What Next? Take Time To Reflect

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The end of the year is a great time to take stock of the year, to look ahead and to reflect on your life wheel because it encourages mindfulness and accountability. http://personalexcellence.co/blog/life-wheel/

Take a couple of moments before the New Year to think about new experiences that influenced you personally. Reflect on all the great things you have accomplished in the year 2015 and pull out the greatest lessons you have learned to bring into 2016.

What went well?  Who needs to be acknowledged?  What’s not working?  What do you need to let go of going forward?  What do you need to spend time on to see better results?  How can you be much kinder to yourself in the coming year?  Who will you connect with more in the year ahead?  What kind of leader, peer, friend, partner (and other roles) do you want to be?  What do you want?  What is your word/phrase/question for 2016?

No matter what your lessons and reflections, I wish you a beautiful end to year 2015 and a gratitude-filled start to 2016.

To Your Success!

Teeto

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The Pain of Discipline or The Pain of Regret…The Choice is Yours!

Are you doing everything you can with all those amazing talents and gifts of yours? Do you even know how extraordinary you are? I hope so!

I know we can have many great attributes and dreams and life philosophies but if we never put them into action…where do we end up? Absolutely no where in this life.

Every single day, you can make a new choice. Repetition can be your saviour or your sword. Over time, neglect will lead to more neglect and discipline will lead to more discipline.

Taking away the blame and stepping into the responsibility of your own life’s direction IS the way to achieve your dreams. The weight of self-discipline is very much lighter than the load of regret.

The choices we make will either build our self-worth or tear it down. The choice is yours, and yours alone to make!
Make it a great day!

Remembering Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

“You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”

Remembering Maya Angelou, who inspired us to be better.

24 Inspirational Quotes from Maya Angelou

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.”

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.”

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

“Courage: the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

“If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.”

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

“Everyone needs to say to our children, ‘Children, this is your world. Come out. Stand out. Earn it.’

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a life.”

“We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror?”

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”

Rest in peace Maya Angelou. You inspired me! Thank you for your words.

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Fences in Your Mind

Excerpt from Living a Five Star Life by Betty Mahalik

This book is beautifully written. It is a treasury of wisdom, common sense and inspiration.

I’ve watched the movie Chicken Run at least a half-dozen times. Just beneath the surface of its simplistic look and story line lie a number of wonderful messages told through the eyes of a bunch of Claymation chickens trying to break out of their chicken-wire world to escape their fate at the chopping block. Their freedom leader, a feisty little hen named Ginger, comments profoundly in one scene: “the fences are all in your mind.” She reminds her fellow chickens (and us), that a bigger obstacle than the physical fences they’re surrounded by are the mental fences that hold them captive.

It’s been a good reminder for me on those occasions when I’ve been dealing with my own mental fences…those created by self-doubt, uncertainty, fear. Can you relate? Where have you fenced yourself in mentally in recent days or weeks? Perhaps your mental fence is procrastination, a deadening habit that keeps you stuck. Maybe yours, like mine, is related to self-doubt, and the on-going internal noise it produces that keeps you immobilized. Perhaps yours is the belief that you don’t deserve success, so you sabotage yourself to avoid having to find out how successful you could be. There are a million variations of the theme, but the result is still the same: we stay stuck like the chickens in the movie.

Here are the questions I invite you to ask yourself as you continue on your own personal development journey.

1. What are your mental fences?

2. What is the cost of maintaining these fences (physically and mentally)?

3. Are you willing to let go of your perceived realities (fences) and attempt to conquer them?

If you answered “yes” to question number three, I have a simple equation that will assist you in this process.

VISION + CONSISTENT ACTION = FREEDOM!

Your mental fences can only keep you stuck as long as you’re simply looking “at” them. As soon as you begin to establish a vision and take actions consistent with your vision, I can promise you that your fences will disappear.

If it’s self-doubt, sit down and write out everything you value and why it’s important. Then challenge yourself to eliminate anything that doesn’t absolutely reflect your values, or add something that is a profound statement of who you are.

And remember, the fences are all in your mind!

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Judging Others

“Do not judge—or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:1-4.

It is better to have eyes for beauty—than for blemish. It is better to be able to see the roses—than the thorns. It is better to have learned to look for things to commend in others—than for things to condemn. Of course other people have faults—and we are not blind. But then we have faults of our own—and this should make us charitable.

We should train ourselves, therefore, to see the good, not the evil—in others. We should speak approving words of what is beautiful in them; not bitter, condemning words of what may be imperfect or unlovely. We should look at others through eyes of love, not through eyes of envy or of selfishness. We should seek to heal with true affection’s gentleness, the things which are not as they should be.

Our Undiscovered Faults

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from my hidden faults.” Psalm 19:12

Besides the faults our neighbours see in us, besides those our closest friends see, besides those of which we ourselves are aware—all of us have undiscovered errors in our life—hidden, secret faults, of which only God knows.

If we are living truly, we want to find every flaw or blemish there is in us—of whatever kind. He is a coward who shrinks from the discovery of his own faults. We should be glad always to learn of any hidden unloveliness in ourselves. Someone says, “Count yourself richer that day in which you discover a new fault in yourself—not richer because it is there—but richer because it is no longer a hidden fault; and if you have not yet found all your faults, pray to have them revealed to you, even if the revelation must come in a way which hurts your pride.”

It is dangerous to allow any faults, however small—to stay in our life; but hidden faults are even more perilous, than those of which we are aware. They are concealed enemies, traitors in the camp, unrecognized, passing for friends! No good, true, and brave man—will allow a discovered sin of fault to stay unchallenged in his life. But undiscovered sin lurks and nests in a man’s heart, and breeds its deadly evil in his very soul. Before he is aware of its presence, it may eat out the heart of his manhood, and poison the very springs of his being.

Hidden faults, remaining undiscovered and uncured in us—will hinder our spiritual growth, and we shall not know the reason for our moral weakness, or lack of power. They will also defeat the working out of the divine plan in our life. When Canove, the great sculptor, was about to begin work upon his statue of Napoleon, it is said that his keen eye saw a tiny red line running through the upper part of the splendid block of marble, out of which he was to carve the statue. The stone had been brought at great expense from Paris for this express purpose. Common eyes saw no flaw in it—but the sculptor saw it, and would not use the marble.

May it not be so ofttimes, with lives which face great opportunities? God’s eye sees in them some undiscovered flaw or fault, some tiny line of marring colour. God desires truth in the inward parts. The life which pleases him must be pure and white throughout. He who clings to discovered faults, refusing to cast them out—or he who refuses to let the candle of the Lord search out the hidden faults in him, that he may put them away—is marring his own destiny. God will not use him for the larger, nobler task or trust—for which he had planned to use him.

The tiny red line running through the marble, causes it to be set aside and rejected. What shall we do? God alone can know our hidden faults. We must ask him to search our hearts and try our ways—and to cleanse our lives of whatever evil thing he finds in us. Our prayer should be—”Who can discern his errors? Cleanse me from hidden faults.” “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” – Psalm 139:23-24

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Someone asked me what the biggest cause of family problems is. I replied, LACK OF FAMILY VALUES. It’s not that people don’t know what is important, but those things are not important enough to drive their decisions and actions. Each family needs a set of life principles that guide and motivate their actions and those they influence.

How can we use values to add purpose to our lives and drive us and our children toward the greatest opportunity for fulfillment?

Is your marriage driven by values? Values start with marriage, the most important relationship in our lives. This is the foundation of the family.

How about your parenting style? Is it driven by values? Once the marriage value is set, it’s far easier to set parenting values.

I’m not going to say what each value should be…that’s your job. I will say that it must be a driving value. For example, it’s far easier to insist on honesty in your children if honesty is a value in your family that’s important enough to drive behaviour. So dishonesty would never be tolerated or rewarded.

True values drive behaviour. Don’t set a value that you are not willing to consistently practice. Once your values are set and consistently practiced, there will be little need for bickering and negotiation between parent and child.

Some ideas of values you might want to adopt to drive your family in addition to honesty are respect for others, respect for self, personal responsibility, productivity, protection of family members, mercy, education, etc.

Once you’ve set the values you want for your family, define those values so everyone understands them. Consider ways to explain your driving values and to reward and punish behaviour using the values. Some people post their driving values and definitions on the wall so they can use them to teach the kids, reinforcing the right behaviour and reason for the behaviour all at once. At the right age, you can start asking the kids to tell you what value applies to a given situation…even what your answer to their request should be based on the values. If you spend serious hours thinking through and developing your driving values, they will begin to drive the family so you don’t have to.

A values driven family is all about setting examples. “Do what I’m doing and you’ll be fine.” This is the signal your every action sends your children. Values driven parents live by the values they set for their children, because they value their children enough to avoid confusing them by doing one thing and saying another.

Quotes on Family Values:
”To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons”. – Marilyn French

“Home is the place where boys and girls first learn how to limit their wishes, abide by rules, and consider the rights and needs of others”.- Sidonie Gruenberg

“Govern a family as you would cook a small fish – very gently” – Chinese Proverb