1. Living and Speaking Your Truth
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ―Franz Kafka
The second most courageous thing you can do is to think for yourself. The number one most courageous thing you can do is to think for yourself out loud, especially when others try to suppress your thoughts with their own. When you stick to your guns and think and speak freely, some people will become irritated, put you down, and walk away. You may lose a few friends and lovers. But you after a short time you’ll realize that you don’t even miss these people; and just as you start realizing this, new people will show up in your life who cherish your opinions and respect your thoughts.
Above all, remember that your silence will not save you; it will haunt you for an eternity. Stand strong. Think for yourself. Speak your truth. Read 1,000 Little Things
“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” ―Leo Tolstoy
Every one of us is a perfectionist about something. Learn to sense when your desire to make something perfect is preventing you from getting it done. Realize that the idea of perfection is not only unachievable, it can destroy your otherwise productive mindset. It will keep you running in place, feeling insane for your entire life.
If you feel like you’re running in place right now, take a break and reflect. Think about the difference between diligent effort and perfectionism. Know when enough is enough. Say it out loud if you must: “Get lost perfectionism! Without you I am brilliant!”
3. Spending Time with Positive People
“An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.” ―Brian Tracy
Some people will be critical of you regardless of what you do or how well you do it. If you say you want to be a dancer, they will discredit your rhythm. If you say you want to build a new business, they will give you a dozen reasons why it might not work. They somehow assume you don’t have what it takes, but they are dead wrong.
It’s a lot easier to be negative than positive – a lot easier to be critical than correct. When you’re embarking on a new venture, instead of listening to the few critics that will try to discredit you, spend time talking to one of the millions of people in this world who are willing support your efforts and acknowledge your potential. Read Emotional Freedom.
4. Conquering Fear
“In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong.” ―Charles Dickens
The only possible way to never fail is to never do anything at all – which isn’t living, it’s dying.
Your doubts and fears are your greatest enemies. They automatically make you forfeit your victories by convincing you not to make any attempt at all. Realize the irony here. When you run from your fears, all you’re really doing is taking a shortcut directly too them – you’re giving up and wasting away without any chance for success and happiness.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ―Theodore Roosevelt
In life, it is helpful to be able to persuade others, but the only person you absolutely need to convince is yourself. Unless you sincerely convince yourself of something, no amount of persuasion of anyone else will move you forward.
The number one thing you need to convince yourself of is that you CAN do whatever you seek to accomplish. If there are skills you must have, you can learn them. If there are resources you need, you can locate them. Your beliefs and commitments drive possibility into otherwise difficult situations. Convince yourself to achieve, and you will find a way to get there. Read How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
6. Finding the Right Partner
“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” ―Donald Miller
If you’re still searching for the perfect partner, stop. There’s no such thing. There are only different flavors of imperfect ones. In fact, you are just as imperfect as the partner you seek. You simply need to find someone whose imperfections complement your own.
This process doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of living to grow into the realization of your own imperfections. It takes lots of life experience before you bump into your deepest inner demons, your greatest flaws, and all the idiosyncrasies that make you, YOU. And it’s only after you meet these imperfect parts of yourself that you know who you are looking for – someone whose scars and flaws fit your own – someone who’s imperfect in the perfect way for you.
7. Self-imposed Limitations
“Everything you can imagine is real.” ―Pablo Picasso
We’re all part of a great universe far larger than ourselves. Each of us is merely a small fraction of this living, breathing whole. You may experience yourself as being different, separate from the rest, when you are in fact a very connected element of this whole. Denying this fact restricts your potential to the finite space around you – the people, places, and resources within your immediate reach.
Your greatest task in life is to keep your mind unshackled and free from this limiting mindset. Broaden your horizons, accept your oneness with the world around you, and connect with the infinite possibilities that await your attention.
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” ―George Washington
The biggest problem standing between you and your goal is the sorry excuse you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it. Sure, a believable excuse may enable you to save face in the short-term, to appear more diligent than you know you are, but eventually this lie will catch up to you. The question you should be asking yourself is: “Do I want to seem successful to someone else, or do I want to know in my heart that I am?”
You deserve more than a life filled with empty excuses. Don’t settle for a growing list of reasons for failure. You can just as easily give yourself real, undeniable reasons to succeed. Choose to make honest, authentic progress. Even a tiny effort is infinitely more productive than a grandiose excuse.
“You may delay, but time will not.” ―Benjamin Franklin
It’s time to get up and make an immediate difference in your life. You know all those things you’ve been meaning to get done for the past month, year, etc.? Pick one right now and start doing it. Get your hands dirty, challenge your brain, get sweaty if you have to. Break out of your comforting lull and get involved. If you feel crummy, it’ll make you feel better. If you already feel good, it will make you feel great.
Life is far more fulfilling when you participate in making positive things happen. The moment you take positive action, your outlook begins to change. When you notice that you’re making real progress on goals that matter to you, the world is suddenly a much more enjoyable place to live in. Read Eat That Frog!
“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone. That’s how I refuel.” ―Audrey Hepburn
You need alone time sometimes, because when you’re in solitude you’re free from obligations and external pressures. You’re free to be YOU without being fancy and putting on a show. You’re able to hear your own thoughts and follow them sincerely.
Go ahead and find a quiet place. Stretch your boundaries. Explore places you’ve never been. Go so far away from what you know that you stop being afraid of the unfamiliar.
Cherish your time alone. Take long walks and drives by yourself. Watch sunsets and sunrises silently in peace. Teach yourself something new. Read books. Write poetry. Sing along to your favorite songs. Check your instincts and follow them on your own time, without third party influence. Decide if fitting in is more important than discovering who you truly are and what you’re here to do.