May 17th, 2013
May 17th, 2013
May 17th, 2013
Perhaps your mother or father was inconsistent when it came to being open with others. If that was the case, you were gradually learning to be secretive as you matured.
You could be used to keeping secrets and are feeling your life is okay now. You might be asking yourself why it’s necessary to live a transparent life. Maybe you’re wondering what a transparent life is.
When you live a transparent life, you’re sharing the “real you” with others. You show people the type of person you are and how you truly feel about things. And in the process of living transparently, you reveal a certain underlying confidence.
In learning to be open and honest, you live an unfettered, enriched existence.
Take a look at some strategies you can use to stop keeping secrets and live your best life honestly and with passion:
1. Remove the “shroud” from your existence. Living life with so much of you hidden from others hampers your efforts to be clear to others (and yourself) about who you are as a person.
- Acknowledge to yourself a willingness to let go of trying to keep the real you hidden from others.
2. Be willing to say, “I’m not comfortable talking about that.” Being transparent requires you to be truthful about your feelings to others.
- For example, if your co-worker asks you how much sales commission you made last month, you might not wish to share the information with him. If you’re not comfortable answering the question, just go ahead and say how you feel about it.
3. Experiment with using “feeling” words. When you learn to accurately label your feelings to yourself, it will come more naturally to use those terms with others. Making statements like, “I’m frustrated because…” or “I get irritated when…” will aid you in your quest to be transparent.
4. Identify and work to resolve old wounds. Many times, the reason we’re secretive with others is because we wish to hide our emotional pain from them. But it takes a lot of effort to keep the lid on all that hurt. You could instead be using that precious energy to live your life with passion and vigor.
5. Recognize and acknowledge that when you keep secrets, you feel “one up” on others. The unsavory truth is that when you avoid being honest and open with others, you feel some type of power over them.
- An “I know something but you don’t” mentality takes over. You might even like that feeling.
- However, once you acknowledge to yourself what’s going on, you’ll likely want to let go of your need to keep secrets from others.
Living a transparent life unburdens you. You’ll feel more connected with your true self. Plus, your confidence will grow and you’ll be motivated to enjoy all the benefits that a transparent existence brings.
Start today to rid your life of any secrecy you show toward others. You’ll feel wonderful when you begin living with transparency. Your passion for life will be strengthened and you’ll embrace your new and more joyful way of living!
May 16th, 2013
May 16th, 2013
Having goals will help you achieve the life of your dreams. Some of life’s most satisfying experiences are those that involve staying focused on a goal until you achieve it. Yet you’ll likely experience times when, no matter how hard you try, you’re stymied by obstacles blocking the way.
Obstacles come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some typical blocks to goal achievement:
- Lack of creativity. You might have your own struggles determining how to best work toward attaining what you want. Perhaps you’ve run out of ideas to make it happen.
- Negative thinking. We’ve all been plagued by negative thinking. You feel you’re just not going to be able to achieve your dreams. Negative thinking is a potent block, because once it begins, it tends to escalate and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- Lagging confidence. Following closely on the heels of negative thinking, sagging confidence is the bane of goal achievement. You begin to seriously question your skills and abilities to complete the work required to reach your goal.
- Focus follies. Who among us can claim we’ve never lost our way on the path toward our dream life? We want to reach that milestone but we keep getting thwarted by distractions. How can you work on an important project when your wife keeps asking you why you aren’t painting the house or spending time with the kids?
- Refusing to put in effort. It goes without saying that every goal requires you to work and persevere to reach success.
- Time traps. Making your way toward goals is challenging enough without having the irritation of not enough time to do it.
- Vague aspirations. If you’re unsure about what you really want, it’s a challenge to continue steadily toward your goals. Vague aspirations equal unmet goals.
Now that you have a good idea of blocks you might encounter on your way to goal achievement, review the suggestions below (corresponding to above-numbered items) to determine how to best avoid them.
- Take responsibility to keep creativity going. Draw pictures of what you hope to achieve. Make a storyboard of your plan of action. Design a vision board of what your goal pathway looks like and include how your life will differ after achieving your goal.
- Arrest negative thoughts. As soon as they creep in, think, “Stop it now” and mean it. Then, replace that negativity with an “I will persevere and achieve” message. Tell yourself, “I can and will do it.”
- Review past achievements. Give yourself props for goals you’ve achieved before. What were those goals? Use these reminder techniques to find and connect with your confidence.
- Commit to goals. Remind yourself daily about why you want to reach a particular goal. Perhaps you’ll earn more money, get a better job, live in a place you prefer, or protect your family’s future. Stay the course by re-committing to goals each morning.
- Work. Along with committing wholeheartedly to goals, you’ve got to put in the work. Tell yourself your effort will, in the end, be worth it.
- Use your schedule. No matter what your goal, consistently schedule the time to work toward it. If you don’t keep a calendar now, start. Look at your entire week or month and what’s scheduled with a quick glance. Write in when you’ll work toward goals. Maybe it will be Tuesday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. or Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Follow your schedule consistently.
- Clarify goals. Write them and place copies everywhere inside your house, briefcase, and calendar. When you’re sure about what you want, then you can diligently work toward those goals.
There will be obstacles to block the pathways toward your goals. But if you can identify the sources of the blocks, you can develop solutions or use these time-tested strategies to navigate those obstacles and claim your success.
May 16th, 2013
May 16th, 2013
I remain open to the good that life holds for me. Although it would be easy to take many of these things for granted, I stay ready to notice them from moment to moment.
I enjoy my interactions with others. My partner calms and comforts me. Co-workers offer me their guidance. A neighbor helps me start my car, offers me a ride to work when I need it, and brings down a sumptuous meal when I am under the weather.
Even the weather blesses me. The sun warms me. A cool breeze blows. Rain falls. Snow drifts into beautiful panoramas. To me, it is all a wonderful production of nature, performed in my honor.
When a situation irritates me, I look for a positive benefit. Perhaps the only good thing I can find is a lesson learned, but that lesson can help make my life better. I see the good in each day.
Today, I find something positive in each moment and every experience. I strive to notice and appreciate the goodness that comes my way every day.
- Do I notice the good things that occur every day?
- Can I find something good even in situations that may be unpleasant at the time?
- How can I open my eyes and soul to all of the good things that take place daily?
May 15th, 2013
May 15th, 2013
If you have a pulse, then you’ve certainly got a talent. What you may not realize is that talent is often a direct function of how much time is spent engaged in a particular activity. There are those who can pick up a sport the first time and play the violin like a professional concertmaster at the age of five, but not many.
For the most part, nearly every talented peak performance athlete or anyone who has achieved an unparalleled level of mastery at his or her craft has likely spent more time than anyone else doing that very same thing.
Even the stars didn’t become great overnight. Michael Jordan didn’t pick up a basketball the first time and play the way that he eventually did in the NBA. Tiger Woods didn’t wake up one morning winning PGA Golf tournaments.
These masters and all others in any field that you can imagine spent inordinate amounts of time honing their craft to get to the highest level possible.
Now what does this have to do with your talent or strength? Simple. What most people consider talent is usually more a function of something you’ve spent the most time doing.
Let’s think for a minute about that. What do you spend the most time doing? You might laugh, but what if someone’s favorite pastime is watching TV? “What could their talent or strength be?”
Consider these ideas:
- Perhaps that person knows everything about what’s on TV or is a movie buff. With this intuitive knowledge about what’s on television, this person could easily start a highly informative blog about what’s on TV or start a movie/TV show critique website.
- Maybe this person knows so much about movies and how they are made that he could begin creating an original movie!
- You see, the list goes on and on, and chances are, you have strengths that you don’t even know about or consider to be strengths.
- If you listen to others, you may find a helpful clue as to what your strengths are. Have people ever complimented you about something you did?
- Have others looked at you in amazement over anything that you did, no matter how small or insignificant it seemed to you at the time? If you’re thinking back to the time you burped the ABC’s then it’s time to hire an agent since yes, there are professional “burpers” too!
- On a more serious note, even if you haven’t elicited shock and awe from people this doesn’t mean that you don’t possess a significant strength or talent worthy of being recognized for. After all, wouldn’t it be silly if everyone else in the NBA quit because they weren’t as good as Michael Jordan?
Don’t worry if it takes some time for you to discover your talents.
Another effective method for figuring out what your good at is sitting down and writing out all of the different things that you do throughout the day. Try and zero in on what you spend the most amount of time doing and you’ll be on the fast track towards finding your hidden talent.
Discovering your hidden talents can open up new dimensions in your life and bring you a fulfillment and zest for life that you never realized was possible!
May 14th, 2013
May 14th, 2013
Many psychologists and mental health professionals agree that being connected and having a support network is one of the most important prerequisites for a healthy and happy existence. Unfortunately, there are times when we find ourselves alone due to factors that are often out of our control.
The thought of being alone for extended periods of time can be terrifying or elicit feelings of anxiety and sadness.
Why is the idea of being alone so scary?
The Primal Switch
What is it about being alone that flips a primal switch in us, causing us so much emotional discomfort?
- The answer probably lies within the fields of Evolutionary Psychology and Human Development. There are adaptive advantages to fearing being alone.
- During ancient times, people that traveled alone would have been more vulnerable to attacks from predators and other neighboring tribes. Being alone also could have meant that one would have to fend for himself, which would greatly decrease one’s chances of survival in the wild.
- We also know that people need contact and touch at a young age. A famous study performed on a group of monkeys found that when young monkeys were raised without physical touch and warmth from their mother, they would show signs of mental illness and distress later on in life.
- This is not to say that humans are the same as monkeys. But, at a very basic and primal level, many animals (humans included) have an emotional need for contact with others.
Overcoming the Fear
Since we already know how powerful the effects of not having contact with others can be from an early age and from an evolutionary standpoint, it should come as little surprise that the feelings of fear that we experience when alone can seem overwhelming.
- The first step to overcoming the fear of loneliness is to realize that the feelings you may experience can be intense and that this is completely okay.
- Whereas most people try to fight the feelings of panic or discomfort at being alone, you are going to do something that most people never do and is also why they rarely overcome this fear.
- The secret is to let these feelings wash over you completely without fighting them. Let the feelings permeate through you and within minutes you’ll feel completely different about being alone than how you did prior to doing this.
- While it may take longer than a few minutes for the feeling to dissipate entirely, you’ll already start to begin feeling relief as soon as you stop fighting these feelings and accept them. They’re natural responses to our need for contact going unmet for a brief period of time.
The fear of being alone affects all of us, no matter how brave we are in other situations.
If you can let yourself feel the emotions fully when you begin to get scared, you’ll free yourself and give yourself a lifelong tool to work through any other unfamiliar or uncomfortable feelings you may experience in the future.