How to Know What You Want (When You Don’t Know What You Want)

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Let me ask you a question: What do you want?

Do you want a fancy house, 8 new cars, and a 30 person hot tub? Or a job working outdoors with a wonderful family to come home to? Or do you want to retire early and travel the world? Or do you want to go to college for a degree? What about health? Do you want to complete a triathlon? Do you prefer jogging 5 miles daily? Or crossfit? Dancing? Sports? Yoga? Do you want abs? Do you want to do all of these things? None of these things? Some of these things?

There are so many options in life!

We all want to live an awesome life, full of adventures, fun, and success. We all want to live our dream lives. We all want to be free in every way- personally, spiritually, physically, politically, etc.

We all know these things. But the problem is that most of us stop there. We don’t ever get to this place of freedom and happiness. Why? One reason is we might not know what we really want. Yes, we know in general that we want to be happy, wealthy, healthy, etc., but we need to get a little more specific and focused to figure out what we truly want.

Ask yourself this question: what do you visualize as your dream life?

What are you specifically doing? This may bring up a wall for you. Your mind might go blank. You may not know exactly what you want it to look like. There are so many paths that your life could take. You might begin to realize that you don’t really know what it is that you truly want.

Here are three things you can do to figure out what you want from life:

 

Figure Out What You Don’t Want. Then Flip It. 

Sometimes we don’t know what we want out of life, but we do know what we DON’T want! If you are having trouble finding purpose and direction in your life, start out with what you don’t want to do. What do you dislike or hate? What are your least favorite things to do? What are you unhappy about in your life right now? Write your answers down so you can see them plain and clear for what they are! These negativities in your life are causing you pain and suffering. Luckily, you can turn these negative things into amazing triumphs! It is time to turn your life around and get happy! If you are clear on what you don’t want in life, then you can steer away from those unpleasant areas and move in a more positive direction. What I would advise is this: Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side write down all the things you don’t want in the given situation, or just life in general. Once you have finished listing your non-wants and dislikes, look at each non-want and write down the opposite of it in the right column.  It should look like this example:

Don’t Want: Want:
to fight w/ spouse good communication & enjoy time w/ spouse
loneliness & isolation close friends and frequent social interaction
etc.

Filling in a table like this will give you a good starting point. You will know what you definitely don’t want, and you will have an idea, therefore, of what you might want. You don’t have to know exactly where you are going, so long as it feels pleasant and exciting. The next step is to take action and try things to see what works and what brings you more happiness in your life.

 

Try New Things. 

If you don’t know what you want, then it might be because you have never committed to trying a new or different type of living- and I mean completely committed by giving this new try your all. By trying new things, you learn what you like and dislike/ want and don’t want in life. You want this to be something simple that you can start today. You can add this into your chart as well if you want, and it will look something like this:

Don’t Want: Want: Action:
to fight w spouse enjoy time together spend time together daily, eat&sleep well so not grouchy/tired
lonliness & isolation close friends, social volunteer in town to meet people. Spend time w/ bff
etc.

In this example, the actions recorded are all able to be started today. You could call up your spouse right now and plan a date or just plan on going on a walk together through the neighborhood later. You could go to bed early tonight to ensure a restful sleep, and you can eat good, healthy food for breakfast lunch, and dinner to ensure that you don’t get hungry ad grumpy. You could also set up a time to hang out with your friend, and you could get signed up to start volunteering soon too. All of these baby steps you would be taking today would be catalysts for a better tomorrow. Each step makes it possible for a bigger action step in the future until you are living in the “want” category on the chart above, and not the “Don’t want” category!

 

What Do You Know You Want in Your Life? 

It is ok to feel unsure of what you want! Don’t panic. Don’t feel like you are a hopeless or lost soul. You don’t have to know every little detail of your future life! You just have to look at what you know that you want in your life, and compare it to your current life, and then take action. You don’t have to know every detail of your life. You don’t have to know what every second of your perfect day would look like. You just have to commit yourself to making every day awesome. You have to truly believe in yourself and realize that while you are trying to build yourself your perfect life, it was right there all along. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the results. Enjoy the present.

When you envision your dream life, what comes to mind? The specifics, I mean. Don’t get bogged down in every little detail, just simply close your eyes and ask yourself this question. Write down your answers.

These are the things that you know you want. For some people, it may be to travel, or to be a singer, or to eat healthier food every day. For others it might be to write a book, or start a business, or meditate daily. There will probably be multiple things that you are positive that you want in your life – probably more than you think. Now that you have figured out what you don’t want, it is much easier to understand what you do want, or at least have a general direction to try out.

Remember, nothing here is permanent and nothing is set in stone. You can always change, in fact you will change. What you want in life changes as you do. You want different things out of life now than you did when you were a kid, right? Exactly! So don’t worry about it. Just go towards your passions, interests, and hobbies, and go away from what you don’t want in life.

“At the center of your being, you have the answer; you know who you are, and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu

Now, whatever you wrote down for your answer, go do that. Whatever actions you wrote down in the chart, do those too. Start working on it, even if it is in tiny bite-sized portions. Little by little, great things get done.

 

To living your best life,

-Alex

PS- Peace of Mind Proprietary Blend is now on Amazon! If you need less stress and better sleep, you can try it now for 40% off (for a limited time, so now is the time to try it if you are curious!). Check it out. It may also help you relax and center yourself when going through the process of figuring out what you want from your amazing gift of life. 🙂

What is happiness? Are You Happy?

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Here is a picture of me looking happy. Truth is that when this photo was taken, I had been fighting depression for about 7 months. I was feeling particularly down that day because I felt like I was making little progress toward defeating depression. It took me a while, but I did end up getting out of depression for good (and 100% naturally) by mid 2013. I can confidently say that I will never fall back into depression again. 🙂

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, The Truth About High School. Although I wrote this book for people in high school, there is a lot of valuable information in the book for anyone of any age. So without further ado, let’s get into it! 🙂


…What is happiness and are you happy?

Happiness is an “inside job” many people say. Which is true, of course. You don’t find lasting happiness in objects, places, or tons of friends. It all must start with you. Happiness is the end result of having positive emotions like inner peace, love, compassion, joy, etc. You come to these emotions by doing what fulfills you, what excites you, and what you are passionate about. You also can get these emotions from spending time with the people who are closest to you and who you really care about. These are the ones who will always be there for you no matter what. Who are these people in your life?

If you are unhappy or constantly negative it is time to reconnect with your happy and positive side. The happy life is one where positive emotions dominate. So by simply enhancing positive emotions, or experiencing them more frequently, you can become a happier person. BUT you need to get these frequent positive emotions through the things and people that fulfill you, or your happiness will be short lived and inauthentic.

Even life circumstances only contribute about 10% to your life’s happiness. This includes getting what you want in life, such as becoming a billionaire or getting married. So if getting what you want doesn’t give you that much lasting happiness, then what does? The answer: appreciating what you really have and being happy within yourself. If you want to be truly happy, a major part of happiness is gratitude and positivity. The happiest people:

  • feel and express gratitude even during tough times in life
  • stay in the moment as much as possible
  • enjoy the simple pleasures of life
  • don’t let unavoidable ups and downs disturb their inner peace

How happy are you? Stop right now and seriously ask yourself this question. If you aren’t sure how happy you are, don’t worry. Happiness is pretty tough to measure. It may help to rate your happiness level on a scale of 1 to 10. Try out this set of questions that can also help you determine how happy you are.

1. In general, I am:

Not happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Happy

2. Compared to others, I am:

Less happy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 More Happy

3. Some people are generally happy regardless of what’s happening in life. To what extent does this describe you?   

Not at all 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Totally

4. Some people are generally not very happy. Although they aren’t depressed, they never seem to be as happy as they could be. To what extent does this describe you?

Not at all 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Totally

5. I smile:

Hardly ever 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very often

If you look at the numbers you circled, it will give you a very broad understanding of your happiness level. You could always average these numbers too if you want another way to look at it.

If you got a low score on these questions, then you may be depressed. Take this quiz to find out. This quiz was created by Carol Landau, who has a Ph.D. in Depression. I don’t know if I would have ever realized that I was depressed or gotten out of depression if I hadn’t stumbled upon this quiz during my sophomore year of high school. I wanted to include it in this book because I hope that it helps you like it helped me. Even if it only helps one person, I’ll be happy. So let’s take the quiz!

To be diagnosed with depression, you have to feel extremely sad or have lost interest in life, and you must experience 4 out of the 7 following symptoms every day and for at least two consecutive weeks:

– Increase or decrease in weight or appetite without conscious dieting

– Insomnia or excessive sleepiness

– Agitation or lethargy and difficulty getting out of bed

– Loss of energy and fatigue nearly every day

– Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt

– Difficulties concentrating, thinking or making decisions

– Recurrent thoughts of suicide.

Scientifically, if your mood is constant and lasts more than two weeks, that’s a sign that you might be slipping into depression.

According to Lifescript, which operates the leading website for healthy living, more warning signs for depression include:

  • Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Sleep problems
  • Appetite changes
  • Lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or self blame
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of suicide

Now, there is a difference between grief and depression. Mourning the death of someone close to you is an exception to the two-week rule. For the first month or two, it is typical to have symptoms similar to depression, such as unrelenting sadness, frequent crying, trouble sleeping, poor appetite, and weight loss. But if it continues for longer than this, with no signs of improvement, then the grieving may have turned into depression.

If you are depressed, or if you would like to know more about depression, don’t wait to get help. Your condition will only get worse. But be careful when getting help. It always amazes me how many people think they know what depression is, and that they can solve it for others when they haven’t even been through it themselves! If they haven’t gone through it personally, then they don’t understand. I promise you this. I learned this the hard way when I was getting out of depression myself. If you think you are depressed, even if you aren’t completely sure, please please please do not wait. It is important to take action and start getting out of depression as soon as possible. The sooner you realize it, the sooner you can get out of it!

Trust me, I have been there. It is a dark place, and it is very difficult to see the light. But when you get a glimpse of light, hold onto it and don’t let it go. Build on it until there is no more darkness. You can do it! If I can do it, then you can too. I believe in you. I know that you have what it takes to be happy again and to get out of depression for good. And, strangely enough, once you have completely overcome the challenge of depression for good, never to fall back into it again… your past depression becomes a gift. How? That is a discussion for another book which I am currently writing, so stay tuned. 🙂

If you would like to be happier, you must take time to consistently develop your inner qualities. Every minute you have a choice of where you focus your attention. The more you relax, try your best, and allow life to unfold, the more you will get out of life and the happier you will be. When your mind starts spiraling into negativity, stop yourself. The more you do this, the easier it will be and the more control you will have over your own thoughts. Eventually, you will be able to decide what you want to think about and what thoughts you want to let pass through your mind. Notice the good things in life. Pay attention to the positive things and be an optimist. Understand what makes you happy, and appreciate yourself. Choose to be happy!

“As long as there is a lack of the inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, external facilities or conditions will never give you the feeling of joy and happiness that you are seeking. On the other hand, if you possess this inner quality, a calmness of mind, a degree of stability within, then even if you lack various external facilities that you would normally consider necessary for happiness, it is still possible to live a happy and joyful life. Achieving a genuine sense of happiness may require bringing about a transformation in your outlook, your way of thinking, and this is not a simple matter. In taking care of your physical body, you need a variety of vitamins and nutrients, not just one or two. In the same way, in order to achieve happiness, you need a variety of approaches and methods to deal with and overcome the varied and complex negative mental states… It is not possible to accomplish that simply by adopting a particular thought or practicing a technique once or twice. Change takes time.”

–Dalai Lama

So, what about you…

How happy are you?

Did you just find out that you are depressed?

Do you have a success story?

Feel free to share in the comments. We are a community here and we support each other. 🙂

To your greatest happiness,

-Alex 🙂


Odds & Ends:

  • There is now an Instagram page for this blog’s lifestyle! If you would like to  surround yourself with happy, healthy, and wealthy aspects of your dream life then don’t hesitate to follow @lifetools_official  I promise it will be worth it! 🙂
  • If any of you would like to contact me directly there are two ways:
    • One: Leave a comment on this blog. I will see it 🙂
    • Two: Contact me via Instagram: @lifetools_official . 

I Did.

Think about it.

In the moment of your death, your life will flash before your eyes. Looking back through your life, will you say, “I wish I had…” or will you say, “I did!”?

I imagine that you want to be able to look back and feel a sense of wholeness when you reflect. You want to know that you lived your life to the fullest and you did the things you wanted to do in life, and you impacted the world and others in a positive way.

Working backward from your last day on Earth is a great way to realize what is important to you in life, and what you should focus your time and energy on. Your life is whatever you want it to be. It is an interesting story. When it starts to feel boring and dull, it means that you are not living your dreams. You are living according to someone else, not yourself. When life gets complicated, it is simply because you haven’t taken enough time to thoroughly look at your life, your current situation, your past habits and beliefs, and your inner self. When you live according to anyone but yourself, be it society’s whims, another person, and institute, etc. you are not living your true life of passion.

So how do you get back to living your dream life? How do you stop living a boring, monotonous life? How do you free yourself from the habits of the past and begin on your path toward personal freedom? It’s quite simple, actually. You just have to put your dreams first. Don’t let your other obligations get in the way all the time. Put aside some time every day to work on your dreams, and guard this time relentlessly. This is your time to get you where you want to be in life, whether that is spending more time each day with your kids, becoming financially free, going on a vacation to Thailand each year, having a better sex life and relationship with your spouse, meditating for 20 minutes each day, etc. Don’t let yourself become distracted with other things during this amount of time that you set aside for dreams. Take this time to grow and work on creating your dream life until it is a reality.

Living how you are ‘supposed to’ according to everyone else is not necessarily the way that you want to live. We are individuals. We are not ‘one size fits all’. We are unique and what is right for one person is not right for another. This is why your dreams have to come first. If you don’t make them top priority, then society and others will continue to dictate how you live your life. If you let anyone else other than your inner self rule your life, then you will most likely never do the things you have always wanted to. You will never get to feel that major sense of inner peace and freedom you have when living your best life. You are the only one who can make your dream life come true. You must take your dreams by the hand and make sure that you are truly giving all you can to make them a reality.

You will reach all you want if you can just simply put your dreams first, be patient as you work on them, and know that they will all come to you just the way they are supposed to. You may not end up exactly where you imagined you would be, and you will take some interesting turns and detours to get there, but you will eventually reach your best life. It will be your amazing life; no one else’s. Simply your life, your freedom, your lifestyle, and your true happiness.

Instead of always wishing to do something, cut out the excuses – make it happen and be able to say, “I did!”

To living your best life,

-Alex

Completely Change Your Life With 4 Books

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Reading these four books and implementing each into your life will completely change your life, your future, and even your values. It did for me and I hope it will for you too. These books will help guide you on your journey to become your best self and live your best life. But! They can’t change your life for you. Notice that I didn’t title this post “4 books that will change your life”. Why? Because you are the only one who can change your own life! A book can show you a new perspective, and spark new thoughts and ideas within you, but you are the ultimate decision maker and you run the show. A book doesn’t change your life. You change your life.

Here is the short version:

If you are struggling Financially, then I suggest reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. If you are going through a difficult time in your personal life, then read The Way of the Wizard by Deepak Chopra. If you want a top quality life and to achieve your dreams (no matter what they are), read The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. If you want to be physically healthier, more energetic, mentally sharp, and have  dramatically fewer health problems as you age, read Real Food by Nina Planck. If you want to be happy, healthy, and wealthy in all aspects of your life, read all four of these books and you will be well on your way!

Here is the long version: Completely Change Your Life With 4 Books: 🙂 

Raising Your Child’s Financial IQ by Robert Kiyosaki

Robert’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad would have also changed my life had I read it before this one. I actually picked this book up during spring break back in 8th grade. Reading this little book completely changed my entire perspective and direction of life in a matter of three days. All of Robert Kiyosaki’s books are awesome and I have read nearly all of them. I suggest you do the same. The life changing lessons I learned from his book:

  • I realized that I don’t have to live the traditional story. There are thousands and thousands of different options. I didn’t have to go to school and get really good grades so that I can get into a good college and get a degree so that I can get a good, secure, high-paying job, and work really really hard and save a lot so that I can retire at 65 or maybe even a few years early.  That’s what everyone else seems to do, so what makes them different? Nothing! There are much, much faster, easier, and in my opinion, better ways to make money than a 9-5 for the rest of your years.
  • I realized that I didn’t even want to go the traditional route. I had never really given it much thought, but I didn’t want to work at a job for  pretty much the rest of my waking life. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted more out of my life.
  • Question the “truth”. Question what society says is right. Question the things that you think you have to do, Question what society says is the only real truth; the only way. Often, society’s “right” and “wrong” are driven by ulterior motives. The only truth is the truth you decide for yourself.

The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Another life-changer in matter of just a few weeks! Wealth is only partly about money. It is actually more about lifestyle. Tim Ferriss shows you how to live the lifestyle of a multi-millionaire without being a multi-millionaire, or even without having any money at all. It is not only possible, it is ridiculous that more people don’t live this way! This is by far my favorite book and I have read it at least 5 times. I learn new things with every new read and I have used tons of information within the book to implement changes into my own life.

The Way of the Wizard by Deepak Chopra

Spiritual development! This book helped me stay strong during a difficult period in my life, and it will help you develop yourself spiritually. But not religiously- there is a difference. Great book! It will get you to really think about yourself and your connection with your inner self. This book will help you change a lot of inner beliefs you have within you that aren’t serving you.

Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck

You truly are what you eat! This book changed the way I eat, think about, and buy food. It helped me make better eating decisions to take care of my body. Her book alone literally helped me become a better and healthier eater. If you are trying to eat healthier, then this is your book! Also, on the same note, watch the documentary called Food Inc. It will probably change your life or disturb you so much that you won’t want to acknowledge the truth that goes on behind the scenes in the food industry of mass production. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there!

Bonus Books: 

Here are some books I recommend that have changed some aspect of my life in one way or another:

  • Any book by Deepak Chopra, Tim Ferriss, or Robert Kiyosaki.
  • The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
  • Who Moved My Cheese? by Spenser Johnson
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
  • How to be Rich by J. Paul Getty
  • The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
  • Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power by Bob Doyle
  • Shel Silverstein poems. They are children’s poems, but similar to Dr. Seuss, there are deeper underlying messages to realize.
  • The Truth About High School by yours truly 🙂 I had to sneak one of my own books in here because it just finished going through the editing process, and will be out soon! I am excited since through this book I will be able to help teens go through a really difficult period of life. The book will get them to really think about their lives, and change their lives for the better!

What about You?

What book(s) have you read that changed your life?

To living your best life and becoming your best self,

-Alex 🙂

What Would You Do?

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Last year I was part of a network marketing company.  There was one thing I really liked about the company’s procedures which really stood out. Whenever we talked to a new person to who was considering joining the company, we would first ask them:

“If time or money were not an issue, what would you do?”

People’s answers said a lot about them and their deeper wants, needs, or aspirations in life (or whether they had given it much thought at all). Whether I knew the person or not, asking this question was like turning on a flashlight in a dark room. I suddenly understood the person a lot better, and I felt like I could see a little bit of their true selves shining through. It made me feel like I was Kalina Silverman in the “Big Talk: Before I Die…” video.

Here are some of the answers I received:


#1. Insurance broker, male

“If time or money were not an issue, I would explore the world, because there is so much out there to see and experience. I would also buy back my family’s farm and have friends and family over often.”

#2. Recent CSU Chico college graduate, female

“If time or money was not an issue, I would like to help others in need.”

#3. Sophomore in community college, male

“If time or money were not an issue, I would Become a model. I would also be a machinist. I would also be a video photographer for film. I would also be a data analyzer for a company.”

#4. College freshman, female

“If money wasn’t an issue I would pay off school and housing before anything so that my parents wouldn’t be stressed out about getting it paid every month. Once that was taken care of as well as my family, I would give back. I would give back to my community and school and anyone else that was in need or anyone that ever helped me. I really wish money wasn’t an issue but unfortunately it is although I know one day it won’t be.”

#5. CSU Chico college freshman, female

“If time or money where not an issue for me, I would definitely dedicate my time to travel around the world. This is because, first of all, I love to travel, and another reason is that i love getting to know more about the individuality of every culture. In this scenario I would also take advantage that I am in different parts of the world to learn more languages. I would also dedicate myself to working out more often – and by working out i mean playing basketball. I love to play basketball. I have played since i was 6 years old and have continued to play until this year which is my freshman year at Chico State University. I would also like to travel with my fiancé.”

#6. High School Senior, male 

“If Time or money were not an issue I would be an artist- like drawing or writing. Probably mostly a writer of novels. I really enjoy it and I have realized lately that I like it. I would also go on a cross country road trip.”

#7. College Freshman, Baseball player, male

“I would hang out mostly- I probably wouldn’t do too much. I would also get a house so that I would have a place to live, and I’d also get my parents a house. I don’t really know what else.”

#8. High School Senior, female

“If time or money were not an issue, I would use it to do things that I have always wanted to do, such as travel around to certain places, and do more volunteer work at certain places and all around.”

#9. UC Santa Barbara, college freshman, female

“If time or money were not an issue, I would be a professional dancer, and I would spend every day hiking and doing stuff outside.”

#10. Father and husband from Twin Falls, Idaho 

“If time and money were not an issue, I would definitely spend as much time with my wife and kids, taking them wherever they want and watching them all grow up right before my eyes, cherishing every moment.”

#11 Community college student

“If time or money were not an issue, I’d probably be traveling. Where? All over Europe, Austrailia, places I’ve never been. I’d want to go with my mom. We get great deals too because she’s a flight attendant.  I’d also be buying cool cars, stuff like that. I’m a Ferrari guy.” 


Do you think that these people should go for their dreams?

“Of course!” you say.

But what about you? Should you go after your dreams? Why are you so hesitant to say yes for yourself, while you are so quick to say yes for others? You know yourself better than you know them, so why do you believe in their abilities while doubting your own?

Fear. We get inside our own heads. The root of your procrastination, doubts, and complaints (including convincing yourself that your dreams will never happen) are due to deeply rooted fear. Fear has been said to stand for “False Evidence Appearing Real” and I tend to agree with this definition. Most of the time, fear is unwarranted. You have to keep in mind that you are the only one who can make your dream life become a reality. No one else is going to do it for you. There are enough people and institutions trying to limit you already, so don’t willingly enslave yourself to your own fears. It is time to put your fears aside and Take The Leap into the unknown.

So, what about you?  If time or money were not an issue, what would you do?

Take your time imagining exactly what you would do, then write down your answer. With the right mindset, you are already halfway there.

To living your dreams,

-Alex 🙂

Stop Living a Mediocre Life!

What exactly is a mediocre life? Well, you could define it like this: A mediocre life is your style of living (made up of habits, actions, people, thoughts, responsibilities, etc.) that you have settled for, which is not up to your hopes or standards and gives you feelings of boredom, monotony, and a fixed mindset.

If you feel like your life is boring, pointless, just the same as everyone else’s, monotonous, or just not that great, then you are living a mediocre life. You are more than what you are settling for. Now, if you know what you are worth then go out and get it! You are attracting your mediocrity because you subconsciously believe that it is all you can do, and that this is the best life you are able to live. But deep down, there are desires and talents that must come out! You can live an amazing life. You can be all that you want. You are the one. You are powerful. You are here on this earth at this time in this form as you, to do all that you would like to do, and be all that you would like to be.

It is time to stop living a mediocre life! Don’t wait until next week, or next month, or even tomorrow. It stops today! It’s time to get up and do something about it! Don’t have time? Make time. If you don’t have time to do something that is this important, then you don’t have your priorities in order. This is your life. You only get one. There is no excuse. It is time to change. It is time to become satisfied and proud of yourself and the life you are living. Are you ready? Doing this is much simpler than you might think. Here is what you need to do:

First, carve out some time for yourself. Maybe a Saturday morning, or a Tuesday afternoon. Whenever you can get a good chunk of time alone to just be with yourself and not be interrupted. Get a pen and paper. Ask yourself these questions below. Write your answers on the paper.

  1. Why do I consider my life to be mediocre? Be as specific and detailed as possible.
  2. What exactly is holding me back and keeping me here living this mediocre style of life? 
  3. How can I change each situation listed above so that I can live the life I desire? Write down 3 actionable steps for each.
  4. What habits do I have that are keeping me away from being a better person and enjoying a better life?
  5. How can I change these habits into something that will benefit me and my life? (See previous post Living From Intentional Habits (Or: Killing Bad Habits and Monotonous Routines) to help you with this step.)
  6. What exactly do I want my life to look like? What is your dream life? Be as specific and detailed as possible.
  7. Why? Why do you want your life to look like your previous description? Why is each of part of your dream important to you? Does it solve a problem? Is it something that you have always wanted? Is it something that you think is really cool? Does each part of your dream life excite you? Be as specific and detailed as possible.
  8. After asking why, is there anything that I need to change about my dream life?
  9. What is the one thing I can do today that will be the best step toward my new dream life, and away from my old mediocre life? What is the most efficient and effective thing you can do today (or right now) to propel you toward your best life?
  10. What can I move around in my schedule so that I can work on this every day until my new life is a reality?

That’s it! It is a simple process, but it is not necessarily easy. Anyone can ask these questions, but it takes a lot of effort and concentrated thinking to find the answers. Most people don’t get this far. They try to answer the questions above and they give up because it is hard. But you know what is harder? Continuing to live a life that does not live up to your dreams and values. Answer the questions and you will know what you must do next. Here are a couple more things to keep in mind:

Believe in yourself! If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. You must believe in you. Invest in yourself. Develop your spiritual side. Focus on personal development and connecting with your inner spirit. If you don’t like being alone with yourself, be alone and make peace. Inner peace. It is a way of living, not a destination. Simply know that you are perfect and ready for the world just the way you are. You are important to the world because it only takes one to change the world. If you change your life, you change your world.

Take time to ponder yourself and your life. Meditate and relax. Clear your mind. Reflect. Journal. Visualize the future and other positive visions for greatness. Take time to do this at least once per week. I carve out a few hours one day per week for this. I also spend some time doing these things almost every single day. Specifically, you could set a time, or a reminder.

People who live amazing lives are also amazingly thankful. I have a sticky note up on the wall in my bedroom right next to my bedside table that says, “I am thankful for…”. I purposefully put it in a place that I always look so that I am always thinking of something I am grateful for that can finish the phrase. Most of the time our mediocre life does not come from our situations in our everyday circumstances. Most of the time, it comes from our fears, false beliefs, and fixed mindsets. By taking time for yourself to meditate, think, visualize, etc., your quality of life will improve.

If you want to live an extraordinary life, stop being and doing the ordinary. Do what makes you happy. Do things for you because you decided to and because you want to. Think and act for yourself. Don’t just blindly follow what everyone else is doing. Just because most people do something doesn’t mean that it is the right way or the best way. Most of the time, these people have no idea what they are doing or where they are going. If you find yourself doing the same thing as everyone else, you should probably think about whether it is right for you. If not, no matter how many other people are doing it, you should choose another direction.

If you would like to live a mediocre life, then don’t change and keep doing what you have always been doing. But once you know that you are not living the way you desire, it is difficult to just simply ignore this truth and fade back to your old ways. It has your attention and now that you have noticed, it sticks out like a sore thumb. This is because parts of your life do not line up with your values and dreams. It is time to change! It is time to grow. It is time to become your best version and live an amazing life. No more mediocrity!

To living your best life,

-Alex

The Story of the Starfish

Today, I wanted to share a story with you. It may be very short and simple, but it is powerful. After you read this post, I advise you to meditate on the story and what it means for you. The best part is that you can use these insights from meditation to take action and incorporate new habits into your daily life. As a result, you will better yourself, your life, and everyone else around you. 🙂

The Story of the Starfish:

A boy went to the beach with his grandfather. When they got there, they saw that thousands and thousands of starfish had been washed up and were now drying out in the sun. The boy started to throw one starfish after the other back into the water. The grandfather said, “Boy, what are you doing? There are so many that it won’t make any difference if you throw a few back.” The boy picked up a starfish and said, “It makes a difference to him.”

You may wonder why you should even try to help others when there will always be more in need. It is true that you may not be able to help everyone, but if you try then you can help a whole lot more people than if you didn’t try. You may feel powerless in the big and overwhelming world, but the truth is just the opposite:

You are powerful beyond belief and you can do whatever you put your mind to.

The boy’s attitude in this story is contagious. If you were the grandpa, would you not feel more inclined and inspired to help throw the starfish back into the water?  Likewise, if you saw someone helping a stranger, would you not feel more motivated to help someone too? This energy is contagious in people and it catches on quickly, causing something of an exponential effect, yet it only takes one person to start it.

Helping others in a way that you feel you can really contribute is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. Many people have enjoyment in their lives, but they lack fulfillment. No matter how few people you help, it is always worth it.

To the world, you may be just one person. But to one person, you may be the world.

This is just a little snippet on the way I interpreted it, but it definitely isn’t the only way! It is now time to take a look at your own life and decide what this story means for you.  I would love to know what your insights are, so feel free to comment your thoughts below. 🙂

To living a fulfilled life,

Alex

Take The Leap

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For many of us, living our dream lives it is not a question of what we want- many of us already know the answer to that. It is more of a question as to whether or not we can believe in ourselves enough to do it. It’s all in our mindset. While we can live a lifestyle of living our best life every day, there are certain things that we might visualize ourselves doing in our dream lives which we are not doing at the moment.

When we think of what our best lives look like, many of us have some kind of big goal or dream that we have been putting off for a long time. These goals are probably crying out for attention. We really want to do it, and it causes us some stress that we haven’t done it yet, since we have been meaning to for so long. We also know that our dream life is not complete without attempting this pending dream that we have. Many people are scared to do what they know they need to do to live their best and most fulfilling life.

It is like if you are standing right at the ledge on top of a cliff, and everything you ever wanted was at the bottom of the cliff. There is no other way down but to jump. But you are afraid. What if something goes wrong? What if it hurts to land? It is hard to see everything at the bottom of the cliff clearly. What if it is not that great after all? How is this going to work out? You aren’t sure, so you try to find out for yourself. You read books all about the cliff. You ask others what they think. But you know that your questions and worries will only be answered if you jump. You are scared. All of this research took time, but ultimately, it is all up to you to find out. And now you are standing on the ledge, looking down. You can see all that you want below. You are so close that you can almost touch it! You really want it! And even though you are afraid of the unknown, you know what you have to do. You have to take the jump. You worry; you try to find an alternative to what you want. But deep down you know that the only way is to take the leap. Finally one day, you say enough is enough. No matter what, I am ready to go after what I want. You grab your parachute, shut your eyes tightly, and you jump off the cliff.

Usually, it is fear of the unknown that holds us back the most. Once you have jumped off the cliff, you will realize that you wasted a lot of time worrying and avoiding the cliff. Had you just jumped in the first place without over thinking, you would have been where you wanted to be a lot sooner, and saved your body, mind, and spirit a lot of stress. Procrastination, worry, doubt, and fear quickly lead to self doubt and unrest.

The leap is the unknown- the space between where you are and where you want to be in a goal. It is what everyone is so worried about before they jump. People get so focused on the process and the unknown that they forget to look at the results. They forget about what is at the bottom if they can just simply jump. Of course it is scary. Of course there will be things that you don’t know or don’t understand – you have never done it before! But once you take the leap, you are in motion. You are moving toward your goals and more into your dream life.

As you fall, you gain speed. You can see the ground getting closer and closer. Now you know that you are going to make it! The closer you get, the more you can see below. It looks similar to what you saw at the top of the cliff, but now you can see that there is way more here than you ever dreamed of having.

The process on the way down the cliff is not neccesarily an easy one. There are a lot of emotional and mental ups and downs, just like a roller coaster. But as long as you continue working patiently and persistently toward your goal, you will end up where you want to be. You just have to trust in yourself, and remind yourself that even if your goal or dream doesn’t work out the way you planned, it is better to try than to never know. It is never too late to change. You will always end up where you are meant to be.

And finally, you land. Now that you are on the ground you not only have a different perspective on everything you ever wanted, but also have a different perspective on life and on the cliff. Suddenly others are asking you what jumping from the cliff is like, trying to muster up their own courage to do it themselves. Although you went through good and bad times while you were falling down the cliff, the process was unique, beautiful, and so worth it. At the top of the cliff you had been living a happy and healthy life. Now you have your dream accomplished to enrich and enhance your life that much more.

Living your dream life is not just about living your happiest and healthiest life. It is also about realizing your dreams and making them a reality. These goals and dreams are just as important as being happy and healthy- in fact, they tie right in. If there is something that you have been really wanting to do in your life for a long time, it is time to take the leap. It is time to just do it. Jumping is the hardest part.

“An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” – Newton’s first law of motion, also referred to as the law of inertia.

Take a minute to stop everything you are doing and really search your soul. When you look at what you want your life to look like, what do you see there that isn’t in your life right now? What dream or goal do you have that you have been putting off? If you have more than one goal, choose the one you want the most, or the one that has been put off the longest.

This is your work now. Don’t put it off any longer. Put aside your fears; they are never going to subside unless you take action. Just take the leap.

To living your best life and being your best self,

-Alex

The Power of Intention (Part 1)

The other day I was reading the Teton Spirit Blog and came across a wonderful and amazingly inspiring post by Carolyn CaputoI liked it a lot and wanted to share it with you guys today.

Carolyn Caputo is an Energy Healer and & Self Mastery Mentor who believes in a world of imagination, adventure, and simplicity. She works with trailblazing women & transformational leaders with a desire to lose the excuses, break free uncertainty, fear and exhaustion of the everyday hustle.

I was not endorsed in any way to post this. I simply want you guys to read this and get out of it as much as I did. I hope that it helps you become your best self and live your best life. 🙂

So without further ado, here is Carolyn:

You want to make your life your adventure.

And you don’t have to work 20 jobs just to continue living in this magical place or sacrifice what really makes your heart happy.

I’m guessing that if you’re still reading this you know you were put on this earth to share a message or make an impact somehow.

You know YOU have so much potential.

You have a big goals and dreams that YOU’RE craving to make reality.

But let’s be honest.

You’re tired.

  • Tired of working so hard.
  • Tired of the old emotional, mental and physical patterns that feel like torture to get through.
  • Tired of your analytical mind controlling your every move.
  • Tired of all the should’s and have to’s
  • Tired of struggling to just get by.

You know you deserve more.

You want more.

So what if I told you I had a little secret that would show you how to get it all, without having to do it all?

What if I told you achieving your goals was not about working harder or striving to be something or someone better?

What if I said your answer was simple….. intention.

Goals are great.  They keep us on track and are necessary for success. But they’re also focused on a fixed outcome. You place the power in creating your goal outside of yourself. It takes you out of the moment only to create that “I’m not enough feeling” or “I don’t have enough”.

Think about it, what would you be doing if you weren’t always trying to get somewhere or be someone?

How would you show up differently? How would you allow life to come to you instead of always chasing it?

Intention, on the other hand, isn’t about setting an ego-driven outcome. It’s not about losing weight because society says you should be thinner. It’s not about climbing that next mountain because everyone else it doing it.

It’s fully embodying your dream body, mind and spirit. It’s creating a harmony with your heart and mind and asking yourself what YOU truly want and why.

It’s a feeling. It’s trusting and knowing that whatever it is you’re desiring is already on it’s way to you.

Intention is allowing you to connect to your true self and let grace and ease guide you along the way.

Intention provides space for the “how” to flow to you instead of forcing, and trying so hard to make it happen. Which can cause us to get stuck in thinking it has to be a certain way to succeed.

Your life is up to you. You don’t have time to be living plan B. It’s your life. So why not make every part of it your adventure.

Creating your dream life starts with yourself. You have to be your dream self. You have to know and love yourself unconditionally before you will be able to love your life.

One of my favorite parts from Carolyn’s post is when she asks,

“What would you be doing if you weren’t always trying to get somewhere or be someone?”

Really think about this. Meditate on it. Sleep on it. What would you truthfully be doing? We are always trying so hard to go as fast as we possibly can, and we never even seem to stop and question what we are doing or why. Today I am going to leave you with this question to contemplate and explore.

To living your best life,

-Alex

ps- If you would like to see the original article by Carolyn Caputo, please click here. In my next post, I would like to do a follow up and give you some specific ways to use the power of intention in your own life.

Living From Intentional Habits (Or: Killing Bad Habits and Monotonous Routines)

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What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

What is your first immediate reaction when someone cuts you off in traffic?

What is your most common meal?

What time do you usually go to sleep and wake up?

What is your most common negative thought? Positive thought?

Take a minute to answer these questions for yourself. You might find a pattern when you do. These are all questions of habit. How much time have you taken to think about your habits and how they affect your life? For most people, the answer is: not much. I find this really interesting because habits have such an impact on how we live our daily lives. And how we live each day is, of course, how we live our lives.

We have so many habits that we carry around with us every day and everywhere we go. Not only are they engrained in what we do, but also how we think, what we think, how we feel, and how we react to things. It is said that about 90% of our thoughts are reoccurring thoughts, meaning that we don’t usually come up with many new thought patterns throughout the day without effort. This means that about 90% of our thoughts are reoccurring day after day after day. Have you ever paid attention to what thoughts go through your head each day? I’d have to say that they are pretty similar day in and day out. Unless you really intentionally change something in your life, or have a huge change/epiphany, you are going to have the exact same thoughts as yesterday and last week and last month and even last year. This is because habits are shortcuts for the brain to use to make its job easier and more efficient. By nature we are habitual beings. I challenge you to really think about what you think about. Because thoughts lead to basically everything else. In fact, Gandhi once said:

Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior.Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior become your habits.Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.

Habits are not a bad thing. In fact habits are amazing as long as they are good habits, or habits made out of intention for a better life. They are good if you are using them to your advantage instead of against you. The beauty of habits is that once they are established, they are easy to maintain so they are a perfect tool to get you living your best life.

While intentional habits are really good, you may have developed some unintentional, and really bad habits along your path. Maybe you aren’t eating the way you want to, but you love junk food. Maybe you always go to sleep late and oversleep in the morning. Maybe you continuously tell yourself negative thoughts throughout the day. Maybe you are having relationship problems and you have both gotten used to fighting everyday without fixing anything… for years. Whatever the problem is, don’t worry- I have good news for you! These are all just bad habits, so all you need to do is turn these bad habits into good habits.

It is simple to change a habit, but it is not necessarily always easy. Your body and mind must be retrained to a new pattern. But how? It actually takes just five steps. Going through these steps will be easier or harder depending on you as an individual, and how engrained the habit is within you.

  1. First, you must be aware of your habit. You wouldn’t fix something if you didn’t know that it was broken. Likewise, you can’t fix a bad habit if you don’t know that you have this habit.
  2. Then you must identify it as a bad habit that needs to be changed. Some people who have bad habits never get this far because they might know it is a habit, but they don’t see it as bad for themselves, even though it might be affecting them or others around them in a negative way.
  3. Once you realize your bad habit, you can go about changing it. This is the part that takes time and self control. You have to make a solid decision to not do whatever the bad habit is anymore. Then make a plan as to how you are going to stop. It doesn’t have to be a huge written out plan, it could just be in your head. All that matters is that you commit to ending the bad habit, and that you have a way (or multiple ways) to take action and end it. If you can’t think of a way to stop your bad habit, do some research on the subject and look for possible ways to fix it. The more you know about your bad habit, the better chance you have of changing it for good.
  4. Fourth, you must replace that bad habit with a good habit instead. If you don’t replace your bad habit with a good habit, then you could easily relapse into your bad habit. Why? Because stopping your bad habit creates a void of time. If you don’t fill it with something, then you will just think of doing that bad habit again, instead of doing whatever good habit you should have put there for replacement.
  5. Once you have gone through the first four steps, all you have to do is be consistently aware of your habits and make sure that you don’t fall back into the same old bad habit from before. You have come too far to go back now, and it will become easier and easier to maintain your new habit until you don’t have to think about it at all. You do it automatically!

About 6 years ago I used to eat pretty unhealthily. It started to give me problems because I didn’t have enough energy for the intense workouts I was doing at the time. I decided that it was time for me to fix this not only just for that period of time, but simply for the health and wellbeing of my entire life. I acknowledged that I had a bad habit and made a decision to change it. I decided that for me personally, I wouldn’t be able to just immediately be 100% cut off from bad eating because I knew that I would go back to my bad habits pretty quickly. So instead I decided to slowly ease myself into healthier eating habits. I started with a 2 sweets per week rule, and I stuck to it religiously. I kept track of the unhealthy food I ate per week, and I declined a lot of offers to eat unhealthy food. Within about a month, I wasn’t even eating two sweets a week because I simply didn’t want to, and I didn’t need to keep track any more. I did occasionally get big cravings still, but anytime this happened I would always grab something healthy and eat that instead. It worked. Within two months, not only did I have a new habit of healthy eating, but I also felt a million times better because I was taking care of my body, and I had so much more energy. I still have this healthy habit today, about 6 years later.

It takes time, patience, perseverance, and self control, but you can do it! If you want to create habits that will serve you for the rest of your life, then start now. Identify one bad habit you have and how you would like that habit to change. If you can’t think of a bad habit, then you can try thinking about other areas of your life where you would like to make a good habit. What aspect of your life would you like to make better, simpler, or easier? You can create a new habit to do just that.

So remember:

  1. Be aware of your habit.
  2. Identify it as a bad habit that needs to be changed.
  3. Make a solid decision to stop doing whatever the bad habit is. Make a plan as to how you will cut out your bad habit.
  4. Replace that bad habit with a good habit instead. Do this good habit every time you feel the urge to do the bad habit.
  5. Stick with it! You will kick your bad habit in no time! 🙂

If you want to live your best life, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to stop living out of blind and unintentional habits, and start living out of good and intentional habits. Stop being on autopilot. Wake up! This is your life and nothing about it is going to change if you don’t change (see: You Are the Key). Tired after a long day? Don’t have time to fix it? Everyone else is tired after a long day too. But there are people out there who make excuses, and then there are people who make it happen. If you don’t have time to fix your life to be the way that you want, then you really need to stop and think about the way you are living because you are the one who needs this lesson the most. The reason that you are not living your dream life right now has a lot to do with the fact that you have habits that do not coincide with your dream life. So to live your best life, you just have to change those habits. Once you change, your life will also change; and it will inspire you to continue on your path toward your best self, your best life, and your biggest dreams.

To living your best life,

-Alex