What comes naturally to you? What interests you most in life? What gives you great enjoyment from life? What do you desire to improve upon? We can train ourselves and obtain training from others that have gone before us and succeeded in a specific endeavor. Find mentors or teachers and obtain the education and skill development required to help turn your dreams and goals into reality. Remember that action combined with limitless self-belief and unshakable faith are the kings of acquisition.
“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself” (Andy Warhol). We all have the ability to change and become the best version of ourselves, but it must be a conscious choice backed by consistent desire, focus, action, determination, persistence, and self-discipline. Getting from where we are to where we want to be takes courage and hard work, which we are all capable of doing. It is through doing and pursuing our dreams that the beautiful metamorphosis of becoming takes place.
“The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do” (John Stuart Mill). There is not tomorrow, only right now. Live courageously by the motto, carpe diem, which means seize the day. In the tragic, yet emotionally poignant movie, Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams showed his students a trophy case in the school he taught at while describing to his pupils that all those trophies and pictures of people once their ages who were then old and gone had won at sports and in life do to seizing the day. Robin Williams profoundly said, “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”¹⁰ Live with a sense of urgency and make your dream life a reality, today.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” (Albert Einstein). Our self-image subconsciously drives us toward acting, behaving, talking, and performing in certain ways. An individual that sees him or herself as athletic will naturally strive to exercise and be active to maintain that image. In a synergistic state of harmony between our body, subconscious and conscious minds, our automatic mind allows our body to move skillfully while playing sports or agilely moving, such as during an exquisite dance. New skills become engrained into us and the ability to perform competently without nearly as much initial effort continues to enhance through daily repetitive practice. Develop the confident mindset, believing you can, which makes your beliefs come true. Work hard, get good, subsequently enjoying happiness.
“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.