Be The Light You Need

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And in the word’s of William Shakespeare. . .

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

Your fate is in your beliefs and behavior, and how you respond to life events.

 

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Those who have been reading know that I am working on improving my behavior. Here I share a few things that have changed. These are new perspectives that have helped me grow.

1. I have let go of trying to change or control others. You just can’t. Change yourself instead. Besides, it’s more interesting and rewarding. Life changes, when you transform. You heal, life heals. It is that simple.

2.     Realize that feelings should be processed not suppressed.

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3.   Give up suffering needlessly, no longer worrying about worst case outcomes. The truth is, life is full of surprises. You must be wise enough to know that life doesn’t always produce what you wish would happen. It’s typically creates what is most likely to happen. Prepare for that.

4.   Learn to listen and observe more, to understand what is really happening around you.

5.   Take stock of this moment while mindfully paying attention to the here and now.

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6.    Choose to be more responsible of all that is happening in your life. I am beginning to own mine. It makes me feel stronger. More accountable. Even a little more in control.

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7.    Understanding that you should embrace your eccentricity. It’s what makes you, you. Don’t be worried about being different. Appearing normal will get you no where. Stop behaving as if you are seeking the approval of others. Seek approval from yourself.

8.    Please continue to release all that no longer serves you. Let the useless go. People, places, things.

9.    No more delusional thinking. Experience reality for what it is, not what you wish it was. That is kind of like #3.

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10.   Seek clearly without judging. Then you will see it most realistically. Reality is your friend.

11.   Honor yourself and your desires.

12.   It’s not necessary to share every little emotion, thought or feeling with anyone who will listen.

13.   Forgiving and letting go. Put that on repeat. It is so freeing.

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14.    Cease to react to every little thing that happens.

 

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Overcoming The Fear of Not Being Good Enough

It usually happens when I declare I am going to learn something new.  Like right now, I am learning how to film
and edit with Adobe Premiere Pro. Hours can go by and I don’t even know what happened. I am so involved in the process. Struggling through learning something new on After Effects, I look up and it’s 11 pm. My Fitbit app telling me it’s time to get some rest.  I like this kind of work. The work I can get lost in.
I use to worry about whether something new that I am trying (like video)  is “good enough”?  I wondered if I seemed really amateur (of course I am, I just started).  I realize that while I may suck now I won’t always stay at this level. Especially if I commit myself to practicing every day.
Yesterday’s challenge was filming one of my favorite places at the very start of my favorite season, summer.
I came up with some strategies to get over my fear of not being good enough because. . .
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 I can’t think of anything more frightening than a boring life.
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Stop rushing. Give yourself more time. Lot’s of it. Getting good takes time. Be more thoughtful with everything. Take out a notebook or your phone notes and list everything you have to do in order to produce good work. What do you need to learn? practice? – including what you must read and watch before you can begin. Create a strategy to be good enough.
Never compare what you do, create, write, film, edit to ANYONE ELSE’S WORK
Good enough compared to what? Doesn’t matter. You are just starting out. If you are going to compare your work, compare it to the newcomers, the just starting, the first timers.
Get inspired by learning from the BEST work. Watch the greats, read the bestsellers, listen to award-winning talks. Ignite your enthusiasm and raise your standards by looking for great mentors and creators. Don’t compare, but learn. Decipher their best techniques and use them in your work.
Start. Do a very little thing. Pick up the camera, dust off the sewing machine, buy a good pen and notebook and just do one small project, something you can do.
The grass is greener where it’s watered. Nurture your work. Train and practice something daily. Learn something daily. Don’t know what to learn? Don’t know what you need? Ask a question and Google it. Read more than one answer. Watch more than one tutorial.
Look at children’s artwork. Remember that we all start out sucky. Cute but really sucky. Be prepared to suck at first. That’s okay.
Only show people your work when you are absolutely ready. Don’t show off your first draft or your second. Go back and revise it until you are super confident that that is your best version so far.
Don’t try to do the hard stuff first. Do the easy stuff first. Make it easy to start. Don’t climb the mountain, take a short hike. Do it every day. Write one paragraph, paint one stroke, sketch one prototype.
Review your past accomplishments, some things you are really proud of because that work will remind you of what you can do when you put your mind to it.  What was your process there? Did you put in a lot of time? effort? energy?
Remove all negative energy – including people from your life. The cranky, the crazy, the ignorant, the complainers, the whiners and the naysayers. Drop em like their hot. Don’t let them violate your psychic space.
Do not seek approval, even your own. Just do the work. Struggle through it. Get a headache, drink more coffee, open up ten tabs, watch the video tutorial again. Save the link. It’s okay. Then take a break.
When you start procrastinating, call yourself out. Don’t let the laundry, your kids, the beautiful sunshiney day outside tempt you to stop. You are in training. Stay focused and disciplined. That’s how your work gets better. A little bit every day.
Don’t forget feedback. Especially good feedback, from the pros and those also giving it their all. Feedback will have you feeling like your actually working on your new project. You are all in.
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I am curious, what are you working on? How have you dealt with the “Am I good enough?” concern.  Comment below.

Your Smile is Your Super Power

This morning I imagined what the 80 year old version of myself would tell me, if I asked her, “What do I do now?” “What should I focus on?

What wisdom would she have, nearing the end of her life? What would she have focused on today?

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She’d tell me to bike more, write more, film everything. Tell everyone I love how much I love them. Hug more, kiss more. Squeeze them tight. Use my creativity to connect with those I love and those I will love in the future. Arms and heart wide open, she would tell me to vulnerably step into the world and be me.

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She’d tell me to fuck fear. Let go of the negative thoughts. Skin the skeptic.  Look for the beauty in all. There are so many good people to love, sweet creatures to care for and wonderous places to inspire. Find them. Get out today and connect on purpose. Smile, it’s a great heart opener. It’s your super power.  Laugh. Enjoy life to the fullest each moment. Find your tribe. Seek out those who inspire you and meet them with open arms. Exercise. Move your body. Play outdoors.

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Seek what you want to find. Chase what makes your heart beat. What makes your heart pound out loud. Friends, food, books, music, work.  Go out there and get it all.

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Be thoughtful and intentional about everything you do. Your writing, your film, your drawing. Do it on purpose and with a purpose. 

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Think first, but don’t regret anything. Try not to hurt anyone, including yourself. No time for that. Problems will come and go. It always works out in the end. Stop getting so angry and frustrated. Sail through the storms. There is no time to waste.

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Life is a banquet. There is so much to choose from. Taste it all.

Visit friends, follow the inspiring, touch and taste everything that draws you in – that pulls you closer. Feed your curiosity.

Passionate

Let go of control. Just love.

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Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

Repeating this mantra softly to myself has helped me sail through the hours of overwhelming tasks in a day. It has stopped me from rushing and I hate rushing. Rushing just sucks. It makes life feel hasty.  I want to savor life. Even the boring parts.

This idiom also applies to anything you do. It has helped me improve my days.

When properly learning something new

quote-the-only-skill-that-will-be-important-in-the-21st-century-is-the-skill-of-learning-new-peter-drucker-81-53-26Any new skill that you are trying to learn should first be practiced slowly.

Performing any action too fast will have you sacrificing technique which will in turn slow your development. It will also limit the greatness you could have achieved.

 

Going from Anxious Type A to a More Self-Healing Nature

I’m not sure when I adapted such a stressed out, hard-charging approach to life, but I did and it sucked and I am over it. I don’t regret much, but I do feel as if my fretful, grinding approach to work and life has exhausted me with very little more to show for it.

All that grind, all that toil, leading to very little added reward.

What a waste of energy.

Sure I feel successful, but I have over exerted my energy and worried my way to fatigue. The added busy motion, flying headlong into my days, pressing to get things done quickly, hasn’t adding anything of value to my life.

I could have had so much more fun enjoying the process.

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So now I am on a mission to change the habits that have led me to feeling exhausted and sometimes even sick.

Make it Simple, But Significant

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Everything is related to everything else. How stressed or angry you are, and how you interact with the world, is contingent in large part on your personality style,” says Michael Miller, editor in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. “And that is going to have an enormous impact on your health.”

Good Riddance to the Strain, Struggle & Strife

Eliminating the Need to Over Exert my Energy

My plan is to transform my Type A personality to a self-healing nature that is more curious, secure, constructive, responsive, and conscientious. These traits translate to enthusiasm for life, emotional balance, and strong social relationships. Read more about how your personality traits effect your life here.

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Barring any states of emergency that require immediate action, I ban all short and unreasonable deadlines. No more guarantees, pressure to promise results or setting up impossible goals.

I will only take on projects that I am exited to tackle and that I will enjoy completing.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t creatively challenge myself.

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If there is anything I regret, it is having spent so many of my years moving through my days, huffing, puffing, red-faced to get the maximum out of every day.

I could have done it without the pain.

Rushing ruins the whole thing.

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I want to move with more grace and elegance. I believe that with a calmer approach, much of my day can be effortless, enjoyable and effective.

How?

  • I will stop when I begin to feel stressed.
  • Take more time to think.
  • Look for ideas, not immediate answers.
  • Make obstacles work in my favor.
  • I won’t take the pleasure out of doing a great job because I am rushing through it.

More ways to eliminate the stress from your life.

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JR x Blu

In 2007, JR collaborates with Italian artist Blu on a mural installation in Berlin.

 

Additional Credits

 

Artist Nick Cave

 

What Are You Grateful For Right Now?

I’m grateful for another chance. The opportunity to start from scratch. An opportunity to improve my attitude and behavior. This day is fresh, clean, unworn with emotional stains. 


Nothing carried over from yesterday, just this rare and beautiful day, made up of many moments ahead, today is a day in my life, not my entire life. How will I use it? 


What I choose to think about today will make me and much around me, better or worse, it is up to me.


Today is a chance to break my bad patterns of behavior. 

An opportunity to control my short temper, release my self-pity and remove envy of others.

I can help those right in front of me that need my help. 

I am given this day as an opportunity to finish projects and work that has been nagging to be done.

Perhaps I will start something new that I’ve been wanting to try.

Maybe I’ll apologize, sympathize, empathize with others.

What are your grateful for right now? How will you use this day? 

How to Elevate Your Everything

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This post is for me, but if you read something that resonates with you, please let me know. Comment below or send me a tweet @marketcouncil.   I would love to hear your thoughts.

The Way You Do Anything, is the Way You Do Everything

I’m thinking about why my successes are not more consistent.

Why my life seems so yo-yo-ee.   A bit up and down. 

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Why I haven’t achieved all that I want by now. Why I don’t have more time for wonder and wander. Why I work so damn much.

How come I still hold on to the last ten pounds of weight? Where is the additional savings in my account? How come I don’t laugh more, have more fun each day?

I’m thinking about how I can improve so that I can have deeper relationships with my friends and family, more sacred moments with less worry and more time for self-care.

I’m thinking about how I can execute for more excellence in my life. How I can improve my life in ways that really matter. 

Perhaps I need to raise my personal standard of performance.

I am inspired by Bill Walsh’s tenets of mental toughness. His dedication to focusing on what should be one, how it should be done and when it should be done.

It’s the deceptively small things that when done every day, make transformation happen.

The counting of each calorie, taking advantage of promotions when shopping, putting aside a few dollars a day to build up our savings, dressing the part for a big meeting or interview, taking a moment to breathe, going to the gym instead of sleeping another thirty minutes and planning the night before to get closer to completing a project I am about to launch.

It’s about making the call, sending the text, holding on to that hug. It’s about realizing that life is so fleeting. Make the time to smile, breathe and enjoy – in-between all the work.

It’s a commitment to never slack off, to maintain the effort each day and to return and perhaps raise the standards that initially fueled my success. To push past my self-imposed limits and test my endurance and performance each day.

Bill’s Tenent’s of Mental Toughness

  • Maintain a ferocious and intelligently applied mindset directed at continual improvement.
  • Demonstrate respect for everyone you meet. Everyone is your teacher.
  • Be deeply committed to learning and practicing what you learn.
  • Be fair and honest with yourself and others.
  • Demonstrate good character.
  • Honor the direct connection between details and improvement, relentlessly seek the latter.
  • Show composure and self-control, especially under pressure.
  • Demonstrate loyalty to your core values and beliefs.
  • Use positive language and have a positive attitude.
  • Be willing to go the extra distance for what you know is important.
  • Deal appropriately with victory and defeat, adulation and humiliation.
  • Promote internal communication that is both open and substantive.
  • Seek poise in yourself and those you lead.
  • Put other’s welfare and priorities ahead of your own.
  • Maintain an ongoing level of concentration and focus that is abnormally high.
  • Make sacrifice and commitment your trademark.

And may I add –

Be soft, gentle, curious and flexible and feel the freedom of racing like a Mustang.

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The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us as we live.

The Importance of Self-Reliance & Taking Responsibility

This post is about taking responsibility.  Responsibility requires constant readjustment combined with increased clarity and purpose.

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Real improvements never happen without changing your behaviors. A change in outcome is a benefit of changing habits, attitudes and skills you acquire.

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True success, steady ongoing, sustaining success, is systematic. It’s made of incremental improvements in the way things are done.  It is a (daily) relentless attempt to eliminate the unnecessary activities, delay and waste.

Where we decide to put our energy decides what we will actually accomplish.

 

For me, it begins with identifying the obstacles and problems; tackling the issues I have been ignoring.

I commit to trying to get to the root of the problem.

Asking Why????

  1. Write down your specific problem clearly and completely. A good statement of the problem often points to its own solution.
  2. Ask “why” the problem happens and write your answer.
  3. Continue asking “why” to the previous answer until you or others agree that the problem’s root cause has been identified.

I will use today as an opportunity to do what I have needed to do.

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Elevating My Everything

  • Triple check my work for errors before publishing, sending or presenting.
  • Be more considerate of everyone’s time and attention.
  • Review my priorities and ask myself, is this really necessary? What tasks can I eliminate?
  • Review and measure the outcomes of each day.
  • Give credit to those who have contributed to my success.
  • Thank others for their help.
  • Look and ask for feedback and follow up when that feedback makes my performance stronger.
  • Don’t react to every little thing that happens.
  • Make note of the important tasks at hand and the follow up that must be done.
  • Watch for signs along the way and know how to read them.
  • Stay calm, composed and true to my mission of self-improvement.
  • Never stop and never get lazy.
  • Pay attention, focus deeply and never get distracted.
  • Try not to get side-tracked.
  • Seek to work with the very best.
  • Raise the standards around me, including my environment.
  • Practice what I preach.
  • Attempt to decipher the urgent from the important. Do the important first.
  • Refrain from enticing short-cuts.
  • Respect others, especially when I know they are giving 100%
  • Continue to do what really worked in the past.
  • Learn new ways of doing what I have always done but also sticking to what really works.
  • Devote myself to a daily discipline of focused work.
  • Be extremely patient.
  • Learn to utilize what is around me.
  • Work with a mix of humility, acceptance and strength.
  • Face my biggest problems head on.

Ego is the Enemy

Do not wait to elevate your everything. Raise your standard of performance, make everything you do better and better.

From Emerson’s Essay on Illusions. . .

`Set me some great task, ye gods! and I will show my spirit.’ `Not so,’ says the good Heaven; `plod and plough, vamp your old coats and hats, weave a shoestring; great affairs and the best wine by and by.’ Well, ’tis all phantasm; and if we weave a yard of tape in all humility, and as well as we can, long hereafter we shall see it was no cotton tape at all, but some galaxy which we braided, and that the threads were Time and Nature.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays

Feature illustrations Lion-Comp & Bubbles the Snow Leopard from Daryl at Cargo Collective.

 

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Life Hacking Your Rookie Mistakes

Six strategies to help you avoid making rookie mistakes in all aspects of your life.

Pre-promoting what you are going to do. Setting expectations too high.

Strategy. Stay hush. Keep it chill. Launch slowly. Surprise and delight. Be subtle.

Giving into the temptation of being the flavor of the week.

Strategy. Know your essence and stick to it. 

Calling yourself an expert.

Strategy. Know how to hit the headwinds. There is a fine line between saying who you are and being arrogant about it. Aim to serve humbly.

Being lost self-imposed anxiety. Self-absorbed.

Strategy. Examine your true intentions. Are you driven by selfish needs and desires? Or are you asking yourself, how can I add more value to this moment? Choose service over greed. 

Becoming overly distracted by every new shiny object.

Strategy. Stay focused on your what is important and what you are going to accomplish to win.

Taking too many aggressive shortcuts, life hacks.

Strategy. Some things were made to simmer. Long lasting change is a daily habit.

 

This Day Was Made for Adventure

Last night I closed my eyes before falling to sleep and made a decision. I want every day to feel more exciting and adventurous.

 

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Or in other words. . . .

A common song sung to a great melody is another way to find beauty.The Art of Writing, Lu Chi’s Wen Fu.

So, today showed up again. In all it’s predictable glory. The same usual sunrise, just slightly different.

Another clean and clear slate of a day to paint on. To set things right, to improve and to create a new. Another breath, another moment proceeding another moment. This day was made for adventuring.

Today I have made a decision to expect more from myself and more from this day.

Every moment today will be held accountable to demonstrate the wisdom I need right now.

I will look for evidence that the people around me really do care.

I become more conscious of the choices I make today.

This process begins with turning worry into wonder. Anxiety into action.

My improved life comes from making conscious choices while making a commitment to change the way I see the ordinary wonders of the world.

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How to Make An Ordinary Day an Adventure

Ask a stranger a question.

Don’t plan out every minute. Leave a little room for spontaneity.

Travel home on a different route tonight.

Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Experiment. Create something. Anything. Get into maker mode.

A New Definition of a Billionaire (No.6)

True transformation, real personal change, can come from a spark of inspiration or devastating disruption. When you have been so turned on that your Hell Yes becomes your mantra for mind-blowing transformation or when you have dug yourself into such a deep hole that there is no way out but a mandatory intervention of

something has to f😎king change.

That moment that transforms your mind and ignites your soul can be fueled when you follow through with relentless daily discipline and commitment.

Are you ready?

On Being Comfortably Uncomfortable

In order to evolve we must have a deep, deep, deep desire to make the transformation true and we must be committed to doing things differently than we have done before. The danger lies in falling into daily ruts and remaining stifled by how we feel.

We can get comfortably uncomfortable with the false security of rituals and habits that do not serve us well in the long game of life. We trade out comfort for the moment, doing what feels natural and safe, for what might makes us healthier and stronger in the future. It’s the sacrifices and compromises that we don’t want to do now for a stronger and more fulfilled tomorrow.

Boxing Ourselves In

This in turn limits our lives. Boxes us in. We become strangely satisfied with what the day brings and when we stop seeking and searching for improvement we fall into a sleep walking state. A trance that keeps us from improving any further.

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Unraveling our Lives

If you can challenge yourself to become stronger, to feel uncomfortable, to stretch your mind and body, just a little bit every day you can unravel the state you are in.

It begins by waking up, by becoming more aware of the excuses you make for yourself and others, the annoying and recurring problems you have each day. The pain points you drown in another glass of wine or another tasty toke.

Do like those in the program. Clean up your errors. Admit your mistakes. Don’t kid yourself. Apologize and move on.

Facing Frustration

There is something absolutely energizing and almost fun when we begin to agonize over decisions and face our frustrations. Too little money, too much weight, not enough true friends, exhausting tasks at work. There is something empowering that happens to us when we face the frustration and work on each problem one at a time.

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Are you doing the things that are putting you in a position to soar?

Are you preparing yourself for how you will respond when

life destroys your sense of meaning?

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I am currently obsessed with developing a way to bring on an exhilarating neurostorm of enlightenment to the truth and limitless possibilities of this moment and the next.

It is what it isn’t. 

I have zero respect for the status quo, for what is and for what we perceive to be the “truth”, this so-called reality. I  also have distain for the phrase “it is what it is” – so much so, that I banish those that use the phrase from my mind kingdom.

anxiety-and-depression-gemma-correllNo, no, no your reality right now, whatever it may be, is precisely what you have chosen it to be right now. Your reality is what you perceive it to be. Your reality is connected to your attitude and the attitude you have can completely transform whatever situation you are in right now.

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Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Read: Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

Focusing Intently on What You are Becoming

Doing What Feels Natural isn’t Always What’s Best

Sure your habits might feel natural. You might explain your actions as something you just do, but that doesn’t make them good. Trade up your habits in favor of getting rid of what’s “natural” for  you. Eat less sugar, walk a little further, smile a lot more. Raise the stage for something that’s better. Experiment with new ways of naturalness. Upgrade your life.

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Undervaluing & Over Working Yourself to Death

If your frustrated and tired of not making enough money or stressed about how much you give in return for what you get, perhaps it’s time to stop undervaluing and over exerting yourself.

If you were to truly value all the gifts you give to the world, how would your world change? It is one thing to be modest and humble; it is another to have poor , low self-esteem. Do you know the difference?

Sometimes our esteem can be lifted by learning, by becoming more valuable through knowledge to have us become more confident at what we do. Remember, we don’t necessarily get paid for our time, we get paid for the value we bring to the hour.

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Seek, discover and focus on yourself. A winner is someone who recognizes his talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills and uses both to accomplish goals.

Regardless of anything else, always do more than what you get paid for, and do it well. This is not undervaluing. This is doing the right thing and the right thing is always the best thing to do.

Living in Fear

I have a four year degree, but I never paid attention in history class.  It was an online Coursera course with Professor Jeremy Adelman ( Director of the Council for International Teaching and Research at Princeton University) co-author of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of Humankind from Beginnings to the Present that led to a big realization.

We’ve Always Been at War

At first I as astonished at how violent our world history really was – from Genghis Khan to Adolph Hitler. I have come to accept that we have lived in perilous and troublesome times for thousands and thousands of years. Nothing has changed. There will always be disruption, pain, corruption and manipulation. It is how we deal with the pain of living, how we face our fears and obstacles that makes us who we are.

Read Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way

Worried about your job? The stock market? Your 401K? Your worth is directly related to your philosophy, not the economy. What is your philosophy towards life? How can you improve it?

1. Focus on What You Are Becoming

Some of us can survive (for how long?) as an elemental force of chaos with supernatural charisma, sloppy planning and dumb luck. We make decisions driven by emotional reactions, petulance and paranoia and in turn we make a mess of our lives.

If you are stuck, remember your life is very malleable. The best way out of a problem you have right now is to do your best right now.

Make a decision to set goals – what people do you want to meet, books you want to read, places you want to go, experiences you want to have. . .

If you dare to change, everything will change for you. Adopt a new vision as your truth. When mankind decided we would fly, we flew.

Distort your reality field. Imagine you, only different.

Sure we can all use more money, good friends and less worry. For one day, forget about what you need and focus on what you are becoming.

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2. Ask Better Questions

In the age of smartphones, Google and Quora, answers are a dime a dozen and very easy to find.  Forget about the answers. If you want to solve the bigger problems, ask better questions. Start with “What if . . .”

What if I took that online course? What if I said I was sorry? What if I joined the gym?

3. From Emotional Pain to Physical Embodiment

Don’t be so focused on your work that your ignore signals of your body. Especially stomach issues.

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4. Getting into The Flow State

Supercharging your thoughts is a healthier way to stage yourself for altered states of being.

Get out of the every day. Take on new experiences, new places, new spaces, transcend the ordinary. Rest, relax, seek novel experiences and environments. Disconnect and reconnect with your child-like mind. Rediscover the place of wonderment. Get into a state of unbelievable lucidity. Chase experiences that put you in the zone.

Try it. For one day, give everything you’ve got into everything you do.

5. Plus, Minus, Equal

Find three important people in your life. A mentor, a partner and someone to inspire.

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6. New Definition of Billionaire

Become a billionaire. Someone who positively effects the lives of a billion people.

7. Your Mental Diet

Stand guard at the doorway of your mind. Feed your brain delicious food. A few inspiring books, blogs and people I have been consuming this past week.

Jason Silva’s Seeker a dose of knowledge to help you make sense of what is happening in the world around us.

Steve Job’s 10 Rules for Success.

Why it’s important to always stay a student, Ryan Holiday author of The Ego is the Enemy.

Life advice from the mentor to the masters, Jim Rohn

Wait but why? one of my favorite new blogs. Check out this post on building a mental swiss army knife.

The sky is not the limit, but your mind absolutely is.

Where there is an open mind, there will always be a new frontier.