Tips For Taking Charge of Your Life

girl-2573111_640Problems, adversity, and frustrations can sometimes (but not always) be “blessings in disguise.” Frustrations, mistakes, defeats, and setbacks can inspire you to mentally step back, reassess your situation, regroup, and devise a plan to make positive improvements and changes in your life.

Here are two things that I believe everyone needs to remind themselves of every day — if not every minute:

  • Personal responsibility: “I am responsible for the direction of my life,  the choices I make, the thoughts I think, the actions I take, the words I speak, and the path on which I walk in life. The future condition and quality of my life rests firmly on my shoulders and I’m not going to relinquish that control to anyone else. I’m also not going to waste time, energy, and opportunities by blaming someone else for my frustrations or problems.”
  • Continual forks in the road: Every moment in your life in a crossroads — an opportunity to change your direction, make new and different decisions, solve problems, break through barriers, and discover opportunities. As Deepak Chopra states in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, “You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.”

crossroads-997123_640

Another philosophy that I find inspiring is that of Dr. Wayne Dyer (1940-2015), author of life-changing books like Your Erroneous Zones, The Power of Intention, You’ll See it When You Believe It, Your Sacred Self, and dozens of others.

One of his inspirational quotes that I frequently reflect on is “You don’t get what you want, you get what your are!”

What does that mean?

Well, here’s my interpretation of those wise words:

  • You get out of life what you put into it.
  • Our happiness, success, and the impact we have on the world is the result of the thoughts we cultivate, the personal values we live by, and the habits we develop. As creatures of habit, our individual and cumulative habits are what determine or destiny and shape our reality.
  • Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world — our “inner world” meaning our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, mental images, thought patterns, and the way we communicate with ourselves (both silently and out loud).

So in order to take charge of our lives and not allow external forces and influences to dictate the the content and quality of our lives, we need to be the “master of our fates and captains of our soul.”

In the poem Invictus, English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) wrote those memorable words in the form of a powerful affirmation:

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”

Not a bad mantra to remember and repeat to yourself several times a day, every day!

I hope you’ve found this blog post to be both inspiring and thought-provoking.

Feel free to follow (subscribe to), share, or comment on this blog.

Peace and best wishes!

–Joel

 

 

Tackling Some of Life’s Big Questions

Finding meaning, happiness, and fulfillment in life is a tall order. Sometimes I’m convinced I have most of the answers to the mysteries of life; the next minute, I feel clueless!

Since there are countless ways people derive meaning from life — whether it’s from religion or promoting a humanitarian cause — then meaning must be a subjective experience. In other words, it’s all in our heads! While that statement might seem to trivialize worthy causes, religions, or spiritual beliefs, that’s not my intention.

What we often forget or lose sight of is the fact that we all live in our own individual realities — some would say our own universes. As Deepak Chopra says “Never forget that you are not in the world; the world is in you.”

Since everyone sees the world through different eyes, it seems amazing that most of us are able to work together, cooperate, form lasting relationships, and co-exist at all!

How and why is that possible? Well, I can’t say for sure, but in my opinion, most people are intrinsically good and possess an inborn desire to connect with others and be part of something larger than themselves.

When people can’t co-exist peacefully or refuse to do so, it’s almost always based on fear, misconceptions about others who are different than them, and a failure to recognize that we all come from the same Source.

So here’s what it boils down to: We can all do something, every day, to make the world a better place — or at least our corner of it — but we can’t fix it. The only things we (potentially) have control control over are our thoughts, our reactions to the outside world, our behavior, and the way we interact with other people.

There is no easy, guaranteed formula for happiness, but I think the starting point is to work on loving yourself, being kind to others, and expending as much energy as possible on being grateful for the good things in the world and in your life. The “Law of Attraction” states that the things you focus on become magnified and magnetic.

So the big question is: “Can we ever really master life and consistently feel like we’re in control of ourselves and every situation?” Well, as I see it, self-mastery is a never-ending process and life is always going to throw you curve balls — especially when you least expect it!

That being said, my direct answer to the question is “No, probably not, but we owe it to ourselves and others to keep trying and do our best! The good news is that we’re bound to make a lot of progress along the way!”

As Eric Clapton’s hit song “Change The World” (released in 1996) seems to suggest (to me): You can do a lot to change your inner world and your relationships, but changing the world-at-large is a Herculean task, if not an impossible dream!