Monthly Archives: May 2011

Three Tips for Overcoming Possessiveness and Regaining Joy

Gratitude-Quote-by-Emerson

Some days, coming up with ideas for these blog posts can be a bit challenging.

I always hope to write about effective and practical ideas for success.

It will be more meaningful to you, and I recognize that I’ll benefit as well.

Today, I’d like to write about a few ideas I’m acting on- to overcome possessiveness in my own life.

It’s easy (or “natural”) to think of life in terms of what we own or possess- and to live in an egocentric world.

Consider for a moment where your thoughts are often directed.

If you’re like me, many of your daily thoughts are directed towards yourself- your feelings, wants, desires, needs, goals, obligations, responsibilities, challenges and daily trials.

We could probably add a few more categories to the last sentence, right?  Such as concerns for family members, friends, or your work, job or career issues.

Looking at the above list, it’s no wonder that life can tend to be overwhelming.

Here are a few categories we where can become “possessive” if we’re not careful.

In these categories, my hope is that you’ll be able to use these tips to overcome this type of negative emotion- and alleviate the feelings of stress that accompany it.

Our Time

Valuing and investing time wisely is a very good daily habit to develop.

Becoming very possessive about our time can lead to impatience, added stress, and tension in our relationships.

Recognizing the value of time with things like work or class projects – anything associated with a deadline- helps us do our best and do things efficiently.

Lately, I’ve had to learn a lot about time management.

As I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve taken courses on things like blog and website development.  It has been a very interesting experience.

On top of my other work (away from my home office), my responsibilities can seem overwhelming.

I’ve had to revise my expectations every now and then.  I may not be able to fit all the things I’d like to do within the time I planned.

In the same way, I encourage you to do your best with the time you have available.

If you become overly possessive about your time, it will affect you.

Rather than beat yourself up over your shortcomings, congratulate and affirm yourself for making progress, trying out new things, and for stepping outside your comfort zone as you work on your goals.

In a spiritual sense, our time is a gift- one that’s been given to us.  No matter what your spiritual beliefs may be, I encourage you to explore what they are- and to take time out each day for keeping fit spiritually.

Our Money & Resources

It’s also human nature to become possessive about money and resources.

However, it’s been helpful for me to be reminded that I didn’t create my own strength to make a living.

This may be a valuable reminder to you as well.

Things like strength and the ability to use our minds and bodies to earn a living is something for which we should all be grateful.

I have often overlooked this gift.  It’s been easy to focus on shortcomings, or the things I lack with the job I do have.

This past weekend, I participated in a food drive, where we picked up food for our local food bank.

We were able to pick up a car trunk filled with food – as a result of the generosity of many people.

In my local area, this city has affluent people, and people who are struggling- and often don’t have the resources to keep food on the table.

Participating in this annual food drive made me more aware of people who are in need.

On TV, we’re able to recognize how valuable it is to invest in the lives of others.

We can all experience joy and meaning as we help others out- by giving of our time, money and resources.

I remember seeing a type of “Habit for Humanity” TV show some time back.  It’s great to see how a meaningful cause can help people in need.

The meaning and satisfaction as we freely give (and become less possessive with our resources) provides us with a valuable lesson: it is more blessed to give than receive.

Our Challenges & Trials in Life

In one sense, I’m not sure that we can really become “possessive” about our difficulties.

I think we can, though whenever we think that we’re unique or alone in our experience.

If we accept these thoughts of discouragement, it leads to self-pity.

Are challenges and problems really unique to us?

Not really.  There are many who face challenges finding work, making ends meet, battling negative emotions of fear, anxiety, or discouragement.

If you’ve had challenges with these types of emotions, be encouraged.  There are many who have experienced the same things, and they can provide the support network and advice that can help you.

Whenever I face times of discouragement, I reflect on things like daily gratitude for what I do have: skills, abilities, talent, character, resiliency and the determination to succeed.

These are the same things that you have in your own life.  My hope is that you’ll reflect on the good things that you have going for you today.

If you’re facing great challenges today, reach out for help.

Recognize, too, that you don’t “possess” unique problems in your own life.  My hope is that you’ll realize you can make a difference in the lives of others who struggle.

That’s a major goal that I have with this blog- one where I can make a significant difference in the lives of my readers.

With this post, I hope I have encouraged you to:

  • recognize that time is a valuable gift- and to have realistic expectations about the things you desire to accomplish with it
  • experience joy and satisfaction of making a difference- as you give of your time, money or resources to causes most meaningful to you
  • realize that your struggles are not unique to you- and you can reach out and help others as you overcome challenges in your own life.

In my next post, I’ll discuss a key component in handling stress effectively- through the words we speak and becoming skilled with our inner communication.

Until then, have a great day.

Gratitude Quote by Emerson Three Tips for Overcoming Possessiveness and Regaining Joy



Practical Tips to Overcome Stress About Our “Limitations”

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In today’s post, I’d like to help you with a few more valuable tips.

I’m using these tips to combat the stress I feel about my own weaknesses.

We all have strengths and weaknesses in life.

It’s easy to focus on areas of our lives where we feel limited.  When we try out new things or stretch outside our “comfort zones”, feelings of self-doubt creep in.  At that point, we tend to get stressed over our adequacy to handle things.

In my post title, I put the term “limitations” in quotes because many times our thinking becomes inaccurate.

If you’re like me, you’ve tended to think of your own limitations as something unchangeable or as a “personal flaw”.

Relinquish Our Inner Power or Responsibility

It’s good to be open to input in life.

Sometimes we make mistakes.  Other times we’re prone to making errors in judgement that really derail us.  Or we develop flaws or habits that will really hinder our future.

It’s valuable to be open to input of other people and accountable for our actions in life.

However, if we adopt and personalize the negative views of other people, there will be devastating effects on our own lives.

I have experienced this firsthand.

I had accepted the views of others- telling me that I was limited, flawed or inadequate in life.

It was easy for me to become “jaded” and to reject other people and their ideas.

For instance, if someone tells you that you can’t manage time effectively, it’s a limitation that they’ve placed on you.

You may have made a mistake, but it doesn’t have to become a character or personal flaw unless you accept it as a fact.

It’s always best to distinguish between fact and opinion.

Life will always have its share of critics, friends, and those who say “it can’t be done”.

Today I’m on the path of taking responsibility and am developing:

  • peace of mind
  • confidence that I can make a difference with each valuable moment I have
  • faith in a bright or successful future

I encourage you to develop these traits or characteristics on a daily basis. Use these new “character habits” in thought, word and action to overcome any limiting thoughts or beliefs you’ve previously adopted.

The Power of Affirmation

The power of affirming new thoughts, ideas and beliefs about ourselves is amazing.

I have addressed this topic in previous posts, but it’s worth repeating.

With my work schedule, I get very busy- and it’s easy to set aside things like using affirmations or taking quiet time for reflection and journaling.

There is a new type of power we can gain with our thoughts lives- as we affirm- or validate our worth, significance and potential with these statements.

I refer to a few of my favorite affirmations quite frequently.  It diffuses the “defeating beliefs” I developed and adopted in life.  My mood and productivity improves.

Here are a few of my favorite affirmations:

  • I respect my abilities and always work to my full potential
  • I live each day with passion and purpose
  • I have tremendous energy for achieving all of my goals

I’d encourage you to reflect on a few affirmations you could bring to mind throughout the day.  They can even be related to your personal spiritual beliefs.  You’ll gain confidence, strength and the will to persevere towards your goals.

Frequently Review Your Top Achievements

This morning I had a great reminder from the past.

It came in the form of a Word document I’d created called “Top 15 Achievements”

It was a great reminder for me.  I had been struggling a bit this morning with my writing and blog activity.

I had questions about my adequacy for writing this post.

My accomplishments document reminded me that I faced trials, difficulties and challenges but I ended up achieving success as I kept trying and persevering.

I feel grateful for the people I was able to work with and learn from- they’ve become part of my short success stories in this document.

You’ll be encouraged as you refer to previous times you achieved great things- when you demonstrated courage, strength and the will to succeed.

Keep Taking Action and Press Forward

I read a valuable quote the other day.  I’m not sure who said or wrote this quote, but it really speaks to me about success, confidence and taking action in life.   I think it said that “Success breeds confidence, but confidence also breeds success.

To me, this quote speaks of a “cause and effect” type of relationship.  There’s a vital link between confidence and success.

For instance, you may be about to take a final exam for the course you’re taking. As you’re confident in your success, you’ll achieve a more successful grade (given that you’ve studied and prepared yourself to succeed).

You can’t achieve greater confidence or success without taking action.  You may stumble and make mistakes, but as you persevere (again, by taking action), you’ll be able to achieve your goal.

I’d like to finish this post with a quote from W. Clement Stone, a great businessman and philanthropist, who gave $275 million to charity:

I think there is something more important than believing: Action!  The world is full of dreamers, there aren’t enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision.

Today I hope I’ve encouraged you to overcome your own perceived “limitations” by:

  • reclaiming your personal power and responsibility
  • using affirmations to defeat self-doubt and limitations
  • reviewing your greatest achievements, and
  • taking action and persevering towards your goals

In my next post, I’ll share a few tips for overcoming the habit of possessiveness.  Until then, have a great day.

31TRY6A90NL SS500 1 Practical Tips to Overcome Stress About Our Limitations

Three Tips to Stay On Track with Your Inspiring Purpose

Dream

Sometimes in life, we need to take time to pause and reflect on valuable insights.

This has been my experience whenever I’ve heard a radio message or an audio series that really inspired me.

I’d like to encourage you today to take the time to take meaningful action whenever you’ve been inspired.

It reminds me of CD a friend of mine would play once in a while in his vehicle.  He really gets a lot out of the teachings and insights of Jim Rohn.

In one CD, Rohn talked about how he’d be at a seminar and one guy would resolve to change his life, while someone else would say “I’ve heard this all before.”

Jim Rohn was rather mystified that one person would be motivated and enthused about making meaningful change, while another guy would go home unchanged and in reality, uninspired by the message.

In my own past, I’ve experienced the consequences of lacking purpose and motivation.

I think that’s part of my purpose for writing this blog- to inspire, encourage, enlighten and awaken you to things you may definitely and purposefully consider- as you build the life you desire to lead.

Having exciting goals is great, but when we lack the motivation and purpose to carry on and follow through, we end up feeling bored, distracted, uncertain, discouraged, and even apathetic.

I’d like to help you avoid giving in to these feelings.  With these tips, I’m learning to become “re-inspired” (if there’s such a word) by my own purpose or mission statement.

This morning, I did a quick review of these tips that I’m providing.

I think they’ll serve as a solid reminder for each day forward.

This blog is becoming more and more inspiring and encouraging to me as I write it.  My hope is that you’ll use my ideas and tips to step outside your own “comfort zone”, work through things like self-doubt and fear, and to start making a difference in your own life- and in the lives of others.

“Emotionalize” Your Purpose

Consider your own past.

You have most likely experienced time periods of “positive emotions”.  You felt inspired and enthused about life.   You were living according to a purpose, goal or dream that you might not have defined, but it was evident to those around you.

You experienced accomplishments that you never thought were possible.

You may have encountered obstacles that could have derailed you, but you persevered through them- and ultimately achieved a goal that you can still be proud of accomplishing.

During other time periods, you felt a bit lost, confused or uncertain about the direction you would take with your life.  You may have battled with depression, mental or emotional stress, or discouragement.

Having a mission statement for our lives – or a deeply felt purpose has incredible benefits for our lives.

I think we tend to experience greater hope, confidence, courage and enthusiasm for life when we live according to that purpose.

I like how Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines the term “emotionalize”

It’s a term that means to give an emotional quality to”.

I’d like to encourage you today to develop a meaningful purpose or mission statement for your life and your work.  As you develop this statement, consider this question carefully:

How does this statement reflect the dreams and wishes I have for my life?  Can I tie in my own meaning and value to this statement?  How would my life improve as I follow this statement?

As your purpose or mission statement reflects your deeply held dreams for your life, it will inspire you to take action on your goals.  It will remind you that your life and your work have more potential for greater joy, enthusiasm, progress and accomplishment than you previously thought possible.

A Vital Step: The Daily Review

Many times in our lives, we tend to battle with things from the past.

There are times in which we fail to accomplish goals we’ve set.  Sometimes we fall short.

Our minds, actions and behaviors tend to be greatly influenced by the things we review or dwell upon.

It’s easy to review our limitations, and project them into the future.

Lately, I’ve found it exceedingly valuable to review my own purpose statement- and keep it close by.  Here are a few benefits:

  • It reminds me of the meaning, value and significance of my goals in life
  • It gives me the “big picture” - a solid review for my reason for being- reminding me of values I find most meaningful for my own life
  • It helps me avoid distractions – chasing after the next “latest and greatest product” for my blog, business, or personal life.
  • It helps me evaluate my actions in life- are they leading me toward (or away) from achieving my goals and fulfilling my purpose?

The Benefits of an “End of the Day” Evaluation

Having an “end of the day” evaluation is vital.

It’s a great way to stay on track with my goals and purpose.

With this evaluation, I’m able to determine if I’m taking action on the things I desire to achieve in my life.

I’m hoping to incorporate this activity more and more as time goes on.

It’s a really good review about how I’ve used (or hopefully) invested my time.

It shows me where I’ve fallen short- and keeps me on track with doing even the things I’m tempted to procrastinate about.

I hope I have encouraged you to develop and review your own mission statement- and above all, to stay on track with your goals and purpose for life.  As a quick review, you can do so by:

  • “Emotionalizing” or tying in an emotional or deeply held dream with your purpose statement
  • Daily reviewing your purpose and keeping it on hand
  • Doing an “End of Day Evaluation” – are you staying on track?

In my next post, I’ll discuss a few more helpful tips I’m incorporating in my own life.  Hopefully, these tips will help you overcome the stress you experience about your own “perceived” limitations.

Until then, have a great day.

Dream Three Tips to Stay On Track with Your Inspiring Purpose

The Value of Inspiring Goals and Steady Daily Progress

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Today’s blog post will hopefully give you great encouragement to go for your goals when things become challenging.

As we pursue our goals, we’ll always encounter difficulties and obstacles along the way.

We’d like to avoid them but I think they’re inevitable.

The important part of the process is our response to the things we encounter.

In my last blog post, I wrote my experience in following an “expedient” or most self-serving and “easy” path.

In this post, I’d like to encourage you to make correctly determine your true goals – and to make steady progress with one project goal or idea.

It’s all about the ultimate value of being focused, determined and consistent.

Pursuing multiple goals is a noble task.  You may have already set goals in several areas of life.

For instance, you may have career goals – and great things you desire to accomplish in your work.

You may also have family goals, along with financial and spiritual goals.

The important thing is to be focused on the thing you’re trying to achieve.  I’ve spent many times in my life feeling uncertain, unfocused and unmotivated.

An Encouragement to Correctly Determine and Set Your Goals

Sometimes we learn quite a bit in our follies, mistakes or “errors in judgement”.

One of the biggest things I overlooked with my goals was to even create goals I didn’t have the desire to achieve.

It may sound odd, but it can be easy to set and pursue goals that really don’t fit who we are or our unique purpose in life.

For instance, we can end up adopting goals that others think we should pursue- such as friends, colleagues, people we look up to, educational advisers or religious leaders.

It’s great to have input, but I would advise leaning too much on the advice of one or two other people.

Their ideas for your life might not truly “resonate” with you.  Their advice about what you should do with your life may not truly inspire you.  It may not fit with who you are, or with your ultimate purpose.

The goals you’re setting for your life should be ones you’d find most fulfilling- and the process should be enjoyable.  If it’s not, you won’t be motivated to keep going when times get challenging.

Another major mistake I made was to set goals that I didn’t find meaningful.

There were things in my own life that I thought I should accomplish.

As a result, I lacked the passion or desire each of us should truly have for our goals and dream.

I became unfocused and inconsistent in life.

This really became apparent to me as I tried starting a home-based business.

I purchased and followed free “training programs” from Internet marketing gurus- each one who claimed to have “all the answers” when it came to success. I became very receptive and enthusiastic about following the expedient path – one that’s self-serving (appealing to people’s desires to be wealthy and to achieve success “the easy way”).

Jumping from one training program to another, many things got started and few things got accomplished.

I became unhappy with my progress- and uncertain about whether I wanted to continue. You may have likely experienced this in the past.  Or you may be experiencing this as you read this.

How does this relate to your circumstances?

If you’re not happy with the idea or project that you’re working on, it may be time to re-examine whether you’ve set a goal that’s most meaningful to you.

I’ve done this assessment.

I had to discard certain goals I set.

I’d encourage you to discard goals when they:

  • do not belong to you (someone else’s goal may not reflect what you really want or desire in life)
  • do not inspire or motivate you to take action
  • do not fit your ultimate purpose
  • do not align with your values

I can speak on this from personal experience.  I wish I’d followed this advice long ago.

Consider the value of pursuing goals you want to accomplish- instead of those you feel obligated to accomplish.

This is a major mistake I’d made.  If I wasn’t truly interested in a goal, I would become unfocused and easily influenced by the next “latest and greatest idea.”

I’d like to encourage you to be true to yourself and your ultimate purpose.  You’ll discover greater meaning and inspiration as you do.

The Value of Steady Progress (with One Goal or Project as We Enjoy the Process)

I’m learning more about the value of being “fully present” with each moment I’m given.

Moment by moment is how we end up making the progress we desire.

I can’t go back and undo the past.  The emotional stress of regret and fretting about the past serves no useful purpose in my life.

Rather than jump from one business training program to the next, I’m learning new things as I take action.  I’m truly of discovering the benefits of being focused and making steady progress with one project or training program at a time.

Getting things “up and running” with my online blog and business is a major goal for me.

I’ve started to recognize the value of focus and consistent effort- two traits I’m striving each day to develop.

My hope is that I’ve encouraged you to develop these personal characteristics yourself.

It may be tempting to give into despair about the past, or the uncertainties of the future.  I’d like to encourage you to always keep in mind – that your goals are well worth pursuing, and your life can be as meaningful and significant as you desire it to be.

Press on today and take action.

In my next post, I’ll discuss three tips for staying on track with our ultimate purpose.

Until then, have a great day.

cfe6 The Value of Inspiring Goals and Steady Daily Progress

The Conflict of Values We Encounter with Expedient Decisions

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It’s interesting how the decisions we make in life ultimately affect even our levels of stress.

In many scenarios in life, we face choices that tempt us to choose the “expedient path”.

These decisions do have their own consequences.

I’d like to encourage you to consider carefully the decisions you make in life.  Even our choices about how we use our time have consequences.

I like how Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines the term “expedient”- as “characterized by concern with what is opportune- especially: governed by self-interest”.

A “Values” Conflict and a Key Question to Consider

I can write about the making an expedient choice based on my own personal experience.

About 10 years ago, I took a job I ultimately didn’t have a good feeling about.

Looking back, I didn’t “feel right” about taking the job at the end of the interview.

Times were tough back then (as they are now) with the job market.  I had been laid off from my previous job 4 months before I took the new position.

My self-esteem was pretty low back then.  I wasn’t sure about my value in the marketplace, and I jumped at the chance to take this new job.

The manager that hired me wanted me to even be on call if they needed me for work.  I had agreed to this request, and I asked about further compensation.  He then asked me if I was a “clock-watcher”.  To me, this clearly should have been a signal of what was to come.

In my own financial self-interest- and against my better judgement, I accepted this job position.

There may have been other determining factors in my boss’ behavior.  There may have been other things going on in his life that I did not know about.  Unfortunately, I found him to be quite abusive to me and to a couple of my other co-workers, who worked near my desk.

I personally valued a positive and constructive working environment.  Unfortunately, the manager did not.  I stuck around there thinking that the economy was tough, and that I couldn’t get a better job.

In my own self-interest I stayed at that job for a period of 6 months.  I didn’t want to leave early and venture back out into the job market.  My fear of rejection held me back.  I had followed the “expedient path” in taking a job that wasn’t right for me.

My mental, emotional and physical health took a beating.  I’d even ended up in the hospital with chest pains.

Looking back, it would have been better for me to gain courage and look for a job that had been right for me.  Instead, I took the expedient or “self-serving” path of jumping at the first “good” opportunity I had available.

My main concern at that point was of what the company would do for me.

When you’re facing a decision that tempts you to take the “expedient” or “self-serving” path, it’s helpful to ask an important, key question:

Does your decision go “against the grain” of who you really are?

At work, I’m the type of person who tries to be a “team player”- one who’s co-operative.

In this work scenario, I wasn’t part of “the team”.  I was asked to play a subservient role to someone who didn’t have the best interests of his staff in mind.  I didn’t see myself as someone else’s “doormat”.

The Ultimate Result to Consider

To me, the big question is the ultimate consequences of an “expedient” decision.

When you choose to a “self-serving” option, will you end up going down a path that is ultimately going to be uncomfortable for you?

For instance, I chose the path of working at a company that did not value its staff (with fair, equitable and respectful treatment).  Instead I chose the self-serving “path of least resistance”- taking the job that wasn’t right for me instead of facing more rejection in the job market.  Remember that my mental and physical well-being was affected.

There is an ultimate result for our choices- even those we make moment-by-moment.

If I could give one piece of advice to anyone starting out, I’d recommend that they’d cherish and follow their goals and values in life.  This leads to my next point.

An Encouragement to Remain True to Your Values

When I look back on this experience, I wish I’d stood up for myself better.

Maybe I would have worked things out fairly with this manager.  We might have “reached some sort of understanding” or a better working relationship.

He might have fired me if I confronted him and the way he treated his staff.

Ultimately, I ended up quitting the job and then found another job I’d been better suited for.

I worked with a smaller company- and they had really good managers.  It was a better environment, and I was able to share work duties with a lady who was very helpful, encouraging and enjoyable to work with.

I think I gained a measure of courage, strength, and greater self-respect after leaving that job.

Whenever you’re facing a decision in life, here are a few questions to help you avoid the emotional stress I experienced:

If you choose the “expedient path”:

  • Is there a “Values Conflict”?
  • Would you really be comfortable or “at peace” with the consequences of your decision?
  • Will your self-respect remain intact?

My hope is that this post provides valuable advice for making good decisions (and for avoiding the stress of poor choices).

In my next post, I’ll discuss the habit of “inconsistency”, how it contributes to our stress levels, and tips for overcoming this habit.

Until then, have a great day.

05202 09 2009 The Conflict of Values We Encounter with Expedient Decisions