Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 25 Still going!

Central Park on Saturday

I heard something today that I never heard before.

"I hate to start a day when I have even the slightest amount of stress, anxiety, fear or worry. All of these, for me, are rubbish emotions which we have been trained to accept as normal, but they are not normal; and they actually hold you back from moving towards your goal." I always thought those emotions were normal. Many times in our society we hear things like, it's normal to feel that way, or everyone feels that way. Hearing this statement, of how negative emotions are not normal, is a challenge for me because of what I have heard the opposite my whole life.

On Saturday, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of art and they had this special exhibit called Ink Art. One of the pieces there had a powerful affect on me. It was called Family Tree.

Here is the explanation:

What is written on his face is an ancient manuscript for predicting someone's future based on their facial features. As he wrote more and more of the manuscript onto his face, he is completely lost under the ink. You no longer recognized the artist because of all the layers of writing that is on his face. I believe the same thing has happened to us. We have lost our identity, or it is difficult to discover who we are, because of the different levels of societal expectations that are placed on us. We believe the many things people have said about us. We take their words, write them on our soul and can never let go of them, especially the horrible and false comments made about us. Very few people have actually realized that they can erase the writing and chose to write something. We can write, " I am beautiful." or "I have value." or "I am a life-giving person."  If our soul is infinite then we have an infinite canvas to write anything we want to become or in which direction that we want to grow. We can always change for the better and it can start by washing our souls clean of the garbage people have said about us or what we tell ourselves.

If you could make that change today, what would you want to write about yourself?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day 21 Tell Someone You Love Them

Spent most of the day in the hospital with my grandma who is not doing well :(

Tell someone whom you love that you love them...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 20 Eat that Frog Baby!

I had to spend my afternoon filing some paperwork at my job. I wanted to spend the time the best way I could and took a pen, paper, phone, headphones and went to YouTube to find an audio book. I have heard of Brian Tracy before from many different authors. They reference him as a great resource for time management. I have heard of this book from the Miracle Morning and I wanted to read this book. I spent over an hour and a half filing paperwork today and the whole time I was listening to a book on what is the best way to spend your time. The one tidbit I would like to share is what I believe is the main premise of his book.  He believes that the two greatest advantages that successful people have over others is this: they think in long term and they know how to prioritize. He says that developing the ability to look at a task and see which will produce the greatest pay off in the long term is essential to being successful. This can only happen when a person has goals already established and makes a list of all their tasks to accomplish those goals. A person who can do this has a huge advantage over other people especially when they learn to focus on tasks that have a large pay off as well as accomplishing those tasks quickly and well. 

He then goes on to say that another great skill to have is knowing how to prioritize. He says that many people who choose to be successful make that a goal that they physically write down and define what that successful goal looks like or what actions are need to complete that goal. For example if you want to be at a certain weight then write that goal down, think of all the steps needed to accomplish that goal, make a plan of action and give it a deadline. The one thing I would say different from this author's method would be that if you want to introduce a big change in your life a small step WOULD be the priority. A small step is not unimportant; it is just not as overwhelming as a huge implementation that you have not prepared yourself for yet. If one does not become open to the idea and does not have the discipline to enact a large plan then pursuing smaller steps would be better way to make yourself open to a new habit. You cannot walk up a staircase if the steps are too big. Smaller steps are much more manageable and can ensure a better chance for positive change then a massive change in one's life without proper support.

I really recommend listening to this book in your free time. It is very helpful and practical.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day 19 Supporting Others

When I applied to the seminary I had to take a psychological test. Around that same time I became fascinated with Greek Mythology specifically with the figure of Atlas. I remember thinking, "Wouldn't it be cool if you had a pillar of the titan Atlas holding up a book; similar to a type of podium. I wanted to design that image and I ended using that design in a gift for my mother. She loved it.

So what's the connection? One of the sections of the psychological examination was to draw a picture of a man. I drew what I knew and that was Atlas. The psychologist came back to me with the results and said, "Do you have any idea how narcissistic that image was that you drew?" Needless to say I needed to work on that. I have tried to work on that by focusing on other people and where they are at in their life. Listening to other people, being with them when they laugh or suffer, being able to be vulnerable with them so they can be honest for a brief moment in their life, and ultimately just trying to be there for another human being has helped both of us tremendously.

One of the blessings from this lifestyle change I committed to over the past couple of years is that I have developed a love for supporting other people. I really enjoy that, especially when a person is sincere in their growth. I think if I had to redraw that image today it would look like the one above. It would be me trying to help someone else carry their burden that feels as heavy as the whole world.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Day 18 Don't Stop Me Now

There really is something to completing a habit for 30 days. It really does rewrite something in your brain. I see this clearly in my writing. I wrote for over 30+ days and I really enjoy writing. There are some days when I can be very tired and I do not write. On those days I feel like something is missing, like my day was incomplete. It is really interesting how this happens. I am reading a book right now that is called One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by: Robert Maurer and it really good. 

It is about understanding our fears that arise when we are presented with change. He talks about how making a huge change can kick in our fight or flight response. He then goes on to say that Small Changes bypass the fear mechanism, but the change will still occur. It really can help if you want to change something but fall into the cycle of Change-> backing out-> Regret-> No Change. Consider changing something small and it will have a bigger impact in the long run than doing a complete 180 degrees immediately. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Day 17

I have been sticking to my schedule and I have been thinking about failing; about being able to move on specifically. It is such an important skill to learn how to move on. I do not know how the thought became implanted in my mind. The thought explicitly is that if I fail at something then I should quit. I wonder if it was something I learned as a child. As when someone says just give it up already. Maybe I decided to listen to them and think that there must not be anything here for me. That kind of thinking is applicable in a very few situations but not in all. So how come I apply to many others? Take exercise for example, choosing to exercise is a lifestyle change. It is not something I do to get to an ideal body weight goal and then stop. There is a goal and it does not finish after the goal. It is a concept I never thought of before. It is not a massive question that I have to answer but more like a thought to remember. Am I choosing to make my life better or  am I looking to fix a problem over and over again?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Day 13 and Day 14

I needed help today because I was not following my Miracle Morning as best I could. So I did one of the best things I could do for myself. I asked for help. I was listening to Hal Elrod's podcast and he was talking about the Miracle Morning Community. He went on to say how important it is to have people that can support you when you need it. He is absolutely right. I was able to connect with someone, and I hope we can help each other in deepening our individual levels of personal commitment. I think what I do is that I take on too much, then get frustrated, and then I give up. Then I feel bad and do something to make myself feel better. I want to learn to keep going. To keep reaching for my goal because that is the only way I will be able to build a healthy, successful, and life giving life that I can share with others. Here is to recommitting and living and excellent life!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Day 12 The Meaning of Life

Today I was able to enjoy some time with good friends and laugh a lot. I was thinking about heaven one day and I remember thinking that heaven must be a giant dinner with friends where everyone is eating great food, laughing til we cried and drinking really good wine and/or beer. That sounds awesome, like really awesome. I look at this cartoon and I think that the meaning of life is to enjoy the life you have been given while making the lives of others better. Maybe that is my own meaning, but it just seems right. The way I show God I love Him for the life He gave me is by sharing it with others. That is what it means to be a life giving person. I believe when a person engages in personal development they come to a point where they want to share much of what they learned so that other people can improve their life as well.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 11 Exercise

Exercise. Exercise is something that was not my thing. I don't know what is the exact reason but I believe laziness is probably the largest factor. It is simply easier not to do something. I was speaking with a good friend yesterday and he reminded that most people to do not want to go the gym. It is not until you start working out that your body wants you to keep going. I thought about this morning because I was definitely feeling that way. It was great to remember that as long as I start that my body will want to finish.  I am not sure if you have ever seen this before but this is called a Wheel of Life.

In the Wheel of Life you mark how satisfied you are with different aspects of your life on a scale of 1 - 10. My lowest areas were Finance and Health. These are the ones I want to focus on. I want to be much more satisfied with my health and the Miracle Morning has helped me to realize this.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day 10 Any Growth is Better Than No Growth!

Not gonna lie... I thought I woke up an hour early but APPARENTLY I did not. I forgot about day light savings time and so I was not able to do my miracle morning today. I was about to meditate this morning though which I am finding as so essential for thinking clearly. I was able to sit and push out any excess thoughts. This has been tremendous for me. It helped me form my day and think about my CCD class that I teach. I was very grateful for at least having that little bit of time to center myself. I decided that since I was not able to do everything in the morning that I would do what I could throughout my day. I wrote for about an hour and half as I sat in church today. I was also able to exercise by practicing my basic form of Tai chi. Before I go to bed I am going to read a little, do some affirmations and visualize how I want tomorrow to unfold. Any growth is better than no growth! If you forget to do what you have told yourself you would, try to rectify that as soon as you can! Do not fall into the temptation of thinking that I will just do it tomorrow. It very rarely, if ever works.

Day 9 Weekend Extended Miracle Morning

Today I Extended my Miracle Morning and it was wonderful. I spent more time exercising as well as reading. Since it was nice out I was able to go out and sit on the porch. It was so nice to be able to read without the feeling of having to run around. I had given myself plenty of time for my growth and it was really an excellent feeling. I set out goals for yesterday on how I wanted to spend my day and I met them. My big goal was that I want to deepen my relationship with my family. I went out to visit my cousins and spent a really awesome day with them. An unexpected joy that came my way was that I took my younger cousin bowling. It was great to spend time with him and to be able to see him growing up. I thought about when he was younger and now how he is as a teenager. I see the good natured person that he is and I am really lucky to be related to him. We laughed so much together. I really like laughing. I know that might sound like an unnecessary statement but I feel the need to say it regardless. I am so grateful to God for giving me such a beautiful family full of loving people!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Day 8 Reading more

I have been reading much more since I have stopped playing video games. It has been a wonderful experience being able to read again. I used to enjoy reading but never really for entertainment though. I would read more for learning and understanding. It has become a wonderful way to use my time. The books I have been reading are fantastic.

My most recent reading list has been from Jim Rohn. He made a suggestion of what books a person should read. He recommended the Richest Man in Babylon, and this book called How to Read a Book. They have been very good so far, and now I know why he has recommended them. He has also mentioned the 7 Lessons of History. I plan to read that one very soon.

I am looking forward to completing his top 5 recommendations.
Here is my next 5 Reading List:
1) How to Read a Book by: Mortimer J Adler
2) How to Speak/ How to Listen by :Mortimer J Adler
3)The 7 Lessons of History by: Will Durant
4) The Jetstream of Success by: Julian Pencilliah
5)The Complete 101 by: John C Maxwell

I hope to encourage anyone out there to read excellent books!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Day 7 Maybe too much?

I woke up pretty early yesterday and I ended up crashing hard yesterday lol. I came home from work and slept for an hour. Then I woke up, watched American Idol with my dad and went to bed at 10. Did not get a chance to do my Miracle Morning but I did do some of it. So my advice today DO NOT TAKE ON TOO MUCH! I know for me I can get too excited and want to put all my chips in one basket but sometimes a little at a time is better than a crash and burn. As I read in the book, The Richest Man in Babylon by: George Classon,


Getting back on the horse tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Day 6

Trying to wake up at 5:30 from now on:

Let's see how this goes!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Day 5: Six Minutes to help anyone!

So I know it can be a challenge waking up an hour earlier for yourself and Hal Elrod's solution is to give yourself 6 minutes of your day in the beginning for you. 

I think we all need that time to collect ourselves before the day gets really hectic. This is an excellent way to start. Hal's strategy is very good, and I find it is helping me in many ways. I believe it has helped me in that, I have always wanted to do things like meditate, pray, read, write, focus on my goals, and exercise but I never had the umphf! This gives me a way to put my growth first so I can then be better at serving and leading others. I hope you can take care of yourself today so you can then help others go further than where they are now. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day 4 Still Not Enough Time!

So I find that even though I wake up earlier I still wish I had more time. Maybe if I had more hands I could get more done! Now I know how important it is to schedule your time and to stick to it. If you want to take advantage of every minute so you can make the most of it then you need that schedule. 

Today I spent my morning meditating, exercising and reading. It has been extremely helpful. It is a great challenge to make the most of something so I can become better in the future. In my search to become better my reading list has been expanding. One of the books that I have been devouring is this one:

This is a great book about basic financial principles that are in short story form. Excellent! Great for teens and for people who were never taught about money. I am finding the format to be a great way to share his lessons. I am going to bed y'all! Keep on striving for being better!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Day 3 Silence

I learned about the importance of silence in the monastery, and I am just beginning to start putting that into practice. One of the things that Hal Elrod suggests to start your morning of right is silence. Whether it is meditation, or prayer, or a breathing exercise, just begin to sit in silence. He says to start with 5 minutes, but I am starting with 10. I enjoy the 10. I have been reading about meditation for long enough, and it is starting to click. Maybe it is an entry level form I have, but whatever it is, it is working. There is a clarity to my thoughts now. It is as if I have filtered something out and I can now begin to see more clearly in my mind.  I also feel calmer and more at peace, especially when I am not rushing out my house. 

Day 3 is down and I am going so can wake up tomorrow better than I did today!

Day 2

So tired tonight. I woke up did  a modified morning miracle. And now sleep... I will write more  tomorrow. I gotta get used to the new schedule.