IF YOU DON’T HAVE THIS, GO BACK TO BED ๐Ÿ›Œ

Picture this. A man gets in a taxi cab. The driver asks him, “Where will you be going today?” The man refuses to tell the driver. How far do you think he will get? If the cab drives off at all, he will be lucky to get anywhere. Let us picture a different situation with our friend in the cab. After the driver inquires as to his desired destination, our peculiar traveler has not only one answer, but several. As soon as the driver begins to take him anywhere near a destination he changes his mind and yells out a new one. What will happen then? Depending on how patient the cab driver is, the man will spend the afternoon driving around the city and paying the cab driver a lot of money.

These situations may sound comical to us. How ridiculous would it be to start out on a journey without having a destination in mind? How far would we get if we change our destination as soon as we make any progress toward the one we are traveling to? We would not get very far at all. Yet, as we begin a day and just go through the motions, that is exactly what we are doing. When we set out in life without a purpose, we end up being used to serve someone else’s purpose. It is equally as senseless to start one thing and hop to another and another. We end up making very little progress.

Like the photo above says, if you wake up without a goal, go back to bed. We excel so much greater when we have a purpose and direction in life. I suggest having a goal every day. If we do not it would be like getting in our car, shifting to neutral, and pressing the accelerator. We may put a lot of energy and power behind it, but without direction, we will get nowhere.

YOU MUST KNOW THIS!๐Ÿค”

Here we are at the start of a new week. We can already feel overwhelmed with our ‘to do lists’ and obligations for the coming days. How many of us have self-care items on our ‘to do lists’? All too often, our self-care gets pushed down to the bottom of the list. We really must understand the importance of taking care of ourselves and the benefit to others.

Look at so many other things in our life. Take our cars for example. We get their tires rotated, we change the oil. Why do we do these things? We do them so our car will be able to get us from point A to point B. How about our cell phones? We keep them charged and updated. Why? So they will run at optimal speed and we can put them to full use.

When it comes to inanimate objects, we understand that taking care of them will help them serve us better. In the case of the car, the better we maintain it, the longer it will last and the more efficient it will operate. If we keep our phone fully charged and updated it will have a better connection and speed in use.

How come when it comes to ourselves we somehow think these rules don’t apply? If, like the car, we maintain our bodies with good food and fitness, won’t we last longer and be more efficient? Like the phone, of we allow ourselves to recharge, won’t we have a better connection with the world around us, and those in it? Won’t we have more energy and be able to operate in a faster rate than if we are living off 2 hours of sleep and 3 large coffees?

This week, stop viewing self-care as something selfish. See it for what it is; a necessary step to bringing the best version of ourselves to the world at large and to those in our life we care about. Next time you get in your car, or pick up your cell phone, remember how much better they operate when we take care of them. The truth is we operate a lot better when we stop and take care of ourselves as well.

TURN IT UP THIS WEEKEND! ๐Ÿช…

In a crazy work-a-day world, we can often lose ourselves. This weekend, I think we should not only get in touch with our true selves, but turn up the volume on all of the things that make us the amazing people we are.

How can we do that? Take some of the examples in the picture above. Turn up your magic! What does that even mean? We all have a certain magic inside us. This usually manifests as a gift we are naturally blessed with. Maybe we have a great singing voice? Then sing your heart out for all the world to hear! Maybe you enjoy creating art? Make a special gift for someone you love. Maybe you are great at cooking? Invite a friend over for dinner!

What about turning up your kindness? You could find so many ways to do this! Do you find joy in buying a coffee for the stranger behind you in line? Do that! Maybe your kindness is towards animals? Find ways to help our winged and 4-legged friends! Maybe your kindness is the ability to truly listen and allow someone to feel heard? That is such a precious gift!

How can you turn up gratitude? Look at the ideas in the pictures above and below. The more you can turn up your gratitude, the more your life will improve! That is a great bonus of gratitude. Those you express it to feel good, and so do you. It is definitely a win/win situation. For that reason alone, find as many ways to turn up the gratitude as you can this weekend!

Whatever wonderful traits make up you, I encourage you to express more of them this weekend! Remember to always be yourself. Originals are always worth more than copies.

WHAT IS YOUR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH? ๐Ÿ†

When I first read this, I smiled to myself and thought, “That is a cute thought.” The more time I spent pondering it, the more the profound truth contained within came through.

Let us think about an awards ceremony. People are being honored and appreciated for something. This can range from a talent. Think of the Oscar’s or the Grammys. It can be an accomplishment such as in the world of sports or even the corporate world. It can be to honor someone’s charity works or their selfless giving to their fellow humans.

What happens next? The person being honored is asked to give a speech upon accepting their award. When they do, it usually filled with respect and gratitude for the people who played a role in why they are being honored. In recap, one person is being honored and return, they are expressing gratitude for all the people who played a part in the event. There is seldom bragging or self-centered behavior. What a great way to spend a day!

Wouldn’t it be great if everyday life were like that? Days spent giving accolades and expressing gratitude? Here is my powerful 2-word question to you – why not? Why can’t our lives be like that? I have a fun solution that I invite you all to be a part of.

Polish up your award giving talents. What do I mean? If you think about it, are there not many people who deserve an award in your life? I would give my mother an award for managing to always discover new ways to help others despite facing challenges in her own life. My beautiful Margie ๐Ÿ˜ deserves an award for defying nature. She will work hard,sometimes sacrificing sleep all together, and as the years go by she seems to actually look younger! Our friend Sara is not only working to conquer the demon of addiction, but sharing her story to inspire others! Our other friend Sara not only stepped in to DJ with Margie when I had surgery, she was also kind enough to help us with our vacation!

This is just scratching the surface of the amazing people we have in our lives! I am not saying you have to present each person with a little trophy at a special dinner. Although how fun would that be? Even a simple card acknowledging their accomplishments or contributions would be amazing!

How many people do you know that deserve to be recognized? Many several times over! I think it is time we make honoring those people who play an important role in our life a regular activity. Try one person a week. How do you think your life would change in a year if you let 52 people know how important and valuable they are? Do you think your relationships would improve?

A quick side note. All too often, people can feel unappreciated or taken advantage of. Some people may be facing struggles we know nothing about. What impact would achieving a note of honor and appreciation do for them? Think about that. By letting others know how valuable they are, we all win.

IF YOU LOOK AT IT THIS WAY….

Often a great change in the quality of our life can come from a small shift in how we look at things. What if we started to view every challenge in life as an opportunity to prove ourselves? Whenever I mention something like this, the sunshine challenged folks always mention that is just being ignorant.

Is it really? Tell me when our character is proven and strengthened? Is it when everything is going our way or when we have to battle through something? Our mistakes, our seemingly bad luck,our losses in life, all chances to prove ourselves.

In my own life I know this to be true. Right now, I’m feeling a little under the weather. My beautiful lady made me some chicken noodle soup for lunch and has been so sweet. The sickness sucks, but she is really showing how much she loves me. Even when the two of us are not seeing eye to eye, it is a great opportunity. How much respect can be gained by loving someone through disagreement? How loving is it to be the first one to apologize and work to make the situation right?

This weekend, let us look at every challenge as a chance to demonstrate and improve on our good character. After all, that is what every challenge is!

IMPORTANT DISCOVERY THAT WILL DETERMINE THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

This post comes from the minds of two of my favorite people. First, there is William James. If you read his life story, it is one of failure and depression. He was considered to be a disappointment to his family much of his early life. He then went on to become the father of psychology and was the first to offer it as a course of study. This quote about the power of our thoughts could not be more true. Our thoughts not only determine our emotional well-being and the quality of our lives, but what actions and activities we will pursue. Maintaining positive and self-empowering thoughts is one of the most powerful things we can do. There is one other thought and emotional state that we should focus on to improve the quality of our life. This comes from the second of my favorite people to be included in this post.

Here is another wise and thoughtful philosopher. Yes, it is my beautiful and sometimes crazy lady, Margie. Just this morning she surprised me by waking up with a deep thought that serves as the second part of our post today. It is the importance of living with inner peace. When you live in a state of peace within yourself, the chaos outside can affect you less. When you have peace in your heart, you are far less likely to inflict pain on others. There is a clichรฉ that only hurt people, hurt people. There is a good deal of truth to that statement. The benefits of having inner peace cannot be overstated. It will help foster a feeling of compassion for others. It will help keep you from being negatively in your emotions. It will give you inner strength as well.

The million dollar question then becomes, “How do we develop inner peace?” There is no one quick answer to this question. The answers are as varied as the people trying to put them into action. One of the most important is to attach yourself to a purpose greater than yourself. When life is all about you, it is easy to let the outside world affect you. When you are living for a purpose greater than yourself, it takes a lot more to rattle you. That purpose can range from helping make the world a better place for our animal friends to increasing awareness and action when it comes to child and domestic abuse.

Inner peace can also be achieved a great deal through confronting our demons and putting them to use for us. When we suffer some physical or emotional trauma, especially early in life, it can haunt us and deprive us of our inner peace for the rest of our life. Through the use of a journal, or perhaps seeking professional help, we can confront and conquer these demons. When we do, we can reach back and help others who have faced, and are facing, the same trauma. In this case, we take a liability and turn it into an asset.

It takes work to do all of this. The payoff of developing and working to maintain inner peace benefits ourselves in terms of a healthier emotional state. This can lead to things such as a stronger immune system, increased joy and decreased stress. It can benefit others around us by making us more compassionate and understanding. This will make us a better spouse, friend, parent, coworker and any other role we choose to play. It will benefit the world at large by reducing the amount of stress and setting examples of how better to treat each other. It will also allow us to bring the best version of ourselves to everything we are involved in. This is what the world needs most. I would love to hear all of your suggestions for developing more inner peace.

THEY ARE BOTH AVAILABLE. WHICH ONE WILL YOU CHOOSE?๐Ÿค”

Here is a point that I have made over and over again. What is right is always available to focus on. Why do more people not do that? Because what is wrong is also available to focus on. I do not have to tell you which one is presented to us more often. That is why both an optimist and a pessimist are equally right when it comes to life. The glass is both half-full as well as half-empty. If this is true, than what does it matter? It matters due to the distinct difference in emotional state that each perception has. Why is emotional state so important? In life, it is the determining factor! It is not money that decides the quality of life. If that were the case, no wealthy people would ever suffer any forms of anxiety or depression. We know that is the case. On the flip side, no poor people would ever be happy. We also know this is not the case.

If it is not finances that determine the quality of life, it must be health right? Having good health plays a big role in our emotional well-being and that is why it is so important to take control of our health and to do what we can to increase the quality of our health. That being said, it is not the determining factor in our emotional well-being. If that were the case, no sick people would ever be happy and no healthy people would ever be sad. In fact, our emotional state can play an important role in our physical healing. When we are in a good emotional place, our immune system is stronger and we are more likely to take actions that will lead to healthier outcomes. Negative emotions, on the other hand, will lower our immune response and can often generate physical ailments in the body. Have you ever worried yourself to a sick stomach? Ever gotten so angry that your blood pressure went through the roof? Imagine what would happen if we continued these emotional states chronically?

We have all heard the saying, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how you react to it.” The secret to our emotional state is focus and meaning. What we choose to focus on, and what we decide it means. Let us take the most difficult situation any of us can face; losing someone we love. We are going to experience the most terrible emotional pain. That is what happens. With great love we suffer great loss. What will we do with that pain? What will we decide that pain means? Does it mean that God does not love us and our life will be filled with pain? If that is what we decide, then yes. If we decide that it is a reminder of how much we can love and how important it is to cherish and create memories with those we love, than yes, that is what it will mean.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not trying to minimize the pain of losing someone you love. Whenever you remember them, there will be feelings of loss and sorrow. It is what we do with those feelings that matter. It can serve as a great reminder to communicate with those who are close to the end or facing some serious medical challenges. It can also be a great reminder to create memories with those who are still with us, as life can change in a second.

Tough times and tough situations are never fun. Just remember, in every life there is plenty of good to focus on. This does not mean being ignorant to that which is less than ideal, but to perhaps reframe it so we can put it to use for us instead of allowing it to use us.

DO NOT LET IT STEAL ANOTHER MINUTE OF YOUR LIFE!โฐ๏ธ

Guilt is one of those tricky emotions. Like it says in the title of this post, it can be the stealer of joy. It can leave us paralyzed with fear and regret. This can prevent us from not only discovering the secrets to an amazing life, but, even more importantly, deprive us from living an amazing life. This is why we have to pay close attention to how we handle the emotion of guilt in our own lives.

Guilt, although a terrible master, can be a very powerful servant. Confused? Let me explain. In my own life, I have suffered the effects of guilt many times. I used to just beat myself up over all of the mistakes I made. Do you know what this got me? Not a damn thing. The mistakes were still made and no matter how much I beat myself up over them, they didn’t change. I can tell you what did change – my health. My mental health suffered as you can imagine. Beating yourself up will make you feel like not only a failure, but you can end up making yourself feel like a terrible person for a single mistake, or maybe even several that you made. My physical health suffered. Sitting around feeling guilty and beating yourself up will drain your energy, lower your immune system and make you feel sick to your stomach. Not only will you not be good to yourself, you will not be good for anyone else.

All these emotions can have a tremendous upside. This will help turn a guilty life into an amazing life. Let me give you a personal example. I have made mistakes in personal relationships that caused me to not be the best friend, partner and coworker. It also left me feeling guilty and terrible. Now, I use those feelings as motivation to be the best I can be. When I am on the verge of doing something that is not the most considerate of the feelings of others, I recall how I felt when I did that prior. It will often have me motivated to do better. Even my current mistakes will keep me motivated to improve. If I do something I regret, or feel guilty about, I will use that terrible feeling to motivate me to do better and to remind me not to do it again.

In your own life, turn the feelings of regret and guilt from being terrible masters to powerful servants. It does suck that you cannot go back and change some of the mistakes and hurts you have done in the past, but that terrible feeling can push you into being a far better person in the future. Remember this important thought – If you are feeling guilty for an action you would not repeat, you are convicting an innocent person.

HOW TO GO FURTHER IN LIFE๐Ÿšถโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I heard this adage in a motivational speech I was listening to the other day. It really struck me as one of the great secrets to an amazing life. It not only works in the realm of walking, but transfers to all areas of life. If you tie your motivation for doing something to the end goal, you will only be motivated for so long and at a certain intensity. Not to mention, goals and destinations change. What we need to do is fall in love with processes. What do I mean by falling in love with the process and not just the end goal? Let us take a look.

If we take the example of walking, it will show us what we are looking at. If you are motivated to walk simply to reach a destination, you will approach it in a certain way. You will just consider what it will take to get from point A to point B. If, however, you are looking to enjoy the process of walking, you will approach it in an entirely different manner. You will look for the most comfortable walking shoes. You will make sure you are hydrated and take water with you for your walk. You would take steps to enjoy the process. This is the same if you are trying to get in shape, advance in your career, or any other aspect of life.

Most of our life is spent on the journey and very little of it is spent arriving at a destination. If we tie our happiness to the achievement of goals, we will be unhappy the majority of the time. It would be far wiser, and serve us far greater, to find happiness in the process of achieving our goals. Think of something you are currently chasing. This could be wanting to achieve that summer beach body, create more joy and less stress in your life or anything else. Then, ask yourself the very important question – “What can I do to bring joy to the process of what I am now doing?” If it is getting in shape, find an activity that you enjoy. This could be walking in nature. It could be swimming and pretending you are on vacation. It could be playing basketball with friends. If your goal is to create more love in your relationship, how could you make the process of that fun and enjoyable? As a bonus, the more you can enjoy the process, the more likely you are to stick with it. As it was stated in the title, you are likely to walk further.

1 THING YOU MUST DO TODAY AND EVERY DAY!๐Ÿ“…

There are many things that make life great. One of them is laughter. Make sure to schedule that. I have an email that comes to my inbox with silly jokes every day. There are also apps for that. You can get a day by day calendar with jokes.

There are many other ways to get in your laughter. Include people in your life that make you laugh. Luckily, I live with just such a person. You should have a collection of funny movies. A group of comedy cds or dvds might not be a bad idea.

There are so many ways to inject laughter into your life. The benefits are endless. When you laugh your immune system strengthens. Your stress decreases. It helps shift your perspective on life. What is your favorite source of laughter?