Are You Going Against Your Conscience?

 

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image by ksawyer

 

“There is within each of us a desire to be right, think right, and act right. When we go against that desire we put a cancer in our conscience. This cancer grows and grows by eating away at our confidence. Avoid doing anything that will cause you to ask yourself, ‘Will I get caught? Will they find out? Will I get away with it?'”

– The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz

 

Do you often regret your actions? Are you often left feeling guilty, or afraid, or sad by the actions you took? 

Is there a voice in the back of  your head, niggling you, when you do certain things?

It’s not about confessing your crimes, however small or big may be to others. It’s about confessing them to yourself. If you find your conscience prickling you, then you are doing something wrong. It doesn’t have to be wrong in the legal sense, or even ethical sense. It could be wrong against your moral compass, and the values that define you.

When you find yourself going against your conscience, you are going against who you are, and that is never a good thing. The aim of your life should be to become the best possible YOU. It doesn’t mean competing with others. It doesn’t mean achieving success against the measures set by the society. Being the best possible YOU means, truly living your values. It means keeping your actions in accordance with your thoughts, and your thoughts in accordance with your beliefs. 

When you work with your conscience, instead of going against it, you can have one of the most precious luxuries anyone can have: a peace of mind. 

 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY

For one week, pay attention to all the times you go against your conscience, for anything. No matter how small your transgression, write it down in your journal, and write how you feel about it. 

 

 

 

 

Are You the CEO of Your Life Choices?

 

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image by libookperson

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes…
and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.

– Eleanor Roosevelt

No one aspires to be a secretary, or a mid-level manager for life. But lots of people aspire to be a CEO. Why? Because CEOs are in control. They get to make decisions. They get to hire and fire people. They get to decide what direction the company will be moving in. 

Not everyone can be a CEO of a company. But, everyone CAN BE a CEO of their life choices. 

Sometimes, life feels shitty. Sometimes, it seems like there will never be the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, it is far easier to give up, to let everything go, rather than make decisions. After all, why should you bother to make a decision when there are no good options? Right?

WRONG!!

Pay attention to this, because maybe you are in this situation, and if you are not, you probably know someone who is. Perhaps it is someone close to you, and you really want to help them. You offer them advice, you give them pep talk, you ask them to take steps which seem blatantly obvious to you but they don’t do it. And the truth is, it is their prerogative.

Each person is responsible for their life choices, and for the consequences that follow  those choices. You have the power to be a CEO. Are you using that power? Or are you remaining in a low-level administrative position because you are scared of the authority? 

Are You the CEO of Your Life Choices? 

Read the statements below, and answer in Yes or No. 

  • Your parents didn’t provide you with a solid base, or their fights/divorce/death/abandonment affected you too deeply to be able to live your life constructively. 
  • The government or the economy is responsible for your current situation.
  • Your career is stuck because your managers don’t recognize your work.
  • Your relationship/marriage is unfulfilled because your partner isn’t making the same effort you are.

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, then you are not the CEO of your life choices. The more YES you answered, the more you need to work on accepting the power of choices, and the responsibility for making them. 

 

There are two primary choices in life:
to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.

– Denis Waitley

Whether or not you realise it, your life is a series of choices. Even if you have no idea how you ended up where you are today, everything you have done is a result of the choices you made. They may not have felt like choices.

For example, abandoning your children or going for a job of your dreams would feel like having no choice to most people. Most people would not abandon their children. But it is a choice. Because you could abandon them. I’m not talking about moral position, or the socially accepted conduct here. The point is, you have an option, whether right or wrong. Even if amongst the choices available to you, there is only one right choice, it is a choice. 

Even inaction is a choice. Getting up in the morning and going out to work is a choice. Saying yes or no to a person who asks you for a date is a choice. Doing your job to the best of your ability or not, is a choice. 

When you realise this, and more importantly when you accept it, you take the power that is available to you. Power to make choices. Every choice you make is less about direction of your life, and more about direction of you. 

Life is not in our control. There are too many random factors. Other people’s behaviours, economic and political situations, natural accidents are just some of the things that can totally demolish our perfectly planned life. So I’m not saying that by being the CEO of your life choices, you will have exactly the kind of life you want. But what I’m saying is that by being the CEO of your life choices, you will be the exactly the kind of person you want to be. 

And that means, you will always be moving in a direction that is right for you. The situation of your life may change, but that’s okay, because life’s about progression. The day you stop progressing altogether will be the day you are dead. There will be changes, ups and downs. There will be triumphs and disappointments.

As long as you take ownership of everything that is in your control – that means everything you do, say, and think – you can control your life as much as it is possible to control. You can perpetually keep moving towards the person you want to become, and keep striving towards the life you want to live.

 

 

 

 

Journaling Exercise: Spotting Your Weaknesses

 

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image by drumma

 

 

It’s not fashionable these days to use the term “weaknesses.” Even in schools and workplaces, the term to use is “areas where you need to progress” or whatever. I prefer to skip that bullshit. 

You have weaknesses. Even if I have never met you, and don’t know anything about you, I can bet the fortune I don’t have that you have weaknesses. (Unless you are from an alien or a magical race, in which case, what the hell do I know!) You have weaknesses, because all humans do. 

All of us have strengths. All of us have weaknesses. It’s that simple.

There is no use sugar-coating it. You are not going to improve one bit by telling yourself that you don’t have weaknesses, just as schools are doing no good when they use, “everyone’s a winner” crap. You know who’s the winner? The kid who came first. 

So if you are willing and ready to accept that you have human flaws, then let’s move onto the important bit. How do we spot them? And hopefully do something about them. 

It’s so easy to miss our flaws. It’s easy to even forget about them. I’m spending time with my parents right now, more time than I have been able to spent in the last ten years. In doing so, I have been made more aware of couple of my flaws. I knew about them, but here they are more obvious, simply because I am interacting with the people I care about, and I am able to see – without anyone pointing it out – that I really should try to think before I speak, or control my temper better. 

It’s not easy of course, and I have a long way to go before I get better at that. But the point is, I am more aware of these flaws. I don’t like these flaws. And what I hate even more is having to regret something I did or said. Because I hate having regrets. In anything. 

So I am now thinking about it, writing about it, and hopefully will find a way to improve it. None of which would have been possible, if I hadn’t spotted those flaws.

For today’s journaling exercise, that’s what you are going to do.

Think about your flaws. What weaknesses do you have? Be honest with yourself. In  your daily interaction, particularly with people you see daily, whether your family or your colleagues, think about how you react to people. Think about the things you wish you hadn’t said, or done. In how you live and act, how you work, how you follow your dreams….think about where you fall short of your expectations. 

Spot your weaknesses, journal about them, and consider why you want to improve them.

It’s important to think about the why, because improving one’s inherent weaknesses is a difficult task, and unless you are really motivated to do so, you won’t. 

Then, start working towards that improvement, one step at a time.

 

 

Birthday Contests – Winners

 

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Thank you to everyone who entered, and shared the contest. And for your birthday wishes :-) I am grateful that you are here. 

Now the list of winners:

Website Winner: Jean

Facebook Winner: Lilian Alves

Twitter Winner: Angel R. Rivera 

 

All the winners will receive a copy in email within 48 hours. 

Congratulations! And keep Journaling. 

 

Birthday Contests – Win a Free Book

 

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Tomorrow is my birthday, and for that I would like  to give a gift to you. You can win a copy of my new book, Journaling to Self-Awareness in 30 Days.

There are three different contests, and  you can enter all of them to maximize your chances of winning. Please read the rules for each of the contests carefully. They are easy to follow. 

Contest 1: Post a comment below, telling me why you want to win, and why you need to use this book.

Contest 2: Like the Kaizen Journaling Facebook Page, share this contest with your friends. Leave a comment on the Kaizen Journaling Facebook Page saying why it would be useful for you.

Contest 3: Follow me on Twitter @KaizenJournal and share this contest with your Twitter buddies. The more you tweet, the higher your chances of winning. 

If you win in more than one place, I’ll give you a choice between having two copies of Journaling to Self-Awareness in 30 Days (one copy to gift to someone), or for your second prize, get a free copy of my 365 Days of Journaling.

DEADLINE:  May 6, 2014 (Central Time GMT-6)

Good luck! 

 

 

6 Ways to Re-Kindle the Spark of Motivation

 

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image by sheepies

 

Do you feel a bit lost? Confused? Demotivated? Or my personal favourite….do you just feel a bit blah? Then, perhaps it’s time to re-kindle your inner spark. 

We hear so many things about re-kindling the fire in romantic relationships. Well, your relationship with yourself, your dreams, and your goals need a certain kind of fire too. That fire, like any other, needs to be maintained. If it dies down, it needs to be re-kindled.

Good news: it’s really not difficult to re-kindle that fire.

Bad (Realistic) news: you gotta do some work. 

 

6 Ways to Re-Kindle the Spark of Motivation

(1) Acknowledge Your Dreams and Wants

Write down the things you really want in life. These could be dreams you want to fulfil, goals you want to achieve, family you want to have, vacations you want to take, or stuff you want to own. Whatever it is you want, write it down. Go crazy. Don’t be self-conscious here. Really get under the skin of your dreams. 

 

(2) Pick the Most Important Thing

Now pick one thing from that list that you really, really, really want to have. At your deathbed, owning a Ferrari is unlikely to make you feel accomplished, but having achieved your dream of owning your business, writing a best-seller, having travelled the world, built an orphanage or raising a family might.

Yeah, you probably want everything. But that’s surface level. Usually, it’s not the things we want, but how they make us feel, or the validation they give us. You’ll also find that by having one thing, you will automatically have some of the other things that go with it. So don’t get bogged down in the details, or obsess about this. Just go with whatever desire most dominates your mind. 

 

(3) Flex Your Creative Muscles

Having picked that one thing, just let it rest. Spend a day, or better yet, a weekend, being creative. Paint. Draw. Write poems. Dance. Write random stories. It really doesn’t matter how bad you do any of this, the point is to let your muse have some play time. Just give your creativity a chance to flex its muscles. Let it get ready for a marathon. 

Creativity is not just about arts and crafts. Every successful person, from a person who runs the country, to the person who runs a home, needs creativity. So don’t underestimate its importance. 

 

(4) Scribble Your Why

Think about the one thing you want the most. And do a ten minute free writing exercise about why you want it.

Put a big header on the page: I want to be/have so-and-so because…

Set a timer for 10 minutes. Start writing.

Free writing means, writing fast and continuously. Do not stop to think, or to correct mistakes. Never mind repetitions. Just keep going.

Getting right at the core of why you want to achieve/have this one thing will show you why it matters. Often, it’s the lack of self-awareness that kills the motivation. Connecting with your motivation, is connection with your self.

Understand what drives you, what matters to you, and you are more likely to be unstoppable about getting it.

 

(5) Get Excited

Yes, it is something you can choose to do. You know what you want, and you know why you want it. So get revved up about it. Imagine what it would feel like when you have achieved it. Imagine, no, actually feel your satisfaction or sense of pride when you have this thing. 

See yourself in that future place, when your most important dream has become your reality. 

Isn’t that just so freaking cool? Doesn’t it feel awesome? 

Yeah, it does. Get excited, and keep that excitement.

 

(6) Take One Step

You know what you want. You know why you want it. You are excited about having it. Now only thing left to do is to take action. Do at least one thing, one smell step, that takes you towards achieving your ultimate dream.

One tiny step. That’s all it takes. 

Each day….one tiny step, and if you keep up the excitement, before long, you will find yourself, putting in more work and more time so that those tiny steps become giant leaps.