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How To Create a 5 Year Plan For Your Life

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How To Create a 5 Year Plan For Your Life

This simple guide on how to make a 5 year plan will help you move towards your goals and dreams, and ensure that you get there.

Envision where your life will be in five years. Then dedicate yourself to making that vision come true, and you will stand right in the midst of your dream.

But what type of plan will this vision take? How will you get there? Who will travel with you on this journey?

Having a 5 year plan is crucial for you to reach your future goals. Without a careful and detailed plan, you’ll struggle to make your dreams a reality.

Work through the development of the plan carefully and purposely to see where it takes you. You’ll see that the planning can be almost as much fun as the actual journey.

 

Here’s how to create a 5 year plan for yourself:

1) Consider the ultimate dream for your life.

Whatever you are planning for the next five years will impact your ability to fulfill your ultimate plan for your life. Will you be progressing toward any OR all of your lifetime goals over the next five years?

 

2) Create a story of your life five years from now.

When thinking about how to make a 5 year plan for yourself, I encourage those that I work with to create a story line of their life five years from now. 

Make the vision as real as possible in your head. Create smells and sounds in the story that make it more realistic. Make sure to include a holistic look at your life.

What do you want to accomplish physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, financially and professionally? What do you want your home to look like?

In MY vision, I am sitting on my porch. The pole barn is standing in good repair. My father-in-law is doing some wood carving inside and I just barely see him there. 

The wind blows across my face as I look at the house that we built for my in-laws to live in (this is not currently in the process of being built but it is in the plan).  

It is a cool autumn Saturday morning and I am sitting on our porch swing. My thoughts are reflecting on the year that is coming to a close. I am remembering the 25th anniversary trip to Hawaii that I took with my wife. 

I am smiling as I remember the expansion of the Gospel Rescue Mission where I work and the impact the new facilities are having on the lives of many.  

Over the past several years, I have learned and taught many different Bible studies and I’m known in my community as a man of prayer. I look down at my cup of coffee and wonder how my youngest is doing during his first semester in college. 

That day, I talked to his older brother who is working hard and doing well in school. The oldest daughter has been traveling a lot this year but is expected home for Christmas.  

I breathe in the cool morning air and remember the joy I felt from finishing the local ultra marathon just a month prior. Soon, Veteran’s Day will be here. But I have no concerns about fitting into my dress blue uniform this year. 

As I sit there, my wife comes and sits by me. We just sit silently, remembering all that we have experienced together over the past 25 years. 

~

The song playing in the background for this scenario is a Mozart Concerto. There is more, but I think that you get the idea. Take your time and walk through that vision often. Vision is the key on how to create a 5 year plan and make it work.

 

3) Consider who will be with you and their life visions.

I have learned that it is important to share these visions with those that I want to be a part of my life. You see, they have a vote. This is a critical piece if you hope to have support and encouragement.  

Often, these people know you best and can redirect you if you are thinking a little over optimistically. They might also be able to offer you input on how you might make those dreams come true. Having many eyes looking around for opportunity is of great help.

My mother, knowing my hopes and dreams for the homeless, often sends me articles and news stories that revolve around poverty issues. This is of great help. It also keeps me motivated.

 

4) Build road signs from here to there.

Last year, my family and I moved from the state of Washington to Oklahoma. Along the way, the various departments of transportation put up helpful signs to point out exits and mileage to the next several cities.

Each step of the way as I read the signs, I would be encouraged to know I’m going the correct way. But if one of those signs had given me mileage to some city in Southern California, I would have known that I was off-track. Being lost, I could then decide to either change my destination, OR get back on track.

Your 5 year plan should be similar. Create that same sort of vision for six months or one year from now. These will be indicators if you are on track or not.

For example, if your plan is to be a doctor five years from now but when you look at your life a year from now you still have NOT begun working on your bachelor degree, you might need to redirect.

These road signs too should include all areas of your life. Consider a song for each stage. My season on many of my road signs here is Crazy Train by Ozzie Osborne, as I ride a crazy pace to get things done the way I have always dreamed of them.

 

5) Be detailed on the next three months.

With all of the above in mind, what do you need to be doing over the next three months of your life to make it all come true? Here you need to be very detailed in all areas of your life.

For example, by the end of this three months, I will fix that light switch, cut down that tree that is in the way of the future building project, etc. These should be SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound).

Again, be balanced and include all areas of your life. You don’t want to push so hard to fulfill your dream then discover at the end that you are all alone without any of your loved ones.

 

6) Create a list of steps to accomplish these SMART goals.

Each of those SMART goals needs its own plan. How will you do this daily, weekly, or monthly to pull it off?

Knowing how to make a 5 year plan is critical. But it will all be just a fun exercise unless you go out and get started on pulling it all off. Do not wait to kick this off on the first Monday of next month. Do some portion of it right away.

Live your 5 year plan

I know that you want these dreams to come true, or you would NOT be reading this post. But action is critical. Do not delay. Live your 5 year plan and look for the results.

Published at Fri, 31 May 2019 13:30:00 +0000

How to Believe in Your Dreams Even When People Think You’re Crazy

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How to Believe in Your Dreams Even When People Think You’re Crazy

Learn how to believe in your dreams and make them come true today – no matter what anyone says!

“I dreamed a dream in time gone by, when hope was high and life worth living, I dreamed that love would never die, I prayed that God would be forgiving…”, Susan Boyle, a modest, middle-aged woman sang as she touched the stars. She had a dream and her powerful voice echoed throughout the world.

 “We’ve got to have a dream if we are going to make a dream come true”, said one Denis Waitley, motivational speaker, writer, and consultant.

Have people ever managed to awake a sense of guilt just because you defended your attitudes, values, and dreams that you believe in? Unfortunately, everyone is doing it. Not just parents and friends, but complete strangers as well, will act the same way if your beliefs do not match theirs.

It is clear that even your family and closest friends will not always believe in your dreams. But this is NOT a reason to give up! Don’t let them kill your self-confidence.

I have a friend who was dissatisfied with her job. She dreamed of having her own company. She shared her dream with her family and friends – but they didn’t understand her.

Some thought she was not capable of doing it. Others told her this is not the right moment, while the rest were not interested even to talk to her about it. They considered it a crazy idea. But she made a poster and wrote:

If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.

She asked herself a question: why was she at her current job? For money? She realized that she didn’t feel the passion in her work. She felt as if she betrayed herself and gave up on her dreams.

She decided she will no longer work for money, but for passion. You know what? She did it!

How to believe in your dreams and make them come true

 

Your Story – Birth of a Dream

How to Believe in Your Dreams

You live in a small town. So small that it seems that you can read the thoughts of your fellow citizens because you know them well. You always go to work the same way and walk the same streets because you think there is no other way.

Your work is boring – far away from your interests and talents. There is no chance for your prosperity. You don’t feel good doing it and want to change something. But what? Then, a great idea goes through your head: you should move, go to a larger city that offers more opportunities.

Hey, that’s it!

You run and share your idea with your family and closest friends. They are shocked and react strangely. You didn’t expect a response like this:

The big city, life is more expensive. You don’t know anyone there and you will feel alone with no friends. Don’t get out of your comfort zone! You are really nuts! What if someone robbed you and you are left without money in an unknown city?!

Don’t let them scare you! At first, you may be like a punctured balloon ready to give up. But the next day, this idea will come to your mind again and you’re sure you have to do this.

You don’t speak to anybody anymore. You spend every free moment with your eyes closed, following in your mind the imagined pictures of your future life.

Suddenly, the favorite song of your family becomes “Green, green grass of home” and they play it several times during the day. But they don’t tell you anything. They just look at you and follow your reaction. They first tried to scare you with a terrible scenario, and now they use your emotions as leverage.

Don’t fall for it!

 

Believe In Your Dreams : Nothing is Unreachable

How to Believe in Your Dreams

Whether you want to live in a big house, to visit the furthest place on the planet, or to start a new job, nothing is impossible – even if it seems so.

Big dreams are not realized because people think they are impossible.

There is always: “Just yet …” No! Don’t wait to earn more money, experience, courage, or anything else, because there is NO perfect time for anything. Life changes day by day. The longer you wait, you will never start. Do yourself a favor and do what you want today!

Don’t be afraid: do what you need!

Talk to a person you are scared of or answer an unpleasant email. This first step will give you direction and show you what to do the next. Even small or seemingly unimportant things can contribute to huge progress!

People think that optimists see only a good side, but ignore everything else. Realistic optimists recognize both the positive AND the negative side. But their energy points to the side that can have a positive result.

Even when you don’t have support, you are not alone. Learn how believe in yourself and your dreams. Give them time, effort, have faith, and do everything you can to make a dream true. Then you will see that everything will start to change and fall into place. Be patient.

Devote yourself to inspiring conversations with yourself.

If everyone has turned their back on you and don’t believe in your dreams, you are the only person you can always count on.

We can all be self-critical. But negative thoughts should be turned into something effective. Don’t accept negative thoughts – find a new focus. Strategy is key.

Don’t think your life is written down somewhere. You create your own life. Set up and define boundaries for yourself. Get out of your own borders. Just now, it’s worth to be brave.

 

Step By Step Towards Your Goal

How to Believe in Your Dreams

Don’t just believe in your dreams – make them real. Here’s how:

1.) Form your desire as a concrete goal.

Get moving. Write down everything in the present time as if it had already been done. Write down the date. For example:

Today is 31st May 2019. Today is my first day on my new job. Everyone is kind, they are smiling. After work, I will drink coffee with a new colleague from my office. She is living close to my new home.

2.) Find leads

Write down what can help you achieve your goal. What are the ways you look for a new job, for example. Look at bureaus that can help you, ads in newspapers, or search the Web.

3.) Who can help you?

Certainly, there is someone you can count on who will support you. Maybe he or she knows another person who can give you an idea on how to make the next step.

4.) Think of possible problems you might face.

We are not talking about bleak thoughts – but think of it as necessary preparation.

When you start working on your dream, it’s expected that you will encounter problems along the way. Prevent them as much as you can by planning ahead. Always have room for a plan B.

5.) What do you get and what do you lose?

For example: your dream is to live in a big city.

Cons: You will lose the peace of a small town. You might not hear birds chirping while you drink coffee in your courtyard surrounded by silence and clean air.

Pros: You get new opportunities, probably a better job, and new friends.

Bottom line: Find out what’s more important to you.

6.) Prioritize.

Make a “to do” list. Estimate a realistic timeframe for each step and set priorities. Determine necessary budgets, schedules, etc..

7.) Think of the advantages when you reach your goal.

Write down everything, this way you motivate yourself. Whenever your strength seems depleted and when doubt takes over your thoughts, return to this step and read it carefully. This will help you with how to believe in yourself and your dreams again.

8.) Update your notes.

Read your notes carefully and update them regularly. The closer you get to the goal the more details will come to your mind. Don’t wait! Immediately start the realization. The faster you get into action, the greater is your chance to succeed.

Do you believe in your dreams?

I will not tell you what to say to your family and friends who don’t believe in your dreams. You will know what to say when the time comes. Either way, learning how to believe in your dreams will open up endless opportunities in your life.

Maybe you can send them a CD of Elvis Presley with the song “What a Wonderful Life”.

Do you believe in your dreams? What are you doing to make them come true? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to share with your friends and followers.

Published at Fri, 31 May 2019 14:00:00 +0000

The Importance of Developing a Personal Mission Statement

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The Importance of Developing a Personal Mission Statement

It is common in all branches of the U.S. armed services for top-ranking officials to develop and declare their philosophy of leadership, also known as their personal mission statement.

But personal mission statements aren’t just for top-ranking officials; they are necessary for everyone who desires to become a better version of themselves.

Personal mission statements provide individuals and organizations with a virtual map to guide them in this chaotic world. Before we dive into discovering how to write your own personal mission statement, let’s first understand what it is.

What Is a Personal Mission Statement?

A mission statement is defined as: a written declaration of an organization’s core purpose and focus that normally remains unchanged over time.

Properly crafted mission statements (1) serve as filters to separate what is important from what is not, (2) clearly state which markets will be served and how, and (3) communicate a sense of intended direction to the entire organization.

It is also important to understand what a mission statement is NOT. A mission statement is different from a vision statement in that the former is the cause and the latter is the effect; a mission is something to be accomplished whereas a vision is something to be pursued for that accomplishment.

A personal mission statement, states the core values YOU live by, what you expect of your people, what they can expect of you, and how you will evaluate performance.

Now that we understand what a personal mission statement is and what it is not, let’s dive deeper into the benefits of developing one. After all, we want to understand why we are investing our most precious resource, time, into this endeavor.

What Are The Benefits Developing a Personal Mission Statement?

A well-defined personal mission statement provides your team with transparency in the form a written document that lays out your core leadership values and sets priorities for the organization. In short, your team knows what to expect from you and what you expect from them.

A personal mission statement also has the ability to speak for you when you are not physically present, a benefit that is becoming more and more attractive with the rise of remote employees commuting from home or reporting to a regional supervisor.

Your employees and team members should be able to turn to your personal mission statement for guidance as they face various decision points.

How Do You Develop a Personal Mission Statement?

There are three main steps to building your personal mission statement: define, disseminate and demonstrate.

STEP 1: Define

The first step in developing your personal mission statement is defining you core values, key traits and deep beliefs. Be sure to set aside time away from distractions and spend 20-30 minutes reflecting on and writing down your responses to these questions:

  • What are your core values?
  • What do you believe to be necessary to success?
  • What traits do you wish to call out in others?

Now for the hard part: self-editing. Your list of core values is probably extensive as these principles are rooted deep into our identity. However, it is important to remember that a good mission statement is concise and easy to remember.

Your team shouldn’t have to flip through pages upon pages, they should be able to look at a short paragraph that has been distilled down to the essence of your mission.

Once you have defined and refined your core values, translate these into leadership principles that you will model and that you want to call out in others. This will take a bit of work, creativity and innovation but the outcomes are certainly worth it!

  • For example, if one of your core values is trust you could translate it into the following leadership principle: “I will work to earn the trust and respect of those around me by empowering leverage their talents in order to do their jobs.”

STEP 2: Disseminate 

Once you have your basic personal mission statement, it is time to disseminate and distribute it to those closest to you. This may be a bit frightening as you are sharing the core of who you are and where you want to go, but this step is crucial to having a successful personal mission statement.

Personal mission statements aren’t made to stay locked up in a safe, secure vault…they are meant to be living documents that help us communicate and interact with others!

  • Begin disseminating your personal mission statement to your “trusted agents”, those around you who will give you honest, constructive feedback.
  • Don’t just email your personal mission statement out and hope for the best, schedule in a time to have a conversation with your core team around your personal mission statement.
  • During this conversation, ask for their feedback and suggestions on how to improve it; after all, they should be the subject matter experts on your leadership style!

STEP 3: Demonstrate

After reflecting, writing and communicating,now it is time for the fun part: to actually demonstrate your personal mission statement! If it doesn’t match up with your daily actions, behaviors and directives, it is worthless.

Conversely, a personal mission statement that is congruent with who you are and how you do business is a powerful, and essential, leadership tool.

  • You should identify with, and know, your personal mission statement so well that you it oozes out of you and your actions.
  • Your personal mission statement should easily provide others with information on who you are and what you stand for.
  • Your personal mission statement should guide your daily decisions and choices.

Now that we have reviewed what a personal mission statement is, what the benefits of a personal mission statement are, and how to develop a personal mission statement it is time for you to commit to investing in your development as an individual and leader.

As Ed Ruggerio in “The Leader’s Compass” so eloquently said:

“Successful leaders know their Personal Leadership Philosophy (also known as a personal mission statement) and communicate it by living it passionately every day in all they say and do. They have taken the time to determine who they are, their values and priorities. They know their course and have set their internal compass, which gives them greater self-knowledge, greater self-confidence, and improved effectiveness as a leader.”

Published at Thu, 25 Oct 2018 04:00:00 +0000

3 Things To Do When You Are Fed Up

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3 Things To Do When You Are Fed Up

There are times in life when you feel as though you’ve gone off course.  

Like Sisyphus, in Greek mythology, it’s as if your daily routine consists of pushing an immense stone up a hill, only to watch it roll back down again, over and over again.  

Wash, rinse, and repeat, this is your life.   

You are missing your zest.  

Wondering what happened to your mojo.  

Feeling a little less than shiny.  How did this happen?  You had big dreams.  

You had a plan.  It was all going so well until it wasn’t.  

You’re fed up; it’s time to make a change!  

But you’re stuck, so you sigh, put your shoulder to the rock and start pushing uphill again.    

What can you do when you’re fed up?

Here’s the differentiator, Sisyphus didn’t question his destiny, he rolled the rock because he believed it was his fate.  It isn’t yours.  

Ironically, we are pretty good at creating a life exactly like what we don’t want.  

However, it is just as possible, to re-create that life.  To zero in on exactly what you want, give up the daily rock rolling and start anew with healthy striving.  

With the simple act of questioning your daily routines, you begin to change your journey.  

You open up possibilities.  You step back into being the author of your life, give up the daily drudgery and regain your zest and vitality.  

Here is the beautiful part of this plan, when you are fed up with the path your life has taken the way out isn’t a dramatic exit, an abandonment of all that you’ve worked for along the way, or a courageous leap out of what feels like a safe routine.  

In fact, the first step to charting a new course is to stop, rest and play.  

As Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul, writes, “no solution can possibly exist while you’re lost in the energy of the problem.”  

Change your energy by disrupting your daily routines to remind yourself that you can.  For at least four days, give yourself permission to rest and play in micro-moments throughout the day.  

Fill those moments with activities that feel restful to heart and mind, playful and creative.  

These “distractions” will bump you out of the rut you’re in and creative possibilities for your future will start showing up.  Reclaim hope, optimism and future-mindedness.

On the fifth day, it’s time to chart your course. Put pen to paper (this part is important because writing organizes your thoughts and focuses your energy) and write down the following:

1. Feeling State Goals

  • Three adjectives that describe how you have been feeling lately.  Challenge yourself to distinguish between a thought and a feeling state.  “My boss doesn’t value me,” is a thought.  Feeling worthless may be the feeling that goes along with that thought.    
  • Now, think forward one year and imagine you are looking back.  Use three adjectives to describe how you would like to be feeling, more often than not, in the coming year.

You’ve just described your feeling state goals, an absolutely critical, and often overlooked, step to creating the life you want.  Somewhere along the way, we got in the habit of teaching, encouraging and modeling the pursuit of achievement-related goals without regard to whether the successful accomplishment of those goals make us feel the way we want to feel.  

This is the classic story of the Hollywood star catapulted to fame only to still find themselves questioning whether or not they belong on a stage or the big screen.  

The pro athlete who consistently “wins” but feels lost off the field, court or course.  The successful executive who climbs the corporate ladder only to find themselves with a big bank account, an empty heart and a greater sense of vulnerability than ever before.  

The successful ____(fill in the blank)____ who one day realizes that they are leading the life their parents wanted for them, but not the one they desire.  

This is a miscalculation based on the belief that achieving a particular goal will automatically translate into the desired feeling state:  “when I achieve ________________, I will feel valued, safe, confident, loved, successful, etc.”  

By flipping this process around, and beginning with the feeling states you desire, you effectively reverse engineer your way into positive achievements.  

That is, achievements related to goals that are directly correlated to what you want, rather than what you think you should want (as a side note, if you take anything from this article put this reminder on a Post-it® “Don’t should on yourself” and stick it on your bathroom mirror).  

Aligning your efforts with your desired feeling states will tap into a new energy source because you won’t be spending all of that energy on making yourself do things you don’t want to do.

2. What to Take With You

Next, make a list of what you know to be true about yourself, that you know with conviction, you want to continue.  Be as specific as you can, the clearer and more accurate the better.

Notice that your list can include things that seem contradictory to each other.  A golden rule to getting unstuck is moving from an “either/or” mindset to a “yes/and” mindset.  

This list could sound something like this:

  • I love my dog.
  • I enjoy spending some time outside every day.
  • I love to fish and my favorite place to do that is the open sea.
  • I love to create a home and my favorite way to do that is to garden.
  • I love to cook when I am entertaining.
  • I like being with other people and I love my alone time.
  • I love spending time with my children and my work.
  • I need natural light to feel happy.

The list you’ve just created is a list of your passions – made up of your values and strengths. No matter what changes in your future you want these to stay the same.

3. What you want. Keep it simple.

Set your intentions by writing down what you know you want.  Keep it simple; write down what you know to be true today.  Don’t ask yourself to know these answers for all time.  

Close your eyes, check in, and ask yourself “What do I know, today, that I want to be true for myself?”  Some might be no-brainers and others might feel aspirational.  

If you have one that feels like “pie in the sky,” then ask yourself what a smaller, more realizable version of that idea could be.

Use these prompts to help you get clear: “In three years I want to…

  • be…,
  • do…,
  • create…,
  • experience….
  • have….. “

List as many things as you can that you know to be true, and then move on to the things you “wish” could be true.  These are your goals, your mile markers for your journey.

Feeling fed up is a message from your internal GPS that it is time to readjust your course.  The very thing you believe you don’t have time for is exactly what you need to get unstuck.  

Pausing, resting, playing are all recalibrations of the amazing guidance system that you already have within you.  Tune in, give yourself permission to thaw old dreams and imagine up new ones.   

Focus on what you do want vs. what you don’t want and discover that by clear intentions and small, daily steps in alignment with those intentions, what you dream of becomes your daily reality.

Published at Fri, 12 Oct 2018 11:30:00 +0000

3 Types of toxic people to stay away from

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3 Types of toxic people to stay away from

Achieving success is important for most of us. From receiving academic awards and accolades to becoming the best version of ourselves, being successful can be a contributor to overall happiness.

Why stay away from toxic people?

However, one of the most overlooked reasons for lack of success is due to the company we keep. Your level of advancement in life is directly affected by the types of people you choose to spend your time with. That’s why you must choose them wisely.

In my experience, there are three kinds of toxic people that are detrimental to your success.

3 Types of toxic people to stay away from

1.) The “Drainers” or “Energy Swappers”

Types of toxic people to stay away from

Have you ever been in a fantastic mood, and then talk to someone who makes you feel horrible afterwards? If you said yes, this is what it feels like to have your positive energy drained and replaced with someone else’s negative energy.

You experienced what I call energy swapping. Drainers are constantly buried in drama and chaos, then they come to you to feed off your positivity. They are physical, emotional, and mental vampires. After interacting with them, you go from happy to sad, depressed, and completely stressed out.

To be successful, you must stay focused, have a winning mindset, and maintain high levels of energy. It’s impossible to do that if you constantly allow toxic people to dump their problems and life’s woes on your shoulders.

If there’s someone who constantly zaps your positivity, energy, and focus, you have a drainer in your circle.

2.) The “Complainers” or “Finger Pointers”

Types of toxic people to stay away from

I think we have all met this type of person at some point. No matter what happens in their life, whether it is good or bad, they are constantly complaining. They never have anything good to say about themselves, their lives, or others.

If you hang around this person too long, you may find yourself complaining about the same things they do. Eventually, you will become unappreciative of the positive things happening in your life, because you are always pointing out what’s wrong.

Complainers are toxic people who never take accountability for their actions. They place the blame on everything but themselves. This mindset is what fuels their constant whining about what they don’t have, what they want, and what they feel they deserve.

Change will never come without being responsible and accepting the fact that it’s up to YOU to make things happen. Every constant complainer I have met is nowhere near accomplishing any worthwhile goals they may have.

As it is so easy to have something to complain about and life never rewards complainers, stay as far away from them as much as possible.

3.) The “Shamers” or “Mind Bullies”

Types of toxic people to stay away from

Out of all three toxic people, this type is the most harmful to your personal and professional growth. A shamer is always trying to look down on everything you do, think, or say. No matter what accomplishment you achieve, they try to mock you and make you feel inadequate.

This is their approach not only to you, but to everyone around them. They make fun of everything from your clothes, to how you talk, who your friends are, and even your family. Shamers are so hazardous to your life because their primary aim is to attack your self-esteem.

It would be difficult to become successful if you don’t have confidence and faith in yourself. The shamer knows that without those two things, it’s almost impossible to accomplish your goals. This is why I call them mind bullies because they try to mentally or emotionally wear you down.

Shamers are also known for continuously projecting their own prejudices, deadly beliefs, and opinions on others. If you entertain their company for too long, their fears, insecurities, and limiting beliefs will soon become your own.

This is what makes them the most dangerous of all, because they feed off the misery of others. You can’t afford to ever be around a shamer. So don’t allow yourself to even get close to them.

It is often said that you will only be as successful as the five people you hang around the most. If this statement is true, you can’t afford to invest your time in folks who are harmful to you and the goals you are working so hard to achieve.

By avoiding these three types of toxic people, you will not only increase your odds of success, you will ensure continued growth in every area of your life.

Published at Wed, 03 Oct 2018 10:00:01 +0000

7 Ways to Feel More Optimistic and Improve Your Mood

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7 Ways to Feel More Optimistic and Improve Your Mood

Whether it is a stressful job, relationship issue, or even politics, it’s hard to be optimistic about where life is in the moment.

But a Harvard study shows that feeling more optimistic isn’t simply a good idea – it can actually reduce the chances of dying from heart disease, cancer, and other ailments.

While there is NO magic formula or switch to flip to make things more positive. But the road to optimism is a lot easier than people think. The key is finding a few go-to exercises that when practiced continuously, lead to optimism now – and anytime – when you feel negative thoughts coming on.

 

5 Great Ways To Be Optimistic Starting Today

1) Gratitude.

We too often focus on what we don’t have and what could have been, versus every wonderful thought we can have at the moment. Spend a few minutes each morning being thankful for even the smallest things that add to your life.

 

2) Daily meditation.

There is a meditation technique that works for everyone. The key is to keep trying as many as you can until the right one clicks. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results right away, and don’t try flavors of the week. Embrace the journey that is meditation. You and you alone will know when its benefits are a part of your everyday life to be optimistic.

 

3) Have a mantra.

Silently repeat “love”, “peace” or another word or phrase for 20 minutes in the morning. Choose a word that is likely to psychologically prime you in the right direction to be optimistic for the day. Pause each time you think of the word, wait for its afterglow to fade, and then repeat it.

When your mind drifts, just bring your attention back and say the word again. Drifts happen because of a core rhythm in the brain, and they are nothing to get worried about. After a while, the brain will settle in.

 

4) Focus on your breath.

For some, using a mantra just doesn’t work. If you’re one of them, a good option is to simply follow your breath. Focus on either how the breath feels flowing in and out of your nostrils, or the rise and fall of your chest or belly while you breathe.

It may help initially to mentally note ‘in’ and ‘out’, but you can drop this after a while. They key is to try NOT to change the breath, just watch it as your body breathes in and out.

 

5) Post workout brain stretch.

One of the benefits of exercise is increased neuroplasticity. In other words, your brain is primed for its own workout after you finish your physical one. Schedule a little time to work out your brain, which could include something deep, or simply read to expand your world.

 

6) Find a body-based counterpoint to something that is stressful

Many Type-A people who are workaholics often live in their heads, which make body techniques like Vipassana work well. Try 10 days of a body technique as it could change your life.

 

7) Know how to use stress-reducing technology.

Using complimentary technology, especially wearables, is a great way for anyone to meditate almost anywhere. Tech also provides biometrics people can use to track their states of well-being and quickly reduce stress.

One of my favorite tools – and we use it in our Finders Course – is the HeartMath app. The hardware includes a small clip you attach to your earlobe and a wire that goes to your mobile phone. You select your mood, which can range from “excited” to “anxious.” You breathe with a colorful circle on your phone’s screen that expands and contracts. If you time your breathing with the circle, your heart rate will usually lower.

As you breathe better, you are more likely to reach a state of “high coherence”, and help you be optimistic during the day.

Lastly, groundbreaking research on enlightenment and non-duality is on your side. Conducted in my role as co-founder of the Transformative Technology Lab at Sofia University, this research found scientific feedback from participants showing these techniques significantly reduce stress, increase positive engagement with others, and prevent people from taking sick days from being overwhelmed with negativity!

How about you, do you have more tips on how to be optimistic?

We’d love to hear from you. Share them at the comments section below!

Published at Wed, 26 Sep 2018 13:00:00 +0000

10 Life Aha Moments And Their Incredible Insights

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10 Life Aha Moments And Their Incredible Insights

I have been blessed with many aha moments in my life. I look at aha moments as gifts from God – that He loves me enough to show me things in a clear way and if I accept them, my life will have positive results.

The ten aha moments I am going to share with you today not only resulted in positive changes in my life, but they have resulted in a very freeing spirit and a life with very minimal stress. I hope they will help you have the same feeling when you apply them to your life.

10 Life Aha Moments And Their Incredible Insights

1. You don’t have to please everyone

And let’s be real, you can’t.

Someone is always going to disagree with what you believe, what you say, what you do – so you might as well stop trying to please others and focus on what is best for you. I’m not talking about being defiant and argumentative – I’m talking about making decisions based on what you think other people are going to think.

I am from the south and this is a really big problem in that area of the country. I know people who do things simply because they don’t want someone to think bad about them. People are going to judge you – they are going to have opinions without having all of the facts.

You need to let that go. Do what works for you and if someone doesn’t agree, it is their problem. They made a judgement they had no right to make. You need to simply do what works for you, your life and what is going to bring you the life that God has called you to have. Nothing else matters.

2. Live your authentic life

This goes in conjunction with pleasing everyone.

We all have a different calling, different gifts and a different purpose. You must live the life that you are meant to live. When I went to college, I didn’t major in what I wanted – I majored in what my parents wanted. Therefore, I never had a real passion in any of my jobs … until I had this aha moment.

When I did, I found my passion and went after it 1000%. I have never been happier, and I now have the opportunity to use my gifts and serve people every day. My parents meant well – they wanted me to have a “steady” career that paid well. But I wasn’t happy.

I wasn’t living my authentic life. And this showed up in every area of my life – my relationships, my career, my spiritual life, my finances.

When I had this aha moment, however, I started figuring out what I wanted and what God called me for and my life changed forever. There is only one you. Find you and live your life – even if people don’t understand.

3. Live within my means

This seems obvious, but so many people don’t, and I was one of those people.

The thing I didn’t put together was that if I didn’t live within my means, I would never have any money to save. I thought because I made my monthly bills I was good.

Learning to live within my means and honestly, below my means, allowed me the money I needed to get out of $200,000 in debt and eventually reach financial freedom. Don’t just live paycheck to paycheck – live below your means so you can have what you need when you need it.

4. God is in control

If you are a Christian, odds are you know this, but do you really know it? God has control of our lives even when we don’t listen. He allows things to happen to get our attention and when it doesn’t, we have to deal with the consequences.

My aha moment was not just realizing that God was in control – I have known that principal my whole life. But accepting that God was in control, that He knew how to run my life better than I did and releasing that control to Him in all situations. Accepting that even if I didn’t get my way, it was God’s way and was the best way – even if I couldn’t see it right away.

5. Decisions have consequences

Every decision you make – big or small – has a consequence – good or bad. Realizing this helped me to think out the consequences before I made the decision. Slowing down and taking the time to really look at the good and bad of a decision will help you to make better decisions even if they aren’t always what you want.

I have had to say no to many things that my flesh wanted because I knew that going forward with that decision would bring me negative consequences. Look at the complete picture and know the results before making decisions. It will change your life.

6. Bible, not church

I have learned to live my life on what God’s word says. For me, I had to step away from the church (not God) in order to really get a good grasp on this. I’m not suggesting that everyone do this; however, study God’s word and know what it says.

Don’t just believe what a pastor or teacher is telling you. I have a weekly podcast for my ministry, Lovell Ministries, and even though I am a Bible teacher, I highly encourage everyone to study what we are talking about, consider what I am saying and look to God for the answers. Seek His wisdom – don’t just park yourself in a pew every week and think that’s enough.

7. Pay attention

So many times, we go off course simply because we aren’t paying attention. Whether it is your finances, your relationships, or your career – when you don’t pay attention to what is happening, you are missing vital intel and information that will help you make better decisions.

When we don’t pay attention, we lose control of the situation. Take the time to pay attention in every area and you will be the better for it.

8. Throw out your excuse bag

We all have an excuse bag – that bag we carry around as to why nothing is our fault. There is always a reason why it’s not us, it’s them. Well, I hate to tell you – it’s you.

It may not be you directly, but a decision you are making is driving your circumstances. It may simply be the decision to talk negatively about a situation. I stopped making excuses. I learned to own my part and release the rest to God to control.

I can control me, but I can’t control anyone else. So, I do my part and God handles the rest. Stop making excuses, be true to yourself and watch things change in a positive way.

9. Wealth is Biblical

You may wonder why I shared this one. I shared it because so many people want you to be ashamed if you have financial success.

Deuteronomy 8:18 says that “God gives us all the ability to obtain wealth.” If you live your life God’s way, give Him control and make godly decisions, you will prosper – in your career, your finances, your relationships and your health.

Make sure your heart is in the right place, obey God and watch where He will take you. You will be amazed.

10. Your past doesn’t define you

Based on my past, I should be in a homeless shelter, broke and ashamed. But I’m not. This is because my past decisions didn’t define my present.

I learned from my past, I cleaned up my past and now God takes my mess and makes it His message. He can do the same for you. I want to say it one more time – your past doesn’t define you – God does.

I hope you have received hope and encouragement from my aha moments. These are all life lessons that I learned that helped me to move forward and have an awesome, godly life everyday no matter what my circumstances are, and I hope the same for you!

Do you have any aha moments you’d like to share with us?  Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below. We would love to hear all about them.

Published at Wed, 26 Sep 2018 15:39:15 +0000

35 Inspirational and Funny Orange Is The New Black Quotes

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35 Inspirational and Funny Orange Is The New Black Quotes

You may love this show simply because it is hilarious. You may relate to it on some level. You may perceive it as a humorous, but cautionary tale. Whatever the reason for watching – and perhaps without your even knowing it – these ladies occasionally drop some wit and wisdom on us that is not to be missed.

With that, I give you the best Orange is the New Black quotes from the show.

The Greatest Lines from Orange Is The New Black

1.) “All problems are boring until they’re your own.” – Red

2.) “No offence, but, uh, men being in charge has never done me any good.” – Pennsatucky

3.) “No. This year I’m loving someone who deserves me: Me.” – Suzanne

4.) “Sometimes people just don’t want to play with you. And that’s OK!” – Suzanne

Orange Is The New Black Quotes

5.)  “You don’t go Jessica Simpson when you’ve got Rihanna.” – Morello

6.) “If you’re not building a future, it’s because you don’t believe there is a future.” –Vee

7.) “Yeah I said stupid twice, only to emphasize how stupid that is!” – Pennsatucky

8.) “It’s so disappointing being underestimated as you age.” – Irma

9.) On love: “It’s just chilling, you know? Kickin’ it with somebody, talking, making mad stupid jokes. And like, not even wanting to go to sleep ‘cuz then you might be without ’em for a moment and you don’t want that.” – Washington

10.) “I’m scared that I’m not myself and I’m scared that I am.” – Piper

Orange Is The New Black Quotes

11.) “Before I met you the sun was like a yellow grape. But now, it looks like fire in the sky. Why? Because you light a fire inside me!” – Suzanne

12.) “The second you’re perceived as weak, you already are.” – Red

13.) On winning a mock job fair: “This isn’t a contest. You do your best because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Why is it so hard for you people to understand? You’re like babies! “Where’s my present?” “Pay attention to me!” “Give me things!” “Fix the heat!” “Build a gym!” I’m not your goddamn mommy. Grow up! In acknowledgment of your hard work and success, an award of $10 will be added to your commissary fund. Enjoy.” – Natalie

14.) “I’m thankful for you girls who remind me every day that self-forgiveness is possible.” – Yoga Jones

15.) On getting the full story: “I mean, she told me how she traveled after college. But she failed to mention the lesbian lover who ran an international drug smuggling ring. Imagine my surprise.” – Larry

16.) “A lot of people are stupid and still live full, productive lives.” – Alaida

Orange Is The New Black Quotes

17.) Blanca on Love: “Diablo says there are no perfect couples but each couple is perfect in its own way.”

More Orange Is The New Black Quotes and Funny One-Liners

18.) On coming to reality: “I used to think you were a yellow dandelion, but you are all dried up with the puff blown off.” – Suzanne

19.) “You rage, I eat. We all have our way.” – Cindy

20.) “Leaving her like this, you’d think they’d have some humanness in them.” – Gloria

21.) “I forgave him. And you know what? It ain’t about him. I forgave him for me.” – Doggett

Orange Is The New Black Quotes

22.) “Look, I still got some time left here, but I’m getting out eventually, and it feels like it’s time to start focusing on that. Make sure I have a plan.”

23.) “Do you ever feel like a person without a country?”  – Doggett

24.) On the voices in your head: “I know they’re not real, but it don’t mean they don’t have nothing to say.” – Lolly

25.) “Everyone wants to go back in time sometimes. To go back to the moment when everything was still possible, before they made a wrong turn, so that they could go on the right path. But it’s not possible. All we can do is make the most of right now.” – Healy

26.) “I don’t have rage. I’m just sad.” – Pennsatucky

Orange Is The New Black Quotes

27.) “It was fun for a while, but the fun just started to seem like everyone was covering up the empty feelings.” – Leanne

28.) “More often than not, people believe what you tell them.”

29.) “You take a woman’s power away. Her work, her family, her currency. You leave her with one coin…the one she was born with. It may be tawdry and demeaning, but if she has to, she will spend it. But you’re right, your feelings count, too.” – Red

30.) “I refuse to be invisible, Daddy. Not for you, not for Mom, not for anybody.” – Big Boo

31.) “Maybe this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now. Maybe this, right now, is making me a better person.” – Piper

33.) “Prison is not cool. Being here is not cool. It’s not brave or admirable or courageous, it’s stupid. I feel stupid for being in here.”- Soso

Orange Is The New Black Quotes

34.) “God. This is the loneliest place I’ve ever been and I lived in a tree for eight months.” – Soso

35.) “Did it ever occur to you that we don’t want to get in touch with our feelings? That feeling our feelings might make it impossible to survive in here?”

Which of these Orange Is The New Black quotes is your favorite?

While mixed with hilarity, there is humanity.  I think that is what resonates with people so much about the show. I will never forget the finale with the hole in the fence, and the simple joy to briefly go in the lake, that for a moment they had freedom and humanity.

If nothing else, learn from them to be grateful for what you have, and that you truly can survive anything…hopefully, with a sense of humor.

Published at Sun, 27 Aug 2017 12:00:42 +0000

4 Steps To Help You Rise Above Misfortune

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4 Steps To Help You Rise Above Misfortune

Life – the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual. Most of these experiences are good, some are bad. But how we handle them both will determine the level of joy and happiness in our lives. Our attitude always determines our altitude. So, how do we rise above when misfortune blows our way?

How To Rise Above Misfortune

1.) CHOOSE to rise above.

It is NOT what happens to you that determines your outcome – it is how you handle what happens to you. 

I was a single mom, living on $10,000 a year with $200,000 in debt. I know that I’m not the only one who has found themselves in that situation. However, my decision to change my life, attack my issues, and become a better person and role model for my daughter is what determined my outcome.

Rise Above Misfortune

I am now a happily married woman with a successful career – and debt-free. I also have a beautiful, confident daughter who is a junior in college and kicking butt. I CHOSE to rise above.

I know a lady whose story mimics mine in so many ways. She was in an unhappy marriage and one day, her husband left her. She only had a part-time job to support herself and she had no savings. However, instead of choosing to rise above, she decided to play the victim.

She decided to wallow in everything that had happened to her and throw a pity party every chance she had. She decided to live in her misfortune and NOT rise above it. Now, 14 years later, she is in exactly the same place she was back then.

Everyone can rise above misfortune. We see it everyday. But you must first make the choice to do so. Without that choice, you will stay exactly where you are. You are the author of your own story. I decided to author a bestseller, my friend did not.

What kind of story are you going to write?

2.) LEAVE the past in the past. 

Rise Above Misfortune

We have all made decisions that we wish we didn’t. But the great thing about the past is that it doesn’t have to define us. The only way to truly rise above your misfortune is to look at your past, learn from it, fix what you can, and let it go.

If I was still focusing on how I got into debt and the fact that I had so much, I would still be there. If I was still focusing on my broken marriage, I wouldn’t be able to have a successful one now. We all have baggage. We all have a past. But we also all have the ability through God’s grace and love to let it go.

Letting go may involve forgiving someone who doesn’t even know that they need to be forgiven. But if you are holding something inside regarding that person, you need to forgive them – not for them, but for you.

Letting go may involve learning to not be offended all the time. Many people won’t grow with you. They may keep bringing up your past even when you have let it go. Choose to not let their opinion get you down. This is about you and making a better YOU. Not everyone is equipped to make the journey with you.

Let it go!

3.) RENEW your mind.

Rise Above Misfortune

We need to do this constantly – and for good reason. If you make changes in your life, but don’t get your mind in alignment, you will end up right back where you were. 20 years later, I still have moments pop up regarding my relationships, money habits, and more. I have to, on purpose, say out loud:

“That is in the past and that is where it is going to stay. I may not be where I want to be, but I am definitely not where I used to be.” 

Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself. Remind yourself of what God thinks of you and what a wonderful person you are.  Acknowledge your weaknesses and work on strengthening them. You will never rise above your misfortune without a constant renewing of your mind and your thoughts.

Focus on your strengths.

4.) BELIEVE that you are a victor.

You are awesome! You are not a victim – you are a victor! But you have to believe you are. You have to shake off the victim mentality when it rears its ugly head. The only way to rise above your misfortune is to have a positive attitude.

If you look at everything in a negative way, you will never believe great things are coming, which means they might not. Would you rather be around a negative or a positive person?

Rise Above Misfortune

I have gotten to the point that when I am around negative people for very long, I have to walk away. I have ended many conversations on the phone early when I’m talking to negative people. It’s just too much. I may not be able to change them, but I can set an example and I can walk away from the negativity.

You get to decide what you are going to allow into your life. You may work with someone who is super negative. I’m not saying quit your job; I’m simply saying NOT to allow that person’s words get to inside of you. Be respectful, walk away when you can, and put positive thoughts in their mind.

In doing so, you will be victorious.

~

We all have to deal with misfortune. It is a part of life. Some, we bring on ourselves. Other times, things just happen. Everyone has something. But it is how we deal with our “something” that determines our success.

Today, I have shared four ways to rise above your misfortune. It can all be summed up into one word – DECIDE. You have to decide to rise above. You have to decide to not let it get you down. You have to decide that it is just a page – or at the most a chapter – in the awesome bestseller that you are writing.

You and you alone will get to decide how you will handle any misfortune that life throws you.

Rise up!

Published at Mon, 21 Aug 2017 12:00:38 +0000

Why Failed Relationships Do NOT Make You a Failure

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Why Failed Relationships Do NOT Make You a Failure

Often, patients speak to me about the fact that they feel like a failure because a relationship failed. They take the fact that a break-up, or even a series of failed relationships, is a direct indication that there is something deeply wrong with them. They feel flawed, unlovable, and that there is no hope for future success in romance.

Long-term relationships, and especially marriage, can feel like an insurmountable failure as you have invested so much of yourself, your time, and your identity being part of a couple. Many times, people have tried to work things out, gone to counseling, and even adjusted issues their partner was not pleased with.

But inevitably, the relationship still fails.

Failed Relationships Do NOT Make Us a Failure

No one is perfect – and hopefully, no one is claiming to be. We all have things that we could work on.

Failed Relationships Do Not Make You a Failure

However, if you genuinely did the hard work and things still did NOT work out, you should give yourself credit for your efforts instead of focusing on the inevitable outcome. The truth is that, no matter what we do, sometimes, relationships are just not meant to work out. Maybe it’s because the issues have become too great to overcome.

Many times, couples go to couples’ therapy, if this means that things will be fixed, and they will move forward together. This is the ideal outcome, but is also NOT a given, by any means.

The national average of first time marriages ending in divorce is more 50 percent, and is even higher for second time marriages. Now consider that a couple that enters couples’ therapy is already largely teetering towards the negative 50 percent.

They do show strength and willingness to try by simply going. But about 50 percent of those couples will divorce as well. The benefit is that the couple is with a supportive and unbiased third party who can help them navigate an amicable break-up. This is especially important if children are involved.

Other times, relationships come to an end due to infidelity, falling out of love, years of poor communication and stress, or any number of issues. While you may have failed relationships, how you choose to navigate going forward can be your success.

What Failed Relationships Could Teach Us

Good or bad, there are lessons to be learned from our failed relationships. That lesson is that you are NOT a failure.

Failed Relationships Do Not Make You a Failure

A relationship not working out allows us the opportunity to re-evaluate what we do and do not want in a relationship. How we have grown and changed; how our needs have changed as well, what is most important to us, and which are not.

Often, and especially after a long relationship, we will discover that what we thought we once wanted, has changed a great deal over the years. To find our more ideal match, and to have greater success, we need to adjust what we are looking for. Our knowledge of what we have learned is most important.

This is also an exceptional opportunity for self-growth. Many people are serial monogamists, who never really take the time to get to know themselves as a strong and self-confident individual. They have always viewed themselves and their identity as part of a couple.

To these individuals, I express the importance and the essential exercise of being single for a while and really getting to know yourself, as an individual. Also, as none of us are perfect, this is an ideal time to take stock in your half of a relationship, and what you need to work on to be a more ideal partner. When we have a more secure and more confident sense of self, we attract more quality partners.

People truly pick up on how we feel about ourselves – whether it be from a place of strength, or a place of weakness. Coming from a place of strength sets us off on strong footing from the start. When we feel good about ourselves, we are more willing to speak our mind, ask for what we want, as well as have healthy and open communication with our new partner.

Failed Relationships Do Not Make You a Failure

Failed relationships hurt, and they are painful. But if we view them for the learning and growth opportunity they can be, we can become a better individual and a better partner because of it. In that way, we have far from failed – we have shown great strength and success.

 

Published at Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:00:46 +0000