Champions Are Made in the 4th Quarter

PANIC NOWThe year is coming to an end. As the weather cools down, drive and determination are probably approaching similar icy temperatures. For many of us, our new year’s resolutions lists have probably been re-purposed into the scrap paper we use to doodle one useless thing or another. Even the thought of flipping the page over and actually reviewing our plans leaves us feeling exhausted. I can imagine that you are tired – I sure am.

It is easy to lose steam, easy to lose motivation, easy to lose that sense of urgency that we began the year with. After all we’ve been at this 2015 thing for over 9 months. It is okay to feel this way. And it is more important to identify that this is in fact how we feel.

It is necessary to first acknowledge this ennui that is knocking around. To be honest with ourselves about how much little we still care and how much we think we are really capable of. The only way to psych ourselves back into gear is to realize that we are in ‘park.’

Help Daisy ChainThe good thing is we must have done something right this year. If you are tired of classes that means you didn’t drop out of school. If you are sick of your job that means you’ve managed to maintain one. If you really feel you should get past that opening paragraph of the next great American novel that means you put pen to paper at some point. If you feel guilty about not going for a run this morning (or any other morning in the last few months) that means you still haven’t given up on the thought of being more fit. We have done something right this year, and there is still time to do even more. All hope is not lost dear friends.

I for one have a lot left on my to-do-list, but I also realize I need to celebrate progress, need to smile at how I’ve put one foot in front of another, and need to realize that this is the fourth quarter. This is a good thing. That means we have made it thus far. Sadly there are some who did not live to see this time and those who are in such tragic or desperate situations that a to-do-list is the last of their problems. We have the luxury of feeling under-accomplished and even dissatisfied about things that are not a matter of life or death. This is great news. If nothing else, let this sense of hope and freedom to do more motivate you to dig deeper and do the better you initially set out to do.

In basketball (on which I am no expert) players can excel in the first three quarters and still lose the whole game. The champions are in fact made in the fourth quarter. This is our fourth quarter. What we do now determines whether we take a ‘W’ or an ‘L’ for the year. Yes you might be feeling low energy, low motivation, or downright frustrated, but the only way you are going to win is if you motivate yourself and get moving.

ResolutionsNo need deciding that this will be the year you earn a billion or lose 100lbs, less time means more reality checks waiting to bounce. So take a long hard look at yourself and first of all remind yourself that you are amazing and you can eventually do anything you set your mind to. Now determine what steps are still feasible, how soon you will take them, and commit to being intentional and consistent. Now, edit those resolutions and resolve to achieve those that still matter and are still attainable. Little steps make a journey. Very rarely will a jet-powered jet pack pick you up and propel you to the pinnacle, so get up and get going. This is the 4th quarter and we have championships to win!

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Love.

Never allow anyone to place limitations on your love; be it yourself or another, be it an emotion or a bother. Love should be freely given because it does nothing for the giver when it remains within – in fact love hoarded manifests itself in fear, in greed, in pride, in selfishness and worse still – in regret! Life is short, death is certain and love makes it all matter.

You never know when someone you care about will breathe their last breath, and there is nothing you can do to resuscitate them. When they are dead and gone the only thing that remains is the love that traveled back and forth between two hearts. The comfort lies in the love you shared & the love you gave, never ever in the love you saved. Do not hold back on loving! When you ration your love you limit your living, and when the life of another ceases your grief will be steeped in the regret of love you never let get to the one who owned it.

We have a measure of love deposited in us and it our duty to give it away. Give it all away! Try your best to have no love left, and you will discover that in the loving of another your own love increases, your own passions will never be depleted and your life will be enriched in all the ways that really matter.

Love with no reservations, no limitations and no hesitation. God forbid you have love left over when your loved one’s life is over.

Do what you love. Speak love to those you love. Open yourself up to love. And if you have been hurt in the process of extending love: breathe out the regret, forgive them, forgive yourself, release yourself, love yourself and when you find others who understand and appreciate and recognise the love that resides inside you – love again…and again…and again.

– Love.

Through the silent draw of self, you draw yourself!

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” 
― RumiThe Essential Rumi

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Believe in the above and receive the freedom to chart your own path based on an internal compass positioned by an all-knowing Father. 

Choose to be yourself, in the purest form of yourself.

Choose to love and chase your passions – no one else will do it for you and no one will have greater regret than you.

The desires that dwell within have been placed there from Above; therefore exalt love, exalt hope, exalt peace, magnify the One who put them there and adhere to their call. 

Forget about the trodden path, follow the path whose map lives in your heart.

Don’t worry about looking too far ahead, give your all in the now and the fullness of it shall indeed manifest into every love, peace, joy and success.

Cease to worry – for the Lord clothes in much finer garments the lesser creations – therefore look within and bring forth your own creation that has been planted as a seed and in the nurturing of that seed you will find yourself living in the abundance of all you need!

 

 

Aside

It’s a new year. It is about time you started to love yourself. It is about time you started to live a life you are comfortable and content with. It is about time you stopped ignoring those urgings to help others and just started to do it. Its about time you started to invest time in the things that matter to you and the things that get you excited.

Don’t try and change, just be the change.

The things you don’t like: stop doing/being/having/accepting/promoting/pursuing; the things you do like: do more often and with greater gusto, surround yourself with, immerse yourself in, imbue, embed, pursue.

The people who make your heart smile – spend more time with, more energy on, more silence around as you absorb their ways and their sound, create more memories with them.

The places that give you peace: lay there, stay there, recreate there, dream there, allow your inspirations to breathe there and to grow into plans and goals and dreams there, be accountable there, report progress and failures there, position your drawing board there and go back there again and again until you’ve sketched out, built and realised your dreams at your pace and in your place of peace.

The thoughts that give you solace – dwell on them, repeat them, complete them, acknowledge them, believe them, achieve them.

Those that tear you down – walk away from them. Simple.

Those that build you up – build with them, form a guild with them, allow them to see you and ask them what they see, allow them to be with you and let them shape who you will be. Accept them and let their acceptance of you wash over you and allow you to gain comfort and confidence in your own skin and assurance in your own quirks and whims and ways and passions and plays and destiny.

You are you and that is enough.

It is a new year and that’s enough of a motivation to let go of the baggage/garbage, grab on to the possibilities and persist in doing good, doing right, doing things you are passionate about and being with those whom you love.

A life of regrets arises from ignoring your heart’s yearnings. You live every day and you only die once. Make the most of the moments and bring honour to those who matter, including and especially your Creator.

Live. Love. Laugh. Create. Lead. Follow. Frolic. Exist. Excel. Focus. Dream. Do. Destine to Be and then Become. Dance in the Rain and Bask in the Sun.

Xx

Dead Dream December

You do yourself the greatest disservice when you give up. Once you stop hoping and you stop trying, you automatically disqualify yourself from that which you were hoping to earn, attain, achieve. As long as there is life there is hope, but once you stop hoping you strangulate the life outta your dreams, and once your dreams do not have room to breath they can never ever be achieved.

Giving up is an extraordinary waste of time. Because once you give up your odds go from whatever they were (even if they were abysmal at best), to an absolute certainty of zero – meaning the chances of that dream occurring are zilch, zip, nil, none!

There are no benefits to giving up, and the truth is that when one does give up they hardly move on to spending that time that was previously invested in a dream in productive ways. The behavioral manifestations of one who have given up usually involve much excess and much waste – wasting of time, money, resources and indulgence in vices (insert your Achilles heel here). Some of these lesser forms of existence the individual turns to may be detrimental to health, wealth and even freedom (i.e. when you do something stupidly illegal and end up on the other side of freedom where there may not even be any grass for comparison).

The truth is that if you want to be, do or have something badly enough chances are you can get it. You can work towards it: you can acquire the necessary skills, you can be alert enough to identify and take advantage of opportunities and you can attain that which you so desperately seek. Having goals, having dreams, having determinations is healthy. They provide one with focus; they set a challenge whose process of attainment can enrich your life and provide you with excellent growth experiences along the way (i.e. lessons in trying and failing, perseverance, expanded network, self-discipline, out-of-the-box thinking, creativity, etc.).

Giving up is about letting go, letting go of both that particular goal and of the dreamer’s spirit that fuels it. Giving up often results in tragedy. The feelings of “what if” and regret that assuage one following the asphyxiation of a dream can cast a shadow over your whole existence and sabotage present and future performance. Giving up and never trying again can be a cancer that eats away at other aspirations, diminishes other victories, causes the individual to doubt themselves and their abilities, and limits potential future risks, rewards, hard work and “big” thinking.

Dreams can change – this is natural.

Dreams can grow – this is admirable.

Dreams can be replaced by other dreams – this is permissible.

When dreams die, the boldness and courage within that provided one with the audacity to dream and hope to begin with dies along with them. Once one stops trying and testing and working and wishing, then a greater tragedy has occurred – one’s very potential may as well be buried alongside the dead dream.

There may be circumstances beyond our control that leave us feeling like we might as well kill our dreams and reside within the safety of a banal existence, but the truth is there are no benefits of doing so. If you give in to those voices then you are resigning yourself to mediocrity, you are constructing a glass ceiling above your head, you are allowing yourself to be constrained by self-imposed limitations – which are the most effective and most difficult to combat.

It does not matter how bleak things seem, don’t give up! It does not matter how “out of control” your life circumstances are, no one ever promised you would get to control the circumstances. But you can control your dreams; you can control your actions that build the bridge towards your excellence. You can control your reactions, your actions and your pro-actions.

You can decide what you will do, how you will do it and why you will continue to do it because if you continue to work towards something, think towards something, act towards something, your something will come. If you are at a stage where you are wondering what the hell is the point in continuing to try I’ll tell you this – the only guarantee you have is once you stop trying it will definitely never manifest.

Fortune favours the brave. Bravery is persistence in the face of all odds. Be brave! Hard work works. Work hard. Keep working. And that courageous behavior or character you continue to exhibit will get stronger and stronger and gain you access to more and more good and great things. The reason quitters never win is because once you forfeit the race you will surely never place.

Don’t give up! Don’t give in! There is hope. There is a future. And a high determinant of your successful stake in this future is your participation. Don’t opt out. Don’t give up. Give it your best. Give it your all and reap the dividends. Keep dreaming and keep believing and may the odds be ever in your favour!

Perseverance

Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones…But Damn Those Words Really HURT Me

They say “do not let the world tell you who you are.” “No one can make you feel inferior without consent.” “It does not matter what they call you, it only matters what you answer to.” These are all easy to digest catch phrases but when put in a real life situation it is hard to regurgitate these nuggets of wisdom. It is hard because that lump is already in your throat and that knot is already tied in the pit of your stomach, and so there is no passage through which these passages can rise and work their “feel good” magic on you.

I do believe that these phrases have some worth. I do not think that another individual should be able to label you and their word is bond(age). I do not think another person should be able to tell you how you should feel about yourself or determine your level of self worth at any given point. I’m sure we all agree on this, so how come those who influence our lives in one way or another (from mere strangers to heart throbs) can carry our self worth with them and cause its escalation and/or rapid declination? And more importantly, how do we stop this?

I think we need to speak into being what we want to be. We need to speak over ourselves who we are, who we want to be, who we have been called to be. We have to practice daily affirmations of the characteristics we have and love, of the traits and talents that are an integral part of our make-up; so that when someone speaks bad over us, constructs glass or concrete ceilings made of negative words and bad wishes, our confidence in who we know we are can rise above, shatter or batter-ram through their shade and invalidate their words.

Words can hurt us and we have to be prepared for that. And they hurt us as many times as we listen, as many times as they are repeated and as many times as the phrases echo in our heads. Therefore we need to be proactive, so that even if they hurt for a moment they are not allowed to settle, they are not allowed to stick, they are not allowed to speak to us about who or what we truly are.

Words do not always come from without; sometimes the words we need to banish are our own. Sometimes words are planted by our own self-doubt, watered by failures or slips and falls, and nurtured by our lack of self-confidence. Then when we have the audacity of the hope, the temerity to hope and dream and the boldness to rise above and reach for more we are grounded and sunken by our own fears, doubts, worries, put-downs. Sometimes there is a voice in our head telling us we are not good enough, we are not there yet, we do not have what it takes. There is a voice of self-loathing, a voice of comparison where we always come out the loser, a voice of admonishment and shame, a voice that we need to shut up! That voice does not deserve to have a microphone, that voice and the ones of the naysayers and negatives do not get to speak over your destiny, they do not get to write a page in your book, they do not get to determine your present outlook or how your future will look.

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Remind yourself that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are unique. You are intelligent. You are attractive. You can be whatever you set out to be. You can achieve the desires in your heart and bring them to realization. You have the ability to bring joy to others. You have the resources to impact someone else’s life. You have the strength to suppress your weaknesses, the willpower to harness your strengths and the discipline to do the necessary to achieve your goals.

You are brilliant and beautiful, potential filled and important. You are uniquely you, and no one else can be who you are. No one else can do a better job of shaping who you are to become than you yourself. You are capable of learning, capable of growth, capable of improvement. You have talents that can be molded into well-refined skills, skills that lead you into your destiny that will have all and sundry seeking you out for your services. You can be more than you are, you can do more than you are doing, you have what it takes to be one of the greats. Every aspect of what makes up you is worth something, you are not worthless – you are worthy, and you can live a life worthy of praise and accolades. You can achieve, succeed, so therefore you must not listen or succumb but believe, conceive, dream and achieve!

You are enough. Remind yourself of this in times of plenty, so when you lack positivity and others (or even your own doubts or negativity) try to repossess your mental territory you successfully and speedily overcome.

You are more than a label, more than a moment, more than a negative emotion or notion. You may be in the wrong, but you can right your wrongs; you may be caught in a moment of weakness but you can ultimately choose to be strong. You are greater than a statement, more dynamic than a negative declaration; you are every good thing you aspire to be.

zcsj.

Screw Them, Do YOU!

People will not always understand your vision

People will not always understand your process

People will not always understand your transformation

And they may not even understand/support your final product

Not everyone who demands an explanation deserves one and not everyone deserves to know your dreams!

Disregard your haters, you have more important things to worry about!

The truth is, when we realize we are not in competition against others, we are not answerable to others, we were not created to placate the personalities and whims of others, then we will be truly free to create and recreate ourselves and we can work towards successfully shaping our destinies. Because the truth is the journey to your destiny is about you. 

We all have talents and skills that should feed into our futures. We all have passions and purposes that have been placed in our hearts and minds – and to achieve these things we require focus, self-discipline and a thick skin.

Just because you may be perfect for the task and possess the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to be successful does not mean that you will be. For every good work you seek to do there will be counter efforts – both internal and external; from doubts, to fears, to opponents, to competition, to even natural elements (such as rainy days and snow storms that just leave you not even wanting to leave the house). However, the truth is hard work works. It beats raw talent. You must start from the point of your competency and double up on the hard work, because if you do not utilize what you are already equipped with – you will not succeed.

We need to focus on building and growing what we already have, to achieve that which we are called for. And we must be aware that it will not be easy, but it is most assuredly possible. We must realize that haters and naysayers are part of the deterrents that will stand in our way; there will be those who will oppose you and try to put you down at every turn. This is no reason to quit! This is by no means a hall pass to give up because of the denigration of others or give in to your own self doubt.

You have to focus firmly on your dreams, have the willpower to keep moving forward and refuse to give those who oppose you the satisfaction of buying into their lies or their criticisms. No matter how nice or friendly you are, we all have haters and those who do not want to see us succeed. That is fine. But do not divert your attention away from building up your dreams to focus on tearing down others – it is not worth it, it opens the door to further attack and as your positivity seeps out it will be replaced with their negative energy.

There will be those who do not understand you, that is fine – understand what YOU hope to achieve!

There will be those who do not believe you are capable – that is fine, affirm your own capacity and competency and know that YOU can succeed.

There will be those who do not support you – that is fine. Not everyone deserves to know what you are doing, to understand how you are doing it, or to determine whether it is worth doing at all.

We all have our own paths to take and our own lives to create. Therefore we must stand firm in our convictions, disregard the haters, diligently pursue our passions and our purposes and refuse to be deterred in the forging of our destinies.

 

Have a great week ahead and please, by all means, do YOU!

zcsj

 

If Tomorrow Never Comes – Will You Still Love You?

Today I took my own advice! I woke up and started dreaming. When I was younger I had a lot of aspirations, but as time and tide happened to this (wo)man I began to become lukewarm with regards to a lot of things. I still strove for academic excellence, but when it came to things like visualizing who and what I wanted to be I gave up because the lines seemed so blurred. When it came to becoming “#TeamFitFam” and getting the body and health habits I wanted, I took a step back and accepted the cards I had been dealt. When it came to owning and practicing my faith, independent of the structures and amazing institutions I had the privilege of being fortified in, I did not exercise or own it to the best of my potential. There have always been things  I wanted to do, places I wanted to go and a person I wanted to be and somewhere along the line I traded in more sleep for less dreams, an average existence for excellence. There is a difference between wanting more and striving for more, and today I’ve officially crossed that line! 

I took my advice and woke up this morning with the intention to actively start dreaming and toss out the passivity. Its never too late, but more importantly its never too early! I saw a quote last night on @devonfranklin’s Instagram that said “‘Tomorrow’ (noun): a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.” He followed this powerful truth up by saying “Procrastination is a prayer killer. Pray and then get to work. What about doing right now what you’re about to put off until tomorrow?”

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Somehow between reading that, falling asleep and waking up – I really decided to wake up! I have accepted that all my dreams are possible and I am more than able, and I am now at the stage of mapping out exactly what my dreams are (as a writer this has started off as an outline that will soon be a comprehensive document with to-do-lists attached as appendices). I know there is more out there and more importantly there is more within. Sometimes we allow our success and our good to become an enemy of our best. Because from all outward appearances we are “doing good,” we stop striving to do better – which is a tragedy. I am proud of where I am, but more interested in where I want to be and so now I’m digger deeper into my creativity and breathing life into my dreams of who I am and who I should be.

I choose to no longer be passive, but to become active about living out and striving towards my imagined tomorrows, today! Its easy to give less than your best, but the truth is no one can do it for you or propel you into your YOUtopia, you have to own and operate within the parameters you set for yourself – why not excellence?

Every day I’ll do something I know I should, both big and small. Everyday I’ll envision my dream, live out my reality, and continue to wake, hustle, dream and pray until there is a marriage between what lies ahead, what lies within and my hopes and my dreams. I hope I can encourage you to do the same.

Here’s to doing and being more! 🙂 All inspired are welcome to join me and share their plans, hopes and journeys. 

 

zcsj.

Wake Up and Start Dreaming!!

The Definition of a Dream:

A DREAM is:

 “A series of thoughts, images and sensations that occur in a person’s mind.”
 “A cherished aspiration, ambition or ideal.” 

Your best life yet!

ImageA dream is seeing better things through your mind’s eye.
It is when one is able to look beyond current circumstances, where one is able to look above limitations, where one is able to look beneath the surface to realize one’s passions and where one is able to look out onto a horizon where things are everything you want them to be.

Dreams are the first step towards achieving a bigger and better reality.

Steps Towards Achieving Your Dreams:

  1. Stay awake and determine what your dreams are!
  2. Realize that whatever you dream, it is possible and you are more than able!
  3. Create a list/sketch/picture of what those dreams look like
  4. Surround yourself with reminders of what your dreams are and envision yourself living out your dreams
  5. Break down each dream into achievable goals that will lead to their realistic attainment
  6. Surround yourself with positivity (positive thoughts, positive actions, positive people and positive pursuits)
  7. Identify and surround yourself people that can enhance your dreams, advance your dreams and encourage your dreams (friends, family, mentors, industry experts, etc.). This can be both through real-life interactions and virtually – through a study of those who encourage you from afar. Do your homework: find articles, videos, social media platforms on which to interact, etc.
  8. Determine the positive attributes of those you look up to, both near and far and seek to make them a part of your good habits
  9. Determine what you must hold on to and what you must let go of in order to achieve your dreams (i.e. habits, strengths, weaknesses, lifestyle choices, etc.). There are talents and traits about you that set you apart, and make you a perfect match for your dreams – determine what these are, enhance them and nourish them

10. Celebrate your victories along the way, both big and small

11. Allow disappointments to teach you the lessons they are there for and if at first you do not succeed – try, try, try again!

12. Put in the work towards achieving your goals and ultimately your dreams!

Anything is possible, but in order to call it into being you have to realize who you are and the power you have to shape your destiny. You have to simultaneously identify what you want, discover steps necessary to get there, align your life with the goals necessary to achieving your dreams and begin to work towards them.

ImageYou have to motivate yourself every step of the way by giving your best along the way, by striving to do more tomorrow than you did today and by never giving up!

You can become the next (insert name that personifies success and the rest). Whoever it is that inspires you most, connects with your passion and speaks towards your dormant dreams – realize that they are human beings who identified their strengths and passions and worked towards making them a reality. They do not have two heads! They have one heart, one brain and a determination and a tenacity that turned their dreams into a reality. Go out and do the same!

It is good to have heroes that inspire you and achievements of others that you aspire to, but most importantly you need to realize that you can develop (insert your full name here) to a point where he/she realizes his/her full potential, and become a leader in (insert industry/area of expertise/interest). You ultimately have little to lose and everything to gain by bettering yourself, challenging yourself and elevating yourself.

zcsj.

The Pursuit of (the Ever Elusive) Happiness

Dark Days?
Recently I’ve been having some dark and aggravating days, and thinking a lot about the temporary and inconsistent nature of the emotion that is ‘happiness.’ How can we wake up so upbeat and ready to take over the world on some days, and so down in the dumps on others?? Sometimes within a 24 hour time span!  Sometimes for every reason, others for no apparent one, but still – how can happiness be so elusive? Something has got to be done!

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The Reality of the Situation
No matter how strong your faith or how steady your resolve, the truth of the matter is dark days will still come. There will still be times when you question the purpose or supposed benefits of living and trying; there will still be times when you are down in the dumps; there will still be times when the goals you are working towards seem to matter little in the grand scheme of things. There will be days when you wake up and you don’t want to go anywhere, do anything or achieve anything.

Sometimes it’s just hard to see the point and purpose of things. Sometimes it’s just hard to feel upbeat, motivated or happy. For some of us, our happiness seems to come in cycles, and while things like work and worship might be constant, our feelings tend to be in a constant state of flux.

Everyone and their dog is a psychologist who peddles unsolicited happy quotes!
I have been given lots of different advice with famous supporting adages that suggest that whenever I feel sad, I should choose to be “awesome” instead. Awesome! -___- Advice that says I should be happy every day because happiness is a choice and a way of life and of course the famous ‘happiness is a journey and not a destination.’ And the more annoying you’re too pretty/handsome/young/old to be sad! Do you know there are people who are suffering from x, y, z ailments in a, b, c worse countries?? I do know, I do care, right now that has no place here!

While I am all for lifelong, 24/7 happiness that cannot be shaken during good days and bad, I recognize that throwing phrases and smiles at a situation does not make it better. I have come to realize and accept that despite the well meaning misguided advise of these helpers, the pursuit of constant happiness is not a realistic expectation.

What the hell is this “Happiness” of a thing?
The definition of happiness (according to my computer’s dictionary) is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.” Consider that the odds are not ever in our favour, and there will be days when we have not the slightest feeling of contentment, I think it is important to plan ahead, to pre-pack a trauma kit. Those who cannot ‘feel pleasure or contentment,’ can at least find ways to make it show its ugly face and drag it out of themselves!

No one wants to be in an emergency situation, no one wants to face a trauma; but some things are inevitable and preparation may determine how one will ride out these storms and influence the outcome.

Cold World No Blanket
Therefore we must plan ahead. If you know that dark cloud will come hovering over you, stealing your sunshine and casting shadows on what once was light; you can note what makes you happy when you’re happy, note what makes you feel good when you feel good and have those people and things accessible when ‘Cloud Down In The Dumps’ billows.

A Few of My Favourite Things
For example:

  • I know I love tea, so I keep a variety
  • I know I love candles, so they are sat on my bookcase waiting to be lit
  • I know I love drama/romance movies and emotional/smart ass tv series, so they are prerecorded waiting to be watched when I want a good respectable cry or laugh)
  • I know I like to write, so I have an arsenal of blank documents with nothing but headings that inspire further input and thought
  • I know I love worship music and rap, so my electronics are already cued
  • I know the few souls that always soothe me, so I keep their numbers on speed dial.

These are just a few of my favourite things; and every time I feel euphoric or even just at ease/peace, I take a mental note of what about the situation evoked that feeling and attempt to recreate it when I’m feeling down and out.

Practical Advice to being a Happier Guy 🙂
My suggestion towards maintaining your happiness, peace and Zen is to identify and set aside that which makes us feel better, so that when we feel worse we can reach towards those things and regain some sense of normalcy and balance. Write a list of what makes you feel good.

2.      Do something for someone who is worse off than you. It will make you feel better that you have helped another, it will plant a seed and you will realize that there are those who have it worse than you. And while you already know this subconsciously, doing something for another that you might take for granted (i.e. paying school fees, giving them a meal, giving them a clothing item, meeting them at their point of need) will help you compare and contrast and maybe shake your sadness. Perhaps it will humble you into feeling better about whatever has gotten you down.

3.      In addition to this, we can literally list out all the reasons we have not to be down, all the things for which we are grateful, all the ways it could have been but isn’t worse… (Count your blessings name them one by one…). This usually leaves us feeling in part disqualified from a pity party with a myopic outlook and a very short and stout guest list.

May I conclude by saying…
If you’re having a down day, count your blessings and catch your breath – this too shall come to pass and in the meantime minimize your stress by surrounding yourself with some of your favorite things.

We cannot always be upbeat, but we can sure be proactive. We can be proactive in preparing people, plans, products, praises and prayers that can drag us out of the dumps of depression and help us relocate our peaceful center and find our Zen.

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zcsj.