“You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.”
Seneca, On the Shortness of Life
No life is without pain. As human beings, we have the gift of choice. One of the decisions we all make is the type of pain we will experience in life. There are two types of pain we all experience. The immediate sting of sacrifice or the distant pain of regret. I would argue that we experience both, but to the extent, we experience one, the other is lessened.
I hope you will choose to make the small daily sacrifices that will improve your life instead of experiencing a mountain of regret at the end of your life. We all come to a point in our life where we have lots of time to contemplate our lives and take a tally. We will reconcile what we did with what we could have done. We will have to admit to ourselves that we could have done more; that we let fear of failure hold us back or we just lacked the discipline to sacrifice temporary pleasure for more meaning fulfillment. I hope that you will sacrifice now, so that day isn’t one filled with regret.
Time will surely pass. It feels like it passes faster each day. Each day is one less day we have remaining. Why not develop the daily disciplines that will improve your life and lessen your regret? Regret should terrify us all. The pain of sacrifice is nothing compared to the torment of regret, but it is immediate while the pain of regret seems so far away.
“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.” Seneca
“No one knows enough to be a pessimist.” Dr. Wayne Dyer
Experts often pronounce something to be impossible only to be proven wrong by someone who believed it was possible. The best example of this is the 4-minute mile. Experts said that it was physically impossible for a person to run a sub 4-minute mile. Many suggested the runner’s heart would explode in their chest.
In 1954 Roger Bannister shattered the barrier because he believed it was a mental barrier and not a physical one. He trained hard and programmed his mind. He visualized himself crossing the finish line hundreds of times with 3:59 seconds displayed on the clock. Once he broke the barrier, other runners soon followed. Within 18-months, 24 other runners did what the experts had pronounced impossible.
The reason we remember Roger Bannister isn’t because he broke the 4-minute mile, but because he was able to believe he could do it when everyone else thought it was impossible. Belief doesn’t guarantee success, but disbelief guarantees failure. Only the person that thinks something is possible has a hope of accomplishing it.
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“Imagination is more important than knowledge for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein
“The person with big talk and big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” John D. Rockefeller
I hope you will challenge at least one limiting belief you hold about yourself. Most of our limitations are mental ones we create, or we allow others to create. They can only become insurmountable if we let them become insurmountable in our minds. We are all capable of incremental improvements and next level ability. “Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” —Theodore Vail.
Best wishes and good luck!
Learn more; Create a Vision Board.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
Our attitude is a choice. Every moment of every day we decide what to focus on and what things mean. Our reality is shaped more by the prism we view it through than the facts before us. We can choose to be grateful a thorn bush has roses, or we can choose to be angry that a rose bush has thorns. Our attitude affects our results. A poor attitude produces poor results. A great attitude produces great results.
When we are dieting, we can make our journey harder by focusing on what we cannot have, or we can make it easier by focusing on the delicious, healthy foods we can have. When we injure our shoulder, we can get frustrated that we cannot train our upper body or we can get excited about shifting our focus and prioritizing our lower body development. When we are traveling, we can get frustrated with the inadequately equipped fitness center, or we can get creative with our workout add some variety, slow down our repetitions to make the weights seem heavier, decrease our rest between sets, and focus on burning as many calories as possible.
When you are faced with a new challenge at work that is difficult to overcome, you can focus on how much time and aggravation it is causing you, or you can focus on the new skills and knowledge it is forcing you to acquire. When you lose a presentation or document on your computer, you can choose to be frustrated with the time you wasted working on it, or you can use it as an opportunity to improve on the original work.
Attitude is indeed a choice. Whatever you do daily, try to find pleasure in it. Happiness isn’t a destination we work towards; it is something we cultivate each day. If you aren’t happy in the pursuit of a goal, it is unlikely that you will suddenly be happy when it is achieved. Accomplishment doesn’t provide lasting happiness. Lasting happiness is achieved by focusing on what we have to be grateful for in any given situation.
“I have noticed that most people in this world are about as happy as they have made up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln
Learn more; Happiness is a Choice, The Habit: Week-5 (Attitude is a Choice), Attitude & The story of Three Bricklayers.
How you begin each day sets the tone for how you live each day. If you win your mornings, you win the rest of your day. Set a positive tone for each day and you will have a more positive life because your life is merely an accumulation of days. Each day is your life in miniature. How you live each day is how you live your life.
So many people wake-up and follow a morning ritual that merely focuses on the mechanics of getting ready for work or school. No thought is given to planning their day, reconnecting with their goals, learning, cultivating gratitude, or listening to something inspirational.
Many high performers recommend you begin each morning, reading, writing, and running. Reading an inspirational book, writing in a journal, and exercising. Morning exercise revs-up your metabolism which gives you more energy and releases Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) “Miracle-gro” for the brain.
If you want to improve the quality of your life, it begins with improving the quality of your morning routine. Don’t stumble out of bed, shower, eat, and rush off to work. Chaotic mornings produce a chaotic life. I challenge you to take charge of your mornings. In just a few days or weeks you’ll notice a drastic improvement in your attitude, energy, and perspective. Best wishes and good luck!
We tend to take responsibility for our successes, but we create stories for our failures. If there is an area of our life that we are not doing well, we usually have a story around it. My boss doesn’t like me. I have a slow metabolism. I don’t have time to log my food or prepare meals. I don’t see a path forward in my career, so there is no point in doing more than I must. They don’t pay me enough. I don’t have time to read or take a course. I don’t have the resources. I don’t know the right people. I don’t have time to work out.
These stories protect us by shifting the responsibility. Blaming things outside our control serves to insulate us from self-incrimination. The reason we feel physical and emotional discomfort is to force us to act. Pain causes us to remove our hand from a hot stove, and we instantly learn not to touch it. When we create a story, we don’t feel the pain we should be feeling. It is like a medicine that treats the symptoms of a disease but doesn’t address the underlying cause. Remove the pain and, the lesson is never learned.
Taking ownership is empowering. When we take responsibility for everything good and bad in our lives, we can fix them. When we fall into the trap of blaming others for our problems, then we are held hostage. We must wait for them to fix our problem, and we could wait forever for that to happen.
The problem with our excuses is that many of them are valid, but that doesn’t mean they are outside our control. Your boss doesn’t like you. You can either become too good to be ignored, or you could find another job. Your metabolism is slow. A lot of people overcome a slow metabolism. There is no shortage of body transformations on the web. Many of these people share their strategies to help others. We have the power to overcome any obstacle, but it all begins with believing we can.
The secret to doing better is taking responsibility. When you realize that you are both the source of your problems and the source of your solutions to those problems, your life changes. “Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” —Theodore Vail.
Learn more, Let’s Get Real, Let’s Get Motivated.