What Path Is Your Life Following?

path
What path is your life following? This question will help you identify the areas in your life that are being fulfilled and going in the direction you want. It will also help you address the areas in your life that you are not happy with or the aspects of your life in which you know you are not living up to your full potential. Only you can decide when you are ready to take responsibility for where you are in life and where you want to be.

It is important to evaluate one’s life. If you do not, then you will just be reacting to what comes your way instead of creating or being proactive in your life.

Identifying the path your life is following encourages reflection on all aspects of your well-being. It is time to focus on and evaluate many components of your life. This especially involves how you feel about yourself and how those feelings, conscious or unconscious, either get in your way or help you. Wisdom comes from reflection, and without it you are just following the path presented instead of creating the path you want.

Identifying where your life is falling short can be difficult, but it is very valuable because only then can you concentrate on what needs to be changed. Maybe you are very successful in your career, but your interpersonal relationships are rocky at best. Maybe you are the one who helps everyone except yourself. Do others view you as very self-confident and secure but you know otherwise?

To get where you want to be you must first know where you are. This is of utmost importance. It is time to come clean with yourself. No one else can help you grow emotionally and spiritually until you are able to identify that you have an emotional or spiritual need. Self-honesty is essential. Pretending to be OK or strong is just that, pretending, and as you know, it is often a lot of work. Why not stop working so hard at being something you’re not and address how you really feel inside and how you can change the areas that need your attention! You are in charge of your own personal growth! Take charge!

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What You Can Do To Care More!

Caring
I recently started another one of my 12-week Women’s Empowerment Groups. During the first group I spend a significant amount of time talking about how to create a safe environment for this new forming group. An acronym I have used for years to assist me in this process is C.A.R.E. This stands for: Consider Others, Attentive Listening, Receptive Attitude and Encouragement.

The first aspect of C.A.R.E is Consider Others. It can often be clear what one wants, needs, believes, etc. And sometimes you can forget the others perspective or feelings. It is about expanding your sensitivity beyond yourselves in a positive way. It is about being aware of those around you and how your presentation, conversation or behavior may affect them. It is not oversensitivity; it is more of a consciousness of the other. This is not compromising yourself, it is just an awareness that you choose to pay attention to.

The next aspect is Attentive Listening. This is more than just going through the motions of looking like you are listening while you are really vying for your turn to share your viewpoint. Attentive listening is when you do your best to try and understand what the other is sharing. Not putting your own twist on it or passing judgment, but simple trying to understand it from their perspective. It is a wonderful gift to be heard. Attentive listening keeps the focus on what that person is saying until their thought process is complete.

Next, is Receptive Attitude. This is similar to be open-minded in the sense that you are being open to the other even if the other is different than you. Instead of passing judgment on the difference, you are receptive; open to this difference. You don’t feel the urge to have to correct or change the other. Ideally, it would be great if you were able to even find this new perspective interesting. It is easy to be receptive to others that view things the same as you do. It is much more of a challenge to be receptive and respectful to someone who shares a different opinion or viewpoint.

Lastly, is Encouragement. Most of you know what the word encouragement means. I think it is one of the most beautiful words. If we could all practice giving more encouragement to those around us the world would be a much lovelier place. It seems to be so easy to focus on the negative; or on what needs to be different. What would it be like for you to be conscious on a daily basis of being more encouraging to those around you? Try it; it might just encourage you too!

Valentines Day Beyond The Traditional

Valentines Heart
Valentines Day can be a joyful, celebratory time for many happy couples. Often it is a time to rejoice about the wonderful relationship you share with your partner. The media has made this a very pronounced day for most. However, this year my hope is that you will have a little different perspective on this day. Enjoy and have a special day or evening with your valentine if you have one. However, remember those who may not have a special someone in their life. Reach out to someone you care about and let them know they are special. Send a valentine card or note to your friends, family, children or anyone else that you appreciate. Reach out to that person who recently lost their loved one or is experiencing difficulty in their relationship.

With the “hype” that goes into this day it can have such a negative effect on those that do not share a loving relationship with a partner. I invite you to alter the meaning of valentine’s to extend to all the ones that touch your life on a daily basis. I encourage each of you to reach out beyond just the traditional notion of Valentines Day and spread the feeling of appreciation to those around you. What a gift it would be to touch someone’s heart on this media promoted day of love. It has been said, “The more you give, the more you get.” Give on!

Are You A Real Winner?

winner blog
Is the person who has risen to CEO of a company really the winner? My wonderment is how did that person climb the ladder to that position? Did they rise to that position with grace? Is he or she now in that position because of their true competencies? Was he or she able to display those competencies without having to degrade others?

To me the real difference between a winner and a loser is how one wins or loses. It is the character one displays in the process. Do you have to dominate, intimidate, shame or double-cross the other? Is that part of your strategy in winning? Is this what we as a people want to honor as a ‘winner’?

I always tend to prefer the win-win position. To me the win-win position is when both my needs and the others are respected. That doesn’t mean I don’t secure a position or that I have to let the other have the position I am seeking. It means that I earn my position in a way that is honorable and respectful. I don’t have to cheat or be scandalous to get to the top (whatever getting to the top means). So, while we see these types of negative characteristics in the work place and sporting events, it is also true in the game of life.

So what is a true winner? Maybe it is the one who may have lost the competition or didn’t receive the promotion. If that person knows he or she tried their hardest and did so in an honest fashion. If she or he was able to give it their best effort and be accepting of this truth; if the person is able to accept that the other person on that given day or in that given situation was the “winner” so to speak; isn’t that person displaying winning qualities?

I encourage you to examine yourself and how you succeed and how you handle your defeats. Can you look yourself in the mirror and feel good about how you achieve both. Does how you win or lose reflect your positive traits? Becoming the highest version of you is the greatest “win” of all!