TABLE OF CONTENTS
2 DESIGN NEW HABITS
. One foot in-front of the other
. Deconstruct your fear
. Build Anti-fragile powerhouse
. Something must take a back seat
. Pleasure – Purpose Balance
3 DESIGN NEW VALUES
. Life Rules
. Life with purpose
. Curious Exploration
. Focus on positive qualities
. Shift attention to bigger and better things
. Focus on little zone of genius
4 DESIGN NEW CHOICES
. Progress principle
. Align Actions with Values
. Character – Search
. Establish Accountability
. Find true elixir of life
You are in your prime, the best time of your life, the height of your perfection, in full maturity, full health and strength – This is the time to navigate challenges with ease, live your fullest and energize your dreams. New mind-set, new adventures, new opportunities, new values and choices are highly possible, no matter what the number on your birth certificate is. You can feel ageless, beautiful and relevant. Using Science and the inspiring stories in life, the authors try to empower you to enjoy this truly fantastic time of your life. Midlife is not the beginning of your decline. It is actually a time to pursue your dreams. During midlife, you experience a second adolescence, a time to question authority, take risks, and re-invent yourself. You change your perception of this life phase and make the best of it in every area of your life. You can change your self-image and identify the false thinking, stereo-types and misconceptions that are holding you back. You can change your relationships by taking charge of your love life – whether married, partnered or reentering the dating world. You can stay relevant in the workplace or start a new exciting career. You let go of stress, cultivate resilience, create a more balanced life in your health and wellness. Spiritually, you find meaning and purpose while leading a life of gratitude. You become more ‘’You’’ than ever before, find the kind of happiness you never thought possible.
To reenergize your dreams, you need to improve your memory everyday: Develop your muscle memory, increase your brain power, think with clarity, creativity, and find value in yourself. Memory is like a muscle: The more you work it, the stronger it gets. The truth is that a person’s memory has no more sense than his conscience and no appreciation of habits, values and choices. It is all a matter of love. The more you love yourself, and memory, the stronger and stronger you become. When you know that your best is not good enough, you are able to accept your short-comings, reconsider your habits, your talents and gifts. This explains why the lifestyle you developed as a child determined your degree of success or failure. However, regardless of the past, you can develop a healthy lifestyle today. You can design and reenergize your dreams with new habits, values and choices. The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, and a man is valued by what others say of him (Proverbs 27:21).
DESIGN NEW HABITS
. ONE FOOT IN-FRONT OF THE OTHER
Leveling system is designed specifically with human behavioral psychology in mind. Our brains love progress, and we love to be rewarded when we make progress. It’s the same psychology behind why we feel good when somebody likes our photos. We are rewarded for it. When these activities take place, our brains release dopamine which makes us feel better and more accomplished. And then we chase that feeling. Infact, our brains can create new pathways with each repeated cue and reward. Understand this process and use it for good rather than for evil.
You don’t jump from level 1 to level 50. You go from level 1 to level 2 to level 3 and so on. There is a very clear progression from zero to Hero. The challenge is that you incrementally push yourself just a bit more, stretching to fight bad guys just slightly better than you are. You can apply these rules and mechanics to your life. Think of your life ambition as a series of tiny, incremental quests. If you can create 10 steps to mastery of a skill, then you can focus your energy on simply putting one foot in-front of the other, and the process will take care of itself. Also, it will make achieving process less fearful. This is a life-long journey. Take it step by step to crush one quest at a time and build momentum. Don’t worry about being able to accomplish the higher difficult items, take one step at a time to conquer the master quest. If you are somebody who wants to learn a new language, there is nothing stopping you from starting that quest right now. You start to learn the vocabularies, the names, greetings, food, culture. You may need to visit the country to get to know them better. There are more basic examples. When you pick a quest, break it into tiny levels. Spend 15 minutes to complete the first mini-quest. Incrementally – bit by bit move closer to mastery and completion of the main quest. Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness (CORINTHIANS 9:10)
21 An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning,
Will not be blessed at the end.
DECONSTRUCT YOUR FEAR
We fall and learn to pick ourselves up. Without taking risks, there can be no innovation in life. Without failure, there can be no growth. And without failure, we may never get to where we need to go.
The most common thing that prevents us from making progress in our missions and quests is FEAR; All heroes must confront their innermost fears – The fear of not accomplishing quests, the fear of disappointing others, the fear of public ridicle or shame. Fear is constant and unavoidable. That is completely normal. If you are truly interested in improving, growing and learning throughout your life, you need to consistently put yourself in increasingly challenging or uncomfortable positions that scare you. You need to know the best way to challenge yourself both physically and mentally. Do the very things that scare you; Fear and anxiety have the power to paralyze you, but they also give you a chance to acknowledge them without submitting to them.
Deconstruct your fear now. Whenever you identify something that you need or want to do but fear, ask yourself – What’s the worst that can happen? We often blow things completely out of proportion, when tasked making a decision – Getting rejected by somebody can feel like the end of the world. But five minutes later you realize you are in the same position you would have been in if you hadn’t talked to them. Thus, you can move on instead of spending the rest of your day worrying about ‘’what if’’, which is the worst; Also, quitting your job and potentially failing at a business venture could seem devastating. You later realize that you’ve always been okay and you will always BE okay. You just need to downsize your house, live with a friend, sell some stuff and get by until you get back on your feet.
Whatever it is you are afraid of, take five minutes and write down specifically what’s the worst possible outcome if things go poorly. And then write down what you can do to fix things if that worst-case actually materialize. Take baby steps, accept it and relax. Don’t give yourself a chance to back-out or break-down. There is strength in numbers. Don’t be afraid to turn to others to help you. Conquer and deconstruct the fear. Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. Most often, it takes the shape of failure. Remember, even failure can teach you more about yourself than any success you’ll ever have. Do the things that scare you first, get over anxiety, and deconstruct your fears. The Bible tells us that – Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him (PROVERBS 30:5)
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart
BUILD ANTI-FRAGILE POWER HOUSE
A strong and healthy body will allow you to accomplish so much more in your game of life. Your adventure quests will be easier, your enjoyment will be higher and your sense of satisfaction and self-worth will be greater. A strong body is the natural companion of a strong mind.
Get stronger and more resilient as more chaos is introduced into your life. Handle with care, if there is a disturbance or variation in how the object is dealth with – ‘’ This object will most likely break’’. Keep out of the harmful ways and have better chances of survival. Be sturdy, well-built and remain resilient no matter how many shocks hit you.
Majority of life stories assume that humans fit into the ‘’Fragile’’ category but over-time we learn that humans are actually more antifragile than we think we are. If we pick up something heavy, our joints, muscles and bones rebuild themselves STRONGER than before – This is the backbone of strength training. Conversely, if we DON’T partake in physical activity, our muscles and bones can actually weaken; In the same way, if we introduce an illness into our body, thereby introducing chaos at a certain dose, our body builds resistance against that illness and becomes stronger against it. This is the foundation of vaccination and immunization. As children, we learn small bits of chaos, amounts of discomfort and failures. Thus, we are more prepared to survive as adults. If sheltered from everything when children, and real chaos hit us as adults, we get un-prepared to handle it. In reality, by nature humans are antifragile creatures at heart. We actually need chaos, disruption and failure in our lives or we will wither and die. If you want to have optimum strength and stamina for your various life quests, you must allow the right amount of chaos to help build your body into antifragile power house – Too little, your body will adapt, if too much, you could get sick or injured. But just the right amount, your body will be forced to adapt and recover stronger than before. If you are interested in building a body that will allow you to accomplish anything with a decent level of proficiency, the foundation of everything you do will be strength-based. A strong adventurer is a happy and healthy adventurer who will be up for whatever come on scene. After- all, you need to have your body prepared and ready for anything if you’re going to start going on adventures and pass on the touch to the younger generations. The Holy Bible tells us that – Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father. (PROVERBS 17:6)
Also, PROVERBS 19:20 reads –
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days
—————————————————————————————————————————————–SOMETHING MUST TAKE A BACK-SEAT
Great sacrifice is often required of the hero along his or her journey or to achieve transformation and reach his or her full level 50 percentage potential. Our heros are often faced with a choice that decide the fate of mankind and that requires them to sacrifice everything they hold dear, including, at times, their own lives. It is these sacrifices that bring the story to the third and final act and prompt the hero to arrive at the final few steps of his journey. Nobody is asking you to lay down your life but if you truly want to complete your hero’s journey, sacrifices are required of you. To become who you have decided it’s your destiny to be, after level 50, you are going to face a tremenduous number of choices along the way – especially as you get closer to elite status – How you spend your money, how to spend your time and how to priorize adventures. Something must take a back seat – To level up with other elite players, others must fade from – Supporting role to extra burden. If you are going to build a body or have mental fortitude, it might require you to put short-term gratification on hold and sacrifice certain comforts in order for you to grow, because the cause behind the adventure is bigger than you. You may have to volunteer your innerself, make a real difference, transform your best self, and truly level up in the game of life to make the cause bigger than you. Every decision represents a chance to get closer to or further away from your goals but if you want to reach the highest level of your game, some sacrifice will be required of you. Old friends, old habits, old eating styles, old game favorites, old relationship, old occupations – some or all these things may need to be sacrificed to achieve the goal. Heros don’t exist in a vacuum. Also, desire to lift up those around you when you rise inorder to become your best self. If you don’t, your future self is at risk. The world needs you to step up and volunteer your current self as tribute – To pay tribute you need the ability to say ‘’YES’’ to the right opportunities and ‘’NO’’ to the wrong ones. That is the ability to actively choose to build and prioritize adventure and to willingly sacrifice certain things that could bring immediate comfort. You can sacrifice unhealthy life-style choices to create comfort. It is better to be on the bottom of the ladder you want to climb, than at the top of the one you don’t want. Certainly, something must take the back-seat.
Proverbs 21:5 says
5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.
Proverbs 21:21 says
21 He who follows righteousness and mercy
Find life, righteousness, and honor.
PLEASURE – PURPOSE BALANCE
Brain is constantly looking to conserve attentional energy, but much of what people do is habitual. However, in reality we are aware that habits are easy to create but harder to break. A specialist described ‘’Habit Loop’’ in three steps –
. The Cue, as a trigger which sends brain into automatic mode;
. The Routine, as the physical or mental act itself
. The Reward, which determines whether any loop is worth remembering.
Once a habit loop is established, it becomes difficult to inhibit even when it conflicts with changes in motivation and conscious intentions. Research showed that the best way to change a habit is to change the routine, leaving the cue and reward alone. It is much harder to remove the need, to relieve it, than it is to look for the routine. This is the simple principle of making good things easier and bad things harder to do. For instance, we know that pornography is bad and may lead to a criminal offence. If you have developed the bad habit, the pictures send triggers to your brain in an automatic mode. Your mental desire to watch it becomes the routine. The ultimate rewards include – Less desire for your marital partner, disregarding women even your own mother. If you asked yourself – What you have gained by looking at the immoral pictures – The answer is NOTHING; Then, why don’t you hange the routine; Brain is constantly looking to conserve energy. Create more love for your wife or husband, mother and siblings – Take them to movies, recreational centers, play games together at home, eat together and more importantly – Pray together. Thus, you dissolve the ugly habit and love the world better and you feel happier. Happiness is defined as experiences of pleasure and purpose over time. You need to balance your pleasure-purpose principle. The desired goal is for you to change your ugly ambition and chase new treasure chest. The key to finding happiness is to find the ways in which going with the grain of your human nature makes it easier to be happier. For example, my grand-daughter made a New Year Resolution of 2017, to read more. I love the purposeful desire, and I encouraged her. You can help yourself become happier by design. Humans are creatures of their environments. Pay careful attention to what other people do. Imitate good friends. Take positive steps to balance your pleasure-purpose principle. A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bone (PROVERBS 17:22)
Apostle Paul preached to the Galatians like this –
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the house hold of faith
DESIGN NEW VALUES
. LIFE RULES
Some people take life-way seriously, and they don’t have much fun. There are rules that govern decisions everyday to maximize fun, health, growth and adventure. Some valued rules are written below
. Something that makes you happy, gets your heart pumping and keeps you in shape. These things are out there, created for everybody. Keep searching and keep pushing until you find them. Do them, they are crucial parts of adventurous life.
. Never you leave your wingmen. Pick them up. When they are down, motivate them. When tired, push them. When they need encouragement or tough love, yell at them and love as never hurt before. They will do the same for you one day, and you’ll all be better off because of it.
. Question conventional wisdom. This is a social norm. That’s how it’s always been done. Find a way to appy it to your life.
. Take care of your business. We all have things we love – Things important to us, that make us who we are. As long as these things aren’t detrimental to our health, then, keep doing them. We also have obligations to our families, employers, and friends. Do what you say and say what you do.
. Take pride in yourself. Too many people blame their unfortunate situations on the government, the weather, their genetics, global warming, the economy, their parents and so on. Do not expect anything to be handed to you. You are not owed anything by anybody. In fact, it’s your responsibility as human to live the best life possible. You can be the better husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, people. You need to be stronger, faster and healthier than you are now. It requires a lot of hard work and determination to get there. This is a challenge;
The above rules are a set of constructs to live by and they give you a chance to simplify every step you take everyday and have fun with it. Design them your own way. They are valuable tools for happiness.
The epistle of Apostle Paul reads – COLOSSIANS 1:9-11
9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 stregthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long suffering with joy;
And God speaks to you in the Holy Bible thus –
1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
LIFE WITH PURPOSE
A purposeful life doesn’t run and hide when the going gets tough. It doesn’t avoid difficult experiences. It embraces and accepts them willingly. Few people realize their dreams and live a valued life without accepting the fears, pain, and suffering that accompany them on their life journey.
Your purpose in life shouldn’t be just to have fun and avoid things that cause you pain or discomfort. Manage your stress. Generally, good days are those that are free from any major threats to your values and life-style. Stress-free days usually involve doing the things that have value and personal meaning for you and that bring you happiness. They usually include engaging in fun activities where time just seems suspended. Faith in God is the cornerstone of acceptance and the willingness to take valued action and live a purposeful life. Some people’s purpose in life could just be as easy as accumulating wealth and material goods. But candidly, taking valued action transcends your self to serve others. This represents a shift away from – Doing what you want to doing what others need or doing what needs to be done for the good of the majority. Thereby, you coexist with painful thoughts and emotions by shifting your attention away from your self onto purposeful activity in the service of others. This is the wisdom in living valued life with purpose and you don’t have to limit your psychological flexibility. At the same time, to be alive is to be stressed. The key to managing your stress is accepting who you are and letting the person you are shine through. A purposeful life doesn’t run and hide, when the going gets tough. Thus, you can realize your dreams and value your purposeful life.
Happiness is the experience of pleasure and purpose over time. Purpose is an emotion like joy, anxiety and anger – all refered to as sentiments. Purpose is a simple construct because it’s largely non-aroused unlike anger. However, anger helps us to avoid bad situations and seek out good ones. It elicits a positive reaction by directing us toward rather than away from conflict resolution. In particular, anger has the propensity to discourage selfishness and to encourage cooperative behaviour.
You need to work out what works for you. If you have a lot more pleasure than purpose in life, you should spend a bit more time doing something that is purposeful. A scientist conducted a small study involving 20 students who were asked to rate a series of daily activities – Walking a friend’s dog, reading for exam in their school, watching TV at home, and listening to music. The task was to appraise pleasure and purpose in their leisure time. The students rated higher value to pleasure than purpose. One possible explanation for this is that free time is more likely ear-marked for fun than for fulfillment.
However, a man is not a man if he has no purpose in real life. The book of proverbs in the Holy Bible expresses purposeful life in many ways –
20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.
15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep,
And an idle person will suffer hunger
4 The lazy man will not plow because of winter;
He will beg during harvest and have nothing
13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.
17 He who loves pleasure will be a poor man,
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
We can go on and on. The choice is yours. Having a purpose in life is rewarding
Moments overflowing with interest and excitement make us feel active and hungry for more, but our curious moments are short-lived. There may be happy experiences that lift moods momentarily. But, pursuing a good time makes you feel great – Strings of unconnected pleasurable moments are not fulfilling. After being exposed to an interesting situation, we can catalog it with other positive memories, talking about creating lasting interests and passions for topics, things, people, places and then move on. We seek renewable, lasting sources of meaningful things that can regularly feed our curious appetite.
Strengthening and deepening interests are self-generated. There are strategies that show that curious explorations set the foundation for enduring interest, largely shaped by personal meaning and value that we find in activities. Positive events last longer and we can extract more pleasure and meaning from them when open to new experiences and relish the unknown. An expert described a curious explorer as a person who’s comfortable with risk and challenges and who functions optimally in an unstable, unpredictable World. He’s a model for building lasting meaningful relationships, improving health, increasing creativity and boosting productivity. Our brains lust for the new. Our ancestors realized that chances of survival in their days, improved as part of a social group. It’s much less frightening for them to attack a woolly mammoth with 10 assistants than single-handedly. Thus, as part of a group, our ancestors had juicy benefits and obtained easier access for food, care and protection. Their curious exploration created the lasting interest, passion, and gave them the desired juicy benefits.
Look at the life of a busy-bee as it haunts honey for food. When the worker-bee locates a honey base, it dances, vibrates its wings around the direction and turns circles. From these signals, the other bees know how far the flowers are, which direction they’re in, and something of the size of the flower field the scout-bee has found. As soon as the other bees have all the information, they swarm out of the hive, heading for the flowers and the promise of the tasty honey that the community will soon be enjoying. The information given by the scout-bee for the food is a simple answer from God.The instinct of the scout-bee is part of the unique grace and gift given to the bees.
Just as God has built this knowledge into lesser creatures, He has built special bits of knowledge and abilities in each one of us. The curious exploration of scout-bee earned it the great treasure. Curious exploration can also fetch your treasure chest because humans, in particular, are fearfully, and wonderfully made (PSALM 139:14). Curious moments overflowing with excitement will make you feel alive, hungry for more and have promised you brighter future. Now is the time; Go ahead for curious exploration;
4 Take away the dross from silver;
And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry
5 Take away the wicked from before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.
FOCUS ON POSITIVE QUALITIES
There are no losers in the game of life. You must learn to take pride in what you can do well, instead of punishing yourself for what you cannot do well. That is – Focus on your positive qualities instead of your short-comings. Find your gifts and use them. Whatever natural ability you have, it must be used. Develop it to the point where you’re as good as you can be. I guarantee you that special abilities were built into you when you were created. It’s up to you to find them and use them well. If you don’t use positive self-talk, you are your own toughest critic. In other words, stop being so hard on yourself. Do your very best to have positive thoughts. There is no magic to it. It’s true that if you think better of yourself, you’ll actually look better. If you are happy with your appearance, you’re going to stand up tall and erect, your arms will hang naturally at your sides and your voice will be more appealing. Make conscious effort to center your thoughts on your good qualities – Whether your nice smile, your eyes, your nose, or any other feature. Hold the pleasant thoughts in your mind. Learn to see yourself as successful person and say – It’s great to be me. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. People like you more, if you talk less about yourself and more about them. Strenghten your friendship because God has designed us humans with an innate need for fellowship. One or two close friends will think you’re a great person and they can be a tremendous source of strength and support. They can help you develop into the person God wants you to be. If you have a friend who really believes in you, hang on to him for all you’re worth.
Many times, I personally feel a sense of awe, regarding the glory of God in my life and other creatures. He created us in His own Image (GEN 1:27). There are more than 5 billion human beings on this planet and each one of them has his own unique design and characters – Unique finger-prints, talents, abilities, intelligence and personality. It is great to be you. Nobody else has felt all the things you’ve felt or thought of all the things you think of. Nobody else has had the same experiences you’ve had. And I believe that nobody else can do the things that you are destined to do in this world. YOU ARE DESTINED TO BE GREAT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE – do things that seem very small and insignificant to you but which will have a profound effect on other people’s lives. Your kind word or smiling face may save someone else’s life. You never know what sort of impact you’re having on the world around you.
Focus on your good qualities and be merry. A merry heart does good like medicine (PROVERBS 17: 22) You are fearfully and wonderfully made (PSALM 139:14)
14 I wll praise You, for I am
Fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well
22 A merry heart does good like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones
SHIFT ATTENTION TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS
The impact of many life changes is dynamic: the changes fade quite quickly. There are lots of adaptations, lots of getting used to changes. Adaptation is the withdrawal of attention to inputs, as the impact on happiness diminishes. You cannot always plan and measure happiness but you can shift attention to things that make you feel better. You have a built-in ability to detect and neutralize challenges to your happiness. Some experts call this – Psychological immune system. Just as your body adjusts to getting into hot water, so your mind adjusts to change. The psychological reaction to changes in stimuli is analogous to the physiological reaction to changes in temperature. And your psychological immune system works a little like your physical immune system, which kicks in when faced with a threat, such as when someone nearby coughs or sneezes. This highlights the fact that many adaptation processes take place automatically and unconsciously. You simply get used to some changes without thinking about whether or not you really want to.
If your one- time close friend cheated on you, told lies against you, turned his back on you abruptly, give it a few months, pray on it, maybe he is not one to be trusted. Soon, you look back on him, as if not hurt but unsuitable. Chances are that you will then meet someone who is more trust-worthy and makes you happier than that loser. This is not to say that the pain of the break up is any less real, just that you can take some comfort from it, console yourself and move on – A good friend should last forever, and in some cases better than a brother. You can take comfort from the fact that you will make sense of your new relationship and the break up in ways that enable you to move on to bigger and better things. Feel good by making sense of most life events in ways that enable you to move on. It is better to have loved and lost to have spent your life with a deceitful friend who cannot keep a secret. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and happier too eventually. Just have the impetus to consider ways in which you can prolong your pleasure and purpose, shift your attention to things that make you feel bigger and better. God speaks to you in the Holy Bible thus –
11 He who loves purity of heart
And has grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend
FOCUS ON LITTLE ZONE OF GENIUS
As much as humans like to think that they are 100% special and unique, they’re not. They are 99.9% average. Human DNA is 99.9% the same as everyone else’s. Only a minute portion defines their differences and their individuality hangs on only .1%. From genetic perspective, all humans are astonishingly similar – some eyes may be blue while others are brown. But they both have two of them, located on approximately the same spot on the body. Yet hidden within a vast expense of genetic monotomy, small details make men dramatically different. The same is true of personalities. Only 99.9% of the gene is truly singular characteristic and it’s more of a commodity, there’s not much that distinquishes one from everyone else. However, the little portion, .1% remaining is your distinct value and your little zone of genius. It describes the best of how the World sees you, and how you are most likely to rise above and stand out. The common commodity portion is unlikely to ever lead you to areas of substantially increased results, atleast not increased enough to overcome threats and produce valuable results. Whereas your built-in advantage holds real promise for the way you can become invaluable and irreplaceable to others – Small details make you different, and in the right circumstances, make you better. The advantages reveal how you will most likely build a prosperous and fulfilling career. Instead of trying to ‘’FIX’’ the parts of yourself that are a commodity, you can achieve more by just feeding that tiny but extraordinary streak. Don’t change who you are but become more of who you are. Find one or two details that distinquishes you from other people and clearly communicate those details over and over. The more that you can identify your .1% difference and apply it in the right places, the more valuable you become.
Build your career entirely around your .1% of uniqueness. Work it and let it feel like an endless source of inspiration. You’d be in the flow, you’d be intensely valuable, you’d live inside your primary and secondary advantages. This will energize, elevate you, raise your prices, and attract all the right clients. In this idealistic World, you’d never be forced to call upon your dormant advantages. You can fine-tune your work and your life around your advantage. Professionly, they become your most attractive personality features. Physically, you can play up your most attractive feature with certain styles or colors. When you do, people probably will compliment you on this feature. The rest of you may be 99.9% average, but when you pin-point your defining traits, you showcase yourself.
The same is true of your personality. You don’t need to change into a different person. You just need to be different than other people. This will make you stand out in a crowed market and leverage your natural advantages. These small but crucial details differentiate you from anyone else. The more you can elevate these characteristics, the higher you rise on the value chain. This is your most valuable you. Your personality is more valuable than any possession, more valuable than your stock, portfolio or home. Your personality helps you grow your business without spending more money on marketing, and without hiring more people. Your personality doesn’t depreciate over time because it’s built right into you. You must fully apply it. It’s not enough to only know how you see the World, you also have to realize the signals that you’re intentionally or unintentionally sending to the World because that shapes how the World sees you.
You do not have to be perfect at everything but have to be extraordinary at something. Your anthem lights the way to your most extraordinary qualities. So, focus on what you naturally do best, that is – Your little zone of genius.
29 Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings,
He will not stand before unknown men.
DESIGN NEW CHOICES
. PROGRESS PRINCIPLE
The most pressing goal for mankind is happiness and this boils down to what you do everyday as humans and what you hope to accomplish in life. You think of progress when you are in good health. Health is wealth. Primarily, take care of your nutrition and watch your health – body activities and functioning. How you eat is 80% of proper body-maintenance, and it determines how successful you will be on the battle-field. The total number of calories you eat and what they are made of are the major consideration for your fitness.
Progress principle applies to how you are able to carry yourself around successfully. Sports-men measure improved successes with adequate practices and exercises. One expert said – At the most basic level of making progress, people avoid pain to gain pleasure and progress. It doesn’t need to be big progress but just enough to move forward, improve and get better. Incremental improvement is additive. Research showed that short-term wins release dopamine – the happiness chemical in our brain to make us crave for more. This ideology is referred to as – Progress principle. The researches showed that happiness and creativity achieved by chasing bigger, better, newer or shinier rewards quickly fade but soon become New Normal, causing us to chase even bigger and better rewards. In other words, you can reenergize your dreams with progress report and create long-term, lasting happiness for your life.
Good parents celebrate the progress reports of their children at school. Even school authorities give awards to deserving students with cumulative excellent reports. Workers who expand their skills regularly and are able to find solutions to day-to-day challenges are far happier and productive than people who don’t believe incremental progress. Studies showed that most employees are unhappy because there’s no room to grow, progress or learn new skills. For such workers, it is best for them to pick new skills, work on them and enjoy them to improve themselves. Feeling like you are progressing by doing something new is a huge part of what keeps people happy and motivated. The Holy Bible speaks like this –
13 My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honey comb which is sweet to your taste;
14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;
If you have found it, there is a prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.
ALIGN ACTIONS WITH VALUES
When you get to use your strengths on a regular basis, do something that is a good ‘’Fit’’ with your values. This positive feeling spills over into the activity itself; You are likely to be more interested, devote greater effort and persevere longer. It’s a powerful tool for developing, strengthening, maintaining interest and meaning. This notion of ‘’Fit’’ cannot be explained by how enjoyable a task is or how much of a positive mood people feel. When your values and strengths are linked to an activity, it sparks interest over and above feeling good.
We all know of situations that seem to naturally fit with our strengths and values. Some of us are more people-oriented, which means we prefer to do things with someone rather than alone. Our strongest values may include helping others, sharing love or of being accepted. But If you ignore this element, you are likely to find yourself in a number of situations where you function below your potential. If you possess a strong orientation to be around others, bring the social element into the fore-front of moments where you feel disinterested in the fast activity. You might have ruled it out too soon. Maybe it’s just being in the same room with others; maybe it’s cooking together; maybe it’s working next to your closest friend at work. Realy, you can reward yourself after every hour of hard work with five minutes of playful conversation.
The same goes for attitudes. If you tend to be concerned about safety, responsibility and preventing mistakes, you will be more interested and successful in a job where precision is essential. Let others know how you perform best. Your strengths are more likely to emerge when your values are in the fore front of your thinking and the environment you find yourself; either at work, socializing and so on. When someone else is affected by how you perform, it makes sense to let them know the conditions that take advantage of your strengths and keep you optimally motivated. If this idea works for you, others get to capitalize on the best version of you.
4 Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease.
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days
Challenge yourself to choose or search new adventures. The choice is yours. They may be big master quests or small side ones to help you earn experience, discover new locations, find new items, level up certain attributes and so on – These quests can be fun and can improve your character in different ways. They may be the missions you need to accomplish in order for you to level up your primary attributes and actually level up your lives. Some of them are Mental quests, Funny quests, Adventurous quests, Courage quests, Freedom quests, Gratitude quests to mention a few.
Mental quest – The body cannot exist without the mind. Ment search challenges your brain, makes you smarter or give you a chance to operate on a higher intellectual level. If you want to be smarter than who you are now, mental search is appropriate for you.
. Fun search – looks for fun, for life is damn too short. One needs to spend time everyday doing things that make people happy. These may be the things you wanted to do, but never had time for. You can add them to your fun-search.
Work-search – You can follow your passion to build a business – You may have specific goals when it comes to your business, job or career. The ultimate desire is to engineer your life and your work around the adventure.
. Courage search – This quest negates fear. You may have fear or anxiety about talking to people, performing in public or even asking for somebody’s phone number. It’s up to you to determine what kind of quests scare the crap out of you. You are at risk because lots of stuff scares you. This search is for you.
. Freedom search – allows you to spend more time with friends and family on things you enjoy doing or actually doing what you want to do with your life. If you are going to live your life like an adventurer, you need to build your life around that game. Have the courage and feel free to spend more time with others.
. Gratitude search – This is giving back to benefactors and those who cann’t help themselves. It is mandatory to give things out – grand or small as you can afford. There are many choices in character select. You stand to gain from experiences
Bible passages advise you thus
1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgement
2 A fool has no delight in understanding
But in expressing his own heart
One expert said – It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. Without making yourself accountable to your goals, you have little incentive or impetus to succeed in achieving them. It’s with this same attitude that you need to approach the idea of accountability in your game of life. Without establishing some sort of accountability when building new habits, tackling new activities, or engaging in new missions, you’ll fail. In life, completing a quest comes at a cost and this is what we mean by accountability. The more the level of accountability you add to a quest you’re working on, the more likely you’re able to follow through with the action and succeed.
Would you like to build a new business or write a book but can’t get yourself to actually take action? Just add a little accountability to motivate you and achieve the new treasure chest. Holding yourself accountable isn’t easy. It requires grit, perseverance and stamina. World’s best adventurers hold themselves accountable to fulfilling their hero’s destiny and completing their quests by introducing powerful rewards to energize them along the way. Having this choice will energize you to achieve your dreams. The following Bible passages say –
12 Blessed are You, O LORD;
Teach me Your statutes
13 With my lips I have declared
All the judgment of your mouth.
21 He who follows righteousness and mercy
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.
FIND TRUE ELIXIR OF LIFE
At midlife, you search for purpose and meaning because life is not just filled with requirements – homes, cars and so on. All these don’t answer the calling of the soul. At midlife you look for what you need in order to feel happy, inspired, grateful and at peace with yourselves. The answers come with finding your true self and determining your purpose. By the time you reach midlife, your purpose has been influenced by all sorts of events. You see the World through different eyes, and subsequently change your priorities – healthy ways and other successes. These add value, meaning and direction to your lives. Regardless of these reasons, the shifts in what you want and need are not only perfectly normal but developmentally predictable. Finding your purpose is the true elixir of youth. The path toward finding your purpose is creative and with this exploration, you’ll once again feel the youthful energy of trying something new. Using your passions to illuminate your path requires courage and investigation – both of which can be exhilarating. Best of all, once you’ve found your purpose, it brings you a sense of calmness. Then you can be less anxious about the future because you have fulfilled your purpose. When operating within your purpose, there’s always something new to do, something new to learn which makes your journey fun and pleasurable. Now your wisdom is coming through like a healthy rebellion, saying – Other people do not necessarily know any more than I do. I know what works for me. I know my soul. I really feel pulled in this direction and I need to follow it.
Now you honor your feelings and can explore who you are meant to be. You define your purpose when you know who you are and what you want to do, which leads you to be honest and content, make life choices that truly suit you and serve your interests. It involves using your talents and skills to impact others as well as yourself. The difference between a purpose and a wish is that your purpose is propelled by a deep need to use your unique gifts in a way that makes a difference. If you believe you will not be happy without including a particular passion of yours in your life in some way, then you’ve found your purpose – An urge to do good in the World. Doing good can mean a lot of things – volunteering for charity or working on a cause you really care about. It could mean simply committing to meaningful projects at work, knowing that you’re contributing in your own special way or seeing aspects of your life in a new way and discovering your purpose where you never saw it before.
Personally, when I retired from active service at 65, I had a sudden urge to write books for children. Within a month, I completed writing – Short stories in the Bible. The book was out-standing because it included funny science questions to challenge children. The urge gave me satisfaction because I contributed something unique and not common to the World. Sometimes, adding just one small element to your life is enough to make you feel like you are being true to yourself. You don’t have to earn money from the purpose.
By now, you may have started to formulate some new ideas on how you want to reshape your life. It’s time to start putting the ideas into action. Take the pursuit seriously, you don’t need validation to come from the outside World but you need to validate yourself. So, hire yourself, promote yourself. If you want to look for further validation from the outside World, go ahead. It’s great, that’s something you can certainly do, but you have to own it yourself first.
A meaningful life is the result of achieving your purpose or value. A life with meaning lets you spot opportunities to express yourselves in a way that gives you a sense of satisfaction and a personal sense of self-worth. We express ourselves authentically, taking on challenges and pushing ourselves to achieve more than we ever thought possible. A search for meaning is a core component of spiritual wellness. A meaningful life is different from a happy life.
Research shows that when we incorporate purpose and meaning into our lives, our overall sense of life satisfaction and well-being increases. Happiness involves being focused on the present, whereas meaningfulness involves thinking more about the past, present and future. Happiness can be fleeting, while meaningfulness has a lasting power. It is derived from giving to other people but happiness comes from what they give to you. Your meaningfulness can only be defined when you find your true-self – The elixir of life.
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
Remember, the choice is yours as to how you attack the things that need to get done everyday. The World in which you live is shaped by how you view it – either a daring adventure or nothing at all. We are living in a World in which anything is possible. One major reason why it is difficult to adapt 100% to ideal habits, values and choices is change. Life and potential stressors are constantly changing. This means that despite humans’ best effort to control and design their lives as desired, their stressors and other things change and throw them out of balance. Unfortunately, change is a fundamental reality of all aspects of nature and life. Seasons change all the time, ushering in times to plant and harvest. The weather changes, bringing with it much-needed rain, rivers rise and overflow their banks. Businesses change as they adapt to demands from the market place, innovations in science and technology and new advances in production and distribution. People change as they adopt new technologies, integrate new information and gain new knowledge and insight (ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8).
Today, change is the norm. It is healthy and it enhances processes in life and diminishes the threat associated. It helps you to start believing that you can cope with purposeful life. You develop greater psychological flexibility and view change as a change rather than a stressor. However, believing that your life will frequently change doesn’t mean that you have no control over it and that there is nothing you can do. It only represents the great unknown and it is something to attack prudently. The key step for new habits, values and choices is to manage stresses purposefully. This is your mid-life – The time to take risks, question authorities and re-invent yourself. Adapt yourself to the changes envisaged in all seasons today. So- doing, you change your perception and make the best of it in every area of your life. Consequently, you change your life image, and reenergize your dreams. The Holy Bible has this to tell you –
19 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread.
But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough;
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings
But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.