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 declines, emotions run rampant and conflicts creep in. 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 unexpected surprises. Given the appropriate attention, marriage is where 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 truth. You should seek to understand the viewpoints of others whether you agree or disagree. Getting to know someone better provides you the opportunity to build upon the things you mutually share or agree on, instead of putting all your energy into disagreeing.

Many conflicts are created to make people look good. Whenever you see people arguing as if it were intellectual combat, the nature of the argument can be grossly misunderstood and/or overshadowed by the person with the loudest or most convincing delivery. Don’t take someone agreeing or disagreeing with you personally, but 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. This 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 your purpose has been fulfilled, 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 on the lives of others? We all want to be remembered by something. The challenge is living a life of substance that can be passed on for generations to come. How you treat others, not your accomplishments, is one of the greatest legacies you can leave behind. 

Power

The thought of being on top can be captivating, but power has a way of taking over and controlling the person using it. Those who desire power, always outnumber those who know how to use it effectively. This is especially true when power is inherited, but unwarranted. Someone’s thirst for power is not easily quenched once received – it only becomes more intense. Be careful of placing confidence in human power because one day it will fade, regardless of how strong it appears now.

Finding Meaning

A life without meaning leaves nothing to live for or look forward to. Meaning can be found even under the harshest of circumstances. When you find yourself buckling under pressure, think of the fortitude that prisoner’s of war, homeless families, the poverty stricken, victims of genocide, etc. display, in spite of their circumstances. Even in the worst circumstances 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 meaning, but it’s difficult to live for the same predetermined purpose as someone else. No matter how challenging life seem, there’s always value to be drawn from it, and the possibility of greater things to come.

Setting Realistic Goals

Goals can be good or bad based on the nature of the desire, for your goals control your actions. While it’s great to achieve worthwhile goals, all goals are not worth pursuing if you set out to accomplish them in the wrong manner. For example, if one of your goals is to accumulate great 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 important as the goal you are trying to accomplish. 

Respect Constructive Criticism

There’s a major difference between the person who learns from criticism and the person who refuses to accept it. The person who rejects constructive criticism usually has a problem with pride. Don’t be too quick to reject advice you don’t like. 

No one really 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. Serious 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


Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work…We are not put on this earth to solely serve ourselves and no one succeeds alone regardless of what one thinks. Life is designed for a helper and companion. Whether you have the support of a family member, friend, spouse or stranger, there are advantages in cooperating with another. Working together allows each person to bring their special skills or strengths to the table. It may be your strengths that balance their weakness and/or their abilities that offset your deficiencies. Collaboration is to everyone’s benefit in the long run.

Be Confident Within

We often struggle with new challenges due to the 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 such as: 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 personal achievements. Confidence is not about being able to do everything, but having realistic views of who you are and the approach you take to meet your overall expectations

Blaze New Trails

Your life is a sacred journey filled with many paths of travel and free will to choose your path. Oftentimes, what we believe to be the easier path is more laborious and the path less traveled becomes more yielding. Some routes throughout your life will be blocked to encourage you to blaze new trails. 

In life, we have to rely on our inner guide to propel us forward to places that have yet been ventured. It is this new road that many fear because they have not gone that far before. Whatever the circumstances are, new journeys have to be traveled in order to achieve new results. If you feel you’ve reached your destination, but with an outcome different than expected, count the successes you’ve had thus far and embark on a new trail.

Learn From Your Mistakes

It’s difficult to learn from a mistake that you don’t acknowledge making. To learn from a mistake you have to admit it, analyze it, and make adjustments so that it doesn’t happen again. Mistakes are effective teachers because their consequences have a way of making lessons painfully clear. 

Mistakes of the past is an important part of today’s actions and tomorrows plan. Part of the success of your past will be measured by what you do with it now and how well you use it to prepare for the future. 

Truth Hurts

The truth often makes us uncomfortable. We tend to prefer lies and illusions when they make us feel more secure. It is much better to face reality than to live a lie. The truth sometimes stings, but our reaction to it shows us what we are really made of.

You can deny charges and destroy evidence of your misdeeds, or you can embrace truth with a humble heart and let it change you. Don’t settle for something that makes you feel comfortable, but is not true. Resisting truth can leave you without purpose or direction.

If you are privileged enough to possess the truth, deliver it with care and good intentions. How you deliver the truth, is often the same manner in which it is received.

Keep a Journal

Writing something down makes it concrete. It is a thought made permanent. A journal offers a place to store your personal experiences. Whether jotting down information, ideas or the details of your day, keeping a journal helps slow down the thinking process, reveals patterns, and offers a new perspective. 

Life comes and goes quickly. The journey of your life is well worth recording and can be one of the most significant things you do during your lifetime. Filled with thoughts, aspirations, and insights, your journal entries can reveal your mindset from the past and how well you are developing in the present.

New Beginnings

Free of problems and full of promise, beginnings offer hope for the future. New beginnings don’t only occur on January 1st. Each day presents twenty-four hours filled with opportunities to grow, be productive and start anew. We are constantly evolving so it’s never too late to start over.

Life can change in an instant so do all you can each day and perform each act in an efficient manner. Some days may be more challenging than others, but the key is to never give up. When you encounter tough times, remember the crucial turning points of your past to help you get through the present. Cherish each day you are blessed with and move one step closer to fulfilling your dreams.

Giving and Receiving Advice

It’s easy to tell someone else how to live their life, but difficult to apply the same advice to our lives. This normally happens because we’re 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.

The value of advice cannot be judged by the number of people for or against it. A lot of poor advice is worse than a little good advice. 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.

Remember that good advice comes from those who speak the truth even with the truth hurts; good advice will be fair; and good advice will improve a situation while providing a positive solution or direction.

Practice Makes Perfect

Deliberate practice is a necessary ingredient to performing at your best. The more you do something the greater 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. 

Many professions enforce continuing education for this reason, and some professions require continuing education even if you aren’t actively practicing in that field. Consider the athletes who must fully participate at team practice even when they’re not on the starting lineup. Remember that practice prepares us for opportunity. Those who perform at their best, work relentlessly hard and take responsibility for their errors and mistakes.

Be observant of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and whether it can be done differently to produce better results. You have to continue getting better in order for greater outcomes to manifest itself. 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

While it’s normal to desire something better, nicer or more exciting, don’t let your desire for what someone else has, cause you to become discontented with what you already possess. Trying to keep up with the Joneses is a never ending chase. 

When we are not secure with who we are and what we have, we psyche ourselves into believing that acquiring certain material goods will bring us greater acceptance. In reality, we end up spending money we don’t necessarily have, to please people that really are not impressed.

Putting up a false facade based on what we think others want to see 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 intended to overflow to others. Therefore, those who are blessed with material goods 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 us not forget that some of those in need are often victims of an unjust society. We are not to 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 taking your blessings for granted, 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. In order to receive more of what pleases you, be thankful for what you already have. Every day that you awaken, be thankful for that day and let others know how much you appreciate them. When you become truly thankful, your life will show it.

Never Give Up

People often give up after a few half-hearted efforts and conclude a solution cannot be found. 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. We are often tempted 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.

Going through a Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis is an attitude of mind that transforms you from the inside out. It is non-judgmental, respectful of where you are today, and continues to move at your own pace. It is no surprise that a metamorphosis comes when we meet our greatest challenges. Each day, every encounter, situation and circumstance, is used to morph you into something greater. When you become transformed in spirit, you reveal the beauty within you and are strengthened to soar to new heights.

Facing Reality

You can view life for what it really 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. 

In order 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.

There’s a Manual to Life

An instruction manual is provided for most things on the market today. However, the majority of us never take the time to read it. We look at the illustrations or specific items of concern then set it aside. How many times have you driven your car and had no idea what all the buttons operated? Or, put an item together that had pieces left over and differed from the finished product on the box?

The same applies to our lives. Most of us want to know how our lives are going to play out, but we fail to take the time to read life’s manual and apply what it says. Admittedly, the manual may not be the easiest book to read, but it offers real help for those who have been unable to identify their purpose, and need something to help guide them along the way.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking your direction is going to appear out of thin air. Searching for something more mystical distracts us from what we should be doing in our lives. Use the teachings from the manual of life to help guide your conduct.


Failure is Success in Disguise

It is very rare for us to fail. We only choose to stop trying.  Failure is not always defined by losing everything you have. Failure exists when you are not performing at your best, which in turn, produces undesired results. True success comes from knowing you had to go through something to get where you are, and who you are, is revealed by what you do on subsequent attempts.

All success comes at a price. There is no success without risk of failure, no reward without effort, and no opportunity without criticism. Those that succeed never stop trying until they reach their goal. Failure is not something to fear or worry about, because everything we do has a lesson behind it. The real failure is not missing the mark, but in missing the lesson along the way.

Being Humble



A humble person is more secure than a proud person because 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 being conveyed. 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. The truly humble, understand their limitations. 

Understanding Your Purpose

A person without purpose will keep changing direction and traveling in circles without ever getting anywhere. Without direction, an empty life is unstable and vulnerable to temptation. Don’t be misguided by your purpose. Your greatest accomplishment may be helping people accomplish great things. Similarly, your greatest failure may be preventing others from achieving greatness. When you understand your purpose, you will attract others who want to know how they too can find meaning in their lives.

Common Distractions

Things that make you go hmmmm…….
  1. Talking to a person with bad breath.
  2. Wearing loud perfume or cologne.
  3. Doing multiple things while driving.
  4. Uncontrollable children.
  5. Use of cell phones in the wrong environment.
  6. Public intoxication.
  7. Stepping on gum or animal excrement.
  8. Spitting in front of someone.
  9. Littering.
  10. Failure to give someone your full attention.
  11. Foul mouths and inappropriate references.
  12. Choice of attire.
  13. Personal hygiene.
  14. Rudeness.
  15. Bad manners.
  16. Bad drivers and rubbernecking.
  17. Smoking in closed confinements.
  18. Chewing with your mouth open.
  19. Talking with your hands.
  20. Nosiness.
  21. Gossip.
  22. Spilling something on your clothing.
  23. Inconsiderate comments.
  24. Broken promises.
  25. Social media.

Know Your Worth

Oftentimes we rely on the approval of others to establish our value. Whether in a relationship, friendship or employee capacity, we tend to gauge our worth on words and responses that feed the ego.

When you operate from the heart and know that what you do is done with pure intentions, you limit the control a person has over you through their words and actions. We all fall short in various areas of our lives and it is tempting to try and change who we are for the satisfaction of another. Doing so creates a false sense of contentment.

Understanding that worth is not based on our earthly possessions, achievements, physical attractiveness or public opinion, we can rest in the fact that our internal makeup speaks volumes in relation to our worth.

Maturity Isn’t Defined By Age

Society has come up with its idea of a maturity timeline such as: sixteen (16) to obtain a driver’s license, eighteen (18) to leave the nest and be considered an “adult”, twenty one (21) to purchase alcohol, and twenty five (25) to rent a car, but in reality does this really define maturity?

Age doesn’t always correlate with maturity. Life’s experiences can boost one’s maturity level at a rate of increase that is normally dictated by social influences, family upbringing, personal desires and a host of other factors.

The fundamentals of maturity involve; the ability to deal with problems immediately, the ability to learn and grow from past experiences, the ability to accept fault for one’s actions, the ability to maintain a level head, the ability to maintain a positive attitude and the fortitude to grow in wisdom.

The Scale Is Not Always Balanced In Relationships

It is rare to find a relationship that is equally balanced at all times. Yet, if each partner is committed to making a one hundred percent investment, a happy median will eventually be found. Since men and women have different needs when it comes to giving and receiving, communication is vital in gaining an understanding of those needs.

There are times when we give a lot and receive little or nothing in return, and there are times we receive more than what we are putting into the relationship. As long as reciprocity outweighs sacrifice, the relationship maintains a balance.

Many conflicts in relationships have something to do with power and control. We all desire to have some control over our lives and the direction it will go, but this often lingers over to us trying to control others, in an effort to keep our lives flowing the way we see fit. Respect between men and women come from mutual regard and appreciation for each other, not by forced obedience.

Know How to Pick Your Battles

Life involves a series of changes and choices so it only makes sense to choose your battles wisely. We often get hung up disputing insignificant things when there are more important matters that beg for our attention. No matter how well-meaning you are in fighting the battles you think are of paramount importance, sometimes the battle is won when you back up and let situations run its course. By doing so, you will be far more effective in getting your point across.

Fighting battles out of mere challenge is wasted time and energy. If the world came to an end today, would those battles have the same significance? If the battle is not beneficial in some way and the stakes are high pending the outcome, use good judgment and avoid the conflict altogether.

Life rarely goes the exact way we may have in mind and there will always be people who disagree with you or do things differently. Therefore, reevaluate your priorities and understand there will be battles not worth arguing over, battles you can’t do anything about, and battles that are frankly none of your business.

Honesty is the Best Practice

In our quest to be accepted by others, we are often tempted to abandon what we know is right. There is no amount of rationalizing that can justify dishonest practices. Entering into any type of engagement under false pretenses will only lead to a bigger problem in the end.

You can navigate through life either impressing people with lies or influencing people with truth. Seeking truth transforms us. Yet, there are those who think they’ll get what they want through dishonest practices so they’ll flatter, deceive, and lie to the point of affecting their very core. This type of behavior can cause you to lose sight of who you are and your ability to relate to others. Dealing in lies, is dealing in fear. Allowing fear to rule you, makes fear way more powerful than it should be.

Check Your Attitude

A quick temper spreads fast and can easily be triggered by petty annoyances such as road rage, someone racing to be first in line or encountering disgruntled people throughout your day.  Although these types of situations can make your blood pressure rise, you must remember that your inner attitude doesn’t have to reflect your outward circumstance.  It’s easy to take unimportant events too seriously. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control our attitude towards it. It’s the attitude you choose to display that shapes your personality.

Practice What You Preach

We lead by example. If you preach it, make sure you live it! When you take it upon yourself to share a message or give advice, those who receive it will look for its effectiveness in your life. Unless it has changed you, your message will carry less value in changing them. 

As you think of others who need to apply what you are hearing or reading, check to see if the same application fits you. Apply the lessons to your own life first because our own faults are the very first ones we often see in others.

Ask for Help

Self sufficiency is an enemy when it causes us to believe we can do everything in our own strength. We were not placed on this Earth to go at it alone. Life revolves around helping one another. We often hesitate to ask others for help because we’re afraid to approach them out of embarrassment or the fear of rejection. There are also times when we wait so long to ask for help, that by the time we do so, the problem has magnified and become more difficult to solve.

Imagine the amount of time you could save by asking for directions at the first sign of being misdirected in your travels. By not doing so, you lengthen the amount of time it would typically take to reach your destination. Asking for help eliminates unnecessary frustration. When you demonstrate the humility to ask for help, you often earn the respect of others. And most importantly, when help is extended, be appreciative of it.

Weighing the Good in a Bad Situation

There is a lesson to be learned from every bad situation you encounter in life and if you consider the lesson alone, you will have already identified the good from which it came. We become fearful and immobile when we focus on the negative aspects of a situation. How much better it is to focus on the positive while trusting the negatives will work itself out.

A positive response transforms every setback into a step forward. Even the worse situations can make us better people. Everything happens for a reason. In order to shape you into the person that you are predestined to be, you must experience certain trials and tribulations. When life seems uncertain and at times uncontrollable, remember that good results come out of tough times.

Acknowledge Your Blessings

Blessings come in many disguises ranging from financial relief to internal healing. Understanding that what you receive doesn’t come from you alone, is the first step in acknowledging your blessings.

A blessing may not always appear in a desired fashion. A blessing could be eliminating someone from your life in order to take you to the next level. Although you may experience pain from the absence of this person, other doors may open to greater opportunities. This doesn’t necessarily mean the blessing will come in the form of another individual, it may come in the form of gaining clarity in your decision making.

Don’t ever become so shallow in your thinking that you overlook your blessings. Remember that having your health and the use of all your senses gives you the ability to produce change in your life. Whether you have acquired much then lost it all, identify what went wrong so the next time it’s presented, you understand how to retain it. Regardless of how the blessings appear, don’t discredit what’s gained from it.

Spirituality

Spirituality is troublesome for many people because of the different beliefs and religions available. We often complicate spirituality with man made rules, yet human spirit is something we all possess. The lack of spiritual insight blinds us to truth and robs us of hope.  Life is interconnected and guided by a higher intelligence. We are given free will to love or not love, to be open-minded or close minded, to hold on to pain or release it and acknowledge the presence of this higher intelligence. 

When you face difficulties that seem insurmountable, remember that spiritual resources are there. Look through eyes of faith. The lessons from the past, the instructions for the present, and the glimpses into the future give us many opportunities to strengthen our faith. Our personal choices are far more effective when they are spiritually inspired. 

Follow Your Dreams

Every person dreams and makes plans for the future, then they work hard to see those dreams and plans come to fruition. Don’t let other’s values and actions dictate your attitude and behavior. This often leads to making wrong decisions out of a desire to please. Take time to think about your dreams and goals, and how they correlate with the important areas of your life.

What works for one, may not be meant for you. People may present you with opportunities that garnered them success, but if you don’t view the opportunity in the same light, you’re wasting their time and yours. Speak up for what you believe in or dislike. In doing so, a person can only respect your wishes. That’s not to say that what you choose to do will always be favorable and in your best interest, but you have to journey down your own path.

Crying Relieves the Heart

Going through rivers of difficulty will either cause you to drown or force you to grow stronger. Some people consider expressing emotions to be a sign of weakness, but failure to express these emotions result in tension being stored within our bodies. We need a relief valve for the heart and one of the purest suppressants is tears.

Rarely do we hear someone say they are more stressed or upset after crying. Emotional tears are a response which only humans have and these tears are a part of the miracle of the human body that we often take for granted. Crying provides a healthy release when done in moderation and helps us recover and go on with life. 

There is a connection between the tears we shed and the priorities in our lives. When our souls cry out to the heart of the Creator, we are sending up silent prayers to bring balance into our lives and provide strength for the journey ahead. It is through these heartfelt tears that our pleas are answered.

Forgiving


Forgiving someone will be one of your greatest challenges in life. It is tempting, especially in an argument, to bring up what one has done in the past. But, in order to truly forgive, you must lay to rest what is not relative today. Retaining anger, resentment, or bitterness stunts your own growth by blurring you to the realities around you and ultimately causing another to suffer behind the emotions you are harboring. Extract the lesson from the event and understand that it is no longer destiny, but history.

Forgiveness is stronger than anger. Sometimes forgiving a personal attack against you shows more strength than lashing out in revenge. When you decide in your heart to forgive someone, the pain you once carried will be lightened and this will allow you to grow in a place that cannot be measured. 

Reason, Season or Lifetime

Throughout our lives we encounter people that play an instrumental role in our development. Our reason people serve a specific purpose and once that purpose is fulfilled, they will depart. Our season people compliment you during a certain period of your life and after you grow out of this period, they no longer compliment you. Our lifetime people are there for the long haul and you ride it out until the end.

When we think of someone being there for a lifetime, our parents, siblings and relatives quickly come to mind. Our friends, acquaintances and companions develop later in our journey. At some point in our lives, every one of these individuals will be called upon to complete their own journey and may leave us with nothing but memories. Some will leave an everlasting impression, while others just a blur. We may face disappointment that some who cross our path choose to leave against our desires, but we must strive to understand the role each person was chosen to fulfill in our lives and learn from it.

Trust Intuition

Intuition is one of the greatest and unexplainable gifts you have. You can choose to ignore it or understand that a greater spirit works through you, often in mysterious ways, but always to your benefit in the long run. 

There are four levels of the human experience that intuition feeds off of; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. It comes as no surprise that your intuitive mind has access to an infinite supply of information that is continually being processed.

While intuition sometimes offers a better solution than logic or reason, we are apprehensive about following our inner guide because we fear the end result. When your desire for something becomes so intense, it’s easy to ignore or misread the signals you are receiving about that situation. Learning to trust and act upon your intuition is a function of trusting yourself and moving forward in the right direction.

Laughter

Laughter is a natural adrenaline rush. It increases our energy and generally lifts the spirits of all involved. We often hear that laughter is the best medicine, but can it be prescribed to anyone? Although most drugs affect people differently, laughter remains the same. It’s credited with a number of psychological and physical benefits; from strengthening our immune systems to bringing joy into our lives.

Having a sense of humor will turn a lot of dull moments into memorable ones. That’s one of the reasons we are attracted to funny people. Humor isn’t merely about telling jokes, it’s the way we view the world. Situations don’t generate our stress, it’s the meaning we place on the situation. Have you ever wondered how some people are able to laugh in the face of danger and adversity? Laughter fuels personal empowerment and provides a sense of control. Laughter and humor is a release, an expression, a new perspective and a reminder that life really isn’t that bad. To quote Mark Twain, “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”


Don’t Overthink


How easy life would be if we had a blueprint of everything that was expected of us during our lifetime. Decisions would be easier, certain failures avoided and some successes assured.  We all wish we could predict the future, but imagine the life lessons we would miss out on by doing so.

We are often confused by the events surrounding us and can find ourselves at a loss as to what can be done about it. There are many events we will never understand, while other events seem to fall in place as we reflect back on them. Although we experience periods of misunderstanding, there is a greater purpose for our lives. 

Everything that happens to us, has meaning. Sometimes we are able to correlate the cause and effect of our actions, other times, the message is so subtle that we find ourselves repeating the same behaviors until something traumatic happens to get our attention.

When you find yourself faced with a matter of great concern and don’t have an immediate solution at hand, take your mind off of the problem for a while. There are more options available than you think. Over thinking a problem can actually cause you to overlook a possible solution because your mind hasn’t had an opportunity to refresh.

Heroism

Heroes are easier to admire than define. The greatest quality of a hero is their tendency to think of others before thinking of themselves. Heroes simply do the right thing at the right time; unaware of the impact their action may have. Heroes are seldom conscience of their moments of heroism and many may not recognize their acts as heroic. 

Some people may tell you there is nothing worth giving their life for. That just means they haven’t learned how to love outside of themselves.  Any parent will tell you they’d give their life for their child. Many soldiers will tell you they’d give their life for their country and in fact, many of them have. Many people have given their life for the simple right called freedom. Many more have given their life in the name of religion. 

It can be heroic to do what must be done and to do it right. Whether raising a family, volunteering, teaching others, sacrificing your wants for someone else’s needs, etc., these are all acts of heroism.

Option vs. Priority

You can spend your entire life putting others first, but giving more of yourself to someone who treats you as an afterthought is wasted energy. So often we look for our happiness through other people, but when you depend on others for your happiness, your opportunities for disappointment are greatly increased.

You can’t make a person love you or cooperate in the manner you see fit, no matter how much of yourself you give. But, you can become a priority in your own life. It is imperative to put yourself first, not in the sense of selfishness, but in a way that affirms who you are. When you love, respect and honor who you are, you’ll be able to see situations more clearly and remove yourself from people who diminish your value.

Remember, options are flexible and viewed as easy come, easy go. Priorities on the other hand, often involve a sacrifice of some sort. Never lose sight of who you are in your pursuit of happiness.

Patience

Patience is hardest when we need it the most, but it is the key to achieving our goals. Living in a world where instant gratification has become the norm, we’ve lost touch with the benefits of waiting. We’re quick to become physically intimate with a person before really knowing who they are; quick to speak without fully hearing and understanding what’s being said; quick to give up on our goals when we’re close to attaining them; quick to blame others for our troubles instead of identifying where we may have gone wrong; quick to move on to someone or something else because we believe the grass is greener on the other side, and the list goes on.

In our age of instant everything, we’ve lost our ability to wait. We expect to learn patience instantly and in our hurry, we miss the contradiction. Oftentimes, what we so desperately want at the moment, is soon forgotten. Consuming today and forgetting about tomorrow, limits us to an even greater reward in our future. 

We often expect quick changes in our lives, but our journey is a lifelong process. Changes and successes are realized over time. When we are close to a situation, it can be difficult to see progress, but when you take time to reflect, you’ll find that things have been working according to plan all along.