The Inner Path

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Inner Path: Try Becoming Your Own Best Friend

A good way to move forward in life and achieve purpose and success is to be your own best friend.  Being honest with yourself about your fears and insecurities, and on the need to always reach outside of yourself for completeness.  Not knowing how to handle it, you mask your true feeling in  habits or daily routines of materialism, criticizing yourself and others, using a friend to complete you, religion, more money, a better job, or maybe you escape into alcohol, drugs, more sex, TV, etc.  You may not have given this any thought, but many people seek happiness outside of themselves.  However, there's no true contentment unless it first comes from within. Even today's stresses and demands require a strong, solid sense of self - which is what being your own best friend is all about.  Instead of searching outside of yourself, have fun and enjoy yourself, alone.  Read the tips below to see how you can become your own best friend .

5 Tips to Becoming Your Own Best Friend.
  1. Be positive with yourself: Develop the same kind of positive attitude and love toward yourself that you feel toward people whom you treasure as your friends. Give yourself uninhibited encouragement, kindly patience and unconditional support just as you give to others.  Forgive yourself when you make mistakes - and reward yourself when you do well. 
  2. Don't be ruled by emotion:  Sometimes giving in to emotions are great when they help keep you from causing damage to yourself or others.  But, being ruled by emotions takes a heavy toll; feeling weak... rather than strong or self-pity... rather than self-respect.  Whether you are acting out of passion, anger or using knowledge to lead your feelings, it's up to you as to how to react. Feelings are not independent... we evoke them, and if we're mature, we choose how to act on them.  Make a basic decision and don't be a slave to you emotions.  Just remember, feelings change and don't last forever.
  3. Watch how you talk to yourself:  Choose to lift yourself up and not put yourself down. How you feel about yourself is up to you, so if you don't like what you do....change it... if you can't change it....accept it with love, understanding and compassion. But above all, don't beat up on yourself emotionally.  Pay attention to the things you say to yourself, by keeping your intrapersonal communications, which is called "self-talk", positive.  And even when you make a mistake, don't call yourself names such as jerk, loser, fool or stupid.  You don't want this type of self-talk to become a habit, which could lead to low self-esteem.  The best way to break this negative self-talk is to immediately substitute a positive word for every negative one used.  Become a good, encouraging person to have by your side.
  4. Meet your own expectations:  Set reasonable goals for yourself and meet them.  This alone will give you good reason to like yourself.  This is important because it'll encourage you to use positive self-talk....... I did a good job... I came through for me... I can count on me.  You don't have to wait on anyone to give you feedback or validation.  And, it can be any goal, small or large, maybe you washed the dishes, cleaned the room or balanced your bank statement.  The fact that you got the task done is a success.
  5. Focus on the things you want to achieve:  Whether it's being a great artist, becoming a great dancer, writer or teacher, etc. Anything you want to do.... focus on that.  Don't let the fear of failure nor the fear of being alone or being own your own, stop you from moving ahead.  It's a frightening prospect - until you realize you can give yourself the comfort and sustenance you seek from others.  Be your own boss and get things done.

When you become your own best friend, do to yourself what you always wanted in a best friend.  You spend a lot of time encouraging others, now spend some time strengthening your relationship with you.  All the things you said to others, now say them to you and develop your inner awareness, self-esteem and develop your strong, solid sense of

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Inner Path: Balancing You Life!

As much as you would like to think that you have things all "under control" you're really getting bent more and more out of shape, and because you have so many dimensions to your life; your family, friends, career, health, finances, personal and spiritual growth, - maintaining balance among them all can be very difficult.  And, to make things worst, when one area is given a heap of attention.... the others suffer.  You want to make things better, but you don't know where to start or how to figure what's really out of balance. I want to help you figure it's the "Life Wheel".  The Life Wheel is a tool to help you get a picture of where your life might be out of balance.  I used this wheel when I came across the Make My Christian Life Work site.  It's a Christian based blog and one of the things I like about it is the section on balancing your life. The life wheel gave me a visual to help determine where my life was out of balance and I know it will help you too.

How to use the "Life Wheel" below:
  1. Notice each area listed on the wheel. Feel free to add or change areas or titles to better fit your life.
  2. Rate each area listed on the wheel on a scale from 1-10; where 1=totally unhappy and 10=great.
  3. How would you rate your life?
  4. After you give each area a score, color it in for the title being rated, up to the assigned number.
  5. See whether your "wheel" is round and able to roll.
  6. Where your wheel is not round, gives you a picture of which areas of life you need to start to focus.
Now, the goal is to bring all areas of your life to about the same level so it's in balance. You can use this life wheel anytime you think your life is out of balance or when there are event changes in your life, such as, the birth of a baby, going from single to married life, married to single or even  career  changes.  You will find that as you start to improve on the life wheel, even if the level is still not where you want it, you'll begin to feel more in control. Sure a "10" would be ideal in all areas, but don't aim for perfection, but improvement.
Well, now that you're on your way to balancing your life, take some time and consider what's really important to you. Consider what your values are,your beliefs and what truly guides you in life.  Then, place those as your core values, at the center of your life.  By doing this, every area of your life will be directed by what you believe is the most important for you.  And even when things seem a bit hectic at times, knowing your core values makes it easy to say "no" to what doesn't fit and "yes" to what does. Now go and get your life back in balance and enjoy life.  Good luck and I wish you well.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Inner Path - Procrastination and How To Make Headway

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.  ~Don Marquis
Do you procrastinateHow about replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority or do something more enjoyable, while putting off important tasks to a later time?   If you  are someone with a habit of putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention, then you might be a procrastinator.  There's an old Spanish Proverb, which says tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.  But seriously, if you are seeking to achieve your goals and finding purpose in your life then you need to get a handle on this procrastination thing. Believe it or not, procrastination steals your time - time you could be using more constructively.

Why are you procrastinating?  Some of us stay very busy with constructive activities, while never getting around to the things we consider truly important, the things that will make us most proud and from which we can derive the deepest satisfaction. But why is that?  Well, it could be like that Janet Jackson song, remember Pleasure Principle, that could actually be it. But it's Freudian psychology, where he describes the pleasure principle as people seeking pleasure and avoiding suffering (pain) in order to satisfy their biological and psychological needs. Yep, we just don't prefer any negative emotions. We'll put off a stressful task for something easier or until a further date is enjoyable.  Habit plays a large role in procrastination and believe it or not, stress comes when you continue to put off the task, because tasks pile up and time runs short. Take a look at some reasons that might be causing your procrastination:
  • low sense of self-worth
  • apathy or laziness
  • impulsiveness  
  • boredom 
  • dislike the task
  • bad concentration skills
  • over prioritizing
  • anxiety or stress
Recognize any? Well the problem is that if you buy into any of the above excuses, you have created a habit and you don't follow-through on the steps needed to achieve your goals.   In the moment, procrastination can feel good, but later on it catches up with you and creates stress and thus becomes a vicious cycle.

I believe procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.  Because when opportunity knocks... you want to be ready The ability to get things done is one of the most important skills to master if you wish to achieve your goals and live your purpose.  It takes both thoughtful awareness and deliberate action to navigate successfully through all of the important business of life.   If you have a tendency to procrastinate, take heart, because the few rules here can conquer your procrastination and increase efficiency in your life and accomplish more. In the words of the great Martin Luther King, Jr., "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." Consider the five steps below:
  1.  Determine the reason for your procrastination; could it be that you are lazy and don't want to admit it. Laziness might run in the family. You will need to break that family curse and move forward... generational curses can stronghold families for years until someone breaks the chain... break the chain.  It may be anxiety or stress.  If so, or if you think that might be the problem, see your doctor, check it never know.  But remember this step is critical to you getting a handle on the cycle of procrastination in your life.
  2. Identify the tasks needed to be done: The best thing to do is write down your tasks, even if they seem simple.  A vision is the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be and that's what you want to happen with your tasks... you want to see them completed.  Habakkuk  2:2-3 says “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it." So, if you want to move forward, write down your tasks.  Use old fashion paper and pencil.  I know iPads and iPhones make things a lot easier, but this is different.  You need to see your tasks and feel them.  Write your tasks over and over, if you have to, but if that tablet is with you and you check off what you've completed, then you would have conquered a big chunk of what caused your procrastination.
  3. Target one task at a time until completion. Don't multitask because this will cause anxiety and stress, and you'll be back in your habit or pattern of excuses; looking for something easier or enjoyable to do.  Stick to your tasks. Stay focused and be in the now; be aware; it keeps you alert, and use a timer if you think that will help.
  4. Don't over prioritize. Be honest with yourself and your love ones. If you need help, let others, such as co-workers, family and friends know what they can do to help.  Be specific with tasks which are handed out to others so you don't fall into redundancy and have to go behind them and redo the task.
  5. Do your best and don't give up.  Your vision is for an appointed time and since it took time to develop this habit of procrastination, it will take time to develop a new habit of meeting your goals and seeing your vision through.  Work steps 1-3 until it becomes a habit.  Just as the word of God says in Isaiah 28:10, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little", in other words, be takes time.
Getting through the tasks is the goal. The steps above will help you get a handle on your procrastination, but don't over analyze it or try to be perfect.  Just provide yourself some structure so you can accomplish and complete your tasks.  You'll soon be on your way to achieving your goals, working your vision and living a purpose filled life.  Good luck!


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