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As with most aspects of our lives, it is easy to let the negatives of any situation overwhelm the positives. The negatives stick out the most in our minds and it is hard to let go of it. Once it settles in, the only way we feel like we could feel better is by just letting it all out. Purging your emotions and feelings unto others. However, by letting the negatives overshadow the positives, you’re setting yourself up in all the wrong ways, especially in romantic relationships.

The concentration of the positives versus the negatives, it seems, is highly prevalent in relationships. Isn’t it incredible how we could be in such great relationships, but once something bad happens, such as a huge argument or misunderstanding, we forget all the good times and concentrate on the negatives. We have a whirlwind of emotions and sometimes even doubt the future of the relationship. That is how powerful of an impact a negative emotion can have on us. It can consume us. But what if we were to do the exact opposite in relationships, and allow the positives to consume us? Then relationships, and the world for that matter, will look completely different.

When we’re in relationships, it is the positive qualities that has attracted us to the individual. It is what makes us think about them all day during the pursuit and early in the relationship. However, as the couple begins to get to know each other better, negatives start to arise. But there is a difference between actual negatives versus pseudo negatives. Actual negatives are characteristics such as unfaithfulness, constant lying, and demoralizing you. These are actual negatives and if you’re in those kind of relationships, do yourself a favor and find yourself somebody more worth your time and effort. You’ll be happier.

However, pseudo negatives are those in which start to show up simply because no two people ever operate the same. They’re not really negative characteristics, but just quirks of the individual. For example, take this scenario: a couple moves in together. The guy always leaves his sock hanging on the side of the laundry basket because he plans to wear it again the same day (it’s true, it may be gross but we’re just trying not waste more than a pair for the day! Ha!). The girl always gets agitated because it is gross or would like the socks IN the laundry basket, not hanging on it. It’s silly, but I’ve heard several couples talk about it. Is it surprising that couples can actually get into a fight over this? With a bad day, wrong timing, or long term build up, yeah sure, a fight can surely happen!

Can’t one just laugh about a person’s “negative”? Is it actually a negative, or a pseudo negative? We all have quirks. So do you. Learn the love and laugh about the quirks instead of seeing it as a bunch of negatives that you can’t “handle” in the long run. See the pseudo negative as a positive. How?

"My boyfriend keeps hanging his socks over the laundry basket, so gross…but kind of silly!"

"My girlfriend is the worst cook and I always have to pretend to like it. But she tries and I appreciate it!" (To my gf: that wasn’t directed towards you, I promise! Ha :P )

Lighten up. Pseudo negatives are quirks that make your man or woman special, unique and fun. Enjoy and remember the positives. Appreciate the “negatives”. Know the difference between actual and pseudo negatives. Life is too short and you should appreciate and enjoy all the goodness it has to offer! A lot of it comes from being in a loving relationship with the right mentality!

So cheers to the power of thinking positively in relationships. Enjoy your present moments together. In doing so, it makes it easier to build a future together.

     

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Pride is a natural characteristic we all have. We need to have some sense of pride in order to know who we are and what we are proud of. Our pride is a part of our identity in which it helps to shape our values and show others our views on the world. However, when do we reach a negative aspect of pride? We’ve all heard the phrase “don’t let pride get in the way” and for good reason.


This week, we will concentrate on the negative consequences of pride in romantic relationships. Actually, I should say “romantic”, because having too much pride or using it at the wrong moments can truly make any relationship highly unromantic! It is a true fact that having arguments in relationships is normal and healthy, however, it certainly is not a good idea to keep an argument going merely because one or the other refuses to let their pride down. By not letting your pride down, it will almost always escalate the situation and you’ll find yourself saying things you don’t actually mean. What’s the sense in making a situation worse? Think about it. If you keep an argument going just because you want to “win”, do you really WIN? Situations get escalated, more stress is created, and you would’ve been better off winning by not letting your pride get the better of you.


The following scenario is one that happens in many relationships and is a great example of not letting the negative side of pride get in the way of your relationship’s happiness: the girlfriend gets mad at the boyfriend for whatever reason. The girlfriend starts to yell at the boyfriend. Boyfriend holds his tongue for a short period of time, but eventually can’t take the yelling anymore. He yells back. Tempers rise. No fun.


Many lessons to be learned from that scenario for the ladies and gentlemen! Ladies: guys do not like to be yelled at. It bruises our male ego and our natural reaction is to protect our dignity. Our pride is strong so if you’re going to yell, keep it short, for the benefit of yourself and your man. Ladies, you just need to get your point across and it won’t work by yelling. Likewise, for the gentlemen, hold your tongue! Try to remain calm and do not let your pride get the better of you. You don’t want to say things that you don’t mean. At all times, you must keep in mind that you should respect the woman you’re with and that you retaliating just to “win” the argument leaves you on the uncomfortable sunken couch! Your pride is strong, but you’re not more of a man just because you beat your girl in a war of words. Sometimes, being a man actually means keeping your pride in check, just staying quiet and biting your tongue because you know your relationship is not worth losing.


For both the ladies and gentlemen, the biggest lesson to be learned is that nothing is settled by yelling at each other. Both individuals in a relationship need to keep their prides in check and communicate effectively to each other. There is a major difference between standing your ground rationally and effectively versus standing your ground by backlashing. Learn to speak to each other in a civilized calm manner and you’ll be amazed by how much your relationship can grow. After all, if he/she is the one you want to be with, isn’t your personal pride a good thing to keep in check to help the longivity of your romantic relationship?


Then you’ll win. So will your significant other. And with enough practice with each other, you’ll be one step closer to living a happily ever after.


And in conclusion, for the occasion of Valentine’s Day, below is a reminder of how much you should cherish your loved ones. Remember, showing affection for your loved ones goes a long way so don’t miss a day of it :)

Love is the emotion that we all seek. The reason is because it brings upon an unlimited array of possibilities. What people may deem impossible, two people in love with the support of one another will say otherwise. With love, imaginations and dreams come to life. It’s an experience for a life time and true love comes unmatched. True love comes with the empowerment of the best feelings of the world.

Happiness to have found your other half.

Courage to take on any obstacle.

Amazement at the achievements you can accomplish together.

Peace of mind to know you have an unconditional support system.

You will both continue to discover all the best feelings that life has to offer as you embark on the loving life together. Always remember your love for one another. Cherish your past as that is what brought you together. Embrace the present and enjoy every minute you have with one another. Believe in the future and watch as your love grows into everything you have ever imagined.


   

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Expectations. We all have them. The reason why we have expectations is because we would just absolutely love it if everything went our way. Expect it and let it happen. Unfortunately, the real world does not work that way, especially in relationships. We all want to find that ideal person that fits us perfectly and meets all our expectations but that’s exactly what it is: ideal. In reality, very few of us actually get very close to it. Why? Well it’s kind of our own fault.

The reason is because we get so caught up in our own expectations that we don’t realize that what we may already have may actually be quite wonderful. Is it actually possible that our own expectations can blind us as to what is before us? Sure can, just recall all those fights you had with your boyfriend/girlfriend because you got mad at him/her. Then when things finally settled down and you got to talking, you realized you got mad because he/she didn’t meet your expectations, but in actuality did have sweet intentions in his/her actions.

The above occurs because you get so blinded with your own expectations that you fail to see that everybody has their own way of being thoughtful and understanding. It won’t and shouldn’t be just your way. You will get disappointed time and time again. In addition, who knows how many arguments it’ll add up to! And we all know those are never fun.

All it takes is a little bit of tweaking in the way we think to fully live and experience better relationships. We all know that relationships take a lot of work, but this is one hurdle that if you and your significant other can get over, then you can save a lot of stress and arguments. So yes, it is normal to have expectations. Some are reasonable, some are not. But it will always seem reasonable to you, at the moment. Nonetheless, you won’t find out whether your expectations were reasonable or not until later on. So learn to take a step back, calm yourself in any situations in which your expectations were not met, and take a breather. Ask yourself the following questions:

1) “Was there a reason as to why my expectations were not met? Perhaps I was expecting my significant other to be a mind reader, and unfortunately he/she is not?”

2) You tell yourself that you would have acted a certain way in a particular situation, but your significant other did not, so that is why you’re disappointed. However, you should ask yourself “Were my expectations not met because my significant other has other ways to show me that he/she cares versus the way that I expected? Were his/her intentions actually right, but I just didn’t like it because it wasn’t my way?”

3) Finally, ask yourself, “Were my expectations even reasonable?”

Imagine the significant amount of headaches you’ll save you and your significant other if you actually took the time to learn about each other. That is the only way that loving relationships last for a lifetime. Instead of being blinded by your own expectations, learn how your significant other acts and reacts. Learn how your significant other takes care of you and shows you affection, besides the obvious signs like hugging and kissing you. Go deeper into your significant other’s heart. Understand his/her true intentions and use that as your gauge to determine what is worth stressing and fighting over. Most things are not actually worth it. Many potentially great relationships end before it even begins because of our own personal expectations.

Relationships require a lot of team work. Two person team. Not just your own expectations. So learn to work together. Think together. Realize together. Observe and act together to be … HAPPY TOGETHER.


    

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It is officially February and it is the month of love! This month will consist of four weeks of articles about love, the good and bad. Love is something we can all relate to, whether we have experienced it directly yet or not. It’s a feeling that is unmatched. A feeling so powerful that anything can happen when two loved ones join together in harmony. But to get there, more likely than not, we had to experience some rough relationships before we get to the ones we truly love. But why is it that people let past relationships haunt them so much?

I believe that no matter how bad a past relationship was, it should never butcher the concept of love. It was simply a bad experience, but meant to bring you one step closer to finding true love. Bad relationships can be viewed simply as a scar on your skin: a scar will always be with you as it has become a part of you, but you can always look at it and laugh about how you got it. Laugh about bad times? Yeah, why not? You can laugh and joke about past bad relationships, the good and bad. But why would you want to recall bad times?

Well, those bad times are what helps you grow as an individual. Just like every other negative experiences in our lives, those are the moments in which we build our character, become stronger people, and discover exactly what we want next.

Before moving forward with knowing exactly what we want after bad relationships, it is important to point out that one must actually take the time to step back, be single for a period of time, and literally reflect on the relationship. If one nose dives into a new relationship too soon, he/she will end up in the same cycle over and over, simply hoping for a better chance at finding love. This will not work because you will likely date the same type of individual, with the end result being no different. Let’s be honest: most people rush back into relationships because of the fear of being alone or were too accustomed to always having somebody there for them. Understandable. But, certainly not wise. The only person who will suffer will be you because you will just keep losing faith in the all powerful feeling of love. So take this as a note that when you do get out of a bad relationship, take some time to be by yourself because it will benefit you greater than you think.

So, going back to discovering exactly what you want after a bad relationship is over. How does one discover this? Well, just taking the time to reflect and analyze what exactly happened. What were the characteristics of the other individual that you did not like? What did you two fight about the most? Were there certain traits of the other individual that may be “fun” in the moment but makes no sense to build a long-term relationship with? Did your goals align with one another? These are just a few examples of the types of questions you should ask yourself. Whatever your answers are and the more you ask yourself, the clearer you will see exactly what you want to find in your next relationship.

You mature and grow because you learn what you want because you do not want to waste time. As an added bonus, thinking this way also helps you avoid negative thoughts or feelings about the past. The past is the past and one needs to always move forward. No ill feelings, just positive growth! However, it may take several relationships for you to discover exactly the type of person you want to find, but won’t it be so worthwhile?

Don’t let past relationships haunt you so much. It happened for a reason: to help you find true love. So the next time somebody asks you what happened in your last relationship, instead of responding with, “Ugh, I don’t even want to talk about it”, answer with “It just didn’t work out but I learned tons from it and I know better what to look for in my next relationship.” Sounds better, and also puts you on the path towards the right direction.

So, cheers to bad past relationships! Thank you for helping us grow and moving us closer to finding true love!

 

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By Diane Lang

  1. Career Vs. Job- do what you love. Imagine you have a job where you work as least 40 hours a week then add an hour commute each way, that’s a lot of time to spend doing something you don’t like. If your parent then you have 2 jobs. Parenting is a 24 hours, 7 days a week, no holidays or vacation time job. So, you better like your job outside of the home or it will make a very stressful, unbalanced and unhappy life.

The happiest/balanced people will tell you they have a Career. They  enjoy going to work because it’s their passion. The first step you need to take to create a balanced life is find out your passions/strengths. Take a personality test if you need to and ask yourself some questions.
1. When you were a child what did you love to do?
2. If money wasn’t an option what would you love to do?
3. What causes flow? Flow is when time stands still, when your so involved in your activity that you don’t even notice what is going on around you?  

2. Personal/Professional growth - to remain balanced we need a mix of both professional and personal development. The happiest people are always growing and learning in both areas of their lives. If we stop growing both professionally and personally we becomes stale and stagnate which can lead to depression..  

3. Are your basic needs met? You won’t find any balance if your not taking care of yourself. This involves taking care of your basics such as: sleep, eating healthy, exercise, etc.

The other part is self- care - we usually feel unbalanced because we give a 100% to our work and then a 100% at home to our family but what about ourselves.
For me, self-care is a necessity, I schedule in “Me” time. I schedule in daily activities that will be two fold. I will be putting myself first and also doing things that cause happiness.


This includes: Gratitude checks (morning and night), exercise, reading, etc.
Write a list of activities that you love to do that involve your strengths/passions. Then in your daily calendar schedule yourself in. What keeps me motivated to add self-care is my child. A positive parenting tip - kids are visual learners. Telling my daughter she needs to take care of herself is one thing but showing her is even better. When my daughter see’s me exercising, reading a book, going out with friends, etc. I’m showing her respect for one self and how to be happy.  

4. Visualize what your balanced life would look like? I have clients come to me and say that their lives are unbalanced. When I say what would make your life better and more balanced, they aren’t sure. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed out and tired that we forget to focus on what we want. What kind of life do you want? Do you need more vacation time? Time with your family? A different job? You can’t make changes till you know what they are.  

5. Control - most of us spend a lot of time on what we CAN’T control and all that does is take up a lot time and negative energy. We can’t control anyone but ourselves. Write a list of everything you can and can’t control. The list with everything you CAN’T control, rip up. If you can’t control it, let it go. Take the list of everything you can control and ask yourself this question: What can I do about it now? What changes can I make?  

6. A lot of times we feel unbalanced but really we aren’t happy in our lives. So, take some time to be honest with yourself. What are you feeling? I have seen clients pre-occupy themselves with a lot of “Stuff” that they felt unbalanced and overwhelmed but after a lot of  thinking they realized they were filled up with “filled” activities. They would keep busy but it wasn’t anything important. They were avoiding their real feelings.  

7. Realistic - be realistic I haven’t meet anyone who has a perfectly balanced, happy life. We will have bad days, days we are rushing and feel stressed out. When this happen remember, it’s only TEMPORARY. We won’t feel this forever. Odds are you will be over in a few hours. It’s ok to feel stressed out sometimes. There is also good stress. Good stress motivates you to move forward and be the best you can be. So, don’t always be turned off by stress.  

For more information please visit my website: www.dlcounseling.com or e-mail Diane at Lifeline36@aol.com

   

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In our lives, we have all experienced betrayal. This is inevitable. Unfortunate, but true. However, how you handle the betrayal is what determines your character, as well as your future. Here’s a scenario:

Your friend does something that you take as a betrayal. It involves a third party as well. Now you refuse to be friends with either of them. Fine, no problem…right? Well, sort of. It just becomes a problem when you randomly encounter them and you have the awkward feeling of trying to avoid them. Then years go by and while you do not care for the situation anymore, you see them walking towards you. Yikes, change direction and hope they did not see you!

It looks like we have a grudge on our hands, and perhaps in your position, it was rightfully so. Nonetheless, a grudge is still an over-bearing burden on your shoulders whether in the present, or in the future when you have “forgotten about it.” In the present state of betrayal, it becomes an all-consuming thought in which you play out different scenarios in your mind, questioning their intentions, wondering how you never saw the signs, etc. In the future state of betrayal when you have “forgotten” about the situation, while there is no more anger, the grudge towards them will force you to still avoid them.

That sure does not sound like fun. It’s practically living a life with a giant boulder on your shoulders. The more grudges you have, the more boulders you will have have to juggle. It is bound to get heavy at some point! So, while many will say the easier way out of these situations is to avoid the individuals involved all together, I believe the exact opposite is actually true. Your easiest, and by far the best way, out of grudge situations is by confronting it directly. Confrontation in a manner that does not escalate situations negatively, but still works in your favor.

If you have been wronged and you were truly hurt from it, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Sure, perhaps it was somebody very close to you that hurt you, but don’t we all make mistakes? Are we all not guilty of making a big mistake at one point or another in our lives? Rather than holding a grudge against this individual, forgive and forget what he/she has done to you. As fast as you can. The sooner you do, the quicker the boulder will be off your shoulders. You may ask, “Why in the world would I forgive somebody who has wronged me?” Well, quite simply put: for your own well-being. Be the bigger person.

What is put forth above is the ultimate and true test of self-discipline and character. You have been hurt, yet instead of letting anger, sadness, or any negative feelings overwhelm your actions, you learn to put those feelings aside and move forward and learn from this situation. You have been hurt, but realize that by controlling your next and immediate actions in these unfortunate situations will help you grow as an individual ten-folds faster than realizing that you can forgive somebody a few years down the road.

This is not an easy task to do. It may sound absolutely outrageous and impossible to some. To others, it will click how much sense this actually makes. It makes sense because when you have been betrayed and you are able to prevent holding grudges, as well as being able to forgive the individual almost immediately, there is a great sense of liberation and pride in who you are. You get to avoid awkwardness. You get to move forward with your life knowing that you will not waste efforts in the wrong places. You have received the gift of greater wisdom. Your shoulders will not feel heavy, yet, in fact you will actually feel lighter because you will feel so proud of your discipline and growth.

You win.

If you are able to commit to this, life will look completely different, and in the most positive way. Once you have accomplished this once, it will be easier any time it may happen again. Pass it along once you have realized this way of life to anyone you care about! Help them feel liberated as well :)

   

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::in a deep announcer voice:: Well, hello and good morning to all the readers of alan-kong.com! I’ve been given a second chance at life and am fully embracing it. Will you do the same when your second chance comes?


Second chances in life do not come by easily, especially if you really mess up your first chance. Those individuals who fall to drugs and crime who wind up in prison or homeless especially have it tough in trying to get a second chance. What are the odds of a convict or homeless individual finding a decent job and living fairly? Pretty slim to none. So rare that those who actually do beat the odds will probably get glorified into a Hollywood movie!

So here we have Ted Williams, the man with the Golden Voice (I wonder if he’s going to get that trademarked). Remarkable and truly touching story. Ted Williams, due to drugs, lost everything that he had and became homeless. So in order to earn money, he would use his gift of voice to impress anyone he encountered, with the hope that he’ll bump into the right person. Well, it surely didn’t have to be a big shot media executive because with the power of social media, all it takes is an ordinary folk to make a story such as this go viral. Ted Williams was given his second chance and with the use of his Golden Voice, he’s got a golden opportunity in front of him. Kudos and congratulations to him on his persistence and opportunity to embrace his second chance at life.

While the news stories online primarily concentrate on Ted Williams, it is equally important to give some recognition for the videographer who went out of his way to truly help make this go viral. Before the original youtube video was taken down (because big media companies believed they had the rights after he appeared on their shows), the youtube user really had motivating words for the viewers of the video. He stated that he saw this man with a talent, the ability to admit his past mistakes, and the persistence to have a second chance. He pleaded with the viewers of the video to make the video go viral so Ted Williams may lead a different lifestyle. Well, his hard work truly paid off as there were millions of hits on the video overnight. Once Ted started obtain his job offers, the youtube user ended with a statement similar to the following: If you see anybody that truly deserves a second chance, try to be that individual to help them. Don’t be scared or hesitant, just do, and hope for the best for that individual’s second chance.

Pretty remarkable. A stranger going out of his way to help another complete stranger. How often does that even happen nowadays? Not as often as it should. The youtube user practically gave Ted Williams life again. That sounds like one of the best rewards in life. Emerson stated it best:

"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - that is to have succeeded."

Helping others through rough patches in their lives in one of the most rewarding aspects of living. It can become hard and frustrating for the helper during the process, but imagine the individual living it. When the needed perseveres and you have helped play a part, whether it is acknowledged or not, you have played a significant role in making the individual a stronger person. And for that, yes, you have definitely succeeded in life.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the hectic and busy lives of our own that we forget to slow down and realize that life is not about just living our own, but to enlighten and brighten those of others, whether it be friends, family, or strangers. We all try to find happiness in our lives, but many times we fall short. We are just “okay” or “content”. The reason is because you are trying too hard to make yourself happy. Do good for anyone you encounter, whether a smaller feat such as donating your time to a charity or an incredible one like transforming a homeless person’s life, and there is a guarantee that you will find yourself happier.

There will be times when you may put forth your effort in giving someone a second chance at life and it just does not work out. This is not to say that you have failed, rather you still have succeeded in that you have that good and desire in you. Realize this, remain persistent, and keep putting forth the effort! Together, we have some smiles to put on faces and happiness to fill into the lives of others!



 

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By: Joseph Kolodziej


Tell me if you’ve been here:   You open your eyes and you have just gained consciousness after a frustratingly up-and-down night of sleep and before you even realize that you have the chance to embark upon a brand new day, you think to yourself, ‘here we go again, another day to deal with.’  Has this been you?  It’s certainly been me more than I care to admit.  Before most days truly began we are in the mode of burying them in agony and doubt—before anything new even happens!     

And why?  Momentum.  Any type of behavior that repeats in both thought and action tends to build up a force of momentum with it and with that momentum gains its’ own kind of velocity and power.  It happens in both good and bad areas in life.  We may have a great deal of experience with negative momentum, assuming the role of victim—but we’re in desperate want of change.  But how do we do it?  We first make a committment.  For example, by deciding to spend the time and thought to write this article, I am giving myself a worthy commitment and a responsibility; we can all use goals, commitments and responsibilities to create more of what we want in life. These types of things create momentum shifts in our lives.  Simply, here’s how it breaks down:  

1.  We make a goal to function better and improve our lives
2.  We make commitments that foster that functioning and get the ball rolling.
3.  We develop responsibilities through those commitments and the process naturally repeats itself in a repetitive cycle.  

Fundamentally, here’s how we can approach day one with our new goal of self-improvement:   

When we first embark on this new mode, from the very moment we awake in the morning, we decide from our first thought that we want something to be different:  to be precise, we create a force of thought that triggers momentum in a new and precise direction.  The direction of that thinking creates another step in the form of a question:  ’If we want something different, something new, and something precise—what are I we going to do about it?  Are we going to carry that momentum of thought into action and pair it with a goal.  We say to ourselves, ‘If we want to do this, we will do this, and we will accomplish this because now we understand how to do so’ and so on.     

This same principle, though often cloaked in disguise is what keeps us shackled when we roam about our daily lives not understanding why nothing is changing.  We then can get stuck in powerful negative ruts, standing in one spot, because the momentum of habitually thinking the same way over, and over again creates the same patterns of action over, and over again and this is the velocity of negativity, it picks up speed through our force and uses momentum and repetition for it’s power.   It’s a lonely place to be no doubt, but once we know how to flip this pattern around and use these forces to help us develop the new habits we want, we  I realize we don’t have to stay shackled and the keys to the chains are given to us.  We create courage from eventually learning that change in  our thoughts create change in our actions, and learn also that our changes in action eventually lead us to accomplishing our goals and accomplishing my goals and the cycle naturally repeats itself for us.     

In short, but with much practice and study, we use this model habitually and in time get better at knowing how to how  ’keep on keepin on’ in the face of colossal challenges and obstacles.  This is our greatest controllable variable and exponential weapon against the effects of negative volition.  In closing, I’ll borrow a time-honored passage with a twist at the end and offer it to our collective memories:  ‘May the force be with us and work for us—not against us.’ 

Be well. Act well.  End well.  Repeat.   

In today’s society, it is unfortunate, but the music icons of our generation do not exactly steer its fans in the right direction. Pop culture, in general, does not do any justice for society. However, there is one band that has always caught my attention with its lyrics and especially their videos. Moving. Powerful. Real. True. NEEDED.

That band is Nickelback. Whether you enjoy their music or not, there is no denying that there is a very powerful message in their songs. The above video and song is titled “If Today Was Your Last Day.” Even if you have heard or saw the video before, watch this incredible video again. Listen to the lyrics. Below are some of the best lines from the song. As you read through it, take a moment to absorb what the words are truly saying and question yourself whether you are living these true words:

"My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day’s a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind”

"Every second counts ‘cause there’s no second try
So live like you’ll never live it twice
Don’t take the free ride in your own life”

"You know it’s never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
‘Cause you can’t rewind a moment in this life
Let nothin’ stand in your way”

Are you living your life as if it is a gift? Or are you really just taking a free ride? Are you living a life with purpose? More importantly, are you living in the present?

No matter where one is in his/her life, you must remember to live in the present. Your past is history. Whether you’ve made good or bad decisions, it has defined who you are today. Learn from the good AND bad, accept what is the past, and bring yourself to the present day. Before we reflect on the importance of living in the present day, a quick point about the future. Of course it is very important to plan for the future, that is a given. We all set out goals and objectives we want to achieve in our lives. However, in doing so, we tend to put off our current happiness as we seek future happiness.

"I will be happier if I earn the higher salary in a few years at my company"

"I won’t be satisfied with my life until I own my own business"

You get the point. We plan so much for our future, that we postpone our current happiness. How does that make any sense? Because you think you will be happier when you achieve your future objectives? What makes you so sure? Reality check, you are not sure at all. When you achieve your objectives, you will have set out new ones within that time frame and now you are going to postpone your happiness some more.

Live in the present. Learn to slow things down and appreciate the absolute beauty of life that surrounds you on a daily basis. When was the last time you went for a walk and simply smiled at how beautiful nature really is? Have you taken the time to really appreciate the laughter and good times with your friends and family? Or have you always thought about “business” during your leisure times? If your mind is not completely there, then you’re not living in the present. You need to take the opportunity to truly feel the gift that has been given to you. As the song says, each day is a gift, not a given right. You appreciate gifts. You express gratitude for gifts. Have you done so for your life?

It is said that when people know they have a limited time to live, they do not regret the things they have done, but rather, they regret the things they did not have the opportunity to do. If you live in the present and live each day as if it is your last, then you will achieve what we all sought for: happiness. Cliche? Sure, but that does not mean cliches are not true. There’s a reason cliche sayings have been around for a long time: it stands the test of time because of the truth to its words.

Embrace your present life. Live each day as if its your last. Unwrap your daily gift of life each morning with a smile on your face!

Note for the readers: No entries will be posted until 12/20/2010 as I will be on vacation with friends, living and enjoying every present moment with them! Thanks for your continued support!

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You are bored out of your mind, but you may not even know it.

It is time to break out of the monotony of living a zombie life. What is a zombie life? Well, you live life doing the same routine over and over, just like how zombies walk around aimlessly over and over. It is boring. It does not stimulate your mind, body, or soul. Routine is comfortable, but is not the most fun. So spicy up your life a little you zombie, a living thing just crossed your path!

All those times in which you have said, “I definitely want to try this at some point in my life” and you have never done it, take the time to actually do it. We all lead very busy lives, but we owe it to ourselves to stimulate our routine lives a little with something fun, new, and exciting. Find the time to actually get around to the planning aspect of discovering something new. Some planning will be quick, others will take some time, but nonetheless it will all be worth it.

The more you break out of your zombie routine, the more you will realize how much life actually has to offer. Sure, you already know what is out there, but you do not fully appreciate the magnitude of life’s offerings until you actually experience it. These great appreciations come out of feelings of liberation from your normal life and a sense of accomplishment that you have finally checked that off your list. It is a state of mind that cannot be replaced by your “normal” life. Remember and cherish this feeling. Then, become addicted to it.

Keep on checking off those experiences that you’ve always wanted to try. Make the time for it. You’ll quickly see and realize that your mind feels freer, you are not as stressed, and that actually trying out new experiences is one of the most important fruits of life.

Take that first step and try out a new experience.

Once you do so, congratulations, you have flunked out of Zombie University! You get to be alive again.