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 ~

 


 

 

 

 

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Make Life Extra-Ordinary!

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If you have kept up with my blog then you know about my Daily Gratitude Journal. In it, I ‘ve been documenting at least 5 daily blessings that have fulfilled my life in some way. Today, watching a preview for Penny Dreadful, Showtime’s new show melding literary horror stories together (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFXHfEqMcis), the character of Dorian Gray mentioned something that struck a chord. I searched for a link to this clip for your viewing pleasure, to no avail. Anyhow, what he said was,

“I like to see one extraordinary thing everyday.”

That is my new motto. I don’t want to simply look on the positive side of life anymore, I want to choose to be passionate and fulfilled. I want to explore the world around me and broaden my horizons.

I recently watched a PBS interview about YouTube and it’s effect on the dumbing down of America. We as humans enjoy being positive and sharing experiences with like-minded people. YouTube, as a resource, can allow people to do that but, in practice, creates a loop of laziness and misinformation. We search for what we know and enjoy and since we can’t search for something we are unfamiliar with, can’t break out of the box and appreciate new perspectives.

Well, not me! I want to Grow. Change. Explore. Improve. Become. And to  do that I need to set big, long-term goals, explore new adventures and push through the illusions of insecurity and self-doubts to grab hold of my destiny.

Check out the upcoming show of Penny Dreadful and keep me updated on your new adventures of the soul!

— Breathe Easy —

The Empowerment of Film

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Tonight I ended my day the way I usually do, by relaxing in front of a random array of Youtube videos. Whatever catches my fancy. Being the movie buff that I am….film trailers first up on the docket. Seen it, seen it, chick flick, not interested, sci-fi, never heard of that, yawn….wait! What’s that?? Apparently, it’s a love story between two young people, one of whom is dying. I don’t know much more to the story but having read some Shakespeare, I have an idea where it’s going. One thing makes me want to check it out to hopefully feel inspired: The female lead wears OXYGEN!

This is a big deal to me because it’s the first time I have ever seen a main character – a young person no less – who wears oxygen in a film. It is curious that such a simple thing as identifying with a fictional movie character could empower me so much. Obviously, I have not seen the film (Released June 6, 2014), yet I imagine I’ll feel inspired similarly to the way a young Down Syndrome kid watching Chris Burke (“Corky” from Tv’s Life Goes On) would.

But why am I surprised? I’ve done enough film study to know that what goes up on the screen is a reflection of society’s- or a group in society’s- dreams, goals, views, fears, humor, history. It’s a way for us to take our lives, roll them around in our minds and express it visually. The beauty of visual story telling is that it allows underrepresented groups to be seen and heard. It’s comforting to know people will empathize with your story, because, after all, there is something extremely soothingly palatable about a box with moving lights and sounds.

My point is this: Over the decades different ethnicities and identities have gained power and respect by voicing their….well, voice. “I am unique! I am a person of worth! I deserve respect and common decency afforded to every other American!” Throughout the 20th Century it seems film has not only been a tool to gain national acceptance but also a yardstick by which to measure how much further a group has to persevere. African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics all had periods when they were not respected in Hollywood. While it’s never perfect, many doors seem to be opening for those groups.

This is why I am so thrilled about this new movie, The Fault In Our Stars. Finally, oxygen has it’s day! I can’t wait to roll my tanks into the theater, puff away and take out my Kleenex: I hear it’s a tear-jerker.

Uplift Your Soul In Only 4 Minutes!

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What’s great about this song is that while Pharrell’s words encourage us to be in a happy mood, his music inspires your hands, feet and soul to dance! I DARE you to watch this video and not smile/dance/clap and feel totally groovie!

On a more serious note, allow me to get a bit deep as I analyze the word “happy” and it’s effects on our mood.

I compare Joy and Happiness to states of Emotional and Logical. “Happiness” to me is merely a mental state, an effort that is made to create the impression of having a good mood. We may smile, (fake) laugh, think on positive things, stop criticisms….but can’t always mask our worries or convince ourselves that life is good. Have you ever asked a friend, “Are you happy?” and they answer defenively, “Yea, I’m happy!”

TRUE “Joy” is emotional. It is a state of blissful consciousness that informs every aspect of our lives. In my younger days when I went to clubs to meet girls, my friend and I had a montra to gain confidence, “fake it till you make it.” Basically, pretend you are confident until you become confident. That applies to self-esteem too.

Act Happy; focus on positive thoughts and ignore negatvity. Soon those processes will become habits, then a perspective, then mentality. Jofullness, will suddenly take hold of your spirit and allow you to feel free to reach your fullest potential and impact others positively.

Happiness is seeing the glass half full while Joy is the ability to see water no matter how much fills the cup.

~~ Breathe Easy! ~~

 

Something to Smile About: “Blurred Lines Remake” ft. Robin Thicke, Jimmy Fallon & Roots

Many people have heard and seen the catchy new tune and video from uber-sexy Robin Thicke (who, by the way, is the son Alan Thicke, best known as the father on “Growing Pains.”)

The song is extremely sexual which is reflected in the original music video. However, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots have done it again! They took an adult song and created a cleverly entertaining family friendly version using unique sounds. This time: kindergarten musical instruments! 

After watching Jimmy & The Gang’s performance, I can’t help but smile and be transported  back to the youthful innocence I had in my “Sesame Street” phase. Can you imagine Kermit singing “Can’t let it get past me/You’re far from plastic/Talk about getting blasted/I hate these blurred lines?”

Watch the clip and please COMMENT, LIKE, RE-BLOG!!

THANKS!

 

What the 4th of July Means to Me

The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776 as a response to England’s ruthless taxes and strict religious control.

Colonists wanted to be free so much so that they risked their lives by stating their desires in writing: The Declaration of Independence. People felt that they had the inherent right to be free and control their own destiny. Today, we celebrate the birth of the United States and this crazy idea they had, called “Freedom.”

On this day celebrating our national independence, I am drawn to thoughts of how my life has been challenged and improved through it. Independence is especially meaningful to me because everything I do and everywhere I go takes forethought and pre-planning. When circumstances challenge the ease at which you do things, you learn to enjoy every moment. I totally appreciate each new adventure, as it is another piece of evidence that strong will and a positive mentality will bless my life with amazing things!

One example is relating to part-time job I had during college; our family YMCA. My responsibilities were to answer phones, assist with customer questions, hand out locker keys, collect towels to be washed and any other odd job that needed to be done to make the members feel at ease.

To function well, I’d come to work with a mini oxygen tank-set behind the counter- and used it “as needed,” which meant I could go without for 5-10 minute spurts if I had to walk away from the desk to assist someone. Many days I’d come home after only 4 hours, physically exhausted. Still, I look back on that job experience with fond memories because it strengthened my work ethic, mental and physical endurance and allowed me to be the social butterfly that I am! Thank the Lord for whomever invented the technology to compact oxygen into a long lasting canister. There is no price on the gift of an indpendent lifestyle.

We are all one people. There are many tribes, perspectives, generations, religions and ideological viewpoints…..yet we have one commonality that can’t be refuted or disregarded: we are all HUMAN! And while the 4th of July is an American Holiday, the crusade to become a key participant in your own destiny is universal. One of my favorite film speeches seems relevant now with all the wars going on. But as someone with health issues, the “president’s” words about fighting for survival takes on a new meaning.

This 4th of July, wave your flag but when you do, hold it high with breath in your lungs and a smile on your face.

~Breathe Easy~