I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year! The New Year is a great opportunity to start fresh and set new goals for your life. Below I have listed a few helpful ways to put your life in perspective and to start this year out headed in the right direction.
Figure out your goals:
Find a piece of paper and make four columns. What would you like to change about your life? It may be a job, living situation etc. The first column should contain a list of your goals.
Use the second column to write what you need to do to start achieving your goals.
Goals can be intimidating. The bigger they are the more out of reach they seem. I think it’s important to come face to face with your fears and concerns. The only way to beat fear is to face it. Use the third column to write what you fear might go wrong if you attempt to accomplish these goals.
Next use the fourth column to write a solution, plan b or what you could do to prevent whatever you wrote in column three. Also use this column to write why you should attempt the goals.
Create a dream board. This is a board that contains pictures of what you want from your goals. For example if you want a new car find a picture of that vehicle and put it on your board. If you want to start a business put the name or logo of that business on the board. This board is a visual representation of your list of goals.
Place the board somewhere strategic so that you can see it every day. You should use this as a constant reminder to motivate you towards your goals. You’ll be amazed when you start looking at the board and realize how much you’ve accomplished.
Take a look at the second column of your list and start taking action. The list only puts you in the right direction but you can’t get anywhere until you start moving forward. Remember to surround yourself with supportive people. You’ll reach your goals in no time.
Christmas is a time to reflect on all of our blessings. Give thanks for strength, courage and love. Cherish your friends, family and neighbors, they are the ones that make the gift of life so precious.“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Relax. So often we find ourselves constantly working to complete our to-do list while the list is constantly growing. When do we ever find time for ourselves? Some of the best advice that I have received was to take a step away from it all and relax. It is a fact that your nervous system needs to be balanced. Our nervous system can be thrown off balance when we subject ourselves to an excessive amount of stress. Relaxation is the cure; it affects how we function throughout our day yet we frequently deny ourselves of it.
There are several techniques that can be incorporated into our lives to help us relax. These techniques include deep breathing, positive thinking, visualization meditation, and muscle relaxation. Deep breathing is one of my favorite techniques to practice because it can be done anywhere and I immediately feel relaxed after doing it. There are all sorts of ways to tackle these techniques without going completely out of your way to accomplish them.
I often practice deep breathing by blowing bubbles. This is a fun and relaxing activity.
Positive thinking is key to preventing anxiety. I try to stay as optimistic as possible. I have no time for negative energy. Negative thoughts breed negative outcomes.
Visualization meditation takes practice. I typically close my eyes and think of a peaceful place or a happy memory. This sort of practice relieves anxiety and tension.
Taking a bath can be a great way to relax muscles and it also grants the opportunity to practice the other relaxation techniques.
Life can sometimes be stressful. It’s good to have healthy ways to deal with stress. The techniques I’ve listed are among many others that can usher you into a more relaxed state of being. Do yourself a favor and place “relax” on your to-do list. Grab a bottle of bubbles and blow your stress away.
There is always a spark before the flame. It only takes one voice to speak the truth and still it’s rarely heard. There are so many problems in the world because of the unwillingness of people to make a change. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of listening to an album that was refreshingly brave. The title of this album is Dreaducated by the artist Jersey Demic. The concept of Dreaducated revolves around the delicate elaboration of truths; truths that are usually ignored and contrary to history books and the media. This album exposes the problems of, not just the urban community, but also the world in general. Dreaducated takes the listener on a journey; He mentions Egypt, parts of America’s history and issues that currently plague modern day urban neighborhoods. Dreaducated is an album of many textures; Truth and freedom emerge as reoccurring themes. Religion is another motif in this album. The artist expresses his views on Religion in the tracks Marching to Giza, Trap, and Why Not. In the beginning of the album he refers to God stating: “the way I see it, it’s him against the human race”. Later on in the album you’ll hear a phrase “Don’t ever, ever feel like you’re too old to pray”. Listening to his perspective on this topic is interesting… however it’s obvious that he struggles with religion to some extent.
Overall the album is inspiring, educational and entertaining. While I don’t agree with everything that is preached in the album I’m glad I listened to it. It’s important in any situation to listen to people regardless of whether their beliefs align perfectly with yours. The human race can peacefully coexist if we take the time out to understand one another. Demic makes it easy for the listener to understand the message he’s delivering through his music. He touches on esoteric ideas and connects them to relatable concepts. There are definitely topics in this album that you’ll find relevant to your life. Problems aren’t easily solved when there is a lack of communication; Dreaducated is the perfect album to spark a conversation that has potential to change the world.
I remember in the fifth grade my teacher stood at the front of the class and spoke to us about life. She calmly ended her lecture saying “Life is pretty simple. It’s all about decisions, make good ones”. Every now and then this vivid memory runs across my mind. This morning I couldn’t help but to acknowledge the magnitude of her discourse. I begin to wonder why we make poor decisions.
Obviously there are some decisions that appear to be the right option and later on, in a different light, they show themselves to be the exact opposite. One sure way to make a poor decision is to practice deceit. What I have learned about lies is that, people focus on what can be gained from the decision to lie and not the negative consequences. When someone is in the abyss of their dishonest decisions their experience is often thought of as an emotional roller-coaster. Roller coasters are known for the thrill they offer. This thrill comes from the slow rise to the top and the swift fall to the bottom. People who engage in dishonest acts greatly anticipate the rise to the top but they aren’t aware of the steep drop until their lives are falling apart right in front of them. The goal of a lie can make us lose sight of the undesirable consequences. It is my advice to always choose the honest decision because no matter how high a lie may lift you in life, remember that there will always be a giant drop.
Beauty is derived from our own perception. Society has skewed our interpretation of beauty to the point that many don’t see it in themselves. Some people look for beauty in all the wrong places. Beauty is much like the sun. You can see how the Sun lights the earth yet the source of the radiance is far away. Beauty can be seen on the surface but it emerges from the inside. Some people struggle with discovering their own beauty. The directions to uncover your beauty are easy to follow. Start by accepting who you are. All of your distinctive features make you unique. Appreciate what God has given you and understand that these gifts are priceless. Once you come to understand the value of being one of a kind, you will stumble upon your self-worth. Realizing your worth leads to self-respect. When you accept, value, and respect yourself you will have arrived at the conclusion that you are truly beautiful. Your beauty will radiate from the inside out.
To find the source of your beauty, kiss your insecurities good-bye and you’ll be headed in the right direction.
The Lion and the Mouse is an old African fable. Several variations of the story exist. My favorite version of the fable involves a thorn in a lion’s paw. This version centers on a brave act. The fierce lion had a thorn in his paw and the only animal in the jungle brave enough to help him was a mouse. We are often faced with decisions that can open new doors and pave new paths. The difference between those that face their fears and those that don’t, is having faith in one’s self. This is called bravery. There may be people who try to talk you out of facing your lion, only because they are too afraid to make the move themselves. Decisions like starting up your own business, going back to school, or even standing up for your beliefs can require great bravery. Don’t focus on the whispers of failure, but be encouraged by the possibilities of success.
Words are powerful. One impacting word is “Hello”. The word acknowledges a person’s presence. “Hello” connects people, sometimes for a quick moment; sometimes it connects people for a lifetime. Creating a connection with someone can be as simple as picking up the phone, but breaking a bond that you have with someone can be difficult. In life we make strong connections with people, there are some relationships that should last forever and should be nurtured with that expectation. Over time it is possible for a strong connection to weaken causing a relationship to only last for a period of time. Relationships are a lot like phone calls, they are sometimes faced with bad connections. This happens when people fail to listen to the other person or communicate effectively. I believe that relationships are only as good as the joy one can attain from it and the struggles it can survive. In a relationship, In order to keep a consistent and viable connection, there has to be consistent effort from everyone. If you ever find you’re the only one communicating in a relationship, it may be time to say good-bye and hang up the phone.
(p.s hope you guys like the illustration created by yours truly)
Time waits for no one. It is important to make the most of every moment. So many people take time for granted. I like to believe that we all have the potential to be great. Phrases like “ I’ll start tomorrow…maybe next week….next year “ can stifle a person’s life. People use those phrases due to a lack of motivation, inspiration, or sometimes because they are burdened by the presence of their own fear. Often this fear causes people to miss their train en route to success. The puzzling question is ,how did we get this way? A baby observes a person walking and attempts to imitate them. The baby has no idea how they are going to walk, but it moves instinctively. It begins to crawl. Eventually the baby learns to walk. It appears that instead of making a move toward something we want we put it off until a later date. The difference between us and a baby is that a baby has no sense of fear, doubt or lack of motivation that could throw them off track. Overtime we attain these small but significant psychological hindrances that keep us from boarding our train to success. Time, like a train waits for no one. Perhaps we should learn from this fact and make a move toward our goal without waiting for tomorrow or worrying about yesterday. Take advantage of the here and now, get on board … isn’t it about time?