Monday, April 22, 2013

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.
As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

10 Life-Enhancing Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes or Less

It usually takes us much longer to change our moods than we’d like it to take. Here are ten things you can do in ten minutes or less that will have a positive emotional effect on you and those you love. 1. Watch "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. See it online at This is a deeply moving segment that may be the best ten minutes you've ever invested in front of a computer. 2. Spend a little while watching the sunset with your mate. Nothing extra is necessary. Just sit and take in the natural beauty of the sky and appreciate being able to share it with the one you love. 3. Sit quietly by yourself. It doesn't really matter where or when. Just let your feelings bubble up and then experience the thoughts flowing out of your mind. Clearing your head and heart will give you extra energy to get through the rest of the day. 4. Write a thank you note to your mate. When was the last time you thanked your partner for just being who he or she is and being with you? Doing this in writing will give your partner something to cherish for the rest of his or her life. 5. Take out your oldest family photo album and look through it. The experience will fill you with fond memories and perhaps make you a bit wistful for days gone by. 6. Play with a child. Most kids have short attention spans; ten minutes of quality time from a loving adult can make their day. It will also help you stay in touch with the child inside of you. 7. Visualize or imagine a positive outcome for any issue. Medical doctors recommend visualization to patients with chronic and potentially fatal illnesses. If it can help them, it can do the same for you. 8. Go to bed with the one you love ten minutes earlier than usual. Then spend that time just holding each other. Let the feeling of warmth from your mate move through you. 9. Hang out by some water. Studies show that hospital patients who can see a natural body of water from their beds get better at a 30 percent faster rate. If you're not near the coast or a lake, try taking a bath. Doing so is also healing. 10. Get your body moving. Shake, twist, and jump around. Let yourself feel the joy of moving to your favorite music, or just the sounds in your head. Run, walk, and bike to your hearts content. You will live longer and love it more. Sadly, many people measure happiness by how long the experience lasts. The truth is that a few minutes of joy here and there can make a big difference in what you get out of life

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ten Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's yours to keep for the entire period.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, "life."
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately "work."
4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There's no part of life that doesn't contain its lessons. If you're alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.
6. "There" is no better a place than "here." When your "there" has become a "here", you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."
7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life's questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
10. You will forget all this.

20 Bad Habits Holding Good People Back

A change in bad habits leads to a good change in life…

Here are twenty bad habits many of us repeatedly struggle with:
  1. Expecting life to be easy. – Nothing starts easy; everything begins at some level of difficulty.  Even waking up in the morning sometimes requires notable effort.  But one beautiful thing about life is the fact that the most difficult challenges are often the most rewarding and satisfying.
  2. Overlooking your true path and purpose. – What really matters in life is not what we buy, but what we build; not what we have, but what we share with the world; not our capability but our character; and not our success but our true significance.  Live a life that makes you proud – one that matters and makes a difference.  Live a life filled with passion and love.  Read A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
  3. Chasing after those who don’t want to be caught. – Do not chase people.  Be you, do your own thing and work hard on your passions.  The right people who belong in your life will eventually come to you, and stay.
  4. Not asking for help when you know you need it. – No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, you can always turn back.  Be STRONG enough to stand alone, SMART enough to know when you need help, and BRAVE enough to ask for it.
  5. Letting one dark cloud cover the entire sky. – Take a deep breath.  It’s just a bad moment, or a bad day, not a bad life.  Everyone has troubles.  Everyone makes mistakes.  The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.
  6. Holding on to things you need to let go of. – Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things in life that should not be.  Sometimes letting go is what makes us stronger, happier and more successful in the long run.
  7. Spending time with people who make you unhappy. – People can be cruel, and sometimes they will be.  People can hurt you and break your heart, and sometimes they will.  But only YOU can allow them to continuously hurt you.  Value yourself enough to choose to spend time with people who treat you the way you treat them.  Know your worth.  Know when you have had enough.  And move on from the people who keep chipping away at your happiness.
  8. Not making time for those who matter most. – When we take things for granted, these things eventually get taken away.  Too often we don’t realize what we have until it’s gone.  Too often we are too stubborn to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”  Too often it seems we hurt the ones closest to us by letting insignificant issues tear us apart.  Appreciate what you have, who loves you and who cares for you.  You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they are no longer beside you.
  9. Denying personal responsibility. – You’re getting almost everything you’re getting right now based on the decisions you have made; and you will continue to receive the same things until you choose differently.  You always have some element of control.  There are always other options.  The choices might not be easy, but they are available.  You will not get a different result until you exercise a choice that forces you to grow by habit, by action, and by change.
  10. Letting everyone else make decisions for you. – Never allow someone or something that adds very little to your life, control so much of it.  You’ve got to stop caring about what everyone else wants for you, and start actually living for yourself.  Let go of the people and things that continuously hold you back and no longer serve you, because you only get one shot at life.
  11. Giving up who YOU are. – Remove yourself from any situation that requires you to give up any one of these three things:  1) Who you are.  2)  What you stand for.  3)  The goals you aspire to achieve.  Read Quitter.
  12. Quitting as soon as things get slightly difficult. – An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward; and such is life.  When life is pulling you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to eventually launch you forward in a positive direction.  So keep focusing, and keep aiming!
  13. Doing too much and pushing too hard, without pausing. – Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never find it, but because they never stop long enough to enjoy it.  Sometimes we are so focused on what we want that we miss the things we need most.
  14. Discrediting yourself for everything you aren’t. – STOP discrediting yourself for everything you aren’t.  START giving yourself credit for everything that you are.
  15. Running from current problems and fears. – Trust me, if everyone threw their problems in a pile for you to see, you would grab yours back.  Tackle your problems and fears swiftly, don’t run away from them.  The best solution is to face them head on no matter how powerful they may seem.  Either you own your problems and fears, or they will ultimately own you.
  16. Constantly mulling over past hardships. – You’ll never see the great things ahead of you if you keep looking at the bad things behind you.  To reach up for the new, you must let go of the old.  You are exactly where you need to be to reach your goals.  Everything you’ve been through was preparation for where you are right now and where you can be tomorrow.
  17. Denying your mistakes. – Remember that most honorable people of all are not those who never make mistakes, but those who admit to them when they do.  And then go on to do their best to make the wrong things right.
  18. Expecting your significant other to be perfect. – Remember that you will never find a PERFECT partner to love you in the exact way you had envisioned, only a person who is willing to love you with all that they are.  Someone who will accept you for who you can and cannot be.  And although they will never be PERFECT, finding a partner like this is even BETTER.  Read The Mastery of Love.
  19. Focusing on the negative. – Positive thinking isn’t about expecting the best thing to happen every time, it’s about accepting that whatever happens is good for this moment, and then making the best of it.  So stay positive, and hold on to what’s truly important.  Let your worries go.  No matter how you look at it, some outcomes just don’t make sense right away.  Choosing to carry on with your goals through this uncertainty is what matters.
  20. Never allowing things to be good enough. – We are human.  We are not perfect.  We are alive.  We try things.  We make mistakes.  We stumble.  We fall.  We get hurt.  We rise again.  We try again.  We keep learning.  We keep growing.  And we are thankful for this priceless opportunity called life.

12 Life Lessons Learned in 12 Years on the Road

The journey is the reward.
For the past twelve years, since I entered college, I’ve been on the road – traveling (business and pleasure), studying, living in different cities, working for different companies (and myself), and meeting remarkable and unusual people everywhere in between.
Today I want to share twelve life lessons I’ve learned along the way.
  1. Everyone has the same basic wants and needs. – When you get to know people with different ethnic backgrounds, from different cities and countries, who live at various socioeconomic levels, you begin to realize that everyone basically wants the same things.  They want validation, love, happiness, fulfillment and hopes for a better future.  The way they pursue these desires is where things branch off, but the fundamentals are the same.  You can relate to almost everyone everywhere if you look past the superficial facades that divide us.
  2. What you do every day is what’s most important. – The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do. You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.  Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.  Remember, people seldom do things to the best of their ability; they do things to the best of their willingness.  Follow your heart, and do something every day that your future self will thank you for.
  3. You can’t always be agreeable.  – That’s how people take advantage of you.  You have to set boundaries.  Don’t ever change just to impress someone.  Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a better future.  Being your true self is the most effective formula for happiness and success there is.  Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and what you want to be.  And sometimes you just have to do your own thing your own way, no matter what anyone else thinks or says about you.  Read The Magic of Thinking Big.
  4. You’re not perfect, but you’re great at being you. – You might not be the most beautiful, the strongest, or the most talented person in the world, but that’s okay.  Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.  You’re great at being you.  You might not be proud of all the things you’ve done in the past, but that’s okay too.  The past is not today.  Be proud of who you are, how you’ve grown, and what you’ve learned along the way.
  5. You DON’T want perfect people in your life. – Even though you probably sometimes get confused, you don’t really want your friends and lovers to be perfect.  What you do want is people you can trust, who treat you right – people you can act silly with, who love being around you as much as you love being around them.  It’s about finding people who know about your mistakes and weaknesses and stand by your side when others walk away.
  6. Life is change.  You must embrace it. – Everything in life is temporary.  So if things are good, enjoy it.  It won’t last forever.  If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either.  Just because life isn’t easy right now, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh.  Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile.  Always focus on the positives in your life.  You have a lot to look forward to.  Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending.  You get a second chance, every second.  And don’t forget, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.  Read The Power of Now.
  7. Your scars are symbols of your growth. – Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with.  A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved on.  A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of.
  8. The truth is always the best choice. – Respect and trust are two of the easiest things in life to lose and the hardest to get back.  Never make a big decision when you’re angry, and never make a big promise when you’re overjoyed.  Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours.  Always be open and honest.
  9. It’s the small, free things that matter most in life. – It’s nice to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s also important to make sure you haven’t lost track of the things that money can’t buy.  Maturity is not when you start speaking and thinking about the big things, it’s when you start understanding and appreciating the small things.  Read The Happiness Project.
  10. Everyone’s story is more complicated than it seems. – Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours.  It’s not always the tears that measure a person’s pain, sometimes it’s the smile they fake.  Not all scars show.  Not all wounds heal by themselves.  You usually can’t see the pain that someone feels.  Don’t judge a person negatively for their past or feelings without a full understanding of their situation.  Just because you don’t agree based on what you see, doesn’t mean you’re right.  And don’t be so quick to point out the flaws in other people’s lives when you are not willing to look at the flaws in your own life.
  11. Giving up and moving on are two different things. – There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough.  It doesn’t make sense to hold onto something that’s no longer there.  Accepting what is, letting go, and moving on are skills that you must learn when facing the realities of life.  Some relationships and situations just can’t be fixed.  If you try to force them back together, things will only get worse.  Holding on is being brave, but letting go and moving on is often what makes us stronger.
  12. You are not alone in being alone. – To lose sleep worrying about a friend.  To have trouble picking yourself up after someone lets you down.  To feel like less because someone didn’t love you enough to stay.  To be afraid to try something new for fear you’ll fail.  None of this means you’re dysfunctional or crazy.  It just means you’re human, and that you need a little time to right yourself.  You are not alone.  No matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, there are others out there experiencing the same emotions.  When you hear yourself say, “I am all alone,” it is your mind trying to sell you a lie.  There’s always someone who can relate to you.  Perhaps you can’t talk to them right now, but they’re out there.
And remember, sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.  Sometimes you need to take a step back to see things clearly.  Traveling is one of the best ways I know to remain psychologically grounded.  If you’ve been stuck in an emotional rut for awhile, without any positive change, perhaps it’s time to take a short hiatus – get out of town for a few days, experience something new, and stimulate your mind.

10 Signs it’s Time to Let Go

10 Signs it’s Time to Let Go

Holding on is being brave, but letting go and moving on is often what makes us stronger and happier.
Here are ten signs it’s time to let go:
  1. Someone expects you to be someone you’re not. – Don’t change who you are for anyone else.  It’s wiser to lose someone over being who you are, than to keep them by being someone you’re not.  Because it’s easier to mend a broken heart, than it is to piece together a shattered identity.  It’s easier to fill an empty space in your life where someone else used to be, than it is to fill the empty space inside yourself where YOU used to be.
  2. A person’s actions don’t match their words. – Everybody deserves somebody who helps them look forward to tomorrow.  If someone has the opposite effect on you, because they are consistently inconsistent and their actions don’t match up with their words, it’s time to let them go.  It’s always better to be alone than to be in bad company.  True friendship is a promise made in the heart – silent, unwritten, unbreakable by distance, and unchangeable by time.  Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.  Your true friends will slowly reveal themselves over time.
  3. You catch yourself forcing someone to love you. – Let us keep in mind that we can’t force anyone to love us.  We shouldn’t beg someone to stay when they want to leave.  That’s what love is all about – freedom.  However, the end of love is not the end of life.  It should be the beginning of an understanding that love sometimes leaves for a reason, but never leaves without a lesson.  If someone truly loves you, they will never give you a reason to doubt it.  Anyone can come into your life and say how much they love you, but it takes someone really special to stay in your life and prove how much they love you.  Sometimes it takes awhile to find the right person, but the right person is always worth the wait.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. An intimate relationship is based strictly on physical attraction. – Being beautiful is more than how many people you can get to look at you, or how others perceive you at a single glance.  It’s about what you live for.  It’s about what defines you.  It’s about the depth of your heart, and what makes you unique.  It’s about being who you are and living out your life honestly.  It’s about those little quirks that make you, you.  People who are only attracted to you because of your pretty face or nice body won’t stay by your side forever.  But the people who can see how beautiful your heart is will never leave you.
  5. Someone continuously breaks your trust. – Love means giving someone the chance to hurt you, but trusting them not to.  When you completely trust a person, without any doubt, you’ll automatically get one of two results - a FRIEND for life or a LESSON for life.  Either way there’s a positive outcome.  Either you confirm the fact that this person cares about you, or you get the opportunity to weed them out of your life and make room for those who do.  In the end you’ll discover who’s fake, who’s true, and who would risk it all for you.  And trust me, some people will totally surprise you.
  6. Someone continuously overlooks your worth.Know your worth!  When you give yourself to someone who doesn’t respect you, you surrender pieces of your soul that you’ll never get back.  There comes a point when you have to let go and stop chasing some people.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll find a way to put you there.  Sometimes you just need to let go and accept the fact that they don’t care for you the way you care for them.  Let them leave your life quietly.  Letting go is oftentimes easier than holding on.  We think it’s too hard to let go, until we actually do.  Then we ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
  7. You are never given a chance to speak your mind. – Sometimes an argument saves a relationship, whereas silence breaks it.  Speak up for your heart so that you won’t have regrets.  Life is not about making others happy.  Life is about being honest and sharing your happiness with others.
  8. You are frequently forced to sacrifice your happiness. – If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative before you know it.  Know when to close the account.  It’s always better to be alone with dignity than in a relationship that constantly requires you to sacrifice your happiness and self-respect.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  9. You truly dislike your current situation, routine, job, etc. – It’s better to be a failure at something you love than to succeed at doing something you hate.  Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.  The best thing you can do in life is follow your heart.  Take risks.  Don’t just make the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what might happen.  If you do, nothing will ever happen.  Chances must be taken, mistakes must be made, and lessons must be learned.  It might be an uphill climb, but when you reach that mountaintop it will be worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears you put into it.
  10. You catch yourself obsessing over, and living in, the past. – Eventually you will overcome the heartache, and forget the reasons you cried, and who caused the pain.  Eventually you will realize that the secret to happiness and freedom is not about control or revenge, but in letting things unfold naturally, and learning from your experiences over the course of time.  After all, what matters most is not the first, but the final chapter of your life, which unveils the details of how well you wrote your story.  So let go of the past, set yourself free, and open your mind to the possibility of new relationships and priceless experiences.  Read The Power of Now.
And the one thing you should never let go of is hope.  Remember what you deserve and keep pushing forward.  Someday all the pieces will come together.  Unimaginably good things will transpire in your life, even if everything doesn’t turn out exactly the way you had anticipated.  And you will look back at the times that have passed, smile, and ask yourself, “How did I get through all of that?”

14 Rules for Being YOU

Be yourself.  Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are.  Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else.  Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms.  And above all, be true to YOU – if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
Starting today…
  1. Get your priorities straight. – Twenty years from now it won’t really matter what shoes you wore today, how your hair looked, or what brand of jeans you bought.  What will matter is how you loved, what you learned and how you applied this knowledge.
  2. Take full responsibility for your goals. – If you really want good things in your life to happen, you have to make them happen yourself.  You can’t sit around and hope that somebody else will help you; you have to make your own future and not think that your destiny is tied to the actions and choices of others.  Read Quitter
  3. Know your worth. – When someone treats you like you’re just one of many options, help them narrow their choice by removing yourself from the equation.  Sometimes you have to try not to care, no matter how much you do.  Because sometimes you can mean almost nothing to someone who means so much to you.  It’s not pride – it’s self-respect.  Don’t expect to see positive changes in your life if you surround yourself with negative people.  Don’t give part-time people a full-time position in your life.  Know your value and what you have to offer, and never settle for anything less than what you deserve.
  4. Choose the right perspective. – Perspective is everything.  When faced with long check-out lines, traffic jams, or waiting an hour past your appointment time, you have two choices:  You can get frustrated and enraged, or you can view it as life’s way of giving you a guilt-free breather from rushing, and spend that time daydreaming, conversing, or watching the clouds.  The first choice will raise your blood pressure.  The second choice will raise your consciousness.
  5. Don’t let your old problems punish your dreams.  – Learn to let go of things you can’t control.  The next time you’re tempted to rant about a situation that you think ended unfairly, remind yourself of this:  You’ll never kill off your anger by beating the story to death.  So close your mouth, unclench your fists, and redirect your thoughts.  When left untended, the anger will slowly wither, and you’ll be left to live in peace as you grow toward a better future.
  6. Choose the things that truly matter. – Some things just don’t matter much – like the kind of car you drive.  How big of a deal is that in the grand scheme of life?  Not a big at all.  But lifting a person’s heart?  Now, that matters.  The whole problem with most people is, they KNOW what matters, but they don’t CHOOSE it.  They get distracted.  They don’t put first things first.  The hardest and smartest way to live is choosing what truly matters, and pursuing it passionately.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  7. Love YOU. – Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are.  Yes, let someone love you despite all of this; and let that someone be YOU.
  8. Accept your strengths and weaknesses. – Be confident being YOU.  We often waste too much time comparing ourselves to others, and wishing to be something we’re not.  Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when we accept everything we are, and aren’t, that we are able to become who we are capable of being.
  9. Stand up for YOU. – You were born to be real, not to be perfect.  You’re here to be YOU, not to be what someone else wants you to be.  Stand up for yourself, look them in the eye, and say, “Don’t judge me until you know me, don’t underestimate me until you challenge me, and don’t talk about me until you’ve talked to me.”
  10. Learn from others, and move on when you must. – You can’t expect to change people.  Either you accept who they are, or you start living your life without them.  And just because something ends, doesn’t mean it never should have been.  You lived, you learned, you grew, and you moved on.  Some people come into your life as blessings; others come into your life as lessons.
  11. Be honest in your relationships. – Don’t cheat!  If you’re not happy, be honest, and move on if you must.  When you’re truly in love, being faithful isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a joy.
  12. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. – Life as we know it can change in a blink of an eye.  Unlikely friendships can blossom, important careers can be tossed aside and a long lost hope can be rekindled.  It might feel a little uncomfortable at times, but know that life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  So if you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is not an ending, but a new beginning.  Read The Power of Full Engagement
  13. Be who you were born to be. – Don’t get to the end of your life and find that you lived only the length of it; live the width of it as well.  When it comes to living as a passionate, inspired human being, the only challenge greater than learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, is learning to walk a lifetime comfortably in your own.  Follow your heart, and take your brain with you.  When you are truly comfortable in your own skin, not everyone will like you, but you won’t care about it one bit.
  14. Never give up on YOU. – This is your life; shape it, or someone else will.  Strength shows not only in the ability to hold on, but in the ability to start over when you must.  It is never too late to become what you might have been.  Keep learning, adapting, and growing.  You may not be there yet, but you are closer than you were yesterday.