10 Personal Growth Questions That Make a Difference – Part One

Prepare to Grow!

Growth takes time and patience

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Be All You Can Be”. The Army may not be the place you want to Be All You Can Be, but for most of us, we truly want to grow into the fullest most authentic expression of ourselves. The question then becomes, how– how do I get to the point of being all that I can be? I mostly see myself as truly content with my life– happy with the way things are going, but I also know that I’m far from Buddha and I’m sure that my life can be more wonderful than it is in any given moment.

Do you seek personal growth and spiritual development skills that would bring more meaning to your life– something a bit more important than your day-to-day activities?

I don’t know about you, but when I get entrenched in the details of my life it seems challenging to step back and ask: “Am I being all that I can be?. For this reason I’m always looking for ways to interrupt the day-to-day routine and create more of what I want in life. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks… or can you?

Here Are 5 Of The 10 Questions I Came Up With To Help This Old Dog Be All She Can Be.

1. Am I happy in this moment?

Anytime is a great time to ask this question, because each moment added up becomes your life! Check in as often as you can remember.

If the answer is yes, celebrate! But if the answer is no, find something in that moment will make you happier than you are right then.

2. Am I comfortable with the direction my life is headed?

The one thing you can count on in life is change. Because our lives are always shifting and changing it’s important to stay conscious about the direction it’s going. Check in with yourself. Ask, am I comfortable with this course my life is taking. Remember, its never too late to adjust course. Every small adjustment is a conscious choice in creating a life you want– instead of the life that just happens to you.

3. Is there anything about me, that if changed, would dramatically enhance my life?

This is the kind of question that many of us might have trouble with. Guilt, sadness, or regret might come up in the process of asking yourself this kind of question. But just like I said before, change is inevitable and if were lucky in the process of our own personal changes we consciously choose what would enhance our lives.

So every once in awhile take an honest self inventory of your habitual behaviors and choices. Try not to beat yourself up if you find things you would like change. Then get very clear about how you want to be instead and start practicing.

4. What do I believe is possible for my life?

It has been said, that we can only have what we believe is possible. Check-in, this question will give you amazing insights on what is in your way of you getting what you want.

5. What’s most important to me?

Unless you know what’s important to you, it’s almost impossible to get it. Make a list and make sure you spend some time focusing in each of these areas of your life.

Yes You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

yes you can teach an old dog new tricks

These may seem like simple questions, but the answers can be profound. Asking them, listening to the answers and taking action, has helped this puppy to be all that she can be.

Spend some time asking yourself these questions. Be with them, write down what occurs to you. Next right down any actions you want to take in relation to the answers you came up with.

click here for Part Two–the next 5 of 10 Personal Growth Questions That Make a Difference.

until next then.

live, love and laugh,

Beth


Mission Possible! Your job, if you choose to accept it. . .

is an Inside Job

Have you ever heard thoughts rattling around in your head such as these?

  • “I’m not good enough to ____”
  • “They don’t really care about me”
  • “I just don’t have what it takes.”

This kind of thinking feeds on the belief that success in the world is measured by who’s doing what or getting what, and how we’re not measuring up. This thinking vibrates with an underlying sense of fear and unworthiness.

What if, every time you heard yourself thinking something like this, you asked yourself a question that radiated joy? Benjamin Zander describes these kinds of questions in his book, The Art of Possibility. They include questions like: “How can I contribute today?” and “What can I do in this situation to make a difference?”

Would You like to Make a Difference?

Try this on for a day. Instead of by what you believe to be other people’s standards, start your day believing that you are a gift just the way you are.

Now you might be asking yourself, “How could I make a difference? What could I do to contribute?”

If you find yourself entertaining these doubts, this story–also from The Art of Possibility–may speak well to them.

Strolling along the edge of the sea, a man catches sight of a young woman who appears to be engaged in a ritual dance. Drawing closer, he sees that the beach around her is littered with starfish cast up by a storm from the previous night. She is throwing them one by one back into the sea.

He lightly mocks her: “There are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. What difference can saving a few of them possibly make?”

Smiling, she bends down and once again picks up another starfish to toss back into the surf, saying serenely, “It certainly makes a difference to this one.”

Seeing the World through -Colored Glasses

In a world seen through the lens of lack, limitation and fear, thoughts might easily focus on, “too many starfish, not good enough, not enough time, what did they ever do for me?” etc.

But as the story reveals, it’s not a matter of the “success or failure” of the rescue mission, or what proportion of the starfish survived or perished. Absent also are the familiar concerns with fairness, progress, or ability.

Instead, life is revealed as a place where you have something to contribute. Where there is always some small good you have to offer.

Listed under the category of Contribution on our Core Values List we include: Assist. Facilitate, Serve, Provide, Strengthen, and Improve.

Impossible to I’m Possible

Your Mission Possible, if you choose to accept it, is to define your success in terms of contribution, and to use that same lens to witness the actions of others, looking also for the contribution they are attempting to make through their actions. By doing so you redefine the meaning of success, and with this change will come a renewed sense of personal power.

This week start each day with the following questions:

How will I contribute today?

What form will my contribution take?

How can I recognize the contribution other people in my life make to me?

And remember, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice.

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy?

Tag: * Top Rated,Happiness,Personal GrowthBeth Banning

But is Really a Choice?

Many people find it very difficult to when they’re constantly bombarded with news about how much suffering exists in the world.

Some people even express a sense of when so many people go through extreme hardships of one kind or another.

Have you ever felt sad, frustrated, depressed or scared after listening to the news or reading the paper?

These feelings seem to be rooted in a sense of hopelessness about our ability to do anything to make a difference.

What many people end up doing is suffering sympathetically. While we are deeply moved by the suffering of people around the world, we believe the strategy of “sympathetic suffering” actually does more harm than good. We believe choosing .

Here Are 5 Reasons Why.

The first reason is that, your pain servers no one

If you stopped breathing would other people breathe better? Try it out for yourself. Hold your breath, and then look around, is anybody breathing better?

The same is true about your happiness.

Can you think of one time when you were sad, upset or angry, and those feelings made a positive difference in someone else’s life? You can only give to others what you already have. !

The second reason is that happiness helps happiness happen

Sadness shared does not reduce sadness, but happiness shared actually multiply happiness. Think about it. Remember, the last time you were with someone that was really happy, passionate or excited about something. Didn’t you enjoy being with them? Wasn’t their happiness contagious?

Why does this happen?

At a very deep level, all of us want to be happy and are drawn to whatever encourages and supports our own happiness. You see, it’s actually good for everyone when you’re happy!

The next reason is that what you focus your attention on grows

When you consciously focus on being happy, you will find more happiness in your life–Guaranteed!

This isn’t “new-ageie, magical thinking.” It is just the way our minds work. We can’t help but recognize and pay attention to those things that are similar to where we focus our attention.

You may have had this experience. When we bought our last car we thought it was so unique, but as we were driving home, we saw another one and continue to see more and more of them the longer we owned it. We couldn’t help but see that model because our attention was now focused on it.

So if it is true that what we all really want is to be happy, then focusing our attention on the activities and thoughts that contribute to our happiness is essential. It’s not only a good thing to be happy it’s actually important to be happy!

Another good reason is that saying so support success

“If you think you can or if you think you can’t, either way you’re right.” This famous quote by Henry Ford puts it in a nutshell. It speaks to the very essence of why it’s true: if you say its so–it is so.

Our thinking can be one of the most fundamental limitations on our ability to be happy–or to be anything else for that matter. So Don’t Worry, Be Happy

The final reason and we believe the most important reason to choose happiness is that…

YOU Can Make a Difference!

If you can learn to maintain your personal happiness, regardless of your circumstances, you actually can make a real difference in the world.

Give up the idea that you–one lone person–can’t make a difference. It’s not true. Just because there are so many things you can’t do anything about, doesn’t mean there aren’t just as many things you can do something about.

So the next time you feel hopeless about your ability to do anything to make a difference, remember: your suffering serves no one and may even be keeping you paralyzed–unable to do anything to support anyone, including yourself.

So is a choice?

We say it better be!

So say it loud–and say it proud…

I Choose Happiness!

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A Stress Relief Technique that Turns Your Problems into Satisfying Solutions

COMPLAINTS?

Have you ever noticed how much time people spend complaining? If so, you may have noticed that the worst part about complaining is that it eats up a great deal of time and mental energy, leaves us and doesn’t getting much changed about the situation. Complaining also has physical effect, leaving you feeling tense and uncomfortable and people who are chronic complainers often end up becoming very cynical and negative assuming nothing will ever change.

WHY IS COMPLAINING SO COMMON?

From the time we are small children, our parents have taught us the difference between right and wrong. Everyone knows the “good” and “bad” ways to act.  When someone notices something they don’t like, often the first impulse is to make a judgment about whether it is “right” or “wrong.” This can lead to judging people as inappropriate or unacceptable, based on their actions we observe.

For most people, this judgment acts as a defense mechanism to keep ourselves and our feelings safe. If we can feel that our actions were “right,” then it’s far easier to assume the other person is “wrong.” We assume that if our actions are “right,” then others will not have any reason to judge us, therefore keeping us safe.

All these internal judgments inevitably turn into complaints, and we end up spending our time complaining to ourselves about the situation or the person involved.  However, because complaining actually makes us feel bad—and, as human beings, what we want most is to feel good–we end up sharing our complaints with other people. Our hope is that if we talk to others about our complaint they will agree with us and we will feel better and find the we are actually looking for.

DO YOU EVER COMPLAIN TO OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS?

There are two possibilities that can occur when we complain to other people. One possibility is that they may agree with us and join in with the complaining, which leads both parties to feel tense, agitated, and uncomfortable. The next possibility is that the other person disagrees with us, which can lead to additional conflict and more uncomfortable feelings. Regardless of which way the complaining leads, it rarely leads either person to feel better about the situation. Additionally, any time spent complaining is time that is not spent finding a way to make the situation better.

“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” ~Maya Angelou

It is hard to remember the reality of a situation when we spend so much time complaining. The facts get clouded by our blaming, judging, and complaining, which makes us feel more stressed about any situation and less able to find a solution. When we continue to complain about something, we often forget why we even started to complain in the first place.

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” ~Mark Twain

WHY DO WE REALLY COMPLAIN?

One way to stop complaining is to really think about why you are complaining in the first place. Approaching every situation that you had a complaint about as an opportunity to start taking action to change things may help you relieve stress and find more peace and happiness at the same time.

How is this possible? Complaints can actually be the key to your happiness if you use them to unlock the deeper meanings about your judgment and irritation. Complaining is almost always a reflection of your true underlying values and what you want to see happening in this situation. When something you really want is not happening, it will lead to complaining. But, the complaint is merely a distraction from the true situation unless you use it to make a change.

“Now, 10 years later, the person who talked and complained is still talking and complaining and still remains in the same position. The person who took the initiative and found solutions has been promoted several times.” ~Catherine Pulsifer

Here’s the you’re looking for…

5 KEYS FOR TURNING COMPLAINTS INTO SATISFYING SOLUTIONS

1) If you are looking to find solutions begin by downloading a free Values worksheet to help you identify what is most important to you.

http://www.focusedattention.com/resources/resources.htm

2) After completing the Worksheet, think about what came up as important topics, and what is missing from the situation that is currently a problem. Identify these using value words.

3) When you catch yourself complaining about a situation, ask yourself:

  • “What would be different if I did not judge this situation as right or wrong?”
  • “What is very important to me that is missing in this situation?”
  • “What can I do to experience what is missing for me?” “What can I change here?”

As an example, you might find that you were hoping for more connection in relationships or more self-discipline to complete tasks and projects.  If you find yourself complaining about being too busy, perhaps what’s missing is balance or relaxation. If you find yourself complaining about your partner nagging at you all the time, then maybe what’s missing is understanding or better communication.

4) Take some time to reflect and ask yourself, “If I could change the situation to include things that are important to me, would I be complaining about the present situation?”

5) Lastly, consider, “How can I act to make a change in this situation to make it include what I want most?”

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Victor Frankl

Bonus Key) LIVE IN HARMONY WITH WHAT YOU VALUE


10 Steps that Lead to Better Relationships and a Happier Life Part Two

The Quality of Your Equal the Quality of Your Life

Okay, hopefully you’ve had time to practice steps one through five, from part one of 10 Steps that Lead to Better Relationships and a Happier Life. Just in case you missed it see part one here: http://www.newageselfhelp.com/main/10-steps-that-lead-to-better-relationships-and-a-happier-life-part-one

To recap, steps one through five are…

  1. Start identifying what
  2. Figure out what it is you “DO” want in your relationships.
  3. Stop taking partner’s judgment and criticisms personally by remembering that they are only trying to meet some need or experience something they value.
  4. Offer the gift of your presence and…
  5. Help the other person discover what’s most important to them.

Now it’s time to move forward and take step number six.

~ Step Six – Sharing the Vision ~

The next step to is the ability to create a shared vision. Instead of working independently toward your own goal, try finding common goals that you share with your partner.

When you have a shared vision about what you want for the relationship, making agreements and accomplishing results happens much more easily. This step moves you closer to greater success and mutual satisfaction.

~ Step Seven: Line It up ~

Once you’ve identified what you want and value, and you’ve given your presence to your partner and come to an understanding about what they want and value, it’s time to have a very clear, conscious conversation about what you each want to create in your relationship.

Do you want to spend more time together? Do you want to be more appreciative of each other? The alignment conversation is your time to formulate a blueprint for the actions you and your partner agree to take to insure that both of you get what you need.

~ Step Eight:  Take It Easy on Yourself ~

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the steps you need to take in order to be there for your partner. Throughout the process, it’s also important to take care of yourself.  It’s common for alignment conversations to bring up past pain and resentments as you focus on how to change the present situation. When you start to feel any discomfort, or irritated the conversation may bring up – STOP.  Give yourself a breather and take the time to look at the causes underneath the feelings you are experiencing.

As we mentioned before, everything that everyone says or does is motivated by a value that isn’t being experienced, and this includes the voice inside your head. Figure out what may be stimulating your negative emotions before moving on with the conversation. What need of yours is missing, what value aren’t you experiencing.

~ Step Nine: Learning the Dance ~

Once you’ve created an alignment with your partner, you’ll need to make some concrete agreements about how to reach your goals for the relationship. For example, if you both agree that you would like to create more trust, perhaps you’ll create an agreement about checking in with each other when you need more information.

The best way to reach these agreements is through negotiation with your partner. Negotiation is a lot like dancing: you step forward, your partner steps back, you turn around and then you both step forward. Perfecting this dance takes some practice, but once you start actively doing the dance, it will get easier and easier.

~ Step Ten: Believe in the Process~

The last, but certainly not least of the steps is learning to trust the process. In order for these steps to lead you where you want to go and then stay there, it’s imperative that you trust the process. Things may not go exactly as you imagine, but that doesn’t mean that your efforts aren’t making a shift.

Trusting the process means putting the brakes on your cynicism, refusing to give in to futile thoughts that may come up, and have faith that it’s really and actually possible for everyone to be satisfied with the end results.

The easiest way to truly have faith in the process is to become an Explorer. An Explorer has faith that there is something to discover, they have made a pledge to discover it, and they are continually taking action and creating strategies that will fulfill on that pledge.

Well there they are, the 10 Steps that Lead to and a Happier Life. Now don’t stop after reading these steps, make a commitment to take them, practice them and start experiencing those relationships and that life you truly desire.


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