To live is to be slowly born. Yet we live in an instant gratification culture that glamorizes the finished product instead of the tedious process. Every day becomes a fiery contest of either living strategically by our own defined purpose and ethical compass or by the outside opinions and validation of others. The choice is always ours. But to choose is an imperative must.
At the end of the day, the only validation that is truly important is one’s self-evaluation and awareness. We can waste enormous amounts of precious time in life chasing a ghost of facade expectations, trying to seek out other people’s acceptance, even when we do not fully love and accept ourselves. In our quest for other’s approval without ample thought or reason, we end up putting ourselves in categories and mental prisons which ultimately, dishonors our epic wisdom, amazing grace, and radiant spirit.
If you do not make the choices in your own life, someone else is going to surely make them for you. The moment one embarks on the journey of liberating their mind and taking back their life, they become solely responsible for their own personal freedom and peace of mind.
May the following twenty-five growth tasks I commit to every single day allow you to consciously focus your time and energy on owning and seizing your days while having a greater influence over the details in your life.
- Be You – Happiness is your birthright. Striving for coolness, validation and acceptance comes with the heaviness of living up to the expectations of others. The masks we wear, the stories we tell ourselves and the labels we hide behind, keep us from exploring and discovering our most unique, authentic and vulnerable self.
- Plan – Develop a detailed, strategic plan from moving from where you are now, to where you want to be.
- Think – When you apply deep thinking you do not just skim the surface and react. Create space in your day to allow insights and inspiration to flood in. The best never stop learning and getting better.
- Learn – Learning is a process that has no beginning, middle or conclusion. It is life itself. Unlearn to Learn. Undo to Do.
- Read – Today a Reader. Tomorrow a Leader. Books are not just made of pages and words. They are made of hopes, dreams, and possibilities. A person who does not read is no better off than a person who cannot read.
- Write – Wholeheartedly believing in the beauty of your own voice and unique story is the beginning of an everlasting holistic change filled with purpose, clarity, compassion, vulnerability, and truth.
- Listen – Mastering the art of active listening is a daily action of intent practicing that takes a great deal of awareness. When we participate in active listening we immerse our attention, body, mind, and surroundings into the present moment.
- Create – Do not allow opportunities to pass you by, even if the time, funding and circumstances are not completely right.
- Communicate – Real conversations are filled with words such as “how, when, where and why.” Putting ourselves in positions to have more real and meaningful conversations is in our control. It is our responsibility and starts with how we think about our growth and willingness to step outside our comfort zone.
- Share – Nothing in life is of any value unless you can share it with someone.
- Rest – Always go to bed, smarter than you were when you woke up. True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know, but need to know.
- Encourage – You don’t need a title to be a leader.
- Mindfulness – Conquering our minds is the biggest victory in life and the starting point for transformative change.
- Question – If you are looking for answers, start with the person in the mirror. People often look for someone or something to save them from their current state and underestimate the transformative step of looking at themselves.
- Live – Every day is a gift, an opportunity, an interview, a new story, a celebration, a blank canvas, an intellectual journey, a negotiation. Every day is simply Now.
- Believe – Believe in your heart for it offers Hope. Believe in your mind for it offers Direction. Believe in your soul for it offers Strength. And believe in your Yourself because you are and will always be enough.
- Persevere – Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living. Inside every difficulty, there is a hidden opportunity.
- Disconnect – Technology is becoming a real threat to authentic communications and relationships. In the process becoming a mechanism to govern people’s lives. If you do not make the rules that govern your life, you live by someone else’s dictates while surrendering your standards along the way. Not everything in life can be explained in 280 characters on Twitter.
- Smile – Never underestimate the power of a kind word, touch or smile. People will never forget how you made them feel.
- Exercise – The physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial habits we practice consciously or unconsciously every day either move us forward or backward in creating our most authentic and best lives today filled with meaning and purpose.
- Appreciate – Entitled to nothing, grateful for everything.
- Storytell – Make your life an awesome story of love, courage, and perseverance.
- Serve – If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more…You are a Leader!
- Dream – It’s only by dreaming that you will ever discover who you are, what you want and what you can do. So dream of things that never were and ask why not?
- Love – Live simply, dream big, fall down and get back up, be grateful, give love, laugh lots and never forget people do not always need advice. Sometimes all they really need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen and a heart that understands them.