My newest read is “Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life,” a short book written by two gentlemen who called themselves The Minimalists. Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus have a lot of great advice to offer in their book, and they literally encourage people to share portions of it, so… that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Ah, Mondays. The glory of a new week. Mondays can definitely be rough — but look at it this way. It’s the start of a new week! Whatever happened last week doesn’t matter; it’s in the past. You have the opportunity of a fresh start. Anything can happen this week. Take it one day at a time. You’ve got this.
I’m a sucker for inspirational/motivational quotes, so I wanted to kick off this week by pulling out some of my favorites for you guys. What’s your favorite?
- “There is strength inside you that you have yet to discover.”
- “Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.” – The Wall Street Journal
- “The world only exists in your eyes. You can make it as big or as small as you want.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
- “You are enough. You are so enough, it’s amazing how enough you are.”
“If nothing else, one day you can look someone straight in the eyes and say
‘But I lived through it. And it made me who I am today.’ ” – Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You
I’ve had this post saved in my drafts for some time, but I finally feel like I can dedicate the time it deserves. This post is a response to The Love Letter Project:
“Consider the greatest challenge you’ve overcome in life and write a love letter to help a perfect stranger overcome that same challenge. I’m asking you to write a love letter because your personal story will make a powerful difference in the lives of others. You could write a love letter to anyone: an entrepreneur who is struggling with her first business, a man who has lost his job, or a child who is being bullied at school. Write a love letter about a challenge you faced, and you will touch hearts, lift spirits, and show the world that no one is alone.”
My letter will be posted on TLLP’s website, but I wanted to post it here, too. It seems like the site hasn’t been updated in some time, but hopefully it will be soon. In the meantime, here’s my first letter – and I hope to write several more. This really seems like such a wonderful project, and reaching out to those who may be struggling with a challenge that you’ve overcome in your life is an absolutely wonderful way to help the world.
Without further ado, here’s my letter.
Going along with one of this week’s earlier challenge — to smile — today’s challenge is related. Just two words to guide you through your day: be positive.
Realistically, this might be easier said than done sometimes. Not every moment in life is a happy one, and it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to be sad, angry, or any other range of emotions.
But sometimes – at least in my personal experience – it’s easier to be negative than positive. For instance, if you try out for a part in a musical — it’s sometimes easier to say “Well, I probably won’t get it” than to be positive and think “I kicked ass at that audition, I think I’ve done well!” That line of negative thinking drags you down, and sets you up with no expectations. While the positive thinking COULD lead to disappointment if you don’t end up getting the part, the negative thinking is doing you absolutely no good.
So today, be positive. Think about the good things in your life, rather than the not-so-good. Think about how great it is that you woke up this morning. Think about what you have in your life that many others may not have in theirs. Consider the idea of going through your day with a positive attitude, looking on the brighter side of things. Make a conscious effort to be positive today and see where it gets you. And smile! 🙂
One of the greatest – yet simplest – things you can do, right now, to improve your mood: smile.
Now, I’m a realist. I know it’s not possible to smile 24/7. Stuff happens, things get you down, and I imagine smiling THAT much would be enough to crush your jaw muscles pretty darn well.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t smile a bit more, does it? I think that’s one thing that may be lacking in some of our lives. It goes along with happiness and positive thinking, but today’s challenge is to find things to smile about. Whether it’s just grabbing your favorite snack at lunch, or seeing your favorite person, or winning $1 million dollars on a lottery ticket (don’t I wish!), there are things to smile about in almost every day.
So today, smile! Smile at yourself in the mirror. Smile when you walk down the street, rather than looking down at your feet with a nonchalant look on your face. Smile at someone when you hold the door open for them (but please don’t be creepy, okay?) Smile when you hear a great song, when you smell your favorite food cooking, or when you walk into your favorite place.
I’m not sure how true the saying is, that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. But it has been proven that smiling IS good for your health; it helps lower your heart rate, reduces stress, increases productivity and will also help encourage OTHERS to smile, too. So not only are you spreading smiles to yourself, you’re helping spread the happiness to others. You’ll boost your immune system, kill pain and produce empathy. (For more benefits of smiling, check out this piece.)
It’s easy, it’s free and it takes such little effort, so today — just smile!