Posted in Alienation

15 steps to forgiveness

Forgiving others is essential for spiritual growth.  Your experience of someone who has hurt you, while painful, is now nothing more that a thought or feeling that you carry around. These thoughts of resentment, anger, and hatred represent slow, debilitating energies that will dis-empower you if you continue to let these thoughts occupy space in your head. If you could release them, you would know more peace.

Below I share how to forgive someone who has hurt you in 15 steps:

Step 1: Move On to the Next Act

Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality. Don’t allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments. Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much larger. Some are villains and others are good guys. But all of them are necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the play.Embrace them all, and move on to the next act.

Step 2: Reconnect to Spirit

Make a new agreement with yourself to always stay connected to Spirit even when it seems to be the most difficult thing to do. If you do this, you will allow whatever degree of perfect harmony that your body was designed for to proliferate. Turn your hurts over to God, and allow Spirit to flow through you.

Your new agreement with reality in which you’ve blended your physical self and your personality with your spiritual God-connected self will begin to radiate a higher energy of love and light. Wherever you go, others will experience the glow of your God consciousness, and disharmony and disorder and all manner of problems simply will not flourish in your presence. Become “an instrument of thy peace,” as St. Francis desires in the first line of his famous prayer.

Step 3: Don’t Go to Sleep Angry

Each night as I drift off to sleep, I adamantly refuse to use this precious time to review anything that I do not want to be reinforced in the hours of being immersed in my subconscious mind. I choose to impress upon my subconscious mind my conception of myself as a Divine creator in alignment with the one mind. I reiterate my I ams, which I have placed in my  imagination, and I remember that my slumber will be dominated by my last waking concept of myself. I am peaceful, I am content, I am love, and I attract only to myself those who are in alignment with my highest ideals of myself.

This is my nightly ritual, always eschewing any temptation to go over any fear of unpleasantness that my ego might be asking me to review. I assume the feeling in my body of those I am statements already fulfilled, and I know that I’m allowing myself to be programmed while asleep, for the next day I rise knowing that I am a free agent.

In sleep man impresses the subconscious mind with his conception of himself. — Neville Goddard

Step 4: Switch the Focus from Blaming Others to Understanding Yourself

Whenever you’re upset over the conduct of others, take the focus off those you’re holding responsible for your inner distress. Shift your mental energy to allowing yourself to be with whatever you’re feeling — let the experience be as it may, without blaming others for your feelings. Don’t blame yourself either! Just allow the experience to unfold and tell yourself that no one has the power to make you uneasy without your consent, and that you’re unwilling to grant that authority to this person right now.

Tell yourself that you are willing to freely experience your emotions without calling them “wrong” or needing to chase them away. In this way, you’ve made a shift to self-mastery. It’s important to bypass blame, and even to bypass your desire to understand the other person; instead, focus on understanding yourself.
By taking responsibility for how you choose to respond to anything or anyone, you’re aligning yourself with the beautiful dance of life. By changing the way you choose to perceive the power that others have over you and you will see a bright new world of unlimited potential for yourself and you will know instantly how to forgive and let go of anything.

Step 5: Avoid Telling People What to Do

Avoid thoughts and activities that involve telling people who are perfectly capable of making their own choices what to do. In your family, remember that you do not own anyone. The poet Kahlil Gibran reminds you:

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you . . .

This is always true. In fact, disregard any inclination to dominate in all of your relationships. Listen rather than expound. Pay attention to yourself when you’re having judgmental opinions and see where self-attention takes you. When you replace an ownership mentality with one of allowing, you’ll begin to see the true unfolding of the Tao in yourself and other people. From that moment on, you’ll be free of frustration with those who don’t behave according to your ego-dominated expectations.

Step 6: Learn to Let Go and Be Like Water

Rather than attempting to dominate with your forcefulness, be like water: flow everywhere there’s an opening. Soften your hard edges by being more tolerant of contrary opinions. Interfere less, and substitute listening for directing and telling. When someone offers you their viewpoint, try responding with: “I’ve never considered that before—thank you. I’ll give it some thought.”

When you give up interfering, and opt instead to stream like water—gently, softly, and unobtrusively— you become forgiveness itself.

Picture yourself as having the same qualities as water. Allow your soft, weak, yielding, fluid self to enter places where you previously were excluded because of your inclination to be solid and hard. Flow softly into the lives of those with whom you feel conflicted: Picture yourself entering their private inner selves, seeing perhaps for the first time what they’re experiencing. Keep this image of yourself as gently coursing water, and watch how your relationships change.

Step 7: Take Responsibility for Your Part

Removing blame means never assigning responsibility to anyone else for what you’re experiencing. It means that you’re willing to say, “I may not understand why I feel this way, why I have this illness, why I’ve been victimized, or why I had this accident, but I’m willing to say without any guilt or resentment that I own it. I live with, and I am responsible for, having it in my life.”

If you take responsibility for having the experience, then at least you have a chance to also take responsibility for removing it or learning from it. If you’re in some small (perhaps unknown) way responsible for that migraine headache or that depressed feeling, then you can go to work to remove it or discover what its message is for you. If, on the other hand, someone or something else is responsible in your mind, then of course you’ll have to wait until they change for you to get better. And that is unlikely to occur. So you go home with nothing and are left with nothing when peace is really on the other side of the coin.

Step 8: Let Go of Resentments

What causes annoyance and anger after a dispute? The generic response would be a laundry list detailing why the other person was wrong and how illogically and unreasonably they behaved, concluding with something like, “I have a right to be upset when my [daughter, mother-in-law, ex-husband, boss, or whomever you’re thinking of] speaks to  me that way!”

But if you’re interested in living a Tao-filled life, it’s imperative that you reverse this kind of thinking. Resentments don’t come from the conduct of the other party in an altercation—no, they survive and thrive because you’re unwilling to end that altercation with an offering of kindness, love, and authentic forgiveness. As Lao-Tzu says:

Someone must risk returning injury with kindness, or hostility will never turn to goodwill. — Lao-Tzu

So when all of the yelling, screaming, and threatening words have been expressed, the time for calm has arrived. Remember that no storm lasts forever, and that hidden within are always seeds of tranquility. There is a time for hostility and a time for peace.

Step 9: Be Kind Instead of Right

There is a Chinese proverb, If you’re going to pursue revenge, you’d better dig two graves, which is saying to me: your resentments will destroy you.

The world is just the way it is. The people who are behaving “badly” in the world are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. You can process it in any way that you choose. If you’re filled with anger about all of those “problems,” you are one more person who contributes to the pollution of anger.  Instead, remember that you have no need to make others wrong or to retaliate when you’ve been wronged.

Imagine if someone says something to you that you find offensive, and rather than opting for resentment, you learn to depersonalize what you’ve just heard and respond with kindness. You are willing to freely send the higher, faster energies of love, peace, joy, forgiveness, and kindness as your response to whatever comes your way. You do this for yourself. You would rather be kind than right.

Step 10: Practice Giving

In the midst of arguments or disagreements, practice giving rather than taking before you exit. Giving involves leaving the ego behind. While it wants to win and show its superiority by being contrary and disrespectful, your Tao nature wants to be at peace and live in harmony. You can reduce your quarreling time to almost zero if you practice this procedure:

Wherever you are, whenever you feel strong emotions stirring in you and you notice yourself  feeling the need to “be right,” silently recite the following words from the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Where there is injury, [let me bring] pardon.

Be a giver of forgiveness as he teaches: Bring love to hate, light to darkness, and pardon to injury. Read these words daily, for they’ll help you overcome your ego’s demands and know the fullness of life.

Step 11: Stop Looking for Occasions to Be Offended

When you live at or below ordinary levels of awareness, you spend a great deal of time and energy finding opportunities to be offended. A news report,  a rude stranger,  someone cursing, a sneeze, a black cloud —just about anything will do if you’re looking for an occasion to be offended. Become a person who refuses to be offended by any one, any thing, or any set of circumstances.

If you have enough faith in your own beliefs, you’ll find that it’s impossible to be offended by the beliefs and conduct of others.

Not being offended is a way of saying, “I have control over how I’m going to feel, and I choose to feel peaceful regardless of what I observe going on. When you feel offended, you’re practicing judgment. You judge someone else to be stupid, insensitive, rude, arrogant, inconsiderate, or foolish, and then you find yourself upset and offended by their conduct. What you may not realize is that when you judge another person, you do not define them. You define yourself as someone who needs to judge others.

Step 12: Don’t Live In the Past – Be Present

When we find it difficult to forgive, often it is because we are not living in the present, and instead, we assign more importance to the past. We assign a good portion of our energy and attention lamenting the good old days that are gone forever as the reason why we can’t be happy and fulfilled today. “Everything has changed,” “No one respects anyone else like they used to…” This is assigning responsibility to the past for why you can’t be happy today.

It’s doubtful that other creatures waste the present moment in thoughts of past and future. A beaver only does beaver, and he does it right in the moment. He doesn’t spend his days  ruminating over the fact that his beaver siblings received more attention, or his father beaver ran off with a younger beaver when he was growing up. He’s always in the now. We can learn much from God’s creatures about enjoying the present moment rather than using it up consumed with anger over the past or worry about the future. Practice living in the moment by appreciating the beauty around you now.

Step 13:  Embrace Your Dark Times

In a universe that’s an intelligent system with a divine creative force supporting it, there simply can be no accidents. As tough as it is to acknowledge, you had to go through what you went through in order to get to where you are today, and the evidence is that you did. Every spiritual advance that you will make in your life will very likely be preceded by some kind of fall or seeming disaster. Those dark times, accidents, tough episodes, break ups, periods of impoverishment, illnesses, abuses, and broken dreams were all in order. They happened, so you can assume they had to and you can’t unhappen them.

Embrace them from that perspective, and then understand them, accept them, honor them, and finally transform them.

Step 14: Refrain from Judgement

When you stop judging and simply become an observer, you will know  inner peace. With that sense of inner peace, you’ll find yourself happier and free of the negative energy of resentment. A bonus is that you’ll find that others are much more attracted to you. A peaceful person attracts peaceful energy.

If I’m to be a being of love living from my highest self, that means that love is all I have inside of me and all that I have to give away. If someone I love chooses to be something other than what my ego would prefer, I must send them the ingredients of my highest self, which is God, and God is love.

My criticism and condemnation of the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of others—regardless of how right and moral my human self convinces me it is—is a step away from God-realization. And it is God-consciousness that allows for my wishes to be fulfilled, as long as they are aligned with my Source of being. I can come up with a long list of reasons why I should be judgmental and condemnatory toward another of God’s children and why, damn it, I am right. Yet if I want to perfect my own world—and I so want to do so—then I must substitute love for these judgments.

Step 15: Send Love

I spent years studying the teachings of Patanjali, and he reminded us several thousand years ago that when we are steadfast—which means that we never slip in our abstention of thoughts of harm directed toward others—then all living creatures cease to feel enmity in our presence.

Now I know that we are all human: you, me, all of us. We do occasionally slip and retreat from our highest self into judgment, criticism, and condemnation, but this is not a rationale for choosing to practice that kind of interaction. I can only tell you that when I finally got it, and I sent only love to another of God’s children whom I had been judging and criticizing, I got the immediate result of inner contentment.

I urge you to send love in place of those judgments and criticisms to others when you feel they impede your joy and happiness, and hold them in that place of love. Notice that if you stay steadfast, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

A Meditation to End on Love

Picture yourself at the termination of a quarrel or major dispute. Rather than reacting with old patterns of residual anger, revenge, and hurt, visualize offering kindness, love, and forgiveness.

Do this right now by sending out these “true virtue” thoughts to any resentments you’re currently carrying. Make this your standard response to any future altercations: I end on love, no matter what!


Posted in Alienation

Deciding to Make Contact with the Estranged Person

Knowing when and how to make contact: If you choose to make contact with the person you’re estranged from and you have done as much of your own inner work as you can, you have a number of ways to move forward, but premature contact may be unwise. However, mistakes that occur with premature contact may also be good teaching experiences.


These mistakes help you to be clear about what you really want to do and what is wise for you to do. My therapist asked a good question as a guideline: “Who are you making this contact for, yourself of the other person?” Let prayer undergird anything you do and provide a way to listen for the best way to make contact. Several ways to make contact are possible, depending on your comfort level and the willingness of the other person.

One is to write a letter of amends (the essay on forgiveness as a process contains an illustration of this) which you either send or simply write for its own sake. This works best when you write it as a vehicle for your own amends and not as a way to get the other person to make amends.

Another approach is to do a ritual of forgiveness that you do not tell the other person about but that will have an affect on the relationship because it releases something in you. Some people reconcile in the presence of therapists, one for each member of the conflict, representing that person but having everyone’s interests at heart. Others meet alone with the person they are estranged from, although this can be risky if either party is not healed enough to be responsible for his or her own feelings.

Still other people do something special for the person, or give something special, to show that their heart is open. A genuine act of love with no expectations in return is powerful for the giver and the receiver. But again, this works best when people do it for themselves and for its own sake, not with the expectation of a response. Sometimes it takes years before an act of grace is acknowledged, and it may even heighten the friction in the short run.

Once you make the first step, a waiting time occurs, and this is when you have to release the other person. If there is to be any contact, it will come in time and within a process. You have done what you could and that is enough. Just keep reminding yourself that you have done what you could. Reconciliation is wonderful when it happens, but it is not an all-or-nothing experience. People often find only a hint of reconciliation, or find nonverbal reconciliation. A reconciliation event may last a few minutes or an hour, and then the relationship may resume with much, but not all, of its previous dynamic.

If any kind of mutual reconciliation has occurred, both of you will know that something is different. Some relationships do ultimately heal, and they are transformed in the process. Any level of reconciliation is sheer grace. And sometimes reconciliation means that you acknowledge what happened, make some kind of amends and have no further contact with the other person. This too can be a deeply healing experience.

So reconciliation is complex, but just being on the journey of reconciliation is so vital to our emotional and spiritual health that any level of change adds to our lives.

Posted in Alienation

Estrangement – Is this where we want to stay?

“Do not suffer life to stagnate, it will grow muddy for want of motion; commit yourself again to the current of the world.”
― Samuel Johnson


The thing about estrangement is it is a sort of suspended relational animation. Someone closes off a relationship and its like the clock stops, breath is held and we wait.

Sometimes we wait for people to change their minds, or for things to get better, or for us to feel better. Sometimes we wait for the person or thing that will pull us out of our preoccupation with people who are in life, but not inour life. Often we’ve exhausted every option in our relationship repertoire.  We’ve explained, we’ve apologized, we’ve raged, we’ve ignored, we’ve reconnected, we’ve pulled back. We don’t know what to do.

So we become stuck.

Being stuck is normal. It’s a part of moving forward. It’s the time between recognizing that something in our life has changed and the time we decide what we are going to do on the other side of that change.

If we stay stuck too long, we risk stagnating. Leonardo da Vinci noted, “Iron rusts from disuse. Water loses its purity from stagnation … even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” There comes a point where we need to set our preoccupation with estrangement aside. We need to re-engage with the world, with other people and relationships. We need to accept that our estranged relationships are one, or a handful of relationships – they are not all the relationships.

At the risk of staying too long stuck, or sinking into stagnation, we need to get honest with ourselves. How are we doing? Are we happy, or at least okay with the way our lives are? Is what we are doing working for us? Is this where we want to stay?


Posted in Alienation


Relationships are the dynamic between two people. Relationships take care, upkeep, and resources. However, they are not always easy, and rifts may develop between two people. When this rift grows, and two people grow apart, the relationship becomes estranged.


Estrangement can lead to many relationship consequences, such as separation, divorce, and alienation. Estrangement describes a rift or division that is the result of unmet expectations or other disruptions in a relationship.

Estrangements come in all forms, particularly in families: partner from partner, parent from child, sibling from sibling, grandparent from child, aunt/uncle from niece/nephew, and so forth. Even the best of friends can become estranged from one another because of unmet expectations or other disruptions in the friendship.

There are a number of contributors that may act as a catalyst for an estranged relationship. Unresolved issues with trust, money, safety, emotional abuse, neglect, domestic abuse, anger, child abuse, sexual abuse or incest – all can contribute to two people becoming estranged.

In addition, if one or both of the individuals involved have any of the following personality disorders, there is a greater risk of estrangement occurring:

  • Asperger’s Syndrome: Those who struggle with Asperger’s may have more difficulty with social skills and interpersonal relationships.

Read more about Asperger’s Syndrome

  • Bipolar Disorder: Impulsive behaviors and decisions may lead to troubled relationships. Further, irritability and paranoia may strain relationships.

Read more about Bipolar Disorder

  • Depression: Depression may cause social isolation, irritability, sadness, and other symptoms that may lead to an estranged relationship.

Read more about Depression

  • Borderline Personality Disorder: Extreme difficulty with interpersonal relationships can lead to estrangement in both home and work relationships

Read more about Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Self-centered approaches to relationships can lead to confused or one-sided relationships. There is also a tendency to project insecurities or attribute characteristics upon others.

Read more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Along with individual characteristics, environment can play a factor. Extreme social isolation can lead to estrangement. In particular, social isolation is often key to the control exerted by strict religious sects and cults over their members.

Read more about Social Isolation

Similarly, divorce is another area where estrangement occurs. During a bitter divorce that is full of contention and fighting, it is not uncommon for one parent to become estranged from the children involved. This is known as Parental Alienation Syndrome, and occurs often after a divorce, although it can also be caused by any of the other factors outlined above.

Read more about Parental Alienation Syndrome

You may be estranged from your loved ones because of a fight or disagreement you’ve had. Attachment is often a part of estrangement. Issues with attachment can be expressed in many ways, which may result in an individual feeling the need or desire to fix or resolve conflicts or in individuals feeling that they are misunderstood or looked upon with disapproval.

Estrangement causes a unique form of grief, in that hope is often held out for a reparation in the relationship, keeping the pain and grief current and raw. Further, repeated interactions that follow the same pattern of expectations and ultimate disappointment when those expectations are unmet, keep the grief close at hand.

The first step to healing an estranged relationship is forgiveness. This is a very difficult first step, but holding on to resentment, anger, and hatred does not foster healthy and positive relationships.

After deciding that a relationship is beyond repair, it can be overwhelming and scary to consider reconciling an estranged relationship. The following tips are important when beginning the reconciliation process:

    • Has emotional growth occurred since the last contact?
    • Do I need to “change” the other person or his or her beliefs about a situation?
    • Do I have my own identity, or am I overwhelmed by another’s opinion?
  • Am I still angry?

Validating your feelings about the situation is important during the reconciliation process, as a lot of feelings are likely to occur. Recognize that is may be a slow process of building trust and re-learning the other person, and establishing a new relationship.

Focus on the positive and find new ways to establish common ground. Meet in a neutral location, and do not discuss difficult issues.

Repairing an estranged relationship is often very similar to building a new relationship. Do not expect that everything will be perfect right away. There are often setbacks, hiccups, and issues that may need to be navigated throughout the process.

And finally, keep in mind that you are not responsible for the entire relationship, nor can you control the entire relationship.

– See more at:

Posted in Alienation

Change is the key to reconciliation

Change is the key to reconciliation. But resistance and rigidity pollute the emotional climate of fragmented families. People find countless reasons not to change. A father asks, “Why should I speak to my daughter when she ignores my most cherished values?” A man insists that he can never forgive his brother’s insults. A woman cannot imagine how she could reconcile with her brother after he neglected their dying mother. In the face of such provocations, how can a fragmented family be restored to wholeness? Will the hurt and the anger ever be overcome? How can they begin to move toward forgiveness and healing?


These are legitimate questions, and here is my answer: growth, development, and change are synonymous. There is no growth without change. The alternative to growth is stagnation and rigidity. Estrangements tend to sustain stagnation and rigidity. Efforts to resolve conflict, whether or not they succeed in achieving reconciliation, will promote growth and maturity.

Here are some suggestions for seeking reconciliation with a person who is estranged from you. I will use readers’ input to modify and amplify these ideas.

Identify your goals but be ready to modify them.
One goal is to resolve the conflict and restore a connection with the estranged person. But don’t assume that this is the only goal. Other goals may be just as important and just as useful for your own wellbeing.

Don’t set deadlines.
For many people, understanding and resolving a family conflict takes a long time; for some it takes a lifetime. Don’t expect quick solutions.

Recognize that estrangement may have positive value.
Use the estrangement as an incentive to expand your knowledge of your family. Rather than preserving anger or anguish, focus on re-directing some of your energy to the task of clarifying your own role as a family member. Your new insights may or may not lead to reconciliation. In either case, you will become a wiser, more complete person.

If the other person won’t reciprocate, it doesn’t mean you failed.
In many families, only one person wants to resolve the conflict. The others are resistant, indifferent, or simply not ready. If this is the situation in your family, you can still benefit from the new understanding that will come from your efforts. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all.

Examine your intentions.
If you intend to evoke guilt, demand an apology, or change the other person’s behavior, your efforts will probably be futile.

Tone down your expectations.
If you cannot give up your fantasies of a “perfect” relationship, or if you continue to expect the other person to “give in,” your efforts will fail.

Clarify boundaries.
Be aware of those relationships in which you feel dependent, excessively close, or overly demanding. Try to back up and reduce the intensity of your feelings.

Question your habitual reactions.
We often get into ruts and our reactions become repetitive and rigid. Consider alternative ways to behave in situations where you have always done or said the same thing.

Accept less than perfect solutions.
When family members become estranged, there is usually a long history of bad feelings that led to the cutoff. If and when reconciliation occurs, remnants of the past will cling to the restored relationship. Don’t expect simple or ideal solutions.

Appreciate your strengths.
Working to resolve an estrangement can be exhausting and frustrating. Your willingness to begin the task is a sign of strength. Persisting in the face of resistance is another positive sign. Identify your emotional assets and nurture them. They will serve as vital ingredients in the process of reconciling with an estranged relative.

Acknowledge the other person’s right to be different.
Families are infinitely complex and each individual is unique. The other person is not required to be a mirror image of you. Focus on the positive ways he or she is different from you and work at respecting those differences.

Agree to disagree.
Severed family connections are a consequence of significant disagreements over important issues. As you work toward repairing the damage, be aware that some of the friction will remain. Learn to accept the reality of ongoing disagreement as part of the process.

Try to achieve a more balanced pattern of closeness and distance.
Conflicts erupt when some family members become excessively involved in another person’s life, or when one person is disparaging or indifferent to the other’s needs. Be aware of those tendencies that may be stirring up resentment in your family.

Recognize estrangement as one aspect of family life.
Many families experience a recurring pattern of alienation and reconciliation. One branch of the family may be relatively calm and peaceful, while another is mired in bitter conflict. Try to perceive these patterns as alternating rhythms in the ongoing life of the family.

Monitor your own progress.
Pay attention to the intensity of your feelings and recognize when you are off balance. Notice which of these strategies are most difficult for you to accept. Consider why they are so difficult. The answer may lead you to the crux of your resistance.

Obtain professional help.
To guide your efforts, consult a mental health professional who is a family systems specialist. There is no good substitute for skilled professional help.

Learn how to express anger without being obnoxious

Practice how to apologize and mean it

Don’t give up

Celebrate change

Express gratitude

Posted in Alienation

10 things To Consider Before Reconciling With An Estranged Family Member

Anyone who has heard the devastating words, “I never want to see you again!” from a parent, sibling, or child, knows the torment of family exile.

Reconciliations can bring joy, excitement and a sense of awe like that of a miracle. At the same time, reunions can be frightening, stressful, fragile, and wrought with many pitfalls. Rebuilding relationships requires a great deal of emotional work and a willingness for each family member involved.


read the complete article here Copyright © 2008 Nancy Richards.


Posted in Alienation

Letting the opinions of others control your life

If you want to fly and move on to better things, you have to give up the things that weigh you down – which is not always as obvious and easy as it sounds.


Starting today, give up…

  1. Letting the opinions of others control your life. – People know your name, not your story.  They’ve heard what you’ve done, but not what you’ve been through.  So take their opinions of you with a grain of salt.  In the end, it’s not what others think, it’s what you think about yourself that counts.  Sometimes you have to do exactly what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everyone else.
  2. The shame of past failures. – You will fail sometimes, and that’s okay.  The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant.  Your past does not equal your future.  Just because you failed yesterday; or all day today; or a moment ago; or for the last six months; or for the last sixteen years, doesn’t have any impact on the current moment.  All that matters is what you do right now.  Read Awaken the Giant Within.
  3. Being indecisive about what you want. – You will never leave where you are until you decide where you would rather be.  It’s all about finding and pursuing your passion.  Neglecting passion blocks creative flow.  When you’re passionate, you’re energized.  Likewise, when you lack passion, your energy is low and unproductive.  Energy is everything when it comes to being successful.  Make a decision to figure out what you want, and then pursue it passionately.
  4. Procrastinating on the goals that matter to you. – There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.  Follow your intuition.  Don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.  When there is love and inspiration, you can’t go wrong.  And whatever it is you want to do, do it now.  There are only so many tomorrows.  Trust me, in a year from now, you will wish you had started today.
  5. Choosing to do nothing. – You don’t get to choose how you are going to die, or when.  You can only decide how you are going to live, right now.  Every day is a new chance to choose.  Choose to change your perspective.  Choose to flip the switch in your mind from negative to positive.  Choose to turn on the light and stop fretting about with insecurity and doubt.  Choose to do work that you are proud of.  Choose to see the best in others, and to show your best to others.  Choose to truly LIVE, right now.
  6. Your need to be right. – If you keep on saying you’re right, even if you are right now, eventually you will be wrong.  Aim for success, but never give up your right to be wrong.  Because when you do, you will also lose your ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  7. Running from problems that should be fixed. – We make lifeharder than it has to be.  The difficulties started when… conversations became texting, feelings became subliminal, sex became a game, the word ‘love’ fell out of context, trust faded as honesty waned, insecurities became a way of living, jealously became a habit, being hurt started to feel natural, and running away from it all became our solution.  Stop running!  Face these issues, fix the problems, communicate, appreciate, forgive and LOVE the people in your life who deserve it.
  8. Making excuses rather than decisions. – Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem solving.  A mistake doesn’t become a failure until you refuse to correct it. Thus, most long-term failures are the outcome of people who make excuses instead of decisions.
  9. Overlooking the positive points in your life. – What you see often depends entirely on what you’re looking for.  Do your best and surrender the rest.  When you stay stuck in regret of the life you think you should have had, you end up missing the beauty of what you do have.  You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for the good things in your life right now.  Read The Happiness Project.
  10. Not appreciating the present moment. – We do not remember days, we remember moments.  Too often we try to accomplish something big without realizing that the greatest part of life is made up of the little things.  Live authentically and cherish each precious moment of your journey.  Because when you finally arrive at your desired destination, I guarantee you,another journey will begin.

Posted in Alienation

When things go wrong, don’t go with them


“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”
―Elvis Presley


Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak or wrong in any way.  Sometimes it simply means you’re strong enough and smart enough to let go and move forward with your life.

And that’s precisely what we discuss in today’s video blog…

Give Up to Move Forward

1.  First and foremost, give up the excuses you keep reciting to yourself.

Because all the excuses and explanations in the world won’t do you any good.  They won’t add any value to your life or improve the quality of it by even the slightest margin.  To fulfill your calling and get where you wish to go in life requires more than just thinking and talking.  These feats require focused and sustained action.  And the good news is, you’re perfectly capable of taking whatever action is necessary.  You just have to choose to actually do it.

No one else can succeed for you on your behalf.  The life you live is the life you build for yourself.  There are so many possibilities to choose from, and so many opportunities for you to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.  Now is the moment to actually step forward.

Sooner or later, one way or the other, you will come to realize that it’s not what you lose along the way that counts; it’s what you do with what you still have.  When you let go of the past, forgive what needs forgiving, and move forward, you in no way change the past, you change the future.

2.  Once you’re over the excuses, give up the idea that you don’t have what it takes.

You do have exactly what it takes.  Will it be easy?  Absolutely not!  Nobody is going to blindside you and hit you as hard as life will.  Sometimes life will beat you to the ground, and keep you there if you let it.  But it’s not about how hard life can hit you; it’s about how hard you can be hit and continue to move forward.  That’s what true strength is.  And that’s what winning the game of life is all about.  So keep going.

In the end, all the small things make a big difference.  Every step is crucial.  Life isn’t about a single moment of great triumph and attainment.  It’s about the trials and errors that slowly get you there – the blood, the sweat, the tears, and the small, inconsequential things you do on a day-to-day basis.  It all matters in the end – every step, every regret, every decision, and every affliction.

The seemingly useless happenings add up to something.  The minimum wage job you had in high school.  The evenings you spent socializing with coworkers you never see anymore.  The hours you spent writing thoughts on a personal blog that no one reads.  Contemplations about elaborate future plans that never came to be.  All those lonely nights spent reading novels and news columns and comics strips and fashion magazines and questioning your own principles on life and sex and religion and whether or not you’re good enough just the way you are.

All of this has strengthened you.  All of this has led you to every success you’ve ever had.   All of this has made you who you are today.  And all of this proves that you have the strength to deal with the challenges in front of you.  (Read The Road Less Traveled.)

3.  Give up focusing on what’s wrong, and start noticing what’s right.

What you see often depends entirely on what you are looking for.  Do your best and surrender the rest.  When you stay stuck in regret of the life you think you should have had, you end up missing the beauty of what you actual do have.  You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for the good things in your life right now.

And you do not need ideal circumstances to move forward.  The happiest and most successful people do not live with a certain set of circumstances, but rather with a certain set of attitudes.  Choosing to be positive and grateful for what you have now is going to determine how you’re going to live the rest of your life.  So look for something positive about today.  Even if you have to look a little harder than usual, it still exists.

So don’t wait until everything is just right; it will never be perfect.  There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.  So what!  Get started now!  With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger.  Say it out loud:  “I am determined to live a happy life no matter what my challenges are!  I will turn all my tales of fury into tales of glory!  I will turn all of my tales of woe into tales of WOW!”  And no matter what happens, just do your best and appreciate what you’re learning.  You won’t enjoy your life if you don’t enjoy your challenges.

4.  Give up the tendency to get too caught up in other people’s judgments and opinions.

Honestly, the biggest prison you will likely ever live in is your fear of what other people think.  You cannot let other people tell you who you are or what you want.  You have to decide that for yourself.  When you’re making big decisions, remember, what you think of yourself and your life is more important than what people think of you.  Don’t let others make you feel guilty for living YOUR life.  As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, live it YOUR way.

The key here is to remember that it’s OK to listen to others sometimes, but not at the full expense of your own intuition.  Because throughout your lifetime there will be many times when the world gets real quiet and the only thing left is the beat of your own heart.  So you’d better learn the sound of it, otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s telling you.

The bottom line is that when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you truly are.  So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you.  You don’t have to be someone else to impress people.  Let these people be impressed by who you really are.

Honestly, what does life matter if you lose yourself along the way?  Even your mentors should teach you HOW to think, not WHAT to think.  So if someone – anyone – is belittling your truth, it might be time to turn the other way.  (Marc and I discuss this in detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

Your turn…

If you feel like you’re stuck, or struggling to make progress, know that you are not alone.  We are all in this together.  However, there is also a good chance you’re holding on to something that’s holding you back.  Which means you might be able to make things easier on yourself if you give this “something” up.

In fact, whenever Marc and I find ourselves running in place, we make it a point to evaluate our present situation, and then we ask ourselves questions like, “What’s holding us back?” and “Is there something we need to let go of, or give up, before we can move forward again?”