What is YOUR motivation??

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If you’re anything like me, you begin with the best of intentions in accomplishing a goal…but somehow end up frustrated, quitting from lack of progress. What Happened?!?! It’s not like I don’t put forth a solid effort. Take writing a blog, for example: I allot time for focused writing, organize blog notes by topic and entry and set up a work space with a wide open, inspiring view of nature.

Still, even on the most organized days, random thoughts sometimes break my concentration, causing me to loose attention and train of thought. I think some people have the misconception that being distracted is the same as not being motivated.

Speaking from experience, I have been excited at achieving goals (such as becoming physically fit, writing a book or building a business) but when it comes down to putting in the time and effort, I get “distracted.” Having overcome life-and-death struggles, I know beating the odds isn’t just a matter of mental toughness but also mental fortitude.

Bill Russell, 13-time NBA champion and thought to be the best player in history, is quoted as saying,

“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.”

Motivation is necessary to keep getting up but discipline is needed to put in the effort once standing. That combination builds resiliency, an attribute important to accomplishing any goal. To put it into simple mathematical terms:

Motivation + Action = Mental Toughness

As Rocky Balboa said,

“It’s not how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can GET hit and keep getting up.”

After all, attaining goals is not just about how well you overcome obstacles but also how much you can keep going in the face of those challenges. Motivation, Discipline, Resilience, Mental Fortitude: It all comes down to Action.

Below is an easy to follow instructional video that will guide you though steps to become more productive.

Before you watch it, take the initiative of sharing the love: Click the “Like” button, post a comment and re-post. 

~ Breathe Easy ~

Living In The Moment

For years, while everyone had the hip Smart phones and I-Phones while I was stuck with the non-internet-connected flip phone. When I first received the Sprint flip phone, I felt hip and stylish, as if it were a hi-tech Star Trek Communicator! However, years passed and technology improved while I kept the same phone. While I felt out of touch at the time, in hind sight it was a blessing. I wasn’t faced with the temptations of Facebook/twitter/email bombarding me with alerts 24/7.

Because of my aversion to impersonal communication, my phone was used solely for phone calls.  Sometimes I would use the phone in place of a watch for time management or to get out of a stagnant conversation…”it’s getting late, I gotta go….” but never in place of it.

I recently watched a video that profoundly put technology’s importance into perspective. Please watch before continuing the post.

I’m confounded to understand why people act like those in the video, furiously trying to stay connected to people but loosing true connection to life. They are missing out on the EXPERIENCE OF BEING IN THE MOMENT.

I’m not condemning innovation. On the contrary, technology is wonderful if used to improve passionate actions.

I recently bought an I-phone with all the bells and whistles…..and have become what I so reviled: Someone who substitutes online life for REAL life. I’ve been checking and updating my Facebook/twitter/blog/ more often….not urgent and can do from home. Texting and apps are a waste of time and distract you from the joy of living. Why? As we see with the male hiker, he talks on the phone while climbing to the top and coming back down the mountain. Taking away the fact that it’s extremely rude to others, there is nothing overtly wrong with that. The male hiker won’t likely get hurt or loose his way and he’ll get in his daily exercise while supposedly having a meaningful conversation.

But what is his missing? Exactly! What?? He doesn’t know what he’s missing. Perhaps a furry animal running about. Perhaps a rare flower under a bush. Perhaps the beauty of the glimmering sun as it sets across the city. Perhaps it’s simply clearing his mind and taking in a deep breath of fresh air.

“But we need to stay in communication!!”

Communication is essential to community but sometimes it is a distraction. Being alone is just as important as being with others, for it is in those moments when you are fully open to new, profound ideas and inspiration. When you are alone with your thoughts and feelings, there is no hiding from honesty within yourself.

For more on Knowing Yourself, check out my post: https://breathethislife.wordpress.com/2013/…/12/who-are-you/

— Breathe This Life —

In Response To A Climate Change Denier….

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Let’s leave our world in a better place….for our children’s future.

There seems to be a lot of emotion in the debate over climate change. As someone with breathing challenges, I am passionate in my belief that clean air is a world-wide necessity. I try to choose my beliefs in the same way I make decisions: a combination of facts, experience, ideals and reason. In my oppinon, working towards a clean air environment has many upsides and few down sides. It all comes down to “do we want to make a lot of money in the short term and let humanity die out or make less money now and allow humanity to survive longer?” Money or Life. Seems like a tough choice huh?

So I have been watching a lot of news and youtube videos of pundants discussing climate change. I respect that everyone is entitled to their oppinion and realize that every oppinion has a bit of validity to it. However, I recently read an article where one so-called “expert” spoke so passionatly against the possibility of climate-change that my brain almost exploded. It made me wonder, “Do those who balk in the face of overwhelming facts do so out of strong moral character or idealogical political reasons?” What is the difference? Questioning for the purposes of finding the truth is one thing. Skewing facts to fit a pre-concieved perspective is totally different. It’s the difference between being true to yourself or true to an agenda.

So, before people fruitlessly argue about climate change, it is important that we come to some baselilne agreements. Seeing eye to eye on these four principles allows our perspectives to be alligned and maximizes the chances of finding successful action to counteract global warming/polution/lack of resources.

These Are Four Guiding Principles

I am confident that we will not only find a way to compromise but will take successful action for humanity to prosper. Let’s agree:

1: That we actually want to come to an agreement and not just bullshit for political reasons.

2: On the definition of important terms such as “global warming,” “climate change,” “scientific concensus,” “opinion vs. fact.”

3: The differences between “man made problems” and “natural climate cycles.”

4. Regardless of our responsibility, do we want to make the effort to give our kids a world worth living in???

Once we agree on these basic ideas, challenges to our climate will be easier to overcome.

We are a resourceful species.

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Do You Believe In Magic?

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Not to be meladramatic but if we want great things for the world, we must stop telling our kids to “Be Realistic.” What does that even mean? The only thing REAL is the PAST. Why would we want humanity to re-live the past?? Time moves forward and the world changes and grows at the speed of light. We need people who can get ahead of the curve and lead the way, people who conquer illusions and escape chains, the Harry Houdinis of their industry.

Who will be the ones to captivate our hearts and minds and inspire imagination?

In the words of Whitney Houston, “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” You never know who may be the next Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein, Howard Hughes, Marie Curie or Elon Musks.

The bottom line is: It may be too late for us but we can inspire our children. Encourage their curiosity and interests so they can become Innovators. Explorers. Mavericks. Pioneers. Outaws. Trailblazers. Guide them as they learn who they are destined to become, not what others THINK they should become. Allow them to make mistakes and learn from them. Share with them your wisdom and watch them drive full steam towards their passion!

I believe in that youthful magic and with a little love and compassion, any child can make the impossible REAL.

~ Breathe This Life ~

1 Good Idea Can Make Huge Changes

Today I was surfing YouTube and found a story/video….or “stideo” (yea, I just made that up)…about a 24-year-old girl, Veronika, who turned her family tribulations into a solution for other families in need. It started like the scene from the film Pay It Forward when Veronika’s school teacher assigned her a new project: “design something that would fill a real need.” Veronika’s creation: A puffy coat that doubled as a sleeping bag. Her goal: to help the homeless by keeping them warm. However, that solution didn’t fix the deeper issue and instead of saying, “that’s good enough,” she challenged herself to do better. Discover Veronika’s new idea at the bottom of the page.

Everyone has at least one idea or gift that can change the world. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your background is or how much money you have. Once you find your talent, that one thing that makes a positive impact, that’s when the fun begins! Even the smallest of impacts can affect huge change: it’s the Butterfly Effect.

Put in the effort and watch the world change right before your eyes…..all it takes is confidence and inspiration. As Sir Ben Kingsley’s character challenges in the film Sexy Beast, “Where there’s a WILL there’s a WAY. And there’s ALWAYS a will.” You just have to find it.

When inspiration and passion merge…..lives are changed.

There is a brilliant idea within you too…..just put in the work.

~ Breathe This Life ~

30 Ways To Live A More Meaningful Life

Each day I rise with the intention of thinking positive thoughts and putting forth the effort to build deeper connections. That instant when my consciousness awakens and my eyes open, drawing in sunlight, I feel blessed to have another day of life. Today will be a great day!

Once my day progresses, however, constant road blocks – be them emotional, financial, mental or in my case physical – can bring me down. Although I find it irrational to let outside forces control my mentality, difficulty breathing can make mole hills seem like mountains. Patience gives way to frustration, causing me to become irrationally critical of my abilities. Then the worst outcome: Self-Doubt. (Cue dark music.)

Whenever you’re getting upset with life’s circumstances, stop! Realize negativity is a downward spiral so before things get worse, make the decision to take a time out and clear your mind. That might mean doing yoga, going on a run, gardening or playing your guitar. I, myself, enjoy cooking. There’s nothing more enjoyable to me than flipping through a “Cooking Light” magazine, with it’s enticing recipe articles, vibrant photos and creating a delicious meal. Once I’ve calmed down, or as yogi’s say, “Centered myself,” I’m eager to make the most the remaining daylight. But has wasted opportunities, laziness and poor decisions rendered my day useless? Shall I just chalk this one up as a loss? There is a great quote by Maria Robinson, stating:

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Nothing could be closer to the truth. There is something so powerful in the idea that any moment could change your destiny. So make the most of these moments and don’t squander them by being negative and lazy. A wise man, when asked how he is so productive, said he doesn’t sleep. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” He obviously took seriously the mentality of making every moment count! But before you can begin this process to achieve a meaningful life, you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now. 
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you. 
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t there in the beginning.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those challenges. You’ll see that they eventually lead you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer…let go, find peace and liberate your self!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. –  From my experience, if you spend all your time perfecting something and never putting it out into the world, it’s just wasted time and talent. The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.   Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

I’m all about personal growth but sometimes achieving goals can be overwhelming, especially when it means battling deep, psychological habits. I advise picking one goal each day and consciously applying all your thoughts and actions to improving. After a month, perhaps you will look back and see how your mind, spirit and relationships have changed for the better.

~ Breathe This Life ~

 

Celebrate Life!

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I love this sentiment! It’s just a duh, Idea. Most of the time we feel like we’re grinding through our lives, waiting for something inspiring or exciting to uplift our spirits and motivate us. It seems that we expect disappointment in life and seek an easy solution. What we need to understand is that, in the long run, negativity (even if it’s passive) takes more effort and causes more stress than the effort it takes to keep a positive frame of mind. Why don’t more people choose positivity? Because working a mental process takes diligence and fortitude: you must CHOOSE to be positive. By celebrating EVERYTHING you are taking decisive steps to build a happy soul.

If you’re interested in learning the difference between happiness and true joy, while uplifting your soul, check out this post: https://breathethislife.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/uplift-your-soul-in-only-4-minutes/

God Bless,

~ Breathe This Life ~

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(photo taken from http://lifeandloveandhappiness.wordpress.com)