Don't try to put in what God left out. Try to draw out what God left in. That's hard enough.
Deep down, you know which of your actions increase your sense of inner strength, personal satisfaction and success. And you know which of your actions decrease your sense of passion, purpose and self-worth. You can put on a “social mask” and tell everyone, “I'm fine” but your soul knows better. You want to feel a sense of purpose, passion and personal power. You want to wake up looking forward to your day instead of dreading how it will unfold. You want to embrace life with an audacity of hope. You want to feel a passionate determination to manifest the positive change you desire in life. You want to stop circling the same mountains. You have the power to make this happen. Living your strongest life requires that you become intentional towards what you entertain, engage and empower in your life.
1. Be Mindful of What You Entertain
We live in a period of time where there is no shortage of information. From the moment we wake up to the time we lay down at night, we are constantly bombarded with information. If you want to live your strongest life, you have to be discriminating towards the information you entertain. You have the responsibility to exercise your free will and distinguish between information that strengthens your self-assurance and inspires your heart with courage to realize more of your potential, versus information that diminishes your self-confidence and fills your heart with fear and self doubt which diminishes your courage and willingness to pursue your dreams.
So many, have become accustomed to living their life on automatic pilot that they don't take into consideration how the information channels they entertain influences their beliefs about themselves, other people and life in general. Everything in life consists of energy. Every thought and word that you entertain consist of energy. So, if you subscribe to entertaining information that plant seeds of faith, courage, abundance, peace, love and harmony in your mind and heart, over time this information will influence your beliefs, identity and behavior. Likewise, if you subscribe to entertaining information which plants seeds of fear, doubt, scarcity, hate, envy and discord in your mind and heart, over time this information will influence your beliefs, identity and behavior.
The dominant information sources that you allow to influence your mind and heart has a subtle way of transforming who you are, what you believe about yourself, what you believe is possible in your life and whether you believe you have what it takes to create the change you want to experience in life. We are wise to heed the wisdom of Solomon, “Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life (Proverbs 4:23 NIV).
2. Engage Life with Purpose
Nowadays, people make a BIG deal about finding their purpose. When I was growing up, one's purpose was simple: wherever you saw a need and you felt an unction in your heart to do something about it, you did something to bring about the change you believed to be possible. You didn't sit back wondering and waiting on someone to tell you if it was okay or even if you were born to do it. You just did it. You listened to the still small voice in your soul and allowed it to guide you as you rendered service to others. If the change you wanted to bring about was too large for you to make happen by yourself, you went out and asked others for help. Simple and effective.
Want to find “your purpose”? Begin to help meet the needs of people within your circle of influence. Allow the experiences of others fan a desire in your heart to take action about a change you want to see in the world, instead of sitting back complaining and whining about what's happening in the world. Stop thinking about what needs to be done and start doing something to create the change you want to experience in our world. Can you recall a time when you had a need or desire for something and it was never met? If so, you have an opportunity to give to others what you didn't receive so that there are less people walking around in life with a similar experience. Was there a time in your life when you believed that if you had more support you would have been more successful? Who can you support to ensure that they feel someone was there for them? Is there additional knowledge and skills that you can learn that will increase your effectiveness in helping others and living with a greater sense of purpose? There is no better time like the present to engage learning experiences that support your effort to engage life with a greater sense of purpose.
You have the freedom to be selective towards the relationships and activities you get involved in. Carefully choosing your relationships and activities based on your values and best interests is a smart habit. Keeping first things first means your life is driven by your highest values and not “busybodies” and the constant stream of “urgent” matters created by others. As you increase the number of purpose-driven relationships and activities in your life, you will experience a greater measure of well-being because these experiences satisfy the soul and provide you opportunity to grow your potential.
3. Empower Your Strengths
Strong-life practices represent the pattern of choices and behavior you've initiated in your life that inspire you with a sense of strength and power. These patterns leave clues as to what works and what doesn't work. They indicate when you're in your strength zone and when you're not. When you are in your strength zone, it's easier for you to get into the “flow.” During these moments, you feel strong positive emotions. Living with the intention of empowering your strengths require a commitment on your part to set aside time for reflection and introspection. Self-awareness and visualization techniques increase your ability to remain emotionally connected to those moments in your life which spark strong positive emotions.
Living your life on purpose should help you identify specific activities that strengthen you. It is a possibility that you have disconnected from what strengthens you out of an obligation to others. If you find that this is your truth, it is critical that you schedule time to reconnect with the strong in you. When you are disconnected from the intrinsic strength of your spirit, you are more apt to reject the truth of your inner voice. When you are connected to the strength of your spirit, you make decisions with greater confidence and in a manner that represent the truest sense of yourself.
You will know that you are operating in the strength zone when the activities you are involved in make you feel strong. You look forward to engaging these particular activities. They invigorate you. They refresh your soul, like a water well to travelers in a desert.
Living your life emotionally healthy and strong requires that you embraces mindfulness as a way of life. You are attentive to what really matters. You are present in mind, body and spirit. It evokes a desire to create change instead of waiting on change to happen. It leads you to your sweet spot. Living your strongest life increases your effectiveness and helps you realize more of your God-given potential. It empowers you to live authentically. It's not about social facades. It is what it is and that's okay. Self-acceptance is powerful. You accept your role as a co-creator of your life. Finally, you recognize the importance of staying connected to the strength deep down in your soul. So you make a pack with yourself to create daily rituals that help maintain your connection to the strong positive emotions that express your strength at it's best. Over time, these strong-life practices elevate your life and the lives of those within your influence. You learn how to draw out what God left in you.
What are some actions that you can begin to take to be more intentional towards what you entertain, engage and empower in your life? Share your comments below.
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Enjoy this short Soul Pancake video on being intentional on making new friends.
Enjoy this short Soul Pancake video on being intentional on making new friends.
Be Better than Your Best
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish
This is an excerpt from my new book, Get Unstuck Now: Changing Your Story Unleashes Your Power to Move On and Be Happy.
Reference: Buckingham, Marcus. Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently. 2009. One Thing Productions. Thomas Nelson. Print.