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5 Questions That Will Help You Discover Your Purpose

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Work like you don’t need the money! We have all heard the saying. Some of us can only dream about loving what we do, others get stuck in a whirlwind of mediocrity and some are on a journey to find the work they love, so they never have to work another day in their life again.

There are many keys to success, but until you find your purpose in life, your journey will feel like a ship lost at sea. Purpose is the compass that will get you to your destination, so you can stop questioning your life’s existence on the path to success.

When you have purpose, all of your actions, decisions and motivations are channeled through an indescribable energy that directs you towards your end goal no matter what trials and tribulations come your way.

The journey of discovering your purpose in life is not easy. It takes time, effort and focus, but once you discover what makes you tick you’ll never look back again. The answer lies within you, just keep digging.

Here are 5 Questions To Help You Start Discovering Your Purpose:

1. What makes you lose track of time?

Take yourself back to when you were a child and you were playing your favorite game. Do you remember how it made you feel to spend hours doing something that you loved? You were so engrossed in it that the only way you knew what time it was is because your parents called you in for dinner.  

As a grown up, dig deep and find the things that make you feel the same way. Do you love helping people, writing, designing, crafting or teaching?

Once you find the thing that you love, you can easily apply those skills to a variety of different ways to start loving the work that you do. You need to re-invent you.

“A good time occurs precisely when we lose track of what time it is.” – Robert Capon

2What are you a natural at?

We all possess some kind of natural talent and ability.  Find that one thing that feels effortless to you, while others struggle at it.

If you take some time to develop it, you can become the master of it. But the question is – what is it? That question lies within you. For all you know, you may have been ignoring it or unaware of it this entire time. It may come so natural to you, that you never paid attention to it. 

Observe yourself. Ask people who know you well. They can help give you feedback that opens your eyes. You may be a natural at organizing things, understanding complex concepts, teaching, dancing, singing, anything. Just keep pushing on until you find it out. 

 

3What makes you feel good about yourself?

We all have things that make us feel good about ourselves. What is it you have done in your life that you are proud of? Did you help someone in need? Did you save someone’s life?

Did you achieve something you thought impossible? When you find that out, you will get an idea about what makes you feel good about yourself. Once you do that, you can then think of similar things you can do in future that align with those actions. 

 

4. What makes you smile?

What is it that puts smile on your face? Very often people spend a lot of time and effort on things that they care about and make them happy. When they succeed at it, they feel deep satisfaction and happiness. What is it you care about most? 

You may not enjoy the effort, but you care about the cause and that keeps you going. The end results make you smile. It can be anything ranging from social service to entrepreneurship. Look for the things in the world you care about most.

“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.” – Paramahansa Yogananda

5. What are your core values?

People have deep seated beliefs and values, which govern most of their decisions and actions. If you do something that does not resonate with your core values, you can’t find happiness and satisfaction. When they are missing, you can’t be successful. You need to do things that are in alignment with your deeper self.

The first step is to dig deep and discover your core values. They may not be easily visible, but observe your past decisions and actions and how they made you feel. This will give you an idea about your values. Once you discover them, you can make better decisions regarding which direction you want to choose for your life. 

Answers to these questions may not be easy. They require deep introspection on your part, but they will reveal truths that will guide you towards your life purpose. The next step will be to incorporate them into something that you can do for a long time.

Your career constitutes a large part of your life. Once you choose a career that is in alignment with your purpose, it will make your journey on the path to success a happy and fulfilled experience. Remember, never give up and always keep on pushing on.

When are you going to start to apply this steps in order to discover your purpose? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Chris Diaz is a sales coach, serial entrepreneur, speaker and writer. He is on a mission to help entrepreneurs realize that they have the power to earn a full time living doing something they love by mastering the million dollar skill of sales! After becoming an orphan in his early twenties, Chris sought out success in life and set out on his entrepreneurial journey in sales and real estate. It is his goal to share his successes and failures to help inspire other young entrepreneurs to be gritty and to keep on, pushing on. Also, don’t tell anyone, but Chris is secretly an entrepreneurship nerd and loves to talk about it.  To visit Chris stop by and visit at : www.entresuccessproject.com or follow him on Facebook.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Chris Diaz

    Dec 21, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Charlene,

    Thanks for reading and commenting! Sounds like you are on track to design your life around your career vs your career around your life. Congratulations on your consulting firm. Don’t forget to stop by my site entresuccessproject.com and read a few posts that might give a few good nuggets to help you along your journey ! Much Success!

  2. Tim Denning

    Dec 20, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Chris thanks for sharing this article with us all. It’s funny, the one thing I seem to always lose track of time on is my passion. Six hours can just go past without me even realising. That’s how I know I’m on purpose.

    • Chris Diaz

      Dec 20, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      Tim, you couldn’t be more on point. I have been writing a majority of the day today and I looked down and it’s close to 4pm. Like you, it always reassures me I am on the right journey when I lose track of time. Thanks for reading and commenting. Also, if you would like, sign up for my blog posts on my site at entresuccessproject.com. They could give you some good takeaways.

  3. Charlene Rhinehart

    Dec 19, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you for the motivational post, Chris! You are 200% right. Your career constitutes a large part of your life so why not move towards a career that adds meaning and purpose to your life. I am starting a professional development consulting firm revolved around my key strengths and passion. The first steps of an entrepreneur require long hours, reading, and guidance, but I wouldn’t trade in this level of happiness/

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Life

We Know Thoughts Become Things, but Where Did Those Thoughts Come From?

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It’s common knowledge that what we concentrate on over any length of time, manifests. The notion that thoughts precede reality has been around for quite some time and we also know that the intermediate step between thoughts and reality is behavior.

So, we think something, that thought drives a certain behavioral pattern, and enough of that behavior will create whatever that original thought outcome was. But did you ever wonder where those thoughts came from? How many of them came from poor mothers and fathers and preachers and teachers when we were babies?

Let’s face it, our formative years were spent with these aforementioned individuals and they were adults. They may have said things to us that we perhaps misinterpreted because, we were six years old! They weren’t trying to deceive us or teach us something negative. They just assumed that when they said something (and it may not have even been to us) that the listener would be able to connect the dots!

Let me give you an example. When I was growing up my mother, father, and I were watching variety shows on the black and white television set in the middle of our living room, quite often my mother would say, when someone was singing, that they were actually dubbing! In other words, singing to a turned off microphone while the actual recording was actually being played from the sound engineers’ room! She was probably correct! Many of the singers on those old shows were dubbing their studio recordings.

“All action results from thought. So it is thoughts that matter.” – Sai Baba

But she made it seem as if the singer and the host were trying to deceive us. My mother would say something like, “They aren’t singing for real, they’re just moving their lips! Isn’t that terrible?” Now I could never really tell if they were singing, or not, but this was my mom, so I accepted what she said at face value. Except, I really thought those people were terrible people for trying to trick my poor mother and that they were very bad. (Keep in mind, I was 6!)

That script stayed with me long into adulthood, and I very consciously watched out for people that were going to make a fool out of me and I either avoided them or confronted them. That thought pattern of filling in the blanks from what adults told me when I was a child is what I like to call Projective Resolution, can be debilitating. Personally, it sabotaged several meaningful relationships and my first 2 professional positions.

I was able to identify the faulty script years later and resolve it, but I wonder how many more I have playing right now, that I might not be aware of. How about you? What scripts are causing your Projective Resolution?

The reason they are so hard to spot is because we have repeated them so many times for so many years, that they have become a habit and are firmly entrenched into our subconscious minds. But the behavior is real. And it can be devastating!

You may ask if it is possible to eradicate the old scripts and I believe the answer is yes. I did! And without any professional assistance, and well before I had the internet for quick guidance.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

If you think you are a victim of Projective Resolution, try these steps:

  • Step #1: Spend some time in quiet thought, thinking about situations with parents and others when you were a child. It may be helpful to start with your first thought of childhood and work up from there.
  • Step #2: What were some of the admonitions and sayings that were said to you? Perhaps it was “A stitch in time saves 9.” And you were told that so many times that you now take 9 stitches immediately, just in case. You plan, plan, plan! Can that be an OCD?
  • Step #3: Link past experiences to current behavior and tag the behaviors that you want to change. If you can identify current behaviors that are driven by conversations when you were a child and left to “fill in the blanks”, you are well on your way to rewriting the scripts.
  • Step #4: Now that you are an adult, put adult meaning on what the person (the adult) was trying to convey to you when you were a child. (Yes, you can actively role play with that person and talk to them adult-to-adult!)
  • Step #5: Place the proper meaning on that statement now.
  • Step #6: Forgive the adult who may have steered you wrong. They did the best they could at the time with what they had!
  • I hope that you see the moral to this story. Please be carful of what you say to children. They are taking what you say and filling in the blanks. But they are doing so with the mind of a child. If you think in those terms, you may guard your words very carefully.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Life

The Simplest Mindset Hack to Get More Out of Life

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Money. Happiness. Success. Love. I think we can all agree that “more” is something we often find ourselves chasing, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, in our businesses, health, relationships and our lives in general.

Typically when we’re looking to increase our income (whether in our business or in our personal accounts) we often look to typical business and career strategies to do so. We look for a new, higher paying job. We open a new location. Work longer hours. Increase or improve our marketing efforts. Attend more networking events. The list goes on and on.

When we’re looking for more love in relationships we may schedule date nights with our significant other. Nag them for attention. Some, even resort to extra-marital affairs to feel the love they need. In health, we hire personal trainers. Go on diets…I’m sure you’re getting the point by now.

All of these strategies, however require us to do more of something. But what if the process to getting more of anything started before all that? What if there was a simple mindset hack that would allow your marketing, networking, dieting, date nights and gym sessions to have a greater impact? What if one behavioral tweak, that involved you doing less would lead to more happiness? More love? Just more!

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

The mindset hack to having more

This mindset hack is actually so simple you may not believe me but I’m going to tell you anyways. If you want to start having more in your life, the secret to doing so is to begin accepting compliments.

Yes. You read that right – by beginning to accept compliments we actually increase our ability to earn more money, experience more happiness and have more overall success. Stay with me and I’ll explain how this works.

First, however, I want you to consider this situation and question: Imagine it’s a normal day. It’s not your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other day you’d expect to receive a compliment or gift. It’s just a normal day. You go to work, or maybe you meet a friend for lunch, when, out of nowhere, they compliment you, or buy you a small gift (like a coffee for example).

How do you react? If you’re like the bulk of the population you’ll say something like: “Oh you shouldn’t have” or “The next round is on me” or “This old thing?!” If your reaction is somewhere along these lines, what you are doing is energetically and unconsciously REJECTING the compliment or gift.

In today’s day and age, when someone compliments us, or buys us a small gift (like in the example above) our initial and unconscious reaction is often to reject or block ourselves from receiving it. Most people fear what others think of them, and because we don’t want to appear to be conceited or stuck-up we feel uncomfortable simply saying “thank you!”. In fact, this reaction has become so ingrained in us by society that most people don’t even realize they are doing it!

The second reason we typically reject unexpected compliments or gifts is because it takes us out of the driver’s seat. When we sit back and receive we’re not in control. Think about it, who is in control of the gift/compliment? The giver. Who is in control of the intention? The giver. The giver is also in control of how and when they give it.

The receiver is only in control of their reaction. From a primal and evolutionary standpoint, when we’re not in control we’re vulnerable, exposed, possibly even at a disadvantage. To regain control many people often give a gift or compliment back (“no, no, I’ll buy the coffees today!”) or reject it all together (“oh this dress? I only paid $5 for it”).

The underlying problem

The problem with this primal and societal patterning however, is that it instills a belief in our unconscious minds that it’s unsafe to receive. Our unconscious mind is highly suggestive and completely illogical. Our unconscious mind believes our actions and feelings over our words, and is always processing information from our surroundings and our inner dialogue. Our unconscious minds also love to make associations, so it regularly connects things like beliefs with behaviours that we wouldn’t consciously or logically associate.

When we suggest to our unconscious mind that it is unsafe to receive small things, like a compliment or $5 coffee, the unconscious mind expands this and applies this belief to receiving anything and everything. In our unconscious mind, if a $5 coffee is unsafe to receive, then receiving hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands from a client would be life threatening!

Because the brain is also highly symbolic, it perceives all receiving to be the same. This belief then extends a whole lot further than just receiving money. It impacts our ability to receive other revenue or income generating things like referrals, new clients and even opportunities to scale a business to new levels.

“If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali

If you’re goal is to grow your income or your business, you may need to do new things like use social media ads or create referral partnerships. However, these activities will prove fruitless if you’ve wired your brain out of receiving the leads you’ll generate!

If you want more love from your partner, it doesn’t matter what they do to show more love, or how many affairs you have, you’ll never see or feel the love they are giving because you’ve blocked yourself from it. The same applies to your health and your life in general, you’ve told the filtering system in your unconscious mind (the Reticular Activating System) that it’s not safe to receive, so you won’t see the opportunities to accept these things.

The next time someone compliments you or buys you a small gift randomly, accept it graciously and simply say “thank you”. Practice this every time someone wants to give you something. Rewiring the brain takes repetition, it’s not enough to accept one compliment and return to your old patterns! Begin implementing this new behavior of receiving today and you’ll start noticing changes in your life and financial situation before the end of the month!

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Life

You Must Answer This Question in Order to Live a Successful Life

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A sobering question that we would all do well to ask ourselves as we continue to strive toward success is this: “What must I have achieved in life, so that when I look back on my life in the last few moments on earth, I’m completely satisfied?”

Yes, this is a deep question, to say the least. But, in my opinion, life really is about deep questions. In sincerely addressing this question, you’ll undoubtedly start to find more clarity about your purpose and life-mission. You may be wondering, “How does one begin to answer a question like this?”

I would suggest that you begin by listing your five most important values. These are the five values that you want to be the guide of your life day to day, and they are also the “eulogy values” you want your life to have represented when you’re no longer living. Every ship needs a rudder, and without these core values firmly in place, you’ll be in danger of being a rudderless ship with no clear direction.

For example, my five most important values are:

  • Integrity
  • Faith
  • Contribution
  • Growth
  • Family

These are the values that I do my very best to use daily to guide my decisions and keep me on track (or in some cases get me back on track). I think we all have a unique set of values that can guide us to understand what we want to achieve during our lifetimes.

Inner character and unique personal values aren’t born overnight, but are built slowly, through a course of purposeful and progressive choices. As the legendary John Wooden said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney

Bringing Purpose and Virtue Back into Your Life

While the accolades on your resume might earn you a top seat at a prestigious organization, they will do little or no good for your soul’s purpose. That is to say, unless these accolades help you serve a deeply personal mission that’s in harmony with your core values, your overall impact will not be optimized.

If you can detach yourself from all the noise and clarify your unique core values, you’ll be able to tap into your true purpose and potential. Doing this means you won’t have to live in inner conflict or travel paths that you may later regret. You’ll be able to recognize your weaknesses for what they are, and find ways to overcome them.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll be able to realize your dreams without the inner tension of conflicting goals because you’ll be working from a space of maximum potential, where everything you place as a high priority goal has a purpose that is in-line with your personal mission.

What Does This All Mean?

Researchers have confirmed that striving for a meaningful life is one of the main factors associated with psychological well-being.  But, of course, this begs the question, what exactly are we talking about when we use the word “meaning”? Generally speaking, when people talk about “meaning” in the workplace, for example, they’re discussing enjoyment of the daily tasks, alignment of the work with their personal values and getting fulfillment with the outcomes of the work.

“Define your priorities, know your values and believe in your purpose. Only then can you effectively share yourself with others.” – Les Brown

In general, it appears that four main factors have been tightly associated with “meaning.”

  • The first factor is enthusiasm. Research shows that enthusiasm is independently linked with life satisfaction, personal growth, positive emotions, purpose in life, meaning, and achievement.
  • The second factor linked to meaning is connection. In fact, social relationships, especially with those closest to us, are the most frequently reported sources of meaning in life. In everyday life, high performers also heavily value being around inspiring people who push them to grow more than, say, people who are just fun to be around.
  • The third association with meaning is related to satisfaction. Essentially, if what we’re doing creates a sense of personal satisfaction, we tend to feel that life is more meaningful. In addition, when our efforts correspond to one of our passions, this leads to personal growth, and/or making a positive contribution to the lives of others, as we tend to feel these efforts are satisfying.
  • Fourth, and perhaps most important to the concept of meaning, is coherence. The idea is that our efforts bring meaning if they “make sense” in the context of our lives. We want to know that our work is in alignment with something important and significant, and that it is serving some larger purpose. Coherence is particularly crucial to high achievers.

The key takeaway about meaning is that to perform at high levels, we must each focus in on cutting down on distraction and busyness, and focus on ramping up our efforts to finding and doing work that is most meaningful to us.

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Life

Attitude Is Everything: A Positive Mindset Always Brings Fortune

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Have you ever had a day when nothing went right? It usually starts with missing the tube to work, and hundreds of emails waiting to be sorted once you reach your office, and the day ends with a bitter fight with your best friend. Days like these can make you wish you could quit it all and camp out in the mountains, and it is understandable if you have this feeling too frequently.

The fast-paced lifestyle and digital era often pushes us to maintain a cheerful facade on social media. What we keep forgetting amid all this is that inner well-being is crucial for attaining happiness, and no amount of social media validation can get you that.

Here’s a look into what keeps us from being happy in life, and what we should be doing to bring  a positive change for the same.

21st century and our daily dismays

Social media likes and comments on that new car you purchased is not what life is about. The sooner we realise it, the better it is for our mental health. The following day-to-day issues deter us from focusing on what’s most vital: our happiness.

  • Worrying (about almost everything)
  • Arguments (out loud and in our minds)
  • Criticism (resulting in self-doubt)
  • Fears (stemming from insecurities)
  • Complaints (venting out exasperations)
  • Envy (for our fixation with material happiness)
  • Apathy (distorting our perceptions)

The dark abyss of depression does not do any good, and may eat into all your potential and self-confidence. Shed negative thoughts and turn up that positive attitude a few notches to tackle life in style!

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” – Wade Boggs

Every ounce of positivity counts

A positive attitude helps you hold on to your mental well-being, and it starts with conscious action on your part. Bring the following positive changes in your life that lets you tackle the adversities in style and fortifies your inner being.

Take that first step

If you keep drifting off to that fort you have built inside your mind listlessly, maybe the time has come for you to do something about it. Recognising the signs of negative aspects and their effects on your well-being early on is essential. Take a few days off and think about your next plan of action to turn the tables in your favour, once again.

Find your tailor-made coping mechanism

Everyone has their own way of coping with problems in life. In fact, we are socially trained from childhood to choose a way to deal with negativity. Design your own way of coping with daily stress and disappointments. Here are a few pointers on how to start:

  • Your go-to playlist
  • Deep breathing and yoga
  • Stress-buster balls and fidget spinners
  • Adult colouring books
  • Chanting lessons

Staying occupied actually helps

They say curling up in a ball on the floor, nursing a tub of ice cream is the ideal way to will the gloomy days away. However, keeping yourself occupied can be a more effective way of healing. Pick up a fascinating hobby, redecorate your room, clean out that shed you have meant to for quite some months now, and you will be surprised at the positive effects. If you don’t know where to start, try consulting YouTube DIY projects for starters.

Start and end your day with a smile

It takes conscious action to make it happen, and the first few days may seem pretty hard. Seemingly mundane things like smiling at children or strangers on your way to work or helping an old lady with her shopping bags have the power to make your day. Read a book before going to bed or call up that old friend, and end each day on a positive note.

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” – Hans Selye

Remember: it is okay to have bad days

Despite trying your best to stay positive, there will be soul-crushing days when getting out of bed to take a bath may seem like an uphill task. First of all, you have got to accept that you are not in a condition to go about your daily activities on such days. Take a day off from work and other responsibilities, and focus on healing yourself instead.

Learn to love yourself

Buy that dress you were eyeing the other day, order from that favourite Italian joint a few blocks away, for you deserve it all. No matter how many people try to bring you down, no matter how much criticism you face for your lifestyle choices, do not let them get to you. Your life is yours at the end of the day, and if that means going on that solo trip or getting your nails done, go for it, by all means!

Bet you did not know that days that start off bad are actually the best for treating yourself to that Chinese place they opened around the corner or hitting the theatres to catch the latest blockbuster? Well, now you do.

The power to change things lies solely with you, and after you are done taking blows from a bad phase, go face life with a renewed zeal! Staying positive does not hurt and is sure to bring success and happiness your way once you start acting upon the positive notes in your life. More power to you!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Why Smart People Think Beyond Reason to Make Powerful Decisions

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How long has it been since you’ve had a tough decision to make at work? I bet it happens regularly, if it is not on a daily basis. Sure, making decisions can be exhilarating, but it can also be draining. Sometimes dreadful.

Your pulse accelerates, you start to sweat, your mind jumps from one point to the next, hoping to settle on something. You really want to make the right decision for you, for your team, for your organization. But often times, it can be a tough call. You wish you had the perfect step-by-step recipe to get to the right decision. (more…)

Ginette Gagnon is a certified Team Performance Coach and holds a Masters in Management from Montreal, Canada. She works with entrepreneurs, high-potential executives and management teams around the world making her clients athletes in their respective professional discipline.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Chris Diaz

    Dec 21, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Charlene,

    Thanks for reading and commenting! Sounds like you are on track to design your life around your career vs your career around your life. Congratulations on your consulting firm. Don’t forget to stop by my site entresuccessproject.com and read a few posts that might give a few good nuggets to help you along your journey ! Much Success!

  2. Tim Denning

    Dec 20, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Chris thanks for sharing this article with us all. It’s funny, the one thing I seem to always lose track of time on is my passion. Six hours can just go past without me even realising. That’s how I know I’m on purpose.

    • Chris Diaz

      Dec 20, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      Tim, you couldn’t be more on point. I have been writing a majority of the day today and I looked down and it’s close to 4pm. Like you, it always reassures me I am on the right journey when I lose track of time. Thanks for reading and commenting. Also, if you would like, sign up for my blog posts on my site at entresuccessproject.com. They could give you some good takeaways.

  3. Charlene Rhinehart

    Dec 19, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you for the motivational post, Chris! You are 200% right. Your career constitutes a large part of your life so why not move towards a career that adds meaning and purpose to your life. I am starting a professional development consulting firm revolved around my key strengths and passion. The first steps of an entrepreneur require long hours, reading, and guidance, but I wouldn’t trade in this level of happiness/

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

We Know Thoughts Become Things, but Where Did Those Thoughts Come From?

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It’s common knowledge that what we concentrate on over any length of time, manifests. The notion that thoughts precede reality has been around for quite some time and we also know that the intermediate step between thoughts and reality is behavior.

So, we think something, that thought drives a certain behavioral pattern, and enough of that behavior will create whatever that original thought outcome was. But did you ever wonder where those thoughts came from? How many of them came from poor mothers and fathers and preachers and teachers when we were babies?

Let’s face it, our formative years were spent with these aforementioned individuals and they were adults. They may have said things to us that we perhaps misinterpreted because, we were six years old! They weren’t trying to deceive us or teach us something negative. They just assumed that when they said something (and it may not have even been to us) that the listener would be able to connect the dots!

Let me give you an example. When I was growing up my mother, father, and I were watching variety shows on the black and white television set in the middle of our living room, quite often my mother would say, when someone was singing, that they were actually dubbing! In other words, singing to a turned off microphone while the actual recording was actually being played from the sound engineers’ room! She was probably correct! Many of the singers on those old shows were dubbing their studio recordings.

“All action results from thought. So it is thoughts that matter.” – Sai Baba

But she made it seem as if the singer and the host were trying to deceive us. My mother would say something like, “They aren’t singing for real, they’re just moving their lips! Isn’t that terrible?” Now I could never really tell if they were singing, or not, but this was my mom, so I accepted what she said at face value. Except, I really thought those people were terrible people for trying to trick my poor mother and that they were very bad. (Keep in mind, I was 6!)

That script stayed with me long into adulthood, and I very consciously watched out for people that were going to make a fool out of me and I either avoided them or confronted them. That thought pattern of filling in the blanks from what adults told me when I was a child is what I like to call Projective Resolution, can be debilitating. Personally, it sabotaged several meaningful relationships and my first 2 professional positions.

I was able to identify the faulty script years later and resolve it, but I wonder how many more I have playing right now, that I might not be aware of. How about you? What scripts are causing your Projective Resolution?

The reason they are so hard to spot is because we have repeated them so many times for so many years, that they have become a habit and are firmly entrenched into our subconscious minds. But the behavior is real. And it can be devastating!

You may ask if it is possible to eradicate the old scripts and I believe the answer is yes. I did! And without any professional assistance, and well before I had the internet for quick guidance.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

If you think you are a victim of Projective Resolution, try these steps:

  • Step #1: Spend some time in quiet thought, thinking about situations with parents and others when you were a child. It may be helpful to start with your first thought of childhood and work up from there.
  • Step #2: What were some of the admonitions and sayings that were said to you? Perhaps it was “A stitch in time saves 9.” And you were told that so many times that you now take 9 stitches immediately, just in case. You plan, plan, plan! Can that be an OCD?
  • Step #3: Link past experiences to current behavior and tag the behaviors that you want to change. If you can identify current behaviors that are driven by conversations when you were a child and left to “fill in the blanks”, you are well on your way to rewriting the scripts.
  • Step #4: Now that you are an adult, put adult meaning on what the person (the adult) was trying to convey to you when you were a child. (Yes, you can actively role play with that person and talk to them adult-to-adult!)
  • Step #5: Place the proper meaning on that statement now.
  • Step #6: Forgive the adult who may have steered you wrong. They did the best they could at the time with what they had!
  • I hope that you see the moral to this story. Please be carful of what you say to children. They are taking what you say and filling in the blanks. But they are doing so with the mind of a child. If you think in those terms, you may guard your words very carefully.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Life

The Simplest Mindset Hack to Get More Out of Life

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Money. Happiness. Success. Love. I think we can all agree that “more” is something we often find ourselves chasing, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, in our businesses, health, relationships and our lives in general.

Typically when we’re looking to increase our income (whether in our business or in our personal accounts) we often look to typical business and career strategies to do so. We look for a new, higher paying job. We open a new location. Work longer hours. Increase or improve our marketing efforts. Attend more networking events. The list goes on and on.

When we’re looking for more love in relationships we may schedule date nights with our significant other. Nag them for attention. Some, even resort to extra-marital affairs to feel the love they need. In health, we hire personal trainers. Go on diets…I’m sure you’re getting the point by now.

All of these strategies, however require us to do more of something. But what if the process to getting more of anything started before all that? What if there was a simple mindset hack that would allow your marketing, networking, dieting, date nights and gym sessions to have a greater impact? What if one behavioral tweak, that involved you doing less would lead to more happiness? More love? Just more!

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

The mindset hack to having more

This mindset hack is actually so simple you may not believe me but I’m going to tell you anyways. If you want to start having more in your life, the secret to doing so is to begin accepting compliments.

Yes. You read that right – by beginning to accept compliments we actually increase our ability to earn more money, experience more happiness and have more overall success. Stay with me and I’ll explain how this works.

First, however, I want you to consider this situation and question: Imagine it’s a normal day. It’s not your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other day you’d expect to receive a compliment or gift. It’s just a normal day. You go to work, or maybe you meet a friend for lunch, when, out of nowhere, they compliment you, or buy you a small gift (like a coffee for example).

How do you react? If you’re like the bulk of the population you’ll say something like: “Oh you shouldn’t have” or “The next round is on me” or “This old thing?!” If your reaction is somewhere along these lines, what you are doing is energetically and unconsciously REJECTING the compliment or gift.

In today’s day and age, when someone compliments us, or buys us a small gift (like in the example above) our initial and unconscious reaction is often to reject or block ourselves from receiving it. Most people fear what others think of them, and because we don’t want to appear to be conceited or stuck-up we feel uncomfortable simply saying “thank you!”. In fact, this reaction has become so ingrained in us by society that most people don’t even realize they are doing it!

The second reason we typically reject unexpected compliments or gifts is because it takes us out of the driver’s seat. When we sit back and receive we’re not in control. Think about it, who is in control of the gift/compliment? The giver. Who is in control of the intention? The giver. The giver is also in control of how and when they give it.

The receiver is only in control of their reaction. From a primal and evolutionary standpoint, when we’re not in control we’re vulnerable, exposed, possibly even at a disadvantage. To regain control many people often give a gift or compliment back (“no, no, I’ll buy the coffees today!”) or reject it all together (“oh this dress? I only paid $5 for it”).

The underlying problem

The problem with this primal and societal patterning however, is that it instills a belief in our unconscious minds that it’s unsafe to receive. Our unconscious mind is highly suggestive and completely illogical. Our unconscious mind believes our actions and feelings over our words, and is always processing information from our surroundings and our inner dialogue. Our unconscious minds also love to make associations, so it regularly connects things like beliefs with behaviours that we wouldn’t consciously or logically associate.

When we suggest to our unconscious mind that it is unsafe to receive small things, like a compliment or $5 coffee, the unconscious mind expands this and applies this belief to receiving anything and everything. In our unconscious mind, if a $5 coffee is unsafe to receive, then receiving hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands from a client would be life threatening!

Because the brain is also highly symbolic, it perceives all receiving to be the same. This belief then extends a whole lot further than just receiving money. It impacts our ability to receive other revenue or income generating things like referrals, new clients and even opportunities to scale a business to new levels.

“If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali

If you’re goal is to grow your income or your business, you may need to do new things like use social media ads or create referral partnerships. However, these activities will prove fruitless if you’ve wired your brain out of receiving the leads you’ll generate!

If you want more love from your partner, it doesn’t matter what they do to show more love, or how many affairs you have, you’ll never see or feel the love they are giving because you’ve blocked yourself from it. The same applies to your health and your life in general, you’ve told the filtering system in your unconscious mind (the Reticular Activating System) that it’s not safe to receive, so you won’t see the opportunities to accept these things.

The next time someone compliments you or buys you a small gift randomly, accept it graciously and simply say “thank you”. Practice this every time someone wants to give you something. Rewiring the brain takes repetition, it’s not enough to accept one compliment and return to your old patterns! Begin implementing this new behavior of receiving today and you’ll start noticing changes in your life and financial situation before the end of the month!

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Life

You Must Answer This Question in Order to Live a Successful Life

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A sobering question that we would all do well to ask ourselves as we continue to strive toward success is this: “What must I have achieved in life, so that when I look back on my life in the last few moments on earth, I’m completely satisfied?”

Yes, this is a deep question, to say the least. But, in my opinion, life really is about deep questions. In sincerely addressing this question, you’ll undoubtedly start to find more clarity about your purpose and life-mission. You may be wondering, “How does one begin to answer a question like this?”

I would suggest that you begin by listing your five most important values. These are the five values that you want to be the guide of your life day to day, and they are also the “eulogy values” you want your life to have represented when you’re no longer living. Every ship needs a rudder, and without these core values firmly in place, you’ll be in danger of being a rudderless ship with no clear direction.

For example, my five most important values are:

  • Integrity
  • Faith
  • Contribution
  • Growth
  • Family

These are the values that I do my very best to use daily to guide my decisions and keep me on track (or in some cases get me back on track). I think we all have a unique set of values that can guide us to understand what we want to achieve during our lifetimes.

Inner character and unique personal values aren’t born overnight, but are built slowly, through a course of purposeful and progressive choices. As the legendary John Wooden said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney

Bringing Purpose and Virtue Back into Your Life

While the accolades on your resume might earn you a top seat at a prestigious organization, they will do little or no good for your soul’s purpose. That is to say, unless these accolades help you serve a deeply personal mission that’s in harmony with your core values, your overall impact will not be optimized.

If you can detach yourself from all the noise and clarify your unique core values, you’ll be able to tap into your true purpose and potential. Doing this means you won’t have to live in inner conflict or travel paths that you may later regret. You’ll be able to recognize your weaknesses for what they are, and find ways to overcome them.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll be able to realize your dreams without the inner tension of conflicting goals because you’ll be working from a space of maximum potential, where everything you place as a high priority goal has a purpose that is in-line with your personal mission.

What Does This All Mean?

Researchers have confirmed that striving for a meaningful life is one of the main factors associated with psychological well-being.  But, of course, this begs the question, what exactly are we talking about when we use the word “meaning”? Generally speaking, when people talk about “meaning” in the workplace, for example, they’re discussing enjoyment of the daily tasks, alignment of the work with their personal values and getting fulfillment with the outcomes of the work.

“Define your priorities, know your values and believe in your purpose. Only then can you effectively share yourself with others.” – Les Brown

In general, it appears that four main factors have been tightly associated with “meaning.”

  • The first factor is enthusiasm. Research shows that enthusiasm is independently linked with life satisfaction, personal growth, positive emotions, purpose in life, meaning, and achievement.
  • The second factor linked to meaning is connection. In fact, social relationships, especially with those closest to us, are the most frequently reported sources of meaning in life. In everyday life, high performers also heavily value being around inspiring people who push them to grow more than, say, people who are just fun to be around.
  • The third association with meaning is related to satisfaction. Essentially, if what we’re doing creates a sense of personal satisfaction, we tend to feel that life is more meaningful. In addition, when our efforts correspond to one of our passions, this leads to personal growth, and/or making a positive contribution to the lives of others, as we tend to feel these efforts are satisfying.
  • Fourth, and perhaps most important to the concept of meaning, is coherence. The idea is that our efforts bring meaning if they “make sense” in the context of our lives. We want to know that our work is in alignment with something important and significant, and that it is serving some larger purpose. Coherence is particularly crucial to high achievers.

The key takeaway about meaning is that to perform at high levels, we must each focus in on cutting down on distraction and busyness, and focus on ramping up our efforts to finding and doing work that is most meaningful to us.

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Life

Attitude Is Everything: A Positive Mindset Always Brings Fortune

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Have you ever had a day when nothing went right? It usually starts with missing the tube to work, and hundreds of emails waiting to be sorted once you reach your office, and the day ends with a bitter fight with your best friend. Days like these can make you wish you could quit it all and camp out in the mountains, and it is understandable if you have this feeling too frequently.

The fast-paced lifestyle and digital era often pushes us to maintain a cheerful facade on social media. What we keep forgetting amid all this is that inner well-being is crucial for attaining happiness, and no amount of social media validation can get you that.

Here’s a look into what keeps us from being happy in life, and what we should be doing to bring  a positive change for the same.

21st century and our daily dismays

Social media likes and comments on that new car you purchased is not what life is about. The sooner we realise it, the better it is for our mental health. The following day-to-day issues deter us from focusing on what’s most vital: our happiness.

  • Worrying (about almost everything)
  • Arguments (out loud and in our minds)
  • Criticism (resulting in self-doubt)
  • Fears (stemming from insecurities)
  • Complaints (venting out exasperations)
  • Envy (for our fixation with material happiness)
  • Apathy (distorting our perceptions)

The dark abyss of depression does not do any good, and may eat into all your potential and self-confidence. Shed negative thoughts and turn up that positive attitude a few notches to tackle life in style!

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” – Wade Boggs

Every ounce of positivity counts

A positive attitude helps you hold on to your mental well-being, and it starts with conscious action on your part. Bring the following positive changes in your life that lets you tackle the adversities in style and fortifies your inner being.

Take that first step

If you keep drifting off to that fort you have built inside your mind listlessly, maybe the time has come for you to do something about it. Recognising the signs of negative aspects and their effects on your well-being early on is essential. Take a few days off and think about your next plan of action to turn the tables in your favour, once again.

Find your tailor-made coping mechanism

Everyone has their own way of coping with problems in life. In fact, we are socially trained from childhood to choose a way to deal with negativity. Design your own way of coping with daily stress and disappointments. Here are a few pointers on how to start:

  • Your go-to playlist
  • Deep breathing and yoga
  • Stress-buster balls and fidget spinners
  • Adult colouring books
  • Chanting lessons

Staying occupied actually helps

They say curling up in a ball on the floor, nursing a tub of ice cream is the ideal way to will the gloomy days away. However, keeping yourself occupied can be a more effective way of healing. Pick up a fascinating hobby, redecorate your room, clean out that shed you have meant to for quite some months now, and you will be surprised at the positive effects. If you don’t know where to start, try consulting YouTube DIY projects for starters.

Start and end your day with a smile

It takes conscious action to make it happen, and the first few days may seem pretty hard. Seemingly mundane things like smiling at children or strangers on your way to work or helping an old lady with her shopping bags have the power to make your day. Read a book before going to bed or call up that old friend, and end each day on a positive note.

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” – Hans Selye

Remember: it is okay to have bad days

Despite trying your best to stay positive, there will be soul-crushing days when getting out of bed to take a bath may seem like an uphill task. First of all, you have got to accept that you are not in a condition to go about your daily activities on such days. Take a day off from work and other responsibilities, and focus on healing yourself instead.

Learn to love yourself

Buy that dress you were eyeing the other day, order from that favourite Italian joint a few blocks away, for you deserve it all. No matter how many people try to bring you down, no matter how much criticism you face for your lifestyle choices, do not let them get to you. Your life is yours at the end of the day, and if that means going on that solo trip or getting your nails done, go for it, by all means!

Bet you did not know that days that start off bad are actually the best for treating yourself to that Chinese place they opened around the corner or hitting the theatres to catch the latest blockbuster? Well, now you do.

The power to change things lies solely with you, and after you are done taking blows from a bad phase, go face life with a renewed zeal! Staying positive does not hurt and is sure to bring success and happiness your way once you start acting upon the positive notes in your life. More power to you!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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