Tuesday, March 5, 2013

improve YOUR LIFE


so far, it hasn’t been too good

Take Responsibility
The beauty of taking responsibility is that you recognize that with every complaint, every excuse, every negative cynical shaking of the head, you are wasting time that could be spent getting closer to your dreams.  As an adult, you must accept what has happened in your past and take responsibility for what is happening now and what you want to have happen in the future.  The strength one will need will be great, but it is possible, simply dig deep.

Be Honest
While in the short term, sometimes, lying (even white lies) appear to be the easiest  thing to do, but in the long run, the benefits of telling the truth last longer and internally make you feel better. So next time you consider telling a bit of a fib, muster up the courage to be honest tactfully.  You’ll not only sleep better at night, but you’ll earn the respect of people whose respect is worth having.

Practice Courage
Both of the above suggestions will need a bit, and at times, quite a bit, of courage, but again the reward in the end will be truly rich.  Having the courage to stand up for what you believe in even if you’re the only one, or to wear an outfit that people in your circle won’t understand or accept is an act of courage – it’s putting yourself out there. Unfortunately, smaller people will judge, but the onlookers who can recognize courage will applaud you. Ultimately, however, as long as you’re applauding yourself, that is all the courage you will need.  The beauty of courage is that with each attempt your ability to be courageous becomes strengthened, so start small and you just might surprise yourself.

Not everyone can  be a Olympic champion, or an Iron Chef extraordinaire, or for that matter a genetically gorgeous supermodel, but each person does have an innate talent that only he or she possesses.  The secret is to focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses. By spending more time on what you are gifted at, and less on what you aren’t – you’re allowing those people that are gifted at your weaknesses the ability to shine in their area of strength, accepting that no one is perfect and becoming even more extraordinary in your own specialty.

Live Within Your Means
It sounds simple, but the less you covet, the more time you have to enjoy doing the things you love. Instead of trying to constantly earn more to live the life you want, why not appreciate what you already have, and revel in the time you aren’t at work by partaking in the activities that ignite your soul?  The peace of mind you will find by living within your means will be priceless and the extra hours of sleep you will gain from the many stressless nights you will have achieved will be something you will want to continue for not only your health, but your happiness.

Seek + Surround
As human beings, we are social creatures, so it is expected that one would want to be around people, but in order to improve the quality of your life in any dimension, you must surround yourself with people who lift you up instead of those who try to hold you back.  It is quite easy to recognize which people you should gravitate towards.  These are the folks that upon leaving their company, you feel optimistic, you feel happier and the glass appears half full.  The opposite is also true.  The difficult part is having the tact and strength to put boundaries up. 

Have A Plan
Having long term goals is something everyone should set for themselves whether it be a five year plan, a 10 year plan or any goal that involves long term foresight, but in this instance, I’m referring to having a plan for how you want your day to go – one solitary day. When you get out of the bed in the morning, what are you taking on? What are you doing today that will bring you closer to your goals by the time you arrive home in the evening?  If not one of your goals is being chipped away at, you might want to reconsider just how you spend your time.  Remember, it’s all a matter of baby steps heading in the right direction.

Eat Your Veggies
If you want to be the best self you can be, look at your diet.  Nothing creates or detracts from your ability to get through the day more than how you fuel your body.  So why not add more vegetables and fruits?  Fruits, I find, are a bit easier to add because they have natural sweetness, but veggies (at least for me) are something I have to plan.  

A Restful Slumber
Another simple ingredient that will help your mind, your skin, your spirit and the outlook on the next day is a good night’s rest.  Maybe the idea of going to bed before ten is unbearable, but if you’re getting up at five or six, ten is perfectly fine. A good seven to eight hours on a regular basis will do wonders for your mood and your productivity, and regarding vanity, you’ll be pampering your skin without doing a thing which will help to make you look all the more youthful.

Have Patience
With any goal you choose to pursue, whether it’s weight loss, a promotion in your career, or growth in your 401K, you must have patience in order to see results. Recently, you may already know I took up yoga and during the first few months, I didn’t notice much of a change, but all of a sudden, without warning it seemed, I could reach farther, I noticed my muscles lengthening and appearing less bulky.  But the funny thing was, I didn’t see the progress until the weekly yoga class became a routine, set in my mind, and I stopped looking for the change.  Sometimes, we just have to do the work, having faith that we will reach our destination, but if we continually are stopping to check and see how far we’ve come, we’ll take that much longer to get there. 

Find Balance
Know what your priorities are.  There are many things in a person’s life that are important, but as long as they know what is at the top of their list, they are better able to let go at certain times when time becomes a precious commodity.  This does not mean that they must give up these lesser important passions, it simply means that when things become chaotic, when time is quickly passing by, they know instinctively where to best put forth the little energy that is  left at the end of the day. 

Stop Reading the News
While I know many people are reliant on staying current with the news due their jobs and/or livelihood, I sincerely believe that at the very least, editing the amount of news you take in can do wonders for your state of mind on a daily basis.  Think about it.  When you go on vacation or are unable to turn on the television or read a newspaper for whatever reason, what do you worry about?  Most likely, if you are indeed worrying about anything it is regarding the people and circumstances that are near and dear to you. And when you know all is well in your world, your mood is elevated and you are able to revel in each moment without stressing about external forces that you have no control over.  

No matter what your age, learning something new should always be occurring.  Not only will it prolong your good health, but it will also provide a broader perspective and a much more forgiving heart as you learn and experience the tales of other people whether they be real or fictitious. A book is the most frugal way to travel, so why not always keep a book in your purse, by your bed table, or next to your favorite reading chair?

Trust Your Gut
Everyone has intuition.  Some have exercised theirs a bit more due to simply listening and not repressing it, but ultimately trusting your intuition is listening to your heart.  If something is drawing your attention and it feels good or right (and safe), why not take a chance?  You can’t guarantee that each time you follow your instinct it will be what you had imagined, however, as long as you choose to learn from each experience, your gut reactions will grow and you will become better skilled at interpreting what they mean for you.  Besides, think of all of the adventures and amazing experiences that await your participation?

Be Thankful
Expect nothing from anyone, do not assume anyone owes you anything and always be thankful. Too often people believe that if they do something for someone, that certain someone must do something for them, when in reality this notion loses its beauty due to the expectation of something in return.  Instead, try this.  Each time a kind gesture is bestowed upon you, thank them genuinely in a way that sits well with your heart, and then pay it forward. The beauty of this is that on both ends it is unexpected and most likely very much genuinely received.Looking back over the fifteen ideas that have been presented in this series, it is my hope that the quality of your life improves even more.  Each of us will go about our day-to-day lives in a way that best sits well with us, however, I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed and were able to take away something from this series. 

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