Its about human contact…

Happiness: A Matter of Mindset?

lifePeople are always trying to achieve total happiness in life. Most of us believe in an ideal state we want to be which would make us happier. Unfortunately, only few realize this footing in life because of our different perspectives.

Happiness is about the meaning of the moment with us. It is about how much we value our experience at that very minute. There is always happiness in quality time spent with love ones although some people find happiness in wealth but others find it even without spending a dime.

Remember, happiness is not dependent on who we are or what we have. It actually depends solely upon what we think. Our happiness or unhappiness depends far more on the way we accept the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves.

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather in recognizing and appreciating what we do have. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something. We can attain it by simply realizing that happiness does not spring from acquiring physical or mental pleasure.

The greater part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances. Happiness depends more on the inward frame of mind than on outward circumstances because there is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.

Though success is getting what we want but happiness is wanting what we get. Most people spend their lives in anticipation but the present time has one advantage over every other. Past opportunities are gone. However, we have all the time to take advantage of the present and enjoy it even if we defer in reaching our goals. Bottom line is we become wise as we aged.

Despite our difference in opinion of happiness, we need to be clear with our choices in life especially in terms of our preference of a happy life. I learned that to be happy, we must not be too concerned with others. We have to think of ourselves first since no man is happy who does not think himself/herself so.

In other words, we need to utilize our mistakes in the past to be a potential happiness builder. Who knows, it’s a blessing in disguise? We will learn to see and appreciate the good things in life even in worst situations.

Credit: Rosemarie Sumalinog Gonzales 


Is Respect Earned or Given?

76a9dae3c79bf651b1c5051ea10a7814A few weeks ago I was having a meeting with a business partner of mine. When my skills were challenged and downright nullified to point where I felt somewhat disrespected. This has been an issue that has come up in the past, because in the career path I want to go into majority of my counterparts have vast more experience than myself. Often times, this can become problematic when it comes to respecting ones ideas or the validity of their opinions. This prompted me to ask the question is respect earned or given?.

What is Respect?

In my experience the meaning of respect is to show admiration to someone no matter of disagreements, age, race or gender. This was taught to me at an early age to “to gain respect you must respect yourself and others”. The word respect can be misconstrued at times meaning that any disagreement or differ in opinion is disrespect. In many cases we can have disagreements and follow the old saying “agree to disagree”. Having respect for other people’s opinion can sometimes be difficult to find in today’s society. Where you can find disrespect commentary on the news, social media and in daily forms of social interaction. For example, the presidential candidates for this upcoming election have proven this narrative to be true. They have established this without shadow of a doubt by going back and forth using rude and occasionally crude depictions, words and Television ads to thoroughly disrespect one another.

For What is Not Earned is Not Respected

Many may argue that respect is not given and you have to “work for my respect”. This idea is based on the show me mentality. Often times in today’s society we tend to tune out anyone who differs in opinions, views or morals from ourselves. This narrative has shown to be true in certain situation i.e. the workplace, social debates or disagreements. A news topic that has seen a great deal of news coverage over past week or so is Colin Kaepernick stand for injustice in America. He’s stand or rather sit has been a topic of debate ranging from news outlets, social media and water coolers across the United States. This conservation has some feeling disrespected for sharing their own opinions. This has caused an heavy wave of disrespectful and sometimes misplaced hate to one another.

Final Thought’s

Having respect for someone is not a law, but rather as my mother would say “the right thing to do”. In a time as we are in today where there is more hate and negativity than positivity in the world. Having respect for one another is vital to help change the narrative and spread positivity. We must examine ourselves and ask do we truly want our opinion, views and ideas to be respected even if disagreed upon.

Do you believe respect is earned or given? Comment below & if you liked this post please share!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9520970

Silence Really Is Golden: The Benefits of Silence

silence-is-goldenHow noisy is your life?

How much space do you make for silence?

Do you even have a quiet moment?

Do you know your life depends on it?

When we talk about silence, what are we talking about?

Silence is defined as an absence of sound. The closest we can get to an absence of sound is in a room entirely insulated from sound (called an anechoic chamber). What does an anechoic chamber sound like?

Surprisingly, what you experience when you step into an anechoic chamber is not an absence of sound. You hear your body. Not just the familiar sounds (like a gurgling stomach) but your nervous system and circulatory system. You are noise. The experience of silence doesn’t exist.

What we mean by silence is a balance of quiet and sound that maximizes our awareness of our environment.

Our modern lifestyle, however, bombards us with a cacophony of noise and all that noise is unhealthy. It’s not just that loud noise can damage your hearing. The World Health Organization considers noise to be a critical public health issue.

Noise triggers the fight-or-flight response and floods our bodies with stress hormones. The brain is constantly at work reacting to, blocking and filtering the noise. Chronic noise exposure is linked to sleep disturbance, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Children have lower reading and cognitive skills. Noise in hospitals impedes healing and contributes to medical errors.

We need silence.

Experiencing silence gives the body and mind a chance to rest. It benefits our mental and physical health. Silence is essential for wellness.

Yet people often avoid silence. Why? Silence is a reckoning. Silence allows thoughts and feelings to emerge that we’d rather not face.

In a YouTube clip that’s been viewed over 11 million times, comedian Louis CK addresses this:

Sometimes when things clear away, you’re not watching anything, and you’re in your car and you start going, oh no. Here it comes, that I’m alone. Like, it starts to visit on you, you know, just this sadness.

A recent study asked people to sit alone in a room with no distractions for 6-15 minutes. Most participants did not enjoy the experience. When given the option of administering an electric shock to themselves while sitting in the room, 67% of men and 25% of women shocked themselves.

No wonder so many people wear headphones throughout their daily lives.

There’s nothing wrong with bringing pleasing sounds into our lives, but using sound to ignore and suppress negative thoughts and feelings only makes them more powerful. When we constantly push silence away we miss the opportunity to discover something deeper and truer than the persistent mental chatterbox that’s constantly running in our heads.

Louis CK describes his experience:

I started to get that sad feeling and I was reaching for my phone and I said, you know what, don’t. Just be sad. And I let it come and I just started to feel, oh my god, and I pulled over and I cried so much and it was beautiful. Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments. And then I had happy feelings because when you let yourself feel sad your body has, like, antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness. I was grateful to feel sad and then I met it with true profound happiness. The thing is, because we don’t want the first bit of sad… we push it away. Then you never feel completely sad or completely happy.

Fortunately, science has found an antidote to our noise-ridden lives: forest therapy. Nature soothes the body and mind. Research shows that spending time in nature lowers stress and reduces blood pressure.

Patrick Shen, director of the film “In Pursuit of Silence”, explains:

We are biological creatures who have existed in nature since the origins of humanity. Our hearing apparatus is clearly designed for that environment. The sounds of commerce and industry, on the other hand, are very new to our species and our bodies have not evolved to live amongst the racket of modern life. I think for most of us, a ‘balanced’ auditory environment involves some degree of sound from the natural world.

What balance of quiet and sound is your antidote? Bird song? Water flowing? Wind through leaves?

Find your restorative place and let your silence work its de-stressing magic on you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9545656

Becoming Truly Selfish

main-qimg-9162664e81363cb40cba067cfeca57e4-cMany people are pursuing self-transformation through self-transcendence. They believe that the self is evil. Religions preach that we’re born with original sin, and culturally, we are told that altruism and self-sacrifice will lead to a more fulfilling, happy, and rewarding life. These illogical beliefs lead to the absurd, but commonly accepted ideas, that self-abnegation will lead to happiness and spiritual fulfillment. The more we sacrifice ourselves, the superior we are morally.

On the other hand, being selfish is considered bad and that people who are selfish are considered greedy, and untrustworthy. In our culture, we associate selfishness who someone who is willing to stab you in the back, and step all over you to get what they want. With that sort of religious and cultural conditioning, it is easy to understand why so many people never achieve happiness, success, wealth, or live the lifestyle they want. As kids, we were taught to think of others before ourselves, but in the adult world, and especially in business, that mentality will inevitably lead to disaster, depression, bankruptcy, and resentment. If we sacrifice our needs and wants to please others, believing that makes us a good person, and that we will be rewarded for it, we only set up ourselves up for resentment and hostility when life isn’t forthcoming.

The reason people are looking to sacrifice their ego is because their ego is weak and fragile. You can’t sacrifice something you don’t have. The ego in a mature and healthy individual is not something to sacrifice, but something to praise, to be proud of, and to value. You can’t have self-esteem, believe you are important and valuable, and want to relinquish your ego. That doesn’t mean you should exaggerate your importance. Acting arrogant is just as insecure as feeling inferior. It means that you realize that life doesn’t owe you anything, and if you want something in life, you have to put yourself first. Politicians, and anyone else in power do it all the time. Politicians act like they are catering to the needs and wants of the people, something altruism praises, but the reality is, they have been caught many times catering to their own needs. Politicians understand that if they don’t look after their own interest, no else will. If we are continuously sacrificing ourselves to others, and catering to what they want, what are they doing, and who is catering to us? Reality doesn’t work that way, and the people who understand this are the richest, smartest, and most powerful people in the world.

Take off the rose-colored glasses and realize that everyone is working for their own agenda and self-interest, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Even charities are selfish, working for their own interest, as well as the interest of many. Being selfish doesn’t mean that you’re evil. In fact, often when we act for our personal gain, the people around us gain as well. People who volunteer their time, or donate their money, do it for selfish reasons. They do it to feel good, and by wanting to feel good, the people around them gain as well. Its win-win and not a win-lose, which is what we are mistakenly led to believe.

In life, you lose when you consistently put other people first. By making the needs and wants of other people more important than your own, you unwittingly affirm that you are not important, and don’t deserve success and happiness. How can you have a sense of personal dignity, and self-respect by continuously acting and behaving in ways that contradict that? Having self-esteem requires you to be selfish most of the time. It means you acknowledge your worth, that your opinion means something, and that your needs and wants are important. Self-sacrifice tells you to deny all those things.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9500335

Heal Thyself – Power of Mind Over Matter

mindovermatterHealing is a conversation between you and your body, and your mind plays a far greater role than you might realize. The potency of thought in facilitating a return to health and balance, and maintaining it, has been expounded by traditional healing systems since time immemorial. And now even science seems to have arrived at similar conclusions.

A positive mindset, illuminated by upbeat thoughts and ideas, has been shown to have a spectrum of benefits for our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Patients are observed to recover faster as well as stay much healthier than those looking down upon their own body and being.

But that is only where these effects and benefits begin; how you think in the face of disease and adversity influences how you and your body respond to it. The key is to remember our body’s innate ability to heal and rebalance itself. Reminding our self of this, even when we may be feeling physically weak or terrible, anchors us in our own healing potential and not in a variety of doomsday scenarios. Consequently we not only change our views of a pending health challenge, we also shift how we experience it. Knowing that your body is working hard to repair itself all the time, instead of feeling victimised by a disease or condition can make all the difference.

The methods of tapping into this power of the mind are many in number and nature- from the conscious to the subconscious, the light to the intense. Each of these works with the mind, rather than against it, tweaking and at tuning its processes and outputs to echo a positive outlook and ideas. Affirmations for instance offer a deceptively simple yet enormously helpful approach; these offer the mind a singular and concrete idea or thought to anchor its energies and focus on. You could on the other hand use meditation or hypnotherapy to dive into the deepest recesses of your mind, weeding out unhealthy and negative thoughts and encouraging a more positive outlook.

Whatever your choice of method and process, it is vital to remember that when engaging the mind to heal the body we are embarking on a holistic process. This isn’t a quick fix pill that once ingested automatically corrects all the defects in our body and being. Self-healing requires patience and active engagement with our own self, learning to read the signs our body sends us and responding to these with love, compassion and determination.

While your mind may be pouring out all the positive thoughts, in truth your entire body and energy field is at work. You cannot thus, for instance, expect for speedy results if you are selectively positive through the day. Healing yourself using the power of the mind requires you to not don a perspective, but wholeheartedly embrace and embody it. it is only when a positive perspective becomes the only perspective you have, that healing using the power of thought becomes a true reality.

Remembering Your Dreams And Improving Your Memory

improve memoryYour dreams help you remember life lessons and past situations because they help you analyze what happened in the past and understand why everything happened the way it did.

The fact that you must pay attention to your dreams in order to remember them when you wake up makes your memory work. The fact that your memory works helps you increase your memory. The more you remember today, more you are able to remember in the future.

You have to write down your dreams or use a voice recorder in order to record them the fastest possible because when your dreams are fresh you remember many details that later you forget, even if you still remember your dreams.

This means that your dreams help you improve your memory only because you have to remember them.

Your dreams help you in many ways because you need help in order to become more intelligent. Your conscience is underdeveloped and you have inherited a huge anti-conscience that has satanic characteristics.

Your intelligence depends on your memory and on your capacity to relate the information you remember. Your memory helps you make conclusions and remember more information in the future through associations with the knowledge you already have.

God produces your dreams in order to help your weak conscience become stronger and gradually eliminate your absurd and evil anti-conscience, so that you may become a true human being, and help Him put an end to terror, poverty, and all the horrors of the world.

The scientific method of dream interpretation proves to the world that science and religion are connected. All mental disorders are generated by Satan, which lives into our primitive anti-conscience. God works like a therapist because we depend on His guidance in order to escape the logical traps prepared by our satanic anti-conscience, which keeps invading our conscience with its absurd thoughts.

The cure for all mental illnesses is based on the elimination of the evilness existent into our wild conscience. This evilness generates absurdity.

God helps you stop being evil with His explanations and lessons in your dreams. You discover the real importance of goodness, and you understand how to behave in order to find sound mental health and peace.

God gives you moral lessons that help you realize what is really important in life, and what you have to do in order to become a perfect human being. This means that you not only remember the past and you have more information about what marked your life; you also have moral lessons that help you transform your life experiences into philosophical conclusions.

Your memory doesn’t merely remember information. You understand the meaning of the information you have in your dreams, and you change your ideas and your behavior thanks to this information.

Therefore, this information helps you solve many different problems.

In order to find solutions for your problems you have to make various combinations. Your memory helps you make these combinations faster, and remember the solutions you were able to find.

Your precious memory is a very important faculty you must develop in order to remember all the details that compose your reality and all the situations of your life.

Gravity and Grace

Gravity + GraceCaught between, and often defined by, a series of polarities, the human journey is quite a ride! Learning to balance out and rein in the opposing forces, we each carve out our own path through our environment, space and time. There is ambition and surrender, strength and flaw, joy and sadness; and then there is gravity and grace.

Our consciousness is always moving between the forces of gravity and grace – one isolating us from the collective into individual identity and experience, the other bonding and uniting us with the Universe at large. Ebbing back and forth between these, we experience and evolve as spiritual beings – by ourselves and collectively.

In contemporary lifestyles, the emphasis has largely remained on one of these two forces – i.e. gravity- with grace itself often being subjected to personal belief or even complete ignorance. The modern life- at home, work and beyond makes little to no place for a connection with Universal consciousness, focusing our energies on individual effort, endeavors and identity. Even when we come together to work or function as a group, we never ever leave our individual identities behind, emerging as a set of individuals rather than a unified collective consciousness.

In light of this nature of our existence and experiences, we suffer the results of a life lived out of balance. This is where spiritual discipline and philosophy steps in, awakening us to and helping us reconnect with the grander matrix of our being. Reminding us of the force of grace, we are once again brought back in touch with its rhythms and gifts, offering a natural movement to counterbalance the oft overzealous ambitions of individuation and gravity.

You see, untamed and unbalanced, our drive for individuality can lead us into a space of selfish actions, thoughts and ideas without care or concern for those around us. The forces of grace therefore play just as vital a role in refining our individual presence, as it does in connecting us to the grander and the ethereal. The same applies for the vice versa as well, with the counterforce of gravity helping us apply the wisdom and light grace bestows upon us in our everyday life and activities- no matter how small or mundane.

So how do we ensure our life treads the delicate balance between gravity and grace? The first step is simply awareness. Understanding a healthy and productive life as a balance between these two movements, rather than being carried away by either one of them, allows us to be mindful of our choices, actions, thoughts and ideas, and their impact on this balance.

Instead of being caught up in the promises of just gravity or grace, we learn to span the vast divide between them- we learn to think without ever having to stop feeling, and we learn to feel without having to switch our minds off; we learn about personal will and its strength even in the throes of surrender, and we learn to surrender as an expression of personal will and strength. Such is the magic of gravity and grace.

Personal Development – Essential Elements That Lead to Effectiveness

development_photoWhat is personal development?

Personal development is a discipline that was once regarded by many as something that happens by itself. Whilst physical growth is an inevitability, personal growth and development is a decision and that decision rests on none other than yourself. There are various areas in life you must take charge of. Aspects of your life such as spiritual growth, career development, business, relationships, physical fitness and your life purpose all require urgent attention and action. However, you cannot act on what you don’t know. You need be to be equipped in order to discover and grow your potential.

At what level of personal development are you?

It doesn’t matter whether you are on autopilot just breathing in and breathing out, doing your best and hoping for the best. You could be one of those folks that once read something and was inspired to come up higher but the challenges of life caused to backtrack and back slide. You lost income, dropped out of school, lost motivation or simply gave up dreaming. It is possible that you are one of the privileged few who are already on the path to personal development. I say well done to you, keep on becoming better. You may have had the intention to start developing a skill or reading good books. Be honest and write down your current position in terms of development.

Why should you embark on personal development?

Personal development is not an option or an alternative, it is the a must if you are going to achieve uncommon success. If you are not developing you are not growing, if you are not growing then you cannot fulfil personal greatness. You have a lot of potential that may go undiscovered yet it stands to benefit others. I am giving you no choice but to develop yourself. Your best life yet is in store for you my friend. Today can be a new beginning.

How do you develop yourself as a person?

Developing yourself starts with being unhappy with the way things are. If you don’t like what is happening in your life you can always change and change starts with a decision to be someone you have never been before. Start where you are right now! You cannot solve your problem if you are still where you were when you created the problem in the first place. You need to grab a Word of God, get in prayer, find a coach, mentor, read a book or something that will encourage you to move forward.

When should you develop yourself?

You do not have to wait for next year. Anytime you make a decision that you no longer want what you have always been getting, you are ready to start. When you get sick and tired of being sick and tired and you say there must be a better life in store for me.

Who is responsible for developing you?

You are responsible for your own personal development. Take control of the areas that are lagging behind and begin to work on yourself. Nobody else can do it for you. You need to take control of your destiny.

What are the essential elements of personal development?

1. Clarify your values

You need to clarify your values because they are the cornerstones upon which your life is built. These are non-negotiable guiding principles that will steer you in the right direction. Clarified values are the backbone of sustained success. They keep you solid and grounded regardless of which way the wind blows. Values simplify life because you have made up your mind as to who you are and from then onward you are simply maintaining them. You need to determine what your values are in terms of your spiritual life, family, intellectual life, wellness, fitness, personal wealth, business and your career.

2. Know your purpose

Knowing your purpose has to do with answering the question, ” WHY AM I”?

Purpose causes you to do what you were born to do and stops you from abusing yourself and others because you will “use” your life properly. Imagine a piece of machinery, vehicle or equipment in the hands of someone who has never read the manual. Chances are high that the equipment will be damaged beyond repair. Life is fragile compared to machines that can easily be replaced or repaired. The uniqueness of one’s purpose means that only you can do what you were born to do, for example, Moses, David, Solomon, Joseph and our Lord Jesus. Purpose arms you with a mission in life. Jesus answered His mother, “I must be about my Father’s business when she was looking for Him. Purpose will inspire you, give you confidence and gives you something to become. What are you becoming?

3. Have a vision for your life

Your vision is what you sometimes refer to as the dream you have for your life

It is that great thing you see accomplishing in your future. When you look at where you are right now the vision may seem too far-fetched but develop one anyway. Your vision might not make sense if you look at the current resources you have. You might actually be in a situation of serious lack but you carry a vision of an abundant, overflowing life. It has something to do with putting your natural endowments, gifts to good use to help others. Treasure that vision because it will help many people.

4. Determine your mission.

Your mission has to do with breaking down your vision into tangible things you can do to accomplish the vision. It is specific compared to a vision because a vision is a broad outlook that you aim towards in the long – term whereas your mission is your plan or object of achievement. It is the goal that you are moving towards in your daily life.

5. Write your plan and act on it.

Do you have a plan? You cannot succeed without it written and commitment to act on it. What is written will most certainly get done. If you are going to be roaming the streets of your ghetto you don’t need a map but if you are going to conquer new territories and be a world – class player you need to seriously and arduously plan for success. What do you need to achieve this year, this month, this week, today? Take Action consistently in order to achieve your goals. Write down lessons learned, what has worked and what has not. . It will save you a lot of time and money in the future if you learn from today’s mistakes.

The information I have shared with you can transform your life. When your life is transformed you will be able to have the things money can buy and the things money cannot buy.

Closing Remarks

We have discussed the essential elements of personal development and the fact that you must know your purpose, vision, mission, values and the fact that you must have a plan. Having said that you must be willing to do what is required,open to possibilities, and never give up. You have it in you to do great things, that’s why you are not satisfied with the way things are. Go ahead and make your life count for something for the glory of God.

Where There’s No Change, There’s No Growth

CHANGE & GROWTH“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects change is the cemetery.” ~ Harold Wilson

When change is recommended, it is often met with opposition. People tend to fear change. They often believe that if you’ve been doing something a certain way for an extended amount of time, it is the best way to do things. Some believe that longevity is equal to goodness. Inevitably, change isn’t just about embracing the unknown, but it is also about giving up something familiar.

Although fear of the unknown is probably the number one reason why people resist change, there are several other reasons as well. Below is a list of possible other reasons why people resist change.

  1. Connected to the old way. Whether it is personal or professional, people are connected to the old way of doing things. There’s an emotional connection to the way things have always been done.
  2. Changes to routines. There’s a correlation between comfort zone and routine. People feel secure in their comfort zone; anything outside of that will lead to resistance because it requires that things be done differently.

3. Loss of control. Change can make people feel like they have lost control. When change is a result of someone else’s decision, people tend to feel like they have lost their sense of self-determination, which results in feeling like there’s a loss of control.

4. Concerns about competence. Often times, in the workplace, people resist change because they are afraid of whether or not they can do a good job with the new changes. As long as they are doing things the way they have always done them, they will be seen as the expert, but when faced when doing something new, they fear they may appear lacking in competency.

5. Doubt Themselves. When people are contemplating making a life change, doubt creeps in. They begin to doubt their ability to manage or handle the change. Feelings of doubt make things appear to be a bit overwhelming.

6. Fear of Failure. Fear of failure is common. It’s human nature to think of all the things that could go wrong before thinking of all the things that could right. People are always taught that failure is a bad thing. The fear of failure can be so strong that they choose to not take risks, to not try something new.

7. Fear of Pain or Discomfort. No one wants to feel pain or discomfort. It’s not irrational to try to avoid those feelings. Change may come with some pain and discomfort, but growth doesn’t happen when things remain the same.

8. Fear of Success. Success comes with a certain level of pressure, attention, and possibly even some baggage. Success tends to cause change in the individual, and some people fear that change.

Dirty, Little Four-Letter “F” Word

fearI recently opened a fortune cookie that said, ‘Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.’

Sure, it’s not necessarily a ‘fortune’ per se – neither was the one that read, ‘It will be sunny.’ – but what it lacked in soothsaying it more than made up for in inspiration and cause for pause.

Because once upon a time, we had dreams. Big, impossibly lofty dreams, of transspecies morphing (see: bald eagle), of transobject morphing (see: firetruck), of transatmospheric pioneering (see: astronaut). And small, unimaginably humble dreams, like my grandfather’s dream to have a can of tuna to himself.

Born the 13th child to an impoverished family in a small Cuban town, my grandfather quit school in the 4th grade to work in construction with his father and brothers to help support his family – and a can of tuna, something so small and seemingly single-serving, was, in fact, a communal family protein.

But he dreamed. And a small dream of a can of tuna became a big dream, an American Dream.

With a young wife and two young sons, he left the only life he had ever known – a life now rife with the impending onslaught of a suffocating and merciless dictatorship – with nothing but change in his pocket and legendary chutzpah in his guts – defying the naysayers, the pessimists, the Communists and all of his friends and family who advised him otherwise.

He had a 3rd grade education. He didn’t speak the language. He knew no one. And he came alone.

But he succeeded.

Read that again. ‘But he succeeded.’

And still, even knowing how his story would end, as a family, we’ve marvelled in what would have surely been paralyzing fear in a lesser man; we’ve wondered if we could’ve done the same.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

Oof. That one hits just a little too close to the mark for comfort.

So our impossibly lofty dreams, and even some of the smaller dreams, fall to the wayside as fear takes up residence where optimism once resided. And we let fear live rent free; fear is the emotional squatter that eats all our courage and never replaces it, no matter how many times it promises us that it will.

But where does the fear manifest? Why were we once able to live so intrepidly and now, are suffocated by the intrusive thoughts of ‘What If?’

Biologically speaking, fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger – focused on a specific object – and serves to alert and protect us from legitimate threats. But too often we trip the fear wire in situations far from life-or-death, so often awakening the fear beast or its equally disturbing cousin, anxiety – the unpleasant feeling that teems with apprehension, dread and distress.

‘Oh welcome, fear and anxiety. So nice to see you,’ said no one ever.

That report you flubbed at work? That presentation you forgot to prep? That birthday you forgot? Those are one-way tickets to the sleepy little town of Fearful Falls, where hope is lost and peace of mind is found only in fairytales.

And is it worth it – really?

Because if history is any indication, the common denominator of success and happiness is painfully simple – it’s your fuel of purpose.

If life is fueled by a purpose of fear, it will always create more fear. Fear begets fears; negativity begets negativity.

But a life instead fueled by a purpose of passion will always create more passion. Passion begets passion; positivity begets positivity.

See the pattern here?

So in those dark times where fear lurks ever menacingly around the corner, those times when anxiety threatens to keep you awake at night with worry, question your fuel – but never your purpose. Fear, ever manipulative and insidious, will lie to you. But if you know your truth and your purpose, question only your fuel. Because the right fuel will yield success and more importantly, it will yield happiness.

So flub that report. Bomb the presentation. Forget ALL the birthdays. Expect failure. Accept failure. It happens. All. The. Time. Then… own it, learn it and – this is where it gets real tricky – dare to fail. Again.

Just don’t quit your daydreams.

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