Learning to Say No

Saying no is healthy.  Being able to say no without having to explain why and not feel guilty about it is even healthier. Knowing when and how to say no is one of the most valuable skills you will ever learn.  At first, people won’t understand, will give you incredulous looks and expect you to change your mind.  But don’t waver.  Eventually, mature people will understand and life will become less dramatic.  You’ll start seeing and hearing the truth in people’s words and actions.  It’s OK to ask for help from time to time, but people shouldn’t be dependent on you for everything.  You can’t save everyone, but you can keep your sanity just a little while longer while you work on developing a better you.

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Clarity is Power

If you can’t define your dreams, you don’t know where you’re going. Write them down, give them meaning, give them definition and then act on them. There’s no point in letting your goals and dreams linger within in you. Your dreams were given to you for a reason and only you can give them life. A man once said, “this world was created by people that were no smarter than you.” They decided to act on their dreams. Why shouldn’t you?

Note To Self: Mind Your Business

What people think about you is none of your business. 

Note to Self: Life Does Not Begin or End With Your Feelings

The world moves on despite how you feel about it or other people.  Just because you’re angry, someone hurt you or you didn’t get what you wanted, doesn’t mean you have to take it out on other people or constantly complain about it.  Life does not stop because you’re angry or bitter or spiteful.  Life does not end when someone wronged you.  Life does not look back and say, “Wow, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”  Instead, what life does, is reward those capable of moving forward.  It rewards those persistent enough to keep going.

So stop playing a victim and learn to be an adult.  Stop expecting people to respect you just because you’re you.  Just because someone placed you on a pedestal at some point in your life, doesn’t mean everyone else has to.  If you want respect, you’ll have to earn it.  Too often people feel as though the world owes them a favor just because they’ve been through difficult times.  This sense of entitlement is damaging.  People quickly forget that you have to work for the things you want.

There’s nothing wrong with having real AND viable expectations, but when you’re to a point where your emotional self is dictating your life and strong holding others…it’s time to find a new perspective.

Being by Yourself Can Be Good

bench-man-manhattan-1200Learn to be alone.  There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.  During those moments when you don’t have a special someone in your life…work on you.   That is what that time is meant for.

Many people struggle with being on their own, having the responsibilities of life and doing for themselves.  It’s tough.  But because of this, a cycle begins and they find themselves jumping from relationship to relationship in the hopes that the other person can “cure” that feeling or fill the void of having to be by themselves.  In that thought alone, there is a dependency issue and people often end up hurting themselves because of it.

Being emotionally independent and not being afraid of being alone is another one of those freeing adventures.  So what do you do?  During the times where you find yourself alone, without companionship or in an unfamiliar place: self-educate, read, explore, start a business, change parts of you that you don’t like or need to…but more importantly…learn to be you and love it.  You’ll learn to appreciate the quiet and stillness life brings, the exciting moments and the humor in life.  You’ll learn more about yourself, your personality and mistakes.  If you can’t solidify yourself as a person, then life will never be anything more than a dull and meaningless prediction.  Might as well enjoy what’s out there and do it while being you.  You never know where life will take you.

The “Basics” of Expressing Yourself

Earlier this week, a co-worker asked me about poetry.  He wanted to know the “basics” of writing it.  He wanted to know how it should be written, in what form and in what way it should be read.  I simply told him to write.  It wasn’t about form or how many meters it carried.  It was simply about writing what you wanted to express…about transferring your ideas, your thoughts into something that means something to you.  It doesn’t need anyone’s approval but your own.

It’s not always about form or structure.  Sometimes, it’s about taking the risk of expression and believing in yourself enough to simply be you.  We’ve grown accustomed to being constantly judged and reviewed that we’ve become self-conscious about our work, our manner, our dress, our speech and the way we express ourselves.  We’re not robots.  If you haven’t found a way to express yourself, haven’t found something that expresses a part of who you are, there will always be a void.

Expression is a form of freedom.  It will always be there subconsciously and once brought to the forefront of your mind, you will always seek it.  There’s no greater feeling in the world.

It’s Not About Setting Goals

Sometimes, it’s not about setting goals…but about doing what needs to be done;
Sometimes, it’s not about heavy planning, but about jumping in and testing your swimming skills; and
Sometimes, it’s not about over thinking, but reacting.

2015 is around the corner and many of you are thinking about setting New Year’s goals and resolutions. But what happened to last years goals and resolutions? Did you go the gym more like you planned? Did you work on repairing that broken relationship like you promised? Did you go back to school like you wanted to? Did you start that business? Did you write that song? Did you write that book? Or did you come up with excuse after excuse about why these things couldn’t be done? Did you blame your family? The economy? Your job? Or the lack of money and resources?

Here’s my tip for you. Stop it. Stop making excuses and just do it. Whatever idea you have, whatever goal you want, it won’t happen unless you get started. People may laugh at you, but that’s their problem, not yours. Your family may not agree, but you have to live your life, they don’t. There’s an unending number of resources out there…search for them and keep looking until you find it. Can you read? Of course you can, you’re reading this post! There’s plenty of books out there on a variety of topics, I’m sure you can find something on what you’re looking for.

People…it’s not about what you can do in 2015, but about making a move now on the things you want instead of waiting for it to come to you. Be persistent. Be formidable. Be relentless in your vision. Otherwise…what’s the point?