INSPIRATIONAL

  • Don't waste your life.

    We waste our lives waiting for ideal paths to appear in front of us. But they never do. Because we forget that paths are made by walking, not waiting.

    There’s nothing more disheartening than a perfectly healthy, reasonably affluent human being with the whole world in her hands who’s chronically unhappy and unproductive. There’s really no excuse for it either, yet Marc and I see this phenomenon unfolding every single day—people who choose to be stuck in misery and refuse to admit it. This mindset often results from an extremely unbalanced life—one with too much expectation and not enough discipline and appreciation.

    The bottom line is that when you have very little discipline for accomplishing new things, and very little gratitude for what you already have, you’ll never know the true joy of making progress in life, because nothing will ever change, and even when it does, it will never be good enough in your mind.

    So, how do you cultivate balance in life when everything is already so far out of whack?

    1. Are you focusing on what’s truly important?

    At every moment, millions of little things compete for your attention. All these things fall into one of two categories: things that are important and things that are not.

    People never get more done by blindly working more hours on everything that comes up. Instead, they get more done when they follow careful plans that measure and track key priorities and milestones. So if you want to be more successful and less stressed, don’t ask how to make something more efficient until you’ve first asked, “Do I need to do this at all?”

    Simply being able to do something well does not make it the right thing to do. I think this is one of the most common problems with a lot of time-management advice; too often productivity gurus focus on how to do things quickly, but the vast majority of things people do quickly should not be done at all. 

    2. Are you focusing more on problems or solutions?

    Where your mind goes, energy flows. Which area of your life do you tend to focus on: what you have or what’s missing from your life?

    I’m sure you think about both sides of this equation. But if you scrutinize your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend more time dwelling on? The positives or the negatives?

    Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have lots to be grateful for. Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional well-being and strength. But the real question is: do you take time to feel deeply grateful with your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the energy to take positive action comes from.

    So don’t let negativity and drama get the best of you. Your brain is a radio transmitter. It broadcasts thoughts, directions and vibrations into your life—you get to choose the station it’s tuned to. Happy, successful people understand this and tune out negativity to make room for positivity. Be wise enough to follow in their footsteps. Walk away from the nonsense around you. Focus on the positives, and soon the negatives will be harder to see.

    Also, along these same lines, accept the fact that there’s a lot you can’t control. And if you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll do nothing but create more stress for yourself. So remember, you can influence many aspects of your life but you can’t control them entirely. Once you fully accept and adopt this pattern of thinking, another important question must be asked:

    3. What meaning are you assigning to your challenges?

    Even when we’re being positive, we all have challenges; there’s no escaping that. But how you feel about your life has little to do with the events in it or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The meaning you assign to these things controls the quality of your life. Most of the time, however, you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events. So check-in with yourself…

    • When something happens that disrupts your life (an illness, an injury, a job loss, etc.), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?
    • If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or trying to care for you?
    • Does a big problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem isn’t really a problem at all, but an opportunity?

    Bottom line: When something negative happens, view this circumstance as a chance to learn something you didn’t know. Don’t wish it never happened. Don’t try to step back in time. Take the lessons learned and step forward. You have to tell yourself, “It’s OK. I’m doing OK.” You need to know that it’s better to cross new lines and suffer the consequences of a lesson learned from time to time, than to just stare at the lines for the rest of your life and always wonder.

    Also keep in mind that the past, even when troubled, is invaluable to your present. It provides a solid foundation for everything you’re doing now. Learn from it—the mistakes and the successes—and then let it go. This process might seem easier said than done, but it depends on your focus. The past is just training; it doesn’t define you in this moment. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how it will help you make things right.

    When we shift our habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit on what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter our biochemistry and the trajectory of our lives in a couple minutes flat.

    So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals power. Choose wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and best will always be yours for the taking.

    And that leads right in to the next question…

    4. What will you do next to make progress?

    While everyone else is talking about it, successful people are quietly doing it.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It doesn’t matter if you have a genius IQ and a PhD in Quantum Physics, you can’t change anything or make any sort of real-world progress without taking action. There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it. Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action. It’s as simple as that.

    Successful people know that a good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right day” or the “right (impossible) circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear and nothing more. They take action here and now, today—because that’s where real progress happens. (Love and a beautiful mind)

    5. What tangible reminders do you need to see to stay motivated?

    You want to lose weight, but when you’re tired, it’s easy to rationalize that you’ll start exercising and eating right tomorrow. You want to build a more profitable business, but when you’re caught up in the daily grind, it’s easy to just do what’s familiar instead of what’s required for growth. You want to nurture your closest relationships, but when you’re busy, it’s easy to rationalize that you really need to work on that client proposal instead.

    Few good things come easy, and when the going gets tough we often take the easy way out—even though the easy way takes us the wrong way.

    To combat this, many of the happiest and most successful people we know create tangible reminders that pull them back from the brink of their weak impulses. A friend of ours who has paid off almost £50K of debt in the past five years has a copy of his credit card balance taped to his computer monitor; it serves as a constant reminder of the debt he wants to pay off. Another friend keeps a photo of herself when she was 90 pounds heavier on her refrigerator as a reminder of the person she never wants to be again. And I fill my desk at work with family photos, both because I love looking at them and because, when work gets really tough, my family photos remind me of what i am ultimately working for.

    Think of moments when you are most likely to give in to impulses that take you farther away from your ultimate goals. Then use tangible reminders of those goals to interrupt the impulse and keep you on track.

    Find a Good Example

    Now that you’re aware of the power of these five questions and their subsequent decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. When we observe someone we want to learn from and we have a crystal clear idea of what we want to create for ourselves, it unlocks a tremendous amount of motivation. Human beings are socially inclined, and when we get the idea that we want to join some elite circle up above us, that is what really motivates us to reach our potential. “Look, they did it. I can do it too!”

    And yes, you CAN do it too!

    It may sound overly simplistic, but when you spend enough time asking yourself the right questions and studying people who have been where you want to go, you’ll gradually clear a pathway to create the positive changes you desire in life.

    And now, it’s your turn…

    Remember that you ultimately become what you repeatedly do. The acquisition of knowledge—everything you just read—doesn’t mean you’re growing. Growing happens only when what you know changes how you live on a daily basis. Most people miss the second part. Don’t be one of them today.

     

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  • 30 questions about money you should ask your partner

    30 questions about money you should ask your partner.

    Disagreements over money are usually cited as one of the top three reasons most couples divorce (communication and sex are the other two). I couldn’t think of many things potentially more frustrating than if my partner kept putting us into debt when I desired to live modestly and have an early retirement. How each of you view money will be a very, very important part of your relationship. For some people spending money is an addiction or compulsion.

    1. Have you ever saved for a major expense or purchase or have you always put it on credit?
    2. Do you get stressed out when finances are really tight? 
    3. If I thought we needed help keeping our finances under control and suggested a “debt counselor” would you go with me?
    4. What is the minimum amount you think you could spend on a wedding and be happy with it?
    5. If you were single and quite wealthy, how would you weed out the "gold diggers"?
    6. How much debt do you think a couple should shoulder themselves with the first year or two of marriage given that financial problems early in a marriage is one of the leading causes of divorce? 
    7. Do you think you could function without a credit card? Have you ever tried?
    8. What do you put on your credit cards? 
    9. Do you think our family has the right to know your financial affairs (whether you are rich or deep in debt)? What would you tell them if they asked how much money you and your spouse make or how much money you have in the bank? 
    10. Do you have the self-control to only spend each month what you can pay off? Or do you always carry balances on your credit cards? 
    11. Do you think we should keep our money in joint or individual accounts? Why? 
    12. How do we decide how to spend our money? Do we have free reign to spend whatever we want as long as it is "my money" or is there an amount (£100, £500, £5,000) at which we need to discuss before making a purchase? 
    13. Do you think it is wise to lend significant amounts of money to boyfriends/girlfriends? Could it cloud the relationship? 
    14. Do you think you have ever been "used" for money? 
    15. Do you often feel that your partner doesn't respect your hard earned income by the way they spend it? 
    16. Which of us has the best skills at paying the bills and keeping track of our expenses? Which of us has the best skills for investing our money?
    17. Do you tend to buy luxury items or are you frugal with your money? 
    18. Look in your wallet. How many credit cards do you have? Do you need that many?
    19. Would you rather live modestly and retire modestly at 50 or would you rather live more extravagantly and retire modestly at 65? 
    20. Have you ever gotten a second job to help pay for your nonessential purchases? 
    21. Do you currently have a will? If not, why? 
    22. If you got into financial difficulties, what would you try to do to get out of it? 
    23. If you were married and inherited £200,000, how would you decide what to do with the money? Would your spouse have any input? What would you want to do if your spouse inherited the money? 
    24. Do you think your partner mismanages their money? 
    25. How much do you owe on all your credit cards? All other loans? 
    26. If you married someone who had a lot of debt and bills, how would you feel about helping your mate pay them off? 
    27. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? 
    28. Have you ever made a loan to someone of a large sum of money? Would you do it again? 
    29. Have you ever dated someone just because they had (or you thought they had) money? 
    30. Do you think life insurance is a wise "investment"?
    31. What do you think would be fair terms in the agreement? When men and women are dating, who do you think should pay for the date? Whoever arranged the date? Whoever make. 

     

     

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  • Every failure carries with it the seed of an equal or greater success.

    Every failure carries with it the seed of an equal or greater success.

    Have you ever seen a child learn to ride a bike, or a baby learn to walk? They stumble and fall numerous times before getting it right.  Mistakes are learning opportunities.  It takes failure after failure to create success.  Believe you can and you are halfway there.  And never regret anything, because every little detail of your life, including your mistakes, is what made you who you are today.

     

    • It’s okay.  You will be okay. – Take all the time you need to heal emotionally.  Moving on doesn’t take a day; it takes lots of little steps to be able to break free of your broken self.  Never let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.  Just because today is painful doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be great.  You just got to get there.  The best things usually happen when you least expect it.  So try to smile in the meantime.  Not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    • There is no success without failure. – A person who makes no mistakes is unlikely to make anything at all.  It’s better to have a life full of small failures that you learned from, rather than a lifetime filled with the regrets of never trying.                                                                                                                                                                
    • Positive thinking creates positive results. – If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  Being hurt is something you can’t stop from happening, but bei.  Winston Churchill reminds us, “Success is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”  The mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it.  Negative thinking creates negative results.  Positive thinking creates positive results.  Period.  Things always turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.                                                                                                                             
    • Success is always closer than it seems. – Your mistakes and failures should be your motivation, not your excuse.  Instead, place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones.  Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.  Failure is not falling down; failure is staying down when you have the choice to get back up.                                     
    • You are not your mistakes. – Life didn’t come with instructions.  Accept that mistakes will happen.  You are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your tomorrow.  No matter how chaotic the past has been, the future is a clean, fresh, wide open slate.  What you do with it is up to you.  Read LOVE AND A BEAUTIFUL MIND                                            
    • Life’s best lessons are learned at unexpected times. – Many of the greatest lessons we learn in life we don’t seek on purpose.  In fact, life’s best lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.  So yes, you will fail sometimes, and that’s okay.  The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant.                                                                                                                                   
    • Mistakes are rarely as bad as they seem. – Mistakes and setbacks are rarely as bad as they seem, and even when they are, they give us an opportunity to grow stronger.  You should never let one dark cloud cover the entire sky.  The sun is always shining on some part of your life.  Sometimes you just have to forget how you feel, remember what you deserve, and keep pushing forward.                                                
    • Not getting what you want can be a blessing. – Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck, because it forces you to reevaluate things, opening new doors to opportunities and information you would have otherwise overlooked.  Remember, some things in life fall apart so that better things can fall together.                                                                                                                                      
    • You have the capacity to create your own happiness. – You can hold onto past mistakes or you can create your own happiness going forward.  A smile is a choice, not a miracle.  Don’t make the mistake of waiting on someone or something to come along and make you happy.  True happiness comes from within.  Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.                                                                                                                                                           
    • Mistakes are simply a form of practice. – Every great artist was once an amateur.  The sooner you get comfortable with practicing and making mistakes, the quicker you’ll learn the skills and knowledge necessary to master your art.  You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  So get out there and try again.  Either you succeed or you learn a vital lesson.  Win – Win.  Read The Magic of Thinking Big.                                                                                                   
    • You are making progress. – If you brush yourself off and keep pressing forward, you will learn something and you will earn another chance to get it right.  Remember, no matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.  Don’t waste your time being upset about something you can’t change.  Start over right now, implement the lessons you have learned from your mistakes, and do it better this time.                                                                                                         
    • Life goes on. – Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later this collection of mistakes, called experience, leads us to success.  If it’s good, it’s going to be wonderful.  If it’s bad, it’s going to be an experience.  Your mindset is at the heart of your success.  You have to take the good with the bad, smile with the sad, love what you have and be thankful for what you had.  Forgive yourself and others, but don’t forget.  Learn from your mistakes, but don’t regret.  Life is change, things go wrong, and life goes on.

     

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  • Success breeds resentment and jealousy. Another side of success that is not talked about

    Success breeds resentment and jealousy. Another side of success that is not talked about

    As you rise in life and elevate your game, it's important to remember that no matter how well-intentioned, helpful or pleasant you are that there are some people who won't want to see you shine. In fact they are hoping to see you fall. So much so that they will try to dismiss you, diminish your achievements, pretend they don't see you rising, assassinate your character, discredit you, talk about you behind your back, use innuendos and sarcasm to try to get at you or attempt to eat from your plate without putting in the work to make the meal.

    A jealous person won't come out and tell you that they are jealous of you, nor will they admit it to anyone else. Why? Their pride and ego won't allow it. Instead their jealousy will show up in the form of resentment, constant criticism, open hostility, imitation, gossiping, playing down your accomplishments, an insatiable need to try and one-up you, not inviting you to certain events for fear that you will outshine them, not wanting you to come around their other friends for fear that their friends may actually see that you are a stand up kind of person and want to become your friend too, waiting on the sidelines wishing for your demise and last but not least...kicking you when you fall.

    Jealousy comes in many forms. Sometimes a person will be jealous of your success or accomplishments, your persistence in pursuing your dreams, your charisma, your happiness and peace of mind, your faith walk, your strength, looks, resources, business savvy, your influence, your marriage, your family relationships, network of people you know or your ability to bounce back from adversity. And jealous people can exist everywhere at work, in church, within your family, with your friends and even within your online social networks….YES faceboooook. See the thing is, when you have a deeper sense of self-esteem, resilience and purpose, it can intimidate others and cause them to resent you, often without even knowing why. Be that as it may, you cannot allow other people's issues with you to cause you to play your life small.

    Jealousy is like a parasite. Once you allow it into your space it literally sucks the life right out of you. This is why it is key that the moment you encounter jealousy you cut it off at the head. Don't give jealous people any room in your life to impact you, any space in your head to discourage you or any power to rob you of your peace, purpose or destiny. Simply hold your head up high and continue to do you.

    Whether you are dealing with a person who is ignorant, insecure, malicious or miserable, the best thing that you can do when a jealous person comes your way is to put as much distance as possible between you and that person. You cannot afford to allow jealous people to block your blessings and rain on your parade. Success comes at a price…Success can also keep you isolated. Don’t worry it is normal. I am dealing with that right now. Anyway you are amazing. Being amazing comes with haters.

     

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  • H.A.T.E.R.S = HAVING. ANGER. TOWARDS. EVERYONE. REACHING. SUCCESS.

    1. First and foremost, you are not obligated to live up to everyone’s expectations. – Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect. And you are under no obligation to give others what they expect. Period. Do things because you care. Do things because you know it’s right. Don’t just do things because everyone else expects you to.
    2. Expectations just get in the way of great life experiences. – Don’t let expectations (especially other people’s expectations) get in your way. Truth be told, the unexpected is often better than the expected. Our entire lives can be described in one sentence: It didn’t go as planned, and that’s OK.
    3. You don’t need others to hold your hand every step of the way.– Be willing to go alone sometimes. You don’t need permission to grow. Not everyone who started with you will finish with you. And that’s OK. 
    4. You get to learn from your mistakes without unnecessary third-party pressure. – You’re going to mess up sometimes. But the good news is, as long as you’re listening to your intuition, you get to decide how you’re going to mess up. Which means you get to decide how you’re going to live and what you’re going to learn along the way.
    5. No one knows you better than you know yourself. – How you seem to others and how you actually are, rarely match. Even if they get the basic gist of who you are, they’re still missing a big piece of the puzzle. What other people think of you will rarely contain the whole truth, which is fine. So if someone forms an opinion of you based on superficialities, then it’s up to them, not you, to reform those opinions. Leave it to them to worry about. You know who you are and what’s best for you.
    6. Only YOU can define what’s possible for you and your life. – Some people will kill you over time if you let them; and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases like, “Be realistic.” When this happens, close your ears and listen to your inner voice instead. Remember that real success in life isn’t what others see, but how you feel. It’s living your truth and doing what makes you feel alive.
    7. In the end, happiness is simply living your life your own way.– There comes a time when your back is up against the wall and you realize all you can do is say, “Screw it, I’m doing things my way!” That’s the earth-shattering moment you stop planning for someone else’s expectations, and start making progress on what’s truly important to YOU. That’s when you begin to live life according to your own morals and values. That’s when you can finally be at your happiest.
    8. You can best serve yourself and others by giving yourself what YOU need. – Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and pursue it at all costs. That’s what this world needs – people like YOU who come alive. Which means your needs matter; so don’t ignore them. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you and your life, not just what seems best on the surface for everyone else.
    9. You need to allow yourself the freedom to speak your truth. – Yes, speak your truth even if your voice shakes. Be cordial and reasonable, of course, but don’t tread carefully on every word you say. Push your concerns of what others might think aside. Let the consequences of doing so unravel naturally. What you’ll find is that most of the time no one will be offended or irritated at all. And if they do get upset, it’s likely only because you’ve started behaving in a way that makes them feel they have less power over you. Think about it. Why lie?
    10. The wrong people should not be able to tamper with your standards. – Remember, failed relationships aren’t designed to encourage you to lower your standards, but to raise them and keep them up. So while you’re out there making decisions instead of excuses, learning new things, and getting closer and closer to your goals, know that there are others out there, like me, who admire your efforts and are striving for greatness too. Bottom line: Don’t let the wrong people bring you down.
    11. The haters can have less of an effect on you. – Don’t worry about the haters, ever. Don’t let them get to you. They’re just upset because the truth you know contradicts the lies they live. Period.
    12. Your individuality can be openly celebrated and enjoyed. – Constantly seeking approval means you’re perpetually worried that others are forming negative judgments of you. This steals the fun, ingenuity, and spontaneity from your life. Flip the switch on this habit. If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t be ashamed and don’t change. Uniqueness is priceless. In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your remarkable self. It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but it’s worth it. Being unapologetically YOU is worth it!
    13. There can very easily be less drama to deal with on a daily basis. – Forgo the drama. Ignore the negativity around you. Just be sincere and kind, and promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.
    14. Great relationships are not governed by one-sided expectations. – When it comes to your relationships, don’t keep everything you need to say to yourself. Let it out. Express your point of view. Communication is not just an important part of a relationship, communication is the relationship. Communicate even when it’s uncomfortable and uneasy. One of the best ways to heal and grow a relationship is simply getting everything on the inside out in the open. Compromise. That’s how good people make great things happen together.
    15. You can be YOUR best, without competing with everyone else.– When you are happy to simply do your best and not compare or compete, everyone worth your while will respect you. Here’s some healthy food for thought: Always… Be strong, but not rude. Be kind, but not weak. Be humble, but not timid. Be proud, but not arrogant. Be bold, but not a bully.
    16. You are not obligated to anyone more so than you are to yourself. – Your relationship with yourself is the closest and most important relationship you will ever have. So don’t forget about YOU out there, and don’t be too hard on yourself either. There are plenty of others willing to do both for you. And remember, if you don’t take good care of yourself, then you can’t take good care of others either; which is why taking care of yourself is the best selfish thing you can do.

     

     

     

     

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