Quotes are Food for the Soul

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Have you ever read a quote and it resonated with you?  Did it leave an impression on your life?  That’s because quotes have a way of touching your soul.

They lift you up when you are down

They encourage you when you need support

They propel you forward when you are motionless

They help you remember where you’ve been

They keep you focused on where you are going

They open your mind to different points of view

They make you want to be a better you

They give you courage when you are afraid

They enable you to do the impossible

They help you to forgive

They make you think

They inspire you

They allow you to dream

They make you see the truth

They make you feel like you are not alone

They change your outlook on life…

Therefore, read a quote every day and nourish your soul!

 

In What Direction are You Heading?

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As the New Year begins, it is usually a time for people to start new plans, goals or make “resolutions”.  Some want to lose weight, kick a habit or start a new endeavor.

I guess the New Year is a good time to start with a new slate.  It is the “official” starting time to do whatever it is you want to do.  The question is do you know what you want to do?  Or better yet, do you know in what direction you are heading?

Yes, it is easy to say I am going to lose weight this year or I am going to learn a new language or I am going to go back to school.  Yet, it is not so easily done.  What makes us think that we can accomplish any of these goals just because it is a new year?  Are the same reasons that kept us from achieving these goals in the past still present?  If so, we must identify them so we do not sit idly by, watching days, weeks, and eventually a year pass by.

If your roadblock is procrastination (for many of us it is), then you need to set mini goals each day to keep you moving in the right direction.  Let’s use losing weight as an example.  Perhaps your goal is to lose 20 pounds.  First we must right down our goal.  Next you need a visual aid, so you can see where you are headed.  You can use a goal chart and set up little rewards for certain milestones achieved.  You must decide how to get going – whether it be eating differently each day or exercise. The key is to do something that is realistic and that you will like.  If you set unrealistic goals then, you will get easily discouraged.

Next you need to eliminate anything that is not moving you toward your goal.  If you know that as soon as your turn on the television, you will be glued to it until you go to bed, then don’t turn it on.  You will be surprised at how much time you gain from not sitting in front of the television for hours.  Again, there is no need to go cold turkey, just start small by eliminating 30 minutes or 1 hour of television each day.  Another time consumer is reading.  Yes, reading.  Often times people are consumed by books and again spend hours reading and then have no time to do anything else.  Too much of anything is not good for you.

Once you have gotten the “excuses” out of your path, your focus should be clear.  However, you may need help to keep you moving forward once you have started toward your goal.  That could be a positive friend or family member that can keep you motivated when you start to waiver.   It could be a motivational quote or Bible verse that you meditate upon when obstacles arise.  Whatever your source of strength and encouragement, make sure you have it before you get moving.

Now I know there are many pieces of information out there on “how to do”.  They tell you the tools you need (and have to buy in most cases) and the time it will take you to complete the task or goal.  However, I find that they leave out one important thing – direction.  They do not know in what direction you are headed.  They do not know if you have backtracked several times or are moving sideways because you are afraid to move forward but you know you cannot move backwards.  There is only one person that knows in what direction you are moving – you.  That is the same person that has to have the will to keep moving in the right direction and determination to stay focused on the goal.  Remember you are not on a trip; you are on the journey of your life.  Set your course and do not let anything deter you from your purpose.  Naturally, there will be detours and breakdowns along the way, but you are not running a race, you are living your life!  Live it with purpose and direction and you can accomplish what you set out to do.

The Vulnerability Veil

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I often think about how much of my true self I should let others see.  Should I share my real thoughts, my honest thoughts?  Will people like them or even understand them?  Do I want them to know who I really am?  Would they really like me, if they got to know the “real” me?

I believe these questions run through people’s minds every day.  I think most people want to be accepted.  Yet they do not want to expose themselves for fear of being rejected.  It is scary to put one’s self out there and abandon all inhibitions. 

However, irony comes into play because as we are trying to be accepted, we are showing less of our true self.  We become insecure.  To mask our fear we become the funny one, the perfectionist, the yes man or woman and unfortunately sometimes the bully.  We seek out in others what we lack in ourselves – meaning the imperfect one portrays the perfectionist, the insecure one plays the bully, etc.  It is easier to put the focus on someone’s failures, bad habits, fear, and weakness then to address our own by calling attention to ourselves.  It is easy to gossip about what so and so is wearing (or not wearing) or what she is doing than to admit we have the same or similar issue.

Yet if we just open up we can learn that from failures, come success – that from adversity, comes character – that from openness, comes creativity.  So many people think that if they wear the right clothes, or drive the right car or have enough money, they will be seen.  They will be accepted.  However, what would they be seeing? 

In order to be seen, you have to put yourself out there.  You have to be vulnerable.  I heard someone once say that vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage.  Now that does not automatically mean that everyone gets the right to  know your intimate thoughts and beliefs.  I am not saying be naive.  People have to earn your trust and the right to know your story – to know you. 

The dictionary defines vulnerability as susceptible to physical or emotional injury.  Yet it is required to gain insight to your emotional self.  Many call vulnerability a weakness, but as an optimist, I call it strength.  Reason being, it is more difficult to expose yourself to others’ judgment than it is to accept their judgment of you.  To know your true self and be comfortable with it is more valuable than what anyone else thinks of you.  Lift up the veil from vulnerability so the world can meet the real you!

 

 

What is Your Purpose?

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Have you ever felt like you were missing something?  Do you wake up each day and desire more in your life?  Is that voice inside telling you that you were made for something other than what you are doing?

We all have heard people say, “We all have a gift or a purpose.”  You may believe that or choose not to believe it.  However, if you sometimes feel like you could be doing something more with your life, then you probably have not reached your full potential.  You have not realized your purpose.

Many people may recognize their talent or gift but are afraid to act upon it.  They do not realize that their gift was meant to be shared and not hidden.  The dictionary defines a gift as something given willingly to someone without payment, a present.  When you know your purpose, your focus is singular.  The path is clear and your spirit and mind are aligned. 

Now that is not to say that the way or path is easy.  As we know, nothing worth having in life comes easily.  We are constantly confronted with obstacles like fear.  Fear can be debilitating.  Fear can cause you to give up your dream.  Fear can keep you from becoming your true self.  However, you must know that fear is self generated.  We let it in when we doubt, worry, or procrastinate.  

If you understand nothing else in your life, you must understand your true self.  Our purposeful life begins when we realize who we are, why we are here and what we must do.  Some of us realize our purpose as children others as adults.  However, when you acknowledge your purpose is not important.  It is when you discover that purpose that is significant. 

Do not let another day go by without moving toward your purpose.  I heard someone once say, “To become ourselves is the challenge of adversity”.  Simply put, we are the ones standing in the way of us fulfilling our purpose. 

Let go…and become who you were meant to be.