Category Archives: overcoming obstacles

Self Image

Self image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. ~ Maxwell Maltz

“Uncertainty” is the key word in our lives. We must live with uncertainty and lead our ship through life’s rugged path, or retreat from life into a womb, an illusion since there are few guarantees to reassure us. We must learn to master these dangers to the best of our ability, and still live contentedly.

“Life Is Like Riding a Bicycle. To Keep Your Balance You Must Keep Moving” ~ Albert Einstein

After the “traumatic” process of our birth, we live the uncertain, minute-by-minute moments of infants in which a tolerant smile is followed by an indignant roar of rage and a howl of laughter, all within the space of thirty seconds.

Then it come the uncertainties of childhood, in which we depend on our parents, where destinies fluctuate according to complex economic, emotional, and sociological factors which we cannot yet understand.

The period of adolescence that follows is even more uncertain. Are we children or adults, or what we are? How should we behave toward adults? What is this called sex; is it good or bad and whose opinion do we ask and what do you do about it? Why do my parents still treat me as a child? Am I grown up, or am I?

Adulthood brings with it new problems, new uncertainties. The choice of vocations, the decisions to be made about marriage, marriage partner, and children, about business commitments and political views, insurance protection and community participations, or non-involvement, gambling or non-gambling strategies. I could write pages and pages on the conflicts a responsible adult must face and the uncertainties surrounding his decisions and the outcomes of his considered choices.

Throughout their lives most people worry about tragedy striking, the breadwinner losing their jobs, a fire that wipes out one’s home, an automobile accident in which a loved one is crippled, and these are real possibilities that one must learn to live without burying his head in the sand.

What is the answer to this dilemmas of life? It is simple, really, more life, reaffirmation of life, while there is life – life, with the help of a healthy self image that will give you the sense of certainty you need.

Some day we will all die, that is GOD’s law of life and there is nothing we can do about it. But while we lived, did we truly live?

Did we really live or just occupy space while we went through motions of living? Did we enjoy every year, every month, every week, and every day – or did we manage to passively endure the dull moments? Did we see the green trees, smell the beautiful flowers, share with our friends, taste our lamb chops, love our work – or were we so obsessed with worry that life could not enter into our troubled minds?

“Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it” ~ Leo Buscaglia

As babies, we are born with smile coming through the first howl of pain, while we live, we must live constructively so that time and again a smile might break through the pain.

Now what about friendship – one of the chief ingredients of a rich life? There is a saying to the effect that “dog is a man’s best friend,” but I do not automatically fall in this silly sayings like this. I am fond of dogs, but if my observations are correct, a dog will be far from your best friend if you do not take care of him in the style to which he is accustomed.

Man’s best friend – any man’s best friend, is his self image. If he sees himself as a good guy, he is on the road to contentment; if he doesn’t, he will cause his own downfall.

“Love yourself and treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. You deserve the same love you give others”

John or Mary or Tom may be your friend and may be a valued friend, but your best friend is your self image. Another person may like you, may even go out of his way to help you in a crisis, but he cannot participate completely in your joys and  heartaches; more he cannot give you the capacity for success or failure, for self-acceptance or self-esteem. Your self image can give you this capacity and a sense of certainty as you live. If you see yourself as agreeable, if your picture of yourself is satisfying, you live with marvellous form of certainty; the conviction that when uncontrollable factors go against you and events temporarily oppose your desires, you will support yourself.

There will always be moment of adversity hitting you from the external world, as well as self doubts plaguing you from within. The real test of friendship for yourself is whether you rally to your own aid when you need the consoling sustenance of your best friend – YOU.

When you are sure of this internal cushion in crisis, then you know how to be certain in this uncertain world.

“We can learn to be our own best friend.  If we do, we have a friend for life.  We can buoy ourselves up, give ourselves comfort and sustenance the times when there is no one else” ~ Mildred Newman & Bernard Berkowitz

You can say to yourself “But the uncertainty is real; how can I relax?” You may protest that my point of view is not realistic. But I assure you that it is. And I assure you that I, too, know of life’s dangers as I have experienced them a lot in my life. We all go through grief, loss, shock, horror, and misfortune at some stage of our lives. There may be times in our lives that we feel tired, depressed and even walking sometimes seems an effort. Our thoughts may be incoherent and we lose contact with reality and retreat from the world of people and pain. But finally we realize that we have to continue with our life. We begin to see friends again. We learn to laugh again, and pick up the pieces and put them together. This is the way you must live your life. You must survive struggles, survive uncertainty, pick yourself off the floor, and go back to a creative living. But you need a friend at times like this, your self image, for a proper self image is the powerhouse within you that enables you to stand up under stress. Indeed, the power of your self image, intangible as it is, can outdistance the uncertainties with which you may wrestle.

Life holds many surprises for us, not all pleasant, and the person who would live creatively in today’s world must develop a strong self image. You cannot rely on luck and you cannot base your life on the opinion of other people. You must do it yourself and do it in a world full of frustrations and dangers. You must constantly work to improve your mental image of yourself, to feel better about yourself. You can do this if you are willing to work hard, without preconceptions of magical solutions, following these suggestions:

  • Every day you have many occasions to look into mirror; when you brush your teeth, when you wash your face, when you shave, when you powder your nose, or comb your hair. Go beyond these simple functions and use the mirror to help you, to become reacquainted with the outer image of a self you may have lost sight of in the rushing pace of life today.
  • Learn to accept this physical image of yourself and the inner self behind it.
  • You must recover your sense of self. Many people have lost this sense and do not understand that they have lost it or the sorrowful consequences of this loss.

You have to understand this: You can have expensive house. Two cars, a sizable bank account, and real estate, and still feel poor, if you have lost touch with a wholesome self image of yourself.

If you feel poor, then uncertainties will frighten you, and you will find them all around you.

Pliny the Elder, the famous Roman writer, once commented that “the only certainty is that nothing is certain”.  But the life insecurities need not worry you; they need not keep you from full living. Not if you feel that you are a worthwhile person. You must be able to allow yourself joy. You must feel at one with yourself. Then a sense of security will replace worry, and you will be able to live happily with a minimum of uncertainty.

 


How to Stop Worrying

How to Stop Worrying – “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Worries are those nagging thoughts about something you fear might happen. They are kind of thoughts which come into your mind and make you feel discouraged and anxious. The next thing happens, you actually start believing in those thoughts and feeding them with more arguments. Which in turn get you into a deeper state of confusion and sadness. Next thing you know, you find yourself there in that deep mud hole. You look around and all is doom and gloom. As Arthur Somers Roche said:  “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained”

How to break the worry habit before it breaks you:

  • Block all negative thoughts from coming into your mind in the first place by keeping busy. If for some reason they do come in- address them right away. “What are the odds against this thing’s happening at all? What can I do to prove that this is not true? Be a lawyer arguing against that negativity. You can write all your thoughts down and counter argue them on paper or you can talk them out with someone you trust.
  • Co-operate with the inevitable. When Sir Henry Fawcett was a young man of twenty-five, he was blinded in a hunting accident. He had just graduated from Cambridge University as one of its most brilliant students and the world seemed like an apple rip for the picking. His own comments on the accident are: “Before twenty seconds had passed, I decided that not even this would hinder me from achieving the highest for which I was intended.” But he went on to become a professor in Cambridge. This man of faith refused to use this incident to build a tower of fear.

By fighting against the inevitable, you are using up a lot of  the energy you require for the more important areas of your life, and by not allowing yourself to let some things go, you will end up constantly tense and stressed out.

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Dwell on positive things, and positive ways of happy living. We spend hours and hours dwelling and ruminating on the negative and fearful things in our lives. We worry about what could go wrong, instead of focusing and paying attention to the rational, the positive and the good. If you study and relive your past experiences, analysing them, and “getting in touch with your feelings”, you will only reinforce those feelings. If you want to get away from a problem, you should not focus on it.  Focus on what is rational, the positive, the beautiful, and the nice. When you got worries out of your system you can feel the quiet tranquillity. You can see the beauty, the wonder.

“Your life will follow your expectations. What you expect is what you will get. If you dwell on positive thoughts, you will move in that direction; if you continually think negative thoughts, you will live a negative life” ~ Joel Osteen

Ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and happiness:

  • Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope, for “our life is what our thoughts make it.”
  • Get past your enemies instead of getting Even with them. “Let’s never try to get even with our enemies, because if we do we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them” ~ Dale CarnegieRegardless of how you have been wronged by others in your life, and how justified you might believe you are in seeking revenge, it’s important to remember that life isn’t a game and simply getting even doesn’t mean you’ve won the battle; it just means you’ve lost your self-respect. As Martin Luther King Jr said in one of his quotes: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
  • Don’t expect gratitude. If you go around expecting gratitude, you are headed for a lot of heartaches. There are thousands of people who are ill from neglect, ingratitude and loneliness. They longed to be loved but the only way that they can ever hope to be loved is, to stop asking for it and to start pouring out love without hope of return. If you want to find happiness, let’s stop thinking about gratitude or ingratitude and give for the inner joy of giving. “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting”
  • Find yourself and do not imitate others. As it says: “envy is ignorance” and “imitation is suicide”, you need to find your true self, and be yourself. We all have a built in set of personal values. If we lose touch with those values we lose touch with our authentic self. When we violate those values we violate our relationship with the person we really are. In order to be yourself, you have to identify those values and make every effort to live by them. We can only be the person we were meant to be, by connecting with our true self and by feeling comfortable with who we are.
  • Forget our own unhappiness, by trying to create a little happiness for others. “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

Doing things for others, whether small, unplanned acts of kindness or regular volunteering – is a powerful way to boost your own happiness as well of those around you. Kindness and caring also seem to be contagious. When you see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or you are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires you to be kinder yourself. In this way, kindness spreads from one person to the next, influencing the behaviour of people who never saw the original act. Kindness really is the key to creating a happier life. “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”

“Life laughs at you when you are unhappy. Life smiles at you when you are happy. But, Life salutes you when you make others happy” ~ Charlie Chaplin

  • Count your blessings, not your troubles. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” ~ Melodie Beattie

Counting your blessings, acknowledging and appreciating all that you already have in your life is a powerful technique that works as an antidote to worries. Noticing what is right in your life instead of worrying about what could go wrong in your life, make you feel happier and in peace with yourself. Always be satisfied with what you have and be determined to get what you want. Life has many ups and downs, but in any given situation if we analyse what we possess instead of what we have lost, we realize that God loves us and HIS blessings are always with us.

“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.” ~ Zig Ziglar

 


How to Get Motivated

How to get motivated – One of the most important factors that lead one to their goals is the drive. This drive is known as motivation. It is a zest and determination with a kind of excitement that leads one to persevere to reach greater achievements, in no matter what avenue of their life; be it – personal or professional. The factors that motivate an individual keep changing as one climbs the ladder of age and maturity. And also, achievement of one goal sets the ball rolling for another one to be achieved. “Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another” – John Dewey

There are times when one faces a period of de-motivation and everything seems bleak. It is then that they need to find what would motivate them back into action.

People who appear to be motivated in everything, are successful in understanding how to motivate themselves in a variety of settings and tasks. Two things contribute to your motivation for any task: what you expect from yourself and what value you place on achieving a goal. The key to motivation is understanding that you have the power to change both your expectations of yourself and the value placed on a task.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.” – Vince Lombardi

Now let us look at the tips which can help you to get motivated:

  1. Rise for reason: Find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Most people state that their reason to getting out of bed in the morning is to go to bathroom! Certainly there is something more motivating you can use to get yourself going. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for you is good too, but you should do it for something that you really want to happen, for really good reasons. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it” – Lou Holtz
  2. Energize yourself: Exercise dramatically affects mood and attitude. You might think working out is about your physical wellbeing, which it is, but it is also about your mental wellbeing as well. Moderate and reasonable exercise will do amazing things to create and keep your motivation high.
  3. Set achievable goals: It is difficult to sustain your motivation if you do not find meanings in your work. Goals can provide you with directions and nurture your motivation. Indeed, long-term goals are like road maps: they can help you envision your paths and give you good targets to achieve. Short-term goals are like checkpoints: they can give you affirmations that you are making efforts and moving forward to your long-term goals. The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain” – Kahlil Gibran
  4. Reward yourself: Everyone likes to be rewarded for completing a good job. Rewards can be motivating and give us the additional push to carry on. Whenever you have accomplished a task or a target you set, give yourself a decent reward. Take time out to recognize what did get done and celebrate the accomplishments.
  5. Be action-oriented: Over thinking give you a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged. Paralysis by analysis is a very real hazard for people who simply can’t get enough information. Learn what you need to learn, and then get moving. Keep your energy high by jumping in and getting started. As Ian Percy said, “Business needs fewer mission statements and more missions”
  6. See opportunities instead of obligations: Instead of something you have to do, approach tasks, as something you want to do because of what you have to gain from it. Remind yourself that by completing a task or a target you set, you will be one step closer to achieving your goal.
  7. Spend time with people who share your goals and interests: Enthusiasm is contagious. Just talking about something you love can stir up motivation in yourself and the people around you. The people you meet might have new ideas and interesting perspectives that can reignite your passion. Passion is caught, not taught.
  8. Talk to someone who has already achieved what you want: Nothing is more inspiring than seeing that your goals truly become reality. When you want to give up because your goals seem impossible to reach, find someone whose success will inspire you. Ask them about how their success feels and the personal fulfilment they experienced. “Determination – it’s the key to all human success”.

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there” – Zig Ziglar

  1. Be happy: Happiness is largely a choice. As Abraham Lincoln said: “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. If you love life and you love what you do, you will tackle every task with energy and enthusiasm. If you are a “glass half-empty” person chances are that nothing will ever seem good to you. Spend time every day doing something that makes you truly happy.
  2. Visualize: See yourself achieving your goal. View it like a movie in your mind, but make it a complete sensory experience. When we visualize our desired outcome, we begin to “see” the possibility of achieving it. Through visualization, we catch a glimpse of what is, in the words of one writer, our “preferred future.” When this happens, we are motivated and prepared to pursue our goal.
  3. Recognize your accomplishments: Acknowledging your achievements, even in a small way, increases positive emotions such as self-respect, happiness, and confidence. Always take a moment to reflect on what you have achieved and be proud. Of course achievements come in all shapes and sizes and while they are all worth acknowledging, some will be more meaningful to you than others. I’d like to suggest that you find ways to create memories around your most important successes, then in the future if you should have moments of self-doubt or find yourself facing a particularly difficult obstacle you will have some tangible reinforcement of what you can do when you set your mind to it and how far you’ve already come.
  4. Set meaningful goals: Meaningful goals are those that are within reach, but force you to work hard. Make sure your goals are measurable within a set time period, for maximum value. Goals that are vague, or that don’t have a deadline, aren’t very satisfying even if you manage to complete them. Accomplishing a valuable goals really means something, because it is a reflection of hard work. As a result you will feel much more motivated to pursue them. “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” – Andrew Carnegie

Having enumerated all these tips and tricks to attain self-motivation, but still you seem to feel lacking that much needed drive, there is one last thing that you must try. Whatever it is that you have been meaning to do, or wanting to achieve, JUST DO IT! Keep on aiming high and go for it! Actually getting your hands dirty best solves the problem of motivation. By “forcing” yourself to just do it, your momentum will pick up gradually as you go along and before you know it you have finished the task or have finally achieved your goal. Divide and conquer is the key.


The Inner Power

The Inner power is a quality which makes us a winner or loser. Confidence, an instant confidence that wells and swells within us, when we need it, this must be our inner power.

Samuel Johnson once wrote that: “Self-confidence is the first great requisite to great undertakings”

Instant confidence is something we all need, no matter who we are, no matter what our age and our status in life. It is an inner fire that can make our hearts sing, building the positive habits that will flow smoothly into fresh, crisp living.

We all have this inner power, to one degree or other. It is in all of us, waiting to be used.  In our lives we have known failures, successes, and mixed experiences. If we minimize the failures, resolving to rise above them and make a habit of drawing upon the confidence of past successes, seeing them in our mind, tasting them again and again, humbly, not boastfully, self-confidence becomes a second nature to us.

 “Nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities” Susan Gale

We have all known some success in life, no matter how small, no matter how humble, no matter how trivial in the eyes of others.

These successes are the base upon which we can build our inner strength, we must learn to emphasize in our mind these better moments of ours, to see them in our mind, to feel them in our hearts, until they become part of what we are as a breathing, living, thinking, seeing human being.

Over and over and over, because this is not a simple, automatic process if we have many failures to cope with, in our life. We must picture these good moments in our mind, we must remember that we came into this world to succeed, not fail.

Over and over and over, we must manufacture for ourselves our most successful product, our force for success. These repeating, previsualizing, reemphasising the winning moments in our lives, creates in us an ongoing drive, which is instant confidence.

It is debatable, perhaps, whether your coffee is better slow-brewed or instant. It is also debatable whether your orange juice is better squeezed by hand or instant.

But there is nothing debatable about instant confidence. It is a value to those who feel it, it is a priceless value, and there can be no doubt of this.

“Self-trust is the first secret of success” Ralph Waldo Emerson

We need this feeling of belief in ourselves, this instinctive feeling of belief in ourselves, to fully utilize our resources, so that we can constructively plunge forth into life activities. We need this feeling to accelerate us forward into a dynamic pattern of living.

We must understand that there is a good within us, forgive our faults, and rise above the blunders in our life to our triumphs of self-assertion and achievement.

It is no overnight undertaking, but, in terms of days and weeks and months and years, we can enlarge in our mind this successful image of ourselves, supplemented with new, rich experiences, until we have within us a great, shiny weapon, the instant confidence.

“Confidence comes naturally with success, but success comes only to those who are confident”

 


Goal Setting

Goal setting is a powerful process which is vital for focus and time management. Without setting our goals correctly it is impossible to concentrate on a plan of action to achieve them.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible” ~ Tony Robbins

You may be a young man in your early twenties or a woman in her late forties. You may be setting goals for the day or for tomorrow or the next week. This doesn’t matter. What matters is getting into the habit of setting worthwhile goals and then accomplishing them.

Within you, never forget this, are success instincts, and if you can activate them, you will have within you a chain reaction of reaching-out-to-achieve-goals mechanism. This predisposition of a human being toward the successful achievement of his goals, is called “success mechanism

“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

Sense of direction, understanding, charity, courage, esteem, self-confidence, self- acceptance, these are the ingredients of your success mechanism. SUCCESS is the nailing down of the goals which you want for yourself.

  • Sense of direction: You must set goals which make sense to you; you must know where you are going. A brand- new, smooth-flowing car is of no use if there is no highway.
  • Understanding: Many of our goals will centre around other people, and we must understand how they think, what they want, how we interact with them. We must be able to communicate with them and to understand the communication they send out to us, no matter how subtle or devious, because of their fear.
  • Charity: Setting goals purposefully, understanding and relating well to people—you are on your way to success. But you must have the courage to do, the courage to take a plunge off the diving board, or your success mechanism is incomplete. Because there are no sure things in life, no matter how well laid your plans, you can never foresee the consequences with certainty. When you have the courage to take action, then your goals in life are more than passing fancies, then they mean something to you in your world.
  • Esteem: You must appreciate your own worth as a human being, and that of others. Unless you feel esteem for yourself, your goals are of little value, and even if you achieve them the victory will be hollow. At the heart of your being must be your feeling that there is good in yourself, if you don’t feel this, your success may impress others, but you will know better, they will be superficial, phony successes. You must learn to see yourself as a child of GOD, as a creation of HIS. You must see others, also, as children of GOD, as purposeful, as valuable.
  • Self-confidence: This is similar to, but different from, esteem. Self-confidence is the product of successes; we have confidence in ourselves when we remember that we succeeded in the past. It goes without saying that we all have failures in life as well as successes, but we can develop self-confidence that triggers our success mechanism. If we concentrate our thinking on our success, seeing ourselves at our best time and again. Not that we should deny our failures; this would be unrealistic. We should use our blunders as guides to learning, then forget about them. Then we should bring into our mind images of our triumphs to cement our feelings of confidence in ourselves.
  • Self-acceptance: You will not always feel confident; sometimes your stomach will be tied up in knots and perspiration will break out all over your face. Your nervousness will be visible to other people; they may look at you curiously, or, you may do something rash, injuring your own interests or rudely stepping on someone else’s toes. Your imperfections many; everyone is most imperfect, really— and you must learn to accept this. You must understand that your blunders are not your total personality; they are just a part of you, and this is a part which you must accept to be successful. Otherwise you will dedicate your days to an avalanche of self-castigation which will leave you miserable, head bowed, a failure at almost anything you try. You must not look to others for acceptance; this is something you must give yourself.

These are the basic ingredients of success mechanism. They will help you toward the purposeful execution of your goals. They are success-oriented; they point to goal-attainment, to satisfaction in living. A purposeful living today means steering your mind to productive goals.

 “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.” ~ Mark Victor Hansen


Search for your creative power

Search for your creative power depends on how much energy you put into reading and what you read. Certain books on thinking can make you better able to understand your mind and through such understanding enable you to make more intelligent use of your creative power. Creative power is about having the ability and power to manifest a creative idea. In particular it is about the power to cause something to come into existence which did not previously exist. Creative power is about consciousness directing a flow of creative life energy by how it focuses its attention and awareness.

Our mind is ours, and with it, we can create. We have created automobile, skyscrapers, airplanes, air conditions, television, satellite, and with it, we can create contentment, contentment in a joyful world in which we can harness machines to eliminate most of the dangers and hardships. Not only is it our potential to create a meaningful life, it is also our obligations to ourselves. And yet the quest for happiness is, to so many people, a grotesque traffic jam. The motor keeps running, but the car can’t move.

Too many people have renounced happiness; too many think that living has lost its kick for them; too many find no purpose in their lives. Why is this? Why people give up on life? Why do they give up on themselves?

“Individuality is dead”, some say. “The pace is too fast” others say. They talk about the hustle-bustle of city life, the speed with which people move around on working days. They criticize the changes in our ideas; about sex, about art, about dress. Who can keep up with these revolutions in thought?

All right, there is some truth to the criticisms of today’s world, but people have always lived with imperfection. Down through history we find people coping with problems; some lived richly, some were afraid to live. And so is today; there are people who live, and there are people who use rationalizations to keep them from living fully.

Criticisms of the modern world serve only as stumbling blocks if they lead people to turn away from life. There is no excuse for negative thinking which wastes human life. When a person drowns himself in such a pattern of thinking, he is committing an unspeakable crime against himself.

Yet in our complex civilization people too often live with boredom and anxiety rather than adventure. While I am writing this article on creative living, I would like to communicate to you my ideas on the meaning of life, about a good life which you can make reality. I want to share with you that zestful, optimistic living can be a reality for people today. So many people do not see this truth, yet it is as real as the table at which you eat; it is as real as you are male or female.

Contrary to what many think, truth can be pleasant:

  • Operating on your mind: There is more to life than a good physical image. There is another force which can sustain you amid the demands of living. It is a force that can remove scars of the mind. It is a force that can bring you a sense of security, even when events in your world go wrong, and that is your self-image.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote, “To take arms against a sea of troubles.”

To live creatively, you must “take arms”. You must arm yourself with powerful weapons which will not fire blanks when you need their support.

“The self-concept is a factual description of how you perceive yourself. If your perception is distorted, this description may not be an accurate depiction of you, but it IS an accurate statement of what you believe about yourself.”

  • Don’t let worries get you down: It is completely unacceptable how negative thinking can take hold of you, dragging you down into despair. When you substitute worry for living, you must take responsibility for it. Because it is really up to you. You can make your days thrilling, or you can make them miserable.

“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” ~Dale Carnegie

  • The source of your strength: To bring health into your life, you need healthy self-image. You need to see yourself as a worthwhile human being; you must give acceptance to yourself. The image you have of yourself, the way you see yourself deep down, is fundamental in your adjustment to yourself and to the world you live in.

“Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.”  ~ Robert Collier

  • Sharpening your image of yourself: Deeply ingrained negative attitudes permeate our culture, and every day people we know may try to submerge us in them. You must not allow to be railroaded into adopting stereotyped, humiliating attitudes toward yourself. You must, to live creatively, redouble your efforts to support yourself, to give yourself credit for your accomplishments, your positive feelings, your positive actions, and your life building qualities. You must redouble your efforts to accept your shortcomings and to look humanely upon your blunders. Moreover you must examine yourself as you are, realistically, without falling prey to negative ideas which short-changes your estimate of yourself. If your self-image was never strong, you must work long and hard to strengthen it. If it was once strong but has deteriorated, you must eliminate self-destructive ideas from your mind and build it again, a logical continuation of what it used to be. You will encounter roadblocks from many sources, but you can overcome them if you adopt positive attitudes toward yourself, and if you see yourself as someone you like, as someone with whom you’d like to be friends. You must understand, first the incredible power of your mind, for good or evil. It is the simple concepts and images in your mind that can make you happy or miserable. Your thoughts, your concepts, your images, these are your most precious assets. You can buy a mink coat, or an expensive house, and yet be unhappy. You can travel around the globe a hundred times and make a million dollars, too, and still be miserable. You can strengthen your image of yourself and be content.

“To live happily is an inward power of the soul.” ~ Aristotle

  • Real meaning in your life: Life is something different for each person. Sad to say, some people hide, afraid to come out into the daylight. Others may both take refuge in safe, dull activities which will protect them from both punishment and real human experience. But life should be adventure for you today. Life should be exciting for you today. Life should be purposeful for you today. You must understand that, though we seem to hear mostly the negative, there is always two sides to the coin. Even within the many confines of civilization, the human being may still be free and joyous.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “The life of man is the true romance, which, when it is valiantly conducted, will yield the imagination a higher joy than fiction.This is written in nineteenth century, but it is still accurate—if one’s life “valiantly conducted”.

Preparation for rich living cannot start too soon. NOW, now is the time. NOW is the time to reappraise yourself—who you are. Where you are going. NOW is the time to see what you can do to improve your life.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” ~ Bob Proctor

 


Change your thoughts and you change your world

Change your thoughts and you change your world.  / Norman Vincent Peale

In life, you are always filled with choices. You may opt to have a pessimist’s view and live a self-defeated life or you may decide to take the optimist’s route and take a challenging and fulfilling life.

So why nurture an optimist’s point of view? And why now?

Optimism is an outlook in which we view the world as a positive place. In doing so, we realize that a wonderful life is worth loving. Optimism has been linked to positive mood and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational and political success; to popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from trauma. Sometimes, we get caught up in the trap of negativity and we may feel that everything is working against us, we might feel overwhelmed and out of control, but it doesn’t mean that we have to let them control our feelings. It is all a matter of choice whether we want to make optimism a habit of our life.

Here’s how optimists are in action and researches that back up why it really pays to be an optimist:

  • Optimists always expect the best, they believe that bad events, which will last a long time and undermine everything they do, are their own fault. The truth is that optimists are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world too. What differs them is the way they explain their misfortune. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case.
  • Optimists tend to focus on and plan for the ‘problem’ at hand. They view negative experience in a way that can help them to learn and grow. Such people don’t get frazzled by bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder. They won’t say “things will never get better,” or “If I failed once, it will happen again”. Positive expectancies of optimists also predict better reactions during transitions to a new environment, a sudden tragedy and an unlikely turn of event. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.
  • People respond positively to optimists. Optimists tend to make things happen, instead of waiting for things to happen. They are less dependent on others for their happiness. They don’t find need to control or manipulate people. They usually attract people towards them. Their optimistic point of view towards the world can be contagious and influence others around them.
  • Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well-being during times of stress than others who are less optimistic. In contrast, pessimists are likely to react to stressful events by denying that they exist or by avoiding dealing with problems. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise.
  • Optimists have Perseverance, which is the key to success. They just don’t give up easily, they just keep on keeping on, as they are committed to their goals. This ability leads them to unexpected discoveries and expands their knowledge, both about themselves and about the field of their endeavour. They are also known for their patience. Inching their way one step at a time closer to their goal or elusive dream.
  • Optimists are healthier and live longer. Numerous studies support the belief that people with positive perspective tend to be healthier and enjoy longer lives than those who are generally gloomy and cynical about the future and always expecting the worst in every situation. As having a positive outlook can cause a measurable increase in the body’s ability to fight disease, an optimist tend to age well and get to outlive those prone to negative thoughts.

So why not be an optimist today? And think positively towards a more fulfilled life. Why not look forward to success in all our endeavours? Why not be resilient? Like everybody else we are bound to hit lows sometimes but we don’t have to just stay there. We can carry ourselves out of the mud and improve our chances of getting back on the right track. And why not inspire others to remove their dark-coloured glasses and see life in the bright side?

Our thoughts not only create our reality, they also influence the reality of those around us. Let the currents that flow through us be those of positivity and love. Choose thoughts that reflect of what we want to see and experience in the world. Be the reflection of our dream life and watch it manifest before our very eyes.

“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny”


Becoming a better you

Becoming a better you requires willingness and open-mindedness for change and growth. One thing about life is that it is never static. Change is inevitable, it happens all the time. If you ever want to become that person you ever wish to be then you have to keep pace with changes. On my person, I have a favourite phrase: “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become”. It has made me a better person; not perfect but every day I have something to be proud of.

Many are the days we are driven by abstract situations and we do not want to accept reality or the changes that we are expected to make. In that we can never become a better person. Yes, there are so many hurdles to being good but losing the ‘self’ in you is detrimental. I do not want you to lead a bad path (I have seen many people get lost for good) and that is why I share a week’s formula to become a better you;

Be a servant

How often do you serve others? There is a lot of gratification in giving service to others. Be there for those close to you or those who need you. It does not matter your position but be a servant.

“Service to humanity is the act of making sacrifices for people we don’t necessarily know or have any close connection with, simply by virtue of our spiritual connection to them as part of one universal spiritual family. It is an act that, when replicated by many, results in material progress and the advancement of human civilization. Additionally, the act of service to humanity has the power to unite the hearts of all mankind, as individuals and societies develop their spiritual capacities.”

List your values

You are more valuable than you think. You have priceless values and every decision or goal you make should resonate with those values. Your 2016 resolutions should underline your values and it will be a year of change that you will live to remember.

“No one can determine your value except you. Stop on self-limiting beliefs. Embrace your self-worth”

Know that you have a purpose

You are not just wandering all over the world waiting for you date with death. You have a purpose and finding it will make your life worth living for. It doesn’t matter what age you are. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you do. As long as you wish to live a more meaningful and conscious life, a life purpose is for you. For example you could   inspire and unleash creativity in some individual, help people discover their worth, break their barriers, and realize their hopes and dreams, or educate and enable people to achieve their best health and hence, live a happier and healthier life. Find it and you will never regret a single day.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Appreciate your strengths

You may not be the best you wish to be but you have strengths that nobody else has. No matter how insignificant you think your strengths are; someone else wishes they were you.

“Each and every individual in this world is unique and different from others in his/her own way. Each one of us possesses distinct talents and our strengths and weaknesses vary from others. Once you have identified your strengths, take a look at your current role and assess whether or not you are playing to your strengths. If not, assess whether it would be possible for you to adapt the focus of your work to make more of your strengths.”

Grasp your passions

Deep inside, you really know what you want to become. Nobody knows you better than you do and that is why you should keep your passions alive. Do not be discouraged by failures; they are just there to test you mettle. Be steadfast with what you want and that is what you will get.

“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

You have needs, know them

Many people live and die without ever knowing their needs. It is stressing to live a long life and deep inside you do not know what your needs are. If you want security or freedom then these are your foremost needs. Those called heroes and fathers of our nations knew their needs, changed the world and that is why we remember them centuries after they died.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world” ― Anne Frank

Live from within not without

There are those people who know much about others and the world but they do not know themselves. If you want to be better, start by knowing your inner self. Take time with nature, be alone and go for soul searching.

“At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ― Lao Tzu

You do not have to be the president of the most powerful nation in the world to be better. You can do it in your small ways. Change your life and see what the real value within you is. Try today to know yourself and what is worth your life.

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have” ― Margaret Mead


Love Is A Symbol Of Eternity

Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.                                                                                  

Love is a type of eternal bond in which one tries to bring joy for other at the sacrifice of his own happiness. Love lights the heart of people and stops violence. Love can kill all the miseries of life like pain and sorrow. Love brings peace and happiness in life. Love brings desire to live life. Love is not only between husband and wife but it is the relationship between two individuals who have consideration for each other. It can be between father and child, mother and her son, brother and sister, or between friends.

Husband loves his wife, mother loves her child, and saint loves GOD. Love is the gift that you can give your dear ones. Love is like a precious pearl and the people who understand the meaning of love will never let it fell down.

A person who has not loved anyone is incomplete in himself. If you have never loved anyone, if your life is full of sorrow only love is a weapon by which you can kill all your miseries and bring happiness for yourself and to others also.

You can kill the enmity of your enemies just by saying few words of love. You can kill the quarrel just by love.

“Love… What is love? Love is to love someone for who they are, who they were, and who they will be.” ~ Chris Moore

But above all is the unconditional love which is the complete acceptance of all flaws, selflessness, and steadfast devotion, with no conditions attached.

Let’s examine some possibilities, beginning with parental affection. We might imagine that the idealistic feelings a mother first has for her baby should include unconditional love, meaning that no matter what the child does or says, her love for her child remains unwavering. If her child makes mistakes, she still loves him. Whether rich or poor; fat or thin; successful or struggling; she loves her offspring. Despite disagreements or different beliefs, her love for her child remains unchanging. Unconditionally means just that: No conditions or requirements attached.

So when we find someone who loves us as we are without any condition, and we are able to love them the same way, it is an amazing experience. They may be different from us in many ways. They may view the world differently and have habits that we don’t share, but we can embrace these differences because they are part of this unique person we love.  We will be able to love each other regardless of sickness, mistakes, financial hardship, or any other of life’s inevitable trials and difficulties.

But this kind of love requires an unconditional love of oneself first, so we have the strength of heart and mind to give the same to another human being. . It means that first we have to love ourselves, feel good about ourselves and acknowledge the positive qualities that we can bring to a relationship. If we won’t have that confidence in ourselves as a valuable and capable person, then our insecurities will affect our mutual happiness and our relationship.

Perhaps, while reading this article, you’ve struggled with the concept of unconditional love because you’ve suffered an abusive upbringing, or you were juggled between orphanages, foster care environments, or step-parents’ homes. Perhaps you left an abusive relationship and started a new life in a different country. These circumstances make you special and spiritually strong, but not any less capable of experiencing love.

I’ve seen amazing examples of remarkable souls who’ve experienced horrible abuse, torture, and neglect, only to develop into the most kind and unconditionally loving humans.

I believe in unconditional love. I believe it’s possible to love our children, our spouses, and our fellow human beings–unconditionally. Perhaps the question is not whether we can try or whether it’s possible; perhaps it’s simply a question of putting our love into actions.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” ~ Maya Angelou

 

Life’s Obstacles

Life’s obstacles could be perceived as excuse for our failure or the reason behind our success. Part of human nature is a desire to make progress, or positive change. We all want to improve some area of our life. Perhaps we want to improve our finances, relationships, health, or education. We may want to control our emotions, develop self-discipline, or grow more tolerant. But why is progress so slow?

Part of the reason lies in asking the above question. That is, rather than ask what’s holding us back, we shrug our shoulders and sigh, “Well, I guess that’s what is meant to be.” However, what happens to us is not the result of what is meant to be, but the result of the actions we take or fail to take. So, if we find ourselves in less than satisfactory circumstances, let’s start by considering the major obstacles to our success.

And once we have identified them, let’s ask ourselves how we can overcome those hurdles. Finally, after arriving at a solution, let’s act on it.

Thus, a simple 3 Step Plan can launch us on our way:

Identify what is holding us back.

Figure out what steps we need to take to overcome the obstacles.

Take action! Implement our plan.

Major Obstacles that Slow Our Progress

  1. Living by default instead of by design.  

That is, rather than plan our actions, we usually just automatically react to whatever happens to us at the moment. And when we act automatically, we just continue doing what we have always been doing, which is the definition of NOT making progress. The solution is to stay alert, vigilant, and think before we act. Before acting, ask yourself if what you are about to do will improve your life, keep it the same, or make it worse.

  1. Making excuses instead of making plans.

Success is not a matter of luck that happens to us. Rather, it is created by us because of the actions we take. When we accept responsibility for our actions, we empower ourselves, but when we deny our shortcomings and rationalize our poor behaviour, we condemn ourselves to mediocrity or failure. For as Shirley Chisholm wrote, “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”

  1. We listen to our Inner Child instead of our Inner Adult.

We constantly hear two voices within us. One suggests how we can improve our lives. This is the voice of our True Self, Inner Adult, or Inner Wisdom. Unfortunately, the inspiring words of our Inner Adult are often drowned out by our Inner Child, which is the stored memory of our childhood. Our Inner Child is a “fraidy cat” or scaredy-cat. It is afraid to try anything new or to step out of its comfort zone. When you act without thinking, you usually turn over control of your life to your Inner Child. To succeed in life, we need to listen to our Inner Adult and act courageously.

  1. Fear of being wrong.  

As children, we were afraid of making mistakes, being criticized, denied affection, appearing stupid, breaking the rules, or being punished. For when we were ‘wrong,’ we were made fun of, humiliated, or scolded. Unless we remain vigilant, these childhood fears will carry over and direct our present action. Remind yourself that you are no longer a child and resolve to act courageously.

  1. Fear of our own inner power.

We all know we have vast inner power. We know this by observing the great deeds of others. For we share the same human nature. If others are capable of greatness, so are we. But we are afraid to use our power. Marianne Williamson explains:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

Why are we so afraid?  

Here are some reasons:

  • If we acknowledge our power we have to accept responsibility and can no longer make excuses or blame others for our failure.
  • We may be afraid of working hard and prefer to loaf.
  • We may be afraid people will expect too much from us or take advantage of us.
  • Friends may become jealous of our success and abandon us.
  1. Lack of self-reliance. 

 In childhood we learned that we could not take care of ourselves. We relied on mom and dad to provide us with food, shelter, and safety. They told us what we had to do, when we had to go to school or see the doctor, when to go to bed, when to go out and play, and when to study. As a child we came to believe we could not look after ourselves and we had to rely on others. If we do not remain careful, remnants of those early beliefs will remain, and as adults we will continue to search for help outside of ourselves instead of relying on our inner resources.

  1. Chasing after what we want rather than what we need.

For example, satisfying our craving for sweets instead of our need for nutritious food is self-defeating and will sabotage our plans for good health.

  1. Making poor choices.

For instance, students partying instead of studying, young working men purchasing expensive sports cars instead of saving for the future, and families spending more than they earn and going heavily into debt. Wrong choices weaken our stance and make us ill-equipped to handle future emergencies.

  1. Allowing our past to rule our present.

Tom’s parents divorced when he was just three years old and his single mom had to work two jobs just to survive. Tom received very little guidance from his mother because she was away working most of the time. Today, Tom is confused and not very successful. “I can’t help it,” he says, “I never received proper guidance, so I’m all screwed up and don’t know how to succeed.”

Tom is allowing his past to rule his present. It’s true that we cannot change our past, but we can change how we perceive it. Instead of focusing on the lack of guidance he received from his mother, for example, Tom could have focussed on his mother’s self-reliance. Even though Tom’s father wasn’t paying child support, his mother worked hard enough to raise him. He could learn a lot from his mother’s devotion, dedication, and perseverance. Instead of interpreting his past as depressing and discouraging, he could have found it inspirational by learning from his mother that we can survive even in very tough situations. Besides, Tom is no longer a child. What’s to stop him now from going to the library or bookstore to get the guidance he didn’t receive in his youth? If he were to do so, he would be receiving guidance from the top experts, giving him the edge over most of his peers.

  1. The wrong mindset.

It is surprising that many people continue to believe that their suffering is caused by external events, failing to realize that it is their attitude that is the cause of their problems. More than 1,800 years ago Epictetus taught, “Men are disturbed not by things but by the views which they take of them.” Similarly, around the same time, Marcus Aurelius taught, “If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now.” Instead of bemoaning your present problems, why not rejoice  which you can do simply by adopting the attitude, or mindset, that no matter what happens to me, I’m going to benefit from it one way or another.

  1. Postponing future success for immediate gratification. 

It’s silly to deny ourselves the exhilaration, satisfaction, and pride of lasting success for temporary pleasure. But our brains are programed to favour pleasure over the ‘pain’ of making an effort to succeed. That’s why procrastination is rampant. But procrastination is the postponement of life. That doesn’t make sense does it? Despite our programing, we can override it by making conscious decisions to make the effort to succeed. After all, the rewards of success far outweigh the ‘rewards’ of partying, TV, playing games, and other diversions.

  1. Not willing to pay the price. 

We don’t seem to mind paying for the tickets of sports events, concerts, and the theatre, so why do we resist paying the price for success? We cannot succeed unless we first recognize that anything worthwhile has a price. So before you begin any endeavour, cheerfully promise yourself that you are willing to pay the price for success. If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort, you’re just wasting time dreaming about success or making half-hearted attempts.

  1. Avoiding problems.

Problems aren’t the problem, but avoiding them is. Why don’t we already have the degree of success we want? Because there are problems, obstacles, and hurdles blocking the way. Isn’t it obvious we have to solve the problems before we can succeed?

  1. Lack of resilience. 

The path to success is not smooth. There are bumps in the road. We are bound to stumble, trip, and, perhaps, fall. Successful men and women are resilient. They know how to get up after each fall and how to maintain a positive attitude, regardless of the difficulty. If you could use more help in developing resiliency, I heartily recommend this book: The Resilience Factor, 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles by Karen Reivich.

  1. Trying to overcome our weaknesses instead of building on our strengths. 

Working on improving yourself is great, but the biggest payoffs flow from our strengths, so keep building on them.

  1. Giving up too early. 

To repeatedly do what doesn’t work is foolish, but it is equally foolish to give up too early. Setbacks are not for sitting back and doing nothing, but for learning. Setbacks are normal, to be expected, and part of life. That’s how we learn what works and what doesn’t, what to do and what to avoid. Remember, temporary setbacks are not permanent failures.

  1. Talking instead of listening. 

We don’t learn anything by telling people what we know; rather, we learn by listening to what they have to say. So, stop talking and start listening. Before you speak WAIT; that is, ask yourself, “Why Am I Talking?” (W.A.I.T.)

  1. Feeling helpless.

If and when you’re feeling helpless, help someone. It will get your mind off your problems, make you realize others are worst off, and make you feel powerful. Remember, it’s impossible to help others without helping yourself.

  1. Mistaking useless action for progress.

Doubtlessly, you understand the importance of progress, for it is what narrows the gap between where we are and where we want to be. But we mustn’t mistake aimless action for progress, for as Alfred A. Montapert wrote, “Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.”

  1. Inaction.

Another reason for the importance of progress is that we are either progressing or regressing. There is no standing still in life. Charles Caleb Colton explains: “He that is good, will infallibly become better, and he that is bad, will as certainly become worse; for vice, virtue and time are three things that never stand still.”

  1. Believing you are a failure.

You are not a failure, but a person experiencing a failure, setback, obstacle, hurdle, or roadblock. Setbacks are temporary and pave the way for comebacks.

  1. Not understanding the nature of life.

Here is what Henry Ford has to say about the subject: “Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” (Henry Ford)

Life is full of challenges, obstacles, detours, road blocks, ups and downs, and everybody has setbacks in their life, and everybody falls short of whatever goals they might set for themselves. That’s part of living and coming to terms with who you are as a person.