Category Archives: Self-discipline

The Art of Self Motivation: 7 Ways to Keep the Positive Energies Flowing

A Marine of the United States Marine Corps run...

A Marine of the United States Marine Corps runs through a creek. Original caption: “Lance Cpl. Anthony M. Madonia emerges from the water during the swimming portion of the triathlon. Marines and Sailors of Marine Security Company and the Naval Support Facility in Thurmont, Md., participated in the Catoctin Mountain Triathlon, July 20.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In life, our point of focus becomes our reality. We get more of what we expect and inadvertently, we become creators of our destiny. How do we create our own destinies? Simple really. What we think about most of the time and how we see the world, will affect our belief system; our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us in turn influences our actions and how we relate to the world around us.

It is OUR ACTIONS which then have repercussions and produce the results that define our lives. If we expect lack, problems, misfortune, we will act (whether consciously or subconsciously) in a manner that will make lack, problems and misfortune manifest in our lives; conversely, if our focus is on success, opportunities and a perpetual hope that things will get better, we will again (consciously or subconsciously) act in a way that will attract the people, resources and opportunities that will make success and achievement manifest in our lives. Focusing on the challenges will only paralyze us thus making it infinitely more difficult to raise ourselves out of our problems; focusing on opportunities empower us to find creative avenues around our challenges and to accomplish that which we seek.

Yes challenges will occur and problems will arise and I am not by any means ignoring that fact. What I am saying that in spite of those challenges, we can still choose to make empowering decisions as opposed to toxic ones and by so doing change the eventual outcomes that manifest in our lives. It is for this simple fact that two people can both come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and face identical challenges of poverty.

Yet by making very different decisions in spite of those challenges one person will create their own opportunities and rise out of poverty while the other will continue to complain, make excuses, do nothing constructive about it and so remain in poverty. It’s not the facts that face us that are important; it’s what we choose to do in spite of those facts that make all the difference.

Yet, many find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that they are indeed the creators of their own destinies – perhaps this could be because admitting this fact would mean that if things are not going great in their lives, then they would have to do something serious about it; and often times doing something to turn our lives around means work.

We seem to find it far easier to blame someone else or something else for our misfortunes and missed opportunities because it somehow assuages our conscience and makes it easier to abdicate responsibility. By doing this we do not feel directly responsible for our predicament, which invariably means that we don’t feel the urgent need to get up and do something about it, ourselves.

We wait and expect “someone” to come along and fix it or wait for the “right opportunity” to show up. As a result many live lives of quiet desperation, stuck in their quandary, remaining victims of circumstance; while the few that choose to get up, take charge of their lives and do something about it eventually break free and achieve success.

There are few guarantees in life, one of them is this – each one of us holds the key to his or her own destiny, in spite the challenges the befall us. We choose how we want our lives to turn out. For our circumstances to change, for us to achieve our dreams and for us to turn our lives around, we must take intentional action. We will have to take responsibility and do something about it. Circumstances seldom change on their own; often times they get worse if left unchecked.

By shifting our focus from the problems and challenges in our lives to seeking ways of creating our own opportunities that will raise us above challenges is the only key to success. As tough as life can be, complaining, blaming and excuses will not make things any less easier. Success must always be earned and as clichéd as it sounds, it is those who choose to challenge their challenges, instead of being challenged by it that succeed. It may take time, but they eventually overcome. As the saying goes, “Never wish it were easier. Wish you were better. Then get better.” .

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On Meditation

Meditation Interior

Meditation Interior (Photo credit: Donatas Grinius)

Meditation describes a state of concentrated attention on some object of thought or awareness. It usually involves turning the attention inward to a single point of reference

Meditation is a way of contacting the inner energy that powers the natural processes of healing and self-realization. Many cultures preserve some form of ritualistic technique – in one or two cultures dating from thousands of years ago – that promotes change from the normal levels of perception and that may result in feelings of well-being. This is probably why meditation in one form or another is central to the practice of so many of the world’s religions.

The word meditation comes from the Latin meditatio, which originally indicated every type of physical or intellectual exercise, then later evolved into the more specific meaning “contemplation.” Eastern spiritual teachings, including meditation, have been adapted and increasingly practiced in Western culture.The use of Meditation for healing is not new. Meditative techniques are the product of diverse cultures and peoples around the world. It has been rooted in the traditions of the world’s great religions. In fact, practically all religious groups practice meditation in one form or another.

The value of Meditation to alleviate suffering and promote healing has been known and practiced for thousands of years.Whereas some traditions are strictly mystical, directed toward a unity with all creation and an infusion with sublime joy, others may be described as more pragmatic, striving instead toward what is simply a state of “being” that includes no aspect of movement or sensation. For some people, especially in the Christian faith, prayer is a form of meditation. What is always involved is time out from the world around and a stilling of the mind,

Although it is possible to learn meditation techniques from a book, it is much better to have a teacher. Failing this, a tape can be helpful. It is usual to start by adopting a comfortable posture in a quiet location and closing your eyes. At first it may be difficult to steer the attention gently away from your racing thoughts without forcing the mind to behave in a set way. The vocal repetition of sounds (a mantra), or a visual object of devotional significance to which the attention may be recalled when necessary, is helpful to some people.It has been found that meditating effects change heart rate and respiration, helping to reduce stress. As the thoughts slow and the level of tension in the body drops accordingly, feelings of calm, detachment, peace, and sometime joy begin to fill the mind and spread through the body. Meditation promotes a state of deep relaxation, but also mental alertness and openness.

Meditation

Meditation (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

An equilibrium between activity in the rational left side of the brain and the creative right side of the brain is established and there is an overall increase in the brain’s range of operation. Benefits reported include decreased anxiety, feelings of anger and aggression, depression, nervousness, and physical tension increased awareness and concentration, mental clarity and resilience, creative intuitive powers, emotional stability and control, and also overall health and well-being.

A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion. — Allen Watts

The health benefits of meditation can be great. Learn some simple meditation techniques and also learn a bit more about some of the more complex approaches.

There are many different types of meditation and the techniques can vary from being very simple to being quite complex. The benefits of meditation can be great as many studies have been done outlining many of the potential health benefits from reduction in stress to less symptoms of disease. Here are a few different techniques to help you learn meditation.

Breathing Exercise:

This is a very simple technique and simply requires that you put your mental attention on your breathing. Simply turn your mental focus to your breathing as you breathe in and then out. Try to only think of your breathing, if you find other thoughts entering your mind then simply return your focus gently back on the breath.

Do this for five to ten minutes a day or whenever you feel you need to get rid of some tension and stress. Over time you will experience fewer distractions and you will be able to slip into that quiet frame of mind quicker and experience the peace and tranquility that it brings.

Guided Meditation:

This kind of meditation is usually accompanied by music usually sounds of nature or other non verbal music that is slow and gentle. It is also best to do this in a quiet room without any other kinds of distractions. You can light an incense that you like to help to relax you further.

Now focus on a pure space inside of your heart and see a light there. Then envision this light spreading slowly throughout your body and then see the light extending outside your body to the space around you. Maintain your focus on this light and avoid external thoughts. The idea is to get to that state of a quiet peaceful mind that is also potentially the least stressful and thus may offer great health benefits.

Chakra Meditation:

Chakra meditation is based on concentrating on the various energies that lie within us and by simply paying attention to different regions of our body we have the potential to get great health benefits in those particular regions. There are seven chakras that you need to learn when performing this type of meditation.

They are the root chakra, feeling chakra, personality chakra, heart chakra, throat chakraArticle Submission, knowledge and crown chakra. There are indeed a few things to learn so be patient and take your time to learn this type of meditation. When performing this type of meditation make sure that your focus is on one chakra at a time and you need to clear your thoughts.

You can also add some relaxing music to the background if you like and make sure that you are in a room that is free of distractions so be sure to turn the television or radio off. The main idea is to feel a connection with everything around you. There are many books and tapes written that can show you in detail how to do this type of meditation as it can get complex.

Zen Meditation:

Zen meditation is also defined as the study of the self. It is best to do this in a seated position called the burmese position. Make sure to keep the back straight as this will make deep breathing occur much more naturally. The deep breathing that occurs during this type of meditation can offer many health benefits as by introducing more oxygen into your system you help to cleanse and energy your body.

One of the things you do in zen meditation is to stay in the same position for fifteen to twenty minutes. This will help you to develop a quieter mind by restricting your physical movements. Often a scattered mind is what causes significant stress in the lives of many so learning to reduce your thoughts can be very stress relieving. Pick a meditation approach you feel comfortable with and learn all you can about it and most importantly do it on a regular basis to reap the benefits.

How to Achieve Better Self-Control

It takes self-control in order to reach your goals. You increase it the same way you beef up your self-confidence, by mastering smaller steps one at a time, and building up trust in yourself.


Step One: Making the Commitment

You’ll find your goals are easier to reach once you can focus on them in your mind. What exactly do you want to do? What – exactly – are the steps needed to take you there?

It’s easy to say you want to live a healthier life, but you won’t accomplish anything by trying to cover everything at once. Look at your current abilities, and what you’re able to tackle right now. Using your strengths, how can reach your overall goal? Eating more Vegetables? Cutting down on smoking? Exercising with friends?

Pin down your goal and focus your efforts on taking manageable steps in that direction.


Step Two: Put it in Writing

Making a commitment is a lot like making a map. It’s easier to follow your decisions when you’ve laid them down on paper.

When you can see your plan, when you have a chance to check items off one by one, you feel powerful and in control of your situation. Writing things down strengthens you focus, and gives you a reminder of what you have to work on.


Step Three: Kick into Action

Start once you make your commitment. If you wait for the next day, or the next week, or after the holidays, etc you will keep coming up with reasons to avoid starting at all. Worse, you’ll find reasons to stop midstream.

If you find yourself tempted, it may be a sign that your baby steps aren’t small enough. “Never drinking soda pop ever again” may work for someone who drinks a very small amount, but for someone who lives on carbonation, it’s not realistic.

Remember, self-confident people honor their abilities and know their limitations. They don’t set themselves up for fairly. Be good to your spirit by setting goals that won’t drag you off-course.


Step Four: Let the Daydreams Begin

Motivation fuels your efforts. Daydreams fuel your motivation.

Take some time today to imagine your success. See yourself drinking bottled water, or chewing on gum instead of taking a drag. Envision your thinner thighs or sparkling white teeth. Most importantly, see yourself smiling.

While visualizing the life you want to lead is a powerful tool in building confidence, you can also use visualization techniques to fight off negative thinking.

The next time stresses come to call, close your eyes for a moment and breathe deeply. Imagine yourself walking into a blooming garden. Stop in front of a rose bush, littered with vibrant blooms and wilting ones. Put on your garden gloves, and pick up your shears, then stop to smell the roses. With every sniff of a vibrant bloom, here the whispering positive messages in your mind. “You can do this.” “You will reach your goals.” “You deserve your success.”

The wilted blooms have an acrid smell, and whisper negative comments. Snip them off the bush before they have their whole say, but them in your basket and once back in your office, throw them away.


Step Five: Celebrate Your Success

However little they may be, make a display when your plans reach fruition. It takes focus, commitment, and effort to make even the smallest baby step turn out. Take a moment to feel proud of yourself and realize that improving your life isn’t so tough.

You may even want to reward yourself when you reach certain milestones, but be careful. You want to make progress for yourself, not for the latest gadget or a new pair of shoes.

Sticking to your goals isn’t so much about willpower as it is making your choices realistic, and aligning your actions with your overall purpose. Be forgiving, hopefully, and celebrate your successes. Soon you’ll be living the life that you want, and you’ll have the trust that you need to meet future obstacles head on.