Life is hard. You may have heard of this before and this is very true. Life is also funny with all of its twists and turns and most of the time no one is laughing as they take the ride. So the main question is, why is life not easy? There are countless of reasons for that but let us take a few of them.
Life gives us challenges that can be difficult and painful. It is the challenges in life that makes us stronger and who we are. Whether you are coping with loss of income, an end to a marriage, death of a loved one, etc. we all have struggles in life. Learning from these experiences is crucial in taking the next positive steps to find your self again.
“All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose. ”
“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life. ”
“Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all. ”
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. ”
“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”
“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often. ”
“If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals. ”
“If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings. ”
“If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self- development. ”
“It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going. ”
“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you
perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance. ”
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ”
“Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.”
“Only by contending with challenges that seem to be beyond your strength to handle at the moment you can grow more surely toward the stars. ”
“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine. ”
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” ”
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”
“Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it. ”
“The happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life. ”
“Whatever you dwell on in the conscious grows in your experience.”
“Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event. ”
“You can become an even more excellent person by constantly setting higher and higher standards for yourself and then by doing everything possible to live up to those standards. ”
“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. ”
“You have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile. ”
“You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you. “
We’ve all been there at some point in our life. Everything seems to be moving along smoothly when something suddenly happens; a challenge, a barrier, a crisis. These events can range anywhere from being mildly inconvenient to downright terrible and sometimes devastating. When situations like this arise, we all have ultimately one choice to make how we will choose to respond.
When you boil it down, that is really how our entire life unfolds. We are making a never ending series of choices about how we will interact with the events and circumstances surrounding us. Many of these choices occur unconsciously as part of our conditioned behaviour patterns. Understanding that we always retain the power and the right to make a conscious choice about our reactions is where we can transform challenges into opportunities.
Consider the idea of personal perception. Every person observes and interprets the world around them from a unique vantage point. I remember very clearly an incident about 5 years ago when I was having lunch on a restaurant patio with a few of my colleagues. The patio was next to a very busy street. About 20 minutes into our meal, we were all startled by a large crash followed by an excitable YELP sound. As I turned in my seat to examine the incident, we saw a new sports car t-boned by an older sedan. Fortunately, the collision had taken place at a relatively slow speed so there were no injuries, just two very upset drivers. The YELP sound had come from a tow truck driver who had been parked literally across the street. He was so excited that an accident had occurred right in front of his truck meaning he would be the first tow provider on the scene. Talk about drastically opposing perspectives! These two unfortunate drivers were caught up in a very unpleasant experience while the tow truck entrepreneur had his latest gig essentially fall into his lap.
What’s most interesting about this example is that it illustrates to me that the world around us simply exists, nothing more, nothing less. It is not until we apply our personal perception along with all of our expectations and beliefs, that events become positive or negative. Since we are creative by nature and always have 100% control over our thoughts, we can then choose to seek out the positives in life. When something happens to us that initially appears to be negative, we have an opportunity to reject our habitual reaction and create a new, more empowering belief about that event.
I have personally made a habit of this type of mentality and I continue to develop this capability with every passing day. I am becoming someone who can cherish the tough times. When adversity strikes, I am often able to control my attitude and remain focused on the positive rather than being consumed by the apparent misfortune. I then remind myself of Robert Collier’s quote, “In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage.”
Dustin Carter is no stranger to adversity. We recently featured his YouTube video on the Ignite Your Essence website. Dustin was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder at age 5. The doctors were forced to amputate the majority of all of his limbs. Despite his obvious challenges, Dustin is now a top student wrestler working towards a full wrestling scholarship. He is a tremendous inspiration to everyone who meets him and he gives hope to others who may be facing physical challenges.
Many successful entrepreneurs have been able to transform challenging life situations into business building opportunities. One of the best examples of this is Robert Allen. His book, Nothing Down: How to Buy Real Estate with Little or No Money Down, went to the top of the New York Times Best-Seller list after a controversial ad he ran to promote it. In the ad, Allen claimed that you could take him to any city, take his wallet away, give him $100 and he could buy a piece of real estate. After Allen’s book had achieved great success, a reporter from the LA Times challenged his claim in the ad and called him a fraud. In order to prove himself, Allen was forced to take the challenge and prove he could actually achieve the feat. Not knowing if he would actually be able to pull it off, Robert Allen began to worry and realized that he would be professionally ruined if he was not able to deliver. In a formally arranged meeting, the reporter met Allen in San Francisco, took his wallet and gave him $100. With his name and credibility on the line, Allen took the $100 and purchased 7 properties worth $700,000 in a 57 hour window. Needless to say, he went on to achieve enormous success in his career.
How would your life change if you were able to transform a negative event into a positive experience? What kind of results could you produce if you learned to embrace adversity and treat it as an opportunity for growth? Regardless of the nature of the challenge you are facing, decide to become the kind of person who embodies this philosophy and you will most assuredly begin to produce incredible things in your life while providing inspiration to those around you!
I do my best, I do. I try with each post to be totally original, but sometimes, just sometimes I think, “Weeeeelll, I know they’ve heard it before, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt for them to hear it again.” (Of course, what I don’t tell you is that I get to hear it for myself again, ‘cos I need reminding of these things too. The great thing about being the author of these messages is that I get to write them and read them!)
Yesterday I heard of a friend of ours in distress. Not funny. A very unpleasant dilemma indeed, she has. And I know it’s old hat, but here’s the train of thought it sparked off in me. I thought I bet some of my readers have challenges too – so …
It will pass. All things will. And your greatest resource is you. No matter that the world may collapse around your ears, tomorrow morning you’re gonna wake up, and you’re always going to do something. What you do and how you go about doing it depends on what you focus on. The trouble is, in times of stress and distress we tend to see nothing but the trouble.
So you could use Tony Robbins’ Morning Power Questions:
a.. What am I happy about in my life now? (Don’t let yourself come up with “Nuffin’. Everything stinks.” If that happens, say, “Well, if I was happy about something, what would it be?”) b.. What am I grateful for in my life now? c.. Who do I love? And who loves me? That’s not his complete set of questions, but I think if you just focused on those, you’d start the day as a much happier bunny. It won’t solve your problems, but it might give you the energy to remind yourself that you have the resources to turn anything around, and that what seem like insurmountable difficulties is actually you setting yourself challenges so that you can find the way to set yourself free. Without the challenges you would never have bothered even looking for a way out.
There is a Chinese proverb which goes something like, “The road before you is clear. Why then do you throw rocks in your own path?”
Maybe that’s the reason. And once you start to accept they’re your own rocks, clearing them can become a more energised, even joyful challenge.
Old hat? Maybe. But good stuff I reckon.
How did all those athletes get motivated, especially the gold medalists and the winners?
Was it the thought of the gold medal itself that kept them running, jumping, swimming or facing whatever feat of endurance that will write them into the history books?
Well, perhaps. But we know that what we saw them all do was the end of very, very long journeys for those incredibly motivated men and women.
Along the way, most of them will have faced failures, challenges such as injuries or changes in their personal lives, and there will for many of them I am sure, have been times when they lost heart and just believed they could not succeed.
We all know this. Most of us don’t even aspire to be Olympic athletes, but we each do have our dreams – for our businesses, our families, our relationships and ourselves.
Who wants to write a novel? Who’d like to perform their own song or play? Who wants to be a millionaire?
The journeys to dreams are rarely straightforward or without challenge. If they were, they’d hardly be worth having. The glory of an Olympic gold medal is precisely because it’s extraordinarily difficult to earn one. If they were handed out like candy at a kids birthday party, no one would have the slightest interest in a gold medal or gold medallist!
However, the biggest challenge isn’t with the feat of endurance – it’s with your own mind. You have to believe that you can do whatever it is, and in those moments when doubt creeps in, at those dark times when you lose heart, you have to know how to get back on track – fast!
Your coach, if you have one, can be a great help. Family and friends will rally round to support you. But ultimately it’s down to you. If you keep shaking your head saying, “I can’t do it. I can’t, I can’t,” eventually even your coach will leave you behind – and they’ll find someone else who believes they can!
Masters of Success know this. They know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of self doubt. More than that, they know how re-ignite the flame of desire for the goal, and fan that flame into a fervour that drives them – with passion – to keep going. That flame eventually becomes their personal blaze of glory.
Stay motivated. It sounds simple, but unless you know how to follow that instruction, it’s as daft as saying to someone who’s stressed, “Try to relax.” (What do you suppose they’ve been doing?)
Success comes from within. Motivation is a major component of any kind of success.
Going for gold?
See you at the top!
Some of these thoughts are supportive of our goals and self esteem but many of them actually hurt us or hold us back.
Taking control of your mind and directing your thoughts towards the things you want in life can be a huge challenge. But when you are able to overcome the challenges and focus on the things you intend to create in your life, the results can be amazing and exciting.
Let’s say, for example, that you have had a lifelong dream of traveling the world for a year. You know that this would be a life changing experience that you would remember forever.
But then you look at your current circumstances and you see a laundry list of reasons why this dream could never come true: a good job you can’t leave, a lack of funding, commitments to family, friends, teams and organizations, etc…
Your mind immediately says, “this trip is not possible until you clear all of those obstacles out of the way.” You then realize that removing all of those limitations is next to impossible and even if you are able to remove them, new obligations/limitations will replace the existing ones.
At the same time, you could look at other areas of your life where you are able to make things happen that seem impossible: you meet a crazy deadline at work, you brave the snowy roads and somehow make 3 family events for Christmas, you get the kids to school and yourself to work despite a huge traffic jam and car problems. The point is, you are achieving things in your life, on a regular basis, that seem difficult or impossible when you analyze them. Yet you seem to pull them off over and over again because you had no other choice… you had to get these things done.
So if your dream is to travel the world but there are a mountain of excuses stopping you, the real solution is to treat the dream as inevitable and start acting as though it is inevitable. It could start with a small action like doing research on places to stay in your dream locations or it could start with a huge action like buying plane ticket to the first country on your dream list. This first action will lead to another and like every other time in your life, you will figure it out as you go along only this time, instead of getting the kids to school or finishing that project at work, you will be fulfilling a lifelong dream!
Are you always second guessing whether you have done the right thing in life? Made the right decision? Completed a job to a satisfactory standard? Or excelled on the blind date even? Self-doubts can lead to agonising bouts of negative thoughts and will shatter any feelings of confidence and lower your self-esteem if left unchecked.
It can certainly seem impossible to break out of this circle of negativity but it’s vital that you make a stand and start to make more positive decisions and stick by them.
It’s okay to stop and consider why you have doubts but often there is a much deeper reason as to why you lack confidence rather than any decision that you may have made. If you have been challenged beyond previous expectations, you may even have put untold pressure on yourself and this can lead to you doubting your own abilities.
Do you find yourself often repeating damaging negative thoughts such as I’m not good enough to do this?’ These thoughts can stop you from not only progressing in life but from even experiencing these challenges and relishing them.
You need to tame those negative thoughts and stop them in their tracks before they become too damaging. Every time that a negative self-doubt pops into your mind, banish it and instead relish the fact that it’s a new day and one with unlimited opportunities. The more that you can do this, the better you will be able to control these thoughts. With control come increased confidence and a boost to your self-esteem.
Don’t give yourself a hard time if you succumb occasionally to feelings of negativity. This behaviour of damaging self-talk may have been ingrained for many years, so it won’t disappear overnight. The moment that realisation dawns that you have slipped into old behaviours, mentally check yourself and give yourself an emotional hug. Awareness is the key aspect to changing your life and once you re-invent the way that you think, you will be halfway to turning your life around.
Everybody makes mistakes and you are no exception. Learn from your mistakes but do not harbour feelings of guilt or shame. It doesn’t make you bad, merely human.
When self-doubts creep in, make a note of them and then turn the damaging first phrase around into a positive one:
-I’m not the right person for the job, I’m rubbish in Interviews
-The job might challenge me but I’m going to excel in the interview and show them what I’m made of
Write a list of all of the positive aspects that make you into the person you are. You will find that there are many more positives about you than negative qualities and once you recognise this, you will see and feel an improvement generally.
Struggling? Remember that most successful people found success out of problems and struggles. Maybe this moment is YOUR BIG OPPORTUNITY?
If you are working on big plans for your life, there is a very good chance that you are going to face obstacle after obstacle.
Life IS persistence and your ability to persist will ultimately define who you are.
Use today to think about your life in ways that will only strengthen your persistence muscles and drive you forward.
There is no magic pill that you can take to suddenly become confident but you can certainly make a habit of practicing your confidence.
Convince yourself that you are DAMN good and experience the true feelings of confidence as it permeates through you.
BE YOURSELF. This means showing your true colors in all situations. It means acting wild and crazy even when others look at you funny.
There is no truer sense of freedom then when you can 100% express yourself, your opinions and your true feelings.
People fall into one of two categories when it comes to fear. They either know and face their fears or they deny and hide from their fears.
Make today all about committing to the breakthrough DESPITE any level of fear. Focus on the gain and the positive outcome.
My challenge to you is simple. Before you go to bed tonight, take 1 bold action in the direction of your major passions.
Every successful person that you can find has overcome enormous odds and obstacles.
New challenges show their faces almost daily. The obstacles tend to grow in proportion to the size of your goals.
If you have a massive life goal you are working towards then you are likely facing massive obstacles.
The problem with believing you’re in a recession is that you start to feel that you cannot achieve your goals. Recession – or any of the negative words that are associated with it – is in fact in the mind of the beholder.
You don’t need to be an economist to see that things are not all black. In fact things are never all black, any more than they are ever all white. Stop and reflect for a moment on some of the industries and people that will thrive in a recession.
If you want to achieve goals you’ve got to believe there’s a way. You have to know in your heart that you can do it and that the odds are not stacked against you. If your goal is to climb Everest, you have to believe you can get there or there’s no sense in taking a single step up that mountain.
In fact, in the current financial climate, setting and achieving goals should become even more a way of life! When winter or war comes, for example, people gather together for comfort and support. In economic bad times, what better moment to gather a team of willing helpers?
Apart from anything else, you need to believe in yourself. Set the goal that you will find a way, and you’ll achieve that goal. On the other hand, if you start with self doubt and fear, setting goals will feel futile. You must get clear that the resource that has always achieved all the goals in your life has been you – not your bank balance or your job!
Set the goal that you can always think of something that others will want to pay you for. There’s only one you, and if you remain upbeat and positive, people will want not only your help – they’ll hire you for your genial personality! Never was there a better time to reinstate “whistle while you work!” (There’s a goal you can easily achieve!)
As a little food for thought, here are some examples of industries that are probably going to thrive in a recession. If you owned such a business, what goal setting would you be doing now?
The car repair industry. Fewer people are going to buy new cars for a while, so keeping the old ones on the road becomes paramount. Mechanics and second hand car sales people are probably going to easily achieve their business goals in the coming months!
How about the cheaper end of the beauty and glamour industries? Everyone wants to feel good, and a new hair-do doesn’t cost a lot. If you like wearing make-up, a new lipstick or nail polish can lift the spirits in a jiffy for the price of a cup of coffee or thereabouts. If your goal is for a quick pick-me-up, there’s one way to achieve it, whilst helping the beautician, hairdresser or cosmetics salesperson to keep their job!
Rental things – especially real estate – will flourish, won’t it? How about home entertainment? Cheaper than a night on the town! The whole family can rent a blockbuster DVD when it would have cost four seats at the movies not to mention outrageously priced popcorn! Goal achieved? Keeping the family spirits up.
Network marketing companies always do well in a recession as people search around frantically for ways to make money in their spare time.
Now, I didn’t set out to write a list and I’m not an economist. (Thank heavens for that – they hardly can take credit for keeping us out of trouble, can they?) The reason I wanted to point these observations out to you is not because I want you to change your job – I want you to change your mind! Personal and professional goals are just as achievable in the present climate as they are at other times. You simply have to apply your adaptability skills – a resource with which you have been equipped since birth.
When people are down, more than ever they need people who are up. Why were musicals so popular during the depression of the 1920s and through the war years? Because they made people feel good, that’s why.
If you want to achieve more goals, smile at more people. Be optimistic – life will go on, and rollercoasters are for riding – so point out to yourself and to the frightened people you meet that they have almost certainly already survived many of life’s challenges. You have the resources and so do they to achieve whatever goals they set themselves.
You cannot achieve your goals by joining people in their fear. No one is helped or served by that. Think outside the box, remember at all times that you are your own greatest resource and you will be not only inspired but you will become an inspiration.
Whatever you do, don’t give up! Keep on setting and achieving goals for the rest of your life!