INSPIRATIONAL

  • 25 season to keep your life more simple

     

     

     

    Some lessons I’ve learned about living a simpler life:

     

    1.    A simpler life is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. Thus, you are wealthy in proportion to the number of unnecessary things you can afford to live without.

     

    2.    Simplifying is not merely seeing how little you can get by with, but how efficiently you can put first things first, and use your time accordingly to pursue the things that make a difference and mean the most to you.

     

    3.    Besides the art of getting things done, there is the often-forgotten art of leaving things undone. The simplicity and efficiency of life relies heavily on the elimination of non-essentials.

     

    4.    Overcommitting is the biggest mistake most people make against living a simpler life. It’s tempting to fill in every waking minute of the day with to-do list tasks or distractions. Don’t do this to yourself. Leave space.

     

    5.    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. There are so many activities that sound fun and exciting. We check Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat and see what others are doing and immediately want to add these things to our lives. But before you let these new ideas get the best of you, remember that by adding too many things to your life, you are subtracting space. And that space is vital to focusing on what matters most.

     

    6.    Distractions are both more tempting and more damaging than we realize. When we fill our lives with distractions, its often because we’re scared of what life might be like without constant social media, TV, video games, snacks, chats, music, etc. Don’t numb yourself with noise. Don’t let distractions hold you back. Control your distractions before your distractions control you.

     

    7.    You can’t live a simpler life if you’re unwilling to change and let go of what you are used to.

     

    8.    Priorities don’t get done automatically. You have to make time for what’s important to you: time with your significant other, time with your kids, time for creating, time for learning, time for exercise, etc. Push everything else aside to make time. By saying no to more things that sound really exciting, you get to say yes to more of what’s truly important.

     

    9.    Rising earlier helps. A quiet, unrushed morning routine is a gift to treasure. (I awake early so that I have quiet time to read, write, and practice a gratitude meditation.)

     

    10. Letting go of old routines and habits and building new ones can be hard, but it’s easier if you do a 30-day challenge. Let go of something for 30 days and see how it affects your life. (Letting go of sky TV was one of the best decisions I made a few years back...no more continuous, distracting noise in our home, and no more advertisements for stuff we don’t need.)

     

    11. Buying more stuff doesn’t solve our problems. Neither does more snack food or another TV program.

     

    12. Shopping isn’t a hobby, and it certainly isn’t therapy. It’s a waste of time and money, and inevitably leads to a cluttered life.

     

    13. When we travel lightly, we’re freer, less burdened, and less stressed. This applies to traveling through life too, not just traveling through an airport.

     

    14. It’s not how many, or how few, things we own that matters. It’s whether we make those things count. Thus, it’s better to have three good books on your bookshelf that you’re actually going to read rather than 300 you never get around to.

     

    15. Decluttering your physical space can lead to a less cluttered mental space. These visual distractions pull on us and distract us in more ways than we often realize. Overthinking is one of the most rampant sources of stress and mental clutter. The key is to realize that the problem is not the problem. The problem is the incredible amount of overthinking you’re doing with the problem. Let it go and be free.

     

    16. Positivity always pays off in simplifying outcomes. So before you waste it on anger, resentment, spite or envy, think of how precious and irreplaceable your time is.

     

    17. Stay out of other people’s drama. And don’t needlessly create your own.

     

    18. A simpler, more positive mindset can be created anytime and anyplace with a change in thinking. Because frustration and stress come from the way you react, not the way things are. Adjust your attitude, and the frustration and stress evaporates.

     

    19. The simplest secret to happiness and peace in the present is letting every circumstance be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and making the best of it.

     

    20. Gratitude always makes life easier to deal with. Because happiness comes easier when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

     

    21. Make mistakes, learn from them, laugh about them, and move along. Waste not a minute on outcomes you can’t control.

     

    22. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally. The truth...your truth....is always the simplest path forward. If you listen closely to your intuition you will always know what is best for you, because what is best for you is what is true for you.

     

    23. The feeling you get from doing something important (and true) is far better and less stressful than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were doing it.

     

     

     

     

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  • Relationship Conflict

     

    Committed relationships have absolutely nothing to do with perfection, Nor do they have one thing to do with expectations. Honestly, we should expect the unexpected. Life has a fantastic way of forcing us to change. This is great, because we should never want to be who we were when we entered the relationship. However, learning to adapt to the new person requires one to adjust to a new normal. When I mention new normal on my facebook page, it sparks interest and great conversation.

    It is important to self-evaluate, and identify who you are and where you are in your life. This helps you to figure why you are doing what you’re doing, and reacting to situations. I find that this experience simply puts things into perspective. I shut the heck up and allow the wife to speak, I accept when I am wrong, I am totally honest about how I feel and I get it out and move on. I wasn’t always able to do this. Like many, entering a relationship, I figured, happy wife happy life, things would work themselves out, we love each other so life would be magnificent. Nope, that is not how it works at all.

    There are characteristics that I loved about the wife as a 25 year old that drives me insane now. There are things that she does now that she never did that I absolutely love! A lot of this is because we have changed, matured, changed locations, friends, etc. So instead of me losing it, I’ve just learned to adjust, fall in love with the new and out of love with the old. (Create a New Normal!)

    When I chat with divorced couples that are now best friends, the first thing that I ask is how did you manage to get so close? Many times, they’ve replied I just accept him or her for who they are and we just don’t make a big deal out of anything. I get so excited that I have to spodd them!!! None of us are perfect. Evolution is inevitable! We will constantly be changing and so will the love we have for each other. It is totally okay to fall out of love with something. It doesn’t mean you no longer love your partner. It simply means you should prepare for a shift in the relationship and communicate about how the change/s make you feel.

    Lastly, ignore the saying that a relationship is work. Two imperfect people make up a relationship and they are the WORK! Define your issue and be real with yourself. The key is to create a more refined self to enhance the quality of your relationship.

    The key to coping with conflict is thought. Before lashing out or seething in painful silence when negative emotions rear up between you, remember this.....although a couple, you are still two people, individuals with often differing ideas and ways of doing things.

    When you first got to know each other, you were delighted to discover all the many things you have in common and you found you were so amazingly compatible you could easily, you hoped, live together in harmony. You probably didn’t foresee much conflict, if any. But, after the honeymoon months or years, like most couples you will have lost that in-love habit of slotting easily into agreement. You remembered you both have strong wills of your own and wanted to have your will again, most or at least a good part of the time.

    So some conflict is natural. The Secret of its peaceful presence in a happy relationship. Your happy relationship is about dealing positively and constructively with the conflict between you when the natural wish of each of you for individual autonomy clashes.

    The first step is recognizing it and not feeling guilty about it or about the plethora of emotions that have suddenly engulfed you. They are natural, too, in your insistence on being your natural selves individuals.

    Once you register this – and doing so is a habit you can choose to adopt and it only takes a nanosecond. you are in the strong, centred position of knowing what’s going on. Now you will find you can shake off the negative feelings undermining your serenity and move forwards in clarity to use your common sense, love and all-round intelligence to find the best way to deal with the dispute.

    It could be a matter of finding a resolution that suits you both or deciding on the best decision to go with in the circumstances. Talking it through may well find one or both of you changing your opinion and seeing there is perhaps another better way. So willingness to listen to each other as you state your case calmly and without rancour is key. As is a willingness to let go of pre-held conceptions when they are not apt or beneficial to this particular situation.

    And always remember..... willingness to accept each other’s right to their views and to take turns at decision making is vital too.

     

     

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  • Look up at the stars and not down at your feet

    Do you want a rewarding life?  Then be curious.  The more curious you are, the more possibilities you will open throughout your lifetime.  Open your eyes and look around.  How many blind assumptions have you made?  What do you want to know more about?

    Here are 10 good reasons why you should unleash your curiosity:

    1. You Will Clarify Yourself – Curiosity allows you to shed light on your troubles, thoughts, and personal circumstances.  It motivates you to uncover the truth about the nuances of your life.  When curiosity is properly honed, it serves as a vehicle for establishing personal goals.
    2. You Will Uncover the Truth – All that seems obvious in life is not necessarily true.  A curious person doesn’t just take someone’s word for it; they discover the truth for themselves.  The curious dig deep into the details, and when they finish their detective work, they don’t only know “what” or “when”, they know “how” and “why”.
    3. You Will Release Your Inner Child – Children are curious.  They are like an empty canvas, waiting to be filled with knowledge and experiences.  They don’t have predetermined expectations fogging their judgment.  Children absorb the world around with an open mind driven by sheer curiosity.  Curiosity can help open your mind too.
    4. You Will Experience Something Fresh – New experiences are one of the most exciting acts of living.  They simulate your mind and free your creative emotion, thus liberating your thoughts from the tension of a daily routine.  Be curious, be daring, be alive!  Go discover something fresh.
    5. You Will Increase Your Productivity – A curious mind dives beneath the surface of common acceptance to unravel the details driving the process.  The more you comprehend the details, the better you will understand the process.  Thus, the more productive you will be.
    6. You Will Learn More Often – When your curiosity steers you into the unknown you will return with a greater wealth of knowledge.  You will stretch the boundaries of your mind.  The more you learn, the more you will want to know.  Every new awareness will lead you to another stimulating challenge.
    7. You Will Become More Efficient – Curious people look at a challenge from multiple angles.  They discover alternative ways of accomplishing the same task.  The greater the pool of possible solutions, the more likely it is that they will expose a better way to get things done.
    8. You Will Experience a Spice of Variety – Variety is the spice of life, at least that’s what the curious folks understand.  There is nothing more boring than repetition.  When you allow your curiosity to send you in new directions you add variety into your life.  This could be as simple as eating at a new restaurant or taking a new route to work.  Don’t confine yourself, go explore.
    9. You Will Be More Positive – It is much easier to be negative about something than it is to be positive.  If you don’t understand something, or it is unusual to your senses, it’s easy to write it off as being useless or dumb.  Only when you truly understand something will you be able to appreciate it.  Human beings tend to be more positive toward the things they understand.  Curiosity naturally broadens a person’s horizons, and thus their understanding of the things around them.
    10. You Will Establish New Relationships – Your curiosity will lead you down roads you would otherwise not have travelled.  On occasion you will almost certainly want to stop and look around.  You never know, you may bump into someone you have a lot in common with.
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  • 12 Hard things to do to help you find Happiness

     

    1.  Exercise your integrity.

    Living with integrity means:  Not settling for less than what you are capable of.  Communicating clearly and asking for what you want and need from people.  Speaking your truth, even when others judge you for it.  Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your morals and values.  Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.  And, of course, always doing the right thing, even when it’s hard, and even when nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.

     

    2.  Steer clear of drama and those who create it.

    There comes a time in life when you have to let go of all the needless drama and the people who create it.  Staying out of other people’s drama is an incredibly effective way to stress less and smile more.

    A good rule of thumb: If you can’t say it to their face, you shouldn’t say it behind their back.  As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.”  Life is much too short to waste time talking about people, gossiping, and stirring up drama that has no substance.  If you don’t know, ask.  If you don’t agree, say so.  If you don’t like it, speak up.  But never judge people behind their back.

     

    3.  Replace judgment with encouragement.

    No one truly knows what they will do in a certain situation until they are actually in it.  Yes, it’s very easy to judge someone else’s actions by what you assume your own actions would be if you were in their shoes.  But you only know what you THINK you would do, not what you WOULD do.

    The truth is, we tend to judge others by their actions and ourselves by our ideals.  So do your best to catch yourself when this happens.  Remember that when we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person, and everything about our own need to be critical.

    Bottom line:  We have enough critics in this world.  Be an encourager.  You’ll see why.

     

    4.  Be positive and spend time with positive people.

    Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them.  Raise your awareness to your own inner strength and positivity.  You are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life.  You can either give negativity power over your life, or you can choose to be positive instead by focusing on the great things that are truly important.  So talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems.  Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing.  Every great success requires some kind of worthy struggle to get there.

    In addition, do your best to spend more time with positive people and less time with negative ones.  People that deliberately doubt, judge and disrespect you are not worth your long-term time and attention.

    5.  Make new choices as needed, rather than letting old ones make you.

    You don’t get to decide if or when you might get hurt in this world, but you do have some control over who and what hurts you.  After all, who we ultimately become depends, in part, on who and what we let into our lives.  So don’t just settle for relationships and situations that have proven to be unworthy.  Exercise your right to choose differently.  

    Be the hero of your life, not the victim.  You may not control all the circumstances that happen to you, but you can decide not to be continuously reduced by the same ones.

     

    6.  Simplify whatever you can, whenever you can.

    As E.F. Schumacher once said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.  It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”

    Simplifying is not seeing how little you can get by with – that’s poverty – but how efficiently you can put first things first, and use your time accordingly to pursue the things that make a lasting difference in your life.  Less really is more.  Instead of adding, improve your life by subtracting.  Get rid of unnecessary clutter, negative influences and toxic relationships.  There is a big difference between what you want and what you need – between what’s excessive and what’s essential.

    7.  Uphold your truth.

    Too many of us prefer gentle lies to hard truths.  But make no mistake, in the end it’s better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie.  Especially if this lie is tied to your identity in any way.  Because you can pretend for a while, but you can’t get away from yourself.  You can’t decide not to see and feel yourself anymore.  You can’t decide to turn off the noise in your head and be someone else entirely.

    Don’t try to be what “they” like – be who you are.  The people worth spending time with are interested in others who are confident enough to be themselves.  And that works out well, because you won’t be happy being anyone else. 

     

    8.  Express your love without reservations.

    Love is a verb.  Act on it.  Today, be the reason someone feels incredibly loved and needed.  Give your love away like your life depends on it.

    Many moons from now, people won’t remember what clothes you wore, the car you drove, and maybe not even your name.  But they will remember how you made them feel and the positive memories you gave them.  The true impact you make on people will depend on the time and attention you give to teaching those who know less, caring for those who have less, supporting those who are striving, and tolerating those who are different than you.  All of which represent the full expression of your love.

     

    9.  Nurture your relationship with your significant other.

    Intimate love is not just about finding the right person, but working with them to create the right relationship.  It’s not about how much love you have in the beginning, but how much love you build and nurture until the end.  A relationship should be healthy, caring, loving, kind, upbeat and positive.  It should make your smile a little wider and your life a little brighter in the long run.

    A relationship like this sounds great, but it isn’t easy.  It takes time and attention, and two people who are willing to work together every day to build something special.

     

    10.  Loosen your grip on what’s not meant to fit in to your life.

    Things will happen that you will not always understand, but maybe you’re not supposed to understand everything.  Maybe you’re just supposed to have faith, accept it and let it happen.

    So never force anything.  Give it your best shot, and then let it be.

    Most negative circumstances are only a part of your life because you keep thinking about them.  Positive things happen in your life when you emotionally distance yourself from the negative things. So stop holding onto what hurts, and make room for what feels right.  Don’t let what is out of your control interfere with all the things you can control.

     

    11.  Embrace your humanness.

    “Human” is the only real label we are born with.  Yet we forget so easily.

    To become attached to an opinionated label of depressed, divorced, diseased, rejected, or poor, is to be like the rain, that doesn’t know it is also the clouds… or the ice, that forgets it is water.  For we are far more than the shape we’re currently in.  And we, like the wind, water, and sky, will change forms many times in our lives, while forever remaining beautifully human.

     

    12.  Ask yourself the right questions.

    What questions are you asking yourself on a regular basis?  Are they helping you better understand your purpose?  Or do they have your mind spinning in circles?

    Truth be told, the questions you’re regularly exposed to act as guideposts that have a powerful influence on the direction of your life.  And, not surprisingly, the questions you hear most often come directly from YOU.  So instead of looking outside yourself for answers, start asking yourself the right questions.  For instance…

    • “Who am I?”
    • “What do I need?”
    • “How do I function best?”
    • “What do I have to give?”
    • “What’s the next step I can take right now?”

    It’s all about self-inquiries that help you stay true to your principles, pursue your desires, grow through adversity, and add value to the world around you. 

     

     

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  • Painfully Truths We Forgets

    You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you?  The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.

    This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…

     

    1.  The average human life is relatively short.

    We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know.  It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step.  You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.

    LIVE your life TODAY!  Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either.  Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action.  Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive.  Be bold.  Be courageous.  Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

    2.  You will only ever live the life you create for yourself.

    Your life is yours alone.  Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you.  They can walk with you, but not in your shoes.  So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.

    Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t.  Be productive and patient.  And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in.  This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices.  May your actions speak louder than your words.  May your life preach louder than your lips.  May your success be your noise in the end.

    And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it.  Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart.  

    3.  Being busy does NOT mean being productive.

    Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect.  Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time.  We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.

    Being busy rarely equates to productivity these days.  Just take a quick look around.  Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin.  Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time.  They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc.  They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep.  Yet, emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations.  Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance.  But it’s all an illusion.  They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.

    Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term.  We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life.

    4.  Some kind of failure always occurs before success.

    Most mistakes are unavoidable.  Learn to forgive yourself.  It’s not a problem to make them.  It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.

    If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful.  The solution to this problem is making friends with failure.  You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner?  The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.  Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.

    Bottom line:  Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it never will.  Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.  

    5.  Thinking and doing are two very different things.

    Success never comes to look for you while you wait around thinking about it.

    You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.  Knowledge is basically useless without action.  Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals.  Ask yourself what’s really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.

    And remember, if you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.

    6.  You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive.

    Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got.  The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative.  It’s taking a step back and saying.” Thank you for the lesson”  It’s realizing that grudges from the past are a perfect waste of today’s happiness, and that holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.

    Forgiveness is a promise – one you want to keep.  When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self.  It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.

    7.  Some people are simply the wrong match for you.

    You will only ever be as great as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down.  You shouldn’t force connections with people who constantly make you feel less than amazing.

    If someone makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure every time you’re with them, for whatever reason, they’re probably not close friend material.  If they make you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if they make you “less than” in any way, don’t pursue a connection with them.  If you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them or get a small hit of anxiety when you are reminded of them, listen to your intuition.  There are so many “right people” for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best self.  It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.

    8.  It’s not other people’s job to love you; it’s yours.

    It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.  So make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you.  Know your worth, even if they don’t.

    Today, let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as incomplete as you think you are.  Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU.  

    9.  What you own is not who YOU are.

    Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no bearing on who you are as a person.  Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need.  That’s a valuable reminder, especially in a hugely consumer-driven culture that focuses more on material things than meaningful connections and experiences.

    You have to create your own culture.  Don’t watch TV, don’t read every fashion magazine, and don’t consume too much of the evening news.  Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences.  The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about Kim Kardashian or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered.  You’re giving your life away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way.  This is tragic, this kind of thinking.  It’s all just Hollywood brainwashing.  What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.

    Too often we’re told that we’re not important, we’re just peripheral to what is.  “Get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.”  And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked.  And all you’ll want then is to reclaim your mind by getting it out of the hands of the brainwashers who want to turn you into a drone that buys everything that isn’t needed to impress everyone that is not important.

    10.  Everything changes, every second.

    Embrace change and realize it happens for a reason.  It won’t always be obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.

    What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow.  You never know.  Things change, often spontaneously.  People and circumstances come and go.  Life doesn’t stop for anybody.  It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day.  It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.

    Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives.  A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth.  Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event.  And these events are always happening.

    However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So when life is good, enjoy it.  Don’t go looking for something better every second.  Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have while they have it.

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