Thoughts To Live By…

Archive for the ‘Self’ Category

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

by Brett Blumenthal

A couple of years ago, the Boston Marathon promoted its event with a series of inspiring billboards.  All of them were black and white images of a runner, with a quote that expressed their reason for running.  Some billboards were of fully mobile individuals and others were of those who were disabled but were determined to cross the finish line, either through a family member’s or friend’s assistance, or through the use of a prosthetic device.  Each had different quotes, but one in particular really stood out: the runner’s response was simple…“Because I can.”

As kids, the “Little Engine who could” told us a valuable tale of an extraordinary spirit…of perseverance…of determination…of believing in ourselves. As adults, we don’t always have tales to teach us these valuable lessons. And, as a result we start making excuses. We stop learning. We stop trying.

‘Because I can’ eliminates these excuses. It pushes us past the status quo and our comfort zones. It gives us a reason to do the things that we think we can’t. And, it enables us to believe in ourselves.

Practicing ‘Can’ thinking is important to keeping us young, to having a positive outlook, to staying motivated and to reaching our goals. Further, it can help us lead richer and fuller lives that are more rewarding. The fact that you have the ability to do something empowers you to do it, whatever the task might be.

How can you use the power of ‘Because I can’? Here are a few ways to incorporate this positive thinking into various aspects of your own life:

  1. Be More Active: Whether it is to get to the store or work, or if it is climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, embracing a ‘Because I can’ attitude is an easy way to incorporate more activity into your life. Break the ‘I’m tired’ or ‘It is too hard’ or ‘It is too far’ cycle. Increasing your activity level will provide enormous benefits, both physically and mentally.
  2. Try Something New: It is easy for us to make excuses for why we shouldn’t try new things. Maybe you think it is out of your comfort zone. Maybe it seems too difficult. Or maybe, it is just inconvenient. Reminding yourself that ‘You Can’ try something new will help you to move past these roadblocks and discover new things about yourself and possible new interests.
  3. Reach for the Stars: No matter how old you are, setting new goals and continually dreaming makes life more interesting and rewarding. Whether it is professionally or personally, find new ways to stretch yourself, to learn and to grow. Pushing yourself to be the best you can be will give you a sense of accomplishment. Further, you’ll never feel bored.
  4. Speak Up: Often, we can become complacent in our lives, going through a routine and not addressing things that bother us or make us unhappy. You have a voice. Use that voice ‘because you can’. Communicating to loved ones, co-workers and even your boss as to how you feel, what your needs and expectations are and what you are thinking can help you develop deeper, more meaningful and rewarding relationships. Further, you will be truer to yourself, inevitably making you a happier individual.
  5. Go the Extra Mile: No, you don’t have to be a marathon runner to incorporate this slogan into your exercise routine. But, when you are at the end of your thirty minute aerobic workout, try going an extra ten minutes ‘Because you can.’ You’ll empower yourself to push beyond the ‘status quo.’ Additionally, you will strengthen your heart and burn off the cheesecake from the night before.
  6. Increase Your Willpower: Saying ‘No’ to our favorite indulgences can be challenging. However, developing a strong willpower, whether it is in response to our favorite chocolate cake or to over-shopping and spending past our means is something that we can all benefit from. Next time you are tempted to do something you think you might regret, try reminding yourself that you ‘can’ say no. YOU have the power.

The human spirit can be very fragile, but incorporating positive thinking, such as ‘Because I can,’  while, eliminating ‘because I can’t’ from your thought processes, can be very powerful.

Do you have any techniques that motivate you to step out of your comfort zone and move beyond the status quo? What inspires you?

http://www.sheerbalance.com/brettsblog/2009/01/15/do-you-push-yourself/

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George Santayana, a Spanish philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist, once said:

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

  • This famous statement has produced many paraphrases and variants:
    • Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
    • Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.
    • Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.
    • Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.

May  this End of the Year Survey be of  help as you enter 2009.

End of the Year Survey:

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9. What was your biggest failure? Not sure…

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought

12. Where did most of your money go

13. What song will always remind you of 2008?

14. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

b) thinner or fatter?

c) richer or poorer?

15. What do you wish you’d done more of?

16. What do you wish you’d done less of?

17. How did you spend Christmas?

18. Did you fall in love in 2008? No.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

20. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

21. What was the best book you read?

22. What was your greatest musical discovery?

23. What did you want and get?

24. What did you want and not get?

25. What was your favorite film of this year?

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you

27. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

28. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

29. What kept you sane?

30. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

31. What political issue stirred you the most

32. Who did you miss?

33. Who was the best new person you met?

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.


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