Browsing Tag: motivation

notguiltylivinglife

Not Guilty!

Great words to hear when you are in trouble, anticipating jail time. Don’t know what that feels like though; my closest to the courthouse was when I went to get married.

But in this game called life we are always confronted by a cloud of witnesses and are constantly being judged by what we do or don’t do. We are constantly weighing our lives on a balance and trying to measure up.

People judge people! That’s what we do. We look at a persons appearance and judge how much they have in their account. We look at a person car to determine how successful they are… There is constantly a battle to prove to people we are worth something, we are constantly working on being APPROVED by others.

Life can get tiring when we are constantly trying to get people to like us, approve of our lifestyle and choices. We can forget the joy of living if all we do focus on what others think of us and how people see us.

I decided a long time ago not to be defined by what others say or think about me. When you are not constantly trying to please others you can truly live the way I believe God intended… free, unstoppable, and unwavering. Have a great week ahead.

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Never Stop Dancing

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never-stop-dancing

I have seen women shrink from the best versions of themselves to a shadow because of a sour marriage. I have seen men silenced by women who lack the ability to caress their soul into greatness. I have watched children transformed into dummies by angry parents who weren’t ready to have them. I have seen men and women alike shutting down, becoming depressed about their journey. I have witnessed dreams die because the carrier stopped dancing.

What am I saying? When you stop dancing, you die, and you kill everything that’s in your path. Whether you know it or not. As beautiful and grand some flowers are, they can also kill. Gabrielle Roth wrote this amazing piece that explains it, “In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions.
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?”

So my question to you is when? There is always a “when”. I remember the first day I decided to stop dancing… I was hurt by a statement made by a friend and I decided to stop living my purpose. It took me years to get over it and to start dancing again. So today I’m encouraging you to dance, to sing, to be enchanted, to live your purpose. Do not let what people say change who you are, do not stop dreaming because of a few disappointments. Do not let an heartbreak make you hate men. Do not let a failed business stop you from dreaming. Do not allow people to change you. Keep dancing to the tune of your own rhythm.

Have a great weekend.

 

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“The miracle power that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance, under the promptings of a brave determined spirit.” – Mark Twain

Many motivational experts like to say that leaders are made, not born. I would argue the exact opposite. I believe we are all natural born leaders but have been deprogrammed along the way. As children, we were natural leaders – curious and humble, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge, with an incredibly vivid imagination; we knew exactly what we wanted, were persistent and determined in getting what we wanted, and had the ability to motivate, inspire, and influence everyone around us to help us in accomplishing our mission. So why is this so difficult to do as adults? What happened?

As children, over time, we got used to hearing, No, Don’t, and Can’t. No! Don’t do this. Don’t do that. You can’t do this. You can’t do that. No! Many of our parents told us to keep quiet and not disturb the adults by asking silly questions. This pattern continued into high school with our teachers telling us what we could do and couldn’t do and what was possible. Then many of us got hit with the big one “institutionalized formal education known as college or university”. Unfortunately, the traditional educational system doesn’t teach students how to become leaders; it teaches students how to become polite order takers for the corporate world. Instead of learning to become creative, independent, self-reliant, and think for themselves, most people learn how to obey and intelligently follow rules to keep the corporate machine humming.

Developing the Leader in you to live your highest life, then, requires a process of unlearning by self-remembering and self-honoring. Being an effective leader again will require you to be brave and unlock the door to your inner attic, where your childhood dreams lie, going inside to the heart. Based on my over ten years research in the area of human development and leadership, here are ten easy steps you can take to awaken the Leader in you and rekindle your passion for greatness.

1. Humility. Leadership starts with humility. To be a highly successful leader, you must first humble yourself like a little child and be willing to serve others. Nobody wants to follow someone who is arrogant. Be humble as a child, always curious, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge. For what is excellence but knowledge plus knowledge plus knowledge – always wanting to better yourself, always improving, always growing. When you are humble, you become genuinely interested in people because you want to learn from them. And because you want to learn and grow, you will be a far more effective listener, which is the #1 leadership communication tool. When people sense you are genuinely interested in them and listening to them, they will naturally be interested in you and listen to what you have to say.

2. SWOT Yourself. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Although it’s a strategic management tool taught at Stanford and Harvard Business Schools and used by large multinationals, it can just as effectively be used in your own professional development as a leader. This is a useful key to gain access to self-knowledge, self-remembering, and self-honoring. Start by listing all your Strengths including your accomplishments. Then write down all your Weaknesses and what needs to be improved. Make sure to include any doubts, anxieties, fears, and worries that you may have. These are the demons and dragons guarding the door to your inner attic. By bringing them to conscious awareness you can begin to slay them. Then proceed by listing all the Opportunities you see available to you for using your strengths. Finally, write down all the Threats or obstacles that are currently blocking you or that you think you will encounter along the way to achieving your dreams.

3. Follow Your Bliss. Regardless of how busy you are, always take time to do what you love doing. Being an alive and vital person vitalizes others. When you are pursuing your passions, people around you cannot help but feel impassioned by your presence. This will make you a charismatic leader. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, be it writing, acting, painting, drawing, photography, sports, reading, dancing, networking, or working on entrepreneurial ventures, set aside time every week, ideally two or three hours a day, to pursue these activities. Believe me, you’ll find the time. If you were to videotape yourself for a day, you would be shocked to see how much time goes to waste!

4. Dream Big. If you want to be larger than life, you need a dream that’s larger than life. Small dreams won’t serve you or anyone else. It takes the same amount of time to dream small than it does to dream big. So be Big and be Bold! Write down your One Biggest Dream. The one that excites you the most. Remember, don’t be small and realistic; be bold and unrealistic! Go for the Gold, the Pulitzer, the Nobel, the Oscar, the highest you can possibly achieve in your field. After you ‘ve written down your dream, list every single reason why you CAN achieve your dream instead of worrying about why you can’t.

5. Vision. Without a vision, we perish. If you can’t see yourself winning that award and feel the tears of triumph streaming down your face, it’s unlikely you will be able to lead yourself or others to victory. Visualize what it would be like accomplishing your dream. See it, smell it, taste it, hear it, feel it in your gut.

6. Perseverance. Victory belongs to those who want it the most and stay in it the longest. Now that you have a dream, make sure you take consistent action every day. I recommend doing at least 5 things every day that will move you closer to your dream.

7. Honor Your Word. Every time you break your word, you lose power. Successful leaders keep their word and their promises. You can accumulate all the toys and riches in the world, but you only have one reputation in life. Your word is gold. Honor it.

8. Get a Mentor. Find yourself a mentor. Preferably someone who has already achieved a high degree of success in your field. Don’t be afraid to ask. You’ve got nothing to lose. Mentors.ca is an excellent mentoring website and a great resource for finding local mentoring programs. They even have a free personal profile you can fill out in order to potentially find you a suitable mentor. In addition to mentors, take time to study autobiographies of great leaders that you admire. Learn everything you can from their lives and model some of their successful behaviors.

9. Be Yourself. Use your relationships with mentors and your research on great leaders as models or reference points to work from, but never copy or imitate them like a parrot. Everyone has vastly different leadership styles. History books are filled with leaders who are soft-spoken, introverted, and quiet, all the way to the other extreme of being outspoken, extroverted, and loud, and everything in between. A quiet and simple Gandhi or a soft-spoken peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter, who became president of the United States and won a Nobel Peace Prize, have been just as effective world leaders as a loud and flamboyant Churchill, or the tough leadership style employed by The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher. I admire Hemingway as a writer. But if I copy Hemingway, I’d be a second or third rate Hemingway, at best, instead of a first-rate Sharif. Be yourself, your best self, always competing against yourself and bettering yourself, and you will become a first-rate YOU instead of a second-rate somebody else.

10. Give. Finally, be a giver. Leaders are givers. By giving, you activate a universal law as sound as gravity life gives to the giver, and takes from the taker. The more you give, the more you get. If you want more love, respect, support, and compassion, give love, give respect, give support, and give compassion. Be a mentor to others. Give back to your community. As a leader, the only way to get what you want, is by helping enough people get what they want first. As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

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Life happens. It doesn’t matter how positive an attitude you have or how balanced and centered you are, there are going to be times when you are knocked down. Times when your carefully organized life is turned upside down and you get knocked on your rear end. Life happens.

You will no doubt experience serious illness in either yourself or someone close to you. You may be challenged with the loss of a loved one, a divorce or perhaps the loss of a job or any number of situations that will leave you feeling like you were kicked in the stomach.

Let’s face it. These things will happen. They’re part of life and no matter how you try to explain them away with the idealist, “everything happens for a reason” quote, they hurt. A lot! They hurt at the very core of your being. The pain begins in your heart and radiates throughout your entire being. Repeating positive phrases does not make it stop hurting.

What You Should Expect in these times

In times like these, you’re going to feel down, even depressed. You probably feel anger or some other manifestation of your pain. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s ok. It’s ok to feel hurt, sad, angry or whatever your true feelings are. You cannot deny pain any more than can deny fear. The only way through either of them is to give yourself permission to feel the feeling.

The question is not whether or not you will feel down. The question is for how long will you stay in this state?

The difference between people who get through life’s challenging moments, regardless of the seriousness, and those who are immobilized by the events is what I call the “Bounce factor.”

How quickly can you bounce back?

Of course, the severity of the event will have a lot to do with the time it will take you to get past the pain and on with your life.

Take the example of two people being downsized from their high technology jobs, something that is becoming a natural occurrence these days. One, whom we’ll call John, is floored by the news of his dismissal. He expresses his pain by becoming angry at the company, his co-workers and the system in general. He spends his days telling anyone who’ll listen, about his “problem.” Usually from a bar stool.

As he sees it, his life is ruined and he’s blaming everyone for his troubles. People who react like John spend weeks, even months, wallowing in despair until, if they’re fortunate, someone close to them convinces them to seek professional help.

Mary, on the other hand, reacts much differently. Although she has gone through the same experience as John and has pretty much the same issues like living expenses, etc., she chooses to react differently.

After a brief period of feeling a loss of self-esteem, self-pity, and anger, Mary decides to get back in the game. She begins contacting her network of colleagues and co-workers, avails herself of the outplacement services her former employer offered everyone and starts actively looking for a new position. In a short time, Mary finds her “dream job” with an exciting new company.

While both people in our hypothetical example had the same experience and both went through a period of hurting, the time each allowed themselves to remain in that disempowering state was vastly different. While John remained “stuck” in his problem, Mary handled her loss and moved on with her life.

This is the key.

It’s not whether life occasionally puts you into a tailspin, it’s how long you remain there.

When something devastating happens to you, allow yourself some time to grieve your loss, however, don’t allow yourself to get stuck there. Take some action. Join a support group, talk about your feelings with a trusted friend or your spiritual advisor. If necessary, seek professional help.

In the case of a job loss, perhaps you want to take some time to re-evaluate your career goals. You may even consider a change in fields. When you’re ready, you can begin networking and making new contacts. Attend social or church events. Call people you know. Do something!

One of the most important things to remember in high-stress situations is not to allow yourself to isolate. While spending some time alone is normal, even necessary, isolation can be dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Get out and be with people as soon as possible. As a friend recently reminded me, “life is for the living.” It’s important to get back to your life. In time, the pain will pass.

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Goals are a great tool for motivation. But if you don’t use them correctly, they can also be a source of frustration. They are only empowering if they are used properly. So how do you make a goal into something that is a benefit for you?

Strategies are important, especially to help you create the type of success you desire and deserve.

Here are five techniques to help you realize good results.

1. Balance: In your life, you will have personal development, personal finance, and other goals. Don’t neglect any of them. It is ok to want things, but don’t forget to balance those pursuits with your own growth as a person. All of these are important so be clear about all of them and make them real for you.

2. Plan Actions: Goals are not items for your to-do list. It is what you are striving for. Plan specific actions that lead you towards your desired results. Use them to provide your compass for those actions. When you plan actions for the day you can easily tell if they’re going to be effective if you have clear goals to compare them against.

3. Share: If you were an archer, would you keep it a secret that you want to hit the bull’s eye? Too many keep their target a secret. Share them with people who will support and encourage you.

4. Write it: Make your goals real by recording them. Put copies of this on index cards and keep copies in the car and in the bathroom and review them regularly. Make them the center of your focus. Don’t just set them and then ignore them. Your goals are like a compass to tell you which way to go. The exciting part is that you get to chose the alignment of your compass.

5. Don’t Give Up: Don’t be afraid to try something, fail and try something else. Take effective and massive action to meet your goals and understand that any true goals will take many steps to achieve. Sometimes you will make a misstep, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s only those who abandon their direction who don’t achieve them.

GET STARTED!

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash
Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

 

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