If you are reading this article, you have probably been asking yourself: is there more I could be doing with my life?

Are you satisfied with your work or do you complain about your work?  Does your body feel good or do you take medication and are in daily pain and discomfort?  Are your relationships positive not only with others but with yourself or do you spend most of your time in conflict?  Are you growing more financially secure or insecure?

Your mental attitude and emotions determine your decisions and actions in your life.  How do you want to be remembered at the end of your life?  Are you living the life you want to be remembered for?

1. Have a more purpose-driven life for less stress and better health.

Many people have been trained to live a life of work.  They have not been trained to work a life they enjoy.  There is a palpable, noticeable, tangible difference when you meet someone who is passionate about who they are, what they do, and what they accomplish compared to everyone else.  These individuals have come to live out what they desire.  Their actions are in alignment with their thoughts and their desires in life.  The most successful individuals live a life that benefits others.

Why is it important to know what you enjoy and to pursue it relentlessly?  It is because you otherwise live a life of conflict not knowing what you want and not feeling confident about your accomplishments.  This is one major source of stress and disease in human beings.

“…[T]he more engaged and connected you and your team are to the work itself, the lower your stress levels will be. Not because the work is easier—not at all. But because your response to stress won’t be the same as someone who’s just in it for the paycheck (who will buckle or bail when things get tough because there’s nothing else holding her up—or there).”  See http://www.forbes.com/sites/janbruce/2013/09/24/the-purpose-driven-business-why-your-mission-matters/

New research indicates that stress activates genes related with inflammation, which normally would help heal wounds and fight off those infections. However, when these genes are over-stimulated, they can cause tissue damage and increases the risk of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes.

One’s sense of purpose affects these genes even more.

“The researchers were surprised to find that the two types of happiness influenced gene expression in different ways. People with a meaning-based or purpose-based outlook had favorable gene-expression profiles, whereas hedonic well-being, when it occurred on its own, was associated with profiles similar to those seen in individuals facing adversity.”  See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-happiness-boosts-the-immune-system

If you want control over your health, align your passion and interests with the rest of your actions.

2. Stronger, positive relationships enhance your happiness and reduces stress – lead yourself.

Your relationship with yourself is formed by the absence or presence of traumas and your environment including your family, community and your culture.  The good news is that whatever has happened to you in the past, you have the ability to control your present and future.  You choose to make yourself happy or sad.  No matter what your circumstances, the only thing that no one can touch is what is deep in your mind, unless you allow someone to do so.

The people in your life are a reflection of who you are.  If you are not satisfied with who you are around, change who you spend time with.  If you’re spending more time complaining and being unhappy about who you are with, now is the time to take action to be with someone else, even if your only choice is to just be with yourself.

At a high level, people who choose to become leaders of themselves and others are best positioned to influence and direct their lives where they desire.

Why be a leader?  To create a strong community around yourself for mutual support and strength.

Furthermore, researchers are finding that when leaders use positive thoughts and emotions to communicate with people, they cause a specific neuroendocrine reaction in others to make them more teachable and willing to listen.

“Boyatzis, a faculty member at Weatherhead School of Management, and Jack, director of the university’s Brain, Mind and Consciousness Lab, say coaches should seek to arouse a Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA), which causes positive emotion and arouses neuroendocrine systems that stimulate better cognitive functioning and increased perceptual accuracy and openness in the person being coached, taught or advised.”

Your positive leadership will lead to others feeling better which leads back to you feeling better.

“We know that people respond much better to a coach they find inspiring and who shows compassion for them, rather than one who they perceive to be judging them. Sure enough, we found a trend in the same direction even for the neutral questions. Students tended to activate the areas associated with visioning more with the compassionate coach, even when the topics they were thinking about weren’t so positive,” Jack said.”  See http://blog.case.edu/think/2010/11/15/coaching_with_compassion_can_alight_upa_human_thoughts

Cultivating positive relationships requires a great deal of self-awareness and control to temper and adjust one’s words, actions and reactions to different people around them.  The best leaders know themselves, are decisive, are passionate about their purpose, and have the ability to communicate and inspire a wide variety of people.

3. Prioritize your health and longevity.

How expensive is it to receive medical care?  How many people receive medical care but still are not one hundred percent healthy afterwards?  How much do people spend on medication and contend with the resulting side effects?

I have trained students this year who were billed $11,000 for a heart stent, $60,000 for a heart attack, $1000 a month on diabetes medication, and $1.2 million for an extreme, life-threatening bone infection that required 4 months of hospitalization.

“Terry Miller, 62, a businessman in the Bay Area, got a bill for $117,000 for a two-night stay at California Pacific Medical Center to place a stent to open one of his heart’s clogged arteries — a charge that did not include fees for the cardiologist and radiologist. According to the Medicare database, California Pacific Medical Center charged $43,679 for hospitalization to treat a simple pneumonia and $96,642 to treat a stroke; the Medicare payments for those illnesses were $8,046 and $9,583.” See

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html)

You will pay for your mental and physical health one way or another.  You either treat your mind and body as even more valuable than your house or car and spend the time and effort to keep them strong, or you eventually expend money and suffer trying to patch them up.

When you are hospitalized, the doctors work hard to fix you up and send you home. However, just because you get to go home doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy.

High-level, traditional martial arts instructors can train students to have the martial arts lifestyle where you use forms and movements to build your health and energy and reduce stress to have the kind of health that allows you to do anything.  You learn to repair yourself without the side effects that come with medication and surgery.

4. Being in control of your life can lead to wealth.

Gaining more wealth requires willpower.  How much will does one have to do extra work that would earn a raise?  How much will does one have to gain additional education to gain a better-paying job?  How much will does an entrepreneur have to do the necessary steps it takes to obtain more customers for their business?

For middle class Americans, having a college education can better ensure the ability to maintain or move up the income ladder.  Obtaining a college education requires the willpower to earn the grades, the financing and all the work.

“Thirty-nine percent raised in the middle of the family income ladder who do not get a college degree fall from the middle, compared with less than a quarter (22 percent) of those with a degree. Similarly, 39 percent raised in the middle of the family wealth ladder who do not earn a degree fall down the wealth ladder, compared with 19 percent with a degree.”  See http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2012/Pursuing_American_Dream.pdf

Take your vision, make a decision, and use your willpower to take action.  Move ahead.  Don’t fall back.

Life will be challenging.  Control life or be victimized by it.  Take control!

Bad habits are hard to break. They’re deeply ingrained into your subconscious because of behavior you learn and repeat over time. So how do you “unlearn” them and finally quit those bad habits once and for all? 10 Ways To Take Control And Quit Your Bad Habits

Featured photo credit: Young attractive man making Thai-chi movements on the beach of Black seavia Shutterstock

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