In Search of Motivational Thoughts

morning-2264051_640What does it take to create a better life for yourself, achieve more, be happier, and realize your potential? Well, these are questions I’ve been asking myself for the past five decades or so, and thankfully, I’ve come up with some answers.

Even though I don’t consider myself to be a religious person, I would list the Bible as one of my many sources of inspiration. Here are a few biblically inspired quotes that are especially meaningful to me. You’ve probably heard them all many times, but may have dismissed them without seeking the element of truth contained within each one.

  • Ask and thou shall receive.
  • Seek and ye shall find.
  • Knock and the door shall be opened.
  • The Kingdom of God is within you.
  • Faith can move mountains (Doubt can create them).

Other than the Bible, there are countless inspirational books, videos, blogs, meditation techniques, and audio recordings which can help build your confidence, boost your motivation, achieve inner peace, reach goals, and strengthen your self belief.

Tools and Resources: If you’d like to learn how to harness the power of your mind, improve your mental focus, attain inner peace, and use positive affirmations and visualization to realize your goals, check out some of  these personal growth books* that offer practical ideas and helpful techniques for self improvement.

There’s also an intriguing book you can download, called “Super Productivity Secrets“* which provides practical ideas for developing your potential — including strategies for being “stronger than your strongest excuse!” (That’s a challenge many people struggle with.)

The website also offers a free report on how to expand your personal productivity by up to four hours a day. By learning how to make the most of your time and resources, image how much more you can do, create, and accomplish! Whether you want to start your own business, be more creative, or enhance your productivity at work, this free report* will provide some useful and powerful ideas.

As I see it, the secret to success can be distilled to one or two sentences. Admittedly, the concept is simple to remember, but difficult to apply:

“Passionately believe in yourself, be obsessed with daily self improvement (not perfectionism, though!), and persist until you succeed!”

Although success is something we all strive for, I personally don’t believe that it should be achieved at all costs and at the expense of other people. Business or career victories that have been won through dishonesty, deception, or unethical means, may advance you financially or professionally, but it’s a victory that’s empty, shallow, and unfulfilling.

But I digress …

The big questions to ponder are “What is this thing called ‘success’ and how do you get more of it (or even some of it) ?”

Well, there’s the traditional definition of success, which for many people boils down to being rich, important, and influential. But, does money and power guarantee happiness? The answer is a resounding “no!”

There may be a grain of truth to the old joke that says “Money may not buy happiness, but it sure goes a long way toward the down payment!”

However, if you don’t have good health, love, and a positive outlook on life, then wealth in any amount probably won’t be satisfying. Money, alone, does not buy happiness, because happiness needs to come from inside you.

The other part of the formula is to dedicate yourself to the practice of thinking thoughts that will strengthen you, rather than weaken and undermine you. Powerful, motivating thoughts need to be deliberately planted in your mind so that they will grow, thrive, and propel you in a positive direction.

One more cornerstone of a well-lived, fulfilling life is knowing what your personal values are and resolving to live by them on a day-to-day basis.

An eternal truth that is worth repeating to yourself several times a day (perhaps in the form of a mantra) is : “All I need is within me.”

If you’d like a subtle, but effective reminder of this powerful spiritual concept, here’s an affirmation bracelet that should help!*

all-i-need

Chakra Jewelry Set

Here’s another unique product that caught my eye, today: beautifully adorned Chakra jewels created to help people keep negative energies away and foster a sense of positive expectancy. These Chakra Jewels*(see below) are the perfect accessory for enhancing your awareness of (and your connection to) the seven spiritual energy centers. Also worth a look: Tree of Life bracelet* and Chakra Healing Pendant* [adv]

jewelry-set

These various Chakra jewels*, mentioned above, are designed to help you amplify your personal power and “receive, assimilate and express the fullness of your life- force energy.”

Thanks for checking out my latest blog posts on personal growth and development. I invite you to follow this blog, post a comment, and pass along these ideas to others. Attribution and links to this website are always appreciated!

*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the products mentioned in this blog.

How to Clear Your Mind of Negative Thoughts

head-2360166_640

Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time, but some people battle them on an almost constant basis. If you happen to be in the second category (or anywhere near it) it’s probably necessary to seek out the help of a competent mental health professional. Sometimes you just need outside help to understand where all your negativity is coming from and how to curtail it.

My experience in controlling negative thoughts and cultivating positive ones is based purely on self reflection, trial and error, and reading inspirational books that helped fuel my optimism, self belief, resourcefulness, and positivity.

Thought Patterns

Perhaps the first step to improving the quality of your thoughts is to realize that thoughts are the building blocks of your life and that it’s possible to control them. Whether your thoughts tend to be positive or negative (construction or destructive) depends on how you perceive yourself, how you tend to react to people and situations in your environment, and the thought habits you’ve developed over time.

Thoughts that you think repeatedly tend to reinforce themselves and become stronger. That, of course, can work for you or against you. Becoming consciously aware of how you communicate with yourself, both out loud and silently, is another key step to overcoming negative thinking and becoming a more positive person.

Why Think Positive Thoughts?

Question: What are the benefits of becoming a more positive person? That’s a good question to ask yourself before proceeding any further. What’s in it for you?

The benefits are innumerable and are often life changing! In a nutshell, improving the quality of your thoughts can drastically improve your relationship with yourself and others. It can also help you become a more productive, effective, and organized human being. If you focus on positive thoughts every day, several times a day, your new thought patterns will boost your chances for attaining more happiness, financial success, inner peace, self acceptance, and love.

Becoming a more positive person is worthy of your time and continued effort.

While there is no panacea (that I know of) for instantly getting rid of negative thoughts and consistently replacing them with happy thoughts, here are a few suggestions, ideas, and personal development resources that I hope you’ll find helpful:

  • Practicing gratitude, which is also known as “counting your blessings,” can be a very effective way to lift your state of mind, improve your mood, and give yourself a heightening sense of well-being. There are a lot of books, free articles, and inspirational videos online that can provide you with specific techniques for listing and dwelling on things in your life to be thankful for and appreciative of.
  • Positive affirmations are statements you can write, say, listen to, or read that help make you feel more confident, optimistic, determined, talented, comforted, peaceful, loved, or motivated. (Note: Once you become aware of how you’re talking to and about yourself, you can begin replacing negative statements about yourself with positive ones. When it comes to self esteem and happiness, one of the worst things people do is to put themselves down and berate themselves — both mentally and when talking to others.)
  • Give yourself credit when credit is due! When you accomplish something, handle a situation effectively, create something worthwhile, help another human being in need, or make progress in some area of your life, you deserve to recognize that in your own mind. You might even want to reward yourself in some way or, at least, acknowledge and congratulate yourself in a written journal.
  • Identify and eliminate self-defeating beliefs and negative habits. In some cases, you may be holding yourself back in life by believing negative things about yourself which are either untrue or no longer true. If you take an inventory of all your self–imposed limitations and try to shine an objective light on them, you might be surprised at how many of them have no basis in truth or reality.
  • Seek support from others: To the extent possible, spend time with supportive and nurturing friends, family, and “significant others” who make you feel loved, appreciated, and special. It’s nourishment for your soul and self esteem.
  • Read inspiring books by Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Esther and Jerry Hicks, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Joseph Murphy, Robert Collier, Debbie Ford, Russ Harris, Og Mandino, Robert Holden, Wallace D. Wattles, Charles F. Haanel, Maxwell Maltz, and many others. There is no shortage of worthwhile, inspirational books, and coaching programs that can help you became a more positive, joyful, motivated, accomplished, focused, and peaceful person. For many people, the Bible is a source of inspiration and renewal. My favorite biblical quote is “Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you.”
  • Exercise: If your doctor says it’s okay, then get yourself started on a regular exercise program — preferably with a friend or partner (You’ll stand a greater chance of sticking with it if you have someone who will hold you accountable… and vice versa!) Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress, clear your mind, infuse yourself with positive energy, and give yourself a feeling of having more control over your life.
  • Meditation and prayer: We all have a connection to a a life force — a source of energy, creativity, and love — that’s much bigger and more powerful than our individual selves. The famous “Serenity Prayer” written by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) is an excellent one to reflect on, every now and then: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Note: These suggestions and ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to realizing your potential and overcoming negativity. If you want to take concrete action to achieve personal transformation, then consider a six-week coaching program offered by three leaders in the science of success and mental mastery.*

Allowing negative thoughts to wither away through disuse and redirected attention can help clear the way for positive thoughts to thrive. Being positive, happy, and optimistic is your natural state of being. The challenge is to eliminate or reduce all the mental clutter and “baggage” that is standing in the way of realizing your potential and enjoying life more.

When you find a way to feel good about yourself and your prospects in life, you instantly become more attractive and likeable to other people. By radiating genuine enthusiasm and positive energy, people are often drawn to you and, in many cases, are inspired to help you, hire you, befriend you, cooperate with you, follow your lead, encourage you, and/or collaborate with you.

So how do you get rid of unwanted thoughts and cultivate positive, life-affirming, motivating thoughts?

The short answer is: It’s a process and it requires a strong sense of personal commitment and follow-through.

I’m reminded of an old joke (or maybe it’s a riddle) you may have heard before :

“How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?”

The answer is “Just one, but the light bulb really has to want to change!”

Thanks for checking out my blog. Stay tuned for more thoughts, reflections, and observations on life in coming weeks!

–Joel

F.Y.I.: This blog features links to self-improvement books, online courses, and  other educational materials for which I am a compensated affiliate.

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!