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Starting Today You Can Live A Unique Life If You Take These 10 Steps

Starting Today You Can Live A Unique Life If You Take These 10 Steps

You’ve dreamed about it. You want it. You wonder if it’s really possible. You worry about being realistic. You worry about failing miserably. You worry about missing out. In your heart, you know you’re ready to live a different life. It doesn’t matter that it might seem odd to everyone around you to want something out of the norm. Your heart is calling you to reach for a life that is unique. Well, it’s possible. You can do it.

Here are 10 steps to help you start living a unique life – right here, right now, starting today!

1. Define Unique

Most people have never thought about what a unique life would look like for them. Think about it. If you designed a unique life for yourself, what would that life be? Define how unique would look like is the first step to living it. Your unique life is like your fingerprint. It was not meant to be exactly like anyone else’s life. It’s yours and yours alone. Describe it in detail. Write it down right now. Who knows, you might already be living your unique life and didn’t even realize it.

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2. Decide To Make It Happen

Ok, so maybe your current circumstances don’t exactly measure up to your unique life. That’s okay. Today is the day you begin to live a unique life if you decide to make today the day you begin to live a unique life. It may sound like an oversimplification but it is not. You have more control over the life you live than you may realize. Right now, today, make the decision to live a unique life. Now, don’t get ahead of yourself with the excuses and challenges. Just say ‘Yes’ to doing everything within your power to live your unique life.

3. Stop Making Excuses

If you’re going to live a unique life, you must stop making excuses. Yes, even the really good reasons and real problems. Excuses, all of them. Each reason you have not to live the unique life you were meant to live is a terrible excuse born out of your doubt, fear and uncertainty. Think about it again, YOUR unique life. Custom-made, designed especially with you in mind. Those reasons to delay beyond today are just excuses. Don’t settle for anything less. Stop justifying and rationalizing your fears. You don’t even need to fight them. Just set them down right over there. We’ll come back to them in a moment.

4. Allow Your Heart To Guide You

Part of living your unique life is understanding your true heart’s calling. Shhh. Listen. Tune into your inner wisdom. The more clarity you have about your heart’s calling the easier it is to find the focus, courage and consistency to pursue it. If you are going to start living your unique life, you’re going to need to hear what your heart is telling you. Rational has it place. Right now, let’s work with the emotional. Visualize your unique life. Notice how it’s making you feel. Focus on the courage, joy, the peace, the excitement. Turn up the volume on the love and peace that swells in your heart. Pull out the courage and wisdom that is growing there. Let it spread. Love is stronger than fear. Focus on your heart guidance and the joyful feelings grow until they overshadow your fears.

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5. Feed Your Curiosity

Did you realize you are built to follow your heart? Even without knowing or fully understanding your purpose, you have had moments when you were living your unique life. When you feed your curiosity, you allow your authentic self to gravitate to the things that give you life and happiness. Feed your curiosity. Follow that rabbit down that hole and see where it takes you. Your most powerful purposeful self is guiding you to stumble upon that unique life. How can you build space in your day to pursue something you are curious about? The more you feed your curiosity, the more you can see the trends and patterns in what interests you. Passions and purpose are tied to your curiosity. Explore what interests you.

6. Keep Learning

Don’t just feed your curiosity, go deeper. Explore nuances. Pursue theories. Sit and think. Google it. Become an expert on whatever it is that makes your unique life unique. Learn everything and anything you can about it. Find your community. You might not know anyone else in the world who shares your interest but they are out there. Learning is a life long pursuit. Allow your most powerful purposeful self to encourage you to keep learning more about the things that are interesting about the unique life you have decided to live.

7. Do More Of What You Love

Where your attention goes, energy flows. Spend time doing more of what your most powerful purposeful self loves to do. Build your life around it. It’s not enough to talk about living this life, get up, get out and start living. Take a step in the right direction. Even if it isn’t a perfect step, you are moving in the right direction. Each day you take a step toward your unique life, the closer you get to it being your consistent reality. Life is too short to spend time doing things you don’t love.

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8. Stop Doing What You Don’t Love

This is simple. If you don’t love it, if it is not purposeful and pulling you toward your unique life, stop doing it. Now sometimes we do things we would rather not do because it facilitates something we love. That’s maturity. Don’t discard necessary steps on your long range path to design your unique life. This is why clarity about your unique purpose is so important. If you are clear on your direction, you can make better decisions about what you love and why you love it.

9. Be Courageous

When you make a decision to go against the grain or do something purposeful, life will test you to see how serious you are. Challenges will pop up to test your resolve. Obstacles and risks will block your path. Living a unique life calls for the courage to enforce your personal boundaries and set priorities. You cannot live your unique life if you are busy living a life someone else decided they wanted you to live. It’s said if you don’t take risks, you’ll live your life working for someone who will. Be bold, be courageous with your priorities. Say yes to things that challenge you. Say no to things that distract from your unique life.

10. Check Back In To See How You’re Doing

If you decide today is the day you are going to start living your unique life, don’t forget to check back in later today and again tomorrow to see how you’re doing. What’s the difference between the life you wanted to live and the life you are living? Are you getting closer? Did you get distracted? Be accountable to your bold courageous declaration and stick to it! When you check your progress, each day becomes another chance to get closer to your unique life or to jump up out of bed to live it all over again!

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Featured photo credit: mgf26.jpg/GaborfromHungary via mrg.bz

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.”
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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