Tag Archives: positive affirmations

Living A Simple Life

Living a simple life – With the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we can often find ourselves yearning for a quieter, simpler way of living.  If your life has come to resemble an endless race to the finish line, take a look at the suggestions below to bring a greater sense of calm, simplicity and peace back into your life.

1) Less is more.  It’s amazing how much “stuff” we can accumulate in our homes because we think they’ll contribute to our lives.  It’s true that we gain enjoyment from material possessions, but the more we accumulate the more burdened we often feel.  Eventually we find ourselves living under a constant cloud of confusion, scattered thoughts and stress.

Begin immediately to clear out the material possessions you no longer need or want, and donate them to a local charitable organization.  This will accomplish two things:  first, you’ll feel lighter and less cramped in your home; and you’ll also feel good about giving these items to people who need them and can actually use them.

“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.”   Steve Maraboli

2) Pare down your activities.  An active life is good for you, but not if it leaves you feeling stressed and fatigued!  Most of us take on much more than necessary as far as obligations and even recreational activities are concerned.

Take a few minutes to think about the things you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.  Do you really need to do all of them?  Have you taken on responsibilities that really aren’t yours?  Are you spending time on activities you no longer enjoy?  Make a list of at least a few activities or obligations that you can eliminate, and then go ahead and do so – even if you have to pare them down gradually.

“People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life” John C. Maxwell

3) Spend time in silence. There are times when you are so used to doing everything in a hurry that you don’t notice how fast-paced your life has become. A deceptively simple way to live a life of simplicity and ease is to shut out the mental and physical “noise” of your busy life on a regular basis.  Sitting in silence for just a few minutes can drastically reduce your stress levels and leave you feeling calm, centred and happy.

If you live near a park or natural setting, you can even boost the effectiveness of this activity by spending time in nature.  While not completely silent, natural settings have soothing sounds like running water, singing birds and wind sighing through trees – which automatically trigger feelings of peace and well-being. Find fulfilment in the simple things in life by spending time with friends, or building something with your own hands. Intrinsic rewards will improve your motivation and overall satisfaction with your life

“In your silence, when there are no words, no language, nobody else is present, you are getting in tune with existence” Osho

4) Identify your values. Think about the things that are important to you that influence the way you act and ultimately the person you are. These are values. They are a guiding force in decision making. Identifying your values can be a challenge, but it is worth the effort.

To identify your values, think about the times in your life when you were the happiest, most proud, most fulfilled and satisfied. Make a list and determine what you valued about those situations. Perhaps you value the creativity, adventure, loyalty and hard work each of these situations provided. Maybe you realize that you value your family the most. These will be a driving force in everything you do. If you want to live a simple, peaceful life, then you might value serenity, resourcefulness, stability, and health.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  Albert Einstein

5) Align your activities with your values. Take part in activities which are in harmony with your values and desire to live a simple life. You are more happy and satisfied when your activities are in line with your values. Refuse offers to events that conflict with your intent to live peacefully. Make a decision to live a value-driven life. When you know, what your core values are, you have an incredibly powerful tool to access your ‘sacred gift.’  By naming a value, you can quickly step into what that value means to you; what it really feels like when it’s present in your life.  And, you can use these feelings as energetic pointers when making decisions, big and small; decisions you know will lead you to a meaningful and happy life. This is what living a value-driven life is all about.

“Living in a way that reflects one’s values is not just about what you do, it is also about how you do things”

6) Live in the present moment.  As humans we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the past or about the future. We think about what was and what could have been. A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The key to solving this problem is simplifying your thoughts and staying focused on what you are doing at that moment. You have to realize that the present time is all there ever was and probably will be. By doing visualization exercises to imagine yourself in a simple, peaceful, stress-free environment, and Engaging in conversation or exercise you will be able to help quiet your mind and stay focused in the present moment.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”  Eckhart Tolle

7) Practice empathy and compassion to create peace. Each human being exists within the context of interrelationships that include other human beings, all living beings and the natural world. The ability to appreciate someone else’s struggle is an important skill to develop. You know how you would like to be treated, so use that as a guide when trying to treat others. As Lou Holtz says: “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated”. Practicing empathy and kindness is the core skill for what psychologists call “pro-social” behaviour – the actions that are involved in building close relationships, maintaining friendships, and developing strong communities. It appears to be the central reality necessary for developing a conscience, as well.

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Lee, Harper

When it comes right down to it, living a simple and peaceful life is about learning how to slow down, connect more deeply with your inner self and live a conscious life.  Whether you do that by simplifying your surroundings, calming your schedule or enjoying a quiet respite each day, the result is the same – having a simple yet meaningful life and a happier and more peaceful you!

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”  Aristotle


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


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


Positive Thinking

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through our head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of our self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that we create because of lack of information.

If the thoughts that run through our head are mostly negative, our outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If our thoughts are mostly positive, we’re likely an optimist, someone who practices positive thinking.

Positive thinking isn’t about expecting the best happens every time, but accepting that whatever happens is the best for that moment. Positive thinking generates positive feelings and attracts positive life experiences. Have you ever heard this saying, “He who controls his mind, controls his life”. We cannot control what others do or what happens around us, but we can control our own mind. And when we control our mind, we will be in control of our thoughts, our emotions, our beliefs, our attitude, our actions, the word we say, and the images that run around our head.

Now that we understand how powerful our mind could be in relation to the pattern of our thoughts and our outlook on life, why not train our mind to embrace the power of positive thinking and a good result.

It has been argued in medical circles that up to 90% of disease has psychological origins. It’s a fact that our psychological outlook can have a dramatic effect on our overall health and longevity. Positive thinking can be a useful, powerful tool to get through difficult situations that life can bring and it can also be used to help improve the overall quality of one’s life. Having a positive outlook enables us to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on our body. Those who believe in the power of positive thinking, such as motivational speakers, life coaches, and self-help gurus, claim that taking an optimistic approach to life has shown great benefits. Some of the benefits that believers of positive thinking claim to experience are more stability during stress, physical and psychological well-being, recovery from illness, and healthier relationships.

The topic of positive thinking has been studied by many people. Here are some of their thoughts. The law of expectations says: “Everything you expect with full will come true.” In other words, we do not necessarily get what we want, but get what we expect. If people develop the habit of positive expectations, they will be amazed at the influence it will have on them and the people around.

The law of gravity says: “You are a living magnet; you always attract people, ideas and circumstances that harmonize with your main ideas“. One of the most important habits in this regard, is a habit to fill the consciousness of a positive picture of your life and the world.

The law of correspondence says: “Your outer world is an accurate reflection of your inner world.” It means that people get what they think most of the time.

The law of attraction says: “I attract to my life whatever I give my attention, energy and focus to, whether positive or negative” this means that whatever comes into our life, we are attracting it into our life by the power of our mind, both positive and negative experiences. It’s attracted to us by the images we’re holding in our mind, because pictures or images are thoughts!

Positive thinking doesn’t mean that we keep our head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that we approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. We think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

It is simple to learn of how to change negative thinking into positive thinking. But it needs time and practice, as we are creating a new habit after all. Positive thinking is like exercising a muscle. Only it gives us a mental workout. The more we use it, the better we will become at it.

Here are some tips that we can use to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:

  • Identify areas to change. If we want to get more involved in the habit of positive thinking, we have to identify the areas of our life that we usually think more negatively about. Whether it is our work, a relationship or our finances. We can focus on each area one at the time and approach it in a more positive way.
  • Check ourselves. We have to stop, check and evaluate our thoughts regularly during the day. If we realize that our thoughts tend to become negative, we have to find a way to change their direction into a positive way.
  • Be open to humour. It’s okay to back off from the intensity of our life from time to time, and see the humour in life’s situations. We have to learn to laugh more often, especially during hard times.
  • Surround ourselves with positive people. People have a huge impact on our lives. There are people who can suck out our happiness, energy and maybe some of our tangible resources. It is important to be with people who can enrich our lives, and inspire us to be a better person. “Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” – Karl Marx
  • Practice positive self-talk. Most of us usually are in constant mental chatter. We talk to ourselves all day long and, unfortunately, this self talk is frequently negative. Often it is tainted with guilt about our past or anxiety about our future. This negativity can destroy any seed of hope that we may otherwise have in striving for our dreams. We must not say anything to ourselves that we wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with ourselves and use positive affirmation whenever we say something negative, whether in the mind or verbally. Affirmations are positive statements of a desired outcome or goal. They are usually short, believable and focused. By repeating them over and over again, we build inroads into our subconscious mind, opening up the possibility of a new state of thoughts.

“Positive thinking is more than just a state of mind, it is the way we embrace life“


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.


Trust Yourself

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.  ― Benjamin Spock

Trusting ourselves means trusting our intuition or our gut feelings. Intuition is a great self-help tool as it is with us at all time and can tell us what we really want or don’t want in our life and what we need to be successful. After all no one knows the real us better than ourselves.

Unfortunately we ignore our intuition most of times and let our rational mind to take over. When making a decision. How many times do you ask people for their opinion? How many times a day do you second guess yourself? We all have been doubting ourselves most of times, thinking that we are not good enough. That is because we don’t trust our inner voice and instead we depend on others. In other word we tell ourselves that our opinion don’t matter and others must know better than us. The truth is that we do know something and probably know more than we think we know. But by thinking that we don’t know anything keeps us from making the right decision which our intuitive mind is telling us. And we let ourselves to be dependent on other people.

It’s time that we learn how to trust ourselves. Here are a few simple steps which can help you to build trust in yourself:

  • Be-friend yourself. The most important relationship in our lives is the relationship with ourselves. If we don’t know ourselves, are not connected and emotionally available to ourselves, we cannot be connected and emotionally available for others either. By knowing ourselves better we become more focussed on our internal processes. We have to constantly ask ourselves questions, like: “What am I feeling? What am I thinking?” “I wonder why that’s bothering me? And this process builds an inner strength and plants the seed of trust.
  • Take action. We gain trust in others when they stick to the promises they have made and have delivered them. Has ever someone let you down? Made a promise and broken it? How did it feel? Pretty horrible I suspect. What about the other way around?  Have you ever broken a promise to someone else? We generally try with all our power to follow through our word, to do as we have promised we will. Promises are serious matters and by not sticking to them we create strong feelings when they are made and broken. We place a lot of value on being honest and having personal integrity. Now I have another question to ask: Have you ever made a promise to yourself which you didn’t follow it through and broke it? I think most of us have, even more than once or twice. The point is, if we have a friend who constantly made promises and let us down, what would we think of them? What value would we place on their promises?  And how long would we tolerate their behaviour? When we break the promises that we have made to ourselves, we send ourselves a powerful message that we are not trustworthy. And we also go against our values around being honest and acting with integrity. By learning to be accountable to ourselves we start to trust ourselves, and with each and every commitment we keep to ourselves, we build our self-esteem and faith in our ability to deliver. Making a promise to do something that is within our limit but at the same time, leading us towards our goal, is the best way to build trust.
  • Be tough, but just. Each and every one of us make mistakes during our lives. There might be times when we break our promises to ourselves, but the important thing is to acknowledge it and find a solution for it. The best ways I found to make me keeping my promises are: To make one promise per day and stick to it.  To be realistic in my daily commitment, not to let anything get in the way, To make my promise clear and specific, To write down my promise and keep it somewhere visible, To keep track of my daily success on a chart somewhere I can see regularly, and reward myself for keeping my promises for a week.

Life is about trusting yourself and your feelings, taking chances, finding happiness and learning from your mistakes. Don’t be so afraid of making mistakes as I believe that life has a way of working out. So trust your best judgment, stick to your decision, follow through, and let the cards fall where they may.

“Listen to your own voice, your own soul, too many people listen to the noise of the world, instead of themselves.” ~ Leon Brown

 


Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual awakening comes, when we become aware of our infinite nature. Our planet nowadays is full of issues, sounds, information and challenges that pose on our spiritual senses. Have you ever been desiring a more meaningful life more than an unfulfilling work, or gathering material possessions?  In case that your answer is yes. I have to say that you are not alone, as more and more individuals realize that true and lasting happiness and fulfilment can never be won on the battlefield of material success, no matter how powerful or wealthy one becomes, or how adept one is at surrounding oneself with the “right” people or circumstances

People have become more focused on self-awakening or self-realization these days, as they are more aware that the answer lies within rather than in external things. They have realized that the answer doesn’t lie in obtaining more possessions, expensive cars, beach homes, but an experience full of spiritual insights which makes this life more fulfilling and worth living.

The best decision makers and great motivators throughout the history were the same as we are, irrespective of one main factor: They simply understood just how to pay attention to their inner self. They realized how to relate to their higher level of consciousness and how to stay tuned to their internal voice.

Exactly the same voice that we all have within us at this time, awaiting its calling to be answered by us.

“Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it and let it be without imposing a word of mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.” / Eckhart Tolle

Every morning as we wake up from sleep, we enter the state of wakefulness, a state of repeated stream of thoughts, which is the characteristic of being wakeful. So what is it that we awaken from when spiritual awakening occurs? We awaken from identification with our thoughts. In the unawakened condition, we are totally identified with and run by our thoughts. We don’t see anything as it is, but by our twisted mental concepts, ideas, judgments, and perception. Our sense of identity gets cut down to a story which we keep repeating to ourselves in our head. And when our life is thus reduced, we can never be happy as we are not ourselves. Whereas In the spiritual awakened state, we realize that there is a depth to our being which we had never been aware of, and that is our conscious. We become more aware of the way of our thinking and we won’t get ruled by our thoughts any longer. A spiritually awakened person no more identifies with the body, while living in the body and performing all functions and activities by the body. He has let go of all sense of ego which is “I”, “Me” and “Mine”. He does not get affected by any emotion since he is filled with love, kindness and compassion for all humanity.

“That is the real spiritual awakening, when something emerges from within you that is deeper than who you thought you were. So, the person is still there, but one could almost say that something more powerful shines through the person.” / Eckhart Tolle

Characteristics of a spiritually awakened person –

  • The Spiritually illumined individual has lost his sense of ego since he identifies with self (divine).
  • He could have all the worldly materials such as wealth, fame, friends, relationship, and enjoy them, however the loss of them doesn’t make him miserable and unhappy.
  • Since he believes that all the worldly possessions are not permanent, he is not afraid of losing them.
  • He never seeks the approval of others or the external force as he believes in the power of self (divine).
  • He doesn’t get affected by any situation which can bring happiness or unhappiness since he has reached the mental state of self-control and the presence of mind.
  • Fear, jealousy, hatred, animosity, or any other negative force has no place in the life of such a spiritually illumined person.
  • He is always very humble and never sees himself as a superior to anyone as he believes that everyone is the same as he is and everybody is equal to him.
  • A spiritually illumined individual is free of all negative thoughts and actions about himself and others because the true nature of self is divine. His every word or action is of a high intellectual or moral level and he inspires others to challenge them.
  • He is totally detached to any material assets, relationship, name, fame, concepts or beliefs.
  • He performs all his duties conscientiously and to his best ability in life but he leaves the outcome of his efforts to GOD, as he believes that the result of his efforts are meant for the welfare of all concerned.
  • The spiritually illumined individual is a one who is absolutely egoless. Love, compassion and kindness oozes out of such a person like water flows out of a fountain! It is unconditional and it is available to all human, animals, birds and plants. He always takes care not to cause any harm to the nature as he believes that learning from nature is one of the best ways to learn humility.
  • Forgiveness is a strong trait of a spiritually illumined person. He lives a life of optional humility and, he can never mistreat or harm anybody.
  • His utmost aim is to grow spiritually all the time instead of pointing out to the flaws and imperfections of others. Such a person doesn’t teach or lecture others but he becomes himself a role model which others strive to follow.
  • He always respect other people’s opinions and beliefs and never imposes his belief on others.
  • He is always a happy being, and he spreads happiness and joy wherever he goes.
  • Since he is content and happy with what he has, so he is free of any greed and desire to possess more than his basic requirements.
  • The spiritually illumined individual doesn’t get angry and if somebody gets angry on him, he won’t retaliate or begrudge that person, but forgive them easily.
  • Such an individual doesn’t look for fault or flaws in others and if anybody criticizes him, he will accept it gracefully.
  •  He never try to control others as he believes in controlling himself.
  • A spiritually awakened person accepts all kind of people, situations and things as he has a great capacity of patience and tolerance.
  • Such an individual has more inner silence and he speaks less but whatever he says is sweet and good.

The single message of those who have realized such potential has always been the same, and basically, it comes down to this: True and lasting happiness and fulfilment are an individual affair and can only be found by going deep within, where one’s true essence is vividly and stunningly revealed as love, and then living into the reality of that awareness.

“You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are.” / Eckhart Tolle


Achieving Your Goal

Achieving your goal need determination, discipline and perseverance.

Do you have long-term projects with short-term expectations?  If you do, that is a sure path to frustration and failure.

Lifestyle goals such as exercise and healthy diet have to become habits in order to be effective.  Career change also takes time and planning, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Your world has shifted.  There’s voice mail, e-mail, pagers, and faxes that have made a “waiting” period unacceptable and almost obsolete.  With information immediately available, we expect relationships and goal achievement to be done the same.  As you read this you know that it is unreasonable to expect that, don’t you?  We’ve been led by advertisers to believe that we deserve immediate gratification, and that it is readily and effortlessly available!

When you want to train a puppy, you know that it’s going to take time and consistent reinforcement.  You’re ready for that, because you want your puppy to behave in an acceptable way.  Why then, are you so patient with the puppy and so hard on yourself?

When you plant seeds in the garden, you tend them, water them, hope for sunlight and nurture them.  Are you nurturing yourself?

The best way to move gently and effectively towards your goals is to take a reasonable approach.  Break your long-term project goal into sub-goals.  Break it into doable, short-term chunks.  Today prepare the soil; tomorrow plant the seeds.

Each action you take and each step is satisfying because you know that it is contributing to the completion of your goal.  You cannot rush Mother Nature with your garden, and the same is true for your goals.

This process is much more than “bloom where you’re planted”, because when you’re the gardener you choose what to plant and how to nurture it.  Do the same for yourself, and grow yourself beautifully.

To start with, first, you have to have a clear and specified goal, then you have to make sure that you really desire to achieve it. For this purpose you need to make a clear image and visualization of your goal. By visualizing, you focus and channel your energies toward your goal. Your mind gets tackled toward finding solutions to bring your goal into manifestation.

By thinking in a positive manner on your goal, and not letting any doubts or fear enter your mind, your intuition starts working, you recognize opportunities, and you obtain energy at your disposal to follow your goals and dreams.

There are also subliminal messages which can program your mind for success. These messages go straight to the subconscious mind and activates its power and bring faster results.

It is so easy to daydream, and then say, well it was only a daydream, it will never happen!! But to achieve your goal, you have to be confident, have faith, determination and perseverance.

You have to be ready not to give up easily and have a strong self-motivation to overcome any obstacle and challenge which comes your way , and then your goal will be accomplished in due time.

 “Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.”   Brian Tracy


Mental Health

Mental health could be described as a state in which every individual realizes his or her own abilities of how to cope with normal stresses of life, of how to be able to work productively, and how he/she is able to make a contribution to his or her community

Your mental health is an amazing part of what makes you as a person. Personal development is a way of life that effects your mind, actions, and how you treat others around you.  It plays a vital role on your over-all wellbeing and the relationships around you.  Often times, we get so caught up in the physical aspects of what’s on the outside and forget to take care of the inside. Exercising our brain consciously and subconsciously is an important factor when improving one’s life and creating a healthy state of mind as we age.  When we are depressed, stressed, tired, and frustrated it effects everything we do as well as the people closest to us.  I remember someone telling me in a depressed state, that she couldn’t even watch television because she didn’t want to watch the living. When I get down, I often think of that comment and it reminds me of a place I don’t ever want to be. Isolating yourself from others could turn into something very dangerous and unfortunately help will only start with one person. YOU! Although there is a laundry list of books and professional help, also recommended, but if this article gives you a jump start to just get you slightly motivated to move forward, then moving an inch is greater than lying still.

Depression and anxiety will use every good power that you have against you. Keep in mind that the most talented individual wouldn’t get anywhere without persistence.  Persistence and determination are the first steps to controlling your thoughts and feelings.  Many medications can trigger depression, make sure to consult with your doctor to see if this has any effects on the way you are feeling.

Studies indicate that the most common reason for depression is the lack of interests and activities. When improving your personal life, interests and activities are vital in mental health, self-esteem and happiness. Although this does not help much when fighting boredom, or other problems but you can best improve your mental health by practicing many of them until you do well.  When we are depressed, it is easy to forget all of the things we liked to do.  Motivation can help us overcome trying something new or remembering exactly what made us happy. Asking friends and family to help motivate me is a tool that I use when I’m in the need of a little push. Reward yourself when accomplishing tasks, such as getting the laundry done before watching your favourite television show.

Negative thinking also plays a major role in depression. The happiest of people experience the same pain, suffering and sorrows, just like a person depressed. To accept troubles gracefully and keeping a positive attitude is where you’ll find how some people cope with things on a different level. Ask yourself, are your expectations realistic?  Accepting a situation for what it is can eliminate your negative feelings.  Taking action for your own negative ways of thinking and turning those thoughts positive means that you are motivating yourself to change.  Tackle what is bothering you, and take a bad situation and turn it into something good.  A little humour helps my situation from time to time, meaning laughter does a great deal for our mind and body. Try not to constantly worry about being happy. Developing interests, activities, friendships and learning how to cope with the emotional pain will conquer your personal problems and further solve your thinking habits.  Doing this will get you on the road of happiness, as long as you put forth the effort.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

Improving Your Personal Life

Improving your personal life is achieved by turning your wants into needs. Throughout our lives, we all have the desire to be all we can be, although some of us ignore this desire. Many times, we may stay in our comfort zone without realizing that we are passing up opportunities to do something that we truly enjoy. Of course, the money may be good, your bills are paid and you find it easy to work with repetition. Yet, are you happy?

When you are ready to improve your personal life, you must turn your wants into needs. I need to be successful. I need to be a great parent. I need that promotion. I need to save my relationship, etc.

How to be your own life coach:

Many of us spend time convincing ourselves that our dreams will never come true. We may feel that our dreams do not amount to anything. Poor self-esteem hinders the quality of life. In addition, you miss being your own coach. You can turn the negative thoughts into positive reflections, which will guide you to improve overall personal life. The next time you feel like turning yourself into a destructive thinker, breath deep and say, I love myself, just the way I am, with all perfections and imperfections. Learn to walk tall and habitually think about what you want to achieve. Set plans, write down your goals, and take action to reach those goals. You may want to learn something simple. Learn how to be a better cook. Stop yelling at the children.

How to take steps in becoming a better you:

Thinking positive is a great start to improving overall personal life. Surrounding yourself around good influences will encourage you to acquire better behaviours. You will learn to practice these new habits daily. Once you conquer your obstacles, you can mark off the list of poor behaviours you have written down.

Tips for personal development and growth:

Learn to say no. For some of us, our natural instincts lead us in the right direction to helping others. Are you sacrificing your needs however, to consistently take care of other people’s needs? Are you taking time out of each day to pamper yourself for fifteen minutes or so? Are you taking actions to stop persistence that spreads yourself too thin?

If you spread yourself too thin, it will lead to sleepless nights, since you will feel anxious and depressed. Do you constantly keep yourself in the centre of drama? If so, do not allow others to drag you down. Try to stay away from situations that drag you down and take you beyond your control. If you are focusing on the wrong items in life, you are not improving overall personal life.

Do you tell yourself that you are not good enough? Do you say you are not strong? Do you feel like you are not enough? Do you feel like you deserve what you get, when what you get causes you sadness?

For some people it is easy to focus on negativity, which causes them ongoing depression. If you are one of those people at interviews, when asked about your qualities, skills, etc., speaks out rambling off your bad qualities, you need to stop now. What you are doing is taking away your opportunities to achieve. Some of us are lost at words when it comes to speaking highly of ourselves. For some people this seems selfish, or boisterous, yet it is not. Learn to become your own best friend and give yourself frequent compliments. Stop focusing on yourself and criticizing your every move, and forget about the past mistakes and focus on your future. Sure, we can say it is easier said than done; yet if you put forth effort, it is easier than you believe. So many times, we do not take full responsibility of our own actions. We rather live a life blaming others for our mistakes or misfortunes. Do not obsess over past mistakes, live in denial, and stop blaming others to see how your life will improve. We all make bad choices in life. This is a part of living. Learn from your mistakes and move ahead. Treat each new experience as a point of learning. Next, we can learn how to wake up to improving overall personal life.

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  George Bernard Shaw