Every day we have daily reminders of what is possible with our lives. We can even look back and be reminded by the actions of those from tens of thousands of years ago as a source of inspiration. Wether it be the Pyramids in Egypt, The Taj Mahal in India, a riveting speech given by Randy Pausch, lifting a weight we have never lifted before, or a simple day at the park uninterrupted with our families.
Yet with all these reminders out there of how special this world can be we often decide not to let allow ourselves to live without limits. We put self imposed limitations on who we are, what we are capable of, and the impact we can make on this world. I made a short list. It goes as follows.
1. We ALL have something great we can become
2. We ALL have a special gift to offer
3. We ALL can make an impact in this world
4. We ALL have the opportunity to give back
5. We ALL have limitless potential
Inside of us all is a unique soul itching to get out. Why do you think we get anxiety, stress out, frustrated, angry, or upset. It’s because we are not living our true purpose or living the life we are meant to live. Imagine Stevie Wonder not being a musician, Picasso deciding not to paint, or Paulo Coelho deciding not to write. They would have never lived their ultimate self and we would never have experienced their amazing gifts.
Sure there are many musicians, artists, and authors. But there is only one Stevie Wonder, one Picasso, one Paulo Coelho, and only one YOU. If you know what the best of you looks like why not tap into it all the time. There is no sense living a life settled for, settling is for pilgrims and last I checked we are way past that.
Every minute of every day we are given the chance to show just who we are. Don’t settle for less than anything but your best and true self. Obstacles will always be there, challenges will always arise, excuses can always be given, fear, uncertainty, and worry are not going away anytime soon. The great this is we all have a decision in how it plays out.
What stops us? What will you do?
The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Fear will always be there. Best of luck trying to ignore it. Damn thing is persistent as all hell and talk about resilience! Our goal is not to push it away but to acknowledge, give it a fist pound and a knuckle-bump, maybe throw in a Randy Jackson-ish “was sup dogg, I’m feeling you” but after that cordial exchange that’s it. You and fear are friends but the type of friends that secretly dislike each other. You just keep each other around to make sure you both stay on your “A” game.
What is fear? Fear is our imaginations running wild on us and anticipating everything that could go wrong. A negative expectation that what ever can go wrong will and there is nothing we can do about it.
What we need to do is replace those negative expectations with positive ones.
The same things that cause use to have fear are the same things that cause us to feel excited. The only difference between the two is how we perceive them.
When we are in fear, as noted before we are focused on negative outcomes.
“This hike we are going on is going to be so long, my feet are going to hurt, mosquitos are everywhere, I’m going to get sunburn.”
“I’ll never be able to get into shape so why try? I don’t even know where to start with working out? I’ve tried every diet you can imagine. What’s the point.”
“Why even try to start my own business. It’s way to tough, probably will lose money, I won’t be able to support my family. Plus, I have a secure job, make decent money, and am OK with it.”
We have to get out of this mode and start creating positive expectations for our life.
“I’m going to get such a great workout on this hike. I get to spend it with some really awesome people, being one with nature is so cool, the suns shining and I’ll be taking is some vitamin-D”
“I know I can get back into shape. I know how to run so I’ll get started with some interval training. I can hang with some push-ups, sit-ups, air squats, and do the body weight thing. I’ll start reading up and talking some friends I have that know more about weight training and add that in too.”
“Starting my own business will give me a chance to pursue work I truly love and allows me the opportunity to give back to this world in a way I am excited about. Any great success had to take a big leap in order to get to where they are today. When I am pursuing my purpose the money will follow because the universe rewards those that are living their purpose.”
Positive expectations can be done any place any time. When you are driving to work or even if you work form home or own your own biz, tell yourself that today is going to be a fantastic day at work. You’re going to connect with some amazing people, make a difference in someone else’s life, find creative solutions to problems, and put out amazing work that you find rewarding and helps others. Then get to what ever it may be you do and SHOW it. Live that enthusiasm and optimism.
If you work out at home or drive to the gym tell yourself the this workout is going to be the best workout I’ve ever had. I’m going to lift a personal best, run the fastest I have ever run, first my first pull-up…. the list goes on.
What’s the downside of getting into this mindset?
There is none. It feels good to optimistic and positive. Sure beats feeling like shit doesn’t it.
Plant the seeds of what you want. If you want a tree that grows with passion, purpose, excitement, and love then plant that seed. Start acting like it more often. And when you’re not, catch yourself, take some deep breaths and return back to positive expectations.
If you’re worrying about something chances are you’re on to something. We often start worrying when we are working on something that we find meaning in and is challenging us. The primary purpose of our brain is to keep us alive and free of risk. It wants us to be safe, it wants things to be easy, and wants us to maintain a status quo. It’s a natural reaction to start to worry or stress out when you are on to something new and challenging for yourself. It’s a natural process. So essentially worrying is natural for us and being optimistic and positive takes work.
The key component we need to focus on are the things we can control. What action steps need to be taken right now in order to push pass the fear, stress, and worry? If you are worrying about your health that is something you can control. Adapting an healthy eating plan like the Paleo diet and getting consistent and challenging exercise are things that you can do in order to combat that worry.
Worrying and stress are most often not caused by our problems. They are caused by our attitudes and perceptions of events or expectations. Don’t try and rid yourself of worry, instead ask yourself how you can change your perception of what it is you are worrying about, stressed out about, or scared about.
If you are stressed out about your personal finances you might not be able to increase your income right away but I am sure there are many ways you can cut back your spending. I personally cancelled cable, memberships and subscriptions that I did not really NEED, started walking and biking places to save on gas (double-points for the exercise factor), and quite going to Starbucks for my cup’o’joe!
It’s up to you to get creative and tackle these things head on. Realize that along the process you will constantly be challenged. Remember that it is only your brain wanting you to be safe and secure.
Ask yourself what is really at stake here? Am I in real harm or danger and how likely is it that harm and danger will occur. For example if you are worrying about skydiving there is an inherent risk but the likely hood of you succumbing to any harm is minuscule at best. If that just got you scared… remember it’s natural. Your brain wants you to be safe.
Next ask yourself what the repercussions might be of taking a the risk head on? Ask yourself what the worse case scenario is. It typically is not that bad. And be real wit yourself. If quitting your job to pursue something that you find gives you purpose will result in having to move in with mom and dad for a few months, please note that is something that is NOT that bad (depends who you ask I guess). It comes down to how bad do you want it. What are you willing to give up in order to gain?
“When you know what you want, and want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.”
Know the cause of your worry and anxiety. If you know the cause it its easier to deal with.
One quick strategy to deal with any worry or stress is to breath. There is a direct correlation between our brain waves (how fast our brain is moving), thoughts, and physiological response. If we can slow ourselves down we can control our thought process. Meditation has been a strategy used by many to accomplish this and I have reaped the benefits myself but what if we are in a situation in which we can not take time to sit down for a few minutes and reset. Like when we are in traffic and find ourselves getting stressed out, get a bill in the mail for a large amount that was unexpected, hop on the scale this week and find that our weight loss efforts have stalled.
Take a big deep breath and on the exhale say ten. Take another deep breath and on the exhale say nine. Repeat this process until you get down to zero. If you are still a bit anxious start all over again at ten until it subsides. This is a technique that Wayne Dyer suggests and implements on a daily basis. Dude is so Zen now he might not need to do it anymore acutally.
The secret laws of the universe we somehow always forget
The one thing that we tend to forget about the world and one of the most important things we can embrace is that everything around us is in constant motion and EVER changing. We are not the same people we were yesterday, a week ago, or months ago. Situations change, circumstances, and challenges arise. How effective will you be when it is time to adapt to them.
So your weight loss progress stalled. How can you adapt. Can you adjust the amount of calories you are taking in? Add in some extra interval training? Or maybe its a matter of sticking tighter to your plan and choosing higher quality foods.
Everything has a polar opposite so remember that every fear you have also lives excitement, for every bad day there is a good one, and for every fail there is a success.
What manifests in projects out and what projects out manifests in so in terms of our health if we are eating the right foods, exercising consistently, and drinking plenty of water it will show on the outside. Our skin will look better, we will have more energy, our bodies will start to change composition. And with that we will start to have more confidence, be more enthusiastic and optimistic, be willing to accept challenges, and generally be happier.
Everyday we have the opportunity to have major break-thrus in our lives. To be inspired, inspire others, and get one step closer to our dreams. The key is to ACT. Sometimes those break-thru moments are brief. Be prepared for them, don’t be scared to go for them, and encourage others to do the same.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting. ~Dr. Seuss