Why try the same thing over and over, but expect a different result? No amount of self-talk will lead to effective change or improvement unless you DO things differently. Try a new path to make progress toward your desired result or goal. Don't worry about failure - we all fail - but embrace and choose to learn from your failure as a necessary step to personal growth. Diverge from your unsuccessful habits in favor of a routine that gives you new energy and a better chance at success. Practice the routine repeatedly until it becomes the habit that you want. The change may be scary and will require effort, but haven't you already decided that you want something different for yourself?
When you wake up in the morning, do you know whether you're going to have a good day? At that moment, you can't know what might come your way in the next few hours, and you certainly can't control it - good weather, light traffic, good news, a stroke of luck. But, you can ensure a day of goodness by finding it within yourself. Think good and kind thoughts and act on them. Nothing can stop your goodness. The famous Stoic thinker Marcus Aurelius called it a "fountain of goodness, which is ever ready to flow if you will keep digging." Be a fountain, heck, be a geyser; have yourself a good day.
Nature is magical. Such a great reminder to become fully absorbed in the moment - to hear the rush of a river, or the wind in the trees, or the crunch of snow under your boots. Out here, it’s much easier to put out of mind your thoughts of the past day or plans for the next part of your day or week or month. Today, I am so grateful for time in the Mount Hood wilderness and for down time with my family, to really listen and feel the love in the room. It’s more challenging to learn to be more fully present in the midst of hectic routines. But it’s doable - take a walk and look around, close your eyes and hear everything, sit for a while with a friend and enjoy the time without thought of anything else. You will see, hear and feel more deeply than you have before. You will want this depth of experience more often. I have made it a daily challenge - and also plan to get into a forest more often. Peace and joy to you all.
As you go through your day, do you ever find yourself acting? If so, do you ever ask yourself why? Is there something about the real you that you think is lacking and you'd like to improve? Or, maybe, the real you is just fine and you should adjust your perspective to be comfortable with that. There will always be people that we want to impress or events in which we'd like to participate. But, is doing so worth the sacrifice of your genuineness, your integrity? Why not simply be the best person you can be at all times and let the chips fall as they may? You can't control the chips anyway, and you'll find real comfort in your sense of self-worth. Leave acting to the actors.
We can find beauty in everything around us, even those things most might call "ordinary." A mangled tree root, a smashed leaf, a rotting fruit fallen from a tree, all are nature's works of art and can bring us joy with this perspective. Think of a newly baked bread, full of cracks that distort a potentially perfect surface, and which may not have been the baker's intention, but make the bread look so appetizing. We can find joy in appreciating all that we encounter, seeing beauty in things and places that most overlook. After all, the world IS as it is - we can't change that, but can be happier by simply adjusting our perspective - by looking for beauty and wonder in all things. You will find it everywhere, and this outlook will make your life beautiful.
Every day we get asked "how are you?", and occasionally, when meeting someone new, "what do you do?" How often do we really consider your answer, rather than respond superficially? How would you answer if asked "who are you?"
To plan a life of purpose, you need to think hard about this question. What is important to you? What do you stand for? Do you spend your days engaged in activities that bring out the essential you, bring meaning to your life? Or are you busy just earning a living on an unfulfilling or purposeless path? Of course, we must all work to pay for life's ever increasing expenses. But, since we only get one life, isn't it worth taking the time to think about what pursuits make or would make your days most meaningful. You may not need to physically "look in the mirror", but it might help you start to focus on your relationship with the most important person in your life - you.