Want More Than Mediocre? Grab Life with Both Hands

“Each day comes to each of us with both hands full of opportunities.’” ~Helen Keller

A guest post by Peter G. James Sinclair

Photo credit: Kim Kenney, Atlanta Ballet; Allyn Davenport, dancer

When it comes to living life to the fullest, you and I need to grab what has been presented to us each day with both of our own hands.

For in the words of my old friend Sir Francis Bacon, “The wise man maketh more opportunities than he finds.’

So it is more about the grab than just waiting for opportunity to land in your lap.

So many people wait. Wait. Wait. You could have a long wait , or you can do what I did when I wrote a book some years back with the title Good Things DON’T Come To Those Who Wait.

So what are you waiting for? Opportunity is waiting for you. Get out of here and make your next opportunity happen. 

If I’d waited for my wife to ask me to marry her I may have never been married. I had to do the pursuing and I had to do the asking. My reward? I’ve now spent the past three decades of my life with the most beautiful woman in the world. 

Read moreWant More Than Mediocre? Grab Life with Both Hands

Find Happiness in Life: 50 Things to Stop Doing Forever

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” ~Henri Bergson

One of the benefits of being a life coach is learning from your clients.
Although I've been trained to understand the concepts and actions that undermine our happiness and personal growth, there's nothing like watching someone reach that “ah ha” moment and begin to transform their lives.

Not only is it profoundly gratifying to be privy to these moments, it helps me  examine the areas in my own life where I'm stuck in old routines and behaviors that aren't serving me.

Often, we don't even realize we have other options in our perspective, beliefs, and actions, until someone leads us to a new way of thinking. Our routines and behaviors have become so ingrained, and even addictive, that it is often impossible to identify them as the cause of so much of our frustration and suffering.

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Before You Start Your Weekend, Read This

“Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them.” ~John Shirley

Remember when you were in school and Friday would arrive?

There was that sense of glorious freedom and anticipation.

Something fun was waiting for you, and the 3:00 bell was the only thing standing in your way.

As you get older, weekends don't hold the same liberating promise they once did. Life responsibilities have spilled over into those once sacred days. Now we race around shuffling kids to sporting events and lessons. We clean out the garage or do yard work. We shop for things we don't really need.

Read moreBefore You Start Your Weekend, Read This

A New Career: 34 Probing Questions to Prepare for Work You Love

Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life. ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

Follow your bliss. Do what you love. Live your passion.

You know the truth in those words. You've heard them many times and have probably cogitated on how they apply to your life, your job. Am I doing what I love? Am I passionate about my job?

In this economy, with the jobless rate hovering near 10%, many of us feel lucky just to have a job. Thinking about changing careers to do something you love feels indulgent, if not downright dangerous. Why tempt fate when that paycheck is coming in every month? Doing what you love and following your bliss seem like concepts for bumper stickers or refrigerator magnets — not for today's economic reality.

In a 2010 study conducted by The Conference Board, a business research association, only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their work (just satisfied, not passionate). This is the lowest level recorded in the 22 years of this survey. And sadly, 20-somethings,  with all of their youthful enthusiasm and energy, are the least happy at work. 64% of workers under 25 are dissatisfied with their jobs.

So what does this mean for you? Are you dissatisfied with your job or even somewhat satisfied but not passionate? Do you feel trapped and stuck where you are until the economic situation improves? If you do, that's understandable, but I'd like to invite you to shift your thinking a bit.

Open the door to the possibility that you can change careers and have a job you totally love, even in this economy.

Think about this: you spend 8-10 hours a day at your job. That's more than half of your waking hours in a day. If you don't like your job, you are spending half of your day in a state of unhappiness or at best, toleration. What are you doing with the other half of your day — anything really fulfilling or exciting? More than likely, many of those hours are spent doing tasks, driving, eating, and vegging out in front of the TV or computer.

Read moreA New Career: 34 Probing Questions to Prepare for Work You Love

Insecure? Reclaim the Joy of Being of You

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”  ~Vincent Van Gogh

Listen up dear friend — if you feel insecure about yourself, you are not alone.

A few months ago, I surveyed my readers about their most common fears and worries. Feeling insecure was a recurring theme. We tiptoe about on the eggshells of life, afraid that others will see our flaws, our ugliness, our failures. We sell ourselves short. We hold ourselves back, because we just don't know — “Will it work, will I look stupid, am I capable? Will they like me?”

Insecurities entangle us for a variety of reasons. Most of them start when we are children. Perhaps you couldn't live up to your parent's expectations. Maybe you were shy or unpopular in school. Maybe there was dysfunction or even tragedy in your younger years. These are all legitimate, understandable reasons for feeling insecure.

But now you are an adult, and these reasons don't have to define you. You can untangle yourself from insecurity and self-doubt.

You do have something beautiful to offer the world. It's time to rejoice and be glad in it.

If you've felt insecure for years, untangling yourself from it may seem easier said than done. Insecurity can feel like a sodden cloak around you that is too heavy to push off. In fact, as uncomfortable as it feels, it is safe and familiar. If you define yourself as insecure, then you have good reason for not doing, not growing, not stretching.

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8 Life Lessons to Teach Your Parents

“And you, of tender years/ Can't know the fears that your elders grew by/ And so please help them with your youth/ They seek the truth before they can die.” ~Graham Nash, from the song Teach Your Children

A guest post by Jon Giganti of 1440.

Editors Note: As I've created my blog and built my online business, I constantly realize how much there is to learn — and that most of the brilliant teachers are years younger than me. In fact, my entire lifestyle outlook has shifted as a result of connecting with these younger online experts. I asked Jon to write a post about what he believes his generation can teach those older than he is. Here's what he has to say.

It’s 1940. My parents haven’t been born yet. They’re soon to be part of the baby boomer generation and grow up in an age of many changes. TV’s, moon landings, leisure suits, Rock n Roll, Vietnam. Many in this generation came from immigrant parents (as did mine).

They were taught to put their heads down and grind out their lives. Take a steady-paying job and support your family. Don’t rock the boat – blend in. They also grew up in a time where men still ruled the world (check out this Good Housekeeping article about being a good wife in 1955).

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How to Lighten Up

“Man, unlike the animal, has never learned that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy it.” ~Samuel Butler

I love my work. I really love it deep down in my bones and could sit at my computer all day writing and creating and connecting with other people. Yes, I realize how wonderful it is to feel passionate about my work, but I'm also learning how important it is to step away from it — frequently. A healthy lifestyle requires balance, which means we have to lighten up sometimes.

It's so easy to get bogged down, wrapped up, intently engaged.

Even if you don't like your work, fear or obligation can keep you immersed in completing projects and putting in the “required hours” to appear productive and useful.

Tasks multiply like bunnies, and they have a way of seducing us into believing we will eventually conquer them if we just keep working.

One of main the reasons I started my own business was to have freedom and flexibility. Now, ironically, I find myself drifting back to my computer in the evenings, on Saturday mornings, and yes (yikes) even on vacation. But recently, I've been recalibrating my lifestyle. I'm really a firm believer in the power of fun and relaxation. They are the B12 shot for your mental and emotional energy and creativity. (Tim Ferriss's book The 4-Hour Workweek,
was a real eye-opener for me!)

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How Simple Thinking Leads to a Brilliant Mind

“All the things that truly matter, beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace arise from beyond the mind.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Your beautiful mind can be your worst enemy.

I know someone who suffers from schizophrenia. He constantly hears voices, like a radio in his head. It's a constant distraction, making it nearly impossible to hold a job or do anything that requires concentration. The worst part is that the voices say negative, demeaning things to him. He's trapped by his mind and his illness.

In truth, we all suffer from voices in our head. They may not be audible, and they may not always be negative or demeaning, but there's a constant babble of information, worries, instant replays of interactions, thinking ahead, or ruminating about the past.

Our brains have a mind of their own, even when we are alone and quiet. But much of the time, the noise in our heads is compounded by everything around us — television, computers, traffic, people talking at us, the myriad of distractions and sensory input that comes at us daily.

If we were cartoon characters, our heads would spin around and explode, exposing a bunch of smoking coils and springs.

Sometimes it feels as if there are two entities living inside our heads — the one that is constantly cogitating and responding to input and the other that is underneath all of that, the real you who gets lost in the menagerie.

In his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle discusses a revelation about this duality during a dark period in his life:

Read moreHow Simple Thinking Leads to a Brilliant Mind