Train Your Mental Toughness #3: Choose your Path

Traveler walking along the road to the mountains

Without clarity and self-awareness, your inner compass will be pointing other people’s North, you’d find yourself chasing goals not your own… as the saying goes, people may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall… You don’t want to let that happen to you.

I once read about a college student at Ohio State, who was supposed to become a veterinarian because she loved animals; but she actually loved being with them rather than studying them or treating them… and this was only after two whole years of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry.
So, she needed to look into her heart and find her inner guidance… When was she the happiest?  And it was always when she was involved in leadership; so, in order to get a major in leadership, she took courses in psychology, persuasion, journalism, speech, etc. She graduated with a leadership degree at age 26 and ended up teaching at the Pentagon.
Today she’s a very successful woman, and she is fulfilled and happy.

The only way to your path is through self-awareness. Tune in to your real self and develop skills like discipline, dedication and a capacity for high performance.

The path of your heart will be authentic to your true self, and aligned with your purpose; not to what others think is best for you.

This is the path to the real YOU.
Now it’s up to you to find it.

 

Next week we will cover the final aspect to achieve Mental Toughness: Find a healthy lifestyle, and surround yourself with a supportive environment

Until then, stay strong!

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Train Your Mental Toughness #2: Discover your Purpose

Man using compass for directions

Hello there, and welcome back; this is our #2 article –from a 4 articles series– on how to thrive in life through mental toughness.

Last week we talked about the need to Focus on Yourself First; today, we’ll move on to a second step: Discover Your Purpose.

 

 Discover Your Purpose

15 years ago, I started investigating and experiencing various personal development and peak performance systems and technics through, attending seminars and workshops that had a big impact on my view of the world and life in general; and my state and performance improved significantly because of it.

One of the most valuable benefits I got from all that experience was a crystal clear view of my passions and purpose.

 

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself that will help you realize if you are on course or off course on your life journey:

. What are you conditioned to think you are supposed to do with your life?

. What do you feel you should actually be doing with your life?

. What do you think you should actually be doing with your life?

. Do you have some intuitive feeling that you’re on the wrong path?

. Or is there instead an inner voice telling you that you in did are on the right path?

. What is the one thing you think you’re here for? What is that thing you’d be chasing if nothing else was holding you back?

. What is that special thing you’d be doing if you knew you couldn’t fail?

. What would you do differently if you knew you had only one year to live?

 

Answer all these questions with total honesty, and see where their answers lead you.

For me, it was a really powerful insight that led me to abandon a work path that was slowly but consistently consuming me. The answers to these questions gave me the guidance I needed to pursue my true dream.

I hope they can do the same for you.

 

Next week we’ll find out how to determine the path you want to follow.

Stay strong

Train Your Mental Toughness and Thrive in Everything You Do

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If there is something I’ve learned about success and achievement, is the importance of your mental strength over any other ability or quality you may possess.

We’ve all heard the quote “mind over matter”, and it is quite true; you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it.

For the next 3 weeks, we’ll be delivering 4 blogs with tips on how to build your mental toughness, and the topics will cover the following:

  1. Focus on yourself first
  2. Discover your purpose
  3. Define your path
  4. Create a supportive environment for your new purpose

So, let’s start with the first one then:

Focus on Yourself First

If you want your mind to become an undefeatable weapon at your service, self-awareness is the place to start.

Self-awareness is the ability to look at yourself without any attachment to what you’re going to find. You just look at what is there; emotions, thoughts, patterns… you evaluate everything objectively.

This is the only way to know where you actually stand, what is your starting point. One way to establish your self-awareness is using a journal.

Find a quiet place and use least some 10 minutes a day to write about your thoughts, feelings, etc.
This will be your starting point.

Now you need a destination; something to move towards to.

There is a great tool widely used by the renowned coach Jack Canfield called Vision Board, which can help you define your “destination point”. In it, you simply add pictures or drawings of the things, events, and situations you’d want to achieve for you.

Before taking on these exercises, try doing some deep breathing to center yourself, and spend some time reflecting on who you are, where you are, and what you want for your life. These two points of focus (your actual and your future self), when practiced as a reliable habit, will give you enough knowledge about yourself to move on to the next step in this path to mental toughness: Discover Your Purpose, which we’ll be covering it next week.

 

Until then, keep going, stay strong

Cheers!

 

Life Only Grows Outside Your Comfort Zone

yourstory-telangana-sapling

Like most people, you may want certain things in life, – a nice home, a comfortable bank account, loving relationships, or a rewarding career. You may wish that life was better, or that they had more, or that things somehow were different… But what you really want is what you think those things will make you feel whenever you’d achieve them.

So, why is it that you’re not taking action towards those things or feelings you want?

 

You might even know the steps you need to take to get there – but what’s stopping you?  One of the reasons could be the set of negative images you have about yourself or the effects of toxic experiences that you haven’t processed yet.

You stay in a comfort zone of your own making. You maintain flawed beliefs about yourself and you hold onto guilt and self-doubt.

When you try to achieve your life goals, these negative images and pre-programmed comfort zones always cancel out your good intentions — no matter how hard you try.

The other reason is that, in general, we choose the instant, short-term gratification of the things we know and can control because there is no risk there; we know where this road leads, it’s a road we’ve been before and, although we’re not satisfied with it, at least we know its ups and downs.

Trying something new, on the other hand, presents us with a high risk environment; the stakes are high there, we don’t know what’s going to happen, how long it’s going to take or if we’re ever going to achieve it; so we take the low-level pain of daily resignation to avoid the possibility of failing.

But failing is nothing but the road to success; it’s just a stepping stone… you fail your way to success.

 

So, instead of using willpower as the engine to power your success, you simply let go of your limiting beliefs and change the images you hold about yourself and how “failure” might feel like.

Start talking, thinking and writing about the way things will be when you achieve those goals; and change the fail-oriented approach into a success-oriented one. Flood your unconscious with the wonderful thoughts, feelings, and images of this new soon-to-be reality.

Align Your Goals With Your Life Purpose and Passions

senior man on sail boat or yacht sailing in sea

Blake Mycoskie, an American entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist, once said that if you organize your life around your passion, you can turn your passion into your story and then turn your story into something bigger – something that matters.

In the previous articles, we’ve seen how we all have a set of talents and passions that give us a hint as to what we’re supposed to do in life.

Once you’ve identified your passion and purpose, the next smartest step is to organize all your life around it. Everything you do should be aligned with your purpose. Every time an opportunity arises, you should compare it to your “Purpose Map”, and if it doesn’t match it, well you shouldn’t take it.

When you are “on purpose” and following your passion in everything you do –especially in a professional environment, everything you do feel like you’re on vacation, except you’re being paid for it!

Don’t get me wrong, you still have to do some work, sometimes it would be easy, and sometimes it will be hard, but it won’t feel like an effort to you, it would be like when you were a child and you were playing the afternoons away. Time will stop, and you’ll be enjoying every moment.

One more thing to add here; while going after your dreams, don’t aim for success, just do what you love, believe in it, and success will come to you naturally.

 

Talk again next week.
Cheers!

Let Your Greatest Joy be Your Guidance

View from behind of a young woman standing in autumn woods with

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been covering the concept of Life Purpose, and some ways to discover and pursue it.

Another way that can help you identify your Purpose is to mentally review of all the times you’ve felt the greatest joy in your life. Take a moment in your day to grab a piece of paper and make a list of those moments when you felt really alive; those moments burned into your memory as the best times of your life… believe me, if they are like mine, it’s going to be an easy job.

Once you have that list made, look for a pattern there. What do all those things have in common?

In my case, it was when I was working with kids at summer camps, gathered at a bonfire telling stories; writing a compelling and inspiring novel, and so on.

Think about your Joy as the magnetic needle in your compass; it always tells you if you’re on or off course using your emotions as a way to communicate with you.

The way this works is pretty simple: when you’re currently feeling good (happy, pleased, enthusiastic, loving), no matter the reason; this feeling is the indicator that you are in alignment with your Self –your True You, so you are “on course”. And when you’re feeling bad (depressed, afraid, worried, intolerant) –again, no matter the reason, it’s an indicator that you’re out of alignment with your Purpose, so you are “off course”.

 

Your Emotional Guidance System

Here is a list of some 22 of our most commonly felt emotions, ordered in a scale from the lowest (fear) up to the highest (love/joy). The higher we’re on the scale, the more in alignment with our True Self, and with our Purpose.

Emotional Scale

1 . Joy/Appreciation/Empowered/Freedom/Love
2 . Passion
3 . Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness
4 . Positive Expectation/Belief
5 . Optimism
6 . Hopefulness
7 . Contentment
8 . Boredom
9 . Pessimism
10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience
11. Overwhelment
12. Disappointment
13. Doubt
14. Worry
15. Blame
16. Discouragement
17. Anger
18. Revenge
19. Hatred/Rage
20. Jealousy
21. Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness
22. Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness

This scale not only tells you your level of alignment so that you actually know where you are… it also serves you as a guide so, once you’ve identified your current emotional state, you can climb up the scale, step by step, all the way up to a higher –and more attuned, alignment with your Life Purpose.

You’ll be yet one more step closer!

 

Talk next week.
Cheers!

Your Purpose is Found where your Passion is

hand of man in classical guitar

Continuing with these series of blogs about finding your Purpose, today I’d like to take to a vision of your ideal life.
Let’s say that your life is perfect right now; what would it look like? What kind of daily activities do you perform? Where would you live? Would you have a family? What would you do for fun?

By continually asking yourself those kinds of questions, you’ll trigger your subconscious mind to help you make it a reality.

There is an exercise created by Chris and Janet Attwood, called the Passion Test. In it, you have to fill in the blank with action words for 15 sentences which start with: “My life is ideal when I am …………”

These are some examples of how your sentences would look like when you finished them:

  • My life is ideal when I am: empowering people to live a higher version of them.
  • My life is ideal when I am: writing novels and stories that inspire and motivate people.
  • My life is ideal when I am: meditating, exercising and enjoying nature.

 

Go through your 15 statements, and then see if you can recognize your top 5; those that really define and deeply engage you.
You do this, and you’d have found a large piece of your Passion puzzle!

You have defined to some extent what your Passion is, and how your ideal life looks like. Now it’s time to compare.
Take a look at your current life; are you living those passion statements? If so, how can you enhance them even more?
If not, well… you’re going to need an action plan to turn those dreams into reality.

Nevertheless, you are already on the right track!
So far, you have clarified your personal qualities and came up with a Purpose Statement. You started learning how to follow your inner guidance by deciding what you want your destination to be.
Now, by having identified your Passion, you’ve found the power source that would fuel the remaining of your quest.
Next week we’ll dig a little into your past and look for your greatest experiences of joy.

Enjoy!

Follow Your Heart, Your Inner Guidance System

compass on rocks with a dark sky

When your heart and your mind works in harmony, they act as your inner guidance system; a system you can use to go from wherever you might be now, to where you want to be. It works pretty much like a GPS device.

 

Defining Points A and B

First you need to state your current position; that is, your actual situation in life, your Point A.
No matter what it is, you need to clarify your vision and be very specific.
Then, you have to define your destination, your Point B.
Think about all the aspects of your life you need to work on or want to improve even more…
What would they be if they were just the way you wanted them?

One way to “input” this destination is by making a list to describe each one of them in detail; you can also try goal setting; affirmations, or visualization.

Do not restrain yourself and your dreams based on your current beliefs of what is and what is not possible. There are no limits here.

Once you have your Points A and B, just as with a GPS device, your inner guidance system will take care to get you to your destination by itself; giving you constant signals to let you know if you are on course or off course.

 

Start Taking Action

And by action, I mean an actual deed or a thought, even emotions are actions; “causes” that you’re setting into motion which, eventually, will have a reaction from the world around you.

Whenever you’re expressing a preference for something (whether you verbalize it, or think of it), you’re expressing an intention which reinforces or changes your set destination.
Whenever you’re having contradicting thoughts or actions due to your negative beliefs, you’re delaying or changing your results, your destination, into something you really don’t want.

Let’s say you’re ordering pizza for dinner; you call and order two specials, and they say they’d be at your door it in 30 minutes.
10 minutes later, you call back and say: “you know what? Never mind the specials… thanks anyway”.
Then again, you call back and say: “on second thought, send the specials…“, and so on, and on.

You need to stay focused on the positive results you expect to find when you achieve your goals.
Your inner guidance will tell you in the form of positive or negative emotions, whether you’re on or off course. If you’re feeling bad in any way, then you know you are moving away from your goals; but if instead you’re feeling well or even great, then you would know; you’ve got the wind at your back, sailing straight to the life of your dreams.

Always follow your heart, and you will be right every time.

 

See you again next week!

Defining your Life Purpose

Woman with the bow

As we covered last week, we’re all born with a distinctive Purpose; and that the identification and pursuit of that Purpose are the best things you can do in order to live a fulfilling, happy life.
Today, we’re going to talk about how to identify your Purpose and then to create a Purpose Statement, which will become a road map to guide you through life.

 

What do you love to do?

First of all, you need to mentally explore the things you already love to do and always come easily to you…
Think about those things… What do you love to do most? What are those things that, when you’re doing them, time seems to stop?
It might be something you work hard to develop into a talent, but that it felt natural to you, like going down a water slide.

Make a list of all that comes to your mind and see what they all have in common.

 

1. What qualities do you love expressing?

Now, ask yourself, what are two values that you most enjoy expressing in the world?Mines are Courage and Integrity; what are yours? Remember to write them down.

 

2. In what way do you express them?

Once you have those two identified, what are two ways in which you enjoy expressing them? Mine are Inspiring and empowering others.

Write down yours now.

 

3. What does a “perfect world” look like to you?

Finally, take a moment now to describe what a “perfect world” would look like to you. How is everyone relating to each other? What are they doing on a daily basis?
For me, in a perfect world, people will be living the higher version of themselves; everyone is doing what they love most, and sharing it with others.

Write down your own description now, because the next step is to combine all the previous steps to create your Life Purpose Statement.

 

Create your Life Purpose Statement

Ok, now take a moment to combine the 3 points into one single statement that will start to outline your Purpose.
I wrote down my Purpose here. Use it as a guideline to create yours:

My Life Purpose is to inspire and empower (2) people to live the higher version of themselves (3), in a context of courage and integrity (1).

Every time I’m living it, I feel like I’m “in the zone”; I love every minute of it. I could spend 8 hours straight and it feels like playing! Don’t get me wrong, work and effort are in did a requirement, but suffering is not. If you are stressed and suffering, you’re probably living your life off-course; off-purpose, we could say.

Create your Life Purpose Statement and start guiding your life to a more satisfying experience.

See you next week.

How to Live a Life of Purpose

Madre e hija jugando con hojas de otoo

I believe that each one of us is born with a distinctive Purpose. For some of us it’s a clear and obvious passion for certain activities that, through time and persistence, we get to develop from a set of talents into very profitable skills.
In some cases, those talents are easily identified from an early age. Some kids, like my daughter for instance, are singing, dancing, and telling stories all the time; so it’s very likely she would end up in the artistic world. Some others show an inherent talent for business, making plans and selling things to their friends.

Identifying, accepting and honoring this Purpose is the best you could possibly do if you want to live a fulfilled, happy, and content life.
You have to learn how to identify your passion and Life Purpose since, once you know what it is, you can use it to guide you as a road map against which you can contrast all your goals and action plans so, one you finally reach them, you get to experience inner peace and real fulfillment.
Shown below is a list of eight steps you can use as a guide to help you find your Life Purpose. We’ll be covering them in detail in the following articles.
1. Define Your Purpose
2. Follow Your Inner Guidance (What Is Your Heart Telling You?)
3. Be Clear About Your Life Purpose
4. Conduct a Passion Test
5. Think About The Times You’ve Experienced the Greatest Joy In Your Life
6. Follow This Example of Finding Purpose
7. Align Your Goals With Your Life Purpose and Passions
8. Lean Into Your True Life Purpose

On our next article, we’ll be talking about a way to start exploring those things that come easy to you, the qualities you enjoy expressing in the world, and how to find and make your Purpose statement.

In the meantime, think about what are the things you love to do? What makes you feel alive?

Until next week!

Dan