[success]The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence. Really, it’s a matter of programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free. ~ Charles R. Swindoll[/success]
Making minor changes in your daily life will make a major difference to the ease with which you fulfill your dreams. Why settle for mediocrity when five simple changes can lead to a life of excellence.
If you’d have begun anything last year, or the year before you’d be twelve or twenty four months better at it than you are today.
Don’t let that stop you. Begin now. But only commit yourself to what’s best for you. Don’t be misled by the opinion of others…their opinions are no more valuable than your own.
Desire is what stirs your soul into movement, but it’s persistence, and a relentless commitment that gets you there. That’s the price you pay for success.
Commitment means keeping the promises we make, the contracts…spoken or unspoken that we form with ourselves or others.
Each time we break a promise we’re radiating vibrations of how untrustworthy we are, we’re out of touch with our values and our true authentic self. You’re going to make choices that won’t please everyone in your life. Just make sure at the end of the day that you’ve lived a life that you’re proud of, one that pleases you.
2. Use the power of positive influence
One of the biggest challenges in life is becoming a selective listener. Much of who you are right now is an accumulation of the influence of others. There’s a daily input of influencers, some who have larger than life personalities, some who shock and horrify, some who inspire.
Choosing selective listening allows you to tune out the voices that don’t lead towards the fulfillment of your desires. Make it a habit every day to listen to or read something that contributes to your well being, happiness and success.
Every insight you need to be happy, healthy, successful, rich or enlightened has already been written.
Others have shared their experience, knowledge and wisdom to inspire and encourage you to rearrange your thinking or change your entire philosophy on life and create the habits that turn your dreams into reality.
If you want something different, you must be someone different and do something different. Squeeze the juice of life out of every inspiring encouraging voice. Don’t allow anything to stop you from setting aside time each day to rise above the voices of negativity, immerse yourself in positive and uplifting influences and update your approach to your life.
3. Cultivate optimism
Don’t let your negative tendencies overwhelm you.
As Winston Churchill said: For myself I’m an optimist, there doesn’t seem much use to be anything else.
But have you noticed how easy it is to let doubt cloud our optimism, fear stall our actions, or confidence to be worn away by worry?
Feelings of anger, fear, anxiety all undermine your optimism. Even those with the most optimistic outlook can fall prey to persistent expectations that the worst is likely to happen.
Surprises happen. Shock happens. Life happens. But if we go looking for disaster around every corner there’s a good chance we’re going to bump into it. Try redirecting the energy used for spotting what’s wrong with your life and begin guiding it towards looking for what’s right.
Focus on the beauty of life. My grandma used to tell me to be grateful for small mercies. Gratitude always opens the door to happiness. Be grateful for the appliances that keep your household humming, for the bed to rest your weary head, for running water and ever present electricity to light your nights. Many in our world aren’t as lucky.
When you’re feeling a little down turn to appreciation. Take time every day to breathe a sigh of thanks for the amazing people, wonderful situations and joyful times you’ve had. Value your life…it’s the only one you’ve got and doesn’t last for ever.
Be willing to share your appreciation of others. Practice being their biggest cheerleader. Tell them…don’t assume they know of your admiration. A little praise and encouragement might make a big difference to someone and you’ll be amazed at the results. Since what you put out is likely to come back to you in spades, before too long you’ll have cheerleaders of your own.
5. Replace daily errors with daily disciplines
Each day presents us with sets of choices and decisions. The important thing is that you make choices that lead to your happy future.
As Aristotle said: excellence is not an act, but a habit and the most successful among us have developed success habits. Every choice they make sets them up for the results they want.
Wasting a day, leaving things until tomorrow, ignoring problems, eating those extra mouthfuls, or frequently complaining might seem mighty unimportant and the sky doesn’t fall, so you feel okay. But outcomes seldom appear instantly, they’re the result of cumulative effort.
One bad habit merges into the next, piling one on top of the other until the day of reckoning when they come crashing down and you discover you’re miles away from where you thought you were going.
Imagine taking a trip from New York to Los Angeles but each day you’re half an inch away from the proper route. Doesn’t seem like much; but at the end of the journey, you’re more likely to find yourself in Canada than California. That’s the cumulative effect in action.
If you find yourself a long way down the wrong road, be smart enough to turn around before the sky does fall or you end up precisely where you never wanted to go. Remember you can do amazing things once you’ve made the decision to do so.
Be strong enough to change your thinking (see # 2 above).
Be courageous enough to recognize you laid the groundwork for life as it is today.
But most of all never forget YOU are the powerful source that transforms old habits into new disciplines that bring your dreams to life.
In the comments below let me know what habits are leading you towards, or away from, a life of excellence. Please share as many specifics as possible. What you have to say might just make the world of difference for someone else.
Thank you, as always, for reading, and sharing. You seriously rock!
Encourage one another.