20 Things to Start Doing in Your Relationships

20 Things to Start Doing in Your Relationships

Family isn’t always blood.  They’re the people in your life who appreciate having you in theirs – the ones who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways, and who not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be.  These people – your real family – are the ones who truly matter.

Here are twenty tips to help you find and foster these special relationships.

  1. Free yourself from negative people. – Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  2. Let go of those who are already gone. – The sad truth is that there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need.  When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave.  The good news is, if you tough it out, you’ll eventually weed these people out of your life and be left with some great people you can count on.  We rarely lose friends and lovers, we just gradually figure out who our real ones are.  So when people walk away from you, let them go.   Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you.  It doesn’t mean they are bad people; it just means that their part in your story is over.
  3. Give people you don’t know a fair chance. – When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story.  Everyone has [Read more…]

12 Things Successful People Do Differently

12 Things Successful People Do Differently

I’ve always been fascinated by people who are consistently successful at what they do; especially those who experience repeated success in many areas of their life throughout their lifetime.  In entertainment, I think of Clint Eastwood and Oprah Winfrey.  In business, I think of Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett.  We all have our own examples of super successful people like these who we admire.  But how do they do it?

Over the years I’ve studied the lives of numerous successful people.  I’ve read their books, watched their interviews, researched them online, etc.  And I’ve learned that most of them were not born into success; they simply did, and continue to do, things that help them realize their full potential.  Here are twelve things they do differently that the rest of us can easily emulate.

1.  They create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Successful people are objective.  They have realistic targets in mind.  They know what they are looking for and why they are fighting for it.  Successful people create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  Let’s briefly review each:

  • Specific – A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a related specific goal would be, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week for the next [Read more…]

101 Simple Truths We Often Forget

101 Simple Truths We Often Forget

It‘s not where we stand but in what direction we are moving.

Sometimes we find ourselves running in place, struggling to get ahead simply because we forget to address some of the simple truths that govern our potential to make progress.  So here’s a quick reminder:

  1. The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing.  Growing happens when what you know changes how you live.
  2. You can’t have good ideas unless you’re willing to generate a lot of bad ones.
  3. A good idea without action is worth nothing.
  4. Change is often resisted when it is needed the most.
  5. Discipline is choosing what you want most over what you want right now.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  6. People seldom do things to the best of their ability.  They do things to the best of their willingness.
  7. You can’t change other people; you can only offer guidance, and lead by example.
  8. Right now, there’s a lot you don’t know.  And if you never challenge your own beliefs, the list will never shrink.
  9. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about the topic of conversation than you [Read more…]

28 Ways to Stop Complicating Your Life

28 Ways To Stop Complicating Your Life

Life is not complicated.  We are complicated.  When we stop doing the wrong things and start doing the right things, life is simple.

So starting today…

  1. Stop berating yourself for being a work in progress. – Start embracing it!  Because being a work in progress doesn’t mean you’re not good enough today.  It means you want a better tomorrow, and you wish to love yourself completely, so you can live your life fully.  It means you’re determined to heal your heart, expand your mind and cultivate the gifts you know you’re meant to share. May we all be works in progress forever, and celebrate the fact that we are!
  2. Stop doing immoral things simply because you can. – Start being honest with yourself and everyone else.  Don’t cheat.  Be faithful.  Be kind.  Do the right thing!  It is a less complicated way to live.  Integrity is the essence of everything successful.  When you break the rules of integrity you invite serious complications into your life.  Keep life simple and enjoyable by doing what you know in your heart is right.
  3. Stop meaning what you don’t say. – Start communicating clearly.  Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours.  Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationship, start with bad communication.  Someone isn’t being clear.
  4. Stop wasting time and money trying to acquire more of everything. – Start focusing on quality.  High quality is worth more than any quantity, in possessions, friends and experiences.  Truly ‘rich’ people need less to be happy.  Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Too many people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Read The Millionaire Next Door.
  5. Stop spending time with negative people. – Start spending time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect [Read more…]

40 Lessons for Finding Strength in Hard Times

40 Lessons for Finding Strength in Hard Times

Sometimes you have to die a little on the inside first in order to be reborn and rise again as a stronger, smarter version of yourself.

Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, someone they need, or something they thought was meant to be.  But it is these losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities for growth and happiness.

Over the past five years Angel and I have dealt with several hardships, including the sudden death of a sibling, the loss of a best friend to illness, betrayal from a business partner, and an unexpected (breadwinning) employment layoff.  These experiences were brutal.  Each of them, naturally, knocked us down and off course for a period of time.  But when our time of mourning was over in each individual circumstance, we pressed forward, stronger, and with a greater understanding and respect for life.

Here are some lessons we’ve learned along the way:

  1. You are not what happened to you in the past. – No matter how chaotic the past has been, the future is a clean, fresh, wide open slate. You are not your past habits. You are not your past failures. You are not how others have at one time treated you. You are only who you think you are right now in this moment. You are only what you do right now in this moment.
  2. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t. – You are who you are and you have what you have, right now.  And it can’t be that bad, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read this.  The important thing is simply to find one POSITIVE thought that inspires and helps you move forward.  Hold on to it strongly, and focus on it.  You may feel like you don’t have much, or anything at all, but you have your mind to inspire you.  And that’s really all you need to start moving forward again.  Read The How of Happiness.
  3. Struggling with problems is a natural part of growing. – Part of living and growing up is experiencing unexpected troubles in life.  People [Read more…]