“You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone” (Al Capone). If a gun was held to your head or that of a family member and you were told you must stop a bad habit to prevent death, you could do it. That is called intrinsic motivation. We don’t want to coerce anyone, although we must sell ourselves in order to achieve our dreams. Desire the acquisition of dreams come true as badly as you crave the air you breathe. Dare to be original by being good and principled, while upholding steadfast concrete moral values and associate with people that sustain and reciprocate the like.
One decision can change the entire trajectory and destiny of our lives. Hanging out with a gang or the wrong crowd can lead to mischief, pain, suffering, and even death. If you associate with pigs you will get dirty, and the pigs will like it. Eradicate toxic people like a bad habit. While being truly serious about change, similar to stopping smoking, cold turkey typically works best.
“He that won’t be counseled, can’t be helped” (Benjamin Franklin). Remember that the Bible, among other wise suggestions, philosophies, and advice give extremely helpful tools to live prudent and productive lives. You must decide for yourself what works best. Please remain open-minded, while embracing PMAs. Why is it that everyone is trying to do me good?
“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble” (Ralph Waldo Emerson). Embrace your own adopted principles and moral code before beginning the pursuit toward any endeavor. Persevere with an unstoppable, relentless, and lit fuel knowing you will succeed. Ignited ABLE (attitudes, behaviors, leveraged intrinsic and extrinsic environments) dreams really do work.
“The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do” (John Stuart Mill). There is not tomorrow, only right now. Live courageously by the motto, carpe diem, which means seize the day. In the tragic, yet emotionally poignant movie, Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams showed his students a trophy case in the school he taught at while describing to his pupils that all those trophies and pictures of people once their ages who were then old and gone had won at sports and in life do to seizing the day. Robin Williams profoundly said, “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”¹⁰ Live with a sense of urgency and make your dream life a reality, today.
Being polite while asking thoughtfully can facilitate a request being granted. Jettison the notion that it is easier to do something, subsequently asking for forgiveness, than requesting permission in the first place. Consideration by using please and thank you shows appreciation, in turn, increasing the likelihood that further desirable gifts and harmonious cooperation will continue. Simple manners of respect, kindness, reciprocation and hard work pay massive dividends over the long-term.
People can save their own lives by forming and implementing life-transforming habits each day. Their positive example has the power of sustaining grace to help save many lives as well, even without them knowing. Physical activity is an excellent method that helps replace and break bad habits, in turn, feeling energized, focused, and being in control again while creating a calm, cool, and collected peak mental state.
“I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up wrinkles the soul” (Douglas MacArthur). Through proper exercise, combined with embracing dreams, attitudes, principles, moral codes, life philosophies, and ideals we can feel young at any age. Doing the most challenging exercises in any work-out regimen first, allows the body to expend more glycogen (stored usable energy), while optimally completing each exercise routine. The same principle applies toward performing the most energy-consuming tasks prior to doing less strenuous responsibilities throughout the day.
“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love” (Maya Angelou). Additionally, truly and sincerely complement others frequently. Tell folks when you like their hairstyle, article of clothing, or smile. Encourage people with kind words. Say, “You will do great at anything you choose,” only if it is genuine and you actually mean it. See in others what they may not see in themselves. People can easily discern flattery from a genuine complement or remark of heartfelt appreciation. Give honest praise to people in public and private often. Sweet talk can cause more harm than good. Let’s remain blatantly honest, while thoughtfully considering another’s view and desires ahead of our own. Those are wonderful gifts we can give daily, which return additional rewards handsomely.
Furthermore, the best way to care for others is by taking care of ourselves first. No, this is not selfish. In contrast, taking care of ourselves first can be the most unselfish and beneficial thing we can do for others. If oxygen masks come down in an airplane and a man places oxygen on his helpless infant son before himself, subsequently passing out, he would be of no further service to anyone. The same is true regarding living healthy lives with appropriate nutrient and caloric intake, exercise, sleep, and total self-care so we can function optimally in order to give, do, and be our best.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail” (Proverbs 19:21 NLT). Don’t steal from your future just to make today easier. Discipline yourself to invest in health, wealth, and relationships, while choosing to love, learn, grow, and live your purpose. Focus on living out your principles. Bumps in the road will come, although principles remain unchanging, thus impenetrable to enemy forces. Keep on doing the right thing, despite others’ opinions and small judgmental minds. This way of living leads to personal significance and fulfillment. Raise your standards. Be you, not someone else. Don’t chase after someone else’s worldly dreams, fixated on fame, power, or excessive possessions. What gives you peace and makes you happy? You owe yourself the best of you—all of you. Be unapologetically you.