It’s GO Time! – Day 289 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today is another double down catch up day.

There can be no argument that most human aspirations, including yours and mine, have not failed because we were defeated , lacked skills, or lacked knowledge. The overwhelming majority of the dreams shattered in our lives died on the sword of inaction.

Your intentions were good. Your motivation was initially high. Then you allowed life to intervene. Time pressures forced you to keep setting your dream aside. You listened to the voices of the naysayers. Pretty soon your passion was gone, the moment was missed, and you piled that dream on the heap of other abandoned dreams.

THE most important part of achieving anything is to escape the gravity of the starting line. It keeps pulling you back into old habits and makes tomorrow your favorite word in the language. Soon the tomorrows become years and you find yourself living in the empty river bed of a dream that once flowed through you with the power of the spring melt.

Start! Just start. By starting, you’re ahead of at least 90 percent of other dreamers. By starting, you gain momentum that gets harder to sidetrack. By starting, you declare your intention to the universe.

Here are 15 amazing “Getting Started” quotes to get your engine going.

  1. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. -Arthur Ashe
  2. Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. ~John Wooden
  3. The secret to getting ahead is to get started. -Mark Twain
  4. The wise one does at once what the fool does last. -Balthasar Gracian
  5. You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do. -Henry Ford
  6. You can’t plan for everything or you never get started in the first place. -Jim Butcher
  7. Don’t let perfectionism become an excuse for never getting started. -Marilu Henner
  8. Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; suddenly you’ll find yourself doing the impossible. -St. Francis of Assisi
  9. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. -Zig Ziglar
  10. The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing. -Walt Disney
  11. If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one. -Dolly Parton
  12. All glory comes from daring to begin. -Eugene F. Ware
  13. He has half the deed done who has made a beginning. -Horace
  14. How wonderful it is that nobody has to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank
  15. To be old can be glorious, if one has not unlearned how to begin. -Martin Buber

Your greatest victories await your beginning. Begin now. As the saying goes, There’s no time like the present.

Ray

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Personal Development Not Personal Punishment – Day 288 of 365 Days to a Better You

Tomorrow marks the midway point of #NoSodaNovember. No soda has passed my lips for 15 days. To celebrate, I’m going to have a single Dr. Pepper tomorrow before jumping back in the wagon for the rest of the month.

Honestly, I’m not particularly craving the Dr. Pepper. I’m simply doing it as a reward for succeeding for 15 days and as encouragement to go 15 more.

Personal development must not become personal punishment. The goal, whatever the current personal development mission, is to do better not instantly become perfect.

You see people turn personal development goals into forms of extreme denial that almost invariably boomerang around into new excess. Someone goes from eating two Big Macs, a large fry, and a super size coke one day to swearing they’re only going to eat rice cakes for the rest of their lives the next.

Conscious, purposeful denial is useful in trying to change a behavior, but don’t become dogmatic or tyrannical about it. Consider the following when taking this approach.

  1. Abrupt changes in direction are usually challenging to maintain. Consider making gradual shifts. That allows you to build habit and commitment to the change rather than a sense of loss or a desire to rebel.
  2. Reward yourself along the way. Don’t undo all you’ve accomplished, but as long as it doesn’t risk your well-being or spark addiction, indulge yourself a little. The goal is balance and betterment not perfection.
  3. Don’t make it a struggle of extremes from binging to austerity and back. Slow and smooth wins the race.
  4. Give yourself credit for progress rather than beating yourself up for setbacks.
  5. Do what feels good and what maintains the integrity of your goal.
  6. If you do have a small setback, don’t allow it to become a breakout of regression. Accept, forgive, and get back on track.
  7. Your goal is worthy, but don’t make getting there a thankless, miserable existence. What goal is worth that?

So, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy my Dr. Pepper tomorrow. I’ve earned it. Drinking one is not giving in and it’s not a fault in integrity. Then I’m going to finish the month strong.

Whatever your current goal, remember to enjoy yourself along the way. You would never work for a boss who wouldn’t let you have a break or fun and you won’t work for yourself that way either.

In case no one else has told you today, YOU are awesome!

Ray

Start Your Day with a Thank You Shower – Day 287 of 365 Days to a Better You

We’re a little behind to finish this series by the end of the year. I’m going to double up some days, but if we spill over into 2020 so be it.

The great Wayne Dyer used to have a practice of saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” as soon as he awoke each morning. He said it put him in a place of gratitude to start his day.

I’ve taken his idea and modified it into what I call the “Thank You” shower. The word shower is a double entendres in this case. I often actually do this in the shower, but it’s also about showering the world around you with gratitude to start the day.

You can make your own list for your Thank You shower. Here’s some ideas to get you started.

  1. Thank you for a new 24 hours.
  2. Thank you for another chance to get better.
  3. Thank you for my (significant other).
  4. Thank you for my family.
  5. Thank you for my friends.
  6. Thank you for the gift of my life.
  7. Thank you for my talents that I have to share with the world.
  8. Thank you for the food I need to survive.
  9. Thank you for a warm/cool place to call home.
  10. Thank you for this beautiful planet,
  11. Thank you for this amazing universe.

You can direct your thanks however you’d like – toward God, toward the universe, toward the object of your thanks. You can say them out loud or to yourself. As you start your day with all those people and things you have to be grateful for, let that gratitude infuse your consciousness and inform your day.

In case no one else has told you today, you ARE awesome! Thank my amazing readers for spending a few minutes of their valuable time reading this blog each day.

 Ray

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Stop Missing Profound Truths – Day 286 of 365 Days to a Better You

Sir Winston Churchill once observed, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”

The universe is constantly placing truths before you; flashing like the bright lights of Las Vegas.  They’re impossible to miss unless you’re caught up in this “rat race” mindset. At “rat race” speed, your mind is clouded with marching orders, burdens, and you’re always in a hurry. When you’re in that mode, profound truths could bite you on the nose and you’d miss them completely.

These truths are important. They could be telling you how to achieve your next goal or answering a question you asked the universe in frustration, but never waited for the answer.

What’s the solution?

  • Just be more.
  • Feel more.
  • Stop, look, and listen more.
  • Go within more.
  • Breathe consciously more.
  • Love more.
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt more.
  • Accept more.

Do these things and you’ll drop out of rat race mode and see the world more clearly. As you see the world more clearly, the truths trying to make themselves clear to you appear.

Those truths don’t respond to your hurry, worry, or your distraction. They only show up when you fully show up.

Just in case no one else has told you today, YOU ARE AWESOME!

Ray

Ray
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Keep On Running – Day 284 of 365 Days to a Better You

A diiferent form of this post originally appeared on this blog in March 2009.

Saturday was beautiful Spring-like day in the Kansas City area. I took my beautiful black lab Mia for a walk. We live next door the elementary school here and between the school and us is a baseball field.

There was a kickball game going on as we passed by. I paused to watch for a few minutes. It was a mix of adults, little kids, and littler kids – probably a family get-together of some kind.

As Mia and I stood there, one of the smallest kids stepped up the plate. The pitcher rolled the ball and the little boy kicked with all his might. The ball dribbled slowly toward tbe third base. The little boy was chugging down the to first base for all he was worth.

The third baseman fielded the ball and tried to hit the little boy with it to get him out. The ball missed and rolled behind first base.

At this point, chaos broke out. The little boy stopped at first momentarily and then people started yelling, “Run, run, run.” He took off for second. As he neared second, people started yelling, “Stop, stop, stop.”

Another fielder threw the ball trying to get the little boy out at second, but missed again. The ball rolled away from the fielder. Now people were yelling a mix of, “Run, run, run” and ”Stop, stop, stop.”

The comedy of fielding errors continued and the little boy, no longer listening to the mixed shouts coming from the crowd, forced the issue by rounding third and heading for home.

The ball arrived to the catcher too late and the little boy dove into home plate head first and scored.

I took this as a metaphor. The little boy, through all the chaos and the advice from the divided experts, just kept on running. He wasn’t really paying attention to what the fielders were doing with the ball. He seemed to be locked in on one idea – scoring that run. He kept on running!

How often, as you try to achieve your goals in life, do you have people telling you, “Do this” or “Don’t do that?” Do you let it stop you and knock you off course or do you keep on running? It’s easy to get stalled listening to the experts or worrying what “the fielders are doing with the ball.”

Take it from this little boy. Ignore the chaos and stay focused! Keep moving toward your dreams. I’m not saying experts can’t be helpful and I’m not saying ignore other aspects of your life. I am saying that when you have a goal or a dream your job is to keep on running.

If you do, you’ll be sliding into home plate with a big score as well!

In case no one else reminded you today, you’re AWESOME!

Ray

Ray
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Take Your Own Wise Counsel – Day 282 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s affirmation: I am a vast source of wisdom. I am a wise counselor. I have the answers within me.

Here’s something to stick in your back pocket today. You know an amazingly wise and perceptive person who is always ready and able to provide you fantastic advice. Fortunately, you have access to that person 365/24/7. I’m talking about you, of course. You’re a wise old owl.

“Me?” you say. “I’ve got lots of challenges I can’t figure out. How can I help myself?”

Don’t be so quick to discount yourself. It’s all a matter of perspective. You need to step outside your challenges, put on your wise counselor’s hat, and analyze your situation like you are a friend or a family member coming to you for advice.

You’ve played that role many times in your life. With some detachment, you’re amazingly wise, stunning insightful, and brimming with compassion.

Give yourself the benefit of that sagely master within you. What would you tell a friend to do in your situation? What would you caution him or her about? How would you encourage your friend?

You’re much more critical and cynical when dealing with yourself. Lend the wisdom and compassion you’d show someone you care about. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by this powerful internal resource walking around in you all day long.

In case no one else has told you today, you ARE amazing!

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Ray

Ray
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Break Your Own Habits – Day 281 of 365 Days to a Better You

If you’re not careful, life can become one big habit. If you’re not careful, life can become one big habit. If you’re not careful, life can become one big habit.

To choose, is a sacred human right. Yet, scientists estimate that 95 percent of human thinking is unconscious. Why do you drive the same route to work each day? Why do you watch the same shows every week? Why do you always order the same thing every time you go to that restaurant?

You might answer because that’s the fastest way to work, I like those shows, and that’s my favorite dish at that restaurant. Maybe, but do you feel that easy groove you’re in? Do you feel how doing the same thing day after day becomes a habit you don’t even question?

Did you consciously decide to drive to work that way again today or did your body just get up and do it?

Sometimes there’s value in changing it up just for the sake of changing it up. Sometimes there’s value in watching a different show or ordering a different meal just to be consciously choosing instead of letting habit take over.

It prevents you from just living a life that you chose years ago and keep repeating and puts the power to choose your life now back in your hands.

If you always go right, try going left. Break the mold your life has gelled into and re-choose your life again.

The result will be not only a greater diversity of experience, but a greater feeling of ownership for right now.

In case no one has told you today, you ARE amazing!

Ray

Ray
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