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Fantastic 5 Principles 

 

“The principles you need to become a Teen Warrior!”          

 

Contents 

Introduction 

 

Chapter 1: My Story 

 

Chapter 2: The Law of Attraction 

 

Chapter 3: What are principles? 

 

Chapter 4: Principle Number 1 - Do what you Love & Love what you do! 

 

Chapter 5: Principle Number 2  - Always be True to Yourself 

 

Chapter 6: Principle Number 3  - Assume Responsibility, for your Thoughts, Words and Actions 

 

Chapter 7: Principle Number 4 - Have a clear Vision, Focus and Goals 

 

Chapter 8: Principle Number 5 - Live Fully and Dream Big 

 

Introduction 

 

 

Principles are the bricks that lay down the foundation of your character. Having principles and values in your life is key to developing character and good judgement. Not only that, principles and values will give your life direction, and will prevent you from showing poor judgment, disappointing yourself and the ones you love. 

 

Now, none of us are born with good judgement or the ability to make wise decisions, and many of us feel overwhelmed when having to make them. Fortunately, we can develop these skills with practice, experience, and time. Reflecting on our past, and making smart decisions as a result, will make us feel good about ourselves.  

 

Sometimes, the right decision might not be the easy one to make, but trust me, it’s better than making none at all, or letting others make it for you. Don’t be afraid to think different, you don’t always have to agree with everyone. Besides, just because everyone is doing something doesn’t make it right. 

 

Living an unplanned life is easier, you won't have any responsibility, but that's about the only reward you'll get from living a life with no goals. You can do what everyone else does and get the same results everyone else gets, or you can take the path less traveled and achieve the success of those who are willing to put in the time and do the work. You can hang out with friends, have independence, fun, and be responsible too. 

 

Being responsible is a positive act that requires strength. The strength to stop complaining, and 

making excuses for yourself, The strength to be honest and to stand for the things you believe in. 

The strength to pursue something you love, a worthy goal, will give you something to look forward to. It will give you direction and will keep you out of trouble. Plus, people will trust you if you 

are honest and responsible.  

 

Responsibility is necessary for character building, and for strengthening your self-esteem. This is how you start feeling good about yourself, and you can achieve great things when you believe in yourself. From early childhood, we are told, “Don’t do that,” or “Do this or that,” instead. By the time an average teenager reaches 18, he will have been told, “No, you can’t do it,” 148,000 times. 

 

This can be really crippling to our self esteem, making it hard to develop a positive self-image. It’s also responsible for beating our dreams out of us. I’m sure adults don’t do this with bad intentions, but regardless of the intention, the results are the same. It forces a child to repress their emotions and silence their inner voice.  This can also cause you to develop negative thoughts and feelings about yourself. 

 

Discouragement and neglect can leave you angry, isolated, and feeling unworthy. Because of the busy world we live in, there isn’t enough involvement from teachers and family at a time when guidance and nurturing are needed most.  Schools don’t teach communication skills, money administration, conflict management, self-confidence, critical thinking, or how to deal with the many struggles you, teens face. This can lead to anxiety, chronic stress, and depression. 

 

If you are feeling any of these emotions, note that studies show seventy percent of teens today are suffering from some form of physical or emotional distress.  You are not alone. Recent studies also show that seven out of ten teenagers say that mental health is a major issue among people their age.  

 

A US telephone study conducted on 920 teenagers reported that 70 percent of teenagers perceived mental health to be a major problem, and 26 percent considered it to be a minor problem among their peers. All but 4 percent cited anxiety and depression as a problem. Strengthening your character and developing mental toughness is how you beat the challenges life will throw at you.  

 

Having a strong character and a purpose to guide you will save you in your down times, and lessen your anxiety, stress, and other emotional discomfort. Life is beautiful but it is also hard, and it can be unfair sometimes for no reason at all. If you are not prepared, life will knock you down, again and again. It can break you, even corrupt you. No one gets through life without a scratch. Even those you think are more fortunate than you have their struggles. 

 

Hopefully, this book can help you with some of the challenges you’re facing, and with your relationships, especially the one with yourself. The way to living a life of joy, a life where you feel good about yourself, and wake up looking forward to your day is by working on yourself, by setting goals, developing good habits, and following principles. It’s the fastest way to develop mental toughness. 

 

Your character, and your vision, (your goal) is what will get you through times of peril, and lead you to live a life of meaning. Let me ask you, what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? That will be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.  

 

Everybody wants what feels good. Everybody wants to live a carefree, happy, and easy life. To fall in-love, have great relationships, look good, have money, and be admired.  We all want that. The amazing career, the great relationship, the money and independence, but almost nobody wants to do the work that is required to achieve the life they want.  

 

They are not willing to sacrifice, to delay their gratification in order to achieve the future they want. But I have a feeling you are, because you're reading this book! So… 

 

Do you want to feel good about yourself? Do you want to stand out from the crowd, be someone that others can count on and look up to? 

 

In the following chapters, you will read the principles necessary to become a teen warrior, and be the master of your life. Rest assured that if you work these principles, they will work for you. 

 

You will learn: 

  •  How to handle conflict and negative emotion. 

  •  Bullying & verbal abuse 

  •   Dealing with stress, anxiety & depression. 

  •   Self discipline. 

  •   Good habits. 

  •   Goal setting.

  •   The brain & its functions.

  •   The Law of Attraction & how to use it in everyday life. 

  •   Emotional Intelligence.

  •   Developing a positive self-image. 

  •   How to be authentic. 

 

Chapter 1: 

My story 

 

 

About one in every 1,000 babies is born with a clubfoot in the United States. A clubfoot is a foot that’s rotated inward. I was one of those babies. The majority of babies with clubfoot are treated using the Ponseti method, which uses casts to straighten the muscles and ligaments of the leg. 

 

In rare instances, a surgical procedure is necessary to correct the bone structure of the foot. I was a rare instance.  The first procedure I had was a Percutaneous Achilles Tenotomy to ensure that my foot grew normally. Since my foot was resistant to treatment, I then had an Achilles Tendon Lengthening surgery to allow my foot to stretch and grow into the right position. 

 

Sometimes you run the chance of your toes turning inward, and yes, that's exactly what I was faced with. To correct the in-toeing an orthopedic surgeon performed a Tendon Transfer Surgery. After the procedure, he created a mold of my leg and made me a custom-fit, toe to thigh brace. A brace I had to wear in boiling, lava, hot Miami for a year. The last bone procedure I had at 11 years old was a Reconstructive Osteotomy, where the surgeon repositioned my foot to improve my alignment. These procedures were grueling, but I’m so grateful my parents did this for me. Had they not, I would be living a very different life. 

 

Getting around in crutches was tricky, especially at school, but I got so fast on them I used to race classmates in the hallways. At the beginning of almost every school year, my parents would arrange to talk to my teacher, and on many occasions, my father would talk to the entire class about my surgeries, our religion, and why we didn't celebrate birthdays or holidays. I know you're  probably thinking that must have been embarrassing, but I liked it way better than having to explain it to each and every classmate separately. 

 

Our home was very religious and strict. My father was an authoritarian, who insisted on unquestioning obedience, and enforced good behavior through hitting, shaming, and punishments. We were restricted on what we wore, what we watched, who we talked to, and where we went. We didn’t have a TV, radio, or phone in the room, and everything was monitored. He’d even record our telephone conversations. Really!

 

One time, we planned to throw a house party the weekend he was leaving town for business, but he canceled his trip last minute. He walked into our party at midnight when it was in full gear, walked right into the DJ Booth and unplugged all the equipment and told everyone to leave. 

 

He spent the next couple of weeks holding meetings with everyone who went to the party. Yeah, my dad was pretty hardcore. All the young people used to call him Hitler, to his back of course. Everyone was too scared of him to tell him anything to his face.

 

Extra-curricular activities weren't allowed by the organization, and neither was making friends with non-members. I felt like I didn't belong anywhere.Tell me, have you ever felt like an outsider, like you didn’t belong? 

 

One of our 6 basic human needs is belonging. Not fitting in can affect us both psychologically and physiologically.  But I want you to know that It's okay to be different. It's even okay to be an outsider. 

 

I mean, who says we have to be like everybody else anyways? We don’t, but most of us spend our time making others like us, trying to fit, even doing things we don’t like or want because we care about what they think.

 

Who says we have to care about what others think of us? We don't! But we do need to be comfortable with ourselves.  

The funny thing is that the more we learn about ourselves, and the better we feel, the more people will like to be around us too. 

 

But I couldn’t fit in even if I tried

 

It wasn't that I hated school growing up, I was just never encouraged to study, and my father didn't want me reading the book reading assignments because the material didn't belong to the organization, so I did the bare minimum to get by. I was a straight C student.  

 

Since I had so many teachers in junior high, my father stopped visiting my class on the first day of school. He left it up to me to talk to them, but I was too embarrassed, so I never did. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me in the seventh grade. 

 

Junior high was so different from elementary school. Everybody was wearing mini skirts, tight jeans, make up, nail polish, etc, and I couldn’t do any of those things. The following years were roughest. 

 

Concentrating came difficult to me and by the seventh grade I was done trying. I spent most of the time I was at school and kingdom hall day-dreaming. I'd fantasize what it would be like to live someone else's life, a life that was a 360 from mine. I’d imagine myself wearing whatever I wanted, going to parties, movies and sports events with friends. I was happy in my mind, because in my mind I was free. But when I snapped back to reality, it was chaos again. 

 

I had a few experiences in junior high that were traumatizing. The last incident I had was when I came out of third period and found my father waiting for me in the hallway, next to my locker. My heart sank. The hallway started filling with students and everyone was standing there, staring at us. He demanded that I opened the locker to see what was inside, and when I did, he ripped the poster I had taped on the door and slapped me. He proceeded to look through my locker and found notes I was exchanging with a boy and put them inside the pocket of his pants. Then he grabbed me by the hair and dragged me out of school. 

 

I still cringe thinking about that day. I carried that shame with me for many years.Sometimes we don’t even know we’re being abused. Worse, sometimes parents don't think that their excessive or negligent disciplinary practices are abuse either. 

 

Many children and adolescents go undiagnosed and untreated because many symptoms are passed off as normal emotional and psychological changes that occur during growth. But there is nothing normal about chronic stress, anxiety or depression. When we are under pressure, the nervous system instructs our bodies to release stress hormones including adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. These physiological changes help us cope with the threat of danger. This is called the fight-or-flight response. But when we experience stress too often, for too long, or when the negative feelings overwhelm our ability to cope, it causes wear and tear on the body. 

 

I’m going ask you some questions and I want you to answer them truthfully: Do your parents curse at you, call you names, or humiliate you in public? Do your parents use threats to make you do something or to keep you from doing something? Do your parents ignore you, or worse, make fun of you when you share your feelings? Are your arguments always one sided? Are you afraid of them? Do they say things to you like, “Come over here fatso!” Or, “If you didn’t make me mad, I wouldn’t have to do this.” 

 

Those are all signs of verbal abuse, and the most common consequences for the abusee are insecurity, low self-esteem, depression and social withdrawal. If you are experiencing any form of abuse by anyone, please talk to someone. Don’t keep it inside, and if you feel you need  help, please contact a professional. Your emotional well-being is just as important as your physical well-being.  

 

Wether you’re experiencing verbal abuse at home, or at school, treat it the same. Be smart. Learn to pick your battles wisely. Remain calm, it’s the best thing you can do for both parties. If it’s your parents don’t talk back disrespectfully, roll your eyes, or mimic them. Reacting will only make things worse. Besides, when your heart’s racing and you’re in flight-or-fight response, (which we talk about in later chapters) you can’t problem solve, listen, or speak calmly. Ask them if you could be excused and talk about it at another time. 

 

Be resilient. Do not let anyone’s opinion, attitude or behavior towards you stop you from achieving your goals, or finding  joy either. Find support. Have close friends, a support group that you can talk to, and that will be there for you when things get hard, 

 

Learn from the experience. Even if you think you can’t find anything positive from an experience, you can. In this case, think of the kind of parent you want to be, and how you're going to handle conflict with your children someday. Even when it’s hard, get into the habit of looking at the glass half full. Think of personal development as an armor you wear that protects you from the external blows. Yes, you will feel them, and you might get knocked down, but what matters is that you find a way to get back up.  

 

Since I couldn't make friends with anyone at school, or play basketball, which is what I really wanted, I asked my parents to take me out of school in the ninth grade. My mom was fine with it, but the only way I could convince my father to do so was by agreeing to become a missionary.  I was responsible for preaching, doing door to door service, 90 hours a month. That was 3 hours a day, 7 days a week, no vacation. That meant that if I wanted to take a Sunday off, on Monday I had to do 6 hours, and so on. 

 

The accumulation of the hours started to become a big source of stress for me. On the months I didn’t make the hours I just lied on the form. It was easier than having someone approach me about the missing hours on my report. Being a missionary was hard work. It’s like a job because you have to prepare for it. Read the material, memorize bible texts so that you can recite them in your talks. It’s just like everything else, the better prepared you are, the better response you will get. The mission is to get bible studies. 

 

Between that, other responsibilities, and work, I was pretty busy, but the problems at home and my personal life had me stressed. The anxiety, stomach pains and nightmares got worse. Now, I was having sleep paralysis. I would be asleep in bed, and all of a sudden there’d be a figure walking towards my bed but when I tried to move I couldn’t. Other times I felt like I had something sitting on my chest and but I couldn’t open my eyes or move either. Some nights I was so scared I would sneak into my brother's room.  

 

Let me ask you, do you feel like you have a lot on your plate? Do you feel burdened by the expectations of others? Are you stressed for long periods of time? Do not take stress lightly. Persistent negative thoughts and emotions will do damage to your body, and to your life too.  

 

Here are the 7 most common triggers that cause teen stress:   

 

Academic Stress: Pressure meeting academic demands. Pleasing teachers and parents and keeping up with other classmates.  

 

Poor time management skills.  

 

Social Stress: Relational aggression, bullying, peer pressure and romantic relationships are clear sources of stress.  

 

Social Connections: The smart phone that keeps them linked to friends and social networking sites makes teens feel “on” all the time. Their every move is judged by their peers. It’s not just at school but on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They feel pressure to look clever, smart, sexy, popular, adventurous, etc. Social media is the new teenage hang out spot and it is 24/7. This can be exhausting.   

 

Family Discord: Stress trickles down and family problems affect teens. Unrealistic expectations, marital problems, strained sibling relationships, illnesses in the family and financial stress can spike the stress in teens.    

 

World Events: School shootings, acts of terrorism, natural disasters and the 24-hour news cycle are big causes of worry for teens.  

 

Traumatic Events: Traumatic events such as the death of a friend or family member, accidents, sickness, enduring emotional or physical abuse have a lasting impact on teen stress levels. I would also like to include teen dating violence, because reports estimate that 1 out of 3 teens are involved in some form of teen dating violence. (it is not okay for your boyfriend/girlfriend to get verbally abusive with you, shouts at you, or worse, pushes you around or lays a finger on you.) 

 

Significant Life Changes: Moving, starting a new school,  divorce, and blended families can be overwhelming for teens. Stress wreaks havoc on our immune system. When too much cortisol is released in the body it suppresses the immune system and inflammatory pathways, and we become more susceptible to infections and inflammatory conditions. Our ability to fight off illness is reduced, and it has marked effects on our emotional well-being. 

 

Stress is more common today than before. The constant access to smart phones and social media has given us an escape from the feelings of boredom, loneliness and sadness, but it also takes away the opportunity to develop mental strength and coping skills needed to handle everyday challenges. If you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed or off, you might be under stress. 

 

Here are some signs that you are under stress:   

 

You’re more pessimistic than usual and the negative self talk is taking over. Your overwhelming feelings are taking over. Everything  seems to be too much to handle. 

 

Your to-do-list is exhausting you.  

 

You’re having a difficult time making decisions. 

 

You’re procrastinating more than usual because you can’t make a choice.  

 

You’re agitated and you can’t concentrate properly because your mind is always racing.  

 

You’re moody, short tempered and irritable.  

 

You’re not getting along with people. 

 

You feel lonely and isolated.  

 

You find yourself clenching your teeth, biting your nails all the time.  

 

Your appetite is not normal. 

 

You find yourself binging or you almost stop eating altogether.  

 

You can’t sleep and even when you do, you still wake up tired. 

 

If you feel you are under more stress than usual, try embracing a breathing or meditation practice. Start by taking a couple of minutes everyday to sit up straight, and take slow, deep breaths. With just 15 minutes of a breathing exercise daily for 3 weeks will make your brain more responsive and less reactive to things that trigger you. Breathing and meditation will help you with impulse control and improve your focus and concentration too. 

 

How to start your meditation practice: 

 

Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. 

 

Begin paying attention to your breathing. 

 

Inhale through nose and exhale through your mouth. Every time a worrisome thought appears, eliminate it and put your focus back on your breathing.    

 

Pay attention to each breath as it comes and goes. 

 

Pay attention to how your body is feeling. If you start to get anxious, draw your attention back to your breathing. 

 

Pay attention to your chest and abdomen rising and the breath exiting your nostrils. This will help you separate yourself from your emotions.   

 

If your mind begins to wander, bring your attention back to your breath. 

 

Before you tell yourself that you don't need a meditation or breathing practice, I would like to ask you, "Did you know that 90% of disease starts in the mind?" Yes, It  starts with a thought. Our thoughts, the thing we have most of and pay the least attention to, turn out to be the most important thing in our path to joy and prosperity. Taking care of your mind and your emotional well-being is just as important as taking care of your body. Just like you stop eating junk food, and processed food from the grocery store if you want to feel healthy, you need to stay away from garbage thoughts, the thoughts you think that are not good for you, if you want to feel positive. 

 

When I was starting my life over, I asked myself, What do I want to do with my life?  What person do I want to be? What truly gives me joy? So, I began brainstorming the principles and values I needed, to become the person I envisioned myself to be. I began observing my thoughts, started setting goals, and developing good habits. 

 

As I began piecing my life together, it shocked me how hard it was to change some patterns of behavior, and beliefs that I had held in place for so long. My biggest question became… “What skills would I have needed to develop young that would have helped me overcome life's challenges, and guided me towards a life of meaning and success? What would have made me unbreakable?” I wrote The Fantastic Five Principles as an answer to that question. 

Chapter 2: 

The Law of Attraction 

 

We face situations that challenge our beliefs and values all the time. We have relationships, platonic and otherwise, that test our character and capabilities. Speaking our minds might not always be easy, but then again, just because something is easy doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good for us. 

 

“Do the hard things today and tomorrow will be easy. Do the easy things today and tomorrow will be hard.”  

 

I remind myself of that whenI don’t want to do what I know I’m supposed to be doing and I need that extra push.  You can take the easy route and avoid all responsibility, but your life will have a lot less flavor. Pleasure and fun can be your motivation, but it should never be your sole purpose in life. It will get old, I promise you. John Didion said:  

 

"The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs." 

 

He is one hundred percent right. Not accepting responsibility or asserting discipline damages vital parts of your life like ambitions, achievements, career, and relationships.  We're social creatures. We need relationships in our lives. Relationships give us a sense of purpose. Having family, friends, and love relationships give us reasons to be alive and move forward in life. But if we are not responsible and disciplined, how can we strengthen our relationships?  

 

None of us are born good communicators. Communication is another skill we must attain, and good interpersonal skills are necessary to have meaningful connections. It’s normal in relationships to have disagreements. We are different people with different personalities, beliefs, and upbringing. Wether it’s family, a friend, a classmate, workmate, etc. don’t be afraid to speak your mind, especially if something needs to be said. These are the little, everyday acts of courage that toughen you up and  mold you into the warrior you want to be. 

 

I find it funny when I hear people say they don't like conflict. I don't think I've met a person who actually likes confrontation, but it is necessary to deal with issues that arise, and indispensable to have meaningful relationships, or to be a leader and entrepreneur. Everything is the way you look at it. You can see things as an opportunity or a problem. 

 

Look at confrontation as a respectful request for a new behavior or behavior change.  

 

That being said, confrontation does not have to involve conflict. We can prepare to have a conversation that confronts undesirable behavior in a respectful way. Say your childhood friend, Jessy, has been mean to you lately. When you guys are hanging out in a group, she’ll say hurtful things like, “Why are you telling her? She’s an airhead.” Then she’ll turn to you and say, “Just kidding.” You’ve told her to stop doing this more than once, but she hasn’t.  

 

Sometimes people pick on others as a way of projecting their own fears. Other times it's because they’re being bullied, or facing some form of abuse themselves. Behind the masks we wear, we all carry insecurities and feelings of self doubt. There are those who handle it worse, and try to put others down in order to make themselves feel better. 

 

I grew up listening to my father’s talks as an Elder. One of his analogies I remember most was when he compared people to light bulbs. He’d mention how some people shined brighter than others, and how the faint bulbs would paint black over the shiny ones to make themselves appear brighter. The question is, “Were they brighter?” 

 

Putting someone down to make yourself look better is a cop-out. Make your light shine brighter by your actions and by doing the hard things, even when you don't feel confident you can pull them off. That is the only way to improve, to grow. Working on ourselves does not bring instant gratification, but the rewards are a thousand times more gratifying than the immediate pay off we get for giving into our weaknesses. Remember,  

 

“We are rewarded in public, for the things we do in private.” Back then, I didn’t have many options. All I had to look forward too was being a good member of the organization, and a good christian wife and mother. While it is an honorable life, I was dreading it. I wanted to do what my father did. I wanted to write speeches, travel, and motivate crowds of thousands.  Since I believed I’d never get to do what I really wanted, I never made plans, and I never thought about my future past my work schedule or a vacation.  

 

My parents matrimony finally reached a breaking point when I was 25 years old. I know divorce is a traumatic experience for most but that was one of the happiest days of my life. I took the opportunity and ventured out on my own. When I left the organization, I still had no plans. I was just glad to be free, but because you don't plan for your life doesn't mean life is going to pause for you until you get it together. No, life goes on with or without your consent.  

 

I was not at all prepared for real life. I wasn't given the opportunity to foster many of the functions most 18-25 year olds should. I had a co-dependent relationship with my mom back then. There is an unhealthy clinginess in these relationships, resulting in one person not having self-sufficiency or autonomy. That was me! Just days after moving into my new apartment, I begged the landlord to let me break the lease and he said no. That was the best thing that could have happened to me. I needed to grow up. 

 

Things in my life started getting out of control. The first relationships I had, I'd end up getting stalked or harassed. Confession, I was ghosting them. One evening, I had this one guy banging on my windows, and screaming outside my door for half an hour. I wanted him to go away and I even thought about calling the cops, but I didn't have the courage to confront him, so I hid in the closet instead. Can you imagine a grown woman hiding in the closet? 

 

At 26 I didn’t have a voice, I didn't know how to express myself, and I didn’t have boundaries either. What’s even worse is, I kept thinking the problem was them, that the problem was out there. I kept asking myself all the wrong questions back then. "Why does this keep happening to me?" I mean, what could I do? It’s not like I had control over these people, what they said and did, right? I wish I knew then that you don’t need to control anyone, as long as you have control over yourself. No matter what happens, you always have a choice in how you react. 

 

Things don't happen to us, they happen for us. Every situation that presents itself is an opportunity to learn something new and to help us fix an issue we've been carrying from our past. Take all these negative run-ins I was having. Every time, I was being presented with an opportunity to stand up for myself and to work on my communication skills. Instead I would run away, weakening my character. It was about time that I learned how deal with conflict, and how to have emotionally difficult conversations.   

 

If you are going through personal crisis my advice to you is: 

 

Don't pretend it doesn't exist. 

 

Don't act like you don't care. 

 

Don't let it drag. 

 

Don't use silence or sulking as a solution. 

 

Don't wish it went away.  

 

Don’t run away 

 

Learn to deal with it the right way from the beginning or it will happen again. 

 

Take Jessy for example. You might think you have no control over the situation because you can’t control what she says, but you always have a choice when it comes to you and your life. These are your three options:  

 

Do nothing and let Jessy continue to belittle you in front of your friends. 

 

Stop going out and stay in your room.                          

 

Tell her you love her, but if she won’t stop saying those things, you won’t hang out with her anymore. 

 

All three choices are difficult, but the one you will learn and grow from is the third. It takes strength to stand up for yourself. That is how you develop courage and character. My grandmother had a saying for everything, and her saying for this would be: 

 

“A stitch in time saves nine.” 

 

There is no sense in running away from a problem because you're just going to face a similar one in your future. Different place, different face, same problem. It’s the law; the "Law of Attraction.” The law of attraction is the belief that thinking about something attracts it into your life. Yes, it’s all about the power of your thoughts, and the universal principle that where attention goes, energy flows. When you think of the things you want, and focus on them with all of your intention, the law of attraction will give you what you want every time. 

 

These are the three things you must do in order for the law of attraction to work for you. 

 

1. Ask  2. Believe  3. Receive  

 

As you can see, we are using the law of attraction all the time, we’re just not using it to our favor. Understand that the minute you desire something, you have asked. You might be asking yourself, why is there so much suffering, and unhappiness in the world then? And, if steps two and three are believe and receive, why don’t we all have what we want?  It’s because most of us spend our time thinking about what we don’t have, or what’s wrong with our lives. This is what society and the media has us focused on, to keep us separated and in fear. 

 

Consumerism has turned us into a society of “have and have nots.” Marketing experts have us thinking when we get a certain thing we’ll be happy. But I can tell you from experience, happiness does not come from external things. No person or material possession can make you happy.  What's more, thinking about what’s missing in your life will only keep you from getting what you want. 

 

It’s like the girl who was obsessed with getting a boyfriend. For so long, she tried to be what she thought every guy wanted her to be, but it never worked out. One day, when she'd finally had enough, she screamed, “That's it, I’m just going to go out and have fun.” So, she began going out and focused on herself. She started making new friends, and having a great time. And what do you know? Guys started flocking to her left and right. Soon, she found herself with a bunch of new friends and a great boyfriend too.  

 

Do you want to know what her secret was? She used the law of attraction in her favor.  When you think of the law of attraction, think of two things: You become what you think about. Your brain is a magnet, and it attracts the things you think about into your life. When she thought about what was missing in her life, a boyfriend, men felt it, and when she began focusing on herself instead of what was missing, so did they.  

 

The law of attraction is based on intention. Whatever you spend your time talking and thinking about the most is what the universe is going to give you. So if you spend your day complaining about all the things you hate in your life, guess what you’re going to get more of? The same! Since we live in this universe, wouldn't it make sense for us to follow its laws, so that our life is in harmony with its environment?  

 

The most powerful men and women since the dawn of time have been guiding themselves by these laws. This law has been recorded and practiced for over two thousand years. Men like Walt Disney, created their worlds using the law of attraction. There are no limits to what you can create for yourself through the power of your thoughts. 

 

You have the ability to choose what you want to experience in your lifetime. All you have to do is become a conscious creator. You already use the law of attraction. Laws work wether you make them work for you or not. That’s why it’s important you learn how they work. 

 

Everything in the universe is made of energy and it vibrates at its own frequency, even us. Our vibration is our own universal life energy, our state of being that reflects our inner thoughts, feelings, words and actions. Fear, negativity, boredom, stress, tension and depression are all signs of a lower vibration. 

 

These symptoms are a sign that we need to release the body and mind of the emotions that keep us from feeling at peace with ourselves and the world. We must care about maintaining a positive attitude if we want the law of attraction to bring the things we want in our lives.  The law of attraction feels vibrations. Having a higher vibration is associated with feelings peace and happiness. Higher vibrations also calm us, and our body responds with fewer stress-related symptoms. 

 

There are several ways to raise your vibration: 

 

Dance. 

 

Practice a sport. 

 

Listen to music that inspires you /makes you feel good. 

 

Talk about the good things in your life, pleasurable things.  

 

Visualize yourself being the person you want to be and doing the things you want to do in your life.   

 

Imagine yourself going to beautiful places and achieving great things. 

 

Other valuable daily practices:  

 

Stay away from TV news, which is full of negativity.  

 

Don't insult others, and don't read or comment on others insults on social media either.  

 

Forgive and let go. 

 

Drink lots of water. 

 

Exercise. Walk, run, hike... just move! 

 

Eat healthy foods, such as green, leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, fruits and organic food. 

 

Acts of kindness. 

 

Practicing gratitude and performing acts of kindness are the fastest ways to raise your vibration. Whether it's a favor for a friend, helping your sister with her homework, or giving to the homeless, every little act of kindness counts. Following the law of attraction and principles will attract good things in your life; better health, loving relationships and more prosperity. 

Chapter 3: 

Principles 

 

So, what are principles? Principles are rules and guidelines that we have set for ourselves that command our thoughts and behaviors. The problem lies in that many of the beliefs and principles we hold aren’t ours, so they conflict with our identity. 

 

We established most of our patterns, beliefs and personality traits by the time we are seven years old, and we unconsciously picked up most of it from watching the grown ups around us. You wouldn’t trust a 7 year old to make decisions for you, would you? 

 

Yet most of us have a seven year old running our lives. A seven year old with ideas that are not his own! That’s why it’s important to sit down and decide how you’re going to live your life as of today, so that you can bring all these beliefs and patterns to the surface and eliminate those that don’t align with who you are, and what you desire in life. You must define what your beliefs and principles are, and discuss them with your family, friends, and counselors, so they can guide you in making decisions that match your values. 

 

Principles are a set of rules we make about many things. We all have many guiding principles, and in different areas of our lives. For example, you might want to wait for sex until you're in a committed relationship, or will not work for a corporation that tests its products on animals, or that harms the planet. 

 

Principles are our own personal, unwritten laws of how we treat others and expect to be treated. Having set principles influences our behavior, our performance for the better, and broadens our understanding of the world. We shape this understanding by the core principles we have accepted, and that guide us through our actions.  

 

We can find principles in the areas of family, friendships, relationships, and business. We can also find principles in studies like economics, government, psychology, communication, and more. Principles are everywhere.  It is important to know that not everybody is guided by the same principles, and not all principles are correct. 

 

Sometimes we accept a flawed set of principles. Maybe because our friends, family members, even our church, or government, follow these principles. This eventually affects our beliefs, the decisions we make, and the outcomes we get in life.  

 

Having a wrong set of principles will affect our lives for the worst. Having no principles at all to guide us will leave us vulnerable to be swayed by popular opinion and unable to make consistent, wise, decisions. This can make us feel inadequate, which will make us miserable in return. That's why it's essential that we take care in forming and guiding our principles, and that we build a set of principles that are solid and true in every aspect of life. Only then, will we be able to discern what to do in a struggling relationship, how to handle conflicts at school, work, when out with friends, in our personal lives, and at home. 

 

Start identifying your principles and core values by writing down the top five positive experiences you've had in your life: 

1.

2. 

3. 

4. 

5. 

 

For each experience, describe how old you were, and how you felt. Did you feel proud, loved, happy, important, etc? 

 

​1.

2. 

3. 

4. 

5. 

 

Now I want you to think about a horrible experience in your life. Think about what happened and the thoughts, and feelings it brought up. What did you lose? What values were suppressed? Did you feel shame, guilt, sadness, etc? Write it down in detail: We all have basic needs to be met, like shelter, food, clothing, etc. But once that is provided for, we need to ask ourselves: (Answer the questions) 

 

What other essentials do I need in my life to make it fun and meaningful? 

 

Do I need fitness, excitement, adventure, nature, music, dance, or creativity in my life? 

 

What activities make me happy? 

 

Here are some ways to discover your values or the values you need to embody: 

 

You know that to achieve good grades or to be the best at your sport you need self-discipline to get up early every day to study or practice. So, discipline would be one of your core values. 

 

If tutoring your classmates and helping them score high grades makes you feel good, a core value of yours would be contribution.  

 

If you tutor to save up extra money for a car, your core values could be freedom, ambition or independence.  

 

This is how you discover the things you value and that matter in your life. Now that you listed some good/bad experiences and know what makes you feel worthy and what doesn't, it will be easier for you to chose your core values. Are my core values more results oriented, like: achievement, productivity, or accomplishment? Are they more service oriented values like: generosity, goodness, or sharing? 

 

Let's start writing down some core values, shall we? (This entire process might take you some time. Don't rush it; put it down and come back to it later if necessary.) 

 

Core Values:  

                                          

​1.

2. 

3. 

4. 

5. 

6. 

7. 

8. 

 

Now rank them in order of importance.  

 

​1.

2. 

3. 

4.

5. 

6. 

7. 

8. 

 

Nothing is etched in stone. Your values will change with time, and will change the more you grow as a person. We all want something because of how we think we're going to feel when we have it.  Identifying those emotions will help us choose the right values and principles. In doing so, we will avoid a lot of unnecessary mistakes and pain. Now it's time to talk principles. 

Chapter 4: 

Principle Number One 

Do what you Love & Love what you do! 

 

When you are doing what you love, it’s easier to be grateful for what you have. A positive outlook in life will draw the right people, things, and circumstances to you. It’s part of the law of attraction. 

 

Believe me when I tell you, gratitude is one of the most important elements for success. Many will tell you that "hard work" is the key to success, but gratitude is the key to experiencing life at its best. Being grateful for our blessings in life is what opens the door to a life of prosperity. 

 

Practicing gratitude is not only important, it’s the law of attraction’s secret sauce. Many of us have had to learn lessons the hard way. It took losing something we valued to learn how to appreciate it. We've probably made some decisions we're not too proud of either. We all make mistakes, and will all fail at some point in life. But that doesn’t mean we should fear failure. It might not feel good, but it's immensely valuable if we learn from it.  

 

Things don't happen to you in life, but for you, remember? Maybe you're not ready to look at your break-up as a blessing, or are going through a difficult time right now, but you can always think of 5 things to be grateful for at any moment.  Write down 5 things you can be grateful for today:  (It doesn’t have to be anything big. It could be an awesome meal you had, your comfortable bed, your favorite pair of shoes, a memory, a friend, pet, etc.) 

 

​1.

2.  

3.      

4.  

5.  

 

If you practice this little gratitude ritual of recording 5 things that you are grateful for every morning for 21 days, you will feel a positive shift in your attitude. It takes 21 to 30 days to form a simple habit. 

 

After 60 days it will become a part of your routine, but don’t get down if you’ve been working on something for a couple of months and it hasn’t taken root. If you’ve been doing something for a long time, say years, it’s going to take a little bit more time for this new change to become your new pattern of behavior. I explain this in detail throughout the book.  

 

Bottom line is, don’t give up. Sometimes the hardest thing to overcome in life is ourselves.  I don’t know if you noticed, but we don’t want to do what’s best for us all the time. As a matter of fact, we seldomly do. It’s so much easier to just lay around and do nothing, right? 

 

Our basic core human interest is to run away from danger (fear) and towards comfort (pleasure). But doing nothing, having no responsibilities will get you nothing. You have to practice good habits if you want to achieve your goals. Vision boards, good intentions and dreaming about your future serves its purpose, but you must take action. You will know when, just listen to your inner voice. You know when something feels right or wrong. 

 

Wrong should not be confused with discomfort. We all feel uncomfortable when having to change our habits, or having to do something that requires more of us than we’re used to delivering.  In the beginning, you might not feel too happy about it. That’s okay, we all feel that way. You must push past that discomfort. That’s how you become a warrior. By battling your body and your mind.  In order to become a warrior. You must develop self-discipline. No ands, ifs, or buts about it. 

 

This is the hardest part. You will come up with every excuse not to complete your task. You’ll be tired, you’ll feel hungry, then thirsty, then you’ll have to use the restroom. I’m telling you, you will come up with every excuse in the book not to do it. Then you will jump at the excuse anyone else gives you to do something else that is not as important or relevant to your goal. I know because I’ve been there. 

 

Like I said, excuses. Self-discipline is like a muscle you have to work out a lot so that it gets strong. You might as well train yourself now because you can’t be successful without having self-discipline or without having good habits. 

 

Even if you come from money, if you have bad habits and no self-discipline you will loose what you have. Every successful person will tell you they have daily habits they keep rain or shine. It usually involves some exercise, reading, nutrition plan, self-education, or a meditation practice.  Many of these practices involve gratitude. 

 

You have to be grateful for what you have. Gratitude is important to have, even when we’re going through hard times. Whatever the circumstance, it is here for a reason. Even if it is to make us aware of some changes we need to make.  Remember, the law of attraction. Our thoughts, emotions, and intentions are what manifest things in our life. Between the law of attraction and our brain’s superpowers, we can have anything we want. Most of us have been ignorant to the powers of our brain, and we haven’t taken advantage of this amazing technology we have in between our ears. We can start training our brain to do what we want by controlling our thoughts.  

 

We have 60 to 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s approximately 48.6 thoughts a minute. That’s almost a thought a second. It’s like having the TV on all day, inside our head! As you can imagine, the best way to control our energy and stay positive is by selecting the thoughts we entertain.  

 

I know that I mention success a lot in this book, so I wanted to talk about the definition of success. If you ask a lot of people what success means to them, they’ll probably tell you it’s ‘millions in the bank.' But real success can’t be measured with money or achievements, but by how much joy you have in life. Success is to live the life you want to live, and not the life someone else wants you to live, or a life you settled for. Having a positive mindset will help you encounter situations that will lead you in this direction. Staying positive and watching your energy, will make controlling your moods easier too, especially when you face conflict.  

 

Let’s say you disagree with your parents about your curfew being at midnight, when your friends can get home whenever they like. You’re embarrassed with your friends, and have FOMO because the party's always getting started just when you have to go home. Giving your parents' a negative attitude is not the solution. No one gains anything from it; you risk hurting the relationship, and if you have siblings, you’ll be setting a bad example for them as well. If your objective is to convince your parents that you’re responsible enough to have a later curfew, sarcasm, eye rolling, and a bad attitude is not the way. 

 

Watch your mood. If you act bummed out long enough, you will feel bummed out. It's how the mind works. Keeping a positive attitude will alway improve the situation, and increase the outcomes of you getting what you want. This is why developing mental toughness is important, so that even difficult situations don't get the best of you! 

 

Developing mental toughness will relieve your anxiety, and out of control feelings. You will be able to respond to things as opposed to reacting to them. We've all escalated or worsened a situation just by how we reacted to it. Pausing before reacting can lessen the situation, and even improve it. When you find yourself in a real-time conversation with someone, stand back, and give yourself time to take a few deep breaths before answering.  

 

Don’t beat yourself up if you react impulsively sometimes. You will get better at it with practice. Just go over the situation afterwards and analyze what you could have done differently, and write down ways you can improve the next time a similar situation arises. By doing exercises like this, you will get better at communicating and relationships. Remember, think positive thoughts, take positive actions, get positive results! The law of attraction says that whatever you focus on, you will get more of.  

 

"Where attention goes, energy flows." 

 

That’s why it’s important to have a positive attitude in order to raise your energy. Even when a situation gets negative, you should remain positive. Albert Einstein said:  

 

“You can’t fix anything with the same energy that you created it.” 

 

Sometimes, it’s better to walk away from a situation until you’ve calmed down and feel differently about it. There’s no point in beating the same drum. Going at it again, with the same attitude as before, won’t work. 

 

Our thoughts play a major role in our behavior and mood. The problem is that many of the thoughts we entertain aren’t even ours, but things we pick up from something we either saw on television, news, the radio, a friend, or a memory. It could have literally come from anywhere.  We have 60 to 80 thousand thoughts a day, remember? We can't believe every single one. But we can pay attention to what thoughts we entertain the most.  

Begin observing your thoughts. What do you think about? Is it about a person? Something at home or with family? Is it something you want? Are these thoughts negative, fear based, judge-mental, critical, loving, or kind? 

 

Most of us don't pay attention to our thoughts, but we should treat our minds similar to a garden. In order for our flowers to grow we first must eliminate the weeds. The weeds are our garbage thoughts; the negative self-talk we’re all guilty of participating in. We think our thoughts don't count because no one else can hear them, but we can hear them. 

It's time we treat ourselves like the most important person in our lives. It’s time to be kinder to ourselves. The things we say to ourselves are very important. You can’t be telling yourself things like, “You can never get it right,” or “How can you be so stupid,” and expect good things to happen. 

 

Our external world is a manifestation of our internal condition. Did you hear that? We create our reality with the thoughts we entertain. Treat your thoughts like friends requests, or profiles on a dating site. If you don't like the profile, you swipe left. Just like you wouldn't accept a friend request from someone who’s mean to you, or that has content you find offensive. Treat the thoughts in your head with the same criteria. 

 

Instead of thinking, or talking about the things you don’t like, you should use the power of your thoughts to focus on the things you actually want so that you can manifest that in your life. Doesn't that make more sense? Why would we spend our time thinking about things that upset us anyways? But we all do it. We spend hours thinking about so and so, wondering if they like us, why they said what they said, and if they really meant it, blah, blah, blah. We're so used to thinking in a negative way that it has become a habit, a pattern in our behavior. 

 

The most influential perceptual programming of our subconscious minds occurs from birth to age seven. During this time, our brain is recording all sensory experiences, and learning complex motor programs for crawling, talking standing, running, etc.  At the same time we’re picking up the behavioral patterns of the people around us like our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, etc. 

 

During the first seven years our brain is functioning in theta, which is a hypnotic state. This is why when we’re children our imaginary world can feel so real and we can even mix it with the real world. What it also means is that we’re in a trance.  We’re simply downloading information, perceptions and beliefs about life and ourselves without having the opportunity to discern or reject these beliefs. In essence, we are all programed! 

 

But now you are old enough to select and reject the thoughts, patterns and beliefs that don’t serve you. Remember, your thoughts are not thinking you, you are thinking your thoughts. That means you have the power! Learn to harness the power of your mind! 

 

Most people don't do it because it’s hard, but that’s also why most people don't have what they want either. In order to have a great life, you have to do great things. Start by thinking better thoughts, so you can bring the manifestations you want into your life.  This is the science of Quantum physics. 

 

Quantum theory is the theory of matter and energy based on the concept of quanta. Scientists have been trying to understand the universe and outer-space for centuries. What is in the dark sky? Is it full of empty space? Is it a mass? Are the stars and planets separated or connected? What is the universe made of? It is made of energy, light and information! Quantum theory, what the the law of attraction is based on, says that this space is not empty space, but an electromagnetic field that creates matter. This is the field that creates our reality, the “Quantum Field.” When seen through a telescope this field looks like a web, an electromagnetic web, similar to the world wide web on the internet that connects everything together. 

 

Abraham Hicks, a law of attraction coach, inspirational speaker, and the Godfather of the law of attraction, holds the following beliefs: 

 

You are a creator: You create with your every thought.  

 

Emotions indicate what people are creating, either consciously or unconsciously.  

 

Anything that you can imagine is yours to be or do or have.  

 

As you are choosing your thoughts, your emotions are guiding you.  

 

Actions to be taken and possessions to be exchanged are by-products of your focus on joy. 

 

That's how you win the game! By consciously thinking positive thoughts that lead to positive emotions, you can create positive experiences in your reality. Our experiences are a result of what's going on inside us. Our brain is organized to reflect everything we know in our life. It's a record of the past. An artifact of all the things we’ve learned and experienced as of this moment. It records patterns and habits. 

 

So if you wake up every morning at the same time, have the same breakfast, see the same teachers and classmates at school, hang out with the same people, do the same things, and text the same friends on your phone, does your brain change at all throughout your days? No. 

 

You’re repeating the same unconscious acts, and living by the same emotions. Nothing new equals no change. Yet, we’re all guilty of doing the same things and expecting different results. It's a little silly when you think about it, right? Because you know that's not how life works. If you did poorly on a test, you know you have to change your study habits in order to get better results the next time.  Repeating the same action and expecting a different result also goes against the way our brain works. There’s a principle in neuroscience that says: 

 

“The cells that fire together, wire together.” 

 

When you do something over and over again, the repetition of those actions over time conditions your body to know how to do it better than your mind. A habit is when your body knows better than your mind. By reading this book, and learning new information, you’re making new connections in your brain. That’s what learning is. Learning is forging new synaptic connections. It is physical evidence as a result of interacting with your environment.  

 

The novel prize winner Eric Kandel found that when people learned one bit of information, they doubled the number of connections in their brain from 1300 connections to 2600 connections. But if they didn’t review that information, if they couldn’t repeat it, if they couldn’t remember it, those circuits pruned apart in hours or days. Learning is making new synaptic connections, and remembering is maintaining and sustaining those connections. 

 

So, if you're not content with your present circumstances, then you must embrace change and to truly change, you need to think greater than your environment, and greater than the circumstances in your life. Instead of living in the memories of the past, instead of thinking of the undesired things in your present life, be defined by your vision of the future. 

 

Having a purpose will help you forget about the past, pull you through the hard times, and give you motivation to move forward. Every great person in history did this. Whether it was Joan of Arc, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Walt Disney, or Steve Jobs, they all had a vision. They couldn’t see, taste, or feel it, but it was alive in their minds. It was so alive, that they began to live as if that future reality was already in the present moment.  

 

Create the life you want by taking a proactive role in the process. Take a few moments to complete the following exercises. Don't write what you think you should write. Listen to your heart, and write what you feel. Answer the following questions: 

 

How can your life be different today? 

 

What would you change? 

 

How would this improve your life? 

 

How would you feel after these changes took place? 

 

List 5 ways to achieve the change you want: (If you have more than one thing you want to change, write 5 ways on how to change each thing. Use a separate sheet of paper if necessary.) 

 

​1.

2.  

3.  

4.   

5.  

 

What would you have to do regularly to make this change possible? 

 

 

Now that you know what you want, and have a list of ways to achieve it, you can set your goals and begin working towards them. Always remember that anything is possible if you believe it is. The famous Henry Ford said: 

 

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” 

 

That’s why it is important to stay positive and think positive thoughts, even when we are going through difficult times. Positivity and gratefulness also improve your mental health, and wellness. Instead of comparing yourself to others, or thinking of what you don’t have, focus on the things that really matter. The fact that you’re reading this book means you have a roof over your head, internet, and cell phone, among other things. That’s quite a few things to be grateful for. Find the value in your life, and focus on it. This will make practicing gratitude easier.  

 

"We get more of what we focus on." 

 

Even if you think you don't have a lot to be grateful for, by focusing on it you will attract more of it into your life. Meanwhile focusing on your weaknesses, comparing yourself to others, gossiping and taking part in negative self talk, will reap more negative results. “No more self sabotaging thoughts.” Set higher standards by making demands of yourself.  Complete the following exercise. Write 5 good qualities and 5 strengths about yourself: 

 

Qualities        

 

1.                            

2.                              

3.                             

4.                               

5.  

 

Strengths:  

 

1.                              

2.                              

3.                               

4.                               

5.  

 

Imagine what you could achieve if you focused your energy on these strengths. Most of us are constantly self doubting or criticizing ourselves. A reason why we think of the worst-case scenario is because of the way our brain functions when it’s under fear, and stress. The fight-or-flight I mentioned earlier is the response the body has to fear when it thinks it is in danger. It triggers in actual emergencies, but most times it’s triggered out of a big, emotional response we are having, as opposed to being in literal danger (like being followed by a tiger). 

 

The following are the parts of the brain involved in this response: 

 

The Amygdala is the part of the brain that determines possible threats, based on our memories, stored data, etc.  

 

The Hippocampus, stores, and retrieves, conscious memories, and it uses this information to determine if there’s a threat, and whether to start the ‘fight or flight’ response.  

 

The Hypothalamus activates the age old survival reaction to fear. This is your reptilian part of the brain.  

 

During this ‘fight or flight’ response, your body tenses and becomes alert. Adrenaline flows into the bloodstream, so you become quicker in your actions. You might not be running from any tigers, but your body doesn’t know the difference. It still goes through the same chemical process. The blood flushes away from your brain and into your extremities. This is so you can run from the tiger. The problem is, there is no tiger. You’re sitting in class, with your exam paper in front of you, and you can’t remember the answers to the test.  

 

Now that you know what's going on in your body, you'll be prepared for the next time you feel that rush inside. At that moment you can decide to associate that feeling with excitement instead of fear, and change your experience.  Remember, you are in the driver's seat. You are in control! 

Chapter 5: 

Principle Number 2 

Always be True to Yourself 

 

In order to be true to yourself you must love yourself first. Start by not being afraid to be who you are. This gets hard when other people have expectations of what they think you should be, or when you pretend to be someone else for acceptance or peer-pressure. Lying, or pretending to be someone else, will make you feel better temporarily, but it will end badly. When you do things that are not a reflection of the real you, you will not be happy, and worse, you will loose self respect. 

 

Don’t hide behind something you wish you could be. Instead, build the courage to make yourself better, and become who you want to be. Everything you tell yourself that prevents you from becoming the best version of yourself is an excuse. I know because I made every excuse in the book, and blamed everyone else for my life for as long as I could. My advice to you is, “Do the work!” It’s worth it. 

 

Here are the Benefits of Being True to yourself:   

 

The little nagging voice inside your head quiets down. 

 

You’re not trying to impress anyone. 

 

You stop second guessing yourself. 

 

You make good decisions. 

 

You gain self-confidence. 

 

You start feeling comfortable in your own skin. 

 

You feel great. 

 

Being true to yourself is a beautiful way to live. There is less frustration, stress, and more peace because you trust yourself, and take full responsibility for what happens in your life. But how can you be sure you’re being true to yourself? By being authentic. What does it mean to be authentic? Well, to be authentic is to act how you feel, to speak your mind when you are appreciative of something, or when you have a problem. 

 

Here are a few examples of being authentic:  

 

You don’t put a face on for different people.  

 

You don’t change your opinions or behaviors from person to person. You accept yourself for who you are. 

 

Accepting yourself for who you are and appreciating yourself takes time. It starts with silencing that internal critic we all have.  Remember how we talked about the negative self-talk we all take part in? Being selective of the thoughts we entertain in our head is the first step to self-love, which leads to authenticity. 

 

Being true to ourselves and sticking by our principles is one of the best ways to practice authenticity. When we’re authentic, we become more comfortable in our own skin. What’s even more surprising is that this makes us more accepting of others and improves our interpersonal relationships. 

 

Practicing self acceptance is a big part of the game. Being true to yourself and practicing self-love means recognizing your weaknesses, but focusing on developing your strengths instead, in order to feel good about yourself.  I am constantly selecting my thoughts and throwing out the garbage. Yes, any thought that doesn't serve you is garbage! Just like you wouldn’t listen to any gossip about your best-friend, you shouldn't entertain negative thoughts about yourself. 

 

Being true to yourself also means staying away from friends who are even slightly negative, or don’t want the best for you. Wish them well but stay away. 

 

We need to put ourselves in an environment that is conducive to our growth and that will help us do better, and succeed. If our friends do not make us feel good, if they do not support us, or our goals, and discourage us instead, it’s time to make new friends. Never choose anyone over yourself. Every time you do, you lose a little piece of your confidence and self-worth. 

 

The following are examples of not being true to yourself:  

 

Laughing at a joke you didn’t find funny.  

 

Going along with everyone else’s opinion for the sake of popularity.  

 

Giving someone a fake compliment.  

 

Going to a party when you’d rather die than be there.  

 

Doing something you don’t want to do just because your friends are doing it.  

 

Being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t treat you well because you’re more afraid of being alone.  

 

Following a path in life you don’t want because that’s what others expect from you.  

 

Being true to yourself means figuring out what’s right for you. This is a process you will learn with time and experience. It will not happen overnight, so be patient. Your brain is a muscle like every other muscle in your body. You’re not going to build muscle in a day or a week, but you will start feeling the changes in a month or so, and will get better results the longer you stick with it. 

 

The problem is that we’ve all gotten so used to instant gratification. We used to wait for food, movies, phone calls, letters, television, cable series, but now we never have to wait for anything. Everything is ready-to-go, instant, and binge-able. The internet is making us impatient, stupid, distracted and socially disconnected. We don't have to remember anything anymore because we can carry it all in our phone. Instead of working out, we have plastic surgery. Instead of going out and making real connections, we lay in bed watching Netflix, texting. We are lazy, comfortable, yet terribly dissatisfied. Still, we don’t do what we have to do in order for things to be different. 

 

Have you heard of the marshmallow test? In the 1960's, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel offered 4 year old children the chance to eat one marshmallow, or alternately wait and get two. A follow up study found that the kids who waited for two marshmallows grew up to be adults with greater self-control. They were more academically and socially competent that their peers and more able to cope with frustration and resist temptation.  To have a better income, financial security, physical and mental well-being, stable relationships, occupational prestige, and standing in your community, you must practice self-control. 

 

But society is raising us with little to no self-control. We’re all junkies and our phones are our drug of choice. Advertisers and social media programmers know this. They design their software, and apps with it in mind. They know that every time you get a like, comment, or share, you get a little hit of dopamine. That’s what makes our phones so addictive! 

 

It doesn’t work any different from taking a drug, alcohol, gambling, or any other form of addiction.  Getting a “Like” on Facebook gives us the same feeling as when we’re eating something flavorful. Our brain gets flooded with a chemical that makes us feel good. That’s why we want more.  

 

The problem lies in that we rapidly become used to it, and every-time we need a little more stimulus to get the sam effect we did before. This is called “Hedonic Adaptation.” Before you know it, we're spending our efforts trying to get more likes, more followers, more comments, and more attention than ever. But online attention will never replace real human connection.  

 

It wouldn't be a bad idea if we restricted ourselves a little more with social media and our smart phones. We are so ‘on’ all the time, we don’t realize that this is the same reason we’re so distracted, dissatisfied, and lonely. 

 

You might disagree with the belief that we're not any happier because of the little device we carry in our hands, but there is study after study confirming the fact. The internet has been accused of stunting teens social skills and making it more difficult for them to cope with problems and deal with others in the real world. Instead of interacting with others, teens prefer to stare at their computer or phone. Recent studies show that the average teenager spends nine hours a day online.  "How much time do you spend online?" The studies also showed that young people felt more disconnected and lonelier than ever before. 

 

That’s because the connections you’re making through social media are not deep or meaningful.  They are not filling the need we all have for real intimacy and significance. Quantity will never replace quality. Humans are social creatures. We crave social interaction. That is real, one on one, face to face interaction. Yes, cells phones and the internet are amazing and convenient, but we should use these devices to our advantage, to enhance our lives. 

 

There are four levels of communication today:    

 

In person 

 

Video Call 

 

Telephone 

 

Texting 

 

I don't need to tell you that texting is the most impersonal form of communication of all four. Yes, texting is fast, convenient, and it holds us accountable to what we say, but it’s also subject to interpretation. You can’t get a feel for a person’s tone, and a lot gets lost in translation, especially when you’re texting with someone whom you’ve never interacted with in person. Don’t make texting the only form of communication with the important relationships in your life!  

 

It always catches my attention, when I walk into a cafe and see a group of young people at a table all collectively staring at their phones, instead of enjoying that time they have to interact with each other. These are the same people who complain how lonely and dissatisfied they are with their lives.  That’s because they’re never fully engaged in what they're doing!  

 

We’re so obsessed with documenting everything. Taking a selfie, a picture of our food, filming the concert, or recording the scenery, that we can’t enjoy ourselves. I always wonder about those people who record an entire concert on their phone. How can you immerse yourself in the moment if you're holding your phone the entire time? You can't, and that is what is robbing you of your happiness! Even when we’re not using our phone, and even if it hasn't beeped, we’re still checking it every couple of minutes. "We're not using our phones. Our phones are using us!" 

 

We need to start observing the motives behind our actions. Be honest with yourself when answering the following questions: 

 

Do I go out because I like what I'm about to do, to hang out with friends, or to have something to post on my social media page?  

 

Do I post to share with friends or to get more likes? 

 

Am I looking to have fun or get attention?  

 

Why don’t I spend more time on present activities instead of always being online?  

 

Do I cultivate the relationships I have?  

 

The same things we turn to make ourselves feel better may be harming us in return. We will do things we don't like if it'll get us what we want, even when we know it's not good for us. If you practice mental toughness, you'll be able to resist doing the things you will regret later. An authentic person pursues the interest that they like, benefit from, and fulfills them. That’s 3 good reasons to do something other than comfort, peer pressure, or validation.  

 

Authentic people don’t worry about what others think, or what is thought to be most popular either. They listen to their gut. Practicing authenticity strengthens your intuition too. When you silence your inner critic (the negative self talk), your intuition becomes stronger. We all have intuition. It’s that little voice inside, that gut feeling we get when faced with a decision. We’re moved towards one direction, that’s our inner voice pulling us, but sometimes doubt and fear will make us do the exact opposite. 

 

From a very young age, family members, friends, teachers, and authority figures get us to ignore that little voice we have inside, till we get our dreams beaten out of us. Going against our intuition causes us to make the wrong decisions, time and time again. This creates instability inside us because deep down we know we can’t trust ourselves when it comes to making personal decisions. Here’s where authenticity plays an important role. Authentic people feel comfortable expressing their true thoughts and feelings, no matter how difficult it may seem. They’ve learned through practice and experience that it’s best for a quality lifestyle. There’s no need to pretend to be someone you’re not. Believe it or not, people will feel if you’re not being authentic. 

 

We all lie from time to time, it's inevitable, but the basis of our relationships should be founded on honesty and kindness. That’s what it means to have principles. Using a combination of the principles mentioned here, you will be able to speak your mind while still being considerate to others. A good way to do this is to express gratitude before getting your point across first. This will prevent the other person from getting defensive. Here are some simple examples: 

 

“Mom, thank you so much for making these delicious pancakes, but I’m trying to eat less sugar.” 

 

“Dad, I know you’re busy being a good provider, but when you have time, I want to talk to you about this project I’m working on.”  

 

Sometimes we get our feelings hurt because we expect things from others and give them attitude in return, and they don’t even understand why we’re acting this way. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel, to express what you’re needing from someone, as long as you do it in a loving and undemanding way. You should feel comfortable sharing your feelings with those close to you. It is important to have a strong support system, and this circle should include adults too.  

 

Honesty is important if you want to have deep and meaningful relationships. It’s also a great value to adapt in your life. Studies show that young people who adopt honest behavior are more likely to be successful, and less likely to succumb to peer pressure or bad habits. Even when your friends, or the people around you, do things you know are wrong, you should not feel inclined to follow their lead. It is important that you stick to your principles, even when it’s difficult. Following these principles will not bring you instant gratification, but the rewards are huge. Do you know how good it feels to look in the mirror proudly, knowing you made the right choice?  It’s an amazing feeling to know you did the right thing, the best thing for you, no matter how hard making that decision was. 

 

That is how you develop character and mental toughness! Sometimes, when you stick to the principles that benefit your well-being and not the wellbeing of others, people will try to dissuade you.  Some will say that you’re being selfish because you’re not conforming to their expectations. Always remember that choosing yourself first is not an act of selfishness, but an act of love. One of the biggest motivational speakers of all time, Jim Rohn said: 

 

"The art of making our own choices before other's choices make us." 

 

If you do not fully love yourself, you can love no one else truly. That is the foundation of true love. It begins with self-love and proper self-care.  "Only if you are happy can you make others happy." Think about this, when you get up and dance, it's not to get up on the floor but to enjoy every step on the way. Treat your life the same. Dance through the journey of your life. 

Chapter 5: 

Principle Number 2 

Always be True to Yourself 

 

In order to be true to yourself you must love yourself first. Start by not being afraid to be who you are. This gets hard when other people have expectations of what they think you should be, or when you pretend to be someone else for acceptance or peer-pressure. Lying, or pretending to be someone else, will make you feel better temporarily, but it will end badly. When you do things that are not a reflection of the real you, you will not be happy, and worse, you will loose self respect. 

 

Don’t hide behind something you wish you could be. Instead, build the courage to make yourself better, and become who you want to be. Everything you tell yourself that prevents you from becoming the best version of yourself is an excuse. I know because I made every excuse in the book, and blamed everyone else for my life for as long as I could. My advice to you is, “Do the work!” It’s worth it. 

 

Here are the Benefits of Being True to yourself:   

 

The little nagging voice inside your head quiets down. 

 

You’re not trying to impress anyone. 

 

You stop second guessing yourself. 

 

You make good decisions. 

 

You gain self-confidence. 

 

You start feeling comfortable in your own skin. 

 

You feel great. 

 

Being true to yourself is a beautiful way to live. There is less frustration, stress, and more peace because you trust yourself, and take full responsibility for what happens in your life. But how can you be sure you’re being true to yourself? By being authentic. What does it mean to be authentic? Well, to be authentic is to act how you feel, to speak your mind when you are appreciative of something, or when you have a problem. 

 

Here are a few examples of being authentic:  

 

You don’t put a face on for different people.  

 

You don’t change your opinions or behaviors from person to person. You accept yourself for who you are. 

 

Accepting yourself for who you are and appreciating yourself takes time. It starts with silencing that internal critic we all have.  Remember how we talked about the negative self-talk we all take part in? Being selective of the thoughts we entertain in our head is the first step to self-love, which leads to authenticity. 

 

Being true to ourselves and sticking by our principles is one of the best ways to practice authenticity. When we’re authentic, we become more comfortable in our own skin. What’s even more surprising is that this makes us more accepting of others and improves our interpersonal relationships. 

 

Practicing self acceptance is a big part of the game. Being true to yourself and practicing self-love means recognizing your weaknesses, but focusing on developing your strengths instead, in order to feel good about yourself.  I am constantly selecting my thoughts and throwing out the garbage. Yes, any thought that doesn't serve you is garbage! Just like you wouldn’t listen to any gossip about your best-friend, you shouldn't entertain negative thoughts about yourself. 

 

Being true to yourself also means staying away from friends who are even slightly negative, or don’t want the best for you. Wish them well but stay away. 

 

We need to put ourselves in an environment that is conducive to our growth and that will help us do better, and succeed. If our friends do not make us feel good, if they do not support us, or our goals, and discourage us instead, it’s time to make new friends. Never choose anyone over yourself. Every time you do, you lose a little piece of your confidence and self-worth. 

 

The following are examples of not being true to yourself:  

 

Laughing at a joke you didn’t find funny.  

 

Going along with everyone else’s opinion for the sake of popularity.  

 

Giving someone a fake compliment.  

 

Going to a party when you’d rather die than be there.  

 

Doing something you don’t want to do just because your friends are doing it.  

 

Being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t treat you well because you’re more afraid of being alone.  

 

Following a path in life you don’t want because that’s what others expect from you.  

 

Being true to yourself means figuring out what’s right for you. This is a process you will learn with time and experience. It will not happen overnight, so be patient. Your brain is a muscle like every other muscle in your body. You’re not going to build muscle in a day or a week, but you will start feeling the changes in a month or so, and will get better results the longer you stick with it. 

 

The problem is that we’ve all gotten so used to instant gratification. We used to wait for food, movies, phone calls, letters, television, cable series, but now we never have to wait for anything. Everything is ready-to-go, instant, and binge-able. The internet is making us impatient, stupid, distracted and socially disconnected. We don't have to remember anything anymore because we can carry it all in our phone. Instead of working out, we have plastic surgery. Instead of going out and making real connections, we lay in bed watching Netflix, texting. We are lazy, comfortable, yet terribly dissatisfied. Still, we don’t do what we have to do in order for things to be different. 

 

Have you heard of the marshmallow test? In the 1960's, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel offered 4 year old children the chance to eat one marshmallow, or alternately wait and get two. A follow up study found that the kids who waited for two marshmallows grew up to be adults with greater self-control. They were more academically and socially competent that their peers and more able to cope with frustration and resist temptation.  To have a better income, financial security, physical and mental well-being, stable relationships, occupational prestige, and standing in your community, you must practice self-control. 

 

But society is raising us with little to no self-control. We’re all junkies and our phones are our drug of choice. Advertisers and social media programmers know this. They design their software, and apps with it in mind. They know that every time you get a like, comment, or share, you get a little hit of dopamine. That’s what makes our phones so addictive! 

 

It doesn’t work any different from taking a drug, alcohol, gambling, or any other form of addiction.  Getting a “Like” on Facebook gives us the same feeling as when we’re eating something flavorful. Our brain gets flooded with a chemical that makes us feel good. That’s why we want more.  

 

The problem lies in that we rapidly become used to it, and every-time we need a little more stimulus to get the sam effect we did before. This is called “Hedonic Adaptation.” Before you know it, we're spending our efforts trying to get more likes, more followers, more comments, and more attention than ever. But online attention will never replace real human connection.  

 

It wouldn't be a bad idea if we restricted ourselves a little more with social media and our smart phones. We are so ‘on’ all the time, we don’t realize that this is the same reason we’re so distracted, dissatisfied, and lonely. 

 

You might disagree with the belief that we're not any happier because of the little device we carry in our hands, but there is study after study confirming the fact. The internet has been accused of stunting teens social skills and making it more difficult for them to cope with problems and deal with others in the real world. Instead of interacting with others, teens prefer to stare at their computer or phone. Recent studies show that the average teenager spends nine hours a day online.  "How much time do you spend online?" The studies also showed that young people felt more disconnected and lonelier than ever before. 

 

That’s because the connections you’re making through social media are not deep or meaningful.  They are not filling the need we all have for real intimacy and significance. Quantity will never replace quality. Humans are social creatures. We crave social interaction. That is real, one on one, face to face interaction. Yes, cells phones and the internet are amazing and convenient, but we should use these devices to our advantage, to enhance our lives. 

 

There are four levels of communication today:    

 

In person 

 

Video Call 

 

Telephone 

 

Texting 

 

I don't need to tell you that texting is the most impersonal form of communication of all four. Yes, texting is fast, convenient, and it holds us accountable to what we say, but it’s also subject to interpretation. You can’t get a feel for a person’s tone, and a lot gets lost in translation, especially when you’re texting with someone whom you’ve never interacted with in person. Don’t make texting the only form of communication with the important relationships in your life!  

 

It always catches my attention, when I walk into a cafe and see a group of young people at a table all collectively staring at their phones, instead of enjoying that time they have to interact with each other. These are the same people who complain how lonely and dissatisfied they are with their lives.  That’s because they’re never fully engaged in what they're doing!  

 

We’re so obsessed with documenting everything. Taking a selfie, a picture of our food, filming the concert, or recording the scenery, that we can’t enjoy ourselves. I always wonder about those people who record an entire concert on their phone. How can you immerse yourself in the moment if you're holding your phone the entire time? You can't, and that is what is robbing you of your happiness! Even when we’re not using our phone, and even if it hasn't beeped, we’re still checking it every couple of minutes. "We're not using our phones. Our phones are using us!" 

 

We need to start observing the motives behind our actions. Be honest with yourself when answering the following questions: 

 

Do I go out because I like what I'm about to do, to hang out with friends, or to have something to post on my social media page?  

 

Do I post to share with friends or to get more likes? 

 

Am I looking to have fun or get attention?  

 

Why don’t I spend more time on present activities instead of always being online?  

 

Do I cultivate the relationships I have?  

 

The same things we turn to make ourselves feel better may be harming us in return. We will do things we don't like if it'll get us what we want, even when we know it's not good for us. If you practice mental toughness, you'll be able to resist doing the things you will regret later. An authentic person pursues the interest that they like, benefit from, and fulfills them. That’s 3 good reasons to do something other than comfort, peer pressure, or validation.  

 

Authentic people don’t worry about what others think, or what is thought to be most popular either. They listen to their gut. Practicing authenticity strengthens your intuition too. When you silence your inner critic (the negative self talk), your intuition becomes stronger. We all have intuition. It’s that little voice inside, that gut feeling we get when faced with a decision. We’re moved towards one direction, that’s our inner voice pulling us, but sometimes doubt and fear will make us do the exact opposite. 

 

From a very young age, family members, friends, teachers, and authority figures get us to ignore that little voice we have inside, till we get our dreams beaten out of us. Going against our intuition causes us to make the wrong decisions, time and time again. This creates instability inside us because deep down we know we can’t trust ourselves when it comes to making personal decisions. Here’s where authenticity plays an important role. Authentic people feel comfortable expressing their true thoughts and feelings, no matter how difficult it may seem. They’ve learned through practice and experience that it’s best for a quality lifestyle. There’s no need to pretend to be someone you’re not. Believe it or not, people will feel if you’re not being authentic. 

 

We all lie from time to time, it's inevitable, but the basis of our relationships should be founded on honesty and kindness. That’s what it means to have principles. Using a combination of the principles mentioned here, you will be able to speak your mind while still being considerate to others. A good way to do this is to express gratitude before getting your point across first. This will prevent the other person from getting defensive. Here are some simple examples: 

 

“Mom, thank you so much for making these delicious pancakes, but I’m trying to eat less sugar.” 

 

“Dad, I know you’re busy being a good provider, but when you have time, I want to talk to you about this project I’m working on.”  

 

Sometimes we get our feelings hurt because we expect things from others and give them attitude in return, and they don’t even understand why we’re acting this way. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel, to express what you’re needing from someone, as long as you do it in a loving and undemanding way. You should feel comfortable sharing your feelings with those close to you. It is important to have a strong support system, and this circle should include adults too.  

 

Honesty is important if you want to have deep and meaningful relationships. It’s also a great value to adapt in your life. Studies show that young people who adopt honest behavior are more likely to be successful, and less likely to succumb to peer pressure or bad habits. Even when your friends, or the people around you, do things you know are wrong, you should not feel inclined to follow their lead. It is important that you stick to your principles, even when it’s difficult. Following these principles will not bring you instant gratification, but the rewards are huge. Do you know how good it feels to look in the mirror proudly, knowing you made the right choice?  It’s an amazing feeling to know you did the right thing, the best thing for you, no matter how hard making that decision was. 

 

That is how you develop character and mental toughness! Sometimes, when you stick to the principles that benefit your well-being and not the wellbeing of others, people will try to dissuade you.  Some will say that you’re being selfish because you’re not conforming to their expectations. Always remember that choosing yourself first is not an act of selfishness, but an act of love. One of the biggest motivational speakers of all time, Jim Rohn said: 

 

"The art of making our own choices before other's choices make us." 

 

If you do not fully love yourself, you can love no one else truly. That is the foundation of true love. It begins with self-love and proper self-care.  "Only if you are happy can you make others happy." Think about this, when you get up and dance, it's not to get up on the floor but to enjoy every step on the way. Treat your life the same. Dance through the journey of your life. 

Chapter 5: 

Principle Number 2 

Always be True to Yourself 

 

In order to be true to yourself you must love yourself first. Start by not being afraid to be who you are. This gets hard when other people have expectations of what they think you should be, or when you pretend to be someone else for acceptance or peer-pressure. Lying, or pretending to be someone else, will make you feel better temporarily, but it will end badly. When you do things that are not a reflection of the real you, you will not be happy, and worse, you will loose self respect. 

 

Don’t hide behind something you wish you could be. Instead, build the courage to make yourself better, and become who you want to be. Everything you tell yourself that prevents you from becoming the best version of yourself is an excuse. I know because I made every excuse in the book, and blamed everyone else for my life for as long as I could. My advice to you is, “Do the work!” It’s worth it. 

 

Here are the Benefits of Being True to yourself:   

 

The little nagging voice inside your head quiets down. 

 

You’re not trying to impress anyone. 

 

You stop second guessing yourself. 

 

You make good decisions. 

 

You gain self-confidence. 

 

You start feeling comfortable in your own skin. 

 

You feel great. 

 

Being true to yourself is a beautiful way to live. There is less frustration, stress, and more peace because you trust yourself, and take full responsibility for what happens in your life. But how can you be sure you’re being true to yourself? By being authentic. What does it mean to be authentic? Well, to be authentic is to act how you feel, to speak your mind when you are appreciative of something, or when you have a problem. 

 

Here are a few examples of being authentic:  

 

You don’t put a face on for different people.  

 

You don’t change your opinions or behaviors from person to person. You accept yourself for who you are. 

 

Accepting yourself for who you are and appreciating yourself takes time. It starts with silencing that internal critic we all have.  Remember how we talked about the negative self-talk we all take part in? Being selective of the thoughts we entertain in our head is the first step to self-love, which leads to authenticity. 

 

Being true to ourselves and sticking by our principles is one of the best ways to practice authenticity. When we’re authentic, we become more comfortable in our own skin. What’s even more surprising is that this makes us more accepting of others and improves our interpersonal relationships. 

 

Practicing self acceptance is a big part of the game. Being true to yourself and practicing self-love means recognizing your weaknesses, but focusing on developing your strengths instead, in order to feel good about yourself.  I am constantly selecting my thoughts and throwing out the garbage. Yes, any thought that doesn't serve you is garbage! Just like you wouldn’t listen to any gossip about your best-friend, you shouldn't entertain negative thoughts about yourself. 

 

Being true to yourself also means staying away from friends who are even slightly negative, or don’t want the best for you. Wish them well but stay away. 

 

We need to put ourselves in an environment that is conducive to our growth and that will help us do better, and succeed. If our friends do not make us feel good, if they do not support us, or our goals, and discourage us instead, it’s time to make new friends. Never choose anyone over yourself. Every time you do, you lose a little piece of your confidence and self-worth. 

 

The following are examples of not being true to yourself:  

 

Laughing at a joke you didn’t find funny.  

 

Going along with everyone else’s opinion for the sake of popularity.  

 

Giving someone a fake compliment.  

 

Going to a party when you’d rather die than be there.  

 

Doing something you don’t want to do just because your friends are doing it.  

 

Being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t treat you well because you’re more afraid of being alone.  

 

Following a path in life you don’t want because that’s what others expect from you.  

 

Being true to yourself means figuring out what’s right for you. This is a process you will learn with time and experience. It will not happen overnight, so be patient. Your brain is a muscle like every other muscle in your body. You’re not going to build muscle in a day or a week, but you will start feeling the changes in a month or so, and will get better results the longer you stick with it. 

 

The problem is that we’ve all gotten so used to instant gratification. We used to wait for food, movies, phone calls, letters, television, cable series, but now we never have to wait for anything. Everything is ready-to-go, instant, and binge-able. The internet is making us impatient, stupid, distracted and socially disconnected. We don't have to remember anything anymore because we can carry it all in our phone. Instead of working out, we have plastic surgery. Instead of going out and making real connections, we lay in bed watching Netflix, texting. We are lazy, comfortable, yet terribly dissatisfied. Still, we don’t do what we have to do in order for things to be different. 

 

Have you heard of the marshmallow test? In the 1960's, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel offered 4 year old children the chance to eat one marshmallow, or alternately wait and get two. A follow up study found that the kids who waited for two marshmallows grew up to be adults with greater self-control. They were more academically and socially competent that their peers and more able to cope with frustration and resist temptation.  To have a better income, financial security, physical and mental well-being, stable relationships, occupational prestige, and standing in your community, you must practice self-control. 

 

But society is raising us with little to no self-control. We’re all junkies and our phones are our drug of choice. Advertisers and social media programmers know this. They design their software, and apps with it in mind. They know that every time you get a like, comment, or share, you get a little hit of dopamine. That’s what makes our phones so addictive! 

 

It doesn’t work any different from taking a drug, alcohol, gambling, or any other form of addiction.  Getting a “Like” on Facebook gives us the same feeling as when we’re eating something flavorful. Our brain gets flooded with a chemical that makes us feel good. That’s why we want more.  

 

The problem lies in that we rapidly become used to it, and every-time we need a little more stimulus to get the sam effect we did before. This is called “Hedonic Adaptation.” Before you know it, we're spending our efforts trying to get more likes, more followers, more comments, and more attention than ever. But online attention will never replace real human connection.  

 

It wouldn't be a bad idea if we restricted ourselves a little more with social media and our smart phones. We are so ‘on’ all the time, we don’t realize that this is the same reason we’re so distracted, dissatisfied, and lonely. 

 

You might disagree with the belief that we're not any happier because of the little device we carry in our hands, but there is study after study confirming the fact. The internet has been accused of stunting teens social skills and making it more difficult for them to cope with problems and deal with others in the real world. Instead of interacting with others, teens prefer to stare at their computer or phone. Recent studies show that the average teenager spends nine hours a day online.  "How much time do you spend online?" The studies also showed that young people felt more disconnected and lonelier than ever before. 

 

That’s because the connections you’re making through social media are not deep or meaningful.  They are not filling the need we all have for real intimacy and significance. Quantity will never replace quality. Humans are social creatures. We crave social interaction. That is real, one on one, face to face interaction. Yes, cells phones and the internet are amazing and convenient, but we should use these devices to our advantage, to enhance our lives. 

 

There are four levels of communication today:    

 

In person 

 

Video Call 

 

Telephone 

 

Texting 

 

I don't need to tell you that texting is the most impersonal form of communication of all four. Yes, texting is fast, convenient, and it holds us accountable to what we say, but it’s also subject to interpretation. You can’t get a feel for a person’s tone, and a lot gets lost in translation, especially when you’re texting with someone whom you’ve never interacted with in person. Don’t make texting the only form of communication with the important relationships in your life!  

 

It always catches my attention, when I walk into a cafe and see a group of young people at a table all collectively staring at their phones, instead of enjoying that time they have to interact with each other. These are the same people who complain how lonely and dissatisfied they are with their lives.  That’s because they’re never fully engaged in what they're doing!  

 

We’re so obsessed with documenting everything. Taking a selfie, a picture of our food, filming the concert, or recording the scenery, that we can’t enjoy ourselves. I always wonder about those people who record an entire concert on their phone. How can you immerse yourself in the moment if you're holding your phone the entire time? You can't, and that is what is robbing you of your happiness! Even when we’re not using our phone, and even if it hasn't beeped, we’re still checking it every couple of minutes. "We're not using our phones. Our phones are using us!" 

 

We need to start observing the motives behind our actions. Be honest with yourself when answering the following questions: 

 

Do I go out because I like what I'm about to do, to hang out with friends, or to have something to post on my social media page?  

 

Do I post to share with friends or to get more likes? 

 

Am I looking to have fun or get attention?  

 

Why don’t I spend more time on present activities instead of always being online?  

 

Do I cultivate the relationships I have?  

 

The same things we turn to make ourselves feel better may be harming us in return. We will do things we don't like if it'll get us what we want, even when we know it's not good for us. If you practice mental toughness, you'll be able to resist doing the things you will regret later. An authentic person pursues the interest that they like, benefit from, and fulfills them. That’s 3 good reasons to do something other than comfort, peer pressure, or validation.  

 

Authentic people don’t worry about what others think, or what is thought to be most popular either. They listen to their gut. Practicing authenticity strengthens your intuition too. When you silence your inner critic (the negative self talk), your intuition becomes stronger. We all have intuition. It’s that little voice inside, that gut feeling we get when faced with a decision. We’re moved towards one direction, that’s our inner voice pulling us, but sometimes doubt and fear will make us do the exact opposite. 

 

From a very young age, family members, friends, teachers, and authority figures get us to ignore that little voice we have inside, till we get our dreams beaten out of us. Going against our intuition causes us to make the wrong decisions, time and time again. This creates instability inside us because deep down we know we can’t trust ourselves when it comes to making personal decisions. Here’s where authenticity plays an important role. Authentic people feel comfortable expressing their true thoughts and feelings, no matter how difficult it may seem. They’ve learned through practice and experience that it’s best for a quality lifestyle. There’s no need to pretend to be someone you’re not. Believe it or not, people will feel if you’re not being authentic. 

 

We all lie from time to time, it's inevitable, but the basis of our relationships should be founded on honesty and kindness. That’s what it means to have principles. Using a combination of the principles mentioned here, you will be able to speak your mind while still being considerate to others. A good way to do this is to express gratitude before getting your point across first. This will prevent the other person from getting defensive. Here are some simple examples: 

 

“Mom, thank you so much for making these delicious pancakes, but I’m trying to eat less sugar.” 

 

“Dad, I know you’re busy being a good provider, but when you have time, I want to talk to you about this project I’m working on.”  

 

Sometimes we get our feelings hurt because we expect things from others and give them attitude in return, and they don’t even understand why we’re acting this way. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel, to express what you’re needing from someone, as long as you do it in a loving and undemanding way. You should feel comfortable sharing your feelings with those close to you. It is important to have a strong support system, and this circle should include adults too.  

 

Honesty is important if you want to have deep and meaningful relationships. It’s also a great value to adapt in your life. Studies show that young people who adopt honest behavior are more likely to be successful, and less likely to succumb to peer pressure or bad habits. Even when your friends, or the people around you, do things you know are wrong, you should not feel inclined to follow their lead. It is important that you stick to your principles, even when it’s difficult. Following these principles will not bring you instant gratification, but the rewards are huge. Do you know how good it feels to look in the mirror proudly, knowing you made the right choice?  It’s an amazing feeling to know you did the right thing, the best thing for you, no matter how hard making that decision was. 

 

That is how you develop character and mental toughness! Sometimes, when you stick to the principles that benefit your well-being and not the wellbeing of others, people will try to dissuade you.  Some will say that you’re being selfish because you’re not conforming to their expectations. Always remember that choosing yourself first is not an act of selfishness, but an act of love. One of the biggest motivational speakers of all time, Jim Rohn said: 

 

"The art of making our own choices before other's choices make us." 

 

If you do not fully love yourself, you can love no one else truly. That is the foundation of true love. It begins with self-love and proper self-care.  "Only if you are happy can you make others happy." Think about this, when you get up and dance, it's not to get up on the floor but to enjoy every step on the way. Treat your life the same. Dance through the journey of your life. 

Chapter 6: 

Principle Number 3 

Assume Responsibility, for your Thoughts, Words and Actions 

 

 

Sometimes assuming responsibility for your actions isn’t the easiest thing in the world.  To admit you did something wrong, or even accept that you’re responsible for some bad outcome in your life, is difficult. Even when you’re scared to tell your parents you dented the car, or you lied about your whereabouts on the weekend, the best thing you can do for your well-being, and your relationships is to be honest, and take responsibility. Here are a couple of things, taking responsibility will do for you: 

 

It puts you in control. 

 

Sometimes, we feel we don’t have control over our external world, when what we really need is to have more control of ourselves, our internal world.  Assuming responsibility for our actions will force us to accept the situation, and really feel it, instead of putting it away like it never happened.  We don't want to react to our emotions either. What we want is to sit with our emotions, and process them, giving ourselves time before an emotional response. 

 

Start by pausing at least 5 minutes before reacting. These 5 minutes will allow you to separate your decisions from an impulse move, and give you the freedom to focus on the best response or action to take. If you're feeling irate, do some breathing exercises. Take slow, deep and controlled breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.  

 

The next time something happens to you, think about it as if it were happening to your best friend. Temporarily taking yourself out of the situation helps you gain more perspective. It also lessens the intensity of the emotions. Mentally advise your friend on the best thing to do. Sometimes we give better advice to others than we do to ourselves. If you can’t change the problem or find a good solution, let it go. Just push it out of your mind every time it pops up, and if you are to blame, admit it. 

 

Being humble and admitting when you are wrong, takes courage, but admitting your actions and facing the consequences will increase the chances of you not making the same mistakes again. That alone is worth assuming responsibility for.  

 

Remember the way the law of attraction works. Life keeps giving us more of the same lessons, until we learn the lesson, and can move on. These are the steps you must take if you want to be in control of your life. It improves your decision-making skills, relationships, and everything else! With time and experience, you get better at making decisions and learning from your mistakes. Just with that alone, your life will improve. 

 

You will have better relationships with your parents, friends, schoolmates, and co-workers, because your honesty will bring you closer. Get ready. When you take responsibility for one thing, you’ll automatically want to take responsibility for other things too. It may start by admitting to yourself that you should eat less sugar, and have more fruits and vegetables. Then by telling your friend, Jessy, that you will not let her speak to you that way anymore. 

 

You see how it works? This is where EI comes in. That's not a typo. I’m not talking about IQ, but EI.  EI, 'emotional intelligence,' is as, if not more important than IQ. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, and manage your own emotions, and the emotions of others.  An emotionally intelligent individual is highly conscious of his and her own emotional state. You can recognize your negative emotions, whether it is frustration, sadness, anger, or something else. You know how you feel, and are able to manage those emotions. This is a person with high EI.  

 

Great leaders and influencers have a high EI. Having high EI makes you better at understanding yourself, others, and better at communicating. Taking responsibility for your actions is part of developing mental toughness, which is fundamental to building your character.  Benefits of developing EI: 

 

Become more self aware 

 

Better relationships 

 

Develop resilience 

 

Ability to regulate emotions 

 

Less impulsivity 

 

Critical problem solving 

 

Being assertive 

 

Better decision making 

 

We all make mistakes. The important thing is that we don’t get weighed down by them. The point of making mistakes or failure is not to make us feel guilty or bad about ourselves, but to serve us as lessons. Those experiences will make you a better person if you let them. People can be divided into two classes, those who profit from experience and those who don’t. Those who profit from experience can pick themselves up, and keep moving forward. That’s the difference. In spite of the mistakes, the disappointment or loss, they still believe in themselves. 

 

Don’t give up. I mean, what else are you going to do if not try to make your dreams come true? If you don’t try to build a successful life for yourself? Know that all you need is already inside you. You need not impress, mimic or alter who you are. You just have to strengthen what you already have. I already gave you the statistics. The average teenager spends 9 hours online. Imagine what you could accomplish if you took one quarter of that time to work on yourself. 

 

This is your life, and nobody can live it for you. Own it and claim 100 percent responsibility for it!  EI is one of the bricks necessary you need to lay down the solid foundation to build a great life on. You need to be Solid as a rock If you want to be successful in this new age of information, and rapid-changing, global economy. The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius said:  

 

“Choose not to feel harmed, and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed, and you haven’t been.”  

 

He was talking about the ability we all have to control our emotions, to be a rock! It is a secret superpower we all have. Developing your EI will give you that power. Our ability to handle and take responsibility for our failures, mistakes and even the things we have no control of is a huge power. 

 

Thomas Edison, one of this last century’s most prolific inventors, had a huge setback. Edison was at home one night, when one of his employees ran up to tell him that his laboratory had caught on fire. This was where he had built all his inventions and new experiments. He was informed that the town’s fire stations could not control the blaze, and his chemicals, technologies, and inventions inside, could not be salvaged. Because of all the chemicals and experimental materials, it was a huge blaze filled with a wide range of colors.  Edison did not complain, or cry. He would have accomplished nothing by letting his emotions get the best of him. Instead, Edison took power of his own reactions. He found his son and told him, “Fetch your mother and her friends. They will never again see a blaze like this one.” 

 

“There’s no sense crying over spilled milk.” 

 

You too can learn to control your emotions with time.  EI is so important that it encompasses principle number four as well. I will introduce it and show you why it’s necessary to practice these principles. 

Chapter 7: 

Principle Number 4

Have a clear Vision, Focus and Goals 

 

 

I’m just going to dive in and list all the positive characteristics and abilities you will develop from practicing EI. 

 

Self Awareness. 

 

This is the ability to recognize your emotions in real time. When you become aware of your emotions, the greatest thing starts to happen. You evaluate the emotions, and why it is you’re feeling them. Becoming aware of your true emotions will help you better control your impulses and behavior. We can’t always avoid things from happening, but we can always choose how we feel, and how we react. 

 

Sometimes, we blurt something out to someone in anger, when anger is not the underlying emotion. After some analyzing, we realize that we’re hurt at their actions and didn’t know how to express it. Other times, we yell when we we are really frustrated that we got an F on our paper, missed our ride, and just took it out on them. Being able to recognize your emotions, and properly express how you feel instead of being reactive, will greatly improve your relationships. A good way to become more in tune with your emotions is by keeping a journal and writing in it daily. 

 

Many times, we keep our emotions pent up inside because we’re not sure of how we feel, or how to express them. Writing things down, and getting them out of your head will do several things for you. First, you will let it out. Sometimes we hold on to things for days or longer, because we don’t know what to do. But keeping it inside feels like walking around with a cloud over your head, or worse, a ball in the pit of your stomach. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing just yet, write it down. 

 

So many people repress their emotions because they’re afraid to say how they feel. They doubt if they even have a right to feel the way they do. Know that you have the right to feel how you feel. There are no “good” or “bad” feelings. Whenever you feel an emotion, say jealousy or anger, don’t react. Instead ask yourself questions and write about what you’re feeling, so that you can get to the 'why'  and know what to do. The purpose of repeating this exercise is to process your emotions, so that you can change what you feel without the need of using anything outside of you. 

 

Learning to manage your emotions will prevent you from creating a dependency on substances like alcohol or drugs. Most alcoholics became alcoholics because they began abusing alcohol in their teens. Why did they start drinking in the first place? Because they couldn’t cope with their circumstances or their overwhelming emotions. Learn to control your emotions now and you will avoid yourself a world of hardship for you and those you love. I will be saying this several times throughout this book,  

 

“Do what is hard today, and tomorrow will be easy!” 

 

I wrote this book to urge you to take action now. Don’t wait till you’re in your late twenties or thirties to make positive changes in your life. Don’t think your weak if practicing these exercises are hard for you. “If you’re not willing to be a fool, you can never be a master.” It's just like learning to swim or riding a bike. Just keep going. Practicing these exercises will strengthen your mind, and will give you the foundation you need to become a warrior. 

 

Now, back to writing. Writing your thoughts and feelings down will also give you more clarity on the situation, not to mention, peace of mind.  If you don’t know how you feel about something, just write everything that comes to your head down in your journal. Don’t hold yourself back. Your feelings are indicators that let you know how to discern a situation. Just because the feeling is not pleasant doesn't mean it's bad, it just means something needs your attention, or something needs to change. I have found many times, that writing things down, and understanding my feelings about the situation was enough for me to let it go. 

 

If the conflict is between you and someone else, write down several things you’d like to say to this person, and imagine what their response would be. This will save you a lot of conflict in your relationships. By doing this, you will also get to know the other person better, since you are making the effort, of putting yourself in their shoes. It will surprise you how much insight you will get, from doing these exercises. 

 

Social Skills. 

 

Developing your EI will improve your interpersonal skills, which in return, will improve everything else in your life. I’m not kidding.  

 

Nowadays, most corporations will tell you they prefer their employees having EI over an Ivy League education, because of the value these employees bring to the workplace. Corporations and human resource departments value: 

 

High interpersonal skills 

 

Great communication skills  

 

The ability to handle conflict, negotiate, and resolve disagreements  

 

A spirit of cooperation (always working with others towards a common goal) 

 

Motivation and Empathy 

 

Developing mental toughness is as empowering as working out. You gain more clarity and feel really good about yourself. When you learn to truly love, and be empathetic with yourself, you automatically become a better partner, friend, family and community member. You don’t hear a lot about empathy when talking about success, so it might surprise you how important practicing empathy is if you want to succeed in life, but it is. 

 

Empathy is as important as all the other things mentioned in this book. It is the ability to recognize how people feel. The better you get at recognizing other people’s emotions, the more successful you will be in your relationships with others, your career, and your life. When you understand others, you will understand the emotions behind their words, and actions. That is EI. 

 

EI is like an inner compass that guides you even when there are clouds ahead. It will reduce your anxiety and stress because of all the order it will bring into your life. Just like you trust your car’s mapping system to guide you where you need to go, in the same way, you trust your EI to guide you through your life experiences. When you have more control over your life, your anxiety dissipates, and you no longer stress over the same situations that would have stressed you out before. What’s crazy is that nothing has really changed but you. However, you will feel a shift in yourself.  

 

When you practice these principles, you will develop a deeper understanding of yourself, what you want, and will feel confident enough to go after it. This is how you create a vision—your vision. A vision is something you set for yourself. This is more than a goal or a habit. Having a vision gives focus and direction in your life. It will help you have good judgment when deciding, and it will help you accomplish your short-term and long-term goals.  The first thing you have to do to develop a clear vision is create your vision statement. 

 

A vision statement is not something you write once and is set in stone. It’s adaptable, and you will probably change it; the more you learn about yourself, and the more you grow as a person. Your vision statement describes what you want to achieve. It’s a roadmap of where you want to be in 3, 5, 10 years from now, and it encompasses more than just your career.  It gives your life direction, and a reason to do what you do, even when you don’t feel like it, when you’re tired or heartbroken, because your vision will remind you of why you’re doing it, and who you’re doing it for. You! 

 

Remember that true happiness can only come from within, so following where your intuition guides you is ultimately the path to follow. It’s your life, and your future we’re talking about—no one else’s.  Your vision should be aligned with your desires, values, aspirations, and abilities. Now, close your eyes and visualize yourself living a career or life you want. Imagine yourself there, talking and performing the task as the person you want to be.  Imagine the outfit you would wear, the vocabulary you would use, and the skills you would need to perform. Now that you have the vision of this future possibility, write down what you see (add a lot of detail): 

 

Now that you see yourself in this future, ask yourself: How does it feel? How do you feel living this life?  Go into more detail. Write it down:  

 

Sometimes you will find that what you wanted didn’t excite you as much as you thought it would. This is the beauty of doing this exercise. You don't have to literally try something out to know if you're going to like it. You can do research online and then use your imagination and visualization exercises to picture how it would be. Many athletes and performers use visualization techniques to improve their skills. Use the power of your mind to visualize the experience! 

 

Creating a vision for yourself is not something you want to do in 15 minutes. You should spend time working on your vision. Don’t be afraid to add a lot of detail and thoughts about your ideas. The more elaborate you get, the clearer the picture of your vision will be. I would like for you to ask yourself the following questions as your thinking of your future, "Why do you embark on this journey? What is your quest? What sets your soul of fire?"  See you in the next chapter. 

Chapter 8: 

Principle Number 5 

Live Fully and Dream Big 

 

 

When you were younger, did you play cops and robbers? What other pretend games did you play? Think about it. Do you remember how immersed you were playing that character? You weren’t insecure, you didn’t hold back; and you weren’t thinking about the way you looked or what anybody else was thinking either, were you? That's because you didn’t think, you were immersed in the moment.. I want you to think of all the things you want to achieve and all the things you want to do. This can be anything you want it to be. If you set your mind to it, nothing is impossible. 

 

 

We should never lose that childlike spirit, the ability to dream and to use our imagination. We must use these creative skills we used when younger to envision our future. Take time to imagine your future self and what you want to do. Are you interested in a career in computers, art, sports, entertainment, health, fitness?  Whatever it is, imagine your future self in that role, as if you were playing a part in a movie. How does it feel? Do you like it? Does it suit you?  

 

It is of the utmost importance, that you love what you do, because you will spend most of your adult life doing it, and it will affect all the other aspects of your life. If you hate your job, the place you spent most of your day, it will affect your mood and your intimate relationships. Everything in life is inter-connected, and everything plays an important role in our well-being. Our job, partner, family, friends, and our support groups matter.  

 

The people we surround ourselves with, the little or big support systems we create for ourselves are invaluable. Choosing your friends and who you date is significant because it will affect your life in a positive or negative way. “You are the sum of the 6 people you associate with.” Don’t just become best friends with somebody because you shared the same class with them. Do it because you have common values. Don’t be afraid to try or to fail either. All successful people have failed… a lot!  We are valuable, our company is valuable, and so is our time. Time is as valuable an asset as money nowadays, so use it wisely.

 

Read books from people you admire and want to emulate, so can you learn from both their successes and failures. Then put in the time, and do the hard work. If you don't give up and stick to what your doing, no matter how hard it gets, you will reap the rewards. 

 

In 1978, Michael Jordan tried out for the Laney High School’s varsity basketball team. There were only 15 roster spots, and Jordan did not get one. He was very embarrassed for not making the team, especially when his sophomore friend, Leroy Smith, did.  The night of the try-outs, Jordan went home, locked himself in his room, and cried. He could have thought he wasn’t good enough and given up on his dream, but that’s not what he did.  

 

No, Jordan picked himself up and turned his suffering into motivation. He made a deal with the coach and promised to practice everyday until the following try-outs.  He'd show up every morning before school started to practice. One of the assistant coaches, Ron Coley, said Jordan was on the court before he was, every morning. “Every time I’d come in and open these doors, I’d hear the basketball. Fall, wintertime, summer. Most mornings, I had to run Michael out of the gym.” 

 

Whenever Jordan felt tired, didn’t feel like getting up, or thought he ought to stop, he’d close his eyes, and see that list in the locker room without his name on it, and that was enough to get him going again. He used the image of rejection to propel himself into action. That was his motivation. 

 

We can use our past negative experiences to motivate us to work harder. Maybe you don’t feel like studying for a test, or exercising, but knowing that feeling when you get a bad grade, or not fitting into your swimsuit, is enough to propel you into taking action. 

 

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Michael Jordan is naturally talented, and he’s 6’6 tall, it was easy for him. Wrong! That’s not the reason Jordan is who he is. He was 5’10 when he tried out for the basketball team and couldn’t even dunk a basketball. It was Jordan’s work ethic, his visualization techniques, and his good habits that made him succeed. Basically, it was practicing the 5 principles you are reading in this book that helped him get to where he is today.   

 

Maintaining these 5 principles will dramatically change your life. Personal development (self education) is the answer. By working on these principles you will mold yourself into the person you want to be. The key to having a successful life starts with you. 

 

As I mentioned before, you can’t control your external world or the actions of others. You can only control yourself.  If you manage that, you don't need anything else. Everything you need is inside of you. Controlling yourself and how you face your setbacks is how you win the game! All winners will tell you they lost more than they won. But they stood strong through the losses and never gave up. 

 

Warriors don’t play the victim or make excuses! Never give up, and never give up on your dream! You can do it. I believe you can… do you? Michael Jordan came to be the star of his junior varsity team. He put up multiple 40 point games and attracted crowds unprecedented for a JV affair.  Then he went on to create his legacy. I can’t possibly list all of his achievements, but some of them include:   

 

Rookie of the Year 

 

6 NBA championships 

 

5x NBA (MVP) Most Valuable Player 

 

Retired with the highest score in NBA history 

 

So now that you know that anything you want to do in your life is possible. Now that you know how to use the power of your imagination and visualization skills. Now that you have imagined yourself in the future: What do you want to do with your life?  Write 3 things you want to do: 

 

1. 

2.  

3.  

 

This last principle is about dreaming big, remember? Big means, bigger than you. When you think of your vision, encompass others into your mission. Think of your future partner, those you will collaborate with in your career and future projects.  Having a mission that is greater than you, a mission that involves others, will give your life meaning. Ask yourself:  

 

How will my business change the lives of others?  

 

 

How will my life impact those I love, those I hope to include in my life? 

 

 

What would I like to contribute to the world? 

 

 

If you can’t think of something immediately, put it away, and come back to it when you feel inspired.  Again, the reason why having a mission and a clear vision to pursue is so important, is because when life gets hard, you're going to need something bigger than yourself to keep you going.  

 

Now, something bigger than you is not the same as something external. Never depend or expect anything outside of yourself to make you happy. That is too much responsibility to throw at another person, and a recipe for disaster. 

 

Don’t wait on a romantic relationship to make you happy. Relationships like that usually end in two ways. They leave you, and you're miserable again, or you leave them because they stopped making you happy, and you’re still miserable. Relationships are supposed to help us grow, not to fill our gaps and voids. It is your job and no one else's to control your emotional state and to make yourself feel whole. Learn to be more than independent. 

 

Be independent and self-sufficient. Rely on no one but yourself. “You do not need people, you want people.” Whenever you think you need something, you automatically and subconsciously begin to make sacrifices. Don't fall trap to letting someone walk all over you thinking that's the price you have to pay for having them in your life. My advice to you is, "Be self-reliant." Here are some ways you can become self-reliant: 

 

1. Accept yourself. Get comfortable with yourself. Learn how to be alone. Spend a couple of hours a day disconnected from everything and take this time to look inward and reflect.  Read a book, write in a journal, meditate, daydream. It's good to separate yourself from everything every now and then. Don't get so attached to external things, people, and objects. Learn to appreciate everything in life, and always remember that you owe nothing and nothing is owed to you. 

 

My teenage years were hard. Not having the internet or any material other than the organization's  publications to read, I thought I was the only person in the world with my problems. I later realized that life is hard for everyone, and that just because we can’t see other’s wounds doesn’t mean they haven’t been through a battle. One of my grandmother’s favorite sayings was:  

 

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” 

 

It’s true, you’ll be surprised at how strong you really are. My parents taught me a lot of valuable lessons. They never let me sulk or feel sorry for myself. They reminded me on a daily basis how I should be grateful for all the blessings in my life. They told me I could do what anybody else could do as long as I set my mind to it. They taught me self discipline and the importance of good habits. Whether I was sick, tired, sad, whatever it was, I still had responsibilities to fulfill, and a schedule to maintain. They were always watching my posture, telling me to walk and sit straight. This last one might sound odd, it was a little annoying at times, but I wasn't aware of the positive results it brings. 

 

Studies have proven that your posture has a lot to do with your emotional state. People who slouch a lot tend to be less optimistic, moody, depressed, as opposed to those with good posture. This is because it has a physiological response.  You can run a little experiment on yourself. Stand up straight with your head held high, shoulders back and try to say something sad, or negative like, “I don't like myself” or “I’m having a terrible day." You'll start to laugh and you will feel awkward just saying the words. I swear it works like magic. It's a little like the saying, "Fake it till you make it." Use this technique and keep it up for an entire day and see how your mood improves. 

 

2. Master (control) your emotions. Sometimes we confuse complaints for feelings. Saying, "I'm hot, or "I'm tired," instead of saying what's really wrong with us won’t help. Did you get into a fight with your family, significant other? Are you annoyed, or in a bad mood? Don't suppress your emotions. Get to the bottom and the purpose of why you are feeling them. That's what they're there for.  When you become in-tune with your emotions, you’ll feel the need to complain less too. 

 

Overcoming your physical and emotional state repeatedly, will make you mentally tough and resilient.  When we don't think good thoughts we don't feel good, and when we don't feel good we don't do good. In order to master our emotions we must control our thoughts. 

 

3. Speak your truth. Don't be afraid to speak up, or fear confrontation. You don't have to be aggressive, but if you don't agree with something, say it. Don't shy away from adversity. We grow most when we're challenged. 

 

4. Don't take people or things for granted.  Make the best out of every experience in your life and be thankful for everything. Some people come into our lives for a reason, some for a season, and others for a lifetime. You can still appreciate every moment shared. 

 

5. Always treat yourself the same or better than you treat the ones you love. Self-love breeds self-confidence, and that is the path to wholeness. Everything you need to succeed in life is already inside you. Personal development teaches you how to use those tools, and develop your skill-set. This is the recipe to feeling whole and complete. The path to a life of fulfillment. Remember that personal development is like eating healthy, exercising, and maintaining good habits. You must do it daily to reap positive results.  

 

Conclusion: 

 

If you have feelings of doubt, stress, anxiety, low-confidence, or depression, know that you are not alone. There are so many teens that have been, and are going through what you’re going through. When I had a lot of stuff going on, I kept focusing on it  and I just made it bigger. I know it probably doesn’t feel like this to you right now, but you have the power to free yourself from all these negative emotions. I know because I freed myself too. 

 

When I began to research about human behavior, the law of attraction, and the power of the mind, I realized that I could control all these self-destructive thoughts and feelings I had. I had produced them therefor I could as easily replace them with new beliefs and a new found self-love. I consciously chose to only keep the positive thoughts and focus on the good things, and finally allowed myself to be happy. This raised my self-esteem and empowered me too. You too can transform your life into a meaningful and happy one. 

 

We create the world we live in through the thoughts we think. Our mind doesn’t know the difference from a real experience to an imaginary one, so if you keep on thinking positive thoughts and imagining good things your mind will have no choice but to produce these positive experiences into your reality. That’s what it means to be a creator! It is time you step into your greatness, don’t you think? 

 

 "The reason for human existence lies not in just staying alive but finding something to live for." 

 

Find your "Why" and when you do, "Write it in your heart." I hope this book has helped you understand your mind better, and has showed you that you can and deserve to be happy and successful. If you would like help in practicing these principles in order to feel more inspired, more confident, more motivated, and productive, I welcome you to visit our website and check out our "Teen Growth Leadership seminar." 

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