“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be” (Maya Angelou). Plan and write out the first ten minutes of each day. Gradually increase the process duration to encompass your entire day. At least two times each month do something you have never done before and go someplace you’ve never been. These techniques can increase your self-control, intentionality, fortitude, and achievements by living outside your comfort zone. Be a self-starter as well as a finisher. Embrace your uniqueness.
Exercise can release endogenous endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, thus producing natural peak mental states of feeling phenomenal. Illicit drugs and deadly foods containing cosmic amounts of salt, sugar, and saturated fats are not necessary to get an unsustainable fleeting high, which may lead toward requiring more of an unhealthy stimulus to obtain similar effects. The problem with poor habits, such as eating excessively, gambling, smoking, extreme shopping beyond one’s means, or illicit drug use is that they all release dopamine that binds to dopanergic receptors, thus giving a temporary state of feeling good. That brief state leads to more consumption or possibly looking for other harmful and unhealthy ways to achieve those short-lived feelings.
Disciplining our children is what we do for them through love, not to them as punishment. Children may fuss and complain now about not being able to stay out late, while other kids are doing it. American author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, and other successful parents advocate to be enthusiastic and have an exciting home so other children desire to play there. Zig did this so he could see who his children were hanging out with and know what they were up to. Zig’s positive role modeling toward authentically being morally upright and doing good deeds, more so than just talking, allowed others to imitate that goodness observed.⁷ Walking the walk is much more influential and inspiring than only talking the talk. When our children become older, while not acquiring poor habits or succumbing to bad influences or harmful temptations, they will be grateful indeed. Don’t act or talk like someone you admire—be that person.
Moreover, teach kids they can accomplish incredible feats by removing the ‘t’ in can’t. Show them how to live by living and being the example. Teaching good money, moral, spiritual, relational, principal, health, and character habits will vastly improve long-term quality of life. No better instruction exists than children observing your consistent healthy, positive habits and lifestyle. Your kids will thank you for it, even if they don’t appreciate or know it yet.
“Choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong” (Author unknown). Transition from dark to light. Stay standing strong, shining bright. Change environments and habits, being it’s easier to avoid temptation, than it is trying to beat temptation. Self-control only lasts so long in the midst of enticement. Cues create propensities toward behaving, acting, speaking, exercising, and eating in certain ways. Knowing what we desire and why, allows for clarity towards planning different measurable choices to implement at specific times, therefore manifesting a brand-new life. Frequent and consistent measurable goals set for specific times makes implementation likely and perpetual, eventually habitual. How we begin life is irrelevant and over, yet the rest of our story can be anything we choose.
“Teach your children right from wrong, and when they are grown they will still do right” (Proverbs 22:6 CEV). Compassionate parents discipline their children out of love, lest corruption manifest within. Let’s train our kids to learn self-discipline, perseverance, patience, organization, priorities, work ethic, honest communication, loving kindness, forgiveness, and other useful character traits and skills by allowing them to catch them from our daily consistent examples. Free choice is a great privilege that includes noble responsibility and unadulterated accountability. We can choose our actions, but not the consequences. Repercussions are opportunities for learning to grow smarter, wiser, and more resilient than before. Wise people learn that true freedom increases through routines, self-restraint, ethical behaviors, and delaying gratification. We can all harness considerable understanding with the right lenses and open-minded cooperative mental attitudes of thought, linking perception to transcendent brilliance.