Pursue Your Passion TODAY

Passion - an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction

Do you live your life with passion? 

I'm willing to guess that most readers would say "no". Why is that? Why do we settle for living a life void of passion? Usually life with its responsibilities, challenges and disappointments cause us to squash the passionate side within.

My challenge for you is to remember that thing that consumed you before responsibility, challenges and disappointments stole its hold on you. That thing that excited you about the future. That thing that stole sleep from you at night. That is where your passion lies.

 Here are three tips to live a life of passion: 
  1. Discover or rediscover your passion.

Think back to your childhood. Can you remember what you were passionate about? What you could spend hours doing without feeling lonely? What you felt proud of achieving? I'm willing to bet that is where your passion lies. As you grow up, sometimes you feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of life. But no matter how busy you are, I challenge you to always find an interest outside of your responsibilities. 

You can also discover your passion by simply saying "yes" to trying new things. Regardless of your age or how big or small the challenge, keep trying new things. Trying new things will broaden your perspective and you will gain experience, wisdom and character. You never know if you like it or if your good at it unless you try it.

2. Let your passion captivate you.

Once you’ve discovered your passion, give it all you’ve got and get to know it inside and out. Read books, take a class or get a mentor. Let your passion become a huge part of who you are. Let it become your identity. 

When it becomes your identity, it will become something you feel proud to call “your interest”. It will help build up your self-image and self-esteem. Your eyes will light up when you talk about it and you'll  feel energetic and enthusiastic about it. Even when your body is tired, your heart will tell you to keep going.

3. Be willing to make mistakes.

Living a life of passion will require you to take chances and be willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty. It is often said that the best teacher is failure, and we can learn from mistakes. As the saying goes, no risk, no reward. We can do our best to make calculated decisions to limit the risk, however mistakes are inevitable. Roughly paraphrasing Dave Ramsey, if you’re going to make mistakes, make sure to just sprain your ankle, not break your leg. Yes, you can more easily heal after a sprained ankle. But be willing to experience a broken leg as opposed to not experiencing any injury at all.

Our passions are meant to be discovered, pursued and used. They were never meant to lie dormant or be hidden under a rock! Pursue your passion now. You'll be so glad you did.

Please share your thoughts on living a life of passion. I'd love to hear them.

It's all in your perspective

We all wear different glasses when looking at the world and when dealing with certain life events. Often our glasses are shaded by the beliefs we hold of ourselves and others, by our experiences and by our history.

Eye witness identification requires that a witness to a crime correctly perceive objects and events. It is quite possible to have three people witness one crime and the testimony be three different perspectives or points of view.

Despite our perspective being influenced by our history, beliefs and experiences, we still have the ability to choose our perspective. You have the ability to either see the glass half full (a positive perspective) or half empty (a negative perspective).

Here are just a few tips to help develop a positive perspective:
  1. Think, See and Do positives.

In a world that inundates us with negativity it can be difficult to think positive. However, purposely see the light in every circumstance and think positive no matter what your situation. Darkness may seem ever present, but light is always at the end of every dark tunnel.

Also, make it a goal to see positive. In everything, there is something good, something we can learn. Let the beauty of things be what motivates you and arrests your attention. Remember to look for, find and see the light every time it looks like there is only darkness.

Finally, put your thoughts to the test and try doing as you think. Actions speak louder than words and thoughts. So let your actions guide you into an overall better way of being.
  1. Be challenged by life's lessons.

Overcoming challenges reinforces confidence and inner strength. See life’s lessons as a challenge that you have to conquer. Learn from life events including mistakes. They will only increase your wisdom. Open up and try to understand things rather than becoming a victim. We all experience suffering, heartbreak and mishaps. The challenge is to critically learn from these experiences and to keep on moving.
  1. Do not be fearful of failure and rejection.

Rejection and failure are common experiences. However, we do not have to live in constant worry that we will eventually face rejection and failure. They are not only possible but likely to occur but they do not define you. What will really stand out and stand the test of time is how you deal with rejection and failure and what steps you take to keep on being positive.

Remember it's all in perspective.  We all don't have the same perspective but let's work on all having a positive perspective.

Has anything helped YOU develop a positive perspective? Please share your personal tips and tricks in the comments section below.

Perseverance: One of my most important life lessons

Life challenges have taught me how to perservere. Perseverance is taking steady action despite difficulty. I thank my parents, husband and daughter for helping teach me this life lesson. When things were difficult for me as a young girl my parents didn't swoop in like a superhero to rescue me. Instead they encouraged me, prayed for me, loved me and supported me. When I had difficulty conceiving and I wanted to give up. My husband encouraged me to remember my life purpose. Everyday my daughter teaches me that motherhood is not a sprint but a journey that I must fulfill.

Perseverance is a lost art. Many in today's society are fragile and lack the gumption to endure. Here are three tips to help you persevere through difficult times.
1.     Remember that "This to Shall Pass".

A former supervisor used to say this to me frequently. It was his way to encourage me to not give up or quit. Remember difficult times are just a phase which will eventually disappear. Sometimes the difficulty lasts much longer than we would like or choose. Every person on this earth deals with their share of difficulties. Therefore, you can anticipated experiencing difficulties. But the more we experience, the more we grow.

Hold yourself together and endure during tough times. We cannot choose or control our circumstances, but we can choose our attitude towards our circumstances. Realize that you have come a long way. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

2. Remember your purpose.

All of us have an individual purpose to pursue. If you don't have a purpose, I encourage you to invest in a larger and deeper life goal. A sense of purpose gives us a clear reason to persevere. When faced with difficulty, remembering our purpose will motivate us to endure. Without a clear purpose, our desire to endure will sag when faced with challenges. We will lose sight of why it is important to endure and quitting becomes an easy option. Remembering our goals, makes motivating ourselves so much easier and will help us reach our mission much faster and easier than without a clear purpose.

3. Surround yourself with positive people.

Positivity and motivation is contagious. Many of our worries come from self doubt. Self- doubt is exacerbated when we deal with it alone. Keep in touch with and confide in people who care for you and who want to see you succeed. Have open conversations about difficulties and be open to  hear advice and thoughts. Socialize with optimistic people. The moment you interact with individuals who are cheerful and upbeat, you will catch the vibe too.

Yes, life can be hard BUT persevere. You'll surprise yourself with your inner strength and ability. Also, you'll likely motivate someone else to endure. Remember motivation is contagious. 

Please comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

The positives of negative self-talk

Just kidding. I actually think that negative self talk can be very detrimental to your spiritual, emotional and physical well being.

You may not realize it but you are likely having self talk right now.

Self-talk is your inner voice and it can be both positive and negative.  The voice in your mind which says things that you don’t necessarily say out loud. Self-talk happens without you or I even being consciously aware of it occurring. But what you say in your mind can determine a lot of how you feel about who you are.

Self- talk is one of the greatest influences on confidence and mood. Before we discuss tips to improve self talk let's make sure we are clear on the difference between positive and negative self talk.

Positive self-talk is the stuff that makes you feel good about yourself and the things that are going on in your life. It is like having an optimistic voice in your head that always looks on the bright side.  Examples of positive self talk are:

  • I am as capable as anyone else out there
  • I know with time and effort I can accomplish anything
  • I know who I am and I am special
  • I am worthwhile, successful, and happy

Negative self-talk is the stuff that makes you feel lousy and inadequate about yourself and your accomplishments. It puts a downer on everything. Examples of negative self talk are:

  • I'm not worth it
  • I'll never follow through
  • Others are better than I am
  • I must be perfect

Here are three tips to help you improve self-talk:

  1. Listen to and monitor your self talk.

We are not always consciously aware of what we're saying in our mind. Starting
today take note of what you are saying in your mind. Actually write it down and think 
about. Use the following to question it:

  • Is it positive or negative?
  • What would I say if a friend were in a similar situation?
  • Is there a more positive way of looking at this?
  • Am I keeping everything in perspective?
  • Can I do anything to change what I’m feeling bad about?
  1. Treat yourself as a dear friend. 

If a friend were discussing a problem with you would you be demeaning, disparaging, or negative. Depending on the situation, I highly doubt it. You would likely be supportive, compassionate and understanding. Speak to yourself the same way you would speak to a dear friend.

  1. Replace negative influences with positive ones.

Identify negative outside influences that may be holding your thoughts hostage. Your mental state can become toxic by being around negative people. If you are not vigilant, you'll unconsciously adopt the thoughts of negative friends. If your negative influences are from people, limit your exposure to them and refrain from discussing your plans with those who won't be supportive of your goals and dreams. Instead surround yourself with supportive people with positive thoughts, actions and beliefs.

So I guess the positives of negative self-talk is that once you become aware of it you can change it. You will ultimately improve your confidence and likely improve your relationships. 

If this has helped you or stirred up anything for you please comment below. I'd love to discuss with you. 

Comfort Zones: Lies We Tell Ourselves To Stay The Same. Lie #4

4. It's not the right time.

“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”― Napoleon Hill

For good reasons, comfort zones are hard to leave. In our comfort zone we feel safe and secure. However, comfort zones can become a place where we settle for mediocrity. I ask you is there ever a perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and try something new?

I would argue that there is never a perfect time for you to try something new. There is never a perfect time for you to launch that project, to spend time with your family, to write a book, change your habit, or embrace a new habit. Once you acknowledge the false belief that, it's not the right time, you'll be more productive and courageous.

Why now is the best time to start something new:
  1. You'll never know when the perfect time will present itself to you. Will it be something you feel? Will it be something you see? Will it be when you hear that special phrase? Who knows. Life has a way of reminding us that we have no control over tomorrow. You can be the most driven, motivated, and self-disciplined person in the world but you don’t have any control over what happens tomorrow. I'm reminded of this daily in the raising of my daughter. My plans end or at least are put on hold if she is sick, injured or has some kind of activity. Tomorrow is never promised to anyone. Take advantage of the gift of today that God has presented to you.
  1. The longer you wait the less likely you are to ever get started. Have you ever decided that you were going to eat healthier (for example)? When do you usually say you'll start? Tomorrow, Monday, next month, January 1st, etc. Why is getting started so difficult? Getting started is tough because you don't have an established routine, you don't have a set plan and you have not considered the importance. Life can get very busy. We often juggle families, careers, friends, etc. It can be difficult to carve out time to really focus on the new goal. To get started you'll need to set aside time to develop a plan.  You will also have to work on developing a routine. A suggestion to develop a routine is to schedule time each day to take action. After a while it will become second nature. If I'm going to exercise on certain days of the week it must be in the morning between 3:00 am and 4:00 am. It was not a easy habit to start. I went several days saying I'll do it tomorrow. I eventually had to take action by setting an alarm, setting my clothes out the night before and planning what specific exercises I would complete. Additionally, I did a self evaluation to decide how important this morning exercise was for me and my health. When you care enough you find time to make it work. Living a healthy lifestyle is important to me and an important example I want to show my daughter. Therefore, if I have to wake up ungodly early to exercise while juggling a full time job and a family then that is what I'm going to do. To get started evaluate the importance, make a plan and develop a routine.
  1. Best to get started right away because it may take you a lot of attempts. We've all heard it before. You won’t ever succeed if you don’t try. You may fail along the way, but it’s better to fail trying than to never try at all. Ellen DeGeneres once said, "When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” It took Thomas Edison 10,000 attempts before he created the lightbulb. Dyson tried to make a bagless vacuum cleaner 5126 times before getting it right. It may take you several tries to get it right. It's best to get started right away.

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” — Mark Victor Hansen

There isn’t a right time for anything. There’s no such thing as perfect timing. If it feels right, go for it today. Don’t wait until everything is perfect or right. Get started now!!

If you enjoyed this post or if it challenged you, please comment below. I'd love to hear from you. 

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone by Sharele Hatfield

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone Think about your life right now. Is it everything you’ve dreamed of? Are you in a good place?...