I was watching a video of motivational speaker Les Brown and he instructed the audience to say “Good things are supposed to happen to me.” He recommended that the audience say this to themselves daily. Brown then went on to say we tend to expect bad things to happen to us, so we need to affirm the positive. Affirmations are designed to change our subconscious thoughts by constantly referring to them in our conscious minds. Our subconscious impacts us in ways we are unaware of. We tend to have thought patterns and experiences in our past which, if we are not aware, can undermine our conscious efforts to do better in the present.
So what happens when we start to internalize the message that “good things are supposed to happen to me?” Does that mean everything we pursue will happen? Of course not! Does it mean that you won’t be disappointed? Absolutely not! This message is rooted in your faith in a higher power (God) and yourself. People who believe good things will happen for them will start to become more perceptive of opportunities. They will tend to attract those good people who genuinely can help them.
There is a flip side to this type of thinking. If you truly believe good things are supposed to happen for you, then you will believe that if something doesn’t happen, it just wasn’t a good thing. I’ll keep it real with you, sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow if you are in a desperate situation or have tried repeatedly at something. It’s ok to feel disappointment, but we can’t let it keep us down. In this day and age, we have many opportunities to overcome our circumstances and do well. It can happen when we exude a faithful, positive mindset, with efforts to match.
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A well known verse in the Bible (Proverbs 27:17) states “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Whether you are a believer or not, one cannot deny the power, meaning, and truth behind this verse. An iron blade is best shaped and sharpened with another tool made of iron; most substances do not have the strength or durability to modify iron.
In applying this principle to our lives, it is important for us to surround ourselves with people who are likeminded. The iron in our lives can be those that have similar goals and can provide genuine encouragement and support with honesty. If we expect to reach our potential, we must surround ourselves with others who are striving to meet their potential. Those people will relate to what we are going through and are likely to provide needed advice and encouragement. We typically seek to be successful in a number of areas which are interrelated: relationships, financial security, spiritual growth, and work, to name a few. Striving for success in these areas is a complicated and difficult process with many potholes, stops, and detours along the way.
No one achieves great success without the support of others. We all need and depend on others to provide support in some form or fashion. Support can be providing encouragement, advice, time, or financial support. The bottom line is that it is extremely important to surround ourselves with people who have similar visions and ideals like us. There is mutual benefit when we do this. Embracing the meaning “iron sharpens iron” is key in reaching our goals!
A common resolution at this time of year is to lose weight. It may be for that summer vacation, that summer wedding, or for health reasons. While we know that our outward appearance is not what makes a person, it has a huge impact on our self-esteem. It is difficult to be at your best for yourself and others if you are unhappy about how you look. When you feel look good, you are more likely to feel good.
There are many strategies to help people lose weight; exercise plans, supplements, special diets, personal trainers, etc. Those strategies can all be very effective. However, they can also be costly too. Guess what? It doesn’t have to be. No matter the strategy, the formula for losing weight is actually pretty simple. You simply need to create a consistent calorie deficit. In other words, you need to burn more calories than you are taking in. That’s it. For example, let’s say you are taking in about 3000 calories per day before you decided to commit to an exercise program. You may decide to eliminate 500 calories from you diet by eliminating a couple of sodas each day. Then you would also burn 250-500 calories by doing moderate exercise 3-5 days a week. With just that simple formula, one would be on the way to losing approximately 2 lbs a week, maybe more. A combination of moderate exercise and a reduction in calories will melt pounds away. While there is nothing wrong with special diets, personal trainers, etc., you can do it without them. You likely have everything you need to have the body and health you so desire! You can win by losing!
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Happy New Year’s everyone! The New Year brings with it an opportunity to start anew. In our culture, it is quite common to make New Year’s resolutions. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a resolution as “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.” A resolution is basically a goal. I think it is great that people use the New Year to make resolutions. Having goals for oneself is always encouraged. People relate well to cycles; a new year is essentially the natural beginning of a cycle, thus a relatively convenient time to set goals. Obviously, we should not confine resolutions or goals to New Year’s Day. We should all be in a state of continually developing and progressing ourselves.
We are all aware of the ease of making a goal or resolution compared to the challenge of actually sticking with them. I feel our resolutions should focus more on our process or progress toward a goal as opposed to the goal itself. Notice that I say progress. Progress indicates positive, consistent actions toward an expectation or goal. We have a much greater likelihood of keeping our resolutions, no matter when they are made, if we are focused more on the consistent actions to reach a goal. Consistency in our actions leads to growing confidence, which strengthens our resolve in progressing toward our goals. We must have resolve in our resolutions. Achieving success is a process and not an event!
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The beginning of September signals the start of one of our country’s favorite past times ….football season! Over the years, I have seen how sports provides such great analogies for life in general. Just like the start of a sports season, our lives can be broken down into seasons. There are many lessons that can be learned in equating the start of the football season to the various seasons and cycles in our lives.
- Importance of preparation. Every team has prepared by learning and training during the offseason. Each team has spent many hours doing conditioning and learning plays. A lack of preparation will definitely insure that the team will be unsuccessful. Same with us on an individual level. We cannot take advantage of an opportunity if we are unprepared mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. We must commit ourselves to learning and improvement.
- Losing (disappointment). Most teams will lose at least once. It is rare that a team makes it through a season undefeated. A few years ago, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl having lost half of their regular season games. In life, we will suffer disappointments, but the good news is that, like the New York Giants, we do not need to be close to perfect to succeed at our goals. More importantly, we must develop the mental stamina to deal with those disappointments which may arise.
- Injuries (unexpected challenges). Teams will have key players that get injured. Those teams that have good systems in place always seem to suffer less of an impact when this happens. This definitely relates to preparation and foresight. Disclaimer: There are things that happen to us, just like an injury to a key player on a team, which can derail a whole season. We want to focus on things within our circle of control. This is where preparation helps.
- One Game at a Time (the process). A team must focus on winning the game at hand, not the game that is 3 weeks from now or the championship. Winning the game at hand puts the team closer to its goal of making the playoffs or winning a title. Same with us on an individual level. We must focus on the steps to accomplishing our goal as opposed to the actual goal itself. Mastering the steps will naturally result in accomplishing the goal.
Good luck this season!
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We are all seeking to be successful at something, whether it be our work, health, relationships, or finances, to name a few. Accomplishing our goals requires a certain mindset. I have observed the following qualities in those who have achieved success:
- Vision: Having a vision means identifying your purpose and understanding your ability to achieve the goal. A vision sets the foundation for creating a plan to achieve your goal. Your vision can always be referred back during the challenging moments that undoubtedly arise in pursuit of your goals to keep yourself on track. Once you have a vision and plan in place, you will need…..
- Discipline: Discipline equals commitment. Being committed will allow you to stay true to your vision and plan. This commitment will encourage you to tune out negative self-talk and naysayers (haters). On the flip side of that, discipline also allows you to at least hear people out; you never know where your insights may come from. Something else to consider is that when you are trying to do great things, a lot of times you are going against the grain, so to speak. For example, let’s say you are looking to start a business. The majority of people are not business owners, so it may hard for you to find people to relate to what you are trying to accomplish. People may be critical or unsupportive, which can be discouraging. Accomplishing your goals is also a lengthy process. This is where your discipline comes into play.
- Effort: It is going to take work. There may be a lot of trial and error involved. There will be some sacrifices involved. You will definitely devote a lot of mental and physical energy to reach your goal. Efforts must be consistent. Take weight loss for example. The person who is seeking to lose weight is far more likely to be successful if they exercise 5 days a week for one hour compared to 1 day a week for 5 hours. Consistent efforts will bring progress and/or may reveal how your plans need to be adjusted.
- Positivity: You must have a positive attitude. Let’s face it, sometimes it is hard to be positive in the face of disappointments. There is always the potential for things to go wrong. However, a positive attitude will attract the energy and people you need to achieve your goals. You must believe that there will be positive results from all your efforts. You have to believe that what you are doing is going to work in the long run.
Thank you for reading. I wish you the best in your pursuits!