8/26/2007

You have no future

The title of this post is a little harsh for a reason. I want to clearly demonstrate how important your present is. There are plenty of goals and intentions that you wish to see become a reality. You want to change or improve some aspect of your life. You know the change requires hard work. You decide that you will begin making an effort as soon as......

The problem with this type of thinking is you are allowing your "future self" to take necessary action sometime in the future. When we talk about things our "future self" will do, we are passing the responsibility along. We often are too trusting of our "future self." We go on and on about all of the wonderful things that "future self" will do even though "future self" has failed us time and time again.

The truth is that the future does not exist. What I mean by the statement is neither of us have actually physically been in the future. Even when we say we will start our new diet plan next week, we need to realize that next week is not a point in time but a verbal excuse not to act in the only opportunity you have. The time to create change in our lives is now. If you continue to place the responsibility of change on "future you," you no longer operate in the now. And if you really think about it, now is all we have.
We do not have next minute, next, week, yesterday. We have right now to create change. Now is not the time to make a decision. Now is the time to act on it! Act in the moment you are given, your future depends on it.

8/21/2007

What can you say?

Here's a thought for you to reflect on. Imagine that you (all of us) did not have the ability to communicate with words. Imagine this world as one where our actions are the only means of communicating with one another and ourselves. If that were the case, would other people be able to tell what your goals are by just observing what you do?

Could we tell that you desire to lose 15lbs, get that promotion, become financially independent, etc from just looking at your behavior and your daily efforts? Have you become comfortable using words as a suitable substitute for action?

Because words are used as a primary form of communication in our daily lives, we tend to give much more value to the things we say we will do than what we actually do. To some, saying that they will do something is just as real as actually doing it even if they never reach that goal. They are content to remain in a false reality where they believe they are doing a good thing by boasting with empty words. Don't get me wrong, it is good to speak on what you will do, but if words are the only evidence of your intentions, then you are only fooling yourself.

Today, and going forward, see your life as one where action is the primary way of "saying" your intentions. What would it look like if you were "saying" to the world what you want? Take time to reflect on this thought daily and adjust your behavior before you say another word.

8/15/2007

I've got it-Made

MTV has a show called Made. On that show, ambitious teenagers who desire to reach a seemingly impossible goal seek the help of MTV to make their dreams a reality.
Normally, the person featured on each episode is the exact opposite of what they want to become. For instance, a cheerleader wants to be made into a football player, a pastor's daughter wants to be a hip hop dancer, an unpopular girl wants to become a beauty queen. The list goes on.
This one hour program is chock full of self-development lessons for us all. I'll discuss many of similarities I've noticed from the episodes I've seen.

HARD WORK-The show chronicles several months of progress made by the individual from when they start their goal until it has been reached. The person usually puts in hours of time every day into that goal they so long to reach. Many have to wake up before dawn and spend hours after school dedicating their time to finally becoming what they truly want to be.

PERSEVERANCE-In many of the episodes I've seen, the person on the show may reach a point where they decide to that the goal they asked for is too hard to obtain and they give up. But it isn't long before they come to their senses and realize their goal is much more important then staying in their comforts zone. The Made individual quickly begins right where they left off and continues on until they have reached their goal.

MADE COACH-The Made Coach is a person who is there to make sure the individual reaches his/her goals. The Made Coach motivates, inspires, and pushes the person into becoming what they desire. The Coach serves as a wealth of information and experience, therefore the person being made does not have to strive for these difficult goals without the benefit of previous experience.

So what lessons can we learn from the show? We all have goals we hope to reach. The goals may seem absolutely impossible, but with hard work, persevere, and learning from the experience of others, we can have what we want. Whenever I watch the show I always think to myself "there's no way that person is going to become..."
But I am always amazed at the transformation that occurs in a few months. Every time I've seen the show, I say to myself "if that person could do it, then anything is possible."
Take time today and think about your goals. Are you putting in as much hard work as you are able? Are you persisting until you succeed? Are you leveraging the valuable experience of others? Do you wanna be Made?

8/14/2007

Good Morning

The absolute best way to take charge of the day ahead of you is to start preparing first thing in the morning. The morning hours are the best time to still your mind, remove the constant chatter, and fill your thoughts with affirmations. When you place your efforts into your morning rituals, you ground yourself before the chaos of the day comes your way. As a result, you are better able to handle challenges, stress, and anything else life wants to throw at you. Here are some ideas of some impactful activities that you can implement in your morning routine:

1. Prayer
2. Meditation
3. Exercise
4. Journaling
5. Breakfast
6. Reading
7. Visualizing
8. Goal Setting
9. Budgeting
10.Planning

Make the choice today to implement at least five of these actions into your habits. Better yet, you can incorporate all 10 on the list by rotating some of the actions on different days of the week. Do not just wake, up jump in the shower, and run out the door without first settling your mind and focusing on the day ahead. If you do these things consistently, your life will change.

8/07/2007

Overcoming Fear

In my previous post, I described fear using each letter of the word. This time I will give you suggestions on how to overcome your fears using the same concept.

Fantasies
Many of our fears are fed by our exaggerated notions of certain experiences. When we imagine the worst possible outcome, we scare ourselves into believing the possibility of that outcome actually occurring. To avoid this destructive behaviour, we need to sit back and look and the situation objectively. The worst that can happen usually does not happen. In fact, would you agree that we when we go through an uncomfortable situation, despite our fears, we end up thinking that it wasn't as bad as you imagined it would be? You could even take it a step further and imagine the best possible outcome for the situation. By consciously doing so, you take away the environment for the fear to thrive. You also provide the foundation needed for you to move past the scary thoughts and into action.


E
veryone Else
We often let others stop us from reaching our full potential. We spend too much time focusing on how others think of us. We put the needs, wants, and expectations of others before our own. I believe that we do these things because we do not spend enough time with ourselves. If we constantly put people before us and operate based on what others think or expect, we deplete our sense of self worth. Schedule time every day in quiet reflection thinking about you and your strengths. What is your purpose? Who is the real you? What makes you shine? Do this every single morning so that you have established a clear notion of who you are before you step out into the daily grind. Your voice will become clearer in your mind and the perceptions of others will start to diminish. When you truly know who you are, you will not direct your actions around the opinions of others.

Action
When fear overcomes our minds, it begins to seep into our actions. We actually consciously avoid activities, experiences, and people, because of the feeling of fear. If left unchallenged, fear can even lead to stress and illness. You can not allow fear to impact how you operate. As I said before, we often look at the situation differently once we tread past the initial feelings of apprehension. So we must always move quickly past the feelings and into action. I repeat, we must quickly move past the feelings and into action. The quicker the better. Another word of advice I would give is to do it and do it often. Most of the time our "fear" is just unfamiliarity in disguise. The more we do it, the better and easier it gets. Keep that in mind every time you try something new. Get to it!

Reasons
Realize that the reasons you provide are just excuses to keep you from acting. Understand that the reasons you provide are just excuses to keep you from acting.
Know that the reasons you provide are just excuses to keep you from acting.
Your reasons are nothing more than you mind telling you to keep things the same and avoid change at all costs. To avoid this issue, you need to be on the look out for the reasons. Expect them. Once they arrive, look at them pitifully, shake your head, and move on. Most importantly, remember your reasons for implementing the change. Use that to direct, steer, and motivate you.

8/05/2007

Fear Defined

I was feeling a little creative today so I decided to write this post about fear by using the letters in the word to describe the emotion. While in class the other night, our professor asked everyone in the room to describe what we would do if we were not afraid. The answers were varied and the possibilities were endless. Unfortunately, because of the fear of failure, or success, many of us tend to become stagnant never reaching our full potential.

What is F.E.A.R?

Fantasies
Fear is like an organism that thrives where there is abundance of a certain substance. In the same manner that Candida feeds on the sugar we consume, our fears grow and multiply through the thoughts we create. I used the word fantasies because we often produce an unrealistic mental picture of what we fear most. Our fears rarely stem from objective experiences. In fact, many of us have never actually experienced that which we fear. Think about it. When was the last time you had an entire audience make fun of you the last time you spoke? Yet many fear speaking in front of others for that specific reason. Can you recall the last time you fell from the side of a building? Yet many are afraid of heights. Could it be that our "legitimate" fears are just as inflated as the person on the Maury Povich show who was deathly afraid of balloons?

Everyone else
Take time to think about your fears. Do any of them revolve around what others may think? Some of us are even afraid to express our true thoughts and emotions because we do not want others to become angry. We suppress our genius because we do not want to make others feel inferior. We hinder our voice because we do not want to look stupid in front of others. We constantly go through life giving just enough of ourselves to gain the approval of other people. When we do, we extinguish the thoughts, or actions, that make us who we are.

Actions
When we experience prolonged feelings of fear, we may start to experience anxiety. We begin to worry excessively about everyday life. Our daily activities are affected and our minds are not able to rest. And of course, our actions are impacted. Have you ever looked back and thought about the experiences you missed because of the feelings that held you back? Did you ever replay a conversation in your mind and wished that you had another chance to say what you were thinking? Can you think of how your specific circumstance(s) would change if you begin to operate without fear?

Reasons
We entertain thoughts of fear because we can easily provide reasons to validate the fear. When the possibility of doing something slightly scary presents itself, we quickly begin to rattle off an endless supply of reasons not to act. Those reasons may or may not be valid. Those reasons might even make sense to you. But those reasons should not become the barrier between where you are now and where you should be. We let reasons stop us because they seem rational at the time. We believe that we are protecting ourselves from hurt or pain. But what we are really doing is giving up the opportunity to experience growth and change.


Review your fears objectively. Ask yourself if your fears stem from valid concerns or are they bred from invalid reasons. What would you do if you were not afraid?

8/01/2007

Impossible is Nothing

Have you desired to accomplish something but thought that it would be impossible to do? If so let me share with you this quote:

"Impossible is nothing. Impossible is just a big word used by small people who find it easier to live in the world they are given than to explore the power they have to change it."

The first time I saw the phrase was during an Adidas advertisement. I do not remember much of the commercial but when the slogan flashed across the screen, I instantly adopted those words as my new mantra.

Impossible is a heavy word loaded with dangerous emotions. Impossible holds us back by providing numerous reasons why we should not attempt to have what we want. Impossible is an invisible force field that separates us from where we are to where we want to be. Impossible is nothing.

Stop and think about the word impossible and how much power it has over our minds. Think about what it does to our drive and determination. Notice how one word can cripple your intentions and hinder your purpose. Take away all the power that word holds and say to your self....impossible is nothing.

Renew your mind to fully understand that all things are possible. There is a way. It can be accomplished. Meditate on those words. Accept them fully. Move forward without the slightest bit of doubt about the outcome of your actions. Make it known that you have every intention to achieve what you desire.

Impossible is nothing.