Dog1It had been about nine months since our dog, Charlie, passed when my husband, Don, began urging me to get another dog.

The past several months I had been enjoying having zero dog responsibilities…not heartaches. The idea of going through all that again – the diagnosing and misdiagnosing of ailments, suffering, loss (why do we humans dwell on the small quantity of bad stuff and so easily forget the huge measure of good times?) was almost too much for me to think about. Almost.

Because the memories of good – no, great- dog times were within me, under the surface of the more recent agonizing ones, I was able to contemplate adopting a new dog. Since childhood, Don had yearned for a husky. After realizing my only preference was to have my Charlie back (sad face), I agreed on a husky.

He found a local husky rescue group which we visited a couple of times. Now, when I say rescue group, do not mistakenly form a mental picture of a big building devoted to dogs. It is a legitimate dog rescue group, but it is simply a woman’s modest house with no special accommodations which had thirty plus dogs in it!

Suffice it to say I was a bit overwhelmed. The first time we were there, we actually were only in the fenced backyard. Even that was overwhelming.

I had no experience with huskies. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are a tough, rugged, high energy, powerful breed. Picture dogs pulling a man and all of his supplies on a sled through the Arctic and you get a good idea of their power.

She brought a few dogs at a time outside for us to meet. Every one of them nearly knocked me over with their vigor and excitement. I felt that they were sweet, but feared that I could not handle them.

Standing there exhausted and sweating from the near 100 degree summer day (which, by the way did not seem to affect the fur-laden dogs, in the slightest), the rescue group woman sensed that I was not keen on any of the dogs thus far.

So, she said she had one more dog.

She didn’t think I would be interested in her because she was an especially unruly and rough one. To this day, I do not know why she even brought Ella outside that day. It must have been her intuition.

To the woman’s surprise, Ella immediately sat down right between Don and me. Not one of the other dogs sat, let alone right between us. I remember how she looked up at each of us, right into our eyes, back and forth. It seemed like she was trying to tell us something:

“It’s me. I’m the one you want. I’m the one you are going to keep.” And then as quick as she had sat down, off she went! She ran and played all rough and tumble just like the other dogs.

A few days later, the woman with the rescue group brought two dogs over to our house, Ella being one, and the other a dog that I considered because he was timid and shy. Hence, I was not afraid of him.

The quiet, polite Ella that a few days ago had sat obediently between Don and me was nowhere to be seen on this visit! She came rip-roaring through our house – racing up and over all three parts of our sectional couch, into the next room, circling around, up and down the stairs, through the bedroom and back again and again and again!

She took a split second for a breather and then played roughly with Don on the floor. Simply stated, I was petrified! As for the other dog, he was so extremely timid (from an abusive background, no doubt) that he would not even approach us and mostly just watched The Ella Show.

After they left, my terror turned to a bleak depression because I came to find out that Don thought Ella was the greatest dog ever. What!? For the next several days, Don and I “discussed” adopting Ella.

As I was contemplating the decision to adopt Ella, I asked myself why did I not want her to be a part of my life? Of course, her excessive wild side. But what specifically about that? These questions triggered an insight to come to me. I realized that I was afraid. I feared her wildness, unruliness and the possible destruction of our house.

But, as I thought about it more deeply, I discovered that my fears of Ella actually were symbolic and highlighted already existing personal fears.

What I really feared was losing my peaceful life, losing control of my life, and doing things I didn’t want to do.

I realized I had been living my life based on other people’s ideas and beliefs. I had been living from a place of primarily considering what would make others happy or would get their approval rather than acting from my own heart and intuition. Ella’s wild personality simply was a trigger that helped me clearly see my own behavior, which I did not like.

So back to the matter at hand, I had two levels of fear. One was fear of not getting the good opinion and approval from others when I was my true self.

The other, a more primal, physical fear! Now that I was fully aware of these root fears, I had two choices. One was to not adopt her but know deep within myself that I cowered in the face of my fears. The other was to take the plunge and deal with what I feared, face-to-face with Ella.

So I chose to face my fears and adopt Ella.

The opportunity to confront fears sure did happen quickly. After welcoming Ella into our home and lives, not only was she excessively rough, wild and overflowing with energy, but she was aggressive towards me.

She must have sensed my fear of her and Don’s instantaneous love of her (experts say animals sense fear. I agree and think they sense more emotions than merely fear).

She took on the role of ‘Protector of Don’. She was protecting him from…me! When I sat next to him or sometimes even upon my approach towards him, she would approach me growling, her lips up with her sharp teeth showing.

How do I know they are sharp? Yep, she bit me on the back of the arm when I sat down on the couch next to Don. After crying (mostly from the emotional trauma, not the physical bite), I told Don I didn’t think I could handle her. He said her behavior was unacceptable and agreed she had to go back to the rescue group. It turned out that the woman at the rescue group was out of town for a couple of days. I agreed to keep Ella until the woman arrived back in town.

It is an interesting “coincidence” that the specific day we wanted to return Ella, the rescue group woman just happened to be out of town (coincidence in quotes because I believe there are no coincidences; everything happens for a reason). These couple of days gave me some time to center myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually before taking her back.

With this time, I recalled my purpose, which was to confront my fears. Well, here they were and what was I doing? Cringing, shying away and changing my mind. I realized that wanting to do something and actually doing it are not equivalent. If I was going to face my fears regarding Ella, I was going to have to muster up some strength, connect to my all-powerful divine self and not give up.

Practically speaking, I was going to do this by reminding myself why I wanted to do it.

I wanted to do it because I did not want to deny my true self due to fear of, not only Ella, but anything.

I wanted to do it because I wanted to learn how to be peaceful amid chaos (and boy would there be chaos).

I wanted to do it because I wanted to learn how to feel free to be my true self despite what others (including dogs!) around me were doing or telling me.

Facing my fear of Ella was really about myself – how and who I wanted to be in my life. This actually had nothing to do with Ella, per se. But she sure was going to help me accomplish it. This meant she was not going back to the rescue group. God help me! Literally.

Despite sounding crazy, we told the woman we wanted to give it another try and really hunker down. (What we did not tell her was that I wanted to face my fears and Ella was going to help me learn how to do that.) She gave us some basic tips about how to train huskies as well as the name of a professional dog behaviorist.

I also read – studied is a better word – Be the Pack Leader by Cesar Milan (aka, “The Dog Whisperer”), and watched loads of episodes of his television show. All of these tips were helpful and gave me a basis from which to begin.

Through the process of applying these techniques (sometimes with an oven mitt on for a sense of physical protection!), an amazing and unexpected thing happened. I started to feel more confident, not only regarding Ella, but about myself overall.

Facing my fear of Ella made me feel empowered, capable and worthy…in all areas of my life. I began to clearly see when I was altering my behavior to suit someone else, going along with another’s view merely to “fit in”, or not speaking up if I feared the other person would not agree with me. Awareness is the first and biggest step in making a change within oneself.

In facing my fear of Ella, not only did I gain the courage to face other fears, I realized that the root of my fears was my own lack of self-worth (check out my blog, for more info about self-worth, ego and joy!). My fear of being my true self had nothing to do with anyone else – person or dog.

When I know my value and worth, then I do not seek the approval, recognition or good opinion of others. I can freely be my true self without worrying about what others will think or say.

Ella and I are best buddies now. It is a completely loving relationship…in other words, no fear!

She still keeps me on my toes at times by incessantly and demandingly barking at me to play. Sometimes I do, sometimes not, depending on what my true self wants to do.

I’m not exactly sure how I realized I could start learning from Ella…but it turns out she’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

Karen Eller is the creator and writer of the Keys to Joy blog: 

She has been researching and applying methods for personal growth for over 15 years. She is a Reiki Master and has her Master’s degree in Sociology, as well. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and dog.


Hand-on-HeadThis article was written by Dan Vespa of Sideshow Solutions.

Do you find yourself talking yourself out of doing something even before you even try it?

Here is a good example: You have always dreamed of starting your own business. You envision working at something you love to do. It engages your mind fully and you see yourself in utter happiness going about your life in this new way.

Then living inside your head…or as I call it: “fabricating” starts. You start to think “I can’t start my own business! What if I fail? I have people in my family to support, bills to pay. I could end up destitute on the street, what will my family and neighbors think!

That’s when you rationalize that it would be safer to stay working at something that offers security but ultimately drains you emotionally, spiritually etc…and leaves you only to day dream. I hate to tell you but you’re a horrible fortune teller! Those things are just not going to happen…and here’s why.

You have already determined the results of your actions without doing anything.

Those awful things that you think could happen to you are possible but improbable. Remember there is a difference between taking risks and risky behavior. If one day you tell your boss to shove it and abruptly quit your job without thinking things though, that is risky behavior. If you have a good business plan, six months’ worth of savings, tighten your budget and have the support of your spouse to give it at least a year before you start looking for work… that is taking a risk.

The problem is it never gets that far because the idea never gets out of your head!

I remember when I was recovering from brain surgery 2 years ago that I had a lot of time to think (not being able to lift anything or bend over past your waist for several weeks will do that to you!) I was doing a lot of fabricating.

I thought “My life is ruined, I am in my prime and I can’t stop, I have a family to support, people depend on me, where do I go from here?” I didn’t know it at the time but I was living entirely inside my head.

Then it came to me through motivational speaker Mel Robbins.

Here’s the YouTube video that started it all. I have read several motivational authors but she really resonated with what I was feeling at the time.

We crave security and routines give us that security, even if it something that doesn’t truly engage us.

Finding a way to break that routine and actually try some of that stuff that we think about in our heads is the trick.

I was lucky; out of necessity breeds invention. My income was drastically reduced while I was recovering from surgery. What I learned from this that it was an opportunity to actually do something that I had always wanted to do. So whenever I had a little bit of energy and strength while I was recovering, I worked away.

Remember, if you wrote a page of material every day for a year you would have an entire book written. That is another thing I took away from reading Mel. If you think about doing something, don’t think what it takes to go from A to Z, just think about getting to B, otherwise you may never start.

Your head gets in the way!

After about 5 months I had the makings of a part-time business that in about a year and a half I would have to quit my full-time job in order to continue to grow it. I had already learned to live on a reduced income, so doing it again for a little while was not a big adjustment. I broke free of my self-limiting thoughts which would have prevented me from trying this in the first place!

I stopped “Fabricating” or making things up in my head that prevented me from trying new things. I still find myself occasionally living inside my head but I know enough know to stop myself and say “STOP FABRICATING, it is all in your head”. That usually does the trick.

Stopping others from getting into your head…

It also doesn’t stop with you. Others may try to “get into your head” with what they think about your ideas. They may be even worse than what you were thinking! Remember it is their opinion and unfortunately, you are going to hear from others whether you like it or not. I have always said if what you are thinking is not immoral, unethical or illegal; no one should really have an issue with it.

The Results are rewarding!

Now I get to do something that I am passionate about on my terms. I have always had a penchant for all things IT but as the years went by, I had a different vision for how I wanted to pursue it. I had all the thoughts as to why I shouldn’t do it but all it takes is one thought to get outside your head to start.

Remember, if it doesn’t physically or consciously happen to you, it is just a thought and thoughts shouldn’t be limiting you; they should be transcending you to where you want to be.

Thanks for letting me share.


Dan VespaDan Vespa is the founder of Sideshow Solutions, dedicated to helping personal and small-to-medium size businesses with all things IT (Web design, Social Media Integration, Traditional IT Services).

He hopes to inspire others to follow their vision of life.

{ 1 comment }

Article by Robin Thompson of


As a shamanic healer my job is to remove negative energy from the body’s energy system, helping people to heal themselves mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Over and over I get to see how the buildup of fear energy inside harms us mentally and emotionally and creates blocks in our energy system that can manifest as physical disease.

Fear is not real. It is a negative thought that leads us to surrender our inner strength and will power. It causes us to give up our self-love. When we lack love for ourselves fear can control and destroy our lives. When we live in fear we forget that we are the world’s greatest creation and instead allow ourselves to be controlled by a negative energy that is of our own creation.

The energy of fear can accumulate in many parts of the body’s energy system. Often it forms a mask around the face that obscures our perceptions as we interact with our surroundings. This is why the acronym “False Evidence Appearing Real” resonates strongly with me.

By recognizing fear as energy you can overcome it using simple affirmations that strengthen your ability to choose your thoughts. As you begin to work on this you may find that you only remember to use them only after you’re already in fearful thinking but, after a little practice, you can transition to using them before fear really has the opportunity to take hold in a particular moment.

The next time you find yourself in fear-based thinking, confidently say these affirmations:

“Fear, I Give You NO Energy!”

Say this affirmation confidently to any fearful thought as it comes up. Without energy a thought cannot exist and you ARE in charge of what you give your energy to. By consistently using this affirmation you will see the thoughts that currently dominate you fade into nothingness.

“I love myself and I forgive myself”

Fear grows strong because we do not love ourselves. By regularly using this affirmation you will increase your self-love and become aware of yourself as the beautiful, wonderful creation that you are. You’ll accept yourself more and see yourself in a much better light, which empowers you and disempowers fear. Use this affirmation regularly to outgrow your fear. It’ll work for many other issues too.

“Fear, I No Longer Accept You As Part of My Consciousness”

This affirmation also helps you to make different choices with what you allow into your mind and to release negative thought forms that no longer serve you. Most people believe that they are dominated by what they think and that they do not have the ability to change it. This is not true. After a while of working with this affirmation you will find yourself able to command fear out of your consciousness as it arises and create space for more positive, constructive thinking.

Robin Robin Thompson is a Shamanic Healer with the Mind Body Spirit School of Shamanism. The Mind Body Spirit School of Shamanism provides shamanic healing, home and business clearing, and classes on shamanic methods to heal yourself and others. Find out more about his work at

{ 1 comment }

Happy-and-Successful1Abuse. Divorce. Anger. Lost. Bullied. Afraid.

These are all words that were part of my everyday vocabulary growing up.

A Childhood Just As Well Forgotten

I can still remember the day my mother packed up all of our belongings in our car and drove my brother and I across the country; a one way trip far away from my father and into a new life.

It was the worst day of my life.

I can still remember visiting my father in Los Angeles every summer during my childhood and how painful each goodbye was. Getting on that plane knowing it would be another 10 months before I saw him again was almost too much to bear.

And as the planed pulled onto the runway and the tears rolled down my face, I wished as hard as I could that things could be different.

Passing The Years

And as the years passed, I grew to resent my mother and what I felt she had done to me. I withdrew into a shell of bitterness and anger and closed myself off from the world.

Growing up, my school experience could best be described as miserable. Not only was I completely withdrawn but also was much physically smaller than most kids.

Grade 8 was especially difficult as I was bullied incessantly and lived in fear of getting my ass kicked every single day. I remember lying in my bed crying myself to sleep paralyzed by the fear of being beaten up. It was one of the longest years of my life.

High school was not much better as I became more introverted, had few friends, and tried to disappear into the hallway walls. I did just enough to graduate and nothing more. I couldn’t get out of school fast enough and scoffed at the idea of willingly going back even though my father offered to pay for my entire college education.

I chose to spend my twenties not going to college or getting a “real” job like everyone else, but rather partying and working easy jobs with little or no responsibility.

Joining The “Real” World

It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I decided that my life was headed nowhere. I was living in a 700 square foot apartment, working as a waiter, and had $75 to my name. Not a good thing.

So I decided to join the real world and luckily was offered a job in the financial services industry, where I spent 11 gruelingly boring years working as a financial planner and hating every minute of it.

During this time I got married to a woman I thought I knew but realized shortly thereafter, I did not. We did the typical things; bought a house, had kids, went into debt, etc.

It was the “American Dream” on paper but to me it was anything but that. I was broke, living paycheck to paycheck, miserable at work and at home and felt utterly trapped and helpless.

I spent 8 years in that situation before I made a startling realization; I was literally going to die from a stress induced heart attack if I didn’t change my life.

So I did.

I sat down with my wife one sunny afternoon and told her that things had to change. Our marriage was all but over at that point and the months and months of counseling did little to help.

A New Day

Moving out was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do because it meant leaving my 2 young daughters. But a close friend of mine gave me a big slap in the face when she told me that it was more important that my girls see me happy than it was just to see me.

I knew in my heart that it was the best thing for everyone in the long run, so I moved out and started over.

Shortly after moving out, I decided to make another dramatic change and quit my job. I left behind a partnership in a $200 million financial planning practice to pursue my passion for fitness earning a fraction of what I had previously.

But I didn’t care. I wanted to live. I wanted to wake up with energy and passion. I wanted to spend my life doing things that were important to me.

And for the first time in my life, I did just that.


Today I can honestly say that I’m happier than at any other point in my life. I work for myself and get to do what inspires me each and every day. I am in a relationship with a woman who is incredibly supportive and I feel better than I have in 15 years.

And the reason all of these things are possible is because I made a decision. A decision to change my life for the better. A decision that most people will never make.

Why? Fear.

Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of the unknown.

The fear we feel is normal and expected but it is all a lie. The fear is there to hold us back from realizing our potential and from living the life we want and deserve.

Don’t allow that fear to control you for one more day. You have the ability to change that this very second. You have the power to control your future and can turn your life into anything choose.

I share my story with you not out of self-pity but rather to open your eyes to what is possible. There are millions of people living this way right now and want nothing more than to change it. But they feel helpless and trapped.

Write Your Own Success Story

I desperately want to save you from the years of pain and anguish I went through. You don’t need to do what I did on order to find happiness. Life is far too short to spend it being unhappy. It really is.

It pains me to see people going through the motions of life, eking out an existence, grinding out their days, and waiting for retirement or in many cases, death.

There is no need for that. None.

I consider myself a success story because I chose to alter the course of my life for the better and I urge you to do the same.

We can’t allow ourselves to use our past as an excuse for mediocrity. Our past does not define us unless we allow it to. What we can do is shape how we live our lives going forward.

What will you do?


SteveSteve Roy is the founder of Ending the Grind, a blog about escaping the daily grind of a 9 to 5 job, pursuing your passions, and living the life you want and deserve. You can download his free book, which will challenge you to take action on getting what you want in life. You can also find him on Twitter at @EndGrind.

{ 1 comment }

Article written by Celene Chua from PersonalExcellence

Man on mountain

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

How do you feel about your life today? Are you living every day in exuberance? Do you love what you’re doing? Are you excited every single moment? Are you looking forward to what’s coming up next? Are you living your best life?

If your answer to any of the above is a no, maybe or not sure, that means you’re not living your life to the fullest. Which really shouldn’t be the case, because your life experience is up to you to create. Why settle for anything less than what you can get? You deserve nothing but the best. In the past years of my life, especially since after I pursued my passion in ’08, I’ve been living every day to the fullest, filled with joy, passion and rigor. It’s an amazing experience that I want you to experience that too.

This is a list of 101 timeless principles I use to live my best life, and I hope they’ll help you to do so too. As you live in alignment with them, you’ll find yourself becoming more conscious, more alive, and more importantly, experiencing life on a whole new level. Be sure to bookmark or even print out this page and refer to it daily to guide you to your best life. :D

Here are 101 ways to live your life to the fullest:

  1. Live every day on a fresh new start. Don’t be held back by what happened yesterday, the day before, the week before, the year before, and so on.

  2. Be true to who you are. Stop trying to please other people or be someone else. It’s better to be an original version of yourself than an exact duplicate of someone else.
  3. Quit complaining. Don’t be like the howling dog, always howling and never doing anything. Stop complaining about your problems and work on them instead.
  4. Be proactive. Stop waiting for others around you to do something and take action yourself instead.
  5. Rather than think “what if”, think “next time”. Don’t think about things you can’t change (namely what has happened and thoughts of other people) or unhappy things because these are disempowering.Instead focus on the things you can action upon. That’s the most constructive thing you can do in any situation.
  6. Focus on WHAT vs. How. Focus on WHAT you want first, before you think about HOW to do it. Anything is possible, as long as you set your mind, heart and soul to it.
  7. Create your own opportunities. You can wait for opportunities to drop in life. Or, you can go out there and create your own opportunities. The latter is definite and much more empowering.
  8. Live more consciously each day. Stop sleepwalking through life. Your life is something to be experienced, not coasted through.
  9. Be committed to your growth. In the Map of Consciousness, there are 17 levels of consciousness – from Shame to Enlightenment. The higher level of consciousness you are in, the richer your life experience. Achieving higher consciousness comes from your commitment to growth.
  10. Know your inner self. This means knowing who you are and what you represent. Be clear of your personal identity.

  11. Discover your life purpose. Set the mission statement for your life; one that will drive you to life your life to the fullest.
  12. Live in alignment with your purpose. What can you start doing immediately that will let you live 100% in alignment with your purpose? How can you live true to your purpose within every context/situation/environment you are in, every second of the day?
  13. Set your life commandments. Define your personal commandments to live your best life. What adages and principles do you want to follow in your life?
  14. Discover your values. Values are the essence of what makes you, you. Read article #11: Discover Your Values in Personal Excellence Book (Volume 1) on the importance of values, my values and how you can create your own.
  15. Hold yourself to the highest conduct. Every one of us have our own set of ethics, principles and moral codes. Live true to them every day. Also, live in full alignment with your purpose (#11), commandments (#13) and values (#14).
  16. Design your ideal life. What is your ideal life? Design it. First, assess your life at the moment via the life wheel. Then, ask yourself what it takes to live a 10/10 life (in all 10 areas – career, health, love, social, etc…). What is the life that will make you the best person you can ever be? Set your BHAGs – big, hairy and audacious goals! There are no limits in life – only those you set for yourself!
  17. Stop putting life on hold. Are you putting any parts of your life on hold? What is one area of your life you have been putting off/avoiding/denying? Uncover it and start working on it.
  18. Create your life handbook. Your life handbook is your life-long personal manual to live your best life – from your mission statement, your values, your long-term goals, short-term goals, personal strengths, blind spots to address, plans, among others. Create your book first then build on from there.
  19. Set your goals. After you design your ideal life, set your 5-year, 3-year and 1-year goals. The more specific your goals, the better! Read the 10 principles on how to get winning goals.

  20. Take action on your goals and dreams. Create an action plan with your strategy, plan and immediate next steps. ESPER: 7-part Goal Achievement series is a great tool to get you started.
  21. Create your bucket list, i.e. things to do before you die. Then, get out to achieve them.
  22. Don’t do things for the sake of doing them. Always evaluate what you’re doing and only do it if there is meaning behind them. Don’t be afraid to quit the things that don’t serve your path.
  23. Do the things you love, because life is too precious to spend it doing anything else. If you don’t enjoy something, then don’t do it. Spend your time and energy on things that bring you fulfillment and happiness.
  24. Discover your passion in life. What sets you on fire? Go out there (and explore inward) to know what you love to do.
  25. Make your passion a full-fledged career. Then, start pursuing it. Stop working in a job you are passionless toward. Quit your job when you are ready to do it full-time.
  26. Turn your passion into a huge success. Turn your passion into a multi-million dollar business. Better yet, make it a multi-billion dollar one.
  27. Learn from criticism. Be open to criticism but don’t be affected by it. Criticism is meant to help you be a better person. Learn from it.
  28. Be positive. Is the glass half empty or half full? How about neither? It’s actually all-full – the bottom half is water, the top half is air. It’s all a matter of perception. Take on empowering perceptions, not those that bind you. If you can see the positive sides of every thing, you’ll be able to live a much richer life than others. Purge unnecessary negativity from your life.

  29. Don’t badmouth other people. If there’s anything you don’t like about someone, say it to him/her in the face – otherwise, don’t say it at all. It’s not nice to do that.
  30. Be empathetic. If everyone only see life from his/her own perspective, we’ll forever be close-minded and insular. See things from others’ shoes.
  31. Be a compassionate person. Show compassion and kindness to everyone around you
  32. Develop 100% self-belief. Believe in yourself and your abilities.  Remove your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones (In Days 26-27 of Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, you identify your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones). If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?
  33. Let go of unhappy past. This means past grievances, heartbreaks, sadness, disappointments, etc.
  34. Forgive those who may have done you wrong in the past. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize it was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes
  35. Let go of attachments. Don’t fixate yourself with a certain status, fame, wealth or material possessions. These are impermanent and will ultimately disappear one day when you die. Focus on growing and living life to the fullest instead.
  36. Let go of relationships that do not serve you. That means negative people, dishonest people, people who don’t respect you, people are overly critical and relationships that prevent you from growing.
  37. Spend more time with people who enable you. Hang out with people who you compatible with, like-minded people, people who are positive, successful, strong achievers and positive for your growth. You are after all the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

  38. Build genuine, authentic connections with people around you – strangers, friends, family, colleagues, business partners, customers/clients, etc. Spend more time to know them better and foster stronger connections.
  39. Connect with an old friend. There is no end to the number of friends you can have. Reach out to people from the past.
  40. Do a kind deed a day. What is something you can do today that will make the world a better place? Go and do it.
  41. Help other people who are in need. Voluntarism is one outlet. You can also start with your friends and family.
  42. Help people when they least expect it, without reason. You don’t need any reason to help others. Do it because you want to. Share the love with everyone.
  43. Go dating (if you’re single).

    Couple in love

  44. Fall in love.:D Read: How to Find Your Soulmate (series)
  45. Review your life. Set a weekly review session to assess how you are doing for your goals and your life. Review your purpose once every 3-6 months too so you know you’re on the right path.
  46. Overcome procrastination. Procrastination is a huge waste of your time (and your life). Get rid of it once and for all.
  47. 30 minutes a day. Set aside at least 30 minutes every day to work on a quadrant 2 goal that, when you achieve it, will bring about the biggest source of fulfillment and happiness in your life
  48. Get out there and make new friends – whether in your workplace, online, friends’ friends, social groups, etc. Read: 10 Tips To Make New Friends
  49. Make deeper connections. Beyond making new friends, aim to make deeper connections out of them. Read: How To Have More Best Friends in Life
  50. Be your advisor (from the future). Imagine you’re the future you, 5 years later. How would you advise yourself? Write it down. Now, apply them.
  51. Write a letter to your future self. Actually, write 3 letters – for yourself in 1, 3 and 5 years. The longer the letters, the better. Envision how you’ll be like in the future. Make each letter a minimum 2 pages long. Now, seal them and put them in a safe place. Set it in your calendar so you’ll know to open them when it’s time. This will inspire you to work your hardest and achieve your maximum results in the time period.

  52. Declutter. Start from your computer, then your table, your room, your bag/wallet, and your home. The more you throw the unwanted and old stuff away, the more room you’re creating for new things to enter.
  53. Keep learning. There is something to learn from everything you see, hear and experience. This includes your mistakes and past misshaps (if any). Learn to interpret each event objectively. Focus on what you can learn from it so you can apply them moving forward.
  54. Keep developing yourself. Equip yourself with a huge breadth of knowledge. Learn different skills, pick up different hobbies, study different fields.
  55. Keep upgrading yourself. Equip yourself with a huge depth of knowledge. While you can usually only level up to 99 in video games, in real life you can level up to infinity. Go for further studies if need be. Develop your skills. Level up. Build your >10,000 hours in each skill.
  56. Try new things. What’s something you’d normally not do? Get out of your comfort zone try something different. It can be something simple like taking a new bus route, trying a new food item, picking up a new hobby, or something bigger like studying a different field, picking a new skill, traveling to a country you’ll never visit, etc. You set your own limits.
  57. Get yourself out there. This applies for everything. (a) Get out there geographically. Go out, travel and explore the world. Set sail into the sea. Go backpacking by yourself and visit as many countries as possible. Get on a road trip and visit the different places that come out. (B) Get out there situationally. Stop sticking to routines and comfort zones. Try something different. (c) Get out there in life. Stop watching TV and living vicariously through the TV characters. Go and live the life of your dreams.
  58. Be the absolute best in what you do. Go for the #1 position in what you do. If you want to spend your time doing something, you might as well be the best in it. Strive for the best – you don’t deserve anything lesser than that.
  59. Don’t settle. In the same lines as #58, don’t settle for less. Don’t settle for someone you don’t like as your partner. Don’t settle for a job you don’t like #25). Don’t settle for friends who make you feel like a lesser person (#37). Don’t settle for a weight you are unhappy with. Go for what you really want.
  60. Stretch yourself. What are you doing now? How can you achieve more? Set bigger goals. Explore your limits and break them.
  61. Embrace new ideas. Don’t mentally limit yourself; Let your mind be a breeding ground for new ideas. Read: 25 Brainstorming Techniques.

  62. Create your inspirational haven. Turn your room into a place you love. Do the same for your work desk. Get rid of things that make you unproductive. Surround it with things that inspire you and trigger you to action. Read more: How To Create An Inspiring Room
  63. Behave as your ideal self will. All of us have an ideal vision of who we want to be. How is your ideal self like? How can you start to be that ideal self now?
  64. Set your role models in life. With role models, you become much better than you can be by yourself. I personally am inspired by Tyra Banks (for her passion for helping women build their self-esteem and changing notions of beauty), Ivanka Trump (for her success, intellect and beauty), Donald Trump (for his success and drive in life), Oprah (for being who she is), Lady Gaga (for her talent and not being afraid to be different), and many more. Seeing them and what they do reminds me of what I can be and what I can do, so they drive me on to greater heights.
  65. Get mentors and/or coaches. There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone work with you on your goals. Not only will they drive you to achieve more for yourself, they’ll also share with you important advice which you can use to create even more success for yourself. Many of my clients approach me to coach them and the net result: they achieve significantly more progress and results in their life than if they had worked alone.
  66. Uncover your blind spots. The more you uncover, the more you grow, the better you become.
  67. Increase your consciousness. The more conscious you are, the more evolved you become.
  68. Ask for feedback. As much as we try to uncover our blind spots(#66), there will be areas we cannot identify. Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective. Some people to approach will be friends, family, colleagues, boss, or even acquaintances, since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively.
  69. Generate passive income. Create passive income streams so your income is not tied to the time you spend on your work. Of course you’ll still continue to work, but only because you want to and not because you have to.
  70. Help others live their best lives. There is no better way to grow than to help others grow. Ultimately, the world is one. We are all in this together.
  71. Get married / Start your family / Have kids!
  72. Improve the world. There are many things in the world that need your attention and help. Poverty. Disaster recovery. Illiteracy. Children in need. Depleting rainforests. Animal rescue. Endangered species. How can you do your part?

  73. Spearhead a humanitarian cause/organization you are passionate about.
  74. Give more value than you receive. There is so much unspeakable joy that comes from giving. And when you keep giving, you’ll find that you actually receive a lot more in return, in spades.
  75. Be big picture focus. You can either set your eyes on the big things or get hung up by the nitty gritty details. The former will help you get a lot more out of life than the latter. Focus on the big rocks in life and put first things first (Quadrant 2 tasks). Practice the 80/20 rule – focus on the 20% things that give you the 80% fulfillment in life.
  76. Be clear of your end objective. What is the end goal you seek? Is what you’re doing bringing you there? If not, put it aside. As long as you keep taking on things that meet your end goal, you’ll eventually reach there.
  77. Go the 80/20 route. For every goal you have, there are different paths to achieve it. Pick out the 80/20 path, i.e. the most effective path that brings you there the fastest with least amount of effort.
  78. Prioritize (80/20 actions). As you embark on the 80/20 path for your goals, focus on the important tasks and cut out the less important ones. That means do the 20% actions that give you the 80% results.
  79. Live in the moment. Are your thoughts wandering around all the time? Calm your mind down. Be present. The only time you’re ever living is in this moment. Meditation helps to remove mental clutter.
  80. Relish in the little moments. Snuggling under warm covers on a rainy day. Ice cream on a hot day. A kiss with your loved one. Being with your best friend. A walk by the park. The breeze on your face. Quiet, alone time. Watching the sun rise/set. Soak in all these little moments of life. They are what make up your life.
  81. Take a break. Being the best also requires you to take breaks when needed. Make sure you rest when needed. Doing so lets you walk the longer mile ahead.
  82. Stop wanting things a certain way. I wrote a 3-part series before on the downsides of perfectionism and how to overcome them. Be firm on your end goals (your objective goals) and your ideals, but let go of the fixation that things have to be a certain way. You’ll realize it’s by doing that that you achieve what you want.

    Overcoming Perfectionism

  83. Focus on creation. Think about what you can bring to the world, and create that.
  84. Don’t criticize or judge others. Respect others for who they are.
  85. The only person you can change is yourself. Stop expecting others to behave in a certain way. Rather than demand that others around you change, focus on changing yourself. You’ll be happier and live a more fulfilling life this way.
  86. Embrace gratitude. Be grateful for everything you have today, and everything you will get in the future.
  87. Express gratitude. Let the people who’ve touched you know of your gratitude toward them. You’ll be surprised what a little act like this can do. If you don’t tell them, they’ll never know.
  88. Let loose and have fun. Sing at the top of your lungs. Dance in the rain. :D Run barefoot and feel the ground underneath your feet. Release of your self-imposed shackles and be free :D.
  89. Get into nature. Many of us live in concrete jungles. Soak in the beauty of nature.
  90. You have a choice. Recognize you always have a choice in how to live your life.
  91. Laugh more. :D Are you reading this with a straight face? Smile and have fun :D.
  92. Embrace change. The only thing that’s constant is change. Change means growth. Rather than resist change, learn to versatile such that you can make the best out of the changes that come. In fact, become an agent of change.
  93. Be more risk-inclined. Don’t be afraid to take risks. The bigger your risks, the bigger your return.
  94. Embrace mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the faster you learn. Make sure to draw lessons so you can build on them. (#53)
  95. Embrace disappointments. Many people try to avoid feeling disappointed. They develop a resistant relationship with disappointment. However, disappointment is part and parcel of being human – it reflects your real passions. Don’t resist it – instead, embrace it. Understand it, then channel into it to create more in life. Read: How To Overcome Disappointment

  96. Challenge your fears. All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing. Rather than avoid your fears, recognize they are the compass for growth. Address and overcome them. Read: How To Overcome Fear (3-Part Series).
  97. Maximize your mind, body, heart and soul. Living your best life requires you to maximize yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you’re highly successful, very materially abundant, have a big circle of friends, very spiritually aware but you neglect your physical health, that’s not living your life to the fullest. The same for other scenarios where a part of you is blocked off. Maximize all 4 aspects of you.
  98. Be your best self.  It’s only through being the best we can be that we live our life to the fullest. This is why the motto of the site is “Be your best self, Live your best life“.
  99. Love yourself. You are the person you have to live with for the rest with your life. Treasure and love yourself. :)
  100. Love others. Be grateful for all the people around you because they help you to grow. They enrich your life experience. Without them, your life would not have been the same.
  101. Last but not least: Love life. I always find living to be a fascinating experience. How we’re all on earth, with millions of species, 30,000 different life forms, over 7 billion people, and all thriving in its own way, existing, co-existing and in co-creation mode. There’s so much we don’t know out there, so much to be experienced in life, that it’s just wonderful.


life lessons

Celebrate good times in Thailand!

This article was written by Andrew Walton of Cracking The Happiness Code.

I turned 26 last week.

Some people say that 26 is an important year.

But some people also say that vaccines cause autism, so I’m not sure if they’re to be believed.

What I do know is that 25 was a rocking year, of which I spent only 6 days in my home country of Canada.

I’d say if I proved anything over the course of the year, it’s that you don’t need a lot of money to lead a rich life.

What with all the traveling, language learning, website growing, relationship building, and other incredibly rewarding experiences I’ve had over the last 365 days, and most of it without the advantages of a sexy bank balance.

That life lesson is just one of the 26 I’ve compiled for you, which I’ve learned during my first 26 years of life.

As with any list, pick out the most important thing you can implement today and get to it – I’m not here just to be your intellectual entertainment. (You can consider that a bonus, 27th lesson on the house)

Let’s get to it: [click to continue…]


how to be happy

How To Be Happy

The following article is by Andrew Walton of Cracking The Happiness Code

We all want to know how to be happy: To live a good life, feel fulfilled, be engaged, create things, and connect deeply with others.

And often, our search for increased happiness means we’re trying to add more and more wonderful things to our lives, when really what we need is to let go of the things that are preventing us from experiencing deep satisfaction in the first place.

These are things that cause suffering, pain, stress, hurt, anxiety, shame, and depression by holding on.

I’ve compiled an extensive list of 29 things we can give up to lead a happier life:

29. Give Up: Perfectionism

If there was ever a slow acting venom to sap the vigor of the human spirit, we could call it by the name: perfectionism.

Perfectionism paralyses us, making us unwilling to act for the fear of falling short of out ideals. And then it punishes us when we invariably do, for “perfect” is an impossible standard to live up to.

It’s one thing to always keep our head up, pointed towards our lofty goals – quite another if we’re constantly pushed back into the mud for doing so.

Giving up perfectionism and embracing continual growth is what allows us to enrich our lives, to have new experiences and develop new skills fluidly – without resistance.

How: Embrace the “beginner’s mindset.” Learn to love the acts of experimenting that are the basis of all learning, and let the results take care of themselves.

[click to continue…]


stopwatchThis article is courtesy of Steve Pavlina (Personal Development for Smart People).

Heuristics are rules intended to help you solve problems.  When a problem is large or complex, and the optimal solution is unclear, applying a heuristic allows you to begin making progress towards a solution even though you can’t visualize the entire path from your starting point.

Suppose your goal is to climb to the peak of a mountain, but there’s no trail to follow.  An example of a heuristic would be:  Head directly towards the peak until you reach an obstacle you can’t cross.  Whenever you reach such an obstacle, follow it around to the right until you’re able to head towards the peak once again.  This isn’t the most intelligent or comprehensive heuristic, but in many cases it will work just fine, and you’ll eventually reach the peak.

[click to continue…]


This article was written by Leo Babauta of ZenHabits reknown.

“Simplicity is the peak of civilization.” – Jessie Sampter

A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For me, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing chaos for peace, and spending your time doing what’s important to you.

It means getting rid of many of the things you do so you can spend time with people you love and do the things you love. It means getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only that which gives you value.

However, getting to simplicity isn’t always a simple process. It’s a journey, not a destination, and it can often be a journey of two steps forward, and one backward.

If you’re interested in simplifying your life, this is a great starter’s guide (if you’re not interested, move on).

[click to continue…]