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A time to light candles rather than curse the darkness

family relationships Jan 30, 2017

Many of us are feeling fearful, angry, powerless and despondent in the current political climate. The world seems to be dissolving in front of our eyes and we seem unable to be able to do anything to stop it.

It is so very tempting to rail and wail about how unfair and oppressive the current world order is. This temptation is fanned and fueled by social media. Yesterday, I found myself drowning in a vortex of Facebook posts updating and commenting on unfolding events. I felt powerless, defeated and very very sad.

What are we to do?

While it is important to speak up, protest and register our dissent, there is a danger that these actions will so consume us that they will distract us from positive and proactive action.

More than ever, we need to focus on our purpose. Become a force for good and light candles in whatever way we can.

In addition to doing what we must to protest, let us not stop there. Let us show some extra kindness, befriend a neighbor, hug a child. Plant a tree.

Let...

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Give yourself permission to have a bad day

Some days no matter how hard we try we just cannot seem to get it together, live our purpose, be our best selves, be productive, get over a bad mood . . .

One option on days such as these is to simply accept it as an off day. Have some compassion for ourselves and recognize that this too shall pass.

Tomorrow is another day and another chance to get back on track. Inshallah.

I am often surprised that such phases end quicker than when I try to resist them and make myself wrong for having an off day.

So go on. Next time you are having a bad day, be kind to yourself and take it easy.

Just try and stay out of other people's way ;)

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The only thing left to do now

For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about setting goals effectively so that you have the best chance of achieving these goals. (Here are the archives in case you missed one or more of the emails)

There is only thing left to do now.

Take action.

Start taking action towards your goals on a daily basis. You do NOT need to figure out all the steps necessary to achieve your goals before you start taking action.

You do NOT need to see the whole staircase in order to take the first step.

At this point, all you need to do is take the first step, the next action. That is all.

Quite simple really.

Magic starts happening when you get in motion.

The journey of a thousand miles, as they say, begins with the first step.

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The only thing left to do now

Here is your daily dose of Wisdom for Living Your Best Self!

For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about setting goals effectively so that you have the best chance of achieving these goals. (Here are the archives in case you missed one or more of the emails)

There is only thing left to do now.

Take action.

Start taking action towards your goals on a daily basis. You do NOT need to figure out all the steps necessary to achieve your goals before you start taking action.

You do NOT need to see the whole staircase in order to take the first step.

At this point, all you need to do is take the first step, the next action. That is all.

Quite simple really.

Magic starts happening when you get in motion.

The journey of a thousand miles, as they say, begins with the first step.

Happy walking.

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Paint a picture

Now that we are clear that negative emotions do not need to hold us back when setting goals, let us take one key area in our life and visualize what success looks like.

Go ahead and dream.

If you achieved WILD SUCCESS in this domain in your life, what would it look like?

If you had the job or the relationship of your dreams,

What would you be seeing?
What would you be hearing?
What would you be feeling?
How would your life be different?
Who would notice?

Dream big. This is not the time to be 'realistic' or 'reasonable'.

Allow yourself to picture what wild success looks like.

Are you smiling yet? Excited?

Good.

Meaningful goals should make you smile and get you excited.

(And maybe make you more than a little bit nervous!)

 

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The one problem with visualization

family positive thinking Jan 23, 2017

Now that you have visualized what success looks like in your chosen area, I have to warn you about a potential pitfall.

When we use visualization effectively, it releases all sorts of feel good chemicals in our brain and makes us quite happy.

Why is this a problem?

Because the brain has such great feelings thinking about our goals that it thinks that it has ALREADY achieved success! This is why day dreaming is so very lovely (and problematic!!)

When we have all these great feelings we end up doing LESS to achieve these goals!!

This can be hard to understand but think of it this way: we set goals and strive to accomplish them to feel we are living on purpose and to feel good about ourselves.

One of the pitfalls of visualization is that it creates these good feelings without actually working or achieving these goals.

What I am saying is that visualization is great but it is NOT enough on its own.

So, what should we do?

1) Visualize success and get clear on the goal BUT then take step...

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The most important question

self development Jan 23, 2017

Why are your goals important to you?

Sounds like an obvious question, but you will be surprised to find that it is a question which is not always that easy to answer.

Yet it is very important that we know why our goals matter and remind ourselves about this on a regular basis.

Research shows that the clearer your "WHY" is – that is why your goal is important to you - the more it will motivate you to take action despite the challenges that may show up.

Do you want to become healthier? WHY is this important to you?
Want to write a book? WHAT will it do for you to get this done? Why is it important?
Want to give up chocolate at night? To what purpose? How will it make you feel to achieve this?
If your goal is to make more friends, why is this important to you?

Don't skip this one. It is a short but powerful exercise.

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SMART goals

parenting spirituality Jan 22, 2017

Some of you may have heard of SMART goals.

Here are the criteria and some examples of SMART goals.

Specific - Studies show is that in order to activate our creativity, engage our focus and call out our best resources, the goals that we set need to be very specific. So what EXACTLY are you aiming for? Do you have a goal to read more? How many books will you read? What kind of books? If your goal is to connect more with family, who specifically will you connect with and how? How often will you initiate connection?

Measurable – How will you know that you have achieved your goal? Becoming a better person is not a measurable goal. Breathing and counting to ten before responding to sass from your teenager is more measureable. Becoming more efficient is not measurable. Getting through your task list at home before 2pm is measurable.

Action oriented – what will you DO differently? Becoming healthier is much too vague and does not specify the action. Eating dinner before 8pm on...

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The 4 demons that stand in the way of aiming high

Let's talk some more about discomfort. Aiming high and achieving our goals requires us to do some hard work. But it also requires us to become VERY used to living with uncomfortable feelings.

Let me explain.

  • Fear 
  • Uncertainty
  • Doubt 
  • Shame


These are some feelings that we encounter when we want to achieve something meaningful in our lives.

When we first begin on the journey to actualizing our potential, we think that if we are feelings these things, something's wrong. We may think that either we are on the wrong path or that we are ill equipped to take this journey.

What if I told you that EVERYONE (well, mostly everyone that various studies have followed!) feels fear, uncertainty and doubt when embarking on something ambitious and/or meaningful to them?

I remember that when I was writing my book last year, I became very familiar with what I began to call 'the demons' of fear, uncertainty, doubt and shame. These demons would make me want to give up on a daily basis.

I learnt...

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Between discomfort and delusion

Goals outside our comfort zone challenge us and encourage us to give it our very best. They create the right amount of stress to help us perform our best.

There is, however, a fine line between discomfort and delusion.

Delusion means that the goals are so unrealistic that they are highly unlikely to be realized. Delusional goals are not only outside our comfort level, they are wayyy outside our current skill set and available resources.

Goals in the delusional zone set us up for failure, leaving us feeling defeated, frustrated and discouraged.

Let us take health goals. Committing to a non-negotiable regimen of daily movement maybe outside our comfort zone if we do not have a regular program of movement and lead a sedentary lifestyle. Setting and achieving a goal of regular movement will require us to make commitments and develop habits which will very likely be uncomfortable in the short run.

Setting a goal of running 10K outside every morning in the winter at 6am in Eastern...

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