10 Reasons For Optimism Today

10 Reasons for Optimism on Any Morning

Start your morning positive and optimistic. In this brief video, I lay out 10 reasons anyone can use to begin their day with optimism today. They can all apply to you in your life either as something you recognize in your life today or something you can initiate in your life.

Your day starts with your morning and your morning is decided by your thoughts, especially those spots speaking to your WHY.

Wherever you are on your journey remember how amazing you are.

Put your mind on your side!

Ray

Getting Past Fear to Action – Day 285 of 365 Days to a Better You

There’s an old German proverb that says, “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”

You want to build your side business, change jobs, or go back and get that degree, but something is stopping you. Sure, time, money, the ease of staying put are often the easy culprits. Are they really the reasons you haven’t taken action or is there a conscious or unconscious fear anchoring you in place?

Change is a wolf and our fears about it do make it look bigger than it is. Are you feeling a little fear about the change? It doesn’t mean you’re coward or weak, it just means your human and you’ve allowed the wolf of fear to swallow your dream.

Want to know a secret? Most of the time, that wolf is a shadow puppet on the walls of your mind. It’s only as big as you make it.

Powerhack: Here are some things you can do turn stagnant fear into action when you’re stuck.

  1. Just jump – do you remember, as a kid, the first time you jumped off a diving board? You had that same lump in your throat you have about this. You stared at the water, you counted, and you heard your self-talk talking you out of it. Finally, one of your friends yelled, “Just jump!” That was the solution. You shut down your mind and just acted. Before you knew it, you were hitting the refreshing water and rising back to the surface in joy. That worked out and so will this.
  2. Dream bigger – yeah, this one gets a bad rap because everyone says it, but it’s applicable here. Maybe you don’t have a dream big enough to overcome your fear of acting. Have you ever REALLY wanted something? I mean REALLY? You let nothing stand in your way. If this dream doesn’t have you that passionate, dream a bigger dream.
  3. Find examples – maybe you’re thinking, “Someone my age can’t do that” or “Someone in my situation can’t do that.” Wrong! I simply guarantee you’re wrong. There is someone out there who overcame none than you to get what you want. Find them and let their story inspire you.
  4. Past is prologue– you’ve done this before. At some point in your life, you faced a challenge, thought you couldn’t, but did anyway. Remember those examples and be inspired that you’ve done it before and you can do it again.

See, that wolf isn’t as big as he seems. In the face of your determination, he turns into a lovable pup.

Just in case no one else had reminded you today, you’re AWESOME!

Ray

10 Reasons for Optimism Today – Day 207 of 365 Days to a Better You

Hello, my friends. When you think about it, there’s always reasons close by for optimism.

  1. You woke up this morning. You can’t start better than that.
  2. You have freedom of choice. Your life is built of your choices. You are free to change yours, if you want a change in your life.
  3. People facing your exact challenges or worse have succeeded and thrived anyway.
  4. You’re a day wiser than you were yesterday.
  5. When you really stop and look, there are tiny miracles going on everywhere around you. Make it a point to notice.
  6. There is inspiration for the life you want everywhere. Drink it in.
  7. Love. Despite all the ugliness in the world, love still wins.
  8. You’re you and that’s damn sure more than enough.
  9. Forgiving and receiving forgiveness are still options.
  10. You have a big dream. You have all you need within you to achieve it. You have help from the universe coming from all directions.

Don’t allow the negatives and naysayers to steal your optimism. Don’t allow setbacks to steal your dreams. Don’t allow the end of one dream to be the end of dreaming. You’re made for BIG things. Keep your focus on the good and the good will multiply.

You’re one in a trillion. I’m glad to know you!

Ray

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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!

Ray

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RE: How to Harness the Positive Power of Negative Thinking

Today’s Thought:

The optimist sees the half-full glass as ready to overflow. The pessimist waits for the water to evaporate and claims victory.

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CI came across an article titled “How to Harness the Positive Power of Negative Thinking” by Oliver Burkeman on UC Berkley’s Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life website. This is a well-conceived article promoting a book by the author that takes positive thinking to task. Burkeman’s book is apparently aimed at showing us how positive thinking is overrated and negative thinking is beneficial.

I left a comment about the article on the site, but I wanted to expand a bit on my response there. I encourage you to read the article before reading my response.

Response:

It is important to keep all things in balance – positive thinking included. Clearly the overzealous goal-setting and perfectionism, described by Burkeman, are a danger in our positive thinking. We can stress ourselves out in the constant pursuit for more, more, more. When we don’t get the desired results, we can feel disappointment and more negativity for a time. And certainly, there are people who cheat and cut corners to reach their goals. None of these, however, are indictments of positive thinking. They represent positive thinking misapplied.

Clearly, some of this go, go, go win, win, win mentality has been driven by some of the giants in personal development. Burkeman touts ancient Stoic and Buddhist philosophies as an answer. He points out that these schools of thought sought a less strenuous way to be happy without the constant pursuit of something. I agree.

However, Buddhism and Stoicism are both self-denying, and to some extent, world-denying philosophies. They were not designed to create achievement of goals in the world. Where I believe philosophies like that can contribute is in keeping us balanced and sane and as we make the necessary push required to “make things happen” in our world. If your goal is simple serenity, then by all means choose Buddhism or Stoicism. If you have goals and things you want to achieve in the world, these philosophies, while comforting you, are not the ticket.

When I read articles like this one, it reminds me why I work to move my own thinking in positive directions. For negativity is the human default setting and much easier to maintain than positivity. There is also this strain of thinking here that sees negative thinking as somehow more realistic than positive thinking. This line of reasoning goes that we live in a harsh world where disappointment is commonplace and we can protect ourselves by expecting little. The message is “play it safe”. Don’t risk your happiness, when it might end in disappointment.

For the dreamer, though, this will not do. He or she sees a bigger pie and possibility everywhere. He or she knows that avoiding defeat is not the same as victory.

When you risk, you do chance setback and disappointment. We live in a Universe where risk is the cost of reward. The dreamer accepts this as part of the game.

You don’t have to be stressed or narcissistic in the pursuit of those goals. You don’t have to harm others or think only of yourself. You see, real positive thinking wants not only the best for you, but the best for those around you and the best for the world. When it is selfish, it is misapplied. When it makes you tight and stressed about achieving a certain goal by a certain date, it is misapplied.

The real issue here boils down to this, assuming you don’t plan to retreat to a mountaintop and meditate yourself to Nirvana (a worthy goal in and of itself). You are going to need to act in the world to achieve your goals. When that action is driven by fear and negativity, success is rare. When it is driven by a positive outlook and the belief that something more, even though risky, is possible – success comes more often.

We can spend our lives steeling ourselves against disappointment and defining that aversion to setback as happiness. Or, we can spend our lives working to achieve our dreams and expanding our horizons about what happy means.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

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