“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” (Henry David Thoreau). Don’t let that be you! People act out of desperation, pain, anger, fear, greed, desire, envy, necessity, inspiration and pleasure. Let’s raise our standards by taking initiative to dream big and do bigger, while tolerating nothing less than the best from ourselves. Be filled with hope, meaning, and purpose by embracing your vision, mission, why and how, in order to get your greatness out into the world, today.
“When people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong” (Oscar Wilde). Legacies, principles, moral codes, and life philosophies can be passed down for individuals to adopt or dismiss according to personal discretion and personality. The vast greatness of legacies is in doing, struggling, being, and becoming a person of ethically upright character that can impregnate the minds, hearts, bodies, spirits, and souls of anyone whom chooses. Our privileged opportunity deciding who we are to be each day by giving and taking seeds of fruitful success is an advantageous privilege for us all. Don’t stop trying, learning, and relentlessly pursuing becoming the greatest version of yourself in order to serve and give the universe what she may otherwise lack. Not trying because of fear is unacceptable.
Private triumph allows for public victory. Evangelist, Billy Graham, practiced preaching to stumps before speaking in front of multitudes of people.⁴ What we do in private shows up in public. Start practicing and developing or enhancing any skill you desire to acquire or improve upon in a daily focused, determined, diligent manner. The best time to begin was one month ago, the second best time is right now. Learn from mistakes and keep on practicing. Personal success, relative to you, not comparative to anyone else, can be yours. How bad do you want it and why? Do you—everyone else is taken.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” (Eleanor Roosevelt). Maintaining a PMA and proper perspective toward our targets makes achieving dreams fully attainable. Decide what you want to do, why, and do it. No excuses, blaming, criticizing, regret, self-pity, gossiping, or procrastination allowed. Excuses only hinder, null and void the pursuit of goals and dreams, therefore stop making them. If something doesn’t serve you and others, don’t do it. Stop digging and start building.
“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic” (Joseph Stalin). Grace and forgiveness are like oxygen to the mind, body, spirit, and soul. We cannot live fully without harmonious synergy between each realm of our being, while damage ensues when any of them are neglected. Oxygen is life. Remember that our hemoglobin molecule on the red blood cell carries oxygen to every cell in our body. Nicotine has an affinity for hemoglobin, which takes approximately 50% of the oxygen away from our cells when consuming nicotine. Results of any disease-killing process is the cessation of oxygen in the end. Pollutants from smoke cause hepatic injury, leading to elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL aka bad cholesterol), thus creating plaque and narrowing of arteries. Averting heart attacks, stroke, peripheral vascular and arterial disease, among myriads of other unwanted ailments is within our control. Nicotine weakens the esophageal sphincter, causing gastroesophageal reflux. Please stop smoking or using any nicotine-releasing substance if you do not want suffering and misery in later years, as well as becoming a statistic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),
“Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Nearly 40 million US adults still smoke cigarettes, and about 4.7 million middle and high school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Every day, more than 3,800 youth younger than 18 years smoke their first cigarette. Each year, nearly half a million Americans die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Another 16 million live with a serious illness caused by smoking. Each year, the United States spends nearly $170 billion on medical care to treat smoking-related disease in adults.”³
Don’t leave your one and only beautiful unique life to chance or try fatally reasoning with fate. Create your own present and future well-being by choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. Struggling for each single breath of air that we may currently take for granted, or dying precipitously from cancer or another awful avoidable disease is within our control. Govern the controllable factors and forget about the rest. Remove I can’t from your vocabulary. Saying or believing, “I can’t,” only associates stronger connections uniting undesirable behaviors and self-limiting beliefs linked to your identity. Saying, “I can’t,” may be a character flaw, when indeed you can. Stop lying to your beautiful self, creating a deleterious mental movie. If someone threatened to harm your loved ones if you did not terminate smoking permanently, you could stop. Muster up enough faith, courage, and powerful reasons to end smoking forever and you will. You can do it!
Most of us want to be around to see our sons and daughters get married, spend time enjoying grandchildren, or relish in the splendors of true living. Living and aliveness have their own relative connotations. Each of us has to decide how we want to live, therefore let’s help each other, while casting no judgement upon anyone.
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions” (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.). It has been hypothesized that humans only use 5 to 10 percent of their brains, while gold medal Olympic medalists use up to 20 percent capacity. Imagine if you tapped into your full potential each day. Your dreams, goals, and achievements can truly become boundless. Decide to use your mind creatively, curiously, passionately, and diligently, becoming unstoppable. Be the best version of yourself by doing your best in all you do.
Think of learning a new skill or observing a child acquire one. It took deliberate conscious effort. Riding a bicycle or learning to swim may have been scary at first, although once learned became automatic. Patience, courage, and deliberate intention produces results we desire when our want exceeds our fear. Tell yourself, “I am sick and tired of not achieving my aim. Do you mean it or not?” Write the goal down and get busy working on it day and night. Muster up the courage and just do it, leaving no excuses not to finish. Respect yourself enough to honor and complete your adamantly honorable desires. Persisting at anything long enough with sustained self-control will elicit all the blessings this world offers in direct relation to your endeavor and personal effort. Always do your best. What do you enjoy doing when time seemingly disappears? Why not do this more frequently and study the flow of your passions and desires more in depth?
“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved” (William Jennings Bryan). Decide and do, sticking with plans until targets are hit. You will want to give up at times—don’t! Our beliefs, feelings, attitudes, principles, decisions, and values are key components that guide our self-image, self-confidence, self-worth, identity, thoughts, ideas, actions, behaviors, habits, and lifestyle. Whatever is on our minds is at the tip of our tongue or slip of our tongue. We can consciously focus on what we desire to think, say, do, feel, have, be, and give, thus work toward obtaining those desired results. Ideally, start with responsible love. Choose which path to take today, in turn, carving your own road toward or away from internal freedom. Demand responsibility for the past, present, and future you. Though there are varying definitions of liberty, ultimate freedom is being able to do what you want, when you want to do it, while intrinsically increasing love, peace, joy, fortitude, empathy, compassion, passion, fulfillment, helpfulness, understanding, and potentialities. What is your definition about personal freedom and why?