How to Create Your Own Future

Create the Life You Really Want

Here you are – 2017.

Right now you are whatever age. One day you are going to be much older, and one day you are eventually going to die. There is no escaping that fact. We are all going to die.

I want you to imagine that your life is ending tomorrow. Does your life look how you imagined? What do you regret? What are all the things you planned, but haven’t yet followed through on?

  • Maybe you never managed to find the motivation to lose that 20 pounds you always wanted to.
  • Perhaps you have found yourself stuck in a really bad relationship for years because you were too afraid to leave.
  • Maybe you’re stuck at a really lousy job because it pays the bills and you aren’t certain you can find anything better if you quit.

So here you are laying on your death bed. I want you to ask yourself this:

What is ONE thing you wish you would have done differently? Do you have it? Are you imagining that one thing?

I am about to offer you the chance to take whatever that one thing is, and work towards turning it into a reality now.

This week I am offering two very basic steps you need to start now in order to create the change you are seeking. As always, the audio version of this podcast will be available on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud.

1. Stop Doing What You Are Currently Doing

If you are unsatisfied with some aspect of your life, it is obvious that your current routine is not working. Further to that, continuing to do the same thing day in and day out is never going to garner you different results. New opportunities aren’t going to fall out of the sky, and you aren’t suddenly going to wake up on day with a plethora of motivation to change your lifestyle – you need to make a conscious effort.

In order to make a change, you need to focus on determining the source of your problem.

  1. What bad habits do you have that are preventing you from achieving what you want?
  2. Do spend to many hours watching youtube?
  3. Ae you eating too many cookies in a week?
  4. Do you spend too much money on useless stuff?
  5. Where do you want to go, or what do you want to do? And which of these habits is preventing you from getting there?

Whichever you determine it is, work on stopping. Don’t you dare say you can’t! “I can’t” is just an excuse that allows you to be lazy. You CAN do whatever it is you want – in fact the difference between you and the person living the life you want is that they told themselves “I can” and they did it”.

Stop with the bad habits. Stop with the excuses. And stop letting laziness control your life.

2. Starting Developing New Actions

In order to successfully build new habits, you need to approach it piece by piece.  Lifestyle changes are much easier to accomplish when they are broken down into small, more manageable chunks. So, when it comes to developing new habits to work towards the future you want, the cold turkey approach isn’t going to work. Instead, I recommend slowly replacing bad habits with new ones, one by one.

It’s all about simply taking the initiative to start developing new habits. Too often we tend to get stuck in the past in that we think, “Well this would’ve worked out if I had’ve just done this instead”. While learning from past mistakes is important, focusing all of your attention on the past is ultimately going to hold you back. The past may have been bad, but there was certainly also a lot of good moving to where you are today.

Successful people aren’t sitting around crying about yesterday, they are taking those lessons they learned, applying them to today, and moving towards tomorrow. Wherever it is you want to get in life, you need to map out your plan – swap a Netflix episode here for 30 minutes of research towards a project you’re working on, skip the take out meal one night a week and put that 10 bucks in a travel fund for that trip you want to take – be accountable, and start building your life piece by piece.

Your future is yours to create.

How To Accept and Use Feedback

How to Accept and Use Feedback

Receiving feedback is never very easy, particularly when that feedback is negative. In fact, your initial reaction when it comes to receiving criticism is likely going to be defensive. Even when you know the feedback you are getting is entirely accurate, it can sometimes be difficult to accept it graciously and move on.

Learning how to rewire your reactions when it comes to receiving negative feedback is essential in learning how to use that feedback to your advantage. The first step to growing as a person is to learn where it is that you can improve. No one is perfect, and therefore nobody expects you to be.

Follow these 3 simple steps to begin accepting and utilizing feedback for your own personal benefit. As always, the audio version of this podcast can be found on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Google Play.

1. Pick Your Audience

You are never going to satisfy or suit everyone. Focus your efforts on the people you actually want to please. If it’s a product or idea you are selling or pitching – who is your intended consumer? Design your content for them. If it’s a work project for a specific client – design your presentation towards what they want.

Sometimes in life it is important to recognize that your opinion or idea isn’t always going to best deliver your message. Listen to the feedback you are receiving and re-work your message to suit your audience’s needs.  You need to know who you are trying to talk to, work for, satisfy, and so on. Deliver your message in a way the intended audience will understand while still staying true to your own intentions. You can still be yourself and please others too provided you use their feedback to determine how best you can satisfy their needs.

2. Learn to Listen and Evaluate

Negative feedback: it’s uncomfortable, it can be hurtful, and it can really do a number on your self-esteem. While in these times it may seem easy enough to just nod along and tune whatever the other party is saying; you need to remember that the opportunity to receive feedback, even if it is negative, is an important one!

You never want to send out the signal that you are

  1. Not open for feedback in the future.
  2. Entirely “uncoachable” all together.

Take in the feedback you have been given, and rather than react to it; I encourage you to process. Take the time to really pick it apart (not in an obsessive way) in order to determine the validity of the feedback.

  • Was it something you already knew about yourself or your project?
  • Have you received similar feedback in the past?
  • How credible is the person giving you this feedback? (Maybe their opinion doesn’t really matter anyway).

Only by listening and really evaluating what the individual is trying to tell you can you really begin to process the response, and apply the necessary or recommended changes into your life.

3. Take a Hard Look In The Mirror

Mindfulness is integral to this process; knowing your behaviours, and recognizing where you can improve, and feedback is the perfect opportunity for you to reflect on just how mindful you are really being.

It is easy to blame other factors, people, and situations for why our work was received poorly, but that reaction is not helpful nor constructive in the long run. You are in control of your own life. Own it.

  • Where can you be better?
  • What can you do better?

Accept, but don’t dwell on what isn’t working and keep moving towards being better and doing better next time. Criticism can hurt, and that is okay. Remember, the difficult times in which we struggle are often the times that provide the most successes.

Embrace resistance, embrace feedback, and work on moving forward as a better self.

How To Behave Relentlessly

How to Achieve Success in Your Life

The dictionary definition of relentless is: “to be of unwavering intensity, strength or pace; something that is constant or incessant”.

In a real life application, relentless is a state of mind that can allow you to achieve, survive, and overcome all despite what hurdles life my throw your way. The power is within you to choose to be relentless in your relationships, your career, or any other aspect of your life.

In your own life, you most certainly have predetermined opinions about what success looks like and you likely have opinions on what taking a risk will look like also (hint hint – I can almost bet you that you tend to think that risk will result in failure). However, you need to realize that no one can ever really prove what the outcome of a situation is going to be unless they take action. The opinion that taking a risk is going to result in failure, is merely just an opinion that you have accepted and is now consequently holding you back from acting on your potential.

The thing about people who are relentless is that despite these opinions, they continue to push forward. Despite the potential outcomes – good or bad – they continue through it all each an every day.

This week I am sharing with you how you too can become more relentless each and every day in order to work towards living your fullest potential. As always the audio version of this post is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play.

1. Take Charge

This is your life. You are always in the drivers seat. You need to own that fact and act on it.

Relentless people take responsibility no matter the scenario. They are willing to take control and use whatever means necessary to conquer the task at hand.

Whether it’s a work project with a tight deadline, a conflict with a friend or partner, or some other sort of issue – take charge of the situation for making whatever outcome it is you WANT, happen. You are in control, you’ve got this, get out there, and get it done.

2. Work on Repetition

Successful people don’t put in work because they are successful, they are successful because they have put in the work. Figure out how you’re going to get to where you need to be and put in the work needed.

For example:

  1. You won’t get fit going to the gym once a month, you need to be consistent. The more you go to the gym, the more you will want to, and the more routine it will become.
  2. You won’t build relationships by never leaving your house, you need to make an effort. The more you get out and socialize, the more inclined you will feel to do so regularly.

Successful people are relentless. Successful people try; and not just once. Successful people are consistent and persistent on their pursuit of success. Make the work a habit and it won’t seem like work at all.

3. Forget The Excuses

Think of a time when something didn’t go your way. How did you react? How did you explain it to others? Did you sugar coat it? Did you blame someone or something else? We have all been there.

Next time you find yourself in this situation, own it. Say you’ve screwed up, be willing to admit when you’ve done wrong, and most importantly take responsibility to fix or change it next time.

Maybe you didn’t get that job because you bombed the interview, thats okay – next time make sure you practice. Maybe you failed that exam because you didn’t study, that’s okay – next time try studying. Maybe a friendship or relationship failed because you didn’t put in the effort, that’s okay – own it, apologize for it, and do better next time.

Relentless people are not perfect, nor do they claim to be. To be relentless you need to say “HEY! I messed up, BUT here is how I am going to fix it.”

4. Always Focus Forward

Every day you are going to face things you don’t want to do. Great success is rare because people tend to avoid the tasks they don’t want to do. The secret to success though, is challenging yourself and pushing past the discomfort of doing what you don’t want to. Next time your mind is telling you that you can’t do something, just push forward and do it.

You need to get comfortable being uncomfortable and push past that surface level discomfort to move towards the future. If you focus forward, past your self-created limitations, those seemingly impossible or undesirable limits of what you “didn’t want to do” will soon become the new normal. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, and keep moving yourself forward.

Normal people remain normal because they never challenge themselves. Relentless people succeed because they push themselves to grow beyond their limits.

In a day you may think a thousand thoughts, however unless you act on those thoughts they will simply remain just that – a thought. You are not your thoughts, you are your actions. You need to do what you want to be.

How to Improve Your Communication

How to Deliver Your Intended Message

Communication is key in every aspect of our lives – our careers, our education, and our relationships. Pretty much anyone can communicate in some way shape or form, but not everyone is capable of doing so effectively. While some are naturally gifted with great communication; many are not and that is OKAY!Communication is a skill that can be learned, practiced, and improved over time.

In this post, I have compiled my top 3 strategies to help in achieving these effective communication skills in your own life. As always, the audio version can be found on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

1. Force Yourself to Listen

First of all, take note that listening is not the same as waiting your turn to talk. Sometimes we are so focused on the next point we want to say that we don’t actually listen to the other person.  You can’t concentrate on what someone’s saying if you’re busy forming what you’re going to say next. Often, the speaker can read your facial expressions and know that your mind’s elsewhere.

Be present in conversation,  slow down and listen to what the speaker is saying so that you can genuinely respond based on the information they provide. We all get so afraid that our opinions are going to get lost in the discussion that we tend to disregard what the other person has to say.

So, next time you find yourself in a heated discussion with someone you genuinely care about, slow down and actually listen. What are they saying? Why do they feel that way? Perhaps paying attention will change your own perspective.

2. Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Cues

This one may sound simple (i.e. if a person is facing away from you they probably aren’t interested in the conversation). However, have you ever tried paying attention to your own cues? Are you:

  1. Looking up and down from your phone while in a conversation in person with someone?
  2. Distracted by other visuals in the room?
  3. Crossing your arms?
  4. Yelling or speaking in an aggressive tone?

These could all be indicators (some more aggressive and obvious than others) that will reflect negatively on you in the perception of the other person. Focus on your tone (which will be different for different audiences), eye contact, and on appearing engaged and interested.

So much is interpreted – or misinterpreted – through body language, it is equally important that we are representing the message we want physically as much as we are verbally.

3. Keep Stress In Check

How many times have you said something in an argument that you later regretted? Learning how to quickly relieve stress and return to a calm state in an efficient and time effective manner is a necessary skill when it comes to effective communication. It is only in a more relaxed state that you can actually practice the other two tips I have mentioned.

But how? How do we remain calm when our emotions are starting to spin out of control? Whether it’s a job interview that has you jittered, or a heated conversation with a colleague or partner remember the following:

  1.  Recognize that you are stressed (muscle tightness, shortness of breath, heart pounding, temperature rising).
  2. Breathe. Simple but easily forgotten. Remember that breathing is what will help you maintain that calm, cool, attitude even if you are internally losing your mind.
  3. Be open to compromise, and accept the circumstances. Some things are simply out of your control. If you can both bend a little perhaps you can find middle ground painlessly.

Maintaining your stress levels, will allow you to think rationally, be able to understand the other party’s point of view, and respond in a calm and meaningful way.

– – – 

Even if you are not a gifted speaker, you can still become highly effective in the art of communication. Of course, it takes time and effort to develop this skill, BUT the more effort and practice you put in, the more instinctive and effective your communication skills will become.

How to Embrace Uncertainty

How to Leave Your Comfort Zone

When was the last time you thought about making a change in your life? I will bet that it was probably as recent as today. Maybe you want to move to a new city, maybe you want to change your career, or maybe you just want to cut your hair a different way… However, you are afraid. The idea of this change makes you nervous, and uncomfortable, but have you asked yourself why?

As humans, our biology has wired us to seek certainty. We know and understand that taking a risk can often yield great rewards, and yet we choose to stay in our safe little bubbles, living life the same as we do day in and day out.  Back thousands of years ago, humans did live in a scary world where you could be eaten by predator at night, or you could die at age 20 of disease. The threats that have ingrained fear into our biology are significantly less now thanks to technology and medicine and yet we still live in fear. Now, the aversion to risk that has kept humans alive for thousands of years, is the one thing actually preventing us from living.

Uncertainty is where new happens. I am here to remind you that you can’t do anything new without doing something different and so here are 3 tips on what you can do to embrace the uncertain, take more risks, and get a little uncomfortable. As always the audio version is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play.

1. EXPLORE. EXPLORE. EXPLORE.

Think about this statement:

Our comfort zones are never really comfortable after all

 

You are afraid to quit your job that you don’t like because it’s comfortable. The job pays your bills, yes, but you don’t like it so is that really comfortable after all? I would say no.

The more you try to stick to the confines of your so called comfort zone, the more unfulfilled and uncomfortable you will feel later on. You need to get out and explore new places, new opportunities, and new ideas. No one has an answer to life, it is for you to discover. Be open to the possibilities you could achieve and make a move towards finding out how to get them. You’ll never find them if you don’t go looking!

2. Be Content with Looking Foolish

One of our greatest hindrances in personal development is fear. Our fear of uncertainty often stems from our fear of judgement – when taking a so-called “risk” we fear to others we might look stupid, awkward, or weird. We fear that people may perceive us as a failure if our new path doesn’t pan out. However,  despite other people’s opinions you can be sure that your life will go on regardless of outcome.

People are always going to be jealous of other people who are taking risks. Why? Because they are likely too afraid to do it themselves. When people think ill of you, that is a reflection of them  so, you have to let them judge you. Be confident in your decisions and live your life true to your intention, no one else’s.

3. Think Less, Do More.

Whenever there is opportunity to make a change towards uncertainty, our minds tend to drift towards the negative. We fear that the unknown holds a lot of bad and while this is true, the unknown also holds a lot of good. In fact, the unknown is overflowing with opportunity.

Instead of wasting your time thinking and worrying about all of the bad that could happen, start doing things that will get you closer to the good (A.K.A. your goals). The less you try to make sense of what could happen, the more time you will have to actually work towards getting what you want AND the more easily you will find the stress associated with worrying magically disappear.

– – –

Success will never be certain, but not doing anything at all is the worst thing you can do. What makes you uncomfortable? Do that more. Eat alone. Talk to strangers. Go somewhere you have never been.

Do not let uncertainty stop you from creating your life.

How to Practice Self-Love

2 Steps to Loving Yourself

Self-love, what is it? You see it preached everywhere on the internet –

LOVE YOURSELF – EMBRACE YOUR FLAWS – BE THE REAL YOU

A seemingly nice concept to think about, but for some not so easy to achieve in practice. As someone who has never really struggled with this, I would like to share a single piece of advice that has always resonated with me and made self-love easy:

At the end of the day it is your CHOICE to accept yourself as you are. You are gifted one life, that’s it – why waste it in self-loathing when you could instead CHOOSE to enjoy it and enjoy yourself in all of your messy, imperfect glory.

Self-love is integral to determining your success in life, your career, your relationships, and so on. Valuing yourself and knowing what you deserve will guide you to make choices reflective of this value. Self-love grows from actions we take physically, psychologically, and spiritually. If this is something you struggle with and need some strategies to improve your mindset and afford yourself the love that you deserve, then these 4 tips are for you.

As always, the audio version for this post is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play.

1. Set Boundaries and Protect Yourself

In order to begin focusing on truly loving yourself, you need to be mindful of your own needs. Stop focusing so much on what will make others happy and start focusing on what it is that is going to make YOU happy?

Remember that it is okay to say no to people when you don’t want to participate in something. People who truly care will understand, and the people in your life who get defensive when you turn them down are the kind you need to get rid of!

There are simply not enough hours in a day to waste on people who empty your bucket. I promise that you will love and respect yourself more in the long term if you tell these people to get lost (or maybe something a little nicer).

You will love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, relationships, or activities that deplete you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Don’t worry about the fear that you are missing out on something great, you have the whole rest of your life to recreate the opportunity if you really want it.

2. Act on What You Need, Not What You Want

Next, I encourage you to take a moment to focus on what you are really thinking, how you are really feeling, and what it is you really want.

Are you frustrated with your job? Are you feeling like the relationships you have in your life are draining your energy? What are you going to need to do to change these circumstances?

While some solutions may seem tempting as a quick fix, they likely aren’t keeping you centred and focused on the path to making a change. Instant gratification can be tempting, but does not often yield long term benefits. By straying from these temptations, you will in turn set yourself up to change the automatic behaviours that have kept you stuck for so long.

3. Use the “It’s Already Over Mentality”

We have all made mistakes, said foolish things, or down right embarrassed ourselves in public. I’ve been there, and I know you have too! The difficult part about these times, is not letting these scenarios consume you. You need to quit replaying the scenarios in your head over and over thinking of the things you wish you had said or done.

Recognizing the negative self-talk is the hard part, but once you’ve gotten there and know you are doing it, correcting it is easy. THE SITUATION HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. Why obsess over something you can’t change or make different?

We can be so hard on ourselves. Cut yourself some slack, these lapses in judgement and decision making ability prove that we are actual humans; we are not perfect. Remind yourself it is over, and there will be another opportunity to prove to the world you are better than your mistakes. Just remember, always move forward.

4. Live With Intention

You will accept and love yourself more, no matter what is happening in your life, when you begin to live with purpose and design. Focus more on WHAT you want in your life, and worry less about HOW you are going to achieve that. Afford yourself the opportunity to dream big becase you deserve it! Whatever the path is you choose, make sure that your actions are helping you to get there.

Your purpose doesn’t have to be crystal clear, (in fact it rarely is)! However if you have a general idea of where you want to go in life, your decisions should support this intention. Think of how good you will feel about yourself when you are actually trying to achieve success. You will love yourself more if you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do! You are capable of doing this.

– – –

Self-love is about knowing and honoring your needs, wants and wishes. It’s about understanding youself, including your thoughts and feelings. It’s about being kind, compassionate, and forgiving with yourself. You are capable of self-love with the right mentality and focus.

In order to start living the life you want, you need to start with yourself.

How To Free Yourself

3 Step Guide

What does freedom feel like?

Overwhelmed with choices and inundated with fear, it is within our control to choose the life we want to live. Whether it is the freedom to make the choices actually want, [free of guilt and free of judgement] or the freedom of knowing that the creation of our lives is in our own hands – I am here to teach you how. This week I offer 3 simple steps to help get you started in determining what it is you want, and how you are going to get there.

As always, the audio version of this post is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Google Play.

1. Accept Unwillingness

As humans, we tend to want a lot of things. Often times however, it is the idea of the thing rather than the actual thing itself that is so appealing. If you’re not willing to put in extra hours or set aside the extra money for whatever your idea may be (i.e. a new job, a new car, mastering a skill, etc.) then perhaps it is time you re-evaluate how badly you really want it. Just because you like the idea of something doesn’t mean you are actually willing to work for it, and that is totally okay.

Any obstacle you face can either be framed as willing or unwilling to overcome.  By accepting the fact that you are unwilling to do the work needed to get you whatever it is you are wanting, you are in turn freeing your mind of guilt and allowing yourself room to focus on achieving whatever it is that you actually want. There is no need to feel bad about something you never really wanted anyway.

2. Be Realistic

We each have a tendency to build up scenarios in our minds. We assume judgment, failure, and embarrassment to be certain when taking risks or putting ourselves out there. While these thoughts can be overwhelming I want to encourage you to put it into perspective; Is sharing an idea at work going to get you fired? Is going for a 20 minute walk going to be that hard?

If you feel overwhelmed in scenarios such as those mentioned, I encourage you to break it down into smaller components. What are the steps you will need to take to accomplish the task? View them each as individual milestones. Try not to stress about the bigger picture, for the greater task is not important. It is the life that will become available to you on the other side that is most important, when you look at a scenario realistically and free yourself of fear.

3. Determine Your Direction

It is all too easy to compare our lives to other’s. You convince yourself that your life would be better if you had what they have. You need to let that thought go. Learn to replace the envy you have with a willingness to change your own life.

Where is it that you would like to go? What are you trying to accomplish? What is it that you actually want?

Figure out where it is you want to go, and free your mind of the negativity associated with not getting to where everyone else is at.

This is YOUR life and YOUR direction. You can choose to be free.

How to Have a Successful Mindset

Achieving Success

Success is not merely granted; it is achieved through hard work and persistence. In this life, there is a well defined difference between people who create their own life to become successful and people who settle for what life provides them. In order to create the life you want, you need the foundation for a mindset that allows you to succeed.

Remaining focused on the pathway to success can be challenging at times. There are often road blocks impeding your efforts – lack of inspiration, societal pressures, barriers to starting. When faced with these challenges,  you can say MEH and just give up OR you can persist and push through. You don’t have to be the smartest person, have access to the most resources, or be the most talented in order to be successful; you just have to make the effort to try, and continue see your dream through to the end even when times get tough.

As always, the audio version for this is available on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Google Play.

Believe in Yourself and Be Willing to Forgive

As with any pursuit in life, the journey is mental and your mentality will control your outcomes. If you believe in yourself that you can do whatever you set out to accomplish, you are subconsciously not going to back down. This ability is established from growing your self confidence (this concept was addressed in August’s post: How to Create Your Confidence). By having the confidence to know that you can accomplish things, you will lead yourself to believe that you can and will accomplish even more.

While getting stuff done is great, it is always important to check in with yourself and to make sure that you are working towards being your best self.

Ask yourself:

  1. What am I doing well?
  2. Where can I improve?

You are going to make mistakes (even big ones), that’s inevitable if you are trying your best. Mistakes are learning experiences to do better later on. Learn to forgive yourself and let go of the pressure sooner rather than later. The sooner you forgive yourself, the sooner you can get back on track. Whatever your mistake may be, it’s important to remember that it is already over so why dwell on feeling bad?

Be Committed

In a generation focused on instant rewards and success, it can be difficult to stay motivated when times get tough. However, in order to be successful you need to be willing to commit to your pursuit. Pick something that you wish to achieve (career, relationship, hobby etc.) and stick to it longer than 5 seconds. Nothing is achieve over night, and things are rarely achieved with great ease; remember this and hold on tight.

Make the changes to your lifestyle that allow you to support whatever your commitment may be. People are too often guilty of blaming time (or lack their of) for their inability to commit to things. If this is something you really want, you need to actually commit to it and make the time to pursue it. Arrange your schedule to make your goal a priority.  Hard work yields desired results.

Practice Patience

Remember that most great things take time. In fact, in most instances things will take much longer than anticipated. You have to be willing to put in the time and be comfortable waiting in the place of not know when or how things will work out. The rewards aren’t always obvious or immediate so remain patient and trust the process.

Have Stamina, Consistency and Persistence

This concept ties into patience. You need to be willing to have the patience to wait while not becoming complacent. Always remember to continue to push in other areas, figuring out where improvements can be made. Resting is not failure, but giving up is. Develop your character to stay committed. Successful people value action, especially consistent action.

– – –

The first step to achieving any sort of success in life is to make a single move. You will never know if something is right for you unless you try it. Slow and steady is the best approach. Break down your goals and approach them piece by piece – consistently. Every day, every week, whatever works for your life.

The world is yours to pursue. All beliefs are limiting. It is up to you where that limit is. 

How To Practice Optimism

Thinking More Positively

Is your glass half empty or half full? Perhaps one of the most cliché questions one could ask. However, the answer to this question is typically indicative of one’s greater outlook on his or her entire life. Studies have shown that both pessimism and optimism are each linked to opposite ends of the health and well-being spectrum wherein positive thinking is linked to better health, productivity, and an overall better quality of life.

Back in June, I discussed the challenges and strategies for finding happiness in your life. If you wish to read through that post as well, see blog post: How to Find Your Own Happiness.

This week, I wish to share with you my top 5 tips to encourage a more optimistic perspective in your day-to-day life. As always, the audio version for this post can be found on SoundCloud, iTunes, or Google Play.

1. Guide Your Energy

Guiding energy was discussed in July’s post: How To Use Flow To Get The Results You Want on the Law of Attraction. The idea is that our thoughts all operate at a certain frequency/vibration that attracts similar frequencies back into our lives. Many philosophers over time have theorized that how you think will create the energy in your life. Long story short, negative energy attracts negative results. Use the power of positive thinking to guide your energy towards yielding more positive results in your day-to-day.

2. Stop the Negative Self Talk

What is self talk? Self talk is the ongoing stream of unspoken conversation running through your head.  These conversations can be positive or negative.

Negative self talk can not only negatively impact our mood, it can also impact our perspective; making small problems large, and even creating problems where none existed. The more positive self talk you practice, the more positive your perspective becomes, but how?

  1. Figure out the areas you typically approach most negatively (work, relationships, etc.) and focus on the positive attributes of them.
  2. Check in periodically with yourself throughout your day to assure your thoughts are positive. If they aren’t, focus on spinning them the other way.
  3. Don’t say anything to yourself you wouldn’t say to others. When negative thoughts about yourself enter your mind remind yourself of your most shining attributes.

3. Create a Vision

Visualization and the power of the mind is the secret behind success. Studies have shown that visualization is one of the most powerful techniques to achieving what you want in life. Before you are able to believe in a goal, you  must have an idea of what it looks like. This is where your vision comes into play.

Where is it that you want to be? What is it that you want to feel? Through visualizing your potential future, you will become motivated and prepared to make the moves needed towards them. This tactic is not a gimmick, rather a performance enhancement technique that when executed properly can yield excellent results. Choose to focus on the outcomes of your goals and the results will expand into the rest of your life.

4. Seek Inspiration

Inspiration is in abundance these days (think movies, books, podcasts, YouTube videos) Find whatever works for you! Seek resources that will reaffirm the vision for your life that you have created, and incorporate those into your regular routine. By watching and listening to others succeed in the areas you wish to as well, the idea that you too can succeed will become reaffirmed within you.

5. Focus on Resiliency

Optimism does not mean you need to act oblivious and ignore life’s more unpleasant situations. It simply means that when faced with misfortune, you actively choose to approach it in productive and positive way. Positive people develop a mental capacity that allows them to adapt with ease during adversity.

Focus your energy on being adaptable, accepting, and grateful of these difficulties. Learn to cope with the realities and challenges of life trusting that things will work out eventually. Optimism through adversity will certainly yield more pleasurable results than the alternative.

Choose optimism, it feels better.

How to Choose Yourself

3 Step Guide to Trusting Your Own Decisions

There are billions of people in this world, each with their own opinions, backgrounds, and world views. The only way for you to please them all – if such a thing were possible – is by being inauthentic towards yourself, but I am here to encourage you instead to stand in your own truth.

You are the only person you can truly know through and through – your own thoughts and your own reactions. You are the only accurate compass you have to navigate through this world. This means your cannot and should not navigate your decisions based on what other people need. The only thing you are responsible for in this life is your intention, not your reception. You can control what you put out into the world, but not how people receive or react to it.

By being too afraid to stand strong in your beliefs, you are subconsciously telling yourself that the opinion of others is more important than your own happiness. Being firm in what you believe in is a way of making the commitment to yourself to love you above all else, and I urge you to do it now.

As always you can find the audio version of this podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play.

1. Trust What Your Body Tells You

When something isn’t right for you, no matter how you try to justify it, your body knows. Have you ever made a decision that just didn’t sit quite right in your gut? I bet you felt heavy, restricted, and doubtful; yet you forced yourself to believe otherwise and carry on. Learning to understand this instinct is one, but learning to trust it is another. Your body never lies, so pay attention.

Choosing to be vocal about how we really feel can be difficult because people may disagree. It is okay to feel sad if those you care about don’t agree with your decision, but be careful of the choices you make at that time. Trust your decision and stay in that uncomfortable place. I promise you it will pass. Those who truly love and respect you will come around to recognize that you are standing in your own truth. While it may not be easy, I assure you it will be worth it.

2. Make Feeling Good a Priority

In the high demand world we live in, it is all too easy to ignore our body’s signals in order to take care of everyone else’s needs. Stop worrying about what other people are feeling for a minute, and learn to test things against your own body’s compass. What feels good for you? This is your life and you should be your number one priority. Listen to your body, and act accordingly; guilt free.

Make sure that you are showing others that you matter to you, as much as you matter to them. Lead by example. Teach others to value and care for themselves by adopting that into your lifestyle.

3. Focus on the Present

Dwelling on the past, and stressing about the future are both pointless as you cannot change either. Successful people are successful because they understand the importance of the now. Not only do they choose themselves, but they focus on the actions necessary now to get them where they want to be later. Moving forward is always going to get you forward no matter how slow you are moving. You just need to figure out how  you are going to move.

Choosing yourself is not selfish; in fact it is the only way you can thrive in this world.