All the time given to you in life is valuable; you just have to know what to do with it. Let’s make it count. Shall we?
Starting today, spend more time…
1. Thinking for yourself.
The uneducated belief in something false that someone tells you is the greatest enemy of your own truth. Do not let anyone tinker with the freedom of your mind.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to think for yourself. With all of society’s influences and agendas incessantly trying to persuade you every single second, thinking for yourself is the most courageous act imaginable. You are a unique human being with independent thoughts and free will; carry on accordingly.
2. Being a little bit uncomfortable.
If you’re not a little bit uncomfortable on a daily basis it means you’re not growing.
Every aspect of physical and emotional growth arrives from outside your comfort zone. So be fearless sometimes. Have the courage to take the risks that feel right. Go where there are no certainties. Stretch yourself and your routines even if it means feeling a bit uncomfortable.
The road less traveled is sometimes laden with potholes, bumps, and unexplored territory. But it is on this road where your strength grows and your dreams gradually reveal themselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.
3. Taking baby steps in the right direction.
Throughout this beautiful day you have hundreds of little opportunities to move your life in the direction you want it to go. When was the last time you woke up and realized that today could be the best day of your life?
Participate in your dreams today. Do it! Take one small step forward; there are plenty of ways to do so. Remember, success is something you experience when you act accordingly. Success is not something you HAVE, it’s something you DO.
4. Trying and failing and trying again.
Stick to it and keep moving forward, even when the path gets rough. One of the most common causes of long-term failure is the habit of quitting after a temporary defeat.
Many of your greatest achievements will be realized when you’re completely exhausted and discouraged but still working. Because when it’s all said and done, it really doesn’t matter if you try and try and try, and fail and fail and fail, until you eventually learn what you need to know to succeed. It does matter, however, if you try and fail once and fail to try ever again.
Bottom line: You only have to succeed the very last time. Read The Success Principles.
5. Working through your fears.
How you handle your fears will ultimately determine where you go and what you do with the majority of your life – to experience life fully or be incapacitated by the fear of it.
Although fear can feel overwhelming, and defeats more people than any other one thing in the world, it’s not as powerful as it seems. Fear is only as deep as your mind allows. You are still in control. The key is to acknowledge your fear and directly address it. You must step right up and confront it face to face. This tactic robs fear of its power.
6. Seeking happiness from within.
A choice, not circumstances, determines happiness. Your happiness isn’t out there somewhere waiting for you, it’s already within you.
Each morning when you open your eyes, say to yourself: “I, not external people or events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. It’s up to me. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t come yet. I have just today and I’m going to be happy in it.”
7. Practicing small acts of kindness.
Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”
If you have big plans that can make a real impact in the lives of the masses, by all means, execute your plans. But don’t let these big plans interfere with the small deeds you can do every day for the people around you. If you wait until you can do something big for everyone, instead of just something small for someone, you’ll end up doing nothing at all for anyone.
8. Tracking and measuring your progress.
You are always moving toward something, but YOU have to decide what that something is. Don’t let someone else decide for you. From where you stand now you can go anywhere. There are paths leading in every imaginable direction. What matters the most right now is the next step you take.
Decide what you truly want for yourself and those closest to you, and know that there is a way, right now, to begin the journey of getting there. When your intentions and actions have a specific, focused purpose, each step you take will carry you closer to the realization of that purpose. Read The Power of Habit.
9. Letting small annoyances go.
Today, go through your day consciously. Make an effort to notice at least one insignificant little frustration that you would normally get frustrated about. Then do yourself a favor and simply let it go. Experience, in this little way, the grand freedom of being in control of the way you feel. And realize that you can extend this same level of control to every situation you encounter in life.
At any given moment, the way you feel is the way you choose to feel, and the way you react is the way you choose to react.
Photo by: SnaPsi
Really helpful list as always. Last week I did something that was really helpful along these same lines as well. It may be a good addition.
Do a portion of your work in a new way today!
I was so used to sitting in front of a computer to do everything, that I just took a pad of paper and pen and went to a computer free desk to brainstorm. It was very energizing and productive just to change my environment and have a focus.
Thank you so much for this inspiring article! Lovely points and great guidelines to follow. It’s amazing how much power words have. I sincerely feel much more motivated after reading this. What a powerful message.
Your final point about letting annoyances go is my #1 go for the foreseeable future.
I have been practicing most of these steps for 2 years. It is true that they become habit. This “new” way of thinking has changed my life. Give it a try!
Its a blessing, seeing motivators for positivity spread helpful advice, which marc and angel stand for. I am happy for you both. Thanks for your constant help. I am a Nigerian by nationality and i believe one day things generally will change for the better. thanks once again. These words are words that need to be written on hearts. Marcandangel for life.
Hope & Sugar says
What a lovely list. I sure do agree with all the things you mentioned here. I glad to be following most of them.
Nick Goodall says
Very insightful, it definitely made me think! I’m certain that I need to work on the second point a bit more, I’m not sure I take enough risks on a daily basis.
Thank you for this post! I hope you two and everyone here has a fantastic day full of these thoughts and ideas!
Your point about success as something we do vs. something we have is a powerful one.
People tend to view success as something that you must achieve, through hard work or luck (or both). That outlook implies that success lies atop a great mountain that only a few will ever scale. So why even try?
But success is not an achievement, it’s a mindset. The mindset forms the habits which form the actions. It’s the actions that bring the results, but it’s the success-mindset that initiates the chain.
So to your point, you must be success before you will see success.
Taking small steps sounds slow for those who want to get everything done FAST. However, this is the way to move forward. Fail a bit, succeed a little but learn something new everyday and try to enjoy your day at its fullest.
Slow and steady wins the race.
My personal #10 would be spend a few moments loving on a dog! If that doesn’t fill your heart…. well just try it! 🙂
These 9 things I have recently learned through hard nocks, and for years had someone in my life that thought thinking for yourself was wrong and that going with the society current was the way, failing meant you were a failure, and pushed for every little detail to be perfect. Boy, I like my new life better. I would like to use this list, using the titles added to a small photo making a poster with all nine.
Thank you for these simple, but profound reminders. I am embarking on a new endeavor and this was exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. As the 12 steppers say, “progress not perfection.”
This is a good list. But I’d add ‘daydreaming’ to the list because I believe some of us have forgotten how to daydream and use our imagination. Grab a journal or notebook and let your mind wander. Write down your thoughts and review them later. You may be surprised to find out that you daydreamed about what you really want to do with your life. You can then implement a plan of action and take steps to make your ‘daydream’ a reality.
This is probably one of the best blogs I have read. Thank you and I truly appreciate your writing.
This is really beautiful advice… You really made me change my perspective while reading.
Thank you so much.
Thank you for the reminder that we have to persevere in spite of our fears, that discomfort is perfectly normal and happens to all of us.
I have for a long time been trying to stretch my comfort zone and to not feel so down after a temporary setback. Your words have inspired me to push forth and that the insuing discomfort and resistance are actually signs that I am taking steps in the right direction. So thanks!
Love your site. The content is wonderful. Sometimes the hidden ads and links however keep me from sharing the content. I would be willing to pay a small subscription price for reduced advertising. I wonder if anyone else would agree?
As always thank you.
Very helpful blog… This is filled with some great advice for me to remember and practice each and every day. #5 can be a tough one to overcome, but I’ve found that strength and perseverance wins the day.
Thank you for this great list!
I wish more people would understand that they are in control of the way they feel and react! Too many people try to project all of their feelings and behaviors onto someone else and then act like a victim.
Ravi Seshadri says
Refreshing article, very good and valid points. I recommend to add a 10th, “Humbling yourself”, we all get carried away by our accomplishments and tend to look at the world down. There are a lot of people these days doing lot of very cool things, that can change the way we perceived about anything until today.
@Bryce: Mixing things up is always a great way to boost your positivity and refresh your mind. Great addition to the list.
@JJ and Lucy: Glad to hear you’ve already implemented some of these ideas and have found some success in them.
@ope: All the way from Nigeria, eh? Awesome Great to meet ya! 😉
@Hope & Sugar: Thanks. And you’re welcome.
@Nick Goodwall: Thanks. I hope you have a wonderful day as well.
@Trevor: As always, very insightful addition. In my mind success is enjoying the journey to the top of the mountain.
@Kashif: No doubt. Step by step is how you get anywhere you want to go.
@Gina: 🙂 Angel and I have a cat named Sky. So I’ll substitute a dog for a cat, and say, “Absolutely.”
@Augie: Glad to hear you persevered. And yes, as long as you properly credited the content to us, we would love it if you made a poster like that and shared it with us and others.
@Pam: Go get em’ Pam! 🙂
@Amandah: Great point. Letting your imagination and curiosity run wild sometimes is the greatest way to come up with new ideas. It’s honestly how some of the biggest breakthroughs in science and art occur.
@Kristin and Susan: You’re welcome. Thanks for the kind words.
@Sue: Awesome! You have the right attitude. Keep on pushing Sue. You’ll get there.
@Katybeth: Sorry to hear the ads get in your way sometimes. As an alternative, you can buy our eBook here: https://www.marcandangel.com/book/ – We just released it a few weeks ago as a way to supplement our income from advertising. Obviously we’re in the early stages right now, but if we sell enough copies we will absolutely reduce the number of ads on our site.
@Christopher: You got it!
@feather: It’s all about taking responsibility. Once you take 100% responsibility for your life, lots of doors to great places swing open.
@Ravi Seshadri: True. Humility is a blessing. As Hemingway once said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
@All: And of course, THANK YOU for the comments. We love reading them. Keep them coming and I’ll come back in here later to reply to you all again.
Shivani Srivastava says
Point 6 n 9 nailed it !! They were bang on and i extremely needed them !! Thanks a tonne for posting them at the right time !! 🙂 ^_^
Very powerful words. Thanks.
Staying where my hands are says
@ ‘feather – that is so bang on!
It’s never too late to change ourselves when we want to, trust me on this one! I didn’t think it was possible to go from pessimistic & negative to very positive, figured I had screwed up too much and would never be a happy person. All it takes is a decision every single day to wake up and say “I choose to be happy today no matter what comes my way”, it’s really that simple. Things can always get worse, always, so appreciate the moment that you have while you can.
Lots of love and light to all of you who make this world a better place by taking ownership of yourselves ? And of course to M&A for all your words of wisdom. I hope you guys share your journey one day, would love to hear it (or is it posted somewhere already??).
I totally love #6, 7, 9!
I spent too many years letting others have control over MY happiness and attitude. I’ve been on a path of self-exploration the past couple of years – and what a difference it has made. Your blog has been so instrumental with positive affirmation – I love reading it.
Thank you for your commitment to “give back”!
#8 is my favorite (tracking and measuring your progress).
This is absolutely crucial for staying motivated to overcome challenges and succeed with the most difficult (and important) goals we set for ourselves.
Your site really motivates me…
Vincent N says
May I add that just changing up the scenery for simple, seemingly mundane tasks such as journaling helps too? Sometimes I may head to the local Starbucks and just write inside my daily journal. I also try to get homework done and write an article while I’m there too.
Thanks so much, this gave me direction and made me feel better again.
It made me feel good about my dreams… I know I am on the right track… it’s good to be reminded.
great list! thanks. I love ‘making little annoyances go’ – today is just the day for me to try this…
also ‘seeking happiness from within’ another important one. we do tend to believe someone else is going to make us happy… thank you so much.
keep up the great work. what you share is so inspirational.
I love u guys.
I <3 this blog! Have come across it randomly for a few years now. Always when I needed the advice, inspiration or a fun fact but didn’t know it until your blog just happened to appear. Coincidence? I think not.
Finally book marked page properly and have made a “donation” for the book.
Thank you 🙂
Kwesi Anim says
Always insightful and thought provoking, another good one. Bless you.
Gosh, I didn’t get a chance to get back in here and reply to everyone. But thank you, again, to all of you who left us a comment. We really appreciate it.
Sophie Velasco says
The tricks are great but putting each of them in practice will take time. I will gradually bring all these qualities in me. It is really inspiring.
On point 2 “Being a little bit uncomfortable,” I recently did the “relax in public” exercise that Tim Ferriss recommends in “the 4-hour work week.”
In this exercise, you lie down on the ground in a public place (e.g. at a shopping mall) for 10 seconds. It is uncomfortable but the exercise showed me that doing something uncomfortable doesn’t actually cause any harm.
P.S. I put a request in at my library for the audio book of “The Success Principles” – thanks for the suggestion.