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The Power of Internal Reflection

Self Reflection

At the start of the month, my family received the worse news anybody could expect; we lost a family member. It is devastating news and it’s been overwhelming for all of us. While each of us deals with death differently, there is an underlying commonality that brings us together. Death spurs internal reflection of our authentic selves and an appreciation for the lives we are blessed to have.

Our lives are the summation of our decisions up until this very moment. They define our integrity, the way we perceive the world, perceive our selves, and perceive others. We don’t spend enough time reflecting on our journeys because “we don’t want to live in the past.” But it’s the past that often times helps determine the futures we want to lead. Think of a time in which you shared a story about somebody who passed. Each great memory we share is because of a decision we made to be there at that exact moment. Use these stories to gain clarity about the decisions you’ll make in the future.

We do this because it’s a reminder that we often take life for granted. It’s not on purpose, not because we’re too busy, or even because we forget. It’s because we’re simply living our lives and lose sight of what’s important. We all do it and it’s at times like these, when somebody we love losses what we hold dear, that brings us solemnity and reflection. These are the times that we should take stock of our lives;  appreciate what we have, visualize what we want in our lives more than ever, and seize the days that we have! We only get one chance in this life and we have to maximize our time to fulfill our God-given potential.

The power of internal reflection comes with the candid realization that we are on the right or wrong paths, that we should be taking steps toward new goals, re-imagining old goals, and prioritizing certain aspects of our lives.

Grateful for today

To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable

~Erich Fromm

What changes have you made since the loss of a loved one? Why did you make these changes? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below, subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Adapt for Self-Improvement

There are going to be times when we do achieve a goal or dream and it won’t be what we expected or wanted. It’s like that time when we were young and wanted to be a fireman, a police officer, truck driver, super hero, or be able to fly. When we actually get there, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. This isn’t a failure; yet it doesn’t quite feel like an achievement. It can be a difficult pill to swallow because of the time and effort we’ve put into getting there. It’s time for reflection.

So when we feel that lackluster moment when our goal has come to fruition, remember that it’s not the end of the road. We have to be honest in that moment that what we have been doing hasn’t been working for one reason or another. We’ve paid attention to all the feedback along the way, we were passionate about our path, and we were committed, but somehow we’re not satisfied with where we are. There are two paths to take at this point: Oh well, that was a waste of time or Now what? I’ve learned something for the future. The latter approach is on the continued path of never-ending self-improvement.

Adapting to change is what keeps us growing and moving toward the next goal. Take every piece and apply it to the next big goal or dream. If we’ve paid attention, put in the time and commitment for an authentic dream that doesn’t pan out they way we visualized then maybe it’s not the biggest goal we can reach. It wasn’t a waste of time. It’s like that old saying from our second grade classroom: Aim for the moon, because even if you miss you’ll land among the stars. It’s corny, but applicable. If Neil Armstrong wasn’t satisfied with the moon, it’s because he was meant to go much further.

When we need to adapt, it’s important to remember what we just did accomplish; even if it doesn’t feel like it. There are experiences and lessons that we have learned despite the fact that our goal isn’t what we expected. One of those experiences or lessons may be that piece that we need to realign our passions and energy. At this point, we can only fail by not doing anything and giving up because it seems hopeless. Go back through your goal/dream journal. Remember what you’ve learned and write them down. Even write down your lackluster goal, you never know when it will come back full circle.

Make this your crossroads when it’s time to adapt

What goal or dream have you had that didn’t come as true as you had visualized? Why? What next step did you take? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Establishing Your Direction

The principles I’ve covered over the course of my posts is intended to help establishing your own personal direction. It’s to help answer the question Where am I going and Who do I want to be? They’re the tools that I use everyday to help me be the person I want to be today so that I can become who I want to be. I write things down that I want in my life and I spend time visualizing it. I include as many details as possible. I especially focus on what I am moving towards,not away from something.

I have been blessed with my life with my family, friends, and opportunities. I have read many books and stories about great struggles in people’s’ lives and I am fortunate to say that I have never had to experience some of the things others have endured. When given the option, people avoid pain and seek pleasure. This behavior causes people to run from their problems to solve them rather than to face the truth to begin moving toward something better. By continually avoiding the negative things in your life, you’re subconsciously giving them power to lead and direct you in a way that is not your choosing.

Jon Kabat-Zinn said “Wherever you go, there you are.” No matter how far you go to get away from the issues you’re running from, they will follow you. This is because they are not external forces that influence you, but internal ones. We misperceive the direction that we are going because it’s not our authentic selves providing it. Instead, we need to acknowledge the truth about what we’re running from in order to establish our direction of where we’re going from here. Plant a stake in the ground, and know where you want to go. Imagine the difference between Neil Armstrong running from Earth rather than going toward the moon.

The first step is doing what I do: write them down. Giving purpose to what you want and where you want to go gives your authentic self the power and the passion to make it happen. By moving toward something of value, we strive for continuous self-improvement; but when we run, we do just enough to avoid the pain and plateau. Keep this list next to your accomplishments to remind yourself that you have successfully moved toward things of value before.

What pains have you avoided? Are they still dictating your direction? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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