Everyone likes nice things. I certainly do. But sometimes getting nice things takes priority over the more important things in life. Have you ever driven by a junkyard or landfill and looked at the piles of stuff that has been thrown away? Did you ever think about where the stuff came from? Most of it came from people’s houses:
- worn out furniture
- ornaments that are no longer wanted
- old clothing
- appliances that don’t work
- electronics that have been traded for the newer model
- broken toys
People probably worked long hours to pay for all these obsolete items that no longer have any value to them. Some of us are even considered to be workaholics and put our work and the desire for money and possessions ahead of everything else. We don’t spend enough time with our families or have any quiet time for ourselves because we are just too busy. But at what cost?
Instead of investing in things that don’t really have any value, we need to spend more time creating and keeping good relationships with our families, friends, neighbours and co-workers. We also need to take time each day to relax and take care of our bodies and minds. Don’t spend your time building up a junkyard of dreams. Spend your time creating a beautiful world around you.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
For those of us who have made our new year resolutions, about 35% have already given up after just one month! It is hard to give up something or set a new habit and as the year progresses, many more fall short of keeping their commitment to making a positive change. By the end of June almost half of all resolutions are thrown aside! Then when the new year starts again, new resolutions are made, often the same one by the same people and they end up with the same result…failure.
So why do people make resolutions when we all know that the success rate is low?
- the new year is the beginning of something and it gives us new hope
- many people like to stick with tradition
- we know that change is necessary and we want to better ourselves
Whenever we make a resolution, a promise, a goal or anytime we set out to make a positive change in our lives, we have to focus on the task at hand. Too many times we think something is a good idea and it may very well be, but we have to think carefully and make specific plans on how we will accomplish the task. Just deciding on the spur of the moment that we will stop smoking, eat healthy or start a course is probably not going to get us very far. We have to make a plan of action, write down our thoughts, schedule our time and start moving ahead. Then we have to be committed to keep going even when things get tough.
One key factor in reaching your goals and resolutions is taking each day at a time. Focusing on the end result and hoping you will get there by next year can be very overwhelming and difficult to achieve. Instead focus on reaching your goal each day and then congratulate yourself. You CAN reach your goal one day at a time!
What are your goals for this year? If you haven’t made any goals or resolutions yet, no problem. Any time of year is a good time to start making changes. Don’t wait any longer. Start today!
When we think about ourselves constantly, it causes a lot of problems. If we are thinking about ourselves in a negative way, we will dwell on our imperfections and flaws and spend our time feeling miserable and unhappy. If we are thinking about ourselves in too high a regard, we will develop an ego that is hard to keep fed and we will have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. In both cases, relationships will be very difficult.
Seriously, we have to get ourselves off our minds if we want to be a happy camper and have good relationships. This means that we have to start thinking about someone else or something else other than ourselves. This doesn’t mean that you are not important but it does mean that your problems do not define who you are and you will never find happiness until you can stop focusing on yourself.
Research shows that doing good deeds is very beneficial. It helps us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Helping others actually relieves stress and we can sure use some stress-relief in this stress filled world! Stress is killing us and we need to start doing something that will help improve our health.
Start reducing your stress by getting yourself off your mind! Don’t focus on your problems: past, present or future. It won’t help you! Focus instead on what you can do to make someone else’s life better and take action. I did and it certainly improved my life!
Is it important to look ahead? Of course it is. When we are walking, if we look behind, up, down or to the side, we would probably walk into something or trip over something. When we are driving, if we didn’t pay attention to the road ahead, we would likely have an accident.
The same goes for life itself. We need to look ahead and pay attention to what is going on in our lives today and in the future. The past is gone and we can’t change anything that we have done or take back anything we have said. Our words and actions are a done deal and we will pay the consequences good or bad if we haven’t already done so.
People who continue to look back on their lives and dwell on past issues are not enjoying life as they should. Remembering the past is okay because it is part of us and some memories bring us great joy, but if we don’t focus on what is ahead of us, we will stay stuck in one place and never really find true happiness or peace.
- Look ahead in life.
- Focus on where you are going.
- Don’t be distracted and led astray.
- Listen to your inner voice and not the voices of the world around you.
- Your past does not define who you are.
- Always do the right thing no matter how hard it is.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Build your confidence.
- Be the awesome person that you are.
We all make mistakes in life and have regrets but this doesn’t mean we can’t change and become the person we want to be. What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? LOOK AHEAD!
In this world with all the pressures to be accepted, it is often hard to do the right thing. When faced with a decision that may cause us to lose more than we will gain, it can be easier to just do whatever is necessary so we can fit in with everyone else. We are always looking for acceptance and will put this as a priority instead of doing what is right. If your friends are going somewhere or doing something that you know is wrong, it takes a lot of courage to say ‘no’ and not get involved. If you are on your way to an important meeting and you see an elderly person fall down on the sidewalk, it takes a lot of courage to stop and help them even though you may miss out on an opportunity. If you find a wallet full of money and you are really needing money to buy something, it takes a lot of courage to find the person and return their wallet.
It is important to always do the right thing, no matter what it will cost you. It may cost you some time. It may result in the loss of some popularity or friends. It may be very difficult at times but there is far more value in doing the right thing than doing the wrong thing. Doing the wrong thing may seem like a good idea at the time but it will eventually result in problems down the road, both for you and other people.
When you are faced with a decision, think about what the consequences will be, not just right now, but later on your life. Ask yourself:
- How do I feel about this right now, deep down in my soul?
- Is this the right thing or the wrong thing to do?
- If I do this now, will it hurt or help anyone, including myself?
- If I do this now, is it fair or unfair to everyone involved?
- How would I feel if someone I loved was doing this?
- Does this follow the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you)?
We all have a conscience that helps us make good decisions, if we keep our minds open. Making the right decision will:
- stop us from having a lot of regrets in the future
- help add value to our lives and the lives of others
- have many rewards and paybacks
- increase our self-esteem and help us feel good about ourselves
Don’t let society pressure you into believing that it is okay to compromise and do something wrong just because other people are doing it. Don’t be fooled into believing that you can do the wrong thing and find happiness. We all want to be accepted and loved but allowing ourselves to do the wrong thing will never help us find long-term happiness and success in life. Be a person of integrity! Stand up for what is right by showing love to everyone around you!
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. ~Flora Whittemore
Decisions become easier when your will to please God outweighs your will to please the world. ~Anso Coetzer
Life is the sum of all your choices. ~Albert Camus
It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. ~Roy Disney
If you had the opportunity to change something about yourself, what would that be? For most people, it would be something about their body. We are a society that is obsessed with body image.
Standards of beauty have become unattainable, especially for women. Thanks to the media we are continually bombarded with images of beautiful people who make us feel unacceptable and unworthy. Even women who are very attractive are under pressure to make changes because they don’t measure up to society’s standards.
Women tend to be more critical of their appearance than men and about 80% of women are unhappy about what they see in the mirror. Some women even see a distorted image that magnifies their size and all their imperfections.
Dissatisfaction with our appearance leads to dieting and girls as young as age 5 have been known to diet because they feel fat and unattractive. By the age of 10 research shows that about 40% of girls have dieted and this increases to 80% by the time they reach age 18. Even girls that are normal or under-weight are dieting because they feel bad about themselves.
Parents who are always looking to make changes in their appearance, who are always dieting or obsessing about their weight, will create feelings of insecurities in their children. This leads to dieting and other serious issues.
We need to help our children and each other to build a healthy esteem so we can be happy with our own body image. When we feel confident about ourselves and have healthy habits, we will be a good role model and a positive example to others. When we lack confidence and have unhealthy habits, we will be a poor role model and a negative example to others.