Week 1: You Were Made To Conquer
Right from the very beginning of time, we hear of stories of courageous men and women with fighter spirits within them. They would fight for their land; they would fight for their food; and eventually, they would fight for their rights. No matter what, they would always be trying to conquer something. Fast-forward to today’s society and we can still find these warriors; but, we can also find many individuals living defeated.
Defeated by what, though?
Defeated by work, parenting, relationships, finances, and even just defeated by their own thoughts of self-doubt. But, we don’t need to succumb to this way of living; as it is surely no way of living at all.
We must understand that we have a fighter spirit within each of us, whether we know it or not. When we make a point to start looking for the warrior traits within ourselves, we start to notice our strong points. The more strengths that we find within ourselves, the less power our former negative thinking has over us.
When we finally starve that old way of thinking that says, “you can’t do that”, and feed the new way of thinking that says, “go for it; you got this!”, then your ability to believe that “anything is possible” becomes the more dominant way of thinking.
We are all surely capable of living victoriously each day, but first, we must learn to stop listening to the negative voice that says, “no” to anything that takes us out of our comfort zones and be willing to act in faith and courage that we can do this or that. We will need to accept that we might struggle and possibly fail, but we must not allow that to become the dominant thought; instead, think of the end-result and see yourself living in victory.
You got this!
Week 2: Today Is A Great Day To Start Building The Best You
Life is a couple things; chaotic, hectic, fast-paced, overwhelming. But, what happened to the idea that life was supposed to be fun and adventurous; maybe even exciting and rewarding? How did we miss that path and end up here?
It’s just the way it goes. We start out in early adulthood with great expectations of who we will become and where we will end up. However, somewhere along the way, we take our eyes of the road for a moment and we miss our turn. Now we are on a new course to some unknown destination.
It happens quickly; bills pile up, credit cards get maxed out, car breaks down, another child comes along, roof starts leaking, boss piles on the workload. What do we get from all of this? Overload. Stress. Breakdown.
So, what can we do when this kind of lifestyle or circumstance presents itself to us? Do we just need to suck it up and keep going and doing the best we can with our last bit of might and strength? Maybe. But, maybe not.
It is true that we might need to press on a little bit longer, but, what we can do is start to carve out a new route in life; one that will bring us to a known destination which we have now created. This new destination will include our ideal future; one with an ideal financial state; one with an ideal home and career life; and one where we have internal balance within ourselves.
This is made possible by making a plan to improve, and laying out some new routines and habits, that if practiced daily, will start to produce evidence of this new future being created before our very eyes. But, we must understand that it will only happen over time; not over night.
We might need to make some changes to the way we live, the way we spend and save, and the way we use our time each day. We will very likely need to invest time daily into learning new skills, creating new habits through self-discipline, and becoming very friendly with the characteristic; perseverance.
Don’t take even a moment to think of why you can’t; instead, look at all the possibilities and start making small changes.
A large journey is accomplished by many small steps. But, you must start. Why not today?
Week 3: Fear And Courage Are Mindsets; Which One Do You Feed?
There are many people who will wake up and have their mind automatically go to thoughts of fear and worry. They will lie there, even momentarily, and will agree with these thoughts. Now armed with thoughts of defeat and fear about their environment or circumstances, they will head off to work with expectation of hardships and stress; and they will get it.
Alternatively, there are many people who will wake up, take a deep breath, notice the sun reflecting off the wall, and think to themselves, “this is going to be an amazing day”. Now armed with thoughts of confidence and courage about who they are and the environment they live in, they will head off to work with expectation of promotion and success; and they will get it.
We can easily see the contrast here. What the people in both of these scenarios have in common is, they all have the same starting point; the same ability to choose their thoughts; and just as much right as any to succeed and thrive.
So, why do so many live with defeat, in despair, in sickness caused by worry? Because; it’s the mindset they feed.
At any point of the day, no matter what time or what place, we have the power to manage our thoughts.
Our thoughts are like us; if we feed them (agree with them, encourage them, even simply pay attention to them), they will grow into maturity.
However, if we starve them (ignore them, abandon them immediately, replace with different thoughts), they will lose their power and die off; meaning, they will have no control over us. It’s a choice we will need to make. But, it’s worth it. Imagine a life of accomplishment, of success, of courage to try new things, of victory; now, imagine yourself living that life.
The only thing that can prevent you from experiencing this is your own self; your thoughts.
Which thoughts will you feed; courage or fear?
Week 4: You Were Made To Be Awesome
Whether we know it or not, we are an intelligent being. What we are capable of learning and understanding is extraordinary; yet, so many live mediocre lives. Why?
Sometimes we don’t realize that we possess these qualities, or this intelligence. Perhaps, nobody told us as we were growing up; maybe we tried things with very little effort and knowledge applied and failed several times, leaving us with feelings of low worth.
Whatever the reason, it still happens.
What about our capabilities? Why do some excel to amazing heights of achievement, and others can’t seem to muster up the determination to reach for the remote, so they just watch whatever comes on?
Again, it will have much to do with their personal belief system.
If we are constantly praised and cheered on in life, we will be confident, courageous, bold, curious, and daring. However, if we are constantly scolded, torn down, and made aware of our failures in life, we will be tired, fearful, discouraged, overwhelmed, and limited.
If we are living in such a defeated way, we owe it to ourselves to make some changes.
We need to start dreaming big; we need to start seeing an amazing life as, “possible for me”. Nobody is going to jump in and inject these thoughts into our minds. Instead, we must choose that we are going to accept that we are just as capable as anyone, and that we are going to try.
It starts with creating a vision of who we want to be. It is followed with creating a game plan of the steps and goals that will take us there; our road map. And finally, it is accomplished by repeatedly believing that we can and will do this; no matter how difficult it is.
We are all living with a gold mine within us. We are virtually limitless. It is up to us to dig down deep and extract this amazing character from within and spend every day forth pushing our boundaries and seeking the limit to our ability to learn and accomplish.
There is only one way to find our limit; keep trying.
Tell yourself you are awesome, and own it!
Week 5: Do This Week On Purpose
It is not uncommon for us to fall into a daily routine where nothing seems to happen. We wake up, we get ourselves, and maybe our children, fed and out the door. We work, we go to school, we catch up with friends, and we go home only to follow an evening routine before waking up to do it again.
This monotony can wear on us as time passes. We all have some built-in features; creativity and adventure are a couple that come to mind. If we let the kid in us out, we want to build, we want to explore and find treasures, we want to laugh and have fun.
So, why don’t we?
We have a choice to plan out our day and to stick to our schedules. We might have certain obligations holding us down at the moment. However, we also can make the choice to not take on new obligations and instead, fill that time with learning new skills that we can use to enhance our lives, and quite possibly, others around us as well.
We can find fulfillment in hobbies, in outdoor activities, and even just pitching in around the community filling needs where we can, utilizing our current skills and abilities.
If we wake up without a goal or a reason for the day, we will just get through another day. This is not the way it should be. We all have so much potential to become something great. We just need to be willing to start looking within, to find that spark or that thing in us that makes us light up when we think about it and go for it.
We aren’t robots that must follow certain programs or parameters. We aren’t trees or other stationary objects that can’t move around to explore. We must utilize the gifts within us and give them a chance to grow and flourish in us. We need to get out and attack our days with purpose and confidence and curiosity.
Go ahead; dream big and start living.
Week 6: The Power Of Determination
To do, or not to do; this is a question we ask ourselves daily in some form. When we start new projects or tasks, we are excited, and everything seems possible. But as we go about our projects, we can run into difficulties or setbacks. It is during this time our inner-strength gets tested.
We come to a crossroad. We can push through and keep fighting or we can pack it in and move on to something else. Both are common. There are many people who will press on through difficult times, and there are others who will not.
The ideal situation is that everyone is willing to press on and fight through the difficulties they encounter in their tasks, and even in life in general.
Some people have learned that determination will get them through anything. With a vision, and steady focus on the vision, they can remain determined that they will be met with success. It is when they take their focus off the end-result, or their vision, that the forward momentum of determination can be lost.
If we want to remain determined and persevere through anything, we must be willing to do so. We must prepare ourselves that whatever we are doing might get tough, and we might not always feel like pushing on, but that we will push through no matter what comes along.
Because we know that this thing that we are doing is good and will be beneficial once completed, we realize that the pain and difficulty we face right now will be worth it later.
Think about these things this week. Think about which category you often fit in; determined to succeed no matter what, or, will give it a shot and see how it goes.
Ultimately, it is our choice. It is us who reaps the rewards for our hard work, determination, and perseverance, and, it is us who can sit in resentment and discouragement because life is tough.
I encourage all to step out in courage and determination, and push through to the bitter end; where your reward awaits you!
Week 7: Be A Blessing To Others
Can you recall a time where someone did something nice for you? Perhaps, helped you with a project; offered to pay for something; gave you a much-needed ride somewhere when your car was broken?
It is possible to accept the gifts and blessings of others and still allow ourselves to become too consumed with our own life’s pressures and obligations.
But, it isn’t too late to change things up and try to do a few good deeds of our own for others. Although some of us might not feel like we have something to offer, we more than likely do. We might need to dig a bit, but, it’s in there.
Think of any natural talents or abilities. Also, think about any interests too. When these come to mind, start looking for ways to apply them. If we look closely, it won’t take long to find someone we could help.
Are you good with carpentry or woodworking? What about computer work? Are you a wiz with school subjects? Can you cook? Are you encouraging? Can you simply offer help to someone you see in need even if it isn’t something you are familiar with?
There are so many possibilities. We are all capable in so many ways to help others. With almost no effort at all, we can use our natural talents to do something that is overwhelming to another. But, we need to be aware that there are in fact, others in need around us.
Spend each day this week looking for ways to let your talents and skills out. See if there isn’t someone whom you could bless in some way. And, when you do, enjoy the feeling you get from doing a good deed. It’s addicting. Once you feel it, you will want more!
Week 8: Don’t Just Wish You Could Be Better
We don’t need to go far to find people who have accomplished much. They have plaques on their wall, shelves full of trophies, and often tell us of their victories.
This can leave some of us in want; want for a better life; want for more skill; want for more success and accomplishment.
Sometimes, we essentially get left behind. Others around us move up the ladder at work, friends get new careers, some reach their financial goals and retire early. Whatever it is, it isn’t fun always being left in their dust.
However, a better life is possible for us; actually, it’s in our hands already.
What I mean is, we have the ability to alter the many areas of our lives. All we need to do is get started. We must first sit down and analyze our strong and weak areas, as well as our areas of life that are neglected or lacking attention.
Once we can see the whole picture, we can get to work. I will list some ideas to help trigger some thoughts:
Work skills, work ethic, leadership skills, attitude and perception, constructive habits, destructive habits, emotion control, self-discipline, confidence, respect and courtesy, marketable skills, hobbies, parenting skills and techniques, relationship-building skills, housekeeping skills, and, effort and determination versus procrastination.
There are still many more that come to mind. But, this is a good start. Sure, we probably won’t win any awards for best housekeeping skills. What we do get from this is a better character; and a clean house. As we work to hone the various skills in our life, we become better overall. And, this beats trophies and wall-plaques any day.
So, instead of wishing you could be better, go to work at it this week. Start by choosing 3 items on the list of examples I provided. Modify the list to match your own circumstances and character. As you practice these, pay attention to your progress. Also, pay attention to any poor habits; do yourself a favor and give them the boot!
The only way we truly get better at something is through real-life experience. Be on constant watch for ways to put your skills and new habits to work. Be prepared to start achieving and accomplishing goals in your life.
Week 9: Make Every Moment Count
One thing we commonly hear in society is; “where has the time gone?”
This phrase is referring to the reality that life is short and slips by without notice. It is important to keep watch of our days so that we aren’t left asking the same question.
Why does it matter anyway?
When we are young, it doesn’t matter to us, as much. There are some wise young people who grasp every moment out of life they can, but for the vast majority of young people, they pay little to no regard for time.
This often doesn’t become an issue until we are nearing 40 years-old, or older. It is then that we realize, “hey, I’m halfway through life; have I done enough or is there more I could’ve done?”
Another pressing issue that comes from this kind of thinking is, “it’s too late; I’m too old now to change anything; I can’t start a new career now; my body is too weak to exercise”.
Whatever it is, these are things we might tell ourselves as we get older. But, there is something important to realize; it’s not too late!
The great thing is, is we can make a choice in the blink of an eye to change. It might take considerable time to make the actual change, but the decision can be made in a moment’s notice.
When we do decide that we want to make a change, we must also decide that we will be dedicated to see it through. Self-discipline will be your friend here. It might not feel like it, but self-discipline is our wise friend that prompts us to keep going and to do the right thing.
Perhaps even more important is understanding that a new goal is made possible much easier by giving the goal enough time to get through. This is where many fail. They don’t allow enough time to make the full changes, or to reap the benefits of their labour.
So, during this next week, regardless of age, start considering where you are in life and where you would like to be. Instead of losing hope by thinking that you are too this or that, or that it’s too late, focus on what it is you want.
To help lower stress levels and anxiety, also work on gratitude and appreciation. Pay attention to your surroundings and enjoy that which is in your life.
Don’t put this off another day. By simply taking control of your life and doing more things that matter, you will start feeling full and like you have accomplished something in life. Make a choice to change and stick to it no matter what, and soon you will get your rewards from your labour.
Week 10: Resolve To Have A Great Year!
I often speak to people and they tell me how, year after year after year, they set up resolutions for the New Year, only to be let down. So, they say, “I’m not making any resolutions this New Year!”
The choice to make a resolution to change is certainly the choice of the individual. I do encourage people to try again, even if previous resolutions failed to mature into success. This is because a resolution is a goal. It is goals that inspire us to move forward in life. It isn’t often the goals we set, which cause us to fail, rather, it comes down to habit and discipline.
The goal is a destination; our daily actions are the vehicle that will get us there. The goal might be perfectly fitting for us, but if our vehicle isn’t functioning properly, meaning, we aren’t practicing good habits for success, we will struggle to arrive at that destination.
So, we can find material on how to effectively set reasonable goals. What we also need to ask our self is: how do I develop the mindset and habits that will enable me to endure all the difficulties and hardships that I will certainly be met with along the journey to my destination (success of my goal)?
By asking ourselves this question, we can start to mentally prepare for the challenges that may present themselves. We can write out our goals on one paper, and then we can write on another paper, all the things we can think of that might stump us up. Finally, we can do basic research on how to avoid, or overcome, each of the potential obstacles that might be imminent.
It is this preparation and mindset that will line us up for success and give us a fighting chance to get to our destination. In addition to preparing for obstacles is, choosing proven success habits.
These habits may include: waking earlier; eliminating time-wasting activities; keeping a journal of progress; daily reflection of progress with periodic strategy modifications and even taking a break from friends who don’t have the same vision for your goals.
Be fluid. Be flexible and be willing to make changes. Don’t settle for a mediocre year because it didn’t work out last time. Understand that along with setting life-changing goals, we must also consistently practice life-changing habits.
So, get out there and try again; this time with a winning plan!
Week 11: Give Yourself A Promotion
When we leave school, we look for work. If we planned for a career, we would’ve taken certain courses that would get us a career in our chosen field. If not, then we find a job where we can, and we work.
Regardless of how we came about the job, we are likely to start at the bottom. Entry-level position means doing low-level tasks; tasks that might seem mediocre and bordering on meaningless. But, we can have hope that someday, we will move up the ladder into a much better position; one with meaning and good perks or benefits.
What do we do when we don’t get promoted? What happens when there is no promotions or advancement in sight?
Do we lose hope and quit? Do we develop a “oh well, who cares” attitude?
This week I encourage you to try something different. This week I am suggesting that you give yourself a promotion.
I know, it sounds ridiculous, right? But there is a method to my madness. Let’s think about what a promotion really is.
Does the boss or manager generally do less work? Not really. They do different work. Their work involves much more responsibility. Their position makes them responsible for not only, day-to-day operations and budgeting, but also, personnel.
That’s right. The manager, like the entry-level person has a workload; a different workload. The must show up each day and be productive and work to become more efficient. While doing this, regardless of added pressures, they also must be a leader.
This means, a good attitude, a positive mindset, non-judgmental, courteous, respectful, forgiving, and helpful. That’s quite the load to carry, right?
What I am suggesting is that by hypothetically giving yourself a promotion, you would start acting the way the person would in the higher-up position; the position you are hoping for.
This means: showing up to work earlier; putting in good effort all day; striving for efficiency; maintaining a positive attitude; being helpful and courteous; learning more about the industry; constantly looking for ways to help the company save money – this includes not replenishing your home stationary supplies with company supplies, or, spending work-time on your social media groups.
If you go to work with this attitude each day over the next week, I can assure you someone will notice. The hope is someone in management would take notice. But, don’t limit yourself to one week. Once you gain momentum, why not make this your regular habits and see where it takes you. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Week 12: Be Extraordinary Today
When we get caught up in life we start wondering, “what’s the point?” Life can become so dull and boring that we lose interest altogether. We don’t necessarily give up completely, but we might stop trying to impress or please others.
We are certainly under no obligation to impress or please others. It is something many do because it gives a feeling of satisfaction, or, well-being.
When we are worn-down, or, have lost our drive, we aren’t concerned anymore about what others think. Instead, we just wake up to get through another day.
If you go into society, it won’t take long before you find a worker somewhere that is portraying a “just enough” attitude. This is where we can see that he or she is surely at their job, but only doing just enough to keep the job.
This is where they have a customer service, or, front-line position, but act like they could care less about who is in front of them. It is the same for the person working in the back, who, instead of unpacks boxes and maintains inventory control, tends to their social media profiles to stay updated.
We need to understand that our actions have consequences. The way we act and treat people, and the attitude we maintain don’t go unnoticed. Someone is always watching. So, when someone does these types of things, instead of promotions and raises, they get dismissed, or in best case, left right where they are.
But there is something we can do!
When we go to work or wherever, instead of relying on others to entertain us or make our lives better, we can start working to become better. We must understand that this will be for personal fulfillment and there may be no reward, but that we will benefit somehow.
Sometimes, we must do the right things even when there is nothing to affirm that we are on track. If we can do some research and find out what the characteristics and attitudes are of leaders and ideal employees, we can venture out on our own to put them to practice; without someone telling us to.
This is when we will find more joy and even self-confidence. This is when life will seem less mundane. When “we” get out there and decide to do more than we’re paid for; when “we” go the extra mile for others.
I encourage you to try doing this throughout the week. Try working as if the company you work for is yours. Try being concerned about efficiency and helping the company save money. Try being a leader to your co-workers. Try understanding what your boss deals with and do whatever you can to help him or her out.
Who knows, an unexpected promotion might be right around the corner for you.
Week 13: When Is Enough, Enough To Change?
Each day I wake up and I make a choice: be productive or wallow in self-pity. As a guy who didn’t spend the vast majority of my years working hard and making every moment count, I find myself with a lot left to be done.
For the past few years I have developed some good habits that have improved my character. However, good things take time to develop. This means that even with great intention, I am still living in circumstances from decisions made long ago.
I have learned that every single thought that we put action to has a result. Good thoughts backed by action yield good results, and obviously, bad results for bad actions, right?
Why did I decide a few years ago that I needed to change? Why not ten years from now? Why not fifteen years ago?
Because I arrived at a place in my life where I finally said: “That’s it; I’ve had enough!”
We must get to the point where we are just sickened by our circumstances and our behavior. When we reach that point and we are tired of spinning our wheels, we change. We make a choice that for now on, “I will be different.”
How is your life? Is there anything about you or your circumstances that have you at the point where you are sick and tired of living this way? Do you have a family that you want so much more for? How are your finances?
We must analyze our conditions and then ask ourselves; “Is this how I want to live my next five years?”
Making life-altering changes is very hard to do. It takes time and much dedication. Difficulties and obstacles will present themselves. It’s in this time that we must be able to dig deep and keep going.
This is why I ask if you are at a point of sickness with your circumstances yet. If not, perseverance through difficult times in the improvement process will be nearly unattainable.
Give an honest analysis of your situations at work, at home, in your relationships, in your finances, and in your personal health. When you find something that sickens you to the point that something must change or else, then run with that and start changing. Don’t look back. Only keep your focus on the result you want, and you will get there!