Do you know someone who feels "stuck" in her job? Nine times out of 10, the main reason she feels that way is money. Money is supposed to be liberating—and it can be. It provides options and opportunities. But if you give it too much power or depend too highly on it, money can control and limit you. In other words, it works great as a benefit, but pretty poorly as a top priority. Can you reshuffle some of the priorities in your life so your dreams fulfill you in a way that money never could? Find a goal that gives you the energy to get up in the morning and makes the world seem more colorful. What have you got to lose? If the money comes, great. If not, you’re still getting what you really need out of life.
Some people are born with the confidence to face any challenge. But most of us often feel unsure, pessimistic, or helpless. You can do more than you think, but if you never try to prove it to yourself, you’ll never know. Experience is the best teacher around. It’s also the best confidence builder. The more you do and the more obstacles you overcome, the more you realize that anything is possible. When faced with the unknown, it's a great feeling to know that no matter what happens, you can handle it and find a solution.
After spending nine months training for a marathon, what do you think is most important, running the race itself or the time and effort put in during the training? By running the marathon, you build endurance and the ability to exert yourself high level for an extended period of time. By training for the marathon, you establish your ability to set goals, establish priorities, and stick with your plan—even if it's difficult. It's obvious that a runner has accomplished a lot even before the gun sounds. Too often we want to look at the final results only and ignore everything else we have achieved up until that point. Setting a goal and following through is a victory in itself. Reaching a goal is great; making a lifestyle change is even better.
Do you know what your priorities are? Maybe you say that your family and your health are the most important things to you, but do your actions reflect this? Sometimes, work and other things can take too large of a role in people’s lives. They get too caught up in what is going on around them and forget to focus on what is most important to them. Sit down and decide what values and beliefs you hold and stick to them. Figure out what is most important in your own life and put this first. Everything else will fall into place around it.
Two people are in the same room working on the same project, looking out the same window at the same view, wearing the same clothes and thinking about the same thing. But one is miserable and the other happy. How can this be? It's all about attitude. The fact that a poor child can laugh while a rich man can scowl should be proof enough that we have power over how we choose to see the world. If life is making you miserable, it might be time to think of how much you might be contributing to your own misery. Sometimes it feels impossible to see the good in something (or someone). Start looking inward. That good must be found in your thoughts before it's found anywhere else. Positive thinking is a habit that can be learned. But like any habit, it takes time and effort. Happiness glows from the inside-out; it doesn’t shine from the outside in.
When we become too focused on our goals, it's easy to live in the future, without noticing the great things happening right now. The road to self-change is a long one. And while it's important to remember what you're shooting for, you also need to live in the present and appreciate the progress you make along the way. If your goal is to lose 40 pounds, don't wait until the last pound is gone to celebrate. Acknowledge the small victories and take advantage of your improved health and energy as it happens. This will also serve as motivation to continue striving for your ultimate goal. Don't let life pass you by if you are always planning for tomorrow without really enjoying today.
The best intentions don't mean nearly as much as a failed attempt. For many people, that first step is the toughest, but it can result in the biggest victory. The decision to try takes courage, which is tough to come by sometimes. How many times have you longed to do something but couldn't quite get yourself to take that first step? It's important to remember that success isn't always found in reaching the goal you're pursuing. You can be a success just by trying. Even if you fail, you'll gain experience by learning, courage by growing, and progress by getting a little closer to your goal than you were yesterday.
Creativity can take you a long way in life, so flex your brain muscles to look at things in a different light. Even if others don't share your vision, keep on working for what you want to accomplish. Pretty soon they will see it, too. If you think that you don’t have the resources to complete a project, look closer. You might just surprise yourself with what you already have around you when you use a little resourcefulness and imagination. Don't have the money to go to a costly gym? Think of all of the heavy objects around your house that could be used as weights. Creativity can lead to fun, worthwhile projects.
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