Controlling the Controllable

Feelings linked to our identity have the potential and incredible strength to drive us toward repeating both good and bad behaviors. Be aware what you’re telling yourself about you. Anytime people say, “I can’t,” or feed an addiction or poor behavior with self-limiting beliefs, they are making deliberate conscious and sometimes unconscious choices not to live out their incredible greatness within. Being aware of what you do and why can allow for conscious control over behavioral patterns, therefore giving people the power to consciously choose a fulfilling life instead of downward cycles of misery, regret, and possible early demise. We all have the ability to pick a new identity that cyclically moves us upward, onward, and lifeward.

Art of Listening

“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something” (Wilson Mizner). We can learn much by observing people, including watching our kids play or through hearing and heeding their wisdom. Old can learn from young, and young from older. Yes, edification occurs through teaching others, yet even more understanding, applicable knowledge, insight, awareness, and life-changing advice or suggestions comes through the art of listening.

Constant and never-ending improvement is an eternal endeavor. Winners commit to a plan, persevering no matter what. This means never, never, never giving up. Additionally, forgiveness breaks chains, thus granting freedom for progressive growth. Simple pragmatic ideas for a better life occur just from listening. Remember, purpose-driven action is imperative for continual progression.

Giving Great Gifts

“Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless” (Mother Teresa). Fill yourself up with greatness so you can spend yourself wisely throughout this lifetime. Live life by producing wonderful memories to reminisce upon and share with the world. Sincerely complement a partner, child, parent, friend, neighbor, or stranger, today. Kind words are painless and free, yet can truly linger bouts of joy-filled tranquility and smiles for years to come.

Improvement

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness” (James Thurber). Each thought and action we create generates chemical reactions, thrusting us forward or pulling us backwards. The choices are ours to make, therefore let’s make great decisions consistently and persistently. We are able to look for and put solutions into massive action through maintaining an open lucid mind, while humbly acknowledging when something can be improved upon. Progress and potential start from within. Ask yourself, “What areas in my life can I improve and become better at?” Optimistically find as many reasons as possible why you desire to improve, write your answers down on paper, and get busy becoming better this very moment.

Serotonin

Serotonin can enhance mood, memory, and intentionally positive behaviors, among other beneficial responses. Serotonin may be more available when we obtain recognition, praise, inspiration, motivation, exercise, healthy food, sunlight, and by taking certain antidepressant medication. If we constantly have negative self-talk, antidepressant medication and exercise will not bring us out of diminishing energy levels, poor moods, and feelings of not being fulfilled until the underlying thoughts, attitudes, and self-limiting beliefs are remedied. Choosing positive thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and environments will change your life. Somebody else is not responsible for your happiness. Thinking that someone else can create your long-term happiness is an erroneous, futile, and impossible feat. Get off that slippery slope before falling into icy waters, which will freeze an already cold and hardened heart. Only you hold the key to true lasting joy, peace, and happiness. Shred or delete your façade and discard. Transform through becoming love.

Do Your Best

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions” (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.). It has been hypothesized that humans only use 5 to 10 percent of their brains, while gold medal Olympic medalists use up to 20 percent capacity. Imagine if you tapped into your full potential each day. Your dreams, goals, and achievements can truly become boundless. Decide to use your mind creatively, curiously, passionately, and diligently, becoming unstoppable. Be the best version of yourself by doing your best in all you do.

Brave Independence

Be brave enough to try new things, go new places, form new relationships, and forgive—letting go completely, while loving more deeply. We can learn much by doing, instead of passively sitting on the side lines of life, becoming more futilely dependent upon others for our happiness and everyday personal responsibilities. Passive dependent personality disorder is not uncommon. The character flaws can be remedied through acknowledging they exist.

Awareness is the first step in all healing. Let’s take responsibility for our own lives, not enabling others’ dependence, only encouraging autonomous greatness from within—by doing and believing our part. Acts of service for others are wonderful modalities toward remedying fretful maladies, in turn, becoming more grateful through the process. Live free from anxiety and worry—enjoying who you are and what you have. Think not of lack or deleterious envy, only abundance of blessings in your life.

Immature Love

“Immature love says, I love you because I need you. Mature love says, I need you because I love you” (Erich Fromm). Strong emotional bonds or bondage form, in part, because of an oxytocin release, among other physiological chemical reactions, which creates a powerful mental fog or misguiding judgement leading to blind love; not true sustaining secure love. Before making a potentially life altering decision remember to intelligently and maturely ask yourself based upon your upright principles and moral codes, “Does the potential upside far outweigh the potential downside? Is the risk worth it?” Don’t sacrifice short-term gain or pleasure for possible lifelong pain, misery, turmoil or death. Build fortifying lifestyles by wisely choosing incredibly good daily habits, consequently generating impenetrable resilience to otherwise insatiable temptation. Meat Loaf sang a song, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” which partly goes:

“I gotta know right now

Do you love me?

Will you love me forever?

Do you need me?

Will you never leave me?

Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?

Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?

I gotta know right now!

Before we go any further

Do you love me?

And will you love me forever?

Let me sleep on it

Baby, baby let me sleep on it

Let me sleep on it

And I’ll give you an answer in the morning

Let me sleep on it

Will you love me forever?

Let me sleep on it.

Will you love me forever!

I couldn’t take it any longer

Lord I was crazed

And when the feeling came upon me

Like a tidal wave

I started swearing to my god and on my mother’s grave

That I would love you to the end of time

That I would love you to the end of time

I swore that I would love you to the end of time!

So now I’m praying for the end of time

To hurry up and arrive

‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you

I don’t think that I can really survive

I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow

But God only knows what I can do right now

I’m praying for the end of time

It’s all that I can do

Praying for the end of time, so I can end my life with you!”

“Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their actions” (Isaiah 3:10 NASB). Please don’t succumb to lustful instant gratification or yield to temptation without fully understanding yourself, lest you end up like the pour soul described in that song. Don’t become blindsided or shocked by something that could have been made known through wise questions and answers prior to making the most impactful leap of your life. Obtain premarital counseling and know each other’s current health status and values (especially physical and emotional), financial situation and standards of excellence, definition of love and commitment, all children involved, amount of children desired, religious or spiritual beliefs, desirable locations to live, and one another’s dreams, among other important factors to consider. Stand alone for as long as it takes. Choosing to remain single by choice or patiently waiting for the right person is more admirable than making haste, for haste makes waste. Be intentionally patient in order to live a good life filled with an abundance of health, wealth, love, and joyfulness.

You Are Not Your Mistakes

“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes” (Warren Buffet). We will not live long enough to make every mishap available, while experiencing myriads of negative consequences is unnecessary. We tend to create needless personal problems by telling ourselves it is necessary to mess up in order to learn. Wisdom gained through personal experience can be beneficial with the right truths, lenses, and positive mental attitudes (PMAs) on board now or in time, although real blunders are not mandatory precursors to greatness.

Succumbing to the allure of sinful pleasures in any realm of life may not only manifest gradual physical, spiritual, and mental torment, but instant death. Enticing societal pressures can be resisted by creating personal awareness leading to radical reformation metamorphosis. Knowing what to do is extremely important, as is understanding what not to do in life.