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How to Live a “Contagious” Life and Start an Epidemic!

How to Live a “Contagious” Life and Start an Epidemic!

Have you ever been around someone with a cold or flu? The sneezing, running nose, sore throat, and whatever else they’re carrying are enough to make you want to run for cover. Why? Because viruses are contagious and none of us want to catch them.

The point is, we can tell when people are sick because they demonstrate certain characteristicsthat tell us to “stay away.” If you’ve spent any time around someone who is sick you know what I’m talking about—you find yourself feeling miserable within minutes.

Not wanting to be around sick people who may be contagious is a no-brainer, but what about people who are positive, fun, encouraging and passionate? Everyone wants to be around those folks because their energy rubs off on others—their energy is contagious. They are usually leaders whose character traits are mirrored by the people around them. The key is learning how to breathe in some of that positive energy for yourself.

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If you want to live a contagious life, but feel like you’ve been drowning in the sea of mediocrity lately, it’s time to amp things up a bit. Here are a few things you can try to get infected with positivity:

Have the right attitude

A right attitude is contagious: most people want to be around others who are humble, teachable, and positive. You may not be the most talented or experienced person, but with a great attitude, you’ll always stand out in a crowd. 

Know who they are

People who have a good self-image are more likely to convey an infectious attitude. They focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses, and they don’t rely on their performance as a barometer for their self worth.

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Avoid “stinking thinking”

Contagious people encounter difficult circumstances like the rest of us; they just filter them before passing them on. They focus on the positive and see adversity as a challenge. They watch what they tell themselves and take an optimistic tone. You won’t hear any negative self-talk because they’ve trained themselves to filter it and avoid ruminating about things that are negative and will bring them down.

Stop making excuses

The “I’ll never change, or this is just how I am” mentality has got to go. If you want to live a more contagious life you have to step outside the box and be willing to take some risks: excuses keep you stuck. You are only a moment away from experiencing truth by what you chose to believe about yourself and your circumstances. You can change, millions of people have. You only have one life—go for it!

Fuel their passion

Passion is contagious. Look around at the people you know who are inspiring: they are generally passionate about something. They are motivators, and tend to be willing to take risks to add some gas to their fire.

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Pass the infection around

Laughter really is the best medicine, and it’s infectious. Contagious people spread positive energy by acting goofy, joking around, and making others laugh. They don’t take themselves too seriously all the time.

Strive for personal growth

Contagious people are movers and shakers: they are always looking for new ways to stimulate their minds and challenge themselves with new adventures. They are intention on nurturing personal growth and development, and you’ll find them reading, writing, taking a course, trying a new sport or hobby, or doing something adventurous.

It’s never too late to live a contagious life; all it takes is a decision. Start today by taking some next steps to change, and start an epidemic!

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Back at you: What strategies have you implemented to live a more contagious life?

Featured photo credit: young pretty woman drinking coffee via Shutterstock

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Rita Schulte LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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