Superstitions

Since human knowledge is far from perfect, our brains are hard-wired to look for cause and effect in the world. If one thing seems to happen before another, we may find ourselves linking them together to create superstition.

Many people have at least one superstitious belief. For example, Friday 13th is considered an unlucky day, but the Universe doesn’t go on hiatus on this particular day.

Our minds are all-powerful. What we focus our attention on expands and lends itself to the law of attraction. The law of attraction is more than a mystical belief – it is purposeful thought. Superstitions can put expectations in our mind that the law of attraction delivers on.

You can consciously choose positive thoughts and create empowering beliefs or allow superstitions to give way to unlucky scenarios.

Stress

Indirectly, stress is probably our number one killer. Not only does stress lead to health-related issues, but stressing over something doesn’t always solve the problem.

It’s imperative to evaluate your overall lifestyle when encountering significant stress. Some people can handle stressors with relative ease, while others are overwhelmed by minor nuances.

For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. We may not be able to remove the stressors from our life, but we can find ways to reduce their effect through careful thought, prayer, rearranging of our priorities, discussion, and good counsel. Manage your stress, or your stress will manage you.

Self Pity

Self-pity is a self-destructive emotion that presents a warped sense of reality. Feelings of self-pity typically arise out of specific situations.

Emotionally, we are most vulnerable to self-pity after a great effort or when faced with real physical needs. Feeling sorry for yourself or your circumstance doesn’t help the situation. It only dilutes the good you may be doing.

Self-pity is a perspective that can easily be changed. Once you acknowledge what you are dissatisfied with, it is your responsibility to work towards changing your predicament.

You will experience many highs and lows throughout your lifetime. The goal is to get through the lows as quickly as possible and seek support if necessary to aid you through the process.

Playing the victim causes you to lose sight of all you have to be grateful for and the fact that you have it better than someone else in the world.

Keep in mind that people are not as willing to help someone that is not taking the necessary measures to help himself.

“Self-pity will parch your attitudes, it will paralyze your abilities, and it will put off your achievements. It prohibits excellence and prevents expansion.” Anonymous

Motivation

There is no shortage of motivational messaging.

But, motivation extends beyond temporary stimulation that lasts up until the moment you scroll past a message, stop reading, or someone stops speaking and inspiring.

Motivation comes from a personal belief and desire to accept responsibility for your life and take the necessary action to achieve the things you seek.

Periods of frustration often reflect an urging to succeed in some area of your life.

By understanding what frustrates you, you’ll better understand what fulfills you.

The message behind your frustration is priming you to make a difference in your life by creating new and meaningful value.

That’s embedded motivation.

Think Before You Speak

Effective communication can be a challenge even when clearly stated or written. Additionally, social media, text messaging, and email increase the likelihood of your words getting lost in translation. How you deliver your message is just as important as what you say if you expect others to respond constructively.

While it’s good to have something to say, it is equally important to weigh it first. When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that our perspective is far more important than theirs. In our hastiness to get our point across, we forfeit the opportunity to listen and learn. You are what comes out of your mouth, so be mindful of what you speak.

Dreams

The meaning of dreams has drawn plenty of controversies. Some view dreams as our higher self – healing, advising, encouraging, and sometimes warning us of impending dangers.

Others view dreams as nothing more than a vision pulled from our memory and shaped by our imagination.

Whichever you choose to believe, this broadened sense of awareness lends itself to various meanings and new possibilities.

Dreams are a divine gift that many often take for granted – not realizing that the dream state is an expanded state of consciousness.

Stephen LaBerge sums dreams up well “Not all lucid dreams are useful, but they all have a sense of wonder about them. If you must sleep through a third of your life, why should you sleep through your dreams, too?”

Human Life

Human behavior falls into patterns. Still, no one particular person can produce enough knowledge or insight to explain the totality of the human experience. It’s easy to value material possessions over human life, but life is your greatest gift.

All human accomplishments will one day disappear, so it’s better to live your life wisely. Failing to do so can cause you to become too proud or self-sufficient as it relates to your successes and greatly disappointed with your perceived failure(s).

Doubt

Some people must doubt before they’re able to believe. Yet, you can have doubts without living a doubtful way of life.

Doubt is a way of responding, not a permanent condition. The goal is to sharpen the mind, not necessarily change it. If doubt leads to questions and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work. It’s when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness becomes a way of life that doubt overrides faith.

Don’t settle into doubts. Move on from them to pose the question, get an answer, and push for a decision.

Stop Complaining

 

Sometimes we complain without realizing we are doing so. It can be something as simple as commenting on the weather conditions outside to a passerby.

As challenging as it may be to process, you chose the life that you have right now, directly or indirectly. It’s easy to blame others for your problems. Unfortunately, that doesn’t solve the problem.

Where you are today is a direct result of a decision you have or have not made. If you are unwilling to change, then there is no need to complain. In other words, stop criticizing your circumstances and change your conditions.

Control Your Anger

Losing something of great value or dealing with someone who conspires against you can elicit an angry response. Unfortunately, anger is a dangerous and destructive emotion that always threatens to leap out of control. It pushes you to make hasty decisions that result in bitterness and guilt.

There are times when anger is appropriate, but most often, it is futile. You will face countless opportunities in life to lose your temper, but making a conscious effort to channel your anger constructively is what incites change. When you feel like you’re ready to explode, remember that losing control will not solve the problem. It only fuels the fire.

Lead By Example

You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. Leading by example earns you the right to be heard because your actions reinforce what you speak.

Those closest to you often emulate what you do, so if you desire for someone to behave a certain way, don’t be the double standard.

Francis Bacon once remarked, “He that gives good advice builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down the other.”

Don’t Assume

Wrong assumptions lead to faulty conclusions. As the saying goes, “when you assume, you make an Ass out of U and Me.”

We tend to make assumptions about everything, especially as it pertains to people. That’s why it’s critical to engage in a little fact-finding before concluding. Don’t automatically assume that someone’s motives are wrong, even if it initially draws suspicion.

Assuming the worse about the intentions of another can cause you to overlook the good they may bring into your life. Healthy skepticism is not wrong in itself, but exercising wisdom goes a lot further.

Skeletons In The Closet

Sometimes we mistakenly believe we can get away with our wrongdoing if no one witnesses or catches us. But, when a crisis occurs, we soon discover that our misdeeds have been quietly breeding into adverse consequences.

In a world dominated by social media, we can discover more about people in some manner. While all skeletons are not damaging, it is still generally defined as a guilty secret you’d prefer not to share.

It’s better to live each day as if your actions will one day be known to the world.

Fear

Fear is a dark shadow that envelops you and ultimately imprisons you within yourself. Fear becomes the expression of doubt and lack of self-confidence that gradually eats away at your motivation and paralyzes you so that you don’t act at all.

When you are fearful, you’ll continually look for visible signs. Signs are unnecessary if they only confirm what you already know to be true. Instead of looking for more confirmation, take action. Getting started is often the most frightening part of the task.

Use Your Natural Talents

Everyone is born with his or her unique talents. Don’t minimize your skills because you don’t think your talent measures up to someone else’s. Rather than focusing on the talents of another, make use of the talents already afforded you.

If you have difficulty recognizing your strengths, consider how others describe you. They often see what you overlook or fail to give yourself credit.

Once you understand your talents, you’ll come to realize how easy you were doing something that others find a struggle.

As Mark Twain quoted: “We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess.”

Bad Habits

There may be a tendency in our lives to allow what we believe to be harmless habits, manifest into dominating forces if left unattended. For example:

  • Mismanaging money can lead you to the poorhouse.
  • Experimenting with mind-altering substances can create dependency.
  • Telling one lie can lead to more lies to cover up the initial lie.
  • Being consistently late in life can lead to missed opportunities.
  • Having a negative outlook can lead to adverse outcomes.
  • Gossiping can lead to lost relationships.
  • Taking shortcuts in life can cheat you in the long run.
  • Consistent misspellings, punctuation, and grammatical errors in your method of communication can make you appear less intelligent.
  • Laziness can lead to poor health and lack of self-development.
  • Speaking without thinking can lead to compromising situations.
  • Lack of manners can lead to the appearance of ungratefulness.
  • Failure to follow directions can lead to disastrous results.
  • Lack of self-confidence can lead to people taking advantage of you.
  • Resisting change can lead to other implications.

Take inventory of your bad habits and work diligently to improve upon them. What may initially appear harmless can have a tremendous effect on your day to day living.

Product Of Your Environment

You can live under your circumstances or above them. You don’t have to become a prisoner of them. There are circumstances in which you have no control of such as your heredity, and others in which you do, such as the decisions you make.

Resist the temptation to think about the limitations your family background or environment creates for you. Regardless of your upbringing or who influenced your life, you can move beyond those limitations by making a conscious decision to be proactive.

Proactive people live life prepared and make the most out of a situation. It’s not until you desire more for yourself and take the appropriate action towards advancement that the right people and opportunities serendipitously appear.

Negative People

 

Negative people are often short-sighted and lack something within, and if you allow yourself to become one of their victims, they’ll drain the life out of you. These depressed spirits always seem to have a perpetual cloud looming over them. When everyone else appears happy, they maintain a gloomy disposition. They speak negative words into existence and then wonder why the world isn’t smiling upon them. Word of advice, get out of their path quick!

A significant determinant of happiness is the absence of negativity. Negativity robs you of better outcomes by making you a quitter. Those who can extract the positive in negative situations are the ones who prosper in the long run.

Revenge

 
 

There is a Chinese Proverb that states: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” Revenge is an uncontrollable monster. Not only will it ruin your peace of mind, but it also increases the chances of future retaliation. If you applied the principle “an eye for an eye,” you stand the risk of fueling revenge that doesn’t offer finality to a problem.

While it’s necessary to punish those who break the law, a fair punishment weakens the revengeful nature and creates a systematic approach to handle similar threats. In essence, forgiveness can reduce the cycle of revenge. It takes more courage to lay aside hatred and hurt than to take justice into your own hands.

Delegate

Proper delegation can multiply your effectiveness while allowing others to grow.
People in positions of responsibility sometimes feel they are the only ones who can perform necessary tasks when others are capable of handling part of the load.
Allow someone to prove their worthiness. If that requires you taking the time to train them in a specific area, then it’s well worth doing so to maximize performance.

Admit When You Are Wrong

Everyone makes mistakes.

How we handle them is what can make or break us.

Some people strongly resist when they are wrong.

Their initial reaction is to respond defensively rather than acknowledging the mistake, apologizing, and doing what they can to make things right.

There is a level of respect warranted for people who openly admit their mistakes and take ownership.

That doesn’t mean the people impacted by the mistake will always be overly gracious, but they can become more accepting over time.

Rather than compound a mistake through defensiveness, take corrective action and identify the lesson behind it.

It can save a lot of undue stress.

What’s your approach to dealing with mistakes?

Kids Often Follow In Their Parents Footsteps

Parents help shape the world’s future by the way they shape their children’s values. Children learn values, morals, and priorities by observing how their parents act and react every day.

Consider the effects that abuse, alcoholism, selfishness, or greed has on a child. When children witness these negative traits, it becomes challenging getting through to them and redirecting their course.

If you sit in a room full of children and quietly observe, you may be surprised by what they say and how they behave. We may initially find humor in seeing our children repeat something we’ve said or done. When you acknowledge the behavior they emulate isn’t so cute anymore, the damage has already taken place.

It’s our job as parents to be the positive influence they need, so they, in turn, can pass down to their children the values we’ve instilled.

First Impressions

First impressions are the images planted in one’s mind until otherwise corrected. In a matter of seconds, your first encounter with someone will set the tone for future interactions. Rarely do you get the opportunity to change a negative impression.

One of the best compliments one can receive is for someone to say that they are better off for knowing you, no matter how long that might have been.

Wealth

Wealth gives the façade of power and control but often does not deliver. You can lose it instantly through uncontrollable factors, and those who seek it obsessively never find the happiness they think it promises.

Money is not wrong, and in reality, a necessity in our society. However, loving money too much leads to all sorts of problems. We often want more than we have and then lose sleep over the fear of losing it. Regardless of how much you earn, if you try to create happiness through the accumulation of wealth, you will never have enough.

Whatever financial situation you are in, learn how to use what you have wisely and constructively. Ultimately, you leave it behind when it’s time to depart this earthly world.

Sex

Sex is often undervalued because it comes easily and frequently. Whether one has sex for money or pure pleasure, this form of exploitation treats sex as an isolated physical act rather than an act of commitment to another. It erodes a person’s ability to love and often degrades others by turning them into physical objects. When you choose to have uncommitted sex, you confuse and tear down the climate of respect, trust, and credibility that is necessary to develop a healthy relationship.

We live in a world filled with suggestions to commit immorality. However, sexual immorality threatens family life, leaving spouses devastated, children scarred, and partners themselves unable to build healthy relationships. Even if one escapes sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies, someone always ends up getting hurt as a result. The mark of a real man and woman is self-control.

Marriage

How unfortunate it is to be married and not appreciate the enjoyment and companionship that marriage affords you. Outside pressures and distractions are at an all-time high, the sanctity of marriage is at an all-time low, and complacency has become the norm.

It’s not uncommon for a marriage to lose its initial spark with the growth of familiarity and the passing of time. Intimacy and passion decline, emotions run rampant and conflicts surface. That’s why it’s of paramount importance for partners in a marriage to continually strive to refresh each other through encouraging words, a change of pace, and surprises. Given the appropriate attention, marriage is where the complete union of mind, heart, and body comes together.

Agree to Disagree

The idea that “I’ll believe what I want to believe” and “you believe what you want to believe” can sometimes lead to the avoidance of the truth. You should seek to understand the viewpoints of others. Getting to know someone better provides you the opportunity to build upon the things you mutually share or agree, instead of putting all your energy into disagreeing.

Whenever you see people arguing as if it were intellectual combat, the nature of the argument can be grossly misunderstood or overshadowed by the person with the loudest or most convincing delivery. Instead of taking offense to someone agreeing or disagreeing with you, be willing to keep an open mind if the argument has good merit.

Don’t Become a Pawn to Someone

You can either take control of your life or let someone else do it for you. People become pawns when they allow themselves to be used by others for selfish purposes. It could be through the use of your name, children, employment, political agenda, money, physical makeup, or connections with others.

It’s not always easy to detect someone’s true intentions, but a telltale sign is when your ongoing involvement with them doesn’t produce anything respectable and ultimately interferes with your destiny. Life is too short to live another person’s dream, so live your life for you, and the rest will follow.

Leave a Legacy


 

Once you transition from this world, will you be remembered by the number of years you lived, the amount of money you left behind, or the positive impact you’ve made in the lives of others?

We all want to be remembered by something. The challenge is living a life of substance that is honored for generations to come. How you treat others, not your accomplishments, is one of the greatest legacies you can leave behind.

Finding Meaning

When we lack meaning in our lives, we wander around aimlessly, struggling to identify our purpose and how to use our natural gifts to make a difference in the world.

Even under the harshest of circumstances, life has meaning. When you find yourself buckling under pressure, consider the fortitude that prisoners of war, homeless families, the poverty-stricken, victims of genocide, etc., display, despite their circumstances. Even in the worst conditions imaginable, it is evident their lives have meaning.

Finding meaning is not an easy process and will require you to push past your fears. We often look to others to help us find our purpose in life, but it’s impossible to live for the same predetermined purpose as someone else. No matter the challenges we face, there’s always a lesson to be learned and the possibility of brighter days to come.

Setting Realistic Goals

Goals can be sound or questionable based on the nature of your desire, for your goals control your actions. While it’s great to achieve worthwhile goals, some are not worth pursuing if you set out to accomplish them questionably.

For example, if one of your goals is to accumulate significant wealth, you have to determine how you plan to achieve said goal. You can opt to build wealth through traditional avenues such as gainful employment and sound investments, or you can pursue non-traditional methods such as playing the lottery, marrying into money, or robbing someone of it. The means you use to accomplish your goal is just as critical as the goal you are trying to accomplish.

Respect Constructive Criticism

There’s a difference between the person who learns from criticism and the person who refuses to accept it. The person who rejects constructive criticism is often prideful. Don’t be too quick to reject advice you don’t like.

No one likes criticism, but everyone can benefit from it when it’s given wisely and received humbly. Consider constructive criticism as kindness and listen closely. By viewing criticism in this manner, you’ll better control your reaction to it, making it productive versus destructive.

Prayer

Prayer is the first step in any venture.

Prayer is the key that unlocks faith in our lives.

When you pray, great things happen.

Prayer quiets your thoughts and emotions and prepares you to listen.

Too often, we pray superficially. Prayer, by contrast, requires concentration.

When you pray, difficult decisions fall into proper perspective. Therefore, pray for the wisdom to see it and the energy and motivation to do it.

When it seems your prayers have gone unanswered, what you need may already be within your reach, or you have yet to fulfill the responsibilities given to you.

Two Are Better Than One

 

One of my favorite quotes comes from Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work. When one falls down his friend can help him up, but pity the man who falls alone”.

We are not put on this earth to only serve ourselves. Life revolves around helping one another.

Working together allows each person to bring their unique skills or strengths to the table.

It may be our strengths that balance their weakness or their abilities that offset our deficiencies.

Our greatest accomplishment may be helping others accomplish great things.

Similarly, our greatest failure may be preventing others from achieving greatness.

Support is the backbone of any relationship – especially in these difficult times.

We need each other.

Do you agree?

Be Confident Within

We often struggle with new challenges due to a lack of self-confidence. It’s not unreasonable that you may have to work harder at something than another, but that doesn’t excuse you from trying. Many people like to take the easy way out and depend on superficial things to exude self-confidence like their physical appearance, material goods, and wealth. But, how you look and what you possess are all exterior.

Building self-confidence is a process that begins internally and grows into a pattern over time. It’s an attitude. Your perception of yourself will eventually bleed over to how others perceive you. Self-confidence affects every aspect of your life and typically stems from several sources: from within, others, and your achievements. Confidence is not about trying to do it all. It’s having realistic views of who you are and the approach you take to meet your overall goals.

Blaze New Trails

Our journey consists of many paths of travel and free will to choose our route.

Often, what we believe to be the easier route is more arduous, and the path less traveled becomes more yielding.

Some paths result in detours to encourage us to blaze new trails.

We have to rely on our inner guide to propel us forward to new places.

It is this new path that many fear because they have not gone that far before.

Whatever the circumstances are, new paths have to be traveled to achieve different results.

Not all paths will lead to success. That’s ok.

Celebrate the wins and continue exploring the unknown.

Significant risks produce significant rewards.

Where is your path taking you?

Learn From Your Mistakes

Mistakes are effective teachers because their consequences have a way of making lessons painfully clear.

You can’t learn from a mistake that you don’t acknowledge making. To gain the lesson, you have to admit it, analyze it, and make adjustments so that it doesn’t happen again.

Mistakes of the past are a critical part of today’s actions and how well you use them to prepare for the future.

Keep a Journal

Journaling can be one of the most significant things you do during your lifetime.

Whether jotting down information, ideas, or the details of your day, there are many benefits of keeping a journal.

It provides a place to store your personal experiences.

It helps slow down the thinking process.

It reveals thought patterns and offers new perspectives.

It makes a thought concrete.

It improves insight and understanding.

It unlocks creativity.

It increases your gratitude.

There’s no time like today to get started. The benefits are numerous.

Giving and Receiving Advice

It’s easy to tell someone else how to live their life but challenging to apply the same advice to our lives because we are often too close to the situation.

It’s also easy to get opinions from others who tell us what they think we want to hear, but such advice is not beneficial in the long run.

It is better to seek the guidance of those who are wiser and more experienced while using discernment to evaluate whether the advice they’re giving is useable, workable, and realistic.

Good advice comes from those who speak the truth even when it hurts.

Good advice will be fair.

Good advice will improve the situation while providing a positive solution or direction.

Practice Makes Perfect

Deliberate practice is a necessary ingredient for performing at your best.

The more effort you put into something, the better you become at it.

We are quick to give up on our relationships, professions, and personal growth because we can’t see beyond instant gratification.

Consider the athletes who must fully participate in a team practice when they’re not on the starting lineup. Practicing prepares them for the opportunity.

Those who perform at their best put in the work and take responsibility for their errors and mistakes.

Be observant of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and identify what can be adjusted to produce better results.

Whatever skills you lack, enhance them through training and consistent practice.

Recognize where a problem may exist, refine your skills, then try again.

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Trying to keep up with the Joneses is a never-ending chase.

While it’s reasonable to desire something better or more exciting, don’t let your desire for what others have bring about dissatisfaction with what you already possess.

When we are not secure with who we are and what we have, we psyche ourselves into believing that acquiring certain things will bring us greater acceptance.

In reality, we end up spending money we don’t necessarily have to please people that are not impressed.

Putting up a false façade based on what we think others are impressed with reveals the insecurities within us.

It’s your perception of you that matters most. Trying to see yourself through the eyes of others is wasted energy.

When you start to accept who you are, you’ll attract others that reinforce your empowering beliefs.

Give Back

Our blessings are to overflow to others.

Those with knowledge and resources should be generous with those in need.

Some conclude that people are needy through some fault of their own, but this kind of reasoning makes it easy to close our hearts and hands to those who are in real need of help.

Let’s not invent reasons for ignoring people in need. Instead, we are to respond to their needs in the best way we can.

We should help others because it is right, not because we’ll benefit from it personally.

Be Thankful

Ungratefulness is a common human fault. When we feel passed by, overlooked, or forgotten, it comes as no surprise that we appear ungrateful.

Refusing to see how fortunate you are and overlooking your blessings lends itself to self-centeredness. Even the homeless man has it better than someone else in this world.

We run into trouble when we become so consumed with what we don’t have and fail to open our eyes to all that we do.

If you want to receive more of what pleases you, be thankful for what you already have and let others know how much you appreciate them.

When we are thankful, our lives will show it.

Never Give Up

People often give up after a few half-hearted efforts and conclude that a solution is not available.

Don’t forsake future rewards because of present pain.

It’s easy to throw your hands up in despair when faced with difficult situations, but pursuing anything in life that’s important to you takes faith, focus, and follow-through.

It is also tempting to give up on people or situations that haven’t changed for many years, but what seems unchangeable can occur when given new purpose and direction.

Facing Reality

You can view life for what it is or what you pretend it to be, but reality keeps going no matter what you do.

In our everyday practice of conscious living, we continuously alternate between at least two realities: material/spiritual, subjective/objective, seen/unseen, and inner/outer.

To mature in your perception of reality, you must be open to change, understand your limitations, embrace otherness, and be willing to encounter the unknown.

If you are satisfied with what you have and like in your reality, then strive to maintain it.

Otherwise, take action and change the reality of the situations that don’t appease you.

Life’s Manual

An instruction manual is provided for most things on the market today.

However, many of us never take the time to read it. We look at the illustrations or specific items of concern then set it aside.

Think about it. How many times have you driven your car and had no idea what all the buttons operated?

How many times have you put an item together that had pieces leftover and differed from the finished product on the package?

The same applies to our personal and professional lives.

Many of us want to know how our lives are going to play out, but we fail to obtain the necessary knowledge to move us into action.

Transformation in our lives requires being intentional and putting forth the effort.

If you are unable to identify your purpose and need something to help guide you along the way, there is a manual of life. Start there.

If you are not meeting your goals or desire something different, there are plenty of books available, people available, and training available to help move you forward.

It all starts with you.

Failure is Success in Disguise

Failure is producing undesired results.

Success often comes from knowing you had to go through something to get where you are.

Who you are, is revealed by what you do on subsequent attempts.

All success comes at a price.

There is no success without the risk of failure.

No reward without effort.

No opportunity without criticism.

Those that succeed never stop trying until they reach their goal.

Failure is not something to fear because everything we do has a lesson behind it.

It is rare for us to fail. We only choose to stop trying.

Our failures in life are not missing the mark but missing the lesson along the way.

Being Humble


 

Humility gives a more accurate perspective of oneself and the world.

Some people think that humility means putting oneself down, but humility is not self-degradation.

It is a realistic assessment of who you are and what you represent.

Don’t write off someone who challenges you.

There may be truth in what is said.

Receive the message with humility while carefully thinking it over.

If you discover there’s room for improvement, take the necessary steps to correct the behavior.

When you are humble, you understand your limitations.