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 ~

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 ~

 

Brotherly Basketball Bonding

Brothers with #thedragon

Brothers with #thedragon

I love basketball and have been a die-hard Pheonix Suns fan since 1993. At that time, the stars of the team were Kevin Johnson, Tom Chambers and Dan Majerly. My brother Dan and our friend Kevin would pretend to be their name sakes while I played mine, “Tom” Chambers. The three of us would often get together with all the neighborhood boys for pickup games of 1 on 2, 2 on 2, 2 on 3, 3 on 3…..you get the picture. Back then, EVERYONE had a hoop so it was easy for us to spontaneously start games no matter at whose house we were playing. I remember one day all us boys were in back of my neighbor’s home, WWF wrestling and having a great ‘ol time, when each of us spontaneously eyeballed each other, shook our shoulders and said, “I’m bored, let’s go play basketball.”

Pickup Fantasy Games

Pickup Fantasy Games

Despite our nonchallant decision to play basketball, each of us aimed at fiercly destoying the other team. Our style and creativity of play resembled that of All-Star competitions: domination through sheer scoring. We marked off the corners of the driveway for 3-pointers, lowered the rim to 7 feet and even used a mini-trampoline to get mad hops for some crazy jams. I remember one day when no one was home, I brought out the trampoline to practice my dunking skills. I wanted to be like Dr. J.

Everything was going fine as I grabbed some mad hang time….untill I got a little too cocky.

I was working a Jimmy Dolan “Shake And Bake” from the film, “The Air Up There” before pouncing on the trampoline. **BOOM!** I slammed the ball, swinging on the rim for emphasis. Unfortunately, my hands slipped as the centrifugal force brought my legs forward. I fell back….and since my neck is fused and has no mobility, I wasn’t able to brace myself, landing flat as a board. As you can guess, I whacked the back of my head on the hard concrete, knocking me unconscious for a few momements.

But I got up, the bump healed and all that remained was the memory of that awsome high-flighing adventure!

Fast forward twenty-two years.  My brother came home to visit and out of the blue asked if I’d like to go to a Suns game with him….the next day! Really?? He’s been traveling around the world, stops in for a couple days and decides to spontaneously go to a game- without even considering price, availabilty or overcoming physical challenges. I am not jelous, nor would I change my life experiences but sometimes I wish those who work hard just to maintain would get a little more credit. Fortunately for me, I have a loving family who appreciates my perseverence yet pushes me to reach for the stars.

That encouragement inspires confidence and makes me want to, as the Army says, “Be All I Can Be.

Back to the story….I was hesitant to attend the Suns game because my life usually follows Murphy’s Law:  Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” Fortunately for me, Dan’s excitement was contageous and I soon forgot my nervous oxygen calculations, throwing on a huge smile. I am extremely appreciative of my brother for the way he he motivates me to overcome worries, allowing me to join events most people take for granted. In that way, he helps me feel “normal.”

good times.

good times.

YES! Let’s do it! I bought two upper deck tickets online (because what’s a live sporting event without a nose bleed?!) and prepared for adventure. I packed my oxgen tanks, I rolled a double tank and my brother carried an extra, a disabled parking plackard, cell phone, wallet and a willingness to embarass myself in the name of fandom. An hour drive later we arrived at our center court seats. Although we were super high up, the arena was half capacity, giving us a fantastic, direct view of the entire game.

great view!

great view!

Most of the Suns players were new to me so it fun being surprised by their impressive quickness, passes and dunks. At one point, a Suns player inbounded the ball and quickly threw it upcourt for an open layup. #BAM! In Yo Face Spurs!! That night was a fantastic, continuous bombardment on my senses. Bright lights, bumpin’ music, cheering hotties, deliciously unhealthy popcorn, nachos & hotdogs, fast-paced-action; all of which were made possible by the steady flow of portible oxygen.

Bonding: Something To Cheer For!

Bonding: Something To Cheer For!

To add a cherry on the delicious sundae which was the basketball event, the Suns demolished the Spurs, ahead 20 pts almost the entire game. Watching a live Phoenix Suns game brought me back to my childhood while allowing me to make new, grown up memories with my brother. I feel so blessed that even as our lives change and we each take on more responsibilities, our relationship grows stronger.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t worry. Take chances. Ignore the inevitable discompfort you’ll feel becasuse in the long run, it is fleeting and you will soon be back to normal. All that remains is the happy memory of what you experienced. #Dontworry #Behappy  ~ Breathe This Life ~

Courtside, after the win!

Courtside, after the win!

Blessings Don’t Always Appear Benificial

I am extremely grateful for every person and situation in my life, both uplifting and challenging. My life is great, not from what is in it but because I am alive to experience it!

It can be a bit frustrating, though, when people without breathing or health issues make their glass half-full situations sound half empty. Do they not understand how blessed they are?? It is difficult to feel sympathy for that….

I guess everyone adopts their own perspective based on life situaions. I can not control how others experience the world but I CAN be thankful for those experiences that make me a stronger person.

That is why everyday I make a conscious effort to thank God for each blessing bestowed on me. Even the hurdles that cause me to stumble can be tools that strengthen my stamina and perseverence.

As Eric Idle from Monty Python sang, “Always look on the bright side of life.”

 

Improving Your Mental Productivity

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The ability to be productive starts in the mind. Forming good habits is important but gaining control over your life starts with control over your mentality.

If you’re anything like me, you begin with the best of intentions to accomplishing a goal….but somehow find myself frustrated, quitting from lack of progress. What Happened?!?!

Speaking from experience, I have been excited by the thought of accomplishing a goal but when it came down to putting in the time and effort, I’d get “distracted.”

Take writing a blog, for example: I organize lists and blog notes by topic and entry, allot time for focussed writing and set up a clean workspace with a wide open, inspiring view of nature. I do all this to dedicate time to my primary goals: expressing my joy through blogging, cooking, traveling and socializing with friends and family.

However, even on the most organized days, random thoughts and less urgent goals may break my concentration, causing me to loose my train of thought and inspirational flow. Some people may have the misconception that being distracted is the same as not being motivated; that loosing focus is a lack of will power.

Having overcome life-and-death obstacles, I know beating the odds isn’t just a matter of mental strength but also mental fortitude. We can accomplish any task with conviction and dedication.

As Rocky Balboa said,

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

Motivation is necessary to keep getting up but discipline is needed to put in the effort once standing. That combination builds resiliency, an important attribute to overcoming any obstacle.

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

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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 ~