Category Archives: self improvement


Be Happy…Now! :D

Almost everyone is waiting for something to happen… Waiting to reach some goal to be happy.  Waiting to find the right person, save enough money for a house, pay down debt… Too often happiness is always around the corner… or, a more accurate metaphor, at the end of the rainbow.

Happiness is a simple conscious choice – and does not depend on your current situation or circumstances.  As soon as you base your happiness on anything outside of your own self, it slips through your fingers and is gone.  If you reminisce on happy events from the past, you’ve lost the happiness of the moment.  You only feel the “missing” of the happy moments of the past that are gone.  If you are waiting for some state of life (graduate, new job, pay down debt, waiting to “get” something or “have” someone in your life), then you are in a position of wanting something to happen…waiting for it to happen…putting your happiness on hold.  You are again feeling things from a position of lack – living without happiness because it lies in the future.  What’s more, the moment you had been waiting for, should it arrive, will at some point be gone.  The happiness that was once coming in the future will be gone in the past…again leaving you empty.  The answer is that happiness is already within you… here…now.

Happiness is an emotional feeling that comes from within yourself, and is not dependent on anyone else’s opinion of you, does not need anyone else’s approval, and does not depend on luck or current circumstances in any way… Happiness is an enjoyment of life – feeling in the moment… feeling connected, feeling alive… There are wonderful experiences and there are terrible experiences, and everything in between…but you are alive and there is an immense and wonderful appreciation that can be had for all things you experience in life… experiences that make you into the person you have become, that have given you the energy to be and do and create… to live and enjoy life.

A very simple metaphor that I like to use is to think of what makes a great movie great….There is no movie that I’ve ever seen where everything happens perfectly…goes exactly as planned…Where everything works out and nothing bad ever happens.  Nobody on this planet would sit through the first 10 minutes.  But cliffhangers… drama… action… excitement…love…loss…everything from tragedies to tearjerking romances…. THAT is what grabs us.  THAT is what makes for an interesting experience that keeps us on the edge of our seats.  Seeing the main character work through the lulls and depressed states, cope with inevitable losses, face challenges, overcome the odds….If that is what makes for a great movie, why would we want anything less for our lives?



Want Positive, Be Positive

Jim Rohn said it best:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”

You need positive people in your life.  People that believe anything is possible.  People that support your dreams.  People that are developed enough to not be afraid of your success, that help you think farther and help you stretch your own boundaries.

How do you find positive people?  Be that person to others and they will find you.

Accept people as they are and be careful not to judge or criticize people that may show some negativity or not be as supportive as you would like.  You attract positivity by exuding it, not by forcing it upon others.  Remember, you choose with whom you spend your time.  Just because you would like to spend time with one person or another, and you would like him/her to be supportive doesn’t mean it will ever happen.  Not everyone has to have the same hopes, plans, and dreams as you do, and that’s ok.

When you start paying attention to the “positivity level” of others, positive people will stand out.  Take an inventory of the people in your life right now – who falls into the positive, optimistic, can-do-anything personality category?  What’s even better is a do-er rather than a dreamer…Most people will be hard-pressed to think of anyone…

As you exude and attract positive people, you can’t help but be changed.  Others supporting you, showing you that something you thought was impossible is possible through their own actions… others supporting you when you attempt what some would claim is impossible, unrealistic, or unlikely… You need that when you’re facing those challenges.  The accumulation of subtle shifts of mindset on a daily basis is critical to your success.

So as you finish up this week, and the rest of this year, look for positivity.. use the holidays to make new connections, and develop new personal relationships.

– Want positive, be positive.

Do Your Best

Whatever you’re doing, do your best.  Give doing your best some thought.  Do your best at everything.  Do your best to take care of yourself.  Do your best to care about and help others.  Do your best at work, do your best for your family.

Do your best to accept that your best will never be perfect.  Don’t beat yourself up because you think you should have done better.

Do your best refers to what you’re doing right NOW, not what you did or how you did yesterday.  Likewise, don’t worry about how you might do tomorrow.

Doing your best means you can relax in the knowing that you DID your best, and that what will happen will happen.  Whatever the result from the mix of things within your control and without your control will be what it will be – and you did your best.

If you haven’t been doing your best, it’s ok because that’s in the past.  Do your best NOW.  As you begin to do your best you can relax, a weight will be lifted in your mind and in your heart and you will be able to accept whatever comes of it – good or bad or great.

Do your best for yourself – that is more than enough for anything else.  If you believe in God, doing your best is the highest form of worship – making the best of the life that you’ve been gifted.

Now…Do your best…Now

Back 2 Basics – Step 1 – Exercise

I’m not talking about joining a gym, running a marathon, or anything extreme.  What I’m talking about is exercise as an IMMEDIATE form of mental therapy, and secondarily a tool for general health and physical fitness.


So – why IS exercise STEP 1… not step 4, or step 5?  Other things, such as what you put into your body for instance, are arguably more important than ‘planned’ exercise in many ways.  So why does exercise come first?  Here’s why:

Exercise has an immediate, positive effect on your outlook and mental well-being.

Don’t believe me?  Put it to the test and remind yourself of what you already know – it works.  You’re going to use this frequently going forward as you build up the rest of your foundation for success.

To be sure, exercise didn’t start out at the top of the list.  I was having a slow day – motivation was lagging a bit.  Mentally, I just felt drained.  I knew exercise would help, but it was a catch-22.  Finally I got tired of being tired.  I turned off that inner voice that was telling me how tired I felt and I just started ‘doing’.  I changed clothes, put on my shoes, and walked out the door to go for a jog.  By the time I got back home 30 minutes later, I felt great and I knew that Exercise had to be bumped up to Step 1.  If you’re looking for a quick and effective way to immediately change your mental state, exercise is it.

Use exercise as a mental health tool – a highly effective, all natural, very healthy source of mental energy.  Let it be the catalyst for changing the rest of your behaviors.

Since you’re using exercise as a tool, avoid any self judgement.  It’s very easy to focus on negative things, such as the fact that you can’t run a mile like you used to when you were younger… or the fact that you might have put on a few (or more) pounds, or that you’re out of breath after just a few minutes…. but your physical capabilities and appearance are not the point.  Focus on how you FEEL, your mental state, your energy level after exercise…. THAT is what’s important.


Secondarily, you’re looking for the long term effects of exercise.  You will find that you are less stressed and more easily able to cope with difficulties.  You will sleep better, and have more energy and endurance – both mentally and physically..  You’ll feel better, look better, and exude more confidence.  In line with the theme of one of my earlier blogs, Big Life Changes Don’t Like Being Alone, you’ll also find that you’re eating better (part of a psychological effect of investing the time in yourself, and wanting to make the most of that investment, IMO).

I didn’t talk much about what kind of exercise you should be doing.  Exactly what kind of exercise isn’t quite as important as the fact that you’re doing something.  Everyone is different – so find out what works best for you.  Most importantly, listen to your body… and if you’re not aware of how or what to do – start simple, with something like walking or simple stretching.  Educate yourself, and enlist a personal trainer if necessary.

Personally, here’s what I look for with respect to exercise as a tool for mental well-being and overall health:

  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Flexibility and range of motion
  • Low risk of injury
  • Something enjoyable

This doesn’t meant that everything you do has to fit those criteria, just that you want to be balanced  in order to help your body be as healthy as possible.


Be vigilant about fitting exercise into your life.  It doesn’t mean sacrificing everything else and becoming a health fanatic.  Again, think balance.  However, make sure to give a certain degree of importance to this so that a.) you find or make the time, and b.) you actually do something useful with the time.

  • Train yourself to look to exercise as a tool when you need it for an immediate boost.
  • Really focus on the positive state you’re in afterwards so that your body and mind have a definite cause and effect association between exercise and the positive effects.  
  • Use exercise as a catalyst to help you work on firming up the rest of the foundational steps – such as good sleeping and eating habits, which we’ll talk about soon.

So what are you waiting for?  GET STARTED! :)

Back 2 Basics – 12 Steps To A Foundation For Success

Firstly, what I’m going to advise you to do, you already know.  So why do you need to hear it all again?  Simply put:

You are either ALREADY DOING all the things I’m going to tell or you’re not – and if you’re not, you don’t have a SOLID FOUNDATION for success.

Without the basics, it will be very difficult to be successful, and very difficult to maintain success if you do get lucky.  With the basics, you’ll be HEALTHIER, HAPPIER, and BALANCED.

Obstacles that were once in your way will gradually disappear, and things will start to fall into place as if they were meant to be.

You’re going to receive 12 posts that will give you specific things to consider.  If you’re already in alignment with the advice, give yourself a pat on the back.  If you’ve been “in alignment” for less than a year in any of the areas – then use this information to reinforce your new behaviors so you don’t regress.

Some advice as you read the posts and try to make any changes in your life:

  1. Set reasonable goals.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  This isn’t a race.
  2. Go easy on yourself.  If you slip up, it’s ok.  Simply think about what happened – why you slipped up, and try to find a creative way to help yourself not slip up the next time.
  3. Enlist others for support. friends, family… talk to them about what you are trying to do.  For those of you that are on your own – be strong in the beginning and you’ll attract support as people see changes in you.

Interestingly enough, if you’re already doing all the basics right – you WILL be happy – and for some of you, this will be enough to find peace, happiness, and enjoy life to the fullest.

Some of you will have aspirations for more based on lifelong dreams, the need to provide for your family, or maybe the desire to help others.  Don’t fret.  Once we have our foundation underway, we’ll immediately start on the 6 Key Steps to Build Up Your Life.

Here’s a hint on Step 12 – Help Others.  Start by sharing this with those you care about – friends, family, loved ones.

Also, the easiest way to receive the new posts and updates is by liking the Your Higher Level Life! page on Facebook.