YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT

Self -knowledge, how important is it? The title of this post leads us to believe our very life depends on it. The quote in the picture draws comparisons that sound the same.

Does our life really depend on our degree of self -knowledge? The answer, as you may have guessed, is both yes and no. Surely we would be physically able to continue, but our spirit will slowly begin to die.

“Most men die at 25…we just don’t bury them until they are 70.” – Benjamin Franklin

Was Franklin speaking of waiting to put dear great-grandpa in the ground for 45 years? Of course not. He was encapsulating what we are discussing here today.

Without self -knowledge, an individual makes their way through life at the mercy of others. They allow the media to dictate who they should be. They let their spouse determine their fashion sense. They let their friends and colleagues determine their moral code.

That is not to say one should not take advice from outside sources into consideration. Just understand that is what it is, advice. Spending time investigating who we are, why we do what we do and what drives us will allow us to live a life full of passion and purpose. A soul on fire with desire and passion for life is the greatest gift we can give the world.

KNOW WHERE YOU WANT TO GO

received_10208685429548791

This goofy character is me at our local museum which is one great museum if I must say so myself. The other day my lady took me there on a date. For those of you who know how much I love learning that is as good as it gets. Even during a day filled with love and learning I still have an eye out for something I can use to help live an amazing life.

One of the first things I have people do in my seminars is determine where they want their life to go. Sounds simple enough, but really it is not. A lot of people know a lot more about what they do not want than what they do. This time of year I hear a lot of people complaining how it is still cold and dreary where I live. Ok, some of those voices come from the other side of the mirror. I hear people say “I don’t want to live in this state anymore”. The fact is a lot of us approach our life challenges this way. Such things as “I don’t want to be overweight anymore” “I’m sick of living paycheck to paycheck”. These statements can be heard by people anywhere and everywhere.

There is nothing wrong with being discontented with where you are in life. In fact, this can be very helpful. What we need to focus on is not where we do not wish to be in life, but instead where we do want to be. When people say I don’t want to live here it is too cold. They could end up in the artic circle. They were not focusing on where they want to go. As you can see in the picture above I have a specific goal in mind, Fiji. I would like to visit there for the sunshine and the friendly nature of the people and culture. Tired of being overweight? Focus on the benefits of living a healthy active lifestyle. It is a lot more productive and fun for that matter to focus on where we want to go instead of where we want to leave.

So how do we do all this? The first step which I do in my seminars in more detail is to create a life mission statement. This contains two parts. The first part is the declaration, or where you want to go. The secret is to make this powerful and positive. Instead of “I don’t want to be overweight” try “I am determined to live a healthy and happy life”. Make the words powerful and positive. If your statement is weak, chances are the actions behind it will be too.

The second part is where we make sure this motivation lasts. The ‘why’ of your statement. Here is a secret about that too. We as humans are really only motivated by two basic principles at our core; the need to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. If you can include both of these in your mission statement it will keep give you  the motivation to keep going when the going gets rough.

How does one include both of those in a powerful and positive mission statement? Let me give you an example. Sticking with a person determined to live a more healthy life. Notice I didn’t say ‘wanting’ or ‘trying’ to live a healthier life. Say “I want to live a healthier life”. Now say “I am trying to live a healthier life”. Finally take a deep breath and say “I am determined to live a healthy life”. You can feel the difference choosing the right words can make. So including the pleasure or what we stand to gain is pretty easy. In our above example it could read something like this. “I am determined to live a healthier life so I will have more energy to accomplish my goals”.

Ok, but what about including pain or what we stand to lose? How can you do that and keep your statement positive? That requires a little creativity, but can be done. In our example if you do not live a healthy life, you may lose time with your loved ones. That is not a particularly fun thought, but you can include it in your statement to add even more motivation. Here is how. “I am determined to live a healthy life so I will have more energy to accomplish my goals and spend the maximum time with those I love” Read that in the mirror every morning or when you are tempted to eat an entire medium pizza and it will keep you motivated and on track!

Again I go into this in more depth at my seminar and in my upcoming book. For right now create your own positive life mission statement using the guidelines above. Don’t worry about it being perfect, just get one down. You can always tweak it as you go along. The sooner you get focused on where you want to go and motivated to do so, the sooner your life will transform before your eyes! Feel free to share this idea with friends. Perhaps get together for coffee and work together on your mission statements.

EASY(ER) SUCCESS

This title is a little tongue in cheek. Success does require a great deal of work, focus and discipline. Still, there are things we can do that allow success to have a smoother, and thus, a quicker road in our lives. Who would not want that?

Aside from developing and maintaining an attitude of gratitude, surrounding yourself with positive driven people who want to see you succeed is one of the most important choices you can make. Notice i  ‘choice’. For the most part we can decide who we would like to have in our lives. 

What is the benefit of this? There are many. Just some of them include the following; increased accountability. Now this can not always seem fun at first. Who wants to hear “did you go to the gym today?”. Quite often though knowing we will be held accountable for our  actions keeps us focused on taking positive ones. Encouragement. The opposite side of the coin, when you feel like giving up having someone to pick you up and let you know they believe in you can give you the strength to keep going. I heard Les Brown say once “sometimes you have to believe in others belief in you until you can believe in yourself”. I can say from personal experience that is true. Lastly there is an increased network. There are always people who know people, and knowing more of them only serves you well. I cannot count the times i have had people tell me “I know this person that would like to buy your book“. Through them i am able to reach and help more people. 

These are just some examples and there are a great deal more. Regardless of what you stand to gain, surrounding yourself with good people who want you to succeed will help. 

Feel free to share tips on surrounding yourself with good people or what you can gain out of it in the comments below.

THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF YOUR LIFE

Here is a great thought to bounce around your head this coming week. The two most important days of your life. The first is obvious. If you were not born, not much would be happening right now. You simply would not exist. I am going to put forth the notion that the second may be of equal importance. How can that be? How can anything be as important as being born?

Well let us take a look at what being born has gotten us. I compare it to a graduation from say high school or college. You have the diploma in your hand, but what does that get you? Not much if you do not follow that with action and direction. Nobody comes up to you and just says “Here is a job now that you graduated.” Just does not happen that way.

So what if we just stop at the first important day. We never discover a purpose. Life becomes an arduous task filled with monotony. After all if you think you were just born to pay bills and die, what do you have to look forward to tomorrow? Life just becomes more of the same. Even if by some great stroke of luck you come into a great fortune, say win some lottery, not much will change. This is why many people who come into a financial windfall end up worse than before they started. In fact, working at least gives them some purpose, albeit not one of their own choosing. Suddenly through retirement or financial gain even that is taken from them.

On the day you discover your purpose it is as if you are born anew. When your life has a sense of direction and purpose the little things that used to bother you seem to bother you less. You have a compelling reason to arise each morning. Should you become financially independent you are free to put those funds to use furthering your passion which could be helping further the career of aspiring authors and blog writers. You gain another very important gift – hope. Without a greater purpose what hope is there that life will get better? You will wake up to more of the same.

So this week begin to refocus your attention on discovering the second of the two most important days of your life. Feel free to share your purpose in the comments below and help to inspire others!

THE MISSING INGREDIENT 

Have you ever cooked something and forgot an ingredient? Sometimes it is not that big of a deal.  You forgot That pinch of salt. Sure you can taste a little difference but it still tastes good. Other times it could make all the difference. Let us say you are making cherry pie and forget the cherries, big problem there. 

What i am going to share with you fits into the first category. I run into a lot of people who seem to have a missing ingredient in their lives and quest for improving themselves. I must confess as to having this problem myself for a while. See if this sounds familiar to you. Daily your life can be a struggle. You have moments of positivity, but daily it seems like a grind. You may even have a set of goals you are working towards but the path seems long and difficult. 

Fear not my friend! You are missing an ingredient. If you add this ingredient it will make whatever goal you are chasing not only easier to obtain, but you will have a lot more fun doing it. Yes, this missing ingredient is truly a game changer! Sound pretty powerful? It is, but here is what is even better, it is super easy to do. 

So let us look at your goal, what is it? Lose some of the extra pounds from the holidays? Obtain a certain position in your career? Perhaps improve and grow the love in your relationship? Whatever your goal is there is one step you should add to it and that can make all of the difference. Here is the one magic thing you can add to not only your goal list, but your daily to do list as well. It will improve the quality of your life tremendously! Have fun and enjoy the process. 

That sounds easy right? Here is why it is so vital. Most of life is a journey. If we only stop to enjoy life when we achieve a goal or arrive at a certain point we are…well…missing the point. It is the traveling there that is where we should look for the fun. 

You might be asking “what is fun about losing weight?”. A lot can be. Perhaps in your efforts you can look up and try fun new healthy recipes? Instead of going to the gym (which oddly I’m really hooked on) maybe find a sport you like or start taking walks in nature or going for bike rides with the one you love. 

Another thing to help enjoy the process is to notice and get excited about the progress and not the perfection. Stop and read that again, it is worth it. Some people will look at how much of the mountain there is left to climb and forget to look at how much they have already conquered. So you can’t fit into your jeans from high school yet, but did you notice you don’t get so winded taking the stairs? Maybe you and your spouse still argue too much, but are they being solved quicker and with less hurt?

So add the line have fun and enjoy the process to whatever goal or to do list you are currently working on.  Find ways to make the journey fun and celebrate the progress not just the perfection. You will find yourself smiling more often and when you’re enjoying yourself your goals will be easier to stick to!

Feel free to share this post with all of your friends!

IT’S YOUR CHOICE

Choice is one of the greatest powers we have. The choice we make as to what we eat and how much we exercise will have a determination as to how healthy we will be. The choice we make as to what people we surround ourselves with will have a great deal of influence on what kind of day we will have. 

Our choices are not always easy, but make no mistake, they are always ours, as are the consequences. Take my present circumstance, it is 4:30 in the morning, i can’t sleep and i have a terrible headache. i could just lay there and lament , but instead i am choosing to share these thoughts with you. I don’t always make such healthy choices. In fact, as I write this I’m eating chips and salsa. Probably not the best 4:30am dietary choice. 

One of the most important choices we can ever make is what to focus on. We make this choice whether we know it or not several times a day. It starts first thing in the morning. Where as Eric Thomas puts it,  “most of us are waking up on accident”. That is to say we don’t really have a point of focus. let’s start there. Tomorrow morning decide what your focus will be. Write it down now because if you are anything like me, first thing in the morning the mind is a little fuzzy. It could be practical such as “I’m going to focus on thoughts to improve my business”. It could even be something less material such as “I’m going to focus on what to be grateful for” or “I’m going to focus on things to be happy about”. This gives your mind a target for the day. 

This also works situationally. One of my favorite questions I use to focus is “how can I use this?”. If it is a success perhaps I can use it to remind myself i don’t always fail. If it is a “failure” I ask myself the same thing. After all if you can use a failure to learn something about yourself or the situation it then becomes a lesson. 

Start by developing a morning focus. Again easiest to do this the day before. You can use the same one for a week or a month. Have fun with this and let us know how your life changes in the comments below . 

THE ONE THING YOU MUST CHANGE FOR YOUR LIFE TO CHANGE

I am a person who likes nothing about winter.  I am not a fan of driving on icy roads, nor freezing temperature and shoveling.  I used to spend a good portion of the winter wishing it were summer. Do you know what that got me here in Wisconsin? Frustrated. It became very apparent that as much as I would have liked circumstances to change, mother nature would always follow fall with winter. Some were mild, some were fierce but they always came. 

Ok great story, but what did I learn from all of this? I learned that life is a lot like the seasons, always changing. You most take advantage of what it offers you.  Plant in spring, harvest in fall. When a winter period of your life comes whether it be financial or even a broken heart know that it is a season and shall pass. 

Also, like the weather we can do certain things to prepare for the seasons. Meaning  life does not change until we do. If I sat in my front yard in a speedo during winter complaining how cold it is and waiting for it to get warm the only things that would happen is I would either die from exposure or be taken to jail for indecent exposure because trust me, nobody wants to see me in a speedo. Instead of waiting for the season to change, I could change myself.  Put a warm coat on. Spend time inside with a warm cup of coffee and my hot lady.  

My point is this, we can complain about how bad it is and wait for the world to change, or we can change ourselves and create our own circumstances. We do not see the world as it is , we see the world as we are. 

Feel free to share this post on all your social media pages and spread the word about positivity. Also feel free to check out all the other posts at Secret2anamazinglife

 

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

This is a subject I have done posts on in the past, but it is so important we are going to look at it again. What it the purpose of your life? If you ask most people you know you will probably get a blank stare,a shrug of the shoulders or a simple “I don’t know”. You may get something about winning the lottery or even just making it to retirement. These are not purposes that get us to jump out of bed in the morning.

Let me put it another way.  If you were playing a game and in this game there was a game board, game pieces and some dice. Someone just told you to sit down and play. You would not know where to start from. Is it the center of the board? The outside? You would not know where you are going or even how you are supposed to move or get there. Nevermind the fact that you wouldn’t know how to win the game. So, how long do you think you would play that game? Not very long I imagine. Sadly, this is what most of us do with our lives on a daily basis. We wake up with no real purpose other than to make it through the day and pay the bills. On occasion we come up with temporary goals.  Maybe we are saving up for a vacation. Maybe we are going back to school. Those goals, although better than none at all, are temporary.

We need to ask ourselves what do we want our lives to bring to the world? What will people remember about us after we are gone? I suggest thinking backwards starting at the end of our lives. What would we to have done for our friends? Our spouse? Our children and the world we live in? Whatever those goals are we can start taking steps, no matter how small, to achieve them today.  If you need additional ideas I suggest watching my YouTube video WRITE YOUR OWN EULOGY it will give you motivation to get started today. None of us know how long we have to make something of our lives, but we all know we should start today!


2 THINGS ESSENTIAL FOR SUCESS IN ANYTHING 

In life, love, business and any other venture there are two things that are essential to possess if you hope to succeed. The only cost associated with them is time and effort. If you have these two things you are all but guaranteed to accomplish what you set out to do. Still most people begin projects,relationships and jobs without one or either of them. Some have a vague not powerful version of them. This leads to ‘treading water’ in situations.

Ok, so what are these two things and how can we all get them? They are a goal and a purpose, sometimes referred to as a ‘why’? Think about playing a game. If you did not know how to win or what outcome you were going after how likely would it be that you would win? How about going on a trip? If you didn’t know where you were headed how would you know if you are going in the right direction? In both circumstances the journey would be far more enjoyable if you knew the end game. 

Now on to the second thing, purpose or the why. Having a goal or an outcome we are going towards is a great start, but what happens when obstacles show up? What separates the people who give up from the people who keep going? It is their why.  To say you want to be rich,  for example, will only keep you motivated so long. Focusing on the freedom the money will give you, or all the sick children/animals you could help. Now that will keep you going. 

Here is the takeaway, next time you find yourself on the way to meet a friend for coffee ask yourself “what do I hope to get out of this meeting?”. Perhaps it is to convey how much you enjoy your friend’s company. Perhaps it is to thank them for being a good friend. Maybe it is just to relax and and enjoy the great conversation your friend supplies. Now ask yourself why this is so important. Perhaps your friend knowing how much they mean to you will strengthen your friendship? Perhaps relaxing and enjoying conversation and coffee will allow you to face the world a little better tomorrow. 

If we know what we want out of our lives we are far more likely to get it.  It will also be easier to see when things need improvement. Imagine how much more successful our jobs, our relationships and our lives would be if we only spent a few moments of contemplation as to what we would like out of them and why that is important to us. Doing these two things will change our lives for the better and do so quickly.