“I AM” is one of the most important words to change your life. One of the daily practices I have cultivated since the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down is writing a gratitude journal daily. One of the five-minute gratitude journal entries is “Today’s Affirmation: I am…” The Daily Affirmation is a simple statement that defines you as you want to be. You prime your brain to build this belief whenever you write the daily affirmation. With consistency, you will begin to create that change from within.
I recently ran a marathon personal best at the 2023 GMS Queen City Marathon in Regina, Saskatchewan, which was my sixth full 42.2 KM marathon in 2023. I reduced my marathon personal best from 3 hours and 44 minutes, which I ran last year at the Beneva Montreal Marathon, to 3 hours and 20 minutes, a drop of 24 minutes. It was one of the most exciting moments in the ten years of my marathon running adventure. Before the Regina Marathon, I had increased my training volume to about 100 KM per week/10 miles per day, and my effort is beginning to pay off. As the Navy seal saying goes: “We play the way we train.” I am trying to qualify for the 2025 Boston Marathon, and I need a time of at least 3:05 minutes to qualify for Boston.
Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately without needing conscious reasoning. Intuition is often called inner knowing, immediate cognition, gut feeling, sixth sense, or hunch. It is that voice that knows the answer before you even ask the question; it is that inner wisdom that guides and leads you to the right path. Your intuition is usually more critical than your intellect because it knows best. Our intuition is usually silent; it whispers and knows what is right for us to do. Most of us don’t get to listen to our inner voice as the noise from our childhood indoctrination, societal programming, and domestication has crowded our ability to listen to ourselves. Social Media even makes listening and following one’s intuition even more challenging as we are all locked into our tiny bubbles.
Our intuition always speaks to us, but we rarely listen as we usually have drowned out our inner voice due to the noise around us. Listening to your inner voice clearly requires being able to differentiate the signal from noise, prioritizing your life and focusing on what really matters. When you don’t listen to your inner voice, you stay in a toxic relationship or a draining job, fail to set healthy boundaries, and continuously live on autopilot. Trusting your intuition could save your life and save you the stress and drama of engaging with negative people and toxic environments.
Life is too short to spend with things, associations, and relationships that are not serving you. You are here for a particular purpose; your job is to find out what your purpose here is and have fun doing it. If it is not fun or it stops being fun, you need to re-evaluate why you are engaging in any activity. I am a Manchester United fan, and I used to watch almost every game played by the team; as I have been supporting the team since 1998. With time I began to become emotionally engrossed with the team’s performance. I have a rule: If it stops being fun, I re-evaluate my engagement. For the past 5 years now, I don’t remember watching a full Manchester United game or any soccer game; I would rather watch the highlights.
It is the same approach that I use for anything that I am involved in. If an activity, engagement, relationship, or thing stops having an element of fun, I drop it. I try to get myself involved with a lot of activities and hobbies such as Reading, playing basketball, pickleball, running, tennis, swimming, cycling, and meditating. I have the most fun when am engaged in these activities as I usually habit stack when engaged in them. For example, when I am playing basketball; it is usually the time I use for listening to French podcasts. At the core of almost anything I do is a pursuit of joy, happiness, and fun.
Fun is underrated in our overachieving, stress-filled modern society. Many people idolize hard work and associate having fun with being childish, giving rise to ideas and expressions like “Work hard, play hard,” and “All work and no play,” in which the term play is associated with fun, perhaps irresponsible behavior, and work speaks to our responsibilities as adults.
Having fun is one of the most human things we can do. Fun, laughter, excitement, appreciation, enjoyment—these often exist in close proximity to one another. When we tap into one, we gain access to the others.
And yet, most people go through their days never asking what would be fun for them. It’s almost as if stopping and taking time to have fun would mean delaying more important things or being irresponsible. We might live entire weeks or months without choosing a single activity that is fun for us. In the worst case, we might think that by not having fun, we’re being productive grownups, as though one of the requirements of “adulting” is becoming a dull, non-fun version of ourselves.
In Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary, the creator of Linux Kernel 2, Linus Torvalds, chronicles his journey of creating Linux and distributing it on the internet for free. Linus started a revolution by following his bliss and having fun in the process. The Linux Kernel is used today for. various operating systems, and the Android OS is based on it. Linux today has 42% of the global OS market.
Basically it is short and sweet. It won’t give your life any meaning, but it tells you what’s going to happen. There are three things that have meaning for life. They are the motivational factors for everything in your life––for anything that you do or any living thing does: The first is survival, the second is social order, and the third is entertainment. Everything in life progresses in that order. And there is nothing after entertainment. So, in a sense, the implication is that the meaning of life is to reach that third stage. And once you’ve reached the third stage, you’re done. But you have to go through the other stages first.
Make It Fun if You Want It Done 3
Perfectionism and fun are like oil and water. They don’t mix. Perfectionism thinks fun is a waste of time and holds no value. Unfortunately, most of us tend to feel the same way.
Remember, perfectionism will tell you that fun doesn’t count. Even worse, it will tell you that using rewards or fears as a form of motivation to reach your goal is a crutch. You’re the only one with stupid, fun, weird systems.
- Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt -Seasons
- A shift in season can sincerely support the process of release. The earth’s natural change cycle invites people to slow down and pay attention. As the seasons change, we are given an opportunity to practice letting go.
- When summer transitions to fall, the trees become a canvas of orange and red, and the leaves slowly shed and float to the ground. We might be inspired to release beliefs that no longer serve us. When winter becomes spring, the ice melts, and the soil is cleared for new seedlings to sprout. We might use this period to clear our minds and declutter our homes, making room for fresh ideas and projects. When the wind blows away debris or the rain washes the street clean, we can mirror the earth’s inherent wisdom by shedding old habits.
- As we let go of what has not been working, we create room for what will – new beliefs, new ideas, and new intentions. Contemplate what you are ready to let go of, it maybe an outdated assumption about yourself.
- Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – When to Quit.
- Moving on is not necessarily a sign of failure; as we move through life, we are often admonished not to quit, “stick with it”, “never surrender,” and “never give up.” When we are chasing our purpose, we frequently have to push through rejection and failure, which can be incredibly hard. Just as hard as it seems, you shouldn’t quit just because you don’t see success as quickly as you hoped, you shouldn’t quit due to frustration and uncertainty.
- Achievement requires commitment and perseverance. Most worthwhile goals take considerable time and effort. There are times to pivot, let go, and choose differently. Quitting, like all things, can be intentional and thoughtful, we don’t have to throw in the towel; instead, we can watch fold and return it.
- Delight and Joy Are Survival Mechanisms and Acts of Resistance | Ross Gay | Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Compassion is the sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress and a desire to alleviate it. Compassion’s Latin root is pati, which means to suffer with. Everyone is going through something you know nothing about; show some compassion because it goes a long way to make the person going through a trying time feel better. You never know what your kind words or listening ears could do to soothe someone going through a hard time. Life is going to happen to all of us at some point, and the more you can be compassionate with others, the easier for you to have self-compassion.
We live in a world where we are no longer listening to each other; we are all glued to our phones, and eye-to-eye conversation is becoming a rarity; we would rather text than have conversations. We judge people without really knowing what the full story is; we jump to conclusions, project our fears and insecurity and rarely listen to each other. Being compassionate is an opportunity to learn about
In 2013, I participated in my first full 42.2 KM marathon and finished the race in over five hours. I had stumbled into marathon running, had just lost my closest cousin, and was looking for something to distract me from the grief. It’s been ten years since I ran that race, and I have never looked back. I have run over 20+ marathons in numerous cities, I ran six full marathons in 2022, and I am running across the ten Canadian provinces in 2023 (6 done, 4 to go).
It will be a dog fight, relentless pursuit of your goals, dealing with doubters, consistent practice, grit, brutal focus and perseverance. The greatest battle we have to fight is the battle over self; starving your distractions would require a lot of self-discipline and single-mindedness of purpose. The champions and greats we admire have something in common: they put in a lot of hard work in their craft through sessions, laps, routines, habits, and consistency. Chinese military general, strategist and writer Sun Tzu noted in his book The Art of War:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Getting to the top is going to require a lot of sacrifice, doing the work, especially when most people are not paying attention. In our social media impatient world, working on yourself for a long time before you take your craft to the next level is becoming more challenging by the day. We focus on networking instead of doing the work on ourselves and want to be an influencer instead of influencing ourselves first. Your resolve to get things done, no matter what you are dealing with, will determine how far you go in life. As motivational speaker Les Brown often said,” Life is a fight for territory, and once you stop fighting for what you want, what you don’t want will automatically take over.“
You are for a reason; until you discover your purpose here on earth, you will remain unfulfilled. The number one work you have is to figure out your goal here, and when you find it out, use that gift to serve humanity and make the world a better place. Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs once observed:
Your life changes the moment you realize that no one is coming to your rescue and that you can change the course of your life by making good decisions over a long period. Success is never an accident; it is a result of good choices and habits over a long period, and Failure is not usually a coincidence; it is a result of bad decisions and practices sustained over a long period. We get rewarded in public for what we repeatedly practice in the dark. You might think no one is watching you, but people are lurking around, waiting for the crowd to validate your work, and they jump on the trend.
Cultivate good habits to achieve the success of your decision. If you want a healthy body, eat great food and have a consistent movement routine. Control your urges and regulate your addictions, such as phone and internet addiction. If you want a different result in your life, you must make some bold decisions. If you work hard, what is hard will work but if you take shortcut, you will be cut short.
- Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Gezellig
- In our fast-paced world, we want to be active and productive, but to achieve productivity, balance and fulfilment; we need to break from the stress of modern life. Chronic Stress can lead to a whole lot of serious health conditions.
- Make time for activities that are fun, relaxing and nurturing. The Dutch word “Gezellig” describes places and experiences that are pleasurable & comforting. Gezellig means cozy, quaint, or nice.
Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – Self-Distancing
- If you are struggling with a decision, try playing with your proximity to the problem. A little distance may be all that is needed to make the picture clear.
- Mastering Money to Thrive in a Recession | The School of Greatness
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.
You are not promised tomorrow; today could be your last day. We all know this unconsciously, but we do not live our lives consciously with a sense of urgency. The internet and social media are some of the most excellent attention grabbers of our time; there is so much to do online with tweets, videos, news, learnings, photos, etc. I firmly believe that the internet is one of the greatest innovations of our time, and it has made our lives easier. One of the reasons that most of us spend a lot of time on our screens is not knowing the alternative things to do with our limited time. Our world suffers from a loneliness pandemic; we seem to have more online connections but less communication.
As the famous saying goes, “He who fails to plan plans to fail.” Success is never an accident, and failure is not always a coincidence. Success is achieved by making good decisions over some time consistently, while Failure comes around when one makes terrible decisions continuously over some time. As former United States President Dwight Eisenhower once quipped, “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” It is not enough to have a plan; one must relentlessly execute it. Before his fight against Evander Holyfield, former heavyweight champion Iron Mike Tyson was asked by a reporter if he was worried about Holyfield’s fight plan. He said: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
It is not a matter of if but of when: “Whatever would go wrong would eventually wrong.” The key to navigating the challenges and vicissitudes of life is to persevere, endure the trying times and keep it moving. In his 1960 Founder’s Day address speech at Spelman College 1: “Keep Moving from This Mountain,” American minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr. identified four symbolic mountains -relativism, materialism, segregation, and violence- that must be overcome. Martin Luther King Jnr. It implored the audience to persevere and keep moving with faith. He asserted:
Keep moving, for it may well be that the greatest song has not yet been sung, the greatest book has not been written, the highest mountain has not been climbed. This is your challenge! Reach out and grab it and make it a part of your life. Reach up beyond cloud-filled skies of oppression and bring out blazing stars of inspira- tion. The basic thing is to keep moving. Move out of these mountains that impede our progress to this new and noble and marvelous land.
Your mum was right; she probably admonished you with one of these statements: “Don’t hang around the wrong crowd,” and “If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” This is one of the few things that most parents get right: being able to spot and advise their children against hanging around wrong influences. They know this because they know what hanging around bad influences did to them and the consequences of not setting healthy boundaries against bad associations. Keeping fake and toxic people around you could get you killed, as they do not have your best interest at heart. For most of us, because of the fear of loneliness, we hang on to energy drainers, dream killers, frenemies disguised as siblings, parents, childhood friends and colleagues.
Life will happen to us all at some point, whether getting fired, having our hearts broken, being betrayed by trusted family and friends, dealing with a toxic relationship or being frustrated with a situation, among other challenges we all face. Whatever would go wrong would eventually go wrong at the least expected time. It is not a matter of how things will go; it is a matter of when. We cannot control the weather, but we can control how we go into any weather. As the Scandinavians would say, “There is nothing like bad weather; what we have is bad clothing.” The challenge for most of us is that we constantly try to control everything in our lives. Instead of changing ourselves, we try to change others; instead of wearing appropriate clothing, we complain about the weather; instead of getting better, we get bitter. Instead of looking into the mirror, we look outside the window by blaming others.
At the core of most of our relationship issues is everyone wanting to be understood before understanding the other person. As the saying goes, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” We all want to be heard, understood and seen. One of our most significant cravings as humans is the need to be understood and not be misunderstood, especially by the people closest to us. In our age of social media, we hardly listen to one another, we tweet a lot but little with is been transmitted, we hear but we don’t listen, we don’t seek to understand one another and that is the reason for most of the chaos we have in the world.
American talk show host Oprah Winfrey is often considered one of the most influential women in the world and at the heart of her influence is her ability to get people talking and sharing from their heart. She tries to listen to emphatically to her giest be they celebrities or ordinary people. Oprah ran her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, for 25 years, from 1986 to 2011. In the Show Finale of The Oprah Winfrey Show on 25 May 2011, Oprah made a statement that underscores the truism that we all seek understanding. Oprah commented:
According to The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) 2023 Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report, Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America for the third year in a row with 8.9 million players in the United States over the age of six years old, and a growth of 39.3% over the last two years. Participation nearly doubled in 2022, increasing by 85.7% year-over-year and by an astonishing 158.6% over three years.
I am an empath to the core, and I tend to see people as who they can become and not what they are presently. One of the challenges of seeing the best in people all the time is that, at some point, they begin to take it for granted, misuse the privilege or not understand my motive. One of my core personal philosophies is to give what I want. When I want money, I give it out; when I need encouragement, I inspire others; and when I want strength, I stay to give others strength. One of the hardest things to do in life is to try to change people. Leadership author John C. Maxwell observed that there are three catalysts for change: People change when they hurt enough that they have to change. People change when they learn enough that they want to change. People change when they receive enough that they are able to change.