INSPIRATIONAL

  • Things We Celebrate Subconsciously

    Things We All Celebrate Subconsciously

    There are certain intricacies in life that we all repeatedly and unintentionally celebrate on a regular basis. These celebrated incidents are composed of the smaller things in life, those seemingly inconsequential events that instantly place us in a better mood. If you think about it hard enough, I’ll bet that you have taken part in each one of the following acts of subconscious celebration:

    • Making the Yellow Light – It’s one of those simple pleasures, the act of beating the pack. As you blaze through the yellow light you glance in your rearview to see all the cars behind you stopping at the red light. You made it! Hoorah… You will now arrive at your destination 1 minute sooner! For some reason it just makes you glow inside. Life seems great in that moment of celebration.
    • Lunch Time – “Yes… its Lunch time!” It happens every weekday at the same time with the same crowd. You know exactly what to expect and yet you celebrate its arrival with eager enthusiasm. That jerk rice from sainsbury's  tastes better at noon on an idle Tuesday than it would in any other setting, under any other circumstances.  Some people will not get the joke. 
    • Friday Afternoon – Okay, so you probably consider this to be a bit more of a full blown conscious celebration, but it actually does creep up slowly in the subconscious. It starts on Friday afternoon around lunch time. Productivity gradually slows down over the course of a couple hours, and then by 3PM it hits a brick wall. Pretty soon you’re happily chatting away with colleagues that you deliberately avoided all week long. But that’s okay, because you can almost taste the 48 hours of freedom that lay ahead.
    • The First Sip – …of a beer or mixed drink that is! As long as you are not an addict, there is nothing wrong with having a couple alcoholic beverages in your off-time. And when the events leading up to this breath of freedom are hectic, that first sip is the one!
    • Music – There is no better feeling than hearing the right song at the right time. It doesn’t matter what the setting is, hearing the right song in that moment is one of those simple pleasures in life that instantly lifts your spirits. You could be driving home from work, hanging out at a bar with friends, or jogging. When the right song for that moment rattles your ear drums the entire meaning of life momentarily makes complete sense.
    • Post-Workout – Regardless of your fitness level or fitness goals, I have no doubt that you subconsciously celebrate the completion of a solid workout. It’s an amazing feeling of self accomplishment; the one true activity (without taking hallucinogens) that actually makes you feel better and look better simultaneously. When you walk out the front door of the gym you are on top of the world.
    • Getting Things Done – Getting a task completed, no matter how big or small, is a conscious endeavor that usually brings you closer to some outstanding objective. However, this endeavor comes with a huge bonus! The bonus comes in the form of a warm subconscious feeling of accomplishment. Getting something done is like hitting 2 birds with one stone… the most important usually being the feeling of self accomplishment.
    • Sleeping In – Whether you can admit it or not, sleeping in is a celebration of vast proportions. People usually feel guilty for sleeping in because they think they should be out conquering some vital chore. But, you know what? Sometimes it just makes sense to stop and relax. And there is no better feeling of relaxation than sleeping until your eyes just pop open on their own.
    • Friendship – Friendship is something we persistently celebrate, yet somehow fail to consciously appreciate. How does this make sense? Quite simply, we are always in a rush to socialize, and we celebrate the act of doing so, yet we are not necessarily conscious of its fundamental importance. Friendship is always celebrated; consciously when we are aware of its importance, and subconsciously when we are not.
    • Telling a Story – One of the most exciting gifts in life is that of a new experience. One of the most enticing roles we all lead in life is that of the storyteller. What good is a new experience if we cannot share the story with others? We are consciously aware of our new experiences, but that’s only half of the thrill. Subconsciously, we can’t wait to tell everyone we know.
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  • YOUR LIFE IS YOUR BUSINESS!

    YOUR LIFE IS YOUR BUSINESS!

    In a culture that seeks quick results, we must learn the beauty of effort, patience, and perseverance.

     

    Have you ever told yourself that you’re going to make something happen and then nothing happened? All details aside, it’s because you didn’t have the right habits in place—the little things you do every day that build up to something bigger.

    Habits define you. All the results in your life come from your daily habits.

    If you’re out of shape and overweight, you have different habits than someone who’s physically fit. If you’re fit, you jump out of bed early every morning and sweat before preparing a healthy breakfast. If you’re out of shape, you sleep in and eat whatever is fastest and easiest.

    This may be a bit of a generalization, but it’s not far from the truth for the average able-bodied person.

    In all walks of life, you don’t become an overnight success. You become successful over time from all the little things you do one day at a time.

    Failure occurs in the same way. All your little daily failures (that you don’t learn and grow from) come together and cause you to fail…

    • You fail to check the books.
    • You fail to make the calls.
    • You fail to listen to your customers.
    • You fail to innovate.
    • You fail to do what must be done.

    And then one day you wake up and your business has failed. It was all the little things you did or didn’t do along the way—your daily habits—not just one catastrophic event.

    Let this be your wake-up call.

    YOUR LIFE IS YOUR BUSINESS!

    1. Change nothing and expect different results.

    There’s a saying that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Take this to heart. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Period.

    Oftentimes the only difference between a successful person and a person who makes little progress is not one’s superior abilities, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take calculated risks, and to take steady steps forward. In other words, some people sit and wait for the magic beans to arrive while the rest of us just get up and get to work.

    2. Keep waiting and waiting and waiting for the right time.

    Remind yourself of how often we waste our time waiting for the ideal path to appear. Then remind yourself of how often it never appears. Seriously, we forget that paths are made by walking, not waiting.

    So think of today as the beginning—the conception of a new life. The next nine months are all yours. You can do with them as you please. Make them count. Because a new person is born in nine months. The only question is: Who do you want that person to be? Now is the right time to decide.

    And no, you shouldn’t feel more confident before you take the next step. Taking the next step is what builds your confidence and fuels your inner and outer growth.

    3. Expect good things to come easy.

    A goal is a point of achievement that requires effort and sacrifice. There are no esteemed ventures worth participating in that don’t require some level of effort and sacrifice. Trust me, decades from now when you’re resting on your deathbed, you will not remember the days that were easy, you will cherish the moments when you rose above your difficulties and conquered challenges of magnitude. You will dream of the strength you found within yourself that allowed you to achieve what once seemed impossible.

    So don’t do what’s easy, do what you’re capable of. Astound yourself with your own abilities. And as you struggle forward, remember, it is far better to be exhausted from lots of effort and learning than to be tired of doing nothing. Effort is never wasted, even when it leads to disappointing results. For it always makes you stronger and more experienced in the long run.

    4. Refuse to accept necessary risks.

    Living is about learning as you go. Living is risky business. Every decision, every interaction, every step, every time you get out of bed in the morning, you take a small risk. To truly live is to know you’re getting up and taking that risk, and to trust yourself to take it. To not get out of bed, clutching to illusions of safety, is to die slowly without ever having truly lived. This isn’t drama—it’s real life.

    Think about it. If you ignore your instincts and let shallow feelings of uncertainty stop you, you will never know anything for sure, and in many ways this un-knowing will be worse than finding out your instincts were wrong. Because if you were wrong, you could make adjustments and carry on with your life, without looking back and wondering what might have been.

    5. Make the rejections of yesterday the focal point of today.

    Be okay with walking away when the time comes. Rejection teaches us how to reject what’s not right for our well-being. It won’t be easy, but some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken.

    All too often we let the rejections of our past dictate every move we make thereafter. We literally do not know ourselves to be any better than what some opinionated person or narrow circumstance once told us was true. Of course, this old rejection doesn’t mean we aren’t good enough; it means the other person or circumstance failed to align with what we have to offer. It means we have more time to improve our thing—to build upon our ideas, to perfect our craft, and indulge deeper in to the work that moves us. And that’s exactly what you need to do, starting now.

    6. Refuse to take responsibility.

    You aren’t responsible for everything that happened to you, but you need to be responsible for undoing the thinking and behavioral patterns these outcomes created. Blaming the past for a limiting mindset today doesn’t fix it. Change your response to what you remember, and step forward again with grace.

    A combination of your decisions and external factors for which you had no control brought you to where you are in the world today. Negatively blaming someone else, or some other past circumstance, will change nothing. Positively taking full responsibility for your situation and your path forward can change everything. Leave the unchangeable past behind you as you diligently give yourself to the present moment. In this moment is every possibility you seek. Take responsibility for it, and bring these possibilities to life.

    7. Close your mind to new ideas and perspectives.

    Even as you grow wiser and wiser with age you must remind yourself that an understanding is never absolutely final. What’s currently right could easily be wrong later. Thus, the most destructive illusion is a settled point of view. So, remember that success in life does not depend on always being right. To make real progress you must let go of the assumption that you already have all the answers.

    Bottom line: Don’t stop learning. Don’t stop investing in yourself. Study. Read. Devour books. Engage with people, including those who think differently. Ask questions. Listen closely. And don’t just grow in knowledge. Be a person who gives back. Use what you’re learning to make a difference.

    8. Let a few negative people fill your mind with garbage.

    Your mind is your private sanctuary; do not allow the negative beliefs of others to occupy it. Your skin is your barrier; do not allow others to get under it. Take good care of your personal boundaries and what you allow yourself to absorb from others.

    Of course, there will inevitably be a few people in your life who will be critical of you regardless of what you do or how well you do it. If you say you want to be a dancer, they will discredit your rhythm. If you say you want to build a new business, they will give you a dozen reasons why it might not work. They somehow assume you don’t have what it takes, but they are dead wrong. Let that sink in.

    It’s a lot easier to be negative than positive—a lot easier to be critical than correct. When you’re embarking on a new venture, instead of listening to the few critics that will try to discredit you, spend time talking to one of the thousands of people in this world who are willing to support your efforts and acknowledge your potential, respectfully. And go ahead and leave us a comment on this post if you think you can’t find one.

    9. Hold tight to something that’s not real.

    One of the most important moments in life is the moment you finally find the courage to let go of what can’t be changed. Because, when you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself—to grow beyond the unchangable. And that changes everything.

    Seriously, remind yourself right now that not everything is meant to be. You have to seriously sit down with yourself and come to grips with the fact that you were wrong about it all along. It was just an illusion that never really was what you thought it was. It’s one of the most difficult realizations to accept, to realize that you feel a sense of loss, even though you never really had what you thought you had in the first place. The key is knowing this, learning from it, letting go, and taking the next step. 

    10. Maintain rigid expectations every step of the way.

    Simple things become complicated when you expect too much. Expectation truly is the root of all heartache. Don’t let it get the best of you. Every difficult life situation can be an excuse for hopelessness or an opportunity for personal growth, depending on what you choose to do with it. So start by choosing to let go of the ideas and expectations that aren’t serving you.

    Remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect life. There’s just this moment you’re living through and what you choose to do with it. You can be disappointed in this moment and do nothing, or you can practice being satisfied with the opportunity to make the very best of it.

    Closing Exercise: Build Better Habits

    Choose any area in your life that you want to improve, and then:

    1. Write down the specific details about your current circumstances. (What’s bothering you? What’s wrong? What do you want to change?)
    2. Write down your answer to this question: What are the daily habits that have contributed to your current circumstances? (Be honest with yourself. What are you doing that contributes to the situation you’re in?)
    3. Write down the specific details about your ideal circumstances. (What would make you happy? What does your ideal situation look like?)
    4. Write down your answer to this question: What are the daily habits that will get you from where you are to where you want to be? (Think about it. What small, daily steps will help you move forward?)

     

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  • Force Yourself to Be More Grateful (and a Little Happier)

    Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.

    Most of us have amazing family members, friends, and other loved ones who love us back. Learn to appreciate what a gift that is. Most of us have good health, which is another gift. Most of us have eyes, with which to enjoy the amazing gifts of sunsets and nature and beauty all around us. Most of us have ears, with which to enjoy music–one of the greatest gifts of them all.

    We may not have all these things, because we can’t have everything, but we certainly have plenty to be grateful for. To an extent, we know this already, and yet we forget. It happens to the best of us.

    The Science of Gratitude and Happiness

    As human beings, when we aren’t grateful for what we have, we aren’t capable of being happy.

    This is not just some self-improvement cliché either. It’s been scientifically proven. For example, researchers in numerous positive psychology studies (like this one) have split study participants into two groups and instructed one group of study participants to reflect on the little things they are grateful for at the end of each day, while the other group just goes about their normal routines. Then, after several weeks, both groups are interviewed, and it becomes clear that the first group enjoyed considerably greater life satisfaction than the other group during that time period.

    Why does this happen?

    The simplest explanation is that forcing ourselves to focus on thoughts and actions related to gratitude, regardless of circumstances, helps our brains develop positive emotions. In one notable study, researchers asked participants to smile forcibly while thinking of something specific they’re grateful for. They found that this consistently stimulated mental activity associated with positive feelings and emotions.

    The bottom line for most of us (severe depression and other related mental illnesses notwithstanding) is pretty clear: when we force ourselves to be grateful by making gratitude a part of our daily routines, we actually feel a lot happier.

    How to Force Yourself to Be More Grateful

    In the end, the secret to being grateful is no secret. You choose to be grateful. Then you do it again and again. If you forget, begin again.

    There are, however, three specific gratitude strategies i found useful. I have literally seen these strategies work wonders.  I encourage you to implement them, gradually, one at a time, into your life. And if you need further assistance, Call me. 

    1. Practice a private, evening gratitude ritual.

    Here’s a super simple, five-minute, evening gratitude ritual:

    Every evening before you go to bed, write down three things that went well during the day and their causes. Simply provide a short, causal explanation for each good thing.

    That’s it. We spend tens of thousands of pounds on expensive electronics, big homes, fancy cars, and lavish holidays hoping for a boost of happiness. This is a simple, free alternative, and it works.

    If you begin this ritual this evening, you just might be looking back on today many years from now, as the day when your whole life changed.

    2. Practice giving thanks publicly.

    Although gratitude comes from within, the public expression of gratitude is important too. In his best selling book, “Authentic Happiness,” the renowned positive psychologist Martin Seligman gives some practical suggestions on how to do this. He recommends that we ritualize the practice of expressing gratitude in letters to friends, family, coworkers, and other people who we interact with in our community.

    I put this gratitude strategy into practice in my own lives by ritualizing it into my morning routine. I guess that is why you get my blogs every morning.  

    3. Practice reflecting on the little things you are grateful for.

    It’s fairly easy to remember to be grateful for the big and obvious things that happen—a new addition to the family, a great promotion at work, a significant business breakthrough, etc. But the happiest people find ways to give thanks for the little things too. Ponder these perspective-shifting points:

    • You are alive.
    • You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
    • You didn’t go to sleep outside.
    • You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.
    • You haven’t spent a minute in fear for your life.
    • You know someone who loves you.
    • You have access to clean drinking water.
    • You have access to medical care.
    • You have access to the Internet.
    • You can read.

    Be honest: when was the last time you were grateful for simply being alive, or going to sleep with a full belly? More specifically, think of all the little things you experience........the smell of a home-cooked meal, hearing your favorite song, seeing a marvelous sunset, etc.

    Pay attention, and be grateful.

    Truly, the richest human isn’t the one who has the most, but the one who needs less. Wealth is a mindset. Want less and appreciate more today. And remember, the best time to focus on being grateful is when you don’t feel like it. Because that’s when doing so can make the biggest difference.

    Thank you for reading this article and other articles on ferotv

     

     

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  • What to remember in Darkest times - Sometimes you must get hurt in order to grow, or lose in order to gain.

    What to remember in Darkest times

    Our character is often most evident at our highs and lows. Be humble at the mountaintops, be strong in the valleys, and be faithful in between.

    Why are we feeling this way—so beaten up and worn down?

    Why do we, who start out so passionate, courageous, worthy and believing, become utterly bankrupt by the youthful age of 30, 40 or 50?

    Why is it that one of us drowns in material consumption and debt, another self-mutilates, a third seeks oblivion in alcoholic drinks and gambling, a fourth, in order to stifle fear and judgment, cynically tramples and berates her own individuality, intelligence, and priceless youth?

    Why is it that, once fallen, we don’t attempt to rise back up? Or, having lost one thing, why don’t we attempt to seek another?

    Why? Why? Why!!!

    Because we give up on ourselves too soon.

    We let that monster named negativity chew us up and spit us out into a mucky puddle of self-doubt.

    And we’ve all been there at some point too. So, if you can relate right now, here are some important reminders to keep handy…

    1. When your marriage, parenting, faith, etc. gets tough, it’s not a sign that you’re doing it wrong. These intimate, intricate aspects of life are toughest when you’re doing them right – when you’re dedicating time, having the tough conversations, and making daily sacrifices.
    2. On particularly hard days when you feel that you can’t endure, remind yourself that your track record for getting through hard days is 100% so far.
    3. Have a little faith that the universe has a plan for you, and it’s all being revealed in the right time frame. Something you will eventually learn through all your ups and downs is that there are really no wrong decisions in life, just choices that will take your life down different paths. Sometimes you must get hurt in order to grow, or lose in order to gain. Sometimes the lesson you need most can only be learned through a little pain.
    4. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
    5. Life is not about maintaining the status quo. Life is not about playing it safe every second. Life is not about standing still and wallowing in self-doubt. It’s about connecting with your soul, respecting your integrity, and telling yourself that you’re able. It’s about taking a few steps, regardless of how hard and small they may be, so you can move forward and evolve.
    6. You must make a firm decision that you’re going to move forward. It won’t always happen naturally or automatically. Sometimes you will have to rise up and say, “I don’t care how hard this is. I don’t care how disappointed I am. I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”
    7. No matter what’s happening, you CAN efficiently fight the battles of today. It’s only when you add the battles of those two relentless eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that life gets overwhelmingly complicated. Realize that it’s not the experience of today by itself that devastates you, but the regret and resentment about something that happened yesterday or the fear and dread of what tomorrow might bring. It’s necessary, therefore, to let yourself live just one day at a time – just today – just right here, right now.
    8. When you stop worrying about what you can’t control, you have time to change the things you can control. And that changes everything.
    9. Don’t worry about mistakes and failures, worry about what you’re giving up when you don’t even try.
    10. Making mistakes means you’re actually DOING something in the real world and learning from it. Listening or reading is often just listening or reading. It’s not real learning. Real learning comes from making mistakes. And mistakes come from gradual implementation.
    11. If you never go after it again, you’ll never have it. If you never ask again, the answer will always be no. If you never step forward again, you’re stuck right where you are.
    12. In the space between “I’ll try again” and “I give up” there’s a lifetime. It’s the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you are capable of being and who you have become; its the legroom for the fairy tales you’ll tell yourself in the future about what could have been.
    13. Everyone has a little talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it into the dark places where it leads, and beyond.
    14. Courage doesn’t always roar; sometimes it’s simply a whisper at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”
    15. If you’re still sitting there thinking, “Things should be different right now,” take a deep breath. That’s not true and you know it. Because if it were true, things would be different right now. Stay present and focus on what you can create today. And tomorrow will reveal itself exactly as it should, just as yesterday already has.

    Now, it’s your turn…

    It’s your turn to reinforce your better judgment.

    All the love and validation you need is yours to give yourself.

    Let that sink in.

     

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  • Great Relationships

    Great Relationships and Friendship

    Nothing in this world is more difficult than love.  And nothing is more worth it.

    Our media culture – with its happily ever after fairy tales – often creates the expectation that life is supposed to be like an endless day at Disney World.  And nowhere does our media culture present a more skewed set of expectations than around intimate relationships.  We are swayed to believe a great relationship is all sunshine and roses, despite the fact that most of us have witnessed firsthand the difficulties and disagreements our parents struggled through when we were kids.

    Just as life isn’t perfect, intimate relationships aren’t either.  They require effort and compromise.  They require two people to practice patience and presence, and thoughtfully extend themselves for the sake of the other.  They require us to redefine the fairy tale story of love that our media culture has attempted to brainwash us with.

    It’s time to take a stand and acknowledge the fact that we’ve been fed lies.  We’ve been told that love is just a feeling, but the reality is that love is an action – many actions.  It’s continuous work.  It’s something two people must commit to as a daily ritual.

     

    When you’re able to accept this new reality, and get past the damaging lies about things needing to be perfect all the time, you make room for the true joy of engaging deeply in a great relationship, which holds a powerful, flexible space that widens itself to accommodate the necessary struggles.

    1. A soul mate is really just a loving partner who’s willing to work with you. – To say that one waits a lifetime for their soul mate to come around is a bit of a paradox.  People eventually get tired of waiting, so they take a chance on someone, and by the powers of love and commitment they become soul mates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.
    2. True love is often the most inconvenient kind. – Again, it takes two people who truly, TRULY want to work together, every day, compromises and all, to build something special.  That’s what great relationships are all about – daily teamwork.
    3. There will be lots of little issues. – When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever ties rather than to maintain commitment, but the extent to which two people in a relationship can bring up and resolve issues is a significant sign of the soundness of their relationship.
    4. There will be lots of tough conversations. – The right words won’t always come easy, but when you don’t talk it out there’s a lot of important stuff that ends up not getting said.  Every great couple needs to argue (consciously and mindfully) now and then, just to prove that the relationship is strong enough to survive.  Long-term relationships – the ones that truly matter – are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys.
    5. Conscious, mindful communication is necessary, but takes practice. – You can measure the happiness of an intimate relationship by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry, unhelpful words.
    6. There will be more honest misunderstandings than you’d like. – When it comes to understanding your partner, deal with them as they are, not how you’d like them to be.  
    7. There will be lots of apologies and necessary forgiveness. – Love is living your own life, but sharing it.  It’s forgiveness.  It’s making a million little mistakes with each other and turning them into learning experiences.  Love is patience, optimism, and sometimes it’s a simple kiss when there’s nothing left to say.
    8. Partners can’t force changes in each other. – People can only change themselves.  Instead of trying to change your partner, give them your support and lead by example.  If there’s a specific behavior they have that you’re hoping fades over time, it probably won’t.  If you really need them to change something specific, be honest and put all the cards on the table so your partner knows how you feel and why.  But keep in mind that the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead to help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.
    9. A great relationship isn’t needy. – In a great relationship, you love each other more than you need each other.
    10. Even the greatest relationship won’t completely fix YOU. – If you’re not happy with yourself, or comfortable with your own truth when entering a relationship, there’s a good chance you’re not ready for that relationship.  Work on loving yourself first. 
    11. Some people won’t support your relationship, no matter how great it is. – Great relationships don’t always make sense, especially from the outside.
    12. No relationship lasts forever. – People don’t live forever.  Appreciate what you have with your partner – the loving moments and all the little things.  You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they are no longer beside you.  And remember, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.

     

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