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  • How To Change Your Self-Limiting Beliefs | By, Rebecca Roache

    Photo by S. Tsuchiya on Unsplash

    Source: Psyche.Co

    Author: Rebecca Roache


    Let Descartes, Kant and other philosophers help you view the world through a more positive filter and you’ll bloom

    Need to know

    Have you ever decided not to go for that job promotion because you believe you’re not qualified enough? Or avoided asking a neighbor for help because you feel you’d be a nuisance? Or taken your failure to get what you wanted as confirmation that, yes, your hunch that it was never going to work out was obviously correct? Yep, me too. Pessimistic beliefs like these are common, and they hold you back more than you realize. Perhaps it’s never occurred to you that it’s possible to change these attitudes, let alone how you might go about it. Perhaps you wouldn’t even want to change them even if you could – after all, who wants to be that person who is arrogant enough to think they’re definitely in with a shot for that promotion despite being under-qualified, or who doesn’t think twice about making demands on their neighbors, or who approaches their goals with an unwavering confidence in their likelihood of success?

    Philosophy and coaching are a perfect – and under-explored – partnership. Doing philosophy involves identifying and challenging hidden assumptions, using analogies to reveal double standards, and exposing dodgy reasoning: all things that are helpful to coaching clients who are burdened with beliefs that get in the way of their success, who are compassionate to everyone but themselves, and who overlook their own errors in reasoning because they are too busy criticizing themselves. Often, too, the thoughts of philosophers – including René Descartes and the other thinkers that I’m going to mention here – find fresh application in providing a helpful new perspective on the difficulties that many of us face every day.

    First, find your limiting beliefs

    In fact, you can and should change the beliefs that hold you back. Doing so will make your life go better. First, though, you’ve got to find these beliefs. That’s more difficult than it sounds. Often, the beliefs that hold us back are so much a part of who we are that we don’t realize we have them. We don’t realize how they’re shaping the way we perceive the world. We think we’re viewing things objectively when we’re not. What one person views as a job for which she’s under-qualified and therefore should not apply, another views as an opportunity that it would be daft not to go for – because, who knows, it might all work out.

    When it comes to finding and digging up problematic foundational beliefs, dusting them off, and holding them up to the light for a closer look, philosophers are old hands. It’s at the core of what we do. This process is vividly illustrated in the writing of Descartes, the 17th-century French philosopher. In his essay Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), it occurs to him that everything he knows might turn out to be false, since it’s based on information that initially came to him through his senses, and our senses can sometimes deceive us. He set about rejecting absolutely everything he thought he knew, with the aim of allowing back in only those beliefs that he could be absolutely certain are not mistaken. Eventually – and famously – he arrives at one undeniable truth: that he exists. ‘I think, therefore I am’ expresses Descartes’s observation that, as long as he has thoughts, he can be sure that he exists.

    You don’t need to throw away everything you believe, Descartes-style. But you could benefit greatly from taking an audit of your most deeply held beliefs. It’s only fairly recently that I’ve realized just how important and potentially life-changing this can be. I’ve been a philosopher for (almost) my entire career, and a couple of years ago I started using my philosophical skills and training to coach people to overcome their difficulties. What sort of difficulties? There are many, of course, but something I encounter again and again in my coaching clients, who are invariably smart and switched-on people, is a bewilderment about how to get to where they want to be. They just can’t see a path to that job, that career, that family life they’d like, given their current commitments and situation.

    Now, many of the obstacles in their paths are structural and result from factors beyond their control; factors like sexism, racism and other forms of inequality that make it harder for some people but not others to succeed. It’s harmful to overlook these external obstacles while offering advice for success, as Ephrat Livni argued in her Quartz article ‘All Career Advice for Women Is a Form of Gaslighting’ (2018). But some of the obstacles to our success are ones we’ve put there ourselves, often without even realizing. Digging into my coaching clients’ most deeply held tenets has often unearthed beliefs that the clients themselves recognize as ridiculous, even while continuing to be influenced by them. Common examples of such beliefs include I’m not entitled to rest unless I’ve been productive and If I can’t do something without asking for help, I’m incompetent – as well as the one I hinted at in the opening paragraph: Taking a more positive view of myself would make me unbearably arrogant.

    Perhaps, reading this, you’re reflecting on what your own limiting beliefs might be. How do you find out how to change them once you’ve found them, and what can you expect to happen if you do?


    Think it through

    Accept that you view the world through a filter

    None of us perceives the world as it ‘really is’. The 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant distinguished between noumena (things-in-themselves) and phenomena (things as they appear to observers). We can never know noumena, according to Kant; we can know only phenomena. And what we perceive when we perceive phenomena is as much about us, and the spin we put on reality and our interaction with it, as it is about the world itself. To put it somewhat clumsily: the idea is that, when you look at the screen on which you’re reading this essay, what you’re seeing is more about you and your relationship to what you’re looking at than it is about the world as it ‘really is’. This distinction between the world we perceive and the world in itself underpins the entire sub-field of philosophy known as phenomenology. Kant had his own thoughts about what it is about us that determines the particular spin we put on reality – but we needn’t get into that. Our lesson here can be: we view the world through a filter. That filter comprises our deeply held beliefs, among other things. And once we recognize this – even before we’ve reached the stage of identifying these reality-shaping beliefs, let alone trying to change them – we open up the possibility of using a different filter to view the world, and the question of how different the world might look if we did.

    Slow down and articulate it

    My graduate supervisor, the late professor of philosophy Hugh Mellor, used to say to me: ‘You don’t understand something until you’ve written it down.’ This is as true in coaching as it is in philosophy. Our ideas – including those we find most compelling – often come to us only semi-formed, and this can disguise their flaws. Simply articulating these beliefs enables us to understand them better, and sometimes reveals that they are just bonkers. (You might have had the experience of articulating an idea to someone and then saying: ‘Now that I’ve said it out loud, I realize how ridiculous it is!’) This is true in spades of our limiting beliefs. The problem is that we often shy away from articulating these beliefs, perhaps because they make us feel uncomfortable. Being brave and looking directly at them is worth it, though.

    One recent client of mine, who felt that it would be lazy and selfish of her to spend 20 minutes a day relaxing with a novel, found herself unable to come up with any satisfactory way of articulating this feeling when I pressed her. She tried out and rejected Resting for 20 minutes is selfish and I should be able to work all the time without a break, both of which statements – though clearly expressed – she found implausible. She realized that her discomfort with resting was ‘just a feeling’, unsupported by any convincing claim. Another client felt that she wasn’t getting enough done in the course of the day, but when asked to list all the things she thought she should be doing, she realized that there weren’t enough hours in the day for even half of them.

    So next time you find that you’re reluctant to do something that would make your life easier, ask yourself why. How do you complete the sentence that begins: ‘Because …’? Journal your reluctance. Explain it to a friend. Imagine you’re making a case for your opposition to the activity in question. Does your explanation make sense? If not, perhaps it’s time to throw out that belief, Descartes-style.

    Try a different filter

    If you’ve dug deep into your reluctance and uncovered some of your limiting, filtering beliefs, take a pause and congratulate yourself. This process can be really uncomfortable; after all, you’re pushing against some of the fundamental ways that you relate to the world and the people in it, and that can be really unsettling. So unsettling, in fact, that when we encounter evidence against these beliefs, we often prefer to dispute or dismiss that evidence than to give up our more fundamental beliefs. I’ve seen this in coaching sessions: one client insisted that he was much less smart than his peers, and when I asked him about the feedback he receives from his supervisor, he admitted that the feedback is positive but waved it aside with: ‘But she’s not saying that because it’s true, she’s saying it to try to motivate me.’

    This client, finding that his belief in his own shortcomings conflicted with his supervisor’s encouraging feedback, chose to believe his supervisor to be insincere in order to preserve his negative attitude towards himself. It’s surprisingly easy to do this. The 20th-century American philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine argued that our beliefs don’t stand or fall depending on some objective test of their veracity; they stand or fall depending on how well they cohere with our other beliefs – and, when our beliefs conflict, it’s not always clear which we should reject, and which (if any) we should keep. To express this in our ‘filtering reality’ terminology: let go of any expectation that there is a ‘correct’ way to filter reality. In Quinean terms, there is no one right way to do it. There are just more and less useful, internally coherent filters.

    Since it’s so uncomfortable to reject even our negative fundamental beliefs, I’m not going to ask you to do that yet. Instead, try something gentler. Just for fun, ask yourself how the choices you make might be different if your fundamental beliefs were different. In the case of my client, I asked him to imagine what it might be like if, instead of believing that he’s not very smart, he believed that he was just as smart as his peers. How might his attitude to his work be different? What new things might he be emboldened to try? He came up with plenty of ideas – apply for this job, ask to collaborate with that colleague – that were previously off-limits. In doing so, he gained insight into some of the ways that his beliefs about himself were affecting his choices, and how different beliefs might open up new opportunities.

    It’s easy to underestimate the significance of such a shift in perspective. Changing our fundamental beliefs can radically change the way in which we view the world – so radically, in fact, that the 20th-century American philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn used the word ‘revolution’ to describe the replacement of one set of fundamental beliefs with another when it occurs in science. Such revolutions – for example, the replacement of Newtonian mechanics with Albert Einstein’s relativistic view in physics – can be very unsettling, as Kuhn explained in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962):

    [D]uring revolutions, scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are seen in a different light and are joined by unfamiliar ones as well.

    Scientific revolutions, while unsettling, are important for scientific progress; similarly, overhauling your own fundamental beliefs, while unsettling, can be important for personal growth. Be brave and try it. I’m going to bet that, once you start, you’ll become aware of reasons to believe that there might be something to these alternative beliefs, after all. Don’t expect to change your long-established limiting beliefs in an instant, though. Merely recognizing that you’re viewing the world through one of many possible filters is important progress at this stage.

    Reject double standards

    Often, we believe things about ourselves and our choices and opportunities that we would never dream of believing about other people. That makes thinking about the advice we’d give to friends, relatives, people we’re mentoring (and so on) a useful way to assess whether we’re believing sensible things about ourselves. Let’s return to your reluctance to ask a neighbor for help. If a friend of yours was considering asking a neighbor for help, would you advise them against doing so? I’m guessing not – at least, not unless there’s a history of hostility between them and their neighbors, or some other good reason for caution. The sorts of beliefs you use to justify your own reluctance to ask your neighbors for help – Because people don’t like to help their neighbors, and so on – would likely strike you as absurd if you thought of applying them to a friend.

    Likewise, without good reason, you wouldn’t advise a friend not to go for that promotion; and you wouldn’t respond to their failure in some area by saying: ‘See? I told you it was never going to work out!’ If you were to treat your friends like that, you wouldn’t have friends for very much longer. These are unsupportive and even downright abusive things to say to people. But you’re a person too. If there’s something you wouldn’t say to a friend, then you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself either. Why not? Well, there are (ethical, social, etiquette and so on) norms that govern our behavior towards people. Examples include: Do not stealSay thank you when someone shows you considerationDon’t question new acquaintances about their sex lives. These norms are not exceptionless – it’s OK to steal medical supplies to save a life if there’s no other way to obtain them, for example – but, exceptional circumstances aside, we take them to apply to everyone equally. So, Do not steal means ‘Do not steal from anyone’; not merely ‘Do not steal from people you like’ or ‘Do not steal unless you’re in a bad mood.’

    Put this way, there is no justification for not applying the same norms to your interactions with yourself as you apply to your interactions with other people. If you think it’s important to avoid using hurtful language when speaking to other people, then avoid it when speaking to yourself; if you don’t think it’s appropriate to assume that people view your best friend as a nuisance, then don’t assume that people view you as a nuisance; and so on.

    Accept that you’re not a rational robot

    A word of caution, though. Don’t expect too much of yourself. In particular, recognize that none of us are powerhouses of rationality. It’s possible to recognize that we hold a belief that we know to be false, or even preposterous, yet still be influenced by it. In fact, this is extremely common. The 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume argued that we have no good reason to hold many of our most fundamental beliefs – including, notoriously, our belief in causation – and yet we continue to find them persuasive anyway. In A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), he wrote: ‘Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions.’

    Plenty of what we believe seems not to make sense. As you uncover your limiting beliefs, you might find yourself saying apparently nonsensical things like: My neighbor has offered to help me, but I still feel like I’d be a burden if I were to ask for help. This happens because the beliefs that we hold about ourselves are as much about feelings as they are about facts – and feelings don’t change overnight. The heart takes a while to catch up with the head, which can be frustrating, and can lead us to criticize ourselves even more harshly. Resist that temptation. To help you, I have a podcast episode that deals with this. In some cases, changing our fundamental beliefs requires us to change our character traits – for example, we might need to learn to be less self-reliant and more open to accepting help from others – and that takes time and practice. Aristotle wrote about the process of developing the right character traits, or virtues, and he recognized that this could take years of work, supported by immersing oneself in the right sort of community and following the right sort of role models. The key here is to be patient with yourself. Accept what you uncover about yourself. Feelings do change, with time.

    Key points – How to change your self-limiting beliefs

    1. First, find your limiting beliefs. You almost certainly hold beliefs that stand in the way of your happiness and success, but don’t expect it to be obvious what they are. They’re often so much a part of us that we don’t see them. Open your mind to discovering and challenging beliefs that you don’t yet realise you hold.
    2. Accept that you view the world through a filter. We don’t see things ‘as they really are’. Our reality is shaped by what we believe. Getting comfortable with this idea helps open up the possibility of changing the filter that we place on reality.
    3. Slow down and articulate it. The beliefs that hold us back often aren’t fully formed, and that prevents us from understanding and challenging them. Practise articulating your reluctance to make choices that would help you move forward. If you feel guilty about taking a break, or if you’re convinced that you’re lazy or not very smart – why, exactly? Write it down clearly. Explain it to a friend. Does it still make sense?
    4. Try a different filter. If you can’t bring yourself to reject your limiting beliefs outright, perhaps you can practise imagining what it would be like if you had different, more positive beliefs. How would you live differently if you believed that you were smart, after all? Thinking this through helps show how your beliefs are standing in your way, and how things would be different without them.
    5. Reject double standards. Those negative things that you say to yourself: would you say them to another person? If not, there is no justification for saying them to yourself.
    6. Accept that you’re not a rational robot. Our emotions change more slowly than our beliefs. Expect to feel the influence of your limiting beliefs even after, rationally, you’ve accepted that they’re false. That will change eventually.

    Why it matters

    What can you expect to happen if you follow the advice I’ve offered here, and set about identifying and rejecting the beliefs that are holding you back? Let’s answer this by way of a thought experiment. Imagine that someone you know is in a toxic relationship. They live with a person who constantly says to them the sorts of things you say to yourself: You’ll fail at this and You’re not good enough for that. Can you imagine that friend of yours reaching their full potential in those circumstances? I doubt it. Those sorts of remarks wear us down and undermine our confidence and motivation. Any success in those circumstances would be hard-won.

    But now imagine your friend cutting out that toxic person from their life and becoming involved with a more loving, respectful person who believes in them, encourages them, and reminds them constantly that things might just work out. What would you expect to happen to your friend as a result? I’m going to guess that you’d expect, over time, to see your friend regain their confidence and become bolder and more ambitious in making positive changes in their life. You’d expect to see your friend blossom. You can expect to see yourself blossom, too, if you work on replacing the beliefs that hold you back with ones that drive you forward. Beliefs that hold you back can be like people who hold you back. Once they’re gone from your life, new perspectives open up.

    Source: Psyche.Co

    Author: Rebecca Roache

  • How to Be the Chief Well-being Officer of Your Own Life | By, Jen Fisher

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Jen Fisher

    In these unprecedented times, well-being isn’t something we can outsource. We all have the power to prioritize our mental and physical health.

    It goes without saying that this has been a stressful year for everybody. We all have our unique challenges, and we all react to stress differently — but we can all benefit from strategies that make it easier to prioritize our well-being. My job title at Deloitte is Chief Well-being Officer, and I have to admit, it’s a pretty great role! But the role that’s even more important is being the Chief Well-being Officer of my own life! And I think everyone needs to take on this same leadership role when it comes to their own lives.

    So what is well-being? For me, it means taking a holistic approach, focusing on body, mind, purpose, and financial health. The truth is, although we generally know what we should be doing to take care of ourselves, we often don’t do it. And that’s because we’re not strategic; we’re not intentional about it. But the problem is that with the pace of our modern lives, day after day gets away from us and we fall to the bottom of our priority list. Our tendency as human beings is to take care of everything and everyone else before taking care of ourselves.

    And when we allow that to happen, we can pay a heavy price. Daily stress can become chronic stress, and before you know it, that can lead to burnout. But your path to realizing you need to nurture your own well-being doesn’t have to involve burning out first. The key is to create a mindful and intentional system for being in charge of your well-being. Here are six lessons I’ve learned that will help you be successful as the Chief Well-being Officer of your own life.

    Set priorities

    The first thing to realize is that your well-being has to start with you. You can’t wait for others to take care of it for you. As they say, secure your own oxygen mask first. And just like any executive has to set priorities for his or her department or organization, you have to set priorities for yourself. And you need to be on the top of your priority list. 

    Next, realize that well-being means something different for everybody. There are many definitions of well-being. So what’s important to you? What do you want to work on? What do you enjoy? What are your non-negotiables? Think about it. Write it down. Setting priorities for yourself helps you own your own self-care.

    Involve others

    As a Chief Well-being Officer, you need a team. Well-being can’t just be an individual effort; it needs to be embedded in your team and how you work together. I encourage my team to set and share goals with each other. Everybody’s goals are going to be different, and that’s OK. If one of my co-workers needs to leave at 2 p.m. to pick up her children, I can support her in that because I know that’s a priority for her, and she can support me because she knows I need to exercise at 10 a.m. By collectively stating our goals, even though they’re different, we can support and hold each other accountable.

    Schedule it

    The number one comment I get about well-being is, “I don’t have time to take care of myself.” Well, you have to make time. And the way to do that is the same way you make time for other things in your life: Schedule it. Use your calendar and your technology to schedule time for self-care like your most important meeting, and stick to it. And then guard that “me time” from other things and other people.

    Allow for failure

    Being the Chief Well-being Officer doesn’t mean you get everything perfect all the time (believe me, I know I don’t). It doesn’t mean you won’t feel fatigued, or that you won’t eat a less-than-nutritious meal, or stay up late one night bingeing your favorite show instead of prioritizing a good night’s sleep. Prioritizing your well-being sometimes looks like taking two steps forward and one step back, then another step forward — and that’s OK. Just think about how you can learn from each experience, and then move on. 

    Revisit your well-being goals regularly

    Businesses revisit their strategies on a regular basis as the market changes. And the same principle applies in our own lives. By regularly checking in and revisiting our well-being strategies, we can change course if we need to. So ask yourself, what’s working, what’s not working? Have your well-being goals changed? Are they still aligned with what you value in life? Then celebrate the successes and figure out what needs to be adapted moving forward.

    Find joy and give thanks

    One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my job and in my own life is the value of finding joy every day. We don’t want to become so scheduled that we don’t have time and space for things that give us joy. Also, bring the power of gratitude into your life. Expressing gratitude for those who support you, or even just giving thanks for the small blessings in your life will lower your stress, improve your well-being, and make you more joyful.

    Your duties as the Chief Well-being Officer in your life will be unique to you. But it’s important to take charge of it. And once you make your own well-being a priority, you’ll be able to inspire and encourage others to do the same.


    Originally Published October 21, 2020 on Thrive Global

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Jen Fisher

  • The Most Important Question We Don’t Ask

    Happy 2023 Y’all!!! :-)))

    New year, new insipiration, new insights, new empowerment, new lessons, new wisdom, and new growth!

    Woohoo! Let’s get to it!

    Let’s make 2023 our best year yet! We have that power – it’s baked into our agency and our sovereignty as humans.

    We forget that sometimes…we forget our own power. 

    We live in a world, a culture, and a society that is constantly habituating us to focus way too much on the power other things and other people have over us; rather than reminding us how much power we truly have – over ourselves and our own lives!

    We’re incessantly bombarded (without us even realizing it, and to a point of permeating normalization) with notions, definitions, and standards that put all of our attention on how our life looks on the outside, rather than how it feels on the inside – to us.

    We’re seduced by the accepted benchmarks and paradigms of what success looks like, what happiness looks like, and what a good life is supposed to look like.

    We’re beguiled and lured by those exemplary representations and depictions, but in a way that surreptitiously deludes, misgiudes, and convinces us into thinking and believing that if we model ourselves and our life to look like that, then it will surely also be what feels good. 

    And sometimes it is. But sometimes, it isn’t. 

    And eventually, at some point or another, in some way or another, we come to realize that the synchronicity between what looks good on the outside and what feels good on the inside is so often ephemeral, illusory, or only surface-deep.

    We come face to face with the truth of ourselves and understand that there’s often a difference that exists between how your life feels to you and how it may look on the outside, and to everyone else. 

    So remember to ask yourself – how does this feel to me? It’s a question between you and yourself alone, and only you can answer it. It’s a question that has the power to change everything!           

    Does it feel right, does it feel aligned, does it feel true? Does it fill you with pride, love, and gratitude? Do you feel at peace or at war? Do you feel fulfilled and full or do you feel lacking and empty? Do you feel strong and hopeful even through the tough times, or do you feel powerless and unworthy? Is something missing, is something off, or do you feel stuck (perhaps even trapped)?

    Be radically honest with how you answer yourself, completely and utterly regardless of how it may look on the outside.  

    Asking and answering the simple question: How does this feel to me? Asking and answering it honestly and without beating yourself up for whatever the answer may be, is one of the most powerful and life changing things you can do!       

    When we remember to ask ourselves that question, we realize that focusing on what feels good, right, and true to our own self is often not the same as what may look good, right, and true to everyone else.

    When that moment arrives, we all have a choice: to either start focusing on and working towards how we want our own life to feel to us – to feel proud of who we are, to feel valued, appreciated, and loved, to feel meaning and purpose and fulfillment, to feel joy, peace, passion, and strength, to truly love ourselves and our life – OR to continue pretending that how it looks on the outside and to everyone else is what matters. 

    To choose the former is one of the hardest and bravest choices we will ever make, and for a while it may also be one of the loneliest… But ultimately, there’s no other choice that’s more worthwhile.

    Choose you! It’s your life. No one owns it except for you.
    And above all else, stay true to you!

  • Go For It!

    kid-circus-7vSlK_9gHWA-unsplash
    Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash

    What does it take to realize your dreams and seize your passion? It takes courage. It takes conviction, commitment, perseverance, passion, grit, resilience, inspiration, motivation, action, and so many other big dream words. And those words don’t even cover it all.

    It takes a lot to realize your dreams. But, sometimes, we underestimate, disregard, or even just forget that simple, albeit scary, leap of faith we must take for any of it to even be possible. That willingness to take a chance, to take a risk, and just go for it – even when we’re not sure how it will turn out, even when we don’t know where we’ll land and nothing on the other side of it is guaranteed. Yes, it takes a lot to realize your dreams and to never ever give up on them, and sometimes taking that leap and just going for it is the only next best thing left to do.

    Whether going after your dreams, dealing with life’s never-ending changes, trying something new, or even just feeling stuck and in a rut and unable to move forward in any way – taking that leap feels uncertain, unfamiliar, or probably both – and that is scary! So, it takes courage and bravery. Courage and bravery to remember to stop being afraid of what could go wrong and instead start focusing on what could go right. Courage and bravery to remember that we don’t always have to have it all figured out (and we couldn’t even if we tried) before moving forward. Courage and bravery to take that leap of faith and just go for it! 

    There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they overthought it, or they were too cautious and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.”  -James Cameron

    Every great move forward in your life begins with a leap of faith, a step into the unknown.”  -Brian Tracy

    What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?  -Erin Hanson

    All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”  -Walt Disney

    Here is an article written for Seyopa by Zoe Brady illustrating some great examples of going-for-it success stories! May you be inspired to go for it!

    Enjoy!


    5 Stars Who Simply Went For Their Dreams | By, Zoe Brady

    Credit: jimcarrey__ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jimcarrey__/

    When it comes to following your passion, many of the best stories boil down to one of two things. The first is spinning difficulty into success –– something covered in this video: “10 People That Turned Hardships Into Blessings”. The second, however, is embracing a risk, or taking a leap –– going for it, so to speak.

    This second approach is one we tend to see a lot of, in particular, among famous figures who have risen to the tops of their fields. So, for those who have those little, deep-rooted desires to take a leap, we thought we’d look at a few celebrity success stories for a bit of inspiration…

    Credit: officialslystallone Instagram https://www.instagram.com/officialslystallone/

    1 – Sylvester Stallone

    Today, we think of Sylvester Stallone as an established movie star –– equal parts action and sports hero, and a man with about as solid a legacy as any in Hollywood. There was a time, however (the early ‘70s to be exact) when Stallone was just one of thousands of small-time actors attempting to make their way in a brutally competitive industry. So, what did he do? Many fans particularly in younger generations may not realize it, but he sat down and wrote the script for his own passion project: Rocky.

    In fact, according to a 
    CheatSheet.com write-up on Stallone, he did this in just three days’ time –– an astonishingly short timeline for a full script. Stallone acknowledges that the script later went through “about 25 rewrites,” but the point is that he sat down and took a chance on his idea. He also then refused to have the film made unless he could star in it. We’ll never know if Stallone would have become a bona fide movie star without Rocky, but this determined, inspired leap is just the sort of thing many of us imagine we have within ourselves. The fact that it worked out so well ought to be inspirational.

    Credit: iiswhoiis Instagram https://www.instagram.com/iiswhoiis/

    2 – Kesha

    Kesha Rose Sebert, sometimes known as “Ke$ha,” is a renowned pop star, and has been more or less since she burst onto the scene at the tail end of the 2000s. Before her single “Tik Tok” became one of the most popular songs in the United States, however, Kesha was an aspiring artist who had left conventional careers behind –– despite being a star pupil. Famously somewhat brilliant, Kesha nearly aced her SATs in high school and went on to Barnard College (a sort of sister school to Columbia). Feeling a call to music, however, Kesha dropped out of school and poured her intellect into music studies –– networking, practicing, recording, and ultimately breaking into the industry.

    This is not to say that the oft-mythologized concept of dropping out is necessarily a wise “leap” for everyone. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to admire Kesha’s dedication to her calling.

    Credit: dnegspoker Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dnegspoker/

    3 – Daniel Negreanu

    Daniel Negreanu is universally regarded as one of the top poker pros, not just currently but of all time. He’s won six of the World Series of Poker’s prestigious bracelets and has finished on top of the World Poker Tour on two separate occasions. And according to Negreanu’s bio page at Poker.org, it all started when he simply picked up and moved to Las Vegas in his early 20s.

    Negreanu had a “tumultuous childhood,” and didn’t take to traditional schooling. Aware that he had a talent for cards, however, he made the incredibly bold decision to move to the world’s poker Mecca and try his hand at a living playing cards. All these years later, Negreanu is a world-famous competitor with tens of millions to his name –– all earned at the poker tables. We can’t think of many clearer examples of how following a passion can work out for the best.

    Credit: jimcarrey__ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jimcarrey__/

    4 – Jim Carrey

    Now recognized as a beloved comic and dramatic actor, Jim Carrey famously comes from difficult beginnings. As a child in Canada, he watched his parents struggle to make ends meet, and even took on jobs to help. At different times he lived in a van (with his family) and in a tent –– eventually earning lodging by taking on shifts as a janitor at a factory his father worked at.

    Even with all these challenges to contend with though, Carrey decided at an early age to pursue comedy –– doing stand-up, impression, and contortion acts in and around Toronto. In the early ‘80s, he made an ambitious move to Hollywood, pouring himself into stand-up comedy and ultimately earning TV bookings that would launch his career. Carrey’s confidence in taking this road is to be commended; not many of us, when struggling to make ends meet, would still choose to pursue passion rather than the surest bet of work or a steady paycheck.

    Credit: giannis_an34 Instagram https://www.instagram.com/giannis_an34/

    5 – Giannis Antetokounmpo

    Finally, there’s Giannis Antetokounmpo –– affectionately nicknamed “The Greek Freak,” and perhaps the best basketball player on the planet today. Fans of basketball know Antetokounmpo today as a force of nature –– a 6-foot-11 superstar who has twice been the NBA’s MVP, and who in 2021 won the Milwaukee Bucks an NBA championship. The Greek Freak’s rise to this level, however, was about as improbable as any sports story –– flat-out “outlandish,” as an ESPN.com story on Antetokounmpo once put it. And it came about due to multiple leaps of faith.

    Antetokounmpo spent his childhood in Greece playing soccer like his father and brother, who had been good players in Nigeria (where the family was from). He didn’t begin playing basketball until age 12. Four years later, he made the jump to professional basketball, and at the age of 18 he moved on to the famously challenging Spanish league to improve his game. Barely a year later, he entered the NBA Draft as a little-known prospect with only a few years of play under his belt. The potential was there, to be certain. But Antetokounmpo leaped to the NBA with no guarantee of success… and wound up becoming one of the best players of a generation.

    Of course, there are many ways to pursue your dreams and seize your passion. It doesn’t always require a dramatic leap of faith. Success stories like these, however, are excellent reminders that when you do feel an urge to pursue a passion, following the urge can pay off.

    Source: Seyopa

    Author: Zoe Brady

  • Why Setting Boundaries Is Important (And Isn’t Mean) | By, Melissa Urban

    boxed-water-is-better-5Lw1U5BIumE-unsplash

    Boundaries are how we care, stay supportive, and give to those we love without sacrificing our own health and happiness in the process.

    Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Melissa Urban

    A woman named Nancy recently sent me a message on social media: “I take a walk by myself every morning, for my own mental health. Lately, my elderly neighbor has been inviting herself along, waiting for me to come outside, then joining me. She’s very nice, and it’s clear she likes the company, but this is the only alone time I get in my day. How can I say no to her without feeling mean?”

    I get where Nancy is coming from. We (especially women) are often told that it’s selfish to put our own feelings and needs first. This is a common objection to boundaries: that setting them feels cold or punitive, like you’re building a wall between people and creating division. But remember, boundaries aren’t walls, they’re fences. And good fences make for good neighbors.

    Boundaries allow those who care about us to support us in the way we want to be supported. They provide a clear line between what we find helpful and harmful, so people don’t have to try to read our minds. They let us engage in relationships fully and openly, knowing we’ve clearly expressed our limits and made it easier for others to respect our needs. In fact, the best way to preserve a relationship often includes setting boundaries within it.

    Nancy liked her neighbor and wanted to have a good relationship with her. If this neighbor kept crashing her morning walks, Nancy was going to become resentful, then angry, and perhaps even lash out one morning out of sheer frustration. Setting a boundary here would be an act of kindness, allowing Nancy to care for her neighbor without putting her own needs on hold to do so.

    I asked Nancy how many mornings she might be willing to spend in her neighbor’s company—from zero days to every morning of the week. She replied that she’d enjoy walking with her once a week on the weekend, so I sent Nancy a script for her to use the following day: “Good morning! Hey, I’m going to start walking by myself again during the week. This is the only alone time I get, and I really need it for my mental health. Would you like to join me on Saturday morning when things are more relaxed?” Nancy loved the suggestion. This allowed them both to get what they wanted—some quality time when they’re both feeling relaxed, and the alone time Nancy needed to recharge during the busy work week.

    You’re not being mean when you set boundaries, you’re being kind—to yourself and your relationships. But that doesn’t mean they’re not uncomfortable. Any conflict can be uncomfortable—if your burger comes out rare instead of medium-well, I’m betting at least some of you would just eat it rather than speak up. Setting boundaries can be uncomfortable because when we set a boundary, we’re expressing a limit that hasn’t yet been established (while perhaps pointing out someone else’s inconsiderate behavior), and asking if the other person is willing to make an adjustment for the good of the relationship.

    If that just made you throw up in your mouth a little bit, you’re not alone. My research shows that the main reason people don’t set boundaries where they need them is that it’s so damn uncomfortable. I won’t try to pretend otherwise—I feel it, too. It’s not always easy for me to say no to an esteemed work colleague, to ask my husband for alone time, or to tell my parents, “I won’t discuss this with you further.” Speaking up in the moment, advocating for yourself, and asking for what you need is uncomfortable. But what’s both uncomfortable and damaging is reaffirming the story that someone else’s feelings are more important or worthy than your own—which is what you do every time you swallow your healthy boundary in an effort to keep the peace.

    The truth is, when someone oversteps your limit, there is no comfortable solution. But one path is paved with short-term discomfort that leads to major long-term improvements in your health and happiness . . . and the other path is just an endless circle that leaves you feeling unworthy, anxious, angry, and resentful.

    One of those sucks way more. And for those of you stuck on the sucky path, I have to ask . . . how’s that been working out for you, really? How has it felt to honor everyone’s needs but your own? To sell yourself out to keep other people happy? To take on too much whenever people demand it? To spend all that energy on people, conversations, or behaviors that never give you anything back? Said with so much love: I bet the reason you’re reading this book is that it’s not going very well at all. What I’m giving you here is a better way—one that leads to more fulfilling relationships, improved self-confidence, better health, and more time and energy for the things that are important to you. It may be uncomfortable, but I guarantee it will be worth it. Boundaries are how we care, stay supportive, and give to those we love without sacrificing our own health and happiness in the process.

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Melissa Urban

  • Wisdom vs. Knowledge | By, Thomas Oppong

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    Source: Medium

    Author: Thomas Oppong

    Wisdom is knowing what works for you, not just what other people think is right for you

    Knowledge is power, except without application, it’s only information that changes no one.

    Knowledge is what you know (facts, figures, information, data etc.)

    Isaac Asimov once said, “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

    Wisdom is a state of mind in which a person understands, perceives, and wisely relates to the world. This can come from experience, knowledge, or an intuitive understanding of things.

    It’s the outcome of our experiences and the lessons we learn from them. It’s not something that can be taught or learned; it is a natural ability that everyone has to some degree.

    “To understand the actual world as it is, not as we should wish it to be, is the beginning of wisdom,” says Bertrand Russell.

    Wisdom is not just a set of facts but values and principles that guide your decisions.

    Wisdom is also what you know, but how you know it, why you know it and how you apply it. Although knowledge can help you succeed in life, it pales in comparison to the benefits of wisdom.

    Knowledge is empowering, but wisdom empowers you even further.

    You can only navigate life’s ups and downs if you are wise, not knowledgeable. But you need knowledge to become wise.

    Wisdom comes from experience or seeing things clearly, which usually comes from experience. Wisdom is a reverent understanding of life’s complexities.

    Wisdom is not just something that happens to you; it’s a choice you make daily from your experiences.

    Everyone has access to wisdom, but not everyone chooses to embrace it or see the world in such a way that leads to greater wisdom. That’s why so few people have wisdom as opposed to knowledge.

    Knowledge is checking the rearview mirror before you begin driving. Wisdom is knowing to look up from time to time, too.

    Knowledge is thinking about the future and making plans for it. Wisdom is understanding the future won’t wait for you; it will start without you, and catch up with you sooner than you think.

    Knowledge helps you succeed on exams and win arguments, but wisdom enables you to understand why those things are important in the first place.

    Knowledge helps you ace tests and impress your friends, but wisdom gives you the tools to cope with failure and rejection.

    Knowledge opens doors to many opportunities, but you need wisdom to survive and thrive. And although knowledge might feel like an unending well that never dries up, wisdom requires an endless thirst for more knowledge.

    Knowledge can only take you so far, and wisdom can take you the rest of the way. Knowledge is just information.

    Knowledge is no substitute for wisdom

    “If you desire to be wiser yet, think yourself not yet wise.” — Wellins Calcott

    Wisdom is the ability to apply that knowledge in a way that makes sense to you, in your own life, at your own pace.

    Wisdom is knowing what’s right for you, not just what other people think is right for you. Wisdom is knowing what’s true for you, not just what other people say is true for you.

    Wisdom is knowing what works for you, not just what other people think works for you. Wisdom is knowing how to do things right, not just what others think works.

    Wisdom is knowing when to change and when to stand still, not just when to change and when to stand still. Wisdom is knowing how to solve problems, not just what answers work best.

    Wisdom is knowing how to get unstuck, not just going with the flow. Wisdom is knowing yourself and your limits, not just doing whatever everyone else does.

    Wisdom is using knowledge in the right context and with the right attitude.

    Wisdom requires self-awareness and self-confidence. Wisdom is about knowing yourself and how you relate to other people.

    It’s about recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, knowing when to trust your instincts and when to listen to advice from others.

    Wisdom is about using knowledge in ways that make a difference in your life and the lives of others, too. It’s a rare quality among people. But you can develop it with time and effort.

    Wisdom is knowing when to trust your gut feeling and when to ignore it. It’s knowing when to act and when not to act; an important life skill that can be learned over time.

    A great deal of wisdom can be learned from experience — what worked in the past may not work in the future.

    The best way to learn wisdom is to experience life or take action consistently. This challenges your preconceptions increases your tolerance for uncertainty, and broadens your perspective.

    It also helps you build a storehouse of knowledge and experience, which can be drawn on when you need it most.

    “Wisdom comes only through suffering,” Aeschylus said.

    Wisdom takes time to develop and cannot be gained overnight. It requires self-reflection, determination and patience.

    If you want to succeed in life, build your wisdom muscle. You can start by reading books, applying what you read, learning from people smarter than you, and talking to other people with similar experiences.

    Source: Medium

    By: Thomas Oppong

  • The Power of Doing More of What You Love

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    The passions, hobbies, pastimes, and activities that we intrinsically love doing, not necessarily for any external or specific end goal or purpose, but simply because they bring us joy, clarity, and/or peace or because they make us feel good, help us re-connect with ourselves, enable us to feel present, and seem to transcend space and time, or maybe because they remind us of who we are and what matters most to us, these passions and activities have the power not only to inspire us but also to heal and transform us in profound and miraculous ways!

    Whether that power is serving as a “psychological lifeline” as quoted below in times of darkness and struggle, whether it sparks our creativity, whether it allows space for clarity and peace of mind when we need it most, whether it brings us confidence, or whether it just helps us feel more alive and vibrant, doing what we love not only feels good in our bodies and souls, it’s also a really smart strategy for our minds and for our overall health and wellness.

    This article from Thrive Global written by Marina Khidekel, directly here below, speaks to that power through the voices of various people and the benefits of their experiences with doing more of what they love. It’s a great reminder for us all to do more of what we love!

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Unexpected Hobbies and Passions That Help Us Tap Into Our Creativity

    There’s power in carving out time for the activities that spark creativity and joy.

    By Marina Khidekel, Chief Content Officer at Thrive Global

    Published on Thrive Global on March 24, 2022
    Guido Mieth/ Getty Images

    Psychiatrist Sue Stuart-Smith recently wrote a piece in the New York Times about how gardening has served as her “psychological lifeline” in times of crisis. “Gardening grounds us, and gives us something to look forward to,” Stuart-Smith writes. “Gardening is an accessible form of creativity, and allows us to bring something new into the world.” Whether it’s gardening or painting or cooking or something else, carving out time for the hobbies that make us feel like our unique selves  — a concept author Eve Rodsky calls “unicorn space” — is crucial for our well-being. Research confirms that engaging in the hobbies we love can rejuvenate us and help us tap into our creativity. 

    We asked our Thrive community to share with us the hobbies that help them tap into their creativity. Which of these will you try?

    Painting 

    “I had so many cathartic moments trying to make sense of my patterns and feelings having grown up in an emotionally toxic household. Many of my breakthroughs happened while painting. Through brushstrokes and blending colors, I found that my brain was processing my experiences. During the ten years between my marriages, I had to give myself permission to heal. All this healing came to me through painting. So, I continue to paint almost daily to bring me the quiet I need to listen to my own heart.”

    —Marci Brockmann, podcaster, author, artist, educator, NY

    Visiting the farmer’s market

    “I love visiting a local farmer’s market and learning from the artisans there. Their passion and dedication to the work is often contagious, and not to mention, the fruits of the labor are delicious! I try to visit one every Saturday, and then use the bounty to cultivate a feast for my family on Sunday. Then, I share photos of the experience, tagging the local businesses who made the burst of creativity possible.”

    —Stacy Cassio, CEO, Charlotte, NC

    Podcasting

    “I really enjoy creating my podcast, ‘Finally Free Podcast’ for my intuitive eating coaching business.I had my own experience suffering from an eating disorder, but it’s always so inspiring and eye-opening to hear other people’s struggles and triumphs with disordered eating and body image. I have so many strong women (and men!) as guests who are vulnerable and give my listeners useful tools to help themselves recover as well. The postcast has allowed me to flex my interview muscle and connect with people I would never normally have an opportunity to speak with on such a raw and human level.”

    —Alana Van Der Sluys, certified intuitive eating counselor, NJ

    Paddle boarding 

    “I feel so creative when I am paddle boarding and reflecting on the water. Being in the outdoors and focused on admiring nature will lead me to think about new ways of doing things. When I go out with friends, we have very productive ‘paddle meetings’ and come up with new ideas. Changing your frame is a great way to think differently. 

    —Isabelle Bart, impact entrepreneur, Orange County, CA

    Reading art books 

    “I love reading art books (not on a Kindle or device) because they often reference new ideas or artists I hadn’t heard about before. I explore these new perspectives and artists, and plan trips around seeing the art. For example, I read about Hilma af Klint and planned an entire trip around her exhibit ‘Paintings For The Future’ at the Guggenheim Museum.”

    —Kristin Meekhof, author and life coach, Royal Oak, MI

    Quality time with our kids

    “I love spending time with other people who spark my creativity — especially my children. Children and young people are naturally good at challenging my ways of thinking and sparking my creativity, and they tend to do it in a fun and engaging way. In some respects, they bring out the child in me, always curious and keen to experiment.”

    —Bianca Riemer, leadership coach, London, UK

    Singing

    “I sing when I need a boost of creativity. I even have a few karaoke CDs that I sing along with. Singing has been shown to release endorphins— feel-good hormones connected to pleasure. Singing has also been shown to release cortisol, another hormone that helps the body respond to stress. The bottom line is singing is a natural antidepressant. Try it, and don’t be shy! Let the neighbors hear you. Perhaps let them join you!”

    —Rudy Chavarria Jr, founder, college web mentor, Walnut, CA

    Morning walks

    “My morning walks often spark creative ideas.  I find being out in nature early in the morning, without distraction, brings a clarity of focus and some of my best ideas emerge then.  Motion creates emotion. If we are moving our bodies forward the mind starts thinking about future goals. It then focuses on strategies, actions and tactics to fulfill these goals and we get excited about the possibilities.”

    —Candice Tomlinson, coach and hypnotherapist, Sydney, Australia

    Kayaking

    “I am fortunate to live close to a river and discovered kayaking a few years ago. I love paddling on the river and watching a vast array of birdlife on the water or in the trees along the banks, including multiple nests with chicks. There is nothing like paddling for me to feel a sense of calmness. I often find solutions to problems I have, or my most creative ideas come to me instantaneously as I am churning through the water and appreciating the surrounding serenity.” 

    —Donna West, coastal facilities manager, Perth, Australia

    Teaching Sunday school

    “This year I took on a passion project of being a first grade Sunday school teacher! It all started because my son hated going to Sunday school. I wrote a lengthy email complaining about how boring the teachers are and made some suggestions to make it more fun for the kids. They replied with, ‘That sounds great, want a job?’ So naturally, I said yes! I make sure to incorporate each week’s lesson with a fun video, cool movements that I learned through my kids yoga certification, and cute arts and crafts projects. This has allowed me to get creative on so many levels.”

    —Jillian Potashnick, fitness instructor, Las Vegas, NV

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Marina Khidekel

  • Healing is Not Linear | @rainbowsalt

    It takes strength, resilience, and time to heal. Healing builds resilience, and resilience builds more healing. The following beautiful words from @rainbowsalt (Bianca Sparacino) are an exquisite testament to that, and to the power of self-love.

    “No one will ever fully be able to understand the internal battles you had to endure just to heal, just to grow, just to make it here today. Be proud of the way you fought to save yourself. Be proud of the way you survived.”

    “The truth is — healing is not linear. There are going to be days where you wake up and your bones are full of light. There are going to be days where it feels like your heart has finally settled into its new form, has finally mended the wounds. There are going to be days where you leap towards something you would have run from in the past. And those moments will be so gratifying, it will all feel beautiful and hopeful and bathed in growth.

    But there will also be days where you take ten steps backwards. Where the wound is scratched, where the hurt resurfaces. You will feel like you have moved on, and then you will hear a certain song, or you will realize that you have forgotten what your mothers voice sounded like, or you will see something that flashes nostalgia into your chest, and you will realize that the ache is still there. That it is still tender. And that is okay. It is okay.

    Healing happens in waves. It is a process. You peel back the layers. You move forward. You find new rooms within your healing, within your heart, that you are scared to go into, and you learn how to face those new obstacles, you learn how to open the door. Healing is a lifelong journey. We aren’t ever actually void of the experience, or the memory. But slowly, we learn how to control the way those memories affect us. Slowly we learn how to approach the hard days, we learn how to not let them convince us that this season of learning has been for nothing. We let those emotions pass through us like rain. We learn how to believe in the foundation we have built within our healing, how to remind ourselves just how far we have come, how to have compassion for ourselves, how to believe in our growth, even when we cannot feel it.

    At the end of the day, you should be proud of the way you have fought to be here. You should be proud of the way you have tucked hope into yourself for safekeeping, of the way you have believed that there is more to experience at the hands of life — that the beauty you have yet to feel exists in this world. At the end of the day, you should be proud of the way you survived. You should be proud of the person you are becoming. Keep going.

    Source: Instagram

    Author: @rainbowsalt (Bianca Sparacino)

  • A 75-year Harvard study: The most important factor in human happiness

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    By: Lachlan Brown / Ideapod

    Have you ever heard of the Harvard study that ran for 75 years to assess what makes us happy? It’s a revolutionary study in psychology.

    It followed the lives of two groups of men for over 75 years, and it now follows their Baby Boomer children to understand how childhood experience reaches across decades to affect health and wellbeing in middle age.

    So what keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life?

    If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken.

    As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction and he lays it all bare in the Ted talk below.

    So what is the number one factor in your happiness and wellbeing? According to Waldinger:

    “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”

    Yep, the biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.

    Specifically, the study showed that having someone you can rely upon helps your nervous systems relax, helps your brain stay healthy, and reduces emotional pain.

    The data also clearly found that those who feel lonely and have no close friends are more likely to see their physical health decline earlier and die younger.

    “It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”

    It doesn’t matter whether you have a huge group of friends, or if you’re in the perfect romantic relationship, it’s the quality of the relationships that counts – how much depth and honesty exists within them; the extent to which you can relax and be seen for who you truly are.

    This is a very good reminder to prioritize authentic connection with others. Because the data is clear that, in the end, you could all have the money you’ve ever wanted, but without loving relationships, you won’t be happy.

    For a deeper dive into the significance of this study and what it truly means, check out this video below.

    Source: Ideapod

    Author: Lachlan Brown

  • OWN YOUR ATTITUDE | Goalcast

    OWN YOUR ATTITUDE | Goalcast
    TRAVIS MILLS ” WHAT HAPPENED TO ME? “

    A MUST-WATCH! With humor, wit, and astoundingly relatable positivity, Travis Mills shares his remarkable and heart-wrenching story and the lessons he learned along the way. Travis, his story, and his perspective serve as resounding inspiration and a lesson for all of us in growing through tragedy, resilience, determination, love, and attitude!

  • The End Game

    Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

    There’s a concept that I love of having a North Star, or maybe a few North Stars, in your life. (I especially love the way Jordan Peterson, a brilliant mind, talks about it). 

    I see it as analogous to Simon Sinek’s Start With Why concept, Peter Diamnades’ Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP) concept, and more simply – just remembering to play the End Game in life.

    Having and defining a North Star, a big Why, an MTP, or an End Game for yourself is basically knowing, remembering, and aligning yourself with:

    1) What your foundational values and beliefs are that ultimately drive and guide you in everything you do; and

    2) What your ultimate ideal vision and dream is for what you want in the bigger context of life and in the smaller everyday contexts and goals that help you get there. 

    But, like so many simple yet profound concepts, remembering to play the end game in this way is often a lot harder than it sounds. 

    Because on the one hand, it’s vital we have that North Star – that ultimate vision, dream, purpose, and destination to strive for.  Otherwise, we’re just aimlessly and purposelessly floating about, wandering through this life with no real meaning and heading only towards an existential crisis – and who the F wants that?!     

    On the other hand, it’s also vital that we remember to make life about enjoying the journey itself while we strive to reach that destination; that we live in the moment, be present, grateful, and celebrate all that we have now and today. Because life is precious and short, and because otherwise, what’s the freakin’ point of it all if we’re not going to enjoy any of it?! And who the F wants that either?!  

    In essence, it’s both vital that we have that North Star and that once we do have it, that we forget about it, in the moment at least, whilst still remembering it somewhere deep down so that it can continue to ultimately guide us.  

    It’s a paradox. It’s both. 

    So how do we honor, balance, and reconcile both of these truths? It depends. 

    There will be times when we’ll need to remind ourselves not to lose sight of our North Star, of our end game, and to think in long-term results rather than short-term ones. And sometimes, we may even need to re-evaluate our North Star and possibly shift or change it. 

    But there will also be times when we’ll need to remind ourselves not to get blinded, overwhelmed, overly focused on, or stuck in playing that end game. Because we need to also remember to focus on the next best step right now, to take action today, to be present and enjoy today, and do whatever we can as best we can, today! However big or small that step may be. Because otherwise, we’ll never get anywhere.  

    It’s hard because it’s really about, like so much in life is, learning to balance and reconcile two competing and paradoxical truths and pieces of wisdom to help get us what we want, where we want to go, achieve all that we want to achieve, live our best life, realize our dreams, and fulfill our greatest potential.

    It’s both. It depends. And it’s constantly evolving, changing, and growing just as we are. And that’s ok. It’s more than ok, it’s good. It’s all good. 🙂             

    As always, I hope this brought some insight, love, understanding, inspiration, positivity, or hope to your day. 🙂 Check out the tons of content available anytime on www.seyopa.com, here to inspire you to do more of what you LOVE and be more of who you LOVE! Seize Your Passion!

  • Share Your Love

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    Photo by Katherine Barcsay from Burst

    To share or not to share…? That is the question, isn’t it?

    The truth is we go through our days asking ourselves this question, over and over again…whether we realize it or not.  

    Should I share my dreams, my hopes, and my desires? Or should I share my fears and my doubts? Should I share my anger, my hurt, and my pain? Or should I share my compassion, my forgiveness, and my greatest strengths?

    Should I be vulnerable or should I be strong? Or are they really just one and the same?

    Should I care what they think, should I pretend not to care, but wait – do I even really care? Should I share my goodness, my values, and my beliefs? Should I share my light or my darkness, or is it all just too much shame?

    Should I share what matters to me? Should I share what matters to you? Should I share the stuff that doesn’t matter too?

    Share it all! It won’t be easy, but that’s part of the game. That’s why we’re here, that’s why we’re human, and that’s why we’re meant to share it all…with love, for love, because of love, and by love. 

    Share your love.
    Share your fears.
    Share your passion.
    Share your tears. 

    Share your hope,
    Share your dreams.
    Share your despair,
    And, share your repair.

    Share your wisdom.
    Share your truth.
    Share your mistakes,
    And share your outtakes.

    Share your awe,
    Share your bliss,
    Share your foolishness;
    Oh just share a kiss!

    Share your pain,
    Share your sorrow,
    Share your healing,
    Share what you’re feeling.

    Share your darkness,
    Share your light,
    Share your goodness,
    And share your fright.  

    Share your experiences,
    Share your traumas.
    Share all that is true,
    And share all that is YOU!

    It’s all good :-).            

    As always. I hope this brought some insight, love, understanding, inspiration, positivity, hope, or just plain entertainment to your day. Thanks for reading this and being part of Seyopa 🙂

    Now, more than ever: 
    Do more of what you LOVE!
    Be more of who you LOVE!
    Seize Your Passion!

  • Your Passion is Only Potential | By, Tom Taylor

    You have to give your passion power – the wings it needs to take flight. Otherwise, your passion is only potential.

    But how do you do that?

    Well, much of it is through what you uncover with the help of resources like Seyopa.com – the inspiration, insights, and mindsets needed to propel you into action, the expert tips and techniques for moving your passion forward, and the like-minded communities to support you on your journey.

    The underpinning to all of that goodness, though – the common denominator – is…YOU! Only YOU can give the wings your passion needs to take flight. Only YOU can turn your passion into power. That’s why it’s not only about doing more of what you love, but also about being more of who you love. That’s why it’s not only about realizing your dreams, but also about becoming your best self.  

    But what if you aren’t functioning as your best self? What if you’re being held back because of physical pain, a lack of confidence, fatigue, stress, or all of the above?

    Perhaps you’re not quite suffering, but perhaps you’re not THRIVING either. As a Functional Medicine Health Coach, I know that being your best self also means being your healthiest self.

    Because passion without health is like trying to stoke a fire built on soggy wood. Why? Why can’t your passion and your skills alone carry you all the way? To answer this deeply, let’s look at what health really IS.

    The World Health Organization has two definitions of health. The first is what we naturally think of: a state of being free from disease or injury. But it’s the second definition that we’re going to focus on here, one that almost no one has heard, yet once you are able to internalize this definition as more important than the first, your life can radically change for the better.

    What exactly IS health?

    Health is our ultimate resource for living life – for the achievement of goals and attainment of aspirations.

    Achievement of goals…attainment of aspirations…sounds just like seizing your passion, doesn’t it? Can you seize your passion from a place of sickness or weakness? The word ‘seize’ itself implies vitality and strength!

    Back to the fire analogy – let’s envision trying to build one. We’d start by picking a place that’s dry, contained, and protected from wind…the right context or environment for the content of a comforting fire.

    Content and Context are Linked

    The content has to match the context – for example, we’d expect a cactus to thrive in the desert, but not the rainforest. Likewise, would you fault your fire building skills if you couldn’t get one going in a hurricane?

    Of course not!

    To imagine this another way: if you had a flower that was wilting, rather than viewing the flower itself as the problem, you would check the soil, the sun exposure, the watering frequency, and for pests.

    Similarly, if you don’t have the health you dream of, viewing your body as the problem – viewing the content itself as flawed rather than understanding the role of the context it’s in – is not only objectively misguided, but also practically counterproductive – guilt and shame will create a chemical cocktail in your body that will move you even further away from your goals.

    Just as we wouldn’t assume the flower had bad seeds, your body is NOT inherently broken. On the flip side, just as the seed is designed to thrive under the right conditions, our body is built to heal and grow, and in fact…to provide a quality of energy and life that most of us have never experienced.

    The ‘right’ conditions are 1) what we FUEL our body and mind with, 2) the way we CHALLENGE ourselves for growth, and 3) how we RECOVER to integrate the right context with the full potential of our content.

    Fuel -> Challenge -> Recover

    As you probably already understand, there’s a very wide spectrum of choices that lead to optimal health – ranging from nutrition that provides the chemistry of life, to relationships that can boost you or burn you, and all the way to mastery-level management of your mind. Each of these buckets is full of the potential to have you either bristling with energy or be chronically fatigued, to give you crisp focus and mental clarity or be weighed down by brain fog, to feel physically light and free or be in a spiral of chronic joint pain. 

    And let’s not go any further without addressing the obvious, which has become abundantly clear in recent times – we can’t control everything. There will always be factors we face that are outside of our scope of influence.

    But here’s what I can promise you as a coach who has helped people dial in the conditions I mentioned above – what we CAN control is far more powerful than what we can’t.

    So while we can’t create more hours in the day, or choose certain predispositions we may be born with, or like in our flower example – prevent the world from handing us heat waves and hailstorms- we CAN expand our capacity to handle it all in a way that not only allows us to survive those outside-our-control conditions but even to ultimately thrive through them.

    We can become stronger, more resilient, and literally GENERATE more energy to tackle what lies ahead.

    So, when you’re conscious of this, and have the tools and resources needed, and therefore are able to powerfully and consistently act on it – what’s possible?

    What’s possible is a life not just free from disease or injury, but a life ON FIRE with passion, purpose, and contribution. A life in which you can BE more, so you can DO more.  More of what you love, more of what serves those who matter to you most, and more of what our world so desperately needs.

    Check this idea out as a visual below – representing each of us in the balancing act of all the things that matter to us and affect our everyday life.

    Health & Your Capacity

    I’m sure you can relate to this juggling act– but notice what happens when we develop deep health. We expand our capacity. Quite literally, it’s as if there’s miraculously more of you to go around. Not only do we drop some of the baggage weighing us down and slowing us down, but we gain freedom and capacity to take on more of what gives us the sense of a life worth living!

    As your health increases, your capacity for living, for achieving your goals, and attaining your aspirations increases. ACROSS ALL DOMAINS of your life! You will be increasingly able to have the clarity of mind to know what you want, the ability to forge towards what you want, the foresight to step over the hurdles you know are coming, and the resilience to pick yourself up when you trip over the hurdles you didn’t see – to stay positive and get back on your path.

    Sounds awesome, but how?

    Back to building that fire. Let’s start with gathering some kindling. Little bits that, under the right conditions, will give you the starter fire that you’ll build over time – adding healthy log after healthy log of personal development, all the while fanning the flame with your passion.

    I’ve created a cheat sheet for that kindling – a collection of actions you can take right away that will begin building what can one day be a raging fire that gives energy and light to your life and passions.

    Sign up here to receive that PDF, and to stay in the conversation about cultivating deep health.

    Pursue the deepest of health, my friends. The world needs you!

    Tom Taylor,
    Functional Medicine Health Coach

    I’m Tom Taylor, a Functional Medicine Health Coach, and I’m absolutely fired up about fighting the normalization of disease in our lives. Not only because there’s an unnecessary amount of suffering, but because I know what it means for the future world I’m raising my kids to be a part of – a world that needs people operating at their best to solve increasingly complex issues. I have a degree in Exercise Science and certifications such as Health Coach, Behavior Change Specialist, Nutrition Coach, and Personal Trainer. MORE importantly, though, I’ve woven that background and 20,000+ hours of experience into a new understanding of health that draws from different fields. I’m on a mission to use that understanding and play my part in reverse engineering chronic disease and pain.

  • It’s hard not getting what you want

    What do you want? And, what do you need? 

    Those are two very important questions. They’re also two very distinct questions. Understanding that distinction can be key to realizing your dreams and becoming your best self.

    It’s hard not getting what we want. Especially when we believe (or want to believe) that we’re deserving of it. It’s hard not getting what we feel we’ve earned, worked hard for, and have even been patient for… 

    What we want in life can be an extremely powerful driver. It can also consume us – for better or for worse. Be careful of what you wish for turns out to sometimes be true, when we’re not careful. Like so many other things in life, what we want and going after it come hell or high water can sometimes be a double-edged sword. Especially when we don’t get what we want. It can build us up or tear us down.

    The thing is, sometimes it’s not about what we want…Sometimes it’s about something else, something bigger than we can see, and something bigger than us. It’s definitely not about entitlement, it’s not always about what you deserve, and sometimes it’s not even about fairness or truth. 

    But, I do believe that in the end, we either get what we want – again, for better or for worse – OR we get what we need. Even when we don’t understand it, realize it, or recognize it. And sometimes, it turns out that what we want is also what we need; and other times, what we need is not at all what we want.

    The key is to understand the difference and use that awareness to help us get through all the times we don’t get what we want in an empowered and more enlightened way. So that ultimately it does build us up, and not tear us down.

    Because sometimes you have to have your heart broken, or even worse, your soul broken, by not getting what you want (or wanted, or thought you wanted), in order to open up your eyes, to awaken you so you can come back home to yourself, start living your truth again (or maybe for the first time), and continue becoming your best self. 

    Sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to truly start realizing YOUR dreams – to getting what YOU want, and to getting what YOU need. 

    So, what do YOU want? And, what do YOU need? Knowing those two things, understanding the difference, and being radically honest with yourself about it is so important! 

    And, reminding yourself that no matter what happens, in the end, you always get either what you want or what you need – that’s so helpful!     

    It’s not about getting what you want. It’s about experiencing what you really need by becoming more   – Tony Robbins 

    Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”     – Dalai Lama

    You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.”     – Mick Jagger

    As always. I hope this brought a little insight, love, understanding, inspiration, or hope to your day. Thanks for reading this and being part of Seyopa 🙂

    Now, more than ever: 
    Do more of what you LOVE!
    Be more of who you LOVE!
    Seize Your Passion!

    Stay safe, healthy, strong, and positive!  

  • My Conversation with Rising Tide Startups Podcast

    I had a blast talking about my journey and Seyopa’s journey with Kevin Prewett from Rising Tide; thanks Kevin! At the end of the day, and of this episode, the bottom line for me is always – Live Your Truth, Do More of What You Love, Be More of Who You Love, Realize Your Dreams, and Seize Your Passion!

    Take a listen / watch :-).

    Source: Rising Tide Startups Podcast

  • Hope and Curiosity

    snow-tips-in-clouds

    Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”   – James Stephens   

    Hope is passion for what is possible.” – Soren Kierkegaard

    When you’re in the thick of it – when you’re feeling uncertain, anxious, stressed, or depressed; when you’re feeling defeated, tired, and want to give up; when everything and everyone seems to be working against you, hold on, with everything you’ve got, to these two things, no matter what, and they will pull you through – Hope and Curiosity.

    They’re the two most important things, which you must never let go of, to bring you back home to yourself, to lift you up when you’ve fallen, and to remind you of all that matters and all that’s good and true! 


    Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope that things will get better (and they will). Hope for your vision and dreams. Hope for the love, light, and all the best things life has to offer, that are yet to come! Hold onto that hope and never let it go!  

    Curiosity about everything you’re going through right now. As in, what is this here to teach me? How can I learn and grow from this? How can I overcome this and become better and stronger and wiser for it? So that I can go make all that hope, and all those dreams, into my reality.

    Hope and Curiosity. They’re your power, your agency, and your choice!

    So when you feel like giving up, say – “Not today!” Because today you’re choosing hope and curiosity instead.

    Choose hope over doubt, and hope over fear. Choose curiosity over defeat, and curiosity over disempowerment. Choose hope and curiosity, every single time! Because your choice matters; and it makes a difference!

    If you enjoyed this, please share it :-). And, if you’re not already subscribed to Seyopa.com and want to get weekly emails from me where I share stuff just like this, please subscribe and join our beautiful and passionate community!

    As always. I hope this brought a little insight, love, understanding, inspiration, hope, or curiosity to your day :-). Thanks for reading this and being part of Seyopa in that way! 

    Now, more than ever: 
    Do more of what you LOVE!
    Be more of who you LOVE!
    Seize Your Passion!

    Stay safe, healthy, strong, and positive!

  • Why You Should Follow Your Curiosity | By, Lewis Howes

    When considering a career and a lifestyle, people often offer the advice to follow your passion. It seems like solid advice, but what happens if you don’t know what your passion is? People ask me all the time how to find their passion, which is always a hard question for me to answer.

    Until my conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert.

    You might know her as the author of the New York Times best-selling book turned movie, Eat, Pray, Love. What you might not know is that her perspective on following your passion is much different than you may have ever heard.

    Since she was 6 years old, Liz knew that she wanted to be a writer. She focused on who she wanted to be and never expected her book to take off the way it did. Her focus was never on how the audience would respond, but always on being the best version of herself as a writer. With her success with Eat, Pray, Love, so many doors opened up for her and eventually led to her being invited by Oprah to be a speaker on her SuperSoul Sessions tour. It was during one of her talks that an audience member changed her perspective on passion.

    As many creative individuals do, Liz also offered the advice of following your passion. She always said that you know what you’re passionate about when you would do anything to do that one thing. However, this audience member asked whether not knowing what one’s passion was made that person a failure.

    It dawned on Liz at that moment that not everyone could say that they have always known what they wanted to do. So how do they find what their passion is? They follow their curiosity.

    To Liz, there are two categories of people when it comes to this subject: jackhammers and hummingbirds. The jackhammers, which she identifies herself as, are the ones that have always known what they wanted to do; they’re loud and impulsive and determined. Then there are the hummingbirds. The hummingbirds exist to cross-pollinate, taking ideas from multiple places, and are responsible for keeping the culture open to new ideas.

    A lot of times, society doesn’t give enough credit to the hummingbirds. These individuals often explore many different areas, whether it’s through careers or hobbies, in order to find what their passion is. Finding your passion isn’t about looking for a big sign to point you to it but being open to the invitation of creativity. As Liz points out, if you are truly following your curiosity, your eyes have to be on the ground looking for the next clue on your scavenger hunt.

    I consider myself a humming-hammer. In my business, I am constantly testing new things, but when I do, I go all in. It aligns with how I always describe living my life like a sports season.

    There are many things that I have been able to bring to my business as an athlete, and the mentality of living in seasons is a powerful one. There is the pre-season, the regular season, playoff season and post-season. The pre-season is when I research new ideas and see what is working in other businesses, which then of course flows into the regular season, when I am testing to see how everything is working. If everything is working according to plan, we make it to the playoffs, where the focus is on the championship (or in this case, creating the best product possible). During my post-season, I evaluate the season and from there determine whether I want to continue on the path I’m on or change the path.

    It’s not always easy to cross into the unknown and try something new, but that’s what I love about Liz describing this as curiosity. Often times, whether in business or in life, fear holds us back from discovering what our purpose is. It can be disguised in anxiety, apathy, or acidity, but if we give ourselves permission to explore our curiosity, it can lead us to finding our passions.

    Source: Success

    Author: Lewis Howes

    Listen to the full episode of Lewis Howes’ podcast with Liz Gilbert

  • What, Where, and Who Are Your Safe Havens?

    woman-watching-beach-sunrise
    Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

    The key to resilience and how to make life fun again!

    What, where, and who, are your safe havens

    Such a good question, right?!

    Because it’s such an important piece of how to get through the darkest, toughest, and most challenging times in your life! And not just get through them, but actually grow through them. 

    Grow through them in a way that you emerge on the other side stronger, better, wiser, more alive, more on fire, and with even more hope and belief than ever before!

    In a way that you understand and experience the beauty of going through hell, which is coming out of it with the inner strength (resilience), conviction, and absolute certainty that you can go through absolutely anything and still be ok. More than ok. Better than before. You can go through hell and grow through it!

    Because as Arianna Huffinton says,

    Resilience is not a fixed trait we’re born with – it’s a skill we can practice and master.”

    And you start practicing and mastering that skill with your safe havens when you need them!

    So – what, where, and who, are your safe havens? With certain people, and in certain relationships. In certain environments and situations. In certain activities, practices, habits. actions, and routines.

    Where can you go, with whom can you be, and what can you do that makes you feel calm, safe, supported, understood, and LOVED! Always and no matter what! Find them. Create those safe havens for yourself. Make sure you have them! Know who, where, and what they are. Figure that out, and then go get them, do them, and be with them when you need them!!! 

    That is courage, not weakness. That is honesty, not shame. That is empowering, not diminishing. Take what you need when you need it from those safe havens – whether it be hope, faith, courage, passion, understanding, guidance, love, support, rest, recovery, or peace.  

    Who, what, and where are your safe havens? Whether it’s a person or two, a specific place, activity, or space. Or even, when all else fails, maybe it’s a time in your head – a memory that fills you up and reminds you of all the goodness there is, in you and in the world.

    For me, I’ve learned that it’s those certain people in my life that remind me when I need it most of all my goodness and light and love and gifts. I once heard someone say, “we can’t become our best self by ourselves.” And wow did that hit me! It’s so true; and we’re not meant to. We’re social beings who need positive connection and love and understanding and intimacy from each other.

    And that doesn’t negate becoming that safe haven for yourself – which will inevitably happen! That’s when and how you’ll know that you’ve cultivated and mastered that emotional resilience; you’ve become that warrior who can overcome anything, no matter what. It’s YOU. But we need that help and support and connection and love from others along the way to get there. 

    For me, I’ve learned that it’s my consistent physical routine and practice. It was, and still is, one of my safe havens. Even in my darkest of dark days, when I had no energy or any inkling of a desire to, I maintained that routine. I always did it, no matter what. And I always felt better afterward, even if some days it was just a tiny bit better. 

    I’ve learned that yoga heals me- body, mind, and soul. I do it religiously once a week, no matter what! It’s one of my most sacred safe havens. I’ve breathed and cried through many a down dog. It’s my release, it’s my meditation, and it’s my zen.

    I’ve learned that allowing myself to slow down, and take a step back from the productivity and achievement rat race can sometimes be the best safe haven for me when I need it most. Allowing myself to just be, to listen to me, reflect, and figure things out when I need to. Giving myself that safe haven of time and space when I need it taught me how to be more patient, forgiving, gracious, and loving to, of, and for myself.       

    It was getting back into playing the piano, just for fun. It was painting with my girls, just for fun. It was watching my favorite romantic movies over again, just for fun. It was interacting and socializing with other people when and how I could (covid limitations and all), just for fun.

    Cultivating our safe havens is a key piece to attaining and continuing to reach for everything that we want for ourselves and for our life! It’s such a fundamental and key piece of the bigger puzzle of how to realize your dreams and become your best self. Because it’s a deeper piece of yet another foundational piece of that overall puzzle – how to overcome.

    We all go through hardships, challenges, hard times, pain, loss, suffering, trauma, breakdowns, and crises at some points in our life, to some degree or another. That’s simply a basic hard truth of reality, of being human, and of life.

    The real and only difference maker is how, and if, we overcome those times. How do we grow through the hell, not just go through it? How do we understand, learn, heal, recover, and rebuild? How do we reclaim our sense of self, our power, and our freedom? How do we breakthrough through the breakdown? How do we emerge on the other side stronger, better, wiser, more alive, more on fire, and with even more hope and belief than ever before?! 

    Because that’s when life becomes fun again! That’s what it means to build and cultivate emotional resilience. That’s how we become our best selves, no matter what! That’s how we maintain equanimity, no matter what! That’s how we stay filled with peace, love, gratitude, and joy in our hearts no matter what storm, war, or sh*t show is brewing outside! That’s how we realize our dreams, no matter what obstacles we face along the way.  

    It’s like meeting yourself as your new best friend for the first time- that friend that will always be there for you, no matter what. The one that will never abandon you, betray you, and will always, always have your back!!!

    That’s when you meet yourself as your own safe haven! And there’s nothing more glorious! 

    If you enjoyed this, please share it :-). And, if you’re not already subscribed to Seyopa.com and want to get weekly emails from me where I share stuff just like this, please subscribe and join our beautiful and passionate community!

    As always. I hope this brought a little insight, love, understanding, inspiration, or hope to your day. Thanks for reading this and being part of Seyopa 🙂

    Now, more than ever: 
    Do more of what you LOVE!
    Be more of who you LOVE!
    Seize Your Passion!

    Stay safe, healthy, strong, and positive!  

  • The Truth About Purpose | By Michelle Maros

    In regular times, the concept of purpose is something we think about and wonder how we can fulfill it. This year, it’s even more charged, and more complex. We all want to live a meaningful, purposeful life. We all want to feel like we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, that our skills are being utilized, and that we are being seen, honored, and heard.

    For a long, long time, I thought purpose was a tangible, set in stone, secret to unearth in my life. I thought that if I kept chipping away, and asking myself the right questions, I ultimately would discover that one “purpose” that I was meant to be fulfilling.

    Now, I believe that purpose is an ever evolving, overarching intention from which we live our lives. It doesn’t have to fit into a box or meet anyone else’s standards, it simply has to align with who you are, and what you desire.

    Purpose isn’t solely what you do and how you spend your time. Purpose is the energy that you bring to your life and to the people you interact with every single day. Purpose is an honoring of who you are in each moment. It is knowing that you, your life circumstances, and desires will change over time. Purpose isn’t an external title, but rather it is an inner desire to show up every single day as the best version of yourself.

    It is in these definitions that my purpose becomes clear,  because I know without a shred of doubt, the kind of person I want to be. And that person can show up in any external title that presents itself in my life. It isn’t my talents, my skills, or even my influence that gives me purpose, but rather, it is the feeling I have inside when I know I’m doing things that are aligned with my soul.

    When we start to look at purpose from this place, it no longer feels scary when life changes around us because we are solid from the inside out. Purpose no longer becomes something of privilege because it lives in all of us, no matter our backgrounds. It is in this lens that purpose becomes inclusive and easily attainable, so long as we go within ourselves to find the answers that we seek.

    If any of you are feeling or have ever felt,  how I was feeling about navigating purpose, I hope this helps you and brings you a sense of peace and relief. It certainly has for me.

    Source: Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life

    Author: Michelle Maros

  • WATCH: Free Yourself from the Past | Oprah on Goalcast

    WATCH: Free Yourself from the Past | Oprah on Goalcast

    “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.”

    “It is accepting that it has happened to you; not accepting that it was ok for it to happen…When I got that, I think it took me to the next level of being a better person…It’s letting go so that the past does not hold you prisoner. Forgiveness is like medicine. Medicine that can heal your pain. It can bring you peace, and ultimately – to be FREE!”

    WOW!!! There are sooo many moments and sentences like those in this video that will open you up, inspire, and empower you! So many moving lessons and insights! It’s filled with all kinds of WOWness! Enjoy :-). 

    And, if you want to go a little deeper into why anger is easier, and how that relates to this video, read this :-).

  • Why Anger is Easier: A Message of Hope

    “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.”  – Oprah Winfrey 

    WOW! Did that sentence hit me!

    I’ve always believed that HOPE is the greatest thing ever and that it’s always good!

    In every and any context, I believed that holding onto hope, having hope, and remembering our hope is one of the most fundamental aspects of realizing our dreams, growing, and becoming the best versions of ourselves.

    (Even and especially when it’s really hard to do- when we’re in the thick of the pain of feeling hope-less).

    And I still believe that to be true.

    BUT – I never considered hope in the context of the past and the meaning of forgiveness like I did when I heard that sentence.

    And WOW, did that blow me away and open up a whole new level of understanding and growth, and yes, ironically – even more hope in my heart :-).   

    I realized that may be the one context (looking at the past through the eyes of what it really means to forgive) when giving up the hope to somehow change what happened or letting go of all our wishing and fantasizing that it didn’t happen, is a good thing! 

    Whether that past is one when we’ve been wronged by someone else, whether we ourselves messed up and made some poor choices and mistakes, or whether life itself simply threw us a punch in the face – it happened. Holding onto the kind of hope of somehow erasing that or changing it, is only destructive. And it’s torturous.    

    But we do it because it’s easier to be angry than it is to be sad. It’s easier to feel like we’re in control and can change things than it is to feel like we can’t. It’s empowering to feel like a victor rather than a victim. It makes us feel strong and tough instead of weak and vulnerable.        

    It’s like this bandaid that temporarily stops the bleeding and covers up the pain. And it’s easier because anger can sometimes be an amazing motivator and driver that fuels and energizes us to take a stand, take action, and do something to right the wrong.

    It’s easier because it allows us to falsely hold onto the hope that what happened could be changed; that the past could be any different. 

    That’s not sustainable though. Those bandaid benefits don’t last, and we only end up being held hostage by the pain of the past as we allow it to fester instead of healing that wound so that we can leverage it and learn from it to make a change today and in the future, where we actually do have control and agency.       

    We’ve been taught that getting angry makes us strong and tough and powerful. And sometimes, temporarily, it definitely does!

    BUT – when we understand forgiveness in the context of giving up the hope that the past could be any different; when we understand and accept that we don’t have control or agency over the past, but we do have it in the present and for the future; 

    AND when we ALSO understand that forgiveness under this meaning does NOT equal you saying that what happened was ok, it does NOT exonerate the perpetrator (whether that perpetrator was you, someone else, or life itself), but rather it’s simply you accepting and acknowledging that it did happen without holding onto the hope, the anger, or the fight to somehow change that. 

    When we get all that, that’s when and where the real healing, the real strength, and the real empowerment comes from! And that’s sustainable and long-term lasting.

    “It is accepting that it has happened to you; not accepting that it was ok for it to happen…When I go that, I think it took me to the next level of being a better person. It’s letting go so that the past does not hold you prisoner. Forgiveness is like medicine. Medicine that can heal your pain. It can bring you peace, and ultimately – to be FREE!”

    – Oprah Winfrey

    Trading your anger for that kind of forgiveness is totally up to YOU and you alone! No one else has that power over you. It’s hard, and forgiving yourself is by far the hardest thing you’ll ever do! I know that to be true. But it’s worth it. 

    Because when you do – WOW, the empowerment, the strength, the growth, and the freedom that you’ll feel is like no other! And no one can ever take that away from you!        

    “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.” There are so many moments and sentences like that one in this video that wowed me and opened me up. If you want more like that, you have to watch this video, it’s filled with all kinds of WOWness! Enjoy :-).  

    As always, I hope this brought a little insight, love, understanding, inspiration, passion, or hope to your day :-). Thanks for reading this and being part of Seyopa.

    Now, more than ever: 
    Do more of what you LOVE!
    Be more of who you LOVE!
    Seize Your Passion!

    Stay safe, healthy, strong, and positive!

  • To Succeed You Must Ignore The Voice That Tells You You Can’t Do it — and Do it Anyway

    Don’t doubt yourself, no matter what they say about you

    “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent Van Gogh

    We all have dreams, and we all have actions we know can lead us there. To paint may be one of them, or to start a business, or to reach out to someone we admire, or to walk up to someone and tell them how we feel.

    No matter what it is, we are faced with a fork in the road every time: between staying as we are, or doing something that will pull us higher, closer, and into a new level of our unique, irreversible lives.

    Each of us has that choice, and as Viktor Frankl described it, it is the choice at each and every moment of what the monument of our existence will be.

    Do we go for those things? Do we try them? Do we strive to become? Or do we let them tell us we can’t?

    No matter who you are, no matter what you’re doing, if it’s something that demands you grow, if it’s some wonderful dream you’re trying to make a reality, you will hear that voice — the voice of doubt, of pessimism, the “what if” and the “you can’t” that rings between our ears.

    And sometimes it comes from those around us.

    We are by nature fearful, and by nature, we are drawn to the negative side of things. But that doesn’t mean we have to let our fears and doubts stop us from making wonderful changes in our lives.

    So how do we silence those voices? How do we inoculate ourselves to fear? It’s remarkably simple: By doing the very thing it tells us not to do.


    The Only Way to Overcome Fear

    Dale Carnegie, one of the pioneers of personal development, coined this as one of the surest antidotes for fear:

    “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.” — Dale Carnegie

    Do what scares you, if it’s something you wish to do. Do it over and over, even though it hurts, even though fear tells you not to.

    • Make the call
    • Say the words
    • Book the flight
    • Take the chance
    • Get down to creating
    • Get down to business

    Whatever it is, do it, face it, and show yourself, as Henry Ford once said, one of the greatest discoveries one can make about oneself is…

    that you can do the very things you feared you couldn’t do’.

    And you can. You absolutely can.

    When you do that, the voices will berate you, they will yell louder. But keep going, and going, and going. Life has its way of acting as a gatekeeper to our dreams. It meets you before them, and uses fear and doubt to challenge you:

    What business do you have thinking you can do this?” Most people answer by curling into a ball and never trying again.

    But you can answer with boldness instead. That is, the intention to do the thing that scares you despite everything that challenges your worthiness to do so. As Anthony Moore wrote, act while you feel fear, for its fear’s trick to make you wait for it to go away. Act in spite of it. Act in its face. Act because you can.


    Inaction Breeds Doubt

    Beware of inaction. Inaction breeds doubt. It is fertile ground for those seeds to take root. Today, take action on your goals and your dreams.

    Take action towards that beautiful vision you have for your life and the lives of those you love. Not tomorrow. Not later. But today. Always today.

    The more you do this, the smaller the voices will get, and the more you’ll realize that their words only had the power you gave them by believing them.

    You’re worth so much more than mere voices. You amount to so much more than what others say.

    You’re worth a world in itself — for you, just like each and every one of us, have the ability to change the world for the better. You have the wonderful gift of being alive, and where there is life, there is hope.

    Source: Medium

    Author: Spencer Sekulin

  • 7 powerful reasons to live when it’s impossible to go on

    One way or another, many of us dedicate our lives to something other than our own self-interest.

    It might be a spouse, a child, a career or anything else; whatever it might be, it’s the thing that makes you get up in the morning, fight off the sleep and start a new day.

    It’s your reason to live, the fire in your soul, and without it, you have no idea what to do with yourself.

    And one day, it might actually happen. You lose the one thing you devoted your life to, that one thing that keeps you going, and immediately, everything starts to fall apart.

    The excitement for the next day, the eagerness to make that next step: gone.

    The pain can tear you apart. It can turn your life around and make you feel meaningless. It feels like it’s impossible to continue with life. Many people even contemplate suicide when they lose their reason to live.

    You now have a choice. You can give up. Or you can redefine your reasons for living.

    Here are seven reasons to keep on living when feel like you simply can’t go on.

    1. Life is always moving forward and changing

    When you experience such immense suffering and feel like you can’t go on, it feels like the whole world is collapsing in on you.

    Your friends will probably begin by showing some sympathy, but after some time they’ll begin to push you, saying things like:

    “You need to get back on your feet” and “When are you going to move on?”

    It’s easy to react with frustration to this suggestion. How could they possibly understand the pain and loss you’re experiencing? They obviously just don’t get it.

    But the truth is this:

    They’re right. Your situation may feel dire. But it’s going to change. The time will come when you have to move on.

    It’s difficult to take advice from people when you’re feeling so frustrated. According to research in the Journal of Applied Psychology, our emotional state influences how receptive we are to the advice we receive.

    Your mental and emotional strain makes it very difficult to see your current situation clearly.

    Whether you’ve lost someone close to you, a relationship, a career, or something else that was incredibly important to you, you’ve based your reason to live on this thing.

    You’ve probably lived with purpose and passion, and this thing has been taken away from you.

    Your reason to live has been taken away with it.

    You now feel lost, trapped and confused, because the thing you’ve put so much into is gone.

    It’s as if both of your legs have stopped working and there’s nothing to grab onto as you fall. But here’s what you have to understand:

    2. Your reason to live depends entirely on you

    It might not seem like it right now, but the purpose of your life didn’t depend on that person, career, or thing.

    Just because it was the meaning of your life for so long doesn’t mean that it has to remain that way for the rest of your life.

    Just as you assigned the meaning of your life to that person or thing, you can also reassign it to something else.

    This is the power you have. This is how dynamic you truly are.

    The meaning of your life and the reason why you want to keep going isn’t just an idea. It’s like another living entity that exists within you.

    It’s a part of who you are, your body and soul, and it coordinates with the things you think and feel. It’s a deep part of you that you are not even aware of most of the time.

    3. You don’t have to find your purpose in life

    Too often I have seen people become lost in their search for their one true purpose. They try dozens of careers, hundreds of potential partners, only to end up disappointed and frustrated every time because it didn’t “feel” like it was what they were born to do or be with.

    Eventually, they give up and surrender—they give up on the idea that they were meant to do anything or be with anyone special, and they just end up feeling worse.

    In fact, this was my reaction. For a while, I completely gave up on my search for a purpose.

    Then I had a truly profound conversation with the shaman Rudá Iandê. He showed me a different way of discovering my purpose.

    He explained I needed to surrender to my purpose. It’s not something I could find by searching within. Rather, my purpose shows up through my actions when I’m trying to help others.

    Here’s how Rudá explains it:

    “Purpose is something different. You don’t need to change the world. You just need to shift your perspective, from ‘what you can take from life today’ to ‘how you can contribute to life today.’

    “Many people don’t understand this and get really sick, trying so hard to do more. It then doesn’t matter how much you get from life, for it will not fulfill you.

    “Fulfillment comes from inside out. It comes from acting, putting out your best, transcending your basic selfishness and contributing to the chain of life. It doesn’t need to be giant. It doesn’t need to change the world. It only needs your heart to be warm and present.

    “When you start living your purpose, you reach your place in existence. You start understanding that you belong to life and you’re an active part of it. Then you find fulfillment, and being grateful becomes something as natural as your breath.”

    4. You can find your purpose by starting with kindness

    When you’re looking for a reason to live, it’s easy to become very introspective. You start to analyze everything that’s happening. You become your own worst critic. You want things to be different. You want your life to be better.

    There’s a simple way to cut this chain of thinking and get yourself back on track.

    Rather than trying to define your purpose or find a reason to live, start to find yourself through your actions.

    Begin with kindness. Kindness to yourself and to those around you. Small and simple acts that remind you that you respect and love not only yourself but also others.

    By starting with kindness, you become someone who actively contributes to life around you. You then start to embody your purpose through actions. Over time, you’ll be able to articulate your reasons for living by reflecting on the actions you’ve been consistently undertaking.

    5. The most challenging moments are the ones that define us

    I wouldn’t wish tragedy upon anyone. But the reality is this:

    The most tragic moments in our life are the ones that define us the most.

    Our most tragic moments bring our greatest opportunities, if we have the courage to seize them.

    I’ve learned this through personal experience. But there’s someone who explains it much better than I ever could.

    Neale Daniher is 58 years old and a former professional sportsman, very well-known in my home country of Australia.

    In 2013, Daniher was diagnosed with motor neuron disease and is now a prominent campaigner for medical research.

    Daniher recently addressed the Melbourne Football Club, sharing an important message about personal tragedy.

    He told the players that “life is good, but it doesn’t promise to be fair. There will be good times. But there will be hard times.”

    When life is tough, there is one thing you can do to seize back control of your life.

    “You can conduct yourself in the right manner when things get tough.”

    Daniher faced this challenge. There’s no current cure for motor neuron disease. It’s slowly taking away his movement and quality of life.

    But he chose to take responsibility for his circumstances. In his greatest challenge, he found a reason to keep on living. In his case, he dedicated his life to fighting against motor neuron disease.

    As he says:

    “When life gets difficult, you think it’s a train wreck, there’s no opportunity. There’s always opportunity. If you’re in the blame game, if you’re in ‘woe is for me, poor bugger me,’ you’ll never find it. My opportunity was to fight MND. It’s allowed me to prevail. It’s allowed me to find purpose. To transcend what’s happening to me.”

    He shared some further advice:

    “Have the courage to accept responsibility. Don’t shy away from it. Don’t balk. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t handball it to someone else. And while doing that, what will emerge inside of you, is the better side of your character that will allow you to prevail, allow you to move through it. It may even allow you to transcend.”

    6. You owe it to yourself—and your family—to find a new reason for living

    You feel like you can’t find any reasons to keep on living. You’ve lost that thing that gave you purpose and drive. You’ve lost your passion for life.

    But you’re starting to feel a flicker of light within. You can see that you’ve been giving up your power by defining your reasons for living based on other people, other relationships … other things outside yourself.

    You’re now starting to see that your reasons for living can come from small acts of kindness. You can discover a purpose that has always existed inside you.

    You can also see that the obstacles you face can be your greatest opportunity, if you accept responsibility and don’t shy away from it.

    If this even resonates just a little, congratulations. You’re going through a very important shift in perspective.

    This slight shift in awareness holds great potential for planting a seed within that will slowly grow and start to move you forward in life.

    It’s now your responsibility to nurture this seed, to continually remind yourself of the gift of life that you and many other people around you have.

    The truth is this:

    You owe it to yourself to continue nurturing this seed within. You just need to maintain a perspective of humility and kindness. You don’t need to do big things in life. You don’t need to find the one true love that gives life meaning.

    But you don’t just owe it to yourself. You also owe it to your family.

    Even if you have a troubled relationship with your family, they will be impacted by your attitude towards life. They’ll be especially impacted if you choose to end it.

    As Jordan Peterson says:

    “People with depression often struggle to find meaning in their lives. They don’t think anyone needs them or cares about them. This almost always isn’t true. Don’t underestimate your value in the world.”

    7. Don’t underestimate your value in the world

    This strikes to the core of why you need to take the opportunity to find new reasons to live when you feel like you can’t go on.

    Peterson expands on the intrinsic value you have in the world. In making these remarks, he was responding to a question from an audience member about whether they should commit suicide or continue living:

    “Don’t be so sure your life is yours to take. You don’t own yourself the way you own an object. If you’re religious, maybe your life belongs to a higher power. Or if you’re not religious, maybe it belongs to your loved ones or some greater cause. You have a moral obligation to yourself as a locus of divine value.”

    You have incredible value just for being you. You don’t need to achieve anything to have value. You don’t need to be in a relationship to have value. You don’t need to be successful, make more money or be what you may judge as a good parent.

    You just have to keep on living. You only need to start acting with kindness. It’s enough to be a participant in life and contribute to others around you.

    Over time, this new attitude will create a groundswell of momentum in your life. You’ll start to naturally understand your reasons for living. You’ll be able to articulate them to yourself and others around you.

    For now, you just need to make a commitment to yourself that your life has value. You just need to make the decision that your greatest challenges can be your greatest opportunity. You just need to start contributing to the lives of others by acting with a little kindness.

    In this way, your life will slowly change, for the better. In time, you’ll look back at this moment as one of the most transformative and powerful moments of your life.

    Source: Ideapod

    Author: Justin Brown

  • Defining Fulfillment

    Life has a way of reminding us that the only thing we have any true control over is what we choose to focus on and how we choose to act and react. So often, when the unexpected “bad” happens – a personal tragedy or trauma, a natural disaster, evil doings, war, sickness, a pandemic – it’s the universe’s way of guiding us back home to ourselves and to our truth; of reminding us to focus on the things that really do matter, to appreciate what we have, to connect with the people we love, and to do what truly brings us alive and what gives us true fulfillment. It’s so easy to conflate and confuse achievement with fulfillment. But there’s a difference,  and understanding that and knowing that the two are not necessarily synonymous, really matters. They often can, and do, go hand in hand – but not always. They’re not always mutually exclusive, and they’re not always consistent and congruent either. You can want and have one but not the other. And you can also want and have both at the same time, as separate ideals or as complementary ones. Having specific, clear-set, tangible goals and milestones, and then achieving and accomplishing them can be extremely fulfilling. No doubt. Even just setting those goals can be fulfilling because it often helps us define and get really clear on what it is we really want, and simultaneously inspires and empowers us to take the next necessary action steps towards actually achieving them. Just that process of working towards a goal or milestone and making progress towards it can be extremely fulfilling in and of itself. It’s also true that you can have achieved all sorts of goals and milestones that you feel quite accomplished for, and still feel unfulfilled nonetheless. That doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful, and it doesn’t mean you’re not proud of all that you’ve achieved. It simply means you’re a deep, soulful human. It’s a universal, age-old, existential human condition to yearn for a greater sense of meaning, purpose, passion, and fulfillment regardless of how much or what you may or may not have already achieved. We eventually come to realize and understand that the greater, deeper, and truly meaningful sense of fulfillment we all yearn for, can not and will not come solely from our goals and achievements. It will come from Connection. Feeling truly connected to our authentic self – who we really are, who we’re meant to be, and who we want to become; feeling truly connected to another person or if we’re lucky, to several; feeling truly connected to an activity, a pursuit or an interest; and/or feeling truly connected to some idea or ideal that is bigger than ourselves. So often, the key to living a fuller and more joyful life is simply by engaging in something or with someone that brings us alive, gives us joy, or makes us feel good and at peace – without it being related to any specific end goal or “achievement.” We’ve become so consumed by the notion of achievement that we’ve lost the fulfillment in it. It’s not about throwing away your goals, and it’s not about no longer striving to achieve. It’s about recognizing the wholeness of who you are, what you want, and what you need. It’s about remembering to focus on and act on not only your goals and achievements, but also on the parts of you, the people, the activities, and the ideas that are truly connecting. All the things that help you feel present, engaged, and true. All the things that light up your soul and feel right. Even when those things have nothing to do with any sense of achievement or specific end goal. That’s fulfillment. It’s always both. As always, and now more than ever, do more of what you love and be more of who you love! Seize Your Passion!
  • What the World Needs Now Is This Student-Made Video

    [The following is one of the most inspiring and beautiful examples of the power of positive connection, of love, of the human spirit, of creativity, and of everything that Seyopa stands for! Watch the video below, which was produced, arranged, and edited by Shelbie Rassler. Article by Bryan Parys. ENJOY!!!!]

    Boston Conservatory at Berklee student Shelbie Rassler convened a virtual orchestra of 74 of her peers to create connection in a time of social distancing.

    Students joined in the virtual music-making from their homes around the world.

    When songwriting team Burt Bacharach and Hal David released the song “What the World Needs Now Is Love” (originally sung by Jackie DeShannon) in 1965, the United States was deeply divided over the war in Vietnam. Bacharach was initially nervous about the song’s reception given the fragile cultural environment, but the song became a top ten hit and brought people together under its call for unity.

    Fifty-five years later, many around the world are experiencing a time of unprecedented physical separation due to the rise and spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). As students shift into online classes for the rest of the semester, Boston Conservatory at Berklee student Shelbie Rassler kicked things off with her own version of Bacharach’s anthem of connection, joined by a virtual orchestra of 74 of her peers, 60 of whom are a mix of students and alumni from the Conservatory and the College. Rassler, a senior majoring in composition and a 2019 Presser Scholar, came up with the idea on her plane journey home to Florida, and produced, arranged, and edited the video herself.

    Screen shot from the video of Shelbie Rassler and her virtual orchestra

    Watch Rassler and her peers perform a virtual rendition of “What the World Needs Now Is Love”:

    Video By: Produced, Arranged, and Edited by Shelbie Rassler.

    Source: berklee.edu

    Author: Bryan Parys

  • Try These Smart Tips to Stay Connected to the People You Don’t See Every Day

    Social distancing can make us feel isolated and lonely — so more than ever, it’s important to reach out to colleagues and loved ones.

    From Thrive Global, By Marina Khidekel, Head of Content Development at Thrive Global

    The spread of coronavirus is changing the way we work and live, and in this new normal, tapping into our fundamental need for connection is more important than ever. Whether you’re working remotely or separated from family or loved ones, everyone is still adjusting — and maintaining a sense of connection can feel especially challenging. 

    We asked our Thrive community to share the little ways they’re staying connected to those they no longer see on a day-to-day basis. Which of these will you try?

    Hold a team yoga class online

    “One of my colleagues is a yoga instructor, so we have invited all of our co-workers to a virtual yoga session together. It’s a great way to see each other, include our families and roommates in the activity, and get in a good stretch.”

    —Tami Nealy, influencer marketing, Phoenix, AZ

    Send out a lighthearted video

    “My team is working from home, so we’ve set up remote access with regular daily email communications and check-ins. Ensuring that all communication isn’t work-related is important as well. We’ve been sending inspirational, positive, and humorous images and videos around. It helps keep the team engaged and helps with any feelings of anxiety and isolation.”

    —Carrie McEachran, executive director, Sarnia, ON

    Share nostalgic photos in your family group chat

    “This is an opportunity to get creative so that we feel close and connected during this time of separation. We’re sharing funny memes in an extended family group thread, and my mom is texting throwback pictures of our childhood from the eighties. She recently sent a picture of my Granny and me, taken by film camera at my tenth birthday. It brought great comfort to see me hugging my Granny, realizing that she lived through the Great Depression. Even though she is no longer with us, knowing that she got through that hard time felt like a long-distance embrace.”

    —Katie M. Reid, author and speaker, Mt. Pleasant, MI

    Start a virtual happy hour with friends

    “We started a virtual happy hour. It allows our group of friends a time at the end of the day to look forward to. We leverage Microsoft Teams or Zoom, so everyone can see each other.”

    —Amanda DeVlugt, learning professional, Memphis, TN

    Cook the same recipe over FaceTime

    “As someone in a long distance relationship, I’ve been forced to get creative when it comes to staying connected with my significant other. One of my favorite things we have done virtually is make the same recipe together over FaceTime. This is something fun and easy that you can do with friends and loved ones when you’re socially distancing. It’s also a great opportunity to try out a new recipe!”

    —Brynne Terry, occupational therapist, San Francisco, CA

    Host an online book club

    “My book group is scheduled to meet in person for some food, wine, and fun while discussing our book. We decided to hold our meeting online by using a video conferencing tool instead. I am excited to see my friends even though it will only be online, and I’m excited to discuss our book. The best part about having to meet virtually is that our dear friend who lives in Singapore can join us!”

    —Jane Smith, corporate attorney, Atlanta, GA

    Set up virtual playdates

    “Staying connected is vital for our mental health and for keeping our kids connected. We are using FaceTime more often, and my younger kids are using an app called Caribu that lets them color and play games with their friends on the screen — like digital playdates. Social media is such a wonderful thing right now.  It feels good to talk about technology in such a positive light.”

    —Amber Faust, blogger, Hilton Head Island, SC

    Play online games with family

    “I live in Switzerland and my daughter is a college student in the US. We’ve been playing Boggle with friends on an app. It’s a great way of staying connected, checking in, and spending some time together.”

    —Brenda S., executive coach, Lutry, Switzerland

    Move your meetings to video

    “Our tech council is typically event-based, and we are all missing time to collaborate and feed off of each other’s energy! We’ve been using Zoom to hold virtual C-level meetings to educate our members and check in with everyone. We’ve moved all of our internal board meetings to video calls as well, and are planning on holding a virtual barbecue!”

    —Jill St. Thomas, non-profit executive director, Tampa, FL

    Call a loved one every day

    “I am doing something radical: actually picking up the phone and calling friends and family. Hearing their voices and being able to laugh or commiserate is so comforting.  I now realize how much I was relying on emails and texting, and after this time is over, I plan on continuing to make telephone calls to stay connected in a more human way.”

    —Jennefer Witter, CEO and author, New York, NY

    Start a virtual “take your pet to work” day

    “I work in higher education, where a sense of connection is vital to who we are — with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents.  Here on the work-at-home front with two college students, a high school junior and a journalist, there have been mentions of virtual ‘take your pet to work’ days!”

    —Gail Towns, marketing director, Jackson, NJ

    Watch the same shows as your co-workers

    “Our workforce has gone remote, which has been an adjustment for many of our 500+ employees, who work out of five different offices across the country. We have created a dedicated chat stream called ‘What Ya Watching?’ for employees to connect and discuss what  shows and movies they are currently watching, and exchange laughs and viewpoints in real-time. In the past two weeks, as the pandemic crisis has worsened, it has become a gathering place for all employees to get some levity, talk to other coworkers who may be experiencing ‘news overload,’ and get a brief escape with a fun, light-hearted shared experience.”

    —Denise Spillane, brand and communications leader, Philadelphia, PA

    Send your friends a “checking in” text

    “Every morning, my close circle of girlfriends sends a group text to check in, and we all reply with a thumbs up, or a short report on what is happening in our homes. It’s a great way to check on each other.”

    —Candice Komar, divorce attorney, Pittsburgh, PA

    Have an online coffee date

    “As we all navigate social distancing, I’ve begun to connect with my tribe through an online latte.  It is a great way to share positive news while supporting each other, and it’s super easy to coordinate. Face-to-face contact is so important when we feel isolated, and grabbing a coffee in our home is a great solution.”

    —Trish Tonaj, coach, author, and speaker, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Send handwritten letters

    “To stay connected, in addition to video-enabled dinner dates and happy hours, I make it a point to write thoughtful, creative, and  personalized notes to people I care about. This helps me practice including a more conversational tone in my writing while also spreading some cheerful motivation. Now more than ever, I carefully choose my words to elevate and celebrate the people in my life.”

    —Ana-Maria Visoiu, international program manager, New York, NY

    Maintain a daily email chain

    “My sister and I have started writing daily emails to each other, where we share what’s on our mind during this time. We also hold each other accountable for exercise, not falling in the black hole of news obsession, and staying positive. It’s been amazing!”

    —Nicki Anderson, director of women’s leadership at Benedictine University, Lisle, IL

    Share your “highlights and lowlights”

    “Every other night, a group of six of us gets together on Zoom for a quick check-in after the kids are asleep. It’s a time for us to connect and share our highlights and lowlights of the day. Sometimes our husbands pop in to say hello as well! The structure of always sharing highlights and lowlights is helping us all remember to take note of the small wins so we have something to share.”

    —Lisa Abramson, executive coach, Menlo Park, CA

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Marina Khidekel, Head of Content Development at Thrive Global

  • Passion Overcomes Fear Every Time!

    Passion Overcomes Fear Every Time!

    Previously Recorded Live Stream, May 18, 2018

    Seize Your Passion!
    Live Stream, May 18, 2018

    Connecting with, operating out of, and making decisions from elevated states like love, passion, compassion, empowerment, and truth is ALWAYS the answer, the solution, and the path to overcoming fear, challenging times, and hardship. It’s the only way to truly become your best self and realize your dreams! As always, do more of what you love, and be more of who you love! #SeizeYourPassion!

    Source: YouTube

    Author: Rachel Ellner Lebensohn

  • 4 Myths About Finding Your Life’s Purpose

    Purpose doesn’t live in your head; it resides in your soul.”

    I struggle with the word “purpose” because it feels overused, not to mention lofty and intimidating. It can send the best of us into a spin cycle of overwhelm. Believe me, I spent decades trying to nail down my elusive “why.” I always believed that it had to be some epic statement that would rock the world and instantly change my life. And that, my friends, was exactly the problem. Purpose doesn’t live in your head; it resides in your soul. Connecting with it is about embracing intuition over intellect. Intuition is that little voice inside you. You know, the one that you shush a lot because it’s often inconvenient? I’m telling you, listening to it is a game-changer. It will shine a far more brilliant light on your purpose than some buzzword bingo statement written to satisfy your ego.

    Purpose can be many things. It can be a passion. It can be a kernel of curiosity. It can be an unrequited need. It’s often related to what you loved doing most as a kid, and maybe even still can’t get enough of as an adult. What are you so passionate about that you lose track of time when you do it? What brings you unparalleled joy? And how do you share that gift with others?

    One example that gives me goosebumps is from Nick Craig, founder of the Core Leadership Institute and author of Leading from Purpose. Nick inspires leaders to discover their purpose in order to lead more authentically. His genius is coaching leaders live, to tease out the stories that inform their “why.” I’ll never forget watching a video of Nick coaching a senior executive with questions that powerfully connected her to her favorite childhood memories (going on new adventures) and her greatest passion (skydiving). The combination revealing a soulful articulation of her purpose: “I help others to soar and create new adventures in their lives.”

    We all have something like this inside of us.

    I’m not claiming to be an authority on purpose. My goal is simply to make the concept feel more accessible and less mystical— based on my own experience fumbling around in the dark, groping for the light switch. Start from whatever sparks the movement in you. Maybe you’ll even be inspired enough to spend time with the questions at the end of this section. I double dare you.

    So, let’s start by calling bullsh*t on some of the myths that clutter the path to purpose:

    Myth #1: We create our own purpose.

    Quite the contrary. Purpose isn’t an intellectual exercise; it’s a soul story that’s revealed or discovered. It’s a powerful force that exists deep inside of us already. It’s the unique magic that we have to share with the world—and the reason we’re one of the miracles on this planet today. (Remember, no coincidences.)

    The key to understanding it is connecting with ourselves and paying attention to what we love to do, what we are most passionate about, what change we want to see (and be) in the world. This is rarely a lightning bolt epiphany. The discovery comes as we spend time getting to know ourselves and exploring our values and gifts. Peeling back one layer at a time and getting curious about where it takes us. Trust the process—the scarier it feels, the closer you are to a breakthrough.

    As you know, when I started this journey, I had achieved pretty amazing success by most standards, and, yet I still felt like I had only mastered the success part of successful. I didn’t feel “ful”—or fulfilled—at all. In the beginning, I was in search of my soul, afraid I’d lost touch with it for good and hopeful that it might be the portal to purpose (or at least something more meaningful). I certainly didn’t have a plan. I was living breadcrumb-to-breadcrumb, being transported on the wings of synchronicity from France to New Zealand to California to Canada. But your journey doesn’t have to involve travel. Only trust. Trust in your intuition, the voice of your soul.

    We pay the price when we don’t listen to that voice. And we discover possibilities when we do. Following my intuition led me down this path to liberate souls and spark a movement.

    Myth #2: Purpose has to be an earth-shattering idea.

    I think this is the one that trips us up most often. Like I said earlier, I thought my purpose had to be worthy of global headlines. That’s a lot of unnecessary (and unhelpful) pressure. As a friend of mine says, there is little-p purpose—what you feel called to do day to day/ week to week/month to month—and big-P Purpose, a bigger mission that guides all your actions. The beauty (and relief) is that these two forces aren’t mutually exclusive; they coexist. Little-p passions may even lead you to your big-P Purpose, if you simply keep taking steps toward what brings you joy day after day. Forging your own path—not following someone else’s.

    As you know, I spent a lot of my life in seeking mode. I wasn’t able to articulate a purpose until the end of my initial Soulbbatical, but I was always clear on my passion for travel and writing and photography. Those passions eventually led me to my purpose—once I started listening to my soul instead of the script in my head. So, while you don’t have to have a perfectly articulated purpose, I invite you to get in touch with what really drives you, in its simplest form. Your soul has a story, and your story is your purpose. You just may have to sit still long enough to hear it.

    And, don’t be surprised if what you hear sounds simple. Actually, don’t judge it at all. It’s yours. Own it. We’re shooting for earnest, not earth-shattering.

    Myth #3: Purpose is not for profit.

    I’ve heard people swat away the notion of purpose like a pesky mosquito, based on one single misconception: “You can’t make a living following your purpose.” But how true is that, really? How much of that is fear speaking? How much may it cost you to continue crouching behind those limiting beliefs? Language matters. We often use words like “can’t,” “should,” and “have to” to relinquish responsibility for the choices we’re making (or not). There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I won’t make a living following my purpose [or passion].” It simply means you’re not ready or willing to prioritize it or put it into action. Just be honest with yourself. (That’s the code of a Chief Soul Officer.) While we’re having this little truth sesh, let’s also get real about how many wildly successful businesses have been founded on purpose, from a passion to do better/be better/look better/feel better. A few of my personal favorites are Tom’s, Spanx, Beautycounter, and Mindvalley University. These companies were started in someone’s soul—some as side hustles, others as going-for-broke ventures, but all with the courageous conviction of “I can.” You know what they say—write the book you need to read, create the product or service you want to buy, and/or spark the change you want to see.

    Now, I’m not saying you have to make a living following your purpose, but wouldn’t it be insanely fulfilling if it worked out that way? If you embodied your purpose every day of your life, whether working for a company with a shared mission and similar values or starting a company of your own? (Asking for a friend.)

    Myth #4: You have only one purpose.

    Nope. Purpose is not a one-and-done kind of deal, nor is it forever etched in stone once you’ve landed on something that feels meaningful. In fact, it’s far more likely that your purpose will evolve over time. (Hell, it might even lead you to discover multiple purposes in your lifetime. There’s no rule or limit.) As Jay Shetty, former monk and host of the popular On Purpose podcast, says so eloquently, “Give your purpose the space to grow, change, and deepen.” That means giving yourself permission to slow down, explore, and check-in as often as you need. Feel whether you’re heading in the right direction or whether you need to course-correct. Stay flexible and open to what might present itself along the way. The only Waze app for this trip is your soul.

    I have to admit that I’m buzzing about the possibility of my current purpose—“liberating souls”—deepening, evolving, or somehow paving the way to something(s) even more profound. That feels like exactly the kind of journey I want to be on. Are you with me?

    Ultimately, purpose is personal, and one of the best ways to discover yours is to spend quiet time alone, tuning in to that inner voice. Even if you can only set aside a couple of hours a week right now, I challenge you to do it. And to commit to being uninterruptable— devices off, in a private space or out in nature.

    If you haven’t practiced this before, it’s going to feel super awkward and uncomfortable at first. It did for me. I remember running my to-do list, planning my next meal, and ranking the sexiness of the Game of Thrones cast in my mind, until I allowed myself to settle in deeper. You may even start by asking yourself these simple yet profound questions—“Where am I not being honest with myself?” or “What do I know to be true?” or any of the questions from the “Soul Search” reflection sections in this book—over and over again, until the answers evoke a visceral reaction. That’s a good sign that you’re getting somewhere. When I uncover nuggets of truth, my body tingles, my gut feels warm, and my eyes often water. Do you know what clarity and knowing feel like for you?

    I can’t predict what you’ll discover, but I know one thing for certain. This reflection time will become so sacred that you’ll not only crave it, you’ll defend it with your life. And you’ll be inspired to create more of it. It’s the wellspring for everything this book holds dear: authenticity, courage, purpose, self-compassion, and fulfillment.

    Making Soulbbatical Your Own

    So, you’re Chief Soul Officer of your own life, amped up on the commitment to nurture your soul, now what? I’m sure some of you are still thinking, How the hell can I make this work in my life? As I’ve said before, Soulbbatical is not one-size-fits-all, and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to walk away from your career. There are so many different ways to approach this concept.

    Whether you’re at a Fortune 500 company, a start-up, at home, or out on your own, the principles of Soulbbatical can help you to discover and create your best life. Exactly how that happens—and how far you want to take it—is entirely up to you. You can take tiny steps toward bringing more soulfulness into your life, you can jump straight into an inside-out gut rehab like I did, or find something just a little bit edgy in between. It’s a question only you can answer: What does greater soul-fillment look like for you? What is your soul craving? What is calling you to play so big you terrify yourself?

    I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating. (My marketing training says we need to hear a message seven times for it to take hold. My mom would argue that stubborn people like me probably need a few more.) Soulbbatical is not a one-off escape or phenomenon (though it can certainly start that way). It’s a way of being that will shift your entire world if you lean into it. And, remember, you don’t have to know exactly where you’re headed (most of us don’t).

    From SOULBBATICAL by Shelley Paxton.

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Shelley Paxton

  • This is The Secret to Living a Life Without Regret

    Four words can be the difference between a life well lived and a life filled with regret.

    Visibly distraught, the young woman lamented:

    “I tried and I failed. What do I do now?”

    The old man fell silent. He stood up and leaned over the bench to pluck a white flower from the garden floor. He sat back down. Gently fiddling with its petals, he looked at her and said:

    “All that matters, love, is that you were brave enough to try.” He paused to stretch his arm out and hand her the flower.

    “You won’t understand this now, but in twenty years, you’ll be so glad you did.”


    The Top Five Regrets of the Dying

    Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent a number of years caring for patients nearing the end of their time on earth.

    When she’d questioned her patients about any regrets they had or anything they would have done differently, Bronnie noted that five common themes surfaced again and again.

    Years later, in her book, she identified “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.”

    They are:

    1. I wish I hadn’t worked so much.
    2. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
    3. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
    4. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

    And the most common regret is this:

    5. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

    “This was the most common regret of all,” noted Bronnie. “Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”

    Facing their own mortality, realizing that their life is on the verge of its expiry, they looked back and thought: How many of my dreams have gone unfulfilled?

    The Four Words Standing Between You and Regret

    In the future, we will regret the actions we didn’t take more so than the ones we did.

    We will regret the book we didn’t try to write; but had we done so, we would’ve fulfilled our dream of becoming a writer. We will regret the side project we didn’t find the courage to pursue; but had we done so, it could’ve perhaps transformed into a thriving and successful business.

    In their research on regret that was published in 1995, Gilovich & Medvec concluded that

    “when people look back on their lives, it is the things they have not done that generate the greatest regret… People’s actions may be troublesome initially; it is their inactions that plague them most with long-term feelings of regret.”

    In short, today’s inactions will translate into tomorrow’s regrets.

    What you’re too afraid to do today, twenty years from now, you’ll most probably wish you had done.

    Don’t let that happen. Choose to live a life that’s true to you. And what does that entail?

    It’s a life lived fully, without fear. It’s a life lived with purpose, without hesitation. It’s a life where you find the courage within you to follow your calling and dare to give it all your energy.

    It’s a life where you create your own definition of success.

    It’s a life lived with meaning and purpose where your priorities are to work in balance, where you fully express your true feelings, where you stay in touch with the people you love and you allow yourself to be happy with how things progress.

    It’s a life where, through the unfolding years, you don’t say:

    “I wish I had.”

    And instead, you say:

    “I’m glad I did.”

    I’m glad I wrote that book. It didn’t generate many sales, but it set me on a path to write my second book and that was a best-seller.

    I’m glad I launched my own clothing line. It took three years of sacrifice and hard work, but today, five years later, I’m living my dream.


    The Secret to Living Without Regret

    “I wish I had” vs. “I’m glad I did”. These four words will be the difference between a life well lived and a life filled with regret.

    Perhaps we won’t understand it now. But as per Mark Twain’s words:

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do.”

    This is what I remind myself when I struggle as an entrepreneur. This is what I remind myself when I struggle as a writer. I don’t know the outcome, but I’ll keep on trying, because, in twenty years, while others say “I wish I did”, I’ll look back and proudly say, “I’m glad, I did”.

    So, ask yourself this question:

    In twenty years, what will I regret?

    Source: Medium, Mind Cafe

    Author: Omar Itani

  • Crash and Learn! The Power of Positive Connection

    The most important things in life are the connections you make with others.”
    – Tom Ford 

    “Deep human connection is…the purpose and the result of a meaningful life….” 
    – Melinda Gates

    “The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection.” 
    – Robin S. Sharma


    There’s true power in connection! Whether it’s connecting with another person, connecting with ourselves, connecting with an idea or ideal, or simply connecting with something that brings us alive or that we love.

    Our entire psychology, physiology, and biology all positively change due to the power of positive connection, which in turn sends even more and greater positive ripple effects all around us and throughout our life.

    Why? Well, because everything and everyone is connected! That’s a law of the universe.   

    Connection is crucial to our souls, to our physical bodies, and yes, to our success too. Connection is crucial to our happiness, to our self-love and self-worth, to all of our relationships and transactions, both business and personal, and it’s crucial for realizing our dreams and becoming our best selves.

    Connection is simply a crucial component of life, and how we live it, in every aspect. 

    When we understand that, then it’s on us to consciously, actively, and intentionally seek out and create as much positive connection in every context that we can; and to consciously, actively, and intentionally re-connect with whatever, whomever, and whenever we sense some disconnect.

    Sometimes, that disconnect can be with our work. Sometimes it can be with our loved ones. And sometimes, it can even be with our own selves. When that happens, everything and everyone else follows suit. Because, well, everything is connected!

    “Our professional dreams, goals, failures, and successes are always integrated…with our personal ones. Why? Because everything and everyone is interconnected. Our experiences, our perspectives and all the wisdom that comes as a result are all intertwined and related. What applies to one box is almost always applicable to another, regardless of how radically separate we may label those boxes.”

    “…We live integrated, interconnected lives despite how rigidly we may seek to separate and compartmentalize the pieces of our life puzzle. It’s one puzzle, always. In order to live our best and fullest life, all the pieces need connection and alignment with each other.”


    That’s a piece from my chapter in this just-released bestselling book I co-authored!!!! If any of this resonates with you at all, please check it out!  

    Let’s remember the extraordinary power of positive connections! Let’s connect and re-connect more. With ourselves, with each other, and with all that we love!

    Do more of what you love.
    Be more of who you love.
    Seize Your Passion!
     

    That’s how we realize our dreams and become our greatest and best selves!!!! 

    If you want to connect with me more, and hear more from me on how everyone and everything is connected, as well as some other profound and inspiring universal truths, then I invite you to read my chapter in Crash and Learn. :-))).  

  • Fairytales are Real

    “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.”
    – Hans Christian Andersen

    “Fairytales are more than true not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
    – Neil Gaiman

    “Life is a fairytale if we know how to write the story.”
    – Debasish Mridha

    Fairytales are real! Magic is real! Life is real! YOU are real! And it’s all beautiful and amazing, even when it’s not :-). 

    We go through life and have experiences that convince us, little by little, that fairytales are just fairytales; they’re not real. That magic is just magic; it’s not real. That life is hard and painful and therefore sucks. That we are not good enough and therefore suck.   

    We believe that story. We believe that fairytales and magic aren’t possible in our real world; that they’re just for the storybooks. We believe that we are not good enough to realize our dreams. But that’s just it – that belief itself is just another story that we choose to believe.

    But what if we start to believe the other story again?! The story that fairytales are possible and magic is possible – in our real world! That we are, in fact, superheroes – each and every one of us – capable of achieving anything we want to!

    It’s up to us to choose to believe that story instead. And when we do, we start to have experiences in our real world that make that story just as believable and just as real as any other! Like magic. 

    Stories are our guides to how we perceive the world, how we perceive others, how we perceive ourselves, and how we navigate and make our way in that world through the actions we take. 

    From day one in the world, we tell ourselves stories, and we’re told stories that dictate how we interact with the world around us. And those stories end up dictating our life. 

    But we forget our own agency and power of choice! We forget that we get to choose which stories we listen to, and which ones we believe.

    We can either choose the ones that beat us down and along with us, beat down our dreams too. Or we can choose the ones that inspire and empower us to bring forth into existence our dreams, our best self, and our own real-life fairytales. 

    We must also remember that every good fairytale has conflicts, challenges, darkness, and has some pain and suffering too. So when we’re faced with those experiences, instead of saying, “See, fairytales can’t exist and can’t be real if there’s all this pain and suffering,” maybe instead we should say, “Yes, and fairytales are still true.” 

    Don’t stop believing!!! 

    And, if you’re in the darkness right now, please watch this on how to find light within the darkness!  

    As always, thanks for reading this and being part of Seyopa 🙂

    Do more of what you love.
    Be more of who you love.
    Seize Your Passion!
     

  • Practicing Happiness | Laura Heywood | TEDx Broadway

    Sometimes, the notion of realizing our potential can be debilitating instead of inspiring. Sometimes, it can make us feel not good enough instead of empowering us to remember how truly amazing and capable we really are. Laura’s personal story about her struggle with depression and how she learned to cultivate the power of practice, one day at a time, is a tremendous and meaningful reminder for us all to take action on our dreams, one step at a time, and to focus on progress rather than perfection.

    Source: Tedx Broadway

  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth | TED Talks Education

    The number one determining factor of success is grit. Grit is the intersection of passion and perseverance for long term goals. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Cultivating and building grit is not related to talent, IQ, or social skills. Rather, building and cultivating grit in ourselves is directly related to having a growth mindset – the belief that the ability to learn, to improve, and to become better at anything, is not fixed; it is malleable and fluid.

    Source: Ted.com

    Author: Angela Lee Duckworth

  • For a Meaningful Life, Choose Fulfillment Over Achievement

    Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 11.01.08 AM

    Joy is the result of growing and giving

    For as long as I can remember, I was alive with a pulse and blood running through my veins, but dead inside. There was no reason to wake up other than to make some money so I could afford a few beers on Saturday and try to drown out the pain of existing.

    A subtle shift happened when someone explained to me a really simple concept. There are two ways to live your life:

    1. Endlessly achieving goals
    2. Being fulfilled through meaning

    Goals don’t make you feel fulfilled. They give you a sense of achievement, but this feeling never lasts and it doesn’t give your life a sense of meaning.

    Knocking off endless to-do lists of goals is what machines do and it’s not truly living. Your life needs meaning and that will never come from achieving.


    Fulfillment Makes You Feel Joy

    What’s better than achieving your goals is experiencing joy. How do you experience joy? I’m glad you asked.

    Joy is the result of growing and giving.

    Part one: growth

    When we grow in life and become a better version of ourselves, we feel joy. Any of us can grow with a conscious choice to be uncomfortable and to learn something new every single day. Being comfortable and thinking you know everything are the enemies of growth. They are the handbrakes to happiness.

    If you can look back on your life and see struggles that you had, and the resulting obstacles you have overcome, you can see the growth for yourself. Seeing growth in your life brings an immense feeling of fulfillment.

    Through my life, I can see growth in the following ways:

    • Having mental illness and then beating it
    • Never writing a word to writing 1000+ articles
    • Being afraid of public speaking to making it to competition level at Toastmasters
    • Helping nobody to having strangers email me daily saying thank you

    This is what growth can look like when you embrace it for yourself.

    Part two: The art of giving

    Joy also comes from giving. It’s the sort of giving where you expect nothing in return and attempt to impart some form of wisdom or experience on a complete stranger knowing that when you’re gone from this world, that is all that’s left.

    Giving is a habit, not a one-off act.

    Giving works best when your intent is completely selfless and you leave your ego at the front door. Giving is an art because its result often happens away from plain sight. All the giving you do often never shows any visible signs.

    I decided to give everything I had through writing and not worry about tracking results too much.

    When you focus on seeing the result of your giving, you get high off the fumes and start doing it for the wrong reasons.

    Giving brings about an indescribable feeling of joy that you need to experience for yourself to understand. The feeling will wipe the floor with what you experience from achieving endless lists of goals.

    They are lifelong pursuits

    Growing and giving don’t stop either.

    If you want to experience fulfillment regularly and have it be a driving force in your life, you are signing up to never-ending growth and the practice of giving for the rest of your life.


    Success in One Area Makes You Bored, Eventually

    That is why actors and athletes who make millions of dollars, win all the awards, and have a cult following, turn to drugs, sex, and money as an escape.

    When you reach a certain level of success through achievement, if you stop growing, you get bored. If you’re not giving anything back, you question the meaning of it all and can’t find the answer.

    Achievement is short-term; fulfillment is long-term.


    Without Fulfillment, You Become Unhappy

    If you have always wondered why you feel unhappy, it’s because you have achieved goals rather than focused on being fulfilled.

    It explains why you are unhappy in business, or your relationship, or your life, or at work.

    Goals produce pleasure, whereas fulfillment produces happiness in your mind. Your mind drives your life and helps you realize your meaning for existing.

    Hopefully, now you can see why fulfillment is far more important than the pleasure of achieving goals. When you discover fulfillment, you feel alive the way I do right now as I type these words. No longer will you just exist—you’ll have something far more important to focus on.

    Create a meaning for your life through growing and giving so you can experience the joy that comes from being fulfilled.

    Source: Medium

    Author: Tim Denning

  • How To Master the Art of the Perspective Shift

    If you don’t know, Yoda is one of the strongest characters in one of the strongest stories of all time: Star Wars.

    Yoda is a tiny, green creature of an unknown species, over 800 years old, and Grand Master of the Jedi Order. The best of the good guys, if you will. He has an incredible ability to wield the Force — the invisible power all Jedi rely on — and is a brilliant fighter with a lightsaber, their weapon of choice. He’s also the head teacher of all young Jedi and the first person everyone turns to when they need advice.

    Despite his strength, Yoda’s true power lies in his wisdom. He speaks a little backwards and often in riddles, but every word he chooses is placed exactly where it’s meant to be. He says little, but what he says hits hard.

    Yoda is not just a Jedi Master, he’s also a master of the perspective shift.

    Most of the time, what he tells us completely flips the angle from which we were trying to approach a problem. Often, he shows us we’ve been focusing on the wrong problem altogether. This is incredibly valuable.

    Perspective shifts elevate our thinking. They allow us to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers, move a lot faster, and see the world more clearly. They also help us lift others by sharing what we’ve learned with them.

    Since he’s a quiet character, there aren’t that many Yoda quotes to draw from, but I’ve assembled his best ones to show you how he architects perspective shifts. He frequently talks about teacher-student relationships, fighting, and what it means to be a good person. To give you enough context and get the most out of these quotes, I’ve structured them into one coherent narrative.

    May they teach you to change your own mind and that of others.


    When Luke Skywalker is first sent to Yoda’s planet to learn from him, he bumps right into the Master, not knowing who he is. He tells him he’s looking for someone, to which Yoda only says:

    “Looking? Found someone you have, eh?”

    Picasso supposedly said, “I don’t seek. I find.” In a 1923 book called The Arts, he gave an explanation of what he meant:

    “I can hardly understand the importance given to the word research in connection with modern painting. In my opinion, to search means nothing in painting. To find is the thing. Nobody is interested in following a man who, with his eyes fixed on the ground, spends his life looking for the purse that fortune should put in his path. The one who finds something, no matter what it might be, even if his intention were not to search for it, at least arouses our curiosity, if not our admiration.”

    In the same vein, Yoda trusts the Force to guide our path in life. You can call it God, the universe, karma, or whatever you like — the point is to have faith. Keep your eyes open, stay present, and look, rather than obsessing over an idea in your head.

    The next thing Luke says is that he’s “looking for a great warrior.” Once again, Yoda flips the notion on its head immediately:

    “Ohh. Great warrior. Wars not make one great.”

    There’s a saying that is often credited to US President Herbert Hoover in various forms:

    “Wars are always started by men too old to fight in them.”

    It depends on the country, but many have a culture of decorating their war heroes. It serves us well to honor these men and women, but it makes it easy to forget that the most honorable thing would have been to never send them into battle in the first place.

    As Grand Master of the Jedi Order, Yoda also holds a position similar to a general. Most of his power in that position is spent trying to maintain peace and avoid fighting, because he knows wars only create losers on both sides:

    “No longer certain, that one ever does win a war, I am. For in fighting the battles, the bloodshed, already lost we have.”

    In that same spirit, being a Jedi is much like learning Kung Fu, Yoda explains:

    “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

    I can’t think of a more humbling thing than to learn how to fight in hopes of never having to use it. Rigorous physical training has many benefits, like discipline, fitness, and patience. But in order to attain them, you don’t ever have to raise your fist against another human being. The training is enough.

    Of course, sometimes, war is inevitable. In the case of the Jedi, they are usually hopelessly outnumbered by the vast armies of the Galactic Empire. But again, Yoda knows there’s more to life than physical strength:

    “Smaller in number are we, but larger in mind.”

    There are countless examples from history of small groups outwitting large enemies. The 300 Spartans. The Trojan Horse. Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps. A great strategy can make up for a big lack in firepower.

    This lesson also applies at an individual level, and it’s one of the first Yoda teaches Luke when he becomes his apprentice. He tells Luke to use the Force to telekinetically lift his spaceship from a swamp. When Luke fails, claiming it’s too big, Yoda retorts:

    “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.”

    At first, Luke dismisses Yoda and walks away. But when he sees Yoda single-handedly lift the ship on his own and hover it to safety, he can barely trust his own eyes. He tells Yoda he can’t believe what he just did, to which Yoda says:

    “That is why you fail.”

    This is Yoda reiterating the very first thing he told Luke: it’s about believing before you can see. Not the other way around. This ties into what might be Yoda’s most famous quote of all:

    “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”

    Yoda combines immense faith with a strong sense of realism, of grounding. Those two might seem like opposites, but they’re not.

    If you surrender to life and are fully in sync with what the universe wants to tell you, you’ll rarely attempt anything that’s not already meant to become a reality. This is why Yoda spends so much time thinking and meditating. He needs to listen; tune in to the Force. Once he emerges, the path of action is so clear to him, it might as well be done already. This is Yoda’s job much more so than charging headfirst into every battle:

    “Secret, shall I tell you? Grand Master of Jedi Order am I. Won this job in a raffle I did, think you? ‘How did you know, how did you know, Master Yoda?’ Master Yoda knows these things. His job it is.”

    This job of knowing is what unites all of Yoda’s roles. Be it as a politician, general, or teacher. It would take Luke many years to finally understand this. In a conversation decades later, after Luke has become a Jedi Master himself, Yoda still needs to remind him that passing on his knowledge is his job. One of the best ways to do so is through failure:

    “Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery, hmm… but weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes, failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is.”

    There’s a quote by Tom Bodett about the difference between life and school:

    “In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

    Great teachers know this, which is why they don’t lecture as much as they pose challenges to their students, then let them figure out the answers on their own. If they fail, they fail, but either way, they’ll truly learn something rather than just parrot the master’s words or follow instructions.

    For example, when Yoda sends Luke into a dark cave to confront his fears, Luke asks him what he can expect in there. Yoda says:

    “Only what you take with you.”

    Luke is utterly confused and feels abandoned at first, but after he faces his demons, he realizes the only way for him to succeed was to rely on his own mind. Yoda couldn’t help him, just point the way. This theme ripples through every great teacher-student relationship until its very end:

    “Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”

    Failure is not just the way great teachers teach — it’s the master’s own, ultimate goal. If their disciple surpasses them, it means they’ve raised them well. Besides the rigorous training, the number one way Master Yoda aims to accomplish this is through ethics. What he’s most concerned with, even more so than their skill level, is that his students become good people.

    That’s why many of his lessons revolve around the subject of not succumbing to the dark side of the Force — the evil path some Jedi choose and thus become corrupted. These lessons always have a Buddhist flair to them:

    “Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is.”

    In order to practice his combination of faith and presence and dedicate most of his time to thinking, Yoda lives a very minimalist life. He can’t afford to be distracted or pulled around by every impulse and desire rising in his heart. Therefore, letting go is the most important skill each Jedi must master:

    “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

    Yoda knows fear is the true enemy of all Jedi. Fear is what pulls our minds to the past or the future. Fear is what creates attachment, and attachment leads to the emotions that, in turn, cause us to make dark choices.

    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

    The way we deal with our fears and return to the present is to face them and hold out as they try to penetrate our minds. We don’t fight them as much as we resist giving in to them. This is exactly what Yoda had Luke do in that cave:

    “Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”

    Of course, this isn’t a one-time event. We must face many fears in our lifetimes and no one is immune to them. Not even Yoda. He, too, admits being afraid:

    “Yes, afraid. Hmm, surprised are you? A challenge lifelong it is, not to bend fear into anger.”

    In his famous inauguration speech, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt said:

    “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

    This principle is a maxim of Yoda’s teachings, as he personally witnessed the terrible consequences of allowing fear to fill a Jedi’s heart.

    Once upon a time, a young boy named Anakin was brought before the Jedi Council. He had great potential, but Yoda sensed much fear in him, and so he didn’t want the boy to be trained in the Jedi arts. Yet one of the other Council members said he would train the boy anyway, and Yoda let it pass. Over time, the boy’s fear of losing those he loved only grew. In Yoda’s words:

    “When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back.”

    Eventually, Anakin’s fear had such a strong grip on him that the only path he saw was that of the dark side of the Force. In the same way Anakin was pulled over one day at a time, so do our fear-induced choices cause a vicious cycle. We take a shortcut to get out of one jam which only leads us into a bigger one, which, of course, requires an even more extreme, even less ethical shortcut. Sooner or later, the person we once strived to be feels like our own worst enemy. Anakin literally became this enemy, and it is with great sorrow and anguish that Yoda reveals to Anakin’s former teacher:

    “The boy you trained, gone he is. Consumed by Darth Vader.”

    Of course, we’re not the only ones facing this danger. Others are affected by it too. And sometimes, we still chase after them. Still hoping, wishing we could get them back. But the person we once felt connected to is long gone.

    This brings us back to the war the Jedi were about to lose. They didn’t see that one of the politicians among their own ranks had gone through a similar transformation, and when they relied on his help, they found out he double-crossed them. After retreating and meditating, Yoda once again emerges with a perspective shift that has the power to turn a hopeless situation around:

    “Yet, open to us a path remains. That unknown to the Sith is. Through this path, victory we may yet find. Not victory in the Clone Wars, but victory for all time.”

    By simply changing the timeline from “how can we win this war?” to “how can we achieve lasting peace for everyone?” Yoda has elevated everyone’s thinking. A more generally applicable version of this idea is this:

    “If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are, a different game you should play.”

    Focusing on a different aspect of the bigger picture is another very common move in both war and politics. A group on the defense might try to go around the enemy and attack their flank, and an old adage in strategic thinking is:

    “When everybody’s playing checkers, play chess.”

    But this extends to many more aspects of our lives than the conflict-driven ones. When you fail to get promoted time and again, maybe it’s time to look for a new job. When discussing a problem with your spouse doesn’t work, maybe it’s time to talk about how you talk to each other. And if writing two posts per week won’t cut it, you could try publishing daily or not at all for a while.

    The point is — and this is the biggest lesson we can learn from Yoda’s way of thinking — there’s always something different you can do. Something else you haven’t tried. Learning how to shift your perspective is one thing, but, like Yoda’s reliance on the Force, it first requires having faith in new perspectives in the first place. That’s why I can’t think of a better line to end on, a quote that more encapsulates Yoda’s spirit than this:

    “Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.”

    Source: Medium

    Author: Niklas Göke

  • Everything happens for a reason: 7 reasons to believe this is true

    “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

    — Marilyn Monroe

    “Everything happens for a reason.”

    A saying that has been familiar to every one of us during many points in our lives.

    Famous philosopher Aristotle explains it perfectly. In his lifelong journey to know the true meaning of life, he has managed to impart one of the most valuable pieces of wisdom.

    For him, there are two constants in life.

    One, that the universe is constantly changing. It is always evolving. What it is today is never the same tomorrow.

    And second, a thing he calls “entelechy.” It means, “that which turns potential into reality.”

    Aristotle believed that things happen today because they have a purpose later on.

    Every choice we make, every outcome that happens from these choices, every person who comes into our lives, and every person who leaves — all of these elements have a reason.

    They make us who we are today.

    Why is it important to believe in this philosophy?

    The truth is, no matter how much we try to control our lives, there are things that we simply can’t control.

    There are several factors that could affect our plans and alter the results we initially intended.

    Things will not always go our way, no matter how much we want them to.

    Believing in the philosophy that everything happens for a reason can both be good and bad.

    According to psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Lewis:

    “In my psychiatric practice, I’ve observed how this type of thinking can have powerful effects, both positive and negative, on motivation: it can be reassuring and comforting but can also lead to disillusionment, anguish, and feelings of abandonment, leaving some to ask, ‘Why me?’ when cruel adversity happens.”

    So what is the purpose of these tragedies and setbacks?

    Do they just happen randomly for no purpose at all? Does this mean that everything that happens in the universe is just a lottery of a mathematical algorithm?

    Furthermore, if everything happens for a reason, then what is the point of our free will and our right to choose?

    Or would you rather believe the contrary?

    Would you rather believe that everything has meaning, a purpose?

    It is essential to use tragedy and adversity to grow into your fullest self

    The thought that everything happens for a reason can be comforting to people especially when experiencing some kind of adversity.

    It’s a phrase we all particularly and naturally gravitate to when life gets a little too hard.

    But it is so much more than that.

    It gives us the strength to move forward. How else can we explain it when things don’t go our way?

    Therapist Michael Schreiner says:

    “With this sort of psychological bulwark in place, life with all its chaotic randomness and uncertainty becomes less threatening, it seems more manageable.

    “This secular version of religious predetermination not only instills courage to go out and face the world, it also makes the people who buy into it feel special, as if they were singled out for something important, as if the higher entity had a specific, detailed plan that included them.”

    While it is important (in fact, imperative) to admit our fault or take responsibility for the things that happen to us, we also need to believe that these difficulties are a part of a bigger puzzle.

    It gives us closure

    When certain things don’t go our way, we tend to have regrets over them. There’s just a part of ourselves that feels the loss, disappointment, or a sense that we could have controlled the outcome better.

    Let’s take a break-up for example. It’s natural to feel despondent about it at first. In fact, it’s normal to feel a deep loss and shame over the failure of a relationship.

    But on the other hand, you can choose to use this experience as an opportunity to empower yourself.

    You can choose to believe that there is a reason why this relationship failed. A reason that you’ll know later on. You can choose to create a new sense of meaning from getting over someone.

    According to University of Toronto researcher Mariana Bockarova:

    “When given closure, we can re-structure our past, present, and future in a healthy way, through understanding what went wrong and reconfiguring our story accordingly. When we are refused closure, however, attempts to understand what happened flood the conception of our past, present, and future.”

    When you accept the reality and the finality of a situation, it closes the chapter of the story and allows you to move on to better things ahead.

    Call it a coping mechanism if you must. But believing that events in your life have a purpose only allows you to take one step forward to a better you.

    It alleviates our pain

    Why has humanity been so strongly attracted to religion for millions of years? Because it gave them a reason, something to look up to when life becomes too painful. This need for something to hold onto has been embedded in our survival since time immemorial. Some people rely on religion or science.

    Or you can just simply believe that everything has a purpose.

    Schreiner adds:

    “We can think of the psychology of everything happens for a reason as the psychic equivalent of taking a powerful sedative, of sort of descending into a happy stupor where there’s no need to face existential anxiety squarely. “

    It might be difficult to believe that there is a reason behind losing something. At this point in our lives, it’s easy to blame something or someone instead. But believing that everything happens for a reason can help ease the burden and pain. In fact, it allows us to heal.

    Sometimes, it is during the lowest points in life that we gain the courage and strength to emerge as better. In believing that a loss is not meaningless, we give ourselves a chance to heal. It alleviates our most painful feelings and allows us to continue our lives.

    (Pain and suffering provide meaning in life. So does achieving our goals.)

    It gives us a chance to reflect

    I’ve heard someone say before that when a dream or a goal feels so out of your grasp and so impossible to achieve, the key is to just look at your feet and take one step at a time.

    When you look at it as a simple step forward, it doesn’t seem so intimidating at all. And one day, you’ll just look up and you’ll have already arrived at your destination.

    By choosing to believe that everything in your life has a bigger meaning, you allow yourself the openness to see the picture not as it is right now, but as it could be when all the pieces are finally put together. One day, all the pain, struggles, setbacks, and doubting will make sense.

    You’ll realize that all of these things are essential building blocks to help you reach your highest self, or as Aristotle puts it, your entelechy or your conscious insight.

    Bestselling author Karen Salmansohn explains the ideology:

    “When you purposefully choose to tap into “conscious insight” you are able to see why and how to bend with stormy winds – instead of angrily resisting the things that life is blowing at you!

    “What may have at first seemed deflating, frustrating or painful can be experienced with conscious insight as an empowering growth opportunity.”

    It leads us to the defining moments of our lives

    Have you ever had that “aha!” moment when everything finally makes sense? Yes, we’re talking about that.

    Instead of being stuck on the negativity, you’ve chosen to believe that all is not for nothing. And when you experience your most defining moments, you feel that sense of awareness.

    Author Hara Estroff Marano and psychiatrist Dr. Anna Yusim describe such moments as:

    “Such moments carry credibility precisely because they are not anticipated or prescribed. They are, however, transformative. With their mix of insight and intensity, they give life new direction, forever altering the connection people have with each other and, often enough, with themselves.

    “Of the various kinds of turning points life presents, the most powerful of all may be character-defining moments. They go to the heart of who we are.”

    You realize that now all of it makes sense. It’s one of those Eureka moments that allow you to reflect on your life and makes you realize just how strong you really are.

    It allows us to make sense of the chaos in our lives

    We’ve all been through difficult situations when absolutely nothing makes sense. Life has a way of making us question even our own sanity at times.

    Yale psychology professor Paul Bloom explains why it’s so comforting to believe everything is planned :

    “I think it’s not so much of an intellectual need, but an emotional need. It’s very reassuring to think that, when bad things happen, there’s an underlying purpose behind them. There’s a silver lining. There’s a plan.

    “The idea that the world is this pitiless place where things just happen, one damn thing after another, is frightening to many people.”

    But allowing yourself to believe that even this chaos has a purpose allows you to take a step back and look at your life more closely. It allows you to pick at the things that do have meaning and do make sense. This makes you create better decisions in the future and gives you renewed motivation and purpose to go forward.

    It teaches you valuable lessons

    Let’s go back to the phrase “the universe is always changing.” So that means so do you. Everything that happens for a reason teaches you valuable lessons. It can even shatter your old beliefs, literally changing you into a better version of yourself.

    You learn to look at things in a different light. Your ideals and the way you approach things can even do a complete 360.

    In Jim Carrey’s famous commencement address at the 2014 MUM Graduation, he poignantly said:

    “When I say life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you, I really don’t know if that’s true. I’m just making a conscious choice to perceive challenges as something beneficial so that I can deal with them in the most productive way.”

    Change is an important aspect of life. Setbacks are there to teach us great lessons. These are things we all should learn to embrace.

    (Learning valuable lessons in life is key. But make sure they are the right lessons.)

    Closing thoughts

    People are so obsessed with things like karma, fate or serendipity. It’s hard to explain. But ultimately, it’s just a need to grasp for something steady when life pulls the rug under our feet.

    It’s important to keep believing that everything happens for a reason. It gives us valuable introspection that can be hard to obtain when life gets really hard.

    However, it’s even more vital to remember that balance is essential.

    Yes, there is beauty in believing that there is a reason why things don’t go according to plan.

    But never forget the power of will and hard work. Don’t let this mindset consume you into being complacent.

    According to Bloom and fellow psychology researcher Konika Banerjee:

    “This tendency to see meaning in life events seems to reflect a more general aspect of human nature: our powerful drive to reason in psychological terms, to make sense of events and situations by appealing to goals, desires, and intentions.

    “This drive serves us well when we think about the actions of other people, who actually possess these psychological states because it helps us figure out why people behave as they do and to respond appropriately.

    “But it can lead us into error when we overextend it, causing us to infer psychological states even when none exist. This fosters the illusion that the world itself is full of purpose and design.”

    In short, you also need to be proactive.

    At the end of the day, everything does happen for a reason. But what you can control is your reaction to it.

    Source: Ideapod

    Author: Genefe Navilon

  • How to Turn Your Dreams Into Reality (Even Though Most People Never Do)

    I hate positive thinking.

    Well, I don’t hate positive thinking in and of itself, rather the idea it magically works on its own.

    “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Really? I’m dreaming of running a marathon, can I skip the training part? I want to create the next Apple or Google, can I skip the decades of work, iteration, and missteps along the way?

    Positive thinking combined with action is the key to accomplishment. Wanting something badly doesn’t work.

    We all desperately want a better life or a dream scenario. There’s no lack of want in the world. And our thoughts are pointed in the right direction. Most of us just fail to take our wanting all the way.

    To fulfill any dream you can’t just want the dream…

    …you have to want the entire dream.

    Let me explain.

    What Your Dream Life Really Requires

    I’ll use my field as an example.

    If you want to become a successful writer, you’ll be surprised to learn that the writing itself isn’t the key to your success. There are plenty of gifted writers who nobody notices.

    In 2019, you can easily share your work, but that doesn’t make the process of sharing it easy.

    A short-list of skills you need for being a successful writer is:

    • (Some) technical knowledge including a little bit of coding
    • Being persuasive
    • Marketing your work
    • Pitching articles
    • Building a platform

    We always want to learn and do the fun part. We want to build the skills that are fun to build or enjoy the process of creating something. But in any endeavor, there are a bunch of “micro-skills” you’ll have to learn to complement your main skill.

    In my own career, I kept noticing over and over again the fact I’d have to learn something I didn’t want to learn. I wished the same thing all writers wish, that I could write my little heart out, hit publish, and let my words scatter far and wide across the universe — no marketing, no pitching, no chaff, and all wheat.

    But I realized I’d keep running into situations I didn’t want to encounter. To counter those encounters, I simply started wanting them to happen and found joy in the process as a whole.

    How to Learn to Love the Process

    “If you skipped some chapters in a book it wouldn’t make much sense would it? — Brittany Burgunder

    How’d I learn to love the process?

    When you start any process involving delayed gratification, you accumulate skills over time. At first, you’ll struggle and get frustrated, but after a while, you’ll come realize the importance of not only the skills you’ve gained but also the process of gaining them.

    When you work on these different micro-skills long enough, you’ll start to see how far you’ve comeThings that were once alien to me now came second-nature.

    If you move past the initial phase of pursuing your dream and stick with it for a while, you’ll notice these little skills you’ve acquired too.

    You’ll remember how they were difficult to acquire at first but how easy they are now.

    You can remind yourself of this when you attempt something even more challenging. That’s key because the truth is the more successful you get the higher your standards become and the more difficult it is to move to the next level. And not only is difficulty okay. It’s worthwhile. Deep down we all enjoy overcoming difficult changes — it gives life more flavor.

    Doing the work is only part of the equation. You’ll also have to work on your mental state and contend with the world you live in.

    You Must Live in a Different Universe

    “Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world usually do.” — Steve Jobs

    There are two different worlds. One, the world most people live in — the normal world. The normal world comes with ready-made excuses for why you can’t do the things you actually want to do.

    These excuses are often valid and easy to rationalize. In the normal world, your life might look something like this:

    You do the right things — the things you’ve been told to do since you were born. You go to school and get good grades. Then you find a nice job, settle down, work Monday through Friday, have fun on the weekends, go on vacation once a year, and do this every year until you retire.

    Many people in the self-help/entrepreneurship space deride the normal world. They call people “sheeples” because they feel those who follow a typical path are somehow less than. They see them as followers, helpless, and mediocre.

    I don’t think that at all. The normal world has lots of amazing benefits.

    Benefits of the Normal Life

    • Peace of mind — Consistent income and security mean less worry.
    • Acceptance — When you’re normal, people can relate to you. You share common experiences. You can talk to your friends about your so-so job, your bills, and your waiting for the weekend. Sharing this experience builds comradery with others and helps you form social bonds.
    • Free time and fun — If you’re going to follow some crazy dream, you’ll have to sacrifice your free time. This means fewer parties, barbecues with friends, football games, Netflix, and other leisure activities. Leisure activities are fun. They’re also useful because they help you deal with the stress of life.

    Let’s cut the crap about anyone being better than anyone else because of their career, how motivated they are, and their choice of path in life. We’re all equal in value.

    I’ll admit, I used to sit on a pedestal and criticize people who weren’t all in on their dreams — how juvenile and naive.

    Now, I realize the way they live is just fine, but it’s not for me.

    I live in the universe of the dreamers.

    The Universe of the Dreamers

    When you start taking action on your dream, much of what you see around you won’t make sense.

    Maybe you’ve already had this experience before.

    You tell a friend or family member about an unrealized dream or goal you have — a lofty one.

    They try to be supportive, but they can’t help but give you a bit of advice because they want to protect you.

    Although their words come from a good place, you feel like they’re inadvertently shitting on your dreams. You’ll want to lash out and tell them how you’re wrong and that you’re going to accomplish amazing things regardless of what they say.

    While this is tempting to do…don’t waste your breath.

    You have to understand a few things. First — setting aside whether or not the normal way of thinking is right or wrong — people are conditioned to feel this way.

    Your upbringing, surroundings, and culture affect the way you think. Many of the people around you — hell even you — have been prescribed dose after dose of these beliefs since they were born.

    Some people call these limiting beliefs. I don’t because that implies there’s something wrong with thinking this way. There isn’t. It just doesn’t represent what you want.

    So, instead of thinking “How could they possibly think this way?” think “How could they possibly think any other way?” AND MOVE ON.

    Nobody Cares About Your Dream

    F*** your delusions of grandeur. They’re only holding you back from what you’re actually good at and how good you can actually be.” — Ryan Holiday

    I remember the first time I wrote a book.

    I was so excited. Crafting the outline and writing the first draft took 4 months of relentless everyday effort. Then came the editing, the design and packing, and the marketing plan.

    To say I was proud of myself is an understatement. When I received the proof copy of my book I felt euphoric. This was it. I crossed off the biggest, baddest, boldest item off my bucket list. I’m an author. The world won’t know what hit them.

    Then I published the book and reality gave me a one-two punch combination Mike Tyson would be proud of.

    As it turns out, the world wasn’t anxiously awaiting my debut. I hadn’t arrived. In fact, the experience taught me I had quite a way to go.

    The book did well enough as an experiment. I made a few thousand bucks with my words so I couldn’t complain. But I learned the type of lesson only a dose of reality could provide.

    Nobody cares about your glorious new life journey. You have to make them care.

    In retrospect, I realized I should’ve spent more time growing my audience before I published the book. The writing wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. People aren’t clamoring to read a book from an unknown person. They are interested in fanning the flames of a passion project.

    In your case, remember, you’re not on anyone’s radar right now. I can’t tell you how many other aspiring writers I know who throw up a website and are genuinely surprised the traffic isn’t rolling in. Then when it doesn’t, they get their heartbroken. Don’t get your heart broken because you won’t recover from it.

    There are benefits to being a little fish. You can test and experiment. You have time to learn your strengths and weaknesses. Since you have no reputation to maintain you can be flexible in your approach.

    So how do you go from being a nobody to a somebody? You do the work.

    Do the Work

    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. — Thomas Edison

    Everyone wants the magic bullet to success. Many aspiring writers ask me for advice on how to build their careers. I give them one piece of advice — write every single day and don’t quit. That’s the entire recipe.

    They seem disappointed — as if I had some sage piece of insight to jump-start the process.

    As Austin Kleon says, you have to do the verb.

    It’s not enough to want to be a writer. You have to write.

    It’s not enough to want to be an entrepreneur. You have to start the business, build the website, make the calls, create and market the product.

    It’s not enough to want to be in shape. You have to pick up the weights and move them.

    I can hear you thinking right now because that’s what you do. You think and think and think until you think yourself into a circle.

    You read blog posts like this “for research.” You know what research does? It helps stuffy academic write papers. To become successful, become a doer.

    Therein lies the $64,000 question. You know you need to start but you can’t. How do you start?

    I call this the self-help problem. No matter how much self-help material you digest, nothing can cause you to start. You and only you can create that inertia. What follows is what I’ve used to solve the self-help problem.

    Tips for Solving the Self-Help Problem

    • Picture the alternative — The clearer the picture you paint of your life if you don’t follow your dream, the more motivated you might become
    • Act without commitment- Don’t set out to be an amazing writer. Write. Don’t meticulously plot your business. Find a customer.
    • Create habits — When you have habits in place, you don’t need motivation.
    • Start over — As many times as it takes. I wrote 6 versions of a book I never published and have 3 or 4 blogs I started and deleted. But eventually, I did write that book and start a blog that took off.
    • Remember this — You are going to die.

    I love the fact that sometimes people do come around. I did. You can too. Keep studying, learning, and doing. Chances are, if you play the game long enough, you’ll win.

    Source: Medium

    Author: Ayodeji Awosika

  • What I Tell Myself When I’m Feeling Down or Depressed

    Dear future Tiffany,

    Today, if you wake up feeling just as you had yesterday, feeling disheartened, feeling down because you haven’t yet achieved the kind of success you want and are ready to give up on your dreams, WAKE UP.

    Drag yourself out of bed. Force yourself to start the day productively by doing something small but easily achievable: making the bed, taking a cold shower, doing stretches — get your body and mind into the groove that it needs to be in.

    And in the meantime, look over this list. These are just some of the things you’ve achieved since you started rebuilding your life:

    • You’ve discovered your passions for writing and traveling
    • You’ve backpacked your way through 9 countries in Southeast Asia — Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Indonesia
    • You’ve started writing full time and making money doing what you love
    • You’ve lost 20 pounds in 6 months from intermittent fasting
    • You’ve overcame your Youtube fear of being on camera
    • You’ve taught yourself to do 12 pull-ups
    • You’ve gone back to China after the breakup and you love it

    I know to you, time is everything.

    When you look back at the worst 9.5 years of your life, you think I can’t believe I wasted so much time.

    When you realize that your parents are getting older and you have yet to repay their love by providing for them, you think I wish I was more capable.

    When you look at successful writers who are making enough money to survive and dedicate themselves to their craft, you think why is my progress so slow compared to them?

    But there’s one thing you’ve forgotten, and that is: one year ago, you were also feeling exactly the same way as you do today — like you haven’t done much, that there’s still so much to do and that you’re running out of time, but look at yourself now. Do you see where you are, and what you’ve achieved?

    You never thought you’d travel alone to so many countries after what people have told you, but you did it anyways and now have more experiences and stories to tell than the entire 9.5 years you’ve wasted. You’re making money, and sure, the money isn’t even enough to cover rent, but at least you’re making money doing what you love and your stories are being read by tens of thousands of people every month. You never believed you could but you’re now capable of doing 12 pull-ups when you couldn’t do a single one before, and now you look better and more fit than any other moment in your life.

    It’s easy to overlook your progress when you’re constantly looking at how much more you’ve still yet to achieve. But the truth is, you’re always achieving more than you think — it’s just that you don’t realize it because you have the ambition to do more.

    So, WAKE UP, get going and start your day, because one year from now you’ll look back again and realize how much you’ve progressed yet again. You’ll be very surprised.


    Source: Medium

    Author: Tiffany Sun

  • Marie Forleo on How to Get Anything We Want | By Thrive Global

    The life coach and author of “Everything is Figureoutable” shares her top tips to break past excuses, listen to your fear, and achieve your goals.

    “It’s the single most powerful idea that’s driven my life,” Marie Forleo says of the words Everything is Figureoutable, a phrase she learned as a child from her mom that also happens to be the title of her new book. 

    “It’s helped me in high school to get out of an abusive and toxic relationship. It helped me gain rare work-study positions in college that helped me pay for my education. It has helped me land every job I’ve ever had, from bartending and waiting tables to being on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, to eventually starting my own business and building it into a global brand,” says Forleo, a best-selling author, motivational speaker, and life coach who was named a thought leader for the next generation by Oprah and hosts the award-winning online show “MarieTV.”

    In this interview and her “How I Thrive” video, Forleo opens up to Thrive about the secrets to her success, as well as practical ways we can all achieve our goals. Step one: “It’s important that we look inside our own hearts to define success for ourselves and get really clear, not only on what is that outcome that we want, but why is it important to us,” she says. “If there’s a deeper purpose, something so meaningful in your heart — especially if it’s tied to the betterment of others — that is what’s going to give you the juice you need to cross that finish line.”

    THRIVE GLOBAL: What is your morning routine? 

    Marie Forleo: My morning routine changes because I travel a lot. Some of the pieces that are constant: First, waking up and making a delicious hot beverage with my man, Josh. Then meditation gets in there. If I’m working on a new writing project or something highly creative, journaling happens and then some type of movement. Whether that’s a little bit of dance or working out, using an app on my phone to get in a quick seven-minute workout or walking around the block — even a little movement really gets me going.

    TG: You talk about striving for progress and not perfection. What’s behind that?

    MF:  Striving for progress and not perfection is so important, especially because many of us can suffer from versions of perfectionism. We hold ourselves back because we don’t think that we’re good enough, but that’s just a surefire way to keep ourselves miserable and stuck. You’re looking at folks that you admire, folks that have been out in their field doing whatever they’ve been doing for years, if not decades — and then measuring yourself in comparison to that and coming up short.

    One of the things that we can do to combat that perfectionism is just strive for progress. Did you make any kind of progress today towards your goal? Even if it doesn’t appear at first glance, did you learn something? Even if you made a mistake or you failed, did you gain a lesson from it? Did you grow in some way? We can check that off as progress and when we start striving for progress over perfection, eventually you actually do reach that finish line. You do find yourself so much more capable with more skills and more experience in doing the things that you really want to do.

    TG: How do you coach your clients in getting what they want out of life?

    MF: One of the first steps to getting anything we want is having the courage to name and define exactly what that is. Throughout my career working with people, I would often say to them, “As your coach, I can help you get anything you want. But first you’ve got to help me. You’ve got to define it for me. You’ve got to clarify it and tell me what that is so I can help you reach that target.” It sounds simple, but it isn’t always easy. I think that many of us are afraid to admit what we want in our hearts. We’re afraid that we don’t necessarily have what it takes, that we’re not good enough, we’re not young enough, we’re not old enough or smart enough or talented enough. But here’s something that I’ve seen to be true, you wouldn’t have the dream in your heart if you already didn’t have what it takes to make it happen.

    TG:  What are some common excuses people make and how can we start to get past them?

    MF: Excuses are one of my favorite topics because we all make them. I make excuses from time to time — we all do. This isn’t about feeling bad or shaming ourselves or beating ourselves up, but they do hold us back and limit who we are and what we can accomplish. I’ve seen that our excuses typically fall into three main buckets: I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough money and I don’t have enough knowhow. Thankfully, every single one of those excuses can be overcome.

    The way that we do this is to start looking at our language — specifically the distinction between two four letter words, “can’t” versus “won’t.” In my own life, 99% of the time, when I say I can’t do something — like I can’t get up early to work out, or I can’t find the time to get my writing done, or I can’t go take that class because I can’t afford it, or I can’t get started because I don’t know howm can’t is really a euphemism for won’t. Won’t means we’re not willing to — you don’t really want to. You don’t want to put in the sacrifice or the effort to get that particular result. At some point in your life there was a time you said, “I can’t do this. It’s not possible. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the money, I don’t have the resources, the know how.” And yet, something was so important to you, something was so incredibly motivating that you overcame that lack of time or money or resources and you got it done, which proves to you that you are so much more capable than you give yourself credit for.

    I would invite you to experiment with this little practice. Anytime you hear yourself saying the word, “I can’t,” replace it with “won’t” and just see if that feels more true. See if you don’t want to shift around your other priorities or don’t want to do the work or it’s just not that important to you right now. Saying that you don’t want something, that it’s not that important to you or you don’t want to change your priorities doesn’t make you bad or lazy. It makes you honest. And from that place of self honesty, that’s when everything starts to shift.

    TG: Can you share a time that you went from simply surviving to thriving? 

    MF: I can think of one specific time when I was struggling real hard. I was still working to grow my business, and I was also having a challenge in my relationship. I’ve been in a relationship for 16 years and during that time we were at the point of, quite frankly, breaking up. We didn’t know which way it was going to go. And it was heartbreaking for me.

    A point of the stress was how much I was working. I love my career, so from my point of view, the thing that I love — my business and what I’m on this planet to do — was causing conflict with the man that I love. I remember saying to myself, “I can figure this out.” While none of us can control what another person feels or how our relationship is eventually going to resolve itself, in my bones, I felt like there was more for us to do together. I just sat down and I had that real conversation. I said, “Look, I know we’re having challenges right now, but I believe in us. I need us to get to therapy. I need us to go and try every methodology, every tool we possibly can to see if this thing can come back together, if we can come back together and be stronger than we’ve ever been before.” It took us time and it took us a lot of tears, work, exploration and quite frankly, a lot of things that didn’t work out perfectly, but we got there. While I can’t predict the future, I am really proud of myself and of our partnership together for sticking with it and doing the hard things to figure it out.

    TG: What are some ways people can work through something difficult?

    MF: Step one to figuring anything out is that you must believe that you can. If you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t do this, this is impossible, there’s no way I have what it takes to get through this,” guess what? Your brain is going to disengage, you are going to shut down any possibility of you actually figuring it out. So the baseline that we all have to start from is believing that it is possible. It is my personal belief that every single person has innate wisdom in them to figure anything out in this world. Sure, you might need to gain skills or understanding or collaborate with other people, but the possibility is there.

    TG: How do we overcome the fear that often stops us from taking action?

    MF:  It’s not about wanting to overcome your fear, but actually listen to your fear so that you can investigate. Fear is this interesting thing because most often, our fear is actually directive. It’s guiding us to what our soul most wants us to do in order for us to grow. So rather than trying to combat it or punch it in the face or kick it down, we need to actually embrace it as the directive guide that it is. What is it guiding you towards? What is the thing that evokes so much emotion in you?

    Fear doesn’t have language skills. She’s using every power that she has to let you know that something in front of you is important. So it’s like she’s jumping up and down going, “Hey this thing, this thing, pay attention to it because it’s awesome.” So rather than fear saying, “Stop, danger, don’t do it,” what if your fear was saying, “Hey, this thing, go try it. I’m making you feel everything possible because this thing in front of you is essential for your growth.”

    If you can be kind and compassionate to yourself, if you can know that every pro starts off as an amateur and allow yourself to just be sucky in the beginning and just get in there and get dirty, you’ll actually stay in the process, so you can close the gap between your ambition and your ability.

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Lindsey Benoit O’Connell

  • Article: The Problem With Habits (and Why Most of Them Fail)

    How long does it take to build a permanent habit? How long until you can reap the rewards of an exercise regiment or a work routine without having to think about it? These are questions practically everybody wants to know the answer to because these are questions that determine our livelihood.

    Daily actions compound. Exercising once or getting a good few hours of work in on the rare occasion may feel like minor successes, like you’ve overcome some sort of internal resistance, but these things don’t really do much for you over the long-term unless they are repeated day in and day out. A habit means repetition, and repetition means practice, and practice means improvement, and improvement means results. Growth comes not from the exception but the rule. In this way, habits and the actions they produce are the smallest units of success. It’s no wonder, then, that as a culture, we are obsessed with how to build and sustain them.

    B.F. Skinner was one of the most controversial psychologists of the 20th century. He was also one of the most influential. Human action, he believed, could be reduced down to simple, observable behaviors that scientists could study objectively, and much of our thinking about habits stem from his work. Now, this idea, of course, wasn’t new. He was building on the previous work of people like Ivan Pavlov and John Watson and Edward Thorndike who had made similar arguments, but Skinner took it to a whole new level in that he completely denied the role of emotions and thoughts and their power to influence how our body moves in the world.

    In research done on rats and pigeons, he showed that animals respond to external stimuli in predictable ways depending on the external environment. This environment, then, could be shaped and molded to generate whatever outcome was reasonably desired in the subjects. If you want to inspire a new behavior, build a punishment and reward system to guide it into existence. If you want to strengthen or weaken a behavior, reinforce the benefit or cost associated with said behavior.

    Anyone who has ever tried a diet of some kind or attempted to avoid some other temptation can attest to the elementary truth in Skinner’s behaviorism. If you have junk lying around in your house, you’re more likely to eat it. Solution? Don’t buy the junk.

    While Skinner stumbled on an important truth about how we learn and what our behavior partially responds to, it’s clear that humans are slightly more evolved than mere reptiles who don’t experience mental gaps between input and output. Our body is a complex system regulated by a combination of thought and emotion. And while, yes, even many of these thoughts and emotions are themselves responses to habit loops, just as many of them emerge creatively to new and novel interpretations of the world. And most of them, in fact, are surface-level expressions of the conflicts and incoherences of our deeper, unconscious value systems.

    For example, one of the reasons, I assume, that there is no clear consensus on how long it takes to form a habit is because this has nothing to do with the behavior pattern itself and everything to do with the underlying coherence of the values dictating that behavior. If you take two people who have never seriously exercised in their life but one of those people grew up in a household where it was instilled in them that their overall health was the most important thing in life, that what they ate mattered, and compare them to someone who feels like they should exercise more simply because everyone says they should even though it feels like a burden, I’d be willing to bet that there is likely an order of magnitude difference between both how they feel going into their routines and how likely they are to stick with it over the long-term.

    In the first case, a deep cognitive and emotional association with health has been developed over the course of years and decades, whereas in the latter case a simple, conditioned monologue beyond the environment serves as motivation: “You should exercise because it’s good for you.” They can follow the exact same routine, with the exact same triggers all they want, but in the vast majority of cases, the results and the commitments of the first person will be vastly different from the results and the commitment of the second. The bottleneck isn’t behavior; it’s the mindset.

    The problem with habits is that they are lagging indicators of our values (meaning they are supposed to measure the difference between who we say we are and what we do), but we tend to treat them as leading indicators of success (meaning we measure habits for the sake of measuring habits rather than deeply questioning why we do them). And to be sure, simply doing something enough, say, like exercise, and eventually enjoying it until it comes a value is a thing, and it can work, but it’s also completely mindless. In this case, you’re not choosing a value. You’re not making a deeper decision or developing agency. You are taking something someone has told you and forcing yourself through sheer determination to do it. And that’s fine, except that determination without guiding values can only take you so far. And if you don’t actually want to do it for its own sake, sooner or later, your mind is going to find a way to make you miserable doing it. This is especially problematic if this is your approach to everything.

    You can even say that you love your work or that you keeping your body healthy is a personal value, but if there is immense resistance every time you want to take action towards those tasks, there is likely some deeper conflict that you haven’t fully resolved concerning your values and the decisions that have shaped those values. It’s easy to say you like doing something, but it’s quite another to truly know it deep in your bones.

    This brings us to the paradox of habits, which is this: Habits are expressions of your values, but if your foundational values are sturdy and coherent enough then your life is better lived with a minimal number of routine habits. Habits should support your core decisions, not make them for you. When it comes to brushing your teeth every night, fine, doing it the same way, at the same time, every night, makes sense. But if the only way you can keep an exercise routine or stick to a particular diet or get yourself to work is to rigidly control your environment or to somehow trick yourself through sheer determination, then your agency is fragile, and the problem isn’t the habit but your core mindset regarding whatever the habit pertains to.

    Perhaps a better way to think about all of this would be to shift from focusing on habits of behavior to habits of mind. Instead of forcing yourself to exercise every day, what you should instead do is work to become someone who deeply understands that this is your one and only body, and only you are responsible for treating it right. A habit of behavior might sustain you for a week or a month or even a year, but a good habit of mind will sustain you for the rest of your life. And it will do so fluidly, not making you feel like you are being temporarily oppressed by the rigidity of routine. It will adapt to the flow of the world, rather than forcing you against it.

    At some point over the past 12 months, I picked up smoking. I had smoked casually for a few years in some social situations, but due to lifestyle changes, it became a habit. And not just a mild one. By early February, I was smoking between a pack or two a day. At home. When working. When out with friends or strangers or anyone in between.

    I generally try to be conscious of my health, and as I realized that this was starting to get out of hand, I began to make some light changes, trying to ease off here and there, cut down where I could. But like most smokers, I liked smoking, and I’d begun to associate it with a certain calm, a moment of peace, away from the noise, away from the restlessness I’d feel in moments of boredom. Mostly, it was about boredom. And because it was about boredom, no matter how many environmental changes I made, when I’d feel this complex mix of feelings, I would find a way to stick a cigarette in my mouth. And, again, because it was about boredom and how well it satisfied that boredom, I began to tell myself some convoluted story about why this was fine in spite of the drawbacks without digging any further.

    The trigger came a few months ago after a Muay Thai workout. My breath was suddenly a lot heavier than usual. And a few hours later, feeling the slight paranoia, I noticed that the nail on my right index finger was turning what looked like a shade of yellow. That evening, even the food tasted a little bland. And then, at night, my reflection showed a face and a head of hair oilier than what I usually remember looking at.

    Naturally, none of these symptoms appeared out of the blue on that exact day. Nor is there any certainty that they had anything to do with the smoking. Nor is any one of them a huge deal. In fact, I’m sure I likely imagined a few of them. But it was enough to make me ask a different question: Do I actually like smoking enough to potentially compromise something I value as deeply as my body and its ability to experience the world, or am I taking the easy way out because I don’t want to deal with whatever the deeper conflict is when I’m drawn to put a cigarette in my mouth?

    When it was clear that it was the latter, and that I was running away from my feelings of boredom (the solution to which was to do the work to pay more attention to my surroundings), I decided right then and there to stop. And I did, and I have. And I knew even then that this wasn’t another half-ass attempt like all of the other times because the clarity I gained from shifting my mindset meant that the temptation to pick it back up wouldn’t be there even if someone handed me a pack right now.

    The problem with most attempts at habit change is that they focus on the behavior above the mindset. It’s easy to consume a list of five or ten habits that promise health, wealth, and happiness, but it’s a lot harder to go into your own mind and deal with the incoherence of values that stops you from doing what you should. It’s easier to have a decision be made for you than it is to find the courage to make the decision yourself.

    Humans aren’t robots. We have agency. And every time you focus on a quick, easy fix without actually thinking, you deny the existence of that agency.

    Source: Medium

    Author: Zat Rana

  • Article: Finding Success By Doing What You Love?

    Is that really the best advice?

    There are countless hundreds of thousands of self-help articles out there, almost all of which state that to find success and wealth one must be doing what one loves.

    Well, yesterday I wrote about My Love of Washing Dishes. While that might make me a weirdo, it happens to be true. I truly love washing dishes (by hand). It brings me great joy.

    So does that mean that in order to find success and wealth I need to apply for a dish washing job at some local restaurant and work my way up the ladder of the dish washing profession? I don’t think so.

    First of all, I don’t think there is a ladder in that profession. It’s a bottom-rung job with no hierarchy. I have never heard of anyone getting fabulously wealthy and successful washing dishes. There may have been some people who started out washing dishes and then became successful after they moved beyond that but they did not get wealthy continuing to wash dishes.

    I have imagined what it would be like to get a job as a dish washer. I’ve pictured myself with a kitchen apron on standing in front of a large industrial stainless steel sink washing dishes for eight hours a day, five days a week.

    You know what would happen if I did that? My supreme love of washing dishes would flush right down the drain along with all the dirty dish water. How can I sustain my spiritual love of washing dishes for eight hours a day? And even if I could do that I certainly would not become rich and successful. I love washing dishes but getting paid for it would surely ruin that. Money can sure screw things up.

    Of course, money doesn’t have to always screw things up.

    Maybe I’m just not being creative enough. Maybe I could write articles about dish washing. Perhaps I could do dish washing podcasts or videos. I could write a book about it or maybe a screenplay for a dish washing movie. I could give $400 a ticket dish washing seminars. I could become the Tony Robbins of dish washing. I could build an ashram and invite people from around the world to come wash dishes with me.

    I don’t think so. Washing dishes is something I truly love to do and I want to keep it that way. And it’s a private thing. I don’t do it for an audience. My dish washing has no expectations attached to it; no dreams, no desires, no hopes, no money, no success, no competition, no ego, no plans. It’s just something that brings me great pleasure and peace. I love doing it but I’m not going to make a career out of it.


    So anyway, the more I’ve been thinking about dish washing lately, the more I’ve been thinking about writing. Writing is something I love to do, too. Unlike dish washing, however, I write for money. Just this past month I made enough money to pay for a month’s worth of internet access. That’s a good thing because it allows me to write for another month so that I can make enough money to pay for another month of internet access so that I can write for another month so that I can make enough money for another month of internet access so that I can write for another month so that I can pay for another month of internet access so that…

    Hmm, that kind of sounds like a job. Surprisingly, I have been able to maintain my love for writing despite the fact that money is involved. Of course I wonder if money influences my writing in subtle, unseen ways. I sure hope not. And I wonder how a 7-figure advance on a yet-to-be-written novel would affect my writing. And would I still love writing?

    Of course, writing for me is more than just something that I love to do. It is also a disease, an addiction. It is something that I have to do so I may as well love doing it. Dish washing is not an addiction.

    Or is it? I wash dishes every day so that I can have clean plates and silverware and pots and pans to continue eating so that I can continue to wash dishes in order to continue eating so that I can continue washing dishes so that I can continue eating…

    Maybe the lesson is in fact to do what you love. But do it as a spiritual practice rather than a means to an end. Do what you love without expectations and let the wealth and success fall where it may. Weighing down the things we love doing with expectations of success and wealth is putting the cart before the horse. Do what you love doing for no other reason than that you love doing it.

    Source: Medium

    Author: White Feather

  • Self empowerment techniques that help you be your best

    Self empowerment is about taking control of your life. This involves developing the self-trust and self-awareness you need to set the right goals, make sound decisions, and understand your strengths and weaknesses – so you can thrive.

    Living a life fuelled by self empowerment is a refusal to allow others to make decisions for you.

    Instead, it’s claiming your own path – regardless of what anyone else says – because you know that path is right for you.

    It’s the harder path for sure. It’s far easier to settle for conventional rules and fall in line. It’s easier to play small and dumb down your goals and your ideas. But if you’re reading this, I know that’s not what you want.

    You want to dream bigger and achieve more. You want to explore your full potential and you want to feel empowered to take the actions and decisions that lead to an abundant life.

    So if you know there’s so much more out there, this article is for you.

    Keep reading and you’ll discover SEVEN powerful self improvement techniques that will help you cultivate the grit, self-trust, and confidence you need to be your best.

    1. Journaling

    “An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Plato

    Everyday you make decisions, ponder over thoughts, and live out experiences. It’s a big melting pot, which contains a host of insights ready for you to pull out.

    That’s what journaling helps you to do – it’s a practice that empowers you to examine your life for self empowerment.

    By getting introspective in your notebook, you can explore your thoughts and experiences more deeply. You can look for the connections, join up the dots, and get clearer on who you are.

    Journaling isn’t just about mulling over the here and now. You can also use this practice to reflect over your life so you can get more clarity on what’s shaped your beliefs and your thought patterns. If you struggle to know what to journal about, ask yourself questions or get your hands on some prompts.

    Do what it takes to get more clarity on the subconscious, hidden stuff that’s driving you, and you’ll be able to make more empowered choices moving forward.

    2. Make good decisions

    “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins

    When you lack confidence and you don’t know yourself, it’s easy to be influenced by the people you admire and respect.

    Especially when it comes to those big, defining decisions!

    If you don’t trust your own judgement, there’s a good chance you’ll be persuaded.

    But what others think you should do isn’t necessarily what’s right for you.

    Often, we know in our gut what the right choice is, but we end up overriding that decision because of fear, ‘logical’ thinking, and the opinions of others.

    Decisiveness is powerful because it allows you to take control over your life.

    Instead of procrastinating, you can choose and act.

    So invest in developing your decision making skills.

    Train your mind to think widely about the tough choices – considering all angles so you feel confident you’ve chosen well. Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but trusting yourself enough to go for what you think is right is a hugely empowering thing to do.  

    3. Set goals

    “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” –Bill Copeland

    When it comes to self empowerment, your goals are the drivers.

    Set goals and you begin to live your life intentionally. Instead of allowing each day to be like the one before, you set a course that allows you to create the life YOU want.

    Goals create focus.

    They tell your brain what’s important (and what is less so).

    They make it easy for you to prioritize what’s on your plate by putting the things that will take you closer to your targets first.

    Goals are the seeds of change and they put you in the driving seat of your life.

    What goals do you need to set – in your relationships, your work/career, your personal development, your finances, your hobbies, your health and wellbeing etc?

    Set goals that take you closer to the things you want, and take action on them, and you’ll feel more empowered than ever.

    4. Manage your time

    “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” – Stephen Covey

    Each day, you wake up with 1440 minutes deposited in your time bank account.

    Time is the greatest equalizer. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all get the same time allocation. It’s what you do with your time that counts.

    It’s easy to feel disempowered in life when time feels scarce, but the truth is you do have enough time to do it all. It’s simply a case of prioritization and allocation.

    Self empowerment is about taking responsibility for your time and ensuing you’re using it wisely. Ask yourself:

    • What are you doing that you don’t really enjoy?
    • Where are you wasting time through procrastination and distractions?
    • What could you outsource, delegate, or even scrap all together?
    • What are you not doing that you’d really love to explore?

    Time is too precious to leave it to chance.

    Instead, use a planner (such as the SELF Journal) to plan your day.

    Figure out your daily targets (ensuring they’re aligned to your goals) and schedule in all your tasks in the same way you would a fixed appointment.

    Budget your time to get it all done and there’s a good chance you will.  

    5. Don’t be afraid to fail

    “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

    If self empowerment is about taking control and using your life to do the things you want, you MUST get comfortable with failure.

    No one likes to fail. It’s uncomfortable, it can knock our confidence, and it makes us vulnerable to the judgement of others.

    However, you can’t create a fully expressed life if you never push yourself out of your comfort zone. The things you want require you to take actions and make decisions that you’ve never taken before. It’s just the way it is! You can’t know everything in advance (and if you do, perhaps you’re not thinking big enough).

    So give yourself the freedom and permission to get it wrong.

    Change your perception of failure and see it as a fundamental part of the self-growth process. Turn ‘mistakes’ into learning opportunities and every time things don’t go as you planned, soak up the rush of fresh insights that will help you do more next time.

    You aren’t your mistakes. You are so much more than that.

    It takes guts to take a risk and push yourself further than you think you can go.

    But prioritize courage over comfort, and you’ll feel more self empowered than ever.

    6. Say no without feeling guilty

    “Just saying yes because you can’t bear the short-term pain of saying no is not going to help you do the work.” – Seth Godin

    Time is your most precious resource.

    So don’t waste it doing things you think you have to do.

    I get it, saying no can be really hard – you don’t want to let people down and you don’t want others to feel bad about you.

    But every time you say YES when you really mean no, you divert your time resource to activities you don’t really want to do.

    Let that sink in…

    Saying yes to someone else means saying no to you.

    It’s your life and that means you’re allowed to do things your way. You’re allowed to prioritize your needs over other people’s.

    Self empowerment involves being more mindful with your yeses and nos.

    So next time someone makes a request of you and you want to say no, but feel you have to say yes, dive deeper into your thought process. Grab your journal if you need to.

    When you understand your programming, you’ll be empowered to give replies that are true to you.

    7. Love yourself

    “Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” – Robert Holden

    How’s your relationship with yourself?

    How do you feel when you look in the mirror? Do you like what you see? Do you think you’re worthy of living life to the full and creating everything you desire?

    Without self love, everything else becomes so much harder.

    It’s why nurturing your relationship with yourself is one of the most powerful things you can do. In fact, self love is the catalyst to virtually everything (including self empowerment).

    • Prioritize your self care routines.
    • Make more space for the things YOU enjoy (and enjoy them without feeling guilty).
    • Do the work necessary to ensure your self talk is positive, encouraging, and loving.
    • Practice daily gratitude and own all the abundance you have in your life already.
    • Exercise, eat well, and take care of yourself like you are the most important person in the world

    Make sure your cup is full, and you’ll feel empowered to do so much more.

    Self empowerment is a journey, NOT an overnight fix

    Your ability to take control of your life and feel good in the skin you’re in is a state that’s constantly evolving.

    That’s the beautiful thing about self growth…

    The more you achieve and discover about yourself, the more you realize is possible.

    That’s why self empowerment isn’t a destination. Instead, it’s an ongoing journey of personal evolution.

    And at each stage, you open the doors to bigger and bigger opportunities and rewards.

    When self empowerment becomes a driver, you’ll always be growing. You’ll discover more and more truths about who you really are.

    And that is a mammoth reward in itself.

    How are you cultivating self empowerment in your life? Let us know in the comments below.

    Source: BestSelf

    Author: Georgina

  • VIDEO: Seize Your Passion on the Love and Light Show

    In this episode of the Love & Light Show Laura McPhee, Joyful Goddess – Speaker, Healer, Coach, talks with Rachel who is the Creator and Founder of Seyopa.com and Seize Your Passion! 💖 Watch now to learn how to seize your passion using the 5 point cyclical framework of Self – Mindset – Action – Overcome – Success! 💖 You’ll be guided through resources that will support you on your journey 💞

    The Love & Light Show showcases Lightworkers, Healers and Coaches who will support you on your healing journey and bring positivity into your life! Each week Laura McPhee brings a new guest live to the show on her Facebook page to support you with wisdom, tools, tips, modalities, experiences and healing energy to raise your vibration!!

    Laura loves the quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and it is part of the inspiration for this show. We will support you in raising your vibration so that you can BE that change in your own life, your family, your community and by growing and learning together we will raise the vibration of the planet!!

    Laura McPhee is a Certified ThetaHealer in Basic, Advanced and Manifesting & Abundance, a Master Reiki Practioner, Mastery University Graduate and Sound Healer. Laura is the host of the Love & Light Show, Creator of From Broken to Blissful and loves empowering women through self-love, self-care, sexual healing and releasing the limiting beliefs that they are not good enough, pretty enough, ____ enough. She is also an Empath, Claircognizant, a Reflector in human design and a Seeker who can easily identify and clear the blocks that have been holding you back and align you with your ideal life!

  • What Makes You Come Alive?

    Are you doing it?

    By, Lindsay Lonai Linegar

    Photo by David Calderón on Unsplash

    Author, theologian, and civil rights leader Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

    Someone I love once said something heartbreaking to me.

    We were driving in the car somewhere as the sun was about to set. I, a passenger able to stare off into the distance, must have said something about the warm glow of light.

    She responded by telling me it was her favorite time of day. In a moment of stunning vulnerability, she told me it was the time of day that reminded her she was supposed to be living.

    It makes me ache still to remember, years later, but I can relate to this place she was in.

    It seems exceedingly easy to let ourselves get to a place in life where we’re going through the motions, or just surviving, or numbing ourselves through an endless variety of medication. Sometimes it’s because we’ve been through something devastating, sometimes not. But I think there are times in all of our lives when we need a reminder that we’re supposed to be living.

    Years ago, an idea came to mind. The idea was to take an epic road trip through the United States with one purpose: to ask random strangers what makes them come alive.

    I would still love do this. I figure, since I know what it’s like to be numb or on autopilot, and how amazing it is to finally be shaken out of slumber — others might, too.

    I imagine asking all sorts of people this question — the barista at a coffee shop, the cashier at a gas station, the person waiting for their traveling partner at a rest stop. I wonder at the types of responses I’d get, both physical and verbal. I mean, what kind of a question is that to ask a random stranger?

    “Hi there, how ya doing? So, what makes you come alive?”

    How would you react? How would I react? Who knows how this road trip would pan out. Maybe someday I’ll do it, and we’ll find out. But this idea of asking ourselves what makes us come alive, and then going and doing it? I can’t seem to shake it.

    I don’t have any expert advice on how to figure this out, by the way. I suppose some people can recognize from a very young age what makes them come alive. It may take others longer to figure it out. Still others may not be able to, or want to, choose a single thing.

    Personally, I refer to a line in a movie I’ve never even seen, for my own guidance on the matter.

    In the movie Chariots of Fire, Olympic athlete Eric Liddell’s character says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.”

    Liddell, played by Ian Charleson, is speaking to his sister in this scene, responding to her concern that he is neglecting God’s purpose for his life by focusing on running.

    I’ve always loved these words, since the first time I heard them. As a person who has faith in God, I can completely relate to this struggle. The struggle to know what your true purpose is in life, as a Christian, can be maddening. Let’s break down Eric’s words.

    “I believe God made me for a purpose…”

    Yes, I believe this, too. I believe God made all of us for a purpose, and I also believe it doesn’t need to be as complicated to figure out what that purpose is, as we sometimes make it.

    “…but he also made me fast…”

    I am definitely not a fast runner, so in place of fast, I might insert something like: “good with words” or “a lover of dance”.

    “…and when I run, I feel his pleasure.”

    This is my favorite part.

    Imagine what the pleasure of the creator of the world must be like. If God is the God I think God is, then God is infinitely good. And an infinitely good God’s pleasure must be mind-blowing.

    And when I do something on this earth, something even so seemingly minute as twirling around on a dance floor — to think of this act as correlating with God’s pleasure, is beautiful.

    To me, these are the moments of pure joy in my life. So what makes me “come alive” and what makes me “feel God’s pleasure” are the moments when I feel nothing but joy. These are the moments of bliss when all the noise in my head stops, and I am so totally in the moment, I could literally die happy.

    For me, this is when I’m dancing. Be it a night out with a girlfriend getting funky to hip-hop music, two-stepping to country music, learning steps to a dance in a foreign land, or letting the music sway me into a free-style dance in the privacy of my own home: dancing makes me come alive like nothing else.

    Dance is not the only thing that enlivens me. Writing this, for example, also makes me come alive. Creative journaling makes me come alive. Traveling, being in nature, good conversation, discovering beautiful music, moments of grace — all of these things make me come alive.

    Given the chance to travel around and ask others what makes them come alive would, without a doubt, make me come alive. Given the chance to travel around and learn about different dances from people who come alive when they dance, and then see if I can learn their dance, too? Ahhh, I can’t even imagine how alive I’d come. These are two very real dreams of mine.

    But it could be anything for anybody. It could be woodworking or healing sick people or baking pie. It could be attempting to solve problems through math, technology, or political discourse. It could be serving on a team, studying ornithology, or playing the harmonica.

    What about you? What is it for you?

    What makes you come alive? Are you doing it?

    And if you are not doing that thing, or those things, regularly in your life: what is stopping you?

    Sure, this isn’t as good as it would be if we were sitting in a diner somewhere, talking. But it’s still a valuable exchange for me. If you’re willing, please take my question seriously. You can make my dream come true, a little bit at a time, with your response.

    Source: Medium

    Author: Lindsay Lonai Linegar

  • Article: How To Live A Passionate Life | By, Tony Fahkry

    Photo by Adrian Dascal 

    Life Is Hardly Predictable.

    “The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” — Frank Lloyd Wright

    In the 1996 movie Jack, the lead character played by the late Robin Williams announces at his graduation: “Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end none of us has very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day, make a wish, and think of me. Make your life spectacular.” There is something memorable about that passage that drives deep into our hearts. True to his words, Robin Williams lived a remarkable life equalled with an illustrious career. This is not a surmise on the late actor, rather an invitation to: “Make your life spectacular.”

    The art of living beautifully is a call to know thyself without exception. Otherwise, we are at the mercy of external events which disrupt the foundations of our inner life. To know oneself means to align with our Authentic Self. Regretfully, many people seldom explore the complexity of their emotional constitution until it’s too late. A life of beauty arises when we move beyond our fixed reality and dare to explore the life we dream possible. It means to live fearlessly, beyond the walls of a comfortable existence. Is this something that appeals to you? To live a beautiful life means to transform disempowering states into positive life experiences. It’s no secret that life events can scar us and leave us vulnerable. We cease taking risks for fear of getting hurt. While universal, the drawback is to retreat without ever reaching for the treasures we long for.

    One of the greatest minds of our century, Albert Einstein once said: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” I urge you to explore this sentiment by trusting in the mysterious where the seeds of opportunity lie. Life is hardly predictable. Like torrential rain on a sultry night, when change ushers through, it can leave a deluge of uncertainty in its wake. For that reason, we must consider our problems as an alluring adventure instead of a melting pot of frustration.While challenging, a change in perception allows us to appreciate difficult moments to cultivate our personal growth. We must be mindful of these opportunities as they arise, rather than concede life is devoid of wonderful moments.


    Photo by Simon Maage

    Miracles Come In Moments

    “All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” — John Wooden

    Most people strive for happiness, so much so that bookshelves are littered with advice proclaiming the secret to attain happiness in thirty days or less. Yet research shows we are less happy than in the past. Maybe technology is to blame for creating insincere connections devoid of social interactions. To be in service of others is a way out of the unhappiness trap. It is not a transitory practice either, rather an opportunity to deepen our connection with ourselves. Clearly, we know happiness is not tied to owning the latest smartphone or sports car. While the advice seems obvious, many people fill the emptiness within by amassing material objects. This creates more desires and if we have limited financial resources, it creates further pain and suffering. I assure you, no material object will complete you more than what lies deep within your soul.

    To live beautifully means to live according to our highest values. In doing so, we form meaningful connections with others that enrich our life. Likewise, we must avoid perceiving life as a sequence of daily routines and events which pass by at the blink of an eye. If we subscribe to this erroneous thinking, we succumb to the monotony of living a Groundhog Day existence. Miracles take place right before our eyes. We miss them because we rush about our day scurrying to the next event or trying to meet deadlines. The late American self-help author Dr.Wayne Dyer believed: “Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.” Miracles cannot be experienced by analyzing the past or future, for they will pass us by like a high-speed train if we are unaware.

    This is why we must avoid clinging to our thoughts and move into our heart, the source of all wisdom where our soul calls home. Similarly, a beautiful life calls us to recognize what is of value to us. One way to experience beauty is to stop, listen, and connect with our surroundings. This means to slow to the speed of life instead of running around like the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland, hoping to get everything done yet achieving little. To be present in the moment is challenging because life pulls us in different directions. Before long, we succumb to external forces instead of abiding by our inner blueprint. Similarly, we ought to let go of unnecessary stressors that are not tied to our long-term happiness.

    Unwelcomed stress affects our capacity to enjoy life because we react to events, instead of allowing them to pass through our lives. Visualize a boxer backed into the ropes, battling punches from his opponent. He is unable to move into an offensive stance because he is stuck in that position. Life has that effect because we are pushed and pulled to our limits and retreat in resignation. Sure enough, the next blow arrives stronger than before and if our guard is down, we’re knocked to the ground harder than before. It was William Wallace who declares to the Princess Of Wales in the epic motion picture Braveheart: “Every man dies, not every man really lives.” To live a beautiful life is an invitation to live passionately while we still have every chance.

    Source: Medium

    Author: Tony Fahkry

  • Article: Why Your Soul Knows What The Mind Cannot Understand | By, Tony Fahkry

    Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia

    Your Soul Knows The Best Path For You

    “The soul has been given its own ears to hear things that the mind does not understand.” 

    — Rumi

    Have you ever experienced a sense of oneness? A feeling of connectedness with life and the universe? What did it feel like on an emotional level? These types of occurrences are difficult to explain through logic and reason because the soul experiences what the mind cannot explain. For example, how do you describe the attraction towards another person via logic? You might describe how the other person makes you feel, but it is difficult to define the exact quality of the attraction. This is because emotions are the language of the soul and can only be experienced through the heart. Soulful living is an invitation to merge with our heart and mind through these faculties. Is this something you’re willing to explore in your life?

    I’ll admit, it can be difficult to navigate our way through life at the soul level because the communication is hard to distinguish. In contrast, the language of thought is direct because we are familiar with it. This doesn’t mean thoughts are the only way to make sense of the world. In fact, many of our problems stem from an overactive mind that leads to stress since we buy into the narrative our thoughts promote. Have you noticed this with the mindless chatter that takes place in your head which can cause chaos and confusion? The language of the heart speaks in silence and relays messages through subtle signs and symbols.

    Your soul knows the best path for you in life, yet it may not appear that way sometimes because of the challenges you face. Regardless, these are vital lessons to expand your soul’s evolution. I’ve experienced many of these lessons throughout my life and now realize my soul was communicating to me through these experiences. Whilst they were difficult, a new path emerged following the event that lead me in a new direction. Have you experienced something like this before? Whether it be the breakup of a relationship, losing a job or the unexpected loss of a loved one? Whilst these events can be distressing, they leave a ripple effect in our consciousness and we can never go back to the same way of living.

    Acceptance Does Not Mean Resignation

    “You cannot find your soul with your mind, you must use your heart. You must know what you are feeling. If you don’t know what you are feeling, you will create unconsciously.” 

    — Gary Zukav

    I’ve written about my life-and-death encounter in earlier articles where I describe a gradual awakening that foreshadowed a new way of living. I began to read books on consciousness, personal growth and leadership and realised my experience was a gateway to expanded living. Regrettably, I lost many friends during this time whom I no longer identified with. It seemed we were speaking different languages that neither of us could understand and our life’s journey was taking us in different directions. Naturally, I wanted to hold on to these relationships because I had known these people since childhood. As painful as it was, I allowed life to take the lead, and surrendered to the process. I stopped resisting the changes because they were happening, regardless of my struggle. My resistance only fuelled more suffering, and it was easier to go with the flow hoping it would lead to somewhere special. I’m glad I did because that special place is the one I am living now and the person writing these words on your screen.

    Sometimes, what seems like the wrong turn, is the only turn we need to take for life to guide us where we need to be. The soul has a plan for us and knows the people that will enter our life at the right time. It knows what lessons we need for our soul’s evolution. It makes it easier when we let go of resistance and learn to accept what is unfolding. Remember, acceptance does not mean resignation, nor does it mean we like what is happening. It means letting go of the mental drama of why things shouldn’t be happening as they are. All our problems will melt away when we accept what life is trying to bring us. Sometimes the pieces may be still coming together and the situation may look fragmented. This is an opportunity to practice infinite patience and wait for the storm to pass, before taking the next step.

    With this in mind, I’d like you to think about a difficult situation in your life right now. Ask yourself: What does my soul want me to learn from this experience? How does my soul want me to learn and grow from it? Journal your answers in a diary. I assure you there will be responses that come forth which may not make sense at first. Keep exploring them and follow the trail. Sometimes, it will be easy and at other times you will be frustrated because you cannot make sense of what is unfolding. This is natural because you might try to dance quicker than the song being played. The uni-verse (one song) has an inherent rhythm we must abide by and when we learn to synchronise with it, life flows easily and effortlessly. Your soul not only knows what the mind cannot understand, it knows the best way to get there.

    Source: Medium

    Author: Tony Fahkry

  • Article: Build Your Life Around What Matters Most to You | By Christopher D. Connors

    Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 5.01.23 PM

    “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”  — Steve Jobs

    Each day, you’re given 86,400 seconds to make the most of. You’re given the latitude to pursue what you want, even if it only ends up being for a very small percentage of those seconds. You have time. You have a shot — and that’s all that most of us can really ask for. So, when I see people squandering that time and wasting it on things that don’t add value and that waste their talents, it gets me down.

    But more than that — it puzzles me. So many of us don’t realize the opportunities we’re letting pass us by.

    An investment toward a venture and new beginning doesn’t take nearly as much time each day as you think. It’s not about one lump sum of output for one day over a few days or week. The journey is about repetition. It’s about consistency and continuous output. Showing up each day and finding a way to let yourself shine, in all your authenticity, in whatever your thing is.

    So why do we spend time on things that don’t matter? For one thing — too many of us haven’t defined what matters most to us. As crazy as that sounds, we simply don’t know. We haven’t taken the time in deep thought and imagination to actually visualize and verbalize what we love and what means the most to us in this lifetime.

    This manifests itself in our professional and personal lives, as well as how we perceive opportunities. Actually, it sometimes comes down to the way we perceive things like, well, vegetables. Take this from Stanford professor S. Christian Wheeler:

    You may wish you liked your job more than you do, and you may find ways to make it more palatable, “but maybe your job really is bad.” Or you may want to eat more broccoli because you know it’s good for you, but if you dislike the taste there may be no way to convince yourself to eat it. [Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business]

    We shouldn’t have to convince ourselves to like something that isn’t worth our time. While many of us need jobs, we’d be better off taking the time to specify what we really want instead of languishing or suffering in a role that is more mentally and emotionally draining than worth its yield in monetary income.

    The Choice is Yours

    We have a choice — that’s the point. And choice is enabled when we brainstorm and list out things that mean something to us. These are values, goals, passions and defining what success or happiness look like. It’s not hard to wonder how someone became successful or why some people are happier than others. They didn’t just fly by the seat of their pants and stumble into those states.

    “The ultimate aim of the human mind, in all its efforts, is to become acquainted with truth.” ―Eliza Farnham

    They consciously planned, imagined, visualized and activated that successful state or feeling of happiness. It takes time and effort. So many people, due to emotions like nervousness, lack of faith, or the mode of indecisiveness fail to take the time to do this work. They think it should be overlooked and that they should just jump right in and keep churning away and working hard.

    But there’s a big difference between hard work without a light at the end of the tunnel, and hard, intelligent work that is designed to get us to an end goal and let us reap the rewards of learning and growth on our journey. We grow, we find meaning and we reach out pinnacle of self-actualization when we define what matters most to us and then approach that with a positive attitude and inspired, intelligent, industrious work ethic.

    So put your smartphone down. Turn down that invite for happy hour drinks on Friday night, that turns into a long night on the town, spilling into the precious time you could use on Saturday morning consciously plotting your future plans. It’s not worth it. Your devotion to what matters most to you — whether it be family, your job, your faith or your passion — should be valued above everything else.

    Don’t get disillusioned or caught up in the instant gratification social media world that prizes sensationalism and fleeting “cool” things over substance. Your journey to finding yourself and what you truly love is often long, sometimes lonely, but always worth it.

    An inspired, bold life is one lived on your terms and infused with doing meaningful, joyful things that light the fire inside of you, and simultaneously add value to the life of others.

    Go for it.

    Source: ThriveGlobal

    Author: Christopher D. Connor

  • Article: How To Follow Your Heart And Live A More Authentic Life | By, Tony Fahkry

    Screen-Shot-2019-06-12-at-3.59.25-PM
    Photo by by Aditya Saxena

    You Cannot Form A True Identity On Unstable Foundations

    “Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” — Thomas Merton

    When we connect with the core of our being, we merge with the Truth of our core self. This self is not obscured by labels or limiting beliefs about who it should be, because it knows how to survive in the world. This self is your true essence and because we dissociate from it, we lose our way.

    But you can never become lost when you are tied to universal intelligence. We ought to find time for silence because without regular silence we are caught up in the outside world and get distracted by the external noise. Worse still, we move into our heads and listen to the stream of incessant thoughts which occupy space in our minds. I’m not suggesting we ignore our thoughts, rather our thoughts have little to offer us by way of who we are. They are labels, ideas and impressions we pick up along the way during our life’s journey. But just as a GPS device, they tell us no more of who we are if we are not connected to a satellite or use the wrong map.

    To reveal our authentic self we must learn to let go of ideas instead of accumulate more. Consider a hoarder who buys collectables without selling existing items. Soon enough his space is packed full of items and he cannot move around until he frees up additional space. Our minds are the same. It is full of thoughts, that it becomes a distorted representation of the nature of reality. I use distorted in the kindest possible sense to show it being obscured from seeing the truth.

    Consider the following tale and notice what comes up for you: A long time ago, there was a wise Zen master. People from far and near sought his counsel for his wisdom to become enlightened in the way of Zen. He seldom turned any away. One day an important man of command and obedience came to visit the master. “I have come today to ask you to teach me about Zen. Open my mind to enlightenment.” The tone of the important man’s voice was accustomed to getting his own way.

    The Zen master smiled and said they should discuss the matter over a cup of tea. When the tea is served the master poured the visitor a cup. He continued to pour until the tea overflowed the rim of the cup and spilled over onto the robes of the man. Finally the visitor shouted: “Enough. You are spilling the tea all over. Can’t you see the cup is full?” The master stopped pouring and smiled at his guest. “You are like this tea cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back when the cup and your mind are empty.”

    Like the important man visiting the wise Zen master, he cannot gain more information when his mind is full. Letting go of our stories, ideas and beliefs is not easy because we fear we will lose our identity if we do so. If you believe that to be true, you have built an identity on shaky ground. You cannot form a true identity on unstable foundations, for that is equivalent to building a house on sand hoping it won’t sink into the ground. That’s why we must gradually abandon our perceptions of life to replace them with the truth.

    Your Soul Knows The Best Passage For Your Life’s Journey

    “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”― C.G. Jung

    It may take an entire lifetime to awaken our authentic self, which is concealed by the weight of past conditioning. However, it is better to live an authentic life than imprisoned as someone you pretend to be.

    In her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, author Bronnie Ware states the following as the five regrets:

    1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

    2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

    3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

    4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

    5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

    The number one regret of the dying is to have lived a more authentic life and not live according to the wishes of others. Depending on your circumstances, you still have time to chart a new course while striving to live from the heart. The mind will lead you so far, while the heart with its infinite wisdom will direct you on a journey of self-discovery. Contained within this self-discovery is the journey to awaken you to your authentic self.

    Author Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist:

    Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

    The heart is the seat of the soul and since your soul is infinite, it knows the best passage for your life’s journey. Soulful living is an invitation to live beyond the material world and be led by your heart’s wisdom. You will not be led astray if you follow your heart. Heart-based or soulful living is the awakening of your authentic self. Once you awaken this loving kindness within, you can never go back to living your former ways. Like a gradual awakening of the heart, you will experience life through the eyes of a child, because you now see life through an awakened mind, instead of an overflowing cup. As you follow your heart, it will lead you to destinations and experiences infinitely orchestrated for your personal evolution.

    Source: Medium

    Author: Tony Fahkry

    As always, do more of what you love. Be more of who you love. Seize Your Passion!

  • Video: 10 People That Turned Hardships Into Blessings | By Jay Shetty

    Video: 10 People That Turned Hardships Into Blessings | By Jay Shetty
    Ten inspiring stories about how our biggest failures, rejections, and lowest points can truly be our biggest blessings.

    These ten people were asked about their biggest failures, rejections, and lowest points. What they have to say is nothing short of moving, inspiring, and a great reminder for us all that we will get through our toughest times, even when our toughest times seem to go on forever, and we will be better and stronger for it. If we so choose.

    Source: YouTube

    Author: Jay Shetty

  • You’re So Money and You Don’t Even Know It!

    Maybe it’s time to redefine success….

    “You’re so money and you don’t even know it!”

    Remember that line from the movie Swingers? :-). The context may be different, but it’s sooo true!!! You are sooooo money!!! (And you don’t even know it).

    We all are!!!  So why don’t we allow ourselves to recognize or fully acknowledge that?!

    I think one reason is that we’re all so hard on ourselves, and we don’t give ourselves the credit that we freakin’ deserve! And that’s important!!!

    You are AMAZING! You’ve achieved and accomplished so much! You’ve overcome sooo much! You take care of and give so much!! 

    Own that! Embrace that! Acknowledge and celebrate that!!!! 

    Another reason we don’t do that nearly enough is because of how “success” has been defined for us. Not by us. 

    We take the word “success” to mean what our culture and society at large decided it means for all of us. But, in reality, how you define success is totally unique and individual to YOU; and it’s totally based on what’s important to you!!! Not to anyone or everyone else! And I think we forget that.

    And because of that, we end up feeling less-than, not enough, unfulfilled, unhappy, stressed, and sometimes even sick. Literally and physically sick.       

    Succeeding at the expense of our health and well-being is not succeeding.” – Arianna Huffington

    Meaning, we each need to redefine our own “success” in a way that allows us to thrive; in a way that compliments rather than contradicts our joy, our passion, our beliefs, our values, our dreams, our purpose, our meaning, and our true fulfillment in life!!!

    In a way that enhances and enriches and elevates us. In a way that speaks to, and brings out, your truth, and your best YOU!

    That’s true success in my book!! Right?!! 

    And yet, despite the fact that we know that, and even believe it to be true, somehow we don’t act accordingly. 

    (Which reminds me of another great movie quote from The Departed: “We’re all dying. Act accordingly!” Which was delivered brilliantly, by the way, by Jack Nicholson). 

    But what do we do instead? We beat ourselves up for not having gotten to some generalized, end-point, finish line that’s based on someone else’s definition of what success should mean to you. 

    When you think about it, It’s totally ludicrous! It’s absurd!

    And this whole notion of how we define “success” is totally related to what it really means to self-actualize, realize your full potential, and become your best self. It’s not about some finite end point, target, or any one goal. Rather, what self-actualization is really about is continuously evolving, growing, and becoming better. Each day, each year, each decade. 

    Actualizing your self is about pushing that potential, that innate greatness you have within you, a little (or a lot) further each and every day. 

    But because we don’t think about it in this way, the notion of realizing your dreams and becoming your best self ends up freezing us, and actually stopping us from doing just that! 

    We tell ourselves we’re not there yet, we’re not ready yet, or not good enough yet to reach that elusive, illusionary, end-goal target. 

    Instead, we need to remember:

    (1) Just how money you really are!!!!  
    (2) To start now, wherever you are, and just take a next step.

    A next step to evolving, growing, and becoming better than you were yesterday. That’s it. That’s self-actualization! That is, in and of itself, what it means to realize your potential. To consciously be on that ever-limitless trajectory of growth. Just better every day. That’s it.

    Do one new thing you love today. Do more of what you love, today. Be more of who you love. Today.

    That’s truly how you realize your dreams and become your best self! Today!!! 🙂 #SeizeYourPassion! 

  • The Need is Real! Self-Actualization at its Best

    Your desire to be your best, to realize your dreams, to be successful, happy, and fulfilled- it’s NOT just a luxury, or a “want.”

    Rather, that desire, that yearning to be all that you can be, to fulfill your potential, and to live your best, most joyous, meaningful, and fulfilling life, it’s a real, actual, universal, basic human NEED!!!!   

    In wellness terms (including your soul’s wellness, in addition to your psychological, emotional, and physical wellness), a “need” is defined as something that if goes unmet, creates a pathology (meaning a disease or sickness, as in the opposite of wellness) or a pathological problem.

    The most concrete example is your need for food. If that need goes unmet, it creates a pathological problem in your body.

    Our need for love is the same, though not as obvious in a tangible way. If your need for love goes unmet, it creates a pathological problem (meaning, a lack of wellness) in your life.

    (And by the way, that’s as true for doing what you love and being who you love – which is essentially giving yourself love – as it is for receiving love from others! They’re both equally vital to your wellness!!!. Because LOVE is everything! And everything starts with YOU! But I digress…..)   

    So too is it with your need to self-actualize!!!  Your hunger, drive, and desire to achieve and attain success, happiness, meaning, purpose, fulfillment, to be your best, to fulfill your potential, and to realize your dreams – that’s something to embrace, nourish, cultivate, develop, and maximize – NOT from a place of ego-driven entitlement or selfish want, but from a place of soul wellness and real, basic, human need!!!

    And I think it’s important to remember that. To remember and be reminded that your need for self-actualization is a beautiful and pure essential part of YOU, your being, and your wellness!

    It’s not something to shove away, bury, minimize, or be ashamed of in any way whatsoever (which I think is something we all tend to do sometimes – we think, who am I to want such grand dreams, or who am I to think I can achieve such success, or whatever form of beating yourself up you tend to go to).

    You NEED to Self-Actualize – to strive to become your best, realize your dreams, grow, evolve, and live your best life possible with meaning, purpose, passion and fulfillment – just as you need food, and just as you need love. :-)))   

    As always, Do More of What You Love and Be More of Who You Love!

    Seize Your Passion!!!!

  • Video: Shine Your Light!

    Lisa Nichols inspires and entertains in this awesome Goalcast video, and reminds us to:
    Shine Your Light, Baby!!!

    Shine Your Light, Baby!! Lisa Nichols shines, inspires, and entertains!!!

    Source: YouTube

    Author: Goalcast

  • Article: Self empowerment techniques that help you be your best

    Self empowerment is about taking control of your life. This involves developing the self-trust and self-awareness you need to set the right goals, make sound decisions, and understand your strengths and weaknesses – so you can thrive.

    Living a life fuelled by self empowerment is a refusal to allow others to make decisions for you.

    Instead, it’s claiming your own path – regardless of what anyone else says – because you know that path is right for you.

    It’s the harder path for sure. It’s far easier to settle for conventional rules and fall in line. It’s easier to play small and dumb down your goals and your ideas. But if you’re reading this, I know that’s not what you want.

    You want to dream bigger and achieve more. You want to explore your full potential and you want to feel empowered to take the actions and decisions that lead to an abundant life.

    So if you know there’s so much more out there, this article is for you.

    Keep reading and you’ll discover SEVEN powerful self improvement techniques that will help you cultivate the grit, self-trust, and confidence you need to be your best.

    1. Journaling

    “An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Plato

    Everyday you make decisions, ponder over thoughts, and live out experiences. It’s a big melting pot, which contains a host of insights ready for you to pull out.

    That’s what journaling helps you to do – it’s a practice that empowers you to examine your life for self empowerment.

    By getting introspective in your notebook, you can explore your thoughts and experiences more deeply. You can look for the connections, join up the dots, and get clearer on who you are.

    Journaling isn’t just about mulling over the here and now. You can also use this practice to reflect over your life so you can get more clarity on what’s shaped your beliefs and your thought patterns. If you struggle to know what to journal about, ask yourself questions or get your hands on some prompts.

    Do what it takes to get more clarity on the subconscious, hidden stuff that’s driving you, and you’ll be able to make more empowered choices moving forward.

    2. Make good decisions

    “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins

    When you lack confidence and you don’t know yourself, it’s easy to be influenced by the people you admire and respect.

    Especially when it comes to those big, defining decisions!

    If you don’t trust your own judgement, there’s a good chance you’ll be persuaded.

    But what others think you should do isn’t necessarily what’s right for you.

    Often, we know in our gut what the right choice is, but we end up overriding that decision because of fear, ‘logical’ thinking, and the opinions of others.

    Decisiveness is powerful because it allows you to take control over your life.

    Instead of procrastinating, you can choose and act.

    So invest in developing your decision making skills.

    Train your mind to think widely about the tough choices – considering all angles so you feel confident you’ve chosen well. Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but trusting yourself enough to go for what you think is right is a hugely empowering thing to do.   

    3. Set goals

    “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” –Bill Copeland

    When it comes to self empowerment, your goals are the drivers.

    Set goals and you begin to live your life intentionally. Instead of allowing each day to be like the one before, you set a course that allows you to create the life YOU want.

    Goals create focus.

    They tell your brain what’s important (and what is less so).

    They make it easy for you to prioritize what’s on your plate by putting the things that will take you closer to your targets first.

    Goals are the seeds of change and they put you in the driving seat of your life.

    What goals do you need to set – in your relationships, your work/career, your personal development, your finances, your hobbies, your health and wellbeing etc?

    Set goals that take you closer to the things you want, and take action on them, and you’ll feel more empowered than ever.

    4. Manage your time

    “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” – Stephen Covey

    Each day, you wake up with 1440 minutes deposited in your time bank account.

    Time is the greatest equalizer. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all get the same time allocation. It’s what you do with your time that counts.

    It’s easy to feel disempowered in life when time feels scarce, but the truth is you do have enough time to do it all. It’s simply a case of prioritization and allocation.

    Self empowerment is about taking responsibility for your time and ensuing you’re using it wisely. Ask yourself:

    • What are you doing that you don’t really enjoy?
    • Where are you wasting time through procrastination and distractions?
    • What could you outsource, delegate, or even scrap all together?
    • What are you not doing that you’d really love to explore?

    Time is too precious to leave it to chance.

    Instead, use a planner (such as the SELF Journal) to plan your day.

    Figure out your daily targets (ensuring they’re aligned to your goals) and schedule in all your tasks in the same way you would a fixed appointment.

    Budget your time to get it all done and there’s a good chance you will.  

    5. Don’t be afraid to fail

    “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

    If self empowerment is about taking control and using your life to do the things you want, you MUST get comfortable with failure.

    No one likes to fail. It’s uncomfortable, it can knock our confidence, and it makes us vulnerable to the judgement of others.

    However, you can’t create a fully expressed life if you never push yourself out of your comfort zone. The things you want require you to take actions and make decisions that you’ve never taken before. It’s just the way it is! You can’t know everything in advance (and if you do, perhaps you’re not thinking big enough).

    So give yourself the freedom and permission to get it wrong.

    Change your perception of failure and see it as a fundamental part of the self-growth process. Turn ‘mistakes’ into learning opportunities and every time things don’t go as you planned, soak up the rush of fresh insights that will help you do more next time.

    You aren’t your mistakes. You are so much more than that.

    It takes guts to take a risk and push yourself further than you think you can go.

    But prioritize courage over comfort, and you’ll feel more self empowered than ever.

    6. Say no without feeling guilty

    “Just saying yes because you can’t bear the short-term pain of saying no is not going to help you do the work.” – Seth Godin

    Time is your most precious resource.

    So don’t waste it doing things you think you have to do.

    I get it, saying no can be really hard – you don’t want to let people down and you don’t want others to feel bad about you.

    But every time you say YES when you really mean no, you divert your time resource to activities you don’t really want to do.

    Let that sink in…

    Saying yes to someone else means saying no to you.

    It’s your life and that means you’re allowed to do things your way. You’re allowed to prioritize your needs over other people’s.

    Self empowerment involves being more mindful with your yeses and nos.

    So next time someone makes a request of you and you want to say no, but feel you have to say yes, dive deeper into your thought process. Grab your journal if you need to.

    When you understand your programming, you’ll be empowered to give replies that are true to you.

    7. Love yourself

    “Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” – Robert Holden

    How’s your relationship with yourself?

    How do you feel when you look in the mirror? Do you like what you see? Do you think you’re worthy of living life to the full and creating everything you desire?

    Without self love, everything else becomes so much harder.

    It’s why nurturing your relationship with yourself is one of the most powerful things you can do. In fact, self love is the catalyst to virtually everything (including self empowerment).

    • Prioritize your self care routines.
    • Make more space for the things YOU enjoy (and enjoy them without feeling guilty).
    • Do the work necessary to ensure your self talk is positive, encouraging, and loving.
    • Practice daily gratitude and own all the abundance you have in your life already.
    • Exercise, eat well, and take care of yourself like you are the most important person in the world

    Make sure your cup is full, and you’ll feel empowered to do so much more.

    Self empowerment is a journey, NOT an overnight fix

    Your ability to take control of your life and feel good in the skin you’re in is a state that’s constantly evolving.

    That’s the beautiful thing about self growth…

    The more you achieve and discover about yourself, the more you realize is possible.

    That’s why self empowerment isn’t a destination. Instead, it’s an ongoing journey of personal evolution.

    And at each stage, you open the doors to bigger and bigger opportunities and rewards.

    When self empowerment becomes a driver, you’ll always be growing. You’ll discover more and more truths about who you really are.

    And that is a mammoth reward in itself.

    Source: Best Self

    Author: Georgina

  • Your BEST Moments!

    And how to make them count, and last!

    You know those moments in life when you have this huge epiphany, or realization, or understanding of something in a new way – and it just FUELS YOU with energy and passion and excitement and determination?!

    Aren’t those the best?!

    You just get it! And you’re totally inspired and empowered, and filled with certainty and belief!!!

    ………

    But then, what happens? More often than not, that fuel and those amazing feelings gra-du-ally fade out….

    You still have the cognitive “aha moment” understanding; your head still remembers and knows it as truth, but your body and your spirit (your heart, your emotions, your soul, and your energy) don’t feel it in the same visceral way anymore.

    And then because of that, you look around you and what you see is- that nothing’s really changed.

    Your intellectual knowledge of that powerful and profound insight, that invisible and intangible thought, doesn’t seem to carry much weight or hold much significance in the real, physical, practical world around you. It doesn’t seem to make much, if any, of a difference. 

    Which, in turn, depletes the idea and enlightenment itself (and you) even more of its very power. Until eventually, it becomes completely disregarded, minimized, or even forgotten.

    Essentially, it gets filed in your brain under the –
    “I know this already, and I have nothing new to learn from it or use it for” file;
    or the –
    “This is one of those BS, cheesy, corny, trite cliches that makes no difference in the real world or in my life” file.

    And that perception, that realization, really, really sucks!!!! It saddens me, it angers me, and it actually fuels me in the same, but different, kind of way. To change it!

    So how do you change that? 

    How do you instead, empower the power of perspective shifts, of epiphanies, and of insights to empower you long-term, so they don’t fade out and do have lasting, tangible impact on your life?!

    It’s by taking those realizations and those epiphanies, which are in essence perspective shifts, and turning them into behavioral shifts!

    Because there’s a discipline and a practice to passion too!

    It’s the taking action piece of seizing your passion! But it’s taking the right kind of inspired action that comes from having the perspective shift first.

    You need the mindset first.

    (And even before the mindset, you need to understand your Self and know your Truth first, first-:-). Remember the Seize Your Passion cyclical framework of Self-Mindset-Action-Overcome-Success? If not, or if you want to reacquaint with it, go here).

    And then you need the action piece – you need to do something that comes from and out of that mindset!

    BUT, not just do that something once, or as a one-off. You need to do it regularly and consistently, until it becomes a part of your behavior, and a part of you. 

    That is when and how the intellectual knowledge, the cerebral perspective shift of understanding it in your head also turns into knowing it, feeling it, and experiencing it in your body and spirit!

    And the regularity of that experience, the consistency, and the repetition of it is what makes it a habit, and eventually even an effortless and almost automatic one!!!   

    And that is where and when and how YOU turn your perspective shifts into behavioral shifts that actually EMPOWER and IMPACT and TRANSFORM your life!!!!  

    I challenge you to start doing that now, consistently and regularly, with this simple, but profound truth we all know and understand in our heads  –

    Do More of What You Love, and Be More of Who You Love!!!

    I challenge you to take that perspective shift, that mindset, that cerebral understanding and turn it into a behavioral shift in your life!

    I challenge you to Seize Your Passion!!!

  • The Three Most Powerful Intrinsic Motivators We All Share

    And how they can help you live your best life possible!

    Question: If you had to pick, what would you say your top three motivators are? In general, as a person, and in your life?

    What are the top three things that really drive you to want to be your best, to want to succeed, to dream big, to actually want to get out of bed in the morning and go realize those dreams, and just in general, to want to live your best life possible? 

    Answer: The THREE MOST POWERFUL Intrinsic Motivators we all have (after basic needs for safety and security are met) – the three basic desires and drivers we all share that underlie pretty much everything we want out of life, however different the specific wants out of our own individual lives may be, are:

    1) Autonomy
    2) Mastery
    3) Purpose


    Autonomy being, the desire to steer your own ship.
    Mastery being, the desire to steer it well. 
    Purpose being, the desire for the journey to matter.


    How true is that?!!! And being aware of it is so powerful!!! Here’s what I mean.

    Autonomy- the desire to steer your own ship. We all want to be the designer and creator of our own life. We don’t want to live our life based on someone else’s creation or design. We want to be the one who’s calling the shots and be the director / author / CEO of our own life, right?! It’s our life, after all.  

    And we want (and deserve, and have earned the right) to live it based on our values, beliefs, standards, desires, and dreams; NOT based on someone else’s expectations, approval, control, or power.

    This is essentially what I mean when I say, all the time- Live Your Truth! It sounds simple and obvious, but how many of us really, truly do this??? 

    But, when we’re aware of it in this context, as being one of our 3 primary motivators for everything we want in life, it inspires and helps us to act and live accordingly; to make choices and decisions accordingly; to prioritize our time and energy accordingly; and to remember to stay true to ourselves and live our truth, not someone else’s.

    It’s huge. Autonomy. Then, Mastery.  

    Mastery- the desire to steer that ship well. We want to live our life well! We all want to live our life in the best possible way we can, right?! We want to be the best CEO, director, and author that we can be so that we can live our best possible life!

    Is there anyone who wakes up in the morning and says, “Nah – I don’t really want my life to be that great, I don’t really care if I f**k up my role as the creator and designer of my life.” Um, no! I don’t think so. 

    We all want to be the best we can be at life in general, and in whatever it is we do. No one wants to be shitty. 

    When we remember this, again – it inspires and helps us to learn, grow, evolve, and to continuously strive to become the best versions of ourselves so that we can master our skills, our abilities, and our capabilities to live our life well! It’s that simple.

    Autonomy. Mastery. Then, Purpose.     
     
    Purpose- the desire for the journey to matter. 
    OK, this one is dearest to my heart! Because, one of the foundational cornerstones of Purpose is Passion!!!

    We all want our life to mean something, and to have meaning. We want our life to matter. To have purpose. Why? Simply because one of the core elements that human beings need to be happy is a sense of meaning. 

    Passion is so often what gives us that meaning, and that purpose. Its what opens up the gates to discovering it, cultivating it, and attaining it! Passion is also what gives us the motivation and strength to persevere through challenges, rejections, and failures long enough to have a meaningful impact!

    And, there are two hungers we all have, and the word “hunger” here can easily be substituted with the word “passion.”

    1) The smaller hunger of what I want now, in the short term. The instant gratification hunger; and

    2) The greatest hunger of all, that which we all share – the hunger, the passion, for a meaningful, successful, and joyful life! The hunger to become all that we are capable of becoming, and to live our best possible life! That is the hunger, and the passion, that Seize Your Passion is made of! And that is the hunger, and the passion, that drives our desire to have Purpose, and to make the journey matter!

    “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
    – Nelson Mandela 

    And then there’s LOVE. I can’t leave love out of this discussion because here too, the word “passion” can easily substitute the word “love.” And because, I really believe that at the end of the day, and at the end of all of our days, LOVE is really all that matters! 

    Did we love our life? Did we love ourselves? Did we love others? Did we live out of that love? Did we inspire love? Did we express and share our love?

    Whatever comes out of, or is a result of, LOVE, and I’m talking about real, true love (in any form, expression, or relationship) is always good, and always meaningful!

    That’s why doing more of what you love and being more of who you love is the key to feeding that greatest hunger we all have, the key to fulfilling those 3 primary drivers and most powerful intrinsic motivators we all have, and it’s the key to living your best life possible! 

    “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”
    – Ella Fitzgerald


    “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”
    – Bob Marley


    “Love is the oxygen of our lives. Breathe it in deeply today.”
    – Tony Robbins


    As always- Do more of what you love. Be more of who you love. Seize Your Passion! 

  • BLOG: Sisu!

    How to Realize Your Dreams and Become Your Best Self!

    I’ve got one word for you –

    Sisu!!!!!!!!!

    Besides the fact that it’s really fun saying out loud (I dare you to try right now), it’s such an amazing word because of what it means and stands for!

    Sisu is a Finnish concept described as stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness….It is generally considered not to have a literal equivalent in English.” – Wikipedia 

    Here’s my equivalent, and how I think we can embody Sisu and actually practice it in life to realize our dreams and become our best selves!  

    I often describe the framework of Seizing Your Passion as a 5 point circle, where each of the 5 points are interconnected, and directly related to the other; where one leads to another and back again, in a continuous, evolving, and cyclical process (kind of like a lot of things in life).

    The 5 points are: Self – Mindset – Action – Overcome – Success

    But it’s not linear like that, the way I have to write it out. It’s an ongoing circle, and one point feeds and leads to the other and back the other way again,  all interrelated and interconnected in a cyclical pattern. 

    Here’s a quick pic of what I mean (please forgive my less than stellar drawing skills :-)).

    SELF
    The top of the circle is Self because Socrates was right when he said, “Know thyself.” The starting point always has to be YOU

    Like everything else in life, realizing your dreams, becoming your best, and achieving your goals always starts with YOU, your SELF! It’s from there that everything else flows, and what all the other points on that circle are first based on.

    Knowing yourself, understanding yourself, loving yourself, and believing in yourself!!

    This has everything to do with self-awareness, really knowing who you are, what you love, what you want; your values, your beliefs, and living your truth based on that, versus living according to other people’s beliefs and expectations.

    And, it has everything to do with trusting yourself, forgiving yourself, being authentic, and being accountable to yourself in order to do that. And then, ultimately it’s about how you define, for yourself, what “success” is (which is where and why the last point on that circle connects back to the Self and the other way again).   

    MINDSET
    The next point is Mindset because how you choose to see the world, how you think about things, and your perspective on everything, dictates your behaviors, actions, and reactions toeverything!!! This has everything to do with your psychology and your belief systems.

    Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe in making the impossible possible? Do you believe you can always learn more, grow more, and become more? Do you live for today, for yesterday, or for tomorrow?

    Do you appreciate all that you have and all that you’ve accomplished already, without that taking away from the fact that you still want to strive for more? Do you believe there’s always a lesson to be learned from the challenges and “failures” you face in life?

    Do you believe you can accomplish pretty much anything you put your mind to? 

    Again, all these “Mindset questions” tie back to the Self point – believing in yourself, your values, your beliefs – and, they also naturally lead to the next point, which is… 

    ACTION
    Because again, your Mindset dictates your behaviors, your Actions, and reactions to everything!

    You know that believing in something, while crucial and necessary, on its own is not enough to make it happen. You need to actually do something. To achieve results, to move forward, and to progress, you need to take action

    But, the key is taking inspired action that is purposefully connected and directly related to your Self, your Mindset, and ultimately to the Success you want to achieve. Right?

    Otherwise, it’s just doing stuff with no meaning, no joy, no purpose, and basically getting trapped in the busyness of being busy. (Not particularly fun or fulfilling, and definitely NOT what Seize Your Passion and living life to the fullest is about).

    But, you also know that when you do take action, you’re inevitably going to stumble, fall, and hit some major roadblocks. Which is exactly where the inspired action – the actions you take that have a solid foundation of Self and Mindset already stacked under them – comes in to play!

    AND, it’s where Sisu gets to take the lead!!!! So that you can overcome those challenges and roadblocks.

    OVERCOME
    How you respond, react, and move past, over, under, or through those roadblocks so you can continue to take inspired action despite them (and sometimes because of them), that’s exactly how you Overcome them

    Having the sisu, the grit, the resilience, the perseverance, and the determination to do that because you have all the other elements of Self, Mindset, and Action already in place!

    The elements of knowing yourself, believing in yourself, and trusting yourself. Of knowing that you can learn and grow from this, believing that you can overcome this, and trusting that the best is yet to come.

    Of knowing that every choice, behavior, action, and reaction you take has a direct causal effect on everything else, that your actions make a difference, that your goals can be achieved one action step at a time, and knowing what types of actions you’re gong to take because of that.

    Of trusting, believing, and knowing that this too shall pass, that you’ll come out on the other side – better, stronger, wiser, and truer for it!!!

    Which will lead you to…

    SUCCESS
    If you don’t know where you want to go, or what that even looks like, then you’re not going to get there.

    The word “success” really has so many different meanings and definitions to each and every one of us, if we allow it to. The problem is, most of us confine ourselves to adopt without question the most prevalent, popular, and accepted definitions of it, without even giving ourselves the opportunity to truly define it for ourselves.

    It’s precisely why so many of us do everything “right”, everything we’re supposed to do, and everything we’ve been taught will bring us that accepted generic definition of success.

    We accomplish so much, we achieve and acquire a lot, and yet –why do so many of us so often feel empty, drained, stressed, anxious, unhappy, and sometimes just plain miserable – despite all that???

    The answer isn’t because that’s life, and life sucks. And it’s definitely NOT because you’re not good enough and you suck (though that’s typically the Mindset most of us tend to go to). 

    I think the answer has a lot to do with this point of Success on that circle, and how it relates back, and is founded upon, every other point too.      

    I think the answer is often because we haven’t allowed ourselves (and honored ourselves by doing so) to truly tap into our Self, our Mindset, our Actions, and how we Overcome shit, to know how we define what Success really even is, for us!

    And, by the way, your definition may actually end up being identical or at least very similar to the generally held one. And that’s totally fine and great (not that you need me to approve it for you). 

    The difference though, is that you’ll know that it’s yours! It’ll be based on your Self, and everything that flows from that – your truth, your values, your beliefs, your actions, your grit, your resilience, and your Sisu!

    It’ll be based on your Self, your Mindset, your Action, how you Overcome stuff, and your Success! 

    So you’ll feel that your entire life – everything you do, your perspective, your achievements, your mistakes, and your wins – match up with that definition.

    And because of that, you’ll feel less of the anxious, tired, depressed, and unfulfilled feelings, and way more of the excited, impassioned, determined, joyful, confident, empowered, inspired, and SISU feelings instead!

    And that, my friend, is what Seizing Your Passion is all about. That’s what Sisu is about. And, that’s what life is about!!!! 

    So, go forth with Sisu, my friend.
    Do more of what you love, be more of who you love, and Seize Your Passion! 

    Amen. 🙂

  • BLOG: On Coming Home!

    To Yourself…And What That Means

    Let’s talk about coming home, shall we 🙂 .

    “Seize Your Passion,” as an ethos and as a philosophy, is largely about coming home to yourself.

    So what does that really mean?

    Well, if seizing your passion is about doing what you love and being who you love in a way that empowers you to go after your dreams, become the best version of you, and literally create your most magnificent, joyful, meaningful, and successful life, then first – you have to know what it is that you truly love, you have to know what your dreams really are, and you have to know how you define, for yourself, what that magnificent, joyful, meaningful, and successful life looks like. 

    It sounds obvious. It sounds simple. But, how many of us really, and I mean really – honestly, vulnerably, and truly – do that?!     

    Even when we’re so sure that we do, but we’re not even aware that we really don’t. (That was me for a long time). 

    Here’s the thing – in order to truly know what you want and why you want it, which is the starting point for going after whatever “it” is, before you can even do that in any true and authentic way, you first need to understand your truth: your values, your beliefs, your desires, your standards.

    But they have to be your own. They can’t be the ones that were put on you, even if you openly embraced them. Being aware, questioning, and then discovering for yourself whether they really are your own or not is paramount.

    Live Your Truth! I can’t say it enough, and I won’t ever stop. Because living your truth is such a foundational, fundamental piece of what it means to truly seize your passion, to realize your dreams, and to become your best self! 

    What it means to truly know and understand yourself, your desires, your goals, your values, your beliefs, and what you really want out of life – how you define your success, your happiness, and your dreams. It’s truly the foundational and fundamental piece for literally creating and actually living your life.

    “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” 
    – Thomas Merton

    One way to explore that is doing more of what you love NOT for the outwardly rewards it will bring you, NOT for the end results it may produce, BUT RATHER for the love of it itself. Plain and simple.

    That’s not meant to say that you shouldn’t or can’t seek or want outwardly rewards too. We live in this world, and we’re human, and like everything else – it’s not one or the other. It’s both. 

    But, if we’re talking about truly seizing your passion, realizing your dreams, and becoming your best self, then maybe we should also consider thinking about “success” and “happiness” not always as the end goal, the way we’ve been cultivated and taught to think about it.

    Maybe we should consider thinking about the real end goal as fulfilling your personal legend, as living your truth, as expressing yourself in the world in the way you were meant to do, as realizing your dreams, your purpose, and attaining meaning and fulfillment in this one life we were given!!! 

    It so happens that the by-product of those end goals inevitably bring success and happiness with them. You know this, we all do. And yet we forget to live by it, and act accordingly.      

    “Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.” 
    – Viktor Frankl


    I challenge you to think of something you love to do simply because you love doing it. Not because it will bring you success, approval, recognition, praise, or status.

    “How may activities can you count in your life that you engage in simply because they delight in and grip your soul? Find them out, cultivate them, for they are your passport to freedom and love.
    – Anthony DeMello 

    We pursue intrinsic values when we do something solely because we love it. We pursue extrinsic values when we chase status, recognition, approval, and material gains.

    And even all of us who aren’t money-chasing, greedy, shallow bastards- if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, we’re all pretty extrinsically motivated, to some degree or another.

    We all care about what other people think of us, we care about societal norms, and what’s considered “good” or “smart” or “impressive” according to our culture. And that’s normal, that’s ok, and it’s also what makes us human.

    But it’s not ok when it’s out of balance, and completely overpowers and overrides our intrinsic values and motivations. (It’s no secret, by the way, that the prevalence of social media in our lives today only exacerbates our extrinsic motivations and dampens our intrinsic ones with its current direction and focus on competition, comparison, and winning approval – but that’s an entirely different conversation). 

    And we’re smart. We’re deep. We know that none of those extrinsic goals bring lasting fulfillment or even lasting happiness. We know that when we pursue intrinsic goals – the pursuits and activities that bring us inner joy, laughter, peace, love, energy, and yes- that light up our passion- that’s the stuff that life is meant to be made of!!! Right?! We know this. 

    And we’re grounded too. We get it. No one’s saying- ignore your responsibilities, don’t work hard, forget about money, or disregard your ego-centric desires to become successful. No.

    But, what I am saying is that maybe we should start paying as much attention, devoting as much time, energy, and strategy into all the pursuits and activities that serve those intrinsic values too, just as we do our extrinsic ones.

    Maybe we should start doing more of what we love, what makes us smile, laugh, and cry (the good kind of crying), spend more time with people that lift us up, play more, dance more, sing more, whatever it may be that you love doing just because you love doing it. 

    More doing what you love because you love it. 

    And again, the irony here is that once we do start doing that – we discover that our extrinsic goals actually come along with it too. 

    Partly because how you do anything affects how you do everything; and because every aspect of your life affects every aspect of your life. Because we are holistic beings. Just like when you change any one part, however small, of a system, organism, or an organization, you change the whole at the same time. Because you can’t compartmentalize and separate one part from another, as much as we like to do that.

    And partly because our daily, on their own seemingly innocuous, behaviors and thoughts actually create our life over time. 

    “Every pebble of thought — no matter how inconsequential — creates endless ripples of consequence. This idea, coined the butterfly effect by Edward Lorenz came from the metaphorical example of a hurricane being influenced by minor signals – such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly – several weeks earlier. Little things become big things. When one area of your life is out of alignment, every area of your life suffers….Conversely, when you improve one area of your life, all other areas are positively influenced.” 
    – Benjamin Hardy

    Our hourly thoughts and acts, each in itself apparently of no moment, in time build our foundations and erect thereon our life’s structure.” 
    – B.C. Forbes

    And it shouldn’t be work versus play. Dreams versus reality. idealism versus practicality. Those are all false opposing constructs we’ve all bought into. It’s both! It’s always both!!! Work hard, yes. But play hard too. Dream huge, and make those dreams fit into your reality and make them real. Stay true to your ideals, and strategize them so they become useful and practical. Do what you love and also pay the price of pain and suffering that will come with that. All these things lead to lasting and true meaning and fulfillment. 

    “The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. he hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”
    – Zen Buddhist Text

    For me, all of that (and still so much more) is what it really means to come home to yourself

    As always,
    Do more of what you love and be more of who you love!!! 
    #SeizeYourPassion! 

  • BLOG: Remember When You Wanted to Conquer The World?!

    You Have The Power To Achieve Your Dreams!

    Remember when you wanted to conquer the world?

    When you believed so wholeheartedly and with such…almost-arrogant certainty that you could? That it wasn’t even a question of if, but only when?!

    Whatever “conquering the world” meant or means to you, it doesn’t matter. You knew you would achieve your dreams.

    Because you believed you could.

    And at the end of the day, after all is said and done, that’s really what it comes down to.

    Here’s the thing though…. Even though it’s 2019!!!! And, even though most of us live in a land of opportunity!!! And even though we’re soooo fortunate in soooo many ways, and so much more enlightened than ever before in lots of other ways –

    We also live in a time, a culture, and a society that in many ways denies us our undeniable, inalienable, and inherent right to our dreams!

    Without our even realizing it, we are shaped to believe that our dreams don’t matter; and in essence, to believe that we don’t matter.

    It’s not like we’re aware of this shaping. We’re not. And it’s not like it happens in one moment or even in one day. It doesn’t. And for 90% of us, it’s not like someone ever came up to us and said flat-out, directly, in those blunt terms: “Your dreams don’t matter. You don’t matter.” For most of us, they didn’t.  

    If any of that were the case, it would’ve been much easier to defend and fight against.

    But, that denial of our birthright to our dreams (and it is our birthright!!!); that denial and that shaping of us to not believe in our dreams, to believe instead that our dreams don’t matter and in essence that we don’t matter – it’s way smarter, way more seductive, insidious, and manipulative than that. 

    And often, even the messengers themselves of that lie are the ones that love us, that mean us well, and that truly want the best for us. They too are just as unaware as we are….

    And it’s fed to us little by little, over time, neatly and beautifully wrapped in practical, rational, responsible, sane, smart, and such justifiable gift boxes. How could we possibly resist??? 

    Until one day we wake up, and that feeling of certainty, passion, and determination is stifled and smothered and suffocated by all of it.

    And then we, in turn, justify it by labeling it as our own fears, or simply as us being realistic, humble, selfless, or whatever other so-called “mature”, “virtuous”, and “self-aware” disguised flavor of very-adult-like-ice-cream you prefer. 

    I’m convinced that’s what Henry David Thoreau meant when he said, The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

    Only once we become aware, and allow ourselves to see which of those packaged boxes convinced us to slowly but surely let go of our dreams, forget them, disregard them, minimize them, and ultimately just let them die; and by doing so, let our belief in ourselves die along with them – only then can we begin to resist that, and start fighting for ourselves again! And for our dreams! 

    Maybe start by asking yourself genuinely, sincerely, thoughtfully, vulnerably, and truthfully – “What are your dreams?” Just that question alone has the power to reignite your belief, your passion, and the real YOU!! And to literally change the trajectory of your life, if you allow it to.

    AND – here’s the really inspiring, awesome, and positive part :-))))

    When we do that, when we tap back into that time, and back into that part of ourselves, when we knew we were going to conquer the world, and we were filled with passion, and nothing and no one was going to stop us; when we remember our dreams, when we validate them, and allow ourselves to get re-acquainted with them, and start spending some quality time with them – 

    Then we start to love them again. And from there, we start to get impassioned again. And from there, we start to believe in our dreams again. Until finally, when we believe in our dreams, we believe in ourselves. And when we believe in ourselves, we believe in our dreams!!!

    And that’s the moment our dreams actually become achievable!

    And when you start to work on your dreams and take action on achieving them, in whatever small way, and at whatever pace you do, as long as it’s consistent, that’s the moment you define yourself for yourself!! And no longer let others do it for you.

    And that is EVERYTHING!!!!!!!  

    You have the power to achieve your dreams!!! That power comes from what you believe about yourself and what your expectations are for yourself!

    You have what it takes to achieve your own dreams in your own life!! It starts with believing in yourself again. Believing in your dreams again. And remembering when….

    As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love!

    #SeizeYourPassion!

  • VIDEO: Jennifer Lopez on Mistakes, Purpose, and Believing in Yourself

    Jennifer Lopez gets real, raw, and emotional as she talks about how she relates to her character in the film Second Act, how sometimes our mistakes lead us to our purpose, and most importantly – the power of believing in yourself. #SeizeYourPassion!

    Source: YouTube

    Author: Thrive Global

  • Article: Jennifer Lopez’s “Second Act” Isn’t Just a Rom-Com — It Will Inspire You to Take Risks That Lead to the Life You Want

    The lessons from Lopez’s latest film can power you to new levels of success and happiness.

    Jennifer Lopez in Second Act

    For anyone who’s ever been told they weren’t enough, felt stigmatized by their life choices, or simply felt they don’t fit in, Jennifer Lopez’s latest film Second Act is for you. The comedy urges all of us — especially women — to break free from unhealthy societal pressures and expectations. 

    The story follows Maya (Lopez), a self-described “street smart” Bronx-native who’s worked at a big-box grocery store for 15 years. With hard work and savvy, she’s helped the retail giant improve profits and boost customer satisfaction, but is passed over for a promotion — on her 40th birthday, no less! — which goes to a far less effective employee, who has had the privilege of a formal education from a fancy school. Her disappointment is exacerbated by the fact that she’s not where she’d hope to be in her life. A secret from her past haunts her and stymies her ability to move forward with her boyfriend Trey (played by This Is Us’s Milo Ventimiglia), who wants to start a family,  and her lack of higher education limits her career prospects. 

    To help soothe her birthday blues and grant her wish, her best friend’s gifted son, who’s on his way to Stanford University on a Google scholarship, secretly creates a false online profile for her indicating that she graduated from Harvard, as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, and speaks fluent Mandarin, which gets her an interview — and an executive-level consultant position — at a huge cosmetics company. There, she undertakes an impossible challenge — to create a totally organic face cream that will boost profits, all in 10 weeks. Along the way, she figures out who she is in a movie that crackles with important life lessons like these: 

    Use your self-doubt to propel your success

    In a world that feeds women the message that they’re not thin enough, attractive enough, smart enough, strong enough, Maya (like many of us) struggles with self-doubt. The movie opens on the morning she heads to work to make a case for her promotion. In a romantic scene between her and her longtime beau, Trey, he reiterates his faith in her: “The only thing stopping you is you.” While that’s not entirely true — she’s skipped over for the promotion because she doesn’t have a degree  — she does (in an epic scene) challenge her boss’s assertion that her well-educated co-worker is the best man for the job. “No sir,” she says, “I am.” 

    It’s not shocking that it took her years to understand her worth. Several studies confirm a “confidence gap” between men and women, where men are far more inclined to ask for raises and promotions than their female counterparts. But other research shows that we can use our uncertainty to propel our professional success and personal growth. Challenging ourselves to take risks beyond our comfort zones, gives us the opportunity to grow our skill set and confidence, as Maya eventually does.

    Aim higher than you thought possible

    “A lie got you in the door, but you got yourself the job, baby.” That’s what Maya’s best friend, Joan (played by Leah Remini, whose impeccable comic timing and relatability is reason alone to see this movie) tells her, as she repeatedly slaps Maya’s face, enthusing: “Who’s the champ? Who’s the champ? You’re the champ!” The movie takes “fake it till you make it” to wild new heights, as Maya trips (and gets back up) repeatedly during her 10 week stint as a consultant for the beauty company. While no one should fabricate their educational and professional histories to increase their job prospects, the underlying message is to brave the challenge of rising above the familiar and comfortable to reach new levels of self development.

    Find your truth

    For her first day of work as a high-powered consultant, Maya dons an outfit that’s decidedly not her. Luckily, Joan is there to remind her (throughout the film, really) who she is: “You need to wear anything other than that,” she says. “You look like Mrs. Doubtfire.” Heeding her friend’s advice, Maya throws on a number that’s true to herself and appropriate — and pure fire. It’s important to bring your whole self to work, and that includes clothes that authentically communicate your truth. In another key scene, when Joan sees Maya losing herself in the fiction created for her online, she says: “Don’t confuse this Facebook thing with who you really are.” Through a bundle of missteps and misfires, Maya eventually finds her way back to herself — and that’s when her life really starts to take off in all the right ways.

    Heed these words from J.Lo herself: Don’t give up

    At a panel to promote Second Act, which also featured Thrive Global’s founder and CEO Arianna Huffington, Jennifer Lopez broke down how she manifested her dreams. When everyone told her her talent wasn’t enough, she told the crowd, “I just kept going. You ask me what I did? Despite the hurt and the pain, I just kept going. I couldn’t allow myself to let that become who I was. It’s like, ‘No, I’m going to make another record; I’m going to make another song; I’m going to make another movie and I did. And that’s all I did…I kept going.” After working hard and forging ahead, she added, “I started believing in the fact that I wasn’t an impostor, that I wasn’t a fake, that there was a reason I kept doing this and people kept hiring me.”

    Reject the naysaying voices and keep moving in the direction of your dreams. You’ll get there.

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Stephanie Fairyington, Thrive Global Senior Staff Writer

  • Article: When You Are Overwhelmed By The Pressure To Find Your Passion

    Start with something less scary — curiosity.

    I was talking with a friend of mine last week about a midlife career change.

    She was feeling overwhelmed.

    She has been a successful accountant for many years. She works in a lucrative part of the accounting industry and has a good roster of clients that have been with her for a long time.

    But she wants out.

    She needs to work for financial reasons, for sure, but that is no longer what drives her. She wants to do something she loves. That aligns with her values in life. But a midlife career change feels enormous. Where to begin? What to do? When you can pick, well, anything, what do you choose?

    And then you have to commit to it.

    She knows what she doesn’t like, but can’t pin down what she loves. And she feels that it’s such a big task that she can’t seem to even start figuring it out. Instead she sits in her accounting office, unhappy, trying to talk herself through each day.

    Flash forward to a few days later. I am snowshoeing with my dog, Rosie, and listening to a podcast. It was an interview with the writer, Elizabeth Gilbert. In it she says (this is an excerpt from her blog on the same topic):

    We are constantly being told to pursue our passions in life, but there are times when passion is a TALL ORDER, and really hard to reach. But curiosity, I have found, is always within reach.

    Passion is a tower of flame, but curiosity is a tiny tap on the shoulder — a little whisper in the ear that says, “Hey, that’s kind of interesting…”

    Passion is rare; curiosity is everyday.

    Curiosity is therefore a lot easier to reach at at times than full-on passion — and the stakes are lower, easier to manage.

    The trick is to just follow your small moments of curiosity. It doesn’t take a massive effort. Just turn your head an inch. Pause for a instant. Respond to what has caught your attention. Look into it a bit. Is there something there for you? A piece of information?

    I literally stopped in my tracks.

    Liz Gilbert was referring to creative projects. But how much does this resonate for all of us?

    It’s all the rage to seek out our side hustle, our passion project. A goal that we keep our eyes toward with a single minded purpose until we get there, by any means necessary. And if we don’t have a passion, our lives are lacking; two dimensional.

    But doesn’t that feel like a lot of pressure? Especially for those of us who are perfectionists. The need to pick exactly the right thing can sometimes keep us from picking anything. Or, we need to mull over a few options while we work on our mindset. Because we realize that our passion might not align with other people’s values, or their vision of us. So we need to work up to passion. We can’t get there right from the beginning.

    And there are other people who love to dabble in three or four projects at once. It’s the diversity and uniqueness of each one that fuels them. They enjoy a lot of different things, and that roster keeps changing. The constant change helps to keep them engaged. But they feel ashamed that they can’t pick one passion that rises above them all.

    Then there’s the vast majority of us, who have no idea what our passion is at all.

    So let’s all reframe the conversation. As Liz Gilbert says, let’s step away from the Tall Order of passion. Let’s focus on what makes us curious.

    Curiosity doesn’t need commitment. It doesn’t need you to “hustle” or compromise other areas of your life. You can’t fail when all you’re trying to do is be curious. Curious is not black or white, all or nothing. Curious is one small step forward. And you can be curious about several things at once, no harm no foul.

    At one time I was curious about a company in my town that takes dogs for hikes. They pick up your dog, load them up in their van, take them for a two hour hike, and bring them home, rinsed and happy. I love dogs and I love hiking. So I was curious.

    I met with the owners, I hiked a bunch of dogs. I loved it. But I also realized how much physical labor is required. And the potential risk of dogs who don’t get along. Or dogs who like to hunt. You’re hiking with four dogs at a time, alone in the woods. Praying they don’t all see a deer and go after it at full speed, dragging you down the trail.

    So, I told the owners they had an incredible business, and wished them luck. I enjoyed the experience and was ready to try something else. Nothing wrong with that. I didn’t fail at a commitment I made to myself. I didn’t take my eyes off the prize. I pursued one avenue and then became curious about something else.

    I found my passion — writing — but I was curious about a lot of other things first.

    So the next time I see my friend, I want to tell her to be curious. What does she like about her current job? What interests her? Music, or non-profits, or healthcare? She doesn’t have to pick one. Or commit to any. She has to think about what she enjoys. What she wants to know more about. And go from there.

    Source: Medium

    Author: Deb Knobelman, PhD


  • VIDEO: Ask Yourself What Makes You Come Alive | Oprah

    A short clip from Oprah’s 2013 Harvard Commencement Speech

    As yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that! This is how “you will find true success and happiness.” – Oprah

    #SeizeYourPassion!

    Clip from Oprah’s 2013 Harvard Commencement Speech

    Source: YouTube

    Author: Harvard University

  • VIDEO: Live Your Truth | Goalcast

    VIDEO: Live Your Truth | Goalcast
    Don’t Let Others Stop You From Living Your Own Truth | Motivational Video | Goalcast

    “Everybody is not going to get you….You can’t live to please people. You got to live your truth. There’s going to be people out there that don’t get your vision, don’t get your purpose, gonna talk about you, gonna say you changed, they don’t get why you left some things behind. But you can’t let that stop you from moving forward. You can’t let that steal your passion. You have to be willing to be misunderstood….And it’s ok…because it’s your life.” Live Your Truth!

    Former professional football player Trent Shelton reminds you to never silence your voice even in the face of those who don’t understand you.

    Source: YouTube

    Author: Goalcast

  • Video: How To Avoid The Biggest Regret Of Your Life | Marie Forleo

    Watch this short but brilliant MarieTV episode on how to be true to yourself and avoid this #1 top regret of the dying: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

    Living for other people’s expectations guarantees you’ll fall short of your own.” – Marie Forleo

    It’s a natural human desire to want to please the people around us….But you don’t have to suppress your true nature or ignore your deepest heart’s desire in order to be loved and accepted….Your time here on earth is limited. Don’t waste it chasing approval and ignoring what you really want.” – Marie Forleo

    Do More of What You Love! Be More of Who You Love! #SeizeYourPassion!

    Video Source: YouTube

    Video Author: MarieTv, Marie Forleo

  • Video: This Isn’t Love | by Jay Shetty

    Real Meaning, Purpose, and Fulfillment Takes Time

    Source: YouTube – Jay Shetty

  • Failure Is Part of Success, Especially for Women

    Women are terrified to allow themselves to fail. Here’s how to reframe that mindset and boost your success.

    If you’ve never failed at something, how do you know when you’re succeeding? For women that question is harder to answer because they’re less likely to allow themselves to fail, according to a recent article by U.S. News & World Report called, “To Succeed, Women Must Learn to Fail Forward.”

    “Research has shown that women are judged more harshly for their mistakes than men and may respond by being more risk averse,” writes Linda Kramer Jenning, the author of the article. “As a result, some women may not seize leadership opportunities and that worries those committed to achieving gender equity.”

    The thing is, when you don’t fail, you don’t allow yourself to become stronger in that process, resulting in more resilience — which is a key part of being a successful leader, according to a 2018 study on nurse managers published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. But the stakes are so much higher for women to begin with, as just 6.4 percent of Fortune 500 companies are led by women — a number that is actually on the decline, per the Pew Research Center’s 2017 data report.

    Still, the benefits of failure go beyond resilience. For women, especially, being open about failure makes leaders more relatable and therefore effective. “People appreciate that you’re not perfect all the time,” Jessica Grounds, co-founder of Mine the Gap, a firm that works with companies to close their gender gaps, told U.S. News. Grounds suggests that women build a trusted team in and out of the workplace who will give constructive criticism and coach them through a failure.

    That sentiment that failure is a powerful aspect of success has been echoed by handfuls of female leaders. Whenever you need a reminder on how to embrace failure and move forward stronger, bookmark this page to revisit these wise words of advice from mega-successful women from Oprah to Thrive’s own Arianna Huffington:

    Oprah: “You are bound to stumble.”

    “It doesn’t matter how far you might rise,” Oprah said in 2013 at Harvard’s commencement address. “At some point, you are bound to stumble. If you’re constantly pushing yourself higher and higher, the law of averages predicts that you will at some point fall. And when you do, I want you to remember this: There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” 

    J.K. Rowling: “Failure directed my energy into what matters.”

    Likewise, at a 2008 Harvard commencement address, J.K. Rowling revealed that failure can even lead you down a path that’s much more fulfilling than the one you were on before. “Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential,” she said, referencing the time before she allowed herself to pursue writing and pen the Harry Potter series. “I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.”

    Beyoncé: “You’re never too good to lose.”

    In the words of Beyoncé: “The reality is, sometimes you lose. And you’re never too good to lose, you’re never too big to lose, you’re never too smart to lose, it happens. And it happens when it needs to happen. And you have to embrace those things.”

    Anna Wintour: “Everyone should be sacked at least once.”

    Even Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has talked about the importance of failure before, telling Alastair Campbell in his 2015 book, Winners: And How They Succeed, “Everyone should be sacked at least once in their career because perfection doesn’t exist. It’s important to have setbacks because that is the reality of life.”

    Lady Gaga: “Cry, then go kick some ass.”

    When it’s not as easy to embrace those setbacks, though, you can remember this anecdote Lady Gaga told about getting dropped from a record label. “I remember when I got dropped from my first record label. I just said, ‘Mommy, let’s go see Grandma,’” Gaga told MTV in 2011. “And I cried on my grandmother’s couch. She looked at me, and she goes, ‘I’m going to let you cry for the rest of the day, and then you have to stop crying, and you have to go kick some ass.’”

    Vera Wang: “Pick yourself right up and start again.”

    Fashion designer Vera Wang pursued a career as an ice skater prior to entering fashion. “When you fall down — which you have to [do] if you want to learn to be a skater — you pick yourself right up and start again,” Wang told Business of Fashion in 2013. “You don’t let anything deter you.”‘

    Arianna Huffington: “Failure is a stepping stone to success.”

    There is also plenty of wisdom to be gleaned from Thrive’s own Arianna Huffington, who recalled in 2016, “My mother kept telling my teenage self: that ‘failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a stepping stone to success.’ I think she would really enjoy how many times I had let myself fail along the way.”

    Source: Thrive Global

    Author: Marissa Muller

  • Article: 3 Lies We Believe When We Grow Up

    My eyes were glued to the TV. I couldn’t look away except to glance at my parents long enough to say with confidence, “I’m going to do that one day.” There was a band playing live and I could’ve sworn I found my destiny that day.

    I also was four.

    Yet, as soon as I was old enough to drive I started a metal band with my drummer friend, Zac.

    It was a two man band for about a year. I would go to his house almost daily and shred on my cheap Jackson guitar while he wailed on the drums in his bedroom. I still can’t believe his parents let us get away with the racket.

    Once we wrote enough songs to play a gig, we added two more members. Zac had a friend who couldn’t sing at all, but he could scream. He became our front man. We hung flyers in a couple music stores to find our second guitarist, Jana. She loved pink, wore Converse everyday of her life, and was a better guitarist than I was.

    We played any gig we could get. Barns, event centers, churches, high schools, you name it.

    The whole experience was awesome for about six months. Then I graduated high school and made the difficult decision of moving 928 miles away to attend music school. I started working my way up in the program, and within three years, I was touring with some fairly big names in my genre. We even played for packed out stadiums. I thought my destiny was practically set.

    Except that it wasn’t.

    Touring was still part of the music school, which meant I didn’t get paid. After two years of sleeping on host home floors and eating from the McDonalds dollar menu three times a day, I’d had enough. It was time to leave and find a “real job” so I could support myself (and also marry the piano player in the band).

    I left the band and tried to start a career. The problem was, I was twenty-three and hadn’t gone to college. While my friends were off getting degrees, I’d been busy trying to become a rock star. Thus, the only job I could find was in sales.

    You know that guy who interrupts you while you’re shopping and tries to sell you stuff you don’t need? That was me. I sold satellite TV systems from a booth in Sam’s Club.

    There are no words to describe how it feels to go from playing music for a several thousand teenagers every weekend, to being ignored by shoppers who just want to get their groceries and go home.

    Yet there I was, starting over from scratch. The promising future of stardom slipped through my fingers, and there wasn’t a Plan B. All the dreams and aspirations I once had seemed to have come and gone. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel like I have much to show for it.

    I had this mental checklist of things I would accomplish before I was 30. But as I inch closer to that date, I become discouraged.

    I know I’m not supposed to find my self-worth in what I do or what I’ve accomplished. But I can’t help looking at my life and asking, “Who am I? Am I valuable if I don’t measure up to my definition of success?

    I think most of us feel that way. Maybe it’s getting married, having kids, finishing school, earning a certain level of income, or owning a home. We have this checklist in the back of our minds of what we need to accomplish in order to be valuable. That list, however, is a threat to our identity.

    So if you’re like me, here are three internal lies you’ll face as you grow older.

    Lie 1: Your Value Is Determined By Your Accomplishments

    One of the first questions we ask when meeting someone new is, “What do you do?” Maybe for you that’s just small talk. But for many of us, it’s also a way to size the other up. I know, because I do it a lot.

    What we do is often closely tied to our identity and value. But when all is said and done—and you breath your last breath on this Earth—who you are is what will matter, not what you do. You will be remembered not by the money you made or the Twitter followers you have. Instead, people will remember you by your authenticity, vulnerability, generosity, and most importantly, how you treated people.

    That simple fact reminds me of the wise words of Jesus Christ, “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

    Lie 2: It’s Time To Grow Up And Give Up Your Dreams

    I don’t know about you, but when I see 12-year-olds becoming YouTube sensations, I feel more than a little discouraged. Despite their fame, the truth is that we all have different talents and we’re all on our own journey. Most of the time, we’re exactly where we need to be.

    Your dreams may look different than you once thought they would, but that doesn’t mean they’re over.

    I once heard a quote from Howard Thurman that goes:

    “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

    Never stop pursuing your passions and hobbies. It’s what makes life worth living. Not just for you, but for others too.

    Lie 3: You Are Behind

    The lie playing on repeat in my brain this year is, “You’re behind.”

    It’s a lie that comes from the comparison trap.

    Comparing ourselves to others is one of most powerful weapons against our soul. It keeps us discouraged. It keeps us from trying. We believe up front that we don’t measure up, and that’s almost never true.

    Know this: we compare everything we know about ourselves to what other people choose to show us—which is usually their best side.

    But we don’t know their inner struggles. We don’t know the lies and insecurities they deal with. It’s an unfair comparison that will always leave you feeling like a failure.

    Finding New Dreams

    After I stopped touring, it took several years to recover and find myself again. While I still play music, it’s nothing like it used to be. I’ve had to discover new dreams and reinvent old ones.

    I’ve always been a writer. I used to write songs, but now that opportunity is gone. That chance may come back one day, but for now it’s shelved. Instead, I’ve found different ways to chase my dreams.

    Instead of wishing for opportunities that are no longer available, I decided to do what was in front of me. For me, that was writing and creating art in different mediums, which has led to some incredible opportunities.

    Your opportunities await you as well. If there is anything I wish someone would have said to a young, defeated twenty-something years ago, it would be this:

    If your life has taken a turn, remember to lean in. You never know what new opportunities might be waiting around the corner.

    Source: HeartSupport

    Author: Ken Reid

  • Article: Live The Life of Your Dreams by Following the Wisdom of Paulo Coelho – 8 Steps to Go After Your Dream and Take Action

    “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” — Paulo Coelho

    One of my favorite books is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The first time I read it was on a train from Beijing to Xi’an in China. An interesting train ride to reflect upon one’s dream. To say the least.

    Imagine thousands of people on a platform, all eager to get a seat. Unfortunately, we were late booking tickets, and we could only get 3rd class seats, instead of a bed on the train. The train ride took 14 hours.

    The people fighting in front of the train doors apparently bought standing tickets in 3rd class. I didn’t know such a thing existed. They brought foldable chairs and literally sat everywhere. Even in the toilets.

    There I sat. A Chinese man nodding to sleep on my shoulder, reading the Alchemist. But I didn’t care. The story was mesmerizing. Now, 7 years later, I finally re-read it. And it all clicked.

    I’m not a woolly person, but now I’m finally following my dream of becoming a writer, I just understood some things about following your dreams. I identified the following 8 steps from quotes from the book in order to successfully go after your dream too.

    #1: Find Your Path

    Coelho: “The boy didn’t know what a person’s “destiny” was.
    It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. […] It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”

    I used to hate that word: destiny. But why should I? Call it whatever you want, fate, your calling, a dream or a goal. It’s not some esoteric hocus pocus. It’s SOMETHING that moves you from where you are right now to where you should be heading. And one would do well to follow its directions.

    So what do you dream of doing?

    #2: Don’t Ignore Your Childhood Dreams

    What was it you wanted to be when you would grow old? In kindergarten, we always wrote in each other’s journals to answer questions about our favorite things in life. In addition, we had to write down what we wanted to be when we would be adults. I always wrote down: to be a writer or a chef.

    Coelho: “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them — the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.
    People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being,” said the old man, with a certain bitterness. “Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early, too. But that’s the way it is.”

    It’s like asking an adult: what would you do with your life when money is no object?

    We have responsibilities, bills, we need to “fit in” or please our parents. I went to Business School because I figured I’d always be able to find a job with a degree in business or perhaps ‘make it big’. With that, I lost sight of what I wanted to do most.

    #3: Choose Your Path

    Coelho: “Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

    When I read the phrase above, I had to put the book down. It’s so true! One and a half years ago, I finally decided not only to write but publish my work too.

    Initially, I was working on a novel, but something just wasn’t right. Then I had an idea for a short story about a man who one day found a money tree growing in his garden. My short story blog was born. This decision let me on a magnificent and exciting path. I found a hidden alley on the road that is my life. I knew it was there, but never before had I been able to find it. Let alone dare enter it.If I hadn’t taken that alley, I would’ve never published my first (paperback) book with my short story collection.

    #4: DO What’s Outside of Your Comfort Zone

    When I entered the door, I found there to be a new trail. It was raw and wild, without a road. A huge difference to the road I was used walking on, which was neat and well walked on.

    Coelho: “He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have.”

    Go through your own hidden door. What is it you always wanted to do but never did because life happened? How could you make it work given your current lifestyle? Make time for it.

    When you decide to take the plunge, you have to leave your comfortable life. You have to do something outside of your comfort zone (I know, a big fat cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason). It’s always scary, and I’m not going to talk about the magic that happens outside of your comfort zone. You probably read about that somewhere else.

    Just take one small step. If we stick to writing, write 100 words a day.

    #5: Change and Take Action

    Coelho: “I don’t want to change anything, because I don’t know how to deal with change. I’m used to the way I am.
    Why ask more out of life?
    Because we have to respond to omens.”

    Who knows how to deal with change? Just let it take you somewhere new. Ride the currents with grace. You can be that person who follows his or her dream.

    Ask more out of life because you deserve more. You have one shot at life (presumably, but let’s not go there).

    Coelho: “There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered. “It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”

    Enough said. Please DO.

    #6: Live in the Present

    Coelho: “I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.
    How do I guess at the future? Based on the omens of the present. The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.”

    So you’re taking a chance upon one of your dreams, you’ve listened to your omens. It’s a journey full of obstacles, lessons, and, inevitably, growth.

    Don’t dwell on the fact that you didn’t act sooner, you’re acting now. Don’t linger on future daydreams either. I get it, you see yourself achieving your dream, but that alone won’t get you there. Make a plan, take incremental steps to achieve your goals. Do this every day. The only moment you can do something is now.

    #7: Ignore the Projections of Others

    Coelho: “When someone sees the same people every day, […] they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

    This happens a lot. When you follow something you’re passionate about and chase a dream some people will discourage you. Know that most of them do this because they haven’t done anything about their dreams.

    However, accept people’s honest advice when things aren’t working out. You’ll hate them for saying it, but deep down you know if something is working out or not.

    #8: Face Your Fears

    Coelho: “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.
    If a person is living out his destiny, he knows everything he needs to know. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

    If you don’t know how to do anything, you have to learn it. If you try, you’ll one day die knowing you tried. That’s always better than thinking what could’ve been.

    Ask for help. Google. Follow courses. Read about the subject you’re interested in.

    Conclusion

    Maybe it’s just me, but this book resonated with me so strongly the second time I read it. Perhaps it’s because I feel such a powerful pull into the direction of writing. Like an invisible magnet is pulling me towards the North, the place where I achieve my dream.

    I just need to act upon it, become better, face my fears and see where that new alley takes me. Hopefully, I can turn it into a beautiful, well-trodden path of success.

    What do you do to achieve your dream(s)? This is me holding my first book 🙂 Source: The Ascent Author: N.A. Turner
  • A New (Controversial) Perspective on Giving, and Getting What You Want!

    Call “Success” whatever you like. Call it happiness, call it love, contribution, purpose, meaning, call it achievement or fulfillment. No matter what words you use to express it, and regardless of the different methods you employ to represent, materialize, or attain it, WE ALL WANT IT!!! At the end of the day, and certainly at the end of our life, WE ALL WANT THE SAME THING! We want to feel, and we want to know, that we truly LIVED our life – not someone else’s; and, that we lived our life in the BEST way possible. We want to feel and know that we truly LOVED our life, that we truly loved others, and that we ourselves were truly loved. We want to feel and know that we truly MATTERED – that our life mattered, that we contributed something, and that we had some significance because of the fact that we were alive!! Whatever you want to call that – again, be it success, happiness, love, meaning, purpose, fulfillment, or any other word or words you choose, you also choose to achieve and attain that ultimate “end” through all kinds of different representations that you associate and link to reaching that “end.” Whether that representation is social status and recognition, whether it’s money, family, a certain life-style, certain experiences, or a set of values, beliefs, and philosophies to live by. And for most of us, maybe just to hedge our bet, we choose to strive for a big old melting-pot-mix of all those representations to get to that end. But, regardless of what you call it, and regardless of which representation of it resonates with you – at the end of the day, and at the end of your life, I believe WE ALL WANT THAT SAME THING! And because of that, most of us spend a lot of our time (in fact, often we spend our entire adult lives) focusing on HOW to achieve those representations of that same thing we all ultimately want, call it what you may. We focus on how to get those representations, and then we start working towards building them, creating them, finding them, and procuring them. We focus on, and we put our energy and time into striving for them using all kinds of different strategies, means, and practices in order to achieve them. Because we believe that once we have those representations in our life, that will surely yield that ultimate and final end of “success” or “happiness” or “fulfillment” that we all want! In other words, we spend our entire adult lives building and working towards those representations as the means by which to achieve and attain that end of what we really want. Now, here’s where it gets interesting (and maybe a little controversial)…. A currently popular, and feel-good strategy, practice, and belief many of us buy into today is that the more we give, the more we get. When we serve others, and focus on helping others – the end result of success and happiness, as well as all the different representations of that end result and what we really want – will just naturally follow and flow to us from there. Here’s the problem with that, though. To me, that sounds a lot like: giving to others, serving others, helping or inspiring others, as selfless and altruistic as its appeal may be, is really nothing more than the means and strategy we use to achieve and attain the end result we really want for ourselves, again whatever you may call that end result, be it “success”, “happiness”, “purpose”, “meaning”, “contribution”, or whatever. BUT, WHAT IF, JUST WHAT IF – IT’S ACTUALLY THE OTHER WAY AROUND! What if the means is actually our success and happiness, and more specifically – our own individual self-actualization, realizing our dreams, fulfilling our greatest potential, manifesting our Personal Legend, tapping into, cultivating, nurturing, and developing our individual talents, gifts, and yes, our passions – in order to achieve the end result of giving, sharing, serving, helping, inspiring, and thereby contributing those very gifts, talents, and passions – the very best of us – with and to others and the world!!  That’s what I believe. I believe we are all meant to realize our dreams and become our best selves by doing what we love and what we were each meant to do SO THAT we can share that with the world, and thereby make a difference, inspire, serve, love, and help others!! And I believe that is the real how we get what we all really want in the end- to feel and to know that we truly did live our life to the fullest and in the best possible way, that we truly did love and were loved, and that our life and we truly did matter!  So, instead of focusing on strategies like giving to others in order to then become successful and attain happiness, maybe we should start focusing on who we are, who we were meant to be, why we’re here, and what we’re meant to create and contribute and gift back to the world through that. Maybe giving to yourself first in that way, by realizing your dreams and becoming your best self, and by taping into your passions and gifts, and fulfilling your true potential is NOT selfish or self-centered at all. Maybe attaining your individual success and happiness is actually the first step to ultimately giving, serving, contributing, living, loving, and mattering to others and to the world! And not just because if you don’t start with giving to yourself, you’ll burnout, sacrifice yourself, and run empty on your own fuel so that you’ll actually have nothing to give  – though that’s 100%% true; but also because maybe realizing your dreams and becoming your best self is actually the means by which you are able to give ALL that you were meant to give and are capable of giving to the world!!! And maybe, just maybe, that’s why we’re all here…. As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love!!! #SeizeYourPassion! 
  • Article: This ONE Simple (and Highly Underrated) Principle will FREE YOU from Stress For Good!

    Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?!
    1. We ALL have stress in our lives.
    2. Stress is THE #1 SILENT KILLER of Health, Happiness, and yes, Dreams!!!
    3. Living stress-free is getting more elusive, overwhelming, and complicated (i.e., MORE STRESSFUL) in this modern age and culture of productivity, efficiency, speed, multi-tasking, and information overload!
    But, what if eliminating stress isn’t actually as complicated as we are led to believe? WHAT IF FREEING YOURSELF FROM STRESS IS REALLY SIMPLE?! First, consider these two quotes:

    It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

    So, if it’s not stress that kills us, but rather our reaction to it; and if our greatest weapon against stress is our own choice of thoughts; and again, if we’re living in an age where there are increasingly more stressors, then all that begs the real question at hand: THE REAL QUESTION: How do we develop the resilience, the energy, and the mindset to consistently squash the power and control stress has on us, and FREE oursleves from its hold once and for all??!!! I believe the answer lies in one simple truism. THE REAL ANSWER: DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE!!!!  Yes, it’s that simple, it’s that self-evident, and perhaps because of that, it’s also that underestimated! But here’s the plain truth. When we consistently and regularly (and those two words are KEY, which I’ll get to in a moment) connect with, and engage in, the activities, pursuits, experiences, interests, pastimes, hobbies, ventures, occupations, callings, projects, undertakings, and work that we LOVE – the ones that bring us alive, that rejuvenate us with energy, that fill us up with meaning and joy, that simultaneously take us away from and bring us back to ourselves in the most magical and best way possible, that sometimes even help us transcend time and space- that is how we tap into, nurture, develop, and leverage the very resilience, energy, and mindset that obliterate the deadly affects of stress! That’s how we take control and change our reaction to all the stressors that will continue to come, and that’s how we use our most valuable weapon – our power to choose not just our thoughts, but our entire state of mind and state of being, come what may! Because we are fueled with the requisite energy, power, and strength it takes to do that. And that fuel is literally generated by doing more of what we love!!!    Yes, it’s that simple. Now, consider these two quotes:

    Many of us feel stress and get overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much, but because we’re taking on too little of what really strengthens us.” – Marcus Buckingham “We all have those things that even in the midst of stress and disarray, they energize us and give us renewed strength and purpose. These are our passions.” – Adam Braun

    In other words, we need to take on more of what really strengthens us. We need to do more of what energizes and replenishes us. We need to connect more with our most fundamental and vital selves. We need to Seize Our Passions more! And we need to do it consistently and regularly! Not just as a one-off. Because you’re not going to get into shape by going to the gym once or even every once in a while, right?! It’s the same exact thing. And, to quote Will Smith – it’s much easier staying in shape than it is getting in shape. So, incorporating what you love into your regular daily practice, consistently every day, as much, whenever, and wherever you can is how you start building that resilience, energy, and mindset that defeats stress every time; and then over time, it’s how you easily maintain and sustain that power and dominance so you can just effortlessly say – Be Gone Stress! Whether it’s in your professional life or in your personal one, but ideally in both – do more of what you love! Whether it’s your hobby and pastime or it’s your calling and career, but ideally both – do more of what you love! And not just because it’s fun. Not only because it will invariably lead to success, which it will, by the way. But because your health, your happiness, and your dreams literally depend on it! Do more of what you love! And be more of who you love! They go together like movies and popcorn. And they beat the big, bad, wolf (namely, Stress) just like the heroes in the movies we watch while eating that popcorn do :-)). Be that hero! All you have to do is – more of what you LOVE!!!! I dare you! Read this for more on why Passion is the ultimate gateway drug that leads to everything else that matters in life!!!! And… Wear this if you Choose Passion over Stress!!! :-). Do more of what you love and be more of who you love!!! #SeizeYourPassion! 
  • VIDEO: When One Door Closes….| If You’ve Been Rejected, Watch This by Jay Shetty

    If you’ve ever felt rejected, watch this. If you’ve ever felt like you failed, watch this. If you’ve ever felt “unlucky”, watch this. “When we get rejected, or we fail, or things don’t go our way, we feel we’re further away from our goal. But sometimes it’s in those moments that we have the greatest opportunity to reflect, refuel and refocus. It’s in those moments that feel like the death of our dreams that our truest potential is actually taking birth.” “If a door doesn’t open, it’s not your door. Often we;re trying to climb ladders that are not ours to climb. Is your dream really your dream? Are you chasing what you truly want? …In our pain we find our greatest power.” “Every time we think we’re being rejected from something good, remember, we’re just being redirected to something better.” – Jay Shetty Source: YouTube Author: Jay Shetty
  • VIDEO: So LIVE!!! | Kenny Leon | Goalcast

    VIDEO: So LIVE!!! | Kenny Leon | Goalcast
    Discover Passion! “If you haven’t discovered what you love, I wish you would spend every waking minute searching for it.” Find as many moments of laughter as you can. And, “I wish you a double heaping dose of strength and courage.” Because “your belief in yourself must be so strong that it doubles everyone else’s collective disbelief.” One of Broadway’s leading directors, Kenny Leon delivers a compelling series of lessons his hero once shared with him. Source: YouTube Author: Goalcast  
  • Video: Live Stream – Passion Clarity

    Two techniques to get a pulse on, gain clarity, and live out of your Passion so you can truly #SeizeYourPassion, do more of what you love, be more of who you love, realize your dreams, and become your best self!
  • VIDEO: Seize Your Passion!

    VIDEO: Seize Your Passion!
    Life is short, and your time here is sacred. So LIVE!! your life, to the fullest – with meaning, purpose, passion, and fulfillment! You can realize your dreams and become your best self! That’s why you’re here. Do more of what you love, and be more of who you love. Seize Your Passion!
  • Article: Why self responsibility is the key to being the best you

    The debate is still out on how people can find success in life. The problem, of course, remains that success looks different to everyone. How can I tell you how to find success if my definition of success is different from yours? Well, it turns out that no matter what you want your life to look like, there are a few key elements that have to fall into place in order to make that life a reality. One of those key elements is self responsibility.

    Which perspective do you adopt?

    Some people believe that life happens to them, while others believe that life happens for them. The perspective you wish to adopt can drastically change your life – for the better. If you are passively passing through your life thinking that life is happening to you, good or bad, regardless of what you do to change it, then you won’t ever get out of your own way to make good things happen. Why would you? If something bigger or badder than you is in control, shouldn’t you be worrying about other things? It would seem so for some people. On the other side of that coin, however, is another group of people who firmly believe that they have the power to influence their lives. And many of those believers are people who used to think that life happened to them. Then, at some point, something happens to change their mind and they start focusing on taking responsibility for their actions, good or bad, and they start to see change in their lives. There is a famous quote from Charles R. Swindoll that summarizes this perfectly: Usually, people adopt the perspective that they can change their reality by changing their perspective after they realize they can lose those last 10 pounds, they can get that raise at work, and they can start their own business.

    You’re more in control of the outcome than you think

    Whenever we overcome major hurdles in life, we tend to want to give up our efforts to luck. Sometimes, it feels more like dumb luck, but if you trace back your steps from idea to completion, you’ll find that you were probably more in control of the outcome than originally thought. After all, did fate make you run 5km every morning before work? No, you did that. And if you can do that, what else can you do? The idea that our lives are just passing us by is a commonly adopted practice and widely accepted human fate. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Everyday millions of people take steps in a different direction than they were previously headed and make real, lasting change in their lives. Some people leave their spouse, quit their job, or book that vacation. Sometimes, it’s a small choice like choosing fruit over another bag of potato crisps. The point is that nobody is making you eat that food, stay in that job, or be miserable. We are choosing those things. It’s just easier to blame someone or something else than it is to take self responsibility. So when you find yourself in a slump, ask yourself what you did to get there. Because if you can will yourself into a slump, you can will yourself out of it.

    Success is a matter of perspective

    In work, success usually comes in the form of money, promotions, fancy job titles, and opportunity. But it can be about other things as well. For many entrepreneurs, success is about finding that elusive balance they craved while working a 9-5. It’s about being able to earn money they never thought possible, or clocking out early on a Friday afternoon because they can. To some people, paying their bills and having enough money for a case of beer on the weekend is their definition of success. To others, millions of dollars in the bank is what they consider success. Whatever it is that you want in life, you can have it. If you want it bad enough and are willing to put the work in to get it. All too often people think that they will fall into money or that someone will notice them and give them a promotion. But if you want those things, you need to show up and be seen first.

    How to take self responsibility

    Taking responsibility doesn’t mean doing way more work than you need to. It’s about accepting that you are the only one who can change your life for the better. If you don’t like something about how you are living, it’s about taking the time to change it. No one can do that for you. Not your mom, your dad, your rich uncle, Frank: no one can change what isn’t working in your life, except you. So now you have to ask yourself this question: are you ready to take responsibility for your life? Amazing things can happen if you do. Source: Ideapod Author: Lachlan Brown
  • Video: How to Find Your Purpose | Jay Shetty on Impact Theory

    Jay Shetty sits down with Tom Bilyeu to discuss passion, purpose, and everything in between. He breaks down key steps in building your ideal life, bridging practical studies with spiritual insight, gaining self-awareness, and shares his answers to the 3 questions he gets asked the most [HINT: #1 has to do with Passion]. Eloquent, enlightened, inspiring, and wise beyond his years, Jay shares his story and his insights in such a powerful way! NOTABLE QUOTES AND WHERE TO FIND THEM IN THIS VIDEO:
    • “Fast forward where you are, look at yourself in 10, 15, 20 years time, and ask yourself the question: ‘Is that where I want to be?’…And if the answer’s no, then you need to find a new path.” [09:01]
    • “There’s this beautiful quote…by Cooley, and he said: ‘Today I’m not what I think I am, I’m not what you think I am, I am what I think you think I am.’ So we live in this perception of a perception of ourselves.” [13:03]
    • “Your passion is for you, your purpose is for others. Your passion makes you happy. But when you use your passion to make a difference in someone else’s life, that’s a service, that’s a purpose.” [22:54]
    • “Being able to reflect and observe the different voices inside of us is a great place to start your self-awareness because the biggest challenge is that most of us don’t know what we’re listening to. Most of us don’t even know that there is more than one voice inside of us.” [32:28]
    • “So how do I find my passion? My simple model, which is the Dharma model…it’s very similar to what Ikigai is being spoken about today, which is a Japanese version of reason for being, why do we live, where is meaning coming from, and it talks about an intersect of four areas: 1) What am I good at; 2) What do I love; 3) What does the world need; and 4) How do I get paid for it. To me, those four help you unlock your passion.”[42:39]
    Source: YouTube Author: Tom Bilyeu
  • BLOG: The Stuff In Between The Lines

    “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

    We’re all so busy. Even now during the summer when a lot of us are taking some well overdue and deserved vacations, we’re still busy. Busy with commitments, with responsibilities, with check lists, with all the stuff we’re supposed to do, or have to do, or need to do. I get it. I promise, I’m right there with you…. But, I had this thought the other day: We draw all these metaphorical lines for ourselves in life, but really what ultimately matters the most is all the stuff in between the lines.  Right?! But the stuff in between the lines wouldn’t be the stuff in between the lines if the lines weren’t there. It would just be stuff, orderless and meaningless. So we need those lines to give the stuff that matters in between its very significance, meaning, and value. The problem is – what often ends up happening is that we end up focusing all of our attention and energy and time on creating and building those lines, that we forget about all the stuff that really matters in between. We forget the very reason we started building those lines in the first place. It’s the same with our busy-ness. It’s the same with our dreams and goals. And it’s the same with our passions. So, let’s not do that! Let’s continue to create and build all those necessary lines and frameworks and structures, yes. BUT, let’s also remember to pay attention, to nurture, to cultivate, and to contribute our time, energy and focus into the reason we build those lines in the first place – all the stuff in between. As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love! #SeizeYourPassion! Passionately Yours, Rachel
  • Video: Connect to Your Passion By Paying Attention to the Whisper | Adriana Girdler | TEDxHickory

    “In this fun and personal talk, Adriana shares her story of moving from feeling stuck to finding her purpose by paying attention to the whisper. Our purpose ignites our passion and drives us to get to the next level in life…We’re here to learn and grow, and this talk on connecting with our passion is a great tool… How to tap into your deep-seated goals and dreams you aspire to in life.” Source: YouTube Author: TedX Talks
  • Article: 7 Life Truths I Wish I Knew Sooner

    We often talk about stepping into our true power, about building our confidence muscle and boosting our self-esteem. But although self-confidence and self-esteem seem similar—referring to how we feel about ourselves—they are two very different concepts. Self-esteem refers to how we generally feel about ourselves: how much we like or love ourselves, and the overall image we have about who we are—positive or negative. It is shaped by our experiences and the environments we grow up in, by our family members, our school and our community. Self-confidence relates to how we feel about our abilities and how capable we see ourselves of doing certain things or handling different situations. Most of us have been raised to focus on our weaknesses and perceived limitations, rather than our strengths. In some cases, we were taught to find ways to improve so that we could become “the best versions of ourselves.” Take my home country, Romania, where, like in many other places, the schooling system was a fierce competition for the best grades and being first in class. I remember I was spending an average of 10 hours a day or more studying and doing homework; I hardly had time to play and relax. Teachers and parents always made comparisons between students and other kids, and individual talents were not truly encouraged. I ended up struggling with serious self-esteem issues for many years. As a young woman, I didn’t see myself as beautiful enough, smart enough, good enough. I was constantly and desperately trying to be perfect. And I was a master of giving—my care and my attention, my time and my energy. Putting my wants and needs first was uncomfortable and felt selfish. I was always striving to be the best friend I could be, the best daughter or the best employee. I wanted to please everyone so they would like me. I needed others to validate my worth.

    We can only change the things we are aware of, the things we accept to be true.

    We can only change the things we are aware of, the things we accept to be true. So it was only after I faced the truth and recognized my injured self-esteem that was I able to do some work and change it. I made a list of things I liked about myself and promised myself to add one new thing every single day. I looked back on my life and acknowledged all of my achievements, knowing they reflected hard work and effort. I made a list of personal skills and qualities I was proud of, giving myself credit for every small accomplishment in my daily life, instead of taking it for granted. It didn’t have to be big like saving someone from drowning. Being able to cook the best moussaka in the world was enough, and my list quickly grew. I also wanted to discover and know myself, so I took various self-assessments, such as StrengthsFinder and MBTI. I found out that I am empathetic, intuitive, determined, ambitious, focused, hardworking and committed. I have a gift for working with people and being able to identify the strengths in others. By doing all this, my self-confidence in my capability to do good things and leave a legacy in the world strengthened. I began to see myself in an entirely new light. And my self-esteem and the way I perceived myself improved, too. Today I treat myself kindly. I have learned to love who I am with all my flaws and imperfections. I am aware of my strengths and talents, and, in the same way, I can see and appreciate the gifts in others. Building a healthy self-esteem and gaining confidence in my ability to make meaningful choices has been an inside job and a very rewarding journey, and I’ve gained powerful insights along the way. Here is what I know to be true about life and myself.

    1. Loving my whole self—mind, body and soul—is not selfish; it’s necessary for a healthy life.

    To be able to love others, we need to keep our cup full.

    2. Perfection is pure fiction.

    I am grateful for all of my mistakes because they were real blessings in disguise that made me wiser. As John C. Maxwell says, “Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. We never lose.” I stopped stressing myself out while trying to be perfect and I am always aiming for good enough.

    3. I am not a victim.

    My past has nothing to do with my future and my old limitations do not define who I am today. Blaming others for taking my time, money or love is unfair because I always choose how much I give and to whom. No one can hurt me or upset me without my consent. I am in charge of my actions and my future is the result of my current choices. The day I stopped blaming my past or other people, I set myself free.

    4. Worrying about what others think is a waste of time.

    I cannot please everyone, no matter how much I try. Whatever people think about me is their opinion, filtered through their lenses; it’s all about them and it has zero to do with me. I stopped trying to please others in the hopes that they would like me. I like myself as I am and I don’t need or expect other people to make me happy. My happiness is my responsibility and everything else is a bonus.

    5. Saying no to things we don’t want to do is a learned practice of self-care. 

    If it sounds like I should do, I don’t do it. I go for the things that feel like a want. My wants come from myself, instead of being imposed on me by others. I always choose how I am spending my precious time and with whom. My time means life and it’s never coming back.

    6. Life doesn’t have to be a fight or an exhausting competition.

    I stopped competing and comparing myself to others. Instead, I mind my own journey and I am happy for other people’s achievements. I choose to live in a state of love instead of fear and I believe in abundance. We live in a supportive universe, where there is enough of everything and for everyone.

    7. Being authentic is a matter of choice.

    I choose to stay true to who I am and what I believe to be right. It is my birthright to be happy and I have decided to live my own life with no apologies or regrets. I am whatever I choose to be, and my life is to be lived, not existed. I have come to understand that in life, we don’t get what we want. We get what we think we deserve. That’s why believing in ourselves, seeing ourselves as enough and worthy of the best things life has to offer is necessary. Source: Success.com Author: Sara Fabian
  • Video: Don’t Let Your Dreams Die | Jay Shetty

    “The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we’re still alive.” Source: YouTube Author: Jay Shetty
  • BLOG: THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!

    THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!!!!! I believe that’s as true for you as it is for me, because I believe it’s true for all of us!!! And I believe it’s as true today as it will be tomorrow. And every day after that. And always! Regardless of what you may be going through right now – good or bad. And no matter where you are right now – whether it be a dark place, an inspired bright place, or somewhere in between. No matter what difficulties you may be facing, or even what joys and successes you may be enjoying. Still, and always, that truth is yours! THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!!!  And I want you to know it, to believe it, and to remember it. Because what I’ve learned is that when you allow yourself to fully embrace and commit to that truth, it will carry you and empower you and move you to live and act accordingly! It will infuse you with passion, hope, strength, power (the good kind), love, joy, determination, gratitude, humility, light, and goodness! It will push you to continuously move forward towards becoming your best self, living your best life, and totally embodying what Seize Your Passion really means to you! It will unlock everything you have within you that is 100% capable of fully realizing your dreams, fulfilling your infinite potential, and living your best life to the fullest; with never-ending improvement and growth, always taking you to the next level of your individual and unique journey of fulfillment, happiness, and success! THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!!! And I know it’s easy to forget that truth, and even easier to just not believe it. It’s easy when life sucks – when the possibility of things turning around or feeling anything even remotely inspiring, positive, or good seems utterly impossible and ludicrous. And it’s easy when life is great – when the idea that things could get any better or that there’s anywhere else to go but down from that point seems completely arrogant or just like, “no one’s that lucky!” Or both. But, when you do remember, and believe, and truly know in your heart of hearts that THE BEST IS YET TO COME, you will live and act accordingly! So that when times are tough and when life does suck, that truth – with all its grace, hope, and beauty – will give you the very strength and resilience you need to get through those tough times. It will give you something to fight for, and it will give you the wisdom and insight to know how to learn and grow from those tough times in a way that will yield and lead to the only possible outcome of you actually manifesting that truth! And when times are good, your belief in that truth will remind you to never become complacent, to never take anything or anyone for granted, to stay humble, to be grateful, and at the same time to continuously strive to achieve and become the next level of whatever that success, happiness, and fulfillment looks like for you. But, if you don’t hold on to that belief and commit to it wholeheartedly, if you don’t remember that the best is yet to come, then you can be damn sure that the dark days will kill your dreams, your passion, and your hope; and that the good times will kill your hunger, your humility, your compassion, and your inner growth. I believe, I know, and I refuse to forget that for all of us – THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!  Believe, know, and refuse to forget with me!!! As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love! #SeizeYourPassion! P.S. This piece of truth is part of what having a “Growth Mindset” means. You can check out tons of inspiring, insightful, and empowering content on Mindsets to Seize Your Passion! here. Enjoy 🙂
  • Video: The You-est You!

    Julie Reisler, author, TEDx speaker, host of the podcast The You-est YOU®, and certified coach, talks with Seyopa founder and champion of Passion, Rachel Ellner Lebensohn, about what it means to be, and how to become, the you-est you! #SeizeYourPassion! This was recorded in 2017 for The You-est You Podcast, hosted by Julie Reisler. To learn more about Julie, visit www.juliereisler.com
  • Video: Remember Who You Are!

    How to overcome the biggest obstacle to truly realizing your dreams and truly becoming your best self.
  • BLOG: THIS. IS. YOUR. LIFE.

    This is your life! And you want to live your best life possible. (We all do). As I see it, your best life is built on two foundational elements:
    1. Becoming your best you; and
    2. Realizing your dreams
    Achieving those two foundational elements, and therefore creating and building your best life, can be expressed in a simple formula – one that I am borrowing from Darren Hardy, but making my own; and by doing so am also walking my talk (as you’ll see further below). That formula is this:

    Your Best Life

    = EQUALS = Potential (which is infinite and limitless) – MINUS – Interferences (mental and physical, tangible and intangible, conscious and unconscious). The biggest interference we all have is TOO MUCH NOISE! That noise, in all its different shapes and sizes – whether it be your own inner demons, fears, and insecurities, or whether it be other people’s or society’s rules, manipulations, lies, exploitation, or ignorance – that noise drowns out your greatest resource, asset, and blessing to living up to that potential and creating your best life, which is YOU! All that noise drowns out, without you even realizing it, your own inner voice, wisdom, and truth. Your ability to understand yourself; and therefore others. Your ability to truly, wholly, and unconditionally love yourself; and therefore others. Your ability to know, and live out of, your passion and your purpose; and therefore become your Personal Legend. Your ability to share that with others; and therefore make an impact, and effect change. All that is yours. All that is within you. All that, is you. A key then to living your best life, to living your truth, to realizing your dreams, and to becoming your best self is to STOP THE NOISE!! Stop listening to what others think. Stop trying to please everyone else. And stop comparing yourself to anyone else. Yes, you can learn something from everyone; but that doesn’t mean you have to or should listen to everyone. Start listening to your own clarity. It’s there. Your voice. Your dreams. Your desires. Your truth. Your life! No one else’s. Trust Yourself! Be your own guru. Yes, learn from others, and be inspired by others; but your own wisdom, intuition, experience, heart, mind, and soul is your north star. It’s your only true and ultimate guiding light! In the end, you know what’s best for you! Take the core principles, ideas, values, beliefs, and lessons that speak to you and then apply them and make them your own. Make them work in your life, with your own unique strengths, style and circumstances based on your own unique dreams, visions, and goals.
    Become aware of, understand, and use BOTH your head and your heart. Learn when to go into your head and when to go into your heart, and listen.
    Learn to know which emotionally heightened states to act on, and which to reflect on.  The I feel good, I feel alive, I feel empowered, I feel strong, I feel aligned, this feels right and true states are your heart and soul speaking to you. Listen, and act. “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…Pursue those.”  – Michael Nolan The I feel angry, scared, small, betrayed, worthless, and unloved states are when to observe, allow space and time to defuse, and then reflect. Allow your head to speak, and listen so you may learn and grow. Embrace yourself for who you really are and learn to harness your creative potential to direct the trajectory of your life. We all have that creative potential, and we are all the artists of our life. You take your passions, your values, your beliefs, your experiences, and your circumstances – everything that makes you you – and you create your life out of that. But you must develop personal accountability to do that, because that’s the bridge between your intentions, hopes, and dreams on one side, and actually manifesting, realizing, and executing them on the other. Words can be extremely powerful. But, without the action to back them up, they become meaningless. Do what you say and say what you do. Love the life you live and live the life you love. Passion is Love. And when you live out of your passion, when you seize your passion, when you are passionate about your life, and in love with life, you become limitlessly more creative, more inspired, more intuitive, more grateful, more giving, more resilient, more adaptable, more flexible, more able to hear and listen to your inner wisdom, more willing to learn and grow, and more empowered to realize the full potential that is you and your best life!And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”  – Ted Hughes
  • Video: How to Find Light Within the Darkness

    Leia Baez: “I know that stars don’t shine in the light, and neither do we. It is during the darkness that we are forced to grow and learn who we are. So don’t run away from those dark times; embrace them. We are on a mission to better ourselves, to be successful, and to better this world….Your toughest battles will bring forth your biggest breakthroughs….Failure often turns out to be the start of something so much greater….Dream big, fail hard, but never give up.” Source: YouTube Author: Goalcast
  • Video: Seize the Day Every Day

    “Chase what you’re passionate about. You may not start at the top, but the money will come. And if you’re passionate about it, you’ll find a place that you fit so well that it will feel as though you haven’t worked a single day in your life….The only way to truly fail is to quit trying….Be proud of who you are and your unique abilities that positively affect everyone around you. Create a legacy that will continue to impact the world long after you have left it behind….If you want the most out of the short time we have on this planet, find your passion and chase it relentlessly.” Source: YouTube Author: Goalcast
  • Article: Learn from Walt Disney: How to Love What You Do

    In 1939, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became the highest-grossing sound film ever.

    It was the first full-length traditional animation feature, and despite the world suffering from the effects of the Great Depression, its commercial success created a new media giant.

    Although The Walt Disney Company would continue to see many ups and downs over the next few decades, it had managed to infect the cultural consciousness. Animation wasn’t just for children. It became a timeless way to communicate the most basic of our human values.

    The person behind all of this was an eccentric man who had grown up drawing cartoons.

    The name Walt Disney is now synonymous with iconic film characters and the world-famous theme parks that bear his name, but in the early days, he was just a man with an artistic itch. He wanted to show the world what happens when you mix elements of fantasy with reality.

    The term artisan is often used to describe a craftsperson. Someone who makes things with their hands. However, it also connotes the idea of a job done with care for its own sake.

    While a case can be made that Disney’s success was attributed to his craftsmanship, the more interesting observation about his life and his work is the level of satisfaction he derived from his career by simply treating it as a craft. He was practically infatuated with his job.

    What you do for a living takes up a big part of your life, and it should be more than just work. It should be a craft. Disney was the prime example of an artisan, and his story illustrates this to its core. Let’s steal a few lessons.

    1. No Separation Between Work and Life

    One of the most common discussions regarding careers is one concerning work-life balance.

    We all have limited time, and naturally, it makes sense that we want to spread it across the different responsibilities in our life without falling into the trap of over-committing to any one.

    While the idea of having a balance is important, the distinction that is often created in such discussions is not. It separates your life from work when the goal should be integration.

    If you think about how much time the average person spends working (approximately 80,000 hours, or 9 full years, by some estimates), it becomes clear that there isn’t really a way to separate work from life. Even if we compartmentalize, that’s only a psychological distinction.

    We eventually become what we do. The daily actions you take as a part of your job become ingrained in you as habits, which shape your identity. This affects you in a substantial way.

    Walt Disney famously came up with the idea for the first Disneyland while watching his two daughters ride a carousel. He wanted to create an environment where families could come together to enjoy each other’s company just as he was in that moment with his children.

    Even when he wasn’t working, his work augmented who he was at home. Similarly, when he was at home, his family life inspired what he built and created for other families at his work.

    While boundaries are key, being an artisan isn’t just about having a work identity. It’s about aligning who you are as a result of work into a larger, holistic way of operating as a person.

    If you’re an artist, you are an artist outside of your studio. If you are an entrepreneur, you are an entrepreneur outside of the office. This is true regardless of whether you think that way.

    We are what we do. It’s on us to make what we do something we’re proud of outside of that.

    2. Progress Is in the Details, Not the Image

    Between 1931 and 1968, Disney was nominated for 59 Academy Awards, winning 22 of them. That’s the second most nominations out of anybody else and the most wins ever.

    As he inspired the creation of more and more animation films as a producer, he received more and more acclaim from the world. He went from being a simple animator in his early days to a man better described as an industrialist. His company became a force of nature.

    Yet, by all evidence, it appears that Disney was more concerned with details than image.

    His goal was always to mold the impossible in with the possible, and he defined his progress more by how each individual felt and reacted to his creations than by general perception.

    In most work, there is always an ever-present conflict between what you have to do to win over external praise and what you have to do to feel a sense of internal accomplishment.

    Often, these are interconnected. Sometimes, if you don’t win over the external praise, you may no longer have a job. That said, just as often, the external praise we seek is a product of satisfying the ego and not born out of necessity. That’s where things tend to go wrong.

    It may be gratifying to hear praise and to gain status or prestige in the moment, but at the end of the day, that’s not the kind of progress that really counts. That’s not what truly fulfills.

    Artisans do things for their own sake. They do things to learn and to master. To challenge and to be challenged. The goal is to be a little bit better today than you were yesterday, and that metric isn’t defined by some outside committee, but it’s determined by your product.

    You love what you invest in, but the best investment is found in the details. And the beauty is that, if you focus on simply learning, mastering, and improving, the image takes care of itself.

    3. The Reward of Good Work Is More Work

    The core intention we have for doing something shapes every subsequent choice we make.

    If your core motivation is success and fame and riches, then even if you consider yourself an artisan in your mind, your behavior won’t reflect what it is that you tell yourself about work.

    If you focus on mastery and have an intrinsically motivated definition of progress, however, then the only reward of going through the process of work is more work. It’s the luxury to do what you’re already doing in a more complex environment or on a more impactful scale.

    No matter how big The Walt Disney Company got, there was one thing that Disney would always remind people of. Profits were important, and necessary, but only for one reason.

    “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.”

    It’s a very subtle distinction, but making that clear changed everything from the projects they picked to who they partnered with to the kind of characters they choose to develop.

    If treated the right way, work can be one of the most rewarding gifts that life has to offer.

    Humans are creative and productive, to some extent, by nature. We make things, we build things, and we create on top of what we have already made and built. If a task is aligned with whatever drives our inner nature, we thrive on adding more complexity to our work.

    While there is a prevailing narrative in our culture that sees work as something to be done until you don’t need to do it anymore, the truth is that, if you truly respect and value whatever your work is, the real benefit of working is actually the ability to continue to do more of it.

    Waking up and feeling truly grateful to do what you do is the reward. That can’t be bought.

    All You Need to Know

    Due to individual circumstances, not everyone can aspire to the kind of work that brings out the artisan in them, but anyone can at least try to adjust their mindset with what they have.

    Walt Disney is one of the enduring cultural icons of the past few generations, and much of both his success and his level of fulfillment can be traced back to his craftsmanship at work.

    Most of us have careers that last between 30 to 50 years. That’s a significant part of life, and the only way to ensure they mean something is to treat what you do with the right intention.

    There’s an artisan in all of us. Whether or not it shows through depends on our daily choices.

    Source: besomebody Author: Zat Rana
  • Article: How To Follow The Deepest Wisdom Within Your Heart

    Soulful Living

    “The heart has its own language. The heart knows a hundred thousand ways to speak.” — Rumi
    Close your eyes for a moment.

    Bring your awareness to your chest and place your attention on the feelings and sensations in that area.

    While seated, continue to breathe and direct your focus on this region. You might encounter tingling feelings, images might flash across your mind — let them show up.

    Now open your eyes.

    Welcome to the resonance of the heart. You have embarked on the first step in experiencing your heart energy.

    The voice of the heart is quiet and assuring, though it can be drowned out by the relentless mental dialogue at play in our mind.

    The language of the heart is the call of the soul which echoes in a faint whisper.

    Upon closer examination, we see the ego is dominant, relentless and ill-advised to help us navigate life. It is the cunning friend with honest intentions, spurring you towards insensitive acts of courage.

    In comparison, the heart speaks in a clear and reassuring way to reinforce our personal success and soul’s transformation.

    I am reminded of a delightful tale by the late Indian Jesuit priest and psychotherapist, Anthony de Mello:

    “What must I do to attain holiness?” said a traveller.

    “Follow your heart,” said the Master.

    That seemed to please the traveller.

    Before he left, however, the Master said to him in a whisper, “To follow your heart you are going to need a strong constitution.”

    A strong constitution is required since the heart’s wisdom will often conflict the logic of the mind.

    It is experienced as an emotion, a sensation or an inner experience, while the mind’s narrative is firm and resolute.

    Soulful living is an invitation to live beyond the material world, rather than being dictated to by our thoughts.

    This is challenging because we are unfamiliar communicating with our heart, since our focus is fixed on left brain logic. It is the analysis and over-analysis which leads to paralysis of the body.

    It is as simple and yet as involved as the message from author Gary Zukav who affirms in The Seat Of The Soul, “Feel your intentions in your heart. Feel not what your mind tells you, but what your heart tells you.”

    Our addiction can lead us to react to external events while being insensitive to the call of our inner wisdom.

    Connect With The Heart

    “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” — Carl Jung

    To experience the way of the heart, we must develop the capacity to listen.

    This is challenging when our environment constantly summons our attention. We are exposed to fear-based news stories, products or services we don’t need or, worse still, a celebrity scandal that carries limited importance in our lives.

    We don’t have to be drawn into this endless drama and can choose to be pulled by life’s circumstances or be led by the call of our spirit, which knows the way.

    To know the language of the heart is the essence of love, the foundation of universal power.

    Love is the highest order conferred to us at the moment of conception. Millions of people spend their entire life in search of their soulmate, while all along they seek to experience the essence of their soul.

    “The human heart is a keenly sensitive area of feeling and knowing that is a portal to our deepest self. Heart wisdom is a blend of deep feeling and understanding,” states author John Prendergast PhD.

    We must try to live from the heart, instead of a self-centred existence imposed by what is missing in our life.

    This heart-based living I speak of is a return to wholeness. We never disconnect from this aspect of our being, aside from when we become distracted and lose our way.

    Similarly, language is not confined to that learned and communicated through words.

    It is conveyed through: intuition, sensations, feelings and an inner knowing. We must connect with this inner wisdom to know the entirety of our being.

    Meditation and regular silence is valuable to connect with the heart because we lower the volume on the endless chatter that occupies the spaces between our thoughts.

    For many, to retreat into silence means being alone with their thoughts, however disconcerting it may seem, rather than to realise their sacred nature.

    The American spiritual teacher Adyashanti affirms, “Who would I be if I fell into the heart, not as some sort of ideal, not as something I imagine, but something that I actually allow to happen at the deepest level?”

    The voice of the heart shows itself through feelings that connect you to your soul. When we honour these feelings and intentions they lead us back home where we yearn to be.

    It was Hans Christian Andersen who said, “Where words fail music speaks.” This music lives in our heart and is discernible if we fall silent long enough to hear its message.

    To be guided by your heart while using the logic of the mind is to unify mind and body, so that every thought and action emerges from intentional living.

    “When we are willing to set aside the contents of an “overstuffed” mind and walk the trail unburdened, we’ll discover that it’s difficult not to hear what the heart wants to say,” states author Dennis Merritt Jones.

    So as our attention deepens into our heart, we discover in that stillness our eternal soul calling us to be one again.

    For as the Master knew all along: to follow your heart demands a firm constitution.

    After all, the way of the heart will adopt everything the mind is unable to embrace.

    Source: Medium Author: Tony Fahkry
  • BLOG: Connectivity That Matters!

    Look, in today’s world, you’re more connected in many ways than ever before to realizing your dreams and goals. That’s a fact. You’re connected technologically and digitally. You’re connected to important extrinsic values and resources like data, productivity, and efficiency. And you’re connected to a culture of high achievement, high performance, influence, status, and financial wealth. And that’s great. It is. It opens up so many doors of opportunity and possibilities and progress. But, consider this. With all that enhanced connectivity on those levels, isn’t it possible that you’ve forgotten about, and are actually losing more and more of, connectivity and connection on other levels? Levels that really, really matter in the long run? Levels of connection that matter just as much (probably more) as the other types of connectivity you have, to not only attain your dreams and goals in the world, but also to attain the fulfillment, meaning, and happiness in your life that actually lies behind why you want to achieve those dreams and goals in the first place?! I’m talking about the intimate, real-deal, deep, heart-based true, and often much slower-paced human connectivity and connection to basically three things:
    1. People you love
    2. Doing stuff you love
    3. You that you love (your true, core self; not the roles you play or the masks you wear)
    And, it’s not just you. We ALL need to remember to spend and give more conscious effort, attention, and time to enhance, and stop the recession of, those critical connections! And I’m not saying abandon your goals and dreams of success. I’m not saying abandon your connectivity to the amazing world we live in and all that it offers either. What I am saying, to you, to myself, and to all of us, is this: Don’t abandon yourself in the process. Remember to connect – really connect – with the people and the activities and the places and the time spent, that connect you back to yourself. Remember to do more of what you love simply and solely because you love it! Remember to pursue as many of the intrinsic values and goals that make you smile, that make your heart feel proud, and that fill you up as you do the extrinsic ones! Remember to get to know and understand and learn about yourself as deeply, as honestly, and as compassionately as possible! And remember to share more meaningful moments as well as more carefree and playful ones with the people in your life. Especially those you love! As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love! #SeizeYourPassion!
  • Article: Build Your Life Around What Matters Most to You

    If you left this world tomorrow, would you seriously care how much time you spent compulsively staring at your smartphone?

    “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”  — Steve Jobs

    Each day, you’re given 86,400 seconds to make the most of. You’re given the latitude to pursue what you want, even if it only ends up being for a very small percentage of those seconds. You have time. You have a shot — and that’s all that most of us can really ask for. So, when I see people squandering that time and wasting it on things that don’t add value and that waste their talents, it gets me down.

    But more than that — it puzzles me. So many of us don’t realize the opportunities we’re letting pass us by.

    An investment toward a venture and new beginning doesn’t take nearly as much time each day as you think. It’s not about one lump sum of output for one day over a few days or week. The journey is about repetition. It’s about consistency and continuous output. Showing up each day and finding a way to let yourself shine, in all your authenticity, in whatever your thing is.

    So why do we spend time on things that don’t matter? For one thing — too many of us haven’t defined what matters most to us. As crazy as that sounds, we simply don’t know. We haven’t taken the time in deep thought and imagination to actually visualize and verbalize what we love and what means the most to us in this lifetime.

    This manifests itself in our professional and personal lives, as well as how we perceive opportunities. Actually, it sometimes comes down to the way we perceive things like, well, vegetables. Take this from Stanford professor S. Christian Wheeler:

    You may wish you liked your job more than you do, and you may find ways to make it more palatable, “but maybe your job really is bad.” Or you may want to eat more broccoli because you know it’s good for you, but if you dislike the taste there may be no way to convince yourself to eat it.

    We shouldn’t have to convince ourselves to like something that isn’t worth our time. While many of us need jobs, we’d be better off taking the time to specify what we really want instead of languishing or suffering in a role that is more mentally and emotionally draining than worth its yield in monetary income.

    The Choice is Yours

    We have a choice — that’s the point. And choice is enabled when we brainstorm and list out things that mean something to us. These are values, goals, passions and defining what success or happiness look like. It’s not hard to wonder how someone became successful or why some people are happier than others. They didn’t just fly by the seat of their pants and stumble into those states.

    “The ultimate aim of the human mind, in all its efforts, is to become acquainted with truth.” ―Eliza Farnham

    They consciously planned, imagined, visualized and activated that successful state or feeling of happiness. It takes time and effort. So many people, due to emotions like nervousness, lack of faith, or the mode of indecisiveness fail to take the time to do this work. They think it should be overlooked and that they should just jump right in and keep churning away and working hard.

    But there’s a big difference between hard work without a light at the end of the tunnel, and hard, intelligent work that is designed to get us to an end goal and let us reap the rewards of learning and growth on our journey. We grow, we find meaning and we reach out pinnacle of self-actualization when we define what matters most to us and then approach that with a positive attitude and inspired, intelligent, industrious work ethic.

    So put your smartphone down. Turn down that invite for happy hour drinks on Friday night, that turns into a long night on the town, spilling into the precious time you could use on Saturday morning consciously plotting your future plans. It’s not worth it. Your devotion to what matters most to you — whether it be family, your job, your faith or your passion — should be valued above everything else.

    Don’t get disillusioned or caught up in the instant gratification social media world that prizes sensationalism and fleeting “cool” things over substance. Your journey to finding yourself and what you truly love is often long, sometimes lonely, but always worth it. An inspired, bold life is one lived on your terms and infused with doing meaningful, joyful things that light the fire inside of you, and simultaneously add value to the life of others.

    Go for it.

    Source: Medium Author: Christopher D. Connors
  • VIDEO: Unmasking What Matters with Sandra Joseph [Raw and Uncut]

    An uncut, unscripted, and deeply authentic conversation with Sandra Joseph, one of Broadway’s biggest stars, about unmasking what matters, self-love and self-worth, standing in your field of power, and what it really means to Seize Your Passion!
  • BLOG: Know Thyself!

      In order to realize your dreams, you must first believe in your dreams. And in order to believe in your dreams, you must first believe in yourself. So, how do you truly believe in yourself in order to truly believe in your dreams in order to truly realize your dreams? Know thyself. You can’t believe in what you don’t love. And you can’t love what you don’t know or understand. It also said that you should keep your friends and allies close, and your enemies closer. So ask yourself, who is your own greatest ally within you, and who is your own greatest enemy within you? They’re both you. Know him/her, understand him/her, accept him/her, love him/her. That is how you become your best self, and in turn, that is how you realize your dreams! Master the two to pioneer the third! #SeizeYourPassion!
  • Video: 5 Minutes for the NEXT 50 Years of Your LIFE

    “The question we’ve got to ask ourselves is what success is to us, what success is to you…Continue to ask yourself that question. Now, your answer may change over time and that’s fine. But do yourself this favor: Whatever your answer is, don’t choose anything that will jeopardize your soul. Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, and don’t spend time with anything that antagonizes your character….Be discerning. Choose it because you want it. Do it because you want to….Guilt and regret kills many a man before their time….You are the author of the book of your life.” Source: YouTube Author: Video Advice
  • Article: 6 Ways To Live Boldly and Passionately, As If Your Life Depends On It

    Everyone wants to thrive on some level.

    And whether you’re thriving or struggling, part of you hopes for a better life. However, you may be unsure how to get there.

    It doesn’t mean it’s not possible, it requires a shift in awareness and leaving your old life behind to attain something better.

    It was the late Dr. David Hawkins who wrote in Healing and Recovery: “Problems are best solved not on the level where they appear to occur but on the next level above them….Problems are best solved by transcending them and looking at them from a higher viewpoint. At the higher level, the problems automatically resolve themselves because of that shift in point of view, or one might see there was no problem at all.”

    He realised the same mind that creates your problems is not the same mind that resolves them. Hence, you must develop a change in awareness to transcend your problems. It is only once you create this inner shift that life will make sense on a deeper level.

    Have you noticed when you finally understood something, suddenly everything seems to click into place? You may have questioned how you held on to your previous point of view for so long, when everything was made clear in an instant.

    These are moments of clarity or a rise in consciousness where you leave behind your old way of thinking behind and see life in a new way. It is a paradigm shift in which you release old layers of conditioning to gain a new sense of hope and optimism.

    Part of you recognises the greatness within you, yet your former self repeats old patterns and you find yourself stuck in this cycle. Perhaps on some level you’re not ready to embrace a new way of life. I don’t know and you may not know either, but it’s worth taking the time to examine your motives and face your fears of what a new life will bring.

    You might fear stepping into the unknown contains pitfalls you’re not ready to embrace. Change is subtle, unless it is thrust upon you. So don’t worry about what you have to lose, but consider what you have to gain when shedding your previous life.

    Everyone has the opportunity to live boldly and passionately, it is whether they choose to do so that will determine their choices. It was the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle who first stated: “Nature abhors a vacuum,” meaning it is unnatural to find an unfilled space in nature because something will always occupy its place.

    I offer you the following six ways to live boldly and passionately as if your life really depends on it. When you come from this place of knowing, you’re invited to seek answers as though your life is at stake, rather than make a decision because it feels right.

    What if in your sleep one night you were visited by the Grim Reaper and asked whether you wish to live boldly and passionately as if your life depends on it? If you answered no, you would be called back from where you came. If you answer yes, your future would change and you could never go back to living the life that you once lived.

    This is how you must approach every day of your life, so that every minute becomes a testimony to serving your highest good instead of merely getting by.

    1. Live Without Regret

    Find Your Motivation

    “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” — Jim Rohn

    Regret arises when you live less than what you are capable of. It signifies going against the tide of your inner wisdom, essential to your personal growth. Regret serves as a reminder your actions are not purposeful and a clearer intent is required.

    You must connect with a deeper motivation if you wish to live a life without regrets. This inner resource summons you to play better than what you have been. Don’t hide behind excuses when life does not turn out as you hoped, since you are likely to become a victim instead of a victor.

    You cannot make sense of life because sometimes you don’t have access to certain information. The father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” He was saying, sometimes there is no hidden meaning to events and things appear as they are. You create meaning to make sense of the world. This does not mean life is unfair; rather you are unaware of the significance of those events.

    Purposeful Action

    “Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend to and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.” — Henry David Thoreau

    That’s why you should be purposeful in your actions, instead of acting from a place of fear. When you take inspired action, everything unfolds according to a greater plan. The pieces of the puzzle come together as they should, and not a moment sooner.

    I am drawn to the guidance by author Robbie Vorhaus who states in One Less. One More: Follow Your Heart. Be Happy. Change Slowly, “Remember, regrets are not real, although they feel that way. Like fear, regrets are only thoughts in your mind, feedback that the ego is trying to control something it can’t.” The secret to living without regrets is to act intentionally with what is of importance to you.

    If you are dictated by what popular culture considers important, you are not honouring your deepest wisdom, but following the masses. This is likely to result in regrets and uninspired action.

    Many of life’s problems result from following others, hoping they hold the key to your happiness. This seldom works because these same people lead lives of quiet desperation, as the American essayist Henry David Thoreau affirmed.

    One need only look to celebrities where fame is considered a measure of happiness. Just because they are adorned by millions, doesn’t mean their life is devoid of problems. They may pay a price for their fame that includes: unfulfilled lives, substance abuse, and psychological pain when trying to uphold a particular image.

    To live without regrets, pursue what you value most and fills your life with joy irrespective of what others consider. This does not mean your actions should affect others, though do not be dictated by what they consider important. People will disapprove how you live your life because it does not conform to their opinions. It may jeopardise their self-esteem since they have not taken action to follow their goals or dreams.

    This should not dissuade you from following your bliss as the American mystic, Joseph Campbell reminds us. Similarly, people are afraid to try new things for fear of failure. When did failure embed itself in our psyche that it stopped us in our tracks? Failure is merely feedback, alerting you to something that requires additional steps for completion. It should not impact your self-worth unless you allow it to.

    A Compelling Why?

    “If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.” ― Simon Sinek, Find Your Why

    Regret rears its ugly head when your actions are not aligned with your WHY. This is your underlying motivation clothed in a deeper purpose. Otherwise, you are likely to plod along and throw caution to the wind, hoping your efforts succeed. If it doesn’t, you experience regret and a blow to your self-esteem since you have not tied it to your intrinsic values.

    Living in the present moment offers the opportunity to reconnect with what is important now. You are constantly at the mercy of your thoughts, recalling the past or expecting the future to arrive as you hope for. Yet, you feel regret because the past does not match the mental image you expect.

    Being present is not smooth sailing either because life has a way of pulling you into the future. Your friends, family or co-workers make plans for tomorrow or next week. Your diary is packed full of events months in advance. It becomes natural to live this way, so your thoughts become fixed on being anywhere but now. Professor and psychologist Philip Zimbardo labels these people future-orientated.

    Those who live in the now, experience a deep rapture and joy because they lose their connection to the past and future. They are attentive to the present moment, the source of their being. Therefore, carve out time to reconnect with yourself and avoid getting caught up in the chaos of everyday life.

    Life advances at a fast pace, it’s easy to lose sight of your inner needs until a major crisis appears. By then, it’s too late because the foundations that once held your life together have collapsed, taking your sense of purpose with it.

    To reconnect with your inner intelligence, tune in to the voice of your inner self. This may be as: play, movement or any form of creative expression. The child within wants to be heard. If you dismiss it because things out there distract you, you miss exploring what is vital to your joy and happiness.

    I invite you to look unfavourably on regret and live an intentional life. When you are aligned with something greater, there is no room for regret. Instead, purposeful action commandeers the helm to lead you toward a life replete with fulfilment and bliss.

    2. Make Peace With Your Emotional Wounds Because They Strengthen You

    Concealing the Pain

    “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” — Helen Keller

    Despite your intense emotional wounds, the hurt will pass and scars eventually heal. To relive the pain reinforces the experience because you cling to the emotions instead of process them. As time moves on so does the emotional strain, yet you needn’t clutch to your pain story. You can suffer or let go of what no longer serves you.

    Many people mask their pain by avoiding it. They rather forget the hurt which only reinforces it. You must love and acknowledge your darker aspects like your pain and grief. If you appreciate the sun and wish away the darkness how would you see the stars at night?

    Your emotional wounds lead you to your wholeness. It is remiss to emphasise the darkness while identifying with your light since you encompass both parts. Pain is a powerful teacher that connects you with your inner wisdom. Without pain, how can you recognise the enduring self that lies beneath the rubble of suffering? Without pain, you are powerless to embrace the entirety of who you are.

    Your emotional wounds do not imply you are flawed, yet show your true character. They are your battle scars that show you have danced with life and lived to tell the tale. You communicate to others of the struggles that lie ahead, having traversed the path yourself.

    Your wounds lie fragmented deep within your psyche. If you have not reconciled them, they grow stronger until you address them. They are the imposing shadow, lurking in the darkness waiting to grab hold if you grow weary.

    A Return to Love

    “When I stand before thee at the day’s end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing.” — Rabindranath Tagore

    You can become your own healer via loving and nurturing declarations to yourself. This reinforces how it is now safe to face these emotions with openness to heal. Your emotional wounds call you to connect with your inner child instead of fleeing when the pain intensifies.

    To run away from pain is the opposite of loving kindness because you neglect to honour your emotional wellbeing. You must love yourself foremost as you would a friend or loved one who is hurt.

    To demonstrate this commitment, consider the vows recited when two people marry: to honour one another through the good times and bad. So you ought to make the same commitment to yourself. Irrespective of the emotions that arise, you will honour them.

    There is a broader lesson contained within each emotional wound. If you penetrate through the pain, you realise it is a return to love as the American spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson affirms. So when you experience pain and suffering, love yourself. When you feel anxiety and tension, love yourself. When you feel happiness and joy, love yourself.

    This simple act of self-renewal permeates into your conscious, so regardless of the external conditions, your deepest wisdom leads you to connect with your heart.

    To heal, you should de-clutter your life and nurture the child within, while creating a secure environment for healing to occur.

    Inner Transformation

    “When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” — Joseph Campbell

    The saying, time heals all wounds does not hold significance if you don’t make the time to face them. You may store away the emotional fragments of the past, only to have them reappear at a later stage.

    To confront your emotional wounds means to honour yourself foremost. No matter what emerges, you trust you will cope.

    Everyone is bound to experience hurt and pain in their lives. Unless you’ve lived under a rock, everyone carries emotional pain. It’s how you transform the pain to develop a deeper relationship with yourself that leads to inner freedom.

    Your wounds strengthen you because they invite you to be sensitive to your emotional life. You become inquisitive about your emotions and examine them with openness and equanimity.

    Your childhood wounds are exposed through adult relationships and if you do little to confront them, they can ruin your life. Therefore, they are a gift guiding you to heal within.

    Through mindfulness, you ground yourself in the present moment and experience any emotions that emerge. This simple act cultivates true intimacy with yourself. So avoid holding on to your pain. There is no power gained from being a victim, other than to deflect your wounds onto others to appease your suffering.

    John Prendergast Ph.D. states: “If our heart has been closed and then begins to open, we often discover why our native sensitivity originally shut down. Old emotional wounds will surface and ask for our attention. Difficult feelings such as grief, shame, self-loathing, personal deficiency, despair, and fear can arise.”

    This statement reaffirms the need to love yourself completely, no matter the emotions. Your responsibility is not to judge yourself, but to reconcile the pain and integrate it into your experience toward oneness.

    3. Embrace Your Vulnerability As Your Greatest Strength

    Born Vulnerable

    “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.” — Brené Brown

    What do you associate with vulnerability? Perhaps it’s weakness, fear, hurt or betrayal. These are the deep-seated emotions people experience when they reveal aspects of themselves. Let’s be clear. Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness and can be your greatest strength.

    “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage,” affirms research professor and author Brené Brown in Rising Strong.

    Vulnerability is a double-edged sword. Those who protect themselves to avoid getting hurt, fail to appreciate intimacy and close relationships. Everyone is vulnerable, no matter how much they try to avoid it. You are born vulnerable and stay that way for your entire childhood. Your relationship with vulnerability is something you are acquainted with, yet abandon as you merge into adulthood.

    Your association with vulnerability requires a shift in awareness in order to strengthen your emotional well-being. It is no use erecting barricades around you while hoping at the same time others will see the blossoming flower within.

    The wall you construct prevents your true nature from being known to others. It was Rumi who said: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

    You must accept your vulnerability if you wish to live a wholesome life. Even the smallest act of letting down your guard is a commitment to your personal growth.

    Your Fractured Parts

    “What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” — Haruki Murakami

    Vulnerability is an act of courage because you merge with your authentic self, instead of hiding behind a facade to appease others. It is within the unknown where your greatest potential lies. Human nature is imperfect, yet the paradox is that you are whole within that sphere of imperfection.

    To embrace vulnerability as your greatest strength, you’ll need to become aware of your pain points. Retaliation leads to suffering, since you are likely to defend your pain like a wounded animal.

    Vulnerability involves healing your fractured parts by merging with the wholeness of your being. Consider it akin to a jigsaw puzzle strewn across the floor. Some might say the puzzle is incomplete given the pieces are lying on the floor. However, by gathering them together you create the entire picture once more.

    That is the heart of your life story. You have disowned your fractured parts, instead of trying to piece them together. You are a masterpiece; a Rembrandt replete with perfection. Yet, you focus on your brokenness in the same way as a cracked oil painting when exposed to the elements.

    The painting is no less beautiful because of its flaws. It is upon examining it up close you recognise the defects, while ignoring the complete picture.

    “Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging,” affirms Brené Brown.

    Heal The Pain

    “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” — Rumi

    To heal your pain requires undertaking a process of self-examination. You must become curious as to why you react when your pain buttons are triggered. Every person has pain thresholds.

    If left unchecked, they become inflamed and dominate your emotional landscape, not to mention your physical health. The moment you heal the pain, you reintegrate it into the wholeness of your being.

    Suffering ensues when you focus on your sorrow, instead of appreciating the beauty and richness of your complete self. It is as though you are looking through a magnifying glass on your shattered parts. You give them more attention than they deserve, so others are made aware of your weaknesses too.

    Your shadows are one aspect of your character. When healed, you come to realise the completeness of your being. Therefore, become a student of vulnerability by taking small risks. This act of self-renewal shines a light on your fractured parts, and is brought to your awareness and seen for what they are; a smokescreen.

    Similarly, be wary of the ego and its aversion to being vulnerable. The ego likes to protect its image and vulnerability is a crack in its armour. It signifies weakness and will do everything to defend itself. Your greatest triumph will arise when you lean in to your vulnerabilities with openness and compassion.

    There is nothing to defend nor protect, for the egoic voice has merely taken command and insisted on protecting you from getting hurt. It is Brené Brown who writes in Rising Strong: “I was reminded that shame is a liar and a story-stealer. I have to trust myself and the people I care about more than the gremlins, even if that means risking being hurt.”

    The gremlins she speaks of is the small self preventing your magnificence being known. Trust your heart’s wisdom and its real essence, not the voice in your head. It is only then you will appreciate how vulnerability is a commanding act of strength and courage.

    4. Self-Compassion And Self-Acceptance Is The Gateway To Optimal Living

    Why are some people happy and content in their own skin while others are miserable and pessimistic? How about you? What is your predominant outlook towards life? Do you like yourself? Feel worthy? Struggle with confidence?

    These are questions many people seldom contemplate until life overwhelms them. Yet, if you don’t make time for self-enquiry, you will be overcome with emotional grief when you least expect it. I wish to explore self-acceptance and self-compassion, two important factors for optimal living.

    From the time you are a child, you face some form of emotional abandonment, leaving you with a less-than-positive mental script. You can be hard on yourself and that unkindness permeates into other areas of your life, leading towards a destructive path.

    Emotional Abandonment

    “Your problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.” — Ram Dass

    Emotional abandonment means to run away from fulfilling your emotional needs like self-love and self-acceptance. Even young children will entertain thoughts as, “I don’t like myself” and “I’m not worthy” and carry these thoughts throughout their lives. What does a young child know about forming such judgements when they’re barely old enough to reason with the world?

    Perhaps your emotional needs were not met as a child and you developed low self-esteem? This is a common scenario, where children believe they are unworthy well before developing a self-identity. They mature into adults only to bottle up their pain or cover it up with: addictions, unhealthy relationships, hollow success, or material possessions. This poses a threat to one’s emotional wellbeing, because living like this makes for a miserable existence and leads to: depression, severe anxiety, mental health disorders and tremendous pain.

    The Antidote

    “The chemist who can extract from his heart’s elements compassion, respect, longing, patience, regret, surprise, and forgiveness and compound them into one can create that atom which is called love.” — Khalil Gibran

    Countless people with low self-worth have faced their inner struggles and learned to love themselves. They were vulnerable and faced their insecurities and disappointments to learn self-compassion and acceptance.

    In fact, a part of an adult’s journey often leads them to face the darkness to walk in the light. Sometimes personal growth requires walking through pain to discover a fertile oasis ahead.

    Healing Inner Wounds

    “What happens when people open their hearts?” “They get better.” ― Haruki Murakami

    Everyone encounters some form of pain on their life’s journey. It begins in childhood and continues throughout life and none are immune to it. How you respond to your inner wounds will determine your attitude and actions throughout life.

    To illustrate this point, consider the Buddhist tale of a man shot in the chest by an arrow. While the pain was immense, the Buddha pointed out how much greater the pain would have been if he was shot by a second arrow in the same spot. This lesson illustrates that despite intense pain or suffering, when you add a second arrow of judgment about your experience, you intensify the pain.

    Inner wounds can lead to self-persecution. You believe, “I must deserve this” or “I’ll never be good enough” and this keeps you trapped in unworthiness. You can be hard on yourself at times, not realising it’s possible to accept who you are, despite your pain. To learn self-love and self-compassion begins with appreciating your worthiness.

    You matter. You are worthy. You can love yourself and treat yourself with compassion. While it’s wonderful to treat others with compassion, do you treat yourself the same way? Do you take pride in yourself? Cut yourself slack from time to time? Believe in yourself? Are you aware of the inner critic that tells you otherwise?

    Self-compassion does not mean feeling sorry for yourself and it is not self-pity. It means developing a nurturing relationship with yourself foremost.Similarly, self-compassion is not a sign of weakness. It implies being your own guardian, best friend and healer instead of critic.

    It’s considered that self-compassion and self-acceptance are essential ingredients to living a fulfilling life, more so than high self-esteem.

    The roots of self-compassion stem from your earliest recollection of your caregiver environment. So, it makes sense you learn to connect with these nurturing qualities to provide the loving kindness you deserve.

    Self-compassion and self-acceptance means to eliminate expectations of oneself. It starts with the smallest gesture of loving yourself when you’re angry, scared, confused or tired. You cultivate a supportive inner dialogue instead of allowing the inner critic to take hold.

    You learn to embrace your worthiness. It begins by gazing into the mirror and declaring you are worthy of love. Notice the feelings and sensations that arise as you make the declaration.

    Some people are brought to tears while others delight in the self-affirming dialogue. Become your own best friend and soul mate. Scouring the globe for your soul mate begins at home standing in front of a mirror, confirming your complete acceptance of self: your flaws and your assets.

    No one is perfect and you’re no exception. Embrace and love yourself without reservation. Life will make sense because you will be in tune with your authentic self, which is Love at the core of your being.

    5. Don’t Resist What Is, But Embrace It

    Surrender To The Unfolding Conditions

    “There are ultimately two choices in life: to fight it or to embrace it. If you fight it you will lose — if you embrace it you become one with it and you’ll be lived.” — Rasheed Ogunlaru

    There is great truth that being alone in silence is a worthwhile antidote to overcome the weight of human suffering. You languish in sorrow because outside events unsettle your sense of stability.

    When intense or negative emotions arise, there is a tendency to escape them. This could be attributed to the view that negative emotions should be tossed aside and not confronted.

    The nature of reality is filled with pain and suffering. Interspersed are moments of joy and happiness to the degree that no untoward condition is permanent.

    It is how you respond to the difficult times that points the way to your personal growth. In her book When Things Fall Apart, spiritual teacher Pema Chodron affirms: “Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it.”

    You accept life’s unfolding events by allowing experiences to move through you with unreserved patience. The moment you resist pain, it pushes against you with an overpowering force until you concede.

    Your darkest hour, however frightening can never extinguish the illuminating radiance of your being. Consider it to dimming the lights inside your home to impose darkness while it’s still daylight outside. Even through concealed curtains, the light still penetrates the dark.

    Striving, longing and expecting are ways the mind places barriers around your happiness. You never know what life will bring, so let go of fixed outcomes and trust conditions will advance of their own accord.

    The minute you resist life, you are called to surrender to the unfolding conditions. In the moment you concede to universal intelligence, you merge with the natural order of events.

    When pain emerges, drop into it instead of resisting it. Why? Because your resistance signifies your opposition to life. It is your resistance to what isthat is the source of suffering, not the pain itself.

    Trust in your capacity to overcome whatever arises. Trust in life and the unseen forces that conspire to help you in the unfolding of your personal story.

    The Human Spirit Cannot Be Overshadowed

    “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.” — Byron Katie

    Celebrate life, knowing the sequence of events change. What seems unwelcomed at first may become your greatest teacher. Expect the foundations to be laid before assuming the worst.

    Your life’s journey is composed of layers, concealed by the weight of past conditioning. By allowing life to move through you, you consent to uncover those layers. Similarly, as you encounter an experience and overcome it, another layer is revealed.

    Unpleasant feelings are not to be avoided, yet embraced. This does not mean celebrate pain, though accept circumstances as they arise, knowing there’s a vital lesson contained within it.

    The moment you declare your intention to move through pain, you activate the wisdom to overcome undesirable events. When you shy away from an experience, you resist the moment.

    As you know, that which you resist intensifies until you are called to face the truth, amidst untenable circumstances. At the least, to embrace life is a commitment that what transpires will do so of its own accord.

    You have two choices: resist what emerges or accept it with trusted humility. What appears threatening at first is identical to thunder on a sultry night: loud and confronting, yet leads the way for the looming rain.

    There is a reassuring quality in the wake of every experience. Even in the ravages of a natural disaster, the human spirit cannot be overshadowed. To rebuild one’s life, with stronger foundations is testament to your grounding legacy to survive any untoward condition.

    Everything works out for the best if you get out of your way and embrace all that is. Life is a self-organising system, functioning irrespective of your resistance to it.

    It was the transformational author and critical thinker Werner Erhard who taught: “Life will resolve itself in the process of Life Itself.” There is little for you to do other than stay attentive to the outcome.

    To embrace all that is, expand your notion of suffering to correspond with the natural order of events. By spending quiet time in reflection every so often, you quiet the mind to allow the voice of reason to emerge, through the stillness of life.

    6. Stop Surviving and Start Thriving

    The Obstacle Is the Way

    “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” — Maya Angelou

    You are born to thrive, not just to play it safe in your comfort zone. You might try avoiding failure because it weakens your self-esteem — although failure is a prerequisite for success. Ask any entrepreneur or adventurer, and they will tell you failure is essential.

    However, I do not wish to embellish this article with positive psychology to make you feel good. So let’s cut to the truth since something drew you here, whether by accident or as a regular reader.

    For many, surviving means getting through the daily grind, only to endure the same battles all over again. This is not living because you are needlessly clutching to life.

    I realise you will have commitments and obligations. Mouths to feed, expenses and a mortgage to pay. Still, there’s a better way. You may want more, though life can be difficult and challenging at times. It’s worth reminding yourself, however, that the obstacle is in fact the way.

    Some people seem to thrive under whatever conditions they’re faced with, while you wonder why you’re stuck in your predicament. To thrive means to grow and flourish, not simply to scrape by.

    This is the premise of the film Groundhog Day, in which a weatherman played by actor Bill Murray, strangely lives the same day over and over again. No one wants to get by when you have hidden potential waiting to emerge.

    A Shift in Mindset

    “Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.” — Maya Angelou

    Those who thrive nurture their personal growth and step outside their comfort zone. Those content to merely survive are happy not to disrupt their lives because of the anxiety and tension involved. You can use tension and anxiety to give rise to creativity and opportunity.

    Thriving requires a shift in mindset and taking chances on occasions. The key to thriving is recognising you are unhappy and willing to make changes, irrespective of the steps involved.

    There is a staleness to surviving, in that you become wearied and discontent. Your soul calls you to venture into the unknown where freedom and good fortune lies.

    No one enjoys setbacks and mediocrity because the human spirit is full of potential and purpose. Life consists of constant change, for it is sewn into the fabric of your life.

    To shift from surviving to thriving, simply begin by attending to your negative thoughts. Destructive thoughts can run deep into a person’s psyche if left unchecked. Replace the negativity by addressing the underlying beliefs supporting them.

    You cannot move from surviving to thriving in days or weeks. Personal development is a journey of self-discovery and the pinnacle of achievement. You deserve to have more and be more. But, you must take the first step and move forward in that direction.

    Thriving Is a State of Mind

    “Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” — Rumi

    Don’t be concerned getting from point A to B in the shortest time. For as soon as you arrive, there will be another place for you to transition to. Take responsibility for your life by choosing your conditions, instead of blaming outside circumstances.

    As you know, victims are stuck in a despairing mindset, believing the world owes them something. They contend life conspires against them, without realising they create their own circumstances.

    It helps to know what you want from life. I’m not talking about superficial things such as the car you drive or house you live in. Yet something deeper: your purpose, what kindles your spirit and makes you come alive? I realise this is difficult for many to answer. Though it is important to know what is of significance to you.

    Thriving is a state of mind in as much as surviving is a negative state of mind. Therefore, shift your awareness from negativity to what is working in your life. There is nothing novel about surviving. If you remain in this state for too long, your spirit contracts. This is tied to the deeper purpose for your life, regardless of whether you know about it.

    Everyone seeks to find meaning in their lives. However, if you do not make empowered decisions, you relinquish it to your unconscious desires.

    Take small steps without being fixed on the destination. Ultimately, your journey is one of self-discovery. The journey is filled with highs and lows. The lows help you to master yourself, so you gain lessons significant to your personal growth.

    As a final point, refuse to accept negative conditions being permanent. It was Charlie Chaplin who quipped; “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.”

    Knowing you were born to thrive is motivating, since there is more to your life’s narrative than you presume. It involves merging into a grander version of the life you only thought possible.

    Source: Medium Author: Tony Fahkry
  • BLOG: WHY YOU CAN’T LET THIS MOMENT PASS

    SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH VIDEO

    There’s this inner dialogue between two of you. It goes on inside you all the time. Most of the time, you’re not even aware it’s happening….

    There’s two yous. One of you is your conscious-thinking-rational-mind you. Let’s call him Tom. The other you is your deepest-soul-feeling-heart-centered-intuitive you. She’s Kathryn. They’re both real. They’re both true. And they’re both you. You need Tom as much as you need Kathryn and you need Kathryn as much as you need Tom. They’re both essential to you surviving. More importantly, they’re both absolutely vital to you thriving – to reaching your highest and greatest potential and realizing all of your dreams. But, Kathryn and Tom are in a constant state of discourse, and often disagreement. Tom tends to dominate the conversation. He’s way louder than Kathryn, and he voices his opinion way more frequently. He’s amazing at coming up with and analyzing data, facts, strategies, and sound arguments that back up his experience, expertise, knowledge, and opinions. Kathryn on the other hand is much more of the strong but quiet type. Often, her presence alone is enough to make you feel loved, valued, worthy, and remind you just how capable and amazing you really are. She is intensely creative, fearless, adventurous, and fun-loving. And she always finds another way. She is a woman of few words, but deeply profound insight, wisdom, and truth. Which is why when Kathryn does speak, you must pay attention! You must not and can not let that moment pass. You must listen, you must shut Tom up in that moment, and you must act on her all-knowingness in that very moment, in whatever small way you can. Watch this video and see why. As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love! #SeizeYourPassion! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below :-).
  • BLOG: When Shift Happens!

    There are these magical moments in life when you discover or become aware of a particular truth, realization, or an epiphany that just totally transforms your perception and consequently your reality. They are life changing moments that can literally change your life, seemingly like pure magic. I had one of those moments recently. My epiphany was all about when shift happens (which almost always is a result of when shit happens, but that’s a whole other topic) and how that applies to being able to literally shape your reality into one where you realize your dreams and become your best you! If you’re thinking that sounds like BS or too good to be true or just plain hyperbole, I get it. Truth be told, if I was sitting on the other end of this, I might very likely be thinking the same exact thing. But, I’m asking you to keep an open mind and just hear me out on this. There’s this expression in Hebrew that translates into:  “The token dropped.” The expression is used to convey a moment of realization, when you finally really get something. That moment when something registers for you, and you truly understand it either for the first time or in a new and different way, that you just didn’t before. There’s a shift that happens. In your soul. In your heart. In your head. In your perspective, understanding, and what you see as truth. The expression comes from the public pay phones that used to be on every street corner in Israel, just like there used to be in the States and in every major metropolis in the world before the advent of cell phones. Only there, instead of putting a quarter in, as we did here in the States, they had these special phone tokens you’d use instead. When the token dropped, you’d here this clicking sound and that’s when you knew your call had registered. Well, I had a very big, life-transforming, token-dropping moment this week! See, I believe that there’s this Duality in everything – it exists everywhere in the physical world around us, it exists everywhere in the metaphysical, spiritual, abstract, and mental constructs of life, and it exists everywhere within each one of us as human beings. Maybe that’s why I’ve always personally been drawn to, and I always try to seek out the balance and harmony in everything. And maybe that’s the Libra in me and its correlative symbol of the Scales expressing itself. Regardless, my token dropping moment is very much about that Duality. And about how to better understand that Duality within ourselves in order to create and shape the life and reality we want, realize our dreams, and become our best selves. Here’s the deal with the Duality in each one of us. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all have certain talents and skills just as we all have certain challenges and lacks. We all have beauty, love, and compassion within us, and we all have ugliness, hate, and fear in us. We all have certain left-side brain attributes and certain right-side brain ones. And, we also all have our conscious, rational minds as well as our subconscious, intuitive emotions. (I recognize that this is an over-simplified analysis of various psychological and behavioral theories, but it serves its purpose here). In the world of Personal Development, there’s a ton of mixed messaging, chaos, and basically what I see as a lack of harmony and balance when it comes to this notion of Duality as it applies to our conscious selves versus our subconscious selves. On the one hand, we’re told that we should follow our hearts, develop our intuition, pay attention to and listen to our emotions and feelings. For that is our true, spiritual, and higher self. On the other hand, we’re told that we should use our ability to rationalize, analyze, and seek out logical facts and empirical truths. We should not simply react to or operate out of our emotions and feelings, most obviously when those emotions and feelings are survival ones like fear, judgment, and anger. That is what distinguishes us from all other animals and that is in fact our higher self. So which one is it? Well, it’s both. They are both true and valid and important. And they both co-exist. That is the very essence of the notion of Duality. But, and here’s the key to the kingdom of realizing your dreams and becoming your best self – you must master the two in order to pioneer the third. In other words, you must recognize and embrace this concept of Duality within you. You must be aware of it. And then you must understand both sides of it to such a token-dropping-level of mastery so that they both co-exist in harmony and balance rather than in conflict and opposition. So that they are both equally valid, vital, and true. And when you reach that level of mastering both in that way, you will open up (I swear, seemingly like real actual magic!) that third reality, path, perspective, or truth that will enable you to not only pioneer but to literally shape, create, build, develop, and realize your dreams and your truest, highest, and best self!!! As always, do more of what you love and be more of who you love! #SeizeYourPassion!
  • Article: Your life purpose, from 7 weird questions

    Some people are born with a definite sense of a life purpose. From the day they can articulate their dreams and wishes they tell the world “I’m going to be a doctor,” or “When I’m president…..” These people usually succeed in their aims because they have a plan for their lives and they execute it. Aim, shoot, bull’s eye. But for most people it’s not that straightforward. Fact is, life seems empty and pointless without a purpose. A life purpose gives meaning, and that meaning comes from serving something beyond yourself. But how to discover that, if you were not born with it? There is a way. The answers to these thought-provoking, weird questions have the power to unlock your purpose in this life that has been hidden from you until now.

    1. What were you passionate about as a child?

    The games we played as children are often a gateway to our potential to excel at something when we grow up. Think about your Barbie dolls. Did you dress them, or did you make clothes for them? Think about your trucks and cars. Did you race around with them, or did you construct a town, complete with streets, houses, trees, shops and garages? What did you play for hours? Can you still relate to that? If you can, how can you incorporate that into your adult life now? Were you advised that you should forget your childhood dreams, and do something practical with your life instead? Did you go on to study something other than what you really wanted to in university? Do you wish that you went a different route instead? Hidden in our childhood passions, are our gifts, the things we are naturally good at. Think back and see what treasure you can find there, which can hold the key to your life purpose.

    2. If you didn’t have a job, how would you choose to fill your hours?

    Here is something to ponder. If you didn’t have to work and you weren’t allowed to stay at home and do nothing, how would you choose to fill your time? Where would you go and what would you do? Let’s say you use some of the time to relax and unwind and some to exercise, what would you do with the rest of your time? Would you spend the day doing something active like exploring the town, would you go to a museum or visit art galleries? Would you read, volunteer somewhere, take a class? Where would you volunteer? Which class would you take? When money isn’t an issue, and you can devote yourself solely to your passion, what would this passion be?

    3. What makes you forget about the world around you?

    Is there something that you really, really love to do? Something that makes you lose track of time? If you have ever been completely absorbed in an activity you will understand the state of “flow” where you lose your sense of time and are completely caught up in what you are doing. We have all experienced it. For some of us it’s the process of creating something, for others it’s organizing an event, for others it’s taking care of other people’s needs. When you’re completely caught up in the “flow”, you forget about time, food and drink or where you are. Being in the flow, you are intensely focused and concentrated, and there is a sense of ecstasy. There is sense of inner clarity, and and you have complete confidence in your skills. All your worries are gone, and you are completely in the present moment. Yet you can lose track of time. This sense of flow is a source of joy and a reward in itself. When last did you experience this?

    4. What issues do you hold close to your heart?

    Is there a cause that you feel strongly about? What topics do you like to read about? What topics on the news do you follow, what issues do you keep returning to? What kind of websites attract you? What topics do you discuss with family and friends? Are there any that you get worked up about, that you want to do something about? When you are passionate about something, then the work you do for this cause will be meaningful and rewarding.

    5. Who do you spend time with and what do you talk about?

    Most of us spend time with people who share our interests and outlook on life. There might be a clue in there for you. Are you spending most of your free time with cycling buddies or just drinking buddies? Do you talk mostly about your shared passion for cycling and improving the sport or do you just chew the breeze with some friends at the local bar? Do the people you spend your free time with give an indication of your real passion? What do you talk about? Do you find people ask you for advice? Why would people ask you for advice? Do you have any specialized knowledge? How did you come by that knowledge? Is it something that you feel is what you were meant to do? The answers to those questions could be very illuminating.

    6. What is on your bucket list?

    What do you want to accomplish before you die? This is another exercise that could be very illuminating. Creating a bucket list crystallizes your thinking on what you desire most in life, what you really would not like to miss out on. There is passion there. Why wait?

    7. If you had a dream, could you make it happen?

    Give this serious thought. Even if you have had a dream and never attempted it for whatever reason, it’s still a valuable window into what you regard as somehow achievable, otherwise it would never have entered your mind. Think of the many people who made seemingly impossible dreams become reality and take heart from that. For example: J.K. Rowling was recently divorced, on government aid, and raising a baby on her own when she wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. She was initially rejected when she first sent out her manuscript to publishers. Ludwig van Beethoven did not allow his bad hearing and later on, complete deafness, to stop him from composing some of the most beautiful and influential music in the world. Helen Keller was deaf and blind from the age of 19 months. Yet she was able to be educated, and became an author and educator herself. Who do you look up to? What is it about them that inspires you? You can make steps towards following your life purpose right now. Ask yourself, what is really stopping you? There’s help everywhere. You don’t have to know everything yourself and you don’t have to do everything yourself. You can get help to make your dream come true. Think it through. That dream and your life’s purpose is probably one and the same thing. Source: Ideapod Author: Coert Engels