughts are doing to you. Happiness depends on positivity. Be mindful of what you think and learn about the things you are thinking. Why are you thinking the thoughts you think? What are they doing to you? Make it a habit to confront the negative thoughts and try to replace them with positive ones until you gain control over your thoughts.
  6. Challenge your comfort zone – Get out of from behind the walls you have erected and take chances with your life. We all know why it’s important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone but why do most of us cringe when it comes time to do just that? It helps you become more productive, you will have an easier time facing new challenges and it will be much easier to brainstorm and harness your creativity because you have broken those chains that have always held you back.

Challenging yourself is the best way to improve yourself. Sometimes, you may fail but in the long run but you will gain trust in your abilities and strength in your character.

On the Plaza College website, they have an article dated July 24. 2013 entitled, “The Importance of Challenging Yourself” which meant to inspire students to achieve the best in all their endeavors.

It states, “Challenging ourselves to always achieve a level greater than what we expect is beneficial to not only our mental health, but also to our personal well being. As we conquer challenges that stand in our way like roadblocks, refusing to allow our passing, we find confidence in our abilities. Confidence is such an important characteristic to finding the path to success. If you do not believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you? With confidence in your own work, comes the reward of the confidence of others in you. Boosting that confidence is the growing self-esteem, which results from tackling challenges.”

One of the most important ideas with challenging yourself is that it triggers change. Change is good when you are able to face that challenge but bad when you run away from change. Challenges are meant to help us gain clarity and maturity. These are things the right habit can help us achieve in the long run.

When obstacles come, research shows that when you see them as challenges and not threats, you have a much better chance of overcoming them. The motivation comes when we strive to better ourselves and work on our signature strengths.

4-  A Sense Of Balance  It has become increasingly hard to maintain any hope for balancing the work/life/play syndrome most of us face. We either work too hard and don’t spend enough time with ur families or we spend too much time with family life which affects how we work. The problem is, we have forgotten how to balance things to remain happy and fulfilled.

Maintaining a healthy balance in life is essential for being happy and a sense of well-being.

You need to remember that balance is an ongoing process that you must work at on a daily basis. You have to practice it to become better at it. Find what is important, prioritize then focus on it and do it. It really is that simple.

We tens to make everything so complicated in life that we forget that balance is all about keeping everything in perspective. The balance tips when we go overboard in any one area of life.

The balance habit is about keeping your life in perspective. It’s about the process of living not trying to life. Remember that. If you spend too much time trying to live and not actually living your priorities get screwed up and you lose balance rather quickly.

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”
Thomas Merton

How To Find Balance In Life

There are two parts to everyone finding balance. They are

  • Internal
  • External

The internal starts with the mind, the heart and your health.

  • The mind is about making full use of your intellect while still giving your mind time to unwind.
  • The heart is about being open to giving as well as receiving love.
  • Your health  (both physical, mental and spiritual)  is about taking care of yourself without overdoing things that can lead to illness.

The external starts with work, Social interaction, family, and experiencing fun.

  • Work is about achieving your goals while enjoying what you do.
  • Social interaction is about maintaining friendships without losing time for yourself.
  • Family is about meeting the needs of your family while taking care of your own needs
  • Having fun is about taking time to enjoy life without overdoing it.

Are you being pulled in any one direction? Finding balance when life is pushing from all sides may seem like a heavyweight boxing match but this is where getting focus on what is important, getting things organized both in your personal and business life and being flexible come in handy.

You can’t hope to feel balanced if you can’t simplify your life. The more you complicate things and have too much to handle the harder it is to maintain any type of real balance. Practicing the habit of keeping things balanced allows you to create daily routines that keep things running smoothly.

Without a balanced lifestyle, it is easy to become depressed, disenchanted as well as stressed out and overburdened. Balancing everything may seem overwhelming but it all comes down to creating structure in your life that you can count on when things get crazy.

5-  Learning  the art of persistence – When the face of negativity appears, persistence is it’s Kryptonite.

According to Michal Stawicki, the author of 99 Perseverance Success Stories: Encouragement for Success in Every Walk of Life he makes the case for being persistent by understanding the following concepts:

  1. Success is a process, not destination.
  2. Time is your only asset; anything else is just a function of time.
  3. Every action gives results; sometimes it’s experience, sometimes feedback, sometimes the output you desired. It’s never in vain.
  4. Work on your important goals every day.
  5. You can do only one thing at a time; choose wisely which one.
  6. Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.
  7. You need a burning desire to get what you want

“Success is the study of the obvious. Everyone should take Obvious I and Obvious II in school.”
Jim Rohn

Michael goes on to say, “We always notice things that we’re paying attention to. Wherever our focus is, our mind’s eye follows.” This is where persistence leads us. It’s that main focus where we put all our energy on to get what we are searching for.

Thomas Edison failed over a 10,000 times to invent a commercially-viable electric light bulb but he never gave up. When asked why, he said, “We sometimes learn a lot from our failures if we have put into the effort the best thought and work we are capable of.”

That’s why persistence pays off. It’s a habit most of us lack. We give up right before we actually find the answer. It is also one habit we teach our kids without really trying. They see us give up and take after our example. We wonder why they act this way later in life but we are to blame from our past examples.

Being firmly focused is the proper pathway to being persistent. You need to find a deep-rooted reason that drives you where you need to go and then pursue it wholeheartedly.

But you can’t just go all in without a plan. Persistence is nothing without a plan. Learning how to problem solve is also key to being persistent. When you have different ways to approach a task persistence becomes easier. Backup plans allow you to hit a problem from all angles.

Why is persistence so important to happiness and being fulfilled?

Have you ever settled for things and felt guilty for doing so? All of us have but it’s the ones who make the supreme effort to go far beyond mere acceptance who get what they want. They don’t settle for things they don’t want. It’s a habit they’ve built up all their life and once they outline their action steps, they go all in. Whether they succeed or fail isn’t really important here but the will to find the answers.

When you combine all five habits together you see that discipline makes them work in harmony. It all starts with the first step.

Being happy and fulfilled is a goal all of us share but it’s the ones who are persistent in their approach who achieve results.  When you connect your goals to an already established habit you will able to experience happiness and fulfillment in everything you do.

The key is to establish these five habits and live by them. This probably the best quote on persistence I have ever read and I believe this is how you get what you want in life… “It’s the fire you keep trying to start inside yourself until it grows and becomes bigger and bigger.” by James altucher.

I challenge you to make these five habits an important part of your daily routine. I know they will work for you because they are staples in finding true happiness and living a fulfilling life.

5 daily habits