Five Steps to Move Your Life Ahead Right Now

azalea-1307644_12801) Set Your Intention: Daily goals paired with a monthly intention are just as important as a five-year plan. Enjoy the journey of life, moment by moment.

2) Smile and Laugh (especially when you’re having a bad day): It’s good for your soul! And, don’t forget that “this too shall pass.”

3) Don’t Live in the Past: Stop yourself from saying I could have, I should have, or I might have. Yesterday is history.

4) Love Who You Are RIGHT NOW: You are perfect today, you really are!

5) Believe in the Beauty of Your Dreams: Your dreams are on purpose, and you have the power to make ALL of them come true!

Don’t Postpone Your Joy

cuppasnowThe concept of living in the present moment seems to be quite popular these days. So, what’s so special about the present moment anyway, and why bother to “live” there? Isn’t it easier to focus on what we really want, and think about that instead?

Sure, that’s simple. Just close your eyes and think about your ideal job, relationship, or anything else that you desire. Done. I think the real difficulty for many of us lies in what transpires after we open our eyes and go about the business of day-to-day living. Too many of us postpone our joy for some future date when we finally reach our goals. We say to ourselves: “then I’ll be happy.” I think that’s a waste of time. The time to be anything at all is right now, in this moment.

As we know, the present moment is all we have. We don’t have yesterday because it is gone. We don’t have tomorrow, because it hasn’t arrived yet. If we flee the present moment, and decide to live in the past or the future, we miss out on the beauty and the mystery of what is happening right in front of our eyes. There is a lot we surrender because we are so busy thinking about what might have been, or what should be. Then there’s the stress that we put ourselves through when we worry about all the things that we can’t control.

Don’t save your joy for tomorrow, next year, or the time far into the future when you assume you will be happy because all your dreams have finally come true. A big surprise for many people is that once they achieve their goals, sometimes they end up feeling that there is something that still seems to be missing from their lives. So, they begin searching all over again, and put the same cycle into motion. Instead of taking that path, open your heart and your mind to everything that exists in the present moment. Feel gratitude for the present moment and savor it, like a delicious dessert or a passionate kiss.

Regardless of the length of our lives, in the end all of us will have a collection of both good and bad memories. Undoubtedly, the things we will cherish the most will be the people, places, and things that brought us joy. Don’t postpone that joy. Accumulate more good memories right now by focusing on the present moment. Your future self will thank you!

Take A Chance

OwlFeatherWhen was the last time that you took a chance on anything? I’m not talking about buying a lottery ticket. What I’m referring to is taking a chance to explore new opportunities, and to step out of the familiar space that you’ve carved out for yourself in life. This is never an easy task — what is familiar to us is easy and takes hardly any effort. What is familiar is also mostly effortless, like blinking your eyes or breathing.

I’m not making a case against the familiar. There is a sacredness in tradition, and daily routines are the engines that turn our lives with efficiency. What I’m focusing on here is the devotion to a routine that hinders your personal growth and development.

The best way that I can illustrate this is to tell you about a person that was my boss very early on in my career. This person, I’ll call her boss A for this post, had a morning routine that I always found very interesting. She never wavered from it, which surprised me and fascinated me at the same time, because I enjoy trying new things.

Every morning, instead of emailing one another, she and I would have a brief meeting to recap the week and discuss projects and deadlines that I was working on. This meeting always took place in her office, and would commence around 9:30 AM. As I sat down in the chair in front of her desk and began to talk about matters at hand, boss A would nod, take small sips of coffee, and butter both sides of her bagel with a plastic knife. Her coffee and her bagel were always the same: 2 sugars, one creamer, and a plain bagel. They were purchased from the street vendor outside our building that set up his cart there every morning. I regularly visited the same street vendor – his coffee was good, and there was nowhere else in the city to get breakfast for under $2.00 (keep in mind this was the 1990’s).

I often wondered if boss A wavered from her morning breakfast routine, and eventually I worked up the courage to ask her. Her reply was: “No, this has been my breakfast during the week for as long as I can remember.” All these years later, I can still see boss A chatting away while taking her coffee sips and carefully buttering both sides of her plain bagel. Sometimes when I feel that I am getting too entrenched into a routine, I think about her easy, and consistently boring approach to breakfast. Then, I’m inspired to try something new and different.

What I know for sure is that there is pure magic in taking a chance. When you step away from your comfort zone, you will find this magic, and it will enrich your life in countless ways. So, the next time an opportunity comes your way, embrace it. Whether it takes the form of exploring a new career that you’re passionate about, meeting new people, or simply choosing the cinnamon raisin bagel instead the plain one. You’ll be glad you did!

Astound Yourself

AstoundThere’s a door that I encourage you to open today. It’s the door that you leave shut most of the time. I’m referring to the door that shields the real you behind it. Yes, the real you: the one that you shield from the world from time to time.

If this message sounds familiar, it’s because you may have heard it recently. The message to be yourself is one that seems to be repeated everywhere, and resonates with everyone. Yet, few of us take this advice. I wonder what we are waiting for?

Like snowflakes and fingerprints, you are unique. You are also amazing in every way, talented, and very beautiful. But, most of the time, you don’t want to believe any of that is true. Rather, you retreat. You go behind that door. Why? Probably because it’s easier, much easier. You imagine that the world won’t accept you as you are. So, from a very early age, you try to fit in. Then, when you do, you convince yourself that you’ve found a way of life that works. Actually, you haven’t. All you have done is locked that door so that the real you cannot emerge.

The funny thing is, once we become adults, our authentic self has a way of making its presence known. Our authentic self finds a small opening in that door, and peers through. Others recognize it, and sing your praises. Still, we keep the door locked. The reasons why we barricade our true essence from the world may not make any sense to anyone. That really doesn’t matter, because those reasons make sense to us. So, we continue. And, the insecurities continue right along with us. Fear is there too. You believe what you think, and your brain tells you that it is too risky to let the world know who you really are.

Well, I’m here today to tell you that it is time to let everyone see your beautiful, shining essence! There is no need to wait another minute. The person who/that you planned to be when you came into this world is more important than you can ever imagine. What is not important is how other people view you, or your negative self-talk. You have so much to share: your gifts, your heart, your compassion – everything that makes you unique. Astound yourself by showing everyone around you who you really are.  Trust yourself. The real you will never let you down. If you discover that you have locked that door which leads to your authentic self, I encourage you to unlock it today, and then keep it open. Better yet, remove it completely. You were born to fly, not to live behind doors. So, go ahead – ASTOUND YOURSELF – and just be you!