Thursday August 18, 2016 #823
“The world will knock you down plenty. You don’t need to be doing it to yourself.”
Life will deliver enough unintentional and intentional challenges to your sense of worth without you overly beating yourself up for your transgressions large and small. When (not if) you make mistakes, have the courage to both take responsibility for them, and also to be confident that these mistakes do not define you. Strike a balance of confidence and humility, and you’ll find that you can focus more on being the best of who you are instead of on the worst you are capable of being.
Tuesday August 16, 2016 #822
“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
We possess the amazing ability in almost any situation to choose to be optimistic, cheerful and happy. While it is not possible to always remain positive and cheerful when faced with tragedy and even normal life challenges, we can choose how we react to these realities of our existence. First, choose not to ignore them, but to embrace the feelings in the moment, honor them, and if appropriate, utilize the love of family or friends to help navigate these feelings. If not appropriate or no one is available, then we must navigate this on our own. Focus on what we can control, take action to deal with what we can, and then courageously and with intention, move on. Reflect on positive and nurturing people and circumstances in our lives, and begin to intentionally focus on being cheerful, even if you have to act “as if”, until the act becomes reality. It isn’t easy at first, which is why we must practice this process during smaller challenges whenever we can so we can be prepared and trained to navigate the larger challenges of our lives when they inevitably occur.
Thursday August 11, 2016 #821
“One of the most important things I’ve learned in life is to ignore most of what people say. I watch what they do instead.”
Most people are skilled at projecting the image of themselves they want the world to see. Social media has provided a unique platform for image creation. We are able to post the pictures, the comments, and the links to people and ideas we want the world to see – all a well-scripted image of ourselves. But is this really who we are? And as you peruse other people’s Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Instagram, or other accounts, are you viewing the real person, or just the image they want to project? This is why we must engage physically and watch others’ behaviors. It is not what we say or what we post that tells the story of who we are. It is our actions. So watch others’ actions to determine who they really are, and be sure to act in the ways you want to be perceived, much as you post in the same way.
Wednesday August 9, 2016 #820
“Anyone that encourages intellectual, emotion, artistic or spiritual growth is worth keeping. Don’t let them go.”
Reflect on the people with whom you regularly spend your time – both physically and mentally. Among them, who contributes positively to your life – intellectually, emotionally, artistically, or spiritually? These contributions may be easy or they may be challenging to handle, but if they are positive, be sure to create more time for these people in your life. How can you create this time? By turning away those people who subtract from these elements of your life – which drain you with their negativity or drama with no redeeming contributions. You must learn to say no to these people, in order to create the time to say yes to those who energize you.
Thursday August 4, 2016 #819
“You can’t miss your boat. It’s yours. It stays docked until you’re ready.”
You have many, many possible opportunities to move your life along its path to personal achievement and contributions to your organization, family, and community. Don’t stress that you might “miss your chances”. Focus instead on understanding what is truly important to you, how your unique talents and passion can be channeled, and prepare for the many opportunities you will have to apply the best of who you are. Your chances will come. Stay focused, stay sharp, keep learning, and keep practicing so you’re likely to be ready.
Wednesday August 3, 2016 #818
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
While being agile and acting in the moment is an important attribute, the key is to be ready when the time comes to act. This stems from purposeful preparation: thinking about potential challenges and opportunities to come and the skills you will need to face them, determining how to gain those skills, and then practice, practice, practice… So that you are ready when the time comes.
Thursday July 21, 2016 #817
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
No one wants to suffer or expose themselves to pain or sorrow. However, it is a reality of life that these will be part of your array of experiences. The key is to know that we will have both joy and sorrow and revel and fully experiences all the joy life has to offer, as well as recognize when you are suffering that you will get through it with new learning and the ability to find joy even more readily with a stronger character.
Tuesday July 19, 2016 #816
“’Failing forward’ is the ability to get back up after you’ve been knocked down, learn from your mistake, and move forward in a better direction.”
Failure is an important part of life and we must embrace the experience fully when it occurs instead of wallowing in self-incriminations, excuse-making, blaming, or retreat into inaction. Failure is life’s laboratory. Every time we fail, it is our opportunity to assess what happened, pulling apart all the contributing factors, and learning what we could have controlled and what was completely out of our control. With that knowledge, we can move forward purposely, either utilizing the knowledge or working on gaining the skills necessary to successfully navigate the challenge the next time it appears. Keep challenging life, stay out there taking calculated risks, and learn when the failures come. And be sure to celebrate when you win!
Thursday July 14, 2016 #815
“To be creative you have to contribute something different from what you’ve done before. Your results need not be original to the world; few results truly meet that criterion. In fact, most results are built on the work of others.”
~Lynne C. Levesque
The world needs you to be creative: to take the time to think of new ways to improve yourself, improve processes, solve problems, and make the world just a bit better. Most sit back waiting for others to do this, thinking they are not creative or clever. Anyone can be creative – it isn’t discovering something completely new. It usually is applying something already known in a new way. Take the time to think about the needs around you and be the person who steps up with ideas to meet those needs.
Thursday July 7, 2016 #814
“The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.”
This is our greatest gift: to be able to do small things that bring others small and sometimes significant joys. Occasionally something more momentous is done, but it is amazing to see that it really is the small but intentional efforts that mean the most and deliver the greatest response from others. Use your gift today!
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