Posted in Inspiration, Learning, Life, Personal Development, Positive Thinking

Quote Of The Day

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind.”

Buddha
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As always, thanks for stopping by. What are your thoughts today?

Posted in Life, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement, Success

Quote Of The Day

“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”

— Bertrand Russell
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As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a fearless day!

Posted in Excitement, Inspiration, Life, Personal Development, Positive Thinking

What Does It Mean To Be Authentic? What Choices Should You Make To Show Who You Are?

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“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

Oscar Wilde

Are you authentic? We all have our moments, maybe more than we like to admit when we present ourselves differently depending on who we are interacting with at the time. We are almost like a shapeshifter.

We adapt to our environment. When we are unsure of ourselves and think we are not good enough, we may assume the persona we believe will be accepted.

An example might be a business meeting or dinner. Another example might be meeting a fiance’s family for the first time. We are going to present what we think they want to see.

It might be acceptable in some circumstances for a brief moment in time, but it is better to show the real you.

It is easy for people to realize that you are faking it, and it can be a turn-off. People like, and appreciate, someone who is authentic.

How can you be authentic and show your true self?

Realize and accept that you are not perfect. It is impossible, so do not try. Embrace who you are, even when it makes you feel unsure of yourself. Everyone is different and has value. You may feel vulnerable, but there is no need to be. When you accept yourself, others will accept you too. Be confident in who you are.

When you are interacting with someone, look for the things you have in common. Ask open-ended questions and then listen to their answers. You will be able to find an understanding of the other person and develop a connection to them. When asked a question, respond openly, and you will show your authentic self.

Observe yourself and recognize how you respond and interact when you are in an uncomfortable setting. You will learn to realize what situations make you uncomfortable and why you feel that way. Once you have that understanding, you can compensate by using some of your authentic skills.

Practice mindfulness. Always stay present in your interactions with others so that you respond appropriately. People recognize when you let your mind wander in a conversation by observing your body language and from your responses. The ability to stay present is the most effective way to be authentic.

Developing authenticity is a journey of self-awareness and growth. To be authentic, you have to understand what your beliefs are. Is there a difference between what you do and say and what you believe in? It is an opportunity to evaluate your self and to improve.

It is also an opportunity to face your fears. We all have them, and by being authentic, we need to look at all the aspects that make us who we are, good and bad. All of our experiences and all our emotions make us who we are.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let out true selves be seen.”

Brene Brown

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day.

Posted in Curiosity, Elderly, Excitement, Inspiration, Life, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Are You A Player In The Game Of Life? What Is Your Mindset? What Is Your Next Move?

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“There are two kinds of people. One kind, you can just tell by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keep moving, changing… They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must be constantly on your guard against congealing.”

― Gail Godwin

That quote paints this vivid image in my mind of a congealed mass, something like gravy left in a pan on the stove, or the food I feed my cat sitting in its bowl. Yuck!

I wonder, is that what our brain looks like as we age and we give up on life? When we decide our life is enough, we are content, and no longer interested in new ideas, or embracing change, does our brain congeal?

Let’s face it; there is a multitude of people that do choose to stop, and they are not all old. You see them everywhere you go, and you can tell by watching them, viewing their interactions, and listening to them talk.

Zombies come to mind. What the heck! I wonder about so many things, in particular, the way people think and act. I have always been an observer, so this is nothing new. I do it with everyone; I watch people, and I wonder what their life is like. What do they think about? What experiences have they lived through? Are they happy or sad?

Isn’t it strange how you can meet someone once or twice and make a judgment about them? Sometimes, we are spot on, and sometimes we are way off base. When I am observing other people, I wonder what judgment they are making about me.

I am an introvert, so I am happy and content to sit back and be the observer. My husband is much more outgoing then I am. He interacts easily and loves to talk to other people. I assume that outside observers, casual acquaintances, would easily make very different judgments about each of us.

As I am wondering about how we interact with one another, I am also curious about how we play the game and the effect our mindset has on our life and interactions.

When I started this blog, it was all about my mindset. I was fearful of growing old. I did not want to become a congealing blob of inactivity, and I did not want to settle for the here and now. I was afraid I would accept the status quo and stop attempting to learn and grow.

I made the right decision. Each day I stretch my brain in some way. I do a lot of reading and research, and I am learning. By doing so, I find my curiosity expanding. I do get frustrated sometimes because I want to do more. I am not settling for less.

So where are you? What is your mindset, and what are you doing to stay active, mentally, and physically?

It does not matter what age you are, where you live, or if you are working or retired. There is never a time when you should stop learning and improving.

Wake up each day and smile. Have a plan for what you want to do, and always believe it is going to be a good day. When you start each day with a positive mindset, the chances are increased that you will indeed have a good day. Need some help being positive? Read positive quotes; they do help.

Focus on the good things in your life. There will always be irritants, but there will always be good things too.

There is no such thing as pure perfection. We are told all the time to strive for perfection, and, yes, it is a good practice to do your best work. We can always improve and should have a personal goal of growth, but not perfection.

Live in the present. What happened in the past is over, and there is nothing you can do to change it. Learn from the experience, but do not dwell there. Tomorrow is just that. You have goals, and you have a plan, but focus on what you are doing today. Be present in every moment, enjoy it and make the most out of everything you do.

Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”

Wayne Dyer

As always, thank you for reading my blog today. Enjoy today.

Posted in Business, Coping, Inspiration, Motivation, Positive Thinking, Success

Quote Of The Day

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is courage to continue that counts.”

–Winston s. Churchill
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As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.

Posted in Inspiration, Learning, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking

Always Dream And Aim High – 7 Tips On How To Be Better Than Yourself

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“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

― William Faulkner

I want to better. I have always felt that way and now at 73 the feeling is even stronger. I want to be smarter than I am now. I want to be more compassionate. I want to be healthier and more physically fit.

The thing is…we should all want to be better at any age and we should always keep looking for ways to improve.

So how do we become better at any age?

Be Open To Change

How many times have you made excuses for not doing something new? It is so easy to say no. We are hesitant about the unknown; even scared.

Sometimes we let someone close to us influence our decisions. They may be scared we will get hurt, either physically or mentally.

I say why not try it. It will build your confidence and increase your knowledge and overall well being.

Learn Something New

We should strive to learn something every day. Read, watch videos and webinars. Learn how to do something you have always been interested in, but always put it off.

Do you like music? Learn to play the piano, the violin or cello. Join a choral group and sing you heart out. Learn a new language; how about sign language?

Join a sports league like volleyball. Go to REI and take a class or how about Home Depot and learn how to use tools to do home improvement.

Volunteer

Now, more than ever, there are people in need. Just think how much better you will feel about yourself if you volunteer to help others.

Join an organization like Habitat for Humanity or a local soup kitchen. Volunteer to drive patients to the hospital for treatments. Deliver for Meals on Wheels. Read to children at the library or to those in the hospital. Visit Nursing Homes and interact with the residents there.

Be Helpful

This is something so easy to do and we can easily ignore. I always hold the door for people and I always smile and say Hi. It is funny though because sometimes when you do that people do not acknowledge it. Do not get angry at the them, which can be an automatic reaction.

Sit in a parking lot sometime and watch people; especially at a grocery store. I see so many people struggle with packages and car doors. Get out of the car, and ask if you can help them. I have done it before. Sometimes they say no, but sometimes they are relieved and very appreciative.

Listen

This is something we all need to be better at. Speaking from experience, it can be very frustrating and demoralizing to be talking and have someone talk over me, or ignore me.

We are all in a hurry and we want our voices heard. Remember to take a moment and listen. Show respect to everyone by letting them have a voice. That includes children, the elderly, the clerk at the store, your co-workers and your spouse.

Be Honest

How do you feel when you are quite sure someone is lying to you, or not telling the whole story, slanting it in their favor?

It is beneficial to you, and everyone you interact with, to be honest. Sometimes it is not easy to explain your feelings and ideas so take your time, think first, and be as open and honest as possible. I always find it easier when I put myself in their shoes; how would you want to be treated?

Let Go Of Resentment

This is a tough one. When you have encountered a negative person, or experience, in the past, you will understand how it feels. It is difficult to let it go. It can affect you for a long time, if you let it.

Letting your resentment fester you are hurting yourself. It is allowing the negative experience hurt you twice. Find a way to let it go and move past it.

Acknowledge what happened, accept it, and move on. Think it through, poke at it a bit, and talk to someone you trust about your feelings. If necessary, talk to a professional to help you move past it.

Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” 

–Ralph Waldo

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day.

Posted in Communication, Inspiration, Learning, Positive Thinking

How To Practice Empathy And To Improve Your Life

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People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

This quote by Maya Angelou defines the meaning of empathy for me.

The definition of empathy is the ability to understand things from another person’s perspective. It is the ability to share someone else’s feelings and emotions and understand why they have those feelings.

In my mind, I have been able to achieve empathy if I connect with someone on such a level that I understand their feelings. I also need to leave them with good, positive feelings they will not forget.

How wonderful it would be if we could all connect on such a high level, that we all walked away, feeling better, and remembering how we felt.

Empathy is essential in all aspects of life, both in our personal lives and at work. It helps us understand how others are feeling so we can respond appropriately to the situation.

Empathetic people are more generous and concerned with the well being of others. They usually have stronger and happier relationships, and tend to be happier themselves.

At work, if you are empathetic, your communication skills will be more skilled. You will be better able to understand both coworkers and customers. You will be better at understanding the motivations and fear of your coworkers.

Here are tips to help you increase your ability to communicate and be empathetic.

Smile. So simple to do and so effective. When you share a genuine smile with someone, they will automatically feel better and so will you.

Acknowledge other people by knowing their name and using it to have interactions with them as often as possible. I remember having a boss who would not even hold a door for an employee and rarely used someone’s name. He had a very negative affect. A small gesture makes someone feel good and can have a significant impact on building rapport.

We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.”

Carl Rogers

Learn and use non-verbal communications with everyone. Studies show that a high percentage of our communication is through our body language. Learn to be aware of the messages you give off when talking to an individual or a group. What you say should be 100% in tune with what your actions are showing.

You should also be able to understand the body language of others. A one on one conversation, or a group, there is much being said when no one is speaking. When you are in a group of people, it can be enlightening to watch and see the interactions of others.

Recognize the achievements of others. It feels so good when someone gives a compliment or acknowledges that you have done a great job. Recognizing someone’s abilities does not happen enough, and it can have such a positive effect.

Practice having meaningful conversations with people. There is a tendency today not to communicate one on one and for conversations to be superficial. The use of cell phones, email, and social media has changed how we interact. It is challenging to practice empathy when we no longer take the time to talk face to face. When was the last time you had a real conversation?

Being empathetic is a combination of skills that we should be familiar with, and hopefully, practice. It is a connection with yourself, your emotions, and your feelings. It is also the ability to be able to connect with the emotions and feelings of others.

It will be easy for some and difficult for others, but it can be a learned skill. The most crucial piece of the puzzle is wanting to and being able to make a connection with others.

Practice by spending some time actively watching and listening. Be there in the moment and think about how you feel, what reaction you have. Then take it a step further by imagining the opinions and feelings of other people in the room.

We all have our assumptions and beliefs and it is too easy to make judgments. We need to be able to see why other people have views different than ours. We also need to acknowledge and respect their right to those feelings. We should be able and open to having a conversation. Talking and asking questions should be the most straightforward and most direct path to understanding and empathy.

Empathy is being able to see things, big and little, from different perspectives. Small actions practiced every day will develop a reputation for being caring, trustworthy, and approachable. So go ahead, smile, use people’s names, give others your full attention. Be interested in their lives and what they do, give encouragement and recognition for a job well done.

Power Of Empathy

I’m in it with you. I’m not here to fix you. I’m not here to feel it for you. I’m here to feel with you and let you know you are not alone.”

~ Dr. Brene Brown

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!