I seem to have lost count on how many times I’ve read and heard of celebrity marriages failing almost left and right. Not that I care (and personally I don’t), it seems strange that we often see movie and TV stars as flawless people, living the fairytale life of riches and glamour. I suppose we all have to stop sticking our heads in the clouds and face reality.
So what does it take to be a cut above the rest? Here are some of the things you can think and improve on that should be enough for a week.
1. Know your purpose
Are you wandering through life with little direction – hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time.
This may seem tricky at first when you see yourself to be in a tight or even dead-end. But there’s always that little loophole to turn things around and you can make a big difference to yourself.
2. Know your values
What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. As you set your goals for 2015 – check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn’t align with any of your top five values – you may want to reconsider it or revise it.
3. Know your needs
Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? There are so many people who lived their lives without realizing their dreams and most of them end up being stressed or even depressed for that matter. List your top four needs and get them met before it’s too late!
4. Know your passions
You know who you are and what you truly enjoy in life. Obstacles like doubt and lack of enthusiasm will only hinder you, but will not derail your chance to become the person you ought to be. Express yourself and honor the people who has inspired you to become the very person you wanted to be.
5. Live from the inside out
Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with the Spirit of God daily. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind. For most it’s hard to even find the peace and quiet even in the home.
6. Honor your strengths
What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three – if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you can share what you know to others.
7. Serve others
When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others -your spirit – your essence. The rewards for sharing your gift with those close to you is indeed rewarding, much more if it were to be the eyes of a stranger who can appreciate what you have done to them.
Self-improvement is indeed one type of work that is worth it. It shouldn’t always be within the confines of an office building, or maybe in the four corners of your own room. The difference lies within yourself and how much you want to change for the better.
We attach significance to the turning of the calendar, and when the calendar turns to a new year, it means more than learning to change a digit when we write a check – we’ve started a new chapter.
It is instructive for us to think about how we can get the most from the end of chapter 2014. Here are my ten recommendations for you:
Reconnect with an old friend or colleague. You know who I mean. The person who came to your mind as you read that sentence. Make the effort to call or contact them. But do more than just say hello. If they live close, get together for a meal or an evening. If they live further away, schedule time for a long, relaxed phone call. However you connect, make sure that you spend time on more than just “the good old days” and the old stories. Learn about what this person is doing, their goals and dreams. And see what you can do to help them achieve those things.
Spend one day in service to others. Volunteer your day to a service organization or a church. Go to a nursing home. Rake the neighbor’s leaves. Use your professional skills in a pro bono way. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do it with a giving heart.
Read one book you’ve wanted to read. If you are a big reader, you already have a stack to read. Pick one and commit to getting it read. I think I will read a “romance novel” before the end of the year. I love “love stories.” If you read less and don’t have a book in mind, talk to someone you trust and admire and ask them for a suggestion. It doesn’t matter what the book is; pick it, and read it.
Give someone a book that you have found personally valuable. Maybe it is the book you are now going to read. Maybe it is something you read in January. Again, what the book is doesn’t matter, the joy comes in identifying a person who will enjoy and benefit from it the way that you did. When you give them the book, make sure you share with them why you are sharing it with them – it will mean so much to them.
Make a list of the things you’ve learned this year. Hopefully it is a long list! Don’t try to do this all at one time. Give yourself a place to write and a couple of days to allow your mind to find these nuggets.
Identify the top five. Review the list you made and pull out the five that are most important to you. Write them down and think about why they are so valuable to you and how you can benefit from them today and in the future.
Make a list of the most fun things you have done this year. You will have fun making this list – and yes I do mean make a list!
Identify why they were the most fun so you can do more of it next year. This only makes sense. Once you have thought about your “most fun”, figure out how to get more of it into your life – whether it is an experience, time with specific people or whatever.
Commit to having another experience before December 31st that you could add to your “most fun” list. Too often fun gets sidelined, especially near the busy end of the year. Don’t let it happen. Make sure that you have some big fun before the end of the year.
Make a list of things you want to learn next year. Some things in life we learn serendipitously, and those are precious indeed. But we can also determine what we want to learn and why. Make some of those determinations now before you turn your calendar to the New Year.
Some of these are forward-looking tasks, some retrospective. That’s intentional. It is important for us to consistently and regularly reflect, and of course when we look to the future we will see where we are going – and correct our course to get where we want to go.
These items may feel more personal than professional. Actually they are both. If you are reading this from a professional development perspective, I urge you to do these items.
As we approach the end of the year, we tend to rush forward full speed ahead. With holiday madness and other tasks that need to be done by the end of the year, who has time to neatly tie a ribbon around the last 12 months and call it a wrap? However, finishing strong may be just the thing you need to do to create a strong start for the new year.
What if bringing completion to what has past is as important, if not more so, than planning for the future? What if you knew that you are essentially sabotaging your future success by not stopping and taking stock of what you have accomplished this year and where you are at present?
In sports, there are many examples of where a strong finish is the difference between success and second best. For example, that last thrust forward of the wheel in a bike sprint to win by an inch or the running back who reaches out his hand with the ball to barely cross the goal line with seconds remaining on the clock.
How can you make the next few weeks a strong finish for your year? What can you do to bring completion to this chapter of your life? Completion is what allows you to leave the past in the past. Otherwise, it is like dragging a wagon of unfinished business along with you every day. Not only is it exhausting but it also prevents you from achieving your dreams in the future. After all, you can’t climb a mountain with a wagon in tow.
“There is no room in the future for your past.”
As you bring this year to a close, take an hour and consider the following:
- What did I accomplish this year? Make a list of all your accomplishments, big and small from the last 12 months and celebrate!
- What did I hope to accomplish but didn’t? Is this something I still really want? (You are not allowed to beat yourself up on this step.)
- Make a list of all the people in your life for which you are grateful. Contact at least 5 of these people and thank them for what they bring to your life.
- Is there anyone I need to forgive or make amends with? If so, lighten your load and do what you feel is necessary to forgive, repair, or let go of this burden.
- Do at least one thing each day that allows you to simply enjoy today. There is no better step for honoring the past and creating an inspiring future than being fully present and enjoying where you are right now.
I am here to help you finish this year strong as a winning champion. Starting November 5, 2014 is my “Covering All Bases” 21 Days Challenge – Strategies for Hitting A Home Run To End The Year As A Champion.
Be sure to sign up for my blog to receive information on how to register for the challenge.
As we are approaching the week-end and the end of this year I wanted to share an affirmation with you that is encouraging to my life.
I make things happen in my life. I take the initiative to get what I want and deserve and I am thankful for all the positive things in my life. My job, business, ministry or professional success, my friends, and my passions have all flourished because of my take-action attitude!
I don’t sit by and wait for things to come my way. I overcome my fears and I proactively work for positive change in my life. I overcome my frustration and I persevere over adversity to achieve great things each and every day. I am strong and persistent and I am a go-getter.
I am so thankful for all the joys in my life.
I enjoy my home and the peace and serenity I have furnished it with. I can retreat to my home and feel safe and relaxed. I have this because I took the initiative to get it, and I am so thankful.
I enjoy the success I have in my work [business, ministry, career]. My work [business, ministry, career] provides me with satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. I have this because I took the initiative to get it, and I am so thankful.
I enjoy my friends and the time I spend with them. I took the initiative to better myself and meet like-minded friends, and I am so thankful.
When I look at what I may want in my life, I organize my thoughts and skills with fine precision to achieve and accomplish my deepest desires. Today, and everyday, I am a go-getter.
- What do I want to accomplish?
- What skills do I have at my disposal?
- What is my first step in making it happen?
Are your negative internal dialogues keeping you from doing things you want to do? Do you lack confidence, even though you know that other people believe in your abilities?
If so, you may appreciate some help getting inspired and motivated! Negative self-talk can be a roadblock to doing your best, pursuing your dreams, and enjoying life. On the other hand, positive self-talk can spur you on to do great things and live an exciting life full of passion!
Motivational Affirmations For Your Life
A great way to get motivated is to use motivational affirmations. Using affirmations can change how you think about yourself and how you view the world around you. These positive statements can bring you the motivation you seek, as well as happiness, joy, and passion.
* When you’re feeling negative or down, repeating affirmations can immediately improve your mood.
Even though affirmations can work immediately, don’t think of them as a quick fix. Positive affirmations are most effective in the long-term so you can get what you deeply desire out of life.
When you use affirmations, you are literally reprogramming the way you think. You replace your negative self-talk and doubts with positive, motivating thoughts. Eventually, these positive thoughts become reality.
These motivational affirmations work because they push away the negative thoughts that are limiting you day in and day out. You can leave your negative thinking in the past if you fill your current thoughts with positive, motivational affirmations.
Before you know it, these affirmations will become second nature, allowing you to change your life systematically, one thought at a time.
Here are the top ten motivational affirmations:
- I welcome positive energy and I use that feeling to accomplish more.
- I use my energy to live my life to the fullest.
- No matter what I’m working on, I’m always committed to completing my goal.
- I trust my thought processes. They are clear and I am very capable.
- I can find my own genuine motivator.
- No matter how hard I may fall, I get back up, dust myself off, and forge on.
- No matter the challenge, I will see it through.
- I enjoy being responsible for my actions.
- My life is full of purpose, exciting change, and many recognized deeds.
- By commemorating the smallest nuggets of success, I am motivated to complete the larger tasks.
Use this list of affirmations in those moments of self-doubt to help you find the motivation you need. Repeat them in the morning when you first wake up, or make them your last thoughts at night before you sleep.
You can also find other affirmations that have special meaning for you, or write your own affirmations. It doesn’t matter where you get them, as long as they speak to your heart and are focused on the present.
We all need a motivational boost from time to time. Now you don’t have to look to other people or situations to keep you moving forward. Keep your affirmation list updated with the thoughts you’d like to be thinking, repeat your affirmations several times a day, and soon you’ll be living the passionate life you’ve always wanted!
Have you ever received a card and felt its sentiments shake you to the core? Have the words in a book ever reached out to tug at your heartstrings?
Inspirational quotes can infuse you with the motivation to take action toward your goals and live the life you desire.
You can use inspirational quotes on a daily basis to help you get up and get going in the morning, face your boss during a meeting, and even find the motivation to get physically active.
There are plenty of awe-inspiring quotes you can call on when you need a pick-me-up. The more often you call upon motivational quotes, the more likely you will break through mental and emotional barriers that hold you hostage.
I’d suggest you internalize these sayings so you can call upon them whenever you need a boost.
Here are nine inspirational quotes to spark your passion and bring you motivation:
- Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
- Well done is better than well said. – Benjamin Franklin
- Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T.S. Elliot
- Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. – Zig Ziglar
- Begin with the ending in mind. – Stephen Covey
- If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place. – Nora Roberts
- Experience is not what happens to a man, it is what a man does with what happens to him. – Aldous Leonard Huxley
- Don’t go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You can use these quotes in your everyday life to help keep you motivated and inspired at every turn. You will find the greatest benefit if you deeply internalize the meaning behind these words sparking you into action. After all, words are nothing without action!
You will also want to constantly re-fuel your thirst for motivation by using the power of visualization. For example, by using desktop wallpapers with quotes and sayings, you are giving yourself the visual stimulation and motivation you need to overcome any obstacle on your path.
With just a quick glance, you can get through a difficult day by having a positive image coupled with an inspiring quote on your computer desktop.
When you embrace the beauty and joys of both motivational quotes and positive imagery, you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll be more productive too!
Numbers 6:26 New Living Translation (NLT)
“May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.”
Inner Peace. Isn’t that what we’d all love to experience consistently as we weave our paths through everything life gives us? The good news is that it is far simpler to attain than many of our outer (material or physical) goals. The bad news is that simple isn’t always easy! Attaining inner peace is not easy because it means replacing old habits with new, and that requires dedicated commitment. But the benefits are absolutely worth the effort.
Inner peace gives you the ability to live your life with a sense of happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment which is not disturbed or influenced by outside events. How do you acquire it? By living your life the way God has purposed for you to live, not how others think you should. By not worrying about what others think of you – we all judge others (both positively and negatively) according to our own values, but if we try to live our lives in a way which honors our spiritual beliefs as God have defined in His Word, we’ll always have a little growing discomfort going on deep inside.
To experience inner peace, we also need to be able to forgive and to let go of guilt. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Feeling guilty about past actions won’t change them and won’t make anybody feel any better (either you or the person whom you’ve hurt). Do what you can to put things right, resolve to do better in the future and move on. You MUST FORGIVE.
Likewise, letting go of anger or grudges will bring about a surprising sense of peace. Think about it – how does holding onto these negative emotions help you? And do you think they hurt those against whom you hold them more than they hurt you? Not at all. They are your emotions and you are the only person whom they can harm.
Of course, it can be very difficult to forgive someone who’s hurt you, but what I’ve come to realize is that most people don’t maliciously set out to hurt others, and those who do are deeply unhappy themselves. The motivation behind their action was most probably some kind of fear rather than deliberately wanting to cause hurt or pain.
And with a little bit of practice at forgiveness, you may even find yourself getting less annoyed or angry with people in the future. When you can shrug things off and not take things personally (it’s really about them, and not you at all), you’ll have a greater sense of inner peace. Our happiness is determined by how we think about the events in our lives, rather than by the events themselves. Take charge of your thoughts and you take charge of your emotions.
To achieve inner peace, you also need to let go of worry. Hmm, another tricky one! Worry is similar to guilt. Worrying about what might or might not happen is completely unproductive, and totally destroys your ability to enjoy the present moment.
So, how do we learn to let go of worries, guilt and anger? Well, the first thing is to become consciously aware of what we’re thinking whenever we feel worried, guilty or angry. Notice what’s going on in your inner dialogue, and acknowledge that it’s your thoughts about the external event that’s causing you to feel the way you do, and not the event itself. Then reframe your thoughts to reflect what’s going on around you in a more positive light. Whenever you catch yourself thinking the old thought, banish it immediately and replace it with the new one.
This will take a lot of practice but with patience and persistence you will develop a lighter inner dialogue that promotes a feeling of well-being and inner peace, and the world will feel like a far better place to live in!