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A Stranger or a Reason? Inspiring Words by Melonie Shelton

A Stranger or a Reason?

reason

You always hear people say that people come into your life for a reason. I often find that hard to believe, yet I have had that happen to me so many times. Working in a hospital there have been several times that I met a person that made me see things in a more positive way or made me realize I didn’t have it so bad after all. It is so easy to get caught up in our own world and often times forget there are still special people in the world we live in.

Tonight I met a very special lady that bought one of my paintings. I always find time to chat with anyone that buys something from me and I’m so very glad I was able to meet her. While she was complimenting my work, she also told me that their home recently burned down and they were slowly trying to redecorate. I was listening as she told her story and thinking how I couldn’t imagine going through something that horrific. She then goes on to tell me how she and husband had always had foster children and that many were at certain times in a witness protection program. Her daughter, who was a foster child that she took into her home was five years old at that time and now is thirteen. This child has been through more than most go through in a lifetime, and I had tears rolling down my face as she told me more. Her daughter, who I’ll call “Madison", has always loved music and every time she heard the music she couldn’t keep still. At the age of 5, they enrolled her in dance, but the dance teachers said she was too much to handle and that she couldn’t stay in the class. These special people didn’t give up, something we can all learn from. They found her a dance teacher; a teacher with as much energy as Madison. The teacher’s immediate thoughts were that Madison had a gift, just like her new parents believed as well. Although Madison has faced many struggles in life, dance is her outlet, her passion, her dream. Now at age 13, she has received a scholarship to a dance school in New York! Madison never gave up on herself and neither did her parents. She will go far in life due to a “stranger" coming into her life. Now ask yourself again if you meet people just because or for a reason?

I met this lady tonight for a reason. She had a calm voice; she was a sincere and overall good person. She said things to me that taught me more than she realizes. Although we live in a harsh society, never forget that there are still good people living among you. It is up to YOU to take the chance or opportunity to meet them and listen to them. Just when you think you have it bad or are just having a bad day, along comes this person you do not know. This person could be going through more than you but yet has a smile on their face and is sharing a special part of their life with you. Each and every one of us needs a little encouragement in our lives. I ask you to take the time, even if it is just one day, to listen to someone you consider a stranger. They may be that special person that changes your whole outlook on life. Give someone an ear or a shoulder one day; it could be a life-changing moment for both of you.

About the Author

Melonie Shelton

My name is Melonie Shelton and I’m a 44 year old single mom. I have 1 daughter who just started college and we live in Arkansas. I am a person that never meets a stranger and would give anyone the last thing I have.

 

7 Tips for Giving a Boost to Personal Growth

7 Tips for Giving a Boost to Personal Growth

personal growth Image source

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."Will Durant

Have you ever tried to define personal growth? It’s that immense feeling of expansion. You feel like you’re a greater person when you become better, kinder, and more knowledgeable. Your soul grows bigger. It’s the goal we all have in life, whether we realize it or not.

Why should we be concerned about personal growth, you might ask?

  • The goal to become a better person gives us a sense of direction. You know that feeling of being lost? You won’t experience it if you know where you’re headed to: towards a better you.
  • The journey of personal development makes us more self-aware. We get to realize who we really are and what we want to become. We identify our beliefs and values, as well as our purpose in life.
  • This goal gives us focus. We get the feeling that we’re not wasting a single day when we continue working on ourselves. We become more motivated to achieve our goals, and we develop resilience against stressful situations.

There’s no question about it: it’s important for each and every one of us to develop a culture of personal growth. The only question is: how?

That’s why we’re here for today: to learn how we can give a boost to our personal growth journey. I have a few tips to share:

1. Then, Act!

We all have dreams. Until we start acting upon them, they remain dreams. To turn those ideas into tangible goals, we need to strategize a bit. If for example, I want to become more knowledgeable, I’ll define a precise area of study and I’ll locate several online courses I can take. Then, I’ll include the timelines of those courses in my Google Calendar and I’ll plan my time in a way that helps me achieve that goal. That’s how I managed to complete a mindfulness course on Coursera. It was a great experience that made me realize: I can turn every dream into a goal, and every goal into action.

  • Your strategy needs to include long-term goals, which you’ll translate into short-term goals that lead you in that direction.
  • Then, you’ll need to work gradually towards the desired results. You can’t expect rapid, flashy personal development. It’s a process, so be patient and walk through it.

2. Confront Your Comfort Zone

Is it a comfort zone or pure laziness? However you put it, it’s the same thing. If you want to develop a personal growth mindset, you’ll have to stand against that comfort zone. You’ve been thinking about joining a book club, but you don’t like meeting new people and you can’t relax when being in a group? It’s time to get out of your shell.

Whatever it is you dream about doing, do it! Whether it is about learning a new skill, developing a new habit, or visiting Japan, just make your strategy and start doing something. The comfort of your personal space is cool, but it may suffocate the growth.

3. Read!

It’s amazing how good literature can expand our points of view. It inspires us to explore new ideas, places, and cultures. Turn yourself into a passionate reader! List at least 10 books you want to read this year, and start reading 30 pages every single day. You can definitely find time for 30 pages.

As for the books, they have to be valuable. Don’t focus on mainstream bestsellers! If you’re wondering where to start, here’s a good list to consider: the Rory Gilmore reading challenge.

4. Follow an Example

Do you have a person you admire? A yoga teacher? Keanu Reeves, maybe? What is it about their character that attracts you so much? How did they achieve that level that helped them develop a magnetic personality? What did they do?

You can start following their footsteps. Join courses and lectures they attended and start learning the things they know. It’s important not to become obsessed, though. Remember: you’re you. Your personal growth will be an individual journey. You can use others as your motivation, but always be self-aware!

5. Keep Challenging Yourself!

Our life can become full of routines even when we stay committed to personal growth. Reading, exercise, healthy eating… everything can become a boring routine. Commitment is much different than routine. We need to keep imposing challenges to ourselves.

As a writer at writing service, I can’t risk turning my job to a boring habitual practice. I want to grow. That’s why I practice a weekly exercise and involve my colleague writers in it: we get a prompt and write a 150-word story. We share our stories between us, and we give each other feedback. That’s the kind of challenge I’m talking about. Do something different, something that pushes you forward and keeps you on the path of personal growth. The most important thing is to have fun along the way.

6. Become Physically Strong

Our body is a reflection of our inner state of being. Being able to get into a headstand or a handstand requires not only physical, but mental and emotional strength as well. A constant physical activity makes your character stronger and more resilient.

Turn this into a habit: start every single day with a physical activity. Pick yoga, cardio fitness, aerobic, pilates… whatever you want. Stay committed to your practice and you’ll notice the change in mindset.

7. There’s No Need to Do Everything

When you start listing areas you want to improve yourself in, the list will be endless. Be realistic: it’s not possible to master every single aspect of your being. Make priorities and stay focused on the goals that really matter.

Don’t forget: personal growth is not an easy thing. It’s a lifelong journey that takes commitment, persistence, and actions. Stick to that plan!

Sophia Anderson is a freelance writer and a blogger who is passionate about covering topics on writing, learning, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Meet Sophia at @Sophia7Anderson.

7 Ways To Lift Your Mood When You’re Feeling Down

7 Ways To Lift Your Mood When You’re Feeling Down

lift your mood when feeling down

Down. Blue. Having a ‘black-dog’ day. We all know those days. When it seems much more preferable to sit in a dark room with Ben & Jerry and lament about all of the life’s woes. But giving into the proverbial black dog is no way to lift you from your funk. All you’ll succeed in doing is feeding it. Literally, if you stick with the Ben & Jerry’s. Far better to pick yourself up and challenge that black-dog and deliberately set about to lift your mood.

Unsure how to start? Here are seven sure-fire ways to lift your mood when you’re feeling down.

Vent

This might seem a little paradoxical at first. If you’re trying to lift your mood, how will it help you to vent your frustrations? It helps by using the same principles of reframing; restate your frustration, review it, examine it and really explore whether it is as big a deal as you have internalized, or whether you’ve made it bigger than it needs to be. Venting should be done in a time-limited and structured way to avoid dwelling on the frustration. Use an egg timer, write a page in a journal. Just keep track and review your outcomes with a critical eye.

Practice positive self-talk

After venting and reframing your frustrations, you might be a little tender and in need of some positive affirmation. There is no better person to affirm you than you. Engage in some positive-self talk. Tell yourself how you will pick yourself up today. Challenge yourself about whether you might be over-generalizing, over-simplifying, over-dramatizing or mind reading. Above all be honest with yourself. If you’re feeling down because you haven’t done something, ask whether it was reasonable in the first place to do it. If your mood is low because you think you will never amount to anything, check in with all the achievements you have made so far.

Focus on the present

This goes hand-in-hand with venting. Focus solely on the present and don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. Ask yourself whether you’re down because of something right now, or something that happened two weeks ago. Or something that might never come to be but you can’t stop worrying about. What’s done is done, and who’s to know what might be. Take yourself back to the here-and-now and focus on the present.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a fantastic way of bringing your focus back to the present. There is simply an abundance of ways in which you can practice mindfulness. A counselor or therapist can teach you breathing techniques. Mindfulness and meditation apps are readily available for download on your smartphone or tablet. If meditation is not your thing, try a quiet sit in your favorite spot in the garden, or take up yoga. However you do it, get in touch with yourself.

Exercise

Exercise is not only a great way to focus on the present and create an opportunity for positive self-talk, exercise also helps the body to release ‘feel good’ chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. Exercise may bring further mood lifting results by exposing you to the sunshine, fresh air, other people, a change of scenery and give your lungs, heart and sympathetic nervous system a good workout. Tiredness and the ability to have a long, refreshing sleep may be a long-term mood enhancing benefit of exercise.

Laugh

Scientific studies have long investigated the link between laughter and uplifted mood. Those very same endorphins released during exercise are released when laughing and can flood the body with drug-like good vibes. Facial muscles are also activated when laughing and tensed muscles begin to relax. A relaxed body is less prone to a depressed mood than an uptight body. Laughing is a very immediate quick-fix mood enhancer, and it only takes a quick YouTube search to find yourself a big belly laugh.

Take time out with positive people

The saying goes, ‘Good people know good people’. The same can be said for people who are down in the dumps. Perhaps they’re your work colleagues or your family. Take a good look and you just might find yourself surrounded by a host of misanthropes. If so, seek out those people you know who always bring a smile to your face. The people who light you up just by entering a room. Positive people have an effect on the people they surround; they bring that positivity to the hearts of everyone they touch.

So the next time you’re feeling down, leave the ice-cream in the freezer. Slip in some earbuds, pop on your cap and take a brisk walk around the park. Let the sunshine refresh you and the endorphins do their thing. You’ll feel better for it.

Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research in mental health and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.

Follow These 10 Simple Steps To Increase Motivation In Life

Follow These 10 Simple Steps To Increase Motivation In Lifemotivation_life

Do you want something, or do you want to achieve something to change your life? Do you dream of having an expensive car, a luxurious vacation, or perhaps finish your college degree with honors? If you want something that you don’t have, it would be impossible to acquire it without motivation.

What is Motivation?

Motivation is the inner power that enables you to act towards the achievement of a certain goal. It is fueled by ambition and desire. Without ambition and desire, it would be difficult to find motivation.

However, sometimes, even the person has a desire or a dream but lacks the push or the initiative, the person would not be able to get exactly what he/ she want in life. The lack of push, willingness or initiative to get something is also equal to the lack of motivation that would trigger a person to take action.

Certain people have so much motivation in life that they would do anything to reach their goals. When they are motivated, they know what it takes to get what they want.

There are no excuses for a motivated person. That person would always see positivity despite obstacles. This is why motivated people always get what they want because they would never stop or get discouraged by any issues that come their way.

Where does motivation come from?

Motivation could be learned and acquired. If you want to get motivated, you need to know what you really want to attain. You need to have a clear picture of what you really want. Do you want to be a doctor, to study law, or so you want to be rich?

When you already identified your desire, you should know what actions or steps to take to get what you want. Motivation promotes power and inner strength, which are necessary ingredients to accomplish your goals.

Sometimes, motivation can be derived from having an inspiration. For instance, you are driven to have a good life because of your loved ones. Despite life’s difficulties, you’re getting motivation and strength from your loved ones because you want to give them a good life.

Motivation could be powered by many things. Sometimes, a person could be motivated by a bad happening in the past. Perhaps, a bad experience or a bad life may have driven a person to become motivated to have a wealthy life.

Did you get what you really want during your childhood days? Did you enjoy playing expensive toys or having signature clothes when you’re young? Some people get motivated to strive harder because they were deprived of these things in the past, and it is what motivates them to be a better person today.

Motivation isn’t enough itself. You should know in your heart that you can do it. When you’re convinced that things are possible, there’s no impossible in reaching your goals.

Are you motivated? Here are simple steps that can guarantee an improvement to get you motivated:

1. Set Your Goal

This is the initial step of having motivation. You should know what you really want to achieve. It would be better if you convert the major goals into minor ones to make it more feasible. Doing this would give you more motivation rather than focusing on the big goals that could overwhelm you.

2. Write the Reasons Why You Want to Achieve Your Goals

It is the most powerful way to understand why you want to achieve your goals. When you’re clear about it, the more you’ll be motivated to work towards achieving it.

3. Get Motivated by Connecting With Positive People

Positive people could inspire you more than negative people, who always complain about everything. Negative people could such the energy in you that pushes you to reach your goals.

4. List Down Your Excuses

It is a good idea to also list down the things that would retract or stop you from reaching your goals. Is it effort, money or the people around you? List them down and check it. The next time you encounter it, you know how to counteract it.

5. Leave Procrastination

Set aside delay. After setting your goals, you should start the action now, not tomorrow. When you begin it, never pause, because laziness would only contribute to frustration in the end when you fail to achieve your goals.

6. Get Motivation From Others

You can get motivated with other people too. There are a lot of successful people, with similar stories like yours, where you can draw inspiration to reach your goals. You can get motivation from famous people, motivational books, and other success stories.

7. Get Motivational Inspirations

Listen to motivational speakers, read motivational books or e-books, magazines that focus on the same subject. This will remind you that it’s possible to reach your goals.

8. Tell Yourself That You Can Do It

An affirmation is a key to get inner motivation. Despite the struggles, you know that you can succeed when you tell yourself that you would not stop until you achieve it.

9. Post Photos

It is a good idea to cut out photos of what you want to achieve and place it somewhere, where you can see it easily. For instance, place a photo of your dream car or house on your dresser or wall. This way, you’ll get reminded of your goals each time you see it.

10. Visualize Your Goal As If You Already Achieved It

This drives the power inside you.

Start Today To Reach Your Goals!

The most important part of every dream, aspiration or goal is to make it happen. Start today. Don’t delay or set it aside.

When you’re already motivated, don’t let the motivation wear out. Keep your energy burning. Following those simple steps could definitely keep you moving forward towards your goals, despite the hindrances.

Emily Cox is an author of several inspirational e-books and books. She writes topics about life, motivation and self-development and more about best free rehab centers to aid people to gain strength, inspiration, success and happiness.

Positive Words Research After 4 Years

Daily Mission Accomplished
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Dear Readers,

It’s been a wonderful journey so far, but I couldn’t have done it without you, my loyal readers.

Happy Magic Blissful Wonderful Lovely Joyful Awesome Easter to everybody!

Let me share with you the story of…

Positive Words Research After 4 Years

I am Elena Daniela Calin, 34 years old currently. I started to research positive words in 2012. A lot of things in my life led me to do this. Like Steve Jobs said: You can not connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect the dots looking backward.

So in 2012 I was researching the words GRATITUDE and APPRECIATE, not appreciation… appreciate! I was writing the family of words for these 2 words.. on paper. I got bored eventually I realized it was a lot of work to research all these positive words. In 2013 I decided to make a blog in WordPress and call it Positive Words Research because this is what I thought I was doing… I was researching positive words.

After posting some things about positive words, I decided to make a list. I was adding one by one the words in the list because I wanted to include them in my vocabulary first. Then something truly MAGIC happened. People all around the planet started commenting on the list and sharing more positive words to add to the list.

In time the list becomes the best list of positive words in the world. Since 2013 until now the website PositiveWordsResearch.com had more than 14 million views. In December 2016 plus January 2017 had more than 2,5 million views.

In time I translated the list of positive words in more languages, including Spanish, Italian, German etc.

I also made the first and single list of positive words in Romanian, my native language. The people from my country are so happy about this and they finally can embrace positive thinking because positive words are the secret to “easily crack” positive thinking and now they have it.

Two days ago I held the first course of positive words in my country and most probably in the entire world. 14 people came to that course. Everyone liked it, they were phenomenally amazed.

I have so many wonderful plans for positive words in the next years to come. When I started this project in 2013 the positive words on the internet were approximately none. Now, after more than 4 years, when you put positive words or beautiful words in google there are so many pictures with words and their explanation, lots of clouds with positive words, lots of articles written by so many websites about the extraordinary power of positive words. I am happy, I am grateful. I see my dream, in reality, it has come to fruition.

What have I learned from this journey that started in 2012?

A single person can change the world… with the help of the entire world.


Happy Easter Everyone!
Many Blessings to You and Pure Love and Light!

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