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.
Those of us with ADHD have been hearing about the need for routine, our whole lives! But guess what, having a routine is actually a benefit to all the busy people out there as well, regardless of whether they have ADHD or not. If you are making dozens, maybe hundreds of decisions every day, a routine can really help take some of the stress off.
Ever notice that when evening rolls around and you and your significant other are trying to decide what to do for food, it turns into the battle of the lack of wills? “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t care, you pick!” “I don’t care either. You decide.” And to your shock, you realize that you’re just too tired to make a decision. Not only that, but you start getting somewhat upset with your partner because they won’t make the call…on something as trivial as picking a restaurant or even deciding whether to go out or stay in. What just happened? Well, by the end of the day, your decision-making capital has been spent and now you just want someone else to drive the bus. A lot of stress in being a decision-maker is that you constantly have to problem-solve. That’s draining and when you’re drained, your stress levels sky-rocket, especially when you have to make yet another decision. But let’s say that the family routine is that you eat in every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, but go out to your favorite Mexican place on Wednesdays and your beloved sushi place on Friday. You don’t even have to think about it because that’s the routine. See how nicely that can work out?
Dinner routine is just one example. Now apply the routine principle to what you wear, how you spend your holidays and when you go to visit your in-laws and see if those stress levels start dropping a bit. 🙂
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.
Sometimes, the small, boring, menial tasks we face on a daily basis can be a huge mental stumbling block in our pursuit of success. Why? Because they remind us (and sometimes rightfully so), that we are capable of much greater things and can handle a lot more responsibility. Here’s the catch though, if you’re really preparing yourself to be a leader, to live a life of influence, to become that person that others respect and listen to, you’ll need to learn how to do two things really well: 1. Look at the bigger picture and 2. Learn how to serve others.
Getting a grasp of this proactive vs. reactive concept is hugely important to not just how successful you can be in life, but also how happy, or shall we say, content. Becoming proactive, not waiting until something is handed to you on a platter (usually doesn’t happen anyway), anticipating life’s curveballs and taking responsibility for your actions is something that you must learn how to do if you want to keep moving forward in life with purpose.
What are you putting your faith in? It goes without saying that having faith in something bigger than yourself, a spiritual faith is vital. At least I believe so. But what about the other kind of faith. The one that takes us out of our comfort zones and helps us to go farther, bigger, better, faster?
While I love common sense, I’ve also come to understand that some things in life cannot be explained or pursued based on common sense alone. I think that it is impossible to succeed at anything in life without allowing faith to bridge the gap between the known and the unknown.