No matter who you are or where you are in life, odds are you feel that there is more you could be doing. It is easy to fall into the habit of just going through the motions. To step outside and throw our lives for a loop would be crazy, right?
If you want to grow, you cannot do it from staying in the same spot, doing the same thing. The good news is, the ability for growth never stops, no matter how old we are in years. There is always room for improvement and room for new goals.
What do you want out of life? What are you happy with in life? What are you unhappy with? And finally, what steps do you need to take to bring about change? This is where we have to be honest with ourselves.
Once we figure out what is important to us and what we would like out of life, it’s time to ask ourselves what’s stopping us?
Maybe it’s.. I can’t..If only… I would… I should.. I’m just not lucky… I have no money.. It’s hard.
If you have held onto certain beliefs for a long time, you probably have convinced yourself that this way of thinking is fact. The fact is, what we hold in our minds on a daily basis becomes reality. It is time to change the way we visualize ourselves and our lives in our minds.
Life is unfair, tough and arbitrary. Time to accept it and move forward. No matter what horrible situation we are in today it will pass. Look for the good. It is up to us to get through the tough situations. We must stay alert, there will be lessons to be learned and in the end, we will be stronger.
Next, it’s time to remove the clutter from your life. What brings us down or fills us with negativity? What sucks up our time like a black hole? Think about it and then begin the process of cutting those things out. Don’t go overboard and try to cut them all out at once! When we do that, we often set ourselves up for failure. Take one step at a time.
Once more I will go to examples that are prevalent in my business. “I really want to get in shape, but…. I don’t have the time, I’m busy, my kids, my back, my work.” If those are your excuses, then it is time to face the truth: health is not important to you. This same idea applies to many situations in life.
On the other end of the spectrum, people will come to the gym every day, but they are unwilling to change their nutritional habits, so they see little results. Change does not happen without sacrifice.
We all know the person who goes all out, one hundred and ten percent for a short time, but soon burns out and never completes anything.
Think about some of the things you have always wanted to do, but just never did. Pick one, start working towards it, and follow through until you have accomplished it. It may not be your biggest life goal, but it will show you that you can accomplish what you set out to do. A bonus in these situations is where they may lead you or the new people who may come into your life as a result.
It is now time to direct our focus on the positives of life, those things that make us happy. It might be hard for some of us, but every time we feel our mind beginning to wander into dark territory, replace it with positive thoughts.
We are not a stick in a stream being pulled along by the current. We are highly intelligent beings who have the ability to make choices. If you carry around hate and resentment, free yourself by letting it go.
For most of my life I was consumed by hate. If you crossed me or I perceived that you did, I would dwell on it and let it fester in my mind. I would make elaborate plans for revenge. What a huge waste of time! All of that energy and thought I put into getting even with a person just set me back and ate up valuable time and energy.
It did not happen overnight, but I finally took the advice to let it go. This has freed up an enormous amount of my life so I can participate in activities that will advance my life instead.
It’s also important to focus on more than just improving your own life. There are always people who are worse off than us in the world. Look around and find a way you can make a difference in someone else’s life. We all have skills that can help, so we should use ours to make the world around us a better place.
An added benefit to helping others is it gives us no time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves.
Ok, so you are not where you want to be in life, yet. Make the best out of where you are now. Get into your work and become the best employee you can be. If you hold yourself to a standard of excellence, others will take notice. Doors will open. Be patient. Understand that big dreams take time. There will be many roadblocks along the way, this is when we must persevere because it is part of our journey.
This last week I was witness to two people coming to the conclusion of their quest for a goal.
One was a person who wanted to get into the best shape of his life and drop a hundred pounds. It has been over a year and a half of putting in intense workouts and changing his diet. It has been a long trial and error period of learning what foods to take in and when. On Saturday I was there when he stepped on the scale and was a mere two pounds away from his goal. He looked at me and said, “Forget it, I’m going beyond this! I’m going to keep going until I have a six pack.”
The other person started writing a book in 2011. They held down a full-time job, got married, had a baby, life became complicated. The real life character who was the subject of the book also made it a tough task. My friend had to shape a story out of a bunch of random thoughts and some less-than-interesting situations. In the end, he put such a positive spin on the character that it is a book everyone would enjoy reading.
The company who purchased the manuscript folded, and the book was acquired by another publisher who decided they didn’t want to publish it. The book looked like it was a dead issue, which was sad because my friend had written a great book. A couple of months ago, he worked out a deal to buy back the rights from the publisher. All this time my friend continued to write other books, but he never gave up hope that this book would one day be published. Last week he told me it would be out in December.
We never know where life will take us or what will happen if we keep a positive attitude and stay consistent in the face of closed doors.
This is where faith comes into life. I had to learn that God had plans for my life and that it was time for me to open up myself for them. I could not force them or make them happen, they would come when the time was right. God’s timing is perfect. Once I started living my life, not for myself, but for Him, everything else became less important. I learned that money will not bring fulfillment, because you cannot buy it!
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.