Motivation Monday

Be Led By Your Dreams

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Which do you think is more powerful, dreams or fears?

The answer really depends on you. Which one do you allow to have the most influence on your life?

Fear is a natural response. When dangers are present our body activates defense mechanisms to keep it safe. When we become afraid, our adrenaline kicks in. We are more alert. Our heart is beating very fast. Our brain is racing. This is all a good thing. When we’re in danger, we need this to happen. The problem is, what we’re afraid of these days is, in most cases, not life threatening.

Today, we fear anything outside of our comfort zone. It could be talking in public, admitting you were wrong, asking someone out for the first time, taking a chance by starting a business, maybe it’s quitting a good job to do something you have always wanted to do.

Dreams are obviously very different. The things we want, and think about regularly, are our dreams. When we are kids our dreams are huge. We want to be doctors, lawyers, olympic athletes, race car drivers, astronauts, or even the leader of a great nation.

As we get older, our dreams change. We have a dream, evaluate it for its feasibility, determine if we really want to put in all that work, determine if the reward is big enough, if we think we are capable of doing what’s necessary, and eventually it comes down to our self confidence. Do we think we are capable of succeeding? We often allow fear to keep us from realizing our dreams.

The answer to the initial question is really up to you. To some, fear is much more powerful. They allow fear to keep them from their dreams. While to others, their dreams are stronger than their fear. These people don’t allow their fear to stop them from realizing their dreams.

It’s really up to you. If you allow fear to keep you from really living your life, then to you fear is more powerful. If you focus on achieving your dreams and overcoming your fears, then to you your dreams are more powerful.

The choice is yours and yours alone.

Remember, if you want to live a happy fulfilled life, don’t be controlled by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.

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Don’t Forget the Past. Learn from It.

There is a popular adage in our society that goes something like this: Forget the past, don’t worry about the future, live in the present.

There is truth to this statement. Far too many of us live defined by the choices we made in the past. This shouldn’t be the case. After all, each new day presents opportunity to become a new person on a new road destined for a new future.

But those who choose to simply forget the past miss out on its fullest potential. There are valuable lessons to be learned from it. And those who choose to ask the right questions about their past are most prepared to live life to the fullest in the present.

Consider the lessons we can learn from our past. By simply asking the right questions, we can discover…

Strengths that define us. The talents and abilities we use to navigate and provide value to this world define the lives we live and the change we can offer. And by recalling our strengths in the past, we can better recognize our opportunities in the present.

Weaknesses that frustrate us. We all have weaknesses in personality and competence. When left unaddressed, these weaknesses limit our potential for impact and significance. Discover them. Recognize them. And learn to overcome them by seeking the help of others.

Causes that energize us. Our lives find the greatest joy when we help others discover theirs. Which social causes have energized you in the past? What role were you able to fulfill in helping others? And how can similar pursuits bring new energy into your life today?

Relationships that inspire us. Over the course of our lives, there are, no doubt, a number of people who have inspired us to become better versions of ourselves. What traits do they have in common? And can you surround yourself with more people like them today?

Environments that derail us. The company we keep and the cultures we function in either bring us inspiration or derail our progress. Are there relationships in your past that continually brought you down and resulted in destructive decisions? If so, learn from your past to avoid them.

Habits that invigorate us. Over the course of our lives, we employ a variety of disciplines to make the most of it. We discover a new diet, a new fitness practice, or a new morning routine. We experiment with them–some work, some don’t. Eventually, these new disciplines either become habits or they fade from our memory. Look back. Recognize the habits that brought energy, health, and invigoration into your life. And embrace them again.

Affections that bring joy to us. Various matters of our mind and affections of our heart bring different amounts of joy, meaning, and fulfillment into our lives. What affections during life brought you the most joy? And have you gotten away from them? If so, return. And in so doing, recognize what distracted you from them in the first place.

Pursuits that distract us. Ultimately, the decisions we make with the resources we’ve been given determine the life we end up living. Most of the resources we have at our personal disposal are finite and limited (money, time, energy). By definition, the allocation of them towards one pursuit limits the amount of resources we have available towards others. It is wise to recognize the subtle pursuits that routinely distract you from the truest desires of your heart.

Addictions that control us. We are a people that too often give control of our most precious asset to another. We fall under the influence of substances, possessions, or entertainment. And when we do, our life is no longer our own. Identify the recurring controlling substances (addictions) in your life and humbly seek the help needed to remove their influence over you.

Temptations that trip us. Similar to addictions, we each have unique weaknesses to temptation. These temptations may vary in nature, but each detract from the fullest life possible. But they do not need to define us. We can begin anew. However, only those who can identify and admit their mistakes in the past have opportunity to learn from them.

Learning styles that suit us. We all learn differently. Some are visual learners, some are verbal, some learn best in a group setting, while others learn best alone. Your learning style is as unique to you as your fingerprint. The important thing is to recognize and understand what style suits you best. This life ought to be filled with constant learning… and the sooner we recognize how we learn best, the sooner we’ll begin to grow in it.

Motivations that compel us. Deep in our heart, our motivation runs supreme. It determines the decisions we make, the use of our time, and the words we choose to use. Understanding our deepest motivations is a difficult task. It requires stillness, patience, and consistent self-evaluation. But the more we discover why we do the things we do, the easier it is for us to make the most of the present we are living in today.

If we start asking the right questions, there are countless life-giving lessons we can learn from our past. Never feel that you have to be defined by it. But it would be equally foolish to forget it completely when it offers so much potential for the present.

Make A Life

If we take the time to be realistic, and ask ourselves, “What do I really want out of life?” we may discover the secret to our own happiness; the answer to our own happiness lies in the answer to that question.

Be True to Yourself

There is nothing wrong with pursuing our personal dreams and desires, as long as they are morally and ethically sound. Being true to yourself means responding to your own inner voice or inner child, and granting yourself daily wishes. A ride on a merry-go-round or learning something new are both ways to cultivate happiness while answering the inner call to pursue hidden dreams.

Enjoy Every Moment

Being present in the moment means being aware, appreciative, and accepting. This is how we make a life for ourselves. There are people, and animals, too, showing their love, gratitude, and concern right there in front of us. Are we enjoying them? Are we embracing and cherishing each moment that unfolds – whether that moment is good, bad, or indifferent? If not, chances are we are living our lives on autopilot.

Making a Life

Making a life that is worth enjoying and living is not rooted in tangible things, but in intangible things. The people we meet, know, and love are great assets to our existence. Are we enjoying them as much as we can? Are we spending time creating memories with friends and family members?

Acceptance and Gratitude Lead to Joy

Living in the here and now means doing so with a dose of acceptance. It means we tell the Universe, “I appreciate who I am, what I have and what will come.” This attitude leads to both self-acceptance and gratitude. Then, we can find a place of joy unimaginable.

Having a happy life is not really hard to achieve. There are family and friends close by. There are museums and parks and local events filled with activities to occupy the time of any person. Take a chance, move outside your comfort zone, and live a happy, joyous, carefree life that is built on pleasant memories.

Believe in Yourself

How To Believe In Yourself And Boost Your Self-Confidence

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The ability to believe in yourself can change your life.

Just think:

What difference would it make in your life if you had an absolutely unshakable confidence in your ability to achieve anything you really put your mind to?

What would you want and wish and hope for?

What would you dare to dream if you believed in yourself with such deep conviction that you had no fears of failure whatsoever?

How To Believe In Yourself

Most people start off with little or low self-confidence, but as a result of their own efforts, they become bold and brave and outgoing. And we’ve discovered that if you do the same things that other self-confident men and women do, you, too, will experience the same feelings and get the same results.

The key is to be true to yourself, to be true to the very best that is in you, and to live your life consistent with your highest values and aspirations. This is the only way to truly learn how to believe in yourself.

Take some time to think about who you are and what you believe in and what is important to you.

If you want to change your life by becoming an author, believe that you can do it. The hardest step in that journey is finding the confidence to learn how to write a book. Once you get a hold of a proven system to plan, produce, and publish your work, the larger goal becomes easier to attain.

By believing in yourself, you will find the courage to take immediate action on your goals. And this, as you may know, is the key to success!

I encourage you to never compromise your integrity by trying to be or say or feel something that is not true for you.

And – more importantly – never compromise your potential to grow due to self-limiting doubts. Instead, embrace your confidence and believe in yourself because you really can do anything you put your mind to.

Tell Yourself You Have Confidence And Believe It

Repeat affirmations such as “I believe in myself” every day.

Your thoughts become words and your words become your actions. If you continue to tell yourself that you believe in yourself, eventually you really will believe in yourself.

It’s that simple.

Have the courage to accept yourself as you really are—not as you might be, or as someone else thinks you should be—and know that, taking everything into consideration, you are a pretty good person.

After all, we all have our own talents, skills, and abilities that make us extraordinary.

No one, including yourself, has any idea of your capabilities or of what you might ultimately do or become. Perhaps the hardest thing to do in life is to accept how extraordinary you really can be, believe in yourself, and then to incorporate this awareness into your attitude and personality.

Your Time is Limited

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking."

Teaching video from Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford commencement speech.

Believing in Yourself Is the First Step to Success

Courage requires the incredible power of believing in yourself. Or does belief in yourself require courage? A man on the battlefield looks inwardly to survive first and foremost. Despite the support of his team around him, fearlessness motivates him to act on behalf of the task at hand. Taking risks. He relies on his own ingenuity to live another day. No one else.

1.Exploit your abilities

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses are essential to success. Exploiting strengths while ignoring weaknesses, however, stifles confidence. It is not the fear, but the uncertainty of one's abilities that make someone uncomfortable. Becoming adept at a skill maximizes efficacy and minimizes equating judgment by others as a means of achievement.

2.Charge ahead

During the Black Hawk War of 1832, Abraham Lincoln enlisted as a captain and returned as a private, but it did not stop his determination or cause him to shrink back from serving. Additionally, Lincoln did not allow numerous defeats in running for public office to deter him from continuing. He believed his contribution mattered no matter which capacity he delivered it. He stuck to his convictions and proved failure is only a bridge to accomplishment.

3. Trust Thyself

In a world where trust wains, trusting your instincts is what merits the most worthy consideration. Invest in what you know and others will, too. Trust in your competence, even if you're inexperienced, will elicit a positive response. A first-time father has no experience, but negotiates his way through parenthood by trial and error. Innovation is untested, yet imperative to progress.

Believing in yourself is the first step to success whether it means your life, your career, or simply your confidence, and in that lies your power.

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Be Somebody Who Makes Everybody Feel Like Somebody

You know that woman who looks beyond stressed behind you in line at the grocery store? Or your elderly neighbor you only catch a glimpse of when they’re collecting their mail? Take a minute to say hello to them, or happy Friday, or just smile! We’re all busy, but it’s equally rewarding for you to make someone else feel special by simply acknowledging them, complimenting them, or starting up small talk, as it is for them. Think about when something like a simple “hey” or an “I like your dress” turned your otherwise crappy day around. You never know what someone else is going through and how much of a difference you might really make for them.

How to Find The Positive in Every Day

With a slight change in attitude, you can start to change the atmosphere around you. Here are a few ways to start: 

  • Do you find yourself worrying too much about things you can’t control? Turn that fear into a call-to-action. Sometimes that thing you fear most is the one thing you need to do to help propel your life forward. Overcome fear with 20 seconds of insane courage, take the first step and watch how your life will change.

  • Prioritize your tasks. Make a to-do list to better organize your day. Start by placing all of the tasks you dread at the top and end your list with the tasks you enjoy. Remember to write down at least 3 steps you can take to bring you closer to accomplishing the goals you've set.

  • Learn from your challenges. What deep lessons can you learn from the struggle you're going through? What can you take from it, good or bad, that will leave you better prepared for what might come your way in the future? In all things, be grateful and have faith.

  • Put a time limit on your pity party. Allocate five minutes to vent your frustrations and then put it behind you. Or write down your worries on a piece of paper, acknowledge they exist, then crumple it up and throw it away. Excessive worrying about things out of your control will just lead to problems that weren't there to begin with. 

  • Focus on the positive. Learn to use positive language. Get lost in the simple blessings of each day. Begin a gratitude journal. Forgive others, which often is a gift to yourself. As you grow in this positive mindset change, you’ll find yourself noticing the good happening around you. Seemingly small things such as love, wisdom and passion will accelerate you toward an abundant life.

How To Become The Person You Were Meant To Be

it’s time to stop apologizing for who you are. it’s time to become who you were made to be.”
— Rachel Hollis

From mindbodygreen:

You want to be successful. You know you were put on this earth to contribute to the world in a big way. So you slave away for long hours, sacrifice time with your family and friends, and put all of your energy into helping others.

One day, when you’re successful, it will pay off. One day, you can slow down and relax. One day, you’ll make the contribution you were meant to make.

Except it doesn’t work like that. You’re building your future right now. And every decision you make is setting the boundaries, rules, and habits for what’s to come. So, instead of waiting to reach a milestone before you can build the lifestyle you want, let’s set the right foundation now for future success to grow.

Because happy, healthy people change the world. Burned out people just fuel their egos.

Want to build your successful dream life? Follow these five tips:

1. Start backward.

Have you ever tried to build an IKEA desk without the picture? Expect hours of frustration and mistakes. You can’t build success if you don’t know what it looks like. Decide exactly what success means to you. How much money you make, how many hours you work, how many lives you change, who you ideally work with, who you refuse to work with, where you vacation, how much you exercise, what kind of relationships you have, what kind of food you eat. When you create a clear blueprint of the final picture, you’ll know how to take the steps to get there. Clarity means focus, which means success.

2. Eat, sleep, and breathe success.

Let’s face it — success doesn’t just happen in a vacuum. If you have a toxic relationship, sooner or later that’s going to impact the energy you can put into your job. True success is really about holistically living the life of your dreams, so start with what you can control. Eat, sleep, exercise, and interact the way a successful person would. Decide to remove toxins of any form from your life, and value yourself as if you were born to be successful. Because, truthfully, you were.

3. Be who you are, not who you wish you were.

You were born with a set of inherent skills and passions. For the heck of it, let’s call that a life purpose. But people often get so focused on improving what they’re not good at that they ignore their inherent strengths. You were born this way for a reason. Learn how to rely on your strengths and ask for help on your weaknesses. It will make life more enjoyable and make you remarkably more successful.

4. Know your value.

You believe you were put on this earth for a specific reason. You have the antidote to somebody’s problem. So why are you doubting your self-worth? People are desperate for what you have to offer, and you’re the only person standing in your way. Once you get really clear on exactly what you have to offer and how much it’s worth, it will influence everything from how successful you allow yourself to be, to how much you charge, to how you value your time.

5. Assume this is it.

We never know what the future will hold. You may be the next Oprah, or you might never move from your present state. So be happy with where you are right now. Don’t wait to design the exact relationships, work life, and happiness that you want. Even if you can only start with a simple blog or taking a tiny step toward your goal today, start doing it. Because if you start building the foundation for the life you want now, you’ve already reached success. The rest is just icing on the cake as that mansion starts to grow.

Success is just as much an internal mindset as it is an outward experience. When you realize how much you have to contribute to the world and raise your standards to match that level, the rest will fall into place.

Because success is really about consciously creating your dream life — the life you were born to live. And, when you do that, you’ll truly be living your life purpose.

Just try to stop someone that happy from changing the world. I dare you.

Overcome Obstacles And Reclaim Your Power

Sometimes when we’re knocked around by life, it can weaken our self-esteem, so it’s important to stand in your own power.

Be willing to leave behind pursuits that do not deliver results. Far too many people discount the value of redirecting their attention when all attempts are exhausted. Pride, self-worth and time invested are the main reasons for flogging a dead horse.

The following points will help you overcome obstacles and reclaim your power:

1. Distance Yourself From The Drama

When faced with an obstacle, emotions run high since you’re likely to react to the ensuing drama. Step back from the chaos and see the obstacle from a greater perspective.

An accomplished Australian artist once noted that when she oil paints, she prefers to take regular breaks. She said this allows her to return to her work with fresh eyes each time and approach the painting from a different perspective. You might adopt the same tactic with your obstacle and come back to it with renewed enthusiasm when the time is right.

2. Seek Out Necessary Resources

Often you may lack provisions, finances, strategies or a key piece of knowledge to conquer your obstacle. The key is to acknowledge that it is ‘resource related’. For example, you may need a key software program to automate a process, freeing you up to focus on more important work. Consult those who can help you overcome the hurdle. As they say, enlist a fresh pair of eyes to see what you may be missing.

3. Gain Perspective

It can overwhelm you when an unforeseen obstacle emerges. To get caught up in the ensuing crisis redirects vital resources to make critical decisions. Gaining perspective helps you step away from the ‘noise’. You might seek help from others, talk to friends or loved ones who can offer a different assessment of your challenge.

Perspective does not imply dissociating from the obstacle in resignation. It means viewing it from numerous vantage points while considering other options. It was author Robert Brault who wrote: “We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”

4Evaluate The Obstacle

Can something be done to overcome the obstacle now or does it require expert help? Consider it objectively as though you were seeing it for the first time. Use logic and sound judgement to avoid becoming emotionally enslaved to the task. “Winners know they’re going to face hurdles, obstacles, failures, tragedies, and disasters — the same as everybody else,” states Larry Weidel in Serial Winner: 5 Actions to Create Your Cycle of Success.

5. Stay Focused And Committed

Often an obstacle is not intended to weaken your actions. It is an invitation to get clear on the process to advance to the next stage. It is advising you to attend to a particular aspect now instead of the future when you have invested valuable time and energy. You might recall Thomas Edison’s well-known passage of 1,000 ways that did not work to invent the light bulb.

Be unrelenting in your commitment — do not give up. “Obstacles are figments of your thinking. That’s why as soon as your old thinking departs, new thinking arrives and obstacles fade away,” affirms sports psychologist Garret Kramer in The Path of No Resistance: Why Overcoming is Simpler than You Think.

Don’t allow setbacks to get you down since you are bound to fall upon many setbacks in life. Obstacles help enrich your mental experience in so far as building resilience, fortitude and strength. Every time you tackle a problem, you overcome a mental hurdle.

6. Develop A Growth Mindset

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success author Carol Dweck delves into two different mindsets required for success: Fixed or Growth mindsets. She provides a comprehensive foundation how to develop a Growth mindset, which is aspiring toward continuous improvement and building on your successes.

She states: “The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the Growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”

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Motivation Monday: Find Your Passion

Eight ways to find the true passion in life that has eluded you

If you feel lost or unfulfilled, these exercises could help you

work out what you should be doing with your life


"Follow your passion" has become a well-worn phrase. But what happens if you don't know what your passion is?

This isn't just an issue for those beginning their careers, it can be a problem for those stuck in jobs that they don't enjoy.

It's all too easy to fall into a routine that leaves you bored or unfulfilled: you want to make the switch but you're not sure what to.

These eight exercises could help you find your true passion in life.

1. Ask yourself these three simple questions

Finding your passion could be easier than you think. By answering these questions honestly, you could work out what to do with the rest of your life.

"What subject could I read 500 books about without getting bored?"

"What could I do for five years straight without getting paid?"

"What would I spend my time doing if I had complete financial abundance to do anything?"

2. Don't presume that your passion should be your job

Hunter S. Thompson, the gonzo journalist and novelist, once said: "Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing."

"There are a lot of things worth doing that will never bring you money," writes Heather Ennis. "You don't have to be great at something to be passionate about it.

"If you can't imagine not doing something, it's a passion. It doesn't have to be a moneymaker. Make your money some way that will give you the time for what you really love to do."

3. Work out what you hate doing

List the jobs or tasks that you absolutely loathe. Once you have eliminated these options, your true passion may become more clear. Create a list of the people you are jealous of to get more clarity on the issue.

"Ask this question: who do I envy the most due to the work they do?" Guarav Joshi says. "List multiple individuals, then look at the work they do, and try those things. You might find your passion from that list."

4. Find the things you are mediocre at

Even if they don't possess exceptional skills at any one thing, most people have lots of specialisms that they are "okay" at.

According to Oliver Emberton, founder of software start-up Silktide, if you fuse your mediocre skills together, you'll find your passion.

"Say you’re an average artist, with a decent sense of humour," he explains. "You won’t have much hope with an art degree, and you can’t study ‘humour’ as a subject. But you could be an awesome cartoonist.

"Or take an average business student, with some programming ability, and decent sales skills. That person is surprisingly well suited to become the boss of others who were better than them in any one of those areas."

Emberton argues that the most successful people, the ones that are most passionate about their work, are almost never defined by a single skill.

"They are a fusion of skills, often not even exceptional skills, but they’ve made their fusion exceptional," he says.

"Steve Jobs was not the world’s greatest engineer, salesperson, designer or businessman. But he was uniquely good enough at all of these things, and wove them together into something far greater."

5. Forget the 'Eureka!' moment

Inspiration may strike some people in an instant. Suddenly, they know what they should be doing with their lives. For others, it takes work.

Quora poster Logan Jay recommends spending 20 minutes each day thinking about the things that have interested you recently, or any opportunities that you have spotted.

"Your true passion is not found overnight, but is realised through series of discoveries of small interests," he says. "I have always regarded thinking/meditating as a process of reading/analyzing your mind, which in turn leads to discovering your true passion."

Try asking close friends and family what they think you should be doing with your life. But don't put people on the spot, as they may rush their answers.

If any of your nearest and dearest have hobbies or passions that interest you, ask to spend some time helping out, or giving them a try. Experiment with new activities, whether it's a new sport, learning a language, or trying a craft, as much as possible.

6. Remember what you loved doing as a child

Did you love to draw or write stories when you were young? Try to remember the activities that you enjoyed during your childhood, before the pressure to study the right subjects or get a good job began to mount.

What hobbies did you enjoy doing before life got in the way? Would you enjoy those activities now? Use these memories to help you find your true passion as an adult.

Perhaps you still have hobbies now. Could you expand on them so they take more of a centre stage in your life?

Or take a new perspective: imagine that you are very old. What do you wish you had spent the last 20 to 30 years doing? Think of it as a slightly less gloomy version of writing your own obituary.

7. Create something brand new

According to Emberton, the secret to finding your passion is to create something new. He argues that people are instantly passionate about projects, businesses or services that they start from scratch.

"When you create something new, you’re inventing something to be passionate about," he explains. "Whether you design novelty cushions, or write Batman stories, or start a Twitter account dedicated to fact-checking politicians."

However, success is key to finding one's true passion, he warns. "If your new Twitter account only has five followers after a year, you probably won’t be too passionate about it," he says. "If you had 5m, you’d have quit your job. You must find success to fuel your passion."

8. Try visualisation

Imagine yourself getting up early, jumping out of bed, excited about going to work. You get dressed quickly, full of enthusiasm about your day. The sun is shining and you take those first steps out of your bedroom. Now work out where you are going and what kind of job follows on from that feeling of anticipation.

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Motivation Monday: Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti

10 Easy Ways To Be A Kinder Person

  1. Give away books you have read. Share what you’ve read with someone else who might be interested in reading it for free!

  2. Give more hugs. Apparently humans need 12 hugs a day for growth. Start hugging more!

  3. Send Thank you notes. Not just for special occasions, but for everything!

  4. Pay it forward. The next time you’re in line at a drive-thru or tollbooth, pay for the person behind you, just because!

  5. Be nice to someone you dislike. You gotta kill ’em with kindness, right?

  6. Do what you say you’re going to do. Always keep your word.

  7. Stop complaining. Your positivity will encourage others to do the same.

  8. Buy someone flowers for no reason at all.

  9. Let someone in the checkout line go ahead of you. This is always extra nice when you can tell someone is in a hurry or has kids with them!

  10. Write notes to your loved ones and put them in their jacket pocket, car, suitcase, lunchbox etc.

What are some ways you show kindness? We’d love to hear your tips and ideas!

Motivation Monday: Love Your Business and It Will Love You Back

It's Time to Fall in Love With Your Business Again

By Chelsea Berler

Sometimes, in business, we lose ourselves to the hum of working day after day. It can be hard to get excited when, what should be the joy of operating your business gets turned into just another day at the office. Whether your numbers are up or down, your business is going through growing pains or feeling the sting of an economy that still hasn’t bounced back, it’s important to hold on to the things that influenced your career choice. Why do you do what you do? 

Spark the romance again.

A relationship with your work can be described as rocky at best. There are so many peaks and valleys that we encounter that it can be emotionally draining. However, to be not only successful, but also be fulfilled in the work we do, it is important that we keep the romance going. Remember how it felt the first time you made that paycheck for doing something you’re passionate about? Or what about the butterflies you felt when approaching your first clients?

Seeing how far you’ve come can be a remarkable feeling. Some things have become easier, more fluid while others still seem to get you tripped up. Maybe you’re still not the best at handling criticism or perhaps paying company bills still makes you sweat at the end of the month. It sounds cheesy, but focusing on the positives in your life can be big step towards getting yourself out of a rut.

An attitude of gratitude.

How grateful are you for your job? Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, we can forget to be thankful for what and who we have around us. Even when I don’t feel like I am in the most “giving” mood, I try to say thank you to the people around me who work to make my life easier. I have come to find that the more I say “thank you,” the more I mean it. Those people who receive a thank you are likely to pay it forward to their co-workers and the other people in their lives who may need a pat on the back.

I would challenge you to wake up in the morning with a mindset that says, “Today, I will be grateful.” Believe it or not, this is a choice that you can make. Only you can dictate how you spend your day. And why would you want to waste it feeling unsatisfied and frustrated? Talk about a poor use of energy.

Anchor yourself.

Sure, life (whether in or out of business) can get a bit crazy both in a good or bad way. But, making sure that your heart it anchored to the right things is the only way you can survive the storms that life may throw at you. What matters to you most? Who matters to you? Keep these things and especially these people close to you. Because, no matter how far off course you feel like you’ve gotten over the years, you will always have them to pull you back in and set you back to right.

5 Ways to Shine Your Light in the Workplace

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 CSB

Working in a place where Christians are the minority can often be challenging. You might be tempted to hunker down, do your work and then rush home each day. But instead of quietly surviving, God has called us to be a light in the darkness. That means we are to shine brightly and not cower in our cubicle. To speak truth in love, not simply conform to the attitudes and beliefs of our co-workers so as not to make waves. We are to be the bright spot in a dark world, proclaiming the love and salvation our Savior has to offer.

Easier said than done, right? Well, here are some practical ways you can be a light at your job:

1. Words Matter

It’s easy to fall into the speech habits of those around you. Ephesians 4:29 tells us to speak only words that will be uplifting to others. Hang a decoration with encouraging words near your desk to remind yourself to trust God in all circumstances. Having His truth as a constant reminder can help you think before you speak.

2. Attitude Adjustment

Stress, dreaded tasks, uncooperative co-workers, lack of recognition...there are numerous things in your workplace that can bring you down. But, how do you react? Do you grumble and complain or do you choose to trust God and be positive? Remember that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13). Rest in the assurance that God will get you through every situation, and show others what it means to have the joy of the Lord, no matter the circumstances. Place a reminder at your desk to praise God and focus on His goodness. Believe me, people will notice.

3. Showcase the Truth

Another way to witness is to simply let God’s Word speak for itself. Drink your morning coffee in this "Faith Over Fear" mug and take it with you to your team meetings. You can also place Scripture shareables prominently on your desk. These are non-confrontational ways to present the Word to your co-workers and plant a seed in their hearts. After all, you never know how it will touch or convict them.

4. Go One-on-One

It’s hard to find obvious opportunities to talk about your relationship with Jesus when you’re on the clock. An easy way to get some one-on-one time, however, is to invite a co-worker to lunch. Genuinely get to know them as you talk about more casual things like kids, hobbies and activities. Eventually, the Holy Spirit may open a door for you to speak about your relationship with a loving God. Pray Ephesians 6:19-20 before you go and ask the Lord to open doors for His Kingdom to be released in your interaction.

5. Show a Servant's Heart

You’ve heard the saying “actions speak louder than words.” Often what we do can be an even louder witness than what we say. Look for opportunities to serve your fellow co-workers. Give a sweet baby gift to someone out on maternity leave or send a sincere sympathy card to a co-worker who recently lost a loved one. Other ways to serve might include offering a ride to someone whose car is in the shop. If you have Christian music playing in your car, the lyrics of a song might minister to them. Through you, these small actions can speak volumes about God’s immeasurable love for your co-workers.

Motivation Monday: Know Your Worth

Motivation Monday Template 2 - Worth.png

From Psychology Today

How Do You Measure Your Self-Worth?

When you get measured at the doctor's office, does the medical professional use a random stick to reveal your height? Hopefully not. If they did, you might be 3½ sticks tall in one doctor's office and 12 sticks tall in another. That sounds ridiculous, right? But when it comes to measuring self-worth, many people use something just as unreliable as a random stick.

You may not even consciously think about what type of stick you use to measure your self-worth. But it's likely that, deep down, you know. After all, when you feel like you're measuring up, you feel good about yourself. But when you feel as though you've fallen short, your self-esteem likely plummets. So while you may be aware of those fluctuations in how you feel, you might never stop to think about what type of measuring stick influences you so much.

While there are many ways you might measure your worthiness in life, it's important to consider whether some of them are unhealthy. Here are five common — yet unhealthy — ways people measure their self-worth:

1. Your Appearance

Some people measure their self-worth by the numbers on a scale. Others determine their value by how much attention they can attract with their appearance. The media sends a message that "you're only as good as you look," and many marketing strategies target people's insecurities over everything from weight gain to aging.

That's not to say good looks don't serve as an advantage in life; they certainly can. But a beautiful body or a handsome face won't last forever, and hair loss, wrinkles, and a middle-age spread can feel catastrophic for someone whose self-worth depends on their physical appearance.

2. Your Net Worth

You likely know at least one person whose self-worth is measured by their income or material possessions. But people who measure their self-worth by their net worth may never feel "valuable enough." And it's not just wealthy people who define themselves by the size of their bank accounts — many people live beyond their means in an attempt to feel "good enough." But going deep into debt to create a façade of wealth backfires in the end because while goods and services have monetary value, they don't reflect your value as a human being.

3. Who You Know

There are several ways people depend on others to give them value. While one person may only feel good about herself when she's in a relationship, someone else may feel as though name-dropping well-known people will gain the admiration from others he needs to feel good.

Some people only feel worthy when they can surround themselves with important people. A lengthy list of personal contacts and a busy social calendar help them feel valuable and important. But depending on other people to make you feel good is like chasing a moving target. You can't control what other people think of you, and you certainly can't please everyone all the time. You'll never be able to receive enough praise and positive reinforcement to genuinely feel good about yourself.

4. What You Do

A career helps many people feel worthwhile. In fact, many people introduce themselves by saying what they do: "I'm a computer programmer," or "I'm a lawyer." Their job isn't what they do — it's who they are. Their career reinforces to them that they're "somebody." But basing your self-worth on your job title is a big risk. An economic downturn, unexpected shift in the job market, or a major health problem can put an end to your career and lead to a major identity crisis. Even a planned retirement may destroy your self-worth if your identity is tied to your job title. If you've always measured your self-worth by what you do, you won't feel good about yourself when your career ends.

5. What You Achieve

Sometimes people want to be known solely for their achievement. That person who brags about her latest business success may only feel good when she talks about her accomplishments. Or an individual who just can't stop beating himself for a mistake he made might struggle to move forward, because he didn't achieve what he needed to feel good.

While it's normal to feel proud of your accomplishments, basing your entire self-worth on your achievement is like building a house on an unsteady foundation. You'll need to experience constant success to feel good about yourself — and that means you'll likely avoid doing things where you could fail.

How to Feel Good About Who You Are

The way you choose to measure your worth affects the kind of life you'll live. Use a measuring stick based on factors you can control — not the external events in your life.

When you know who you are — and you're pleased with the person you've become — you'll experience a sense of peace through life's inevitable ups and downs. You'll believe in yourself regardless of whether you've been fired, gone through a divorce, or failed to get a promotion.

Instead of chasing things that temporarily boost your self-esteem, measure your self-worth by who you are at your core. Behave according to your values and create a life of meaning and purpose.

Monday Motivation: Stop Making Excuses

From mindbodygreen

7 Tips To Stop Making Excuses

About Why You're Not Succeeding

Excuses can be pretty powerful. They can hold us back and leave us in a cycle of procrastination. They are that inner voice within that tells us we're not good enough, worthy enough, capable enough — the list of inadequacy goes on. All of this negative self-talk gets us nowhere. It keeps us paralyzed in our fears.

We are all capable of getting the results we want, but results and excuses can't coexist. To get the results you want, you have to ditch the excuses. Invalidating our calling and our purpose leads to the excuses piling up one after the other.

So here are seven ways to stop making excuses today:

1. Make a list of your fears.

Do you let your fears run the show? Do they keep you in a cycle of excuse after excuse? Write them all down today. Create a list. Look at the fears and read them aloud to yourself. Seeing them on paper diminishes their value.

2. Write down what you're doing in response to these fears.

After writing down each of your fears, write down what you are doing in response to each of these fears. Know that you cannot fail; by showing up and being the best version of yourself, you have not failed. The mind can play tricks on you, making you live in response to your fears.

3. Decide on five concrete goals.

Put these five goals on paper. Look at them. Start to manifest them. Start to believe you can make them become a part of your life.

4. For each goal, come up with three action steps to help make them a reality.

Create an action plan for yourself. This is what it all comes down to: ACTION. You can understand something intellectually, but it's a matter of bringing that down into the heart and taking the steps to make these goals and results your reality.

5. Create a one-day plan.

Start small. Think about what you can do today to make the results you want part of your reality. Maybe it's talking with a friend about what it is you truly want. Maybe it's journaling about what inspires you, lights the fire inside, and brings about a sense of purpose and passion.

6. Tell someone about your plan.

Accountability is everything. Knowing that you're not alone and that someone else is there on the journey with you is empowering. Tell a friend or family member about this plan. Start working with a professional to bring your ideas and visions to life. Remember, you can't do it all alone and the more love you let in, the more love you let out, and thus the more results you'll see.

7. Truly embrace compassion.

These changes all start with this one word: compassion. Without compassion, you're stuck in a cycle of fear and excuses. Compassion allows the love to flow through. It allows you to show up, be authentic, and create the life you want for yourself. You can be your own worst enemy and critic. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a loving friend or family member. Take in the fact that you have a choice each and every moment. Align this choice with the results you want for yourself.

Monday Motivation: Christmas To-Do List

  1. Be Present.

    If we want to enjoy the holiday season more, we have to focus our efforts on being a little more present with ourselves and others. By making time to stay present, we can improve our relationships with others and connect with them more deeply away from our screens.

  2. Wrap Someone in a Hug.

    A hug is an expression of warmth and friendliness with arms outstretched around the other. Hugs are used as an expression of love, kindness, sympathy, friendliness, greetings and used sometimes to say goodbye.

  3. Send Peace.

    Tired of all the grinches who complain when the holiday season comes around? Rid the world of them by spreading some holiday cheer. You can make a difference just by baking cookies, listening to carols, or giving a little something to those whom we take for granted.

    Set aside five minutes each morning to sit quietly with a cup of Christmas blend coffee and just breathe. Use this time to ground yourself and prepare for the day that is to come. Beginning each day peacefully will help you to carry that peace with you for the rest of the day.

  4. Donate Food.

    Since not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to their loved ones, food, presents, or a home, the holidays are also an important time to spread cheer to those less fortunate. One easy way to give back to the community, whether you live in Hawaii, Alaska or any state in the contiguous 48, is to donate food, money or your time to a local food bank. Through their vast networks of food pantries and other agencies, food banks feed millions of food to those in need every day.

  5. Be the Light.

    What Does It Mean To Be the Light? It means doing things that make you feel free and peaceful, surrendering control, trusting your intuition, showing compassion and kindness to yourself and others, and believing the simple truth that you are enough. It is about bringing light to the places that are dark. It is about looking for opportunities to lift someone else up. It is about making a conscious effort to help other people recognize the light that is within them.

Be Inspired, Not Intimidated

Most people often assume that the road to success is a simple and straightforward one. The reality is that it almost always involves periods of uncertainty and challenges that will test us. For us to successfully navigate through this tricky terrain, it is critically important to learn how to manage feelings of any self-doubt and insecurities that may crop up along the way.

Too often, we allow the voices of our insecurities to prevent us from moving forward in our dreams because we are afraid of failing. We measure our performance with a yardstick that measures our worth based on our popularity and financial gain.

The truth is that if you want to stand out of the herd, you need a strong foundation of self confidence which necessitates the need to keep your insecurities and feelings of inadequacies in check.

Here is a 4 step process to help manage your internal terrain while working towards a goal:

  1. Clarify your intention: Ask yourself, “What is my message? What is my intention in sharing my skills/product/talent? What outcome do I really want to achieve? Who do I want to become in the process? Why is this important to me?”

  2. Learn from success: Instead of letting others’ success intimidate you, let it become a source of inspiration and learning. Ask yourself, “Who are the most successful people in my field? What can I learn from them? What were the steps that they took to become a success? Which steps can I replicate in own my journey?”

  3. Do a SWOT analysis: This is one of the best frameworks to use when it comes to analyzing yourself and trying to find a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

  4. Manage your gremlins during the process: There may be times when you will feel your insecurities crop up. During these times, it is helpful to engage in “motivation-boosting rituals” such as glancing at your Dream Board, using visualization techniques, repeating affirmations that inspire you, and listening to motivational music.

In this way, you can stay objective while you create your action plan. The key is to not let your insecurities, often triggered by others’ success, fog your mind and prevent you from seeing your potential for your own unique path.

If you stay strong and focus on the big picture, you will gradually reach your desired destination, and along the way, you will realize that the real pot of gold lies behind the rainbow of love, self-expression, and contribution.

Source