Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Today is a blank canvas upon which you have the delightful opportunity to create. At this moment you are standing at the beginning of an impressive adventure, with the very real and present opportunity to shape the upcoming years into the happiest ones ever.
Start now, take the initiative, and…
- Foster your own personal growth. – If you want to awaken happiness in the world around you, start by living a life that makes you happy, and then radiate your happiness outward. If you want to eliminate suffering in the world, start by eliminating the dark and negative parts of yourself, and then radiate your positivity outward. Truly, the greatest power you have in this world is the power of your own self-transformation. It starts with the one in the mirror. Read Awaken the Giant Within.
- Be present in this moment. – Too often we run ourselves into the ground and sacrifice our happiness and health to make a little money. Then we sacrifice the money we made to recuperate some of our happiness and health. And as we’re stuck in this damaging cycle, we are so anxious about the past and future that we forget to enjoy life as we’re living it. The end result being that we don’t ever truly experience being alive. We subconsciously act as if time isn’t passing us by every second of every day – like it isn’t important and we’re never going to die. And thus we end up dying someday without ever having truly lived.
- Focus on your authenticity and integrity. – Start living life according to who you know you are and what you know is right. Your greatest accomplishments will be the ones that contain the greatest quantity of YOU. Be innovative and creative. The challenges you face will crumble when you apply fresh, original thinking to them. And as you move forward, do so with genuine and persistent integrity. That way, the results you create will be results that are actually worth attaining.
- Turn your goals into daily habits. – It’s a process! It’s a process! It’s a process! Ingrain this in your mind. Progress and change takes time. Success, like washboard abs, is the outcome of a habit. It’s the relentless daily practice of making small, diligent choices that add up in the long run. It’s about following through and doing what you said you would do even when no one would notice but you, and knowing in your heart why doing so matters. Read The Power of Habit.
- Be ambitious enough to fail, and be OK with it. – If you never fail, then your goals are not nearly ambitious enough. Comfort is state of being in which to find rest and renewal for a short time; it is a dreary and dismal place to remain permanently. If you don’t challenge yourself on a regular basis, your abilities and effectiveness will become stale and weak. The reason life can be so rewarding is precisely because it can be so difficult. When your efforts are met with failure, you know you are on to something; because on the flip-side of that failure is a real, substantial accomplishment that doesn’t come easy. Your failed attempt is simply evidence that you are reaching higher. And higher is always the best direction to travel in.
- Choose to push forward even when it hurts. – You have the potential to reach greatness, but you have to choose it. To reach greatness, sacrifices must be made. You have to be willing to dig deeper within yourself, push harder, and climb higher every day. When obstacles arise, as they will, you must break through them because you know it’s the only option. Yes, there will be pain, there will be sweat, and there will be suffering. But where others fall and give up, you must choose to rise again and try again. Everyone makes a choice, one way or the other. Have you made yours?
- Let go of needless worries and old wounds. – Every moment of your life you are either growing or dying – and when you are physically healthy, it’s a choice, not fate. The art of living happily rests in the fine balancing act of holding on and letting go. Being hurt is something you sometimes can’t avoid, but being continuously miserable is always a choice.
- Spend time with those who inspire you. – Don’t waste too much of your time with people who are not supportive of your goals and abilities. Surround yourself with those who believe in your potential. Anyone who inspires you to make your half-hearted attempts more whole-hearted through passion and love, is a precious friend and teacher. These people are out there. Find them and conquer the world together.
- Help others when you’re able. – Today will never come again. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Make a difference. Take time to care. Tell someone how special they are. Do something that encourages a smile and a brighter day. By doing so, you will not only help those around you, you will help yourself too. Because when you seek to inspire happiness in all people, you will not only find it, you will become it. Read The How of Happiness.
- Rest your ego and the meaningless comparisons. – Remember to tame your ego and not to take yourself too seriously. You’ll climb much higher in life when you’re thoroughly enjoying the effort. If you think you are better than the rest, you’d better take a rest. Why be better, worse, or equal to anyone else? Drop the meaningless comparisons and just do your best, leave the rest alone, and don’t forget to take a rest when you need one.
Photo by: J.T. Noriega