Find Your Passion Archives

Review Your Morning Routine Regularly

Creating routines and habits for your mornings are a great thing. They allow you to do what you need to do to move ahead without having to spend a lot of energy and time thinking about it.

That’s a good thing.

It’s can also be a dangerous thing when you’ve focusing on the wrong things and are in the habit of doing things that don’t help you reach your goals.

When we get into a routine, it’s hard to stop and ask ourselves if it’s working as well as it could be.

Even more importantly, with a routine and a set of habits firmly established, it’s easy to keep going even when the circumstances changes.

That’s why it’s important to take some time every now and again to review our routine and habits, including the new morning routine.

Set aside a little time every few weeks, or even months to review your routine.

Put it on the calendar and make sure you do it. It won’t take long and it will be a very valuable exercise in the long run. Our lives and circumstances change.

Our routines should change with it. Just because something has served us well over the past few weeks and months, doesn’t mean it will continue to do so.

Which brings up a good point…

When you sit down to review your morning routine (or any routine or habit you’ve been working on for that matter), ask yourself this:
Is it working? Is it working really well?

If it is, simply carry on. If it isn’t, it may be time to make some changes and tweak it until you find something that works well for you at that particular point in time.

Another way to look at it is to find what you love and what you hate about the new morning routine. Change it accordingly until you get as close as possible to loving everything about it and still getting the results you want.

Remember, this morning routine will change and evolve over time as you, your circumstances, and the people in your life change and evolve. Embrace the changes and look at them as an indication that you’re making progress.

Keep tweaking and improving your morning routine and don’t be afraid to mix up your goals for it.

Maybe you started out by making exercise a priority first thing in the day. As time goes by and you become more fit and make time for it later in the day, your focus may shift to meditation, or learning a new language.

Keep evolving, keep changing, and keep using those precious first few hours of each day to establish some positive change in yourself and those around you.

 

Define Your Perfect Morning

Here is my question for you this morning. What’s most important to you? What is the one thing you really want to do on a daily basis that would make a big difference, but you just can’t seem to find the time for?

In short, what good habit do you want to cultivate that would make a real impact on your life?

Think about this for a moment.

It could be in any area of your life from exercise and healthy eating to self-improvement or getting ahead in business or at your job. It could be working on your relationship with your kids, finding time for creative pursuits, or getting in the habit of reading every morning.

Once you’ve figured out what you want to work on, what you want to improve, and what’s important to you, we’ll think about how you can make it part of your morning routine. Sit back and imagine your perfect morning. It isn’t stressed or rushed. Most importantly it’s a day when you have time for everything on your list. Maybe it means having time for a long shower.

Maybe it’s going for a run before breakfast. Maybe it’s having a few minutes to connect with your spouse over coffee or maybe it’s carving out an hour first thing in the morning to work on your side-business.

That’s a lot of “maybes” but the key is to start with what’s most important to you and think about how you could fit it into your morning routine.

Remember, you’re just dreaming and imagining at this point. We’ll work on figuring out where to find the time to fit it in and how to make it all work out later on.

For now I simply want you to paint a vivid picture of what your new morning could look like.

I want you to become very clear on what you want that perfect morning to look like. Imagine it in as much detail as you possibly can. Write it down in a journal or on a piece of paper that you can refer back to as needed. In short, define your perfect morning.

Why is this so important?

Because you can’t start to make any meaningful changes until you know what your goals are.

You need to know your destination before you can start to pick a route and figure out how you’ll get there. That’s what today’s task is all about. It’s figuring out where you want to get to.

Don’t stop until you have it figured out and firmly pictured in your mind.

Determining Your Priorities

Yesterday we talked about finding the time in your busy morning to do the things that are important to you.

Today I want you to think about what you should and what you shouldn’t be doing in those first few hours of the day. That’s an important idea to ponder.

So often we get stuck in a rut or a routine and do things because that’s what we’ve always done. We do it without really thinking about whether or not it’s the best use of our time.

It’s Not About Cramming More Things Into Less Time

Making over your morning isn’t about figuring out how to cram more tasks into fewer hours. When you read books and articles on productivity and time management, that’s often the main message and gist of it. While it can help in the short term, it isn’t a good long-term strategy for meaningful change. Very soon you’ll hit the limit of how much faster and how much more efficient you can get.

Shift your thinking and don’t try to add to what you do in the morning.

If you want 15 minutes for bible study, meditation, or exercise, don’t just think about getting up 15 minutes earlier, or shaving 15 minutes off your morning routine by showering faster, getting dressed in record time, and rushing through breakfast.

In other words, don’t add to your already lengthy list of things that need to get done. You’ll only feel more rushed and stressed if you do.

It’s About Making Smart Choices About Using Your Time

Instead, what you should be thinking about is the best use of your time in the morning. Compare your perfect morning with your current morning routine.

What aren’t you doing on your ideal morning? If you can start by cutting things out, finding time to do what’s important to you becomes much easier.
There are two great ways to find things you can stop doing.

The first is to look for busy work. This is something you do out of habit that doesn’t necessarily need doing every day. Maybe it’s checking your email first thing in the morning or playing around on Facebook for half an hour while you drink your coffee. If that’s how you choose to spend your time, that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re doing it out of habit it may be time to rethink it.

The second way to quickly earn back time is to see if you’re doing things or others that they can do themselves. Kids are the perfect example.

We start out fixing their breakfast, making their lunch, cleaning up after them, picking out their clothes, and making sure their backpack is packed and ready to do.

When they are very small, we have to do these things, but all too often we continue to do them long after they’re capable of doing things on their own.

The same goes for things we do for our spouse. Maybe there was a time when you had less to do in the morning and it made sense to take on the majority of morning chores.

Did things change and if so, is it time to lighten your load and get help from your partner?

A few small changes may be all it takes to make the time in your busy morning for what’s important to you.

 

Enjoying Imperfection

Enjoying Imperfection: Why Being Imperfect Makes Perfect Sense
imperfection

The title doesn’t make any sense.

Who wants to be imperfect?

Well, who wants to spend their entire life being unhappy? The answer would be no one. But, that is what you are likely to do if you are always in search of perfection.

Here, imperfection is not the opposite of perfection like good is the opposite of bad.

Imperfection here, is rather a “freedom from perfection”. That is what we all ultimately want – to be free from the chains of unrelenting perfection.

Instead, learn to fly on the wings that you have been given, not the ones that you believe everyone wants you to have. It’s time to let go and just “be”.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Self-help books always talk about letting go but they never quite get to the instruction part.

We all want to rise above the morass that is grasping day after day for an unattainable perfection in every area of our lives.

Obviously some people have reached that point or they wouldn’t be writing books about it, right? Why can’t the rest of us join, too?

All we need is a bit of enlightenment.

So, here goes.

The objective of this article is to help you understand what imperfection and perfection mean.

Find out how to embrace your inner “imperfection” and be quite comfortable with it.

Cultivate the skills you need to make the most of yourself throughout your life as well as giving others the permission to do so as well.

Who are you?

How many of us have asked that question in the mirror?

Throughout your life you may ask that question many times.

What kinds of answers do you get?

Could it be that you have not grasped the importance of who you truly are so you keep asking? Most people think that they keep asking because they are not perfect yet.

Here’s a news flash: No one is perfect. As long as you are in this human skin, mistakes will always be made.

We are created on the “trial and error” principle. We find things out by learning.

The learning process involves trying, failing, trying again and finding a solution so we can move on. New neural pathways are created by experiences, good and bad, positive and negative. Accepting, that point, will begin the journey to true self-acceptance.

Many people look to others to tell them who they are. This is a mistake. Other people can summarize their experiences with you, but that is not all to your story.

Yes, every human being has a unique story. Even if you share some experiences with others, your perspective on them is never exactly like someone else’s.

In this life, we are burdened down with preconceived notions. Our parents may have believed them so we simply adopt them for ourselves.

What was the American Dream that everyone came to the shores of America to obtain? It might have been the white picket fence, a spouse and 2.5 kids (that last kid has a hard way to go).

In reality, that dream doesn’t fit every life. The “dream” is supposed to be subjective. It’s whatever you feel fits your best self, not a pre-formed mold that pops out perfectly happy people.

People have undoubtedly died without realizing that they were playing a role. Who they were meant to be was lost in who they were supposed to be or who they needed to be to “fit in”. It’s sad and also unfair. We owe it to ourselves to love and be loved for who we are. When you can love and accept then you can truly “belong”.

Living A Whole Hearted Life

Whole-hearted means with your “whole heart”.

How many of us have ever done anything with our whole being involved? We’re not talking about pushing through when you were tired. From the beginning, you pursued a passion for something with all that you truly were at the time. You hoped, you believed and you trusted.

That is really what we all want – to be satisfied with ourselves. It is not about material things, although the world would have you think so. If that were the case why do people who seem to have “arrived” succumb to drugs, alcohol, suicide or some other downward spiraling situation? They didn’t have to worry about money, so what made them so unhappy? Many think the answer is material because this is what they lack. They blame others for being weak over it but the reason is deeper than that. They didn’t feel validated or valued.

When you look outside of yourself for validation, you may find it. More likely, you will find a rollercoaster where sometimes you are in favor with others and sometimes you are at their mercy. That’s no way to live your entire life.

If you desire to live a full and whole-hearted life, it’s about your imperfections and embracing them.

Get started by studying on and cultivating “courage,” “compassion,” and “connection” in your life.

Courage

When people think of courage, they talk about soldiers, first responders and those who work in dangerous professions. These people do have courage and bravery. They exhibit “heroism”. It is the state of putting your life on the line for someone else. For many, it is the mandate of their job to be heroic. It takes a special person to volunteer for this type of courageous service.

The courage spoken of here is the ordinary kind that most people don’t take the time to sow into their lives anymore. It is the courage to stand up for someone else, to show your vulnerability where it might be ridiculed or to sympathize with someone else. This exemplifies the everyday courage that can impact the lives of every human being you come in contact with. That’s power, isn’t it?

Courage to be who you are allows others to do the same. What gets in the way of courage? Often it is shame or embarrassment or guilt. You want to raise your hand and ask for clarification in class but don’t because everyone else seems to “get it”. There are those preconceived notions again. You think “everyone knows what’s going on except me.” When you show courage and fight for yourself and raising your hand, others will follow suit. By the end of class, everyone is on the same page.

Compassion

This is a tough one. How many of us jump on the bandwagon of blaming another because everyone else is doing it? No one wants to be singled out as different. If society had its way, we’d all look, act and think the same. It’s like “Big Brother” is here. With the absence of compassion we lose a part of our humanity.

What is compassion anyway? It is acknowledging the light and dark places in our lives (mostly the dark places, we don’t mind if people stare into the light.) Then we are free to be there for someone else when they need a listening ear. Instead of holding a mistake over someone else, we can let them into our vulnerable places by sharing an experience that could help them. It gives way to understanding. We are taken into the breach with someone else without judgment, only to share their experience for their sake.

Compassion also works when coupled with boundaries. Holding people accountable for their actions shows a desire to help them to achieve their best. It helps you to separate what they do or don’t do from who they are. The opposite is often the case when we “shame and blame”.

Have you ever ridiculed someone for something they did? It could be a friend, a spouse or even your child. In sports, shaming is supposed to toughen up players by making them take criticism to whip them into shape. You might as well put their hands and head in the stocks and throw rotten tomatoes at them. The results would be the same. Ridicule demoralizes the person at the deepest levels. It attacks who they are – their identity.

Instead of helping it hurts them. You don’t look too good either. Your conduct is brought into question for haranguing someone in this way. When you set boundaries, people know you are serious. Kids that can’t watch television if they don’t clean their rooms are more likely to do so. Their motivation is something they want or praise or reward. Boundaries also show confidence in another person. You don’t want to dish out consequences so you do all you can to assist them in completing the task.

Connection

Social media is no excuse for true connection. It is communicating with others but not really getting to “know” them. That takes effort, courage and compassion. From miles away, you can say you would help another but what would you do when actually faced with a situation? Want to develop great relationships with coworkers, family, spouses and friends? Practice getting and staying connected.

When we take the time to invest in another life, our own lives are enhanced. What does it take to invest? It could be asking someone about their family. Show interest and actively listen when another speaks. See yourself in their situation. Suspend judgment as you listen.

Connection also means offering help. Did you know that there is a stigma placed on getting help? Just look at the number of mentally ill people on the streets. Families are reluctant to admit they have mental issues for fear of how others will treat them. In the same way, people who offer help can feel in some way superior to those that ask for it. This prevents them from getting the help they need when the time comes.

To live freely, we have to be able to embrace all areas of who we are. When you can accept it, then asking for help seems logical and necessary to live wholeheartedly and with purpose. And, you give all of yourself to help others without thinking any less of them for needing a hand.

Tips For Living Your Best Imperfect Life

Now that you know what you need to begin living a more fulfilling life (courage, compassion and connection), here are some tips to put those traits into practice. The only way to get them is to experience them.

Let go – This is not the same as giving up. What you need to let go of is the expectations of others for your life. Set goals for your life and challenge yourself. But, do so with goals that satisfy how you see yourself living. Don’t use someone else’s measuring stick to chart your path.

Love everyone, beginning with yourself – This is the biggest tip.

Shaming and blaming, jumping on the bandwagon, trying to fit in and other actions stem from not wanting attention paid to our flaws and shortcomings. Some people will compromise their values and beliefs to fit in and not be ridiculed by others.

What is the cost to your life?

Is it worth trading in for the opinions of other human beings just like you? Invest in yourself by taking the time to accept who you are in love. Then and only then can you find places and people to whom you “belong” as an authentic “you” and not a cardboard cutout.

Forget perfection – It is a pipe dream.

Each person has their own vision of what’s important to their life. Your vision is the one to hold onto. Find ways to live your life around it. Share it with others. Be vulnerable with it. Find out how to be the best person that you can become in the time you have on this planet.

Transform yourself – Everyone evolves over time.

The person you were yesterday is not the person you will be ten years from now and that is how it should be. What it shouldn’t be is you chasing an unrealistic expectation based on society or friends who would rather you reflect them instead of who you are. If you desire changes in your attitude, your body, your career or your family life, do so from a position of acceptance and love of the current state of things and not to impress someone else.

Trust yourself – Who knows you better than you?

Take a step in a direction. If it doesn’t work, then change course. Have faith in the process that is your life. Take the time to get to know your likes, dislikes, dreams, hopes, pet peeves and the rest. All of your other relationships stem from the one you have with you. It is hard to truly give to another person if you don’t first have these things within yourself.

Conclusion

We have a fascination with perfection. Instead of finding nirvana, most people find disappointment, anxiety, judgment and a face in the mirror that is not truly their own.

Who you are is more important to life (yours and that of others) than trying to fit a certain shape or mold.

The world is waiting for you and your unique gifts, talents and presence. It would be deprived of a shining light if you sell yourself short by conforming to the wishes of the world instead of the God-given potential that is waiting inside of you to burst forth.

Living imperfectly is not a flaw but a privilege. When you take the courage to be free and present yourself as you are, unconsciously, you give others the permission to be themselves as well. We all win.

The Power Of Imperfection

thepowerofimperfection

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