The First Steps to a Better Life
“As I opened my eyes first thing this morning, the birds were chirping, memories of yesterday faded away, all that matters is right here, right now – and the fact that I have been blessed with another day where I can be the best I can be”
A great life is not measured by economic gain, material wealth, fortune or fame, these are by-products of hard work, focus, talent and dedication, but do these things mean you are happy? Do they mean you have a great life? Not necessarily.
In my humble opinion, things like: Holding your children close, kissing your partner goodnight, having a great win at work, helping a stranger, playing with your pets, being surrounded by friends while having a great time, sitting under a tree watching the clouds go by, Good health etc. are the things I consider to be part of a ‘great life’ experience.
If you feel you have lost direction and need a bit of perspective, I suggest you take these steps to a great life.
1. Your Environment
I am not talking about the trees, vegetation, the planet; I am referring to your surroundings, your place of work, your friends, the places you frequent and the company you keep.
Is you job satisfying? Do you get encouragement from your friends or family? If any of these components is lacking, how do you improve your situation?
Only you can answer this question. Write down a list ‘positives’ and ‘negatives’ or ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ and compare, and the magic of paper will reveal some truths and then you can see clearly what you need to do to improve your environment.
2. Turn off Your TV and Stop Reading Newspapers
If you need to look up a story browse the internet, the constant barrage of bad news will cause you to become deflated and your focus will shift from a ‘solution’ view point to a ‘problem’ one.
Don’t ignore what is wrong around you, but when you become so immersed in the problem, it will eventually find a way to negatively influenced you
Ask yourself these questions:
‘How does that affect me directly?’
‘How does that influence my immediate circle?’
‘Does anyone I love been affected by it?’
If this does not apply to you, acknowledge the problem, send your love and prayers and move on.
If you can fix it somehow, do so but keep a healthy level of detachment and like a distant observer you will remain, ‘cool, calm and collected’ and will be more efficient in making it better, become a strong spiritual warrior.
3. Your Belief in What is Possible
Better Work-Life Balance How big is your sand box? Were you told as a child that ‘money is hard to come by’, ‘people like us are not successful’, ‘you have to be rich to attract money’, ‘you are not smart enough’, etc.
I was lucky enough not to be told these things, but along the way I picked up a few painful experiences that damaged my self confidence and limited my belief in what is possible; it has taking me so many years to overcome these false beliefs.
There are many ‘breakthrough’ programs out there, and I encourage you to purchase or join one of these in order to help you move forward or read great authors like Anthony Robbins, Dr Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Dan Millman, etc.
My ‘a-ha’ moment came when I was reading ‘Angela’s Ashes by the late Frank McCourt, his childhood account in impoverished Ireland, his ability to write and his eventual return to New York where he was born put things in perspective and helped me understand, there is always hope.
4. Your Goals and Dreams
Do you remember when you were a child, there were no limits, everything was possible and nothing could stop you.
What happened to that strong, innocent and positive being? Do not despair, as stated in the previous section, paper has magical attributes, when you write it down it becomes a contract, and like any law it becomes so.
I must admit, I am re-introducing this into my life, when my wife and I first moved in together, everything and I mean everything was written on paper and magically manifested even when we didn’t know how.
If your dream is to move to a new and more fulfilling career, what are the steps you need to take in order to do so? What do you have to study? How do you propose to do it?
Even if it feels impossible, write it down, break it up in small measurable steps and take one step at a time.
Put up a ‘dream board’ go to Google and search for pictures that reflect the things you want and if you don’t want to print them, have them all together in a folder and when you are feeling down, look at them, they will cheer you up.
5. Your Connection to Earth
During a period of stress at work, I used to go for a walk to the local park; I took my shoes and socks off and walked barefoot on the grass.
This practice is called ‘earthing’ and it is a healing experience. It helps you reconnect with the planet and the life force around you.
The same can be said when you go for a walk around the woods, go to the beach and surround yourself with nature.
Have plants in your home, this also has very soothing properties, since we put plants in our home, the mood has improved, the ‘chi’ has increased because we are all natural beings in an artificial world, we need to re-connect with our planet and when we do, we re-connect with ourselves.
6. How you Treat Others
This is one important principle, we need to preserve love and kindness for the people around us, and how we treat others reflect how we treat ourselves.
We need to stop seeing others as ‘separate’ and understand we are all made from the same divine spark no matter nationality, race, religion, colour or creed.
We live in perilous times, and we are facing challenges at present, love and kindness can help to bring the human family together, I know is tough but we have to remember, when we become angry with others we lose all objectivity and during these times we need to ‘keep our wits about us’ and remain calm.
An act of kindness by a stranger stopped a girl jumping off a bridge to her death. An act of kindness can help you turn your life around, time to spread some light in this dark but beautiful world…..
7. Your Expectations for the Future
The law of attraction - what is the movie playing in the back of your head? What words do you keep repeating to yourself? What is your ‘inner dialogue’ like? How do you describe yourself?
In simple terms: What do you want to happen?
This goes hand in hand with ‘goals and dreams’ because, if you want something to manifest you have to make it happen.
Are you visualising your goal? Is your behaviour matching your expectations? Are you dressing for the occasion? You cannot expect to be a Lord when you are behaving like a popper, can you?
You cannot be rich by thinking poor, where are your pennies going? How are you investing in the future? Are you educating yourself for your dream job?
7. Your self-talk
Do this exercise: On a blank piece of paper, write the first words that come to mind when describing yourself.
My words are: cool, talented, loving, good looking (humor goes here) and inspirational.
Why do this exercise? Because you need to be reassured and you need a healthy level of self-esteem; you are aligning your concept of self to what you want to manifest, remember, what you tell yourself becomes a mantra, and if you repeat it long enough starts becoming true.
Be careful when you make a mistake, don’t call yourself names, simply correct, learn from it and move on.
Your inner reality becomes your outer reality, what you have inside manifests in life and your ‘concept of self’ is no different.
8. The Importance of Time off
I am guilty of this, I don’t have sufficient time off to ‘recharge the batteries’ or ‘empty the hard drive’.
By having time off it doesn’t mean go off to an exotic location (even though it helps), what I mean is, giving yourself time away from what is routine and engage in frivolous activities to distract you from the ‘familiar’.
Read a book on a Sunday afternoon, play a video game, paint, go to the beach; just break out of your routine, even taking the long way home is great because it gives you time to think.
Gain Time for Success Have ‘me’ days when you do something just for you and if you need to go out on your own with no wife and children, do it, when you come back home they will see a happier you and be thankful for it.I must admit, Karate is my ‘me’ time because nothing outside the dojo matters and my mind becomes quiet, still and clear.
There are times when we push too hard for things to manifest and instead of getting closer to our hopes and dreams we tend to make things harder, this can be simplified by the expression ‘trying too hard’.
During times like these we need to let go, step back, surrender and ‘trust’ we are where we need to be in life and the Universe and its infinite wisdom has our back, if you are religious, God has a plan.
By surrendering, we are also conserving energy; we are seeing ‘the forest for the trees’ and our perspective becomes clear even though it can be painful.Surrendering doesn’t mean quitting, it means having a moment’s pause to reflect, gather strength and get back in the game of life, stronger and wiser.
You are magnificent, with all your faults and flaws, you are a reflection of the Divine Creator and as such you need to take better care of yourself.
You can become a ‘co-creator’ and manifest all you want and the first step is to say ‘yes’ and the ‘hows’ will come later, remember what we discussed before about writing it all down and having a ‘dream board’.
We were not put on this earth just to work, pay bills and die, we all have a purpose, a passion and by ‘knowing yourself’ you will discover what you are here to do.
I know what I am here to do, I am here to write, design and communicate with beautiful images. I am also here to inspire and urge people to break away from what is ugly and mundane and reach for the stars.
I have been in a dark place, and I am sure most of you have too, but, don’t you think is time to let go of the pain?
Only you can make it better, don’t expect a ‘savior’ to come to your rescue, you hold the key to your life, you have been given the power to achieve great things, you are a reflection of the Almighty, time to live the life you were born to live…..