Thursday, December 31, 2015

Commitment Implies Action. And Determination.

Determination is a Core Component of Commitment

Translating your intentions into choices and then moving your choices into action requires the power of commitment.
You can think of commitment as a contract between your spiritual side ─ the part of you that wants to grow and develop ─ with your mind and body. Your mind and body have to do the work to achieve the goals of your spiritual side (which explains everyone's conflict between having a desire for change and often lacking the commitment to change). You will feel the decisions of your spiritual side internally, in your heart and gut. Only you can decide who will win the battle between your heart and gut on one side, and your body and mind on the other.
When you make a firm commitment you dedicate yourself to a course of action in pursuit of your goals and desires, hopefully resulting in an expansion of your well being, self satisfaction and overall happiness.
You have to make a decision to act and then make a commitment to act. As Bertrand Russell wrote, "Nothing is so exhausting as indecision."
Commitment implies action. When you make a commitment to others, this pledge usually propels you to follow through and do what you promised. The same should be even truer for a commitment you make to yourself.
Andre Malraux, the French author, adventurer and statesman, is definitely on the mark with his comment that, "Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to be on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk ─ and to act."
How do you obtain the commitment to act? It comes from within, from the burning desire deep within yourself that produces a spark in you saying "I have to achieve this" or "I must accomplish this."
There is a huge difference between a "must have" or a "must do" and a "want." There are likely many things you want to do, but only a handful of things that grasp the inner core of your soul and your self-consciousness to produce a must do.
The things that you willingly practice in order to hone your skills and talents will usually fall into the must do category. Sometimes this willingness to practice will come naturally, through an internal flame of motivation. At other times, however, you will need to coerce yourself into action.
But, as Harry S Truman said, "In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves ─ self-discipline with all of them came first."
Former baseball manager Tommy Lasorda noted that, "The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination." Determination, of course, is a core component of commitment. 

This article is excerpted from the best-selling book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Commitment Means Commitment To Action

Learn Commitment From Michael Jordan 

One of the things that made Michael Jordan such a fierce competitor is evident from one of his most famous quotes: "I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying."
Part of what Jordan is talking about in that quote is having a commitment to commitment ─ the commitment to try, to act, to overcome hurdles and blips encountered on the way, to go after your goals and dreams no matter what.
Commitment is what transforms dreams, hopes, goals, and desires into reality.
Here's another quote from Jordan about commitment: "I have always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don't do things half-heartedly because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results."
This level of commitment means doing the daily things you need to do to accomplish your goals and bring your dreams to reality, even when you do not feel like it (perhaps especially when you don't feel like it).
The key is to keep your goals in mind and understand that your daily activities are a means to an end. 

For instance, if your goal is to build your upper body strength, you will need to lift weights three times a week. Now, lifting weights three times a week is not your goal (building your upper body strength is), but merely the steps required to achieve your goal. So on days you feel too tired to lift weights, you have to tell yourself "in order to achieve my goal I must do my weights workout" and "I am not too tired to pursue my goals." That is what Jordan means about putting in whole-hearted work.
Commitment requires a commitment to action. You cannot become a howling success merely by howling!

A New Year is upon us. Make a commitment to being committed and 2016 will be a year you long remember. 

This article is excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Evaluating Your Life Satisfaction

Creating Your Determined Life Road Map 

There are seven aspects to a Project You Life (Your Personal Life, Your Professional Life, Your Family Life, Your Health and Fitness Life, Your Emotional and Mental Health Life, Your Spiritual Life, and Your Interconnected Life). 
You may not know the details of each of these seven core life aspects until you have read our book Project You: Living A Determined Life. So for know just use your intuition on what these seven aspects of life mean to you.
Rate how satisfied you are with each of these seven life aspects on the following scale using your own preconceived notions of what these aspects entail:
7 -- Highly Satisfied
6 -- Fairly or Moderately Satisfied
5 -- Satisfied
4 -- Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied
3 -- Dissatisfied
2 -- Fairly or Moderately Dissatisfied
1 -- Highly Dissatisfied

Next, review the vision you previously created (see previous blog post on Planning Your Determined Life Journey)
Evaluate whether your vision incorporates all seven elements of a Project You Life. If any are missing, ask yourself why. Then decide whether the missing element or elements should be added to your overall vision and how.
After you have reviewed your vision for missing elements, assess the gaps between your vision and your current situation. Key areas to identify include:
Which gaps are the most important?
Which gaps will be critical for you to close?
Which gaps should be given priority? Why?
Which gaps will require assistance from others to close?

You are now ready to create a road map from your current situation to your desired state. Defining some parts of your path will come easy. Others will require more thought and effort. It is best not to shortchange yourself by trying to create your path too quickly.

As you write down your draft ideas on how to create your path, be sensitive to how your gut and heart feel as you record each one. This will be your spirit communicating with you and giving you an indication as to how aligned each option is to your spiritual needs. 
For the next three days, take 30-60 minutes in solitude to continue your reflection and thinking. What emotions are you feeling about your Determined Life Road Map? How strong are these feelings? Remember, the stronger the feelings, the more certain you can be that you are embarking on the right path and journey for you. 

This article is partially excerpted from the best-selling book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Planning Your Determined Life Journey

Questions to ask of yourself

One method to help your create and maintain responsibility and ownership for your actions is to proactively plan them. After all, if you plan your actions and activities, then you are certainly accountable for them.
Planning your Project You Life Journey is also important. For achieving your dreams, hopes, desires, and goals is unlikely to happen arbitrarily or randomly.
Additionally, planning a Project You Life Journey helps you to overcome the concerns, fears and anxieties you have about your personal hopes, dreams, desires, and goals.
The key step in planning your Project You Life Journey is to start with your hopes, dreams, desires, and goals in mind first.
Many people start their self-development planning process by painting a picture of where they currently are and then deciding which area or areas of improvement to tackle first. This is the wrong approach, especially when you look at life-long goals and desired outcomes.
You must start with a clear vision (or at least a semi-clear one) of what your dreams, desires and hopes look and feel like. What will bring you authentic happiness? What will achievement and success feel like to you?
Answering the several questions on your unique personal gifts and talents (see earlier post on Key Questions for Identifying and Understanding the Purpose of Your Life) is the first place to start. Then record any others that spring to mind.
Writing down what you believe to be your unique personal gift and individual talents will help you formulate a tangible view of your visions. Doing so also helps to provide clarity and understanding to what you believe to be your life's purpose.
Only after you have your personal vision firmly figured out is it time to make an assessment of where you are at the moment in your life's journey. The key questions to ask yourself for this stage are:
What are the positive aspects of your life that you can leverage going forward?
What are the negative aspects of your life that need jettisoning?
Who can you rely on for support?
Who is holding you back?
Which areas of your life need fine-tuning?
Which areas of your life need strengthening?
Which areas of your life need a major overhaul? 

You are now almost ready to create a road map from your current situation to your desired state. Defining some parts of your path will come easy. Others will require more thought and effort. It is best not to shortchange yourself by trying to create your path too quickly.

That is why the next step will be to rate your personal satisfaction with seven aspects of your life. We will discuss this step in the next Project You Life blog post.
In the meantime, reflect upon the vision you have for yourself. How does thinking about this make you feel? Excited? Nervous? Motivated? The stronger the feelings, the more you will know that you are on the right path to understanding how you want to Live A Determined Life. 

This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Secrets of Self Empowerment

Taking Responsibility for your Personal and Professional Growth 

The foundation of personal responsibility is self empowerment. 
Self empowerment gives you total and complete control for the accountability of your life and the circumstances you encounter. With the right attitude, this can be fully liberating (albeit a bit scary at the same time), for self-empowered responsibility and ownership means:
·     You make your own choices and decisions.
·     You live according to your values and principles.
·     Your stress and anxiety levels are reduced by not being required to live up to the expectations and desires of others.
·     You live an authentic and determined life on your own terms.
What are the secrets to taking responsibility and ownership for your life, decisions, and actions? In a nutshell they are:
  • Understanding where your energy and power emanate, so you can call upon these as needed when making decisions or taking action. 
  • Eliminating all thoughts and internal chatter about you being a victim or anything or anyone. 
  • Accepting that you can no longer blame others, circumstances, bad luck, or fate for the disappointments and failures that come your way. 
  • Eliminating the need for control. You can only control what you think, feel, say, and do. Live with it. Accept it. 
  • Releasing yourself from the fear of making decisions. No more "paralysis by analysis" in your personal or professional life. No more indecision time. No more being indecisive. 
  • Knowing that you can recover and adjust when things do not go your way or as planned. Life is a journey. Enjoy the journey and be adaptable along the way.  
In our previous Project You Life Blog post, we said "if personal change is to happen, it is up to you." 

Hence, you do not need anyone's permission to embark on your personal  or professional change project. The only person you need permission from is yourself. And that's the true secret of self empowerment

This article is partially excerpted from the best-selling book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Personal Growth Requires Taking Responsibility and Action

Blaming Others Reduces Your Ability and Power to Grow

Establishing your goals and intended outcomes, and then defining a path to get you to these is the first part of the Project You Life Journey.
The second part is being responsible for taking the required decisions and actions to continue your journey, and then taking ownership for the outcomes and consequences (both good and bad) resulting from your actions and decisions.
If, however, you blame others for your situation or your outcomes, you give up your ability and power to grow. Likewise, you cannot remain dependent on others to improve your situation or create better outcomes for you
People are not necessarily going to change themselves in order to make your life better. If you really believe that you deserve better than what you currently have or are experiencing, then you have to work on you and your actions, not on others. The old saying "if it is to be, it's up to me" has much validity.
So rather than getting angry at others, or resorting to placing the blame on bad luck and things out of your control, focus within instead and identify the actions, large or small, that you can take to create forward progress toward your desired outcomes and goals. Again, even tiny progress is still progress and moves you closer to goal attainment and experiencing the outcomes your spirit desires.
Also, rather than getting frustrated when bumps and hurdles appear in your way, see these as signs that additional change or action is required. Feelings of pain and hurt do not pop into our lives for no reason; they are usually a sign that something in our lives needs modification or changing.
Remember, you and you alone are solely responsible for the energy and attitude you bring into every room you enter, every situation you face, and every encounter you have with others. By taking responsibility for the energy and attitude you bring with you, you are better positioned to create the positive outcomes for which you will be pleased to claim ownership.

And if your situation or circumstances do not turn out the way you wanted or expected them to, it is up to you to identify how you got yourself into this state of affairs and what you need to do to extract yourself from the unwanted conditions.  
Remember, the foundation of personal growth is personal responsibility and self empowerment. After all, if personal growth is to happen, it is up to you. 

This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

6 Steps for Making Change Last

Maintaining Momentum for Personal and Professional Change Development 

Worried or afraid that you might not be successful in making the personal or professional change you desire? 
That's understandable. But, of course, you won't know for sure until you have tried. 
Many changes take multiple efforts over time (we all know people who have "quit" smoking numerous times until they were finally able to quit for good). 
Belief in yourself and your capabilities, combined with a firm commitment (to yourself) will help get you under way.
Lastly, if you are still hesitant to initiate a change you truly believe you should take, the words of Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu provide a strong warning of the dangers of not changing: "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."
Here are six steps for making change last: 
  1. Be specific and precise about the change. "Losing weight" is neither specific nor precise. "Reducing weight by eight pounds in the next four weeks" is both. 
  2. Do not take on too much. Making one substantial change at a time is significant enough. Aim for quality of change, not quantity.
  3. Stretch yourself, but don't over do it. Don't settle for something too easy, but also don't push yourself for something that is unrealistically hard. Aim for something that is just outside your comfort zone. 
  4. Eliminate temptations. Change can weaken your self control. It can also cause you to rationalize that since you are making improvements in one area it is okay to backslide in another. Until you have formed positive habits hide away and purposely avoid all temptations that might take you off track. 
  5. Monitor your progress. Measure and track improvements (another reason your change goals should be precise and specific). Identify times when slippage occurs and see if a pattern is developing.
  6. Reward yourself both for effort and for little victories. Didn't quite make it all the way to your goal by the assigned deadline? That's okay. If you came close, and you can honestly say you put in close to maximum effort, reward yourself with a little treat (hold the big treats until major accomplishments are achieved). 
When hesitant to make, or continue, personal and professional change, go back to the Change Benefits list we wrote about in the previous Project You Life Blog on Change Is Not Always Easy. If you haven't created your list, find 15 minutes today to do so. 

Once you find the courage and willingness to get started, the six steps above will help keep your personal or professional change project in full momentum. 

If you have any thoughts or ideas on additional steps to add to this list, please share them in the comments box below. We welcome your thoughts and ideas, especially on things that have worked for you. 

This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Personal Change Is Not Always Easy. But It Is Usually Most Beneficial.

Plan Your Life Journey. Don't Let Life Happen Haphazardly. 

All self development programs and processes you undertake will result in some change in you. Personal and professional development also requires an upfront amount of change and commitment from you, both to get started and to be maintained.
Improvement, change, adjustment and learning are part of everyone's life cycle. Unfortunately for most, these events happen randomly and haphazardly. It need not be this way for you. 
Planning your Project You Life Journey has numerous benefits that will make the road to attaining your hopes, dreams, desires, and goals both easier and more enjoyable.
Implementing any change in your life is a three-step process: start, build momentum, and maintain persistence.
Getting started, of course, is often the hardest part. We procrastinate. We wait for the "right" time. We focus on other "priorities" even when these are not important. We wait for a "sign" to give us a signal to begin. We are afraid to take the first steps. Or, most important, we are afraid to commit.
Commitment takes resolve. It takes dedication. It takes having a constant conversation with yourself that this is a permanent change and that you are not going back to your old ways. When it comes to implementing change, commitment and resolution are verbs, not nouns. Verbs command action. And that is what it takes to implement change that results in personal or professional development.
Beginning to change something in your life is not always easy. But it is rarely life threatening either, unless you decide to pursue a high risk adventure sport (and even in that case risk can be modified and reduced through proper training and caution).
When assessing a potential change, a simple listing of pluses and minuses on a single sheet of paper will suffice. Down the middle of the page draw a line. For the left column write a header "Things I Can Gain" and atop the right column write the heading "Things I Could Lose."
Now spend 15-20 minutes brainstorming points for each column. When you are finished, put the paper aside for two days. Your brain will continue to subconsciously think of more pluses and minuses, which you can add to your list at any point over the next couple of days. 

Within a few days you will have a list of advantages and disadvantages related to the change you are contemplating. You are now in a better position to make your decision to either proceed, not to make the change, make the change in a modified fashion, or even put the decision aside until a later date. 

But why wait? As we highlighted in the last Project You Life Blog post, your personal growth starts now. 

Find 15 minutes in your life today and start listing the gains that you will reap from making changes in your life that you know will benefit you. 

This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Your Personal Growth Starts Now

Find the Courage to Live A Determined Life 

Be willing to take a chance on personal growth success. There is no advantage in waiting. 
After all, right now is the oldest and most experienced you have ever been, and the youngest and most inexperienced you will ever be again. No matter what age you are, the time to establish new goals and chart a new (or revised) path is now. As the author C.S. Lewis said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream another dream."
Having goals is important, in fact critical, to implementing personal change. As motivational guru Jim Rohn used to say:
There's no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them.
There's no telling what you can do when you believe in them.
There's no telling what will happen when you act upon them.
Having goals helps you plan and prepare your actions. As Stephen R. Covey noted in his book First Things First, "Much of our frustration and anxiety come from the feeling of being unprepared. Many activities become urgent as the result of lack of proper preparation."
Remember, your goals should be intricately aligned with your responses to the two questions above on what you are doing with your life and how the world will be better as a result of your personal journey on this planet. Your goals also need to be relevant to both your ego and spirit.
We are not talking about day-to-day living goals or "to do" lists, or even short-term desires like purchasing a new car or funding your child's tertiary education. Too many people get trapped focusing on goals such as these, and they end up so busy making a living they forget to make a life. 
To ensure you do not fall into this trap make sure your goals and desired outcomes are designed to create the Determined Life you deeply desire. 
Don't get so busy earning a living that you fail to make a life. 
After all, you are getting only one shot at this human experience. 

This article is excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Making Progress on Goals, Dreams, Hopes

Even Small Progress is Progress

One of the critical choices you need to make concerns who you socialize and interact with regularly.
Who you interact and engage with partially determines what you dream, hope, and desire.
Who you interact with and engage also impacts your personal goals and intended outcomes (both short term and long term). You can change your desired outcomes by changing your circle of friends, acquaintances, and even co-workers.
As you embark on your Determined Life Journey, it is important to surround yourself with positive, forward-looking friends and associates who are good role models for you, trusted confidants and valued advisers.
This will help you develop a stronger sense of self confidence and appreciation of your own worth and talents. Surrounding yourself with an array of good people will also help you stay on track and continue your journey, especially when the inevitable bumps and hurdles get in your way.

Embarking on your Project You Life Journey requires initiative that only you can provide.
Too often people procrastinate, waiting until they believe they have all the right answers in hand, or for what they perceive to be the perfect moment of opportunity.
But that is why they are stuck. Many of the answers will be found while on the journey. And the only perfect time to start is NOW.
The only way to get unstuck is to get started ── now. Step by step. One answer at a time. One change at a time.
Remember, as the American psychiatrist David Viscott said, "If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed."
So don't just start. Continue. Proceed. Keep moving toward your intended outcome. Even small progress is still progress. 

This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Key Questions for Identifying and Understanding the Purpose of Your Life

Finding the Meaning of Life. Discovering the Purpose of Your Life. 

We all have an innate need to find meaning and purpose in life, especially our own lives.
From a Project You perspective, this pursuit is best stated and comprehended as:
The meaning of life is to discover, grow, develop, and enhance 
your unique personal gift and individual talents.

The purpose of life is to use your unique personal gift and talents 
for the betterment of mankind, planet Earth and the Universe of Souls.

In our last blog post we promised to give you some key questions to ask yourself that will help you identify and understand your unique personal gift and the individual talents you bring to the world.

So here they are:
What are you passionate about?

What are you doing when you feel a flow of energy racing through you?

What drives you?

At what do you excel?

What are your greatest strengths?

What do you least like doing?

How can your talents be put to use serving others?

How would you define your skill sets?

In what ways are you different from others, either in what you do, how you do it, or the knowledge and experiences you bring to what you do?

How would you define your greatest purpose in life? Your second greatest purpose?

What are your core values?

How would you list and define your principles?

What brings you joy?

What brings you authentic happiness?

How can your gift and talents be put to use helping others achieve their dreams, hopes, desires, and passions?

How can your gift and talents be put to use helping others solve their problems and challenges?

After you die what is the one thing you want to be remembered for? By whom?

After you die, what are the next four things you want to be remembered for? By whom?

It is important to also remember that your true purpose in life is bigger than just your work (Your Professional Life), even though it may be included as a component of your life's purpose.
Your overall life's purpose will encompass every aspect of your life.
Hence, identifying and understanding your life's purpose is not an exercise regarding career paths, but rather a holistic approach to identifying and knowing who you are (and who you will become) at your very core.
These are questions worth reflecting on.
Go clear your calendar for 90 minutes to two hours, at a minimum. Get up two hours early if you need to.
Go find someplace very quiet and peaceful, preferably outdoors. Use the sounds of nature to help focus your thoughts. Take nothing with you but paper, a writing instrument, and your own thoughts. Leave your cell phone, tablet, and computer behind.
Isn’t the rest of your life worth a couple of hours of solitude and quiet contemplation? 

This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Planning Your Life Journey

What Are You Doing With Your Life? 

At this point in your journey, as you contemplate taking steps toward leading A Determined Life, do not let anyone else hold the pen or touch the keyboard. This is your story, to be written by you.

Your story is yours to write, edit, direct, and produce, in line with your personal values. If you haven't been doing so previously and continuously, now is the time for you to chart your path, set your personal goals and define the intended outcomes you seek. 
In the most recent Project You Life blog posts, we have written about the need to shift momentum, move forward, face your challenges, and define your life's purpose. The first step, of course, is self discovery.

This process starts (and ends) with you. The Project You Life Journey is about looking inward and asking two critical and illuminating questions of yourself:
What am I doing with the rest of my life?
What can I do to ensure the world will be better off after me?
 So, if someone asked you today "what are you doing with your life?" how would you respond?
These two questions will open an array of possibilities and surface an abundance of desires within you that may be currently hidden. 
Brainstorming a list of answers to these two questions is often like discovering an iceberg with your name blazoned across a flag flying atop it. You will rapidly record the top-of-mind things that your ego wants and wishes for, but through further contemplation and reflection you will slowly and steadily uncover the deeper, inner desires of your spirit.
It will be these deeper convictions that will help you define the Determined Life that is truly relevant to your life's purpose and resonates with both your spirit and ego. 
With answers to these two questions in hand, you are prepared to start charting your Determined Life Journey
Seriously working on these two questions will widen and deepen your relationship with yourself, which in turn will widen and deepen your relationships with everyone else. 
Similarly, this process will lead you to a deeper and greater understanding of yourself, and likewise will deepen and greatly improve your understanding of others. 
The end result is that you will have a clearer answer to the question what are you doing with the rest of your life? 

This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Identifying a Path for Your Life Journey

The True Measure of Success in Life is Who We Are Becoming

It is said that if we could truly see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.
For one thing, we would stop taking for granted all the miracles of life (the daily rising of the sun, the twittering of birds, the laughter of children at play, the colors of the leaves as they change, the beating of our own hearts, etc.). Instead, we would treat and respect these experiences for the miracles they are.
As we start to see the miracle of our own lives, our approach to life changes remarkably. This leads to greater respect for our own existence, and a deeper desire for improving the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of our human vessels.

 In doing so, we also come to the clear realization that the true measure of success in life is who we are becoming rather than what we are accumulating (either in terms of experiences or material possessions).
Billions of words have been written in hundreds of languages about understanding the meaning of life. Billions more have been uttered and written about the need to find purpose in one's life. From a Project You perspective, these two pursuits are best stated and comprehended as:
The meaning of life is to discover, grow, develop, and enhance your unique personal gift and individual talents.
The purpose of life is to use your unique personal gift and talents for the betterment of mankind, planet Earth, and the Universe of Souls.
How you go about accomplishing this is up to you.
Everything in your life (now and in the future) is a reflection of the choices you have made or will make. Just remember, when you start to change yourself, you start to change the world.
In our next blog post we will give you some key questions to ask yourself that will help you identify and understand your unique personal gift and the individual talents you bring to the world. 

This article is partially excerpted from the Amazon best-selling book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available in Kindle and paperback formats. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Purpose of Life is to Find Your Gift

Live the Length and Width of Your Life. 

Plato said over 2300 years ago, "The unexamined life is not worth living."
The Project You Life Journey is not just an opportunity to examine your life at a particular point in time, but rather an on-going observation and examination that helps you build and journey on a path that aligns with your life's true purpose.
There are no set elements, rules, protocols or rituals involved. Rather, it is a holistic approach to understanding how your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual attributes work and function across the various components of your human experience (personal life, professional life, family life, etc.).
As you embark upon your own Project You Life Journey, here is a wonderful, motivating thought to keep in mind: some of the best days of your life have not yet happened. Now, isn't this a great reason to get your Project You Life Journey underway right away? 

From a universal sense, the purpose of life is to find your gift. Life has a rich meaning when you are able to find your gift and put it to use for a purpose bigger than yourself. The Project You Life Journey will help you accomplish both.
As Henry James wrote, "It is time to start living the life you've imagined." 
This is true for each and every one of us.
After all, wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to claim American author Diane Ackerman's words for ourselves: "I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to live the width of it as well." 

A good question to ask yourself this weekend: what will be the length and width of your journey from now until the end of your life? 

This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Benefits of Living A Determined Life

Rewards Are Many For Those On A Project You Life Journey 

The benefits of Living A Determined Life are ginormous. Not only will you be pursuing your life's purpose, but you will be doing so in a highly contented and confident way. Those leading A Determined Life are less stressed, have fewer worries, and are more emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically stable. Their lives are more holistic and in greater balance.
Living A Determined Life reduces distractions and the tendency to worry about things beyond your control. You will become more focused on what is important to you and a sense of rightness will envelop you. A feeling of pure contentment will wrap around you as you honestly tell yourself: "This is who I am and I am doing what I am meant to be doing."
As you stay on this path in this mode your world becomes clear, calm, peaceful, and purposeful. Anxiety reduces, as does your blood pressure. You become more in tune with your environment, and therefore more aware and receptive to things and people that can enhance your journey.

When you are not on your Determined Life path, and not operating in a purposeful mode, your life will tend to be chaotic and confused. You will feel that life is a roller coaster of wild ups and downs, full of short-term highs and depressingly low lows.
You will feel connected neither to yourself, humanity nor even the general world around you. The connections you do have will be shallow and weak. Your life will not seem to have a purpose, other than perhaps the short-term pursuit of pleasures and material possessions. And your tendency will be to look to external sources for guidance rather than within.
However, when on your Determined Life path and living in a purposeful mode you open yourself up to receive and appreciate all the positive and heartwarming emotions and experiences of life as a human being: love, joy, ecstasy, thankfulness, friendship, companionship, gratitude, etc.
You will also feel a deeper connection with all humanity. But most important you will have a deeper, more complete connection with yourself on all levels ── emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual.
This, of course, will make you more attractive and attracted to others. As spiritual teacher Matt Kahn notes, "When your heart opens completely, you will stumble upon the most powerful force in the universe ── your loving eternal presence."
Undoubtedly, the biggest benefit of the Project You Life Journey is attaining this deeper and more complete connection with ourselves.
As the 20th century sportswoman, global traveler and photographer Ella Maillart noted, "It is always our own self that we find at the end of the journey. The sooner we face that self, the better." 
In the Project You Life sense, the sooner and deeper we understand ourselves, the better.
But this is not a selfish journey. The changes you make in your life will impact others. In fact, when you change yourself, you start to change the world. 
Now that's both an awesome responsibility and an awesome reward, simultaneously. 

This article is excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Thinking About Your Life's Purpose

Defining and Describing Your Life's Purpose 

Buddha is one individual who did give the purpose of life a great deal of thought. He concluded, "Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it." 

Note how this instruction from Buddha can be individually interpreted and actioned by each of us. Rather than proclaiming a universal purpose, goal or deed applicable to all, this decree dictates that every individual on earth has his or her own unique purpose
These thoughts are at the heart of the Project You Life Journey. Each of us has our own journey to make, one that is hopefully aligned with our true life purpose. Only you can determine your own life purpose, and therefore only you can determine the journey you take as a sentient being. 

When your journey is not in alignment with your life's purpose, your spirit is not at ease and the repercussions are felt emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Typical symptoms are anxiety, fear, angst, indecisiveness, low energy, emotional outbursts, and vengeful thinking.
The opposite of this, when you are solidly in tune and on track with your life's purpose, is called flow. Everything seems easier to do, there is an abundance of synchronicity in your life, and optimism and positive people far outweigh pessimism and negative people. As Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series wrote, "When you have a clear purpose, you won't have time for negativity."
How you define or describe your life's purpose is critical for creating A Determined Life. In essence, A Determined Life is one that seeks to deliver upon your life's purpose. 
Note that we didn't say "achieve" your life's purpose, for the concept here is that your life's purpose is not a destination, but rather a journey you continue until your final breath (or into the hereafter if you believe you are a spiritual being having a human experience here on earth).
But even if you do not believe in a life or universe after death and accept the scientific theory that this life was randomly created as a result of a cosmic big bang, this does not prevent you from conceptualizing your own life's purpose, nor from establishing your own Determined Life journey.
Not Living A Determined Life results in a suboptimal existence. It means falling short of your potential and not living in sync with your life's purpose, or even becoming aware of your life's true purpose. As theologist Ben Herbster said, "The greatest waste in the world is the difference between what we are and what we could become."

Not many people fully grasp their life's purpose, for the simple reason that few ever invest sufficient time to deeply understand themselves and their purpose for being in this world at a particular time and place. Regularly thinking about your life's purpose, however, is a highly recommended activity. This is the only way to ensure your life's journey is aligned with your true life purpose. 
One who has done so is poet Maya Angelou, who says, "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

This article is partially excerpted from the book Project You: Living A Determined Life, available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.