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Self Improvement on a personal, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual plane.

Live Consciously

“Most people live lives of quiet desperation
and go to the grave with their song still in them.”
—Henry David Thoreau

Most people are so busy racing about “doing things” that they forget to “live.” They make time to “do” all the things they think they’re supposed to do, such as housework, shopping, cleaning, and putting out what they call ‘fires,”those annoying little “life emergencies” that eat up all their time—and they call that “living.”

They are so busy that they don’t have time to visit with a friend over a leisurely cup of coffee or go out to dinner or see a play or go to the beach and just have fun. What’s more, they resent their busy-ness and feel quietly desperate for something more. They long for the life they’ve always dreamed of living, however, they’ve given up hope of ever having that life because, “Well,” they say, “that’s life. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.”

What they don’t realize is that life is comprised of a series of choices. Everything we do, think, say, and feel is a choice that we make everyday. If you’re “too busy,” that’s your choice. Do you really have to do the laundry every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.? Or could you, just once in a while, meet a friend for a chat and a cup of coffee? The laundry isn’t going anywhere. I have a pretty strong suspicion that it will still be there, right where you left it, when you get home.

I call this busy-ness way of living, not living at all. I call it existing, surviving, being at the mercy of life’s vagaries, and it’s not at all fun. Life is meant to be lived. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Life is meant to be fun. That is why we have so many options for enjoying life.

When you get on that hamster wheel of busy-ness, you shift your brain into overdrive and get lost in the busy-ness. When you live that way, you usually are living Unconsciously. At the end of the day, you wonder where the day went and feel frustrated that you haven’t accomplished your own life goals.

Getting off the hamster wheel of busy-ness requires a Conscious choice. In fact, it requires a series of Conscious Choices. When you live Consciously, you make choices that help you really “live” your life, instead of just survive it.

Make a Conscious Choice today to take 5 minutes to do something that is really living:  call a friend you haven’t spoken with in a long time, take a walk and really look at the flowers or the sky or the scenery, start reading that book you’ve been longing to read. Give yourself the gift of 5 minutes everyday for 7 days. Then increase it to 10 minutes for the next 7 days and see how it feels.

When you make Conscious Choices, you stop being at the mercy of life’s vagaries and start really living.

Remove Your Limitations

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.”
—Richard Bach, Illusions

What if there were no limits to what you could accomplish? What if you could do, be, or have anything you wanted? What if all you had to do was ask for something and you would receive it?

The first time I read the quote at the top of this post, I literally gasped out loud. It was suddenly clear to me that, in spite of the confidence I had in my own abilities, there were times when I set limits for myself. In those times, I hadn’t been able to accomplish the goals I’d set for myself because I’d ‘thought’ and ‘believed’ that I couldn’t achieve those goals.

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” When Richard Bach wrote those words in his book, Illusions, he was making the point that we each set limits, consciously or unconsciously, to what we can do, be, or have.

The truth is that there are no limits to what we can accomplish beyond what we believe we are capable of achieving.

Next time you set a goal for yourself, examine your thoughts and your deep-down core beliefs. Ask yourself if you really ‘think’ and ‘believe’ that you can accomplish the goal you are setting for yourself. And, if you have any doubts, ask yourself if they’re valid or if they’re  motivated by any self-imposed limitations.