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Choosing A Life Path

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Choosing A Life Path

How prepared were U for life when U left your parents’ home and went out on your own?  Maybe U went to college first, then out into the world, or maybe U went right into the workforce and started earning a living.  How did U want your life story to go back then?  I would guess that U have learned a lot about life and about yourself since then.  Do U wish U had taken a little more time to think about your future and plan a few things before starting out?  What do U tell you children about planning and about thinking and having a strategy for their lives’?

The company I founded, LifeLongU™, creates and distributes guides, workbooks and some videos which are designed to help U develop yourself into the person U want to become by helping U define who U will be as the main character in your own life story.  We realize that everyone is on a path in life, but maybe not a path that includes continual self-development and improvement to becoming a better person and learning to do things they may not yet be able to do.  This takes planning, usually some education or training and also some specific action.

Going through any of the LifeLongU™ programs is taking action.  It is U educating yourself on how to plan your tomorrow and your future life.  It is your first steps to becoming the person that will do the things your main character in your life story does and working on a plan to become the person who does them.  It is taking action, deciding on the better paths U want to take and moving in those directions.

What we want to help U achieve by going through our workbooks is to really think about what U want your life story to be in your future, look at some pathways that interest U and then learn more about them.  The truth today is that U can have multiple paths to follow and most of us do.  U can study to learn a specific trade, skill or talent, but U don’t have to stick with it your entire life.  U can change and go down a different pathway by adding different skills, knowledge or talents.  Maybe even change your entire direction.

Will U become the main character in your life story after going through one workbook, probably not.  But it may be your first big step.  To become that person, U need to take more steps and U need a direction to go.  Right now, U may be at the “crawl-walk” stage of your life planning.  Everyone starts moving forward by learning to crawl and walk, right?  Then they learn how to run, then to drive and maybe even to fly.  There is a first step U need to take.  Crawl, then walk, then run, then drive, then fly.  When U learn and put into practice all U can, U will go farther and faster than ever before.  Who knows what your true potential really is in your life or in what stage U reach it? 

Our workbooks and guides were created to help U become aware and to think about some of the things U may want in or for your own life and to provide some additional ways to learn even more about yourself from other individuals.  Learning more about the different topics will help U become better prepared for your future.

Many individuals have been introduced to different opportunities throughout their lives. The more skills they have or the more prepared they are to act on those opportunities, the better off they may be in their future.  We want to help U be prepared, to have a plan and to work your plan.  Things will come up, and some rain will fall, but by having a plan and communicating that plan to your loved ones for their support as U work through it, U should be able to weather any storm and bring more sunshine into your days.  It might sound a little hokey, but it really is that simple.  Understanding where U want to go and how to get there, learning as much along the way as possible and allowing others to help U is part of life planning, and it all begins with taking a first step in the right direction.

Part of the life planning process is to simply walk through the many areas U will undoubtedly go through in your own life.  U will work and have a career, and U will have to deal with money, finances, health, and relationships.  Hopefully, U will have a life outside of work — maybe some traveling, seeing new things, exploring the world and nature, or maybe developing new or strengthening current beliefs.  If U haven’t already, U will begin to fully understand the fulfillment U can get by helping others.  U will also grow older, and, at some point, your life will come to an end and U will move on.

Having a life plan now will help U be prepared to face many more events in your life. It does not have to be like it was when U first left your parents’ home.  A plan effectively worked throughout your life will enable U to achieve much more than without a plan.  U are going to live your life either way, so why not have some plans that help U become who U want to be in your future.  Be that main character in your own life long plan and story and reach your full potential.  Decide on who your main character will be, pick your directions to go and take your first steps and work to become that person.

Gary J Kiecker

LifeLongU.com

Here are our workbooks and guides:2017-07-24_0540 2017-07-24_0545 2017-07-24_0557 2017-09-02_1528 2017-07-24_0543

 

 

 

 

 

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Confidence

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Confidence

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”, Henry Ford

People who are self-confident tend to be admired many times by others and can inspire others with confidence.  They can appear to be more of a risk taker because their confidence allows them to face many of their fears head-on, unlike those with less confidence.  They typically are full of positive energy regardless of what they are going through in life.  They simply see that the world is filled with options and opportunities and believe their glass is at least half full.  What a great way to go through life!  Having more confidence should be on everyone’s list of goals in their life plan. 

Think about this: if U don’t believe in yourself, why would U expect others to?  Self-confidence is a state of mind that comes from a belief in your own abilities, skills and experience.  It can be improved through training, talking with other people and personal development. 

Here are some things that will help U boost or increase your confidence levels.  Some of them might sound very superficial, but they work:

  • ¨ Groom yourself properly; showering, shaving or putting on makeup is somewhat of a basic thought, but when U do these things, to the extent of your own style, U feel good about U, and that helps your confidence.
  • ¨ Now that your body is clean, the clothing U put on is also important and can build your confidence.  Dressing for the occasion and to your own style makes U feel good about yourself, U feel more successful and others may see U that way, and again, will increase your confidence.
  • ¨ Think and act positively, it builds; don’t think or act negatively, it destroys.
  • ¨ Much confidence comes from knowing who U are, your values, your principles and the direction U want your life to go. When U study the material for an exam thoroughly, U are confident U will do well, right?  When U prepare a life plan, which helps U understand in which direction U want to head, that builds self-confidence as well.
  • ¨ Life is filled with many challenges that need to be overcome, don’t look at them as problems; instead focus on the solutions that bring the challenge under control by your terms.  That change in view can make all the difference.
  • ¨ Be generous to others.  Giving makes us feel good inside, and our gifts can help others in need.  Confident people give and help others.
  • ¨ Become an active person.  Exercise regularly, get out and go places, meet others, and engage in your life.  All of these activities build up your confidence and self-esteem.  This is your life; enjoy it, don’t hide from it.
  • ¨ Explain something U understand and know well to others.  Maybe U are knowledgeable on a specific sport, have a hobby where U have an above average level of experience with or U experienced something unique that U can share as somewhat of an expert. 
  • ¨ Work on developing yourself into the character U see as your future self in your own life story and make U a better U as part of your life long plan.  Add more knowledge, develop more skills and create new experiences in your life.  When U work harder on U, U will feel more prepared to take on and deal with anything that comes up with confidence.

Summary of Things That Build Confidence:

  • ¨ Positive thinking, looking for the good in things
  • ¨ Work on becoming a better U
  • ¨ Add exercise and activity to your life, be active
  • ¨ Meet new people
  • ¨ Give yourself credit for being U
  • ¨ Avoid negative people, places and thoughts
  • ¨ Learn from mistakes, (“all of us” make them)
  • ¨ Develop plans, take action and do things
  • ¨ Be prepared; creating a life plan will help with this while also building confidence
  • ¨ Learn a new skill or ability

U Can Learn More About Confidence by Reading These Books:

By Gary Kiecker

LifeLongU™

 

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Passion

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Passion is an exciting word, isn’t it?  “PASSION”!  It elicits several different meanings, but for purpose of this discussion we are referring to the non-sexual meaning of your true passions, which are those powerful emotions of extravagant fondness, enthusiasm or desire U may feel for doing or experiencing a specific thing.

Living life every day without interacting in an area that is not part of your true passion can be very monotonous.  Isn’t enjoying those things U truly love, partially, what living is all about? 

I have always loved being by or on the water, after all I grew up in Minnesota, the “land of 10,000 lakes”, but for various reasons I never did.  So, after my divorce, I had a work opportunity on Hilton Head Island, in South Carolina.  My passion for being by the water, walking on the beaches, watching the sunrise and set and feeling the wind on my face, rose to an all-time high.  Within seven months, I took more than 2000 photos of what I saw there, and I still could not get enough beach time.  That kind of passion might live in each of us.  For me, I did not realize it was a passion, or something I simply liked, until I experienced it fully and over a long period of time.  Taking so many pictures, hurrying to get through work and get back to the beach to once again experience the peace and beauty I felt there was evidence enough for me that it was one of my passions.  

Your passions, of which there may be several, may not fully manifest in your life until U have an experience that heightens them to a level where U feel them for the true passions that they are.  Until then, U may just see them as preferences or things that U may like to do, given the chance. U can learn to distinguish a passion from a passing interest by asking yourself whether it is something U can take or leave depending on the situation or whether it would really matter to U if it were not in your life. 

When U spend time in your passions, your thinking is much clearer, and your mood and overall attitude is so positive that the other things U do in your day are also much more enjoyable, even if they are not passions of yours.  Just spending some quality time in your passions may be all it takes to turn all of the parts of your life in new positive directions.  Figuring out what your passions in life are should be one of your goals in your life plan.  Spending time in your passions will affect your life in powerful ways and will certainly make your days more enjoyable.

When U think about where your true passions lie, think about what U want your life story to be.  By thinking this way, U will likely be able to identify your passions.  Are U a world traveler, a writer, a photographer, a business person, a social worker, a minister, a teacher, a mother, father, wife or husband?  Do U love to help others, help animals, or help the environment?  Are U an explorer?  Do U like to fish, hunt or pick up seashells on the beach?  Do U love fashion, being in top physical shape, or working on cars?   Your life story is yours to tell all the world.  It is up to U to live up to your full potential and do what U were made to do — and if U are passionate about what U do, U never know how far U really can go in life.  Follow your passions!

Find your passions by:

  • Finding out who U want to be in your life story
  • Owning your uniqueness, include that in your life plan and be the person in your life story
  • Understanding that waiting for a better time or for more money to enjoy your passions are just excuses; U will be happier if U enjoy your passions, U simply need to figure out how best to make that happen
  • Thinking about what U really love to do and then go do it

Some Books You Might Want to Read on Passion:

  1. The Minimalist Mindset:  The Practical Path to Making Your Passions A Priority and to Retaking Your Freedom by Danny Dover
  2. GUTS:  Find Your Greatness, Beat the Odds, Live From Passion by Sam Bracken
  3. The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose by Janet and Chris Attwood
  4. Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

 

By Gary Kiecker

LifeLongU™

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Strive for Excellence

 Strive for Excellence

What does it mean to be a man in today’s world?  What do you think a woman thinks a man should be?  If you are a man, what plan do you have for your life?  Does it include your family?  Are you looking for your perfect mate?  Do you have a plan to make your life better?  Are you striving for excellence?

Dr. Wayne Dyer writes that to attract the relationship you want you need to be that yourself. If what you are looking for in a relationship with another person is an exquisite sense of love, be that yourself.  He goes on to say that”You do not attract into your life what you want.  You attract what you are.” So what type of man are you exactly?  What are you attracting?  Is this what you want or need?

 

Some women say they need

I myself have been on several dating sites off and on over the past several years after my divorce looking for that special someone and I have read many profiles (to many) of what a woman really is looking for from a man.  I have to tell you, some of these are spot on and need to be brought to men’s attention.

Here are what some women say they need:

  • I need a man who is striving for excellence in every aspect of life.
  • I need someone who is striving for excellence mentally because I need conversation & mental stimulation. I don’t need a simple-minded man.
  • I need someone who is striving for excellence spiritually because I don’t need to be unequally yoked…believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster.
  • I need a man who is striving for excellence financially because I don’t need a financial burden.
  • I need someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded.
  • I need someone who has integrity in dealing with relationships.  Lies and game-playing are not my idea of a strong man.
  • I need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader, priest and provider to the lives entrusted to him by God.
  • I need someone whom I can respect.  In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn’t taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive…he just has to be worthy.

 

Are You Striving for Excellence

I think this is a fantastic list for men to be striving for and discussing it with a woman they want a relationship with — many things have changed in the woman/man relationship over the years.  God created man / woman and placed them in the Garden of Eden to work together.  As time went on I think many of them stopped working together and woman got placed in the home and men out of the home.  In the not too distant past, the world wars helped to bring women back out of the home, but now most men and woman do not understand how to work together…the rules seem to be different and most do not understand how to respect the other much less plan for growth of them both, together.  That is a big problem I fear.  But one that can easily be overcome, if we as men, as leaders, as examples to others, take control of our own life; which means being responsible for those in our family and create a plan of always striving for excellence; then we can show the women in our lives that plan and work together with them and have the lives we both want.

As the list above shows you, many women want a man who shows he is a man by working at becoming a better man, does the difficult things, has strong convictions, morals and values, has integrity and treats her with respect.  Many women want you, the man, to show her you have a plan for excellence, a plan for your future and that you are working on it and showing progress.  If you are such a man or striving to be such a man you more than likely are on the right path to attract the woman of your dreams into your life, if she is not there already.  You will earn or have earned her respect and probably her love.  If you continue to further develop and work that plan throughout your life, you will most likely will keep her love or make it stronger.

If you are not doing many of the things listed above, why not?  What makes you think you should be made responsible for another person’s life if yours is a mess?  Why should a woman make herself submissive to you, when she and probably others, see the way you truly are. 

If you roll out of bed each morning, at 7:30AM and I mean roll because you are so out of shape, you certainly are not striving for excellence.  If you think your female mate is supposed to keep herself in tiptop shape for you, why are you not doing the same for her?  Remember, your body is a temple for God (1st Corinthians 3:16) and it’s your responsibility to keep that temple in good shape, for Him, for her and for yourself.

If you spend 2-4 hours or more watching TV shows or sports each day, you are not improving your mind in a way that will help you and your family prepare for a changing world, and it’s up to you to make sure your family is prepared.  You are the leader of your family, man up. 

If you have not owned up to your debt or taken responsibility working out a plan to repay it, again, you are not striving for excellence.  You may have to figure out how to create more revenue streams for yourself by adding a second job or by developing a business that provides more income to pay off the debts, but this is your responsibility, own it.  Yes, it may take some time, but share your plan with your mate and assure her you have a plan, and then work the plan.  Not having adequate income to repay your debt is just not an acceptable answer, it’s an excuse.  Don’t go there, figure it out, it’s what a man does. 

If you and your family are not going to church or your wife or partner is going by herself, you are abdicating your spiritual leadership role of a man and may be losing the respect of this woman.   Do you make sure to pray at meals giving thanks for the food on your table or pray with her together at night thanking the Lord for your blessings while praying for others in need?  This is what a Christian man does for and with his family.  He leads.  He strives for excellence in everything he does.

 

Take a Break, But No Pity Party

Am I perfect, absolutely not; have I ever been dealt what I thought was a raw deal and felt a little to sorry for myself, unfortunately at times, yes.  However I am a person who believes in striving for excellence and am on the path to being the best I can be in each area of my life, and this is a terrific feeling.  Creating a plan to strive for excellence in everything you do and then doing it, is what gives you self respect and makes you a better man while growing you to your new potential.  It’s your responsibility to do this, it’s what many women want you to do and it is the right thing to do.  Try it; I’m sure you will agree.

Everyone does get a break from time-to-time or may need a “pass” on something they did or something that happened to them; we all can understand that.  But don’t let it eat you up and certainly don’t expect a “pity party” to be held in honor of you going through something.  Be a man, man up and take control of things; you will keep yourself respect and feel better.  You will show others you are striving for excellence and a man of your word.  You will show the woman you love that you are worthy of her love, she will admire you more, look up to you with respect and things will be much better for it. 

Striving for excellence in all things is the manly thing to do.  Take responsibility for yourself, be worthy to others, create your plan to strive for excellence and then get it done!

 

If you would like to discuss creating a plan to strive for excellence in your life, please feel free to contact me at Coach@LifeLongU.com

Gary J. Kiecker

LifeLongU™

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See Yourself as a Business & Life Professional ?

See Yourself as a Business & Life Professional?

Have you ever thought of yourself as a professional in anything? A business & life professional?  What do you do really well?  What do you want to do really well?  Do you have a passion for something specifically, an area of your life that when you are in it, you simply smile and feel good?  Do you consider yourself to be a professional in it?  Is your goal to become a professional in it?  Business & life both need professionals.  Firstly, to simply show what can be done in a certain area of life or business and how well it can be done and secondly, to work with others and help them achieve a level of professionalism in their own right.

In the book, “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, Gladwell repeatedly claims that to become an expert at something, one needs to spend approximately 10,000 hours practicing it in the correct way.  What have you done or are doing that will at some point add up to around 10,000 hours of your life (Sleeping & eating do not count)?  Is it in business or in life?  Are you at 2,000 hours?  5,000? Closing in on your 10,000?

To understand how much time this is let’s quickly look at the time involved in practicing your craft.  Let’s take 8 hours a day x 5 days per week x 52 weeks per year = 2080 hours.  Now take 2,080 x 5 years = 10,400 hours.  So if you practice your craft everyday for 8 hours per day for 5 straight years you can expect to become an expert in it.  Does an expert equal a professional?  I would think so. 

However, this articles intention is to have its readers think about becoming a professional, not an expert; becoming a professional in some sort of business or work activity and also in their own life.  Understanding that any area on which you focus on most is what materializes in your life is an important first step to developing a path toward becoming a professional or accomplishing a goal within business and life. You need to have focus on it, spend time working on it and use discipline to keep you on a path leading you toward your intended destination.  Some might consider this manifesting your reality, but this focus, time and discipline on any area of your interest will certainly improve your level of expertise in that area and if enough time is spent, you may become an expert in it as well.  Make sure you look at your choices thoroughly and chose the best path for you.

So what is it that you would, could or should be a professional at in business and life?  Considering the business side of this question first may be easier for some.  You may have worked in an industry or trade for some time and consequently have become very knowledgeable on how it works, who the movers and shakers are, what fundamentally drives it and how the puzzle pieces all go together within it.  Maybe you simply understand a specific characteristic or function within the industry or trade that marks you as a professional within it to others. Possibly you have a desire to become a professional within an industry or trade that you have little knowledge of yet, but have plans to learn, grow, focus, spend time on and use your discipline to develop skills, acquire knowledge and become a professional.  All these are good, just make sure you have an understanding of what you are doing, where you are going, are you adding value to others and are you learning new information on it for yourself as you grow as a business professional within this industry or trade.

What about the life professional?  What does this mean?  Let’s face it; you have “ONE” life to live.  You have one shot at making your one life the best you can make.  It’s up to you to become a professional at your own life.  Each of us as our own life professional has a responsibility to ourselves and to others around us to understand what makes you, the “You” professional.  Do you know what you want in your life?  Do you know your life’s purpose?  Not just any purpose mind you, “YOUR” life purpose.  What are your beliefs, your faith, your values and your morels?  This is what can make up your core.  What lifestyle do you live?  Is that the “YOU” professional you want others to see you as? Your friends… your family… your loved ones… your God?  Do you need to fine-tune your life professionalism?  Are you happy with whom you are inside?  Do you enjoy how your body feels, looks or the amount of energy it has daily?  Are you eating to live or living to eat?  Are you spending way too much time watching the world go by living vicariously as a spectator?  Watching TV, movies, sports, game shows, etc…?  Remember what we said above about what you focus on materializes in your life.  Don’t waste time sitting down and watching life go by spending 1,000’s of hours becoming an expert doing something like watching TV.  Make your life about getting involved with others, helping, sharing and truly living it.

Being the best life professional “YOU” you can be is your responsibility.  Don’t take it lightly.  Here too, you need to have a plan and focus it on personal self development, always growing who you are.  Understand what “YOU” need to do to be healthier and wiser for your own benefit and for the benefit of others.  Others depend on you being at your best; make sure your best gets better every day and then share it.  The “YOU” you are today, is your reality.  If you are overweight, out of shape, feeling down or don’t yet realize your life’s purpose, this is “YOU”.  Develop your vision of how you want to be in your future, create plans on how to make this happen, and begin your new journey.  Delays cost you time and that time cannot be replaced once gone.  The new “YOU” life professional that you can become is always in front you.  It’s the new “YOU” you can become tomorrow if you add something to the “YOU” today.

Working towards being the best business & life professional I can be is a lifestyle trait I certainly want for myself.  Sharing this trait with others and seeing them grow as well is worthy of a line item on anyone’s bucket list.  I hope you add it to yours! 

If you would like to know more about LifeLongU, please visit www.LifeLongU.com

Gary J Kiecker

LifeLongU

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The Attitude – The Passion – The Motivation

The Attitude – The Passion – The Motivation

In the business world and also in life, there are three words that can ultimately define who you are, what you will actually do and how successful you may be at accomplishing it.  Those words are Attitude, Passion and Motivation.  Each has its own unique meaning for each of us, however the simple dictionary meaning is:

Attitude a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something

Passion:  any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling

Motivation:  having a strong reason to act or accomplish something

 

These three simple words can have powerful effects on our feelings and ultimately in how we see the world and achieve different things in our lives.  They lay deep within each of our inner most self and can be positively or negatively triggered for our own benefit, but also for our detriment.  How well each of us understands and manages these three words can easily progress us far beyond where we may currently be in life.  Have you ever thought about what they mean to you?  How do you see the world around you? What is your attitude toward it? What do you desire?  What really is your passion?  What makes you get up early or stay up late each day or night?  What motivates you?  These are questions you may have thought about at some point in your life.  What have you done about providing a solution or simply answering the questions for yourself?

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970), a very influential writer on personal success once wrote, “Whatever a man can conceive and believe he can achieve.”  I myself do believe this with all my heart.  If the Lord provides you with the ability to conceive an idea that helps or benefits your fellow man, He will also provide the way for you to achieve its end.  It might take a while for you to accomplish it and in the end how it gets accomplished may look nothing like what you originally thought.  But if you have the right attitude, are passionate about what you are trying to do and are properly motivation to accomplish what you have set out to do, I believe it can be achieved. 

 

The Attitude:  a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something…

Have you ever heard the saying, “Your attitude determines your altitude?”  How you see things has an effect on you and where you go.  When you see someone in an RV or camper, do you wonder where they are going, what new exploration and fun awaits them; or do you wonder if they are coming home to the grind of their everyday ordinary life?  When you are in an airport, do you see everyone coming home or leaving for an exciting adventure?  These are the eye glasses of “attitude” that shape how you are viewing the world and they have an impact on your life. What pair of glasses do you have on?  Are you a glass half full or half empty type of person?  Are you always looking for more to put in or always thinking its way to full? 

A positive attitude of wanting more will tend to make you focus and see many more opportunities in the world around you.  Everyday each of us interacts with others and events happening around us which may present opportunities to do good, to help someone or maybe even create a better mousetrap that has great business potential for you and your family. 

A negative attitude, on the other hand, will make your world much smaller.  You may tend to turn your head away when opportunities present themselves.  You may move away from challenges that will make you grow and become the person you have always dreamt about being.  A negative attitude may make you trust people much less and not see the good that does exist in most people.  How would you describe attitude to your children?  What are they learning from you as they see your attitude toward others?  What advice would you give your best friend about their attitude? The way you think and see the world will impact your life and others around you, make sure it’s positive. 

 

The Passion:  any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling…

What is your passion?  A compelling positive feeling to do something is what we are discussing here.  What are you compelled to do in the world with your life?  Do you know what that is?  Are you working toward that end?  Are you feeding that passionate emotion you have to do your great thing?  Maybe writing, painting, singing, coaching or helping others are what you are passionate about?  Maybe starting a business is your passion?  Maybe you have a strong compelling emotion to help those in need in another country or make sure your family is all happy and well cared for?  Maybe you have a desire to share a belief with the world and that has become a passion?  Maybe you are passionate to simply see the world and experience all its wonders?  There are many things we can feel passionate about as you can see. 

What if you don’t know what your passion is?  What if you don’t have one?  What if you don’t know how to tell what your passions are?  A simple test at http://thepassiontest.geniusu.com/ will help you decide this.  This is a fun quick test that sorts you through 30 different passions and helps you select your top five.  I did it and it works pretty well (for me at least).  Have fun learning something new about yourself!

 

The Motivation:  having a strong reason to act or accomplish something…

I am an avid believer of listening to motivational speakers in person or on audio books.  I have quite the digital collection and use them often.  I will almost always be carrying an earpiece to listen to them on my iPhone or iPad when I am out.  Listening at the right time can get me to do things I normally may have stopped doing long ago, if I were to continue to go it alone.  It’s kind of like have a spotter when weight training…”just five more reps” the spotter may say.  They will make all the difference and they will. 

What motivates you to go the extra mile?  We are not talking about doing the things you would normally do everyday…like eating, sleeping etc., although, hunger and fatigue can certainly be motivators.  What we are talking about is going the EXTRA mile; the mile that is above and beyond the norm, the average or beyond what others do.  That is the extra that makes its special, the extra that has an impact for you.  What motivates you to do this extra? 

I have often heard a story of motivation that goes something like this:  a man is out walking and decides to take a short cut across a pasture.  Unknown to him, in this pasture is a big bad mean bull (soon to be Mr. Motivation).  He quickly sees the error of his decision, but he is too far in the pasture to make a retreat.  His only course of action is to run to a large tree and somehow jump to the lowest hanging branch (about 11 feet up) out of the reach of the bull.  The bull has now made eye contact with the man and begins to charge.  The man runs with all his strength and speed to the base of the tree and with the bull now only feet behind him makes a mighty leap up toward the branch….and misses….luckily, he catches it on the way down. 

This is motivation, wanting to go the extra mile, putting in the extra effort and is what may get you what you are looking for.  Sometimes it is negative, like with the story of the bull.  What truly motivates you?  Money?  Fame?  Love?  Family?  Success?  Fear?  No Debt?  Freedom?  Health?  A Bull?  Use it to go your extra mile, it pays off in the end.

Do you see how important these three words are?  How having the right attitude in life is?  Can you see now how when combining your positive attitude with your passions how focused your life may become?  Can you imagine the opportunities that you may be able to see and act on when doing this?  Now add in your motivations.  When you are properly motivated, doing something you are passionate about and have the right mental attitude toward it, the possibilities can be endless.  When you have all this going for you, and you drop in an idea, event or purpose, just think how gratifying it can be for you…That is the real power of these three words: attitude, passion and motivation. 

I hope you are able to align your attitude, passions and motivations toward a common goal of your choosing.  If one of the three is missing, misaligned or negative it will lessen your chance of succeeding at what you are trying to do. 

To be able to work and do something you love for the right reasons can add so much to your happiness and enjoyment in life.  I feel it’s important for each of us to learn to do this as well as teach how it can be done to others if we can.  So please continue to learn, grow and share with others.

Good luck!

Gary J. Kiecker

LifeLongU.com

 

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Stress, Rest & Relaxation

 Stress, Rest & Relaxation

We have all had those days where your job or maybe those individuals you work with might be causing you stress.  Maybe something you are dealing with in your personal life has caused you an immense amount of stress. In either case it might be an acute short-term thing or it may be more chronic and simply be part of your life, in any case, you need to deal with the situation and the stress it is causing you.

Epictetus, a Greek philosopher (A.D. 55-135) once said, “People are disturbed not by a thing, but by their perception of a thing.”  A person’s perception or view of what they believe they are dealing with can cause them a huge amount of stress in their life.  The American Institute of Stress states that one definition of stress is, “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.”

One of the first things to managing stress is to understand what is causing you stress.  How did you feel, physically and emotionally?  How did you act in response to this situation?  What did you do to make yourself feel better?

The American Institute of Stress and the American Psychological Association lists the top 7 causes of stress as http://www.stress.org/daily-life/:

  1. Job Pressure
  2. Money
  3. Health
  4. Relationships
  5. Poor Nutrition
  6. Media Overload
  7. Sleep Deprivation

Daily stress from whatever our lives interact with can build up in many different ways and each of us should learn to handle it in our own unique way.  Everyone should have at least one healthy method, if not more, to bring us to a relaxed state of being and be able to rest.

Rest and Relaxation, also known as R&R, is needed by everyone.  We all have heard this simple phrase used before and what it means to each of us individually, is different.  Your first thought may be to simply get a good eight hours of sleep or maybe sleep in past your normal get-out-of-bed time. You may want put on a pair of headphones and listen to your favorite music.  You may think of viewing sunrises and sunsets or walking on a beach with your special someone as a form of relaxation. You may think of traveling and seeing parts of the world or engaging in an adventure that challenges you to new heights and pushes you to new limits as the ultimate relaxation or rest.  You may think of pampering yourself in an exotic spa undergoing different massages and relaxing treatments.  You may find making love as an excellent form of relaxation.  You may think of unencumbered time to simply indulge in a book or magazine you have wanted to read for quite some time.  Maybe going out to a movie, show or an event that allows you to engross yourself for a short time in something else and taking a break from your day-to-day challenges, is what rest and relaxation means to you.  Maybe prayer or meditating and cleansing your internal spiritual self and thereby entering a relaxed state are a great form of relaxation or rest for you. You may even consider simply spending conversational time over a meal with loved ones, family or friends as an excellent type of R&R.  Each of us relaxes in different ways and may need several types of unique rest from time to time.

One meaning for the word rest is “refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor”, taken from www.dictionary.com  and for me that is exactly what I am looking for with the first “R” in the phrase R&R.  But the phrase “R&R” has two “R’s” not one.  The second “R”, relaxation has a different meaning, “an activity or recreation that provides such relief; diversion; entertainment”.  As you can see, the first “R” is all about doing nothing or inactivity, the second “R” is all about doing something or engaging in an activity.  Rest and relaxation is all about not do and do.  Both are two sides of the same “R&R” coin.

Recently I enjoyed so much of the second “R” (days of being on the beach watching sunrises & sunsets), that I needed the first “R” to rest up.  To me that is the best use of “R&R”, relax by doing, then rest up by not doing.

In any event, learning to get a good night’s sleep, eat healthy, exercise regularly, laugh often, listening to music and simply talking with a good friend are very important to managing stress, relaxing and ultimately allowing you to rest.  That is a good place to start in handling any stress that may enter your life.

LifeLongU™ offers up a “Leisure” map to help an individual focus on different types of activities that help provide pathways to counter or reduce everyday stress.

Leisure Map    

©2014 Life Long Network – LifeLongU™ – Life Long Fulfillment Program: Leisure

Keeping focused in different areas of one’s life helps change from one state of being to another state of being, which helps a person think more clearly when faced with challenges.  We all have challenges in our life, some of us are just better equipped with managing them than others.  Make sure you have the tools to manage your stress and a leisure plan to rest and relax.  Life is short enough as it is and we need to learn to take time to rest and relax to fully enjoy all the remaining days of your life.

Gary J. Kiecker

Gary J Kiecker

LifeLongU.com

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Online Dating Experience

Online Dating Experience

If you have not yet been blessed with a significant other, are not in a relationship or have not found the one person you believe the Lord has created just for you, you may have had some experience with the online dating scene, or may be thinking of trying it.  It is surreal to say the least!

When you first think of it, you feel very hopeful, after all, there are thousands of men and women online at any given time of the day.  Your hopefulness might fade some when you start answering the specific questions that are required.  Trying to say the right thing in the right way, not too little, not too much; then figuring out which pictures to upload which show the “REAL” you.  When you finally complete your profile, you are left with an accomplished feeling of “ok, I am out there”.  Now what does the opposite sex think of me?  Of course, there is really no way for them to get the “REAL” you from the couple of pictures and paragraphs of text you just put out there, but you do have hope that a connection will happen.  After all, what is your alternative? 

Now that you are out there and more time passes, several things can and will happen.  You will begin to have the opposite sex view your profile.  They will either move along or contact you by sending you a smile or email of some sort.  They may even favorite you in some way.  Now it’s up to you to view their profile and reply back or move along yourself.  A word of caution at this stage of communication; if you are looking for a serious relationship and not just a pen pal, make sure to meet soon before you exchange too much information online, it’s easy to get stuck in email loops back and forth with several individuals and never actually meet to make sure you even want to build a relationship with whom you have been sharing personal information with.

But what happens after a while and no one actually sends you a smile or contacts you or maybe those that do contact you, you really are not attracted to or you feel would not be a match.  Let’s face it; the online dating is a place for each of us single individuals to find someone that we feel we may possibly want to spend the rest of our life with.  We have voluntarily thrown ourselves into a very large pool of other single individuals looking for the same thing (mostly).  Be careful not to disclose too much too soon; there are all types of unscrupulous predators online these days and you must be smart about whom you share information with.  Don’t obsess about another’s pictures or if they fit perfectly at all with what you think you want in a match.  You haven’t even met them yet, and most likely you are forming many incorrect assumptions about who they are by what is in their profile. 

At some point you will start to go searching for that special someone on your own.  Building your search criteria is sort of like going into a grocery store with a shopping list.  When shopping for groceries, you visit many areas within the store, health food, liquids, paper products, frozen goods, meat section, vegetables, sweets, junk food, dairy products, fruits and canned goods.  Within each of these are so many different types and brands, which do you really want?  How can you decide?  Which go together?  Which will you like?  Which will make you sick?

Similarly like going to the grocery store you need to develop a shopping list of what you are looking for before you search: hair & eye color, body type, frequency of exercise, religion, activities they like or do, any children, drinking, smoking, income level, job, lifestyle, ethnicity, common interests or marital status just to name a few.  After you have selected your goods and created your list of what you want in the online store, you perform your search. 

From these results you need to select those you feel attracted to either by the pictures or text they have shown you.  Maybe it’s real; maybe it’s accurate, maybe not?  There can be all kinds of “spoiled” goods in this store.  But there are also a lot of the very good products mixed in.  You simply do not know how good your selections might be until you decide to interact with them.  You can do this one at a time or do a shotgun approach by responding too many potentials and wait to see what happens.  But no matter what, it takes some time to feel comfortable enough to decide to meet.   

This kind of activity can go on and on and is how you get to the meeting stage.  When you finally get here you get to see, touch, poke and observe your selection in person, and they you.  Did you make a good selection?  Did they?  Remember, they are observing what they selected too!  The dating process and information gathering stages are ongoing from this point.  How long does it take for one person to get to know another?  We all have histories that need to be shared, both good and bad.  We all have future dreams and goals that need to be discussed.  Some may not align with your choice of partner.  But at what stages do you share that information?  Only each of us can determine that.  What feels right to you?  What are you prepared to hear from your chosen one about their past history or future goals?  Will that change how you feel about your chosen partner?  At some point, if you want the relationship to move to marriage, you “must” commit and get behind that commitment.  You each need to feel and know that each of you has the others backs and that no matter what happens, they will be there for you.  You together are now one.  This is a true loving partnership, one that can withstand all things.

As time moves along and you build a solid relationship and both decide you are committed and want it to go somewhere, at this point, you should have discussed the parts of your past that may affect your future together and plan how things will work moving forward.  You should have some deeper level discussions around how you will move forward as a couple and finally as husband and wife.  Being one person in the past and now becoming two can take some adjusting.  Those discussions should include how your relationship will work between you and with your individual friends and family moving forward; your separate and joint spirituality; your individual and joint finances and retirement plans; how you enjoy your leisure time by yourself and together; your career desires; and your giving to others.  Not discussing any of these topics at some level of detail may lead to some large problems between you and your partner later on which could be avoided.

My own experiences with online dating and building intimate relationships have been mixed.  I was married for over 22 years, went through the divorce process and have been dating on and off over the last five years.  I have met several terrific women on several of the online dating sites.  One led all the way up to looking at rings…but then disintegrated to nothing because of not fully discussing how our pasts might affect our futures and how committed we both really were to live our future life together.  Combining two singular lives into one after 5 to 10 years of being by yourself can be difficult and should not be rushed.  Take the necessary time to get to really know each other, ask the hard questions, have the difficult discussions and then give it your all.  I do believe we receive from a relationship what we put into it.  Don’t quit if you run into a challenge or two, if you have something good.  No relationship is easy, at times, they will require more work; and all relationships have challenges.

Experience is a great teacher, make sure you learn from it, think on it, but don’t let it rule your future.  Your past does not dictate your future, so don’t let it.

The views above are only my views which have been drawn from my own experiences.

Good luck finding your special someone!

 

Gary J. Kiecker

LifelongU.com

 

 

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Plan for Change, It Happens!

Plan for Change, It Happens! 

In the twilight of our lives, when we have lived the life our choices and decisions have brought us, both good and bad; when our creative ideas and dreams of an earlier time have given way to the comforts of a more sedentary lifestyle; when we have lost a large amount of our drive or have accepted the inevitable…at that exact point, what do you want to remember from your life?  What do you want to have succeeded at or accomplished?  What do you want to be able to do from then on?  This is why you may want to change your current lifestyle and develop a plan for  your future.

Now is the time to ask yourself some very pointed questions.  Think long and hard on your answers. 

What do you want to do with your life? 

What do you want to know? 

What do you want to see and hear?

What do you want to really have and enjoy? 

What do you want to feel and experience? 

Just who do “YOU” want to be?

In the here and now of your today, you may have to play the responsible role the decisions your past life have brought for you.  All responsible people hold themselves accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities and taking appropriate action to clean up the mistakes of their pasts (we all have them).  Responsible people learn from these mistakes and do what is right in the here and now.  Responsible people try to chart a course for an improved future, develop a plan for its accomplishment and put it into action.  But you need to develop the plan, correct?  What is your plan? 

Is your plan to simply take one day at a time and live the same today, you lived yesterday?  Without a plan, most of your days will be the same as they have been in your past.  Without realizing it, you will soon live 8, 9 or 10 years or more of mostly the same type of day.  Is this really your plan?  Most of us have heard one definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  Without a plan, without putting your plan into action, are you not doing the same thing every day and expecting a different result?  Is this not insanity?

I am sure for many of us, life simply happens and we do end up living everyday pretty much like yesterday, with the only change being the weather.  You might be telling yourself that you do not like change, that you like who you are.  However, we all must face the truth whether you like it or not, we all have to and will change.  We all age and with that brings many changes, sometimes much faster than we realize or are prepared for.  Our bodies change, internally and externally.  Our surroundings change with the new being built and the old being torn down.  Our world today is a technology world and it is filled with change.  New ways to do things and interact with each other are presented to us pretty much every month or so.  We all MUST change.  So what is your plan for change?

There is so much to experience in this world.  So many things to see, do, feel, hear, smell, taste!  What have you experienced so far?  What do you remember about it?  Would you like to enjoy more of those types of experiences?  How about something new?  The list is pretty much endless; but you have to have a plan.  You have to put it into action or your tomorrow may be about the same as your yesterday and today…except for maybe some different weather.  What is your plan for life?

LifeLongU.com helps you look at your life and break it down so you can develop a life plan that you can put into action.  Take a look and see if it can help you.  Don’t live your yesterday again tomorrow! Strive to create a new day, each and every day…that is a plan, make it part of your life plan!

Thank you and remember to “LIVE” your life, it’s the one God gave you!

Gary J. Kiecker

www.LifeLongU.com

 

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A Focused Life

 A Focused Life

How often have you really sat back and took a good look at your life and wondered if you have achieved what you set out to do many years ago?  Do you remember what your intentions, goals or dreams were 20 or more years ago?  What did you believe your “life’s purpose” to be back then?  Is that purpose still what gets you going every day?  Has it changed any?

Reflecting back on your past can be a great method to help re-align your future plans.  Looking back and weighing the pluses and minuses of your life, as you remember them, will help you understand more about yourself and allow you to use some of your wisdom to make better decisions about your future.

There are many types of people that approach this reflection differently and if two people had the exact same experiences with their past, my guess would be that each would reflect and remember it in different ways.  Each would draw different conclusions on what was a plus and what was a minus.  Each would be correct, from their perspective, but still have only one point of view, theirs.  A singular point of view is not what you may want when planning your future, is it?  This singular point of view, because of its singularity, may tend to blind you from other options that are in front of you and because of this singular thinking pattern, you may not see or acknowledge potential options.  This is not to say that after all options have been uncovered, researched and weighed, and a plan for the future is determined and put in place, that this action plan cannot become a focus and somewhat a singular point of view.  In fact, this is how big goals are achieved.

The real trick here is to combine the exploration of options, which may tend to go all over the place and consolidate them into a focused plan for your future, a somewhat singular point of view.  But also as you work this plan to achieve your goal, you keep in mind to occasionally do a broad sweep outside of your area of focus and be aware of other potential opportunities.  Tunnel vision in life or business is not a characteristic successful people have.  Successful people are also not all over the place exploring the many options that can exist in life and prove to be large distractions.  A combination of both is really the best solution.

Working with another individual to play the counter role opposite your own role can benefit you and increase the probability of your plans future success.  If you do well at exploring options, find a partner, mentor or coach to help bring the singular point of view into an actionable plan and then execute it.  If you find that you do well at a singular point of view, then find a partner that excels at uncovering options and weed through them together and develop your future plan, and then again, execute it.

When developing any type of plan for your life, make sure your plan includes the exploration of six main areas:  Spiritual, Relationships, Financial, Philanthropy, Career and Leisure.  Too much time spent on any one of these can make you extremely out of balance and have a disastrous impact on your life.  Set out to create a singular focused action plan for each of the six life categories mentioned above, but use a broad sweeping method to explore and gather what you want from life first, then summarize each, develop your plan and put it into action.  Remember to use your partner, mentor or coach to balance your thinking and your efforts.  They should provide insight outside of your normal thinking pattern and may get you through difficult times which we all face in life, whether we plan for it or not.

Good luck and enjoy your life, it’s the one God made for you!

Gary J Kiecker

www.LifeLongU.com