“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”
~ John F. Kennedy
The one constant thing in our life is change. We cannot avoid it and the more we resist change the tougher our life becomes. Trust me, I know this because I was very skilled at deflecting change in my life. We are surrounded by change and it is the one thing that has the most dramatic impact on our lives. Change has the ability to catch up with you at some point in your life. There is no avoiding it because it will find you, challenge you, and force you to reconsider how you live your life.
Change can come into our lives as a result of a crisis, as a result of choice or by chance. In either situation we are all faced with having to make a choice – do we make the change or not? I believe it is always better to make changes in your life when you choose to rather than being forced to.
We however cannot avoid the unexpected events (crisis) in our lives because it is these events that challenge our complacency in life. What we can control when we are experiencing these challenging events, is how we choose to respond to them. It is our power of choice that enables us to activate positive change in our lives.
Acting on our power of choice provides us with more opportunity to change our lives for the better. The more opportunities we create to change our lives the more fulfilled and happier our lives become. Here are 10 things that you can do in your life that will change your life for the good, forever:Advertising
1. Find Meaning In Life
Spend some time trying to sort out what is important in your life and why is it important. What is it that you want to achieve in your life? What are your dreams? What makes your happy? Your meaning in life gives you purpose and sets the direction of how you want to live your life. Without meaning you will spend the rest of your life wandering through life aimlessly with no direction, focus, or purpose.
2. Create A Dream Board
When we were children we would daydream all the time. We were skilled at dreaming and visualising what we would be when we grew up. We believed that anything was possible. As we grew into adults we lost our ability to dream. Our dreams became hidden and once we started to feel like achieving our dreams was impossible.
A dream board is a great way for us to start believing in your own dreams again. Seeing our dreams every day on a dream board brings our dreams to life. Our dreams become real and we start to have believe in the possibility of achieving these dreams.
3. Set Your Goals To Achieve Your Dreams
Once you know what is important in your life and what your dream life looks like for you, you need to take action and set your long-term, medium, and short-term goals. It is acting on these goals that enable you to achieve your dreams
Remember your goals may change. Always be flexible with setting and achieving your goals as things in life change and your goals need to reflect these changes. It’s the small steps that you take that create the momentum for change to happen in your life.Advertising
4. Let Go Of Your Regrets
Regrets will only hold you back in life. Regrets are events of the past and if you spend all your time thinking about the past you will miss the present and the future. You cannot change what you did or did not do in the past, so let it go. The only thing you have control over now is how you choose to live your present and future life.
I had a heap of regrets that were holding me back in my life. I came across the “Balloon Exercise” and got rid of my regrets for good. What is it? It’s simple — blow up as many balloons as you need. On each balloon write a regret and then let the balloon go. As the balloon drifts off into the sky say goodbye to that regret forever. A simple and powerful exercise that works and can change how you live your life.
5. Choose Some Really Scary Things To Do And Then Do Them
This is all about you choosing to step out of your comfort zone. Public speaking is one of the most frightening things anyone can do. I was petrified of public speaking however, I knew that I wanted to be a motivational speaker. So I joined Toast Masters to overcome my fear of public speaking. My first speech was terrible, my knees were knocking, I broke out in a sweat and I couldn’t stop shaking. But I did it and the feeling of completing this speech, even though it was terrible was great. I chose to keep going and now I earn a living as a motivational speaker. I am still nervous when I get up to speak however it is an excited nervous and I love it.
Make a list of scary things that you would kind of like to do but are too afraid to. Put a plan in place and then go do them. Never stop doing scary things because if you do your life will become one of complacency and comfort.
6. Start Living A Well-Balanced Life
Our health does not remain the same. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual state changes, as we get older. What we can control however is how we feed our minds and our bodies. Living a balanced and healthy life builds our resilience to the physical changes of our body. Exercise is the best way in which we can attain a positive and optimistic attitude toward life.Advertising
Living a healthy, well-balanced life with lots of exercise is a lifestyle choice that without a doubt will give you a happier more satisfied and fulfilled life.
7. Face Your Fears
Its easy to ignore our fears and hope that they will go away. Unfortunately, it does not work like that. If you want to change your life, learn to master your fears so they can’t control you any longer. Our fears are only thoughts in our minds that are not real but over time we have become to believe that they are true. It is our fears in life that stop us from living our life to the fullest. We know when our fears are controlling our lives because we feel discontent, dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
Once we face our fears we take back our power to choose how we want to live our lives and when we do this we change our lives forever.
8. Accept You
The only person who is going to create change in your life is you! and to create that change you have to like you. There will be times in your life where you will face rejection and there will be people who will not like you that much. Accepting who you are and loving yourself helps you to move forward in your life. Putting yourself down all the time and wishing you could be better will only lead you to a life of unhappiness and discontent.
Find your courage, love yourself, and step out and do something crazy. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks or whether it is the right thing to do. In your heart if it feels right, act on it and go create the life you love.Advertising
9. Live In The Moment
Many of us tend to think that the grass is greener on the other side. Often, we get to the other side of the fence we find that this is not so. The motivation to change our lives comes from our desire to be happy. We are often so busy focusing on our pursuit of happiness that we miss the joy of actually living in the moment. Our desire to have happiness in our lives is a desire of a future state not of the present. We become so consumed with all our problems and discontent in the present we miss the precious beauty of the moment.
Sitting on the beach eating an ice-cream with your best friend or partner is a moment of happiness. Appreciating and showing gratitude on a daily basis is experiencing happiness in the moment. Helping those in need brings joy and happiness to us. This is what living our life in the moment is all about – don’t miss these moments because you are too busy focusing on your pursuit of happiness.
10. Experience The Joy Of Learning
Each time you learn something new you gain more knowledge and with more knowledge comes more confidence. Learning helps us to be more adaptable and flexible to new situations. Learning encourages us to be more creative and innovative in our thinking and we are therefor more comfortable with the unknown.
Reading books is a great way for us to learn. To fully embrace the joy of learning, never stop reading nor searching for more knowledge. Learning gives our life meaning and this is what makes our life worthwhile.
You have a choice to make as to how you want to change your life. Choosing to act on these 10 things will, without a doubt change your life forever. So what are you waiting for? Go do these 10 things now!
The Gentle Art of Saying No
It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.
But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.
What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.
But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:
- Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
- Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
- Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
- Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
- Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
- Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
- Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
- Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
- Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
- It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.
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