You have to go outside of your comfort zone in order to grow.

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” Ronald E. Osborn

There’s a term ‘comfort zone’ which refers to things you’re comfortable with. When you do things that you’re good at, things that you’ve mastered, you’re in your comfort zone. Most people are comfortable within their comfort zone, doing what they already know.

The problem with continually doing what you’re good at, staying within your comfort zone, is that you never learn anything new.

In order to grow and expand beyond your comfort zone, you need to challenge yourself. The best way to challenge yourself is by doing things you haven’t done before, or things you’re not good at. By going outside of your comfort zone. 

This is how children learn, by continually going out of their comfort zone. Be like a child. Become inquisitive. Ask questions and be anxious to try new things. If you hold onto the natural curiosity that you had as a child, you’ll continue to grow and to expand your horizon. Never let fear of the unknown hold you back as an adult. Children are attracted to the unknown, and each new discovery helps them grow.

Bring that child within you out and let curiosity take over. Challenge yourself to learn something new. Go outside of your comfort zone, and try to master something new. In much the same way you grew as a child, by going out of your comfort zone you’ll continue to grow as an adult.

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No one is more cheated than a selfish person

“No man is more cheated than a selfish man.” Henry Ward Beecher

The selfish person looks at everything in terms of self. “What can I get out of this” or “What can I get out of that?” or “Why are they helping that person and not me?”

When a selfish person comes along someone who needs help, their first thought will be to ask themselves “what’s in it for me?” If they see no benefit to themselves, they will not provide assistance. When someone else comes along and provides assistance, the selfish person will think “If it was me who needed help, that person would not have stopped to help”. If the person who provided help gets rewarded, the selfish person will kick up a storm. “I saw that person first and was going to lend assistance when they jumped in ahead of me”

If someone at work gets promoted, the selfish person will feel cheated, that the promotion was gotten unfairly. If someone else gets any show of sympathy or kindness, the selfish person will grit their teeth, feeling nothing but resentment towards that person.

The selfish person can never be happy for someone else’s good fortune. The will feel cheated that the good fortune didn’t happen to them, that it was undeserved or unfairly gotten.

A selfish person will never be content or happy. They will always blame others for their situation. Regardless of what they do, or don’t do, they will feel cheated for not having gotten the same things that those around them have.

Two thoughts that are always on a selfish persons mind are: “What’s in it for me?” and “Why did that person get that and not me?”

The difference between greed and selfishness is that the greedy always want more, usually more than everyone else, will almost never share, and are usually willing to work for it. The selfish on the other hand, want what everyone else has, without having to earn it or work for it and will constantly feel cheated for not getting what everyone else has. Neither is a healthy trait.

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everything which happens to us and the things we come across all contribute to make us who we are. Each new experience builds on top of the old, forming the person that we are, and the person that we are to become.

If you’re happy with the person you are, and what you’ve accomplished, give thanks to all the good which has crossed your path.

If you aren’t happy with the what you’ve accomplished, give thanks to all the good which has crossed your path, for your journey isn’t over over yet.

If you aren’t happy with the person you are, think about this: you are reading this, which makes you more fortunate than millions of others. You should be thankful for that good fortune. You might have had more bad than good cross your path, but while your heart still beats, and your brain still works, it is within your power to become the person you should be. Start by looking at any good which happened to you, no matter how insignificant or how  far back. As you think back, you’ll come to realize that you have much more to be thankful for than you had originally thought. The more you give thanks for the good things, any bad which previously crossed your path will begin to diminish, to the point where it no longer has any control over the kind of person you are.

Get into the habit of being grateful for every good thing that crosses your path, and give thanks continuously. It is a simple thing to do, but yields great returns. Not only will you notice more good than bad crossing your path, you’ll be happy with the person you’ve become, and so will those around you.

Silence that inner voice if you want to reach the stars

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” Unknown

How many times have you said to yourself “No, don’t even bother trying for that, you’re not that kind of person”

What holds you back many times from pursuing things that you might enjoy and be good at, is yourself. Before you’ve given it a try, or even given it a serious thought, that voice inside you says “no, it’s not within your abilities to be that type of person.”

“No, you can’t be a writer, because you’re not gifted.”

“No, you can’t be a corporate executive because you don’t have an MBA from Yale or Harvard, or know the right people.”

“No, you can’t be a doctor because you have no money.”

“No, you can’t be an artist because you don’t have the time.”

The people who go on to become one of these learn how to silence that inner voice. They learn there are no boundaries which you can’t cross once you set your mind to it.

The main obstacle holding you back is your inner voice, the one which tells you not to pursue certain trains of thought. You will never know if you’ll be able to do something until you try. One thing is guaranteed though, you will never know if you could do it if you never try.

Silence that inner voice which tells you who you’re not. The more you silence that voice, the more confident you’ll become. As your confidence builds, your chances of reaching your goal greatly increase. You learn by trying and failing, over and over again, until you reach what you’re after.

Silence that inner voice, and then give serious consideration to what you want to do in life. Once you have an idea, go after it with all your passion. Even if you decide that it’s not what you thought it would be, you would have learned along the way. More importantly, you will have become a person who’s more confident in their abilities.

With the right amount of confidence, you can conquer the world!

 

 

Failing means you’re a trailblazer, paving the road for others to follow.

“Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.” Dr. David M. Burns
If you strive for perfection, your chances for succeeding a very slim. If you strive for success, your chances of achieving your goal are much greater. When defining your goal, aim for success first. Once you achieve that goal, then you can aim for perfection.

Success is often built by trying and failing, over and over again. You learn from these failures. If you never fail, what you learn will be very limited. You can duplicate what others have done by learning from their mistakes, but you will never surpass what they did.

It is only when you strike out on your own, into unchartered territory, that you can exceed beyond what others have done. That is when you’ve gone as far as you can go, by using the failures of others as a guide, and begin setting the trail for others to follow, to use your failures as a guide for their success.

 

Failing and being wrong means you tried something different. Always succeeding means that you are doing the same thing over and over again, it means that you prefer the safe road. Never be afraid to fail, or to be wrong.

It simply means that you’re a trailblazer. You just need to remember to learn from these failures, and not to keep repeating them.

Do I love you because you’re beautiful?

“Do I love you because you’re beautiful,
Or are you beautiful because I love you?” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Cinderella

You are beautiful. Does it matter why I think you’re beautiful? Does it matter what anyone else thinks?

If you love me as much as I love you, neither should matter. What matters most is that I love you, and that you love me.

Am I handsome because you love me, or do you love me because I’m handsome? You love me because I am me regardless of how handsome I am, is this not true?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When it comes to you, I’m the beholder, and I see beauty every time I look at you. When it comes to me, you are the beholder, and what you see is the only thing that matters.

When we look at each other, we see with our hearts, and not just with our eyes.

I love you because you are beautiful to me.

You’ve become even more beautiful because I love you.

When I look at you, my heart tells me what I should see. My heart points out that sparkle in your eyes, which appears every time you look at me. My heart points out your hands, which burn my skin wherever they touch. My heart points out your smile, which makes my insides tingle.

You are beautiful because my heart tells me so. I love you because my heart told me so. Anything else is irrelevant.

This quote is part of a song found in Cinderella. Here’s a version of it on Youtube:

Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful- Paolo Montalban and Brandy

 

There is enough sadness in the world without yours

“Be happy. Talk happiness. Happiness calls out responsive gladness in others. There is enough sadness in the world without yours…. never doubt the excellence and permanence of what is yet to be. Join the great company of those who make the barren places of life fruitful with kindness…. Your success and happiness lie in you…. The great enduring realities are love and service…. Resolve to keep happy and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” Helen Keller

Happiness is infectious. A smile is the only infectious affliction people are encouraged to spread. When you are happy, and you talk happiness, it becomes difficult for those around you not to be happy as well.

There really is enough sadness in the world, with justifiable reasons, such that it is a crime to add your sadness to the mix.

No matter what has occurred in the past, no matter what has happened, always remember that it is in the past, and should not dictate the future. What is yet to be can be the greatest thing to come, if you will it. Once you acknowledge that the best is yet to come, it will happen, over and over again.

To ensure your life is the best that it can be, exude kindness at every possible moment. Kindness begets kindness. Be kind to others, for the simple sake of being kind, and the satisfaction you receive will be greater than anything anyone can give you.  A common trait among the great people remembered throughout history is the kindness they show to their fellow man and woman. No one is remembered for being mean, but there are many who are remembered for being kind.

Success and happiness is controlled from within. These are not controlled or dictated by others. Others can try to influence your actions, but ultimately, it is you who decides what you will do, and how you will feel. Once you know these things, success and happiness will always follow you.

Love yourself and those around you. Serve yourself and those around you. Resolve to always be happy, to spread your joy to others, and you will find that no difficulty shall cross your path that you will not be able to handle and that others around you will always be there to support and help you.

 

Do what is right. Can politics get any simpler than this?

“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” Marcus Aurelius

Can ethics get any simpler than this? Most people understand the differences between right and wrong, the truth and a lie.

Sometimes, people rationalize going against the simple premise of doing what is right by proclaiming that the end justifies the means, that they are above rules like these.

Sometimes, they claim their lies are for the common good of others.

Neither is true.

The end never justifies the means. That is just a way for people to make themselves feel better about being unethical. They lie and cheat, claiming it is for the better good of others. They are not doing it for the benefit of others, they are trying to justify an immoral action.

Annihilating an entire race of people in order to promote your own is never justified. Bombing entire cities to end a war is never justified. Suspending moral laws for the benefit of a few or many is never justified. The means will never justify the end, no matter how many benefit. There will always be other options, suspending moral laws may just be the most expeditious, the easy way out. If tried hard enough, an ethical solution will always be found.  People just need to take the time to find it.

Those who lie never do it for the benefit of others, despite what they claim. They are lying for themselves. Maybe one can justify withholding the truth for the benefit of others, that’s what secrets are. One can never justify lying for the benefit of anyone. Lying is an unethical act which only benefits the liar.

Politicians have become notorious for making these claims. They hold themselves above others, above moral laws, that when they lie or commit an immoral act, it is for the benefit of society.

No one is above moral laws, especially politicians.

Lies and unethical acts are the tools of self serving individuals, people whose main interest is their own agenda.

People have become blinded, believing that the end justifies the means, that lying to protect the majority is okay. That is why immoral politicians continue to prosper. We believe their lies. We accept their claim that they are above moral laws and ethics.

If we, the people, begin holding others accountable to these simple rules, ethics will once again prosper.

If we, the people, simply say “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it”, regardless of the reason, others would not be able to justify immoral and unethical actions.

If we, the people, stand up and say, “that is not right, stop doing it” or “that is not true, stop saying it”, we are saying ethics comes before your self interest.

If we, the people, remain quiet, then we are accepting the fact that others are above moral and ethical laws. We are giving them permission to cheat us and to lie to us. We are saying “you are above moral laws, do what you must”

It is not “If it is not right do not do it, unless …; if it is not true do not say it, unless…”

It is not ‘Do what is expeditious, regardless of ethics”

It is not “Do what benefits the most, regardless of ethics”

It is very simple: If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it” Period!

 

 

Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” Dalai Lama XIV

When disaster strikes, we feel empathy for those affected. Our hearts go out to those grieving, those who’ve lost their life’s possessions, or worse, loved ones. We do what we can for them. We send donations of money and supplies. Some even volunteer their services, going to where the crisis exists, to help in any way they can.

Disasters bring people together. There is unity in their efforts to bring relief as quickly as possible, to prevent any further suffering. Disasters bring out the best in people. People who’ve never talked to their neighbors before suddenly open their homes and their hearts to complete strangers in need of help.

It’s like poetry in motion to see the caring and devotion of everyone involved, from the highest government officials, the largest corporations, to the single individuals, all acting as one to bring relief to those affected by the disaster.

Feats, which seemed impossible, miraculously happen before our eyes. Supplies, that would normally take weeks or months to collect, appear overnight. Shipments come from halfway around the world, from nations we thought never cared for us.

There are few individual heroes in a disaster. The main hero is the collective will of the people to bring aid to those affected and to prevent any further suffering.

But there are two sides to every disaster.

Those directly impacted by the disaster stand on a precipice ready to fall. All they see before them is hopelessness and despair.

Those directly impacted are never more alone then during this time of crisis. Their pain and suffering is immense. As time goes one, their pain and suffering continues to build, tilting off the precipice, into hopelessness and despair. They begin to question why so much could happen to one person. They question how much loss could a person endure. They ask why did this happen to them. They feel completely alone.

Some have lost all of their possessions. Some have lost items they cared about, that have been handed down from generation to generation. Some have lost their homes and everything in them. Some items can be replaced. Many items can never be replaced.

And then there are those who’ve lost loved ones. The material losses pale compared to this type of loss. What’s left is an emptiness in their hearts. Loneliness begins to creep in, compounding the emptiness in their hearts.

All of them begin tilting off the precipice, towards hopelessness and despair.

But then a miracle begins to happen. Just when it seems that all hope will be lost, a flood of help comes through. Volunteers show up, coming from everywhere, to help people they never met, but who are in need. Aid packages arrive, with supplies that are desperately needed. Rays of hope begin to shine.

Disasters occur throughout history. So long as the whole of humanity can come together, to mobilize, for the aid of those affected, will hope continue to win out. If we use the disaster as a source of strength, no matter how painful the experience becomes, we can overcome anything. It is only when all hope is lost that the real tragedy happens. It’s the actions of the volunteers, of the global community acting as one that continually reminds us to never give up hope.

So long as people still care for one another, so long as they feel empathy for another’s loss, will there always be hope. Never, ever give up, for that, will be the true tragedy.

However, there is one foe in every disaster: Time. Time is of the essence for relief. As time slowly ticks away without any aid, so does hope. Time helps in a tragedy, turning events into memories, but time is an enemy is a disaster. In a disaster, if there is no aid in sight, time slowly turns hope and strength into hopelessness and despair.