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Motivation

The Six Enemies of Greatness (and Happiness)
These six factors can erode the grandest of plans and the noblest of intentions. They can turn visionaries into paper-pushers and wide-eyed dreamers into shivering, weeping balls of regret. Beware!

1) Availability

We often settle for what’s available, and what’s available isn’t always great. “Because it was there,” is an okay reason to climb a mountain, but not a very good reason to take a job or a free sample at the supermarket.

And sadly, we'll never know everything.

2) Ignorance

If we don’t know how to make something great, we simply won’t. If we don’t know that greatness is possible, we won’t bother attempting it. All too often, we literally do not know any better than good enough.

3) Committees

Nothing destroys a good idea faster than a mandatory consensus. The lowest common denominator is never a high standard.

4) Comfort

Why pursue greatness when you’ve already got 324 channels and a recliner? Pass the dip and forget about your grand designs.

5) Momentum

If you’ve been doing what you’re doing for years and it’s not-so-great, you are in a rut. Many people refer to these ruts as careers.

6) Passivity

There’s a difference between being agreeable and agreeing to everything. Trust the little internal voice that tells you, “this is a bad idea.”

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicahagy/2012/02/28/the-six-enemies-of-greatness-and-happiness/

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After age 25-30, depending on marital status and other things, it becomes more and more helpful to have and to know certain things. Some are practical and some make sense from a life planning standpoint. The following are suggested for anyone over age 30, single or married, male or female, “wealthy” or of more “average” means.

1. A “Last Will and Testament” Prepared by an Attorney
Our time on Earth is numbered. We don’t know what our number is. Makes sense to have a will. A “Living will” also makes sense if you want to be sure your wishes regarding how you die or are “kept alive” are honored. Included may also be a “Memorandum.”

2. Adequate Household and Liability Insurance
This includes household contents, autos (it costs VERY little to jump from the standard $5,000 per person medical coverage to $25,000!) as well as business and liability insurance. Make sure any fine art/antique items are appraised and insured on a separate “floater” policy.

3. A Personal Financial Plan For NOW and For The FUTURE
Done by yourself, by using one of many computer and other “kits” sold, or by using a financial planner, it makes good sense to know where you are now, and where you need and want to be in 20-30 years financially.

4. Your Own Personal Physician
M.D. or D.O., as we get past age 30, chances are greater that we will have some problem that might become chronic or acute where having a physician who knows us and our past medical problems or history comes in very handy and could save our life. Taking your chances on E.R. doctors when you get ill or have an emergency is a lot riskier than if you have a regular physician who they can call. Additionally, women over age 30 need to get a baseline mammogram and exams for breast cancer “screening.” After about age 35 or 40, men need both prostate and cardiac baseline tests. So having a personal doctor just makes common sense. It’s self-care, and the responsible thing to do, married or single.

5. A Business/Career Plan for the Present and for the Future
You *know* where you are hopefully business or career-wise NOW. Maybe you are happy and satisfied with that and maybe you are not. Regardless, it is helpful to set goals if you want to keep up with the cost of living, and plan ahead for retirement. If you want to work your way up in your job or business and make more money or have a different position or career, then you definitely need to address these issues by yourself, or with a career coach or other qualified expert.

6. Knowledge of Your Parents’ or Closest Relatives’ Medical History and Current Medical Condition
This is important because if you have parents and one or both fall ill or are injured, you may be the one an attorney, the doctors, or the hospital calls upon to provide some needed information. If you have no parents, but a close next of kin relative, knowing their situation will help for the same reasons. You can help them greatly by knowing the basics and having it written down should you need it.

7. A Waterproof/Secure File Cabinet
These can be disguised as furniture these days! They are necessary to keep tax and bank statements, copies of legal papers, and other things in for future access by you or any authorized people. Fire-resistant and “fireproof” cabinets are available now at very reasonable prices through the discount office supply stores. You can also use them to store treasured family mementos, unframed photos, etc.

8. A Personal Computer and Printer
It sounds like *everyone* above age 5 has one these days, but some people over age 30 still do not. The prices now are so low that with time pay plans and sales, everyone can have one. You need to have some helpful software such as personal/business financial software, email access, a word processor(throw away the old typewriter!!) and some educational software to replace the myriad books and reference guides you have that may be outdated, and take up a lot of room and gather dust.

9. A Personal/Business Attorney
For the same reasons it helps to have a personal physician by age 30, having your own attorney who can keep a file for you of your will, home mortgage (they charge $400-700. for a copy if you ever lose yours!) etc. is really very prudent. He or she can also be there for you if you need legal advice around a car accident, a business or career problem, or any number of other things that seem to happen more often after age 30.

10. A Safe Deposit Box
Also known as the “metal tax deduction.” They come in all sizes and shapes, and getting one through your personal or business bank is usually the most economical and makes the most sense. Prices for rental for a year are from $15-25. for the smallest size box (long, but not real wide or high) to $100’s for boxes large enough to put oil paintings or other large valuables in. And on each year’s taxes you can deduct the fee. This is one necessity that actually gives you your money BACK, and is very useful. Put the keys in a VERY safe place, as they charge between $10-30 per key to make a duplicate.

If you don’t yet know or have the aforementioned items or bits of information, it’s not too late to acquire them now! Become a bit more responsible by accumulating and checking off each of the things on this list. You’ll feel more accomplished knowing you’ve taken care of this list and the items and information are at your disposal whenever you need them.

Author: Dennis R. Tesdell

Popular culture is focused on attracting love, yet you’ll only be able to receive as much love as you give to yourself. You’ll deflect or guard love that doesn’t resonate with you — like a compliment you don’t believe. The opposite is also true. You’ll allow others to abuse you a bit less than you abuse yourself. So if you desire lasting love, learn to love yourself, because your relationships will parallel your relationship with yourself.

The subject of love interested me from an early age after reading Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving. I was still young and unconscious of my feelings about myself. For years, the concept of loving myself eluded me. Like many on a spiritual path, I became very good at compassion for others, but had no idea what self-love meant. Little by little, I’ve learned that it starts with self-esteem, self-acceptance, and finally compassion and love – all progressive stages.

Self-esteem
Most people determine their worth based upon other-esteem. They seek approval and validation from others, and their opinion of themselves isn’t very high unless they get it. True self-esteem isn’t based on what others think of you, since its Self-esteem. It’s basically what you think of yourself. You may think well of yourself and your competence in some areas, but not in others, and your estimation may fluctuate with illness and life’s ups and downs, but if you have good self-esteem, you’ll return to feeling good about yourself. You won’t blame yourself, nor take others’ opinions or what fate throws you too personally. You’ll think you’re an okay person despite losses, ill heath, mistakes, and rejection. Many people focus on their flaws and have trouble acknowledging their assets. Others have inflated, unrealistic opinions of themselves. Studies contend that narcissists have high self-esteem. I say they lack true self-esteem, because when a major loss occurs, their self-esteem can plummet, especially if it’s in areas that support their self-concept, such as beauty, public acclaim, or material success. The biggest obstacle to self-esteem is self-criticism.

Self-Acceptance
Unlike self-esteem which varies, self-acceptance is steady and unconditional. You accept yourself despite your flaws, failures, and limitations. You’re more self-forgiving and let go of self-judgment. Instead of comparing yourself to others, both positively and negatively, you appreciate your singular individuality. You feel that you’re enough without having to improve upon yourself.

Self-acceptance works wonders. Once you start accepting yourself, you gradually stop worrying what others think and become more spontaneous and natural. Self-acceptance is what allows you to be authentic. You can finally relax, and allow more of the inner, real you to be seen. You’ll have no shame or fear of revealing yourself when you accept yourself unconditionally. This is the key to intimacy and spiritual relationships and enables you to accept others.

Self-Love
Whereas self-esteem is an evaluation and acceptance is an attitude, love combines both feeling and action. Contrary to what many believe, self-love is healthy. It’s neither selfish, nor self-indulgent, and neither egotism, nor narcissism. Actually, egotists and narcissists don’t love themselves at all. A “big ego” is compensation for lack of self-love. Most people think too little of themselves, not too much, and often falling in love is merely a compensation for inner emptiness, loneliness, and shame. No wonder most relationships fail (including those who stay together). Erich Fromm correctly pointed out that love is an art form that takes dedication and practice, not something you win or fall into. Rather, being able to love is a faculty to be developed. It entails effort and begins with learning to love yourself.

Fromm contended that Western society has been influenced by the Calvinist belief that we’re basically sinful, and thus self-love was considered sinful. But since the Bible says, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” how can loving your neighbor be a virtue and self-love be a vice? You’re part of humanity as worthy of love as the next person. Many kind or religious people are able to love others, but unable to love themselves. They believe having a high regard for themselves is indulgent, conceited, arrogant, or selfish. The opposite is true. The greater is your love of self, the greater will be your love of others. The inverse is also true; hatred of others is indicative of self-hatred.

When you love someone, you try to understand their experience and world view, although it differs from your own. You offer your attention, respect, support, compassion, and acceptance. Your caring involves knowledge, responsibility and commitment. These virtues are not compartmentalized, because love is indivisible. Thus, as you develop these abilities, your capacity to love yourself and others grows.

Developing the faculties of attention and compassion necessitate discipline and time. To learn anything requires that you desire it and find it worthy of your effort. Although self-love is certainly an important goal, our society is full of distractions, and its emphasis on speed, performance, and productivity make developing self-love a challenge. Meditation, yoga, martial arts are helpful in learning self-awareness and focusing attention.

Compassion for yourself enables you to witness your feelings, thoughts, and actions with acceptance, caring, and understanding as you would when empathizing with another. Compassion is expressed with gentleness, tenderness, and generosity of spirit — quite the opposite of self-criticism, perfectionism, and pushing oneself. When most people are stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted, they attempt to do even more, instead of caring for themselves. If you weren’t nurtured as a child, self-nurturing can be absorbed in therapy over time. You’ll learn to integrate the acceptance and empathy offered by your therapist. Self-compassion differs from self-pity, which is a judgment about your situation or feelings. Rather than acceptance and compassion, self-pity says, “It shouldn’t be this way.”

Fromm states that self-love entails faith and courage to take risks and overcome life’s setbacks and sorrows. Faith in yourself enables you to comfort yourself and face challenges and failures without lapsing into worry or judgment. You develop the ability to see yourself objectivity and know you’ll survive, despite present emotions. If you constantly seek validation and reassurance from others, you miss the opportunity to develop these internal functions. As knowledge is pre-requisite to love, spending time alone with yourself is essential to identify and listen to your feelings with sensitivity and empathy. Acquiring the ability to witness and contain your emotions are also faculties learned in psychotherapy.

Perhaps you’ve concluded that learning self-love isn’t easy. Look at it this way. Throughout the day, you’re confronted with many opportunities to disregard or attune to your feelings, to judge or to honor them, to keep commitments and be responsible to yourself, and to act in accordance with your needs, values, and feelings. You have an opportunity to learn self-love all the time. Every time you talk yourself down, doubt yourself, exhaust yourself, dismiss your feelings or needs, or act against your values, you undermine your self-esteem. The reverse is also true. You might as well make healthier choices, because you and all your relationships will benefit.

Author: Darlene Lancer

As human beings, we’re creatures of habit. No wonder making a major life change is so hard! But it can be done. Follow these steps to get your change in motion, one easy step at a time:

1. Identify the price of maintaining the status quo.
Not making the change you know you need to make is costing you. Do some soul searching; consult with trusted allies, or journal to yourself to uncover the payoffs you’re receiving, and the prices you’re paying for maintaining the status quo. When you get that the price of not making the change is greater than the payoff, you’ll be more committed to moving forward.

2. Create a reserve of everything.
We don’t always have to make a difficult change from where we are now. If we have issues with money, time, space, emotional support, skills, etc., make a plan now to get more than you need in these areas, creating a stronger foundation from which to launch in your new direction. Keep in mind that it’s better to be over prepared and arrive at your destination than to fail because you were just a hair short of having what you needed to get there.

3. Forgive self-judgments.
Guilt is rampant in our culture. So is the vendetta against selfishness. Suffering is supported and nurtured by friends, family, religions, etc. So it’s not surprising that many of us, deep down, don’t feel we deserve to have what we want. For example, maybe you feel you’re not good enough or deserving of the life you really want. Or maybe you feel that the change you’re about to make will hurt someone close to you. Or you may feel that you’re not smart enough, resourceful enough, bold enough, or just plain “enough” to make this change. Acknowledge these judgments then forgive yourself for holding these false perceptions about who you really are. Because the truth is, they are only ideas, many of which are irrational, and you will create yourself each moment based on the new idea you hold about who you are.

4. Stop complaining.
Are you complaining about being in the situation you’re in? Are you blaming others? Or have you accepted full responsibility for your situation and just beat yourself up for not making the change? If any of the above are true, you are playing the victim and you’re forfeiting your power to make the change you say you want. Even if you’re blaming yourself for not being happy or for not having the courage to make the change, then part of you is beating up on another part of yourself, hence there’s a victim in there somewhere. To the degree you play the role of victim, you lose power you could be using to move forward. So get behind yourself completely and own your full power to create the life you desire, no matter what.

5. Give up analysis that breeds paralysis.
We are so conditioned to figure things out before we leap, that sometimes we become paralyzed to take the actions our bodies are directed to take from the beginning. This is particularly true if you’re an engineer, scientist, or other type of technical person who experiences the world more through analysis than through feeling. If you’re stuck in a thinking pattern rehashing the same ideas over and over, trying to figure out what will happen if, then you’re stuck in a mind-loop. It’s time to quit thinking and start doing. Feel in your body what it wants to do, then just do it! The information you’re seeking may only be available after you take action anyway. Wisdom often comes from experience, not from analysis.

6. Develop a compelling vision.
Leaving a longstanding relationship or a long time career can be very frightening. This is because if what we have is all we see, then to give it up means we’ll have nothing left. This is a terrible illusion. New opportunities, relationships, resources, connections, and ideas always rush in to fill space in our lives. But first, you have to make the space for something new, and second, create a clear vision of what your life will look like once your change is complete. The vision of your new future eliminates the fear of the unknown–which can keep you stuck for a long time! Your vision will form the matrix on which you will create your new life and give you the inspiration and courage you need to move on.

7. Risk failure.
Does your fear of failing keep you stuck? If so, define what failure looks like to you. Imagine the worst possible thing happening. Can you live with that? Can you make course corrections before it happens or after it happens? The answer is almost always “yes.” So, please, do yourself a favor, remove the word “failure” from your vocabulary. Realize that each action simply yields a result–one you want or one you don’t want. Use this as feedback from the universe and take the next logical step. From this perspective, mistakes are just indications of a course correction and not to be taken personally. Pilots are checking their compass all the time and making course corrections based on this feedback. They’d never get anywhere if they took every off-course reading as a personal failure. Give up the concept of failure and take flight!

8. Recruit your inner warrior.
Within each of us there is an instinctual aspect built for bold, decisive action. It looks out, not only for our survival, but also for our soul’s mission. It sends messages in the form of feelings in your body. They may come as “gut” feelings, or just a sense of “knowing” that has no rational foundation. If you’re facing a difficult change, and have “contemplated” yourself into a corner, it may be time to let your inner warrior take over for a while. Just act “as if” you “know” what to do, then do it without thinking about it until after it’s done.

9. Get support to help you through the change.
Big life changes can be overwhelming. There’s no shame in asking for help from friends, relatives, or from a coach. In fact, enough of the right kind of support can make a seemingly difficult change, relatively easy. For me, being a former lone-ranger, asking for and accepting help from others was difficult at first, but really nice once I got used to it. Now I wouldn’t think of starting a major project or making a big change without relying on my support system of close and loving friends, and my coach. Do whatever is necessary to make change easy on yourself. You’re worth it!

10. Don’t go to your deathbed wondering what would have happened if…
It’s easy for us to forget how short our lives really are. Many of us live as if we’ll never die. We waste away our hours and days working jobs we hate, living just for the weekends, or “putting in time” until retirement, living most of our lives like zombies. We may live in a relationship that is draining and disempowering thinking it might magically get better somehow, someday. We deny our feelings or make excuses for frittering our lives away. This is insane. Stop it now! Our lives are so precious and so short. I challenge you to project yourself forward to your death. It’s real and it’s coming for you! See yourself on your deathbed and ask yourself if the life you’re living now is all you dreamt it to be. Write your own obituary today. How close are you to living your passion?

Let this vision be a motivator to get off your butt and follow your dreams!

Author: Steve Davis