You have Everything You Need Inside You

Each of us has qualities that we can use to our advantage. If you are thinking that you don’t, stop, because you do. For those who have endured a difficult past and been cheated out of experiences that most others had, I can promise you that it has taught you some valuable lessons. As horrible as things may have been, if you are still here and reading this, you have things within you that give you an edge over those who may have been afforded the path of least resistance. Here are just a few.

You’ve developed the strength to endure and rise above your circumstances. You’ve likely had to pick up the pieces of a broken life, perhaps more than once, and find a way to keep going. Whatever you have been through did not destroy you. What that should tell you is that you can survive anything. Life is unpredictable. Trust that there is more disappointment to come but know that while it may discourage others, you’ve been here before – and you will make it to the other side.

Difficulty usually involves constant uncertainty. Having no stability or order in your life teaches you to adapt to changing circumstances, and quickly. Often, as soon as you’ve become acclimated to your new normal, it changes again. Eventually you get better and better at adjusting, and starting over becomes second nature. So while some have a hard time accepting and adapting to change, you’ve learned to thrive in this environment.

If you grew up poor or in unhealthy surroundings, you had to get pretty creative in order to make sure your needs were met and accomplish any goals that you may have set for yourself. You’ve had to make a way where there looked to not be one. That is an essential skill to possess, the ability to make the best of a less than ideal situation. You know how to get the most out of yourself and the means available to you. It’s making a dollar out of 15 cents. No one is more equipped to do that than you. Being resourceful is using what you have. So this is one thing that you should know with certainty that you are able to do.

Four Reasons Your Life Isn’t On Track

There are many things in life that are beyond our control, but there are just as many, if not more, over which we have ultimate power. If you feel as though your life is out of whack and you are not on the path that you envision, chances are that one of these four things is the reason:

1. You’re Undisciplined
Discipline is a crucial element in every single aspect of life. You have to be able to tell yourself “no,” and do things you may not necessarily want to do simply because you need to do them. If you can’t control your spending when trying to save money, effectively manage your time so that you get important work done, eat healthier and work out when trying to lose weight, or focus on your goals for more than five minutes, this is why. A lack of discipline is linked to so many bad habits. If you can’t control yourself you can’t control anything.

2. You Don’t Hold Yourself Accountable
The first step to changing anything is taking responsibility for doing so. Case and point, every single item on this list is centered on you. If you constantly blame others for the circumstances in your life you cannot possibly do anything about them. You may not be able to control the behavior of other people, but you do decide whether or not those people remain in your life. Instead of looking for someone to blame, look for ways that you can hold yourself accountable and take control of the situation.

3. You’re Stuck in the Past
Past hurts, missed opportunities, that person who broke your heart, the deal that didn’t go as planned – dwelling on past disappointments will cripple you. Thinking about things that have already happened will not change them. Live in the now. Focus on what you can do presently to impact your future. Forgive whomever you need to forgive in order to set yourself free, and then eyes straight ahead. The only time you should look back is to see how far you have come.

4. You Don’t Want it Badly Enough
Do you really want to win? Because if you do you’ll get to work on whichever of the aforementioned three things is holding you back. If you don’t you’ll read this, get defensive or maybe even inspired, but do nothing either way. Achievement requires action. Whatever “it” is, you have to want it badly enough to engage in active pursuit.

Don’t Let Yourself Down

There will be many people in your life who may not live up to your expectations, or even their own responsibilities. Maybe you had an absent or poor parent, a friend or spouse who betrayed you, business associates who took advantage of you, and people who didn’t believe in or support you when you needed them. Perhaps there are those whom you’ve disappointed. Regardless, understand and accept that you have no power over the behavior of others. The only person that you can control in this world is you – And of people you may have let down or been let down by, it’s most important to ensure that YOU don’t make the list.

ways to love yourself

Be there when you need you, above all others and against all odds. When you need to persevere, find the strength. When you need to accomplish a goal, find the motivation. Find a way, even if you start small and progress slowly. Put in the work and time to get where you want to go in life.

Being true to yourself is worth everything it may cost. Whether it’s relationships, family, friends, jobs or opportunities, none of it is more valuable than you. Decide who you want to be, work to become that person if you are not already, and then never compromise who you are. Be honest with yourself about what you want. It’s ok to change your mind but once you’ve figured it out, don’t let anything or anyone deter you from obtaining it. The responsibility you have to yourself is your greatest of all. You cannot effectively fulfill any other obligations when it is neglected.

Always follow your dreams, your heart and your conscience. You can heal from being failed by others. You can come back from that, even stronger than before. But when you let yourself down, you’ve severely damaged the only person who can pick up the pieces.

Top 5 Skills To Develop

There are some skills specific to an industry or profession. Then there are others that are useful wherever you go, universally applicable. These are soft skills, and they’re important to develop because doing so opens up endless possibilities for you.

Here are five you should focus on:

1. Communication
Being a good communicator will take you anywhere you’d like to go. The ability to effectively express yourself, your vision, and convey your intended message is key. Just as important as what you say is how you say it. Master the art of communication and you can talk your way into just about any room. Not to mention you’ll have healthier relationships, both personal and professional.

2. Negotiation
This is important when it comes to not taking “no” for an answer. It also helps when discussing pay, making purchases or deals. Learn how to give a little, take a little, and then meet somewhere in the middle.

3. Listening
Being a good listener is directly related to effective communication. Not only do you need to be understood, you must understand the other person’s point of view as well. You can’t do that if you simply wait to speak rather than actually pay attention and process what is being said.

4. Time Management
You will not be taken seriously if you constantly show up late to everything and worse, are unprepared. You can’t be the one who always slows down a project because you can’t meet deadlines. You also don’t want to deliver a poor performance because you didn’t have time to adequately complete the task. Learn how to prioritize, remove distractions and put yourself in a position to succeed.

5. Problem Solving
No matter where you go and what you are doing, there will always be problems that need to be solved. Develop your critical thinking skills so that you will be one of the few who actually brings solutions to the table, and not more problems.

Stop Wasting Time

Time, not money or other resources is your greatest commodity. It is the one thing that you can never get back, and that continues to lessen even when you are not actively doing anything. Yet, we waste it often on things that serve no purpose or even negatively impact our lives.

Time is your currency. Spend it wisely by avoiding these three biggest time-wasters:

1. Worrying
Worrying is not only a waste of time, but a waste of your thoughts. It has never solved a single problem. And often, we worry about things that are never even going to happen. We make ourselves sick over feared possibilities. At least wait and see if the situation actually comes to fruition.

Instead of worrying about the problem, focus on finding a solution. If there isn’t one, then force yourself to think about something else every time it comes to mind, or look for the positive aspects. Stressing over it won’t change anything.

2. Complaining
Like worrying, complaining does not solve anything. Starting to notice a theme here? If it isn’t productive then it is an ineffective use of your time and energy. The worst thing about complaining is that it often takes things to the next level and not only affects you, but makes everyone around you miserable as well.

We all need to vent from time to time, but if you find yourself always having something negative to say or griping about the same things over and over again, there is a problem. Change the situation, leave the situation or accept it – no sense complaining.

3. Comparing
It’s great to look to those who have achieved the things that you aspire to for guidance or motivation, but don’t compare yourself to them. Don’t compare what you have against what they have. Set your own standards to measure yourself against.

The futility of comparing ourselves to other people is that we allow what they have achieved to dictate our sense of accomplishment and self-worth, when our circumstances may be vastly different. Your path is your own. Use the success of others as a blueprint, not a roadmap.

How To Heal

Pain that is not physical in nature can be a tricky thing. It manifests itself in various ways and sometimes we may not even know that it is there. Subsequently, healing from this type of hurt is almost always easier said than done. How? This is the question. We often do not even know where to start.

If you get a cut, you put a Band-Aid on it and just wait for it to heal. Then one day you look up, and it has. If only it were this easy with our emotional wounds. We can cover them, we can bury them and give it time – and they still may not heal. We’ve only managed to ignore the scars that are just waiting to open up and bleed again at the slightest aggravation.

The healing process is unique to each of us, but one thing I know for sure is that you cannot heal anything that you refuse to face. So the first step is to accept what you have been through and acknowledge the impact that it has had on your life. It hurts to relive some memories, but you have to bask in that hurt for a little bit. Only then can you truly move past it.

Then, you have to forgive those who played a role in the hurt. Forgiveness is always more for you than the other person. Don’t feel as though you’re letting them off the hook at all. They have to live with what they have done either way. Although, so do you. So, forgive them. Not because they deserve it, but because you deserve to be free.

If you’re struggling, read books about others who have overcome. Find out how they did it. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help from a therapist if nothing seems to be helping. If you still can’t find the answer, just use what you have. The key here is to not stop until you’ve figured it out. Be unwilling to carry your pain through life. It will eat you alive.

You’re mentally stronger than you know, if only you’d allow yourself the opportunity to prove it. Put in the time and work to heal, to be broken down so that you can get over whatever “it” is, and then rebuild yourself.

Top 5 Life Hacks To Be Successful

There is no easy road to success, but here are five simple steps you can take along the way that will help you get there:

1. Always Be Accountable
If a mistake is made, own it. When it comes to your life, it may be someone else’s fault but it’s always your responsibility. Adopt this mentality and you will maintain ultimate power over your circumstances. Constantly point fingers and look for someone to blame and you will forever be at the mercy of others, feeling as though you have no control over your life.

2. Practice Patience
With others, with the process, and most of all with yourself. Sacrificing quality to get something done faster is one of the surest ways to set yourself up for failure. Let the ideal concept and plan unfold. Don’t force it.

3. Be Flexible
Bend so that you don’t break. The ability to adapt to change is imperative. You can’t be so rigid that you’re unable to overcome a monkey wrench or two. Don’t allow setbacks and unexpected events to completely halt your progress. Find another way. Be firm on destination but flexible on journey.

4. Don’t attach the action to the outcome
Just because you do the right thing and it still goes wrong, doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing. Focus solely on putting in the work. Control what you can control and results will come.

5. Never Stop Learning
Whether you read/listen to books, follow your industry in the news, pick the brain of a peer or mentor, or just constantly challenge yourself to try new things, always continue obtaining knowledge. Learning is essential to growth. Growth is essential is longevity.

Measuring Success

One of the most persistent questions that we ask ourselves is, “Am I Successful?” After all, you would not be pursuing goals, starting businesses or furthering your education if this were not the objective. The need to feel as though we are achieving something with our lives is common. No one sets out to do anything without caring whether they succeed or fail.

how to measure success in life

But what is success? The answer to this is different for everyone. To some it’s having things – a big fancy house, luxury vehicles, and the finest of everything. To others it’s making an impact. Perhaps you want to advance technology and change the way that something is currently done. Or, maybe you want to have a positive effect on the lives of as many people as possible. For some, success is defined by how much money they make. They may not need the fancy things, but financial freedom and security is their only goal.

The truth is none of these definitions of success are right, or wrong. You can’t measure yourself against the achievements of others, what they aspire to be or how they choose to live. And it really doesn’t matter what you accomplish if you’re fundamentally discontent. There is but one universal measurement for success; and that is feeling genuinely happy and at peace when you go to bed at night. If you make it to this place you are succeeding in the only area that truly matters.

Find and do what gets you there.

Make Adversity Your Ally

Growing up an orphan and a homeless teen, I’ve experienced more than my fair share of adversity. Some to a greater extent than others, but misfortune is universal and something that we’ve all been forced to deal with. We always talk about overcoming adversity, which is important, but take it a step further. Make peace with it, use it to fuel your ambitions and make you better.

Try not to hold grudges or focus on what has gone wrong in your life. This will do more personal harm than good and ultimately hold you back. Face and accept those situations but don’t allow them to define you. Instead, focus on what the situations taught you, about people, life and yourself. There is a great deal we can learn from adversity if we are open to doing so.

Make Adversity Your Ally

Adversity is a great character builder. Overcoming obstacles will make you a much stronger person than if you’d had an easy path. And it actually gives you an advantage over those who’ve had things handed to them. You will always be the more resilient one, better equipped to handle change and deal with failure because you’ve been there.

So, the next time you’re up against it, welcome the challenge. Embrace the adversity and the lessons that it will leave with you. Mentally thank those people that made things more difficult, knowing that you will emerge an even better version of yourself on the other side.

Finding Your Purpose

After selling my first company, it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do next in life. I considered e-commerce, as well as a couple of other things, but nothing stuck. Those things didn’t excite me enough to hold my attention. So I started to really think about what I enjoy. Both public speaking and investing in the dreams of others came to mind. Then I had my “aha” moment: I’ll start doing motivational speaking! I decided to sit on the idea for a couple of weeks and told myself that if I still wanted to do it, I would.

finding your purpose

See, purpose is found in that place where passion meets fulfillment. And it’s always best to give yourself time to determine if what you decide is actually something you want to do. That’s important because you won’t be able to sustain enough interest to put in the necessary work if not. If you know people who constantly start and then quit business after business, this is the issue. They’ve committed to something and didn’t discover that they didn’t want to do it until they were already doing it. Save yourself a ton of time, money and resources by figuring out what it is that ignites your fire.

If you’re at a stage where you haven’t even found anything yet that you particularly enjoy, the only way is to try a bunch of different things. Get out and collect new experiences. Take some classes, join networking groups, learn to play an instrument, read up on up-and-coming industries, join some recreational sports leagues, just take every opportunity to develop fresh skills and meet new people. In doing this, you’ll learn a lot about yourself.

Think about what you really find joy in doing, and then consider the opportunities that exist within that circle. For instance, if you love animals, opportunities would include becoming a veterinarian, starting a dog grooming business or opening a pet store. Enjoy giving advice and helping others work through situations? Look into becoming a life coach or professional mentor.

Once you discover something you love to do that offers opportunities of interest, hold on to it. Start the business in your mind; think about how you would move forward. And two weeks later, if you haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, get to work! If you’ve completely forgotten about it, repeat the steps with your next idea. Better to take the time to find “that thing” than to waste it over, and over, and over again.

You know your purpose when it comes to you. There is a profound feeling of “this is what I am meant to do,” and doing it makes you feel more alive than anything else you’ve done. Some people don’t need a sense of purpose, and that’s ok too. But if you’re searching for yours, don’t stop. It’s out there.

How To Find Your Happiness

It’s true, all the sayings about happiness being an inside job and something you don’t find, but rather create. If it were easy everyone would do it though, right? Who doesn’t want to be happy? One thing is certain, if you attach your sense of happiness to other people and things, it will always be temporary. Here are a few suggestions to help you cultivate a culture of happiness within.

1. Stay away from toxic situations
It is impossible to be happy when constantly surrounded by negativity. Simple as that. You can’t continue to engage with situations or people that are bad for your mental and emotional well-being. Doesn’t matter who it is. Some people you may have to love from afar.

2. Learn yourself
Often, we don’t know ourselves well enough to even understand what makes us happy. We allow others to define who we are, and we just like whatever they like. Figure out what makes you tick and gives you a sense of fulfillment, independent of anyone else.

3. Be true to yourself
Once you’ve learned yourself, be authentically the person that you have discovered. If your friends like to do things you don’t enjoy or agree with, find new friends. If you’re going to school for something that your parents want you to study and not a subject that you’re actually interested in, change your major. Living a life that contrasts with who you really are will inevitably create inner turmoil, and happiness cannot exist in this environment.

4. Learn to meditate
Meditation does not have to be practiced in the traditional sense, though there are many different methods available and certainly one that would work for you. But meditation can be anything that calms you and brings you inner peace, which is directly related to happiness. Find an activity that helps you be present, thinking of nothing and just existing in that space. Some people build model airplanes, paint, or do yoga. Having something that takes you away from the cares of the world, even if for just a few moments, will go a long way to helping you maintain a sense of joy.

5. Be good to yourself
Treat yourself to things that you enjoy. Buy that new pair of shoes. Chase your dreams. Visit places you’ve always wanted to see. If you’re good to yourself, you’ll feel good about yourself and be less inclined to accept poor treatment from others.

Maintaining Balance In Your Life

Too much of anything can be detrimental as it means that something is being neglected. It’s important to maintain balance in your life or even a good thing can quickly turn bad. I get the importance of hustling. I’m a go-getter myself. Just don’t forget to come up for air.
Here are some tips:

1. Keep a schedule
This will help ensure that you are not overextending yourself and leave room for other things, or even to just do nothing. Keep your engagements in a calendar and look at it before making additional plans. If not, you will find yourself double-booked and having to break commitments, as well as overbooked and likely exhausted.

2. Set a routine
It’s difficult to maintain balance without properly managing your time. Setting a routine to follow in the morning or at night can help. For instance, if you want to make sure you read one chapter of a book every day, make it a part of your routine. Say that every morning you’re going to brush your teeth, make your coffee and then read. This way you won’t forget. Deviating from your routine should be a very rare occurrence, or it defeats the purpose.

3. Make effective use of your time
When you’re with family or friends, focus on them and what you guys are doing. When you’re working, focus on the task at hand. You’ll feel better about alternating between the two when you know you’ve given each quality time.

4. Get comfortable saying “no”
You can’t do everything that people ask of you. Learn to tell them that you are unavailable or uninterested; especially if it’s not something you truly want to do. Save your time for the places where it is best spent.