21 Life Lessons Learned from Adversity I Wish My Younger Self Knew

Maturity of the heart and mind does not come with age. Instead, it develops by overcoming diversity in life with acceptance of the hardships faced or by attacking your challenges head on. We live in a culture where most people stop growing in maturity after they receive a college degree or the age of adulthood. They think they know everything they need to know and halt furthering their education.

Maturity of the heart and mind does not come with age.  Instead, it develops by overcoming diversity in life with acceptance of the hardships faced or by attacking your challenges head on.  We live in a culture where most people stop growing in maturity after they receive a college degree or reach the age of adulthood.  They think they know everything they need to know and halt furthering their education, but the wise know life is constantly teaching those who are willing to learn.

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Journaling has always been therapeutic for me.  In fact, my finished journals have a large shelf space of their own.  I thought to myself, how cool would it be for my daughters to read about their mother and our lives together when they are older – especially while they are young and have little memory of this time.  For this reason, I consistently write about our day together and the new developments within our lives as well as my own personal development.  Yet, I sit here at my computer thinking – I have some words of wisdom to share for others along with my daughters, as I am sure most everyone does that has experienced enough pain transmuted into life lessons.   Every person has something to teach whether it is acknowledged or indirect and I hope this article with inspire a few people to document their hard earned wisdom.

For now, here is what I have to share with the world and I am sure there is much more to come:

  • In the western culture, youth is too glorified and the status of the wise elder is undervalued.
  • To pick up and process the deeper emotional details of any given situation suggests a kind of mastery of self and life that is a rarity in this world.
  • When the mind is quiet, the soul can speak loud enough for the mind to hear.
  • Love does not need to be reciprocated to be beautiful. Just the experience of feeling love for another person is beautiful enough.
  • Every once in a while, you meet a person you know you were destined to meet. Their mere presence in your life helps you understand you are not as whole as you once thought.
  • Some dreams are too late to achieve, but with creativity and intention you can transform your original dream into a new dream that offers you equal, if not more, inner fulfillment.
  • If I could do it over again, I would follow my dream.
  • There is such a thing as being too late or losing a once in a lifetime love. In a world, where people are content with sexually passionate, exciting or comfortable love for the rest of their lives, they will never know the feeling of a true spiritual connection where the coming together of two loving souls on this physical plane can create a wave of immense love so powerful everyone on the planet will benefit near and far.
  • A person immature in the ways of love, lacking the courage to be vulnerable and let love in whether it leads to bliss or heartbreak, cannot make space for others. Every relationship they maintain is full of past hurts, fear, defensiveness or selfishness.   Each and every time you forsake love, a part of your soul breaks off when the person leaves by choice or death instead of leaving a lasting memory of love that can fuel a lifetime.
  • A person who can love without conditions and expectations is truly free.
  • When a vindictive person takes charge, their actions are for their benefit alone. It does not matter if their decisions are made purposefully or blissfully unaware – the result is still a hung man.
  • If you take a regretted turn in life, do not look back in dismay. Instead, keep a watchful eye on the next journey life places before you.   The only way to find your way out of the mist is by looking forward and taking a step in a new direction.
  • Guidance is always offered in the ways you will receive it.
  • We create our own destiny. There is beauty and fault to this.  You are the only person to blame when things do not go your way.
  • Transformation and struggle surely go hand in hand.
  • I do not “think” with all my might towards my life’s purpose. I “feel” it from my heart’s center, my gut, my soul and even within my dreams.  My thoughts only devise the plans as a trusted advisor to my soul’s mission.
  • Limitations are for losers in life. I choose to think beyond my limitations in the realm of creative intelligence.
  • Life is a bumpy ride. You can close your eyes and hold on tight for dear life or you can let go of fear while embracing uncertainty.  The day you do this is when you come to realize you really are the painter of your own masterpiece – yourself.
  • Constant worrying of a bad situation takes up all your time and energy needed to discover your solution out of this mess.
  • Speak with care for words have impact larger than physical blows.
  • There are so many lost art forms in the world. The art of unconditional love.  The art of living your dreams.   The art of being your true self.  If you immerse yourself in certain forms of media or mainstream, you will see so much materialism, superficial love and money hungry people who question your “weirdness” that it will be near impossible for you to thrive.  This is why surrounding yourself with other free-spirited, open-hearted, awakened people is vital to your existence.

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The BEST Personality Quiz – FREE!

Take this FREE personality quiz can give you insight to your natural skills and inclinations. Give it a go!

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According to Carl G. Jung’s theory of psychological types, people can be characterized by their preference of general attitude:

  • Extraverted ( E ) vs. Introverted ( I )
  • Sensing ( S ) vs. Intuition ( N )
  • Thinking ( T ) vs. Feeling ( F )
  • Judging ( J ) Perceiving ( P )

The 3 areas of preferences introduced by Jung are dichotomies – bipolar dimensions where each pole represents a different preference.   Jung also proposed that in a person one of the four functions above is dominant – either a function of perception or a function of judging.   Isabel Briggs Myers, a researcher and practitioner of Jung’s theory, proposed to see the judging – perceiving relationship as a 4th dichotomy influencing personality type.

The first criterion, Extraversion – Introversion, signifies the source and direction of a person’s energy expression.  An extravert’s source and direction of energy expression is mainly in the external world, while an introvert has a source of energy mainly in their own internal world.

The second criterion, Sensing – Intuition, represents the method by which someone perceives information.  Sensing means that a person mainly believes information he or she receives directly from the external world.  Intuition means that a person believes mainly information he or she receives from the internal or imaginative world.

The third criterion, Thinking – Feeling, represents how a person processes information.  Thinking means that a person makes a decision mainly through logic.  Feeling means that, as a rule, he or she makes decision based on emotion, i.e. based on what they feel they should do.

The fourth criterion, Judging – Perceiving, reflects how a person implements the information he or she has processed.  Judging means that a person organizes all of his life events and, as a rule, sticks to his plans.  Perceiving means that he or she is inclined to improvise and explore alternative options.

To discover your personality type visit:  http://www.humanmetrics.com

After completion, you will receive a detailed explanation of your personality type, your learning style, your communication style and a list of famous people with your personality type.

personality type

8 Habits of Successful People with High Creative Intelligence

When thinking of the celebrated minds of history for their accomplishments to mankind, the natural reaction is to assume they are highly intelligence with above average IQs. If you were to talk to men such as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and even Jimi Hendrix for his unique gift for guitar playing, they would tell you that the mental component often overlooked is creativity.

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When thinking of the celebrated minds of history for their accomplishments to mankind, the natural reaction is to assume they are highly intelligence with above average IQs. If you were to talk to men such as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and even Jimi Hendrix for his unique gift for guitar playing, they would tell you that the mental component often overlooked is creativity.

To contribute to humanity in the form of insightful information, invention or music, a person must first embrace their ability to create a new beneficial entity to the collective, the entity in creation first comes from your imagination. Intelligence alone cannot manifest into physical form from your imagination. A person needs to hone their skills in creative thinking and creative action.

According to TIME magazine 83% of people believe creativity is important to professional development, but only 25% of people view themselves as creative. The below suggestions might be like second nature to the 25%, but let’s fill in the gap and take a look at some advice from highly creative individuals.

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1) Improve Your Natural Talents
Sometimes your natural abilities are hard to detect because they come so easily you can often take them for granted. Making a commitment to enhancing your special skill with discovering your true self, you can excel to higher heights. Jimi Hendrix did have a natural gift with guitar playing, but he also practiced ALL the time. He became a master guitarist because he constantly practiced his craft. His ability to boost his superpower inspired guitarists and musicians for many generations to follow.

“Excuse me while I kiss the sky” –Jimi Hendrix

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2) Log Off and Recharge
Taking breaks leads to greater productivity and a higher quality of work versus putting in long hours. It was rumored Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity while riding his bicycle. Repetitive tasks such as gardening, running, swimming, showering and folding laundry helps to settle the conscious part of your mind allowing the random thoughts of genius to pop into your mind out of no-where. Make sure to write down these thoughts when you have them! They come and go quickly.

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” ― Albert Einstein

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3) Trust Your Gut
To access your creative stream, become aware of your initial instincts instead of over analyzing with rationality or with thoughts of what you should do. Apple founder Steve Jobs learned calligraphy after dropping out of Reed College. Jobs’ says, “It all just came to me.” The first Macintosh computer was the first with beautiful typography. The Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts if he never dropped in on that single college course – calligraphy. In addition, Jobs’ interest in Zen Buddhism assisted Jobs with the aesthetic touch that puts Apple products in high demand.

“You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny….” –Steve Jobs

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4) Follow Your Heart
Our creative gift often becomes clear when we embrace our passions instead of pushing ourselves to conform to fit the picture perfect life envisioned by someone else. Michelangelo was physically abused by his father whenever he stumbled upon him painting instead of performing his duties as a cloth merchant. Author of the best-seller The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, was placed in a mental institution because his parents wanted him to be an engineer. Every person has had the experience of a nagging sensation that will not go away for extended periods of time in our lives – if not forever. Your calling is reaching out to you.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting” – Paulo Coelho

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5) Pressure is Good
This piece of advice is perhaps counterintuitive to achieving the natural flow of creativity, but sometimes when you do not have the time to over analyze, outburst of creative genius in the form of ideas and actions can come through. Most importantly, a deadline can force a person to finish a project which can be an issue for those who are not self-starters or those who are so creative they lose track of the end goals hoping from unfinished project to unfinished project. Stan Lee is exactly the type of person described above. Stan Lee, the creator of popular stories like the adventures of Spiderman and The X-Men, says he does better when he must rush to meet a deadline and if he is given enough time to complete a project he will wait until its closer to the deadline to complete it.

“I try not to do anything that’s too close to what I’ve done before. And the nice thing is we have a big universe here. It’s filled with new ideas. All you have to do is grab them.” – Stan Lee

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6) Dream BIG and Take Risks
In this instance, going with the flow is a negative choice that prevents those big dreams from coming into physical reality. Elon Musk is a man who values taking big risks. Musk co-founded PayPal, created America’s first viable all-electric car company and funded his own space ship to Mars. Elon Musk might be the real-life Tony Stark from the Ironman comic books.

“Don’t just follow the trend. Now is the time to take risks….do something bold, you won’t regret it.” – Elon Musk

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7) Rise Above Failure and Setbacks
Overcoming adversity is part of evolving into the best version of yourself. Sometimes we have to fail a few times, or many times, to finally discover our truest creative expression. With virtue alone you will improve just by showing up and aiming for success. Naturally, you will grow. Oprah Winfrey was demoted very early in her career as a news anchor and the reason was due to the belief she did not have the “it” factor needed for TV. She pushed forward and reinvented daytime talk shows into what they are today after a long and successful career as host of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” –Oprah Winfrey

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8) Inspiration is Reality
The inspired thoughts that swirl around in our mind from history, nature or other people can invent links to new creations. George Lucas wrote the famous series Star Wars with inspiration from mythology and religious beliefs. The idea behind the force holds strong universal appeal. In an interview with Bill Moyers, George Lucas stated: “I’ve tried to take the ideas, to cut across most cultures, because I’m fascinated by that, I think that’s one of the things that I really got from (Joseph) Campbell (late mythology and culture expert), was to find the common threads through the various mythologies, through the religions.” It is rumored philosophies and religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and the Samurai Warrior Code influenced the Jedi model. The main idea of Star Wars was to complete the circle and find a balance between good and evil. The idea of finding balance and raising awareness was known in ancient Egypt as raising the Djed – common day named raising the kundalini. The purpose was to preserve order and repel chaos. In ancient Egypt, the Djed Eye (Jed – I) was a wizard who held the staff of power also known as a wassar staff that contained electrical conducts of power. George Lucas pulled together a large amount of history and invented this world that later inspired others to create gadgets like Ostendo Technologies’ tiny projector to put in phones or watches than can later be turned into a form of holographic communication just like in the Star Wars movies.

“Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.” –George Lucas

9 Reasons Why Traveling Makes You Smarter

Travel is something most all of us want to do, but only a few of us actually do. Resources, time and responsibility keep us from it, but if you learned the multiple benefits of taking a vacation, you might acquire the motivation to find a way to take a trip!

I am positive this list could be longer, but these are the few that I find significant.

Tourist in mountain. Element of design.

Travel is something most all of us want to do, but only a few of us actually do. Resources, time and responsibility keep us from it, but if you learned the multiple benefits of taking a vacation, you might acquire the motivation to find a way to take a trip!

I am positive this list could be longer, but these are the few that I find significant.

1. Activates the Mind

The first time you travel to a new country is when you realize that most of your day to day life is lived on autopilot. The routine of your day you normally do not acknowledge like how you communicate, travel from home to work, get ready for work, cook your food, eat your food and go to the bathroom. I can imagine the shock of using a bidet for the first time and not knowing anything about it. The habits you have become used to that no longer require conscious effort to accomplish are gone. In a new place, your mind must be active and ready to learn much like a kid attending his first day in school.

2. Perspective

Traveling to a new country expands our awareness and introduces us to greater diversity. It’s likely you might help a person pick up their home after a monsoon or help a child fight starvation. There are things happening in the world we can only imagine on our TV screens.

3. Connect to New People

If you are lucky you will meet a few people from different countries who will teach you about their culture. If possible, maybe a few pen pals as well! They can continue to share with you their culture and you can further practice a new language instead of embarrassing yourself at the local Chinese restaurant where you end up talking in a fake Chinese accent thinking they understand you better that way.

4. Slows Us Down

One of the more obvious reasons to travel is to take a break from your life. Working, caring for a family, caring for a home, socializing, and responsibilities – they all contribute to our fast-paced lifestyle. Traveling offers the opportunity to live slowly and in the present. Enjoy yourself! Here you can see the habits in your life for what they are with a priceless clarity. It’s possible you might discover that 4 hours of gaming a day is not really a priority!

5. Learn to Love Life Again

Life can be such a drag sometimes! So many of us are stuck in the work to live lifestyle. Visiting a new country can regain your enthusiasm for life. Enthusiasm, motivation and inspiration is all you need to begin change.

6. Skill Development

Who knew you could climb a mountain – literally and metaphorically. You might have some hidden talents up your sleeve!

7. Curiosity

Traveling is about having adventures and experiencing things for the first time. It awakens you inner child. The part of you that wants to follow the rabbit down the hole and see where you end up.

8. Promotes Understanding

Visiting a new country releases the heavy expectations of the “One Right Way” mentality. When you are the minority in your thinking, it really helps to see that life revolves around patience and understanding. The sister words of love and brother words of wisdom. From here, you can move with the flow of life – organically.

9. Rediscover Yourself

This is the gold! Living away from your routine life and experiencing more can help you to feel your true self. For those of you who believe in karma, the awakening of your conscious mind by discarding habits, negative cycles and lower thought processes, can help us to get on the positive karma accumulation train! Living mindfully creates good karma. That being said, traveling is not necessary to achieve this, but it helps!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

9 Toxic Behaviors that Keep Us From Happiness

No person is immune to behaving in a toxic or dangerous way once in a while. What is important is knowing to move past these moments by learning to be better, embrace personal growth, instead of letting these habits stick around for longer than they are needed. Do not let them live rent free in your mind and heart damaging your property.

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Let’s be real – No person is immune to behaving in a toxic or dangerous way once in a while. What is important is knowing to move past these moments by learning to be better, embrace personal growth, instead of letting these habits stick around for longer than they are needed. Do not let them live rent free in your mind and heart damaging your property.

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There are probably more toxic behaviors to list, but these 9 come to mind as the most important.

1. Victim Mentality 

When you have been the victim in a situation or multiple situations, especially before adulthood, it is hard to not try to protect yourself from these pains. Know there is a difference between protecting yourself and expecting to be hurt. Expecting to be a victim can keep you from feeling empowered and in control of your destiny.

“Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, fear, or ANY mental virii prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be it’s conqueror.”

2. Living in the Past or Living in the Future

It is good to acknowledge your past and learn from your life’s lesson, but you do not need to relive the pain and regrets of the past. It is good to grow towards the future and prepare for the life you vision, but not at the expense of missing out on the magic of living in the present. Both extreme mindsets lead to ignoring the needs of the people around you.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”

-Bill Keane-

3. Creating Enemies 

Most everyone is just doing their best in life. Any person who intentionally causes pain is suffering with their own demons unaware of how poisoned their thinking is due to all the pain they have received from others in life. Acknowledging this pain, offering your understanding and forgiveness, can help them see through themselves. This act can create a friend from an enemy.

“When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh-

4. Holding on to Grudges

Sometimes, we are caught in situations with others where it’s not easy to let go soon after it happens. Some situations are traumatic and require a great deal of counseling, introspection and healing. Any grudge takes energy to keep and it gives this person power over you. Letting go of a grudge is more about your own peace & clarity versus forgiving the other person.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

-Buddha-

5. Mindlessly Living

It takes effort to live consciously. Reacting out of habit can cause a varied response with a mix of old patterns and emotional wounds mostly coming from the subconscious mind. When we live mindfully, we react to every situation with intelligence, wisdom, compassion and with the intent to create the best outcome possible.

“Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation.”

-Rosabeth Moss Kanter-

6. Withholding Love

Love can be used as a weapon even more disastrous than hate, but to give your love freely is a gift to yourself and the world. This is the only way you can surround yourself with multiple loving people in the form of friendship, family and romantic encounters. When a person stumbles in your life who abuses your love, your heart will already be so full, their attempts to cause you pain will be minimal.

“Take stock of your thoughts and behavior. Each night ask yourself, when were you negative when you could have been positive? When did you withhold love when you might have given it? When did you play a neurotic game instead of behaving in a powerful way? Use this process to self-correct.”

-Marianne Williamson-

7. The Need to Be Right

Feeling the need to be right is less about discovering the truth and more about protecting yourself from being wrong. It is an ego-based reaction. You can skillfully debate your position based on your truths and still listen respectfully to another person’s truths. If your reasoning is sound, maybe you will plant a seed in another’s mind for them to discover on their own, but that is all you can do when it comes to a tightly held belief. By listening to another person’s views, you too might be sent on the similar path to your own discoveries. Overall, it is about expanding the mind while letting go of your pride.

“He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.”

– Michel de Montaigne –

8. Cheating in Life

Not going about things the right way is a disservice to yourself. It robs you of the ability to feel full satisfaction of a fairly earned accomplishment. No matter how much you push away feelings of guilt to yourself or others who might have been affected by this action, they exist somewhere within and can easily resurface at any time.

“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self. All sin is easy after that.”

-Pearl Bailey-

9. Allowing Ego to Drive 

Most if not all of the above behaviors could all be connected to the ego. The most important personal development discovery is when you can decide which parts of your ego requires healing and which parts need to be discarded. Once enough negativity has been removed, you can start living your life guided by your inner voice. The ego becomes a trusted advisor who sits in the passenger seat while your higher self is driving the car.

“Thinking, or more precisely identification with thinking, gives rise to and maintains the ego, which, in our Western

society in particular, is out of control. It believes it is real and tries hard to maintain its supremacy. Negative states of mind, such as anger, resentment, fear, envy, and jealousy, are products of the ego.”

-Eckhart Tolle-

The 3 Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself

To get what we want out of life, we need a high GPA, a college degree, a high level executive job, good reviews from our bosses, we need to marry a particular type of person and we need a whole lot of money. Right?!?!?

Hammered into our minds is the idea that “mean goals” are more important than our “end goals”. Most of us have been taught a roundabout way of achieving our goals. A means to an end. To get what we want out of life, we need a high GPA, a college degree, a high level executive job, good reviews from our bosses, we need to marry a particular type of person and we need a whole lot of money. Life goals have been planned for most of us since before we could legally have an alcoholic drink.

The sad truth of living life with means goals is very few people experience their end goals in their later years as planned. Many people live their lives working to live until the next paycheck. The 3 most important questions to ask yourself are to help you recognize your end goals so you can live them today or in the near future.

These questions do not require deep thought. Actually, you should answer these questions for yourself quickly, 90 seconds for each question, so your logical mind shuts down and your true self can speak. Use a timer if you need to, but write what comes to mind without thinking about time and money restrictions. Most all of your goals are achievable if you take this seriously. Blowing fire through your nostrils probably won’t happen, but I am not one to limit anyone’s end goals. To each their own.

The 3 most important questions to ask yourself are:

1) What Do You Want to Experience? – Where would you like to travel? What do you want to see? Do you want children? Do you want to be married? Do you want to be self-employed? What are the experiences you see other people doing that causes envy in you? What experiences in life always seem to come back around as if you were meant to do it?

2) How Do You Want to Grow? – Would you like to be a better leader to others or improve your self-leadership? Would you like to improve your listening skills? Would you like to learn to be more assertive or proactive? Would you like to get over your fear of speaking your true feelings? Would you like to focus on your spiritual growth?

3) What Do You Want to Contribute? – What would you like to contribute to humanity? Would you like to be an inventor? Would you like to be a musician or a vocalist who brings a personalized touch of beauty into the world? Would you like to pay for your sibling’s college loans? Would you like to grow a community garden? Would you like to be a philanthropist? Would you like to be writer who shares knowledge or poetic words? Would you like to be a light hearted comedian or a comedian who uses comedy to touch on serious issues otherwise not spoken of in serious conversations? Would you like to be a teacher? This list could go on forever.

I am not suggesting you quit your job tomorrow and live doing exactly how you want ASAP. Obviously, life does not work that way for most people. The majority of us are working to put food on the table for our children or provide a place to lay our heads at night. However, you can make time to do some of the things on your list. With some creative thinking, planning and support, hopefully you can achieve all your goals.

You might be telling yourself, “Ok lady, this was a fun activity and all, but how do I make these end goals happen?” Well, I have another exercise for you. It’s called a dreamline.

The Dreamline: 

– Look at your experiences, growth and contributions chart. Separate them into short term and long term goals. You are going to make at least 2 different charts. Here you will write down all your steps to achieve your goals. Write down what you will accomplish in a short term time frame such as 1 week, then continually keep up with your weekly to-do list.

– Make your long term goal list between 6 months to 1 year so that you understand your direction, but also close enough to reach. In my experience, goals that are long term such as 5-10 years down the line can often become a cause of frustration as our goal appears out of reach.

 

If you are like me, free time is somewhat scarce. Caring for a 3 year old and a 6 year old child, as a single mom, is hard work. Something that helped me to make time for my end goals is eliminating the things I do not need in my life.

Yes, it’s another exercise, but this one is equally as important as the others! I do this maybe 2x a year since I tend to accumulate busy work instead of efficient work, as we all do.

 

The Elimination Exercise: 

1) On a sheet a paper, separate it into two columns.

2) On one side, write down which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?

3) On the other side, write down which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?

4) After looking over your two columns, can you eliminate or simplify the items in your negative column? When looking at your positive column, do you see trends you can use to help you make time for your goals or help you to achieve your goals in any way?

Good luck on your personal journey and please leave a comment if you would like to share your goals! Actually, please share your end goals! You most likely will inspire someone else!

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt-

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” 

-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”

-Bruce Lee-