5 Key Questions to a Better Life

© Bob Dempsey

 “Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made.  If you want a different result, make a different choice.”
~Unknown

 

The best way to get to know yourself and others is to ask questions.

Sometimes you need to step back and reconsider how you’re living your life and who you want to be.

Asking questions that provoke introspection is essential to maintaining awareness of who you are, where you are, and where you want to go.

Questions that prompt self-reflection help you to realize and pursue your dreams.

These questions can be difficult to answer, but they’re crucial to creating a life of meaning, fulfillment, purpose, and happiness.

 

5 Key Questions to a Better Life

1) What is your potential?

What are your dreams, hopes, and desires.  What is your passion?  What matters to you?

Do you believe in yourself?  Are your beliefs limiting you or holding you back?

Are you comfortable?  Are you afraid?

If you want to better your life, you cannot self-sabotage and you cannot give into fear.

Optimism is key.  Replace your limiting beliefs with positive empowering ones.
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5 Simple Tips to Overcome Guilt

“Guilt is anger directed at ourselves – at what we did or did not do.”
~Peter McWilliams

 

Guilt is an emotional warning sign that serves to let us know when we’ve done something wrong.

It’s a self-policing mechanism that we all have.

It helps us to improve our behavior, act in the best interest of society, and avoid making the same mistake twice.

But it can also steal our joy, make us feel miserable, and keep us in a negative mindset.

It can undermine our self-esteem and prevent us from having fulfilling relationships.

Most of us do an amazing job every day – either at work or at home – but still feel plagued by guilt.

How can we overcome these feelings?  How can we determine what feelings are important and beneficial to us, and which ones are not?

 

5 Simple Tips to Overcome Guilt

1) Determine if your guilt is healthy

It takes some self-examination to figure out what you’re feeling guilty about.

Healthy guilt is very beneficial to keeping meaningful relationships.  It prevents us from taking action that could hurt others.

It’s completely rational to feel guilty after saying something hurtful to someone or spending too much time at work instead of with your family.

This guilt is healthy and serves to warn you that either your thoughts, behavior, or morals need to change.

On the other hand, feeling guilty over the actions of others, or when there’s nothing to feel guilty about is not healthy.

As an introvert, I used to feel guilty when I needed to spend some time alone.  This wasn’t me being anti-social, I just needed time to relax and recharge a little.
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8 Tips to Choosing a New Year’s Resolution Right for You

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be…is what you do.”
~Unknown

 

Well another year has passed.  A new year offers time for reflection and the feeling of a fresh start.

We enjoy the idea of starting from scratch and improving ourselves.

Many of us have goals we’d like to get started on, but how do you choose a path that’s right for you?

I’ve given this some thought and have a few tips I’m hoping will get you off to a good start for a successful year.

So while I think you’re fine just the way you are…

8 Tips to Choosing a New Year’s Resolution Right for You

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10 Easy Tips to Being Optimistic

Just keep smiling and one day life will get tired of upsetting you.
~Unknown

 

To be an optimist is to have a positive outlook and approach towards life.

Optimism is a choice.  Every morning when you get out of bed, you choose to be in positive mood or not.

It may take some work, but you can build your level of optimism.  It’s really just a matter of recognizing your negative habits and training yourself to look on the bright side.

It’s extremely liberating and empowering when you realize you have control over what you’re telling yourself.  And that most of your suffering is self-imposed.  A feeling of peace comes over you when you say no to negativity and learn to stay positive.

When you’re a pessimist you not only waste time ruminating on how bad things are going to go, but you actively stop yourself from trying to better your situation.  Negativity breeds inaction and pessimism breeds indecision.

If that’s not enough….

 

A few benefits of being optimistic:

  • Increased Happiness
  • More Success
  • Better Stress Management
  • Decreased Sickness
  • Longer Lifespan

There will always be times in which things don’t work out quite how you anticipated. There are going to be times when you’re feeling down.  Just don’t make it your default way of thinking.  The perceived protection of holding onto negativity is more like a prison.
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5 Simple Steps to Take When You’re Feeling Stressed

“Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle.”
~Bill Phillips

 

I’m starting to notice that managing stress plays a huge role in our lives.  It influences our motivation levels, what we get accomplished, how we feel, and how happy we are on a daily basis.

I’m learning how to effectively manage stress as I juggle personal relationships, a career, school, the blog, public speaking, and the gym – all while trying to keep up on everyday tasks and allowing myself time to relax!

Think of the last goal you didn’t accomplish.  Did you really not have the time?  Was it really too difficult or not for you?  Or was it stress that pushed you off course?

Stress arises when we encounter something we feel we cannot cope with.  It is a physical or emotional response to a situation.  And is often described as feeling overwhelmed, worried, or run down.

A little stress here and there can be good.  It can give us the boost we need to get through difficult situations or meet important deadlines.  But chronic stress can be emotionally overwhelming and damage our mind and body.

Left untreated, chronic stress can have a negative impact on our health.  It increases our risk for depression, heart disease, and obesity.

Effects of stress on the body:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Clinching Jaws
  • Grinding Teeth
  • Headaches
  • Muscle Pain
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Weakened Immune System

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4 Crucial Steps to Stop Suppressing Your Emotions

“What you resist, persists.”

~C. G. Jung

 

When was the last time something happened that was too painful to deal with?  Do you remember how you tried to get it out of your head?  Were you afraid you’d feel overwhelmed if you thought about it? Did you distract yourself or avoid what was triggering it?

 

This is called emotional suppression.

 

Emotional suppression is the deliberate or conscious avoidance or pushing away of thoughts or feelings to cope with trauma.
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6 Powerful Steps to Leave Your Comfort Zone

We enjoy the security and predictability of our daily routines. We’re afraid of rejection, judgment, and failure.  We avoid risk and the unknown. We go from exploring and taking risks every day as children, to holding ourselves back, playing it safe, and ultimately limiting our personality, capability, and potential.

comfort zone relates to anxiety levels.  It is defined in psychology as an artificial mental boundary. A place or situation where one feels safe, comfortable, in control, or at ease and without stress.

In layman’s terms: a behavior pattern that fits a predictable routine to minimize stress; where we feel most at home.

It’s easy being comfortable and there’s nothing wrong with having somewhere familiar to return to. But too much comfort can make us lazy and kill productivity.
You can’t motivate yourself to make real improvement while feeling content.  You’ll find yourself doing only enough to get by.  Leading to missed opportunities and regret.
It takes a lot of courage to break yout of our comfort zone, but it can be a great for your self-esteem and provide lasting happiness and fulfillment.Learning to face the unknown not only becomes easier with practice, but can be very liberating and surprisingly habit forming.
 

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3 Virtues of Peter Kassig That We Should All Embody

We sometimes forget that we’re only here for a short time. That all we have is now and that tomorrow is not guaranteed. That our uses of attention and the path we take influence the stories others will tell about us when we’re gone. They determine what kind of memory we will be for people.

I write this with a heavy heart as yet another non-combatant has been murdered by terrorists. His name was Peter Kassig.

 

Peter was an American aid worker from Indiana. The 26 year old Iraq war veteran was kidnapped in 2013 while delivering relief supplies to refugees on the Syrian border. [1]

Peter was destined for great things.  He dedicated his life to helping victims of war.  He found his passion helping those in need and was committed to solving the problems he saw in the world.  He even started his own non-profit.

He put himself in harms way to pursue the well-being and happiness of people that he’d never met before and didn’t need to care about.  He was moved by love and compassion to make a difference; to create a better world.

He was a devoted humanitarian and died wanting others to flourish.  He leaves behind a lasting purpose and significance.  His story will always be told in a positive way, and his accomplishments are truly lasting.

If there was ever someone that modeled the golden rule, it was Peter Kassig.

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3 Big Things About Life That You Forget

Even with the increase in technologies that promise to give us more free time, we still find ways to pack our schedules and live increasingly frantic lives. With slowing down not being an option, it’s common to find ourselves in a perpetual state of autopilot.

 

Here are 3 things you need to remind yourself of sometimes.

1) You can do whatever you want in life.

You can’t forget that you’re in charge.  You get to choose the life you live.  Only you have the power to create the life you want. Take Action!  Life is not a spectator sport. Life is too short not to pursue your dreams.  Stop procrastinating. Take a risk and work towards what fulfills you. Anything is possible and it’s never too late to start.

2) All you have is now.

You can’t forget that life is a gift and tomorrow is not guaranteed.  Your loved ones will not always be there. The best gift you can give them is your attention.  Be Mindful; realize deeply that the present moment is all you have.  Choose wisely how you live and how you treat others.  Stop worrying about your schedule, email, and news feed.  Focus on the present moment; focus on now.

3) You’re not in control.

You can’t forget that control is an illusion. Life is uncertain and unexpected things are going to happen. There are unforeseen struggles on the horizon that will leave you feeling powerless. Ruminating and trying to think of all possible scenarios actually makes things worse. All we can do is enjoy the time that we have with each other and practice gratitude.

Agree?

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