THE ESSENTIAL CHANGE

My second book opens with the statement –

unless you change yourself, nothing will change; once you change yourself, everything else will change

This is a very important thought for several reasons. First, saying, or even thinking things like “I’ll be happy when…” hands over control of your life to other people and situations. Why would you let others decide whether or not you can enjoy your own life?

Another reason to realize you are the only person responsible for the quality of your own life are problems. When I hear people who consistently blame others for the situations they find themselves in, I know these people will never live a happy and successful life.

Let us be honest here, people can be jerks. They can say rude and hurtful things to us. They can put us in uncomfortable situations. What control do we have over that? A great deal. We can take a hard look in the mirror and see if there may be any truth to the things they are saying. If so, we can use it as constructive criticism.

What if there is no truth to what they say and it is just mean? Then we can raise our standards as to who we have in our lives. What if this person is our boss or some other person not so easy to dismiss? We can use that person for our own development. Practice our patience, controlling our anger, or having compassion for those who don’t deserve it. We can do all this while working to improve our situation.

Sometimes they are there to teach us a lesson. Such as no amount of money or job is worth our dignity. No amount off affection is worth any amount of abuse. These are all very difficult situations, but waiting and relying on the other person to change will most often result in no change.

Working on myself has lead me to my greatest improvements and my greatest joy. When I became a better man, my job became better, my relationships improved. I noticed when I treated others better and gave more to them, I received more in return.

To this day, I spend the most time and effort working on myself. Every improvement in myself touches and improves every area of my life.

WHAT MOTIVATES ME

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Some things in life are oddly simple yet go completely unaware. Take the issue of personal motivation. Different things motivate different people. There are people who do things for money. There are people who do things to feel significant. The “carrot” is different for everyone.

Allow me, if you will, to share my personal story and then we will look at how we can apply this to our lives and use it to make them even more amazing.

Much like some of you, what motivates me has changed through the years as I have grown older and hopefully matured. What really motivates me now is making a difference in people’s lives as well as the world as a whole. Being able to see that is what keeps me writing. Do not misunderstand me, book royalties, and speaking fees sure are nice, but when I read a comment online about how what I have written impacts someone’s life or hear from someone one in person who shares their story with me that is why I continue to work so hard at researching and bringing you the best tools to reduce stress, increase joy and become the best versions of ourselves. If I were to make a great fortune doing this and never know that it make a difference there would be no motivation for me to continue.

How does all this affect our lives and how can we use it to improve our lives? Staying motivated daily can give us energy to accomplish great things in our lives, the lives of others and the world we all share. How do we manage to stay motivated, especially on the really tough days? There are a few simple steps taken with some inner reflection that can have us waking up with more energy and vitality than ever before.

The first step is where the inner reflection comes into play. Figure out what is our principle motivation in life. Do we work just for the money? Chances are if you reflect on this for a while the answer is not so cut and dry. Perhaps you work for the freedom the money affords you. The freedom to purchase what you want, or do want you want. Maybe you work because the money allows you to support your family? I was speaking to a friend of mine who has spent their entire life as a server in the restaurant industry. A lot of people would either ask him why he didn’t try to “go further in life” or consider him a failure. When I asked him why he stayed in the hospitality field in the role of a server his answer was simple. He told me he likes the impact he can have on people’s lives. He makes very decent money, but to him that was not what was important. When you do this exercise I suggest grabbing a pen and a piece a paper. Write down what is important to you.

Now that have our motivation a little more clear, what do we do with it? Find a way to make it measurable. This can often be tricky, especially with the less material. How do you measure the job you are doing taking care of your family? Sometimes giving yourself a ‘grade’ or rating yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 can help. Maybe illicit the help of others. Ask your spouse how good of a partner you are doing. Being honest with yourself here helps. If there happens to be a day you think you did not live up to your own standards, use that for motivation.

Here is the third and final step, put more of what motivates you into your life. Some of that has been accomplished with the second step, but find ways to take it further. In my personal example I encourage others frequently to offer their input on my writing. This post and letting people know that hearing from them and learning how my writing impacts their life is what motivates me will help. Also, knowing the more my writing improves, the greater the chance that I will write something that will touch someone keeps me working to improve my writing. Knowing that I can help someone enjoy their life more and bring a smile to their face and heart motivates me to research more ways of doing just that so I can share them with all of you.

I would love to hear what motivates you and how you plan to include more of that in your life. When we do we wake up with a drive and sense of purpose that makes life a lot more fun to live!

A VIDEO EVERYONE SHOULD SEE…

My latest YouTube video is something everyone should watch.  I am so grateful for the inspiration. Please click the link below to watch and feel free to share if you too are inspired. 

WATCH THE LIFE CHANGING VIDEO HERE

ONE WEEK AT A TIME…

Here is a great savings plan that is very easy to stick with and can go a long way into helping you in the new year. It is very easy and I shall explain it here.

Starting the first week of the year deposit one dollar in a savings account (or even put it in a coffee can for all that it matters) now in the coming weeks add a dollar each week to that total. Meaning the second week of the year you put two dollars in, the third week three dollars. Ok, so after three weeks you will have six dollars. Vacation fund it is not. At the end of the year do you know how much you will have? $100? $300? $500? Actually you will have almost $1400! that may not be a new car, but having that little extra money could go a long way to taking the stress out of holiday shopping or pay for a vacation you deserve. There are a few little rules to observe. One, you cannot touch the money once you put it in. Also do not skip a week expecting to ‘make it up’ the next week. Stick to it, you will never have to put in more than $52 and that isn’t even until the last week. Two months in you will only be at $8. This also helps show the power of compound interest, which is something I would recommend to anyone wanting to live an amazing life! So let us start this week! We could all be on vacation together this time next year! In that case, remember to save some rum and an island girl for me!

GRATITUDE IN YOUR WALLET

Every so often an idea comes across me that has me super excited.  This happens to be one of those ideas.  A friend of mine who follows this blog shared with me a trick he uses to bring about feelings of gratitude for his financial situation.  He also gave me permission to share it here with you and in my upcoming book.  Money, let’s face it that has to be one of the most stressful issues for a lot of us.  Especially if you end up with too much month at the end of the money as I so often do.  This young man was in the same kind of situation and it got so bad every time he went into his wallet to pay for something he got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.  He didn’t even feel like eating.  Which, he noted helped him spend a little less, but not the way he really wanted to.  He decided he had enough of feeling that way and developed a process that I felt was ingenious and can’t wait to try.  On a business size card of paper he wrote the word ‘GRATITUDE’ in very colorful letters. He had it laminated at a local office supply store.  Then he placed it in his wallet.  Simple enough right?  Well every time he opened his wallet now he saw the gratitude card which he had placed up front.  He then paused, and felt grateful he was able to make the purchase.  “It was hard at first” he told me. Even though he tried to be grateful for the moments purchase his mind kept reminding him of all the other purchases he needed to make that he couldn’t.  This happens because our brains have operated in the same manner for years.  After a while, this man was able to focus on only the present situation and his ability to be thankful for what he was paying for.  With a little tweaking I believe I have come up with a way to take this young man’s amazing idea and make it quicker, easier and more powerful.  In addition to the word gratitude on the card I suggest adding a special thought/prayer/mantra that evokes feelings of gratitude for you.  It could be a bible verse about being thankful, a quote from a famous person or just some words you have come up with on your own.  An example would be “I am so grateful for the abundance flowing through me now that allows me to make this purchase as well as the abundance flowing to me in the future so I can make more purchases”

This helps in two ways. One, it takes the thinking out of the process so you do not have to worry about coming up with just the right words and can just focus on being grateful.  Two, the words already assist you in feeling grateful and can help eliminate the struggles our friend had early on.  If you noticed I also added a line about being grateful for future abundance.  This helps by focusing your subconscious mind on opportunities for future abundance that it knows must come. In the worst case this idea will leave you with a better feeling about your financial situation.  In the case of our friend he now has a better control over his financial situation and even has started a savings account, which yes, he also feels grateful when he deposits into it.  So who knows, it may even help you turn your financial situation around.  Either way, I am printing out my card today!