Category Archives: self empowerment

The Truth About Lie

A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.

If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.

We all know how difficult it is to trust someone again, who has lied to you before.  Trust is an important part of every relationship; and when we lie, even if we think others will never find out, we will create a barrier of hurt in our relationship. Unfortunately, when the other person finds out about our lie, and it usually is the case, it’s nearly impossible to trust again. And the damage that is done to our relationship may be irreparable.
Once we have told one lie, we may need a second lie to protect the first one, a third to protect the other two and so on. After a while our lies become so extreme that even we may have trouble keeping track of them, especially if we say a different set of lies for each person we encounter. Although most of us know this, but we still do it anyway.
Lies may appear to help us in the short term, but they harm us and others over the long haul. No matter how we might be adept at deception but we cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Fear of exposure leads us even more to self-protection, which becomes a vicious cycle. Just as our first cell duplicates itself to protect it from enemies, our ego covers up by producing more lies.  When the truth is our only solution, many of us are unable to make that transition.
Lying may seem simple and harmless at first, but just like any addiction, you’ll soon find yourself trapped and entangled more than you could have ever imagined.
Most people who lie daily have little or no awareness of how they can harm others, and they will likely keep doing it regardless. Their egos believe that their needs are more important than other’s needs, despite the fact that they are the same.
Honesty and dishonesty are learned in the home. And like everything else, children learn to lie from the people around them. Children get a lot of messages from their parents saying that lying is always bad, but at the same time they see their parents telling ‘white’ lies to make life easier.

A parent should lead by example and never lie. And when they are caught in a lie, they have to express remorse and regret for making a conscious decision to tell a lie.   Clear, understandable consequences for lying should be discussed with the child early on.
Parents are the most important role models for their children. When a child or adolescent lies, parents should take some time to have a serious talk and discuss the difference between make believe and reality, and lying and telling the truth. They should open an honest line of communication to find out exactly why the child chose to tell a lie, and to discuss alternatives to lying.
Young children often make up stories and tell tall tales. This is a normal activity because they enjoy hearing stories and making up stories for fun. These young children may blur the distinction between reality and fantasy.  This is probably more a result of an active imagination than an attempt to deliberately lie about something.
But an older child or adolescent may tell a lie to be self-serving, such as denying responsibility or to try and get out of a chore or task. This is when parents should respond to isolated instances of lying by talking with the youngster about the importance of truthfulness, honesty and trust.
There are some people who consider a lie to be acceptable in certain situations such as not telling a boyfriend or girlfriend the real reasons for breaking up because they don’t want to hurt their feelings. But this is deceiving other people because they think it serves their purposes in some way.
The big problem with lying is that it often drives one to continue his/her deceptions, and the result is that trust is shattered, reputations are damaged, and suspicion rules the day.
People lie because of countless reasons. They lie to make themselves look better. They lie to take the credit, to conceal their poor performances and mistakes, to divert the blame, to protect their reputations, and to deceive and manipulate others.
Regardless of the intention, the final results are the same.  “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Dishonesty and lies come in different ways and forms. There may be some people who tell lie by mistake without knowing the fact and they really believe in whatever they say. But there may be others who say lies showing no guilt or shame, knowing full well that they are deceiving others. Yet there may be others who say white lies, wishing to protect themselves or other people from the truth. Although some of these folks may have good intention, but it is all lying just the same.
As a general principle, people are always looking to see who they can trust and who they can’t. And if we refuse to lie at any circumstances, then we will be able to create lasting relationships of trust. This rule applies to all of our relationships whether it’s family, friends, or at work.
To be honest means that we do what we say we are going to do. It means that we believe in ourselves and in everything we perform. It means that we value ourselves enough not to ever live a lie. As the saying goes, “It’s simple. Never lie to someone who trusts you, and never trust someone who lies to you.”
When we operate with complete integrity, what we say will be taken at face value, our intentions will be assumed honourable, and our handshake will be as good as a contract. Most importantly, we can take great pride in the standards that we have set for ourselves and sleep well at night knowing that our conscience is clear. As for others . . . just when they think they’re fooling the world, they’ll realize that they’re only fooling themselves. A promise is a promise after all!


Positive Mental Attitude

We control our mental attitude by positive attitude not by rules.

Change your mental attitude, and the world around you will change accordingly

It is our own mental attitude which makes the world what it is for us. Our thought make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light. ― Swami Vivekananda

Mental attitude is the way we think and talk to ourselves. Our mental attitude plays more of a role in our life that we might think. What we tell ourselves and the daily messages we allow ourselves to take in make a significant contribution toward the creation of the person we are, end up becoming or will ever be.
Think of thoughts as opportunity creators. The more positive messages we allow ourselves to have or take in, the more opportunities we will be open to realize and take advantage of.
This is why it is important for us to do our best to deal with, communicate and listen to what is good and of value. Doing so frees our mind from negativity, deception, gossip and all other harsh messages that can be destructive to our efforts of maintaining a positive mental attitude and character.
Developing a mental attitude take courage and when we combine the two, we come up with mental courage. It takes a person of great courage to be able to control their thoughts and internal messages, and filter external messages deliberately and consistently especially while living in a society where it is far from the norm.
People with positive mental attitude can push themselves through the worst life’s challenges without feeling emotional intensity. On the other hand, people with negative mental attitude are always vulnerable to suffering. Even enjoyment is less pleasing to them, as they have to work hard to get out of darkness, just to see the light.
Here are some ways that we can all work toward developing a positive outlook on life.

  1. Focus on present: by concentrating on the present as much as possible, we can minimize the worries and fears that lead to negative emotions.
  2. Use Positive Language: It is very easy to fall into the negative language pattern.  Many of us do so without being aware of it. Have you ever realized that some people constantly complain about the weather, their job, their spouse, their children, and any number of other things? Language is central to our experience of being human. And studies have shown that the languages we speak profoundly shape the way we think, the way we see the world, the way we live our lives, and as a result the way our mental attitudes shape. As Willie Nelson said: “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results”.
  3. Stop negative thoughts: In order to maintain a positive mental attitude, learning to hit the reset button is one of the best techniques. Hitting the reset button is about taking a precautionary approach to how we respond to life and its challenges. And it prevents us from drowning in our own negative thoughts. It is the conscious effort of eliminating negativity and disillusionment as soon as it enters our mind. And it helps us not to let negative external thoughts and factors to control or affect us as much or as long.
  4. Accept things as they are: Not accepting things as they are is a fight against reality. It resists what’s real and keeps us thinking and analysing to try to make sense of it so that we feel better. But it doesn’t work, and it won’t bring us happiness. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, and rather than wasting our energy on negative emotions, it’s better to just accept that things didn’t go the way we planned or wanted.
  5. Find positive people: We tend to take in and reflect the emotions and attitudes of those we spend time with. If we’re hanging around negative people who complain and worry much of the time, then we are bound to catch their indisposition. So the more often we keep company people with positive mental attitude, the more likely it is that we will start to think and act in the same way.
  6. Find a reason to laugh: As Mark Twain said: “Humour is the great thing. The minute it crops up, all our hardness yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away”. Laughter is fun, it touches our souls, and it is a wonderful way to reduce stress, to connect with those around us, and to make us feel better all round. Even smiling affects us in positive ways.
  7. Contribute In a meaningful way: Time has taught me that helping others is one of the simplest ways to fill our life with joy and fulfilment. And I believe that one of the best ways to feel more positive is to contribute to a society to make life worth living. Sharing our time and effort with a cause will allow us a brief escape from our current problems, and perhaps may even allow us to see our troubles in a different light.
  8. Practice gratefulness: Express your appreciation for where you are and what you have in life right now, even if feels like you still have a long way to go. Positive psychology research proves that gratitude is strongly associated with the emotions that help us enjoy greater health and happiness. And People who embody gratitude into their daily lives have a more optimistic outlook on life.

Our mental attitude will determine how far we will go in life, and a positive mental attitude can help us deal with the inevitable bumps in the road that will be on our path to success and happiness. Creating and maintaining a positive mental attitude can give us the inner strength we need to overcome adversity of any kind. As Thomas Jefferson once said: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”


Personal Empowerment

Personal empowerment is seeking the solution rather than fixating on the problem.

Personal empowerment is taking control of our own life, setting goals, and making positive choices.

Personal empowerment is a collection of beliefs, actions and skills all working together to help you live a life that you design.
“What is empowerment? It’s not something bestowed on you. Empowerment comes from within.” – Mark Felling
At a basic level, the term ’empowerment’ simply means ‘becoming powerful’. Building personal empowerment involves reflecting on our personal values, skills and goals and being prepared to adjust our behaviour in order to achieve our goals.
Personal empowerment is about looking at who you are and becoming more aware of yourself as a unique individual.
Personal empowerment also means being aware that other people have their own set of values and goals which may be different to ours.
If you’ve ever been stuck in a rut of inertia before, you probably know the sense of helpless futility that takes over your life.  You want your life to change, but you feel powerless to do anything about it yourself.  You may find yourself constantly making plans to improve your life, but never quite getting around to taking action because it seems so intimidating.
Though taking action can intimidate and frighten you, it can also empower you!  If you learn to use it effectively, it can provide the fuel to keep you moving forward toward more fulfilling life circumstances.  When you do this, you realize that there was never anything to fear in the first place, and you’ll never get stuck again!
Below are three simple steps that show you how to get started:

  1. First, take some time to examine your life. Where are you now and where do you want to be? Be sure you understand that your life is the way it is right now because of your hesitation in taking action!  This is important, because you’ll understand the importance of moving forward no matter how anxious it makes you feel at first. Then, decide on one action to take to get the ball rolling.  Think about your life right now, and ask yourself which situations you want to change first.  You might choose your career, relationships, health, financial situation, or anything else that makes you feel powerless and stuck.  Then think about one simple action you can take to inspire some positive change.  It doesn’t have to be a huge action, just SOMETHING to start building momentum.
  2. Once you’ve decided on your action step, you’ll have to push yourself to take it no matter what!  This may seem incredibly difficult or even scary, but remember that most often the things you fear are not going to happen.  In fact, you may not even have a clear reason for feeling scared – you’re just afraid of the “unknown”.  Give yourself a pep talk or push yourself in any way you have to in order to move forward at least a little bit.  After you take that first step, be sure to let go of any expectations of the things that will happen because of it, and allow yourself to feel great simply because you did something about it!
  3. Repeat with the same step, and/or others.  Once you’ve taken one step forward, you’ll need to keep pushing yourself to take others.  Consider this:  Even if you take a hundred small steps in a month, you’ll be putting forth positive effort to make changes in your life, which cannot help but bring about better circumstances!

The good news is that taking action quickly begins to build momentum.Just as chronic non-action can create a cycle of negativity and stagnation over time, being proactive can create a positive cycle that continues to grow! It gets easier the more you do it, which eventually makes it seem almost effortless – and you continue to empower and strengthen yourself with every step you take.


Personal Motivation Is the Key to Success

Personal motivation is what pushes us to achieve our goals, feel more fulfilled and improve overall quality of life.

Personal motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. 

Personal motivation is the key to success. It is a combination of determination, expertise, and purpose to maintain in order to achieve a high level of success.

Self-motivation is the inner power, an internal drive that pushes us to keep moving forward, to develop, to produce, and to achieve. When we find ourselves ready to quit something or we just don’t know how to start; it is our self-motivation which pushes us to go on. It is the internal voice that says, “I am an autonomous person who has power over my choices and my actions. I can affect positive changes in my life if I work for them”.
“The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it is possible to achieve your dream”
“Personal motivation is an internal, impalpable force that causes a person’s effort, drive and persistence toward the achievement of a worthwhile goal. The degree and strength of an individual’s personal motivation is the single most important factor in determining the extent to which he or she will commit to do what needs to be done to achieve the desired result. Without personal motivation, little of any significance is usually achieved in spite of the existence of the necessary knowledge skills and resources. With it, anything is possible regardless of whether or not those elements are present”.
It is easy enough to dream and plan, but many people get stuck in this phase indefinitely and avoid taking action.  Planning and dreaming might make you feel like you’re doing something about your goals, but if you never actually take a step forward you’ll never achieve them.  In order to see measurable progress, you have to step out of your comfort zone and take action.
“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents” –Andrew Carnegie
When you finally do gather your courage and begin moving forward, what usually happens?  You realize it’s WAY harder than you thought it would be, right?  It feels like you’re trying to run uphill.  You keep tripping over obstacles, facing setbacks and delays, dealing with fear and anxiety, and fighting a daily battle to find motivation to keep moving forward.
It’s during this difficult phase that most people give up.  They decide that “it isn’t meant to be” right now, so they set their goal aside and promise to try again later.  Or worse, they resign themselves to a mediocre life because they don’t believe they have what it takes to succeed.  They’ve “failed,” so they’re not going to try any more. Have you done this?  Most people have! However, this doesn’t have to be the end of the story.  You can pick up your dreams, dust them off and try again.  “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run”.
Most people quit during the difficult phase because they think it’s ALWAYS going to be this hard.  What they don’t realize is that every effort they put toward the achievement of their goals will build on the previous efforts.  With every step forward the process gets easier and easier.  Finally, they’ve put so much energy and effort into the process that the internal drive begins to take over.  Suddenly they realize that they don’t have to push so hard to keep moving forward.  It becomes fun, even easy to achieve their goal.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed” ― Michael Jordan
This same experience can be yours!  All you have to do is keep moving forward. Keep working toward your dreams and never quit.  Your internal force WILL take over eventually!
If you want to get that force working even more quickly for you there are a few ways to do it, but they can be summed up in one sentence:
Be willing to work harder, faster and take bigger risks than you have in the past
“A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.” ― Albert Einstein
The reason why this internal drive can be delayed, is because sometimes many people take very tentative steps toward their goals.  They’re afraid to really give it their all, so they hold back much of the energy and power they could be devoting toward their goal.  Even if they’re not aware of it, they may feel more comfortable working at a slower pace, so they avoid taking big risks and instead they take baby steps
There’s not a thing wrong with this approach if it suits you!  However, if you want to make faster progress and to achieve your goal quickly, think about taking bigger steps and giving your full energy and focus toward making it happen.  By doing so, you’ll push through the difficult beginning and find yourself coasting before you know it.
 “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  ― Nelson Mandela
As Zig Ziglar said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily”. Whenever you’re struggling to get things done, turn to that quote for the inspiration and personal motivation you need to be the best you can be.


How to Live Life with Passion and Aliveness

How to live life with passion and aliveness. Express your aliveness by giving; of yourself, of your resources, of your heart. ― Patti Digh

 In our difficult world there are many easy solution; but these solutions are not always the best ones. If you are bored, you may spend your spare time engulfed in a combination of engagement with television, radio, movies; but wouldn’t you feel better if you actively tackled some project, some hobby, something to which you committed your creative passion?

If you are lazy, you can stick a precooked dinner in the oven, but perhaps you might have cooked a better meal yourself, and enjoyed the living involved in doing this chore.

You can even spend your day resting on your bed, all alone, sealed off from life, but couldn’t you do better? Needless to say, I am not against television, movies, radios, or precooked dinners; nor am I against resting in moderation.

What I am against is an essentially passive way of doing things. When you are passive, you retire from the excitement of life and the enjoyment of stimulating give-and-take. You move away from the life process; you kill life in yourself. Yet life can invade you, can inflict suffering on you, while you lie helplessly, passively, a victim of your own inertia.

You might say but “I am in debt” and “I have to save my energy for making money”. But does being a spectator help you? Yes you may have financial problems; most people do, but a boring and passive life will not stimulate you to overcome them. Your strength is not premature burial of your participation in life. It is in your passionate pursuance of an active philosophy, in optimistic, realistic, active living.

“Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness, and gratefulness is a measure of our aliveness.” ― David Steindl Rast

Do, create, and innovate. Stay in the world, and do not baby yourself. You do not have to be perfect, but you do have to take part, you do have to be involved, and you have to remain in the mainstream of life.

When we think of aliveness and passion, we think of a freshness and vigour, a spring to the step and a ring to the laugh. We think of driving curiosity, of eager creativity. If it is aliveness and passion that we seek so ardently, we can find it at any chronological stage in our lives. The American poet Helen Hunt Jackson once wrote that “whom the gods love, live young forever”.

I do not know who the “gods” love, but I do know that if you have a gentle respect for yourself, a belief in your fundamental goodness, you will feel alive and “young” as long as you live. You will not dedicate your life to indifference and complaint, to the emptying out of your sorrows and miseries into the nearest ears, which you hope will be sympathetic.

Aliveness, passion, vitality, aflame with earnest endeavour must be one of your most cherished aims in life regardless of any age.

When does your preparation start? It starts right now. If you are sixteen, forty six, or sixty six, it starts right now.

You begin with a basic process of self-education; it is a fairly simple process, yet we all seem to overlook it in the smothering clamour of miscellaneous, often irrelevant data that clutter up our minds in this hustle-bustle world of ours. In this self-educative process you need master the terminology of no dictionary. You don’t have to hold college degree or to understand the theory of relativity. You must simply come to grips with yourself. You must assert the power of integrity of your self-image. You must establish the authentic dignity of your self-image on a realistic base as a foundation for full living at present age; now.

Life is not a picnic; sometimes there is no food at all, and ants and mosquitoes to boot. You must survive your failure and disappointments; charge back off the floor and keep punching. There are no handouts; you can expect only what you give yourself. You can only count on the spark and fire and friendliness which you, the thinker, give you, the acting person in life.

“Own your disappointment, acknowledge it for what it is, and move on.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Suppose you lose your job or your business venture is failing. You feel depressed; who wouldn’t? You feel frustrated, perhaps nervous or angry. For two or three days you may be hard to get along with; and fair-weather friends will avoid you. But how are you thinking now that all this is in the past? Are you bogged down in a state of depression, blaming yourself for your mistakes, hating those whose actions hurt you? Is your mind a staccato messenger of criticism, piercing you with reminders of what you might have done and with what you might have been? Do you see yourself over and over, blundering, and hate what you see so much that you end up losing sight of yourself entirely, blotting out the self image that is your best friend in life?

Or do you see yourself kindly? Do you see yourself making mistakes, yet forgive yourself and tell yourself that you are only human? Do you then resolve to avoid this type of mistake, if possible, yet with a determination to accept yourself if you err again? Do you then see yourself in your good moments, making wise choices, carrying out intelligent actions, achieving what you wanted to achieve? Do you carry this image of yourself back into your mind, this image of yourself accomplishing your goals, this image of yourself as the kind of person you can be?

“A failure is not a loss. It’s a gain. You learn. You change. You grow” ―Michael Barata

If you can rebound from failure, any failure, in this accepting, non-judgemental, positive way, your self image once more restored, on your side, you will feel aliveness and vitality all the years of your life. Your problems will not terrify you when you think of them; instead you will feel hope because the pattern of your thinking is hopeful.

GOD created life in us so that we could live passionately and actively in this world HE fashioned. GOD made us, with our marvellous bodies and our complex minds, so that we could have meaning and happiness in our lives.

If you believe in a Higher Power, you must believe in the purpose in life, no matter how difficult the world may seem during depressing periods.

Tear fear from your heart; bury your negative thinking, and tell off friends who try to convince you that life is dull.

“Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have”


Bring Joy And Fulfilment Into Your Life

Bring joy and fulfilment into your life. Life can be as joyous and meaningful as we choose to make it. Joy is what makes life beautiful. It runs deeper than mere ‘pleasure’, is more enduring than mere ‘fun’, and is more intense and thrilling than mere ‘happiness’. Joy is what helps us to get through challenges, heals our wounds, inspires us to greatness, and fills our souls with goodness. What brings joy and fulfilment into your life may be completely different from what provides others a sense of satisfaction and achievement. “The road to self-fulfilment is different for everyone. Everyone has a special plan and purpose on this Earth. That is why your path to personal fulfilment will take a unique course as well as present different opportunities to realize it”.
As human beings, we give a great deal of meaning, or no meaning at all, to various things in life. Sometimes we give more value and significance to things like a new car, a fancy house or the latest gadget on the market, rather than spending our energy and time on things which can contribute more value and joy to our lives. “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life”. ~ Jean Shinoda Bolen
You can find meaning and satisfaction in your life if you know where to look for it. To help you find your path, there are some day to day ways that people have come to follow in order to reach a significant and rich life. You can use these following steps as guide to bring joy and fulfilment into your life:
1- Choose your words wisely: “You can’t take back words you’ve already said, and you can’t take back someone’s tears that already shed”. We all have our favourite expressions, the ones we come out with now and again. We are constantly bombarded with the words of others. What do our words say about us? How the words of others affect us? What effects do these words have on us, on our emotions, on how we value ourselves? We can play this game a few times, we will discover just how the words we use and the words we hear every day can affects our moods and transform our feelings for good or bad. And with this awareness we will start choosing our words more carefully, selecting those which make us feel good, bringing joy and fulfilment into our life, and avoiding those which make us feeling bad. “Simply by changing your habitual vocabulary – the words you consistently use to describe the emotions of your life – you can instantaneously change how you think, how you feel, and how you live.” ~ Tony Robbins
2- Love and accept yourself: “We are who we are, and no amount of wishful thinking will make us someone else, will make us different”. So accept yourself for who you are, and be willing to improve and take appropriate steps to change yourself, if it is possible for you to do so. Acceptance is not giving up or resignation. It is recognizing of things as they are; a recognition that can help us to move on with our lives, enhancing ourselves, making our lives and our experiences more positive and more fulfilling. Self-acceptance also involves the idea of having compassion for ourselves and love ourselves despite all our limitations, weaknesses and imperfections. “Love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself, and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia
3- Work to build up your self image: You bring no joy into your life if you don’t like your image of yourself; you can’t live on the top floor of a building which has no foundation. You will not find joy in work, in travel, in conversation, in power, in money, or in beautiful scenery, if your self image is inadequate. Search around in your mind each day for your successful memories. Get into the habit of searching those wonderful moments, and bring these realistically joyful times front stage centre. See yourself this way successful, acting and thinking the way you like to act and think; reactive these positive images each day. Not only must you focus on your picture of contentment, but you must also be kind to your areas of weakness, if the joy and fulfilment are to be factors in your life.
4- Unearth your hidden wealth: What is this hidden wealth? It is your creative gifts, your talents, your abilities for doing and for giving. But why do you keep them hidden? Is it because you fear of criticism or because your resources, unused to exposure, may seem imperfect? Almost every person alive has some area of excellence, some genius, the expression of which make him/her feel more alive, more important as a person. What a pity that so much of this self- expression is wasted! For undeveloped resources have no more value than unmined, buried precious metals. If you cannot reach them and bring them into open, others do not even know they exist. Worse still, even you do not know of their existence and in your ignorance, you deprive yourself of so much joy and fulfilment. You don’t need shovels or bulldozers, land titles or contracts to unearth your precious gifts; all you need is this determination that you are going to give yourself and your spirit the same loving attention that you would to the treasures of your material world, your car, your front lawn or your kitchen. “Don’t die with your music still in you” ~ Wayne Dyer
5- Give to others: This is a world in which sometimes the only thing that seems to matter is the “fast buck”. It is one of the great tragedies of civilized life today that we emphasize less importance on giving to others without any expectation. Yet there are still people, even though they won’t admit it, have a tremendous craving for love and acceptance. They also long to express their goodness, to give of themselves. Through careful, considerate treatment which may surprise most people or even arouse their suspicions, if they feel that your friendliness is genuine, they will respond warmly. If they have long felt deprived of affection, the extent of their gratitude may amaze you. The Law of Giving is really simple: if you want more joy, give joy to others. If you want love, learn to give love. If you want happiness, help others become happy. And if you want to become wealthy, learn to help others become materially affluent. True wealth is not shown through earthly possessions, but by leading a fulfilling life. And there is nothing more fulfilling than knowing we have made a tangible difference in the lives of other people. In helping others with no self-serving motives, we may find the greatest satisfaction we have ever known. “Give others all that is alive in you; your interest, understanding, your knowledge, your humour, everything in you that’s good. In doing so, we enhance the sense of aliveness in others while enhancing our own. When we give, we get a ‘heightened vitality’ of what it means to be human.” ~Erich Fromm
6- Set worthy goals: Having goals and working towards them is an essential part of being human. It gives us a sense of direction, purpose and meaning in life. It is not only enough to select goals, but to focus our attention on them, and then achieve them.
Part of finding joy and fulfilment in life is to have a Higher Purpose. Something to strive for that is larger than us. It is everyone’s desire to matter and to make a difference in this world, whether at work or in other people’s life. And by giving to someone or something that is bigger than us, is how we achieve deep meaning and satisfaction in our lives. We all need to feel that our lives stand for something and we make somehow useful contribution to this world. We can only find joy and fulfilment in our lives when we find ourselves working towards something which is important to us. Viktor E. Frankl once said: “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
7- Nurture and enjoy loving relationships: Relationships are one of the biggest sources of joy and fulfilment in human lives. Studies show that people who have large, supportive circle of family and friends, a fulfilling marriage, and a thriving social life, are more content and satisfied in their lives. That’s why nurturing our relationships with our loved ones is one of the best emotional investments we can make. If we concentrate to build connection with others, we will soon receive the benefits of more positive emotions. And as we become happier, we will attract more people and higher-quality relationships, leading to even greater positivity and enjoyment. It’s the happiness gift that keeps on giving. These relationships we have with people who we love and care about, and the people who love and care about us, determine of how we are doing as human beings. “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” ~ Anais Nin

Your life is yours alone. Others can try to advise you, but they can’t make a choice for you.  The way we live our lives is important as it impacts our community, our society and the world. Our positive contribution to the community and society paves the way for the development and enhancement of many lives. The good impact that we leave behind initiate others to do better. The better is developed into the best by others that follow; so, the good legacy that we leave behind helps the world to become better. It’s not about earning a name or fame, it’s about giving back, as we all want our loved ones to have the best to their disposal and live a good and better life. “There are certain things fundamental to human fulfilment. The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase ‘to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy” ~ Stephen Covey


How Emotions And Thoughts Can Affect Your Mental Health

How emotions and thoughts can affect your mental health. Mental health consist of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Mental health is usually used as a substitute for mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia, but according to the World Health Organization, mental health is: “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his/her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his/her community.”

Thoughts are our mental perceptions, our ideas, our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. They include views and aspects we bring to any situation or experience. Although thoughts simply appear in our minds, we don’t create them, and life experiences and education have great influences on them. But we have control over how we think, and we can resolve to change how we think.  As for our emotions, we can view and experiene them as the flow of feelings. And while they are universal, but each one of us experience them and respond to them in a different way. Emotions are influenced by our thoughts and perceptions, and the way we perceive an event or interpret a situation gives rise to corresponding feelings. Emotions which can be experienced or conveyed without any reservation, attachment, or judgement gravitate to flow smoothly; on the other hand restrained emotions such as fear, guilt, hurt and negative feeling are able to kill our hope and  mental energy and cause us a lot of physical and mental health problems. Consequently when we become aware that our thoughts and emotions can affect our mental health, and have great impact on our attitudes, our behaviours, and our relationships, then we can choose to adjust and regulate our thoughts and emotional responses to any triggering events. There are few positive feelings which can simply change the emotional effects of negativity and increase psychological abilities that enrich a successful life:

  • The value of Positivity: Anyone can tell you that one key to living a healthy, happy and flourishing life is having positive attitude, and experiencing positive emotions. But I also know that we all have what it takes to deal with difficulties. That is what winning a positive attitude is about. It is about strengthening ourselves mentally to fight with our own negativity.  People who are generally positive have problems just like everyone else. What separates them from everyone else is that they know that their problems are simply part of the process of life”. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson discovered that: “Experiencing positive emotions broadens people’s minds and builds their resourcefulness in ways that help them become more resilient to adversity and effortlessly achieve what they once could only imagine. With Positivity, you’ll learn to see new possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others, and become the best version of yourself”. Emotional benefits of positivity reduce stress, lower levels of distress, better psychological and physical well-being, minimize rates of depression, improve sleep and enhance a greater sense of overall happiness. “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Forgiveness: Forgiveness is about releasing our own feelings and finding meaning in the worst of life’s events. We practice forgiveness to be free of the inner violence of our rage, anger, fear, and resentment. Forgiveness is an act of acceptance that negative situations can happen and by letting go of the negative emotions surrounding those situations, we can learn to become less anxious, angry, bitter, stressed and depressed. As we let go of grudges we’ll no longer define our life by how we’ve been hurt; and we might even find compassion and understanding in our hearts. Forgiveness not only improve our mental, emotional and physical health, but also lead us to healthier relationships, greater spiritual and psychological well-being and higher self-esteem. “It is time now to let go of the past and embrace all that awaits you”.
  • Gratitude: Gratitude means thankfulness, counting our blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that we receive. Gratitude is essentially the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience. The benefits of gratitude are extreme and powerful. Studies demonstrated that being grateful improve both physical and mental health, psychological wellbeing and attitude, and our relationships with others. Gratefulness makes us feel good and increase positive moods such as joy, interest, alertness, determination, and optimism as well as improve our self-esteem. By practicing gratitude we become less depressed and stressed, more likely to help others, and make greater progress toward achieving our personal goals. “When people in great numbers choose to practice, integrate, and embody gratitude, the cumulative force that is generated can help create the kind of world we all hope for and desire, for ourselves and for future generations”.
  • Emotional Resilience: Emotional resilience simply means one’s ability to adjust to stressful situations or crises. Resilient people are able to adapt to adversity of life without lasting difficulties, while less resilient people have a harder time with stress and life changes. To some degree, emotional and physical resilience are something we are born with. Some of us have always been the “sensitive kind” while others are not bothered by anything. However, psychological and social research have shown that emotional resilience can be learned or improved upon, no matter what level of it we are born with. We can gain and build on our emotional flexibility by practicing perseverance, optimism, learning from our mistakes, sense of humour, managing our strong feelings and impulses, avoid seeing crises as hopeless problems, accepting that change is a part of life, Moving toward our goals, taking decisive actions, nurturing a positive view of ourselves, taking care of ourselves, and maintaining a hopeful outlook. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved” —Helen Keller


Continuous Personal Growth

Continuous personal growth involves a lifelong of reflecting, connecting, and learning which enhance our understanding of who we are, the world around us, and provide us with more and better opportunities to improve our quality of life.

To be able to improve we have to accept that something about us needs to be changed, and when we are ready to unlock the perceptions that we have created over the years, then we can start living a joyous life of change and growth.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust

As we go through life, our main attention is usually on external world and the material possessions, but the reality is that the most important thing that we have to focus our energy on, is the development of self into the person we want to become. And when we achieve a real connection to our authentic self and realize our true purpose, all the external achievements and successes will pursue anyway.

“Personal development is your springboard to personal excellence. On-going, continuous, nonstop personal development literally assures you that there is no limit to what you can accomplish.” ~ Brian Tracy

Over the years, I have learned to practice and focus my energy on the proven track of actions and beliefs that had helped me to improve the quality of my life and the state of my mind.

Here are the strategies that have worked well for me . . .

  • Be present: The method for being present is really simple, but it needs practice. When we practice something regularly, we become good at it. It becomes like a mode of being rather than a task on our to-do list. Whatever you’re doing, at any time, learn to focus completely on doing that one thing. Pay attention to every aspect of what you’re doing, to your body, to the sensations, to your thoughts. It might become tiring at the beginning, if you’re not used to it. Let yourself rest if you grow tired and come back and practice it again. After a while you realize how your worries fade away and you enjoy your present task much more. When we learn to be joyful in whatever we’re doing, grateful that we’re able to do that task, and appreciate every movement and sensation of the task, then we become aware that anything can be an amazing experience, anything can be a miracle. ‘Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.’ ~ Thich Nhat Hahn
  • Stop seeking approval from others: When we have a need for approval we value the beliefs and opinions of others above our own, it becomes addictive and we can quickly develop a need for more. Once we stop worrying about how other people would think of us, how our decisions might disappoint others, or how they might judge us, we become free to be fully authentic selves. The biggest irony with approval-seeking behaviour is that it usually causes the opposite results to those which are intended. If you take a moment to observe those people whom you respect most, you will find that one of their strongest traits is their ability to be true to who they are. There is usually so much pressure from society, peers and media to conform to certain standards and ideals. But if we are led through life always and only really doing and being what we’ve come to believe is ‘expected of us’, then, in a way, we cease to exist, to live, and be real. When you cease being worried about people’s disapprovement of you, a whole new world of personal possibility opens before you.
  • Reflect on Transformational Moments: We all have critical and determining moments in our lives. We come to a fork in our life, and we make a choice that will affect everything since. Once the choice is made, we can never withdraw and start over again because circumstances and people involved change. Words have been said, lives affected and these can never return to the original form. Looking back on those focal points in our past is a great way to look at how far we’ve come, and to discover where we want to be in the future. Always evaluate your options, and consider how they will affect your principles and values. Each one of us has a set of values that define who we are. If one option has you compromise your values, no matter how profitable it may be, it will not be worth the risk. There are a number of people who have reflected, after picking a fork in their road, “There was just something that didn’t feel right, but I did it anyway.” If it doesn’t feel right, you can’t force it to be right. “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest” ~ Confucius
  • Move past failure: “The major difference between achieving people and average people is their perception of and response to failure” ~John C. Failure is a part of testing the limits of what we know, and it’s an opportunity to learn how to take that next step forward. The truth is that when we experience failure, we’re growing, stretching, and expanding. Each setback, whether small or large is an opportunity for growth. When we change our perception toward failure, then we will be able to use it as stepping-stone to success instead of a stumbling block. But first we have to acknowledge it. Our initial tendency is often to blame others or some uncontrollable, external factors. But rarely are the failures in our lives entirely the responsibility of someone else. And until we take personal responsibility in some capacity, we can never move on to the next step. After we accepted our failure, then we can look back at them as simply feedback that can take us to another level of awareness. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” ~ Napoleon Hill’
  • Teach, and learn by teaching: “The beautiful thing about teaching is that our legacy is defined in what we give and empower others to do, not only in what we do ourselves”. Wisdom is understanding where we have been, and how we got to where we are now. All of us have experiences and wisdom worth sharing with others. One of the best way of personal growth and change is to listen to other people’s experiences and sharing ours. Have you ever helped a friend through a difficult time and then you became aware that you feel better and happier? Our most lasting and fulfilling achievements in life are often earned by helping others fulfil theirs. As if when we help, encourage, and enable others to reach their dreams, we can also achieve our dreams along the way. Giving and helping others is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. And it may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful. “Making the conscious commitment to empower yourself by directing your thoughts, energy and focus toward what you most want and the goals you need to achieve is the first step towards creating an extraordinary life.” ~ Tony Robbins

 


Practicing Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to things as they are.  Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness is the energy that helps us acknowledge the conditions of happiness that are already existing in our lives. We don’t have to wait ten years to experience this happiness. It is present in every moment of our daily lives. Mindfulness is when we are truly there, mind and body together. We breathe in and out mindfully, and we bring our mind back to our body. When our mind is there with our body, we become settled in the present moment. Then we are able to identify the many aspects of happiness that are in us and around us, and happiness just comes naturally.

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you” – Lao Tzu

Practicing mindfulness enable us to recognize that our thoughts are just thoughts; they don’t necessarily represent reality. We can observe them rather than being dependent on them. It helps us to take in the richness of the moment instead of going through life with half of our attention on the past or future or our own mental gabble. By becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, from moment to moment, we give ourselves the possibility of greater freedom and choice; we become enlightened to be more intentional in choosing priorities and actions that fit our life mission.

“Refuge to the man is the mind, refuge to the mind is mindfulness” – Buddha

In this busy, hyper and connected world, we spend so much of our days lost in thought, rushing around from one activity to another, and often trying to do several different things at the same time. We often fail to notice the beauty of life, lose our connection with the present moment. And we all too often miss out on what we are doing, how we are feeling and what our bodies are telling us. We also become vulnerable to anxiety, stress, depression and reactivity. Research shows, in fact, that the more our minds wander, the less happy we become.

With mindfulness, we have the chance to really slow down and appreciate everyday activities with new eyes, new senses. By learning and practicing mindfulness and deep meditation we gain the power of familiarizing ourselves with our thoughts and our patterns, and we can shift our thoughts away from our usual preoccupations toward an appreciation of the moment and a larger perspective on life. In other words, the more mindful you are the happier you are.

In order to get the best results by practicing mindfulness and deep meditation, our mind has to be relaxed and free from all worries about past and future.  We can learn relaxation techniques to help us managing stress and teaching us how to quiet our mind.

One simple way to start practicing mindfulness, is to concentrate on our breathing without trying to change it. We just focus on our breath coming into and leaving our body. As we practice this, our mind might wander, but we can gently, without any judgement bring our focus back on our breathing again. As we begin to feel success with this task, we may wish to extend our focus to sensations we feel in our body, without judgment or trying to change these sensations. And then we can apply this practice to sounds that we hear in our environment. There are many guided mindfulness meditations online that can assist us in learning and practicing, and soon, we will experience the benefits of mindfulness in our day-to-day lives. “Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life” – Marcus Aurelius

 In addition to formal meditation, we can also cultivate mindfulness informally by focusing our attention on our moment-to-moment sensations during everyday activities. Whether we are doing the dishes, flossing our teeth, waiting at the traffic lights or going for our morning walk, we may slow down the process and be fully present as it unfolds and involves all of our senses.  Any routine activity can be made into a mindfulness practice when we bring our full attention to it.

Mindfulness improves physical health:

  • Help relieve stress
  • Treat heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce chronic pain
  • Improve sleep
  • Alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties

Mindfulness improves mental health:

  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Couples’ conflicts
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Mindfulness can literally transform our entire world from the inside out. It may help us discover the feelings of fulfilment, peace and wholeness which have been within us all along. To find fulfilment and meaning in life, we need to learn how to really experience the moment and then go deeper into ourselves, and ask questions like “What is important to us, what makes us fulfilled and what do we want to do in our life?”. We need to take time away from our busy lives and allow ourselves to reflect, experience and make sense of our life.

“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”– Thich Nhat Hanh


Basic Human Needs

Basic human needs are that of recognition. To be appreciated, seen, loved and respected for who we are.  “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, more important than meeting our basic human needs. If we focused less on retina display ipads and more on the vision of a world where all people’s basic needs are met, we will all be happier as a result.” ~ Simon Cohen

There are six basic human needs that we all look for in our lives to be happy and feel fulfilled. Tony Robbins, who is well known for his motivational speaking, books, interviews and articles; has explained in his article “The 6 Human Needs: Why We Do What We Do” that all behaviour is simply an attempt to meet these six needs:

  • Certainty: We all need certainty in life, but everybody is different in how much certainty they need. We all need assurance which can prevent us from pain and help us to gain pleasure. A life which doesn’t have a certain amount of order can cause chaos.
  • Uncertainty: This is opposite certainty, but very much needed in everyone’s life to keep the spirit up and alive. The amazing thing about certainty and uncertainty is that how each one of us responds to them so differently, as what is so exciting and normal to one person, might be distressful for another.
  • Connection: Each one of us craves for connection. No matter who we are, and what we do, we all need to be belonged, to be accepted and to be loved for who we are. We need connection with others as much as we need oxygen. It may not seem so critical most times, but I firmly believe that if we truly want to be healthy and happy, connection is one of the most important aspects of personal fulfilment and success. “One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night” ~ Margaret Mead
  • Significance: We all want to be mattered, to be heard, to be able to make a difference in the world, which in return empowers our souls.
  • Growth: Human beings are constantly growing and developing, even those who are almost entirely absorbed in struggling for material survival or aspiring for higher social achievements. But that growth has been most often subconscious, as a result of the trials and errors of life experience, rather than as a result of a conscious process of self-development. Through a conscious effort at developing our personalities, we experience new things, understand ourselves better, expand our capacities, progress our personal capability and understandings.
  • Contribution: They say we all live to serve. That by helping others we fulfil our own destiny. Inherently, we all know that we have been designed to live for something greater than ourselves. Our contribution to this world has to be measured by something more meaningful than the size of our house or numbers of our cars. Our lives are going to find lasting significance in how we choose to live them, and how we enable others to live theirs. “Using your talent, hobby or profession in a way that makes you contribute with something good to this world is truly the way to go.” ~ Simon Zingerman

Personal fulfilment is an ongoing journey for all human beings. It is the achievement of life goals which are important to an individual, in contrast to the goals of society, family and other collective obligations. And helping others to find and fulfil their dreams is one of the key component of achieving our personal fulfilment.

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

My intention of writing this article is to bring your focus on one thing today and that is one thing that people everywhere no matter in a café, restaurant, train station or at the airport, on street, or at work are trying very hard to do: to be happy

Most of us are doing everything we can do to make us happy. Happiness, however, comes in various shades none of which is permanent. But the point is that happiness is not absolute and it doesn’t depend on the object of our delight itself but on the state of our mind too. We take pleasure as long as we are not bored, and to avoid boredom, we socialize, shop, dine out, watch TV and do different things.  These activities are good, but they don’t make us better human beings. What I am Trying to say is that we have to embrace happiness when it comes our ways, but we don’t let it to be our ultimate goals in life. Otherwise, we are likely to find little growth, purpose, fulfilment in our lives. And we may find ourselves living solely for our own good rather than enriching the lives of others.  “What sets human beings apart from animals is not the pursuit of happiness, which occurs all across the natural world, but the pursuit of meaning, which is unique to humans” ~ Roy Baumeister

Life is short, the clock is ticking and before we know twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more years of our lives have already gone. Maybe you are satisfied with how your life has turned out or maybe you want to do or be something more. Well, it’s never too late to start. To live a meaningful and fulfilling life, find out what matters most to you in this world and then choose to make an impact with it. “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfilment” ~ Anthony Robbins

Helping others ignites happiness, as many studies have revealed. And by assisting and supporting others meet their needs, we help them to improve the quality of their life and have more meaningful and fulfilling life. Rather than living our lives on auto-pilot, we need to take control and seek opportunities in our lives that will add a new depth and sense of fulfilment to our lives.

“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others” ~  Pablo