Five Ways to Open Your Mind – Day 215 of 365 Days to a Better You

People always tell you, “Have an open mind.” Rarely, do they suggest how. Here are five very practical ways to open your mind.

  1. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. We wake up every morning and have to work our compassion and love around this big “I” stuck in the middle of our minds. Choose to consciously stand in someone else’s perspective, without judgement, for a while. You will open yourself to whole new ways of thinking.
  2. Do things with your off hand for a day. Nothing closes our minds to new possibilities like mindless habit. Doing things with your opposite hand requires focus and forces you see your daily activities in a new way.
  3. Play What If. What if just for today you accepted a premise that’s completely out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to buy in 100 percent. Just give it a chance for one day and see where it takes you.
  4. Phone a friend. Have a challenge? Ask three of the most different people you know how they’d handle the situation. The diversity of views might just help you triangulate the best approach.
  5. Get out of your comfort zone. That’s such common advice, I know, that’s it’s practically useless. Here’s a practical way to do it by changing your priorities. When given the choice between “The Adventure” and your security, choose “The Adventure” more often. The security in staying where you are is just the illusion of familiarity. You’re not more secure by staying put than by keep in moving. So, choose to keep in moving.

Follow these five tips often and I guarantee you you’ll have a productively more open mind in six months then you do today.

Stay the course, my friends! One new thought can open a whole new world and you never know when it might happen.


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10 Ways to Get More Joy from Life TODAY – Day 206 of 365 Days to a Better You

Are you looking for more joy? Here are 10 simple things you can do right now to add more joy to your life today.

  1. Connect to the breath of life – several times today literally stop what you’re doing and breathe in and out consciously.
  2. Connect to the cycle of nature – watch the sun rise, watch the sun set, or better yet both.
  3. Connect with the people around you – make it a point to make eye contact with and smile at the people you interact with today.
  4. Dream a little dream – take five minutes today to literally daydream about your biggest dream. Let it flood your consciousness. See yourself with your dream as a complete reality. Plan or take a next step to move you toward its realization.
  5. Laugh out loud – find something that lineally makes you laugh out loud and fully enjoy that moment.
  6. Release a negative – forgive someone, let go of some mental baggage, debunk a negative thought. If it helps make it more real, write what you’re releasing on a piece of paper and burn it.
  7. Stop and smell the flowers – literally stop and smell a flower or some other way to connect with the nature around you.
  8. Put others first – there are a hundred chances a day to let someone else go ahead of you. Make a point to do it at least five times – traffic, line at the store, etc. spread a little kindness. It feels good and makes the world a little better.
  9. Get perspective – there are horrible things going on in the world. Take time to notice there are a thousand wonderful things happening around you for every negative.
  10. Reflect – when your day is through, focus on all the good that you put into the world today and all of the good you received.

The world is filled with joy for the taking every day. Be sure to claim your share.


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How to Write Affirmations That Change Your Life – Day 203 of 365 Days to a Better You

Thought for the Day:

Affirmations without action are just glorified wishful thinking. Affirmations are “mental armor” supporting empowered action, not a substitute for it.

Over the past several years, I’ve written many articles about affirmations -how affirmations work, types of affirmations, ways to use affirmations, etc., etc., etc. Some of those articles are linked to in this article.

However, I’ve never just written an article on how to write an effective affirmation. Today I had a request from a follower on Twitter to provide a “how to” and decided it was a good time to write that article. Let me begin by saying that there are many gurus out there with many ideas on how to correctly write affirmations. There are also some dogmas around the process. I’m not big on dogmas of any kind. So some of this might be unorthodox. Feel free to use what resonates for you.

Before we begin, let me make a few quick points. Affirmations are a tool to reshape and refocus your thoughts. By themselves, they don’t “make” anything happen. However, as you replace negative thoughts with negative vibrations with positive thoughts and positive vibrations, you do begin to attract better things into your life. Affirmations without action are just wishful thinking. The idea is that as you raise the vibration of your thoughts, you become more inspired to take action to manifest those thoughts as reality in the world. See the thought of the day at the top of the article.

I recommend reading my two part series on
Affirmations: Repetition and Belief along with using this list to create your affirmations. Following is  7-step process for creating your own affirmations. This is my way. It has worked for me over the past 20 years. Others might have another way that works for them.

  1. Start with a goal – you must have a goal in mind. The clearer the goal, the better the affirmation and the better chance for success. A cloudy goal leads to an unclear affirmation, and poor results.
  2. Affirm what you can believe – affirmations are not a tool for persuading you to believe something you don’t believe. They are a tool to help you create and multiply thoughts that support the action necessary to achieve the things you believe you can achieve. However, you can use what I call “aspirational affirmations” to help manifest a distant goal. You just need to be able to believe you can achieve that goal one day. (Read more Incremental Affirmations and Unrealistic Affirmations)
  3. Use clear language – the language of your affirmation should be clear and powerful for you. It’s OK to use phrases and terms that are very personal to you as long as the language resonates and feels empowering when you say it. Be as specific as possible.
  4. Present Tense – in most cases, it is more effective to use the present tense when writing, speaking, or listening to affirmations. In other words, state your affirmation as “I am…” rather than “I will..” or “I should”. The lone exception would be those discussed in the Incremental Affirmations article.
  5. First, second, and third person – most affirmation gurus will tell you to always put your affirmations in the first person, such as I am a magnificent dancer, rather than the second person you are a magnificent dancer. I agree that first person is the best if you are only going to choose one. Why stop with first person, though? An affirmation can be very powerful in the second person and using your name. I recommend using all three. I am a great writer. You are a great writer. Ray is a great writer. This holographic language creates a more powerful and holistic affirmation. (Read more Adding the Power of You to Your Affirmations)
  6. Use them, use them, use them – once you have written an empowering affirmation, use it. Like so many other motivational tools, affirmations are created and then cast aside after a day or two. Read them aloud, read them into the mirror, post them places where you can see them throughout your day, record them and listen to them passively (Listening Passively to Affirmations) or actively over and over until they infuse your mind. The goal for an affirmation is to have it replace the negative or disempowering thoughts and become thoroughly embedded in your thought process so that it becomes the automatic response  (How Do You Know Your Affirmations are Working?) to your negative thoughts.
  7. Take action – affirmations without action is just wishful thinking. You must think and then act, if you are to achieve.

Follow your bliss! Experience your bliss! Become your bliss!


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Be An Allower – Day 192 of 365 Days to a Better You

Abraham Maslow said back in 1966, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

Some of the stock language in personal development and often on this blog is set goals, measure results, push, hustle, and dream bigger. These words of determination and encouragement and the “Type A” actions they inspire are certainly one way to the goal. However, as Maslow eloquently points out, having only one tool and one way of doing thing soon becomes problematic.

There’s another methodology that can also get you to your goals. It’s slower and more patient, but can be equally effective. Ironically, it’s the polar opposite the one above.

I was recently listening to an Abraham Hicks video on YouTube. He had come up with a name for this alternate approach – Allower.

While the driver approach is embodied by two hands on the boats wheel and full speed ahead, the Allower has hands off the wheel allowing the river to steer and moving at the pace of the flow. This approach means giving up the control and letting the current push you where it will, as you make the most of the opportunities that come your way.

The speed boat may get down the river faster than the leaf, but they both get down the river. You may find the Allower approach less stressful and a better fit for your personality. If not, you can still add it to your toolbox, allowing you to put down the hammer once in a while and still succeed.

Thanks for stopping by. If this post spoke to you, please share it with a couple friends.


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Change Your Perspective, Change Your Results – Day 182 of 365 Days to a Better You

Good evening, my friends. Thanks for stopping by. Our movers came today and our stuff has officially followed us to Kansas. I spent much of a very hot summer day directing traffic on where to put everything.

This evening I had several errands to run. I thought I’d closed the garage door when I left the first time, but it was open when I returned. I closed it again, but when I came back out to my car it was up again. I tried closing it only to find that the door was closing partially and then coming back up.

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred that because something is blocking the door sensors. I made sure the path between them was clear and that nothing was within three feet of either. Still, the door would not close.

After hearing the door start to close several times, April came out to see what I was doing. I explained what was going on. She tried it a couple times and got the same result. However, the second time she happened to notice that the manual pull rope for the door had jammed into the track and was preventing the door from closing.

A simple solution, but not if you’re bound and determined, as I was in this case, to find the solution you’re expecting. Even though 99 times out of 100 my line of troubleshooting would have fixed the situation, in this instance it did not. I don’t know how long I would have continued down that path had April not made her casual observation.

We all do this in life sometimes. We keep on operating from a comfortable perspective. It may even be one that has worked for you before. Yet, we’re not making progress in addressing the challenge or moving forward.

That’s when fresh perspectives from other people can pay rapid and massive dividends. We can get so into our own heads and what we know that we miss the obvious like the pull string is stuck in the track.

Trust your judgment and your instincts, but don’t be afraid to enlist other perspectives or even force yourself to see other possibilities. The answer you’ve been seeking may be obvious from those fresh perspectives.

Power hack: Here are some tips for getting new perspectives.

  1. Enlist the help of a friend.
  2. What would Superman do? If you had no fears, what would you do in this situation?
  3. What would younger/older you do?
  4. Physically get a new perspective. Lay on the floor and look at the ceiling. Get out into nature and ponder your situation. Stand on your head. Literally change your physical point of view.
  5. Ask someone who’s done what you’re trying to do.
  6. Screw convention. Walk and own your unique path.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope your Monday was fantastic! Sleep well and I’ll talk to you again tomorrow.


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