“All things are difficult before they are easy” (Thomas Fuller). We become more fulfilled the sooner we recognize and accept the harmful self-inflicting problems we create within ourselves, while deciding to replace old destructive ways with positive forward moving and life-altering strategies. Paths toward healing manifest after recognizing a problem, accepting or owning the cause, and forgiving ourselves and others for partaking in immoral behaviors. We are ultimately accountable and responsible for where we are in life, period.
“Never feel self-pity, the most destructive emotion there is. How awful to be caught up in the terrible squirrel cage of self” (Millicent Fenwick). Many people that drink alcohol excessively or do illicit drugs are trying to fill feelings of emptiness or a void in life. When a person loses control over themselves and the food or substance is eating (killing or creating a negative effect) them and not the person consuming the food or substance to stay heathy, invigorated with energy and aliveness to achieve greatness, then it’s time for a serious inward radically transparent and truthful self-examination. Be humble enough to ask for help when necessary. None of us knows everything, while acknowledging how little we know may ignite the fuse necessary toward seeking out transformational resources. Don’t die in lonely despair because an oversized ego or fear of embarrassment stole your true potential to fully live an extraordinary liberating life.
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.
The art of managing focuses on time, money and quality, while one typically takes precedence, others are neglected. The right people must operate in the correct positions to optimize a team or business. Do not try to manage people because people are not meant to be managed, only lead. Optimally, skillful individuals independently think for themselves, efficiently getting important tasks or projects done first prior to moving on to smaller objectives, are prepared for emergencies, and have relentless work ethic infused with loyalty toward unified goals, missions, visions, and causes. They don’t let inflated egos hinder humility to obtain objective inputs from others about what may be unknown to them, hence hindering growth, progress, and fruitful success. Being humble enough to acknowledge our blind spots from objective feedback allows deep reflection to personally change or find individuals to complement places where we may be weak. We can all be leaders by influencing and inspiring people around us by our radically honest and genuinely upright principled example. Make sure you give yourself strong reasons for passing through this life without living in fear or regret. How are you doing with managing and leading yourself?
“Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence” (Jorge Luis Borges). Daily, practice listening to people and talk only when asked a question. Give a succinct answer that does not provoke further queries. It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth, therefore let’s listen twice as much as we talk. We might learn a thing or two by having the mindset of being an eternal student of life, learning, progressing, and constantly growing through observation and listening.
Train yourself not to agree or disagree by shaking your head or making any verbal remarks during conversations, seminars, meetings, or sermons. This is more challenging than it sounds. Keep ethically upright personal opinions strong by not allowing others to influence or control your moral decision-making skills and abilities. Do not concern yourself with other peoples’ opinions (OPOs). Our own intrinsic opinions, beliefs, and convictions about ourselves, the universe, and all matter therein, matters most. Respecting and loving others begins by respecting and loving yourself.
“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.
“A man who denies to other men equality of rights is hardly worthy of freedom; but I would give even to him all the rights which I claim for myself” (Abraham Lincoln). Only allow love and good wishes for greatness unleashed within to go out toward each and every beautiful God-created person. We all are human with ebbs and flows of ups and downs. Let’s maximize our ups and minimize the down times. Living with aliveness, excitement, adventure, and vigor is fully attainable for each of us, today, tomorrow, and always.
“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense” (Buddha). We live vibrantly and courageously or die dastardly, mostly because of habitual choices we make. Let your thoughts, attitudes, words, behaviors, and environments lead to fuller, more joy-filled lifestyles. To each their own—nihilism or usefulness, meaning, and dignity. We must decide for ourselves the best path for our own unique journey through time. Insight, advice, principles, other peoples’ experiences (OPEs), beliefs, and suggestions from others can help formulate what we ought not to do or must do to acquire all the splendors this wondrous world offers. Live without regret, guilt, resentment, blame or shame by owning your own discerning decisions, while not judging others. We can choose our actions, but not the consequences. Learn to smile and laugh during any situation, for suffering and death are only parts of life, which help us feel—knowing we are alive with breath in our lungs, while transcending and transmuting fear, anxiety, and depression into forgiveness, joy, peace, and love.
Downregulation decreases neurotransmitter receptors, whereas upregulation increases receptors. Sensitivity to molecules decreases with downregulation. Smoking anything containing nicotine can cause upregulation, necessitating more nicotine to obtain similar effects. Additionally, note that nicotine has an affinity for the hemoglobin molecule, which is on the red blood cell carrying oxygen to every cell in our body. Nicotine takes the place of approximately half of the oxygen molecules on hemoglobin. Remember that oxygen is life and life ends when our oxygen supply ends. In ischemia, lack of oxygen perfusing or circulating to tissue and vital organs, cells can die. If this sounds scary, it’s because it is! If you’re serious about stopping smoking—do it! Read the book, “The Little Engine That Could,” each night for 30 days. You can do anything with a changed and made up mind.
“No man is rich enough to buy back his past” (Oscar Wilde). Through ardent desire and belief in yourself, combined with knowledge and skill development, anything you want in life can be yours. Decide to regain, attain, or maintain positive forward growing habits, being they ultimately determine your life and destiny. Even if that entails doing something new, challenging, and scary each day—do it. Make the most of the time you’ve been given in order to achieve, grow, give, and live the greatness God has placed within you. Time is your most valuable commodity and asset, which you cannot buy or get back; therefore spend it judiciously.