Authenticity

“Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is the man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another” (Homer). More confidence and progress manifests when our character for who we think we should be matches up with who we really are. Don’t get stuck financially by a car or mortgage that hinders you from truly living out or pursuing your genuine desires. Don’t just look the part, be the part. Being is so much more fun and rewarding than pretending.

True Motivation

“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.

Creeping Habits

Remember, it’s much easier avoiding temptation or not acquiring the taste than it is trying to beat temptation or eradicate an acquired taste. Let’s ponder this truth while parenting or role modeling for kids and people all around us. Poor habits acquired incrementally over time creep in surreptitiously, catching us off guard. We may wonder how divorce, job loss, poor health, or an undesirable event occurred, until radically honest deep self-reflection reveals truths of neglect and mismanaged priorities. Manage yourself well—nobody will do it for you. Self-love what you owe yourself—nothing less.

Self-Love

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love” (Maya Angelou). Additionally, truly and sincerely complement others frequently. Tell folks when you like their hairstyle, article of clothing, or smile. Encourage people with kind words. Say, “You will do great at anything you choose,” only if it is genuine and you actually mean it. See in others what they may not see in themselves. People can easily discern flattery from a genuine complement or remark of heartfelt appreciation. Give honest praise to people in public and private often. Sweet talk can cause more harm than good. Let’s remain blatantly honest, while thoughtfully considering another’s view and desires ahead of our own. Those are wonderful gifts we can give daily, which return additional rewards handsomely.

Furthermore, the best way to care for others is by taking care of ourselves first. No, this is not selfish. In contrast, taking care of ourselves first can be the most unselfish and beneficial thing we can do for others. If oxygen masks come down in an airplane and a man places oxygen on his helpless infant son before himself, subsequently passing out, he would be of no further service to anyone. The same is true regarding living healthy lives with appropriate nutrient and caloric intake, exercise, sleep, and total self-care so we can function optimally in order to give, do, and be our best.

Self-examination

It is irrational and illogical to do something just because our parents, grandparents, or whomever did it a particular way. Their reasons and ways of believing, thinking, doing, and acting may have been or might be erroneous. There is a story of a young woman who habitually cut off both ends of a pot roast. A friend asked her why she did that and the answer was because my mother did it. The young woman asked her mom why she cut the ends off the pot roast and the reason was because her mother did it too. Finally, the grandmother was inquired and subsequently gave the real reason for cutting off the ends of the pot roast. The ends of the roast were removed so it could fit in the small pan and oven that was possessed at the time.

Do not live an unexamined life. Why do you believe, think, and behave certain ways? Is this the best way to live your life? Are you living with purpose and meaning, beyond yourself?

Be You

“Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential” (Andy Stanley). Be brutally honest while self-reflecting on right and wrong. Your answers are perceptions related to personal principles, beliefs, and experiences. Make sure your ideal self and real self are congruent, therefore creating peace and abundant fulfillment within. What do you stand for and why?

“Sometimes what counts can’t be counted, and what can be counted doesn’t count” (Albert Einstein). Do not compare yourself with anyone, except who you were yesterday. Your very own intangible character traits based upon what you stand for helps preserve visions, dreams, and goals while persevering toward greatness, despite adversity. Know both what to do and what not to do in varying situations, thus expediting your journey toward becoming the best version of yourself. Furthermore, another person’s perspective, especially from a leader, mentor, counselor or coach can guide, teach, inspire and direct our steps, additionally, helping to hold us accountable. Strive toward becoming the person you truly desire and are fully capable of being. Be you!—everyone else is taken.

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense” (Buddha). We live vibrantly and courageously or die dastardly, mostly because of habitual choices we make. Let your thoughts, attitudes, words, behaviors, and environments lead to fuller, more joy-filled lifestyles. To each their own—nihilism or usefulness, meaning, and dignity. We must decide for ourselves the best path for our own unique journey through time. Insight, advice, principles, other peoples’ experiences (OPEs), beliefs, and suggestions from others can help formulate what we ought not to do or must do to acquire all the splendors this wondrous world offers. Live without regret, guilt, resentment, blame or shame by owning your own discerning decisions, while not judging others. We can choose our actions, but not the consequences. Learn to smile and laugh during any situation, for suffering and death are only parts of life, which help us feel—knowing we are alive with breath in our lungs, while transcending and transmuting fear, anxiety, and depression into forgiveness, joy, peace, and love.

Choices–Boundaries–Growth

“It is only by introducing the young to great literature, drama and music, and to the excitement of great science that we open to them the possibilities that lie within the human spirit—enable them to see visions and dream dreams” (Eric Anderson). This applies to all ages alike. Knowing what we don’t want helps us understand more clearly what we truly desire. This can emerge through learning from other people’s experiences (OPEs) or our own, being open-minded and receptive toward new ideas, growing knowledge and skills, taking prompt action, and through self-reflection. Being prudent by maintaining appropriate boundaries is our responsibility toward respecting life, growth, and prosperity.

Additionally, on Netflix there is an insightful documentary, Obesity: The Post Mortem, which shows the deleterious effects from poor dietary and sedentary lifestyle choices. A corpulent woman’s autopsy reveals reasons for her demise. It can be a motivating factor toward taking immediate life-altering action, therefore not dying prematurely from preventable etiological contributors.

Moreover, due to obesity, the heart has to pump much harder to propel oxygenated blood throughout excessive adipose tissue and vasculature in our bodies, while returning deoxygenated blood back to the lungs and heart to do all over again. The burdensome strain can lead to heart wall thickening, cardiac chamber compensatory enlargement, and subsequent non-compensatory heart failure, among other unwanted illnesses. Let’s decide how we want to live, while practicing daily self-restraint, thus strengthening ourselves against any problematic agonistic consuming approaches for dopamine. We can live to eat or eat to be fully juiced, energized and alive. Ideally, each of us begins and continues striving for the latter.

Love Yourself–You Matter!

Deserve to be full of health, wealth, love, and joyfulness by the way you choose to live your life. Let’s work on ourselves persistently, while embracing self-discipline, so we can live filled with abundance throughout our life journey. Write five explanations why you deserve to accomplish your dreams. What makes you so special and equipped? Use “I am…” statements in present tense and add to your list daily until you reach at least fifty positive affirmations about yourself and your dreams. A few I am examples include telling yourself, “I am bold, I am brave, I am beautiful, I am confident, I am worthy, I am loved, I am valuable, I am forgiven, I am blessed, I am helpful, I am creative, I am giving, I am peaceful, I am joyful, I am healthy.” Don’t limit your self-talk and written truths to strictly short “I am” declarations. A few examples might be, “I am wonderfully and miraculously created from an infinite intelligence; I am a mighty and powerful child of God with unlimited potential. The gifts, talents, skills, abilities, and self-confidence to succeed are already in me. I am confident, capable, and willing. I have what it takes to succeed. I think I can. I can do it.” Hard work combined with passionate yearnings to help serve people or solve problems can create a sense of worth and deserving for whatever you truly desire. Always love yourself first, therefore being capable to love others a minimum of tenfold. You and your dreams matter more than you know.