Confidence

To think confidently we must act confidently. Sit up straighter, speak a little louder, and create and control eye contact while talking with others. Look people directly in the eyes while talking and look at their eyes or mouth while listening. Keep your feet facing the person being spoken with or listened to while not looking over his or her head. While giving a speech think of each person in the audience as though you are having an individual conversation with him or her. Practice giving undivided, considerate, unselfish, courteous, and genuine attention to other human beings, while being sincerely interested in their thoughts, words, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, intentions, hopes and dreams. Open up toward being vulnerable by allowing yourself to feel their emotions, therefore moving closer toward greatness and a purpose-driven life.

Starting Point

“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.

Health 90/10

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.

Doing Our Best

“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.

Exercise, Energy, Feeling Amazing

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.

Living Again

“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.

Living Well Spent

“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.

Sharing is Caring

My seven year-old son says and lives by the motto, sharing is caring. We must give to get and receive to give, therefore, let’s start sharing what we have. We must not allow what we don’t have, stop us from giving what we do have. Much more is given back to us in return through acts of sharing, caring, and giving.

The act of genuinely caring builds trust in every relationship. Trust is the foundational glue holding, growing and building all types of relations between people. Don’t allow absence of college degrees, lack of any type of formal education according to societal norms, or any other self-limiting belief hinder you another moment from choosing to do good, right, and unleashing your greatness within.

Furthermore, speaking can be a form of sharing, while sincere listening consists of compassion. In the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes that the gift of empathetic listening gives an individual psychological air. The goal of intentional listening is to be fully engaged and emphatically understand the person speaking; not focused on autobiographically or audibly responding.⁶ Let’s give people the gift of our undivided attention and attentive nonjudgmental ears.

Purpose is Fulfillment

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail” (Proverbs 19:21 NLT). Don’t steal from your future just to make today easier. Discipline yourself to invest in health, wealth, and relationships, while choosing to love, learn, grow, and live your purpose. Focus on living out your principles. Bumps in the road will come, although principles remain unchanging, thus impenetrable to enemy forces. Keep on doing the right thing, despite others’ opinions and small judgmental minds. This way of living leads to personal significance and fulfillment. Raise your standards. Be you, not someone else. Don’t chase after someone else’s worldly dreams, fixated on fame, power, or excessive possessions. What gives you peace and makes you happy? You owe yourself the best of you—all of you. Be unapologetically you.

Self-discipline

Prove others and your past self, wrong, by proving your new self, right. Antagonistically, do what you think you cannot do, despite fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Do what motivates, inspires, ignites, and drives you toward achieving your goals. Ask yourself, “Is what I am doing each day the best way I can live my life? Am I truly giving my best efforts to live fully and on purpose right now? How can I use and develop my gifts, talents, skills, and abilities to further serve and help others eradicate bad habits, live abundantly, choose wisely, and accomplish dreams?” Completely accept yourself right where you are, while progressing toward further lifelong growth and development.

Furthermore, self-discipline is key toward achieving dreams come true. Self-discipline is saying yes when you want to say no, and saying no when you want to say yes. Pay now or pay later. Don’t forget this—paying the price of self-discipline now leads to an easy life later. Health, relationships, and money all compound graciously when we live accordingly, doing the right thing, day by day, habitually self-disciplined in our principles, values, and priorities. Know them well.