“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler” (Henry David Thoreau). People discover their potential from knowledge acquisition combined with practical application. We become forward growing the moment we develop the courage to acknowledge and admit our faults, while seeking solutions to our problems and taking massive immediate action toward solving the underlying harmful culprits. The more competent, confident, and autonomous we become at life equates to a good life at whatever we choose to do.
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.
We must give to get and receive to give. Energy expended during exercise can give back and generate more energy in return. The goal is to be consistent, persistent, determined, dedicated, and self-disciplined. Consuming healthy fuel and eliminating negative zapping energy are critical steps toward enhancing this give to get strategy.
“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today” (Philip Dormer Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield). Procrastination and slothfulness contribute to our own expedited accountable demise. Hasten each moment toward growing healthier, wiser, smarter, wealthier, kinder, and better in all goodness that life has to offer. Let’s take care of ourselves being health gives meaning and purpose to everything else in life.
Whether we exercise to feel amazing, look incredible, lose weight, tone muscles, bulk up, build strength, generate a peak mental state, enhance endurance or agility, getting started is key. Focusing on the defined objective with a crystal clear vision is crucial toward success. Create the end result in your mind as a precursor to planning and doing. Contradictory to that aforementioned statement, just starting is crucial as well. Begin executing and let your mind catch up later.
As Tony Robbins advocates, “Turn your shoulds into musts and stop shoulding all over yourself.”⁸ Write down specific plans encompassing nutritional and caloric demands, aerobic initiation and culmination periods relative to anaerobic exercise sessions, durations, intensity; anaerobic exercises, strategies, sets, repetitions (reps), rest intervals between sets, and exercise groups worked during each session. Daily, doing calisthenics (using our own body weight), performing a few abdominal crunches, push-ups, walking briskly or jogging a block is all it takes to turn something we should do into action, which, in time, can produce a subconscious or automatic ritual.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times” (Bruce Lee). Purposeful activity and performing a minimum of five or ten reps each day is pivotal toward successful habit formation. That daily consistency and self-discipline truly will deliver amazing results forming the life most people only dream about.
Initially, more or less repetitions, heavier or lighter weights, varying sets and rest intervals, longer walks, jogs or bicycle rides may ensue depending upon where you are starting from. Building on and growing from your first action can help motivate you to achieve the fitness goals you desire because progress generates additional momentum that helps cultivate our lives. That first step forward is often the most challenging, therefore think less and do more.
Once a training regimen is underway, concentrate on positive thoughts backed with action, while striving to obtain more beneficial outcomes. Truly, practice writing aerobic activity durations and intensity, along with specific exercises, amounts of sets, reps, rest intervals, and weight lifted during every work out down on paper or using an app to observe and track progress. Being aware of improvement delivers additional motivation. Forward impetus produces growth that creates more self-confidence and inspiration, which cyclically repeats itself.
“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.
“To be able to look back upon one’s life in satisfaction, is to live twice” (Kahlil Gibran). What a wonderful thing it is to live blissful memories and experiences over and over. Make it a habit to purposely celebrate every beautiful occasion and triumphant success as they manifest. Engineer experiences with family and friends by making them so special that everyone can reap even more blessings later on.
“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us” (Charles Bukowski). Continual growth and progress are pivotal keys toward living fully, therefore dying full, yet spent. You can’t spend your way to monetary wealth, only long-term joy fulfilling wealth. Remember to start where you are with what you have. No excuses, blaming, complaining, self-pity, regret, shame, or procrastination allowed. Get intentionally busy filling yourself up with greatness so you can spend yourself in an extravagant, yet selfless manner.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” (Franklin D. Roosevelt). Most of the time, fear is a byproduct because of thoughts entertained by our imagination, including death. If death is an ultimate fear and the worst thing that can happen, why be worried about what other people think about you? We all will die someday, which is inescapable. What truly matters is how we live each day. Isn’t staying true to yourself more important than wasting your invaluable time or thoughts on frivolous nonsense?
“Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not” (Epicurus). Do not fear death. Comedian, film maker, writer, actor, and musician, Woody Allen, has remarked, “I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Death can be a sweet reward by living abundantly, while spending that beautiful tangible and intangible wealth throughout. Demise clears a way for new, allowing greater good to triumph. Persevering through struggles with thoughtful reflection, permits growth and progress, which can be a wondrous upward lifecycle.
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?
“You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough” (Mary Jane West). Let’s not take our gifts, talents, skills, abilities, or money with us to our grave. Don’t wander through life without meaning and purpose. Don’t measure success with society’s yardstick of success, power, status, money, and fame. Instead, focus on making a difference by impacting and influencing positive change in yourself, others, your community and country, as well as the world. People are influenced not by your social status, nearly as much as by how much you care about them. Show your family, friends and those around you how much you care by telling them, writing letters, and doing spontaneous acts of kindness for them. Show love in daily practices toward all humankind. Lead rather than manage people.
Additionally, happiness ensues through making one’s own decisions, not someone choosing for you. A young dog once thought happiness lived in his tail, thus choosing to chase his tail perpetually. He talked to an older dog about happiness being in his tail. This older dog said, “Everybody knows happiness is in the tail, but I don’t chase after mine. Wherever I go and whatever I do, my tail always follows.”
“A professional is a man who can do his best at a time when he doesn’t particularly feel like it” (Alistair Cooke). Practice embracing the feeling of fear and acting anyway. Fear is more scared of you, than you are of fear, especially when you stand up and fight. Action produces results. Stop sitting on your couch, contemplating or pondering in self-pity or regret. You can do it, you can win, and yes you can, so get busy doing it! Focus on doing your best in all situations, including at home, in marriage, parenting, and during work or play. Each moment belongs to you. Live them well.