13. Listen

“One of the simplest yet most heartfelt actions we can do is listen.”  –CYLFriday crew

I found myself in a position where a friend needed someone to share their feelings with. I had the honor to be the recipient of their story.  Through the process of silently and attentively listening to them, free of comment or judgment they were able to find their own truth as the words left their mouth.  The result for both of us was an extreme feeling of peace and serenity that is so often missed.

I was graced by this experience to look at how often my inner monologue takes me away from true listening.  I wait anxiously to share my own solutions and try to meddle with the process. This same action happens when I fail to sit silently with myself and allow my deeper truths to flow.  If you notice: the same letters spell listen and silent.

Affirmation: I am present and available to listen to all that the universe needs me to hear.  I listen with my ears, heart and intuition.

Call to Action: Take time out of each day this week to listen to a friend, a stranger or your intuition.  Share with us and others what you gained from just listening.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

12. It’s All Good

“It’s All Good.” – Too Many to List

When I was a teenager I use to say “It’s All Good” about everything. I did not realize what a universal truth I was dealing with. All that I knew was it really frustrated my mother. Today I was reminded of this saying during a discussion with a friend who is going through some struggles. The reminder was that things I have labeled as bad in my past have actually ended up being some of the greatest gifts in my life. Difficulty at work, lost love, strain within the family, and overcoming illness has enriched my life more than anything else in the world, but as I was walking through these “horrible” things you could not have convinced me of that.

Today my mom and I constantly remind each other that it is, in fact, all good. I am also able to remind friends that what they are going through is all good regardless of what they may feel or perceive at the moment. Shakespeare reminds us “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Today let us choose good in our life and remind as many people as we can that it is all good.

Affirmation: Today every moment and situation I am in is nothing but good and great. I allow this good in my life knowing that this is Life’s gift to me.

Call to Action: Look at a past struggle and recognize the good that you can now see from overcoming that. Embrace that feeling of good and apply that to a current challenge in your life in order to find the gift that is being delivered.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

11. Effort

“Much effort, much prosperity.” Euripides

I can remember when I was a much younger man, possibly last week, when I was thinking how great it would be to do less and make more.  The end result was wasted time in the areas that bring me the most growth.  I think this concept can span many different aspects of a life; a lack of effort and the attitude of I want more for less.

I took time to look at the effort that I was putting forth in some of those aspects, what I found was there was more time wasted than applied and some of the applied time had poor intention behind it.  I think I see a great deal of this attitude in my surroundings as well.  I hear people often saying how they are not getting enough out of their efforts when questioned how strong those efforts or how focused their intentions are, the honest answer is that there is a lack.

We live in a time and place where it has becoming increasingly easy and accepted to wait around expecting things to change.  I think that time is about to start changing, if for no one else, it will in my life.  If I want my life to change today I need to put forth the effort to change it, not just sit back and think about how the world needs to tilt towards me.

Get up, get out and make something happen.  Focus on a goal that has been sitting around and put some honest intended effort into it.  I have one in mind already and I am sure you do to…go, go ahead…DO IT!

Affirmation: What I get reflects what I put in and today I am going to give it all I got.

Call To Action: Decide on a goal that you will place some intended effort into and share it with a friend and us.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

10. Imagination

“Live out of your imagination, not your history.” -Stephen Covey
Every Saturday someone in my family takes my grandfather to do his grocery shopping. I love the opportunity to drive him around and hear his stories.  He sits in the passenger seat wearing a suit jacket and matching slacks; we discuss his childhood, his time in the Army, and his other miscellaneous jobs he has had throughout his life. One such job included working with chefs born and raised in Germany and France. This week he was telling me about his time learning to cook under these chefs, and the idea of recipes came up in conversation. As he was explaining to me how they did not use recipes he told me “to be a world-renowned chef you have to have courage, guts, and a whole lot of imagination.”
This statement got me contemplating that this is probably true for all aspects of life. Imagination is alive in everything we interact with. I once heard Mary Morrissey speak, and she talked about everything being created twice. First it is conceived in the imagination of a person as an idea and only after that can it be made in the material world. This is true for cars, websites, cell phones, and delicious meals that people prepare. 
When I set aside my “normal” way of thinking and how I “should” be approaching a situation it opens up an infinite amount of prospects that are only a thought away. Think of the possibilities if we could all step out of our comfortable way of seeing the world and step into fifteen minutes of pure imagination each day.
Affirmation: Today I allow my great inner resource to show me the new possibilities this life has to offer.
Call to Action: Take time to notice where your imagination leads you and share that experience with someone.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

9. Practice

“The four laws of learning are explanation, demonstration, imitation and repetition. The goal is to create a correct habit that can be produced instinctively under great pressure. To make sure this goal was achieved, I created eight laws of learning; namely, explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, and repetition.”  -John Wooden

When I was a boy I would constantly challenge myself out in the driveway to make foul shots into the basketball hoop we had.  I would shoot foul shots all of the time, sometimes hours would pass by.  I would set goals like “I am not going inside until I can make 10 in a row.” I would practice and practice and practice.  I never became a pro but I got better.

As time has passed I tend to find myself believing that I need less practice because I am older or more accomplished or maybe just because I am a “grown-up.”  The end result is an acceptance of mediocrity in a great deal of little things in my life.  I pick up new hobbies or ideas and immediately put them to work without practicing them like I did as a child.

I feel this idea of practice through repetition carries almost more use now than when I was younger.  Today I am not so interested in being a great free-throw shooter but I do want to be a better human.  What this means to me is that I need to take the time to challenge myself to be more principle centered, more forgiving, more honest, more caring and more loving.  I just cant assume that since I comprehend these things I will be skilled enough to use them when I am put in a position of pressure just because I understand them.  I need to constantly find ways to practice through repetition.

Affirmation:  I know that I am my habits. Today I choose the highest and best self I can imagine.

Call to Action: Determine one principle or action that you would like to better learn in your life and take one minute out of each hour and focus on it.  Find a way to take action on that principle and put forth the effort.  Know that the work you put in will allow you to better respond when the old habits would seem to be easier.  Share what you are building through practice below.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.