“A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs one step at a time” (Mark Twain). Focus on eradicating one poor ritual at a time. Replacing the bad habit with a positive, productive, and repetitive practice can eliminate the poor routine from one’s life. Setting a definitive time in the future, no longer than three months out, to stop smoking can build positive anticipation that facilitates the cessation process. Physical symptoms, such as anxiety, insomnia, and irritability may last up to two weeks. After that short duration the winning battle is in the mind. The time and trouble to become healthier is extremely short compared to the wonderful life-giving payoff. Sugarless gum or candy, coupled with physical activity can help tremendously.
“I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets” (D. H. Lawrence). Define what you desire to acquire intangibly so tangible manifestations become indirect attainable acquisitions. Personal development multiplies directly based upon our return on effort (ROE), return on time (ROT), and return on investment (ROI). Give more of what you already have in order to strengthen or receive additional desirable life-enhancing qualities. Don’t wait to acquire talents, skills, and abilities before starting, lest stagnation and procrastination turn into regret and regression.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are” (Kurt Cobain). Embrace being the one and only beautiful original you. Being who we are is more important than what we do. Let’s focus our identities and self-image upon attaching them with who we are internally, and as children of God, rather than being defined by a job, career and other societal or self-imposed labels. Faith, forgiveness, love, community, and gratitude in something greater than ourselves leads to purpose, peace, and resilience. Be bold by being unapologetically you.
“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision” (Helen Keller). Look for the good in people and ourselves, while desiring more abundance of health, wealth, love, and joy upon others. As an American author and speaker, Helen Keller became deaf and blind by 19 months of age and mute shortly thereafter because of a debilitating fever, yet she did not let that stop her from maintaining her vision and regaining her voice.¹¹ She was the first deaf and blind person to earn her Bachelor’s degree, in addition earning cum laude.¹² Helen Keller is a true inspiration to the world and a wonderful example for people with similar ailments. Now, people that are deaf and blind have infinitely more hope, knowing that success and true quality of living are possible through pure determination and unwavering faith. Many people acquiring various ailments and problems will not be the first nor the last, yet triumph through with resilience, courage, and a positive mental attitude. Don’t let negativity or seemingly unjust circumstances rob hope, joy, and love from your precious life.
“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.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” (Albert Einstein). Our self-image subconsciously drives us toward acting, behaving, talking, and performing in certain ways. An individual that sees him or herself as athletic will naturally strive to exercise and be active to maintain that image. In a synergistic state of harmony between our body, subconscious and conscious minds, our automatic mind allows our body to move skillfully while playing sports or agilely moving, such as during an exquisite dance. New skills become engrained into us and the ability to perform competently without nearly as much initial effort continues to enhance through daily repetitive practice. Develop the confident mindset, believing you can, which makes your beliefs come true. Work hard, get good, subsequently enjoying happiness.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” (Victor Frankl). Have you or a loved one ever felt trapped, seemingly with no way out due to bad decisions or uncontrollable circumstances? I certainly have and overcoming the seemingly inescapable confinement as a result of poor choices is a wonderful and liberating experience.
“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.
“Courage is grace under pressure” (Ernest Hemingway). Do what you think you can’t do, because you can. No more excuses for past mistakes or current circumstances. Forgive yourself and others, while moving on prosperously with your life. Yes, pain and suffering are real, although you can rise above it all. This is your life, your future, your moment to shine. Be you—not someone else, while persisting at being and doing your best. Working hard on yourself pays massive dividends, creating an easier and fulfilling life most people only dream about. Embrace growing pains toward becoming a better you, today. The journey is well worth it.