Never before have I been so scared and excited of my goals and dreams – all at the same time. That’s how I know, I am dreaming big. If you have nothing to lose and it is not a must for you to make it, then your dream is not big enough.
Your neighbor is driving the car of your dreams. Your friends are always conveniently sharing the latest restaurants they have dined in. Your coworker is yet again taking a week vacation to visit the next island on her bucket list. Wow! These pictures of these beautiful people on social media looking so fabulous and ecstatic in their relationships can leave you dissatisfied with your own reality.
You do not care for facts, that has been proven with countless research, but you have to realize that the perceived social media reality: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbler, you name it…social media… is conveying distinctly one’s hallucinations about who she wants to portray to her circle of influence and the world. There is no way you can account for the truth in these portrayals. Nor should you care.
Why You Compare
What is it with you…feeling better about yourself and your situation only when you can find those who are doing worse than you. Take this, real estate professionals suggest that people seek an expensive community and buy the smallest house there because it will appreciate tremendously faster than the biggest house on the block. But, that does not make people feel good, so, they buy the biggest house in a less expensive and downward neighborhood because it makes them feel good and happy.
You like to compare down because you want to feel as if you are doing something right. When you compare up with someone who you think is doing better than you or looking at a more upscale community than your own, you tend to feel unhappy and dissatisfied. You might believe that these people who seem better than you are keeping a secret from you. How come they have more money than you. Why do they wear better clothes? How can they afford this or that? You work harder than they do.
You compare yourself with others because what they remind you of the unrealized goals in your life. You had a plan three years ago to upgrade from renting an apartment to buying a house. Life happens, so you are still renting while all your friends seem to be buying beautiful houses right before your eyes. So, you may think that the universe is on their sides and not yours. Perhaps, they have better jobs and more money than you. You let these things get you down not understanding that your are projecting…you are overestimating what people may have and underestimating what you can do to realize your goals.
Another reason why comparing yourself with others is not positively productive is because you have a flawed perception. You assume too much. You assume that your neighbor can afford your dream car because he has more more money than you. He may be eating can beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to be able to afford the payments for that car. Maybe his car is the only thing in his life that makes him feel significant for the moment. So, keep in mind that all of these things you assume about the person who might be doing better than you is a concoction of your imagination to justify why you are not in a better situation or have more expensive things. Know this, your assumption is not the truth.
Lack of Gratitude
Dissatisfaction in life can be a good thing; it can help you get motivated to take action towards changing your life. It is an energy that can be utilized to create the life you want. It becomes negative energy when it is derived from comparing yourself with others. You have more than you can ever use in this life. Why don’t you count your blessings when you feel like taking a turn at comparison road. Say out loud what you are thankful for. Write a list of things that makes you smile. Keep a gratitude journal and record the things that keep you ground, happy, and joyful. These activities will help you focus on your blessedness not other people’s things.
Finally, research has shown acquiring things only keeps you happy for a moment, because once you achieve a goal, it no longer seems important. The next goal is just around the corner. That is why you should spend more time investing in your growth and development rather than on comparing yourself to others.
Right about now your new year’s resolutions are starting to look less interesting. It’s been two weeks and life is settling in as normal and that burst of energy you felt for change at the end of 2018 is slowing down.
One thing is for sure. Time is not slowing down. It stops for no one. Whether you feel like acting on improving your life is irrelevant to time. Time will continue to do what it does best…keep going.
Are you waiting for the right time to act on your goals? Are you waiting to be motivated to start taking action?
We have the tendency to act slowly when we must get something done. The problem is the longer we take to act, the likelihood of us doing it diminishes greatly.
Now is the time to start growing.
We will never be ready in our minds to tackle life, so just do it and you will have a greater understanding of how to get better.
The truth is we are robbing ourselves of what life has to offer when we want to wait for the right time.
As a beginning real estate investor years ago, I paid dearly for neglecting to act when the market screamed financial crisis. Rental income greatly diminished, debt quickly accumulated, and instead of selling to recoup what I could, I held on to foreclosure.
I waited for the right time to sell and it never came. The dumbest decision of my real estate investing experience.
So, do not wait until the situation gets worst, start now.
This morning, my son and I had a heart-to-heart talk about the future.
As an eigth grader, he has a lot on his plate. He plays soccer for his middle school and the local competitive league. He made all-county, solo and ensemble program for playing trombone. He is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. All of these programs require after school practices. In addition, he is carrying a load of eight classes in which he is required to keep a “B” or better.
As a parent, I monitor all of these activities while keeping my eyes open for opportunities for his personal growth and development. One such opportunities is offered by his school district is the Cambridge program, where he can earn up to 45 college credits upon high school graduation. I was all over that opportunity and signed him up. This morning he had to get up at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday to go take the test.
We talked about why is it important to work on his future today instead of tomorrow. If he wants to have a successful future, he has to show up to class, work hard, and keep up his grades. He has to participate in school and community programs to help him become a well-rounded person. We talked about the stages, seasons of life, how being in grade school right now is an opportunity of a lifetime, which cannot present itself in the future. Therefore, he must learn what must be learned right now.
As my son and I stood in that line waiting for registration to start, I could not help noticing that the group was not a balanced one. Why wasn’t there a more diverse group of students testing for this free program? The Polk county school district is one of the poorest of the entire state. Was the information available to all parents? What measures were taken to ensure that all parents had access to this information?
Too many parents expect the school to do their jobs for them. As parents we have to remain informed about how we can prepare our children for the future. We must partner with our children, their schools, and the community to ensure that we are taking advantage of all opportunities to enhance their future. At this time, we should make it our business to know our children school websites like the back of our hands. The information, programs, and resources are available, but it is up to us to sign up, fill out the application, come of the informational meeting, follow through with the directions we are given.
I know too many students who graduate high school and have no clue what their next step is. If you are lucky to still have a student who still has time, get moving to make the most of it. Research technical schools, community colleges, and work opportunities with tuition reimbursement. You can start to help your children develop a growth plan at any time. Why not start now?
Do you find yourself tossing and turning in bed every morning or maybe be every night?
It never fails. At certain hours of the morning, I would repeatedly move from side-to-side, on my stomach, and on my back, unable to find a comfortable sleeping position.
Then, I would get up, go to the bathroom, and take a sip of water, just to repeat the cycle. With this pattern, I wasted thousands of hours over the years.
We all have different sleeping habits. I prefer to go to sleep late and get up late. However, over the years, my work did not allow that. So, I go to bed around 10:00 p.m. and wake at at 5:00 a.m.
That is the time programmed into my cellphone. Because waking up early has been a pattern over the years, I no longer need my cellphone. That’s a great thing because I am following Mel Robbins’ advice to keep the cellphone out of my bedroom.
When I had the cellphone in my bedroom, I checked the time every five minutes. It did not make me get up and do something, instead, I became preoccupied with finding different thoughts that could potentially drive me to catch another 15, 30, 45, or even 60 minutes of sleep.
This year, I decided to do something different.
I get out of bed when I am awake. When the tossing and turning pattern starts, I know that it is time to get up and do something productive. This morning, the stove clock read 2:40 a.m.
I count this as a great gift of time. I can do my morning devotion, review my goals, listen to my morning affirmations, exercise, write a blog post, read a chapter of a book, an article, or a blog post. I can do a load of laundry, clean an area in the house, or cook a healthy breakfast for the husband and children.
Truth be told, there is always a task in my mind that I know I need to be doing at that time, but usually I feel too tired, lazy, or unmotivated to do it. So, I would lay there hoping for sleep to rescue me.
Not this morning!
My goals and dreams for this year kept flashing in my mind. It was like watching a video. I got excited.
Since I did not have my cellphone by my bed to deter me from leaving my bed because it was too early, I got up from my bed and proceeded to do the things that mentioned above. This post being a by product of that decision.
It feels so amazing. With this little tweak to my morning routine, I am sure that my life will be unrecognizable by this time next year.
What would your life be like if you decided to get out of bed when your body has had enough sleep for the night?
What task can you get done? What goals can you work on? What dreams can you conjure up? What life can you create?
What is your favorite color (s)? Why?
What kind of work do you enjoy doing? Why?
What’s your favorite smell? Why?
What is your dream car?
What kind of food do you enjoy?
Where would you prefer to live? Why? Describe your perfect home.
What are you good at doing? When and how did you discover it? How can you expand on your strengths to achieve your goals?
What is your personality like?
Sometimes answering the most simple questions can help you discover profound things about yourself.
What are some of the questions you ask to get a deeper sense of who you are?
Leave me a comment.
We all have baggage. They were given to us in our childhoods by parents, friends, and associates. Later on in life, our spouses and employers give us some more baggage.
Although baggage can be associated with good and bad things that happened to us, the word is mostly used to describe the effects of negative experiences and traumatic events throughout the different stages of life.
Low self-esteem, guilt, fear, pessimism, anger, and the desire to please others are some examples of baggage. We walk around heavily burdened because every choice and decision we make are filtered through our baggage.
The ongoing effect is that of insecurity in everything we do.
Therefore, we continuously behave in unproductive manners and sabotage the plan designed to move us forward.
If we are to have positive changes in our future, we must dump all unnecessary baggage because they will only serve as hurdles in our paths.
Imagine going to college having no idea what you are going to major in. Having absolutely no idea who you will become and what you will do. You see, some people are born knowing who they want to be. Because of that knowledge, they can easily eliminate all the clutter that life brings and focus on what they know to be reflective of where they want to go in life.
I was not one of these people. I wanted to do everything. My transcript is reflective of that frustrating but exhilarating time of my life. Premed, theatre and dance, business, nursing, English, British, Caribbean, and African-American Literature, and criminal justice were some of the areas I dabbled in.
College years were frustrating because I could not make up my mind. I felt like the squirrel in Ice Age that wanted all the acorns but could not seem to hold on to all of them.
The experience was exhilarating because for the first time, I saw my likeness in the textbooks. Taking classes in Caribbean and African-American literature was life-changing. I knew for sure then that success was possible for me.
I was so overwhelmed with all the different and interesting classes that I did not take advantage of the people resources at my disposal. Looking back, it would have been eye-opening to sit down and talk to all these professors who are experts in their fields. Now, there is no way of knowing how their insights would have influence the trajectory of my life.
One of the hurdles people often complain about concerning their personal growth is a lack of knowledge. Often, they claim they do not have enough and do not know where to get some.
Do you have a phone? Do you have access to the internet? Do you have access to a computer?
When was the last time you use your local library? It amazes me how libraries are bending over backward to serve you knowledge. They can deliver to your doorstep almost any resource you may need. You can conduct research and listen to audio books or music CDs right on their websites.
So, there is no excuse. You want knowledge, go get it. You cannot attempt to comprehend how to effectively use knowledge before you possess it. That is why it is important to have a personal growth plan. All of learning does not have to be via the trial by error approach where life teaches you at random.
You will not be able to predict what you will learn because you have no clue what you are after. Know this, having a personal development plan helps to clear your vision and helps you to be intentional about your future.
For example, if time management is problematic for you, there are books, workshops, seminars, calendars, and systems out there to help you maintain the discipline to keep going.
Knowledge is everywhere, you must invest in yourself if you want your world to expand. Everything you need to create a personal growth plan and to exercise that plan is available to you. Go get it!
I stumbled upon this list via www.DaveRamsey.com
Tom Corley, on his website RichHabitsInstitute.com, outlines a few of the differences between the habits of the rich and the poor.
- 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.
- 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.
- 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.
- 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.
- 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor.
- 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of poor.
- 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor.
- 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls vs. 11% of poor.
- 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.
- 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor.
- 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of poor.
- 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor.
- 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor.
- 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor.
- 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor.
- 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor.
- 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor.
- 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor.
- 86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor.
- 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.
You and I know the world is not fair and it is not equal. Knowing what you know now and the resources at your disposal, where do you think you can begin to make a bit of improvement in your life?
Conquering the happiness habit is not for the faint of heart, especially when our culture demands that we focus on what is outside of us rather than what is on the inside.
On the outside, we want to look and sound good. We want to maintain a stellar reputation, securing how we want people to see us.
At the same time, we give very little attention to what is going on on the inside. We don’t seem to care about the person we are becoming.
Practicing integrity forces us to practice wholeness; therefore rendering it more difficult to segment our lives to accommodate the many expectations that we insist others to require of us.
We tend to be incongruent when we feel like we have to be a different person in different environments. Then, happiness cannot exist because we are trying to be different everywhere we go. To practice integrity, we have to aim to be ourselves; that is the only way we can be out best.
Seeking wisdom is very important in developing integrity. Wisdom tells us what is right, equipping us in extraordinary ways to practice integrity. By making wisdom part of our arsenals, we will be better prepared to distinguish the voices of the angel on our right shoulder and the voices of the devil on our left.
Here are a few tips you can incorporate in your daily activities to help you practice integrity today and to become a happy person.
- Keep your words: do not make promises you cannot keep. Unkept promises produces bitterness in the people you love.
- Do you best at all times. Everything that you do, give it your all. Then, you will not have regrets.
- Be yourself with people. Do not try to be anybody else other than yourself. Refuse to wears masks and play games with people.
- Treat others like you want to be treated. That means no backbiting and stabbing in the back. Work on uplifting people rather than putting them down. It is not necessary for you to win arguments, so be willing to let some things go.