Being a wonderful father or mother, son or daughter, husband or wife, an individual living out a mission or calling versus working a job or having a profession, and becoming physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually fit, ensues through self-improvement. Growth and personal development are lifelong pursuits, which is why the persistent, relentless, courageous, and faithful individuals ascend higher than most. Winners are competing against themselves, while choosing to live without limitations, ceilings, or borders. Be boundless by embracing your true authentic self that produces real freedom and fulfillment. Remember, your opinion matters most and must guide your journey, not other people’s opinions about you. Be brave enough to believe in yourself and in the power of pursuing your dreams.
“You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone” (Al Capone). If a gun was held to your head or that of a family member and you were told you must stop a bad habit to prevent death, you could do it. That is called intrinsic motivation. We don’t want to coerce anyone, although we must sell ourselves in order to achieve our dreams. Desire the acquisition of dreams come true as badly as you crave the air you breathe. Dare to be original by being good and principled, while upholding steadfast concrete moral values and associate with people that sustain and reciprocate the like.
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.
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.
Why do so many couples have a challenging time discussing money, sex, and parenting? Becoming reactive and arguing instead of truly listening and understanding with empathy, regarding where the other person is coming from is crucial toward progressive, constructive problem-solving. People yearn to be heard, appreciated, accepted and loved, without judgement or condemnation, allowing them to just be themselves. Listening allows individuals the opportunity to process their thoughts, subsequently finding solutions to their own dilemmas. Why do we feel it necessary to be right instead of happy?
Active listening suspends judgement and ego, focusing completely on the other person, without thinking about our own agenda and responses. Forget about paraphrasing and say nothing instead, only listen more intently. Alternatively, in addition to listening, ask questions to help people discover themselves more fully. Just be in the moment, in another’s emotional shoes and he or she will love you for it. Allow a person to express feelings freely and openly, loving and accepting the wholeness of an individual. Preemptively, agree to disagree internally, yet being okay about any views, feelings, or statements of another, while remaining open-minded toward understanding another’s opinions, beliefs, values, emotions, boundaries, principles, and priorities. Magic happens through sincere active listening without emotional reactivity.
While another is talking, are you thinking about what you desire to say next, interrupting conversions, finishing sentences, or autobiographically speaking about your own experiences, taking the focus off the speaker and on to you? Active listening is an incredibly helpful skill to master if only we practice doing it, day by day, moment by moment, one beautiful person at a time. Now, we can converse optimally, saying virtually nothing, yet gaining much understanding, control over ourselves, and meeting both our and another’s needs and desires more efficiently and effectively. Self-respect encompasses mastering thyself through becoming your best self. Invest in loving yourself and others, today. What do you think?
“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.
Ideally, remain sexually moral and wed while both remain virgins. The monogamous, self-disciplined, and delayed gratifying practice can create long satisfying marriages. Don’t sell yourself short by living a passive and lenient custom by giving your beautiful and invaluable self away freely or hastily without divine mutual harmonious commitment. Don’t risk acquiring gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV or an unwanted pregnancy just for fleeting moments of pleasure.
“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a father” (Pope John XXIII). Will a child have true security, unconditional love and acceptance, excellent role models to emulate, and both parents’ physical and positive emotional presence that can provide for his or her maturing needs? The surest way to prevent an undesirable outcome is to avoid sex before marriage. Thoughts are precursors to continual action. Growing temptation resistance muscles starts in private through our daily life-giving rituals.