Be True To Yourself and Reach Your Potential

Be true to yourself as it is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Be true to yourself, and your feelings. Those are the only things in your life that will never lie to you.

Be true to yourself, make each day your masterpiece, and most importantly believe in yourself.

Be true to yourself is a statement that we hear all the time, but it is the truth. We all have our own values, beliefs, personality traits, and desires. When we deny any part of our authentic self, we die a little death on the inside. Our uniqueness makes us who we are. By being true to ourselves, we also give everyone else permission to do the same.

To be true to yourself (Return to yourself) is the second facets in planning a creative day. In order not to retreat from life, but return to it during our creative day, we must utilize our potentialities. Thinking is a great gift; it is what makes us superior to the animal. Whatever our capacities, we can think within those capacities. Whatever we think our limitations are, we must think clearly within those limitations we give to ourselves. And we are sure to learn that we are more than we think we are. We must learn that such understanding is not mere meditation; it is a thought in action. Thinking here is not passive but an active process.

To be true to yourself, to the best version of yourself is not a onetime event. It is a continuous decision you must make every day, or even every hour. Sometimes you make good decisions and you can be true to yourself. Sometimes you betray your true self. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up, don’t rebuke yourself, and keep in mind that it takes courage to be true to who you are in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else, measuring you up or judging you at every turn. But also know this that whoever you are, you have got that courage within you. And if you make up your mind, you can search deep down and gather that courage to be your true self.

You must take time off every day, even if only ten or fifteen minutes to review yourself, to return to yourself, to return to your realistic self image. You must admit your failures, but realize that they are part of the process of living. None of us is perfect; we dare not to deny ourselves the opportunity to improve.

As a part of your creative day, you must return to yourself and remember:

  1. That you can succeed in your future undertakings as you once did in the past.
  2. That in order to be true to yourself, you can correct mistakes and rise above your failures.
  3. That every day is a new lifetime and you have to start anew to reach your goal.
  4. That in such realization you become your own creator and plan the day for yourself positively.
  5.  That negative feelings take you away from yourself and make you less than you are.
  6. That every day you must fight negative feelings and struggle to arrive at self-fulfillment.
  7. That arrogance keeps you away from learning of how to be true to yourself, to be true to others and it keeps you away from GOD.
  8. That in returning to yourself you have the opportunity to profit from your mistakes. You can compassionately remove self-hatred and improve your self image.
  9. That with a strong self image you will never need to withdraw from life, and you can always be true to yourself.

Why is return to self a face of creative day?

Because when you feel this sense of inner strength, you can be true to yourself and you will not use any excuse to retreat from life.

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

 


Mind Concentration Is The Secret Of Strength

Mind concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.

Mind concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will power, discipline one’s body and train one’s mind.

The very essence of education is mind Concentration, not the collecting of facts.

Mind concentration is the first step in planning a creative day.  Concentration means taking our mind off many things and putting it on one thing at a time. Mind concentration offers a problem though, and that problem is how to clear our mind of all distracting factors. Can this be done? Yes, and with a simple approach.

First let’s divide up this matter of mind concentration into two categories:

1- There is a long term mind concentration, such as in dieting to lose weight. We have to concentrate our mind on this single goal over weeks and months, without swerving from it.

2- Then there is short term mind concertation; that we have to focus our mind on an immediate problem, such as leading a creative day.

Think of mind concentration in terms of a book or a play, with a beginning and an end. Thought must have a beginning and an end too. Therefore we know that there will be an end to our thought, an answer; and we can feel assured that by reaching that end we will be able to develop the mental muscles of concentration.

A letter must have a beginning and an ending. The difficult part about writing a letter is the act of sitting down and starting it. But when we began it, then the end is in sight. The same way goes for mind concentration, once we start to concentrate on what we want to do, then the end; the living of a creative day, is in sight. And anything that is in sight; well we are almost there already.

Concentration is vital to our well being. When we sweep out everything except the planning of a creative day, we take dead aim at our objectives.

Then the mind concentration will be as simple as this: the mere act of willing to begin.

Begin, try, and you have solved the problem of mind concentration. Accordingly the concentration implies courage, as you must be able to take off and plunge. You must feel a sense of alliance with your internal resources, your inner power, and your self image.

Mind concentration also implies liberation from negative feelings. You must free your self image to grow. Too often we enslave our thinking; we tie ourselves with self-critical abuse; we put chains on our thoughts; and we obstruct our feelings with walls of self-consciousness.

We influence ourselves with rationalizations; we dig up false reasons for our needless limitations; and we sentence ourselves to life imprisonment, where our only crime is a series of mistakes and blunders.

You must free yourself from such thinking which makes a shrinking of your self image, and helps you to come to an understanding of your strength.

People with a good and healthy self-esteem are able to feel good about themselves for who they are, appreciate their own worth, and take pride in their abilities and accomplishments. They also acknowledge that while they’re not perfect and have faults, those faults don’t play an overwhelming or irrationally large role in their lives or their own self-image.”

If you have really big problems with depression, negative thinking and heavy moods, they probably won’t go away without professional help. But if you want to tackle the problem by yourself, the best resource I’ve ever found by far is a book called Feeling Good, written by David D. Burns. If you really want to get rid of your negative thoughts, you first have to understand what they are, where they are coming from, the different types of negative thinking that exist and how to deal with them. You can find all the answers in the mentioned book.

Many historians feel that the late President John Kennedy will grow with the years, as intellectual measure his importance to the world and place him in real perspective. If so, surely it will be a reflection of his ability to concentrate his thinking and to free it from limitations. He encouraged imagination in political life and in international relations.

Our world may not be as vast in scope as President Kennedy’s was, before his tragic death, but it can be just as meaningful to us as his world was to him.

In order to live a creative day you must first of all be able to concentrate with courage.


Creative Day Starts Today

Creative day is motivated by desire to achieve. It starts by doing something which connect the seemingly unconnected.

Creative day summarized in the time you set aside each day to achieve your goal, ignore anything that makes you consider stopping.

To lead a creative day challenge yourself every day. Experience and curiosity drive you to make unexpected, offbeat connections. It is these nonlinear steps that often lead to the greatest work.

Creative day starts when we lose our fear of being wrong. Creative day starts today, not tomorrow, when we hope that all human problems will be solved in Utopian setting. It starts today with all its troubles and calamities; with all its joys and satisfactions.

Creative day starts today, with more and more people crowded into less and less space; with its racial hostilities and nuclear weapons.

Creative day starts today, with its skyscrapers, its machine shooting into outer space, and its huge glass fronted buildings.

Creative day starts today, with its search for new ideas and values, its existentialism, its Zen, its rush back toward religion, and its self questioning.

Creative day starts today, with its car-crowded superhighways, its traffic jams, water shortages, and crippling strikes.

Creative day starts today, with its increased psychological knowledge, its greater awareness of human motivation, its free exchange of ideas, and its righting of ancient wrongs.

This is the most imperfect world, true, but it has its virtues, and these are what we must strive to find. It is in today’s world that we must live; it is in today’s world that we must learn to lead a creative and good life. Forget about tomorrow; think about today.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” ― Albert Einstein

Let us make today a creative day; let us look to the day with objectives; let us regard the day as our opportunity. We must do everything we can to make each day a life in itself.

Every day we must fight off our negative feelings and negative forces in our world, to make that day a creative day, a happy day.

To live creatively means a creative day today. Then another good day, and another good day. One day at the time. We add up a succession of creative days, and we will have a creative life.

We will not achieve this creative day with our modern day mechanical marvels; they may help or hurt. We will achieve it if we can develop our emotional, spiritual, and thinking qualities. We will achieve this creative day if we understand what invisible qualities we need to face up to life successfully.

There are elven components and facts to lead a creative day which I will explain them in details in coming articles. These components are:

  1. Concentration
  2. Be true to yourself (Return to yourself)
  3. Ears for others
  4. Affirmation
  5. Self-Discipline
  6. Imagination
  7. Victory
  8. Eagerness
  9. Daily Growth
  10. Adjustment
  11. Yearning for Improvement

Just keep in mind that the person who lives creatively builds a feeling of strength in himself, accepts his failures compassionately, and projects his strength out into the world in the forms of goals toward which he directs his energies. He doesn’t coddle himself with vast amounts of leisure time, which end up by boring him.

He doesn’t place his faith in material things. Expensive automobiles or cloths or houses may be nice, but they are not basic. He refuses to find magic in the names of geographical localities with pleasant climates.

He starts his creative day by placing his faith in himself, accepting himself, and he feels no need to withdraw into a passive pattern. He lives each day with enjoyment and fills his hours with goals.

“If you are pursuing a creative life because you think it will bring you money and fame, just stop now. Anyone who pursues the life of the artist does it because he or she doesn’t know any other way to live.”

In short he starts his creative day with the eager goal-mindedness not with self-pity as he is too busy LIVING.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

 


Finding Meaning in Life, Key to Satisfaction and Fulfilment

Meaning in life is found by finding your purpose in life.

To discover meaning in life, we have to find the meaning we give to life by the unfolding of our powers.

People from all walks of life share an inborn urge to find meaning in life; to discover direction and purpose in their existence.

This desire to find meaning in life appears to be as vital to our psychological development as eating to our biological continuity.

We all seek meaning in our lives and recognize meaning’s absence in lives characterized by boredom, dullness, isolation, and listless disengagement. But what is meaning in life? Is it distinctive, or reducible to other aims and conceptions? Is it a helpful category for thinking about good lives that are worth living? Is it sensible and coherent to want it in one’s life?

According to Viktor Frankl, the Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor: “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

Throughout our evolutionary journey, many of us spend a lot of time in the search of happiness. We attempt towards a goal more focused on a better paid job, greater status, or acquiring the latest possession, rather than spending our energy and time on things which can contribute more value and fulfilment to our lives.

“Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided.”

Although an unfulfilled life doesn’t mean an unhappy or unhealthy life, but lack of finding a meaning in life can create anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

Finding fulfilment and meaning in life is more about giving to others, to the community, to the environment, and to the world.

By giving, and by finding purpose, we discover satisfaction and meaning in life, but not necessarily happiness, even though it can be a by-product. Finding a meaning in life gives us a purpose to go on despite life circumstances.

Meaning and fulfilment can be found in three activities as Viktor Frankl devised in his “meaning triangle“:

  1. Creative Self-Expression: Give something to the world through expressing your own creativity in some form, whether it be through art, music, writing, good deed.  By being self-expressed we let people see our spirit and true character; they will see the totality of who we are.  And sharing of one’s “self” fully is the ultimate in generosity and is vital for finding peace, happiness and meaning in life. It’s really the state of just being yourself. And it’s also what others refer to as the state of flow; that timeless state that we’re in where we are not really aware so much of what we’re doing, it’s more of a sense of being. We’re right there in the moment; we’re in the present moment, expressing naturally who we are. And what we’re really expressing is a state of joy and fulfilment.
  1. Experiencing the world through connection, nature, culture, spirituality: Viktor Frankl wrote, realizing that our lives has reason and purpose, will enable us to understand that we are fully responsible for our lives, and for continuing them. “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.””.Our Why gives us clarity, meaning and direction. It is a filter through which we can make decisions, every day, to bring our cause to life. A Why Statement is one sentence that captures our unique contribution and impact. The contribution is the real applicable part of our Why. The impact is the condition we wish to leave the people and world around us. Together, these two components provide a meaning in life for us and those we serve.
  1. Choosing the attitude toward inevitable situations or suffering: There’s not a single person in this world that can escape from suffering. There is always a time in one’s life that they have to face unpreventable painful situation. Often, the first thing we do in a crisis is to judge what, if anything, we can do to fix the problem. But what if it isn’t fixable?  In that case, the one kind of control we can apply is to change our attitude to this new reality.   Similar to the old saying of turning lemons into lemonade. As Viktor Frankl suggested: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms; to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Suffering comes when things change – a relationship ends, someone dies, we get fired from a job, illness attacks, a disaster happens.  Sadness introduces us to impermanence and so can help us learn to let go. By having the courage to touch our own pain and suffering, we start feeling empathy for the pain and suffering of others.  We begin to see that my suffering and your suffering are the same.  “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.” ― Viktor Frankl

Remembering and thinking about the story of our lives, will help us to reflect back on what we have found joyful and meaningful. It can clarify the tasks which we have undertaken and have given us the most sense of meaning in life. And it may suggest further goals we might want to set for ourselves now.  These tasks can be in any realm; stories to write, children to care for, lessons to learn or teach, relationships to attend to, artistic ventures such as painting or sculpture, etc.  Meaning in life can be found in the very act of bearing witness to the events of our lives.  The most important thing is that these tasks feel meaningful to us to fulfil them.  It doesn’t matter what other people think of them. It is the knowledge that we’re born with an expiration date that drives our need for a sense of meaning in life to begin with.

As Joseph Campbell suggests: “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life.”


How To Give To Others Builds Our Spirit

To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.

Blessed are those who are able to give without remembering and to take without forgetting.

Give to others builds human spirit. Every act of generosity and the willingness to give of our time, our interest, concern, care, understanding, humour, loyalty conveys and nourishes love. And every missed opportunity to give and to be generous destroys our experience of love, connectedness and spirit.

In giving, it hardly matters if the love that is expressed is personal or impersonal. Being eager to give to someone who we know is wonderful. It can intensify our feelings of connection with that person. Although to give to someone who we don’t know may be less immediately rewarding, yet it expresses our awareness that other human lives matter, and the extent to which they matter is not determined by their closeness or usefulness to us.

The most intellectual healthy individuals in every community are those who are able to give without feeling diminished by generosity. They are less imprisoned by the illusion that to give something away freely leaves us with any less. They are least likely to live as slaves, protecting their own private multitude of treasures. And they may also be least mislead by the illusion that the material possessions are something that we can own on permanent basis, and to regard for safety.

The notion to give is an expression of freedom and abundance. It is a celebration of sufficiency. When done with love, it is connective, enriching and uplifting.

The ability to give is built and conveyed through the most mundane moments as well as the most profound. It is the recognition of our common humanity, an acceptance that we are all part of humankind.

The willingness to give arises out of an intention to care way beyond the limits of our own self or the group to which we are immediately attached. It is expressed in these and a thousand other ways.

Keeping our capacity for loving relationship alive demands us to be willing to give, to be generous, to be flexible and to be tolerant.

When we engage with another person, whether this is at work, a love relationship, with a member of our immediate family or a neighbour, we hardly promise to be generous. Yet the ability to give within that relationship, or the absence of it, can actually determine the quality and durability of the connection.

Sometimes the money or time are given but they are given for the sake of the donor, and not because they are what the recipient wants. That is only too easy to understand, but it doesn’t support a loving relationship and often it’s not rewarding either. To give involves two parties, at least, and flows two ways. It is often subtle, and demands that the donor has the capacity to pay close and mindful attention to whoever else is involved in the interaction.

The rich and workaholic businessman who breaks down and weeps when his wife leaves him, and cries out ‘but I gave her everything she wanted!’ is not different from the rest of us. We all learn early on to replace things for time, and praise for close attention; to build up serve-serving excuses as to why we can rarely be available and attentive even to those we declare to love best. Yet what others require from us is what we ourselves can feel most starved of: To give and to get time in which love can be cherished, nurtured and conveyed.

To give freely doesn’t begin or end with the act of giving. What precede the act of giving is at least some awareness that generosity is an expression of love. And what needs to follow is a sense of letting the act go, detaching from it, moving on into the next moment, not hanging around for a reward, a prize, or even thanks. This flow of loving, to give freely, to move on, is difficult for most of us to live out. But to give without expectation of a reward or establishing a debt that the other person will then owe us, is painfully compromised from generosity. In the face of such a demand we could even question whether this is generosity at all. Surely the only authentic expression of being generous is to act, or to be present for someone, and not expect to make them pay?

To give to others, or emptying out our own needs for the sake of others, can be an addiction, a means to avoid facing our own fear of loneliness or emptiness. But each one of us deserve better than that. The experience to give and to receive can teach us so much subtlety and discernment, about the interplay of light with darkness, and darkness with light. If to give and to receive become severely out of balance, and giving continually wear us down, it is time to ask ourselves: What do I need? How can I replenish myself? In what way am I showing love to myself also? It could be also time to ask ourselves: How to give to others generously without feeling that I am creating a sense of burden, debt, or obligation? Could I give with less attachment to the object or the outcome, and perhaps receive with less attachment in return?

When it comes to helping others, we have to be especially careful. We have to reflect on our motives and our interests. Are we willing to give because it is gratifying to us, or because there is a reward of some kind? Or are we ready to give because we really want to help others? We have to do a great deal of self-inquiry to be able to tell; we have to contemplate every ripple of thought that goes through our mind. To be compassionate, we must learn to think well of ourselves and others. Therefore a bleeding heart, which sees other people as helpless, is not a sign of compassion.


The Healing Power Of True Forgiveness

True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience’.

True forgiveness is not an action after the fact; it is an attitude with which you enter each moment.

True forgiveness is a promise not a feeling. When we forgive other people truly, we are making a promise not to use their past misdeed against them. True forgiveness is a kind of gratitude. When we forgive others we show them the mercy that we have often received and have been thankful for.
True forgiveness is an act of love. It is most healing, most profound when it grows out of humility and realism. It is a challenging act, that whether someone else is entirely to blame in a situation, and we are blameless; there is still in each one of us insufficiencies and imperfections that can be our greatest teacher.
We may not recognise true forgiveness even when we have experienced it. Yet we feel it in our body that something has left us and we are no longer carrying the load that we used to. We tend to feel sorrow instead of rage over the circumstance, and we start feeling sorry for the person who has wronged us rather than being angry with them.
The muscular tensions that we had come to assume were normal get eased. We become less vulnerable to infection or to far more serious illness. Our immune system lifts, our face muscles let down. Food tastes better, and the world looks brighter. Depression radically diminishes. We become more available to others and to ourselves.
True forgiveness doesn’t lead to forced reunions, as there may be some people whom we are better never to see, to hear from, or even think about for more than a few moments at any time. But it help us to let people go from our thoughts, to release them from any wish that could harm them, and to bring us cleansing freedom.

We may be able to discover true forgiveness in a moment, but more often it takes weeks, months or sometimes years. It is something that we have to open to it, to invite it in, and it rarely goes one way only. As we may need to learn how to forgive ourselves before we can offer our true forgiveness, face to face, or silently to others. “The most important lesson on the road to spiritual maturity is how to truly forgive.” ― Lisa Prosen
To search our way towards true forgiveness, we may need to bypass our rational mind. As it deeply offends the rational mind to forgive truly someone who has hurt us, abused us, wounded us; to forgive completely someone who has taken away the life of someone we love or has simply offended us or misunderstood us. There is no easy way to talk of bypassing it, and there is certainly no easy way to put true forgiveness into practice.
As challenging as it is, true forgiveness is the supreme virtue, the highest point of love, as it proclaims:  I will try to go on loving the life in you, the divine in you, or the soul in you. Even though I totally despise what you have done or what you stand for. What is more: I will strive to see you as my equal, and your life as having equal value to my own, although I abhor what you do and everything you stand for.
Because true forgiveness is, in its raw forms, a virtue that is disturbing and confronting as it is healing and uplifting. It is important to be clear that there is no confusion between forgiving and accepting. Extending our true forgiveness doesn’t mean that we justify the actions that caused us harm nor does that mean that we have to seek out those who have harmed us. True forgiveness is simply a movement to release and ease our heart of the pain and hatred that binds it. Forgiveness is not letting the offender off the hook. We can and should still hold others accountable for their actions or lack of actions.”

The need for true forgiveness starts with an act of betrayal, cruelty, separation or loss. Sometimes what is lost is trust. Sometimes it is a feeling of certainty about ourselves; about who we are, how we are seen, and what we stand for. The suffering that precedes the need for true forgiveness is never welcomed. It may well be the debris in our lives that we will finally and painfully turn into the gold of awareness. But we often dragged towards this knowledge only with great reluctance.
Hurt and suffering pushes us to expand our emotional arsenal, even as it pulls away the security of what is familiar. Forcing us to consider what our values are, and how they can support us; what strengths we dare own up to; and what strengths we need promptly to acquire. All of this is too invigorating to be in any way comforting. Yet as Young Eisendrath has said: “When suffering leads to meanings, that unlock the mysteries of life, it strengthens compassion, gratitude, joy, and wisdom.”
We sometimes use the word forgiveness when we are more correctly excusing ourselves for something we have done or have failed to do. Excusing doesn’t mean accepting what has been done or not done. It simply means that someone regrets what they have done; probably wishing that events could have been different; or that someone is at least optimistic that it won’t happen again; and the matter can be dropped.
True forgiveness is a different matter. It appears to enlighten another realm of experience altogether; a place that is grimmer, more depressing, more shadowy, much more confusing; a place where there is at least some element of fear, cruelty, betrayal or breaking of trust.

To extend our true forgiveness may be an act of supreme love and gentleness, but it is also tough. It demands that at least on party faces the truth, and learn something of value from it. It doesn’t involve accepting, minimising, excusing, ignoring, or pretending to forget what has been done. “Hate is not conquered by hate. Hate is conquered by love”.
Even under most dire circumstances, long before any version of true forgiveness become possible, impersonal love; the love that makes no distinction between us and all other living creatures; demands that we give up notions of vengeance. This may not mean ceasing to be angry, if angry is what you feel. True forgiveness certainly doesn’t mean pretending that things are fine when they are not. Nor does it mean refusing to take whatever actions is needed to amend past wrongs, or protect you in the future.
We often talk about true forgiveness in a way that suggests we giving something away when we forgive. Or that we accepting something in return when others forgive us. This is false. Offering true forgiveness or allowing true forgiveness to come to existence in whatever form within us, takes nothing away from us. It restores us to something that is always within us but from which we have become unbound: a sense of unity expressed through the qualities of trust, faith, hope and love.
The one who forgives never brings up the past to that person’s face. When you forgive, it’s like it never happened. True forgiveness is complete and total. ― Louis Zamperini


The Pursuit Of Personal Excellence

Personal excellence is gained by the gradual result of always striving to do better.

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential, these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

Personal excellence is not about being a perfectionist. It is not a goal to be reached, a project to prove anything to anyone, satisfy anyone’s expectations, or unnecessarily stressing ourselves through being obsessive and impatient. Personal excellence is a personal resolve to do whatever we are doing the best we can, in the moment with an openness to the possibility of better ways.
Personal excellence is the life-long process of developing specific mental skills that will lead us to increase the levels of our intelligent self-direction. It is a process of becoming the best person we can be and is reflected in how we are, as well as what we do. Personal excellence is a journey of positive development beyond one’s self. It manifests in self-defined and self-valued achievements that reflect one’s best efforts.
Personal excellence is indicated in people who develop their gifts and talents to the fullest, achieving a harmony in how they think, feel, behave, and believe that leads to productive relationships and outcomes.
It seems as if those pursuing personal excellence do go about some things differently. In some cases, these behaviours are planned and quite deliberate, while in others they are implicit and not done consciously. The good news is that many of these behaviours can be learned and cultivated as we pursue our own pathway towards personal excellence.
There is nothing more satisfying than overcoming a challenge that was previously deemed insurmountable; nothing more satisfying than looking back at who you are now and realizing that you have grown much more than you thought you could. To be human is to live to our highest potential.”

Personal excellence in virtually all domains is guided by mental factors. And the experiences of exceptional performers suggest that there are six critical elements of excellence: Commitment, Belief, Full Focus, Mental Readiness, Distraction Control and Constructive Evaluation. These elements combine to form a “Wheel of Excellence” that provides a working framework to guide the pursuit of personal excellence.

  1. Commitment: The first essential ingredient guiding the pursuit of personal excellence is commitment. To excel at anything we must have or develop a very high level of dedication, self-discipline, passion, joy or love for what we are doing. We must truly commit ourselves to be the best we can be and continuously strive to make personal improvements and meaningful contributions. We require commitment to persevere through the ups and downs associated with becoming our best and maintaining our best performance in order to achieve personal excellence.
  2. Belief/Self-Confidence: Personal excellence is guided by belief in our potential, our goal, the meaningfulness of our goal, and trust in our capacity to reach that goal. Believing in ourselves and having confidence in our capacity allows us to extend our limits, create our own opportunities and push through performance barriers. Where there is firm belief in our capacity to carry out a mission and absolute connection with our performance, doors are opened to higher levels of excellence. When negative thoughts interfere with trust, performance wobbles. In the same way that belief can unlock doors, doubts can place limits on possibilities and potentials. In the presence of belief our performance blossoms; in its absence we can never touch our potential.
  3. Full Focus: Focusing is the single most important mental skill associated with performance of personal excellence. It refers to the ability to concentrate fully on what we are doing, seeing, reading, hearing, learning, feeling, observing or experiencing while we are engaged in the activity or performance. Focusing fully not only allows us to connect totally with what we are experiencing, but also frees us to perform without being disturbed by distracting thoughts.
  4. Mental Readiness: Personal excellence requires us to become skilled at getting the most out of our daily learning and living experiences. This begins with a commitment to make the most of each learning and performance opportunity. Personal excellence demands that we develop an effective way to enter a high-quality, focused performance zone on a consistent basis. We need an effective mental plan that is capable of bringing us to an intensified state of readiness for learning and performance. To excel at learning, performing, or living, we must extend an openness to learn and a commitment to an ongoing personal growth. We must engage ourselves in a continual process of self- discovery, and act upon those discoveries that lead us to our best focus and best performances. Our focus is the leader. When we discover what works best and feels best, we must follow that path, even in the face of obstacles from others who may dictate another path.
  5. Distraction Control: The fifth element of personal excellence is controlling distractions. And it refers to our ability to maintain or to regain a positive, effective focus when faced with potential distractions, negative input, or setbacks. These distractions may be external, arising from our environment, or internal, emerging from our own thoughts or expectations. Maintaining and regaining a constructive focus is an essential part of performing to our capacity on a consistent basis, whether distractions occur before, during, between or after events. Developing our ability to refocus in a positive direction is an extremely important factor affecting the consistency of our performance in all areas.
  6. Constructive Evaluation: Personal excellence entails us to develop an effective process for personal evaluation, and act upon the lessons drawn from these evaluations. Constructive evaluation includes looking for the good things and targeting areas for improvement in ourselves, our performance, and our experiences. We can draw inspiration, confidence and joy from reflecting on positive experiences and personal achievements.

“To achieve something that you’ve never achieved before, you must become someone that you have never been before.” – Les Brown


The Truth About Lie

A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.

If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.

We all know how difficult it is to trust someone again, who has lied to you before.  Trust is an important part of every relationship; and when we lie, even if we think others will never find out, we will create a barrier of hurt in our relationship. Unfortunately, when the other person finds out about our lie, and it usually is the case, it’s nearly impossible to trust again. And the damage that is done to our relationship may be irreparable.
Once we have told one lie, we may need a second lie to protect the first one, a third to protect the other two and so on. After a while our lies become so extreme that even we may have trouble keeping track of them, especially if we say a different set of lies for each person we encounter. Although most of us know this, but we still do it anyway.
Lies may appear to help us in the short term, but they harm us and others over the long haul. No matter how we might be adept at deception but we cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Fear of exposure leads us even more to self-protection, which becomes a vicious cycle. Just as our first cell duplicates itself to protect it from enemies, our ego covers up by producing more lies.  When the truth is our only solution, many of us are unable to make that transition.
Lying may seem simple and harmless at first, but just like any addiction, you’ll soon find yourself trapped and entangled more than you could have ever imagined.
Most people who lie daily have little or no awareness of how they can harm others, and they will likely keep doing it regardless. Their egos believe that their needs are more important than other’s needs, despite the fact that they are the same.
Honesty and dishonesty are learned in the home. And like everything else, children learn to lie from the people around them. Children get a lot of messages from their parents saying that lying is always bad, but at the same time they see their parents telling ‘white’ lies to make life easier.

A parent should lead by example and never lie. And when they are caught in a lie, they have to express remorse and regret for making a conscious decision to tell a lie.   Clear, understandable consequences for lying should be discussed with the child early on.
Parents are the most important role models for their children. When a child or adolescent lies, parents should take some time to have a serious talk and discuss the difference between make believe and reality, and lying and telling the truth. They should open an honest line of communication to find out exactly why the child chose to tell a lie, and to discuss alternatives to lying.
Young children often make up stories and tell tall tales. This is a normal activity because they enjoy hearing stories and making up stories for fun. These young children may blur the distinction between reality and fantasy.  This is probably more a result of an active imagination than an attempt to deliberately lie about something.
But an older child or adolescent may tell a lie to be self-serving, such as denying responsibility or to try and get out of a chore or task. This is when parents should respond to isolated instances of lying by talking with the youngster about the importance of truthfulness, honesty and trust.
There are some people who consider a lie to be acceptable in certain situations such as not telling a boyfriend or girlfriend the real reasons for breaking up because they don’t want to hurt their feelings. But this is deceiving other people because they think it serves their purposes in some way.
The big problem with lying is that it often drives one to continue his/her deceptions, and the result is that trust is shattered, reputations are damaged, and suspicion rules the day.
People lie because of countless reasons. They lie to make themselves look better. They lie to take the credit, to conceal their poor performances and mistakes, to divert the blame, to protect their reputations, and to deceive and manipulate others.
Regardless of the intention, the final results are the same.  “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Dishonesty and lies come in different ways and forms. There may be some people who tell lie by mistake without knowing the fact and they really believe in whatever they say. But there may be others who say lies showing no guilt or shame, knowing full well that they are deceiving others. Yet there may be others who say white lies, wishing to protect themselves or other people from the truth. Although some of these folks may have good intention, but it is all lying just the same.
As a general principle, people are always looking to see who they can trust and who they can’t. And if we refuse to lie at any circumstances, then we will be able to create lasting relationships of trust. This rule applies to all of our relationships whether it’s family, friends, or at work.
To be honest means that we do what we say we are going to do. It means that we believe in ourselves and in everything we perform. It means that we value ourselves enough not to ever live a lie. As the saying goes, “It’s simple. Never lie to someone who trusts you, and never trust someone who lies to you.”
When we operate with complete integrity, what we say will be taken at face value, our intentions will be assumed honourable, and our handshake will be as good as a contract. Most importantly, we can take great pride in the standards that we have set for ourselves and sleep well at night knowing that our conscience is clear. As for others . . . just when they think they’re fooling the world, they’ll realize that they’re only fooling themselves. A promise is a promise after all!


Positive Mental Attitude

We control our mental attitude by positive attitude not by rules.

Change your mental attitude, and the world around you will change accordingly

It is our own mental attitude which makes the world what it is for us. Our thought make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light. ― Swami Vivekananda

Mental attitude is the way we think and talk to ourselves. Our mental attitude plays more of a role in our life that we might think. What we tell ourselves and the daily messages we allow ourselves to take in make a significant contribution toward the creation of the person we are, end up becoming or will ever be.
Think of thoughts as opportunity creators. The more positive messages we allow ourselves to have or take in, the more opportunities we will be open to realize and take advantage of.
This is why it is important for us to do our best to deal with, communicate and listen to what is good and of value. Doing so frees our mind from negativity, deception, gossip and all other harsh messages that can be destructive to our efforts of maintaining a positive mental attitude and character.
Developing a mental attitude take courage and when we combine the two, we come up with mental courage. It takes a person of great courage to be able to control their thoughts and internal messages, and filter external messages deliberately and consistently especially while living in a society where it is far from the norm.
People with positive mental attitude can push themselves through the worst life’s challenges without feeling emotional intensity. On the other hand, people with negative mental attitude are always vulnerable to suffering. Even enjoyment is less pleasing to them, as they have to work hard to get out of darkness, just to see the light.
Here are some ways that we can all work toward developing a positive outlook on life.

  1. Focus on present: by concentrating on the present as much as possible, we can minimize the worries and fears that lead to negative emotions.
  2. Use Positive Language: It is very easy to fall into the negative language pattern.  Many of us do so without being aware of it. Have you ever realized that some people constantly complain about the weather, their job, their spouse, their children, and any number of other things? Language is central to our experience of being human. And studies have shown that the languages we speak profoundly shape the way we think, the way we see the world, the way we live our lives, and as a result the way our mental attitudes shape. As Willie Nelson said: “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results”.
  3. Stop negative thoughts: In order to maintain a positive mental attitude, learning to hit the reset button is one of the best techniques. Hitting the reset button is about taking a precautionary approach to how we respond to life and its challenges. And it prevents us from drowning in our own negative thoughts. It is the conscious effort of eliminating negativity and disillusionment as soon as it enters our mind. And it helps us not to let negative external thoughts and factors to control or affect us as much or as long.
  4. Accept things as they are: Not accepting things as they are is a fight against reality. It resists what’s real and keeps us thinking and analysing to try to make sense of it so that we feel better. But it doesn’t work, and it won’t bring us happiness. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, and rather than wasting our energy on negative emotions, it’s better to just accept that things didn’t go the way we planned or wanted.
  5. Find positive people: We tend to take in and reflect the emotions and attitudes of those we spend time with. If we’re hanging around negative people who complain and worry much of the time, then we are bound to catch their indisposition. So the more often we keep company people with positive mental attitude, the more likely it is that we will start to think and act in the same way.
  6. Find a reason to laugh: As Mark Twain said: “Humour is the great thing. The minute it crops up, all our hardness yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away”. Laughter is fun, it touches our souls, and it is a wonderful way to reduce stress, to connect with those around us, and to make us feel better all round. Even smiling affects us in positive ways.
  7. Contribute In a meaningful way: Time has taught me that helping others is one of the simplest ways to fill our life with joy and fulfilment. And I believe that one of the best ways to feel more positive is to contribute to a society to make life worth living. Sharing our time and effort with a cause will allow us a brief escape from our current problems, and perhaps may even allow us to see our troubles in a different light.
  8. Practice gratefulness: Express your appreciation for where you are and what you have in life right now, even if feels like you still have a long way to go. Positive psychology research proves that gratitude is strongly associated with the emotions that help us enjoy greater health and happiness. And People who embody gratitude into their daily lives have a more optimistic outlook on life.

Our mental attitude will determine how far we will go in life, and a positive mental attitude can help us deal with the inevitable bumps in the road that will be on our path to success and happiness. Creating and maintaining a positive mental attitude can give us the inner strength we need to overcome adversity of any kind. As Thomas Jefferson once said: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”


Personal Empowerment

Personal empowerment is seeking the solution rather than fixating on the problem.

Personal empowerment is taking control of our own life, setting goals, and making positive choices.

Personal empowerment is a collection of beliefs, actions and skills all working together to help you live a life that you design.
“What is empowerment? It’s not something bestowed on you. Empowerment comes from within.” – Mark Felling
At a basic level, the term ’empowerment’ simply means ‘becoming powerful’. Building personal empowerment involves reflecting on our personal values, skills and goals and being prepared to adjust our behaviour in order to achieve our goals.
Personal empowerment is about looking at who you are and becoming more aware of yourself as a unique individual.
Personal empowerment also means being aware that other people have their own set of values and goals which may be different to ours.
If you’ve ever been stuck in a rut of inertia before, you probably know the sense of helpless futility that takes over your life.  You want your life to change, but you feel powerless to do anything about it yourself.  You may find yourself constantly making plans to improve your life, but never quite getting around to taking action because it seems so intimidating.
Though taking action can intimidate and frighten you, it can also empower you!  If you learn to use it effectively, it can provide the fuel to keep you moving forward toward more fulfilling life circumstances.  When you do this, you realize that there was never anything to fear in the first place, and you’ll never get stuck again!
Below are three simple steps that show you how to get started:

  1. First, take some time to examine your life. Where are you now and where do you want to be? Be sure you understand that your life is the way it is right now because of your hesitation in taking action!  This is important, because you’ll understand the importance of moving forward no matter how anxious it makes you feel at first. Then, decide on one action to take to get the ball rolling.  Think about your life right now, and ask yourself which situations you want to change first.  You might choose your career, relationships, health, financial situation, or anything else that makes you feel powerless and stuck.  Then think about one simple action you can take to inspire some positive change.  It doesn’t have to be a huge action, just SOMETHING to start building momentum.
  2. Once you’ve decided on your action step, you’ll have to push yourself to take it no matter what!  This may seem incredibly difficult or even scary, but remember that most often the things you fear are not going to happen.  In fact, you may not even have a clear reason for feeling scared – you’re just afraid of the “unknown”.  Give yourself a pep talk or push yourself in any way you have to in order to move forward at least a little bit.  After you take that first step, be sure to let go of any expectations of the things that will happen because of it, and allow yourself to feel great simply because you did something about it!
  3. Repeat with the same step, and/or others.  Once you’ve taken one step forward, you’ll need to keep pushing yourself to take others.  Consider this:  Even if you take a hundred small steps in a month, you’ll be putting forth positive effort to make changes in your life, which cannot help but bring about better circumstances!

The good news is that taking action quickly begins to build momentum.Just as chronic non-action can create a cycle of negativity and stagnation over time, being proactive can create a positive cycle that continues to grow! It gets easier the more you do it, which eventually makes it seem almost effortless – and you continue to empower and strengthen yourself with every step you take.