Normal?

What is your version of a normal life?

Is it something you’ve seen characterized in a book, movie or magazine?

What is normal to you could be totally foreign to your neighbor, especially in the multi-cultural world of today.

So, if everyone’s version of normal is different, what picture of normal are you aspiring to?

When you were born you were a blank slate and everything you consider to normal today is a byproduct of the influences you have been exposed to. And this normality is uniquely yours.

The illusion of being normal is an individual experience that is used as a lens through which to view and compare the outside world to your own.

Attempt to suspend your judgement when you encounter situations and opinions that don’t fit your picture of normal and be open to learning. Be curious and ask questions before considering things to be – not normal.

Personal Best

Do you have a personal best?

Do you know what a personal best is?

A personal best is a common phrase in athletics that indicates the best time or score achieved by an athlete in a particular event.

I can hear you now. But I’m not an athlete. And I believe you don’t have to be an athlete to achieve a personal best. I also believe some healthy competition with yourself can be fun.

What if you attempted to set a personal best in an area of your life?

It could be something as simple as how fast you can make your bed today, something big like how much money you could earn in a year or even playful, like how many people you can hug in a day.

The wonderful thing about a personal best is that you set the challenge for yourself and you’re the only person you need to beat. And just imagine what could happen if you learned to push yourself a little for a better version of you.

Forgiveness

What do you do when you feel wronged by someone?

Do you harbor the injustice and let it fester like an open wound or do you forgive and move on?

Learning to forgive will be one of the most powerful things you can learn to do. It will always benefit you more than the person you’re forgiving.

When you don’t forgive you carry with you the open chapter of whatever happened to you and continue to fuel to your feeling of resentment. Forgiveness provides you with a way to close the chapter and move on.

Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting. And it doesn’t mean that you’re right or wrong. It just means that you’re willing to let go.

You will never be able to control how people act towards you but you will always be able to control how you choose to respond to their behavior. Realize that most of time when people do something to hurt you they are only doing what they think is right and not out to hurt you.

Choose today to stop mentally revisiting the incidents with people in the past that have hurt you. You’ve already been carrying the burden for too long. Forgive them and leave them in the past where they belong.

Too much to do

Do you feel as though you have too much to do? The truth is that you probably do, and so does everybody else.

You will always have an infinite number of things to do and you will not know the outcome of any one of those things until you do them. You might think you do, but you really don’t.

Feeling overwhelmed with too much to do is common source of stress for many and often leads to not doing anything. The feeling of too much to do can literally freeze an individual in to a state of inaction.

The inaction usually stems from not being able to decide what to do first. This is because by nature, if you commit to doing one thing then you are deciding not to do something else and that’s where the inaction happens, from the uncertainty.

So, when you feel as though you have too much to do, know that what you’re actually experiencing is the uncertainty of what to do first and if it’s the right thing to do.  And unfortunately, this feeling will never go away.

One way to address the feeling of too much to do is to take the smallest action you can towards one small to do. The action itself will give you will help you bolster your confidence as you move towards your larger to do’s.

You don’t know?

Do you know that Mount Everest is 29,029 feet above sea level?

Do you know that DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid?

Do you know that elephants are the only animals that cannot jump?

If you already knew all these facts then good for you, but if you didn’t then you’re welcome.

The point of this is, what information do you have in your head or are you familiar with that you expect others to know? How many people have lived your life the way you have so that they would know everything you do?

When you ask someone if they know the answer to something and they don’t, how do you respond? Do you respond with surprise and attempt to share your knowledge or with a tone of condescension?

Even trained professionals in specialized industries don’t have all the answers in their head, but they do know where and how to get them.

The next time you’re surprised that someone doesn’t have the same information as you, show a little grace instead of superiority. Respond by sharing what you know. Remember, they might know that the distance to Jupiter is 365 miles because that’s what’s important to them.

Follow your Problems

How many times have you heard that you should follow your passion?

But what if you don’t know what you’re passionate about?

Well I want to suggest an alternative. Follow your problems.

We’ve all encountered situations in our lives where we’ve wished that there was a better way to do something.  What if that’s the starting point of finding something you’re passionate about.

You see, if you find a problem that’s bothering you then there’s a great likelihood that others are encountering it too. And if solving the problem comes easy to you then you have a skill that is valuable. And although you might not be passionate about solving the problem, if you can solve it for others then you will find meaning.

There’s nothing wrong with following your passion especially if you know what it is, but keep in mind that passion can wane and change with time. Problems on the other hand are endless and if you can infuse a little bit of passion in to solving problems then you might just have a winning formula.

Cultivate self-fulfillment

What is keeping you from feeling fulfilled in your life?

We have all experienced this feeling of, if I could just have this one more thing or if I could meet this special person then I would feel fulfilled.

The truth is that deep down we know that relying on external factors to provide a sense of fulfillment leaves us wide open to disappointment.

What if we shed this notion of looking outside for fulfillment and begin to cultivate it internally?

When you take steps to be responsible towards your own sense of fulfillment you begin to experience a feeling of calm and control. You will experience an unwavering security in yourself.

Cultivating self-fulfillment starts with being present to your inner self. It requires you to stop and listen to your thoughts and feelings so that you can learn to identify who you are at your core and it will also give you clues about the gaps you are trying to fill within you. It is not easy. But over time the rewards will be much greater than anything you can find outside of yourself.

The Perfect illusion

When will you feel that everything is perfect?

When it all works out for you?

When you have everything under control?

When it all looks perfect?

When do you think this will happen?

Perfection is an illusion that you can chase forever but will never catch. It something you see in books, movies, and artificially structured moments and environments.

Even the most ‘perfect’ endeavors such as going in to outer space and life threatening surgeries have degrees of imperfection. It’s just that you don’t see them because all you see is the end result.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t aim for good or even greatness in your life, however be aware that true perfection is an illusion.

Inspire Someone

Think of a time when you were inspired by words someone said to you. How did it make you feel?

When was the last time you intentionally set out to inspire someone?

The word inspire originates from Latin and means breathe in or breath into, so when you inspire someone you breathe life into them. And how many people do you know that could use some inspiration?

A few simple inspirational words said with sincerity can make a huge difference in someone’s day or even their life.  So why not do it more often? Inspiring someone will not cost you anything but your action will be priceless.

What are your values?

Can you identify your values?

Have you ever thought about what your values are?

Your values describe what you believe in and how you will behave in certain situations. They provide you with a compass as you go through life. For example, if one of your core values is health then you will steer towards and prioritize healthy behavior.

You will know when you are not behaving in accordance with you values because you will experience feelings of guilt or remorse. You will feel out of sync with yourself.

Depending on your personality your values might change over time and that’s okay since you’re always encountering new information. And if changing benefits you and drives you towards your goals then that’s great. However, if you change your values too often then there’s a danger of feeling lost and not having any direction.

Taking some time to write down your values is great exercise because it will help you understand why you behave the way you do, and it will also help you better understand other people because you will learn that they are also behaving in alignment with their values.