LIVE BOLD & BLOOM: “12 Of The Most Important Values To Live By”

What values are important to a life well-lived?

What do you want to be known for? What qualities do you admire in others and work to cultivate in yourself?

And how do those qualities reflect your core beliefs?

Your life values are those that, once you identify them, help you with decision-making and provide the building blocks for your character — specifically the one you want to have.

For example, if one of your top value in life is courage, you’ll likely seek out new challenges so you can act in spite of the fear that comes when you’re faced with the possibility of failure or rejection.

And if forgiveness has recently become one of your values to live by, you’ll want to remind yourself of your new commitment when you’re about to spend time with someone who has hurt you in the past.

But what is the point of identifying your values, and how do they contribute to your growth and happiness?

To answer this question, we’re exploring 12 of the most important values in life and showing how they influence everything you do.

But before we do that, it makes sense to explain what values are in the first place.

What Are Values in Life?

Values are about what you consider important to the life you want to live. They inform your priorities and, when practiced consistently, form the character you want to have.

They’re rooted in your core beliefs about what makes for a life well-lived and about the behavior you want to model for others (including children if you have them).

Shared values are the basis for a common code – a value-based compass – that speeds up decision-making and unites those who share that code.

By expressing those values, the common code articulates different aspects of the shared mission and becomes the key motivator for those who share it.

You can take each of the following examples of values in life to create a code or motto that motivates you to practice that value every day, so it will become second nature when it’s most needed.

12 Most Important Values To Life By

 

1. Courage

Courage is about doing what you believe needs to be done — not in the absence of fear but in spite of it.

You might feel disinclined to offer a genuine apology out of fear that the other will reject it, but courage will help you apologize anyway, because it’s the right thing to do, out of respect for the one you hurt or offended. Whether they accept your apology or not is their business.

Courage requires a step outside of your comfort zone. If you have no fear, you don’t need courage, but when something you know you have to do makes you feel sick inside, courage is what makes you do that thing anyway.

Courage code: “I do what needs to be done, even if fear comes along for the ride.”

2. Kindness

Kindness is about treating others the way you want to be treated.

It’s more than just holding your tongue when you’re tempted to say something unkind; kindness looks for ways to make life better for others. It takes delight in lifting others up and reminding them they’re not alone, invisible, or insignificant.

Kindness and compassion are closely related; the latter involves the readiness to see a situation from someone else’s perspective and to give them the benefit of the doubt. It also takes into consideration what the other person has gone through and chooses to respond with kindness rather than anger or vengefulness.

Both demonstrate at least a subliminal appreciation for the connectedness of all living beings; when you show kindness and compassion to others, you benefit (at least) as much as they do.

Kindness to yourself is also important, and it’s the basis for self-care. Don’t forget to be as kind to yourself as you want others to be.

Schedule time each day for reasonable and thoughtful self-care, and practice mindfulness to be fully present for it. In practicing kindness to yourself, you also make yourself better able to render kindness to others.

Kindness code: “I treat others as I want to be treated — with thoughtfulness, patience, and respect.”

3. Patience

When someone is pushing your buttons, taking your time or attention away from something you want to finish, or making your life harder in some way, you practice patience by putting yourself in the others’ shoes, trying to see the situation from their perspective, and responding with kindness and respect.

No one wants to be treated like an inconvenience or a burden, and sometimes your priorities have to change to make room for something (or someone) more important or more likely to help you grow.

Patience code: “No matter how I feel when someone interrupts me or gets in my way, I always treat them with the same patience I hope for from others when necessity compels me to interrupt them or get in their way.”

4. Integrity

Integrity is about acting and speaking in accordance with your beliefs.

If you say one thing but do the opposite, witnesses to this contradiction aren’t likely to recognize you as a person of integrity. They’re more likely to accuse you of hypocrisy.

Though you may not be fully conscious of the disagreement between your words and actions, if you believe one thing but your actions profess a contradictory belief, you might feel a growing unease and unhappiness with the way you’re acting.

It doesn’t feel right. And you’re faced with a choice: either change your belief, or change your actions.

Integrity code: “What I believe is made clear by what I say and do.”

5. Gratitude / Appreciation

When gratitude is a core belief, you make time for it every day. You prioritize both feeling gratitude and expressing it — in your thoughts, in the words you speak or write, and in your attitude and actions.

You might create the habit of writing a daily gratitude list. And if you recognize the importance of emotion to the fullest experience of gratitude, you’ll likewise place a high value on a daily mindfulness practice.

Showing appreciation to others for their words and actions is also essential to making this a core value. Just as you appreciate it when others thank you for a job well done, for a thoughtful gift, or for rendering the help they needed, others appreciate that recognition too.

And far too often, we act as though others must already know how much we appreciate them. Don’t assume that they do; make sure of it.

Gratitude code: “In the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening, I feel and express gratitude for the good things in my life. And I make sure everyone who has done something good for me knows I appreciate them for it.”

6. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is about letting go of anger and resentment toward those who have hurt or offended you.

You’re not saying what they did was okay or not a big deal; you’re acknowledging that what they did was hurtful but choosing to forgive them in order to be free of the anger and resentment (toward them) that are making you miserable.

In forgiving them, you take back your power and choose happiness and peace of soul for yourself, even if the one who hurt you has never shown the slightest hint of remorse.

Everyone has a capacity for forgiveness — just as everyone has the capacity to hurt others with their words and actions — but not everyone has cultivated a habit of forgiveness.

We learn to be more forgiving by forgiving more. If you write morning pages, add a short list of people you forgive, adding what you forgive them for and something you appreciate about each person.

Forgiveness code: “I forgive those who have hurt me, because I know I’ve made mistakes and hurt people, too, and I want to be free of this anger and resentment. I choose freedom, and I choose to genuinely want (and work for) the good of those who’ve hurt me.”

7. Love

Love sees the good in everyone, and it wants good things for them. You may not always know what’s best for someone else, but if you love them, you want their ultimate happiness, and you want to see them grow.

You recognize that no one reaches adulthood with their character fixed and unchangeable; we’re all a work in progress. Things your 20-year-old self would say might appall your 40-year-old self. It’s part of being human if you’re a human that continues to grow.

Did someone you love do terrible things in their 20’s or 30’s — things they would never do now (in their mid-40’s)?

Forgive them for not knowing better before they learned whatever stopped them from doing those terrible things. And forgive yourself for not knowing that human beings are all capable of terrible things — just as we’re also capable of growth.

When you love someone, you don’t base that love on the kind of person they were ten or twenty years ago, or on the person, you hope they become or that you wish they were. Your love tells them, “You are enough — just as you are today.”

You recognize that their beliefs and behavior may change as they grow, but since your love doesn’t depend on what they believe or on whether you agree on everything, your love doesn’t lessen with time and with the challenges those changes bring.

Love code: “I love with both passion and understanding; real love is wide awake.”

8. Growth

If growth is one of your core values, you look for opportunities to grow as a person and to help others grow, too.

You take the time to identify your values and your overall mission, so you can live in accordance with it and become more and more the person you have to be in order to fulfill your mission.

You know that growth isn’t a destination but a process, and you want to enjoy that process and help others to enjoy their own.

You might take an interest in coaching or in group growth opportunities, where members support and encourage each other. You recognize true and wholehearted collaboration as an asset and a growth facilitator, and you prioritize growth over comfort and security.

Real growth might mean shaking things up at home or at work, but the more committed you are to your growth and to that of those you care about, the less you mind rocking the boat.

Growth code: “Every day, I’m growing more into the person I want to be.”

9. Listening

If active listening is a core value for you, you value others’ input and invest time and energy in learning how to see things from their perspectives.

So, it makes sense that when someone wants to tell you something, you give them your full attention and thoughtfully consider their words.

Whereas before you felt tense with the expectation of having to defend your beliefs against an unfriendly viewpoint, you’ve learned (through practice) to listen with genuine openness rather than an ego-centric fear of being proven wrong.

You recognize that you don’t know everything, and you don’t see even familiar things from every angle, so you appreciate it when others share their perspectives. And your body language as well as your feedback shows them you’re listening and that you care about what they have to say.

Listening code: “I listen to others with my full attention, so I can learn from them and show thoughtful consideration for their ideas.”

10. Respect

If you want to be known for treating all human (or living) beings with respect, you probably base that respect on something more fundamental than someone’s rank or social status.

Otherwise, why would you consider it a priority to treat all humans with equal respect — regardless of their age, income, or background?

Or why would you put more energy into making sure the least exalted among you is treated with respect than into making sure others treat you with the same consideration.

It doesn’t mean you don’t consider yourself equally worthy of respect, but you find it easy to put yourself in other people’s shoes, so in making sure they feel respected, you feel more respected, too.

Respect code: “I treat all living beings with the same respect with which I like to be treated.”

11. Self-Giving

Another word for self-giving is sacrifice, but self-giving has a more positive connotation. Essentially, you’re giving of yourself — your time, your attention, your energy, your treasure, your abilities — to help or enrich another.

Real love doesn’t hesitate to give of itself until it hurts, knowing that the momentary pain is nothing compared to the benefit won by that self-giving.

The word “selfless” implies that someone has given so much of themselves, they’ve reserved nothing for their own use or enjoyment, but in giving yourself — if you give out of love — your joy is in what that gift brings to others.

Self-giving can be overdone but only when the motive is pride (or insecurity) rather than love.

Self-giving code: “I give of myself to others not only to connect with them but to acknowledge our connectedness. What I give to them, I also receive.”

12. Vision

You may be used to talking about vision in the context of a specific person’s “vision for the future,” but the larger sense of vision is not something that you own or that comes from you; it comes through you and inspires you and others.

Because the larger vision isn’t confined to your ego, the power of that vision is free to attract, illuminate, and flow through you.

Your vision is connected to one that is infinite and uncontainable — you do not exist to serve yourself at the expense of others; you exist to cooperate with others in the creation of a community that benefits all living creatures.

Your personal vision — what you see as your response to the larger vision — informs your personal mission and the process by which you live out that mission.

It’s not about the lifestyle you want or the things you’ll have when you’re “successful.” It has more to do with allowing yourself to be led by the greater vision through your personal links to it — your intuition and inner wisdom.

Vision code: “I live according to a vision guided by my inner wisdom and judgment.”

Now, it’s your turn.

What are your values? And what will you do today to put one (or more) of them into practice?

One small action today makes more of a difference than you probably realize.

Think of each small action as a seed you plant that, as long as you nurture it along the way, grows into a healthy tree with roots and branches, shedding seeds of its own.

Your values are the life in every seed you plant. Choose the best values, and make them part of your blueprint for personal growth.

And may your courage and passion for growth influence everything you do today.

 

~via LiveBoldandBloom.com

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ANDY WHITELEY: “10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Your Cat”

As we grow to adulthood, we humans learn to override many of our natural tendencies. We “socialize” our children, and teach them to “behave” and resist many of their natural impulses. By the time we’re adults most of us are so disconnected from nature, and from our own nature, that we accept “adult” roles and responsibilities that pay the bills but stifle us, rub us the wrong way and even cause harm to each other and our environment.

Somewhere along the line, we lose touch with the simple wisdom of our natural instincts.

Needless to say, there are many spiritual lessons we can learn from observing nature. Just under the surface, our animal instincts are still there, just waiting to be tapped into, and reactivated, and honored — and what better role models than the animals we love and share our lives and homes with?

Here are 10 life lessons you can learn from your cat:

 

1. Keep a curious spirit and approach uncertainty with a positive attitude.

2. Physical touch is natural, and vital for our well-being.

3. Get plenty of rest, and spend time soaking up the sun.

4. Show gratitude. All it takes is a purr, or a squinty smile.

5. Stretch regularly. It’s good for body and soul.

6. Live in the moment. There is only now.

7. Play. Play. Play. Play. Play!

8. A happy life is a simple life. All we really need is love, a full belly, and a quiet place to rest.

9. Let the inner wisdom of instinct and intuition guide you. If it doesn’t feel good, walk away.

10. Be fearless. Live like you’re on your ninth life.

 

~Dedicated to Gracie the cat, whose simple, loving approach to life inspired this article.

 

Artwork by Ascension Avatar 

“Foozie” (1976)

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

NIKKI SAPP: “How To Be Confident While Remaining Humble”

“There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance… it’s called humility. Confidence smiles, arrogance smirks.”

~Unknown

 

Somewhere along the line what we recognized as confidence may have been misconstrued a little. We started associating traits like aggressive, loud, opinionated and arrogant with being a confident person. You’ve probably seen the type, or maybe you are the type.

They know FOR SURE that what they believe is the unequivocal truth. Therefore they need to tell everyone about it… constantly.

When they aren’t able to convince someone to believe exactly as they believe they may be caught calling others, “asleep” or a “sheep” or any other plethora of derogatory names that I probably can’t mention here. We also may have misconstrued what it means to be humble a little bit too. Being Humble is associated with weak, shy, meek, and someone who cowers to others.

Someone who is so unsure of themselves or their beliefs that they keep them to themselves and are too insecure to tell everyone they meet their opinion on everything. Is there a way to be both? Can a confident person also be a humble person? In order to answer that question we must dissect what it means to be truly confident, and how does “artificial confidence” come about.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself the whole world accepts him or her”

~Lao Tzu

 

There are many reasons a person may develop artificial/arrogant confidence. One may be cognitive dissonance, which means they may be holding on to a belief so tightly that when evidence is presented that contradicts this belief they may be completely unwilling to look at the new evidence. They may have become so attached to this belief that it has become a part of their sense of self.

Since they are completely attached to who they think they are it may be a painful experience for them to open their mind up and see things from a different perspective. The actual energy behind holding on to a belief so tightly that you are unwilling to let it go is fear.

The human ego is always afraid to be found out, so to speak, therefore, any threat of someone or something coming along and debunking one of its belief attachments may bring about a negative emotional reaction such as anger. Anytime anger is involved we can be assured that fear is the culprit behind it.

Genuine confidence doesn’t need to get angry because there is no part that fears being wrong or that others aren’t believing them. Another reason a person may develop artificial confidence is because they are insecure.

An insecure person may not truly believe in their theory or themselves so they feel if they can convince others that they are absolutely the right one they can at the same time convince themselves.

This is often done in an aggressive manner, because they are attached to the outcome of people believing them. Again, the fear behind not achieving the outcome they desire is causing them to act in a rude or aggressive manner. Genuine confidence can remain quiet, kind and humble because there is no underlying fear that needs other people to believe exactly what they are saying.

Genuine confidence is humble. It kind of realizes that most people are operating from their own level of understanding and trying to convince them that they are “stupid” or “wrong” usually won’t work anyway. The humble part of them realizes that LIVING and BEING their truth is always more effective than incessant talking or convincing ever will be.

Also, humble confidence isn’t attached to being right. In fact, it happily welcomes new ideas and beliefs because it knows that only when it opens itself up to seeing things from all perspectives is it able to perhaps learn something new.

“The time which people spend in convincing others, even half of this time if they spend on themselves, they can achieve a lot in life.”

~Arvind Katoch

 

In order to maintain humble confidence about our beliefs we must do two things. One is question ourselves….constantly. You may ask yourself, “Do I know absolutely without a doubt that this belief is true?” Meaning, “Did I see it with my own eyes”- normally the answer to this will be no.

So not to say that you won’t have some beliefs about things that involve situations that you weren’t physically there, but it just means that you always maintain a healthy sense of doubt about your beliefs.

This doesn’t mean that you’re unsure of yourself, it means you are wise, because it means you are open to hearing new evidence. Or you can ask yourself, “Is it possible that I am so attached to this belief that it has become a part of who I think I am?” Or even, “Does it matter if the person I am telling about my belief believes me or not? In this present moment does the fact that they are convinced or not convinced change anything in this exact moment in time?”

“Confidence is silent.

Insecurity is loud.”

~Unknown

 

You may find that most of the time, the answer to that is “no.” The other thing a person can do in order to remain humbly confident in their beliefs is to realize that every person they come in contact with can only understand things from their own level of understanding. Which means they are only operating from their own personal programming which may or may not be completely different than yours.

So yes, there may be times when you tell someone something and you enlighten them to something that they hadn’t thought of before but there will also be times where any effort to convince will fall on deaf ears.

When you are unattached to the outcome, you will be fine with either without getting frustrated or angered. Once we realize that our “truth” may not be someone else’s “truth” we can completely relax into interpersonal relationships and take every interaction with a human being as a potential learning experience, which will allow us to always be learning and growing as a person.

 

~via FractalEnlightenment.com

DEJAN DAVCEVSKI: “The 3 Best Mental Tools You Already Have That Will Help You Build A Better Life”

Most of us know how we want to live. We know exactly what we need to do, maybe even how, and yet less than 1% of the people are living on their terms. Why is this?

The short answer is that people lack proper education, nobody has told them that there are mental tools they can learn to use, nobody has showed them how.

Just like you need tools to build, for example a house, you need mental tools to build the reality you want to live in.

There are countless mental tools developed by people who were in desperate need of them. These people needed these tools so much that they created them to help themselves.

Before you go out exploring all the existing mental tools, here are the 3 best and most essential ones you will need to create a better life for yourself.

The 3 Best Mental Tools To Build Better Life:

 

1. The 5 Second Rule.

Most of you know “The 5 Second Rule” to be something that applies to food that you might have dropped. But this is a different rule.

This is a mental tool developed by TV host, author and motivational speaker Mel Robbins and it’s the main thing that helped her rise even higher when she was hitting rock bottom.

This so called “5 Second Rule” is really simple. All it means is that whenever you want, or need, or should do something, count from 5 to 1 and lift off into action.

Mel first started using this mental tool in the mornings, when she felt like not getting out of bed. She started counting 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and on 1, without thinking, she just got up.

The truth is, you will never going to feel like it’s the perfect moment for taking action. However, with this simple tool you will have mental leverage to launch yourself into action.

2. Turn ANTs Into PETs.

So, of course, we are not talking about actual ants. ANT is short for Automatic Negative Thoughts and PET is short for Positive Encouraging Thoughts.

Dr. Daniel G. Amen got the idea when his home was infested with ants. He looked at the real ants and realized that most people have minds that are infested with negative thoughts.

Most of us think the same 90% of the thoughts every day, and most of these thoughts are negative. There are over 20 mental distortions that twist our reality to seem more negative.

There is an easy tool that Dr. Daniel developed, to turn ANTs into PETs, and it’s in a form of asking yourself 5 simple questions whenever you notice a negative thought.

Is the negative thought true? Can I absolutely know that it is true? How do I react when I feel this thought? Who would I be without this thought? What’s the opposite thought?

3. What’s Pulling, What’s Pushing?

If you are like most of us, you have had a dilemma when you didn’t know what to choose between two or more choices. Most of us have such dilemmas daily.

And this is normal. However, most people don’t really know how to choose the best out of all their conflicting options.

There is a simple mental tool you can use, in a form of 2 simple questions that will clarify so many things for you.

Whenever in a dilemma between two choices ask yourself “What’s pulling me in that direction, love or fear, abundance or scarcity?”

Now ask yourself “What’s pushing me in the opposite direction, love or fear, abundance or scarcity?” Choose the options that are inspired by abundance and love.

 

~via LifeCoachCode.com

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: Staying Present In The Now — Here’s What You Can Do To Pursue Your Dreams”

Every one of you has probably noticed that regardless of how hard you try, you cannot make your long-run plans anymore. It just means that when you try even harder, you will probably make certain things happen.

However, today’s lives are not working in that way anymore. Instead of making plans and then working hard on them, you are guided to ask for someone to guide you and set your intentions about the following two or three steps towards that same intentions.

However, unless that guidance comes, nothing is going to work well, no matter what you do.

“Making the things work” ended.

The time of ‘making the things work’ has ended. Are you waiting for your guidance to show up? Are you permitting your life to open out just as it is going to? For a lot of people, this may seem like you are standing still.

However, when you remain still for a more extended period, you can notice that the approach does not mean not taking any action, but it is simply about staying here and be present, to every level of your knowing and being.

Staying very present is aware action.

When you stay present at every level means that you are taking conscious action. So, it will allow you to be right in that present moment — entirely.

It is going to put your focus here and right now. You will look toward your future, but you are not really overlooking what happens now, as you are quite busy as you focus on far off goals.

To be and remain present will allow your soul to come next to you entirely. So, this is the place from where guidance of everything you have to do appears — your soul.

Your soul wants to be the creator of your life.

Your soul wants to live inside you and through you. This is the reason why it creates the conditions which require you to widely open to it.

Also, that is why your soul drives the shift in your human experience. It wants to create your life with you. It also intends to be the co-creator of your life and even the rest of this world.

It seems like the soul has conspired. It does not let your long-term plan to work as you want, as it wants you to become more present and long enough, so it may come into you more entirely.

Deep breathing, meditating, or journalling are some things which you can do in order to connect with your soul and also become profoundly present. A lot of people do these things or take actions in this simple way.

What is going to happen when there is a specific thing waiting inside our imagination, and which desires to actually be born within us?

Usually, it may feel as our difficulties can make our dreams look like they are impossible to happen, so we will not believe that it will occur for us. Also, it can look like the ones that achieved higher levels of success actually have a better, to begin with than other people have.

But, success cannot come overnight, although every one of us has the chance to achieve it. When we faced tough times and struggles, most of us that were successful started bad and also experienced heartbreaking difficulties and struggles first, and that made us find the other self that transformed us.

So, at times we feel like we are not getting anywhere, we should not surrender, because the dream and idea were planted in our minds for some specific reason and it is all on us to show it — we can do it!

We should not get bitter, but get BETTER.

At a time of misfortune and rough times, we will probably think why us?

However, those times do not imply that we need to be stuck there forever. Tough and difficult times occur to every one of us, and the way we overcome those times is what later on determines our lives. Sometimes, such times can destroy us and lead us to take become addicts of drugs and alcohol. However, when such strong emotions may get focused on our purpose and dreams and gain a more constructive form, it will be time when every single thing may turn around.

A person named Helen Keller, the one that was born blind, deaf and dumb, and who marked the history of the great of life, is actually the evidence that regardless of the circumstances, a person can never be defeated.

 

“Every single failure or traumatic experience can come with a seed of equivalent success.”

~Napoleon Hill

 

The person who changed this whole world, as he invented cars, named Henry Ford, comes from a family that was uneducated and poor. However, he was working with everything he possessed, and he never waited for something to occur by chance. Instead, he followed his dreams, so the world also changed as a result of his great work. Moreover, Thomas Edison has failed about 10,000 or more times, without giving up of his dream.

There is just one difference between the ones that succeed and the ones that don’t, and that is never surrendering.

Here, we will present you the six steps to make your dreams become a reality.

The six steps for specific goals by Thomas Edison:

1. Focus on your mind and the most particular thing you desire.

2. Think about what would you like and try to do and give in order to get what you want.

3. Schedule the event.

4. Write openly about what you really want, put the right time, and mention what you have the intention to give — then, describe all that clearly.

5. Then, read that statement two times a day prior to going to sleep, and also when you wake up.

6. In the end, convince yourself about it being yours.

We are not supposed to wait for chance or luck, because everyone that succeeds what he or she wanted did that with great hope, and wishing and also mental work prior to acquiring it.

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com