#MotivationMonday – Be Happy!

A little inspiration and a great reminder heading into a new week!

Hunt's Clubhouse

hclubhappy13d2e878b83b0a934b255073ca88b61

“We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.”― Charles R. Swindoll

Say what?  Surely, you jest!  Did you get a good look at the quote above?  I did, & I have to admit, I’m sort of having a problem with it.  This is easier said than done. It’s so much simpler to blame someone or something for whatever goes wrong in our lives. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes someone else IS at fault.  I mean, did I tell that person to drive like a maniac & cut me off back at the stoplight?  Did I ask that person to just cut in front of me at the grocery checkout? The nerve!  And how about the person…

View original post 353 more words

My Life Living With MS

As some might know, I live with MS.  I have never thought of myself as a MS advocate, but more of a guy trying to accomplish his goals that happens to live with Multiple Sclerosis. But it is a part of my life and I thought I would write a little about it.

First, here are a couple links describing MS:

The National MS Society

Web MD

I am not sure why I am talking about this so openly here as I rarely speak about the Monster to anyone but my wife.  I guess I thought it might shed a little light on awareness and let you see a little more about me as the person that encourages you to change your life, get healthy, pay down debt, etc.

So in 2007 I was on vacation in Ft Myers for Red Sox spring training baseball.  Go Sox!!  Anyway, while sitting on the beach I noticed a small, quarter sized numb spot on the bottom of my right foot.  When I returned to Charlotte I went to a neurologist, went through the testing and eventually was diagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis.  Within a couple months of noticing the numb spot, I had numbness to my shins on both legs.  Eventually, the numbness would move to my fingers and other locations on my legs.  Numbness as it relates to my MS also brings nerve pain that I can only describe as a burning in my feet and hands that feels like fire!

3950078_1429260939_0243_updates

My symptoms are as follows: nerve pain, numbness, blurry vision, headaches, severe fatigue, lightning flash nerve pain in my hips to my feet and my shoulders to my hands, wrist and general leg pain, hyper-sensitive reflexes, sensitive skin spots, sensitivity to loud noises/places, cognitive impairment and chest banding (aka MS hug).  I have dealt with other effects such as social anxiety and depression.

The side effect of MS that I find difficult to deal with is the sensitivity to loud places and noises.  I find it difficult to be in loud places such as restaurants or bars where lots of people are talking or places with loud music.  I can tolerate it for about an hour, but then the noise combined with focusing on conversations drains my energy and I must go home.  Because of this lots of MS suffers learn to be home-bodies.  I am by nature a social butterfly and have had to make serious lifestyle changes to accommodate my situation.

Oh and these symptoms do not include the side effects associated with the ever-changing prescription medications!  Lyrica, hydrocodone, tramadol, Baclofen, Carbamezipine, tizanidine, Betaseron, Solumedrol, Copaxone….jeez!  And trust me these side effects are far worse than the symptoms sometimes!

With all this said, I have a great life.  I have the greatest support system ever; my parents, sister and brother-in-law, friends and wife are the best.  I lean on my wife and she holds me up with her strength, courage and patience.  She tolerates my ever-changing mood swings, helps me with some of the simple tasks with which I struggle, nurtures and loves.  I have said and will continue to say she is my angel!

I am not in a wheelchair like some living with MS and do not require much assistance walking.  Although I am no longer able to actively participate in physical activities like P90X, Insanity, basketball and golf, I have turned my life in new directions.  I love writing and I love the research required to provide an educated opinion on the topics that I write about.  I have reignited my love affair with first century Christian history, a passion that amazes and provokes my intellect.  And I focus lots of energy on living a healthy lifestyle.

Living with MS has given me a new perspective on life. I have little sympathy for those that complain about life while living a life of neglect.  I find it irresponsible to watch people filling their bodies with tons of fatty foods, lying around and getting fat when their bodies are fully capable of doing better.  At one point I resented people for their neglect, but now I just “move on past it” as my Aunt Jenny would say.  If you have read my strong opinions on this topic maybe this post puts that in perspective.  If you are capable of more, you should expect more of yourself.  Period.  No excuses.

I will always advocate that people manage their lives with the responsibility that will allow them to live the life they want to live. Whatever that dream should be, live it: moving to a mountain lifestyle, changing jobs, traveling, entrepreneurship, paying off debt, living a healthy lifestyle, etc. You can have what you want, if you want it bad enough.

Why Living Debt-Free Creates a More Joyous Life

I know so many people who portray themselves as happy on Facebook, that I can see are not very happy at all.  People are keeping up with the Joneses, piling up credit card debt, feeling the pressure of impending college tuition, wondering how in the world did I get in this much debt and how am I going to get out of this? They work jobs they abhor and live lives that are severely disorganized.

101My challenge has always been to push people to challenge themselves, to break the cycle of a life that is designing them vs them designing their life. And as I type this I realize some might read and say most people’s lives aren’t that bad; and my response is you have not been paying attention.  It might be the case that not all families encapsulate my description above, but many families deal with a few.  I believe we have been conditioned to accept debt as a reality, when in fact it is a defeatist mentality.

We must realize that our life is our responsibility and it is possible for us to make positive changes.

I have talked often in the past about debt and I have wondered myself why so many of my thoughts regarding living out dreams come back to debt.  And I guess the answer is that in conversations with people I have heard the money excuse used all too often. And when I hear the money excuse used I immediately wonder how much cash they waste each month or how they use their money.

I personally have two resources that I guard as sacred: my time and my money.  The money situation is very sensitive for lots of individuals because they feel a sense of embarrassment when light is shined on their inability to manage their personal life. If you speak to someone who works in the financial business they will tell you how defensive people get when their debt is criticized (and by criticize I mean it in the truest definition of the word, not pointing out flaws or making fun of).

I believe it is important for you to understand one fact: your debt could be getting in the way of you living a fulfilled life!  We live in a society that tells us we must live in a certain type of house, drive a certain type of car,  send our kids to a top school, we must work a certain type of job, we must associate with a certain type of people. And if you do not you are not successful. And you must obtain these things at any cost. So get yourself some credit cards, acquire a line of credit and go buy things so that people think you are successful and these things will make you happy and fulfilled.

And in the end what you have attained is a life that is fake, that you don’t own because you owe others for it, and a mountain of debt that you carry around like a 300 pound gorilla each and every day. Your debt restricts your ability to move out of a job that makes you unhappy, it restricts your ability to move out of a city or town that you do not like, it restricts your ability to see the world around you and it sets an image of the type of life your children expect to have for themselves.

For your information, Warren Buffett still lives in a house in Nebraska that he bought 50 years ago and drives an old Buick,  both of which he paid off many years ago.

121908-600x349Do not wait for tomorrow, do it today!  And contrary to what some might say Starbucks is not necessary. Car payments are not necessary. Shopping at the most expensive grocery stores is not necessary. Eating out is not necessary. Gym memberships are not necessary.  Boats & motorcycles are not necessary. Cable television is not necessary. And these are just a few of the things I see people spending money on that they can neither afford nor sustain.

Your attitude towards buying things should always be: if you do not have the cash to buy, do not buy it.  I will guarantee you if you eliminate all unnecessary spending each month you will have approximately $500 to pay on debt. My advice would be to pay down the smallest credit card first and gain some positive forward momentum. Then choose the second debt item and take the $500 plus whatever you were paying on the first credit card and pay that on the second credit card.  You duplicate this formula as many times as it takes to get you out of debt and if you commit three to five years to this you will be 100% debt free.  There are many methods or plans that one can use so be sure to educate yourself as to the best method for your situation.

Don’t forget to take a few moments and visit my Partners’ pages located in the sidebar and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr!

Many of the happiest people I know have extremely low debt. And by extremely low debt I mean they have an affordable mortgage, no car payment, and zero credit card debt.

Successful people do not stumble upon being successful. Their lives are purposely designed to give themselves the best opportunity possible to find success. And it is time for you to take control of your life and design it to give yourself the best opportunity possible to be successful.  The first step is acknowledging that your life is your responsibility.

 

14 Adventures I Want to Complete Before I Die

 

I always talk about doing and accomplishing amazing things and I thought it would be neat to talk about things on my bucket list.  I had never compiled a list before last year so I’m still working on a few of these and have plans in the works for many.

The bucket list is the ultimate to-do list and I think it is important to have things or places that you plan to do or see as lifelong goals.  After all, without goals we wonder aimlessly!  As you think about your life-long goals, bucket list, be careful to avoid a “wishlist.”  I view my bucket/life list as a list of things I fully intend to do in time, not things that I hope to do some day, if time allows and if I get around to it.  But with that said it’s your list so have at it.

Here are 14 Adventures I Want to Complete Before I Die:

  1. I want to visit Europe.  My wife is from Poland and I want to visit her country and see the sights.  I am amazed at stories she tells of castles and churches that are thousands of years old!  The church she was baptized in was built in the 1200’s and is still used for weekly services!  To consider the history of buildings and places that have stood the test of time intrigues me.  I’ve also wanted to visit Germany, Austria, England and France.  It would be nice to take a month or so and enjoy what each country has to offer.  Oh, almost forget, gotta see the mountains featured in The Sound of Music!”
  2. I am at home in the Caribbean and want to sail the islands from end-to-end!
  3. Write a book that gets published.
  4. Make someone’s dream come true.  Fund a start-up business?  Pay for a college education?  Help someone get back on their feet?
  5. Do something daring.  Thanks to my Uncle Lee, I adopted the personal motto, “Safety first,” which has kept me healthy.  The side effect of this mantra is a lack of adrenaline inducing adventures.  I haven’t decided yet, but I’m thinking something like bungee jumping, sling shotting or driving a racecar.  I must admit I don’t see myself skydiving or diving with sharks.  One must learn to walk before running!
  6. Visit Jerusalem and swim in the Dead Sea.
  7. Spend a night in a haunted house!  Scary and adventurous….
  8. Visit north Africa and West Asia  Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.  Pyramids possibly built by aliens (??lol??), Petra and Casablanca…I’m in.
  9. Become fluent in a second language.  I’m taking Polish lessons now so maybe I’ll be ready for my European trip!
  10. Drive cross-country.
  11. Take a spontaneous flight.  No decisions until at the airport.
  12. Start my own successful business.
  13. Develop 6 pack abs.
  14. Make a time capsule and open in 20 years.

 

It was very cool to put together my list and I encourage you to think about what you want on your list.  Now it is time to start enjoying checking things off!!

20 Simple Things You Need To Do To Awaken Your Inner Child

Great teachers and philosophers for thousands of years have implored humanity to recapture the essence of being like children.  To gaze out the window into a world of magic and amazement and to see the world for what is truly is: spectacular!

8663075893_3304b8ecd4_o_d

image credit: Peekaboo/Josh Liba:joshliba.com

Here is my list of 20 Simple Things You Need To Do To Awaken Your Inner Child:

1.  Lay in the grass and stare at the clouds or stars.

2.  Wrestle in the yard.

3.  Go to the park and play catch

4.  Go down a slide at the water park 50 times in a row

5.  Ride a rollercoaster

6.  Build a sandcastle at the beach

7.  Color with crayons

8.  Make something from Play-dough

9.  Play a board game

10.  Play hide-n-go seek

11.  Play a pick up game of basketball

12.  Use your imagination and make up crazy stories

13.  Believe and learn a magic trick

14.  Play in the dirt

15.  Finger paint a picture

16.  Go fishing

17.  Visit kids in the hospital

18.  Eat a giant lollipop

19.  Go to a local fair and eat cotton candy

20.  Watch nature

This quote hangs in my bedroom just below a framed Disney artwork piece…

That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. – Walt Disney

If You Can’t Say Something Positive, Then Zip It!

About 2 years ago I realized the toll that working retail was taking on me.  Without noticing I had become much more bitter, suspicious, negative, negative and negative.  Oh, did I mention negative? I didn’t like going anywhere except home after work and made it my mission in life to avoid

negaitve-thoughts

image credit: networkingtimes.com

other retail stores at all costs.  If you have worked retail you understand me, if not, go to Amazon and buy “Retail Hell” by Freeman Hall and it will provide perspective.

Funny side note is I discovered the book Retail Hell while on vacation on Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands over Christmas in 2010. Unfortunately, I came down with a stomach virus and was confined to the villa for two full days. My only entertainment was a television that received two stations and that book.  So as I laid alone in my villa shivering out a low fever, that book was my lone companion!

Anyway, working retail can be a challenging situation especially if you work in a store that is located in a more affluent area.  My experience was that customers treated you like a second class citizen, that is if they noticed you at all.  The grind of being on my feet for 40 hours per week was brutal and when combined with corporate performance pressure and demanding customers…well, you get the picture.  Then under girding all of those issues were the difficulties of living with MS.

Needless to say my attitude was poor and I had to change.  I did not like the person that I had become and the thought crossed my mind that if I realized my attitude was bad, then how bad was it in actuality?  Similar to when the drunk realizes he’s drunk, that means he’s super drunk!!  The question was how to change?  How would I change my mindset to be more positive?

In order to change any habit you must change either the motivation behind the habit or the routine that supports it. Insert definition of insanity here!  If you continue the same action expecting a different result…you must change your actions in order to get different results!

First, I left my job in retail!  Then, over time I implemented brand new actions and thoughts in my life.  I had to start thinking before I opened my mouth, then say something about the glass being half full versus half empty.  I constantly reminded myself about the positives of humanity.

I instilled in my thinking the fact that the majority of people were not out to screw me or with me.  I began a hobby which allowed me decompression time.  I found things to do in life that made me happy.  I began exercising and eating healthier and lost some weight.  And all of these things I still focus on today.  I still have negative tendencies, but I am getting better at recognizing them before they materialize.

Zip-your-lips

image credit: quotesgram.com

The hardest and most important change was my negative talk.  When you feel negative on the inside it will usually manifest itself as negativity coming out of your mouth.  The thing that I didn’t realize about being a negative person is the people around you get tired of being around you. Listening to someone constantly complain is a complete and total drag.

Sometimes life is tough enough as it is, but combine that with one or two negative people and things just get unbearable! And often times negative people find themselves alone or constantly searching for new friends or hanging with other negatives. My talk was usually about something “getting on my nerves”, complaining about work, what I didn’t like about something, how much money wasn’t in my account and so on.

Negative self-talk and negative talk in general will simply perpetuate a negative attitude.

Do you have a negative attitude or tendencies?  Here are a few characteristics:

-often complaining
-tendency to see the downside in things
-have a negative effect on others/you’re a drag
-tendency to belittle others
-speak negative
-negative internal self-talk
-frequent use of sarcasm
-rude to others
-quarrelsome
-unfriendly
-judgmental

I am sure there are others, but these are a few that I recognized in myself after I started making an attitude change.  Looking at the list still makes me a little embarrassed, but I own the way I acted then and thank my past self now for making changes.

I will say the thing I enjoy the most about working to be a more positive person is noticing the good in the world.  I know it is not realistic to think life is always going to be rainbows, chocolate chip cookies and puppy kisses.  But it is also not realistic to think it’s always going to be cloudy with a good chance of rain and a high probability of ultimate death and destruction!!

Always know this: you control and create every aspect of your life. The more positive your attitude the more opportunities you will see in life.  My new attitude has allowed me to begin things I never thought were possible; like the Dream Big community!

When you see the positive, you see the opportunities.  When you are negative, you see the difficulties.  Which do you want for yourself?

 

 

Why a Dream Life Will Require You to Change

stock-illustration-13079513-cute-professions-setWhen we were kids we dreamed of being police officers, firemen/women, fighter pilots, princesses, presidents, deep sea divers, astronauts, etc.  Contrary to our dreams we ended up being bartenders, accountants, retail workers, engineers, sales staff, etc.  Not that these occupations are not admirable, but I don’t know many 8 year olds that say they are going to be an account executive for a bank versus a fighter pilot when they grow up.

I have a Walt Disney World stock certificate hanging in the bedroom which contains a quote from the visionary himself, “That’s what’s wrong with the world today, too many people grow up.”  And I think about that quote every single day and make sure that I just act goofy enough to remind myself that this life is a game and I try to play it like a kid.

I allow myself to laugh to tears at any chance, I tell stupid jokes that make no sense, I sing-song what I want to say every day (completely annoys Evelina), I look online at toys I had when I was young and reminisce about my youth, I fight each and every day to keep the kid in me alive and well because being an adult is so completely boring!!

So we exit childhood, head off to college or enter the workforce and work to obtain steady pay to take care of bills, get married, start a family and then live through the lives of our children…right?  Occasionally experiencing a moment of nostalgia in which we recall the person we used to be and the dreams we once had.

A 2013 Gallup Poll estimated an alarming 70% of those surveyed either hated their jobs or were completely disengaged, and not even incentives and extras were enough to change their views about their job.  Are you kidding me that 70% of us are working jobs that we hate??

So why not dare to dream?  And why not dare to be extraordinary?  Either that or you could spend your life working a job you hate only to get terminated after 10 years and then what are you left with?

Several months ago I had a friend of mine share with me how much he hated his job and felt trapped by it as he had to support his family, pay bills and take care of his responsibilities.  His thought was to just keep the course and maybe things would get better, but in the end, his focus needed to be on his family;  keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.  My first thought was…”are you kidding me, that is a horrible plan!!!!”

Debt concept.

Debt concept.

But I pulled myself together and dove deeper.  Come to find out he had zero financial freedom and couldn’t take a job he enjoyed and make less money nor could he take the risk of starting a business.  So my advice to him was to focus his entire life to becoming debt free!  Ultimately his issue wasn’t that he couldn’t find a job he enjoyed, it was that the way he lived his life disallowed him to attain freedom from a terrible job.

Remember, #2 in the rules of the universe is you must determine what you are willing to sacrifice to get what it is you desire. His life focus, mission and energy has to become solely focused on freeing his family from the horrors of debt.  And the debt must be attacked with faith, perseverance and desire!  Stop going to restaurants, stop drinking, stop smoking, disconnect cable, stop buying $1500 televisions, stop using credit cards and sacrifice for as long as it takes to gain freedom!

Identify the real problem and take action immediately!

One of my favorite past times is people watching as it is so much fun (and very educational)!  I especially like listening to people complain about their current life situation and troubles, which often revolve around relationship problems, loneliness, friend drama, or money; but mostly money.  I then look at how they squander their resources and the problem is usually evident!

Pinpoint an area of your life that is holding you back from living your Dream and work toward fixing the problem!!  If you are in too much debt then make your life mission to be debt free!  If you want a better job, then start taking classes to get a specialty degree and get that job!  If you want to meet that special someone, get off the couch and find ways to meet people!  If you are not happy where you live, then find a way to save money and move somewhere that you enjoy!

You are the commander of your life, the dictator of terms, the architect and designer so pick one thing to change and see it through, then pick another, then another, then another…build positive forward momentum.   Do not be afraid to identify with your dreams.  Don’t let naysayers tell you that you can’t.  Don’t allow fear and doubt to dictate your life course.

I challenge you to be extraordinary, bigger than life and fulfilled!

Time For Me To Change: A 6 Step Plan to a Healthy Life

I have talked in previous posts about the unspoken “laws” of the universe.  That if you determine what you desire and ask for it, determine what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve, have faith, persevere, get organized and execute, you can reach any goal and live your dream(s).  I know this formula works because I have experienced it for myself.

And now I need to apply it once again.   In recent months I have not been as mobile and I’ve been a little lazy, which has resulted in me carrying around a few extra pounds.  So I decided to use my recent weight gain as an example of how to take action to bring about change.  For many people, starting with something easily attainable is the first step in creating positive forward momentum.

Imagine a homeless person.  They may dream of living in the penthouse of a luxurious downtown high rise, but achieving that dream probably starts with getting a bunk in a permanent shelter and finding steady employment.  For some, the first step might be getting your finances in order and stop wasting money in order to pay down debt (and the one I recommend if you are frivolous with your resources)!  For others, it might be learning to read and write.  For others maybe learning a second language.  You get the point.  Start with something that will help you get the ball of positive energy moving.  Okay here goes…

Healthy-LivingThe first step is to determine what I desire and to state it with exactness.  “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything”, Napoleon Hill.    So my desire is to lose 15 pounds by January 31, 2015.  Losing 15 lbs will put me in my target weight and is an attainable goal.  It is specific and has a specific timeframe assigned to it.  To simply state that I want to lose weight is not good enough, not specific enough and sounds too much like a hope or wish.  On the other hand, to say I want to lose 45 pounds by December 31 is not only unattainable, but also unhealthy.  In this step it is crucial to state exactly what you want while also being fair in the timeframe.

Step 2 is to determine what I am willing to sacrifice to achieve my goal.  As we learn in life, nothing comes free and so it is with achieving goals.  So for me to reach my goal I know I have to give up sweets, soda, fatty foods, junk, etc.  Also, I must sacrifice some of my time and add to my daily schedule some element of physical activity.  So I am willing to sacrifice eating sweets, drinking alcohol, miscellaneous junk food and will sacrifice time twice per day to walking to what distance I am able.  It does not matter if I only walk a tenth of a mile, twice daily.  It only matters that I do it.  You must know what you will give up in order to get.

Now, having faith in this instance is a little easier than most as I already understand the science that if I burn more calories than I consume my body will do its job and burn fat.  Faith is not hoping, believing or wishing, but knowing beyond doubt that somehow things will come to pass.  You may not know how, when or where, but you know it will happen.  So even though I don’t know all the particulars about physiology, I do have faith that if I burn more than I eat I will lose weight.  And I know this no matter what anyone says to me and I focus on the process and know that my body will do its job.  In other instances, with more lofty desires, faith will be of utmost importance.  Imagine if your desire was to become a millionaire or own a home and live in the Caribbean or travel to outer space!

images (1)Next is perseverance.   Dictionary.Com defines Perseverance as “to maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.”  As we have all experienced it can be difficult to make good food decisions when you are not at home.  When I am out-and-about and Wendy’s is calling my name to stop and buy a #3 Combo Super Sized with a sweet tea, I must persevere.  When the donut shop has the “hot and now” sign flashing, I must keep on driving!  Developing an all consuming, persevering attitude can be a challenge for some, while it may come easier for others.  Nonetheless, having a burning desire to achieve your goal and persevering is a must to finding success.   

The next step is crucial: get organized To help me reach my goal I have determined that I am going to consume 1600-1800 calories per day and use an app to track my intake.  I am going to use SkinnyTaste recipes to ensure that my food is well-balanced, low in fat and healthy.  This will also help me develop a shopping list so I avoid buying the wrong types of food.  These recipes will also help me cook healthy meals that taste good. 

My research revealed that tasty recipes will be crucial to my success.  I have determined through online research that I need to eat three meals per day and have 3 snacks per day, with nothing consumed after 7:00 pm.  I also need to drink between 7-8 bottles of water per day.  My exercise schedule will consist of 2 walks per day, one in the morning and the other in the late afternoon.  I have decided that I will clean out the refrigerator on Sunday evening and fill it with the items from my shopping list.  My plan will be implemented on Monday, December 1st.   

Once I had the information to help me reach my goal, I formed it to my needs and wrote it down in the family log book (Evelina had the idea to have a book with a pen, so that we could write shopping lists, cleaning lists, thoughts, etc. for the family.  It is kind of like our family sticky note). 

If you notice, the “get organized” part takes a lot of background research and work.  During the planning stage I must anticipate any obstacle and determine a way to overcome.  This is the part that a lot of people are too lax and it plays a major part in failure.  Ever heard the old adage, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail?”  I would dare to say that most failures can be traced right back to the “get organized” stage, followed secondly by “perseverance.”  So during this stage of work, take your time, do not rush through, cover all grounds and leave no stone unturned. 

Do not begin to try to reach any goal until you have a specific, well researched, well developed plan.      

images (2)Now that all the prep work is done, it is time for the final step: time to execute!  Now I take all my planning and I write it down in a short paragraph and I will commit to reading my mission statement every single day.  This step is vital!  It will become my personal mantra for the next 2 months.  It reads as follows:

My desire is to lose 15 pounds by January 31, 2015.  To reach my goal I will sacrifice eating sweets, junk food, fatty foods and sodas.  I will also sacrifice my time twice per day and commit to walking around my neighborhood.  I will eat 1600-1800 calories per day, consisting of 3 meals and 3 snacks and will never eat after 7:00 pm.  I will track my caloric intake each time I eat with a mobile app.  I know that if I execute this plan and consume fewer calories than I burn that my body will do its job and burn fat.  I will commit to this plan no matter how bad the junk food cravings get nor what other people say; I will persevere!

This mantra becomes my mission statement for the next 2 months and I will read it everyday until then.  In order to achieve your goal you must develop a burning desire for what it is you want and refuse to quit no matter what!!  Remember, “desire is the starting point for all achievement.”

Why I Blog the Way I Blog: The Method to My Madness

automatedmarketing.com

automatedmarketing.com

I thought it would be nice to provide a little information structure for those that are new to DBDO as we have added a lot of new followers and readers to the blog in the last couple of weeks.

I focus our conversations around 4 basic topics, all of which have to do with personal development: living a healthy lifestyle, living an organized/goal oriented life, living debt-free and living a life of charity.  I call these the 4 Pillars of Successful Living.  I not only espouse these, I live them.

I focus on these 4 because my research has revealed that these are the 4 basic areas that were common among people who considered themselves unsuccessful or under-achieving.

Along with these 4 topics I believe in and use a 6-step formula for helping me to achieve my goals:

  1. determine what it is that you want and state it
  2. determine what you are willing to sacrifice to get what you want,
  3. develop a persistent attitude,
  4. have faith,
  5. develop organized planning and
  6. execute.

Because of this formula I will often discuss desire, developing persistence, having faith (which happens to be yesterday’s TOTD) developing a plan or executing the plan.

I post a Dream Big Original each morning at 6am est.  I then use reblogged articles to provide supporting material for the Topic of the Day.

After 4:30 pm I conduct an Open Blog Night for reblogging which allows me to share random reblogs I have enjoyed reading during my early morning networking session and from those that have requested a reblog.  Each morning I read 100 blogs from those that follow me and note which ones caught my eye and then reblog them at night.  Not only does this provide me fun reblog material, but it also allows me to keep in contact with all of the bloggers that follow me throughout the month.  I wish I could get to everyone more often but I simply cannot.

Also, on the 2nd and 4th weekend of every month I conduct a Meet and Greet which allows all bloggers the opportunity to leave a link on my page and meet and find new followers.  This is a great way for others to gain exposure for their page.

I hope this helps some of the new folks to understand my blogging strategy.  I believe every blogger needs to have some type of formula that works for them other than “build it and they will come.”

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past Are Condemned to Repeat It

Why do I focus so much on change and improvement?  Because, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana.  I started my self-improvement journey to change several habits that I recognized were not conducive to remaining married.

When I met Evelina I was a little out of control.  I had no long-term goals.  I had zero ambition.  I had no plan.  And I didn’t really care about myself much.  I did not realize it then, but I was suffering from depression.  When Evelina and I began dating I quickly realized how incredible she was and how it would be imperative that I change some of my life habits or I would ruin the relationship.

I have been criticized on several occasions about pushing others to improve; that I should encourage people to be content with who they are.   To this criticism I always answer: I do not promote people to change their essence, but strongly encourage people to change their habits.  The essence of a person does not change over time as most behavioral science experts will explain.  But the person can change some of their habits and change the life around them or their circumstances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are not aware of your past, then you will be doomed to repeat mistakes over and over!  But if you have a serious and honest introspective attitude you can recognize the habits that contribute to past failures and change those habits.  That is what I propose.

Why would you continue to live out actions that do not produce the results that you want?  Do you need more income?  Do you want a better marriage?  Do you want a more fulfilling occupation?  Do you want to be more fulfilled?  Do you want more success in general?

Here is what you do: assess your life habits.  Make a list of what you do; your actions.  Then make a list of what you truly desire!  Do your habits match up with your desire?  Are your habits in line with producing the results you want from your life?

If they are not, then make another list of the habits you think will get what you desire.  For instance, if you desire to change jobs, but the job you desire pays less and your bills are very high, then you need to change your habits as they relate to spending and debt.  Your new habit list should include restricting spending, stop watching TV and eliminate cable, paying down debt, quitting smoking, quitting alcohol.  All of these habit changes will provide more cash available to pay down debt, thus freeing one up to take a more fulfilling job that pays less money.

Being content with WHO one is has nothing to do with WHAT one does.  So when I encourage people to practice self-improvement I am encouraging a change in habits, not essence.  After all, what you do is not who you are…necessarily.

Life is not as difficult as we make it.  If you want your situation to improve or change, you MUST change.  If you change nothing, nothing will change; not your essence, but your habits/actions.  If I want more money, but spend 6 hours per day watching TV, then making more money is wishful thinking.  If I want more money and quit watching TV, go back to school at night, read about my industry and spend time networking with industry leaders, then and only then will I put myself in a position to advance my employment, thus make more money.

So many of my readers email me and complain about how life is hard and about past failures and, yet they continue to live out the same set of habits now that produced all of the past failures and disappointments.  They do not change actions and are only wishing for their future to be different.

The sad fact is their future will not change.

Make 3 lists: 1. current life habits.  2.  That which you desire.  3.  Habits that will get you what you desire.   Then compare.  I strongly encourage you to use my list of Habits of Successful People to help you develop your new habits list.  And if healthy living, debt-free living and getting organized are not at the top of your new list then tear it up and start over!