Who Else Wants an Awesome Morning?

Awesome Morning

Having an awesome morning is though, I know. Suddenly we have to get all our systems ready for another high-energy day. Personally, I wasn’t doing too well on this front until I made some real changes. I set out with one single goal in mind – to make my mornings awesome!

I mean, it’s so easy to get stuck snoozing in bed for half an hour, right? Or perhaps you walk around half-asleep for the first two hours of a new day? To get away from this, I realized I had to take drastic measures to change my habits.

So what do I mean I say awesome? Basically, this:

  • Productive
  • Focused
  • Calm
  • A great start
  • Happy

So without any further explanation, these are the 4 key principles that truly lifted the quality of my mornings.

4 Principles for an Awesome Morning

1. Wake up fast and get energetic

First things first, in order to change my mornings I had to (1) get up on time and (2) have enough energy to make something of my mornings.

So after a lot of trial and error I made three key distinctions to really make me wake up quickly in the morning. Straight away after I’m up, I first drink a full big cup of water. This jump starts all the systems in my body.

Next, I go directly into a 5-minute power training session. Here’s an example of a personal favorite, which includes three rounds of:

  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Burpees
  • 20 Air Squats

And finally, I eat. And I eat a lot. The fact is that so many of the people I have helped to gain more energy have simply not eaten enough in the morning. According to research, up to 80 per cent of your energy storage from when you go to bed is gone once you wake up. Therefore, it’s vital to refill quickly if you want to get both your body and mind going.

These three things – water, exercise and food – is what made principle number 2 even possible.

2. Stay focused and walk the talk

To fulfill my goal of an awesome morning I realized that I had to be able to get stuff done. For me, that meant getting down to serious business.

When I decide to write a blog post, then that’s the only thing I’ll do that morning. That’s focus. When I decide to work on my Chinese studies (very long-term goal of mine…), then that’s all I will do. That’s focus. Whatever I decide (the day before) to do, nothing will come in my way. That’s focus.

So every morning, I have what I call a single task of focus. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not striving to become a working robot, I just want to use the fact that my mind is at its peak in the morning. And the best way I’ve found to accomplish this is to really focus on one single thing that I love. I believe this mindset can be applied to whatever you want to spend your mornings doing – whether it’s being with your kids or reading a book. Just put 100% of your attention at what you’re doing and you’ll feel great.

It’s so easy to procrastinate or multitask these days, but in my opinion, this is not always the way to accomplish great results. Related to your single task of focus, it’s also important that you…

3. Don’t let anything disturb you

You have new emails to read. Perhaps a missed phone call. A newspaper to check out. So much information is at our hands when we wake up. But instead of getting myself into this, like I used to, I decided to shut it out for the first 2 hours in the morning.

The reason is because I truly believe the morning time to be incredibly precious. It’s the time when your mind is peaceful and at ease. You haven’t been bombarded with all those ads and news stories yet. This makes your thinking fresh. It makes you come as close to a Zen state as possible without any need for meditation or other spiritual practice.

So why ruin that by putting our head straight back in the noise of the world? Simply don’t. Try to remain calm, peaceful and focused for at least 30 minutes after waking up. I guarantee you that this feeling will blow you away.

4. Set yourself up for success

After I started practicing these first three principles above, I could notice an amazing difference in the quality of my mornings. BUT, as soon as the normal day started again I got right back to square 1. All gone was my calmness, my focus and my feeling of success…

So I started spending as little as 5 to 10 minutes every morning trying to outline my day. I asked myself simple questions such as:

  • What is my primary goal with this day?
  • What motivates me to accomplish this goal?
  • What can I be happy about today?

For each question, I just thought about the answer; no need to write it down. But I did involve my feelings. If I asked myself about motivation I instantly started to feel that motivation like a burning flame inside of me.

This simple little exercise has helped me carry that awesome morning feeling throughout the day. By planning my day and making sure I’m focused, motivated and happy, I have managed to set myself up for success in a much higher degree than ever before.

So as you can see, I now have the type of mornings I dreamed about. They are productive, focused, calm and give me a great start. But most important, they are also happy! I feel alive from the first minute I’m out of bed.

So with these 4 principles at hand, I believe many more of us can lift up the quality of our mornings. So please, let me know how your mornings look like and what you do to make them as good as possible.

This guest post is contributed by Matthew M. McEwan, the creator and author of Early-Riser.com. His blog is loaded with tips, tricks and strategies for how to sleep well, wake up early, and have an awesome morning.

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on me cover

 

PRODUCED BY PAUL CABIN .FROM MRNES UP COMING ALBUM THE BONEFACE..

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12 Universal Skills You Need to Succeed at Anything

 

12 Universal Skills

There are a lot of skills you don’t need.  You can be happy and successful without knowing how to rebuild a car’s engine, program a web application, or replace drywall.  Sure, these are useful skills to have, but they aren’t absolutely necessary.

There are other skills, however, that can’t be avoided – skills that tie into various aspects of everyday life, that are not only useful, but totally indispensable.  For instance, you can’t get far in today’s world without being able to read or write.  And today the ability use a computer proficiently is simply assumed.

In this article we’re going to skip the super basic skills like reading, driving, and using a computer, and discuss twelve slightly more advanced skills that are woefully under-taught, and universally applicable.  Let’s take a look…

1.  Prioritizing and time management. – If success depends on effective action, effective action depends on the ability to focus your attention where it is needed most, when it is needed most.  This is the ability to separate the important from the unimportant, which is a much needed skill in all walks of life, especially where there are ever increasing opportunities and distractions.

2.  Keeping a clean, organized space. – Successful people have systems in place to help them find what they need when they need it – they can quickly locate the information required to support their activities.  When you’re disorganized, that extra time spent looking for a phone number, email address or a certain file forces you to drop your focus.  Once it’s gone, it takes a while to get it back – and that’s where the real time is wasted.  Keeping both your living and working spaces organized is crucial.

3.  Critical thinking and information analysis. – We are living in the information age where, on a daily basis, we are constantly exposed to an ever growing and rapidly changing pool of information.  Being able to evaluate this information, sort the valuable from the trivial, analyze its relevance and meaning, and relate it to other information is a priceless skill with universal applicability.

4.  Logical, informed decision making. – Decision making is simply knowing what to do based on the information available.  Being able to respond quickly and effectively with the information you have in your head is essential to accomplishing anything.

5.  Using Google proficiently for online research. – You don’t have to know everything, but you should be able to quickly and painlessly find out what you need to know.  Google is a gateway to nearly infinite knowledge; it has indexed websites containing information on just about everything and everyone.  If you’re having trouble finding something using Google, it’s time to learn a few new tricks.

6. Basic accounting and money management. – It’s a simple fact that our modern society is governed by the constant exchange of money.  Money allows you to maintain a roof over your head and put food on the table each night.  Knowing how to properly manage your money – tracking and recording your expenses and income, saving and investing – is not only an important skill for thriving, it’s an important skill that helps you survive.

7. Effective communication and negotiating. – Give the people in your life the information they need rather than expecting them to know the unknowable.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours.  Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationship, start with bad communication.  Speak honestly, and then give others a voice and show them that their words matter.  And remember that compromise and effective negotiating are vital parts of effective communication.

8. Relaxation. – Stress leads to poor health, poor decision-making, poor thinking, and poor socialization.  So be attentive to your stress level and take short breaks when you need to.  Slow down.  Breathe.  Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose.  When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity.  These short breaks will help you regain your sanity, and allow you to reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.

9.  Proficient writing and note-taking. – The written word isn’t going away; it is used in every walk of life.  Learning to write proficiently so that others can understand you is critical.  Also, using your writing skills to take useful notes is one of the most productive things you can do, regardless of the task at hand.  Writing things down – taking notes – helps us remember what we hear, see, or read when we’re learning something new, or trying to remember something specific.

10. Relationship networking. – In a world dominated by constant innovation and information exchange, relationship networking creates the channel through which ideas and information flow, and in which new ideas are shared, discussed and perfected.  A large relationship network, carefully cultivated, can be leveraged to meet the right people, find jobs, build businesses, learn about new trends, spread ideas, etc.

11. Positivity. – Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act.  A great attitude always leads to great experiences.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.  Be positive, smile, and make it count.  Pretend today is going to be great.  Do so, and it will be.

12. Self-discipline. – Self-discipline is a skill.  It is the ability to focus and overcome distractions.  It involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment.  It often requires sacrificing the pleasure and thrill for what matters most in life.  Therefore it is self-discipline that drives you to succeed in the long-term.

What did we miss?  What are some other useful life skills that are universally applicable?  Leave a comment below and let everyone know.

Photo by: Zack Schnepf

12 Things Successful People Do Differently

 

12 Things Successful People Do Differently

I’ve always been fascinated by people who are consistently successful at what they do; especially those who experience repeated success in many areas of their life throughout their lifetime.  In entertainment, I think of Clint Eastwood and Oprah Winfrey.  In business, I think of Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett.  We all have our own examples of super successful people like these who we admire.  But how do they do it?

Over the years I’ve studied the lives of numerous successful people.  I’ve read their books, watched their interviews, researched them online, etc.  And I’ve learned that most of them were not born into success; they simply did, and continue to do, things that help them realize their full potential.  Here are twelve things they do differently that the rest of us can easily emulate.

1.  They create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Successful people are objective.  They have realistic targets in mind.  They know what they are looking for and why they are fighting for it.  Successful people create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  Let’s briefly review each:

  • Specific – A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a related specific goal would be, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week for the next 52 weeks.”  A specific goal has a far greater chance of being accomplished because it has defined parameters and constraints.
  • Measurable – There must be a logical system for measuring the progress of a goal.  To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself questions like:  How much time? How many total?  How will I know when the goal is accomplished? etc.  When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued efforts required to reach your goal.
  • Attainable – To be attainable, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work.  In other words, the goal must be realistic.  The big question here is:  How can the goal be accomplished?
  • Relevant – Relevance stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter.  For example, an internet entrepreneur’s goal to “Make 75 tuna sandwiches by 2:00PM.” may be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Timely, but lacks Relevance to an entrepreneurs overarching objective of building a profitable online business.
  • Timely – A goal must be grounded within a time frame, giving the goal a target date.  A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on the completion of the goal on or before the due date.  This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by daily distractions.

When you identify S.M.A.R.T. goals that are truly important to you, you become motivated to figure out ways to attain them.  You develop the necessary attitude, abilities, and skills.  You can achieve almost any goal you set if you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.  Goals that once seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.

2.  They take decisive and immediate action.

Sadly, very few people ever live to become the success story they dream about.  And there’s one simple reason why:

They never take action!

The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing.  Growing happens when what you know changes how you live.   So many people live in a complete daze.  Actually, they don’t ‘live.’  They simply ‘get by’ because they never take the necessary action to make things happen – to seek their dreams.

It doesn’t matter if you have a genius IQ and a PhD in Quantum Physics, you can’t change anything or make any sort of real-world progress without taking action.  There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it.  Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.  It’s as simple as that.

Success hinges on the simple act of making a decision to live – to absorb yourself in the process of going after your dreams and goals.  So make that decision.  And take action.  For some practical guidance on taking action I highly recommend Getting Things Done.

3.  They focus on being productive, not being busy.

In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris says, “Slow down and remember this:  Most things make no difference.  Being busy is often a form of mental laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”  This is Ferris’ way of saying “work smarter, not harder,” which happens to be one of the most prevalent modern day personal development clichés.  But like most clichés, there’s a great deal of truth to it, and few people actually adhere to it.

Just take a quick look around.  The busy outnumber the productive by a wide margin.

Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time.  They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc.  They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep.  Yet, business emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their daily planner is jammed to the brim with obligations.

Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance.  But it’s all an illusion.  They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.

The solution:  Slow down.  Breathe.  Review your commitments and goals.  Put first things first.  Do one thing at a time.  Start now.  Take a short break in two hours.  Repeat.

And always remember, results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.

4.  They make logical, informed decisions.

Sometimes we do things that are permanently foolish simply because we are temporarily upset or excited.

Although emotional ‘gut instincts’ are effective in certain fleeting situations, when it comes to generating long-term, sustained growth in any area of life, emotional decisions often lead a person astray.  Decisions driven by heavy emotion typically contain minimal amounts of conscious thought, and are primarily based on momentary feelings instead of mindful awareness.

The best advice here is simple:  Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence.  Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.

5.  They avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect.

Many of us are perfectionists in our own right.  I know I am at times.  We set high bars for ourselves and put our best foot forward.  We dedicate copious amounts of time and attention to our work to maintain our high personal standards.  Our passion for excellence drives us to run the extra mile, never stopping, never relenting.  And this dedication towards perfection undoubtedly helps us achieve results…  So long as we don’t get carried away.

But what happens when we do get carried away with perfectionism?

We become disgruntled and discouraged when we fail to meet the (impossibly high) standards we set for ourselves, making us reluctant to take on new challenges or even finish tasks we’ve already started.  Our insistence on dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘T’ breeds inefficiency, causing major delays, stress overload and subpar results.

True perfectionists have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them, always.  I have a friend who has wanted to start a graphic design business for several years.  But she hasn’t yet.  Why?  When you sift through her extensive list of excuses it comes down to one simple problem:  She is a perfectionist.  Which means she doesn’t, and never will, think she’s good enough at graphic design to own and operate her own graphic design business.

Remember, the real world doesn’t reward perfectionists.  It rewards people who get things done.  And the only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.  Only by wading through years of practice and imperfection can we begin to achieve momentary glimpses of the perfection.  So make a decision.  Take action, learn from the outcome, and repeat this method over and over again in all walks of life.  Also, check out Too Perfect.  It’s an excellent read on conquering perfectionism.

6.  They work outside of their comfort zone.

The number one thing I persistently see holding smart people back is their own reluctance to accept an opportunity simply because they don’t think they’re ready.  In other words, they feel uncomfortable and believe they require additional knowledge, skill, experience, etc. before they can aptly partake in the opportunity.  Sadly, this is the kind of thinking that stifles personal growth and success.

The truth is nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow emotionally and intellectually.  They force us to stretch ourselves and our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.  And when we don’t feel comfortable, we don’t feel ready.

Significant moments of opportunity for personal growth and success will come and go throughout your lifetime.  If you are looking to make positive changes and new breakthroughs in your life, you will need to embrace these moments of opportunity even though you will never feel 100% ready for them.

7.  They keep things simple.

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  Here in the 21st century, where information moves at the speed of light and opportunities for innovation seem endless, we have an abundant array of choices when it comes to designing our lives and careers.  But sadly, an abundance of choice often leads to complication, confusion and inaction.

Several business and marketing studies have shown that the more product choices a consumer is faced with, the less products they typically buy.  After all, narrowing down the best product from a pool of three choices is certainly a lot easier than narrowing down the best product from a pool of three hundred choices.  If the purchasing decision is tough to make, most people will just give up.  Likewise, if you complicate your life by inundating yourself with too many choices, your subconscious mind will give up.

The solution is to simplify.  If you’re selling a product line, keep it simple.  And if you’re trying to make a decision about something in your life, don’t waste all your time evaluating every last detail of every possible option.  Choose something that you think will work and give it a shot.  If it doesn’t work out, learn what you can from the experience, choose something else and keep pressing forward.

8.  They focus on making small, continuous improvements.

Henry Ford once said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small pieces.” The same concept configured as a question:  How do you eat an elephant?  Answer: One bite at a time.  This philosophy holds true for achieving your biggest goals.  Making small, positive changes – eating a little healthier, exercising a little, creating some small productive habits, for example – is an amazing way to get excited about life and slowly reach the level of success you aspire to.

And if you start small, you don’t need a lot of motivation to get started either.  The simple act of getting started and doing something will give you the momentum you need, and soon you’ll find yourself in a positive spiral of changes – one building on the other.  When I started doing this in my life, I was so excited I had to start this blog to share it with the world.

Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they arise.  For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight, come up with a list of healthy snacks you can eat when you get the craving for snacks.  It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier.  And that’s the whole point.  As your strength grows, you can take on bigger challenges.

9.  They measure and track their progress.

Successful people are not only working in their job/business, they are also working on it.  They step back and assess their progress regularly.  They track themselves against their goals and clearly know what needs to be done to excel and accelerate.

You can’t control what you don’t properly measure.  If you track the wrong things you’ll be completely blind to potential opportunities as they appear over the horizon.  Imagine if, while running a small business, you made it a point to keep track of how many pencils and paperclips you used.  Would that make any sense?  No!  Because pencils and paperclips are not a measure of what’s important for a business.  Pencils and paperclips have no bearing on income, customer satisfaction, market growth, etc.

The proper approach is to figure out what your number one goal is and then track the things that directly relate to achieving that goal.  I recommend that you take some time right now to identify your number one goal, identify the most important things for you to keep track of, and then begin tracking them immediately.  On a weekly basis, plug the numbers into a spreadsheet and use the data to create weekly or monthly trend graphs so you can visualize your progress.  Then fine-tune your actions to get those trends to grow in your favor.

10.  They maintain a positive outlook as they learn from their mistakes.

Successful people concentrate on the positives – they look for the silver lining in every situation.  They know that it is their positivity that will take them to greatness.  If you want to be successful, you need to have a positive outlook toward life.  Life will test you again and again.  If you give in to internal negativity, you will never be able to achieve the marks you have targeted.

Remember, every mistake you make is progress.  Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.

So don’t hesitate – don’t doubt yourself!  Don’t let your own negativity sabotage you.  Learn what you can and press forward.

11.  They spend time with the right people.

Successful people associate with people who are likeminded, focused, and supportive.  They socialize with people who create energy when they enter the room versus those who create energy when they leave.  They reach out to connected, influential individuals who are right for their dreams and goals.

You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you hang with the wrong people, they will negatively affect you.  But if you hang with the right people, you will become far more capable and successful than you ever could have been alone.  Find your tribe and work together to make a difference in all of your lives.  Tribes by Seth Godin is a great read on this topic.

12.  They maintain balance in their life.

If you ask most people to summarize what they want out of life they’ll shout out a list of things like: ‘fall in love,’ ‘make money,’ ‘spend time with family,’ ‘find happiness,’ ‘achieve goals,’ etc.  But sadly, a lot of people don’t balance their life properly to achieve these things.  Typically they’ll achieve one or two of them while completely neglecting the rest.  Let me give you two examples:

  • I know an extremely savvy businesswoman who made almost a million dollars online last year. Based on the success of her business, every entrepreneur I know looks up to her.  But guess what?  A few days ago, out of the blue, she told me that she’s depressed.  Why?  “I’m burnt out and lonely.  I just haven’t taken enough time for myself lately, and I feel like something is missing in my life,” she said.  “Wow!” I thought.  “One of the most successful people I know doesn’t feel successful because she isn’t happy with how she has balanced her life.”
  • I also know a surfer who surfs all day, every day on the beach in front of our condo complex in San Diego.  He’s one of the most lighthearted, optimistic guys I’ve ever met – usually smiling from ear to ear.  But he sleeps in a rusty van he co-owns with another surfer, and they both frequently panhandle tourists for money.  He has admitted to me that the stress of making enough money to eat often keeps him up at night.  So while I can’t deny that this man seems happy most of the time, I wouldn’t classify his life as a success story.

These are just two simple examples of imbalanced lifestyles that are holding people back from their full potential.  When you let your work life (or social life, family life, etc.) consume you, and all your energy is focused in that area, it’s extremely easy to lose your balance.  While drive and focus are important, if you’re going to get things done right, and be truly successful, you need to balance the various dimensions of your life.  Completely neglecting one dimension for another only leads to long-term frustration and stress.  For some practical guidance on balancing your life, I recommend Zen and the Art of Happiness.

Photo by: Thomas Hawk
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30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.

As Maria Robinson once said, “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.  But before you can begin this process of transformation 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 even there in the first place.  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 negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led 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, and you will be.
  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, liberate yourself!  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. – 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.

9 Lessons I’m Glad Life Taught Me

9 Lessons I’m Glad Life Taught Me

This afternoon my neighbor’s 16-year-old son interviewed me for a school project entitled “Lessons Life Teaches.”  He came over to our condo with a white poster board that had nine words written on it.  After a few miscellaneous introductory questions, he asked me to think about the words on the poster board for a few minutes and then, in the simplest way possible, explain what life had taught me about each one.  Here are the nine words and what I told him:

1.  Time

Time passes quickly, and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll live long enough to marvel at the memories.

Picture yourself in twenty years walking past a park where you used to play with your friends when you were in kindergarten.  While you’re passing by you notice that the park in now jam-packed with a new set of little faces.  As you watch these kids swinging from the swing set and climbing trees together, you reminisce about simpler times and think about how these kids are going to grow up someday and do many of the same things that you’ve done.  They will fall in love, and make mistakes, and fight adversities, and change their minds a dozen times about what they want to do with their lives.

But not yet, not now.  At this moment swinging and climbing are sufficient feats for them.  And although it would be nice if swinging and climbing were endlessly sufficient, you know they aren’t.  You know life is infinitely more elaborate and beautiful – even in ways you have yet to experience – and that with each passing moment we all become a greater part of this elaborate beauty in every imaginable way.  Read 1,000 Little Things.

2.  Love

When someone loves you, you know it.  When they look your way, the world looks better.  When they say your name, the world sounds better.  When they kiss your skin, the world feels better.  You know your soul is safe in their care.

But even more so than any physical interaction, there’s a silent connection between you that you can feel in your veins.  You can sit in front of them for hours, without saying a word or moving a muscle, and yet still feel them with your heart.  It’s almost like they’ve always been a part of you – like a long lost fragment of your essence has found its way home.

3.  Meaning

The single most important thing in life is what it all means to you.  Life doesn’t come prepackaged with this meaning either; you create it.  Doing so is rarely easy, but it’s always within your power and well worth the effort.  You’ll be far happier for troubling yourself, rather than letting everyone else design your life for you.

Ultimately, the secret is to follow your intuition and make the most of the resources you have access to.  Whatever comes your way, seemingly good and bad fortunes alike, you can always give these events meaning by transforming them into positive lessons and reflections, and then using them as stepping stones.

4.  Judgment

It’s impossible to know exactly how another person is feeling or what kind of emotional battles they’re fighting.  Sometimes the widest smiles hide the thinnest strands of self-confidence and hope.  Sometimes the ‘rich’ have everything but happiness.  Realize this as you interact with others, long before you pass judgment.  Every smile or sign of strength hides an inner struggle every bit as complex and extraordinary as your own.

It’s a sage fact of life, really, that every one of us encompasses a profound and unique set of secrets and mysteries that are absolutely undetectable to everyone else.  Read Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

5.  Confusion

Sometimes you will have thoughts about yourself that even you can’t fully comprehend.  Thoughts that aren’t true – that aren’t really how you feel – that don’t represent who you are today.  But they’re running through your mind anyway and confusing your focus.  Where do these thoughts come from?  Perhaps they’re fragments of who you used to be or of who you thought you once were – an old ghost that still haunts your subconscious mind from time to time.

The good news is you’re not alone.  If you could read the minds of other people, including those whom you love and admire, you’d overhear thoughts and nostalgic whispers that are constructive and true as well as some that are outdated and confused.  The key is to realize that the latter thoughts are normal to have.  We all deal with them.  Maybe they’re a part of who we were.  Maybe they’re part of an old mindset that we need to let go of.  Regardless, they’re not part of who we ARE today – which is why we will eventually work through them, rise above them, and be perfectly OK in the long run.

6.  Wealth

Making money is pretty easy.  Attaining true wealth is not.  Most people have jobs and bring in an income.  What’s difficult is to earn it by doing something that makes a positive difference.

Being a genuinely good person, helping others, and leaving the world better than you found it is what a truly rich life is.  Its warm memories endure even when money and prominence fade, and it’s filled with the only kind of wealth you can take out of this world with you.

Knowing deep down that you counted – that someone else’s life would not have been as rich without you in it – that’s priceless.  That’s something worth working for.

7.  Regret

Lost opportunities, chances you didn’t take, feelings you can never get back.  That’s part of what it means to be alive.  It’s frustrating when you realize you’ve missed a good opportunity.  Although you can’t go back and change the past, there’s still something positive you can do.  You can choose to learn from your mistake and transform your regret for this missed opportunity into enthusiasm and commitment for seizing the next good opportunity that comes your way.

You can decide to look ahead, acknowledging the importance of what you missed, but also realizing that it’s not the end of the world.  There are many roads leading to everyplace worth going.  Look at every exit from one opportunity as a possible entrance to another.  You just have to keep your eyes wide open, looking forward in the direction of the next chance to get it right.

8.  Resentment

Holding a resentful grudge is like drinking toxic venom and waiting for the other person to grow ill.  It’s an exercise in futility.  And just as toxic venom is to the human body, so is resentment to the human spirit – even one tiny bit is bad for you.

Don’t magnify life’s difficulties by filling your mind with resentment.  Instead, ease your burdens by choosing to let them go.  If you feel resentful feelings starting to take hold, stop and consider the fact that there’s nothing to be gained by bringing yourself down over what has already happened.

Let today be the day you stop letting the ghosts of yesterday haunt you.  Let today be the day you stop poisoning yourself with needless hatred.  Forget about getting even with someone who hurt you, and instead get even with those who have helped you.  Read The Soulmate Experience.

9.  Adversity

You have an immeasurable power within yourself to make positive changes in your life.  When something is troubling you, don’t ignore it; make a commitment to change it.  Don’t sit around in awe of how unhappy you are and at how unfairly life is treating you.  Instead, be amazed at how swiftly and effectively you can do something about it.  A positive reaction is yours to make.

Your past is unchangeable.  The future depends on your decisions and actions in this moment.  Right now you have power.  When the world feels like it’s crumbling down around you, that’s a valuable signal.  It’s your heart’s way of telling you to get going and make an overdue change.  You have plenty of suitable choices if you’ll simply make an effort to discover them.  Pick the best one, put it into action, and take control of your life.

Photo by: Hartwig HKD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MRNES GIVES YOU A TASTE OF HE’S FLIRTATIOUS SIDE THAT LEAVES WOMAN ADDICTED FOR MORE…

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MRNES GIVES YOU A TASTE OF HE’S FLIRTATIOUS SIDE THAT LEAVES WOMAN ADDICTED FOR MORE…

JANURAY 15, 2013 (JERSEY CITY, NJ) – MRNES’s latest single and video release “ALL NIGHT”

Are you ready for this? MRNES drops his latest single “ALL NIGHT”, from his upcoming album titled “THE BONEFACE”. You saw his soft side as he described the way he felt about a lost love in his last single “LAST SONG”. Now, MRNES gives you a taste of his flirtatious side that leaves woman addicted. There’s something about MRNES that leaves woman wanting more. He’s style lights up any room without him even trying. He has a glow to him that keeps woman guessing and if he’s interested they end up on a mission to have him all night…

Ladies, it’s just something about MRNES’s lyrics and word play that makes him irresistible. Fella’s check out his sexy black and white video it’s sure to please. Either way I am sure you will enjoy MRNES’s latest single and video release “ALL NIGHT”.

Not too long ago, if you were known as a “rapper” you were automatically stereotyped and categorized as one type of genre. It was assumed that you as a “rapper” talked, walked, dressed and acted a certain way. You were either accepted by your peers or exit out. Now, a new wave has taken over. What was not accepted in the past is now acknowledged. There are no longer limits. Borders have been crossed and music lovers have embraced the “rappers” of today.

MRNES is a part of this new waive. He’s creating his own music lane with his unique style, choice of lyrics and flow. Good music is undeniable. MRNES has redefined the term “rapper” and has taken this method of music and has transformed it into his own. He brings a new flavor to the music world. He’s sound can be described as Wiz Khalifa meets Fabulous with a twist of B.O.B. MRNES’s mission is to capture the soul that lives in music and create tunes that many can relate to and enjoy listening too for years to come.

MRNES is wrapping up his upcoming album titled “THE BONEFACE”. It’s expected to drop in the near future. For further information, contact MRNES at (201)362-9635

Download Link:  http://hu.lk/b6ij9049oda8/MRNES FT ERICKRIGHT LAST SONG.mp3

Watch YouTube Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAf8xGtHYt4

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0Usgm4spo4

Connect with MRNES:
Email: MrNesAllday@gmail.com
Official website: www.mrnes.com or www.smoothfellarecords.com
Social Networks:

www.facebook.com/mrnes

www.twitter.com/mrnes

www.myspace.com/nestheboss

www.youtube.com/mrnesonline

www.youtube.com/smoothfellazent