My motivation comes from within.

I can motivate myself. I am determined to provide my family with high quality food, a nice and safe home to live in, and well-made clothes on their back. Yes, the basic essentials would suffice and I am thankful for my gifts. However, I am capable of attaining far beyond just the essentials.

This desire to provide myself with a high quality of life is my motivation to succeed. I enjoy having an abundance of cash in my bank account because it gives me freedom. If I want to, I can visit a nice restaurant for lunch or buy a pair of shoes just for the fun of it.

By choice, I work hard in order to provide myself with the finer things in life.

There are secondary motivations for success, like I want to make my mom and dad proud or I want bragging rights, but these external factors pale to the motivation I receive from the personal joys of excelling.

I enjoy the feeling of being able to pay my rent without worrying about how I can pay my other bills. I enjoy being able to walk into a beautifully decorated home after a long day at work.

But most of all, I enjoy being self-sufficient.

Today, I work towards providing myself the life I’ve earned. I reach a little higher, farther, and wider in order to achieve success.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Does my motivation come from within or a desire to maintain a social rank?
2. Am I truly happy with the life I have built?
3. What can I do to increase my self-motivation?

I feel an intense flame of passion for things that interest me.

I am where I want to be in my life. My passion is real and it is within me.

I surround myself with like-minded, passionate people and engage in projects and work that inspire and motivate me. I am thankful to be able to love what I do, and do what I love.

An intense fire within my heart ignites me. I know with great certainty that my passion will never escape me and can never be taken from me. My passion is deeply ingrained within me and cannot be disturbed.

At times it may be challenging to stay focused. I strive to stay on course through thick and thin, regardless of criticisms, distractions, or obstacles. I let my intense passion rise within my soul and it sends me soaring to new heights that mere words cannot explain.

I feel alive and vibrant. I am inspired and elated. I am on the highest level of stimulation. My emotions are stirred and so is my talent.

I believe everyone should engage in their passion because a passion can truly inspire and motivate in unimaginable ways. I thrive on the emotional boost I feel when I indulge in my passion and purpose.

I am doing what I was created to do. It gives me great pleasure to know that my passion is someone else’s treasure. What a purpose-driven life I have!

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What can I do to stay passionate?
2. How can I help others become passionate?
3. How will I nurture my passion to keep the flame strong?

9 Steps to Beat Laziness

crop woman snoozing alarm on smartphone

Everyone feels a little lazy at times. But being lazy on a regular basis can have a severe negative impact on your life. Laziness is a natural tendency. All creatures gravitate toward comfort, or at least what’s perceived to be comfortable. However, laziness is indulging in short-term comfort at the expense of long-term pain.

Do you know anyone with a great life that’s lazy? Over time, the law of cause and effect holds true. Laziness has a long-term price.

Beat laziness and accomplish more:

  1. Find a way to get excited. Consider the benefits you’ll receive by getting it done. It might be the end result that excites you or the fact that you’re learning and growing. Maybe demonstrating self-control and discipline is something that you can get excited about. It’s much harder to accomplish something if you’re complaining about it.

  2. Set a deadline. When you have plenty of time to complete something, or no deadline at all, it’s human nature to procrastinate. Setting a deadline in the near future can help to focus your attention and energy.

  3. Create smaller tasks from the main task. Every large task can be done in steps. Even building a house has steps. First the site must be prepared. Then the foundation is created, and the framing begins. The remaining steps are followed until the house is completed.
  • The overall project might be big and intimidating. However, the individual tasks might be easier to handle.

  • Focus on taking the first step. Once you get started, the momentum you’ve created can carry you far. Activity breeds further activity. Sitting on the couch tends to lead to more sitting. Instead of worrying about the mountain of work ahead of you, focus on getting one simple task completed.

  • Read or listen to something that motivates you. It can be something as simple as a book of inspiring quotes or a song that energizes you. You already know what inspires you. Use it to your advantage.

  • Consider the pain of not getting started. We’re good at imagining the pain of getting started, but try the opposite. What will happen if you continue to be lazy? What will it cost you in the future? What has it cost you so far? Instead of using pain as a reason to be lazy, use pain to create action.

  • Remind yourself that the last few years have flown by. Laziness is often a chronic condition. A lot of time has passed in the last 5 years, but how much have you accomplished? Five years goes by quickly, especially when one day seems to be a copy of every other day. Life is wasting away. Get up and do something!

  • Reward yourself for activity. Get one thing done and celebrate. You probably haven’t done enough to deserve a new car, but you have the right to get excited and be proud of yourself.

  • Be patient. It’s common to believe that action comes from motivation, but the opposite may be more true. Action leads to results. Results lead to motivation. Be mentally tough and get busy. You’ll have a reason to be motivated soon enough.

Avoid allowing laziness to keep you on the sideline. It will steal your time and limit your results!

I see the world with fresh eyes.

I alter my perspective of the world each day. I find wonder in familiar things and recognize the extraordinary nature of ordinary events.

I slow down and notice the miracles that are occurring all the time. Caterpillars transform into butterflies. Tiny acorns grow into mighty oak trees. I become grateful and develop a sense of awe.

The earth provides resources that keep me alive without any effort on my part. I receive food, oxygen, water, and sunlight.

I seek a personal connection with the events I observe. I explore important memories. I think about how I can contribute to the world.

I put aside old assumptions. If I have frequent disagreements with a coworker, I invite them to lunch so we can view each other as friends. I sign up for dance lessons even if my family says I have two left feet.

I pay attention to all my senses. Sights become more vivid as I also respond to aromas, textures, flavors, and sounds.

Some of my best lessons come from children and dogs. I share their sense of excitement for a favorite bed time story or daily afternoon walk in the park. Repetition becomes comfortable rather than boring.

Today I rediscover the world. I look at everything as if it was my first time and I appreciate the significance of all that surrounds me.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What is one amazing event that happens every day that I could stop taking for granted?
2. How does it feel to challenge my old assumptions?
3. What is one routine office task that I could make more stimulating by seeing it with fresh eyes?

I see the inspiration that surrounds me.

Inspiration is everywhere. I see it in nature and throughout life. Because I am open to joy, I find it even in simple things. I am curious about things that I don’t know. I love to learn, and every situation presents something new and beneficial.

As I look around my world, I find so much loveliness and excitement! This world is full of things that make me feel joyful and provide beauty to my life. From the beauty and hope of a new dawn to the overflowing love I felt when my baby was born, the wondrous moments of everyday life inspire me.

I find hope and joy easily. There’s no shortage of beauty in life. The secret is in being able to see what is already there.

When I focus on the good and beautiful things around me, I am inspired. Even in the midst of sadness, the beauty of a rose can uplift me.

I am at peace with myself and the world, and I radiate that outward to all around me. Inspiration makes me want to go after life with all the gusto I’ve got and help others as well. When I help others, I bring even more joy and abundance into my own life.

Everyone I help does something to inspire me. That inspiration feeds my joy and I give even more back to others. It becomes a beautiful circle of inspiration, joy, and giving.

Today, I see inspiration all around me; it’s everywhere I look.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What can I do to keep myself inspired?
2. How can I use the beauty and joy that I see all around me?
3. Are there ways I can help others to see and use inspiration?

Deliberate Practice: How to Use it to Your Advantage

white paper with note

There’s been much in the news regarding “deliberate practice”. In theory, 10,000 hours of deliberate practice is necessary and sufficient to gain mastery. This mastery could be playing chess, playing the piano, a sport, or becoming an expert on a topic. However, there is a big difference between deliberate practice and the practice most people engage in.

Deliberate practice could be the missing link in your attempts to achieve mastery in any endeavor. Be warned that deliberate practice isn’t easy.

Use these key actions to discover the power of deliberate practice:

  1. Have a set schedule. Make your practice a priority. Whether your interest is mastering the violin or learning how to dominate the stock market, have a schedule that you are willing to keep.
  • Avoid the trap of only practicing when you have free time. Make time.

  • Remove all distractions. Imagine you’re strumming your prized banjo while watching your favorite movie from the couch. You might be pretty pleased with yourself, but contrast that with locking yourself in the spare bedroom and focusing 100% on improving your banjo-playing technique.
  • A key component of deliberate practice is 100% focus. The hours you accumulate must be of high quality.
  • Choose the most effective action. If you’re great at dribbling a basketball, you probably enjoy furthering your skills in that area. However, it might be your 3-point shot that’s really holding you back. It’s human nature to avoid activities we don’t do well. Find the optimal activity and leave your emotions out of it.

  • Have a goal for each practice session. While studying your chess books for an hour is good, it’s much more effective to have a goal for your study session.
  • In what areas do you need the most work?
  • What are you trying to learn?
  • What is the best way to accomplish that learning objective?
  • How does this fit into your mastery in the long term?
  • Feedback is required. If you’re a budding writer, you can’t just practice your writing each day. You need a qualified person to review your writing and provide feedback. A baseball player can practice alone in a batting cage, but some endeavors require a coach, teacher, or mentor for the best results.

  • Understand that all deliberate practice is demanding. Whether your practice is physical, mental, or both, it’s work. The focus required for deliberate practice can be exhausting.
  • The amount of deliberate practice that you can accomplish in a day is limited. The studies suggest that 4-5 hours is about the limit. It’s also important to break the time up into multiple sessions.

  • Get enough sleep. Studies have shown that musicians in training programs sleep more than those who are not actively training. Experts believe that greater levels of concentration require more rest and recovery. Be sure to focus and get your rest. The experts recommend naps, too.

  • Realize there are limits. If you’re 50 years old or under 5-feet tall, there’s no amount of practice that will permit you to play professional basketball. You can do far more than you realize, but there are limits in life. It’s not possible to become an expert in everything.

Are you ready to raise your expertise to the next level? Deliberate practice is the fastest way to mastering any field. Practice with a goal and without distractions. Ensure you have the ability to measure your results. Set aside a time to practice or learn on a regular basis. Deliberate practice is hard work, but the results are well worth it.

Infusing life goals into my day strengthens my efforts.

Sometimes, the hustle and bustle of daily life obscures my efforts to achieve my overall life goals. To ensure I stay focused on the end-results that are important to me, I build elements of my life goals into my day.

When I do, I keep my eyes on the prize from sunrise to sunset.

Becoming financially independent is one of my life goals. So, each day I thoughtfully consider expenditures, how to cut spending, and ways I save money.

Another life goal is enjoying good health. Every day, I engage in meditation. I am physically active. The food I eat is nutritious, low in fat, and high in fiber. So, on a daily basis, I am proactive regarding my health.

Today, I plan to make a short list of my important life goals and find ways to bring elements of them into my everyday routines. I intend to strengthen my efforts to achieve what I want in life by working toward those goals every single day.

To live the life I my dreams, I must focus on my desires daily.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What actions do I take each day toward accomplishing my life goals?
2. Do I have reminders of my greatest life desires in places where I will see them often so I can stay focused on achieving them?
3. How can I infuse my goals into my everyday routines?

Sunshine makes me feel alive.

Every time I step outside and feel the sunlight on my face, I feel alive. The sun serves as a reminder that there is a fresh new beginning to each day with opportunities waiting to be discovered.

In the brightness of every moment I find new direction. Each day is just as important and deserves to be lived with as much passion as the one before. I rise up to the challenge by allowing myself to get carried away doing an activity I love.

I desire to be like the sun, always bright. Even when there are clouds in the sky hiding the sunlight, it is still there, just out of view. My talents and gifts are always shinning even if they are hidden behind a cloud. Before long, the skies clear and I shine!

Sunlight symbolizes life. From the colorful bed of flowers growing in a garden to the birds singing their beautiful song, it is the sun that keeps all things beautiful.

On sunny days, I love going outside and basking in the sun. Being outdoors is good for my body and mental health. Staying inside a building all day can cause me to become anxious. The sun is my antidote to anxiety.

I find creative ways to spend time outdoors. Whether it is having a picnic, reading a book, holding a meeting, or working – there are plenty of activities that are enhanced when done outside.

Today, I choose to take every opportunity I get to be outside. I change my scenery to open myself up to new inspiration through a different perspective.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How can I spend more time outdoors?
2. What is one activity I can do outdoors rather than indoors?
3. How does the sun inspire me?

7 Behaviors That Make Life Easier and More Fulfilling

food healthy nature red

Do you feel like your life is unfulfilling and overly full of challenges? If so, you’ll be happy to know that you can make changes, starting today, to turn your life around! Creating a wonderful life is the result of consistently doing things that support your happiness and fulfillment.

Avoid stressful challenges and enjoy your life more with these behaviors:

  1. Be proactive. Avoid waiting until you’re forced to take action. Plan ahead. Many of life’s challenges are easily managed if you deal with them quickly. Most of life’s difficulties are preventable.

  2. For example, you know that your car needs regular oil changes. A natural result of not changing the oil is a ruined car. You can prevent this challenge simply by changing your oil on time. If you can’t afford to have the oil changed, learn how to do it yourself. This is one task anyone can learn.

  3. Being proactive also applies to any task that you’re aware of ahead of time, such as projects and reports at your job. Waiting until the last minute to do something ensures that when you finally do it, you’ll be full of stress and won’t do your best work, both of which can cause further challenges.

  4. Set goals, write them down, and take action to achieve them. Do something each day to bring you a little closer to the life you desire.

  5. Pay attention to your diet and fitness. It’s easy to gain 50 pounds one pound at a time. A poor diet can ruin your health with imperceptible changes, a little at a time.
  • Keep an eye on your weight and set a hard limit. Once you’ve reached that limit, it’s time for serious action. You can’t weigh 250 pounds if you never allow yourself to weigh over 150.

  • Start feeding your body the nutrition it craves for peak performance. Make changes a little at a time. For example, add a vegetable or fruit to each meal. Make something homemade with organic ingredients instead of buying processed food. Do this often enough, and you’ll develop a taste preference for delicious, healthy food.

  • Minimize time watching TV or surfing the internet. TV, the internet, and your smart phone are all great ways of wasting your precious time. Consider all the other, more productive, things you could be doing instead.
  • Imagine if you spend three hours each day split between exercising, learning a musical instrument, and running an online business instead of watching YouTube videos. How would your life be different after five years? You can determine today how your life will be in the future.

  • Save money consistently. Having secure finances is crucial. One unfortunate incident, such as blown transmission in your car, can be catastrophic if you don’t have any money in the bank. Keep in mind that you can’t work forever. Sooner or later you’ll be forced to live off your savings and social security.
  • Start a savings account today and add to it each week. You can start small and, once you get into the habit of saving consistently, begin a program of increasing your savings.

  • Start investing. A great start is an index fund. Find one that you can get into with small payments and add to your investment each month. You can get started with as little as $25.

  • Consider the actual value to you of your purchases. Buy things you need, rather than things you want due to the impulse of the moment. It’s difficult to save money if you routinely make unnecessary purchases. These items rarely bring true enjoyment anyway.

  • Make decisions. Making decisions can be scary and feel restrictive. You might not want to take that much responsibility for your life. But even a poor decision is often better than no decision at all. Without decisions, your fate is determined by luck.

  • Maintain friendships. Friends drift away unless you make an effort to maintain your friendships. As you get older, there can be fewer opportunities to make new friends. Keeping a friendship alive takes effort, but it’s less work than finding and nurturing a new friendship. There are few things better in life than an old friend.

A few bad habits can create a very hard life. A few effective habits can reward you greatly. Strive to develop habits that support your happiness. Be proactive, make your health a priority, use your time wisely, and be responsible with your finances. An exciting life with minimal distress can be yours.

I greet each morning with enthusiasm.

Starting each day with a happy mind sets me off on the right course. I jump out of bed eager to see what lies ahead.

Being a morning person is a choice I make. I develop rituals that encourage me to smile as soon as I open my eyes.

I keep inspirational quotes and pictures near my bed. I slip my feet into bunny slippers. Drinking in the morning light rouses my senses, so I draw back the curtains to make it easier for me to get moving.

Every hour is precious to me. I want to be productive. I want to be cheerful and alert before noon. There are many opportunities to learn and grow before lunch. I want to be ready to seize them.

It all starts the night before with getting a good night’s rest. I stick to a regular schedule. I shut off the TV and computer in the early evening so I am relaxed and ready to sleep.

I give myself plenty of time to prepare for the day ahead. I am realistic about how long it takes to get the kids ready for school and walk the dog.

Today, I look forward to the morning light. There is so much to love about mornings. I appreciate sunrises, bird songs, and waffles. I start out energetically and carry that zeal with me throughout the day.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How does being a morning person impact my life?
2. How can I stick to a consistent schedule for going to bed and getting up?
3. What is one more thing I can do to make me feel more upbeat in the morning?