Habits are behaviors we choose both consciously and subconsciously. They define the outcome of our days. Positive, productive habits give us better outcomes than destructive habits, and the most powerful habits are those that begin with understanding and controlling your thoughts. Though the following habits are not often discussed in common dialogue, they have been critical in all of my work and personal transformation. Each can be quickly adapted and easily applied -- so long as the ego does not overrule your desires.
1. BE MORE MINDFUL
The solid foundation of change, growth, and evolution begins with a commitment to being more mindful. Once you become more mindful, you can expand your awareness. Paying attention to how your every thought causes actions and reactions, you can effectively evaluate which behaviors are serving you well and which are damaging and holding you back from the results your truly desire. Become aware of every word you chose and the outcome it can create. Be thoughtful about who you surround yourself with and how they affect your energy and sense of self. Become in tune with how the foods and drinks you consume affect your energy, mental clarity and moods. Even be mindful of what you watch on TV and what you read and how it can affect your perception of the world, positively or negatively. Eliminate the people and exterior influences that drain you and increase the people and things that increase your energy and lift you up.
2. FORGIVE MORE
Forgiveness equals freedom. When you hold onto anger and resentment, the only person you are hurting is yourself. Forgiveness allows you to grow, expand, and evolve. Once you can forgive easily, you can fully realize the benefits of your ego being in check. The silliest part of holding onto anger is that usually the people you are mad at don't care anyway, so it is a total waste of energy that can be used more positively and effectively elsewhere.
3. HAVE COMPLAINT-FREE DAYS
My mom had a mantra, "You are not allowed to complain about something unless you are going to do something about it." This mantra was a gift to teach me to have a "solution-driven" mindset which is positive and productive vs. a negative, complaining, and draining mindset which only holds you back. A day without complaints is like being on your favorite island, where everything is perfect.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions that brings peace in every situation. It gives you a mindset of abundance that brings more of what you desire into your life. Be grateful for everything that has happened in your life, good or bad, because all of these circumstances have led you to where you are and where you are going to go.
5. INSPIRE AND EMPOWER OTHERS
The journey of self-transformation begins once you decide to no longer live by the rules, constructs, or beliefs of others and, instead, dedicate your time and energy to discovering your strengths, challenging your courage, and empowering your perspective to find wisdom in all circumstances. The most profound transformation begins once you discover the true gift isn't about gaining power for yourself, but in giving, empowering, and inspiring others. To empower and inspire another is the greatest give we can give.
6. SET OUT TO CONSTANTLY BE COMPASSIONATE
True compassion exists when you give your strength, guidance, and wisdom to empower another so that you can see who you really are and live in a greater capacity and expect nothing in return. True grace exists when the "teachers" realize that the gift was really theirs -- to be able to teach another. Exercising compassion can awaken another's mind and soul to their true potential.
7. SMILE MORE
I know this may sound simple, but hopefully it also sounds profound. Smiling is one of the simplest gestures that can not only turn around the lives of others but can also create a deeper connection between people, giving them a reason to pass on the smile. A smile increases your mood and makes you appear more approachable and engaging. It can instantly make your life more successful but, more importantly, the positive impact for others can be life changing.
As with developing any new, positive habit, time and patience are key. Know that every step is a step in the right direction. Continued awareness brings you closer and closer to the new habit becoming your standard operating procedure and providing a greater sense of peace and happiness.
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