Stretching Comfort Zones

mountain climbing

Where does fear come from? Are we born with it? How do we control it? What effect does fear have on us?

One phrase from John Maxwell’s book “Laws of Growth” he mentions making a habit out of stretching comfort zones. Our comfort zones are made to keep us safe. These zones aren’t so much a matter of space but instead a kneejerk reaction that prevents us from acting in new challenging ways. We conform to what’s already been established rather than rationalizing the most efficient manner. Whether it be lack of awareness, lack of confidence or lack of autonomy we tend to just accept the common way of doing things regardless if it’s the best way.

Some people live ignorant to information. These are the same people who believe everything they hear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of being inadequate hold us back from expressing our true thoughts, beliefs and actions. We tend to conform because it’s the easiest thing to do. This is an example of comfort zones that need to be stretched. We all need to take responsibility for our own well being thus gain all the information we can to make informative decisions. We need to become fully independent and completely responsible for ourselves mentally and physically.

Hold yourself accountable. Don’t let other people’s beliefs become your truth. Write your own story and discover your own limits.

Don’t be afraid to take risks that’s all life is. With great risk comes great rewards so bite the bullet. Refuse to live in fear. Choose to rise up and take action against whatever it is that’s bothering you. Try not to think but just to take action. Find your flow.

Over thinking is a problem a lot of us have. We tend to assess the problem from a variety different angles and never actually taking action to correct the problem. This is a situation many people experience with their weight loss. They believe they know what has to be done, they know everything that needs to be avoided yet they are completely in their head – never taking any action. Sometimes we need to look at our circumstances with a different perspective, an objective lens. Fear will control you if you let it. We need to realize our emotions and thoughts won’t always be on our side but regardless we must action strive to act logically. We must act according to our values and vision.

Don’t let over thinking become your problem. Write absolutely everything down. Free your mind from repeating thoughts. Assemble lists till your heart’s satisfied.

There’s a time for planning and a time for action; planning is important but is nothing without action. Planning helps to prioritize making your days more efficient. Writing down your plans allows you to free your mind from overbearing thoughts. The planning process allows us to clarify the specific action steps to be taken. Although you can write these steps down a million times but without commitment to action nothing gets accomplished.

Remember attitude is everything. Life is a challenge and should be viewed as such. Choose to stretch your comfort zones, be humble and to seek wisdom through new experiences. You are the facilitator of your own life so it’s up to you to begin the movement. Action starts today.

existing peacefully

Progression & The Bigger Picture

the bigger picture

For some personal growth comes easy, for others it the idea feels gut-wrenching and the thought of even taking action makes us feel discusted with ourselves. Really, you can choose to live in the dumps because you don’t have everything you want or you can make a stand. Its up to you to decide today’s the day everything’s going to change. Decide that If you fail, you’ll just begin again and nothing can keep you from achieving what you truly believe is possible.

The lust for better achievement is something that is developed through continuous action. Not everybody seeks to improve themselves, not everybody is motivated to run a marathon or go to the gym everyday. We all find our own ways to feel like we’ve achieved something.

Video game developers take full advantage of this. The need for progression is integrated into almost all video games now-a-days. Our need of self-mastery and achievement fuel our egos making video games rewarding and highly addictive.

Decide your focus, be specific with what it is you want to achieve and what areas of your self you want to improve. Be clear and distinguish what action steps need to be taken to meet this accomplishment.

Establish a vision you can begin to work towards through consistent action. Dedicate yourself to action. Eliminate distractions but remember to have fun when you need it. Remember balance is key to a happy and successful life.

Analyze yourself determine whether you’re taking the action steps needed. Are you letting your emotions interfere with taking action? Remember, either way change is inevitable, choose to take part of the creation process or to learn to accept what is. You cannot be angry at something you do not choose to change. Begin to take responsibility for yourself and let logic guide you through the puzzle of life. Learn to monitor and alter your moods whenever needed. Find a quiet place, listen to music, get your pump on, whatever it is get into your zone each and every day.

Controlling your emotions means setting the mood for whatever it is you need to do. Get psyched up then get down to business. Remember to put first things first and to always choose the best rational.

Let go of stress, you’re going to fail its inevitable. Choose to fail putting your best foot forward. When you fall remember pain is only temporary – No pain, no gain – It’s a stepping stone to success so embrace it. Just breathe. Forget about your worries, let go of your expectations just be at ease with what is. Sometimes life can throw a lot at us but we need to remember to focus on the bigger picture.

Commit yourself; what do you have to lose? Are your problems really as bad as they seem? What’s standing in your way from action? Most of the time our problems really aren’t what they seem. Choose to see your situation from a different perspective. Learn to live in the moment and put your thoughts away. Don’t let the voice inside your head distract you from enjoying and being your best self.

You are the ruler, don’t let the tiny voices push you around. You’re in command of this spaceship, now take off and fly.

existing peacefully

What is Power?

power

Power is authority to make decisions. It’s the ability to influence others to complete a desired action. What makes someone powerful? and what comes along with it?

Power is having the resources. Whether money, materials or man-power; having wealth or being wealthy can be classified as power.

Power is influence. It’s the ability to convince others even against their will. People will follow powerful people and their ideas because they do not have confidence in their own ability.

Power is an attitude. Power is not weeping, not complaining and refusing to feel hopeless. Power is having control over your thoughts and emotions always being able to act in the most logical of manners.

Power gets recognized. Whether you actually have the resources or not if you display confidence no one would be the wiser. People who act with confidence and are more challenge oriented versus those who complain will always make a great impression.

Having resources is important which is why money is power but after money attitude is everything. With the proper attitude the resources can be achieved. Remember to have a rich attitude – be vision-oriented, positive and calm in the face of any challenge. Develop healthy habits and read, your mental and physical capabilities can be your greatest resource if developed correctly.

Of course there are other factors that influence power but these factors we can’t always change. Having beauty or being beautiful is always a sure sign of power. People are easily influenced by beautiful people as they become insecure in their presence. Another factor could include a person’s family status or family reputation.

Power is better earned than it is given. Power without wisdom can be dangerous. Individuals who are not fully aware of power will often abuse it when in their grasp. Their ego will take a beating until they are humbled by the experience.

Mind power is everything. The ability to read is power. The ability to process and decipher new information is power. The ability to rise above our circumstances is power. The ability to lead is power.

Power is control and feeling in control is beautiful. Feeling in control is what grants us everlasting happiness. Being able to sustain ourselves and build a strong reputation for the future opens many doors to the future. Having these options is power.

Just remember if you don’t feel powerful or in control at this very moment that the one thing you can always control is your attitude. Remember to think logically not emotionally, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Be confident and accept life as a challenge. Let your positive attitude shine on the world around you. Embrace your passions and live life to the fullest.

Willpower will determine your financial bottom line. When we let our emotions get the best of us we develop self-inflicting habits. Whether these habits are excessive gaming, eating, gambling or drugs they will greatly destroy your self-esteem and ultimately wreck havoc on your influence on others. Again, think logically, we all have underlying root issues to these concerns which are more often then not disregarded. Make amends for your wrong doings of the past and begin to live in the now. We cannot change the past we can only act in the current situation, so its time to start living. Don’t let lack of willpower define you. Love yourself, find your grit and smile along the way.

existing peacefully

Creating a Vision

vision

Without imagination we are unable to see into tomorrow, without imagination we must live with our pains and are forced to live the day-to-day reality hopelessly. With imagination we are able to establish a vision and more able to customize ourselves to acquire the tools needed to thrive in tomorrow’s world. With vision and imagination we are able to project the potential concerns and able to make the changes needed to succeed.

Imagination and a creative approach to problem solving is essential but without willpower nothing is possible.

Willpower is everything. Its the ability to do what needs to be done rather than doing what would be prefferred as more enjoyable. Life isn’t easy. One of my favorite sayings is from a Billy Ocean song “when the going gets tough the tough get going”. Willpower is the ability to perservere through hard times, through struggles and adversity; its the difference between someone reaching their potential or not.

Willpower is action and without action we are left in our minds to speculate. Refuse to speculate choose to participate instead.

Participate by creating a plan of action:

  1. Stop to consider where you want to see yourself within 1 year, 3 years and 5+ years.
    Determine what you hope to have accomplished within these periods of time.
  2. Fill in the gaps
    What are your strengths and weaknesses and where can you improve?
    Determine which skills are necessary and which are irrelevant moving forward.
    What will need to be learnt that could potentially increase earning potential?
  3. Be proactive
    Consider all the threats and situations that may arise. Have strategies planned for dealing with these issues.
  4. Determine short, medium & long term goals. Be realistic and reasonable.
    “God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” – Reinhold Niebuhr.
  5. Create milestones & rewards
    Break down each goal step-by-step. Determine a proper course of action in order to have these goals accomplished within the given timeframe. Reward yourself in new and exciting ways when you finish on time.
  6. Revise, Re-evaluate and Reorganize.
    Determine whether your plan of action was reliable and efficient.
    What worked? What didn’t work? What could have been done better?

Your plan of action is a rule of measurement which we can more precisely evaluate or progression towards our goals. Be realistic with your plan. If you refuse to follow your plan of action don’t expect to reach your goals, its your choice.

Your plan of action should inspire the next step towards your vision. Actions should never wander aimlessly because the next step is clear and specific.

“Where there is no vision there is no hope” – George Washington Carver

Decide on a vision and do everything within your power to get there. Be resourceful overcome and persevere. All you have is this moment. Your future is created by what you do now not tomorrow. Don’t sell yourself short of what you’re worth. Love yourself, take action and begin now.

existing peacefully

Personal Growth & Development

“Lost time is never found again” – Benjamin Franklin

personal growth and development

Success is a small list of daily habits carried out with consistency over an extensive period of time. Ideally we fashion the lives we want with the actions we choose yet most of us are sabotaging ourselves with destructive habits. Its time to wake up and start taking action.

We all use our time differently and these differences will determine the course of where our life will flow. Choosing to wake up never intently thinking about the future we tend to lead ourselves down a rabbit hole we cannot escape. Gradually our self-destructive habits take a toll on our resources and our self-esteem creating an uncontrollable downward spiral which usually leads to reckless spending and consumer debt. The effects of debt can be soul-crushing making the future appear hopeless.

We must consciously choose to look at our choices with a long-term approach in mind.

“People do not lack strength, they lack will” – Victor Hugo

Distractions are everywhere. From binge watching TV shows to never getting off social media many individuals are wasting their time gaining no benefit from their actions. More often then not these individuals are sick of their monotonous routine and actually experience negative side effects yet they continue to live the same patterns.

We all have our strengths and our weaknesses but it’s up to us to take personal responsibility for our own growth. Once we stop stretching our comfort zones our lives become plain and dull. We need to create a plan of action to accomplishing what we believe is possible or else we will never get there.

Don’t live hoping, wishing and ultimately regretting. Take action and see what’s possible. You determine your own worth. If time is money then don’t let yours be wasted, be conscious with how you manage it. Determine what you’re willing to sacrifice for the greater good and take progressional steps to get there.

Before embarking on your soulful journey be sure to consider the following:

  1.  Transformational change begins with your attitude.
    Be positive and have faith that your circumstances will become better with time.
  2. Make your goals clear.
    What do you want to achieve and how are you going to get there?
  3. Evaluate your current support system.
    Do the people around you support your new goals and ideas or are they discouraging?
  4. Create/find a safe haven conducive to your growth.
    Find an efficient place you can be alone; somewhere to reflect, think and be productive.
  5. Start everyday with a plan.
    Evaluate and plan everything you need to accomplish the night prior
    Prioritize your tasks as efficiently as possible
  6. Set the mood for your day.
    Find a way to make your mornings joyful whether it be reading, writing, listen to music or engaging in physical activity.
  7. Enjoy the process.
    “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is more important than the outcome” – Arthur Ashe. Remember to have fun along the way or you’ll soon lose your “umph” and inspiration to persevere.
  8. Do what works for you.
    Everyone’s vision of success is different. Don’t let people persuade you off the right path. Remember your values and what you’re ultimately trying to obtain. Remember not to stress take life as it comes, you can never plan for everything. Be flexible but always considerate of how your actions affect others.
  9. Learn from the best.
    Whether it be the best teachers or the best sources, choose to go straight to the source whenever possible. Don’t believe everyone tells you. Question everything; learn to make up your own mind if there’s no evidence pertaining to the circumstance.
  10.  Be humble in the face of humility.
    Don’t rationalize why you failed instead re-evaluate how the situation could be done differently and act. Don’t complain or go into a negative state of mind, learn from your mistakes.
  11.  Be consistently persistent.
    Get up when you get knocked down. No pain no gain; we stand back up only to grow stronger if we’re willing to learn from our mistakes.
  12.  Read, read and read some more.
    By other’s faults wise men correct their own.

Information is everywhere there’s never been a better time to learn for free. Whether it be online pdfs, audio books or credible articles the power is at our fingertips and is more available than ever.

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge” – Daniel Boorstin

Always have good intentions and seek to understand the knowledge parted. If you know you’re doing the right thing don’t let others convince you otherwise. Be confident in your ability and act with conviction. Don’t let anyone stand in the way on your path to becoming your best self.

existing peacefully

Book Summary – Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell

1_1_1 laws of growthMisconceptions about growth that may be holding you back. “I assume I will automatically grow”, “I don’t know how to grow”, “it’s not the right time to begin”, “I’m afraid of making mistakes”, “I have to find the best way before I start”, “I don’t feel like doing it”, “others are better than I am”, “I thought it would be easier than this”.

Start today, start taking responsibility to grow; responsibility for your own personal development. Transition from accidental growth to intentional growth by asking the big questions now. Where do you want to go in life? What direction? What’s the furthest you see yourself going?

Fight for good habits and rely on hard work to keep them there. Focus on positive self talk, stop comparing yourself to others and move beyond your limiting beliefs. Start building a positive network, if you want to start feeling valuable add value to others.

Remember there’s always time to slow down and pause. Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you turning experiences into insight. Schedule time to pause and reflect or it will always get knocked off your to-do list.

Ask yourself. Do you know what you need to improve? Do you know how you are supposed to improve? Do you know why you want to keep improving? Be conscious of the journey not the destination, growth is lifelong and you will constantly change beyond your goals. It’s difficult to remain engaged into anything if you haven’t found a way to value and appreciate the process.

Assess the environment. Is the environment conducive to learning? Ask yourself questions that help you to understand who and what nurtures you personally and figure out if you’re getting those things. Ask yourself, what songs lift me? What ideas speak to me? What experiences rejuvenate me? What people encourage me? What activities revive me? What spiritual exercises strengthen me? And so on and so on. Change your environment to suit you and be deliberate with whom you spend your time with. Challenge yourself and focus on the moment, moving forward despite criticism.

Create a system where you can flourish, constantly reprioritizing while taking the big picture into account. Be organized and precise with your deadlines, an effective system promotes consistency. Embrace the value of bad experiences as a learning tool. No pain no gain, time to start taking responsibility for your life.

Build your strong character and rely on it. Inside victories precede outside ones. Our inside development is totally within our control. Follow the golden rule – people matter. Only teach what you believe – passions matter. Value humanity above all virtues – perspective matters. Recognize everyone has a weakness. Be teachable and willing to serve others. Strive to finish well – faithfulness matters.

Stretch your comfort zones. Settling for the status quo leads to dissatisfaction. Set yourself apart from others. Change starts internally. Let stretching become your lifestyle.

Consider trade-offs. Be willing to give up immediate gratification for personal growth. Give up the fast life for the good life. It’s important to know what you are not willing to give up just as it is to know what you are willing to give up. What trade do you need to make but have been unwilling to make? Most people settle in and learn to live with a limitation or barrier that can be removed by making a trade.

Cultivate curiosity, approach life the way a child does; with a beginner’s mind set. Make why your favorite word. Learn something new everyday, grow through failure. Get out of the box and start enjoying life. Learn something that takes you completely out of your comfort zone, just be certain that it’s something you’ll find fun.

Stop thinking “can I?” And start thinking “how can I?” Stop thinking “more work” and start thinking “what works”. Stop thinking “one door” and start thinking “many doors”. Stop doing only things you’ve done before start doing the things you could and should do. Start doing more than what’s expected. Stop doing things occasionally and start doing things daily. Give yourself an effectiveness audit so you can be sure of what you’re thinking.

Ultimately the overall message of this book is to focus on self-development not self-fulfillment. Don’t let objects or people own you. Keep growing and keep giving. Make the decision to put others ahead of your own agenda. Serve others instead of yourself. Sometimes the seeds you sow take long to grow but you always see a harvest.

existing peacefully