A New Leaf

Needless tolerations can bleed you dry of energy and make it impossible for you to function effectively. You can’t live a happy, successful, fulfilling life if you’re spending all your energy tolerating things that shouldn’t be tolerated. Sometimes you need to put your foot down.

Here are some things to stop tolerating in your life:

1. The decision to settle for mediocrity. – It’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken. Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something better. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly. Sometimes growing up means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something new that truly moves you – something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. That’s what life is all about. Don’t settle.

2. Your own negative thinking. – Your mind is your sacred space. You can close the windows and darken your space, or you can open the windows and let light in. It’s your choice. The sun is always shining on some part of your life. What do you typically think about? How far you’ve come, or how far you have to go? Your strengths, or your weaknesses? The best that could happen, or the worst that might come to be? Pay attention to your self-talk. Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more success, is your way of thinking.

3. Other people’s negativity. – If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. You do not have control over what others say and do; but you do have control over whether or not you will allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their poisonous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. Remember, if you do not respect your sacred inner space, no one else will either.

4. Unhealthy relationships. – Choose your relationships wisely. Being alone will never cause as much loneliness as the wrong relationships. Be with people who know your worth. You don’t need lots of friends to be happy; just a few real ones who appreciate you for who you are. Oftentimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth, but because we finally realize our own worth.

5. Dishonesty. – Inner peace is being able to rest at night knowing you haven’t used or taken advantage of anyone to get to where you are in life. Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless. Period. Don’t be dishonest and don’t put up with people who are.

6. Inaction. – The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing; growing happens when what you know changes how you live. You can’t change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. The best time to start is now.

7. The choice to mull over past mistakes and regrets. – If you feel like your ship is sinking, it might be a good time to throw out the stuff that’s been weighing it down. If you’re thinking at all about uncluttering your life and cleaning up your space, start with the things that are truly useless, like old regrets, shame, and anger. Let it GO!

You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading your previous one.

Moving In Circles

When life has to be a certain way in order to be good enough for you, you instantly close yourself off from all the real and present opportunities available – you spend all your mental energy resisting life, rather than making the best of it. And sadly, this is how the vast majority of the human population lives – stuck in a perpetual cycle of resistance.

But YOU DON’T have to continue this cycle.

You can change your mind!
When you consciously choose to let go of the way it “should” be, you free your mind to deal with life’s unexpected changes, challenges and chaos in the most effective way possible. You create space for acceptance, learning and growth. You learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. You see the world through an unbiased set of eyes.
And gradually, you allow yourself to step forward with a clear and focused mind.

It’s all about accepting what is, letting go of what was, and having faith in your journey. Closing the door, completing the chapter, turning the page, etc. – it doesn’t matter what you title it…what matters is that you find the strength to leave in the past those parts of your life that are over, so you can better attend to the present. What has happened is uncontrollable; what you do now changes everything!

Of course, knowing this and actually living a lifestyle that reinforces this truth are two very different things. Letting go – changing the way you think – is NOT easy; it’s a journey that is traveled one day at a time.

It can be excruciatingly difficult to leave a long-term life situation behind, even when your inner-wisdom tells you that things aren’t right and that it’s time to let go. At this point, you can choose to let go and endure the sudden pain of leaving behind the familiar to make way for a new chapter in your life, or you can stay and suffer a constant, aching pain that gradually eats away at your heart and mind like a cancer… until you wake up one day and find yourself buried so deep in the dysfunction of the situation that you barely remember who you are and what you desire.

Choose wisely!

Things will happen that are unexpected, undesirable, and uncontrollable. But you can always choose to take the next tiniest step. Be brave and take it. Choose to make mistakes, learn from them, let go of them, and move along. Choose to think better about the past and present, so you can consciously make the best of the rest of your life.

But, again, as I’m sure you’re aware, that’s sometimes much is easier said than done.

The Choice!

Sometimes changing your life situation isn’t possible – or simply not possible soon enough. You can’t restructure your entire lifestyle in an instant. You can’t make someone else change against his or her will. And you certainly can’t erase the past. So what choices do you have left?

Change your perception, belief or opinion about your life situation. Doing so will help you change your attitude and ultimately allow you to grow beyond the problems and barriers you can’t immediately control.

Let’s be honest, we all get stuck with some bad habits that we emotionally default to when we’re not mindfully focused on the right things. Bad habits like people pleasing, reacting with a victim mentality, succumbing to needless worry, spending time with toxic people, or indulging in negative self talk are all patterns that need careful attention and renovation.

It’s time to break up with the faulty patterns of thinking, reacting and behaving that are holding you back!

There’s nothing wrong with being open about struggling with your faults, venting on occasion, and yes, even complaining every now and then. But you have to remember that your words and thoughts, especially the ones you repeat daily, are the foundation you cast your future upon.

When you think about something repeatedly, you begin to personally identify with it, and your inner identity gradually becomes your outer reality.

Your positive, productive thoughts can help create a brilliant, vibrant reality – one where opportunity, happiness and gratitude resides – while your most worrisome fears and foulest words and thoughts can foster a lifetime of darkness, hatred and hopelessness.

The choice is yours.

Choose wisely! Choose your words and your thoughts carefully, with the finest and most positive of intentions. Be conscious of what you are saying to yourself, how you are interacting with others, and what you are asking life for on a daily basis.

Your health, your happiness, your present and your future depend on it.

The bottom line is this: You can’t control the reality of yesterday, or even the reality of today to a certain extent, but you CAN control how you think, react and respond to everything, in the hopes of drafting a better blueprint for all your tomorrows.

#HelpIsOnTheWay…

Remind yourself of the truth: What other people say and do, and the attitude they carry, rarely has anything to do with you.

Most of the time people do things and say things because they’ve been conditioned to, not because they consciously want to. People’s reactions and behaviors are about their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether they treat you like you’re amazing, or act like you’re the worst, again, is more about them and how they are viewing the world at a given moment in time. So, if you’re willing to view their behavior as indicative of their relationship with the world at large, then you will inevitably take things less personally.

Now, I’m certainly not suggesting we should completely ignore all the feedback and insight we receive from others. I’m simply saying that a significant percentage of the emotional pain, disappointment and sadness in our lives comes directly from our tendency to take things too personally.

In most cases, it’s far more beneficial and healthy to let go of other people’s beliefs and behaviors and to operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.

Just breathe, and give yourself the space you need. Weigh what you hear from others against what you know to be true. The ability to not overreact or take things personally keeps your mind clear and your heart at peace. Calmness is an absolute superpower in situations like these.

Yes, there is an incredible amount of power that comes to you when you detach from other people’s behaviors. The way people treat you is their problem, how you react is yours.

When you THINK BETTER, you LIVE BETTER!

Finding Comfort…

About three years ago, when I was intensely focused on weight lifting and physical strength training, I gradually learned that you can’t be truly committed to any goal if you have a weak mind that’s unwilling to be uncomfortable. To combat this, I wrote two simple questions on two different post-it notes and stuck one on my bathroom mirror and the other inside my gym locker:
How many workouts have you missed because your mind, not your body, told you that you were too tired?
How many workout reps have you skipped because your mind, not your body, said, “Nine reps is enough. Don’t worry about the tenth”?
To this day, the answer to both questions is probably hundreds for most people, including myself. Weakness of the mind is a real dream killer, and the only way to fix this weakness is daily practice.

Far too often we think that mental strength is all about how we respond to extreme circumstances. How did she perform on stage during that nationally televised event? Did he bounce back from that heart-wrenching divorce? Can she keep her life together even after suffering from a major, debilitating bodily injury?

There’s no doubt that extreme circumstances test our bravery, determination and mental strength, but what about common, daily circumstances?

Just like every muscle in the body, the mind needs to be exercised to gain strength. It needs to be worked consistently to grow and develop over time. If you haven’t pushed yourself in hundreds of little ways over time, of course you’ll crumble on the one day that things get really challenging.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Choose to go to the gym when it would be more comfortable to sleep in. Choose to do the tenth rep when it would be more comfortable to quit at nine. Choose to create something special when it would be more comfortable to consume something mediocre. Choose to raise your hand and ask that extra question when it would be more comfortable to stay silent. Prove to yourself, in hundreds of little ways, that you have the guts to get in the ring and wrestle with life.

Mental strength is built through lots of small, daily victories. It’s the individual choices we make day-to-day that build our “mental strength” muscles. We all want this kind of strength, but we can’t think our way to it. If you want it, you have to do something about it ritualistically. It’s your positive daily rituals that prove your mental fortitude and move you in the direction of your dreams over the long-term.

The bottom line is that when things get difficult for most people, they find something more comfortable to do. When things get difficult for mentally strong people, they find a way to stay on track with their positive daily rituals.And of course, if you’re struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track. I Love you and keep winning!!!

The Way Of Thought!

“How can I respond from a place of clarity and strength, rather than continuing to react in anger and frustration to the painful experience I was forced to live through?”
Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, pause, and consciously decide if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the present moment.
In order to gain conscious control of what’s really going on in your mind, you need to develop a keen awareness for this process. What helps is to hold still for a moment, take a ten deep breaths, focus exclusively on these breaths, and free your mind of the senseless chatter that’s going on inside your head. This makes room for a change of state, for something new to enter.
Detached from the weight of stressful thoughts and reactions you grow capable of consciously redirecting your focus. It’s time to take it willingly away from something unchangeable that drags you down, and zero it in on something actionable that inspires you. Focus on the next logical, meaningful step. Remind yourself that there are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.

In almost every case, nothing is stopping you right now—nothing is holding you back but your own thoughts about yourself and “how life is.”

You may not be responsible for everything that happened to you in the past, or everything that’s happening to you right now, but you need to be responsible for undoing the thinking patterns these circumstance create.

It’s about thinking better so you can ultimately live better.

The key is to understand that no matter what happens, you can choose your response, which dictates pretty much everything that happens next. Truly, the greatest weapon you have against anxiety, negativity and stress is your ability to choose one present thought over another—to train your mind to make the best of what you’ve got in front of you, even when it’s far less than you expected.

Yes, YOU CAN change the way you think! And once you do, you can master a new way to be.

Rituals Really Can…

It’s just another idle Tuesday, and I have a simple (but not easy) challenge for you…

Stop believing you should feel more confident before you take the next step.

Taking the next step is what builds your confidence. Meditate of that for a moment, and then force yourself forward.

You don’t need to have everything you want to achieve mapped out.

And you know what “next step” I’m referring to—that important one you’re just not quite “ready” to take yet… the one you keep waiting for the “right” time to take.

Well, it’s time! It’s time to allow yourself to be a beginner. Because no one starts off being great. And no one is perfect every step of the way.

We all learn the way on the way. So, do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, do better.

Seriously, learn to start every day before you feel ready, and I promise you will learn how to succeed, step by step, before you even realize you’re good enough.

Ask any parent if they felt 100% ready for the arrival of their first child (or their first day as the parent of a 3-year-old, a 13-year-old, or a 23-year-old ). The answer will always be “no.” They just do the best they can to take the next step, and then they figure it out from there.

No matter what it is, you just need to get started—to make “starting” a daily ritual.

Because standing still, you have no momentum. Momentum and progress are what build confidence and erode apprehension.

Rituals put you in motion without having to think (and over-think) about the next move. You decided long before you acted—now you just act. And you act intentionally.

And when you act in this way, you make the most rewarding progress imaginable, every single day.

Learn how we’ve changed hundreds of lives—including our own—with these simple (but not easy) movements that orient our actions and help us begin each day with intention, and end each day with satisfaction.

Rituals really can—and really will—change YOUR life.

When You Think Better…

People are toxic to be around when they believe everything happening around them is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them.

That’s the truth. Let it sink in.

What people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. People’s reactions to you are about their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, is more about them and how they view the world.

Now, I’m not suggesting we should be self-indulged narcissists and ignore all the opinions and commentary we receive from others. I’m simply saying that incredible amounts of hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives come directly from our tendency to take things personally. In most cases it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of other people’s good or bad opinions of you, and to operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.

The underlying key is to…

Watch Your Response

When something stressful happens in a social situation, what is your response? Some people jump right into action – but oftentimes immediate action can be harmful. Others get angry, or sad. Still others start to feel sorry for themselves… and victimized… and left thinking: “Why can’t other people behave better?”

Responses like these are not healthy or helpful. In fact, whenever your response lacks a mindful level of acceptance you’re likely taking things too personally. And you’re not alone. We all make this mistake sometimes.

If someone does something we disagree with, we tend to interpret this as a personal attack…

Our children don’t clean their rooms? They are purposely defying us!
Our significant other doesn’t show affection? They must not care about us as much as they should!
Our coworkers act inconsiderately at work? They must hate us!
Someone hurts us? Everyone must be out to get us!
Some people even think life itself is personally against them. But the truth is, almost nothing in life is personal – things happen, or they don’t, and it’s rarely all about anyone specifically.

People have emotional issues they’re dealing with, and it makes them defiant, rude, and thoughtless sometimes. They are doing the best they can, or they’re not even aware of their issues. In any case, you can learn not to interpret their behaviors as personal attacks, and instead see them as non-personal encounters (like a dog barking in the distance, or a bumblebee buzzing by) that you can either respond to with a peaceful mindset, or not respond to at all.

Here’s what you need to remember and repeat to yourself…

You may not be able control all the things people say and do to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

Yes, there is an incredible amount of freedom that comes to you when you detach from other people’s behaviors. The way people treat you is their problem, how you react is yours.

When you think better, you live better!