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Archive for the ‘acting with purpose’ Tag

Quick thought   Leave a comment

It’s easy in a moment to make a quick decision based on what’s expedient in that moment. And while that quick decision might work in the short term it can have long term repercussions. Stop and consider the long term ramifications of your choice before implementing it.

As an example, you’re tired and on the way home from an exhausting day of work. You don’t feel like cooking and you know there’s nothing meal ready at the house. In that moment it’s easy to decide to stop off at a fast food drive thru and get something quick. It’s only one meal after all. How much can that hurt?

Well, it can hurt a lot down the road. If you’re on keto, as I am, you’ve just knocked yourself out of ketosis. You’ll have to get back into it which takes time and slows progress. Also, if you’re having to tell yourself it’s ok it probably isn’t. Which means you may feel bad about yourself later. Finally, every time you take the easier route you make it that much easier to do it again later.

The decision took care of an immediate issue but created three more to deal with later. Kicking the can down the road only works for so long and then you run out of road.

It’s your decision though. You’re an adult. Make your decision and own it. But do yourself a favor and stop a moment to consider the long term ramifications of your short term decisions. Have a great day.

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Quick Thought   Leave a comment

In the United States yesterday it was Thanksgiving. A day to spend being thankful for all the blessings you’ve received. Here’s the thing, you can be thankful any day, and every day. Whether you live in the U.S. or not. So why wait for that one day a year. Find things to be thankful for every day. After all you attract into your life what your mind dwells on. Have a great day.

Being Open to Positivity   Leave a comment

Along with my body I’ve been working on improving my mind.  This is both in the functional sense (reading faster, thinking more clearly, having better focus) and in the focal sense.  I’ve come to realize that there’s no point in creating a better body and a longer life if it’s going to be an unhappy one.  So I’ve worked hard at improving my mindset.

This has been done via a number of methods.  I meditate more.  I reorganize my thoughts to favor the positive.  I reject negative thoughts and negative conclusions.  And the more I do this the more I see things that reinforce a positive point of view.

In the movie Batman Begins, Alfred chides Batman about how he can’t be living a double life if he isn’t living the life of Bruce Wayne. He teases Bruce by saying “Who knows Master Wayne, if you start pretending to have fun, you might have a little by accident.”

Although meant as a playful jab, there’s a certain amount of truth to this.  Positivity is infectious.  If you start spending your time looking for the positives in life you’ll start seeing them more and more.  As Earl Nightingale said “you are now, and you do become, what you think about.”

The more you focus on the positive the more you see positive things.  The more positive things you see, the more positive you become.  The more positive you become the more you think positively, and the cycle repeats itself.  You just have to be open to being positive.

Many will look around at the state of the world, or the state of their life and ask, “what do I have to be positive about?”  It’s a great question to ask yourself, if you’re willing to answer it.

So here’s a little challenge for you this week.  Keep a little notebook on you.  Or if you prefer the tech route, start a new note or document on your phone.  I personally have a separate Evernote folder just for this challenge.  Every time you have something positive happen to you write it down.  It doesn’t have to be anything super special.  This is about writing down anything that you feel is a win.

Did someone smile at you for no reason?  Write it down.  Was the drive home a little quicker than usual, or the traffic a little lighter?  Put that on the list.  Perhaps you find a penny while walking into work today.  That counts too.  Anything where the needle moves towards the positive.  No matter how small.  If you’re not sure if it counts, write it down anyway.  Chances are if you had to wonder if it does, you think it could be a win.

After a week, go back and look at your list.  If you did a reasonably good job of remembering to write things down I’m betting you have a nice long list.  This is what you have to be positive about.  Over the next few weeks keep adding to the list.  Make it enough of a habit that you enjoy adding entries.  Add that you enjoy adding entries onto your list of positivity.  There’s really no wrong way to do this other than to not do it.

When you start going back each week and reviewing your list you’ll be amazed at just how many positive things happen to you all the time.  Take an example from me today.  I got an award at work today.  I met a cool bulldog named Leon.  A attractive woman looked my way and smiled.  The drive home was so easy because the traffic was light.  I met my fitness goal of closing all three rings today.  That’s five easy to find positives I had today.  That’s 35 for the week if I do it every day.  That’s a lot of positives that just happen to you if you bother to look.

And again, it’s all about what you focus on.  When you keep looking for positives you’ll keep finding them.  If you’re looking for positives you’ll also start overlooking negatives because you aren’t focusing on them anymore.  At a certain point if you keep looking for positives enough you might even accidentally feel positive.  Just kidding, you’ll feel positive but it won’t be an accident.  It’ll be a way of life for you.

“You are now, and you do become, what you think about.”  Blessed or cursed.  Happy or sad.  Positive or negative.  They’re your thoughts.  Choose the ones you want to live the life you desire.  It’s all in your hands.  Or your mind. However you want to look at it.  I recommend looking at it the positive way.  Have a great day.

Why?   Leave a comment

I listen to a variety of podcasts and read a lot of books. I think this moves me forward along my journey to be my best self. I just don’t think there’s anything such as bad information, so long as you always ask “Why?” at the end.

You see the problem with the information we are exposed to isn’t the information, it’s the lack of critical thinking we put into it. We often hear something and either accept it or discount it uncritically. Why?

We’ve spent a long time becoming the person we are now. We’re very invested in that person. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So we hesitate to do anything that upsets the apple cart. But if you’re that certain of the person you are there shouldn’t be any problem asking those “Why?” questions.

If you ask Why? and follow that thought critically you’ll discover one of two things. First is, you were right to hold that view or belief. Yeah you! Or you might realize that you could be a little off. Maybe even way off.

It sounds bad at first but think about this. Once you’ve identified a problem you can fix it. Once you’ve fixed it you’re back to being right again. You’re back to “Yeah you!” That’s a win.

Asking Why? is the path along which we get to the best version of ourselves. We’re often told not to question ourselves. Have confidence in who you are and what you believe. I think questioning yourself is the best way to show that confidence in who you are and what you believe. So go ahead and start asking yourself Why? a lot. You’ll love the results of being comfortable challenging yourself. Have a nice day.

Traveling   Leave a comment

I’m still traveling between my home and Washington State. I’ll be there on vacation for the week. But even on vacation I still want to take some time out to share.

I woke up early this morning to the realization I was about to spend the better part of my day going from Nashville to Bellingham. Including a five and a half hour layover in Portland I was dreading. The whole trip seemed daunting and probably draining.

On the way to Nashville I received notification that I had won a giveaway I entered on Instagram. I hadn’t even made it to the flight and things were looking good.

I got to Nashville and in under twenty minutes I had checked in and made it through security to my gate in an airport I’ve never flown out of before. While waiting I met a nice woman in the gate area and we chatted until boarding.

I got on the plane for the flight from Nashville to Dallas and out of habit asked for a seat belt extension. You see the last time I flew was well before my keto journey began. The flight attendant, looked at my waist, smiled and said, “I don’t think you’ll need one, sir, but if you get to your seat and do ring the bell and I’ll bring one”. I got to my seat and she of course was right. I didn’t need it. I’ve lost enough the belt fit fine.

When I boarded in Dallas for the flight to Portland the flight was packed, except the seat between me and the nice young lady in the aisle seat. We had a nice comfortable ride and chatted most of the way. Made the flight a pleasure.

Now I’m here in Portland at the beginning of my five and a half hour layover and you know what, I’m happy. I’m not dreading it anymore. The amount of time hasn’t changed from this morning when I dreaded it, my mindset has. I’ve had a wonderful day of travel and this will be part of it. It’s all about perspective. You can choose to view things positively or negatively. I’m just glad my day today has shown me that positively is the better way. Take care.

Why are you doing this?   Leave a comment

Probably the most important question you can ask yourself.  I’ve done a couple of posts about acting with purpose.  Living your life not on auto pilot, but with definite intention.  When making the decisions that will move you forward along your path you should do so willfully.  This brings up the question, why are you doing this?  After all, how do you know which path to take if you haven’t figured out where you’re going?

The way to find that path is to know your why.  And the obvious way to find your why is to ask yourself why.  Unfortunately this isn’t a Google maps search.  You can’t just type a destination into the search window and be given a clear cut path to your goal.  Instead it’ll take time and meditation on the questions of why.  And that’s because to get to your why you need to keep whittling things down.

We all tend to create broad goals for ourselves.  Why are you exercising?  To get in better shape.  But that’s a broad idea.  A sprinter and a marathon runner are both in athletic shape but both have to train completely differently to reach success in their endeavor.  So you whittle it down.  Why do I want to get in better shape?  To be able to do more with my time.  Why do you want to do more with your time?  Because I feel I waste time.  Why do you feel you waste time?  Because I don’t think my actions have a real impact.  And you keep going and going until there isn’t a new why to ask.

This might be because your answers have become circular.  This is where the answer to why goes back to a previous answer.  So see what’s in that circle.  Like above you might ask the next why as “why do you feel your actions don’t have real impact?”  The answer to that could be because you keep repeating steps.  And you ask why do you repeat steps?  The answer is because they don’t have any real impact.  So the answer to why are you doing this is to have an impact.

Another reason you might not have a new why to ask is you’ve whittled the why down as far as you need to go.  There is no next step, you’ve figured out your why.  Again, going off the original series of why questions your next question may be “why do you want to have an impact?”  And the answer may be that you want to live your life to benefit others, not yourself.  And that answer resonates with you.  You’ve reached your why.  You wish to be of service to others.

And finally you may not be far enough along on your journey to fully understand your ultimate why.  Maybe you only get as far as you wish to be of service to others and that works for you for a while.  And then one day a why pops into your head.  Why do you want to be of service to others?  You’ve spent enough time serving others that you’ve become better.  More self aware.  And now you need more answers.  So you start asking why again.

And that’s how you keep walking down the right path.  You keep asking why.  Maybe one day you reach your destination.  Maybe you spend a lifetime looking.  Either way you’re living your life acting with purpose.  And that’s a good life.

Benefits of Acting with Purpose   Leave a comment

A few posts back I talked about acting with purpose.  This is all about keeping your focus on the here and now.  We go through a lot of life on auto pilot, doing the same thing over and over again, simply because it’s the habit we’ve developed.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  You couldn’t possibly live your life if you had to make a decision on every thing you do.  But when you let it get to the point where you just let your life happen by the patterns you’ve already formed you’ll get the results you’ve always been getting.

The biggest benefit of acting with purpose is it teaches you to evaluate your actions.  Why are you doing what you’re doing?  What benefit are you getting out of it?  What could you be doing differently right now that would make things better?  You can’t change things you aren’t aware you’re doing in the first place.  Again, this doesn’t mean every little thing you do, just being more mindful of the things you do that have an impact on how you feel about yourself.

Another benefit from acting with purpose is a sense of control.  Right or wrong, good or bad, you know you’re making the decisions.  You stop feeling like you’re at the mercy of the tides.  And that can reduce the overall stress you feel.  While a small amount of stress is necessary, and even beneficial for you, being constantly stressed out is not.  When you reduce your overall stress levels your body performs better.  It can focus more energy on healing.  Your mood will improve.  And you’ll feel more relaxed.

And finally, acting with purpose teaches us to become more and more comfortable with making decisions.  One of the hardest parts of the journey to a better you is just getting started.  With all the possible decisions and all the variable and all the possible outcomes, each with a different set of variables and decisions attached to them, it can make the decision making process scary.  And fear is the biggest obstacle we have to overcome to get started down the path to a better you.  How do we overcome that fear?  Just make a decision.  Take one small step in any direction.  Right or wrong you’ve just demonstrated to yourself that you can make a decision and still be here to make another one.  If the decision turned out to be right, keep making decisions to stay on that path.  If the decision turned out to be wrong, decide on a different path.  Every time you make a decision it’s a reassurance to yourself that it’s ok to make mistakes. It’s also a reminder that you can’t get better if you don’t move from where you are toward where you want to be.

That’s it for today’s post.  Hope you all had a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.