Sunday, November 18, 2012

10 Feel Good Thoughts for a Bad Day.

Sometimes I catch myself staring at the people around me – studying their mannerisms and expressions.  I wonder, “What is their story?  What are they searching for?  What makes their heart beat with happiness, with sorrow, with fear, with longing?”  And then I ask myself, “What words might I post on this blog to inspire them, and to remind them that, even on the toughest of days, our hearts all beat for these same things?”
Today I figured I’d share some of these words with you…
  1. We are all in this together. – Nobody has it easy, we all have issues.  When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story.  Everyone has gone through something that has changed them, and forced them to grow.  Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.  You will never know exactly what they are going through, and they will never know exactly what you are going through.  We are all fighting our own unique war.  But we are fighting through it simultaneously, together.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  2. You aren’t supposed to be perfect. – Live life.  Experience everything.  Take care of yourself and those closest to you.  Have fun – be a little crazy and weird.  Go out and make mistakes – you’re going to anyway.  Enjoy yourself, and exploit the countless opportunities to learn something along the way.  Figure out what works and what doesn’t.  Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human and being YOU.
  3. There are reasons to smile all around you. – A teenage girl blushed when I caught her playfully tickling her boyfriend as he looked for a book in the library – I smiled.  A middle aged man got down on his knees and lovingly scratched his dog behind the ears as they waited to cross the street – I smiled.  A little girl skipped in bright white shoes that were obviously new, happily kicking her feet far out in front of her to admire them – I smiled.  On days when you don’t have much in your life to smile about, watch those who do and you’ll smile too.
  4. Tough times help us grow. – We work hard to disown the parts of our lives that were painful, difficult, or sad.  But just as we can’t rip chapters out of a book and expect the story to still make sense, so we cannot rip past chapters out of our lives and expect our lives to still make sense.  Keep every chapter of your life intact, and keep on turning the pages.  Sooner or later you’ll get to a page that brings it all together and you’ll suddenly understand why every page and chapter before it was needed.
  5. Repetition is not failure. – In those frustrating moments when you find yourself standing face to face with an issue you battled before – one bearing a lesson you were sure you’d already learned – remember, repetition is not failure.  Ask the waves, ask the leaves, ask the wind. Repetition is sometimes required to evolve and grow.
  6. No matter what, you have a purpose. – Having a bad day?  It’s okay.  Put your hand on your heart.  Feel that?  That’s called ‘purpose.’  You’re alive for a reason.  Don’t give up.  You may lose the people you love.  You may lose the things you have.  But no matter happens, never lose yourself.  Read A New Earth.
  7. Being true to yourself is always the best option. – Being true to yourself is way better than being a liar just to impress everyone else.  Don’t change so people will like you.  You may not live up to everyone’s standards, but there are people out there who will love you just the way you are.  And besides, people will judge you regardless, so you might as well be yourself when they do.
  8. You don’t always have to be happy and cheerful. – Sometimes you have to deal with issues and show others your uncomfortable side.  It’s perfectly okay – it’s a natural part of being human.  And the good news is that these tough moments will often show you who will accept you at your worst and who won’t.
  9. Right now is a fresh start. – Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems.  It’s a bright new day – a new beginning.  Your future is too bright to waste it fighting needless battles with old issues from the past.  Read The Power of Now.
  10. It’s okay to let some things go. – You need to understand that none of us are playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose – life always finds its balance.  Don’t expect to get back everything you give, don’t expect recognition for all your efforts, and don’t expect your genius to be instantly discovered or your love to be understood by everyone.  As you live and experience things, you must recognize what works and what doesn’t, what belongs and what doesn’t, and then let things go when you know you should.  Not out of pride, inability, or arrogance, but simply because not everything is supposed to fit into your life.  Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust.  Stop being who you were so you can become who you are.
By. Marc 

Getting Out of Your Own Way.

Getting in your own way is all about how you relate to yourself. In addition to not managing your time effectively, there are many ways you can stop yourself from getting the most out of life—not enjoying what you have or have accomplished; not being able to get motivated, or finish what you begin; and having a negative focus, which leads to discouragement, anxiety, despair and even depression. 

When you aren’t able to get yourself motivated, to complete what you start, or to follow through when you need to, it’s called emotional paralysis. The main factors that lead to paralysis are Lack of Self-Trust, Being Outer-directed, Overwhelm, Perfectionism and Negative Thinking. Let’s look at each of these roadblocks, and what you can do about them:

Lack of self-trust:
When you don’t trust yourself, your own judgement, your intelligence, and your ability to manage yourself and make your own decisions, life is too frightening to move. Here’s an exercise abbreviated from the book "It Ends With You" to help you strengthen your self-trust. 

Steps to self-trust
1. Ask your own opinion. Frequently ask yourself: “What do I think about this? Do I like it? Does it make sense to me? Do I agree or disagree with the others?”
2. Listen to the answer. Listen to your opinions as you would to the ideas of a respected friend. Consider them, weigh them, and even discuss them with yourself from time to time. 
3. Repeat until it’s a habit. After a few weeks, you’ll become comfortable with your personal opinions, which will have a profound effect on what you do and how you act. Decision-making will be faster and easier, and you’ll feel much more secure in making decisions.

Being Outer-directed:
Knowing and acting on your own opinion is being inner-directed. Making decisions based on what others want or just reacting and responding to events is being outer-directed. You get along like that for a while, then you grind to a halt and become emotionally paralyzed. You must be the one in charge of your life—I believe it’s what we were designed to do, and I see every day what happens to people who don’t take charge of their thoughts, words and deeds. Once you know your own opinion, you need to act on it. The opinions of others are helpful input, but your decisions must be your own.

When you don’t take time to think clearly about the issues and problems in your life, and get mentally organized, you try to solve everything at once, and become overwhelmed and paralyzed. To overcome this problem, write down the thoughts that are racing through your head, make a list of everything that needs to be done, and prioritize. Then, pick one thing, break it down into steps, and begin doing the steps. You’ll find that organizing your thoughts like this makes everything much more manageable.

Perfectionism: The final paralyzer is wanting to do things so perfectly that nothing is good enough. To break the paralysis, lighten up on your demands of yourself. Be a supportive, encouraging friend to yourself, not a demanding boss.

Negative thinking
By far the biggest roadblock in your relationship with yourself and with life is negative thinking. Many of my clients are afraid that recognizing problems, difficulties and grief is the same as negative thinking, and therefore, they ricochet back and forth between pretending to be happy and feeling hopeless. 

Grieving is not negative thinking, it's an adjustment in feelings. If you allow yourself to acknowledge whatever feelings you have (anger, fear, sadness, joy) you’ll be able to feel real happiness when it comes. Negative thinking is actually scaring oneself. To latch on to only the negative things, to “catastrophize” about how awful things are or will become creates unnecessary tension and stress—and eventual paralysis.

The antidote to negative thinking is trust. Trust yourself—you have a direct line to eternal wisdom, and expressing your feelings clears up the static so you'll know what is most important for you in this moment. Trust your family and friends—they love you, they want to help, so let in the love they give you. Living as truthfully as you can—including when you're upset, frightened, or hurting—will put you in harmony with God’s plan for your life. Above all, trust Love—trust that you are surrounded with it, that your loved ones love you back, that you were created by Love, and, when it's time, you will be re-created by Love. Trust the blessings of life—even the worst things will somehow turn out to be a blessing, though you may not be able to see it now. Eternal Wisdom is so much bigger than we are, and we cannot understand all its workings, but “all the Power that ever was or will be, is here now” and we are all safe.

Whatever threatens our little ego-based world cannot touch that which is real within us. There is no need to be paralyzed, to be afraid, to hesitate. 

By. Tina B. Tessina

11 Must Read Life Lessons From John Lennon.

1.”Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

2. “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”

3. “It doesn’t matter how long my hair is or what color my skin is or whether I’m a woman or a man.”

4. “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

5. “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

6. “If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliché that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal.”

7. “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

8. “You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!”

9. “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”

10. “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

11. “One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

Be Grateful.

Be Grateful
Be grateful that you don't already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be grateful when you don't know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be grateful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be grateful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be grateful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be grateful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be grateful when you're tired and weary
Because it means you've made a difference.
It is easy to be grateful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
- Unknown

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Only once in your life...

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” 
― Bob Marley

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How to cope and stay positive when bad stuff happens.

No one ever said life is going to be easy. We all have experienced rough times in our lives, some others more than most. We all look for our answers when bad things happen and especially when it happens to good people. It can also be very easy to start the blame game or the “what if” game after bad things happen.  Let’s face it though, we can’t prevent or predict when bad things happen in our lives. Honestly, bad things are more likely going to happen to us in the future.Life can be pretty complicated with mayhem and at times you may feel like you been knocked down so hard that you may never recover. There is hope though and although it may not seem like there, just remember it can’t rain all the time and there will be light eventually.

How We Cope With Bad Things In Life

The way we overcome bad things in order to keep pushing forward in life and not letting it get us in “Quicksand” is all dependent on the way we handle and react to these outcomes in life.
Get Out Of Quicksand - Quicksand is the effect where you seem you like you are in way over your hard and struggling to survive. Yes, it can be difficult when things add up or something so tremendous hit’s you so hard that you may feel like no matter what you do there is no way positive outcome. The thing with quicksand though is that if you stop for a minute struggling and just keep a cool and calm head, then eventually you can get out of the quicksand. The same applies to life, stop for a minute and get a clear head to prepare yourself in overcoming this temporary setback in life. The more you dwell on the negatives and the problem the more difficult it is to rise above.

Don’t Worry About The Things You Can’t Control 

There is a prayer called the Serenity Prayer that Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings use most often that focuses on having the strength to focus on what they can control and the strength to accept things they can not change. There is no point stressing yourself out in worrying about the things you can’t control. Focus on what you can control and that is the present, not the past or impossible things for the future.

“Something I learned early in college (is) to not worry about what I can’t control…But what I can control is my attitude, my effort, my focus every single day and that’s what I’m trying to worry about.” – Tim Tebow

Learning Experience 

The most effective thing we can do from rough events in our life is to learn from them. Whether you are spiritual or not, there is a driving force in this world that tells us that things happen for a reason. Seek out that reason and embrace it. If a difficult event happened in your family that has brought everyone together then maybe that reason is getting the opportunity to spend time with your family that you may never have done before. This is not to say to forget or ignore the problem but try to learn from this experience, it is the only way to get better in life.

Keep It Positive 

You must stay head strong and always look for the positive in life even when it looks bleak in life. Keeping a positive outlook will help you push through this temporary setback in life. You are what you think. Watch funny movies and TV, go out and do something fun or spend quality time with friends. Do whatever you got to do to stay positive.

Keep Pushing Forward 

Never go backwards, you must always keep pushing forward and overcoming obstacles in life. 

"You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It ‘s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done." – Rocky Balboa

Have Faith / Hope

Finally, the thing you must keep is faith and hope alive. This will pass, tomorrow the sun will rise again and the future will become better. You have to maintain a sense of hope or otherwise you will be holding on to something that will keep you complacent. Having hope will give you purpose to move forward.

~ Doris Ann

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems todaylife does go on, and it will be better tomorrow." – Maya Angelou 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 Ways To Live A Life Of Excellence!

"Excellence is the result of caring more than others thinks is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others thinks is possible." ~ Uknown
Here are the top 30 ways to live a life of excellence:
  1. Discover your purpose. – Our physical life started when we were born.  Our real life starts when we discover our purpose.  What is your purpose?  What is your mission statement for your life?  Mine is, “To touch others’ lives, help them achieve their highest potential and live their best lives.”  This one statement gives me clarity and focus on what to do, from my daily plans to my long-term goals.
  2. Follow your passion. – To do what you love is truly the only way to live.  Don’t just pursue as a hobby; turn it into your career.  I didn’t use to be a personal development blogger or a coach.  I was a marketing major and I was working in brand management as a career.  However, it wasn’t my passion.  So a year and a half ago, I quit my regular job to pursue my real passion.  Despite having no experience in the personal development industry, I slowly carved my niche in this area and established myself and my expertise.  Today I’m pursuing my passion as a career, and loving it.
  3. Set your goals– If you can have whatever you want, what would you like?  What are your biggest goals and dreams?  Set them.  The life I’m living today is a result of goals I set in the past.  If you don’t set any goals, it’s safe to say that you’ll be running in place for the foreseeable future.  Is that what you want?
  4. Create a life handbook. – A life handbook is a concept I created where you have a book to write your life purpose, goals, dreams, plans, values, mottos, and other things that are important to you as you pursue your best life.  I started my life handbook in 2007 and it has been my #1 tool to living my life to the fullest. 
  5. Have the right mindset– The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.  If you think life sucks, life will indeed suck.  On the other hand, if you are set to live your best life, the paths will open up in front of you.  Maybe it’s all the ‘good triumphing over evil’ I firmly believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way.  No one can stop you if you have the right mindset.
  6. Create your bucket list. – A bucket list is a list of things to do before you die.  All of us are going to die one day.  What are all the things you want to do/see/say/experience before you die?  It can be seeing the world, living your dreams, going skydiving, falling in love, among countless others.  I created my bucket list last year with over 100 things, and every day I accomplish what’s on it and add new things I want to do.  
  7. Get mentors. – You have dreams and big visions, and there are people who have likely been there and done that.  Get them to mentor you.  It’ll definitely cut down the learning curve and ease your journey.  With a mentor, you can unlock your potential and achieve so much more.
  8. Stop worrying so much– The majority of our fears exist only in our head.  Get rid of them and spend the energy on something productive.
  9. Get closer with your parents– Many of us only have functional relationships with our family.  Some of us might even have estranged family relationships.  I know I used to have that, then I realized it was foolish.  Our parents went through a lot of hardship by bringing us up, and no one’s ever going to share a connection to us the way they do.  Today I’m much closer to my parents than I was in the past, and I’m grateful for that.
  10. Let go of negative friendships– If you have friends who discourage you and pull you down, it’s time to get rid of them.  Getting rid might be too harsh for some, so distancing is a good alternative.  I had several negative friends in the past, then I just reduced contact.  Instead of wasting time and energy resisting them, I was then able to focus my energy on people and things that make me happy.
  11. Surround yourself with positive people– Do you know you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?  Your attitudes, beliefs, accomplishments and success are a function of the people you spend time around.  Think about the people who inspire you and spend more time with them.  You’ll be amazed at the effects they’ll have on you.
  12. Release your limits– They say the sky is the limit.  I disagree.  We are our own limits.  It’s then about releasing our limits so we can live our best lives.  What are you limiting yourself from doing?  Stop holding yourself back.  Go out and get what you want.
  13. Believe in yourself. – The majority of the times I’ve been able to achieve something is because I started out believing I could do it, rather than acquiring that belief after I achieved it.  If I didn’t think I could do it, I probably would never have succeeded.  My past experiences have taught me that all you need to have in order to succeed is to have a sense of self-belief - a sense that you can control your own future.  That’s all.
  14. Wake up early– I used to wake up late every day, like 9-10am.  I never thought much about waking up early until a couple of years ago.  After I switched to waking early at 5am, my days have been incredible.  I feel more productive, I get more done, I’m more eager to work to keep the momentum going.  It’s something you have to try yourself to know the difference.
  15. Eat a healthy diet. – A healthy diet just-starts a life of excellence.  What’s in your daily diet?  Junk?  Fast food?  Fried food?  Or healthy, nutritious food?  Fruits?  Vegetables?  I’ve been a vegan since 2008 and have been loving it.  While I tried it out as just a 30-day trial, I immediately saw the benefits of being a vegan and stayed the course ever since.  
  16. Exercise regularly– Aside from a regular gym routine, try other sports to spice it up your workouts.  Frisbee, badminton and swimming are some of my favorite sports.  These make exercising a lot more fun.
  17. Plan your days. – Do you plan your days?  Did you wake up today knowing what you are supposed to do today?  If not, maybe it’s time you do.  Planning doesn’t have to be long and tedious, it can just be a 30 second process.  Every night, think about a few small things that you want to accomplish tomorrow and write them down.  When you wake up the next morning, review this list before you do anything else.
  18. Nurture those whom you love– The magical feeling of love.  The fluttering of your heart.  The internal smile you get when you think of those who you care for most.  It’s impossible to live a life of excellence without sharing quality time with those whom you love.
  19. Try something new. – Routines stagnate us.  New experiences help us grow and they make life interesting.  Make an effort to try something new every week.  I get very invigorated whenever I’m doing something new.  It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience, such as talking to a stranger.
  20. Stop watching TV– Why stop watching TV?  The bulk of content on TV is consciousness lowering.  TV has been proven by research to be linked with lower life satisfaction.  TV ads motivate you spend more money frivolously.  TV wastes lots and lots of time.  I could go on forever.  I quit regular TV watching almost 5 years ago and never looked back.  I recently wrote an article on my blog called 10 Reasons To Stop Watching TV and found out a good number of my readers dropped TV in their lives as well.  Try it out for 21-days and see how you feel.  
  21. Stop obsessing over the news– A lot of news today resonates with fear, guilt, shame and hate.  Depending on your news source, many are largely sensationalized and biased as well.  You don’t need to watch the news every day for an hour to know that there are car accidents, murders and wars out there.  Focus your energy on how you can address those problems instead.
  22. Don’t be trapped by dogma– Don’t feel compelled to follow others all the time.  Pave your own path.  Follow your heart.  Don’t fall into the trap of operating on everyone’s whim.  Listening is okay, but doing what everyone wants is simply unhealthy.  Execute the good feedback and follow your vision.
  23. Be compassionate– Show love and kindness to all the people around you.  Respect everyone.  They may not react in a kind way immediately, but they will notice and appreciate your kindness. To love is to be human.
  24. Smile more. – It takes more muscles to frown than to smile.  So let’s smile more often.  :)
  25. Criticize less, appreciate more– Do you like overly critical people?  I’m sure you don’t.  They are a dread to be around.  So let’s be less critical.  Don’t stare so hard at what’s missing.  Learn to see and appreciate what’s there instead.
  26. Keep a journal to self-reflect– I had a paper journal for several years, but after I started The Personal Excellence Blog I use the blog as my journal.  By having a place to freely let out our thoughts and ponder over them, we get a lot more clarity about ourselves.  
  27. Forgive those who hurt you– To forgive is to let go of a prisoner and to realize that the prisoner all along was you.  Don’t hold on to past hatred.  Let it go.  You’ll find new, wonderful things entering your life once you do.
  28. Enrich your mind great books– Books contain concentrated volumes of wisdom.  It’s not surprising then that most knowledgeable people are also very well-read.  
  29. Coach someone. – There’s no better way to learn than to teach others.  Is there someone who can benefit from your help?  Offer to coach them for free.  It’ll be an enlightening experience for both of you.
  30. Meet new people– Most humans have a habit of stagnating in a small circle of friends, but it doesn’t help us grow.  Get out there and meet new people.  You’ll be surprised at the lessons they will teach you and the new opportunities they will inject into your life.
Act now.  We only live once.  Let’s live our lives in excellence.
Celestine Chua