TO BE YOURSELF

Most of us are who our parents, background, society or religion wants us to be. Even when we think we are liberated from trying too hard to please the world by being who they expect us to be, we still tend to want to be like people we truly admire. I only wonder who the people we want to be like want to be like. Regardless, the most ideal person you should be is YOURSELF. The idea of being oneself however is not as simple as it sounds. We live in a confused world and it is increasingly more difficult to communicate with oneself today than ever. The following simple steps will guide you to be yourself despite personality anarchy that threatens our human race;


1. DISCOVER YOURSELF. As obvious as this may sound, many people get it wrong. It is pretty easy to. Yet it is the first and most important step to being you. How can you be yourself, when you don’t have an idea who really you are meant to be in the first place? You have to learn to pay attention to yourself and listen to your own inner voice.
Ask yourself why you do what you do. Query your every actions and reactions until you learn your likes, dislikes, persona, uniqueness, passion, talents, dreams and everything. Isolate your strengths from weaknesses, and understand what is important to you and what is not. It takes a lot of efforts and disciplined concentration to achieve this in our noisy world. You might also require feedbacks from friends and associate to achieve your objective. Ask them to criticize you and have them do it genuinely. Most importantly, handle their criticisms with maturity and don’t be disheartened if their lists also include some awfully unpleasant things about you. Make them comfortable enough to be able to tell you anything and everything, without any reservations or fear of hurting you. Keep the end in mind. It is towards making the greatest personal discovery of your life – discovering yourself!
2. ACCEPT YOURSELF. Accept your discovery! Embrace your uniqueness. This includes accepting your pedigree and background – pleasant or unpleasant. It also entails accepting your strengths as well as weaknesses. Most importantly, learn to accept things you cannot change about yourself – your past.
3. DEVELOP YOURSELF. As you learn to accept things you cannot change about yourself, don’t forget to learn how to change the ones you can, to be who you are created to really be. Though a piece of gold is still gold when crude, it is best when refined. Then its real value can be revealed and treasured. The same applies to you. You can’t afford to be crude if you want to attain your full potentials. Continuously develop your strengths and diminish your weaknesses. Do everything in your capacity to be a better person today than you were yesterday, by simply committing yourself to a life of ever-growing personal improvement.
4. CONTROL YOURSELF. Be in charge of your own life. Don’t run your life’s affairs by “what will people say” like most people customarily do. Life is personal and your life’s control must not be left at the mercy of external factors. Don’t give the steering wheel of your life to people who have lost theirs. Too many people have lost the control of their lives to what others think for them. They’ve diminished themselves to mere robots who functions on auto commands. Am I trying to say you should ignore peoples’ opinions? Yes! Opinions are as abundant as the over 6 billion of us walking the earth, and everyone wants theirs to rule your life. So, it doesn’t really make any sense trying to make sense of the noise. As a kid I was very mischievous and I erred a lot. Whenever I was indicted for doing something wrong and I try to blame others’ influence for my actions, my dad simply asks, “If he asks you to jump into fire, will you?” I felt truly stupid afterwards.
As important as it is to have role models, mentors, advisers and learn from people, the final control of your life should be yours exclusively. It is your life; therefore, it’s your responsibility. If you really know who you are, you will know what is good for you, even if it is unpopular or unconventional. At the end, what makes you special, unique, and yourself is how much personal control you have over your actions and reactions. Learn to explore your power of choice and use it rightly.
5. ENJOY YOURSELF. This is the ultimate. The whole essence of being yourself is to have the liberty of enjoying yourself. The idea is simple; BE REAL! Only a real person can enjoy himself/herself. Be truthful to yourself and your God. Be spontaneous. Laugh when you feel like. Say what is on your mind. Don’t pretend to be happy when you are not. Don’t act to be who you are not unless you work in Hollywood of course. It will make your life more interesting and uncomplicated. That is the secret of truly sophisticated people.

Real people are like magnets. Like iron fillings to a magnet, they draw people to themselves. Whether you like to come in terms with it or not, people see through you, and whether or not they are honest with themselves about it, they know if you are being real or not. Aren’t we all attracted to a real person? By being yourself you draw into your life, the right people, factors, situations and release the positive energy that will make your very existence meaningful. Indeed, “Your life is an occasion, rise up to it!” …

THE POWER OF MAKING MISTAKE

There is no such thing as a mistake.
There are only opportunities to learn and grow.
Mistakes are a gift that you give yourself to find out more of who you really are. Every single situation, experience, and relationship is a portal for your soul’s expansion, transformation, and evolution.

When you label what happens in your life as a “mistake,” you limit the potential learning available in that situation.

To label something you did as a mistake is simply the limited perspective of your mind interpreting what it
thinks should or shouldn’t be.

Our limited minds can only see a small part of the totality of a given situation. And the mind’s perception is determined by your conditioning, based on that which we judge. It’s like looking at a painting but only seeing one small part and missing the whole beautiful work of art. It’s only by taking a step back and looking at the whole that you can see how everything in your life is interconnected.

As you see this, you realize how everything in your life fits together and begins to make more sense.
You may realize that if certain things you used to judge as “mistakes” never occurred, so many of the other amazing people and experiences would not have followed.

Sometimes, it’s hard to see in the moment why things happen or are the way they are.

Sometimes, what you labeled as a mistake in the moment turns out to be a huge blessing in disguise.

Trust that the choice you made or the situation you are experiencing is not a mistake but something your soul has called forth for your highest growth. Your soul has a deeper intelligence than your mind.

Life is full of choices:

Which career path to take. Whether to commit to a particular person in a relationship.
Whether to move to another part of the world. If you simply try to decide with your mind alone, you will likely remain confused—the mind has it’s limits.

Sometimes, we are afraid to make a decision and take the next action out of fear of making a wrong choice.
In any given moment, all you can do is feel your deepest truth and be truly honest with yourself. This takes real courage. It’s then that you can make the most authentic decision possible at that time.

This is the best you can do. Just know that whatever you choose, you can unchoose at any moment. Just because you made your bed doesn’t mean you have to lie in it forever. So long as you are learning and growing, you are succeeding no matter what.

Trust that the decision you make is the perfect decision for you at that particular point in your life. It will take you on the exact journey you need to go.

Trust that if you are following your deepest heart’s truth, the experiences you will have as a result will be the most perfect for your soul’s growth.

Just make sure you follow your deepest truth. Then, no matter what happens, you are on the right path!
At the end of your life, what is most important is not the risk you didn’t take but the love that you dared to make.

At the end of your life, what is important is not that you played it safe but that you gave your all, lived with no regrets , were fully yourself, and lived an authentic life! Perhaps, if there was ever such a thing as a “mistake,” it’s simply having not lived a life true to yourself and your heart.

So long as you are YOU, you can’t make a mistake, even if it seems that way in the moment.
Be true to yourself.
Live each day with no regrets.
Life gives you no refunds.
Live it fully.

Step-By-Step Plan To Get More Friends

One of the biggest fears about relocating to another town or city is having to start your social life again, especially if you don’t know anyone in your new destination. Even without the relocation factor, some people are just not natural social butterflies and as a result, find it tough to have many friends no matter where they live.

Since I’ve relocated to several different cities without knowing a single soul in each of my new destinations and have made lifelong friends in each place, I know a little bit about how to start over again. I came up with a step-by-step plan to get more friends even though I’m not really a social butterfly either.

I’ll illustrate these steps with an actual real life example of what I did after one of my relocations.

Identify A Passion That Other People Will Be Interested In

Everyone should think about what passions or interests they have. Very likely, most people will be able to come up with a few of these. Then it’s a matter of identifying a key activity from this list which other people will also be interested in. In this example, I came up with snow skiing.

Locate Groups Or Clubs Which Are Centered Around This Activity

So my next step was to find some type of group that involved snow skiing. I ended up finding an adult traveling ski club that had a large membership of almost 3,000 at that time. I visited one of their club meetings before the ski season started and liked what they had to offer. The members were quite friendly and welcoming so I soon signed up as a new member.

Participate In Group Activities

When the ski season started, I went on many of their weekend day trips to local ski resorts. The club had their own ski school with qualified instructors to teach the club members so I took as many classes as I could. The group classes and bus trips were quite conducive to meeting new people.

Conversation among new people was quite natural and easy since everyone had a common interest, which was skiing. Also, this was the furthest thing from a high pressure, meat-market bar situation. Some club members and ski instructors who have been around for some time even facilitated new members to get to know one another by introducing each other.

Volunteer For Various Roles

Participating in club events as suggested in the last step is great but the next step really takes it up a notch. This step involves actively volunteering for various roles within a club or group. Since the majority of special interest and social groups require volunteer members to help out, this is one of the best ways to start an active social life.

After getting comfortable enough with how the various things in the ski club works, I volunteered to lead bus trips and special committees like the club’s fitness division. I also made sure I attended as many of the general club meetings as possible.

I even volunteered to help organize special social and theme events throughout the year. Pretty soon, I was also chosen to lead groups on week long ski vacations to the Rocky Mountains.

Clubs can never get enough volunteers so the longer standing members welcomed my participation enthusiastically. The more I volunteered and the more active I became with the club, the more people I met.

Develop Friendships Within And Outside Of Club Events

Some members who were real social butterflies had private parties and other events outside the club. Because I became a visible member through my volunteering, I was soon invited to these outside events. These outside events featured both club members I already knew as well as other people who were not club members.

My social network grew even larger as a result of attending these outside functions and it was only natural that certain key people would develop as good friends. Even though some of these people, including myself, eventually left the ski club, several of the friendships I developed during my time there continue to this day.

So the actual step-by-step plan I used again was;

1) Identify a passion that others will also be interested in
2) Locate groups centered around this passion
3) Participate in group activities
4) Actively volunteer for various roles to help the group
5) Develop friendships over time with people you interact with

I used the same plan each time I relocated to a new city and with different interests as well. The steps are the same no matter what interest you use as long as it is one that can involve other people. Hopefully these steps will help you enrich your social life with new friends.

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What To Do If You Have No Friends

If you have no friends, it feels like you’ll be lonely for life. Of course, that’s not true. You can still make new friends, even if you find yourself in a situation with no friend in sight. This happens when you move to a new city, break up with someone that was your only friend and lover, or make important changes in your lifestyle.

Here are 3 important steps that can take you from being lonely to having the friends you want.

1.Understand Loneliness and Shyness

Loneliness and shyness can cause many easily misunderstand and misinterpreted feelings. Understanding the right meanings of loneliness and shyness is the key to overcoming them.

Loneliness, for instance, is nothing more than a signal your body generates when you’re not experiencing any social connection. It signals to you that the need for social connection is as important as eating or drinking.

If you misunderstand the state of loneliness, you could get stuck in it for no reason whatsoever, especially when you have no friends and don’t know how to deal with it.

Shyness, on the other hand, is the fear of social criticism. Let me say that again: It’s the fear of social criticism. In other words, shyness is just the fear of something that might happen, but probably won’t.

If you misunderstand shyness and therefore hide or withdraw from people, they will most likely interpret that as you rejecting them Even if your intentions are good and you are just avoiding rejection out of shyness, people can misunderstand those actions as an insult to their value. This can make them think you are snobbish or conceited, and they will, in turn, start rejecting you.

2. Master Conversation and Social Skills

Conversation is the blood vein of social connection. If you master it, you’ll get all the friends and influence you want.

One important factor is the ability to keep a conversation going. In order to do this, you need to learn to get interested in others and ask them questions about themselves.

You also want find a way to connect with and speak intelligently to the topic of conversation. Finding that common ground in conversation is what guarantees that people will want to spend more time in your company.

3.Learn to Make Friends and Build Your Social Circle

The first thing to know about making friends is that it is a skill. It’s not something you’re born with, as many people like to believe.

Making friends is not a magical ability that only a few have. It is a learned skill. Most of us learned how to make friends when we were little but many of us need to learn the new skill of making friends as adults.

To do that, you need to find groups of people that meet up regularly and have interests that are similar to your own. You also need to learn how to find commonalities with these people beyond that first common interest in order to turn your new acquaintances into friends. If you feel like you are bonding with an individual, meet up with them once or twice in a social setting. If all goes well, you should meet up with them regularly in order to maintain and strengthen the bond.

These are all skills that you can learn how to do. It’s not that complicated when you know how.

After you have made a few friends, the next step is to introduce them to each other. If you do that, you will arrive at what we call a social circle: a nice circle of friends that works with you in making plans, introduces new people into the group, and creates amazing experiences that you will enjoy together.

Once you have a nice circle of friends, you’re no longer the only one trying to improve your social life. Your close friends will help you out with it, too!

The Single Biggest Mistake I’ve Made As A Leader (And How I Fixed It)

I’ve made my fair share of mistakes as a leader, but the worst mistake by far was allowing negativity to take root inside of my organization. Negativity is like a cancer inside of your company; it grows undetected until suddenly it consumes you. More often than not, bad attitudes start out fairly innocently. Sometimes it can be as simple as a disagreement over a particular strategy. Other times, it can start out as a personality conflict between team members. Regardless of its origins, unchecked negativity tends to snowball into something that can be fatal for a team. Looking back, I realize that I noticed early signs of this happening in my team but chose to ignore them because I genuinely wanted to think the best of people. Unfortunately, I learned that my inaction allowed the problem to fester and ultimately cause more damage than it should have. Here’s how I went wrong.

I didn’t heed my own advice, I’m a firm believer that at the core of every successful business is an amazing team. Building that team is often one the most difficult and risky challenges you can face as a leader. That’s why I’ve adopted a simple rule that guides all of our hiring decisions at BodeTree: we look for people we trust, respect and admire. It sounds trite, but I’ve found that if the candidate fits those criteria, everything from cultural fit to skills naturally falls in line. The problem is that I don’t always heed my own advice.

The problem began when I allowed my lack of patience to get the best of me. We were preparing for a surge in activity at BodeTree, and I grew frustrated while trying to fill a key role that we desperately needed. After going through countless resumes and enduring several excruciatingly bad interviews, I jumped at the first candidate who made a good impression. I didn’t take the necessary time to get to know the person and determine if they were someone I truly trusted, respected, and admired. Instead, I took the shortsighted easy way out and set the stage for future problems to arise. Your Customer Is The Star: An eBook From Forbes
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I ignored the contagion Several months later, my executive team and I started to notice a change in the attitude of some of our team members. We were going through a significant organizational shift at the time, directing our focus towards institutional sales and away from the direct-to-consumer model that we had built up over the course of the past few years. Unfortunately, not everyone was on board with this shift, and I did not do a good enough job of selling every member of the organization on the vision. The key team member I had hired a few months earlier took particular exception to the shift in strategy. I took the traditional steps to offer coaching to shine a light on the issues we were experiencing, but I failed to grasp how contagious an attitude could be.

Instead of recognizing the severity of the situation, I treated it as an isolated incident and moved on. I wanted everyone on my team to be successful and went to great lengths to make excuses for their shortcomings. It was only later on that I realized I wasn’t doing them any favors. Psychological momentum is a powerful force, for better or worse. By not calling out bad behavior, I allowed it to gain momentum and influence others. Before I knew it, great employees who I thought very highly of were being drawn into the same downward spiral. Negativity had taken root in that particular team, and I knew then that if I didn’t take decisive action, one bad apple would spoil the bunch.

Finally, I eliminated the problem at its source Once I fully realized the severity of the situation and the role I played in allowing it to happen, I took decisive action. I had to eliminate the source of the problem and stop the rise of negativity in the rest of the team. It required a delicate balance of providing transparency into what was happening while still being respectful of individual privacy. I didn’t want to demonize any particular individual, but at the same time I needed the team to understand what behaviors were considered unacceptable. My management team and I moved quickly, providing additional clarity into the situation and recognizing our shortcomings. When all was said and done, the rest of the team was fully on board with the direction we were taking, and the negativity disappeared.

This was a difficult time for me as a leader because I saw all too clearly how my personal failings allowed the situation to progress out of hand. Still, the lessons I took away from the experience have proved to be invaluable. Negativity simply cannot be tolerated in any organization. This does not mean that dissenting voices should be ignored. To the contrary, disagreements should be heard and thoughtfully considered. However once a decision has been made; the entire organization needs to rally around it. If any team member continues to spread negativity and dissent, their attitude will act like a cancer inside of your organization. As a leader, you have to make sure that you avoid this situation by hiring people you trust, respect, and admire. Then, if you see the early signs of contagious negativity, you have to eliminate it at the source. The process might be painful, but your organization will be healthier for it.

THE POWER OF MAKING MISTAKE

There is no such thing as a mistake.
There are only opportunities to learn and grow.
Mistakes are a gift that you give yourself to find out more of who you really are. Every single situation, experience, and relationship is a portal for your soul’s expansion, transformation, and evolution. When you label what happens in your life as a “mistake,” you limit the potential learning available in that situation.

To label something you did as a mistake is simply the limited perspective of your mind interpreting what it thinks should or shouldn’t be. Our limited minds can only see a small part of the totality of a given situation. And the mind’s perception is determined by your conditioning, based on that which we judge. It’s like looking at a painting but only seeing one small part and missing the whole beautiful work of art. It’s only by taking a step back and looking at the whole that you can see how everything in your life is interconnected.

As you see this, you realize how everything in your life fits together and begins to make more sense. You may realize that if certain things you used to judge as “mistakes” never occurred, so many of the other amazing people and experiences would not have followed.

Sometimes, it’s hard to see in the moment why things happen or are the way they are.

Sometimes, what you labeled as a mistake in the moment turns out to be a huge blessing in disguise.

Trust that the choice you made or the situation you are experiencing is not a mistake but something your soul has called forth for your highest growth. Your soul has a deeper intelligence than your mind.

Life is full of choices:
Which career path to take.
Whether to commit to a particular person in a relationship. Whether to move to another part of the world.
If you simply try to decide with your mind alone, you will likely remain confused—the mind has it’s limits.

Sometimes, we are afraid to make a decision and take the next action out of fear of making a wrong choice.
In any given moment, all you can do is feel your deepest truth and be truly honest with yourself. This takes real courage. It’s then that you can make the most authentic decision possible at that time.

This is the best you can do. Just know that whatever you choose, you can unchoose at any moment. Just because you made your bed doesn’t mean you have to lie in it forever. So long as you are learning and growing, you are succeeding no matter what.

Trust that the decision you make is the perfect decision for you at that particular point in your life. It will take you on the exact journey you need to go.

Trust that if you are following your deepest heart’s truth, the experiences you will have as a result will be the most perfect for your soul’s growth.

Just make sure you follow your deepest truth. Then, no matter what happens, you are on the right path!
At the end of your life, what is most important is not the risk you didn’t take but the love that you dared to make.

At the end of your life, what is important is not that you played it safe but that you gave your all, lived with no regrets , were fully yourself, and lived an authentic life! Perhaps, if there was ever such a thing as a “mistake,” it’s simply having not lived a life true to yourself and your heart.

So long as you are YOU, you can’t make a mistake, even if it seems that way in the moment.
Be true to yourself.
Live each day with no regrets.
Life gives you no refunds.
Live it fully.

WHY MAKING MISTAKE IS ACTUALLY GOOD…

Do you tend to beat yourself up for making mistakes? Do you use personal development sometimes to over analyze and beat yourself up for doing it “wrong” again?

I think many of us do, because we think that the point of personal development, healing and therapy is to learn how to not make mistakes. Without realizing it, we go on this spiritual and healing path thinking that we will learn all these tools and transform and THEN we won’t make ANY MISTAKES EVER AGAIN.

Subconsciously, we hope that if we learn all we can then we won’t eff up again and then life will be perfect and smooth sailing. Well my loves, here’s the thing – making mistakes is here to stay.

I repeat. Making mistakes is here to stay. Let’s laugh at ourselves a bit. We thought we could perhaps make them go away forever, or get smart enough to avoid them, but making mistakes is part of the gig we have as humans in this physical body. So we must truly accept this, and LOVE this.

Let’s reframe “making mistakes.” Making mistakes is actually just being human. We need them. They lead us
to magical places. They lead us to the depths of our psyches and souls. They lead us to our to our shadow
sides, and by going to the underworld of the darkness, we rise to the surface with new knowledge and growth. We then appreciate and feel we have earned our growth.

We can’t thrive UNLESS we make “mistakes.” So, we better start loving up our nature and accept that there are actually no “mistakes.” It’s all a process and all of it leads us to our highest selves. Doing good all the time actually would BLOCK you from your highest truth. If you try to be perfect you stop the flow of being human.

Allow yourself permission to just be. Be gentle as much as you can as you learn to accept mistakes.

Think about how you feel when you are doing something over and over that is no longer serving you. If mistakes are becoming compulsive behaviors that are ruling you, acknowledge this behavior and make steps to change it. But know that even those difficult, compulsive, hard-to- break patterns are part of your story, and serve a divine purpose. Your job is just to keep on being open to growing and learning, not to avoiding making mistakes.

Your job is to continue to LEARN from all the obstacles that come your way. Obstacles are opportunities just waiting for you on the other end. All of it is part of the divine plan. The sooner we accept these things, I believe the deeper we develop more compassion and faith in the divine timing of it all. Flow is birthed when we accept our nature fully as humans. Don’t thrive to be perfect, just be. What is one “mistake” that you have found that you keep beating yourself up for?

Now I want you to perceive this;
“Mistake” as actually a divine gift, showing you a part of yourself that needs to be seen in order for miracles and transformation to happen. Assume this “mistake” is here actually as a gift. For example, if you keep eating bad food and you really want to lose weight, so you beat yourself up and think you are “making a mistake.”

But now that I told you there are no “mistakes” what could be the gift here? Perhaps to show you DEEP in your bones what it feels like to not love your body so you can learn to appreciate how to love your body.

Sometimes we need to know how bad something is to appreciate the other side of it even more.

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU MAY BE MAKING

What can you say about the mistakes you have made?
How do you respond when you know you have made a mistake?

When I reflect back on my life, some of the biggest ‘mistakes’ I’ve made have provided the biggest lessons.
Of course, my understanding of this only came after the pain and shame of not being perfect, subsided. I used to work overtime to avoid making mistakes at all costs.

As I grew I began to realize that Mistakes don’t make you Bad or Dumb. They simply make you Human. Relax and Learn.

We all make mistakes. How you respond and what you do next, dictates how much you will learn. Most people
have difficulty admitting their mistakes and moving on from them. Mistakes can become part of the negative
story about yourself that you keep alive by re-telling and mentally reliving. This can go on for days, months or an entire lifetime.

The only value in dissecting your mistakes, is to gain insight into yourself and your behavior. Hopefully that insight will ensure that you won’t find yourself there again and again. The process of learning from mistakes is pretty simple.

Mess up. Admit Analyze Release Integrate. The process becomes more complicated if you deny your mistake. Denial can come in the form of making excuses, being defensive or outright lying. We all know people who never own it, don’t apologize and blame others. We know them but we don’t respect or trust them.

I know, because I used to be one of them. During my senior year in college, I started seeing a therapist, who was amazing but a little blunt for a girl raised in a WASPy family. She said it all and she said it straight- which was foreign and slightly disturbing as there were many topics that were off limits in my family home. After telling her a story that included, as a sidebar, the fact that I had been running late for my campus job and instead of telling the truth, I concocted a flat tire story as the reason for my tardiness. She calmly said, “Ok, so we have now established that you are a person who lies instead of taking responsibility for your actions.” And I was like, “Whoa, hold up there lady! It is not exactly lying!” and she said, “Actually it is exactly lying.” She went on to help me see the value of keeping my word, speaking my truth and being accountable for actions (mistakes and all!).

Working on accountability is a worthwhile, lifelong practice. Forgiving yourself is an essential part of
being able to grow from your experiences. In order to forgive yourself you need a new perspective. I often ask my clients to consider their mistake as if their best friend or child had made it. I ask them how they would handle that situation; how they might console the person they loved. I then suggest using that same kind of language and behavior towards themselves.

There is nothing wrong with reminding yourself that ‘it was a mistake anyone could have made,’ or that ‘if you knew better you would have done better.’ The more compassion you can bring to yourself, as difficult as it
may feel, the easier owning your mistakes will become. As you reflect on your life, you may now be able to see that many of the mistakes you have made, were no big deal.

Then there are those that may still be haunting you. Begin forgiving yourself now for all that you have
done and if it is appropriate to make amends, do. Do this with lots of love. Know that it can take time, but
remember to keep perspective. Also remember that continued shame and blame serves no one . It’s time to
let go, learn and free yourself by forgiving yourself.

Now take a moment and think about one mistake you are willing to forgive yourself for.