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

Healing Power of Writing

blog writing

Since I began writing my blogs I have felt this enormous sense of ease that has taken over my life. Still I run into my occasional problem but nothing I can’t come to understand. Blogging to me has helped me tremendously by giving me a different perspective when tackling my problems.

Writing has a profound effect when immersed creatively. As an author of an expressive piece of writing a lot of relevant insight into one’s life can be gathered. Writing can have a therapeutic effect improving mood, well-being and reducing stress. Reflecting and writing about good things can help us to feel more positive and motivated while also balancing the mental tabs of an overcrowded mind.

Writing about certain topics can help an author to gain insight into his/her priorities to better understand his/her emotional reaction. Expressive writing is thought to help enhance self-regulation and facilitate mental health. Whether reflecting on positive aspects of life trauma or visualizing our best possible self, writing allows individuals to examine a previously unexamined part of their lives.

Trauma writing is predicated on the idea we must revisit, re-experience and re-evaluate past traumas to release pent-up emotion and to really let go. When we choose to hold back from sharing our traumatic events we tend to experience chronic autonomic arousal and immune function deterioration. Writing can be an outlet to deal with pain rather than just blocking it out.

BPS or best possible self-based writing tends to bring awareness to ourselves when considering higher-level goals. Writing about our best personal self allows us to clarify our goals while reorganizing priorities and deciding on values. BPS writing appears to offer the same therapeutic benefits as trauma-based writing without the damper on mood.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say” – Flannery O’Connor

Writing is a journey and can be a vessel to take you from point A to point B. If you’re feeling writer’s block remember to just let it flow. Write on whatever topic is concerning you this very moment. Write about where you would love to see yourself in the future. Write about your dream vacations, your dream home and your dream job. Write about writing. Write about psychology, spirituality or health. Write blogs about blogs. For the love of God just write and see where it takes you.

existing peacefully

Goal-Setting & Rewarding Behavior

setting sail 3.jpg

Time to stop avoiding everything it is we have to do; it’s time we start setting goals for what we want to achieve. So much time can be wasted sitting around in thought contemplating what could be accomplished – no more of that, time to start doing. Time to start taking action for the course of your life.

“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go” – Jim Rohn

Set your sail, determine your course of action; find goals that are meaningful to you and plot your way of achieving them. Create achievement milestones that could be followed up with potential rewards. Rewards could be anything from new purchases to pampering yourself. Remember happiness is the main goal and balance is happiness.

Balance is difficult, moderation is no easy task. List your goals and list your potential rewards for accomplishing these goals. Rewards similar to goals can be used to stretch an individual’s comfort zone. Determine whether these goals are worthy of such rewards and if so be sure vary your rewards in terms of new experiences.

Your rewards should always be something you can look forward to, they should be something that motivates you on the days when your heads not entirely in the game. This is why I say to vary your rewards, when your rewards no longer peak your interest you gradually will start to lose your flare and motivation. Rewarding and loving yourself despite any circumstance is key to growing; remember you deserve to reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve done.

Think of your reward as a toast, a toast to what you’ve accomplished and a toast to what’s to come. If you choose not to reward yourself your journey can become stale and boring fairly quickly. Your reward is a confirmation of a job well done allowing you to reflect and pause while also making the journey worth enduring.

Remember not to get to caught up in rewarding yourself. Delaying gratification is the biggest determining factor of someone’s success or failure. If an individual is unable to control their willpower they slowly lose control of other aspect of their life. Loss of willpower can be exhibited in society’s addiction for videogames. Addiction to video games has quickly become a norm within the past 20 years. It is not unusual for a child to spend multiple hours in front of the television per night.

Remember to exercise your willpower. Will power is like a muscle it will lose its strength over time unless you’re willing to exercise it. Choosing to give into every single desire has a downward spiral type effect. Giving into temptations reduces your self-esteem and creates an environment that promotes the cycle of self-sabotage.

Will power is everything… What’s the point of creating goals if you know you’ll never take action to achieve them? Create goals, achievements and milestones you know you’ll complete. Be sure to stretch your comfort zone but make sure your goals are realistic and measurable.

setting sail 2

Don’t settle in a place where you’re unhappy. Don’t settle for what others think. Settle for what you deserve.

Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail and mankind the vessel” – Augustus Hare

Set sail; start moving forward striving for your ideal life. Remember not to overload yourself with rewards but instead reward yourself when it’s deserved. Immediate desires will shatter a potential future if you let it. Map out the journey ahead and don’t steer off course. Love yourself. Remember life’s about the journey not the destination.

“Everything comes and goes, I dealt with the undertow keeping my head above the water, pushed on now I run the show” – Classified

existing peacefully

Understanding Laughter

family fun

Laughter has become a natural instinct; the blind, deaf, even some infants laugh before they are 2 months old. It is more common we laugh in social settings than when we’re alone. Even laughing gas loses it’s “oomph” when taken in solitude.

Men claim to chuckle and women claim to giggle yet most laughter isn’t from jokes but from spending time with family and friends. Humour helps us to build stronger connections and to build rapport.

Laughter harmlessly releases negative emotions such as anger, sadness and fear. If you can laugh at a situation your upsets may not seem as important as they once did. Finding humour in our circumstances can help us to cope with the stress or even relieve most of the tension. Laughter can be of the “ha-ha-ha” variety or the “ho-ho-ho” type but not a mixture of both.

Humour increases learning and retention, not to mention it’s engaging and uses the whole brain. Some professors or teachers use humour in their lectures as a means of controlling the emotional climate of a group.

There are several obvious differences in what people find humorous, the most significant seems to be age. From infants and children our appreciation for “toilet humour”, pre-teens/teenage years tend to laugh at jokes that focus on sex, food and any subject that adults consider off-limits to mature adults where our sense of humour is more developed. As mature adults we tend to laugh at other people and ourselves in shared common predicaments and embarrassments. Basically we laugh at issues that stress us out.

Another factor determining what’s funny to us or not is culture. There are economic, political and social issues that are not easy to laugh at which only people living in that culture can understand. United States may be the exception of this rule due to the much observed media and movies. Most people know what’s going on there so jokes about the United States are shared and enjoyed pretty much across the globe.

For someone to take offense to a joke he/she must have some attachment to the principle or the person is being put down in the joke. Racist and sexist jokes are offensive to many people who feel strongly about fighting bigotry and prejudice in the world so they should be avoided altogether.

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color the world. Constantly use gray colors and your picture will always be dark and depressing. Use humor to add bright colors and your picture begins to lighten up” – Allen Klein

Start laughing at life. Laugh at the stresses, laugh at the uncommon, laugh through the hard times, laugh through the good times. Laughing can be a life-saver easing stress, lowering blood pressure and elevating your mood. Laughing has a cleansing effect similar to deep-breathing allowing us to rejuvenate and regenerate our energy. Laughing makes us feel good and allows us to have fun while also connecting to those around us.

existing peacefully