How to Build a Meaningful Life And Make It Incredibly Amazing

You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again. Benjamin Franklin

Life and living it is a project and changing your life is the beginning. It’s a never-ending quest to share our best work with the rest of the world. You are responsible for that change. You need to define yourself, plan your change, make it happen. What you don’t want is spending the rest of your precious and short life, doing everything you absolutely hate.

To build the life you want, create the meaningful work you love!

We should all strive to find and do meaningful work that excites us. Work that brings out the best in you. Without it, work is boring, just something we do to pay the bills — which means we’re spending somewhere around half our waking hours (sometimes more) doing something we don’t like, just to pay the bills. Is that a life you want to live?

Your work fills a large part of your life, do everything in your power to make it awesome. If you haven’t found what makes you come alive yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. Everything else is secondary.

The beauty of meaningful work

You shouldn’t dread Mondays. Meaningful work doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or solve a global problem. It doesn’t have to cure cancer. Amazing work can be any kind of work; if it’s fulfilling your potential, and makes you lose yourself, you’ve found exactly what you need to live the life you want.

Ryan Robinson of Buffer says:

If your work is something you love, it will give clarity, drive, and happiness to all aspects of your life. If your work is meaningful, you’ll be more likely to stick with it in the long run, which means you’re more likely to be successful as a result.

Research has shown that finding meaning in one’s work increases motivation, engagement, empowerment, career development, job satisfaction, individual performance and personal fulfillment.

It can be anything from creating something new, improving an existing product or service, building something awesome, helping others, inspiring others, teaching others, setting in motion something that will make the world a better place, making something beautiful, creating something useful, moving the hearts of others.

Michael Steger, Ph.D., a faculty member in the Counseling Psychology and Applied Social Psychology programs at Colorado State University sees meaningful work as consisting of three, central components:

First, the work we do must make sense; we must know what’s being asked of us and be able to identify the personal or organizational resources we need to do our job.

Second, the work we do must have a point; we must be able to see how the little tasks we engage in build, brick-by-brick if you will, into an important part of the purpose of our company.

Finally, the work that we do must benefit some greater good; we must be able to see how our toil helps others, whether that’s saving the planet, saving a life, or making our co-workers’ jobs easier so that they can go home and really be available for their families and friends.

Give yourself something to pursue

“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.” — Tim O’Reilly

Right now is the best time EVER in human history to pursue your life’s work. Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. People who never give up on their life’s work. You have something to share with the rest of the world. Be an optimist. And make an impact in your own small way possible.

Kevin Kelly (co-founder of Wired magazine) explains:

“There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside, than now. Right now, this minute. This is the time that folks in the future will look back at and say, “Oh to have been alive and well back then!”

People who choose well and focus on building something that matters to them first always go that extra mile. They never give up on their first try. There is always a second or even a third try. Embrace the fact that invention is a creative process. Come to terms with its presence, learn to accept the sting of it and keep moving.

Don’t fail to exercise your right to try something. Get into the habit of questioning the rules, of becoming curious about where you could try something different and where you could throw the windows open. You will be surprised at you are capable of.

Start with something you can do today or this week, even if you can commit a few minutes to it. And tomorrow, do it again. Maybe for a few more minutes. And so on.

Take no less than 100% responsibility for your life

Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. Your life is a sum of the choices you made yesterday. If you want a different outcome, change your behavior and habits.

Making a change is uncomfortable and can be overwhelming for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. But it’s the only way to get what you want.

Many people have so many things they want to do but they end up wishing all year round without taking action. Write what you want down and be guided by it.

Take even the smallest step every day to make that wish a reality. Make a decision to start somewhere. And when it’s time to get on with it, don’t postpone it. Do what you have to do.

Once you commit time to it and begin to put things on paper, every other idea about the people and resources you need to make it happen will begin to be clear to you.

Invest in your life’s work

Start a blog, write at least a little each day. Write a book. Or an ebook. Share your tips with others online or through a free ebook. Write poetry and publish it on the web. Create interesting, lovely or funny videos, put them on YouTube.

Create an app that will solve a problem in people’s lives. Become a watchdog to replace the faltering newspapers. Explore the world, and blog about it.

Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video. Be yourself, loudly. Start a new company, doing only one thing, but doing it very well.

Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted. Put your heart into something.

Say something that no one else dares to say. Do something others are afraid to do. Help someone no one else cares to help. Make the lives of others better.

Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create. Inspire others by being inspiring. Teach young people to do amazing things. Write a play, get others to act in it, record it. Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before.

Read, and read, and then write. Love, and love, and then help others to love. Do something good and ask others to pass it on. Be profound. Find focus in a world without it.

Become minimalist in a world of dizzying complexity. Reach out to those who are frustrated, depressed, angry, confused, sad, hurt. Be the voice for those without one. Learn, do, then teach.

Meet new people, become fast friends. Dare to be wrong. Take lots and lots of pictures. Explore new cultures. Be different. Paint a huge mural. Create a webcomic. Be a dork, but do it boldly.

Interview people. Observe people. Create new clothes. Take old stuff and make new stuff from it. Read weird stuff. Study the greats, and emulate them.

Be interested in others. Surprise people. Cook great food, and share it. Be open-minded. Help someone else start a small business. Focus on less but do it better.

Give people a ride in your car. Use Uber to your advantage. Start an online shop on Shopify. Create and sell stuff on Etsy.

Help others achieve their dreams. Put a smile on someone’s face, every day. Start an open-source project. Make a podcast. Start a movement. Be brave. Be honest. Be hilarious. Get really, really good at something. Practice a lot. A lot. Start now. Try.

If you’re willing to take the risk of sharing yourself and your ideas with the world, you can create value you will be proud of.

What you choose to do now matters

Everything around you, the place you live, your means of transport to work, the tools you use at work, technology for both learning and leisure were all made by people who are no smarter than you. You can add to human development and progress in your own small way. Choose to create.

If you’re already doing amazing Work, keep doing it. But if you feel like there’s nothing amazing on your to-do list, then it’s obvious the work you’re doing doesn’t excite you, and you don’t feel it matters. There are now insanely great and even free resources out there that can make it easy to show your work. Take advantage of them.

You don’t need permission to show the world what you are capable of. Right now, this minute, you can decide to start working on your most important work. And guess what, the world is ready to try it out.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be ready. The real world rewards those who get stuff done. You don’t even have to get it right. As long as you are ready for feedback, you can always iterate and make it better.

Build what brings out the best in you! Then, things cannot go wrong. Even if they do, you would have at least tried doing what excites you.

A side project has the potential to grow into something meaningful a lot of people could benefit from. Getting there may take some work but it takes a decision to get started. Something you do for fun on nights and weekends could turn into your new full-time dream business or invention.

Today and tomorrow are open with possibilities. All you have to do is decide to make use of them to start working on stuff that matters to you, and live the life, that you really want. It’s time for a healthy dose of practical optimism. Be bold and take a decision right now to start something you deeply care about.

The first key: start looking

If you don’t ever look for it, it’s not likely to just fall into your lap. Be curious now. Once you start looking for your amazing work, you’re much much more likely to find it.

That sounds kinda obvious, but it’s surprising how many of us will go through our work days (and years) without trying to find our Amazing Work, for many reasons. Maybe we don’t believe in ourselves, maybe we don’t think we have the time, maybe we’re putting it off until someday.

Well, start believing in yourself. Make the time. Make someday today.

Start by looking at the work you’re already doing: how can you find something in your work that excites you? Why did you get into it in the first place? When have you ever been excited about your work? What part of your work do you look forward to the most? How can you take it to the next level? What you do after work?

If you’ve really looked long and hard at your work and can’t find anything at all, nothing, nada that excites you, that might become exciting, then start looking elsewhere. What other work have you done that you love? What have you done that has made a difference?

Have you had any previous jobs that had exciting work? Do you have hobbies that excite you — perhaps those can be turned into amazing Work? What do you read about — online and off? Do those things excite you, and if so, can you find something in that line of work?

Talking to others can spark ideas — ask the people who know you best what they think you should do. Ask co-workers about things that excite them. Talk to people online.

Once you come up with some ideas, it’s time to start doing them, trying them, testing them out. Sometimes something can sound fun but not be as fun once you try it. Sometimes something can sound uninteresting, but once you do it, there’s much more fun to it than you thought.

It’s a process of experimenting — try things, give them a chance, and then pursue them if they’re exciting. If not, try something new. One thing to keep in mind, though — things can be more fun if you’re good at something, and it can take a while to get good at something. The key is to enjoy the learning process as well.

Now here is the most important part

Start working on the thing you need to be doing right now, this minute. No matter how slow you work on your most important work, you will still be ahead of everyone else who isn’t trying to fulfill a dream. Stop letting yourself procrastinate.

Action begets outcome. Outcome begets more action. You can only create or build when you make a move. Momentum builds through action. You can’t see the results you expect until you overcome your fear of starting and begin to take the first step at actually creating a new business, starting a new project or building the life you want. The only thing worse than failure is not starting.

Don’t discount the power of action no matter how small.

Start going through the motions of making progress. At first it might feel forced, but eventually, you’ll get in the groove. In the words of playwright Samuel Beckett:“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Your journey towards meaningful work begins today if it hasn’t already!

Today’s article was written by Thomas Oppong and is shared from the following website: https://medium.com/the-mission/how-to-create-the-successful-and-meaningiful-life-you-want-938842faefb9

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11 Things You Must Do to Create the Life of Your Dreams

Look closely at the present you’re constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming Alice Walker

An ugly duckling.

Diana (pronounced DeeAnna) was told as a young girl by her mother that she was ugly, and lacked the beauty her younger sister possessed. First of all, I can’t imagine a mother saying such a thing, and repeatedly reminding her daughter of her wretched opinion, but what Diana Vreeland did with her mother’s lack of love and support (emotionally) is what is inspiring. She created a life that was uniquely her own. She created her own unique signature style and became respected for being authentically herself. Now I’d say, she redefined the definition of beauty.

Over the past weekend I had the opportunity to sit down and watch two documentaries I have been eager to see: The Eye Has to Travel which spotlights the inspiring life and talent of Harper’s Bazaar columnist and former Vogue Editor-in-Chief Diana Vreeland and Makers which I spoke about a few weeks ago regarding women in America and their fight for equality.

Both were inspiring and a dutiful reminder of the responsibility we each have to create the life we wish to live, rather than become an effect driven by someone else’s expectations or assumptions of how our lives should move along.

It’s hard to dream of a life that may never have seen modeled for us. How we are nurtured as we grow up, the media we are exposed to and the world and times we live in have a profound influence on what we believe we can achieve for ourselves. But once we realize that so much of what we already believe was instilled in us through nurture, not nature, we become aware that we hold the key to creating the life we desire from that moment forward.

Much like the brave women who refused to be treated as second-class citizens or denied the same rights already afforded men, it is our responsibility to stand up and become willing to work for a life that can materialize if we refuse to live silently in somebody else’s idea of a fairy tale.

Here are eleven must-have inner tools that one must find within themselves in order to create a life that creates a feeling of tranquility, fulfillment and true contentment.

1. Be brave. A life without bumps is a life spent following the dictates of those around us (spouses, parents, friends, the world, etc) as to not disappoint, disrupt or anger anyone. But in doing so, one loses themselves and tosses aside the gifts that the world can only discover from one such unique individual – you. (Click here to learn 8 ways on how to be brave.)

2. Be willing to let go. I’ve spoken quite a lot about the importance of being able to let go (thoughts, stereotypes, people, the past, etc), but in order to create the life you want, you have to let go of what is holding you back. And the only way to do that is to be honest with yourself. Are you wrapped up so tightly with the rules your friends have engrained in you regarding how you should spend your evenings/weekends/etc? So much so that to dare to do something they may laugh at or tease you about causes you anxiety? Part of any similar anxiety is not accepting what you’d rather do as absolutely acceptable. Who cares if they laugh? You’re creating a life that you enjoy living, not one your friends enjoy being a part of. Whose life is it anyway?

3. Speak up for yourself with intelligence and composure. The key to speaking up is knowing what you are speaking up against, having a sound solution and being able to keep your emotions intact. The last necessary key is often the most difficult because often we are speaking up about something that we value greatly or have great passion for. However, similar to the success of the American Revolution, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and endless other long-fought successful battles, those who chose to speak up and keep speaking up until a wrong was corrected relied on understanding their opponent and becoming clear about all of the tools that were at their disposal.

4. Use fear to your advantage. Fear of taking a path that few others have traveled, if any, can be very daunting. And even just the thought of stepping down such a road can stop us in our tracks. However, find strength in feeling the fear in this situation because it is telling you that you are indeed on the right track. Your fear is actually built-up excitement anxiously wanting what you desire to come true, and fearful that it won’t. If you weren’t a bit fearful, it would signify that you didn’t have the passion within you to put forth the effort to make it your reality.

5. Become savvy to others’ attempts to manipulate, guilt or cajole you away from what you know is the right path for yourself. It may be a parent who refuses to support you, a sibling who inflicts a tone of voice when you say “no” to their requests of babysitting their children that you’ve elected not to have for yourself or a friend who keeps nagging you to head out every Friday night when you’d rather go to bed at a decent hour so you can get up bright and early and keep puttering away on your project – slowly, but certainly making progress. Once you are able to recognize what they are doing (whether they consciously realize it or not), let their attempt to deflate, derail or cause you to doubt your direction roll right off your back. Do not expend energy toward someone who doesn’t truly wish to see you happy, but instead wants you to fit inside a box that makes sense for their life and their limited understanding and perspective.

6. Seek knowledge and become able to distinguish propaganda from truth. Propaganda has been around as long as there have people wanting to gain something from other people – power, money, control. The key to successfully navigating the many different messages our minds are bombarded with in any given day is to know what the truth is and what is fiction disguised as truth. Keep educating yourself.

7. Show gratitude. No matter how rich or poor you may define yourself to be, you have something to be thankful for every single day. We all do. After all, we are here – on this planet earth with an opportunity to leave it better than when we found it in whatever way we are capable.

8. Refuse to accept limits. Limits are for people without vision, determination, and creativity. On your way toward your dream, there will be barriers to push through, obstacles to climb and lessons to learn. Often we are the ones putting the limits on ourselves based on what we believe we should do or cannot do. Remove the blinders, broaden your horizons and stop saying you can’t . . . because whatever you think you are capable of doing, you’re right.

9. Find regular moments of stillness and choose to listen to what you hear from within. With constant access to news, the internet and other people’s social networking pages, it seems even when we are alone, we’re not truly alone. While there are many benefits to technology, the ability to be still with our thoughts is free therapy. A moment to help us evaluate, assess how to move forward or get back on track. Take it. More is not always better and faster is not always better either.

10. Remove yourself from situations and people who can’t, or refuse, to accept you as you are or are striving to become. The aesthetics of your life help to create the life you wish to live. If someone causes you to feel uncomfortable, inferior, less confident, remove yourself. If, on the other hand, you are inspired, supported and loved for exactly as you are and applauded for the improvement you wish to make, foster these relationships and environments.

11. Trust yourself. As a young girl, one of the many quotes I was drawn to and have since kept with me to this day is “Trust yourself, and then you will know how to live.” I didn’t always know what this meant or what “trusting yourself” would look like, but what I’ve come to discover is that we each have an inner compass. However, often it is drowned out by the exterior noise that we place ourselves in trying to fit into someone else’s vision of what a “good life” looks like, or we ignore it because we realize that it is pushing us to do something many people around us aren’t, and that can be frightening.

The good news, based on my experience, is that even though it may be frightening, the results surpass following anyone else’s definition of true fulfillment. Recognize that even when you trust yourself, you will have moments of fear, but then revert back to the advice given in #4. And always keep in mind, the life you wish you could be living is waiting for you to begin living it.

“Whoever you are, whatever your dream, you have to be strong in your head and strong in your heart. Be strong. There’s no quitting in the person who wants it bad enough.“
– Carly Patterson (gymnast, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist)

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The Critical Role Nutrition Plays in Mental Health

The best doctor gives the least medicine Benjamin Franklin

One of the most unrecognized factors in the development of mental health is the role of nutrition. The link between diet and mental health is growing as the field of Nutritional Psychiatry/Psychology expands. This field is becoming more impactful as epidemics continue to make headlines surrounding the health of our country and world. We know nutrition has substantial physical impacts, but it is the mental impacts of nutrition that are gaining traction with additional research and heightening awareness around this topic.

Proper nutrition is what fuels our bodies and our bodies need a regular supply of fuel. Oxygen is part of that formula and food is another part. If we supply our bodies with a sugar-laden diet, we are filling up on poor fuel. But if we supply our bodies with a healthy diet, we are giving our brains the fuel it needs to affect our cognitive processes and emotions. Similar to a high-end vehicle that uses premium gasoline, our brains function best when it receives premium fuel.

How nutrients help your brain

The fuel we use can make all the difference and directly affects the function of your brain and mood. Eating high-quality foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants will nourish the brain in a positive way. Similarly, just like an expensive car, your brain can be damaged if you ingest anything other than premium fuel. A diet high in refined sugars can impair brain functions and worsen the mental health symptoms.

When food interacts with the chemicals in our brains it keeps us going throughout the day. And when we eat a variety of foods, there are a variety of effects on our brain. For example, carbohydrates increase serotonin which is a chemical that has a calming effect. Protein-rich foods affect our brain by increasing alertness. And certain healthy fats that contain omega-3 and omega-6, are linked to reducing rates of depression. Since our bodies cannot produce some of these, it is important that they are included in our diets.

What should I eat?

It is important to avoid the high sugar, processed foods and focus on foods containing the nutrients that benefit brain health. A brain-friendly diet includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and limited amounts of sodium, saturated fat, and sugar. Working these foods into your diet will help protect your brain, fight fatigue, and boost your mood and alertness.

Common brain-friendly foods include:

  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Fish
  • Turmeric
  • Broccoli
  • Dark chocolate
  • Eggs
  • Almonds

Helping youth understand how nutrition improves mental health

Nutrition and how it affects mental health is especially important during adolescence due to rapid growth and brain development that occurs during the teenage years. At a time when eating patterns are being established, it is also a time when psychiatric illnesses may develop. Although getting young people to eat healthily can be challenging, putting in the effort can improve their mental well-being and instill practices that will benefit them in their adult lives.

Engaging youth in food preparation and limiting their access to high-fat and sugary foods is a start. Keeping plenty of fruits and vegetables stocked at home while encouraging small changes like swapping out soda pop for sparkling water, or fruits instead of potato chips for an afternoon snack, might lead to more healthy choices. It takes a lot of effort to change one’s diet to include healthier food choices, especially for adolescents. But encouraging them to make a smart choice can help them build habits that will have a positive impact on their mental health.

What now?

Start by paying attention to how eating different foods can make you feel. Not just how they feel hitting your taste buds, but how they make you feel a few hours later or the next day. Experiment with a healthy diet for three to four weeks. Cut out the processed and sugar-laden foods and replace them with healthy alternatives. See how you feel. If you feel great, you might be onto something. If you feel more alert, are in a better mood and have more energy, you are definitely on to something. Then slowly introduce foods back into your diet and see how you feel. This will be the “aha moment” when you realize how critical nutrition is for your mental health and truly realize that premium fuel is the best fuel for your brain.

Today’s article was written by Darren DeYoung and is shared from the following website: https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-critical-role-nutrition-plays-in-mental-health/

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How to Take Responsibility for Your Life

The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life Hal Elrod

When you take responsibility for your life, you achieve your dreams

You are totally responsible for your life. This is the foundational principle you must embrace if you plan for happiness and success in life and work. For many people, everything is someone else’s fault. Every problem can be explained away with reasons why they can’t affect the situation or the outcome, especially at work.

But without taking responsibility, you’re all the more likely to look at your career as a failure because you allowed any passing wind to blow you around, all the while blaming the wind for how things turned out. When you fail to responsibly guide your direction and outcomes, you set the stage for creating a miserable life—a life that fulfills none of your dreams and aspirations.

Make no excuses

Excuses for failure, excuses about your choices in life, excuses about what you feel you have accomplished—and what you have not–fuel dysfunctional thinking and consequently, undesirable actions and behaviors.

Making excuses instead of taking one hundred percent responsibility for your actions, your thoughts, and your goals are the hallmark of people who fail to succeed both in their professional lives and personal lives.

Part of the power of taking responsibility for your actions is that you silence the negative, unhelpful voice in your head. When you spend your thinking time on success and goal accomplishment, instead of on making excuses, you free up the emotional space formerly inhabited by negativity.

This is especially true as that negative voice in your head will run endless tapes of dissatisfaction and rehearse negative, unsatisfying outcomes over and over and over again—ad nauseum.

The next time you catch yourself making an excuse, whether for the late project, the unmet goal, or the job you have chosen to work, gently remind yourself—no excuses.

Interrupt that incessant tape that is playing in your mind and stop rehearsing that excuse-filled conversation. Spend your thought time planning your next successful venture. Positive thinking becomes a helpful habit. Excuses fuel failure.

How to take responsibility for your life

People who take complete responsibility for their lives experience joy and control of circumstances. They are able to make choices because they understand that they are responsible for their choices.

Indeed, even when events that are not under your control go awry, you can at the very least determine how you will react to the event. You can make an event a disaster or you can use it as an opportunity to learn and to grow.

The most important aspect of taking responsibility for your life is to acknowledge that your life is your responsibility. No one can live your life for you. You are in charge. No matter how hard you try to blame others for the events of your life, each event is the result of choices you made and are making.

Want to travel? Then, travel. It is not your job, your spouse or partner, the cost, or the time that holds you back from achieving your dreams. It is you. Want to weigh a certain number of pounds? Then, eat and exercise like the person who would weigh that particular weight.

Want a promotion to a management position? Then, act like, look like, and practice the actions that successful managers exhibit in your organization in that role, Make your desire known, too, as you will never realize your goal if you keep it a secret. Passed over several times? Ask what you need to do to earn a promotion. Still passed over? Look for a new job to continue to pursue your dream.

Above all else, listen to that little voice in your head. And, observe yourself talking with coworkers, family members, and friends. Do you hear yourself taking responsibility or placing blame?

  • Eliminate blame, eliminate excuses. If the blame track or the excuse track plays repeatedly in your mind, you are shifting responsibility for your decisions and life to others.
  • Listen to yourself when you speak. In your conversation, do you hear yourself blame others for things that don’t go exactly as you want? Do you find yourself pointing fingers at your coworkers or your upbringing, your parent’s influence, the amount of money that you make, or your spouse? Are you making excuses for goals unmet or tasks that missed their deadlines? If you can hear your blaming patterns, you can stop them.
  • If an individual you respect supplies feedback that you make excuses and blame others for your woes, take the feedback seriously. Control your defensive reaction and explore examples and deepen your understanding of the coworker or friend. People who responsibly consider feedback attract much more feedback.

You matter

Live every day as if what you do matters—because it does. Every choice you make; every action you take—matters. Your choices matter to you and create the life you live. Your choices matter at work, too. You choose the path of productivity and contribution or, you choose the path of a marginal employee.

Every action you take affects organizational progress in one way or in another. You always make a difference. Let that difference move the world forward. You matter. And, your thoughts matter, too.

Thoughts matter

“We become what we think about most.” Earl Nightingale’s apt summation of the power of your thoughts is one of the most significant statements ever made. Think about it. Your thoughts are always with you.

And, they tend to play themselves over and over again in your head. They either support you to think about and take positive action or the opposite. Your thoughts either criticize or they support the accomplishment of your goals.

Listen to the voice in your mind. You know the drill. Negative thoughts are overwhelming and they can take control of your mind for days. But, how to get even, how to replay or recast a situation that has already occurred, or how to make excuses or blame others is not powerful, positive thinking.

When your thoughts are negative or unsupportive of your happiness and success, you have to change your thinking. Gently—don’t beat yourself up—redirect your thinking to thoughts that will support your success and happiness. Laugh, if you can, when you think about the time you spent obsessing over matters that are over and completed.

Your thoughts govern the success of your interpersonal interactions. Your thoughts are the headlights illuminating your path in the darkness. They always precede you and your actions. Said Nightingale, “The mind moves in the direction of our currently dominant thoughts.” Believe him.
Today’s article was written by Susan M. Heathfield and is shared from the following website: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-take-responsibility-for-your-life-1919214

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The Unexpected Key to Loving Others

You can give without loving But you cannot love without giving Amy Carmichael

“Stand guard at the portal of your mind.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all know that love is a powerful emotion that has the ability to lift us up, inspire us and make us feel at peace. Studies show that being in love can actually lower your blood pressure and protect against heart disease. There is no disputing that love has positive benefits for our emotional and physical health, which is why so many people expend vast amounts of energy seeking love and doling it out to others around them. Yet how many people invest as much energy into loving themselves as they do in trying to love others around them?

Just as an experiment, I ask you to take one minute and think about what you truly think about yourself. How do you talk to yourself on a regular basis? Do you praise yourself for your achievements, or chide yourself for your failures and shortcomings? When you’re feeling down, do you treat yourself with tenderness and care or anger and frustration? Do you take care of yourself physically or have tendencies to neglect your health? And finally, would you speak to other people you care about the same way you speak to yourself?

If you leaned toward the latter in any of the above, it may be time to think about directing some love back at yourself. Self-love is the essence of all love, as this is where you truly begin to cultivate kindness and compassion. And although the saying, “You must love yourself before you can love anyone else” may be a tad overused, there is a great deal of truth in this notion.

Once you begin to love yourself, you develop a much deeper understanding of how to care for others in a way that is healthy and healing. Although there are many ways you can learn to love yourself more, I suggest starting with the basic notion of a mother’s love for a child. A mother is constantly tuning in to her child’s emotions to determine what the child needs, then attending to those needs with kindness, gentleness, and compassion. A mother will support and encourage her child through thick or thin and attempt to be a positive guiding force throughout the child’s life.

If you can be a loving steward to your own thoughts and emotions and a gentle calming voice much like a mother or guardian angel might be, then you will soon find that your loneliness starts to dissipate, your self-esteem rises, and you will be filled with a great deal of love and compassion to give back to the world.

Once you learn to love yourself, you can then offer that love to others in the same form — that is, tender words, a gentle glance, a kind touch and the ability to inspire self-love in others. By doing so, you are not only benefitting your own health and well-being but that of others around you as well. In fact, even something as simple as a soft touch can have benefits for physical and emotional health.

A recent study by doctors in the UK shows that human touch is vital to brain development in children and key to facilitating a healthy sense of the body and self. The study also suggests that a caressing touch can lower anxiety levels and that effective touch at every stage of life is important for emotional health. Thus, even the smallest gesture of kindness can have a profound effect on well-being.

In addition, the Harvard School of Public Health reports that positive emotions, like enthusiasm, hopefulness, and optimism, can greatly reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and depression. These positive attitudes can be cultivated by self-regulating behavior as well as having a supportive network of family and friends. So by offering someone encouragement and support, you may also be lowering their risk of disease.

If we truly want to create a world where love, caring, and compassion comes first, we have to start at the source — ourselves. It is only through self-love that we can begin to give ourselves to others in any beneficial way. To leave you with another Emerson quote that sums up this notion perfectly, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

Self-love is where the journey truly begins and where divine abundance comes from.

Today’s article was written by Dr. Cynthia Thalk and is shared from the following website: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-cynthia-thaik/practice-self-love-to-rea_b_5399513.html

 

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