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★Powertools for Personal Growth - Jeff

Introduction to Power Tools for Personal Growth.

These are things I that I believe can be used to make great leaps in your personal development, at least the things I want to work on more. I’m certainly no expert and still have much to learn and do in these areas, but they are things that I KNOW are powerful. There is much on this site that relates to these ideas; some of you might want to post some links to bemindful threads and other sites in your own Powertools thread. This thread might get pretty big, so my idea is that each of you could make your own Power Tools post. I think that would make it easier to find stuff. We learn by doing, and we do by learning. A thread like this thread can be as useful to YOU as it can be to others, you see, ‘cause we also learn by teaching! If you think this is worthwhile, I would suggest each have a similar title like “Powertools – Laure”, and “Powertools – Jeff”, and “Powertools – Meditating Mama”. That would make them easy for everyone to find with a simple search for Powertools. I might want to spend some time in Laurie’s toolchest to get her perspective on something and find that “nugget” I’m looking for! Get the idea?

This is just an introduction, but I plan to give you my “take” on some of these things and add lots of good stuff here. I hope some of you will share YOUR powertools!

My Reading List:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Affirmations Affirmation & Visualization

Why are affirmations so important? See this post themadcookieman’s post:

The 7 Day Affirmation Challenge:

Affirmations You Can Use Right Now!:

It is within your power to create a burning desire:

Starting A Journal:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

The Mirror:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Fundamentals: See this post themadcookieman’s post:

Sanctuary:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

The 80/20 Rule:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Vision Boards: see this thread muzzi’s post:

What Have You Accomplished?:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Appreciation and Gratitude: see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Comfort Zone & Discouragement

Acceptance of Reality:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Living in the Now. Being.

Participation in Life

Accountability:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Commitment:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Life’s areas of Activity:(Marriage/Family, Career/Professional, Social/Political, Religious/Spiritual)

What is Wealth?:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

What is your purpose?:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

What do you have?

What do you want?:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Ego Awareness:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

The Real You:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Exercise:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

The Power of Words:see this post themadcookieman’s post:

Walk, Fatboy, Walk! See this post themadcookieman’s post:

Letting Go of Anger: see this post themadcookieman’s post:

I’m gonna’ start covering some of this stuff, but in no particular order.

I’m sure meditation is also very powerful, but I am not qualified to comment on that very much. I’m sure Lee, or someone would be much more help with ideas in that area.
———————————-

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Hi Jeff. Great thread. I do not have my own yet but yours has inspired me to at least reorganise my thought priorites. I once read that having confused affirmations (i.e thinking one things and then changing/tweaking) is like reading a pieice of paper with lots of lines crossed out and rewritten. If your affirmations are not clear – your mind cant read them as easily…? Anyway, I love that you put vision boards on there. Something I am trying to work on, but not clear in my head yet!! Also, whats the 80/20 rule?

As far as meditation is concerned….I see it like this. Prayer is talking with God….meditation is listening to God. A quieting of the mind that draws inspiration,learning and peace in from a higher power.With meditation i get the chance to ‘slow down’, and, as you wrote – live in the now and ‘just be’.
Fond regards to you Cookieman! A ;o) xx

A full and thankful heart..

just read back – oh please excuse the typos and spelling blips! x

A full and thankful heart..

This is your page, and not sure of the your criteria for your thread yet. Though, thought you might like this guy’s ideas re:80/20 help

What is Sanctuary?

I often ask myself:
What is your purpose?
What do you want?

I don’t get an answer :-/
Thanks for the thread, I will steal some of your tools.

…what a wonderful world….

Ok, sorry to post on your powertools thread, but this is awesome. I will try to start one of my own. :)

I am living in many dimensions at once; the appearance of being trapped in time and space is only an illusion.

No Prob! I think I can add stuff as I go along and link it to the original post. I’ll try to keep it organized that way. If it works the way I hope, you can read the top post, click on the link and it’ll send you to the info. We’ll see. If I can’t figure it out, I’ll get Lee to help.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

In response to themadcookieman’s post:
Your idea is wonderful. I started my powertools page. It will take me time to see how I’d like to organize it. Though, love your page, and love the ideas you’ve stimulated for others. You’ve done good!

Your Personal Sanctuary.

But first, something to think about.
We become what we behold in our imagination. What we have held in our imagination is what has gotten us what we have and what we have become in our lives right now. If we want something better, we have to think greater thoughts. We have to think something different. We aren’t responsible for every thought that passes through our mind, but we ARE responsible for the ones we HOLD there. We are particularly responsible for the thoughts we PUT there. The thing is, we need to think about our dream as much as possible. Live your dream in your imagination as much as possible. Become passionate about it; obsessed. Love your dream.

Building a personal sanctuary.

Your imagination is one of the most powerful tools you have. It is at your disposal whenever you want to use it. Many of us use our own imagination for our own disposal! Your sanctuary is a place that you create in your mind. It’s a place where you can use your imagination to make positive changes in your life. I like to go to my sanctuary when I’m getting ready to go to sleep, but you can use it anytime.

Create in your mind a place, it can be vast or small and cozy. It can be a valley, a mountain top, a place on another planet, a space station, a cabin in the woods, an undersea lab or whatever. You are going to design a place in your mind that is all yours. You can work on it anytime you like, you can modify it, you can have multicolored clouds, trees that grow cookies or whatever.

You are going to create a magical entryway to your sanctuary that only YOU can use. (I have a waterfall in mine that I use for an entryway for myself.) Whenever you enter your sanctuary you are to surround yourself with a healing and cleansing light. The light has healing power. It works to bring about the highest good for you and all concerned.

You are going to have a main room, or a main area. A starting point from which you can explore anything you want.

You are going to have a people mover. This is not the same as YOUR entryway. You use that to bring others into your sanctuary. You can use a teleporter like on star trek or whatever you want. (I use sort of a magic bubble!) Whatever you use, remember that they are always brought in with the healing light, the same as your entryway.

You have an information retrieval system. I have several. I have a vast library of books and an advanced supercomputer that I can talk with. I also have a magic screen that shows up whenever I need it. I also have a holographic projector at my disposal. You might want some kind of librarian, or a special telephone, or something else….

You can have magic ability suits to give you whatever ability you want. You can have an ability suit practice area if you want. (I have a jetpack among other things.)

It is good to have some kind of health center. You can have a magic witch doctor, or Dr. McCoy show up with the latest remedies or magic potions to heal you in any way.

You might want a playroom for whatever toy you want. Maybe a music room. You might want a symphony hall with your own private orchestra or band. How about a practice room.

You should probably create a sacred room for prayer.

One of the most important parts of creating a sanctuary is to find your Master Teacher. It can be whoever you want. The thing about the master teacher is that he is your ideal teacher. The being with whom you are the perfect student. Your master teacher knows everything about you. As a matter of fact, your MT has always been with you. Your MT knows all that you need to learn and exactly when you need to learn it. He knows exactly how to teach it to you, or let you discover it for yourself. You don’t CREATE your MT, you only need to DISCOVER your MT. To find your MT, just use your people mover and ask for your MT to come forth.

Now, go create your sanctuary, play around a while and meet your MT!

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Acceptance of Reality
——————————-
Acceptance of reality is the first step in successful action! When we refuse to see things the way they really are, when we are in a state of non-acceptance it makes it hard to move forward. Think about how much closer we are to improving any difficult situation when we look at it as it really is. This can be hard to do sometimes; but we are in a better position to improve our lives when we stop fighting against reality.

When reality confronts our notion of what should be, REALITY always wins!
REALITY ALWAYS WINS!
REALITY ALWAYS WINS!
REALITY ALWAYS WINS!

To see clearly you need to accept everything as it truly is. Until you look into the mirror and accept all the things you see about yourself, you will not be able to make the changes (improvements) you’d like.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

I’m gonna’ paraphrase from John Roger and Peter McWilliams’s “Life 101.”
They explain it better than I can. (Great book, by the way.)

Effectiveness vs. Efficiency

“The best comparison between effectiveness and efficiency we’ve heard is this: Efficiency is getting the job done right. Effectiveness is getting the right job done.”

Here is what they say about the 80/20 rule.

“…80% of your effort produces 20% of your results, and 20% of your effort produces 80% of your results.
…..
These aren’t precise figures, of course. They do, however show that effort and results are not necessarily in direct proportion-not even close, in fact.

If the 80/20 theory is even partially true, imagine what would happen if you started taking time and resources from the less effective 80% activities and moved those time and resources to the highly effective 20% activities. One percent more effective action would produce 5% more results.

How can you tell the 80% from the 20%? Watch. Look. Listen. You’ll notice a pattern emerging.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

This is now in my favorites. Thanks alot. I will definitly try the sanctuary.

…what a wonderful world….

Commitment

This post deals with commitment and the comfort zone, but first, here is a famous quote that I would like to share.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goeth’s couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
W. H. Murray
The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

When you commit to somethinng, you know it’s going to happen. You start to act as if it definitely is going to happen, that action is a powerful affirmation. The degree of your action is an indicator of the degree of your commitment. When you commit to something, you’re not just commiting to a project, you are commiting to YOURSELF. One thing that can help you with commitments that you really want to make is to write them down. Commiting to something can be scary, so instead of really commiting, instead we try to test the waters a bit. We sometimes make a “lukewarm” commitment. The problem with that is that lukewarm commitments give us lukewarm results. When we don’t get the results we had hoped for from this weak commitment we console ourselves by claiming “I’m glad I didn’t really commit to that!”

One thing that can help with commitments is an affirmation, maybe something like, “I am commited to my goal.” Another thing we can do is to seed, or tithe our goal. Whatever you call it, by commiting your real, hard-earned resources to a goal, we are showing ourselves and the universe that we are serious. The universe will respond.

One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to figure out our purpose and identify what we truly want. That makes it so much easier to commit to something.

Now, a little about the famous comfort zone. We need to realize that in order to have something new, we have to expand our comfort zone to include the new thing. The bigger the thing, the bigger we have to expand the comfort zone, which can be very UN- comfortable! We have to understand that being uncomfortable is part of the process. We have to learn to tolerate discomfort in order to grow. Life is going to send us some hard, or scary lessons when we start expanding our comfort zones. Embrace these lessons. Experience these lessons; learn.

Maxwell Maltz put it this way: Your automatic creative mechanism operates in terms of goals and end results. Once you give it a definite goal to achieve, you can depend on its automatic guidance system to take you to that goal much better than “YOU” ever could by conscious thought. “You” supply the goal by thinking in terms of end results. Your automatic mechanism then supplies the means whereby.

When we commit and act, we are confronted by the walls (often false fears or illusions) of the comfort zone. By confronting our fears and limitations we expand our comfort zone, and our commitment becomes even stronger. The process continues over and over as we expand our comfort zone.

One last thing; learn to say NO. When we commit to a dream, one of the great tests of our sincerity is whether we say no to things not on the way to our dream.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

The Real You

There are several voices inside of you, one of them is your true self. You are more than your mind, your body, or your emotions. The real you lies underneath. Sometimes your mind is saying something to you, but your real self lies underneath. Sometimes your emotions are saying things to you, but your true self lies underneath. If you become still, you will hear all kinds of voices in your head, BUT there is one inside of you that you will KNOW is the real you! It says “HELLO! I’m right here, I’ve been here all along. I know you better than anyone and I love you.” Learn to pay attention to the REAL YOU. Stop and listen right now, and you will hear it! It’s the one that just said, “I’m the one he’s talking about.”

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

The Mirror

This is a very important concept. I hope you will spend some time thinking about it.

When we evaluate anything, what we are REALLY doing is looking into a mirror that reflects back to us information about ourselves. Take a minute and really think about what I just said.

When we evaluate anything, what we are REALLY doing is looking into a mirror that reflects back to us information about ourselves. Repeat that to yourself a thousand times until it really sinks in.

This is a remarkably powerful and useful tool, and one that should not be overlooked. It is INCREDIBLY powerful for self-examination; I think it is particularly useful for highly charged emotional stuff. The things that really push your button. (Good and bad things.)

Why is it so powerful? Because, until you look in the mirror and accept all that you see about yourself, you won’t be able to make the changes in your life that you would like.

Think about this: when someone makes you angry, how much good does it do you to blame that person? What do we learn? Using the mirror we see that what we are REALLY doing is judging or blaming ourselves. This can be a hard concept to get your head around. Sometimes it is hard for us to see what we are actually judging or blaming ourselves for. Sometimes we might have to adjust our focus a bit to find the answer. If we see someone act harshly to a child for example, what is it that we see in that act that we can apply to ourselves? What is it that that WE act harshly about; what is it that we see that we don’t like about ourselves or our behavior? Do you see what I’m saying? There are other people’s actions, and then there are the judgements that WE PLACE ON those actions.

This is important, so I’m gonna write it out again, as much for myself as for you.

There are other peoples actions, and then there are the judgements we place ON those actions. If we move from the action we are judging, and look instead at the JUDGEMENT, we usually find a similar judgement we make about ourselves.

Now, how does know this help you? Well, it gives you a lot of useful information to help you with the very important concept of ACCEPTANCE. Can you accept everything you already know about yourself, and everything you are learning about yourself by looking in “The Mirror” of other people’s behavior? Remember this, THE HARSHEST JUDGEMENTS YOU MAKE OF OTHERS are the VERY ONES YOU MUST ACCEPT ABOUT YOURSELF!!!!!

Really let this roll around up there and soak in. There are peoples actions, and then there are the judgements WE place ON those actions. If we move FROM THE ACTION WE JUDGE, and look AT THE JUDGEMENT, we usually find a SIMILAR judgement we make about OURSELVES.

For Contemplation
Consider the mirror when you are hurt of feel someone is not supporting you or giving you what you want or need. Consider your judgement of their actions. Consider your JUDGEMENT of their lack of support. What is the cause of the hurt. Is the mirror telling you something about YOURSELF? How are you not supporting someone or something? How are YOU hurting something or someone?

Now let’s carry this even further.
If you are hurting in some way, can you improve your own life by doing more or giving more? What I’m saying is, for example, if you feel unloved, you can help yourself to feel more loved by loving more.

Sorry for the long post, but I consider this to be very valuable information and I wanted to try to explain it the best that I could.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

In response to themadcookieman’s post:
Thanks MadCookieMan – really a great read thank you.

“Even if you’re on the right track – you’ll get run over if you just sit there” Will Rogers

You nailed it MadCookieMan! Most on this site are living it, now, how do we teach it to the world?

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

Thanks alot. The mirror is so true, I need to chew on it a bit more.
I also tried the sactuary. Found it very interesting.

…what a wonderful world….

Have your started building yours?

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

In response to themadcookieman’s post:
Building what? The sanctuary?

Yeah, I was wonderinf if aftab had started building a sanctuary. Have you started one yet? It is thoroughly enjoyable.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

In response to themadcookieman’s post:
Yes I have. And funny enough it has no resemblance to my dream house or my dream view. But it’s amazing :-) There are still some rooms I have not discovered yet. Been hanging around the living room so far.

I also had a talk with my MT, he was a bit blurry. And I was surprised that it’s a ‘he’.
And I also had a talk with my sister, few days before, which was very interesting.

…what a wonderful world….

Keeping A Journal

For some people keeping a journal comes easily and naturally, for others of us it takes a little effort to get in the habit. FYI, I have read before that it takes about fourteen days to create a new habit, or to replace a bad one with a good one. Journaling is a habit we could all benefit from. Your journal may not be worth as much as Leonardo Davinci’s, at least not at an auction, but it can be immensely valuable to you personally. You may become so successful and famous that one day someone wants to publish your memoirs, who knows, but a good journal would be a great resource for your biographer or your family. My point is that you should consider starting one. The benefits of keeping a journal are many; it can be a place of intangible solitue, it can be a tool to help you unclutter your mind, it can be a place to write your affirmations, make plans, write poetry… Keeping a journal can make you feel better. Your journal is a great place to write out great insights and flights of fancy. Writing in a journal can help you with improving your writing in general and your ability to communicate. All in all, a journal is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal for personal growth.

Keeping a journal has so many benefits it’s hard to list them all. You can use your computer or a simple notebook. I decided on a sketch-pad that’s spiral bound on top, because I’m left handed and wanted a page free of lines so I could doodle. Keep your journal somewhere that is convenient and secure, and get in the habit of using it often. Different people use their journals different ways. Yours will be unique to you. Besides using your journal for expressing your thoughts, ideas, feelings and questions, you might want to incorporate information about your expenses or a to do list. Think a bit about whether you would prefer to keep your journal on your computer or in some kind of notebook and what you might like to include in your journal. Here are some tips on getting started.

Consider leaving the first page blank in case you want to come back and make an index for your journal.

Consider numbering your pages & writing information such as time, date, and place on each page.

Remember that your journal is YOURS, your form can be as formal or free as you want. Do what works for you. If you are having a hard time getting started, consider asking yourself some questions to get your mind flowing. Did anything significant happen today? How was today unique? Who did I talk with today, and about what? Did I read anything meaningful today, and what does it mean to me? What am I worried about? What did I accomplish today? What did I learn today?

Consider having a separate section in your journal where you list all, and I mean ALL of your life accomplishments. Writing out your accomplishments helps you to see what a powerful being you really are, and how much you can accomplish over time. Don’t skip over the “small” accomplishments either when doing this, paying your bills on time and getting the kids off to school counts.

Consider having a section where you list everything you are grateful for.

Remember that over time, your journal will become more and more valuable to you for reflecting on your life. It will help you to reduce stress, set goals, organize, help you focus, improve your well-being, make you more efficient and save you time, remind you of things, become a treasured keepsake, help to strengthen your relationships, empower you, help your communication and writing skills, and give you a personal escape.

There is not set time to begin your journal, today is as good as January first.

Don’t become obsessed with “facts”. Besides “to-do lists” and things of that nature, remember to write about your feelings and thoughts; about what is going on in your life.

I hope this article will help you get started with your journal. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions.

Sincerely,
Jeff

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

What Is Wealth?

When someone says “That guy’s really wealthy”, what pictures come into your mind; a big house, a fancy car? That’s what most of us probably think of. But if you really think about it, wealth has very little to do with money. How wealthy is someone with a huge bank account, but is lying in a hospital bed racked with pain and no real friends? I’m going to write about some ideas I found in a book called “Wealth 101” by John Roger & Peter McWilliams. I’m going to quote the prelude to the book here because it makes you think a little.

“When Swami Muktananda first visited the United States, he deplaned (as flight attendants are fond of saying) and walked directly into a large, modern terminal.

He stood for a while, looking around the enormous airport – so different from India, he might have been on another planet.

He saw a vast assortment of food, drinks, magazines and newspapers; padded, upholstered furniture was everywhere; the rest rooms cost nothing, and had hot and cold running water; everyone was properly dressed; the airport was clean, well-lit, and the whole place – the size of most villages in his homeland – was not only air-conditioned but carpeted.

Even so, he saw the passengers rushing by, hurrying to their planes, seemingly not appreciating any of it.

“”They live in paradise,”” he observed, “”I wonder if they’ll ever know.””

So, what is wealth really? Well, in truth, wealth has very little to do with money. Wealth is enjoying what we already have. It’s not getting more of what we think will make us happy. We are wealthy when we finally, finally, finally learn to live with ourselves, truly knowing that what we are and what we have is enough. When we are enjoying what we already have, we aren’t lost in the insane myth that things and people outside ourselves make us happy.

It is our appreciation of what we have, and not WHAT we have that brings enjoyment. Once we learn this it is much easier to find what we really want. When we figure out what we really want, it not only greatly increases our chances of getting it, we also find personal fulfillment in the PERSUIT of what we want.

“Wealth 101” lists thirteen things that define wealth; Health, Happiness, Abundance, Prosperity, Riches, Loving, Caring, Sharing, Learning, Knowing What We Want, Opportunity, Enjoying and Balance. Together, these attitudes are what make up wealth, NOT things. Wealth is a way of looking at life.
Health: Well this one is pretty obvious so I’m not going to go into much depth here, but here is a quote by Ben Johnson, “O, health, health! The blessings of the rich! The riches of the poor! Who can buy thee at too dear a rate, since there is no enjoying the world without thee?”

Happiness: Happiness is looking at all the good and bad in any given moment and choosing to focus on the good, both INNER and OUTER. Happiness has much less to do with what is going on outside of you than it does with what is going on INSIDE of you.

Abundance: Abundance is having more than you need and want. To have abundance in your life you can do either of two things; you can go out and get all that you need and want, and then get some more, OR you can reduce your level of needing and wanting. Most people automatically try the first option. Our cultural belief goes something like this, “Keep all you’ve got, protect it at all costs (even if you’re no longer using it), and get more and more stuff as quickly as possible, and preferably before almost everyone else. There is a problem with that approach though, it doesn’t work. First there isn’t enough time to get “it all” – there is simply too much stuff and too limited time. Secondly, by the time we’re even close to getting something, our minds are usually off to the races wanting something else. The ability to want more than we can possibly get gives most people a feeling of perpetual longing – of NOT being abundant, to quote Ben Franklin,” If you desire many things, many things will seem like few.” A more workable approach to abundant living is two-fold. First, we must realize that for most of us our physical needs are already taken care of; air, food, water, shelter. The people whose physical needs are not being met right now are probably not sitting in front of a computer right now reading a post about personal development. Food, air, water, shelter, clothes…..those are needs. Everything else is a want. Remember this, you CAN have anything you want, you just can’t have EVERYTHING you want! There just isn’t enough time. The key to living in abundance is to find that thing you really want and enjoying that thing and everything that goes with it and letting the rest of the world, or better yet, what the world is trying to sell you go by.

Prosperity: Prosperity seems to go hand in hand with abundance. Aristotle said that “Happiness seems to require a modicum of external prosperity.” Sheldon Harnick wrote, “It’s no shame being poor, but it’s no great honor, either.” The point is that a certain degree of creature comfort seems to go along with any definition of wealth. So, along with your view of abundance, consider getting a television and a dvd player, but remember that getting the biggest flat-screen hi-def television on the market just because your neighbor has one doesn’t really have anything to do with prosperity. If you are getting it because YOU really want it, well that’s one thing, getting it for some other reason is just silly. When we worship the god called Materialism we have left the course of our heart’s true desire. Prosperity has to do with choosing well.

Riches: It is a popular misconception that riches refers to things that are scarce, things that only a privileged few can have; this is simply not true. Many of the “richest” experiences in life can be had for little or no money. Milton wrote “In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out, and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.” Let’s not forget the richness of friends, family, our work, a good film, and museums. How many great books are out there at your local library that you have never read? Every time I read The Lord of the Rings I feel a certain kind of richness has been added to my life. Some people have riches in money, but almost everyone has some richness in talent, or beauty, or creativity, or loving, or caring, or wisdom. The secret is to use the riches we have and the ones we can obtain and to enjoy them more fully; to use them to help us achieve our hearts desire. And remember this; to do good for another is one of the richest feelings you can ever experience.

Loving: “To love for the sake of being loved is human,” said Alphonse de Lamartine, “but to love for the sake of loving is angelic.” To live a rich life we must love; others and ourselves. To love others we must FIRST learn to love ourselves. This can be pretty hard sometimes, after all, we know all the crappy things we’ve done and thought in our lives. Only we know how often we’ve failed. Knowing so much about our own failures and shortcomings can make it hard to love ourselves. The thing is – learning to love ourselves is the only real foundation we can build on if we want to love anyone or anything else in the world. There is good news though; even though we know our shortcomings, we also know there is goodness within us – we know we have good thoughts too, we know we can feel compassion, we know we care. We are all collections of both good and bad. Like happiness, loving is choosing to focus on the good. Once we learn to truly love ourselves, it is a relatively easy step to move on to loving others. We don’t have to love everyone and everything, but we do need to love who and what is around us. If we are in situations where we can’t find anything to love about the people and things around us we need to move ourselves. We need to place ourselves with people and things we can love. One last thing I want to mention about loving is that loving only a few selected things and people is a bad habit that is easy to get into. If this is a habit you have fallen into remember that bad habits can be broken and new behaviors learned. You will have a more rewarding life if you learn to love more.

Caring: Add compassion, empathy and action to loving and you get caring. Loving is unconditional. We find something good about someone or something, and we love it. There is no result required. When we care, we look for a result. We become slightly attached to the outcome. If we care for a sick animal we want the animal to get better. If we care about the environment, we want it to become cleaner. The trick about caring is to not become TOO attached to the outcome. When we become too attached, our caring can turn into undue worrying or even interfering or meddling – a form of thinking that what we want for others is more important than what they want for themselves. When a good friend is on a clear course to disaster intervention can be the caring thing to do, but sometimes “I did it because I care,” can be just an excuse for unnecessary or unwanted interference. Somewhere between caring too much and indifference is a balance point, that is the point to find.

Sharing: Sharing physical possessions with others is great, but we can also share OURSELVES! We have much to give – warmth, humor, ideas, talents, joys, and even sorrows. All of this makes for a richer life.

Learning: When we learn something, really, really, learn something we make it our own. We own it! How great is that? The greatest classroom in the world isn’t a classroom at all, the greatest classroom is life. A willingness to learn and to apply what we learn to our lives is a hallmark of wealth. Life presents us with many opportunities to learn. Many of the lessons life has for us are painful. It is up to us to do the learning. Life is a persistent teacher and will repeat a lesson over and over until it is learned. How do we know we have finally learned? We know we have learned when we change our behavior. Until then, even if we intellectually “know” something, we haven’t really learned.

Knowing What You Want: One of the most important things you will ever do for yourself is figure out what you want. What YOU want, not what others think would be best for you, not what your family expects of you, not what your culture has programmed you to think you want, but what YOU REALLY WANT!!! To have your hearts desire clearly figured out brings a satisfaction to you that money cannot buy. When you know what you want, you will know when you finally get it.

Opportunity: Like wealth itself, opportunity is not a matter of things or events – it is an attitude, a way of seeing the world. Opportunity is available in abundance for all of us, it isn’t for just a select few. Wealth is knowing opportunities when they come, and if opportunities aren’t knocking on your door, wealth is knowing how to create them. “Problems” are often just opportunities in disguise. Opportunities are all around us all the time.

Enjoying: Enjoyment comes mainly from two things; appreciation and gratitude. Appreciation is finding something to like about a person, place, thing, or experience. Sometimes this happens spontaneously, but sometimes we have to work a little to find something to appreciate. Valuing or liking something is fun, but really enjoying something comes from not only appreciating it, but also being grateful for it. Gratitude rounds out appreciation, it adds warmth and depth. The ability to enjoy what we have – both inside and outside ourselves – is one of the cornerstones of wealth.

Balance: The last aspect of wealth I will discuss is balance. Is health gained through exercise and activity or through rest? The answer is balance. Should we accept things as they are, or work to change them to how we want them to be? The answer is balance. Should we increase what we have, or decrease what we want? The answer is balance. Should we work to get more of what we want, or slow down and enjoy what we have? The answer is balance. Balance is dynamic and changing. Balance is different for different people. What one person might consider mundane, another might find exciting. Balance is a personal thing, but finding your balance points is important element of living a happy, wealthy life.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

What Have You Accomplished?

When we examine our lives we have a strong tendency to focus on our mistakes and failures. Focusing on the negative can make us feel unworthy, it lowers our self-esteem. We forget about all the things we HAVE accomplished! We take the things we have achieved for granted, we forget about them. Look around you, do you have some things that you own? They may seem small, but they are still achievements. Do you have a television? It may seem minor, but at one point getting a television was a goal that you achieved. Did you graduate from high school? Obviously you learned how to read. These may seem like small accomplishments, but they aren’t. Do you have furniture in your house: a stereo, books, a car? All of these seemingly little things add up to a lot of real accomplishments. Do you have a friend? Even the things you got that you later decided you DIDN’T want were accomplishments. Even if you had a failed relationship, at one point in your life it was something that you wanted. Much of our growth comes from getting what we thought we wanted at the time, and later finding out that we didn’t want it after all.

Now, here is a very useful, easy little exercise for you: get a notebook or some paper and start listing your accomplishments. Don’t be modest. Write everything you can think of, even seemingly insignificant stuff. Did you get the kids to school? It counts! Did you get good grades in school? It counts. Be very specific, and write lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of your accomplishments out. Work with this over several days or even a week or more. Write it ALL. Keep your notebook next to your bed or carry it around with you, but keep at it. When you have a nice long list, type it up and put it on your vision board. Maybe you want to create a vision board specifically for your accomplishments. Consider keeping a running list in your journal. By reading through your list of accomplishments you will realize how much you have done; and moreover how powerful you are. Just think about how much energy it took to create so much. Now think about what you can create by using that energy in a more focused way! You can move mountains! Why not use your power to create a better life by figuring out what you really want and setting out to achieve it.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

What Is Your Purpose?

What a profoundly important question! One of the most important questions you will ever grapple with. Finding the answer to this is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself. You don’t choose your purpose, it is already there. It always has been, even if you weren’t aware of it. You just need to discover what it is. When you finally do “nail it down” you will realize the truth of this. Your purpose is your “inner compass”, if you will. It is not a thing you attain, but a direction for your life. Imagine for a moment that you have “discovered your purpose”, and that your purpose is to travel. Well, you could decide that you were going to travel to London. Traveling to London would be a goal, and that goal would be in line with your purpose, but you would still have an unlimited amount of places to travel. Your purpose is never really achieved, it is not something you finally attain. You fulfill your life by living it “on purpose”. Knowing your purpose makes it so much easier to choose and achieve your goals. One of the most important questions you can ask yourself with regard to any action is, “does this fulfill my purpose?”.

There are exercises that we can do to help us discover our purpose. Get some paper and start listing all of your positive qualities. This is not the time for false modesty, list every positive quality you can think of. If you get stuck ask your friends. Consider your heroes or the people you admire. You possess the same qualities as those you admire to some degree. Consider going into your sanctuary and discussing it with your master teacher. You might want to say a prayer before you go to bed for guidance to help you find it. You may wake in the morning with some good ideas. Once you have a nice long list of your positive qualities make a list of things you like to do. Look back over your life and you will find that there are certain activities that you are really good at. You will find a pattern. What are the activities that you are really drawn to, the ones you get lost in, the ones that you become so engrossed in that you lose track of time. The ones that get you in the zone!

Now that you have your lists you are going to start formulating sentances until one finally clicks. That is your purpose. It will resonate with you. When you finally nail down your purpose you might have an emotional response. You may feel like a burden has been lifted from your shoulders. You may be filled with energy and clarity.

An example might be, “I am a creative learner”, or “I am a cheerful giver”. Whatever it is, most of the time it is going to be one or two positive qualities that you possess followed by some kind of action that you become engrossed in, or are in tune with. Your purpose is not going to be a paragraph of every positive quality you have and every activity you like doing. You are going to have a lot of positive qualities, but some of the words in your list are going to encompass some of your other qualities. One or two of these words are going to resonate with you in a strong way. For example, for you “caring” might encompass “loyal” and “kind” as well. Take some time with this process, be patient, and eventually your purpose will become clear to you. Once you have found your purpose, keep it to yourself. It is something that should be kept private; a source of personal awareness and strength that you can use the rest of your life.

Here are some words that might help you get started with your list, it’s certainly not a complete list, but I’ve kinda alphabetized it for you. If you think of more words that someone might find helpful let me know.

Able, Accepting, Accurate, Achieving, Adaptable, Adorable, Adventurous, Affectionate, Alert, Alive, Altruistic, Amazing, Ambitious, Analytical, Appreciative, Appealing, Artistic, Assertive, Astonishing, Attentive, Attractive, Aware, Awesome, Balanced, Beautiful, Blissful, Blooming, Bountiful, Brave, Breath-Taking, Bright, Calm, Capable, Careful, Carefree, Caring, Cautious, Centered, Certain, Charitable, Charming, Cheeky, Cheerful, Chirpy, Civic-Minded, Clean, Colorful, Competetive, Clear-Thinking, Communicative, Compassionate, Compatible, Competitive, Complete, Confident, Conscientious, Considerate, Consistent, Content, Co-operative, Courageous, Conscientious, Courteous, Creative, Cuddly, Curious, Cute, Decisive, Delicate, Delicious, Delightful, Dependable, Desirable, Determined, Devoted, Disciplined, Discrete, Discriminating, Dynamic, Easy-Going, Eager, Efficient, Elegant, Empathetic, Enduring, Energetic, Enlightened, Enthusiastic, Excellent, Exciting, Experienced, Fair-Minded, Faithful, Farsighted, Feeling, Flexibile, Flourishing, Focused, Forgiving, Fortuitous, Free, Fresh, Friendly, Frugal, Funny, Generous, Gentle, Good, Glorious, Graceful, Gratuitous, Great, Groovy, Handsome, Happy, Harmonious, Healthy, Heavenly, Helpful, Hopeful, Humble, Humorous, Honest, Humble, Idealistic, Imaginative, Having Integrity, Independant, Industrious, Innovative, Insightful, Inspirational, Interesting, Intelligent, Intense, Intuitive, Inventive, Invigorating, Joyful, Juicy, Just, Kind, Leading or Leader, Learned, Loving, Loyal, Lucky, Luscious, Luxurious, Macho, Magical, Manly, Magnificent, Masculine, Mature, Moral, Motivating, Natural, Neat, Needed, Noticeable, Nurturing, Obedient, Objective, Open, Optimistic, Original, Organized, Outgoing, Outstanding, Passionate, Patient, Peaceful, Perceptive, Persevering, Persistant, Persuasive, Playful, Poetic, Polite, Popular, Powerful, Practical, Precious, Precise, Profound, Progressive, Proud, Professional, Punctual, Pure, Purposeful, Questioning, Quick-witted, Ravishing, Realistic, Refreshing, Reliable, Resiliant, Resourceful, Respectful, Responsible, Rich, Romantic, Rosy, Seductive, Selfless, Self-Aware, Self-Confident, Self-Disciplined, Sensitive, Serene, Sexy, Sharp, Simple, Sincere, Sizzling, Skilled, Smart, Smooth, Soft, Special, Spectacular, Spiritual, Splendid, Spontaneous, Stable, Steadfast, Strategic, Stunning, Strong, Strongwilled, Stylish, Successful, Supportive, Supreme, Sympathetic, Tactful, Talented, Tasty, Tenacious, Tender, Terrific, Thinking, Thorough, Thoughtful, Thrifty, Thriving, Tolerant, Tough, Trusting, Trustworthy, Unassuming, Understanding, Unwavering, Uplifting, Useful, Valuable, Verbal, Vibrant, Vital, Warm, Wholesome, Willing, Wise, Worthy, Youthful, Yummy

Here is a link to a great article that Laurie posted. I really enjoyed reading it and I’m sure you will too. It’s a different exercise, but looks great! Thanks Laurie.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

What Do You Want?

I went through several books and web-pages trying to come up with an exercise we could use to figure out what we truly want. The process gave me a lot of ideas and I think this might seem overwhelming. I started not to even post this, because it’s kind of long, but I think it might be useful and I put a fair amount of work into writing it so I hate to see it go to waste if someone could use it. Actually I’ve edited it down a bit. I took out some stuff about time and planning. I think I’ll add that stuff in a different thread on “Making a Plan”. This is a pretty comprehensive and involved exercise; and I haven’t even worked through it yet. I’m one of those folks that sometimes gets hung up in collecting information. I’m still working on “my purpose”. I’m certainly no “expert”. I’m no master guru, I’m just sharing some tools I’ve found and am working with. I hope that some of you who are “farther along” will share your thoughts with me and let me know of your ideas on how to improve this post. Anyway, here it goes.
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Finding your purpose in life and figuring out what you really want are a couple of the most important things you can do for yourself. Some of us are like kids in a candy store when it comes to figuring out what we want. We only have a dollar and there is so much to choose from it’s easy to see why some of us put off making a choice; if we choose cherry candy we miss out on the grape candy and so on. The trouble with this approach is that the candy store is about to close down and if we don’t decide it’ll be too late. Others of us don’t even have a clue that the candy store exists! Some of us are at the flea market hoping that we will stumble on some hidden treasure, but the flea market’s about to close too. Maybe we should just stop and get a lottery ticket on the way home. But what if there is a better option? What if we decided to really figure out what we wanted the most and went for it! That kid eating the cherry candy may be missing out on the grape, but he sure seems to be enjoying the candy!

To figure out what you really want it is probably a good idea to figure out your purpose in life. Finding your purpose will make determining what you want much easier. I googled “find your purpose” and got lots of hits, I also wrote a post about finding your purpose here on this site. If you haven’t figured out your purpose in life yet, I would suggest doing that before you try to figure out what you want.

Before we delve into finding out what we truly want let’s talk about a couple of ideas first; just a couple of concepts it might be worthwhile to have floating around up there before we move on to an actual exercise.

First let’s talk about how “intentions and desires” and “methods and behaviors” work together. An intention or desire is what we want. A method or behavior is how we get it. We might think we want a red sports car, but if we dig a little deeper and ask ourselves why we want a red sports car we might discover that what we truly want is adventure or some other experience that we think the red sports car is going to provide. If what you are really looking for is adventure, then there are probably many ways to find it. If it’s a red sports car that’s fine, just be aware that there may be many options out there that would provide us with the adventure or whatever else we truly seek other than the red sports car.

The other idea I want to talk about for a minute is that we have a limited amount of time on this earth and that time is basically spent in one or more of five areas of activity: Marriage/Family, Career/Professional, Social/Political, Religious/Spiritual and Recreation/Fun. Over our lifetimes most of us are going to spend some time in each of these areas. Some people spend a lot of time in one particular area; others spread more of their time out over some combination of these areas. There, of course, is nothing wrong with spending an equal amount of time in each, you might even be admired for what a balanced life you have. I just want you to have this concept in your mind as we move forward so you don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can have it all. Remember, you CAN have anything you want, you just can’t have EVERTHING you want, there simply isn’t enough time. Maybe you will be the exception, but I doubt you can be an astronaut, the pope, the president, and the CEO of Exxon all at once and probably not even in one lifetime; my hats off to you if you can. When you are trying to decide what you really want consider which area or areas you are most “drawn” to. As I said before, there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with leading a very balanced life, just keep in mind that spending more time in one area will mean less time for another area. To be the head of a major corporation will more than likely have an effect on your family time, for example.

Now, let’s get to the “guts” of it, shall we. In order to figure out what you really want, what YOU really want, not what the world is trying to sell you, not what your family thinks you OUGHT to want, but what YOU really want you need to do a little exercise and a little soul searching. We all have lots of little voices in our heads, but underneath all of the chatter is the voice that is the real you. You will recognize that voice if you listen, pay attention to that voice. I’m going to lay out one exercise, but if you don’t like this one I’m sure there are more you can find on the net with a little effort. The thing is to find an exercise you are comfortable with and then do it! Now, what would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

Here’s the exercise:

Get a package of 3×5 index cards, a pen or pencil, and some sort of notepad or notebook.

Find a comfortable place to work, the dining room table or your desk or maybe the floor of your den – someplace you can relax without being disturbed for a while. Imagine you have a fresh start, a clean slate – you are free to go for anything you want. Get yourself in a calm and peaceful state of mind, remember that you are going to be figuring out what YOU want, not what someone else thinks you should want, not what advertisers are trying to sell you, but what you truly want.

Now take three of your index cards and label them, “Wants”, “Qualities & Abilities”, and, “Limitations” and lay them out in front of you.

Now start filling out the cards. You did get a jumbo pack, didn’t you? Do you want to move to Florida? That’s a want so put it in the “wants” pile. Did the idea of moving to Florida spark any more ideas? Maybe “adventure”, or “sailing” comes to mind – write those words down – they go in the “qualities & abilities” pile. Maybe the idea of moving makes you a little fearful – write that down and put it in the “limitations” pile. Spend some time with this process and write everything down. If you get stuck, use your notepad and write one of your wants or abilities down in the middle of the page and think about that word. Free associate and write words all around the one in the middle of the page that come to mind, for example, if you wrote “learn to play guitar” in the middle of the page, you might think of “learn to read music” or “take singing lessons” or “become a rock-star”, or “travel”, hopefully this will spark some ideas; then start filling out your cards again.

Later, we will be prioritizing our cards, but for now just write out everything that comes to mind. If “red sports car” comes to mind, write it down. If “ice cream Sunday” comes to mind, write it down; don’t let what I mentioned earlier about “what the world is trying to sell you” keep you from writing anything down either, there will be time for sorting all this out later. Right now you are just getting it all out there, all of it.

You may find yourself getting excited with ideas and possibilities, this is a good thing; it’s good to have fun with this process. Take the exercise seriously, it is important, after all, just don’t be so serious about it that you find yourself grinding your teeth! If you feel yourself getting tense, take a break – fix yourself a glass of iced tea or something and then return to the exercise. If it’s late and you get sleepy, consider saying a prayer for guidance or go into your sanctuary and visit with your master teacher. Go to sleep and return to your exercise in the morning. Take several days with this part of the process if you need to.

When you feel your list is complete it’s time to start sorting. Remember, you haven’t made any commitments to anything yet, you’ve just figured out everything that you “might” want to commit to. Some of your wants are probably big, “become an astronaut”, and some of them are probably small, “get a banana split”, but the thing is; now you have a great starting point for figuring out what you really, really want. Pretty useful information, huh!
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Okay, now remember how I said that “finding your purpose” is a good thing to know, where here is where it comes into play. (If you haven’t figured out your “purpose” yet, you need to do that before you finish this exercise.) Write your purpose on a card and place it where you can easily see it. Looking over your purpose might give you some more ideas that you want to add to your cards. If you still have your list from when you figured out your purpose, look over it. Add the things you have enjoyed doing over your life and your positive qualities. Take a moment and consider your strengths. Think about the things in your life that you already have and are grateful for – the things you want to keep and include in your future; add them to your “Wants” cards. Keep this in mind because most of the things you already have in your life that you want to keep will require at least some time and maintenance.

Now label four more cards: Marriage/Family, Career/Professional, Social/Political, and Religious/Spiritual. See where we’re going here? We’re making progress, Baby! Grab all of the cards in you “Wants” pile and sort them into each of the four primary categories. When you are sorting through your wants you may run across a “want” that you are having a hard time categorizing; if this happens, take a moment and listen to your inner voice and categorize it according to what your true self is telling you. You may run into a want that “obviously” falls into a category like Marriage/Family, but your inner voice is telling you to put that want in the Career/Professional category; do what your inner voice is telling you. Let me explain this a little further; if you decided, for example, that you want to be a preacher you might not immediately know which category to put that want in. Maybe you think “becoming a preacher” would automatically go in the Religious/Spiritual pile, but maybe you want to become a preacher to affect social change, or maybe you consider it a career or professional category – see what I mean? Look closely at your motivations, there will probably be some overlapping, but put your wants in the category that comes closest to your motivation.

When you have sorted your wants into the four main categories it’s time to review them. Go over each category and then close your eyes and picture yourself five years down the road. (You are going to go through this process separately for each category.) Take a realistic view, both the good and the bad, the ups and downs of what your life would be like having gotten a good number of the things you want. Don’t be overly cynical or overly romantic, try to imagine it realistically. Consider going to your sanctuary and discussing it with your master teacher. Go over pros and cons and ask yourself if the life you imagine would fulfill your purpose. You might find some “wants” that contradict each other. “Live in Manhattan”, and “Enjoy Small Town Life” are at odds; choose the one that you want the most and eliminate the other from your list. After you have finished this process for each category ask yourself “During the next five years of my life, within which category does my heart’s desire lie?” “Which category would give me the most fulfillment and satisfaction?” If no answer comes to you immediately, go back to your sanctuary and discuss it more with your Master Teacher. If you are torn between two or more categories examine those categories again and determine which is most “on purpose”. Which category excites you the most? That’s the category we are about to focus on.

Having selected the category that excites you the most, you are now going to go through that category again. This time you are going to decide on what you want most in that category. The “Big One”, the thing you want most. Choosing the big one in the category will automatically fulfill many of the smaller goals within that category, not all, but many. By choosing the area or category first, then pursuing the “Big Dream” in that category you will have a life with more of what you want in the area of your life you are most drawn to. You are, of course, free to pursue a big dream that lies outside the area of life that you are most drawn too, but you will probably be happier and more fulfilled by attaining several goals within the area you are most drawn to than reaching one big goal in an area you are less drawn to. This is just a suggestion though, remember to make your own choice. Your Master Teacher and your true inner voice will not steer you wrong.

If you have more than one “biggie” in your chosen category, you might want to make a list of pros and cons for each. By doing this one of them will probably edge out the other.

Is this the one? Have you figured out what you really want? If you haven’t you are going to have to spend some more time with your lists. You will have to spend some more time choosing, don’t give up, you are going to figure this out. You’ve come to far to stop now, and look at how much you have learned.

When you finally nail it down it’s time to “quantify” your dream. Make it a goal with very specific results. By quantifying your goal you will know when you have achieved it. Do not be vague, “I want to be a photographer”, doesn’t cut it. “I want to be and international photojournalist for National Geographic making a hundred thousand dollars a year” is much better. Now THAT is a goal. Put something quantifiable in your goal. Give yourself a timeline, or a dollar figure so you will know when you reach it. When you reach it, enjoy it and then figure out your next goal.

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All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

The Importance of Appreciation & Gratitude

Appreciation is finding something to like about a given person, place, thing or experience.

Gratitude is feeling thankful for something.

Enjoyment comes when we combine gratitude with appreciation.

I’m sure that most of us have something we can appreciate and be grateful for, but sometimes we forget about those things and take them for granted. I think it’s at least partly biological. We filter out a lot, if it isn’t hurting, moving, or scaring us we don’t really notice it. When was the last time you thought about your senses? Those of us who can see don’t really think about it, do we? When was the last time you really thought about your thumbs? What about your health? You see what I mean? To get more enjoyment out of life and to be happier there are some simple things we can do, if we will just do them. Are you reading this just for information, or do you really want to make changes in your life? If you want to make real change, you have to do more than just read, you actually have to do stuff, and that’s participation. One simple, yet powerful thing you can do is to make a very long list of things that you appreciate and are grateful for. Actually write a list out. I wonder how many people will read this and say to themselves, “what a practical idea,” and then not do it. Why not be the exception and see for yourself? Do it! Do it right now, or make yourself a promise that you will do it before you go to bed tonight, and then keep the promise to yourself.

Stuff to think about.

The human imagination is an amazing thing. It is because of imagination that we have the pyramids and put a man on the moon. It is responsible for all of humanities progress. It is a source of great creativity and accomplishment, but it is also the source of most of our misery, because the imagination can see how almost anything can be improved. What is, is never enough, we continually seek perfection. If we approach perfection, we raise the bar yet again. The ideal changes, as a matter of fact “the ideal” is a myth, it can’t be reached. Most of us have some “ideal” for every aspect of our lives. We get so caught up in “should’s” and “ought to’s” that we make it almost impossible to enjoy what “is”. We not only apply a false ideal to things around us, but we make matters even worse by applying a false ideal to ourselves. To quote Cher, “Snap out of it!” Stop demanding that “the world” live up to your expectations. Stop demanding that the world live up to your emotionally charged demands. It doesn’t work that way, so stop kidding yourself. To enjoy your life more, consider the words of H.L. Mencken, “It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously.” Ideals can rob us of the simple enjoyment of “just doing something”. The idea that we must do something perfectly, or even “well”, for that matter, right off the bat not only robs us of joy, it is also exhausting.

Unworthiness is something else that can rob us of joy by telling us that we’re not good enough. There is a lot of great stuff in the world, but if you don’t feel worthy of it you will never be able to enjoy it. A feeling of unworthiness can top you dead in your tracks; it can prevent you from even making the attempt to get what you want. Imagine that you are thirsty and you are standing at a waterfall, but you are only allowed to drink what you can carry with you. If you have a cup, you can enjoy a cups worth of water, but what if you had a barrel, or better yet, a tanker truck? Your container represents your sense of worthiness. To get more, you need a bigger container. Affirmations can be a great help when dealing with feelings of unworthiness.

Ingratitude can be another barrier to enjoying life. It’s kind of the opposite of unworthiness. Ingratitude is when what we have isn’t good enough for US. Why be grateful for the roof over our head and our twin bed when what the world tells us that what we should want is a six bedroom mansion and a four car garage? Why be thankful for anything as long as there is anything to find fault with. There is a French proverb: “There was never a banquet so sumptuous, but someone dined poorly”. Don’t be the guy who dined poorly.

One last thing I want to mention about appreciation, and hence enjoyment and gratitude, is that TIME is the key to appreciation. Time is a precious commodity and to appreciate something we have to make time for it. Person, place, experience, or thing, to appreciate it you have to spend time with it. To really, really enjoy it you have to be grateful for it. Do you appreciate the boat that’s been sitting in your back yard for three years? What about that guitar you inherited from your grandpa? Think about your family for a moment; do they know you love and appreciate them? Do you spend time with them? Why not get more enjoyment from life by spending more time with the things in our lives that we love? Give more of yourself and you will get more enjoyment in your life. Imagine how much enjoyment you would feel by instilling a sense of great worthiness in a child or someone else you care about.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Accountability

There are some things in this world that are simply beyond your control. Some things are going to happen to you that you have no power over. Let’s face it; there is a certain degree of chance and risk every time you walk out your door. But, for the most part we do have a great deal to do with what happens to us. The more you are aware of this; the more influence and authority you have over your life. You have a great deal of power over the direction of your life; you choose your attitudes and action; not the world, not chance. You are responsible for your life. You are. In virtually any situation you find yourself in, YOU have the ability to respond. YOU choose how you will respond. YOU do! And in most cases YOU have the power to make the situation, any situation, better or worse. You always have the ability to respond on the inside to what is going on outside. Acknowledge that you are responsible for your life and that you had at least “something” to do with where you are today. If you aren’t happy with where you are, do something about it; take baby steps if necessary, but do something. Get started; take some kind of action to improve your situation.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Ego Awareness

Realizing that you are not your ego can be very freeing. You are not your mind. You are not your thoughts. You are the awareness of your thoughts. This is a pretty significant distinction. If you’ve never thought about this before it may take you a little to get around the idea, but it’s well worth it.

When you become aware that you are not your thoughts it makes it easier to pay attention to them. You will find that you are able to laugh at yourself more often and take life a little less seriously, which is an important key to enjoying life more. When something upsets you, you will find yourself looking at yourself from a new perspective, you realize that it’s your EGO that’s upset, not YOU. I think this awareness can help you in many aspects of your life. I believe this awareness can help you with addictions and it can help you build better habits.

Consider these words.
You are not your mind. You are not your body. You are not your emotions.
You are eternal. You were alive before you were born. You will continue to be alive after you leave this body.

There has been a lot written about the ego and I’m sure there are bmindfullers here that can help you find some good reading material. One book that I found particularly helpful was Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

The Ever Dreaded Exercise

I recently printed out a page for my vision board, it reads: “If you care about yourself you will prove it through your actions”.

I have really fought with myself for quite some time trying to get myself to start exercising again. It’s funny how we can “know” something without really “knowing” it. Understanding and playing around with a concept inside your head and understanding something intellectually is very different from incorporating the knowledge into your life. You “know the truth” of the statement “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, but do we apply this truth to our lives? If you’ve been a couch potato for a long time it is so easy to make excuses not to exercise, but you know the truth of how important it is, don’t you? I’m not here to preach (I save preaching for political discussions), but if you’re having a hard time getting started exercising, I would encourage you to start with a single step. Go for a ten minute walk. Tomorrow, do it again. It will make you feel good. Prove to yourself that you do indeed care about yourself. Do it through action. Little steps count, take it in small chunks and build from there. That’s how most of this personal growth stuff works, at least that’s how it’s working for me. Little changes can make big differences in our lives. You know the truth of this, so prove to yourself that you mean business. Nudge the walls of your comfort zone out a little and go for a walk or a bicycle ride, but do SOMETHING to prove to yourself that you care and the universe, or God, or whatever you want to call it will respond. We get what we give. If you haven’t exercised in years, you’re not going to get back into shape overnight, you know the truth of this, so don’t kid yourself, take it one step at a time. Write out the benefits that you know that you’ll reap if you get back into shape, think on them, hold them in your mind, picture yourself in great shape – then take the first step toward getting you there. Get off the couch. Find a friend to walk with and encourage each other if that will get you moving, but the important thing is to start.

One last thing, if you’re not there yet, then you’re not there and that’s okay, but I would like to encourage to keep working on your affirmations and the other tools your learning about on bmindful. This stuff really does work, really it does. Don’t give up on yourself, little by little changes will begin to happen and before long your will see that your life is heading in a better direction. Sure, you’ll have bad days, everyone does, that’s okay, the thing is to keep moving forward. If you can’t bring yourself to exercise right now, (and I know you know the truth of how important it is) that’s okay. Just keep working on improving yourself and before long you are going to start exercising anyway. You can’t help it. You are trying to improve yourself, you are proving it to yourself through your actions and thoughts. You know the truth of the importance of exercise, so you will begin to do it naturally. You won’t dread it, you will simply start doing it. Anyway, that’s what I think, and moreover, I don’t just think it, I truly know it because I’ve proven it to myself and you will too as long as you don’t give up on yourself.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

The Power of Words

The words we choose to use when we speak to ourselves and to other people have a very magical property; they can hurt or they can help and heal. Use this power, and I don’t use the word power lightly because the power is like lightning and it is at your command whenever you want to use it. Let’s remind ourselves of the power of words and remember to use it more often. Think of how you greet people. Instead of the standard, “Hey, how ya doin’?”, why not use your magic on the next person you greet. The words we use go into our bodies and to the bodies of others and can have a powerful effect. Words can change how people feel, positive words can change peoples entire lives. It can change their paths. Try to remind yourself more often of the power of your words.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Walk, Fatboy, Walk!
Jeff’s tips for starting a walking routing.

I’m certainly no Dr. or physical fitness expert, but here is more or less how I got started, and some of the things I’ve done that haved helped me to stick with it.

1. Start small. The hardest part of a lot of tasks is simply getting started. If you’re in terrible shape it’s easy to find excuses not to start. Take the first step and that will carry you forward. Start with short walks, ten minutes if need be, but take the first step. Walk to the corner and back if that’s all your ready for, but get off the couch and walk to that corner. It will make you feel good.

2. One thing I usually do, again I’m no Dr., but I take an aspirin before I walk.

3. I fix a great big glass of iced tea before I head out. I usually take a couple of swigs before I leave, but when I get back, there it is! I nice big glass of cold iced tea for me to enjoy.

4. Never underestimate the power of quiet time. I find that walking at dawn or late at night is a very peaceful time. Good for reflection, thinking, being, appreciating nature, stars, clouds. There are lots of benefits to this activity.

5. Never underestimate the power of music. When I want to I take my mp3 player with me. I do this a lot. I get out my big clunky grado headphones (Grado’s are awesome, but there are cheaper headphones out there that would work well too.) and listen to music. All kinds of music. I find that I can often go farther without even thinking about it by listening to music while I walk. There are passages from all kinds of music that will move you forward. Not just fast stuff, slow and moving pieces and ballads too. Often you will hear sections of music with strong percussive sections that will get you to pick up your pace, walk to the beat, push yourself. Lyrics from all kinds of songs, even slow ones can drive you on past where you would normally quit.

6. I’ve found that taking my camera with me, especially in the morning is worthwhile. You never know when you’re gonna’ see something worth capturing.

7. Talk to your bmindful friends for encouragement.

8. Make yourself some good exercise affirmations.

9. Talk to yourself in the mirror, pep yourself up from time to time.

10. Think about where you are gonna’ be by sticking with it. Think of the activities you would like to start doing. Think of how much better you are going to feel and look.

Develope a Burning Desire:

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Letting Go of Anger

Don’t let anger eat you up. It takes a very real physical toll on you as well as an emotional one. There are many things that can make us angry and many of them are very small, just a bunch of little irritating things that can build up. One technique that I read about recently in “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale seemed to make a lot of sense to me. He had many listed, but I really liked this one. He suggests that we make a list of all the things that make us angry and work them out of our system one by one through prayer. Pick one thing and pray about it each night. Eventually that thing will no longer be able to upset you. Keep moving down the list. I think this would be effective for lots of very “real” issues that upset us. Politics, corruption, pollution, starving children. We can use ager at times to get us moving, but we also need to realize that being centered and seeing reality is the first step in real change.

Another suggestion that I liked was praying regularly for another person who makes you angry or upset. He suggests that if we do this sincerely that it will work wonders, and I sense the truth of it.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

My Reading List
There is a whole thread about recommended books on bmindful and I certainly haven’t read them all, but I do enjoy reading. Here are a few books that I have read that I whole heartedly recommend. I can definitely vouch for these. This is by no means a comprehensive list, there are a lot of other great books, but these always come to mind.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
Life 101, Wealth 101, and Do It by John Roger and Peter McWilliams
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino
Creative Visualization – Shakti Gawain
There is a lot of great stuff in the Tao and the Bible. If you read the Tao I would recommend that you read A New Earth first, for me at least reading that book for some reason made the Tao make more sense. For me, when it comes to reading in the Bible, I tend to filter a lot of stuff for myself. There are a lot of nuggets of truth in it, but there is a lot of stuff in there I have trouble with though. Some of it seems totally at odds with what I actually believe. I have never read the Koran so I can’t comment on that.

Besides these I have quite a few audiobooks that I like a lot.
Stuff by Steven Covey – The Seven Habits stuff and First Things First
Authentic Happiness – Seligman
Awaken the Giant Within – Robbins
Ready for Anything – David Allen
Positive Words, Powerful Results – Hal Urban
Make Peace with Anyone – David Lieberman

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

In response to themadcookieman’s post:
Jeff it is a very good way of letting go off anger. Thanks for sharing it with us all.
I have personally applied it in my life and had marvolous results. Just praying for and loving the person you hate most can actually work wonders for the relationship and most importantly for you.
In Buddhism they say that what ever we encounter in our daily life is bcoz of our past karma. We have harmed someone in the past(times or lives) that the same harm is coming to us( bomerang effect). Every relationship shows us a mirror of our past deeds.
To look at it the other way, any person who misbehaves with me is doing so bcoz I have misbehaved with someone in the past. Therefore I, instead of hating this person for being nasty, should love him bcoz he has helped me overcome or he has been the channel for irradication of a negative karma in my life. Therefore someone who takes on the task of irradicating my negative karma is worthy of my love. One is not supposed to look at the negative deed as an act but as an irradication of negativity. If we can realize it and imbibe it then all the channels that God uses to erradicate my karmas are to be loved.By loving your enemy you are sending those waves and changing a negativity into positivity and also saving your heart from stress!!!!
The thing to remember here is — our present is a reflection of our past and our present actions/thoughts are a mirror of our future.

We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.

Very thought provoking Sonia. I would like to read some on that topic, can you recommend a book for me?

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

The 7-Day Affirmation Challenge
—————————————————————————————————————
7 Day Affirmation Exercise
Congratulations on taking your first step to a better quality of life! As you start your affirmation exercise it may seem a bit strange to you but stick with it and soon you will be attracting to yourself what you desire most. Some of the affirmations you create will come to you rather quickly and some will take time to manifest. The important thing is to stay focus and commit to doing you affirmation exercises. So make a commitment to do your affirmations for at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. Please make sure you read how to use affirmations before you begin.
Although affirmations are NOT intended to replace expert medical advice or treatment, it is a great tool to train your mind to stay motivated and focused on your positive desires. You can also change or modify the following affirmations to best fit your situation or style. *Remember- The most effective way to move towards your goals is to write your affirmations as if you have already achieved your goal.

Start by writing each affirmation 5 times, in cursive and repeating it out loud as you write it. Keep in mind you need to really believe in your affirmation as if it was already 100% true. Then with the same frame of mind, move yourself in front of a mirror and repeat your affirmations 10 times and look yourself directly in the eyes. Let’s Begin!
Day 1
AFFIRMATIONS
• I feel happy, I feel healthy and I feel great!
• Things always just workout great for me everyday.
• My life gets better and better everyday.
• I feel a divine sense of well being, high self esteem and confidence.
• I believe in myself and my ability to do anything
• I have a very health and well balanced eating habit.
• I have a positive attitude towards myself.
• I eat healthy foods that nourish my body and soul.
• I am in excellent health and I feel great everyday.
• My family is healthy and happy.
• I feel appreciative and grateful for everything in my life.
• I release any need to seek other people’s approval.
• I trust in the divine universe to bring me my desires in just the right way and at the right time.
Day 2

Congratulations on making it to Day 2 of your affirmation exercise! This mean you have a strong, positive desire to create a better quality of life for yourself and those around you. As mentioned previously, as you start your affirmation exercise it may seem a bit strange to you but stick with it and soon you will be attracting to yourself what you desire most. Some of the affirmations you create will come to you rather quickly and some will take time to manifest. The important thing is to stay focus and commit to doing you affirmation exercises. Affirmations should be done for at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. It is best if you keep your affirmations private since this is between you and your higher self.

AFFIRMATIONS
• I am happy, secure and at peace with myself.
• I have great timing and luck in my life.
• My positive energy creates a powerful presence and confidence.
• My life is full of fun, exciting and good times.
• I feel peaceful and calm in any situation.
• I have a lot of positive energy and self esteem.
• I have the creativity and talent to do anything.
• I am optimistic and I think only positive thought about myself and my life.
• I have excellent communication skills and I am assertive and confident.
• I accept myself with divine love and appreciation.
Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 of your affirmation exercise! At this point you may start to notice the affirmations having a positive affect on your moods. If not, don’t worry, it just means you need more time and patience with yourself. You may also start noticing the kinds of thoughts you are having and how important it is to turn the negative thoughts into positive thoughts as soon as you realize them. Some of the affirmations you create will come to you rather quickly and some will take time to manifest. The important thing is to stay focus and commit to doing you affirmation exercises. Affirmations should be done for at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. It is best if you keep your affirmations private since this is between you and your higher self.

AFFIRMATIONS
• I am a winner. I am a winner. I am a winner.
• Wonderful and lucky surprises happen to my all the time.
• I Love what I do and I do what I Love.
• I believe in my abilities to do anything.
• I feel awesome, optimistic and lucky today.
• I have a high level of self esteem and energy.
• I have awesome relationships with everyone in my life.
• I believe in an abundance of great things.
• I feel completely comfortable with myself in social situations.
• I am connected to the source energy which provides me divine well being, infinite abundance and a powerful knowing of my abilities to attract and create positive outcomes in any situation.
Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of your affirmation exercise! You’re more than half way there! Keeping focused on your positive affirmations is vital. Whenever you are feeling negative, just keep repeating the positive affirmations to yourself and just know that it is working. If you’re like most people, you’ve spent a huge part of your life, unknowingly, being self-defeating and negative to yourself. You can undo the damage by directly talking and affirming yourself to a positive state; this is why affirmations are so powerful. Some of the affirmations you create will come to you rather quickly and some will take time to manifest. The important thing is to stay focus and commit to doing you affirmation exercises. Affirmations should be done for at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. It is best if you keep your affirmations private since this is between you and your higher self.

AFFIRMATIONS
• I feel confident in my communication skills.
• I am in control of my emotions and thoughts.
• I attract to me a fun, exciting and happy life.
• Anything that comes up is meant to be handled, healed, learned from and released.
• I release any need to judge myself or others.
• My life is filled with joy, laughter and happiness everyday.
• I have the confidence and charming abilities to have interesting conversations with anyone at any time.
• I am grateful for everything in my life and even the lessons.
• I love my job and it is in harmony with my purpose and perfection.
• I feel happy, secure, and peaceful.

Day 5
Congratulations! You’ve made it to Day 5 of your affirmation exercise! By now you may start to notice your energy level starting to rise, you may notice you’re a bit more optimistic. Remember, feeling great, having high levels of self esteem and confidence can take some time to develop. Be patient and loving towards yourself and your progress. Whenever you are feeling negative, just keep repeating the positive affirmations to yourself and just know that it is working. Some of the affirmations you create will come to you rather quickly and some will take time to manifest. The important thing is to stay focus and commit to doing you affirmation exercises. Affirmations should be done for at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. It is best if you keep your affirmations private since this is between you and your higher self.

AFFIRMATIONS
• I accept myself completely and with divine love.
• I feel secure with myself right now.
• I have a great and loving relationship with everyone in my life.
• I am centered, focused and at peace with the universe.
• I am a creative, witty and articulate communicator.
• I always just say the right things at the right time.
• I attract to me the events and people I need to have a great life full of wealth, happiness, and well being.
• I am courageous, confident and assured in myself and my abilities.
• I earn $(insert any believable amount) a year.
• I feel awesome about myself and I am a winner.
Day 6

You’ve made it to day 6 of your affirmations! These affirmations are designed to focus on your inner self and self esteem. You will be focued on attracting more divine peace, well being and faith in your life. Some of the affirmations you create will come to you rather quickly and some will take time to manifest. The important thing is to stay focus and commit to doing you affirmation exercises. Affirmations should be done for at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. It is best if you keep your affirmations private since this is between you and your higher self.

AFFIRMATIONS
• I have infinite love and patience with myself at all times.
• I feel a divine sense of well being, peace and faith.
• I am optimistic and I have great attitude towards everything.
• I feel a great sense of happiness, security and well-bring in my life.
• I am worthy and deserving of great success and abundance.
• I feel a divine sense of well being, an abundance of positive energy and an absolute faith in my purpose.
• I am a channel of peace and well-being.
• I am secure now.
• I am peaceful and calm in any situation.
• I am in full control of my thoughts and emotions.
Day 7

You made it to the beginning of your journey! Yes the beginning! By now you should see some of the benefits of doing positive affirmations everyday. If you haven’t already, you can try to modify or add positive statements to these affirmations. Some of the affirmations you create will come to you rather quickly and some will take time to manifest. The important thing is to stay focus and commit to doing you affirmation exercises. Affirmations should be done for at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. It is best if you keep your affirmations private since this is between you and your higher self.

AFFIRMATIONS
• I am happy, secure and peaceful.
• I am connected to the source energy which provides within me positive self image, well being and self appreciation.
• I am always optimistic about myself and my environment.
• I have a strong sense of self identity and value.
• I feel comfortable and charismatic in any situation.
• I treat myself and others with love and patience.
• I have great positive energy and presence.
• I believe I can achieve success with any opportunity in my life.
• Great ideas and opportunities flow into my life everyday.
• I give my best to anything I do.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Fantastic Affirmations You Can Use!
This list has the wonderful, wonderful affirmations from the “7 Day Affirmation Exercise” and then some.

• I feel happy, I feel healthy and I feel great!
• Things always just workout great for me everyday.
• My life gets better and better everyday.
• I feel a divine sense of well being, high self esteem and confidence.
• I believe in myself and my ability to do anything
• I have a very health and well balanced eating habit.
• I have a positive attitude towards myself.
• I eat healthy foods that nourish my body and soul.
• I am in excellent health and I feel great everyday.
• My family is healthy and happy.
• I feel appreciative and grateful for everything in my life.
• I release any need to seek other people’s approval.
• I trust in the divine universe to bring me my desires in just the right way and at the right time.
• I am happy, secure and at peace with myself.
• I have great timing and luck in my life.
• My positive energy creates a powerful presence and confidence.
• My life is full of fun, exciting and good times.
• I feel peaceful and calm in any situation.
• I have a lot of positive energy and self esteem.
• I have the creativity and talent to do anything.
• I am optimistic and I think only positive thought about myself and my life.
• I have excellent communication skills and I am assertive and confident.
• I accept myself with divine love and appreciation.
• I am a winner. I am a winner. I am a winner.
• Wonderful and lucky surprises happen to my all the time.
• I Love what I do and I do what I Love.
• I believe in my abilities to do anything.
• I feel awesome, optimistic and lucky today.
• I have a high level of self esteem and energy.
• I have awesome relationships with everyone in my life.
• I believe in an abundance of great things.
• I feel completely comfortable with myself in social situations.
• I am connected to the source energy which provides me divine well being, infinite abundance and a powerful knowing of my abilities to attract and create positive outcomes in any situation.
• I feel confident in my communication skills.
• I am in control of my emotions and thoughts.
• I attract to me a fun, exciting and happy life.
• Anything that comes up is meant to be handled, healed, learned from and released.
• I release any need to judge myself or others.
• My life is filled with joy, laughter and happiness everyday.
• I have the confidence and charming abilities to have interesting conversations with anyone at any time.
• I am grateful for everything in my life and even the lessons.
• I love my job and it is in harmony with my purpose and perfection.
• I feel happy, secure, and peaceful.
• I accept myself completely and with divine love.
• I feel secure with myself right now.
• I have a great and loving relationship with everyone in my life.
• I am centered, focused and at peace with the universe.
• I am a creative, witty and articulate communicator.
• I always just say the right things at the right time.
• I attract to me the events and people I need to have a great life full of wealth, happiness, and well being.
• I am courageous, confident and assured in myself and my abilities.
• I earn $(insert any believable amount) a year.
• I feel awesome about myself and I am a winner.
• I have infinite love and patience with myself at all times.
• I feel a divine sense of well being, peace and faith.
• I am optimistic and I have great attitude towards everything.
• I feel a great sense of happiness, security and well-bring in my life.
• I am worthy and deserving of great success and abundance.
• I feel a divine sense of well being, an abundance of positive energy and an absolute faith in my purpose.
• I am a channel of peace and well-being.
• I am secure now.
• I am peaceful and calm in any situation.
• I am in full control of my thoughts and emotions.
• I am happy, secure and peaceful.
• I am connected to the source energy which provides within me positive self image, well being and self appreciation.
• I am always optimistic about myself and my environment.
• I have a strong sense of self identity and value.
• I feel comfortable and charismatic in any situation.
• I treat myself and others with love and patience.
• I have great positive energy and presence.
• I believe I can achieve success with any opportunity in my life.
• Great ideas and opportunities flow into my life everyday.
• I give my best to anything I do.
————————————————-
I do the things I know will improve my life.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Create a ‘Burning Desire’. You can apply this technique to any goal.
This is an exercise I found online. Give it a go and see what happens.

1. List at least 6 reasons why you want to attain a weight loss goal (or any other goal). List both the positive reasons (I want to look good for the Caribbean vacation) and the negative reasons (I can’t fit into my pants). Positive reasons are “What will I get if I attain this goal”. Negative reasons are “What will happen if I don’t attain this goal”.

2. Next to each reason you listed above, write a short, visual description of that reason. It’s important that you visualize your reasons. If one of your reasons is “…I can’t fit into these pants…”, describe this visualization as a picture with your stomach hanging over the edge of your belt or waistband. Make sure you complete this visualization description for each reason. As you go through this visualization process you may start thinking of more reasons – go ahead jot them down on your list.

3. Take 10-15 minutes and read your 6 (or more) reasons along with your visualization descriptions. Which one or two reasons trigger the most emotionally energized response?

4. Take the top 1,2 or 3 emotionally energized reasons, write them down on a business card size piece of paper and place them in your wallet, purse, desk and/or car. For the next 3-5 days, take out this card and read the reasons and the visualization description out loud.

5. By the end of the 3-5 days, if you still get emotionally energized and excited; congratulations, you now have created your own ‘Burning Desire’.

What if this didn’t work and you’re not emotionally excited – what if you didn’t create a ‘Burning Desire’. Your current goal has reverted back to a wish, a want, a dream or a hope. At this stage you have a few options.

First, you should go back to step #1 and try this exercise again. Often during the first attempts, you may not have put enough time or energy into the process. Right now is the time to change for the better – take a positive action step and give it another chance.

Second, if you’ve tried this exercise or other techniques and still can’t seem to create a ‘Burning Desire’, than you may need to pick another goal, abandon the goal or change the goal. Changing the goal is not giving up; changing the goal is often one of the best ways to get yourself re-energized, motivated and excited about moving forward.

By taking these 5 steps to create a ‘Burning Desire’ for each one of your goals (large or small), you will make your goals much more attainable, you will start to consistently meet more of your goals and you will have more fun along the path to success.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Fundamentals

Let’s remember the importance of the fundamentals. We sometimes become so familiar with an idea or concept we take it for granted. I know I am guilty of this, but was just reminded of it by a tape I was listening to. The importance of it hit me so hard that I added the word “Fundamentals” to my bulletin board and decided to get out of bed and add this post.

What are the fundamentals?
To me, they are: Daily Affirmations, Journaling, Exercise, Quiet Time, Talking to myself in the mirror, Planning

Think about YOUR fundamentals and be sure not to take them for granted.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Why are affirmations so important?

I have read article after article that suggests that your subconscious mind has more influence over your actions than your conscious mind. Your subconscious programming is more powerful than your willpower. To change your actions you need to change your thinking on a subconscious level. You can consciously choose to reprogram your subconscious thinking through the consistent use of well constructed emotionally charged affirmations.

Here are a few articles a cursory search yielded. A couple of the articles are trying to sell stuff, I’m not including those as an endorsement, they are just there because there are some interesting ideas in the sales pitches.
Willpower and Self-Discipline
Think Thin & Be Thin
Hypnosis & Willpower
Stop Smoking
Conscious vs. Subconscious

I couldn’t get the link to work for this article, so I’m posting it here:
————————————-
Thought versus Will Power

The Great Misconception – This material will increase your understanding of effectively using the power of Self-Hypnosis or Autosuggestion – “Self-hypnosis provides a practical means for assuring the realization of the helpful ideas we select, and thus becomes a workable method of improving our lives and of mastering unwanted behaviors.”. – Essentially all suggestions is autosuggestion. The only distinction is between spontaneous autosuggestion (which takes place independently of our selection and choice) and induced autosuggestion, in which we consciously select the idea(s) we wish to have realized and purposely convey them to our subconscious. Ideas that are directly associated with our personal interest and wellbeing are the ones most likely to carry the greatest suggestive influence. Ideas relating to health, success, or goals in life dear to our hearts all carry emotional impact. And in direct relation, ideas which defeat our personal interest are equally powerful. Suggestion is a two edge sword that can equally work for or against us. – “A suggestion is most readily accepted when it is not countered by suggestions already established in the mind” – The ready acceptance or rejection of an idea by the subconscious depends largely on the association connected with the idea. Thus, an idea is most readily accepted when it ties in with similarly charged ideas already seated in the mind, and tends to be rejected when it is contrary to ideas previously held. – Thus being the case, one wonders how is it possible for a person who has established in his mind unwanted ideas to make use of suggestion, via hypnosis or self-hypnosis, to counteract them?
On this point, we must look at the subconscious as a tide which ebbs and flows. In sleep it seems to submerge consciousness altogether, while at moments of full wakefulness the tide is at its lowest ebb. Between these two extremes are any number of intermediate levels. When we are drowsy, relaxed, lulled into a gentle reverie by music, the subconscious tide is high; and conversely the more wakeful and alert we become the lower it sinks. This submergence of consciousness is referred to as ‘The Outcropping of the Subconscious’.

This ‘outcropping of the subconscious’ occurs most markedly in our normal state-of-mind – the periods just before we fall asleep and just after we awaken. But it occurs to the greatest extent of all in the hypnotic state-of-mind. Hypnosis has the distinct advantage of allowing one to choose desired ideas and imparting to such idea the emotional drive so important to putting them in subconscious action.

It is during the periods of ‘the outcropping of the subconscious’ that we can effectively implant suggestions into the subconscious, and have them become a part of one’s being. During such periods contrary associations do not seem to take place, and established suggestions in the mind tend to lose their strength to resist the influx of new suggestions. The emotional drive of the hypnotically inspired suggestions is such that the original in-rooted suggestion may be weeded out from the soil of the mind and fresh ones planted, so that on the resumption of normal consciousness, a new ‘flower of thought’ will be growing in place of the old.

For a suggestion to carry power it must be accepted by the subconscious, and no amount of willing on your part will ever bring the desired results, for willing only makes the conscious aspects of the mind more active and lowers the tide of the subconscious.

“Whenever the will is in conflict with an idea, the idea invariably wins the struggle”

A person trying to use his will to implant ideas into his subconscious is attempting the impossible. A sick man tries thinking over and over ideas of good health to will himself back to health. Instead of feeling better he feels worse, for the ideas he gives himself that he is well in this manner only serve to bring fuller realization that he is sick. Consequently, he finds himself contemplating the exact opposite of what he desires. Which brings us to another process call ‘The Law of Reversed Effort.” –
“When the imagination and the will are in conflict, the imagination invariably gains the day”

You can prove this principle yourself by a little experiment. Take a plank of wood, about six inches wide and twelve feet long, and place it on the floor of your room. Now try walking one end to the other. Narrow as it is you do it easily. Next, take that very sane plank and place it over the canyon between two buildings and try walking over it. You take a few trial steps out upon it; and ,. unless you make a hasty retreat, your life is in danger. – The new position if the board has aroused in your mind the suggestion of the idea of falling, an idea that is colored with the emotion of danger to your life. Immediately the subconscious goes into action and accepts the idea of a fall. With your will you try to battle against the impulse to fall. Logic tells you that you have just walked over the very same board so there is no reason why you can’t do it now just as you did before, but reason about it as you will, the more you think about not falling the more the counter-idea that you will fall is aroused. Were you to stubbornly persist in taking the risk, you could lose your life topping into space.

We can see that not only is the will incapable of vanquishing a thought but that as fast as the will brings up its big guns, thought captures them and turns them against the will. Thus the will turns out to be not the commanding monarch of life, as many people would have it, but a blind Sampson, capable either of turning the mill or pulling down the pillars.

The proper use of self-hypnosis, as a superlative process for programming your subconscious, succeeds in avoiding the conflict between your ideas and your will. It replaces wrong thought, but does so by overcoming bad thoughts with good thoughts (i.e.) overcoming stressful thoughts with non-stressful thoughts.

This procedure in no sense devalues one’s ‘Will Power’, it merely relegates it to its proper place. Will is under the direction of your consciousness, and, for it to operate effectively and efficiently, it must be in harmony with the ideas already rooted in the subconscious. Of itself, it can never hope to uproot and subconsciously implanted ideas, as it does not have that capacity. But it can locate the ideas that are unwanted, it can locate the thoughts that are needed, and it can direct the deliberate process that will remo0ve the injurious ideas by replacing them. The actual performance of such a process can only take place through the operational capacities of the subconscious phase of the mind. –
“Self-Hypnosis will provide your gardening tools for the successful cultivation of the fertile field of the subconscious to raise a full crop of better living and personal achievement in which injurious behaviors will evaporate like water on hot tin roof.”

The method of using self-hypnosis given by E. S. Ferri has proved eminently successful in the deliberate submergence of the conscious, and the controlled “outcropping of the subconscious’.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

Great organization of your wonderful thread!

So much here to digest all at once I book marked it to read through at my leisure. bmindful is full of so much helpful info , thank you for sharing :)

I wanted to bring this thread up so some of you could see it. It is pretty handy and you can make something similar if you have a mind. I bring it up on occasion, so others will know it’s here, but one of the reasons is because if you have a LOT of information you want to share, or even just save so you can go back and find it later, then it’s easy. It’s not spread out over a bunch of threads. If you have a list of reading material you can share it all in one place without having a bunch of posts you have to keep bringing back to the top.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

bringing this thread up because there is so much in I want to read

thanks SMWE

love flowergirl

A speech by Gerard Casey, a professor of philosophy, called Two Roads, One Truth I think you may enjoy. The video is about an hour long.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

The Incredible Bread Machine

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

I haven’t added anything here in a long time. Here is one worth your time.

The Lessons of History
by Will Durant.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m Alright
Life Less Ordinary

In response to Smart_Routines_With_Enthusiasm’s post:
no, I haven’t listened yet…lol… Though I truly want to! Thanks for contributing the material you do(: signed Grasshopper

This is one of the first favorites-threads created on Bmindful Jeff/MCM?SRWE

animalmupp.jpg

 

This was a wonderfully creative idea(:

Jeff inspired us to create more of what we love.

Thanks Jeff!

In response to Smart_Routines_With_Enthusiasm's post:

love lots on this thread!

great thoughts on creating a burning a desire!

thank you!

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