(excerpt from my latest book on motivation; The Final Chapter)
I smelled the aroma of fresh air as it passed. I took a deep breath and absorbed as much of it as I could. For a brief moment, I appreciated its satisfying purpose – to sustain our lives. Without it, we wouldn’t even experience life for a day or even a few hours. It seems like these days it’s the small things in life that I’ve become grateful for. Moments later, I got distracted by a text message from a friend of mine. After responding to his message, I started scrolling through the news feed of my favorite social media platform. Again, my mind was wandering different directions. Within the various YouTube posts were pictures and quotes mostly pertaining to peace. They all seemed to surround the theme of war in Syria, explaining how the United States was ready to invade their people.
It was only a few days ago that USA’s government stated their plans on creating further war in Syria due to their government’s chemical warfare threats. To be honest; it was the recent FaceBook posts that taught me most of what I know about government politics. I was surprised about how little I knew about it considering I had a full graduate certificate. Some of the posts that I scrolled through depicted military action in the Middle East which looked like a bunch of ants being bombed by their own government; their own master. It was a shame knowing war, bullying, terrorism and hate crimes were still a huge part of our environment.
The negative images relating to the war in Syria seemed to bring fear to the minds of my friends on FaceBook. In fact, their comments showed it. I have to be honest; reading their posts actually brought a little anxiety to my own mind, but I didn’t allow it to defeat my happy mindset.
Moments later, I came across a post that brought peace to my mind. It stated; Calgary is the world’s fifth best city to live in. I was enlightened to hear that the city I live in had such virtue. Instantly, it changed my thoughts altogether. It went on to say that Calgary is also one of the best cities to raise a family and one of the safest of its kind. This immediately trumped the negative war posts that I read earlier. Amongst the seven billion people on this planet, I felt blessed to live in such a great place in the world. After flipping through more random posts, I turned my cellular telephone off because I didn’t need the distraction. I placed it on the tabletop so I could continue writing.
I sat for a few moments and all I could think of was the war in Syria. For some reason, I too had succumbed to the negativity that our media feeds us each day just like the rest. I actually forgot most of what I learned in high school pertaining to Government politics, mostly due to my lack of interest. Looking back, I had grown and seen our leaders of the government continuously falling short with their promises, only to realize that the entire government was corrupt in some way. In fact, they continuously raised taxes and made the price of living too high for average people to generate, which then led to defeated families and dreams. We saw it recently with the fall of Detroit. In addition, they glamorize the military, making them look powerful and protective of their society, when, in actuality, they only create war as leverage for their greed of money, not for the safety of their own citizens. It never made sense to me. My thoughts of war remained in my mind and it bothered me.
I wanted to eliminate my negative thoughts of war altogether, but no matter what images I tried to replace them with, thoughts of millions of citizens creating war against each other made me quite angry, all because of a few differentiating beliefs. In fact, it was disappointing and shameful to watch a bunch of grown adults fighting against their own people, all for the power to generate more money for materialism. Unfortunately, this way of thinking makes the entire system sound corrupt.
I used to have courage for the men that fought in war. The media always portrayed them as heroes and citizens with a lot of pride for their Countries; whereas, it’s actually quite the opposite. After learning the politics behind war; the greed of money, the fight over our earth’s most powerful resources, and also realizing how many innocent people’s lives were affected by it, I started generating rather negative feelings towards the situation altogether. Now, I have a different perspective of our leaders; the ones that make the demands of war but don’t show their faces, the ones that are benefiting from murdering their own people and the ones at the top of the pyramid; our masters.
My thoughts continued into a downward spiral of defeating feelings and emotions. I thought of the post I saw recently about Calgary being one of the top five places to live. For a moment, it brought relief, knowing that I was in one of the safest places in the universe; however, I soon pieced the two realities together. I realized that the main reason why we’re thriving as a community in Calgary is only due to the fact that we’re one of the largest producers of oil in the world; the most powerful resource on the planet. It reminded me of a similar post that I read a few weeks ago that described “the fall of Detroit,” which was once a thriving community, much like Calgary during the initial years of the automobile production era, until their commodity was no longer needed and was produced elsewhere. In the end, the industry left their community behind which soon led to their bankruptcy and overall defeat. I then realized that this too could happen to Calgary without the demand for oil. The truth is; we would just be another regular community, far from being one of the best places to live without the demand for it. In fact, if oil wasn’t such a hot commodity and if the industry happened to collapse overnight, much like the automobile industry did in Detroit; our city too would face bankruptcy and defeat. These thoughts reminded me of the war in Syria and how it was being fought over oil. It was a sad thought, so I forced the negative images out of my head altogether.
As I learn to understand life a lot clearer, I realize that political wars have also been brought into our own communities and families. Separation and divorce are becoming household names in most of our dwellings. In fact, many of the television shows that we watch dramatize the harsh reality of the depletion of our society. Our values have dropped an all-time low and our beliefs are becoming a faded illusion. On top of all of this; the economical crash has forced us to live in fear and horde our wealth, yet it dramatizes the necessity for nice things through materialism. It trails behind a very negative message. In the end, both parties that are involved within these wars; no matter how big or small they are, each of them are destroyed and defeated. Anyone can find something positive to say about war and its importance, however, this truth can be said about any negative event in our lives, including death, drug abuse and divorce. The reality is; neither is needed in our society to create peace and tranquility.
I look at war the same way that I look at gun control in the USA; what the hell are they doing? And the government wonders why school shootings, hate crimes and abuse in general are at an all-time high. These destruction’s are simply brought on by our masters each step of the way. It’s all in the illusion of society. This brings a whole new meaning to the terms “lead by example.” Its despicable leadership in my eyes and it only seems to be getting far worse.
I’ve seen a dramatic change of course within our lives since I was an early adolescent. My observations have served me lessons which have taught me about other cultures, other people and other religions. The city I live in happens to be the most culture diverse community in the world. One similarity between the masses that I have found is greed. The greed for money far surpasses the necessity for love in a relationship for average everyday people. I’m talking about the type of greed that not only tears apart families, but the type of greed that rips apart countries, kills off its own people and will do whatever it can to defeat anyone in its path; the type of greed that invades others and brings war upon other people. I’ve noticed a significant depletion within our morals over the years, and greed is the main contributor. In reality; it’s really a sad sight.
This thought instantly sent a morbid image to my head. It was an image of an ant farmer nuking his entire fleet of ants; killing them off simply because he knew a better, more profitable way of putting his soil to use. It all seemed relevant to our modern society.
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Materialism is a great word to describe how we become slaves of the environment. Not only are we working our day jobs to maintain the rising cost of living, we’re also in a silent competition between everyone else to achieve more of it. We work our asses off to have bigger homes than our friends, and we starve ourselves from happiness to purchase more goods than our neighbors. In fact, we’ve even started competitions between our own siblings. Our attachments to money and the role it plays within our lives is a direct reflection of how much we succumb to materialism. This stems from our early influences who taught us our initial beliefs about money. You can curve your beliefs against what you’ve already learned in the past and use it as leverage to free yourself from being a slave of materialism.
When the monetary system was introduced, the illusion of money was created; the power it holds. Basically, it was the only way for the people at the top of the pyramid (our master’s) to get us to work for them. Then they used other tactics like materialism to generate the obsession for it, thus making their people more proactive. It’s actually quite an interesting society. In my opinion, money is an obsession that far too many people strive for with the wrong intentions. Millions of human-like ants run their race for fifty plus years, playing a game; a competition with others, in pursuit to greater assets, larger buildings and more luxuries. This all sounds like a game of monopoly; something I played as a child many times. As I perceive life through the eyes of an opponent in the game of monopoly, I begin to realize that it’s all about the person with most wealth. In this game there are absolutely no emotions, children, marriages or vacations in the realm, which makes it a very lonely place. Taking this all into account, it’s easy to say that nobody truly wants to live in that type of environment. In reality, although money is important to generate a lifestyle, the only thing that it actually generates is greed.
How valuable is money to you? How far will you go to grasp onto it? How much time away from your family is acceptable for you to earn it? These are all great questions to ask yourself while you’re on your pursuit to happiness. Sometimes we get caught in the illusion of money; its value and what it does for us, and we lose focus of the important things; like relationships and raising our children. We forget the joys that come from seeing a smile on our children’s faces. We forget to realize that happiness resides in the time that we spend with our loved ones. It’s these things that create the true wealth in our lives.
Money doesn’t offer lasting happiness. I can guarantee you this. No millionaire has ever said that money is the root of their happiness. If they have said this; they’ve forgotten about the pleasures one receives when their children are born, or when their son or daughter accomplishes something of value, perhaps when their best friend asks them to be the best man or maid of honor of their wedding. These are all great and simple pleasures that far exceed what money can offer. In the end, although money is important to live a fruitful lifestyle, we all have the needs for friendships and non-materialistic happiness; something that a typical game of monopoly cannot offer. Viewing life beyond the eyes of a businessman is best suited for those that want lasting happiness.
I’ve seen many of my own friends and family members; even myself succumbing to materialism throughout the years, however, when I finally understood the entire system behind my slavery, I saw the answers that I was looking for. Shortly after, I was able to finally eliminate my own slavery once and for all. I knew that I was only working for my master’s increased wealth, rather than that of my own. Previously, all of my earnings were being put into materialism and taxes. Materialism is only important to keep the economy flowing. Our eyes see the illusion of happiness through it, yet, it robs us every time of our innocence. It also makes us greedier in the process. With more stores, more materialistic stuff, more commercials and more ideas for useless stuff, we’ll continue to feed the economy and generate further slavery for ourselves. It’s time to wake up, literally smell the roses and take a walk, a distant walk away from your previous lifestyle of consumerism. It’s time to tune your perspective of what truly makes you happy. I guarantee the process will lead you to a magnificent place. Materialism not only robs you of your happiness, it does the opposite, pushes you off track and makes you feel broken without it when you’re perfectly fine just the way you are.
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At the core of each town and city lies a governing body of laws. These laws are created to keep order in our communities. Within their structure also lies a map of society and what they (our master’s) feel is adequate for a “happy life.” Their “rule book” accents some of the benefits of being a slave; like getting the occasional statutory holiday, and the enormous amount of wealth they promise us through our pensions and tax contribution plans. In fact, it seems quite intriguing knowing that I’d get a day off here and there, especially if I’m spending over half of my life working at a job that I despise. This law book also contains a detailed description of a favorable lifestyle; one that they feel we should all appeal to. The sad part about these laws is that beneath their so called, “good intentions,” they fail to accent the illusion of money; where it actually goes, and how much of it you will actually receive in the end. Beyond their laws also contains a long list of taxes that that each of us are to pay, including when we get paid, when we purchase our goods, when we drive our cars, when we eat, even when we sleep. These taxes drain our bank accounts and drain our confidence. They weaken our minds and make us feel unworthy because beyond them, the majority of us still cannot manage to live a decent lifestyle. Their rule book likes to hide any alternatives to their methods. Things like investments, media, careers and education are just a few examples of things they control. What they don’t tell us is that within their “society laws,” there are alternate ways of living life.
Each community, State, Province and Country has drafted their own set of rules, in conjunction with the rule book I just described. It’s actually quite drastic seeing the differences between each region. For example: certain countries have a rule that one must serve in their military at a certain age, or another region states that each person must work a certain type of job and live a certain type of lifestyle in order to live in the community. These are just a few examples of how their controlled by their masters.
This thought made me appreciate the nation that I live in. It doesn’t force its citizens to serve in the military or work certain roles. Even though, as they drive the cost of living up each year and charge us more for our own refined resources, we still have ample opportunity to do the things we enjoy; like working at a career that brings joy to our lives each day. Having this type of freedom allows us the opportunity to choose the lifestyle that suits us the best. For example: If you choose a career or a job that’s dissatisfying, you have the opportunity to choose an entirely new profession. The same goes with education. I’ve seen this countless amount of times with my friends and students that I’ve spoken to throughout the years. If something doesn’t work for you, always remember that you have unlimited opportunity to thrive in a new environment.
Considering these factors that I’ve described, I suggest asking yourself these questions; what is the ideal lifestyle for me? And, what is the answer to my own happiness? There are literally millions of human-like ants amongst us within every culture whom are running around day after day trying to achieve happiness. Through their eyes, they see happiness residing only within the purchases they make; meanwhile, they lose track of the true beauties of life – to spend more time with their friends and family members. You are in charge of your own destiny.
As I mentioned earlier, there are only two commonalities that we all share are; each of us wants to achieve happiness, and neither of us wants to suffer. This important detail was brought to me by the Dalai Lama in his latest writings. It has served as a guideline to answer the most common question that we all ask ourselves, “what will make me happy?” This answer is different for everyone, yet so many follow the lead of their friends and neighbors ideal spectrum of happiness rather than creating their own. The truth is; we all have the ability to locate the things that make us most happy. Aside from materialism, if you were to look at your own life and ask yourself what would make you most happy, I can guarantee more time spent at work and running around like a human-like ant isn’t the answer you’re looking for. Each of us has the ability to find our passion; the things that we enjoy doing in life. Our passions are directly related to eternal happiness. Unfortunately, many never take the time to explore them. They let their passions waste away as they work at their day jobs. Aside from passion, I believe the most important things in life are our friendships and close family surroundings. Even though, there may be some joyful experiences every now and then within the roles we play as employees, the truest happiness comes after rush hour when you pull your car into the driveway and see your children’s smiling faces. It resides within your own home; with the ones you love the most. Any materialistic purchase just adds to the illusion of happiness that was been created by your masters.
Many of the perspectives that I’ve gained in life are derived from the North American new-age culture of society, from what I’ve witnessed and experienced so far. Although, I understand that other cultures, religions and ethnicities have to be accounted into this equation. Over the past thirteen years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of high schools. My performances have surrounded the very subjects that I write about in this book. In fact, I’ve had the chance to listen to thousands of troubled students over the years; students that are fighting for a better living environment that’s free from negativity and harmless. These students come from every race, religion and ethnic background. Their perspectives of life are completely different than their classmates, yet, their wants are all the same – to gain friends and be respected by their peers. In reality, teenage needs are really quite simple. They desire compassion from other people and demand respect from their opponents. If life’s needs after high school, in the “working world” were as simple as they were in our adolescence, life would become simple, relaxing and joyful. If all we needed was respectful coworkers and delightful business partners, one would be free from any created illusion of happiness and fully capable of generating their own happiness without the necessity to succumb to materialism.
As we grow older, our needs become larger. Many of us become quite greedy in the process. Our needs grow from the necessity of simple roller blades in our youth, and they expand to homes, expensive jewelry, fast cars and extravagant lifestyles in adulthood. Sometimes they grow to outrageous addictions that defeat our minds. It isn’t until one becomes aware of their own addictions when they can make positive changes. Once their addictions are known, it only takes a small step to realize the benefits of a more pure lifestyle; one that’s free from consumerism and unneeded habits.
It’s a privilege to receive life on this planet. It’s an honor to be one of the select few that gets special treatment and extra added benefits, like a home built with proper construction materials, plumbing, power, clean drinking water, and a variety of other resources that most don’t get to experience. In this world of over seven billion people, there are literally hundreds of millions of people that don’t ever get to experience the things that we take for granted every day. We all have certain luxuries (aside from materialistic items) that make our lives more exciting. In fact, the companies that distribute all this materialistic stuff, through their commercials, they “guarantee” a better lifestyle upon purchasing their products and services; they seem to trick us every time. We fail to realize, over and over again that the illusion of happiness resides only within our minds.
On your journey to happiness, succumbing to materialism is only just the beginning. There are a variety of things that stand in our way to achieving true lasting happiness. Unfortunately, very few delve into their lives and treat every day like it’s their last. This way of thinking would simplify things greatly; however, it isn’t a reality. So much can happen in a day, a week, a month, even a year, yet so little happens in most of our lives because we’re too scared to make a mistake, or we’re too lazy to make a commitment. It’s almost as though people are scared to stand out against the rest in order to live a better lifestyle; almost like they’ve been trained to do the opposite of what’s truly important; to find their happiness.
What I’ve observed from the ant-like human population in downtown Calgary is this; these people create more hours at work, deprive themselves from their families and generate more responsibilities within their careers, merely to achieve more taxable wealth and meaningless materialism. They’re actually working against their own happiness. It doesn’t make sense.
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“In this world of over seven billion people, there are literally hundreds of millions of people that don’t ever get to experience the things that we take for granted every day.”
(Excerpt from my latest book; The Final Chapter)
As I sat in my backyard, my mind was racing with thoughts. Throughout the day, a turn wheel of thoughts had spun hundreds of different memories of experiences from my past. In fact, an array of experiences from my childhood reflected the lessons that I learned on my path to happiness. I realized that it’s the negative experiences that we live through that help direct us towards a happier life. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to differentiate between happiness and suffering. The biggest mistakes that we make teach us the biggest lessons in life. This thought made me appreciate my own mistakes for what they were; life lessons.
It’s important to view each experience you live through with open mind. In reality, no experience is either positive or negative; they’re just experiences. It’s our differentiating beliefs, values and perspectives that determine whether an experience is either positive or negative in nature. Finding the positives in every situation is important to help increase our everyday happiness. Happiness resides in all of the experiences we live through; both positive and negative ones. Even the negative situations have their benefits. The mere fact that a life lesson is guaranteed to be provided within each happening that you go through is an enlightening thought altogether. This means that happiness resides within the conversations we have with our coworkers, it resides in the traffic jams that we drive through each morning and it also resides in the hardship that we live through. In fact, it resides in every experience we live through. Unfortunately, very few of us see it this way. They’re determined that happiness resides within the latest technology and within their bi-weekly pay cheque. This way of thinking only leads to a depleted mindset, increases your stress and leads to more inner hardship.
It’s taken me thirty two years to generate my perspective of life. It’s constantly evolving. Thousands of conversations between people of all ages, knowledge levels and religious backgrounds, mixed with an immense amount of research, is all combined into a belief system that is now my perspective of life. Even though, it took me thirty two years to understand life, it was the lessons I learned that made it worthwhile. Being able to find my own inner happiness makes me feel confident. Having a direction in my life is satisfying. I’m grateful for all of the experiences I’ve gone through in my life, as each of them helped me to realize what’s truly important. The past thirty two years has been a wonderful spiritual trek. As I look back at some of my accomplishments, I find reason behind my existence on this planet. It’s geared to generate happiness for other people; the same as it should be for everyone.
When I was a young boy, as far as I can remember, I didn’t see life through the same perspective as I do today. In fact, my views of the world are constantly changing. Each experience that I’ve witnessed has helped shape my inner beliefs and values. Some of my initial childhood experiences made me see life as though it was a challenging game of extreme pressures and responsibilities. I think that’s the only similar observation that I still believe in today. Many of my recent views of the world have allowed me to appreciate what I have; meanwhile asking less from society.
Many of my views on life have been inspired by various religious teachings; however, my intentions aren’t to sell any religious beliefs upon you. In fact, I am neither religious nor atheist. I’m spiritual, taught by various religions, cultures, ethnicities and experiences. I’ve already expressed my views on religion quite extensively in The next Chapter, so I won’t go into any great depth, however, what I’ve learned through their teachings and what I would like to share with you is this; harvesting positive beliefs of any kind that helps inspire your goals is one of the key fundamentals to finding happiness. Weather your beliefs are taught in the school of your home town, or if they were taught from the pastor of your church down the street; our beliefs are important. They direct our actions. Our actions are what define the strength of our beliefs. It’s all relevant in the game of life.
Each of us generates beliefs through various forms. Our friends and closest relatives are generally our greatest influences. These people are the ones we trust in. We believe nearly everything they say. It’s their beliefs that help shape ours. Even though, a belief may have been formed in the past, it doesn’t take much to replace it with another one. Taking a look at your own beliefs will help you determine where they were formed it in the first place. By acknowledging a belief, you’re accenting it which enables you to determine if it is in line with your current values. Much like our ever-changing beliefs; our values are changing just as rapidly as our beliefs are. Sometimes we need a reality check to see if our beliefs and values are in line with the image we perceive our happiness to be.
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Living a simpler life doesn’t mean getting rid of all the good stuff. This isn’t a dietary blog telling you that you need to get rid of all the best qualities that life offers, like my most favorites; pizza and chocolate. Living a simpler life means; eliminating your excessive needs for materialistic stuff. When you are able to do this, you will instantly create a simpler life. Instantly, you’ll be able to transfer your necessity for consumer goods into more time with your friends. You can literally transfer the image of exhausting work and replace it with happy memories that are awaiting you. I’m not talking about some random magic trick, like you’ll see in Vegas or middle school; I’m talking about a mental transformation simply by wanting less.
Happiness found through materialism is an illusion you see every day, through your friends and neighbors eyes. Without materialism, the average family household would look; we’ll, just like the early nineteen twenties. It would be without televisions and radios, automobiles and cellular telephones. In fact, from the perspective of an Amish person, it seems quite perfect. Amish people are amongst the happiest people in the world through some perspectives. Our society; the one we live in today, has literally brain-washed us to think that, “the person who consumes the most is the winner.” This type of perspective leaves us feeling weak, inadequate and believing that we aren’t good people because we don’t have the latest gadgets and the nicest things. This statement is quite far from reality.
As I write m thoughts, my mind reflected an experience that I lived many years ago. It was the image of me on the farm when I was a teenager. Here’s the story.
I was seventeen years old and I was busy working in the fields on the farm. As I walked through a lonely field in the wilderness, there wasn’t anyone in sight; in fact, barely a vehicle drove by the entire day. I was working for my stepfather, the owner of the farm and it was Harvest season; the most important time in a farmers career. He had hired me as his helping hand to stack bales, round up cattle and pretty much anything that a farmer does. This thought instantly brought the comparison between my life lived as a hick in Central Saskatchewan and my new-age life I had created in suburban Calgary. This reflection made me appreciate my youth and the experiences within it because I knew that many of my views of life originated in those years.
I imagined myself as a farmer; the type of person that my step father was raising me for. It resembled a simpler life, although, I’m sure this could be argued with actual farmers for hours, so I won’t go any further with this discussion, but, looking at my life lived on the farm made me appreciate life from another perspective – one that’s far from the endless race of a downtown city structure. It was yet another perspective that allowed me to shift my beliefs of what the most ideal lifestyle looks like.
“Creating a healthy perspective of life is an important part in the realm of happiness; however, without the desire for the right type of happiness, happiness doesn’t exist.”
What does the ideal image of happiness look like through your own eyes?
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Looking at life from all angles is important when selecting your beliefs. The problem is; we don’t get to see all angles until we’ve already lived the experience. There are many different factors that come into play when this discussion arises. Religion, education, friends and elders are just to name a few. All of these components help shape our perspectives of the way we see life. Even though, many of our beliefs were learned through our recent experiences; it’s the lessons we’ve learned in our childhood experiences that are the most crucial to the development of our minds. In fact, if you were to find a belief of yours, any belief. And, if you were to analyze it in every realm, I can almost guarantee that the belief was formed when you were a child and you have held onto it until now. Our educators are more powerful than we realize. Knowing this may suggest that somehow along the line we perhaps have grasped onto a few negative beliefs. I would assume so. Let me tell you; negative beliefs only encourage more negativity. Teach yourself to let them go.
I would like to share with you an experience I went through when I was in high school. Here’s the story.
I was sitting amongst my friends in the bleachers of my high school gymnasium. We were listening to a speech delivered by the valedictorian. He was sharing his knowledge of what a happy life looks like. It was interesting looking back at the views of a grade twelve student. I couldn’t ever imagine standing in his shoes is what I thought. I couldn’t imagine stepping out of my comfort zone, standing up in front of all those people. Looking at my views back then; who would have known that public speaking later would become my profession. I wouldn’t have. Beyond the scary thought of me standing in front of a hundred grade twelve students, I listened to his words as they expressed enthusiasm for a life filled with happiness. As I look back, I realize that, although, his words were uplifting and enthusiastic; I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do when I graduated high school. And, I can assume that most of my peers were in the same boat that I was in. The main reason behind this was because we hadn’t experienced life on our own yet. There was so much out there that we hadn’t experienced, including a multitude of responsibilities. During that time in my life, I was working my first job as a ranch hand after school hours during weekdays. Little did I know that job was only the first of twenty two that I’ve experienced this far. Back then, I had no idea that life contained as many components as it does. I was used to kicking good times with my friends in high school. I had no idea that my life experiences after high school would lead to so many different places. They simply don’t teach this kind of stuff in their curriculum.
Unfortunately, the human-like ant population suffers when it comes to planning for the right type of lifestyle. Without life experiences, it’s quite difficult to determine which path in life to take. There are an infinite amount of different paths one can take in life. It usually depends on the opportunities that are presented, mixed with the desire to make it happen. Most students, fresh out of school are eager to apply their talents they learned in high school. Many of them choose some form of post-secondary education because it’s simply what they were told to do by their parents. Let’s face it; most decent jobs require at least some form of post-secondary education. Without it, we have to search within the heap of unsatisfying employment options; whereas, others start their slavery earlier and jump on the first job they find, truly believing that it’s going to be their saving grace to a happier life. There are, however, many additional components to choosing the right path that will bring you salvation. Life is filled with various components that are essential to leading a positive lifestyle. These are learned in our everyday experiences. Without learning these important lessons, were basically meandering our way through life with a blind fold on. This brings me back to the valedictorian speech that I heard in my high school’s gymnasium in my youth. Come to think of it, in hindsight, without going through my life experiences, I wouldn’t have this life knowledge to teach you. For some, it takes virtually an entire lifetime to find their inner bliss; their happiness. Meanwhile, for others, they find their passions early in life and work with the grain of life producing daily results to achieve greatness. Finding your passion is yet another component to living your life with happiness in abundance. Life experiences help us uncover them. It took me years to eliminate the fear of public speaking, but I wouldn’t have found my passion without making my first speech.
As we experience different lives as people, we’re learning about life at a different pace. You may notice someone in your life whose personality never seems to grow. In fact, there are quite a few people in my own life whom I wonder if they’ll ever grow up. Whether it’s got to do with business relationships, personal relationships or personal life, they seem to fall short on their commitments. These are the ones that generally don’t pay any attention when a lesson presents itself to them. Sometimes it takes them many failures to finally learn a lesson. In fact, a person can go most of their life doing something over and over again without realizing that each time they do it, it sends them further off their rightful path. For example: a smoker can be a smoker for many years without giving up the habit. Even though, some of their friends have already died from cancer due to smoking, they continue to spark up. It usually takes a personal awakening for these people to eliminate their negative habits. My father is a prime example of this. Habits can be quite difficult to get rid of, but the time spent on eliminating them altogether will be the best time you put towards you own personal well being. I guarantee it.
As I discussed in depth within The Next Chapter, it’s important to get rid of all self-defeating habits as soon as you witness their presence. These are labelled as anything that you do on a daily basis that brings you off track in your life. When you glance at your daily regime; your daily schedule, do you notice any habits that take away from the quality of your life? Here are some examples that will give you an idea what I’m talking about: smoking cigarettes, overeating, drug abuse, medication abuse, watching too much television, playing too many video games, etc. Are there any reciprocating habits that drag you down? Are there any habits that are pushing you off course in your life? When you fulfill their constant desires do they make you feel bad, anxious or angry about what you’re doing? By this time, I probably sound like an infomercial, but, I promise you; this is where it gets even better. Wouldn’t it be great if you could eliminate all of the self-defeating habits in your life? Could you imagine the amount of free time, energy and freedom you would receive when you finally rid yourself from all of these habits? The mathematics is quite intense when you actually get into it.
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Religion is a difficult subject to discuss, primarily because everyone has a different perspective on the subject. I understand that religion is a huge component in many lives; whereas, I also know a tremendous amount of people that have no specific religious beliefs at all. Some people are spiritual. Our beliefs are important for constant progression in our lives. Sometimes religion and spirituality can help us get there quicker. I would like to share with you my opinions on this topic:
For years I would dismiss religious thoughts and conversations from my conscious altogether. I wanted nothing to do with it. Every time I would listen in on a religious conversation between others, it always ended with someone getting upset, even to the point of losing friendships. As I grew older I kept seeing war on the television, and I heard of a lot of religious racism on radio programs – it all came down to religion, and their beliefs. I never understood how one belief could cause so many ruckuses over an entire Nation. I’m not saying that every religion is bad, nor am I saying that any religion is bad. I’m simply saying that there has been a lot of turmoil in the past, and a lot of it has stemmed from religion. There are however many great principles that religious studies share. These components can help you achieve happiness, success and many other great opportunities if you use them correctly.
As I look back at my life and the experiences within it, I realize that a huge portion of my life was lived without a conscious spiritual plan or specific beliefs. As I roam the experiences of my past, many thoughts come to my mind that serves truth to that statement. As I think about it, I ask myself the following question, “Is religion and spirituality really that important in one’s life, everyone’s life? I pondered my thoughts for a moment. Here is my response:
I believe that religion and spirituality are very important in a person’s lifestyle, especially if they take it seriously (but not too seriously). It isn’t for everyone; however, for those that find it, if used properly, they will excel in life further than those that don’t. I believe that spirituality can bring empowerment to those that listen to its life messages, and I believe that for those that want to grasp onto it, they will understand life and the reason for their existence a lot quicker. Although there are many different religions and beliefs out there, there is most definitely one that will fit your lifestyle if you’re ready for it.
For many years I didn’t follow any specific religion, and I still don’t. I’m strictly spiritual, for now – until I find something that empowers me more than this current day. Heck, I might even wake up one Saturday morning and change my beliefs altogether after opening the door to a door to door salesman who sold me his religion. My beliefs come from inspiration all over the place, and from every walk of life. I learn little life messages from almost everyone that I meet. I make a point to absorb as much information from each person that empowers me. The best part is; you never know who will be the next to inspire you.
Religion and spirituality are for those that find meaning for it in their lives. I think that having a strong belief system is important for one to maintain order within their lives. Our values are shaped by our beliefs. Obviously our beliefs are constantly changing with the experiences that we go through. This means that spirituality and religion are very important in the mix. I suggest researching a variety of religious and spiritual outlets for when you’re ready to seek more out of your life. Viewing various perspectives on life is essential to creating optimal happiness. Being open minded will help you in the process. When you’re ready to find it, it just so happens to be at your fingertips; only one click away. Does this sound familiar?
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Life is an interesting thing. We’ve all dealt with discouragement, anxiety, ups and downs; some have even perhaps suffered the loss of a loved one. These things leave us feeling defeated. It’s during these times when we’re most susceptible to our feelings. Sometimes we have to go through difficult times to understand how far we’ve actually made it in life, and sometimes we must be defeated to truly understand what we’re grateful for.
Life for me, over the past four years has been a difficult feat altogether, almost like a roller-coaster full of emotions. I went through a divorce, I suffered an early-life crisis and I lost myself and my confidence in the process; however, I also learned incredible life lessons during that time which enabled me to become a more powerful person inside; spiritually, mentally and physically.
In the initial stages during this part of my life, I basically stayed at home and watched television. I’ve never watched so many re-runs, and I can guarantee you that I’ve never played as many video games in my youth. While I stayed at home, I questioned myself and I questioned life. I knew there was a lot more happiness out there to be found. Although it tore me apart inside, it also built me back up to an even more powerful person. It made me confident again and grateful for the experience.
I’ve always been a firm believer that, “everything happens for a reason.” It’s true! Everything does happen for a reason. Whether you like to believe it or not that’s for you to decide, but for me, every negative experience that I’ve lived has always been a blessing in disguise, including my divorce.
While I went through this dreary moment in my life, after a few months, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and I started delving into my questions of life. I wanted answers. I wasn’t going to allow the situation to conquer me. In fact, I wanted to use it to my advantage as leverage to move forward. The first thing that I did was list all the things that I was grateful for in my life. Even though, it was tough at first, within a few hours I had a three page list of things that I was grateful for outside of materialistic stuff. Things like; living in a nice quiet community, encouraging friends and supportive family members and the like. Eventually, it helped me see a different perspective of my life altogether. It helped build my confidence back up to a healthy state, and it made me realize that there are other components to my happiness. Shortly after, I was determined to accomplish things that I had previously felt were impossible and goals that I had given up on. In the end, it was a blessing in disguise. Now, after finding myself again, I’ve found my soul-mate; my best friend and I have begun to be grateful for things that I used to take for granted; like my relationships.
Going through any difficult time can be frustrating and discouraging. When you’re able to realize the important things in life and become grateful for the things you already have, like friends, family, family support, laughter, inspiration, certain materialistic items and many other things that we generally overlook and take for granted; you’ll refresh your mindset and re-focus on your vision of true happiness. Dreams are made from mistakes, goals are achieved through struggle, and your conscious is determined by the thoughts you feed it. The next time you are going through a difficult time, refresh your mind with something positive and search for the things that you’re grateful for in life. It will make a World of difference.
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Within my hundreds of talks to high schooled kids throughout the years, I’ve grown an appreciation for teenagers. Even though, I’ve seen a reduction within their values, especially lately, the majority are respectable, good willed people that truly want futures filled with happiness. The main issue that I’ve seen grown dramatically is bullying and abuse.
“It doesn’t matter what high school or junior high I was scheduled to speak at, I always knew that bullying was an issue. In my opinion, it’s most definitely the worst issue facing students today.”
Bullying is an issue that we’ve been dealing with for Centuries. My father, his father, even my great Grandfather was bullied. We’ve all gone through it. Some experience it in school as a youthful teenager, while others experience it at home in a nasty relationship. Neither one of us are immune to it. It happens in the workplace, it happens at soccer practice, and it also happens to the people that you’d least expect. I’ve touched quite a bit on this subject in The First Chapter, but I always make it a point to direct a focus on this topic because it’s an issue that everyone faces at some point in their lives.
Bullying is a term that is commonly misconceived. Although it’s generally a common term used on the playground at school, it’s something that every child and every adult will experience within their lives. Bullying is much more than just a random playground miss-hap, it’s something that tears apart a person’s confidence, it rapes them of their courage and it leads to most illnesses and crimes. Bullying is no different than assault or harassment.
I’ve seen it happen at schools, I’ve heard countless stories about it, and I’ve even experienced it myself, many times. Bullying is like a plague that keeps circulating, it generates quickly and it comes with an incredible force that can set you back instantly. If a person experiences too much of it, they’re at an even higher risks of serious health problems. I’ve seen grown adults experience nasty health problems all because of the guilt and shame they felt through the years of being bullied. If nothing is done about it, an even more serious risk of mental problems could be instilled on each victim.
I’ve spoken to grown adults that have such a low self-confidence because of the bullying they experienced as early as when they were in middle school. Even though, it’s been well over twenty years since the experiences, it’s affected them well into adulthood. I’ve literally seen disasters that have taken place and experiences that have torn apart entire communities, all because of bullying, abuse, assault, or whatever you want to call it.
In addition to all of the common side effects, bullying can be a drastic influence on a person’s decisions and self-worth. As mentioned, we all experience it, but very few of us do anything about the damage that it has caused. Although bullying can have a dramatic lasting effect on a person’s mindset for years, the damage that was caused can be quickly eliminated.
As mentioned, bullying can have serious psychological effects on a person. It can be detrimental to their plan or path in life and it can eat away at a person for years. The feelings that you get after being bullied consist of guilt, blame, anger, frustration, sadness and a ton of other various emotions. If a person keeps their saddened feelings within themselves for too long without tending to their needs, the imagination within the person will start to fade away slowly, along with other important pieces that help develop proper brain-functioning. You can be proactive in eliminating those feelings altogether if you wish to. You can get your life back on track, no matter how harsh the experiences you’ve lived through. By training your mindset to absorb only positive comments and statements, you’ll be well on your way to achieving incredible happiness inside, while eliminating bullying in your life altogether.
Eliminating bullying and abuse within your life will drastically increase your self-worth, it will help increase your confidence and it will make you feel more important to society. Having a strong level of confidence, along with a healthy self-worth will help you overcome any negative situations in the future.
In talks with many adults over the years, I’ve asked a variety of questions regarding their fears, their level of confidence and the issues they faced while growing older, and the majority say the same thing, “Bullying is the reason why I didn’t pursue my passions.” This is a sad thought altogether. By increasing your self-worth, you’re changing the way you look at the World entirely. It all starts with associating yourself around healthy relationships. Who are the people that you associate with? Who are the friends you hang around with? Who are your influences? Who are the people you’re taking advice from? The people in your life will either make you or break you. Are these people giving more than they’re taking from you? Are they good-willed, positive people? Do they drag you down and defeat your self-esteem? These questions should trigger some important values within you to find the people that are encouraging and compassionate.
“Eliminating bullying of all kinds will increase your self-worth and assist you to a happier lifestyle.”
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In talking about the law of attraction over the years, I’ve grown new perceptions of how the World really works. I’ve continuously studied different people, how they think, and how they react to the environment around them. The conclusions that I’ve come across, almost across the board, pertaining to their achievements were all relating to taking action. Believing in the law of attraction will ultimately help you excel towards your passions and desires; however, if you do not take action when the environment hands you an opportunity, then there’s no point in believing in the law of attraction because it won’t fully work for you. If you don’t use them together in synergy nothing will happen.
Belief and action are two important fundamentals that one must instil in order to achieve success. Far too often, I’ve talked with friends or close family members, and as they tell me their stories of how they want to accomplish certain things, they continue to tell me how lazy they are, or make excuses as to why they don’t take action when the environment responds. These types of people never get to experience the fruits of life. They fail to succumb to the treasures that lie not too far away from them; if they were to reach a little further, perhaps step outside of their comfort zone and grasp onto the opportunities the environment is providing for them. If they did this one simple task they would embrace so many wonderful things, but they don’t, and that’s why they just get by with mediocrity.
How do you react when the environment provides you with an opportunity? What beliefs are you feeding your mind? Are your thoughts dragging you down and making you lazy? What is your inner voice responding?
For many years, I’ve been an avid believer and understood that the voice within us is the answer to anything that we need to know in life. There are many ways to describe the inner voice; most see it referred to as your gut instinct, or their “god within.” Whatever you call it; listen to the rhythm of its guidance. It’s leading you to the rightful path in life.
All too often, we remain grounded in reality because of the illusion of limitations. Previous limitations hold us back from wanting more. This type of negative voice is created through our everyday thoughts. Sometimes it competes with our inner spiritual voices; the one that wants us to succeed. Being that negativity runs within our everyday thoughts; it drags us down and depletes us of our self-worth. We lose our imagination in the process and forget what’s truly important. The negativity creates so much noise that it drowns out the sound of our spiritual voice; the one that’s looking out for us, and the one that means us no harm. Often times, we allow our negative voices to overrule any realm of positivity in our lives. It’s important to realize that the voice inside of you; your spiritual voice, isn’t the enemy. Whatever it’s telling you, act upon it because when you do, I guarantee that it will always lead to a happier place.
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