Dananjaya Gettiarachichi gave an elegant speech about change. He described that mothers cry tears of joy, sorrow, and shame. After flunking out of high school and getting arrested at 17 years old his mom’s tears of shame created in him a reason to transform his ways and become a better human being. Through exploration and taking risks by doing, Dananjaya graduated from college and still didn’t know what to do with his life. He continued searching and found he had a gift toward inspiring others to make wise choices in life. Through training at toastmasters, Dananjaya’s discovery that he was a phenomenal speaker became known. He won the world championship of public speaking in 2014.¹⁷ He made his mess his message.
“You can accomplish anything in life, provided you do not mind who gets the credit” (Harry S. Truman). That way any route navigated has potential to produce many delectable fruits. Possessing this humble approach allows true selflessness and greatness to permeate our world. The wonderful gifts we can give by minimizing our own egos and maximizing caring about helping others enhances their joy, as well as our own.
Prioritize what you want in major categories of your life. This includes relationships, parenting, education, spirituality, mindset, personal-growth, health, work, finances, and giving back to society and the world. List a minimum of five things you desire to achieve in each category during the upcoming one to five years. Following is an example of my desires. Make your goals relative to meeting your unique desires, needs, expectations, and standards set for yourself. Remember, this is about what you can do, not someone else, and not trying to change anyone, except you. Relationships can be many….
|Spouse||Say I love you upon awakening and departure, or more.||Perpetually date her as though we are first meeting.||Hug her daily and kiss her each night before bed, or more often.||Be fully present and engaged while listening.||Authentically care about and encourage her dreams.|
|Child||Say I love you and hug him two times daily, or more.||Read to him for 20 minutes daily, or more.||Together, play a game he enjoys twice weekly, or more.||Go someplace new once monthly, or more.||Ask and support what he is passionate about consistently.|
|Friend||Genuinely listen, love, and laugh.||Ask if he is upholding his moral codes?||Tell him I appreciate him.||Go on an adventure together.||Ask, “How can I help?”|
|Parenting||Teach the difference between right and wrong.||Show consistent unconditional love and acceptance.||Maintain boundaries backed with high standards or expectations, values, and principles.||Know his friends.||Tell him that he can come to me about anything at any time. Maintain trust and open communication.|
|Education||Write and publish a book to help people make positive life-producing choices.||Learn two new words, daily.||Step outside my comfort zone daily.||Read daily for at least 30 minutes.||Teach others what you learn through writing, speaking, and blogging.|
|Spiritual||Pray with a thankful heart throughout the day.||Live joyfully by being peaceful and grateful.||Engage with like-minded people offering hope and encouragement.||Read the Bible, devotionals or inspirational books daily.||Go off in nature for 20 plus minutes while meditating on its’ beauty at least twice weekly.|
|Mindset||Write for at least 10 minutes each day in a gratitude journal.||Self-reflect upon what is learned and done daily.||Listen to positive and inspiring podcasts, books or videos daily.||Read about uplifting stories of triumph daily.||Desire an abundance of health, wealth, love, and joy in the lives of everyone that comes my way.|
|Personal-growth||Be vulnerable by sharing life victories to help others.||Do what makes you uncomfortable, daily.||Read and write for 20 minutes or more, daily.||Read your goals and look at your vision boards three times daily.||Persevere by never, never, never, never, giving in or giving up on your passionate dreams.|
|Health||Exercise five times weekly, or more.||Eat mostly foods that are natural without synthetic fillers.||Be mindful of your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and principles.||Ceaselessly, love and totally accept yourself, daily.||Know your triggers and maintain the rituals that minimize stressors and tempters, while maximizing the best version of yourself.|
|Work||Show empathy.||Help frequently.||Enhance my current skill-sets and knowledge.||Add more value by learning new skills.||Mentor and role model for others.|
|Finances||Pay yourself at least 10% first, no matter what.||Do not borrow money, except for your mortgage and education.||Focus on income as being the outcome.||Patiently be in it for the long term, while building assets and minimizing liabilities.||Think of ways to add more value to many.|
|Giving||Give free seminars and speaking events about enhancing quality of life.||Share my time generously with my family and friends.||Share monetary resources with causes I believe in.||Teach about health techniques to prevent pain and suffering, while maximizing energy and joy.||Give or create in yourself the tools necessary to offer more to your family and the world.|
“Strong reasons make strong actions” (William Shakespeare). Next, make a list of as many reasons why you want to accomplish those aims. The more whys in each category can make something on your list that was once number one priority, change to number three or four, while number two or five moves into the first place slot. Whichever target in each category has the most reasons why it is important and purpose-driven for you to achieve that objective, make it your number one priority and develop a single-minded focus on accomplishing those specific goals first. You can still do the others, just put more conscious effort into your primary focus.
Laugh and smile frequently for no reason. Your nervous system can’t tell the difference between a real or fabricated smile or laugh. Our physiology treats us well for doing it. Work on your beautiful, warm, and welcoming smile by practicing smiling frequently. Ask yourself, “Would a successful person think, say, or do that?” Small productive practices done in private not only show up in public, but help create progress, success, joy, and gifts for others.
Don’t be confined to living within the boundaries of a box by allowing a title or diploma dictate who you are or what you’re capable of becoming. You are a wonderful and miraculous child of God with untapped, yet infinite potential. Ask, seek, and find your calling so the universe can become infinitely better because you traveled through. Don’t ever give up seeking, asking or trying. Your time is now, therefore live deliberately, while valuing the moments. Remember that our moments create our lives and it only takes a moment to eternally change darkness into light. Constantly and persistently do more good, receive an abundance of blessings, and pay it forward in order to sow fertile seeds of love, peace, hope, joy, and goodness overflowing. Make your life matter as time evaporates into eternity.
“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life” (Abraham Maslow). Live large with rich habits by replacing old negative routines with positive forward moving goal-oriented rituals. Let persistent progressive momentum build unstoppable speed and power, breaking through barriers into greatness. Take control of your life and don’t allow negative internal or external factors dictate what you think, do, say, or who you are. Just be authentically you in each present moment.
People don’t become unhealthy because of 10% of what they eat, but 90% of consumption. We manifest fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control from 90% of what we think, do, believe, give, and whom we associate with; not the typical 10%. Do not be misguided by the 10%, lest 10% be transformed into a greater unwarranted amount. Choose the best for your life and the lives of others.
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3 NLT). God does not place something in our heart that we cannot accomplish. Let personal moral codes, principles, and life philosophy guide your thoughts, attitudes, words, actions, behaviors, routines, and lifestyle as you navigate through this colorful adventurous jungle terrain, called life. When I am proven my ways are wrong or can be better, I change my vantage point. How about you? This can lead to minds and behaviors cultivated for massive growth and delight.
Nonjudgmentally taking care of perpetrators in the hospital is possible attributed to God’s grace bestowed. I thank God for not critically harming anyone because of my teenage folly and lack of direction, purpose, principles, moral code and positive life philosophy at the time. Numerous heart-breaking stories of lives cut way too short makes me ineffably sad, while motivating me to help solve the global poor decision-making pandemic.
People smoke cigarettes leading to fatal maladies, while many tragically gasp their last breaths and die from cancer, emphysema, stroke, heart attack or infection, wasting their last days stuck, fully dependent on life support. Heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease, among other ailments, due to diabetes, high blood pressure, sedentary lifestyles, neglect, noncompliance, and other preventable conditions are motivating factors toward helping stop the unnecessary early demise and poor quality of living that so many people may or may not consciously be aware they are choosing and creating for themselves. Becoming lucidly alert, vividly aware, and keenly knowledgeable about how precious and fragile life truly is before it’s too late is possible by spreading messages of hope, inspiration, and practical ways to live bountiful joy-filled lives.
Witnessing firsthand and personally experiencing too many of those aforementioned harmful effects in my life manifests deep pain and empathy for people, which is a pivotal reason for choosing to help others. A dominant universal goal regarding all spiritual realms is to mitigate pain and suffering. Caring for individuals working as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse constantly makes me question, “Is there something we as a community, society, nation, and global enterprise can do to help prevent these tragic fatalities?” Tears of compassion and frustration well up and trickle down an anguished face, while contemplating the horrors that families of these loved ones face and endure.
“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized that I was somebody” (Lily Tomlin). Can such tragedies be averted? Young teenagers and adults are too often admitted for heroin overdoses with irreversible anoxic brain injuries, while ventilators keep their bodies alive as the brain swells, crushing parts of the cerebrum or spinal cord ending in brain death. All four extremities spastically and uncontrollably jerk up and down with both eyes transiently shooting open seemingly bulging from their skulls as their necrotic viscera pour out. Paralytics are administered because families do not need to witness such horror. Others drink themselves silly, which leads to irreversible pancreatitis or hepatic destruction, culminating in multisystem organ failure and subsequent death.
Even today, visualizing and feeling the glowing warmth, energy, kindness, and friendly smile radiating from a fellow high school classmate’s face 20 years later is poignantly palpable. His abundant energy, radiant countenance, joy, and ability to make others laugh was contagious. He made the tragic decision to try heroin one time, which ended his short life. Let’s decide to help others make better choices by making them for ourselves first.