If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic, Dale Carnegie is credited with saying. What I get out of that is that we shouldn’t wait for our external circumstances to dictate how happy or satisfied we are going to be in our day-to-day lives. We have to make a decision to embrace life, to pour our hearts into every minute of our day, even if sometimes we don’t feel like it.
I’m a big believer that you get out of life exactly what you put in. And I will admit that I have those days when finding a reason to act enthusiastic about anything is hard. I think the key though is to not let a downhearted attitude become a lifestyle. I know that many people have very few reasons to look forward to their day when they wake up, but I’m convinced, through personal experience, that your day will be much better if you look for the positive in every task, and in every interaction. Today, the 4th of July, is as good a day as any to declare independence from a woe-is-me attitude and put your heart into living your best life!
Life is not perfect. And it never will be, but the key to enjoying the life you have, as imperfect as it may be, is to learn to be content and fully live in the present moment. Of course, this is much harder to do than it sounds and takes most of us years to get better at doing. Also, being content does not equal settling for less than what you’re capable of, but instead it means taking your focus off what everyone else is doing and making the most of what you have. Following your own path, making decisions based on your strengths and interests, and not trying to follow some else’s success formula. Are there common elements that successful people share? Sure, but probably one of the most important ones is that they didn’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves, but went after the things they wanted to accomplish.
Learning to be content and making the daily decision to stop looking at your neighbor’s much greener yard is hard. Start practicing these skills today and please, enjoy life! It’s quite short you know. 🙂
In the era of funeral selfies (yes! Funeral!) and shameless self-promotion in every shape, form and size possible, humility seems like a quaint old-fashioned concept not designed for the modern times. I happen to think though, that humility is essential to the kind of success that is long-lasting and meaningful. Please don’t confuse “humility” with being a mild-mannered “yes” man or woman with low self-esteem, but rather think of it as a quality that allows you to spend as little time as possible dwelling on your own accomplishments, focusing instead on the accomplishments of others.
I spend a lot of time thinking about this thing called “self-esteem”. The idea of “self-esteem” was born sometime in the 19th century and has become a concept that has had a somewhat bumpy reputation. (Here’s a good little article that talks about the history of self-esteem , in case you’re curious!)
For my purposes, I use the term to describe how a person feels about themselves and the effect that this “feeling” has on their overall quality of life; How a person relates to others, what kinds of hobbies or activities they choose to pursue, the things that they tell themselves about themselves and the world around them, etc.
One thing that I’ve found really interesting when it comes to having a healthy self-esteem is how it can be gauged really accurately based on how much time and energy someone spends on comparing themselves to others. I think, that the only reason why anyone should be looking around to see what and how everyone is going is to learn from other’s mistakes, not to confirm that you are better than someone or obsess because you think someone is better than you. This type of thinking is a huge, HUGE waste of time!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Everyone has something to offer. Everyone! If you’re out and about wishing to be someone other than yourself, then you are likely not noticing the very things that make YOU special and that’s just wrong! So please, if you are caught up in the grass is greener mindset, or you’re spending too much time envying others, stop it! Focus on you and figure out what you have to offer. Then once you get that figured out, give that talent, interest or skill all of your attention so you can hone and get to be the best that you can be at it. The road to success is definitely in that direction and not in trying to be someone you’re not!
I’ll be the first to admit that building a successful life can be scary. Why? Because you have to make a lot of decisions the outcomes of which depend greatly on things that you can’t control…which might mean that everything doesn’t go according to plan. And none of us love the idea of failure.
Fear of failure is probably one of the most common fears that humans deal with, but of course there are many others that can get in the way of us moving forward in life with confidence. From phobias to lack of confidence to fear of being judged, every day, we stop ourselves from doing what needs to be done not because we’d be doing the wrong thing, but because we’re afraid that we wouldn’t be doing the right thing.
Life is a whole lot of unknown and living in fear of anything (within reason) is a huge waste of time and energy. Commit today to facing down your fears, one at a time, and keep moving forward!
I recorded this video last December and am only now just getting around to posting it. Oops! 😀 In the video I reference my Build It Again Bricks project which, happily, I was able to complete and see come to fruition – check out my update about it here!
I can’t stress enough how important it is for people with ADHD to find one or two people who they can trust to help them prioritize (I call these people sympathetic enforcers). Fact is, being in idea-generating overdrive pretty much every single day can be both exhilarating and incredibly frustrating. It’s fun coming up with great ideas, isn’t it? And it’s even better to see something go from idea to physical reality, but when you have ADHD, the struggle with follow-through, planning, prioritizing, consistency and focus usually sabotages over 95% of the ideas we dream up. And that’s where having a sympathetic enforcer on your team can make all the difference!
Having hope that the future holds something better for you is vital to your success. You might have the skills, the talents and the abilities, but without hope, you just won’t get there. Hope is not just a feel-good emotion, but according to psychologists, it is a dynamic cognitive motivational system, translation? it’s the thing that keeps you going when life gets rough.
Growing us with Dyslexia was no fun for many reasons, but one I can recall with great certainty is how much I struggled with reading. Some kids hated gym, others despised math, me? I loathed English class and hated reading comprehension activities.
It’s no secret that when I started college, my reading and writing skills were so poor, I had to take English 099 my first semester. ..which in retrospect worked out great because next semester, I met my wife in English 101 when she transferred in. Let’s just say that God had a plan! The Russian was an avid reader and an A student when it came to English…even though English wasn’t her first language. I can’t say that we exactly bonded over our love of reading, but over the last 20 years of marriage, if not her love of reading, then at least her appreciation for the power of books has leaked over to me and now I’m a huge advocate of the written word.
If you’re not a fan of reading and you’re on this blog because of the videos, am I freaking you out yet? 😉 Seriously, check out the video – I’ve got some good suggestions on how to make reading a little bit easier.
I’ve been a public speaker for close to 20 years. Spoken to groups as big as 75,000 people and as small as 5. I’ve been all over the world and have maintained a busy speaking schedule consistently for almost two decades with no marketing save word of mouth. You might say I’ve done alright for myself. You might say that I fit the description of “successful”. Yet there are still days when I doubt my own abilities and question my calling as a speaker. I forget all the things that I have done and achieved and get caught up in feeling low. I’m sure it seems insane, but all it really means is that no one is immune to self-doubt. Not you, not I, not the very famous and very rich either. No one is exempt from those days when you wake up feeling like you’ve missed the boat and that you would be so much happier if your life was completely different. For many of us, this signals a downward spiral that could mean days or even weeks of lack of motivation, or worse, depression.
I’m not really sure why this happens, but I have noticed that for me, stress, not getting enough rest and lack of down time often precede episodes of stinkin’ thinkin’. Thankfully, I’ve learned that there are definitely some things that you can do or have a spouse, best friend or trusted partner help you do to minimize the impact of the days of doom and gloom and help you get back on track.
There are days when you just don’t feel like doing anything. What’s the point? you ask yourself. I’ve been slaving away at this job/project/idea/marriage for days/weeks/months/years and there doesn’t seem to be a pay-off in sight. I’m tired of this whole thing and it’s time for a change. Usually, this is the point where a lot of us ADDers (and lots of regular folks too!) do something impulsive and not necessarily smart – we quit and start looking around for something or someone else that gets us excited and captures our attention…leaving behind us a wake of unfinished projects, career starts and relationships that could have blossomed into something wonderful had we actually given them enough time and pushed through the hard times.
What’s enough time? Excellent question and I don’t have a precise answer because it is different for everyone, but here’s a little a little trick to try, to see if it really is time to pull the plug: Think about the victories, small or big, that you have experienced along the way with the project/person you’re thinking about leaving behind and ask yourself about the reasons why you got involved/interested in the first place. If the reasons are still there and unchanged, then focus on recapturing the feelings of success and fulfillment. Give it a few days, and maybe a few days more. Re-evaluate. You may be surprised to see your commitment to keep going resurface.
You might have noticed that “overcoming” is a recurring theme in my messages, my books and my videos. I like to talk about the importance of persevering through life’s obstacles, never giving up and continuing to move forward. Sometimes, I wonder if I’m starting to sound just a little bit cliched, but I also can’t help but recognize that this is a message that everyone needs to hear and often.
Everyone, and I mean, every. single. person alive has or will face a time that will challenge them and test their hearts and minds to the breaking point, and sometimes beyond. Recovery is possible. And you can even come back stronger and better than ever, but what happens to you once you’re caught in life’s grinder and how you come out on the other end is very much based on how you choose to grow through the “ugly”.
My experience is that some people are more resilient and bounce back quicker than others, and some people seem to have a greater share of troubles than their peers, sometimes for no obvious reason, but at the end of the day, each one of us has to decide if we’re going to push on or quit and turn into bitter complainers and naysayers. Can we just agree, right now, that complaining has never gotten anyone ahead in life? And I’m not talking about complaining in a restaurant about your food and getting a free meal, I mean, in the grand scheme of things. No one who spends their days complaining about how unfair life is and how they’ve gotten the short end of the stick, will ever be a happy camper. It’s just not possible. If negativity is what you put out, you will receive the same negativity in response. My solution? To be optimistic. Maybe cautiously so, but learn, little by little to believe that things can get better or at the very least evolve and change. And be sure that you’re actively pursuing “the better” and not just sitting around wishing for it.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video about the importance of seeing the big picture. I talked a bit about how a lot of us feel like we’re being under-utilized, that our talents and gifts are not being used. This feeling can be really frustrating, leading to disappointment and discouragement, but I believe it is really important that you embrace instead of rejecting your circumstances. There’s just a really awesome dynamic that I’ve seen time and time again in my own life where changing my attitude about a situation that appears to be negative or even hopeless, actually has the effect of altering the situation itself.
It’s really important to believe in something. Faith has a direct impact on what we do and why we do it. Trick is you can’t believe in just anything and you shouldn’t accept the beliefs of others blindly. KNOW why you believe what you believe. Understand the foundation of your faith by finding out what it means for yourself.