Posted on Leave a comment

Create A Positive Life

positive self-talk

Because Positive Thinking Can Only Get You So Far!

Whether you’ve read Norman Vincent Peale’s classic book on The Power of Positive Thinking or one of the thousands of books, articles, blogs, and other resources on the importance of mindset, you probably already have a good understanding of the power of positivity and the role it plays in accomplishing your goals for a positive life.

No one can deny that your mindset is a crucial element to your ultimate success.
But, thinking positively is never going to be enough to help you realize everything you have ever dreamed in life. In fact, positivity, while a necessary component in your success equation, is only part of the formula. Without action that leverages that optimistic mental attitude, your dreams will always be unrealized plans and nothing more.

Learning to take charge of not only your attitude but also your actions are both required when seeking to be successful in life. You have to learn to harness the energy of your thoughts into actionable steps that will help you achieve what you want. While your positive thoughts form the basis of your beliefs and values, it is ultimately what you do to realize those ideas that will help you achieve your dreams.

Keep reading to learn about creating the right positive mindset, the dangers of relying solely on positive thinking, and how you can leverage your attitude to turn your dreams into reality. We’ll share some practical strategies for improving your mindset as well as how to build actionable steps that help you attain your goals. We’ll even share all the ways positive thinking and action can change your life for the better.

Start With a Positive Mindset

Your thoughts and outlook are what guide everything else in your life. When you have a positive outlook, you believe that good things can happen, you make choices that allow for those positive outcomes, and you encourage more positive thoughts and actions to manifest themselves.positive word tiles

Your mindset guides nearly everything your conscious mind does, and it has a significant impact on your subconscious mind, as well. Your outlook is the very foundation of your character and informs the circumstances in which you find yourself as well as your beliefs in your own abilities to persevere and overcome challenges.

Others have made the analogy that your mind is like a garden. When you cultivate it with care and attention and provide the right environment, beautiful and healthy things can grow. When you neglect it and allow your thoughts to run wild without focusing on what is needed for your well-being, thoughts and ideas will still grow.

They will likely not be very healthy or useful, though. Whichever route you take, your mind will always expand. But, it’s the foundation you lay with your mindset that dictates what your mind will bring forth.

Negative Begets Negative

As humans, we are predisposed toward negativity. We are much more likely to focus on our negative or darker emotions, like pain and disappointment, than to concentrate on our contentment and joy.

Why is this? Well, our brains are actually hard-wired this way.
Your circumstances and emotions play a large role in how your brain learns and the connections it makes every time you experience something. The more often you experience something, the more times your brain will connect those memories to other neural connections. Emotions and sensory input are two factors that increase these types of neuron connectivity.

For example, olfactory memory, or your ability to remember smells and associate them with specific incidences in your life, is very strong. Perhaps you loved your grandmother very much, and when she would hug you, you could always smell gardenias, which were part of her perfume.

Every time you smell gardenias now, you likely remember your grandmother. You associate gardenias with positive memories and feeling loved. Your neurons have been programmed to fire when you smell gardenias, and these synapses are connected to feelings of love and safety.

More potent than these positive associations, though, are ones that remind us of pain, suffering, and sadness. These negative emotions create more connections in our brains, and we are more likely to recall misery and negativity than we are happiness or other positive emotions.

If, for example, your grandmother has passed away, the smell of gardenias also likely makes you sad, as well. Your brain pushes past all the positive emotions you usually associate with the scent and focus on the loss of someone you love.

Rewire Your Brain

rewire your brainYou can utilize a combination of strategies to rewire your brain to focus on the positive and fixate less on the negative. Meditation is an excellent way to accomplish this, as it teaches you to clear negativity from your mind and focus on the positive.

Meditation techniques have been shown to change the way your brain works, allowing you to concentrate on what is important and learn to ignore the other negative distractions.

Practicing daily mindfulness and gratitude is another way to ground yourself in positivity. When you focus on your gifts and blessings, you flood your brain with dopamine, which makes it easier to ignore the negative emotions and anxiety they cause. Spend a few minutes each day focusing on that for which you are grateful and try to be mindful as much as possible of the present moment, not the past or future.

Being kind to others also changes the way your brain works. When you are kind to others, you are also more gentle with yourself. Kindness makes you feel more positive about the world in which you live and provides you with motivation and hope for the future.

Daily affirmations are another way to focus your brain on the positive aspects. Positive self-talk is a way to overcome a negative self-image or other issues with self-esteem. Give yourself a daily pep talk to keep your focus on what is good and positive in your life.

Now that we know how the brain works, and why positive thinking is essential, the next step should be just to think positively, and everything will work out, right? Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy. Next, we’ll explore the dangers of relying on positive thinking alone to make your dreams come true.

Posted on Leave a comment

Do You Want To Live Your Best Life?

animated happy glitter smiley

There’s really only one way to live your best life and it all begins with you carving that life out for yourself. How can you do that, though? It’s a conscious decision.

You can’t live the life that you truly want to live without first understanding your true purpose. It might sound easy, but so many people struggle with this one aspect of their lives.

What makes you happy? What drives you?

How can you pursue happiness and contentment, if you don’t know what it is that drives you or why? It’s time to take control, be proactive, and chase the life you have envisaged for yourself.

The days of casting yourself as the victim are over. It’s time to recast yourself in the role of hero.

Your greatest life can’t happen by accident, so if you’re ready to take control of your destiny, this website may be a great way to get yourself back on track.

Learn how to discover your purpose and pursue the life that you have been dreaming of. This is your opportunity to stop dreaming and start doing.

5 Reasons To Design The Life You Really Want

What Is Your Strategy For Life?

You didn’t get a handbook for life when you were born. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to build a strategy. What has helped shape your life strategy thus far?

There are a variety of factors that contribute to a life strategy – mostly, your values, beliefs, your goals and wants.

If your strategy is simply to do well and hope for the best, I’m sorry to say that just won’t be enough.

You need to determine exactly how you plan to achieve the goals and desires you have.

The first step in this process is being honest with yourself about what you really want. As well as being honest with yourself regarding where you are in life and dealing with a hard truth or two.

Are you ready to be honest with yourself about your life? If you are ready to dig deep and get to know yourself on a level you haven’t before, then we have good news for you.

If you want to learn more about building a successful strategy for life, then we may be of help.

Progress won’t happen overnight, but it definitely can’t happen if you don’t take the first step to make changes.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

7 Steps To Designing Your Life

How To Design Your Life

Designing your life follows the same basic principles as other design processes, and we will outline each of these in more detail below. The basic idea behind designing your life is that coming up with a new product or process should not be any different than coming up with the life you want to live. The principles that govern the types of designs that create new products are the same that help you create the life you want.

Designing your greatest self starts with a period of discovery and curiosity as well as some experimentation. This is followed by an examination of how you are restricting yourself and a shift in mindset to embrace the evolving nature of what it means to “become” yourself.

Finally, it is about selecting from multiple versions that you find pleasing and putting a plan into motion, while asking for help when you need assistance in the process.

The basic principles described here mirror those outlined by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans in their book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life. There are many resources available online to help you navigate these steps and stages, but before you dive in, it is important to have a basic understanding of how the design process works. Here is how to do it.

Step 1. Figure out where you are right now.

The design process should begin with a critical examination of the four major areas of your life:

work, love, play, and health.
handmade-red-star-bulletWhat is working well in each of these areas?

handmade-red-star-bulletWhat needs to be improved?

handmade-red-star-bulletHow well are you balancing all of these areas collectively in your life?

Take some real time to give an honest assessment of yourself and where you are currently.

If something bothers you or you identify a problem, that is a good place to start. Designs work best when they meet a need or answer a question, so decide what your design is meant to do.

There is no perfect balance between the four areas in your life, and what is the right balance now may shift over time, as your priorities and needs change. Be sure to reassess this often, and you want to be sure you are dedicating the right amount of focus to each as you continue to grow.

When you develop a design mindset, you will see yourself and your life as continually evolving. You will notice that working on creating your greatest self is never actually finished but neither is enjoying the rewards of these efforts. Design is only finished when your life is over, so never stop striving in the design process.

Step 2. Figure out what matters to you.I-refuse-to-accept-others-ideas-of-happiness

After you have identified what is and is not really “working” in your life right now, spend some time identifying your views on specific aspects of your life.
What do you need in order to be happy with your work? What does happiness in your personal life mean?

Write a paragraph or two on these two main ideas, concentrating on what gives you meaning and what you believe related to these two pivotal parts of your existence. This is your compass, and it should guide your future directions in designing the best you possible.
Compasses change over time, so it is important to recognize that what you believed a few years ago may not be true today, and your views on life and work will change in the years ahead.

Your compass is not static, which is why the design process is never-ending. Return to this exercise as often as you need to ensure that your design is aligned with your goals and views.

Step 3. Find out what brings you joy and energy

This step is a helpful one to understand how your daily activities affect you. Which things that you do each day bring you energy and keep you engaged, and which drain your focus and motivation?

Log all your major activities for several weeks. Look at everything, not just what you enjoy or what is not enjoyable.

What patterns do you notice? In which areas do you struggle the most to maintain attention and in which do you find yourself experiencing the most enjoyment? How can you change your schedule to take advantage of energizing activities and eliminate or at least diminish those that tend to leave you feeling unmotivated and unfocused?

Step 4. Re-frame your thinking about what it means to change your life.Reframe your thinking

Many who embark on this journey go into it thinking there is one new life that is the best life for them. But, design thinking teaches us that there are often multiple answers to any one question, multiple solutions to arrive at the same truth.

There is more than one answer to your problem of how to improve your life and become the greatest version of yourself. In fact, there isn’t just one greatest version of you. There are many. And instead of choosing one, you can imagine all of them.

There are multiple ways your future can unfold that will bring you happiness and provide you with fulfillment and energy. Instead of trying to imagine the ONE right future, try imagining multiple outcomes that would make you happy.

Step 5. Create three scenarios for your future.

The authors of the book on designing your life recommend three specific futures that you should imagine. There may be others you can also envision, so do not feel you have to limit yourself to these three.

However, try not to create so many choices that you are lost in options.
The first scenario is probably the easiest, as it is to imagine your life for the next five years as if you are continuing on your current path.

Where do you see yourself five years from now if nothing changes?

The second asks you to imagine your life if your current situation were no longer available. What if your current life were suddenly gone? What would you do to support yourself? What would you do to find personal fulfillment and happiness?

The final possible future is to throw off all the barriers and to imagine your life five years from now if you did not have to worry about money or what others thought. How would your personal and professional life be in five years without these constraints?

In all three scenarios, you should include personal and professional goals that encompass all four of the main aspects of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Brainstorm around all three of the scenarios to imagine the possibilities and possible stumbling blocks.

This gives you a broader perspective and can help you identify the common threads that should be present in whatever plan you decide to go with moving forward.

Step 6. Build a prototype.

Many in design call this step “prototyping.” Prototypes are preliminary models that can be tested before final decisions are made. These early designs allow us to test assumptions and experiment with various possible futures for ourselves.

So, how exactly do you prototype your life?

Prototypes in design are fast experiences that can help you quickly learn something new or test out some basic assumptions of your plan. So, this part of the process involves looking for activities you can try or things you can do that will test out some piece of your plan.

Is there a volunteer activity that you can try to see if it energizes you?

Is there something new you would like to learn as a part of your possible new future?

Small experiments can often illuminate the path forward, identifying strengths or hidden interests and giving you some exposure to different pathways.

Step 7. Choose and then move forward.

After examining your prototypes and their many iterations, it is time to make a choice. Pick your top four or five best ideas and options, and carefully weigh the positive and negative aspects of each.

When you have narrowed the field to just a few choices, spend several days at a time imagining your future life if you select each option. Contemplate how you will feel about each choice, one at a time, and imagine yourself in each version of the future. Which brings you the most joy, which excites you the most?

Be

 

Then, you make your choice. Once you have selected, though, you have to release all the other options and commit fully to your chosen path. Otherwise, you run the risk of trying to keep options open, which means you never actually commit to your dreams. Fear of missing out can destroy potential happiness.

Enjoy your journey, focus on what you need to do to achieve your dreams, and start moving forward. If you do not like where you are headed sometime in the future, you now have the design tools to start again and prototype a new solution.

 

Revisit the Process

Like engineering, designing your life and your greatest self is an iterative process. Once you begin making progress, you need to reevaluate how things are going, return to your goals to see if they are still where you want to be heading, and make adjustments along the way.

Any good design will be responsive to input from your experiences, so do not think that your design is set in stone once you reach this final step.

Final Thoughts

Designing the greatest version of yourself and your life is a process. It comes from a commitment to lifelong learning, embracing obstacles as opportunities, and understanding that you are never really “finished” developing.

You will continue to evolve and grow your entire life, and by focusing on the process, rather than the outcome, you will gain more insight into yourself and be happier along the way.

Throughout the design process, it is also important to remember that you are not alone on your journey. You can ask for help from others and keep yourself open to input and feedback from those who are important in your life.

The design process can help you achieve your dreams, imagine new futures, and embrace a mindset of learning and growth.

By embarking on this journey, you are taking control of your life and bravely facing the challenges that we all face in our continuing adventure toward self-actualization. Keep the right mindset, and you will soon find yourself achieving new heights and ready to set new aims for your future.