You Can Make a Difference

By Azugbene Solomon

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In times of experiencing the “what in the world can I do?” feeling, it’s important to remember that you hold your own personal power at every moment. There are many things you control – your actions and reactions, your communication approach and what you say, your treatment of others, your choices and the steps you take. In times of powerlessness, it’s important to find every way you can to exert your positive energy and positive power. Try not to get drawn into the negativity and morass, but rather keep your head level and objective and decide what you CAN do differently. What is the one step you could take? The one thing you can control and influence? Every flap of the butterfly wings has an effect – how much more can you influence as a human being?

When you start to think you’d be better off staying under the covers someday and just not dealing with any of it, instead resolve to get out of bed and take some of the following steps:

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1. Focus your attention on those things you can control and influence. It can be important to write down all of the things you are concerned about, or that are obstacles for you right now. Make a list and be sure to capture everything. Once you have finished the list, go back and circle those things you can control and influence. Start to plan steps you can take for the things you could control, and – for the time being – ignore the things you can’t. Once they are written on your list, put them to the side mentally as well as physically, and put your energies toward something you can do.

2. Take one small step. Recently with the gun debate, a group of concerned suburban mothers got together for a postcard writing campaign at a local Starbucks. They had cards made up and sat together to write letters to companies who support assault weapons. In another case, people were outraged that a retiring police officer could not retire with his canine companion, who was due to be auctioned off for sale. Almost half a million people signed a petition, and the decision was made to allow the K-9 cop to retire with her partner. These are a couple of examples of large issues that may seem insurmountable, but people took steps to do something. You may agree or disagree with their perspective on either of these issues, but remember the quote by Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. If you are upset about something, and you care, then take a small step and contribute to your own cause or interest.

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3. Find someone to be nice to today. What difference would this make in the overall global issues you may be concerned about? Because how we treat one another is like the butterfly’s wings. If you were to influence a person today with positivity, it’s possible that person would influence the next person, and then the next. You could start a tide turning by just taking one small step. The “wave” at the local sporting event starts with one person, and then others follow along. Start a wave – make it positive.

4. Take that one step you are afraid to take. You might have read about a local meeting where people are getting together to talk about issues they want to part of. You might think “Those are strangers and I don’t feel comfortable,” or maybe it is a march you wanted to attend but you are worried “Will I be safe?” or it is information or education you need to get but you think “I don’t know enough.” Your self-talk is often going to stop you from taking that next step, so be aware of what you are telling yourself. You can try something. Yes, you can.

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5. Remember that life is fluid. While worrisome things are happening everywhere, they have been happening since the beginning of time. Life ebbs and flows – some times are more difficult than others, but human beings are resilient. You are resilient, and you have the opportunity to make a difference right now. Make it.

This post originally appeared on Psychology Today

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TIPS TO HELP YOU BECOME ENCOURAGED AGAIN

By Power of Positivity

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We all feel discouraged from time to time. Some days, we might run full speed ahead and tackle life with no problem, but other times, we might feel like throwing in the towel. Life contains ups and downs for a reason, so that we may appreciate the good times and learn from the hard ones. If you ever feel like giving up, just consult the following inspiration to get you through another day.

HERE ARE TIPS TO HELP YOU BECOME ENCOURAGED AGAIN:

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1. CLAIM YOUR JOY.
When life seems a little boring, realize it’s because of us, not because of a task, our job or the lack of a nightlife. We have the ability to create joy and excitement in everything we do, and it starts with our thoughts around the situation. It is not so much about trying to fix the situation or even ourselves as it is learning new things, finding the good, and focusing our energies on activities that have personal meaning.

2. FREE YOUR MIND.
We need to take the time to look after our emotional well-being by putting time aside every week for a yoga class or a little meditation. The relaxing breathing strategies involved in both will help eliminate stress and reduce anxiety. We will feel better, and will look at things differently.

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3. MAKE LITTLE, POSITIVE CHANGES.
When we make small changes to our daily routine, it brings back the excitement. Take a new exercise class, read a book, or even just doodle – these can get you out of a rut and ignite your creative self. You will soon realize that the act of starting and doing something new can give you some confidence to continue creating.

4. REFRAME NEGATIVE THINKING.
Negative thinking is common, but it’s how we handle the thoughts that will either drain our excitement for life, or build on it. We can’t stay in the midst of negativity and hope to be our best selves. Understanding our negative thoughts and reframing them into thoughts that better serve us keeps us from getting stuck.

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5. PRACTICE OPTIMISM.
An optimist is more excited about everything, not just life! If you’re not presently an optimistic individual, don’t worry – optimism may be learned. And it’s not whether the glass is half full or half empty, it’s knowing you can fill it up.

Teach yourself to see the other side, even with the small setbacks, little adversities, frustrations, disappointments, and letdowns in daily experiences. Look for the lessons and trust things will work out. When you do, it’s easy to get excited about the possibility.

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6. ELIMINATE WASTED TIME.
When we start to look at our day, we’ll probably notice quite a bit of time wasted on non-value added activities like Candy Crush, Facebook or mindless television. Wasted time is energy draining, and as mentioned earlier, it’s hard to get excited when your energy is drained. When you know down deep you need to do something, you will find the time and the energy. But beware, because time fillers have a way of creeping in.

This post originally appeared on Power of Positivity

5 Ways to Become the Person You Aspire to Be

By RIZZARR

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As you go through life and work toward your dreams, knowing who you are and who you aspire to be will remain the keys to your success. Except becoming who you want to be isn’t easy. It requires tremendous courage, perseverance and a steadfast belief in yourself.

The road to becoming your best, most successful self can feel challenging at times and it can take a lot out of you. There will be moments when you might want to give up on yourself and your dreams. You must believe success is possible, because as you continue on your journey, you will eventually embark upon those moments, the ones that you have always imagined coming true.

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To motivate you on this pursuit, here are five ways you can become the person who you aspire to be:

1. Be authentic.
You cannot grow if you are not true to yourself. You have to be honest with yourself about what you are passionate about and who it is you really want to be, despite critics and naysayers.

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2. Have vision.
People’s dreams perish for lack of vision. Without having the idea in mind of who you want to be, you will not know where or how to aim for it. Keep your vision top of mind as you reach each milestone to motivate you to push forward.

3. Embrace a never-give-up attitude.
Curveballs will forever be coming your way as you pursue your dream. You might have moments when you want to throw in the towel because you just can’t keep fighting all the challenges and setbacks you encounter. But you have to push through and realize you really do have everything you need to reach your full potential.

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4. Remove the naysayers and self-doubt.
Most people settle for less. And many of those same people will also convince you to settle for less. That’s when that self-doubt invades your thoughts. You might have moments when you no longer believe in your dreams—you have to push aside those moments, people and your own self-limiting beliefs. Always move forward.

5. Believe in yourself.
As author Richard Bach once wrote, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.” So no matter how discouraged you might get at times, you must know that if you can dream something, then you will always have everything in you to make it come true. You just have to believe in yourself and your abilities to achieve what you set your mind to.

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This post originally appeared on RIZZARR.com.