“It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly” (Antatole France). If people think they should live with integrity, yet do not follow through on promises, there will be inner conflict. When we say and do what is harmoniously in sync with the internal blueprint regarding how we believe our lives, including the world around us should be, magnificent beauty and peace of mind triumphs. Integrity is only working at half its potential power when a person believes his or her integrity should be 100%, although only behaves honestly 50% of the time.
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.
“Things don’t change, but by and by our wishes change” (Marcel Proust). Opportunities to grow and accomplish more manifest as our desires change. You can achieve whatever goals you truly and adamantly yearn for. Challenge yourself more in order to overcome average, because you are extraordinary.
“It is a human nature to think wisely and act foolishly” (Antatole France). Rise above the past by allowing your renewed character, values, principles, moral code, and life philosophies describe and drive who you genuinely are. Hold those beliefs and principles close to your heart and soul, while constantly thinking about them, therefore acting in such manners. Be genuine through your integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, goodness, self-discipline, hard work, love, forgiveness, consideration, hope, and tranquil state of mind, high personal standards, and everything that makes you an authentic one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Listen, learn, and lead. Heed opportunities to keep your mouth closed. Being grateful equates to already, right now; not when or what if. Live in the now. This moment is your life. Not yesterday or tomorrow, only now. Live always in the now. Leave the past behind, be present—forgetting about time. Worry divides the mind. It’s not focused on the present, but past or future problems or mistakes. This leads to heightened anxiety. Let forgiveness wipe clean the suffering of memories. Forgiveness doesn’t minimize or change past events, only brightens and broadens the future. Replace if’s with gratitude, jettisoning the fight-or-flight response of real fear. Perception is not the problem, only the way you see it. Let a positive teachable attitude be the resolution. Remember Zig Ziglar’s wisdom, “quitting is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Decisions create destiny.
“A good example is the best sermon. None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing” (Benjamin Franklin). Transforming our own attitudes, beliefs, values, principles, behaviors, responses, perceptions, life philosophies, and total intrinsic and extrinsic environments is the surest way to help others reform themselves in a positive and forward growing manner. Ants work hard and never stop looking for ways to flourish, seeking food to harvest, building, and preparing for their future accordingly, during each season. We can even learn from ants.
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.
“Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning “Good morning” at total strangers” (Maya Angelou). If you have children and a family, consider starting to become better there first. Family must be the primary initial and lasting focus in order to be genuinely peaceful and successful. Remain fully engaged, attentive, loving, caring, and giving toward your loved ones first and foremost. Paradoxically, improving and loving yourself first allows the best of you to rub off on those you love most.
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.
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mark 8: 36 NLT). Moreover, harmful effects can ensue due to excessive gambling, extreme shopping, gluttonous eating, pornography, smoking, mind-numbing alcohol intoxication, and illicit drug use. Several poor behaviors mentioned above have ruined countless marriages, relationships, and even ended in fatality. Do you frivolously love and yield to bad habits more than you enjoy living in victorious freedom by loving and caring for your own mind, body, spirit, and soul? Let’s not stoop down to a level below our absolute best.
“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.