It’s now a little past midnight on June 28th where I live, and the world is still mourning the passing of the man who was quite possibly the greatest superstar in music history, Michael Jackson. I haven’t any idea how many new blogs might have been created honoring this pop star. But the only reason Michael will be mentioned at SuccessDiva’s blog is to point out where focusing on your goals and being willing to work as hard as you have to in order to make your dreams and objectives a reality will get you.
Without following a master “game plan”, Michael Jackson would never have become the beloved icon that he is. Some celebrities are worshipped and loved more for their image and for the aura that surrounds them than for their talent and/or what they have contributed to their respective field. But Michael Jackson can be remembered for his amazing work ethic, whether you like his music or not.
This brings to mind a phrase I heard from one of the many motivational speakers whose CDs and books I devour on a nearly daily basis. Namely, that what human beings can do is extraordinary and nearly limitless—whereas what they will do (i.e., what they are willing to do) is another matter entirely.
Let’s face it. There are very few people who are unhealthy enough not to be able to follow some sort of exercise program. I’m not talking about going to the gym every day and lifting weights (groan!) or signing up for an aerobics class at the nearby fitness center. No, that isn’t what I would even recommend.
Rather, I think that for nearly anyone, taking a walk or jogging at least 5 days a week, preferably in the fresh air, is the healthiest and most beneficial way to achieve optimal health, not only from a physical standpoint, but from a psychological and emotional standpoint as well. In today’s world, so many of us are sitting all the time, mostly indoors and often at our computers. I say it’s time to get out of the house and find a place where you can walk, jog, or run (note: alternating these activities can also be beneficial as it is a bit like “cross-training”). At the very least, take a relaxing walk 5-7 days a week and try to connect in some way with nature and your surroundings.
I feel incredibly empowered after taking a 30-minute walk, whether I take it outside or at a gym. Even when I’m exhausted, I find that it helps me. For one thing, it enables me to sleep more deeply. For another, I’m less likely to reach for cookies and more likely to polish off an apple. So often, a person mistakenly thinks that to follow a healthy eating plan or to watch what he/she eats means that he/she is in some way giving in to the standards that society tries to impose upon all of us—namely, that you must be “fit” or thin or in so-called “perfect” shape. It simply isn’t so.
If you are in touch with your body the way you should be, you soon discover that there are certain foods that give you energy and increase your mental clarity and others that diminish both. Foods that are “alive” such as fresh fruit, vegetables, sprouted grains (look for sprouted bread at your grocery store or simply let a grain you frequently eat, such as rice, soak for a couple of days in water before cooking it), and raw nuts are going to automatically make you feel better. It requires less stress on your body to digest these foods as well.
I am certainly not promoting a certain type of lifestyle where food and/or exercise are/is concerned. This blog is about success, not being physically healthy. At the same time, I don’t truly think that a person can achieve success in any area of his/her life, when tired, in pain, or having a low energy level. You simply don’t feel like going after the things you want when you wake up nearly as tired as you were when you went to bed.
How can you be enthusiastic about life when you have to drink ten cups of coffee to start thinking clearly? Well, the answer is, you can’t. I enjoy ice cream as much as the next person. But I notice that if I eat ice cream, cookies, or candy first thing in the day, I tend to have a burst of energy that lasts less than an hour, followed by a feeling of lethargy. Even if you aren’t accustomed to eating breakfast, having a piece of fresh fruit, such as an apple, banana, or orange will make you feel better throughout the day.
Last autumn, I began a blog at another location, and it was oriented towards success, too. But, rather than expressing my thoughts and opinions, I came from a place where I was more interested in sharing the thoughts of those who have written books and created tape and CD programs on success. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. And I tend to think I was doing the best I could at that time of my life. But this is not only a brand-new season but also a new year.
That was 2008, and this is summer of 2009. A lot has happened in my life between autumn of 2008 and June of 2009. I feel as if at least five years have passed in many ways, even though it was really less than a year. I have become aware of the fact that I possess a lot of the answers as to how to achieve ultimate success myself, whether I have been using them or not.
So many people think that they need to change other people or change society to make their dreams a reality. But you know what? The only way to really end up living the “life of your dreams” is to change who you are. This is one time when it really is all about you. Every single day you are making the choices that will determine where you are 6 months from now, 1 year from now, 5 years from now, and even 25 years from now. If you look at your life and feel that much, if not most of it, is not the way you want it to be, the truth is, you are the one who made the choices that have brought your life to the level it’s at.
Yes, there have been people who have discouraged you. Yes, you have probably been through an ordeal or two, or maybe even several. Yet, as easy as it is to blame circumstances and other people, in the end, it’s your life. And until you can actually accept full responsibility for it being the way it is right now, you’re not going to be able to change it.
Even though it may be hard and even painful to acknowledge that you’ve made lots of poor choices, the only way to avoid more pain and more disappointment is to be really clear about the role that you played in creating the life you are now living. If you aren’t the one who has most of the power over your own life, that means that other people have the ability to continue preventing you from making your dreams and goals come to pass.
Do you really want to continue giving away that kind of power? Do you want to be merely a chess piece in someone else’s chess game? Do you want to be at the mercy of some mysterious “fate”? Do you want to live your life according to someone else’s agenda? No, of course you don’t. Or, at least, I sincerely hope you don’t. I know that isn’t how I want to live my life nor is it how I’m going to live my life.
But, as you and I both know, taking charge of your life and every single decision that you make isn’t as easy at it sounds. It takes practice, just like everything else. First, you have to take a really objective look at where you’re at right now. Then you have to figure out where you want to be. And what’s in-between? Actually, I’m sure you already know the answer to that.
If you weren’t smart and interested in being successful, you wouldn’t be at this blog in the first place. So, let’s imagine that the life you are living now is on one side of the ocean, and the life of your dreams is on the other side. This would mean the ocean is what’s in-between. But what is that ocean like exactly? How deep is it? How wide is it? How turbulent is it? Well, only you can really answer these questions with any degree of validity.
Since I don’t know you personally, and, even if I did, you probably wouldn’t have shared every detail of your present life with me, I would say, making a rough (i.e., tentative) guess, that the ocean represents all the obstacles that you and other people have put between you and your “ideal” life. It also represents all the things you’ll have to do to transform your life from where it’s at right now to where you want it to be.
The bad news is that I can’t help you get across the ocean. I can only give you instructions on how to build the boat that will take you to the other side. You are going to have to be the one who builds that boat and the one who steers it to the other side. I would try to steer it for you. But, if I did that, I would be the one in power—not you. And as I said, it really is all about you . . . because it’s your life we’re talking about.
Unless you are still not ready to build that boat that will take you to the side of the ocean where your “dream life” is, you may be wondering what you can do right now to start building it. Well, I think the first and most important thing you can do is make a mental list of all the ways in which your life is not the way you want it to be. Don’t feel you have to start writing things down. This isn’t some structured exercise that I’m suggesting.
But I would assume two things: a) you are not living your dream life right now (I assume this mainly because you’re reading my blog) and/or b) you have at least a vague idea of the ways in which your life is not the life you desire. That being said, I think it’s only reasonable to start being honest—and, in fact, brutally honest, if necessary—about how your life is not that way you want it to be. Another way to do this is by imagining what your “ideal” life would be like. Then compare that with the life you’re living right now.
How do the two scenarios match up? Do you have the job or career of your dreams? If not, how can you get the job or career of your dreams? Are you fulfilled? If not, in what way are you not fulfilled? And what would you have to do to feel fulfilled? What have you always wanted to do or be? What has prevented you from doing the things you’ve always wanted to do and/or or pursuing your “dream” career? Are you in a deep, meaningful relationship with someone whom you love and who loves you? Is that what you would like to be in? If so, what is preventing you from it?
Take off the cloudy glasses that you’ve been peering through at your life through and put on a new pair of clear and highly polished glasses that will force you to truly analyze and examine your life in a way that is objective and honest. If you need to put certain aspects of your life under a microscope, do so. Yes, you’ll have to be brave to do this. It would be much easier to keep on pretending that your life is better than it is and to keep living under the delusion that, by some miraculous turn of events, it’s going to get better. But even though it’s important to have dreams, you can’t live within a dream. You only have one life to live, and you don’t want to get to the end of it realizing that you never really gave yourself permission to take full control of it. After all, you are you. And there are things only you can contribute to the world and to the lives of other people. There are books only you can write. . .poems only you can create. . .flowers only you can plant. . .pictures that only you can paint. . .photos that only you can take. . .children that only you can bring into the world. . .lives only you can touch and/or influence. . . people only you can reach out to, maybe because you know them better than anyone else or understand them better than anyone else ever has. . .or maybe just because you’re you and therefore different than any other person on this planet.
Here’s to life, love, happiness. . .and, most of all, success!
Your Success Diva