Living Consciously…Living on Purpose

Do yolife-to-the-fullu sometimes feel like you’re just going through the motions? You get up, go to work, come home, have dinner, watch television, and go to bed. The next day, the routine starts all over again.

But what if you could become more connected with your own experiences? You’d enjoy life more, feel happier and more content, and have more control over your life. By living consciously, you can get back your life! Make a decision now to live more consciously!

What Does it Mean to Live Consciously?

Living consciously involves re-gaining control over your life. Rather than doing something automatically and with no real thought, you’ll ponder what you want to do and how you want to go about it.

Living consciously means you get to see the people you wish to see and take part in the activities you prefer. When you live consciously, you consider what you want to eat and how you want to spend your hour of free time. You discover true freedom of choice.

Living Consciously in Everyday Life

You can see how living consciously ensures you’ll have a more fulfilling life. When you check back in to your own psyche, you’re in the driver’s seat. Sure, you still must arise in the morning, attend work, return home, and dine, but you give yourself more options to choose from in how you go about it.

When you live consciously, you can vary your daily routines or put in something that makes them a little more interesting:

* Maybe you can get up 15 minutes earlier a few times a week to do that exercise DVD you’ve been wanting to get to.

* Tired of eating cold cereal every day? Mix up your routine by having a piece of fresh fruit and some hot oatmeal or something else you’d like.

* Refresh your evenings by taking a walk after dinner, having a rousing conversation with your partner about something funny from the day, or playing with your kids or pets.

Work

When you get to work, talk to the boss about that project you’ve really wanted to do. You’ll re-kindle your interests and experience the satisfaction that comes with consciously working on projects you desire to do.

As you do your routine tasks, concentrate on what you’re doing. Are you doing your best? Have you considered more effective, efficient methods for the tasks or projects at your job? The more you notice what you’re doing, the more you can strive to excel at the job. Living consciously at work can win you promotions.

Free Time

In the evening at home, ponder what you truly want to do. Maybe you want to hang out with the guys in your neighbor’s garage for an hour. Or you really want to take up beading jewelry again.

Thinking consciously enables you to discover that you have the control in your life to do whatever it is that brings you joy, pleasure, and contentment.

Putting It All Together

To live consciously is to cease wasting time doing activities you’re not really interested in. When you make a personal vow to live consciously, you’re opening the door to a new, more joyous existence.

* What do you truly seek?

* With whom do you choose to spend time?

* How can you spend leisure time in ways that re-charge you and bring special joy?

* How can you become more psychologically engaged in your work to increase your performance?

* Are you taking care of your physical self the way you want and obtaining the results you desire?

Your answers to these questions will lead you down the path of conscious living… living on purpose… living a life of purpose.

Go ahead and take the first step in your journey toward reclaiming your life today. Say to yourself: “I will live consciously every moment of this day.” Repeat it tomorrow and the day after and embrace the joys of creating the life you desire.

 

How to Make a Fresh Start in 2017

By Jeff Hoglen

fresh-start-2017

So, here we are on the brink of another new year. The resolutions of years past seem like a distant memory. You either started and stopped or never even took the first step. This year you have determined in your heart that something must change. You’re ready for a fresh start. While your current situation may be challenging, the intention of making a fresh start is a good sign. It’s much better than giving up! Smile… take a deep breath and let’s look at a few things that can help you start and stay on track this new year!

So, what do you need to change? Is it just one area of your life or do you need a complete makeover?

You can make a fresh start in any area of your life:

  1. HOME: Consider giving your living arrangement a makeover. Instead of moving or knocking down walls, let’s start simple:
  • Move the furniture or purchase new furniture.
  • Paint the walls a new color. Maybe even just paint one room, rest and then repeat J
  • Convert a spare room into a room with a purpose. It could be dedicated to music, arts and crafts, or meditation.

2. FINANCES: Look at your current financial challenges and finally address them with a detailed, step-by-step plan you can stick to.

  • Plan for your retirement.
  • Address your debt
  • Find a job with a higher salary.
  • Talk to a financial advisor.
  • Work a second job.
  • Create a budget.

3. SOCIAL LIFE: It’s time to say goodbye to the people in your life that drag you down and replace them with those that provide a boost to your life. Remember: You become like the top 5 people you are around the most.

4. HEALTH: Sheesh….. I’m preaching to myself here.

  • Hire a personal trainer and join a gym if you can.
  • Find a diet that works for you.
  • Address any health issues you might have.
  • Visit the doctor and the dentist.
  • Try a new sport. You never know, you may like hiking or kayaking. Fun + health = win win!

5. CAREER: Here are a few suggestions 🙂

  • Ask for a raise or change jobs.
  • Grab your career by the horns and learn new skills that will make a difference.
  • Consider going back to school.
  • Take a webinar! You wont believe how much you can learn online!
  • Make yourself indispensable. Do so well at what you do…and know more than everyone else… and possess skills that others don’t and you will an asset the company or organization cannot afford to lose.

6. FAITH: Search for truth.

I have found that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and Life. Until I discovered my faith, I had no real purpose or sense of direction. Search for truth, ask good questions and find someone who you can discuss faith. I’m here if you need me. My contact info is below.

These are just a few ideas. You can also address your current relationships, attitude, or fears. It isn’t necessary to change everything at once. In fact, addressing one area at a time will yield better results.

Useful tips for changing your life:

  1. Develop systems that support your desired change. For instance, if you want to meditate daily, create a schedule that ensures you’ll be compliant. Use a timer so you won’t worry about spending too much time or falling asleep.
  2. Visualize the change. See yourself with a healthy body or bank account. Allow yourself to feel successful and proud. Project yourself into the future and enjoy the changes you’ve made.
  3. Be willing to fail from time to time. It’s not easy to change. In fact, your brain is highly resistant to change. You’re doing well enough to be alive, and that’s good enough for your brain. It views any change as potentially dangerous, so it’s not going to allow you to change easily. Expect that you’ll struggle during the process.
  • Commit to persevering. Success will be yours. 
  1. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate each victory, no matter how small. Give yourself a pat on the back when you deserve it. Any progress is great news, so enjoy it.

Making a fresh start can result in a new and exciting experience and even a whole new life. Aim high and be diligent. You’ll be glad you did.

7 Tips to Brighten a Day

7-tips-for-brightening-a-dayA little act of kindness goes a long way. Consider giving one of these tips a try. They are sure to brighten someone’s day!

  1. Send a quick note. It can be a note slyly placed or an actual card sent through the mail.
  2. Make a quick call. It’s enough to simply say that you were thinking about them.
  3. Hold the door open for someone. Instead of asking yourself, “Are they close enough that I should hold open the door?” just hold the door open. I bet you will get a smile.
  4. Send a text.  You’re sure to make someone happy with a simple “Thinking of you!” text.
  5. Give away a copy of your favorite book. You could even leave it on a vacant desk at work with a note, “Thought you’d like this.”
  6. Run an errand for a friend. When someone is busy, any help is greatly appreciated.
  7. Say something encouraging to someone. A little support is always appreciated. In a world that is so negative, encouragement is rare commodity.

Not Reaching Your Goals?

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Have you ever asked, “Why do some people seem to get what they want out of life while others do not?” When I look at those who are successful and compare them to the frustrated, I can see some vast differences. My hope is this short blog post will help you navigate some of these common mistakes when it comes to reaching your goals and living your life to the fullest.

 Here are some common pitfalls:

 1. You don’t know what you want. Just because you’re unhappy with your current situation doesn’t mean that you know what you want. It only means that you don’t want what you have.

  • What is the Solution? It’s that simple. Make a list of what you want and structure your life around creating that life and attaining those things. Don’t just make the list in your mind. Write it down!

2. You need to prioritize. Do you really want to reach a financial goal, get physically fit or grow closer to God? (Whatever your chosen goal may be) Or would you rather watch Seinfeld reruns and eat Cheetos at night?

  •  What is the Solution? We all have 24 hours in a day. Maybe the real issue isn’t what you want, but what you’re willing to give up. Getting in shape requires giving up certain foods and giving up some free time. Growing closer to God also requires some self-discipline and time management. How much are you willing to give up to get what you want? Answer that question and you’ll know how much it means to you.

3. Your focus needs more focus. (Great quote by Mr Myagi in the Karate Kid movie) It’s never been easier to get distracted or sidetracked than this day that we live. Modern life is full of digital distractions. Our ability to focus has never been lower.

  •  What is the Solution? Remind yourself of your goals at least twice each day. Read and visualize your goals while you lie in bed, once in the morning and once at night. Keep your intentions fresh in your mind by reminding yourself of them daily.

4. You can’t handle the truth. (Another great movie quote haha) You need a good work ethic! Even the most prestigious accomplishments are a grind 99% of the time. Consider a professional basketball player like Kobe Bryant. There are plenty of stories of Kobe staying after a Friday night game and working with a coach all night long until practice time on Saturday morning.

  • What is the Solution? Regardless of the size of your aspirations, it won’t be exciting 99% of the time. Those that know me, know that I’m not the biggest sports fan. But I do know this: Throwing a touchdown like Tom Brady is fun. Watching thousands of hours of tape all year long is not.
  •  Accept that much of your goal requires actions that won’t be fun or exciting.

5. You’re not focused on processes. Obsessing over your weight isn’t the key to getting slimmer. Everything in life has a process. My youngest son once said – “Dad not everything is a process!” My reply was simply, “Everything is a process whether we realize it or not.” From driving a car, to making breakfast and yes, even using the bathroom has a process.

  •  What is the Solution? Define the process needed to reach your goal. Create a list of “steps” that point you toward success. Make steps toward your goal ever day!

6. You’re impatient. Success at anything takes time. Depending on your objective, you might find that your sixth month provides more results than the first five months. It’s not unlike trying to roll a boulder down a hill. It can take a lot of energy to get it moving, but it quickly picks up speed with minimal effort after that.

  •  What is the Solution? After making a plan… work the plan….and then trust the process. If you’re doing effective things each day, you’ll eventually get to where you want to go. Avoid giving in to your frustration. Be patient.

Life can be frustrating and challenging. It can be especially frustrating when nothing seems to go your way. Know what you want and have a logical plan to achieve it. Have the patience to wait for the results to arrive. You can do it.

Discover Your Life Purpose

There life-purposeare many avenues to explore when it comes to discovering your life purpose. Unfortunately, though, nobody else can find it for you. Since your life purpose is unique from anyone else’s, it’s a mission that you – and only you – can complete.

In your quest for passion, concentrate on enjoying the journey itself. Sometimes when you stop stressing about your life’s purpose, it falls into your lap!

Here are some ways you can discover your life purpose:

      1. Write about how you feel. Try journaling with a pen and paper, or grab your laptop and just start writing. Write about how you truly feel and what you want out of life. Remember that no one is going to read this other than you, so don’t be afraid to express your thoughts.

* Go back and reread your entries every so often. Many times this process can bring you new insight that you didn’t think of when you were writing it in the first place.

  1. Pursue your passions. If you’re passionate about a certain subject, maybe you can make a career or hobby out of it so that you can engage in activities that are personally meaningful to you. This way, each day of your life will feel like it matters and you will have a life purpose.

 

  1. Consider your gifts and talents. Think about the areas in which you naturally excel and see if you can turn these skills into something meaningful for you.

* Many people are drawn to a life purpose that makes them feel like they’re making a true difference in the lives of other people. You may find it fulfilling to be using something you’re good at to help others that are in need.

* For example, if you find that you’re good at comforting people, perhaps you can consider a career as a counselor.

* On the other end of the spectrum, if you are tone deaf… you may not want to pursue a career as a singer. If you cant clap to a simple rhythm, you are probably not destined to be the next great drummer – just saying 🙂

  1. Converse with inspiring people. Strike up a conversation with someone who inspires you. While you might not be interested in the same things, you can talk about how they discovered their life purpose. Their triumphs and struggles will make good lessons for you in your journey to your purpose.

* Dont shy away from speaking to people whom you look up to. Afterall, they are simply people. If they push you away or reject you, they arent the person you thought they were and press forward. Chances are though, they will be humble and have a chat. You never know, some of my favorite authors are now friends and mentors of mine.

 

  1. What brings you joy? Reflect on the moments in your life when you’re most happy. What are you doing at these times? You can start the quest for your life purpose by using what already makes you happy.

 

* Maybe you’re most happy when you’re just sitting at home with your family. That’s a wonderful gift!

 

* Remember that you’re not necessarily searching for something exotic! After all, your life purpose may already be under your nose.

 

  1. Embrace change. Sometimes the thing that holds you back from self-discovery is a fear of change. There’s comfort and safety in not taking risks, but you also may never discover your life’s true purpose. Learn to embrace change because life is constantly changing around you.

 

  1. Hold  your core values close to your heart. Everyone has a set of core values that they tend to adhere to in life. For me, it’s the Bible. You can use your values as a starting point to discovering you life purpose. Make a list of your values with your most important ones at the top. Think about what you can do to honor those values in life every day and you may find your purpose.

 

Finding your purpose in life may not be as hard as you think. Use these strategies on your journey and one day soon you’ll realize that you’ve found the one feature of your life that makes everything worthwhile.

Till next time… PJ

Predestination?

With the upswing of reformation teaching (Calvinism which is based on the teachings of Augustine), it was great to find these videos of Pastor Adrian Rogers teaching on predestination. This goes back to the point which I support: We need an understanding of the Bible as a whole in order to get a full understanding of each passage.

The “Bucket List”…

By Jeff Hoglen

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How many things have you done in the last five years that you consider to be meaningful? You can bet that you’ll have even more meaningful experiences over the next five years if you create a bucket list. For those unfamiliar with that term, let me share the definition I got from Google: a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.

You might consider a bucket list to be silly or something that older people do, but it’s never too soon to start examining your life and prioritizing your time. Don’t wait til you are actually dying to start living 🙂

Create a bucket list that fills you with enthusiasm:

  1. Start with childhood. You had a lot of great ideas when you were a child. You’ve forgotten many of them or dismiss them as silly childhood dreams. Now is the time to dust them off and reconsider. What did you want to do and see as a child?
  2. Check out other bucket lists on the internet. You’ll be amazed at some of the things you’ll find that you’ve never considered. Get inspiration from others.
  3. Take an evening to work on your list. Turn off all your electronic devices and allow your imagination to run wild. Write down everything that comes to mind without judging it. You can evaluate your list at another time. It might be easier to come up with ideas if you consider particular categories one at a time.
  • Where have you always wanted to visit? Consider places near and far. Maybe there’s a famous burger joint in the next town or a state park you’d like to visit. Remember that the world is big, but largely accessible. In one day, you can find yourself anywhere on Earth.
  • Have you ever wanted to try hang gliding or learn how to ice skate backwards? Run a marathon or try deep sea diving?
  • Ride a camel across the desert? Fly in a helicopter? Try your hand at zip lining? Ride across the US or Canada on a motorcycle? Swim with dolphins?
  • Maybe you’ve always wanted to attend a Super Bowl or watch the Rolling Stones live. Do you have a favorite comedian you’d like to see? Watch the northern lights? Watch a famous opera or ballet?
  • Write a book or song? Learn to play the banjo? Take salsa dance lessons?
  • These are just a few ideas. What other categories come to mind?
  1. Give yourself a week to continue adding to your list. You’ll find that new ideas pop into your mind at random moments. Keep adding to your list and don’t worry about the length. You can pare it down to size later.
  2. Ask your friends for ideas. Find out what your friends would put on their bucket lists. You’ll get a few more good ideas, as well as a few suggestions.
  3. Prioritize your list. Rank your big list from most desirable to least.
  4. Make plans for this year. Starting at the top of your list, which items could you do this year? Unless you’re fortunate, you probably have limited time, financial resources, or both.
  • Begin making plans anyway. Decide what you can do to overcome your limitations and put your plan into action. Once you’ve set an objective, it’s important to take a first step as soon as possible. Show yourself that you’re serious by making preliminary plans.

Now that you have a good bucket list, get busy crossing off items from your list! Making a bucket list is valuable because it requires you to think and prioritize. There’s not enough time to get it all done, so think carefully and rank your list items. Creating a bucket list can help ensure that your life is exciting and fulfilling.