This year, I spent my New Years Eve the way I typically do: sitting peacefully, reflecting on the previous year, finalizing my plans for reaching my goals in the coming year (at least the first three months), and wrapping up these words of wisdom to relay to everybody going into the new year.
I started writing this a few days ago, and just as I was wrapping up, a fantastic song from my past came on my Spotify playlist which, quite humorously, is the perfect summation of the words that I am about to divulge. “I’VE GOT THE POWER!!”. Yesss! I never thought I would see the day when a 90’s dance track would end up containing such sage-like words of wisdom… but… here we are.
This will all make sense in a bit – but just for a moment, please indulge me. I want you to take just a few moments and do something. Look at the following list, choose one item from it, and do what it says. (You can do more than one if you really want – but just one is needed for the point I am trying to make).
- Pick up an item that is not where it should be, and put it in its intended spot.
- Take a deep breath, and exhale slowly.
- Go pour yourself a glass of water, and drink it.
- Find the veggie tray, and eat a single piece of fruit, or a vegetable.
- Do 10 jumping jacks.
- Make a list of everything you want to get done tomorrow.
- Take $1.00 and hide it somewhere, and forget about it.
- Find somebody on your friends list or in your phone contacts that you haven’t talked to in a while and send the following message: “Hey! It’s been a while since we’ve chatted, so I just wanted to say hey, and that I am thinking about you. Hope all is well!”
- Choose a spot on the wall, and stare intensely at it for 15 seconds, without diverting your eyes once.
- Hug/Kiss your spouse or a loved one, and tell them that you love them.
That’s it! If you did or can do any one of those things, you have the keys to life. You can do ANYTHING. As the song says… “YOU’VE GOT THE POWER!!”. I see so many people these days playing the victim. Acting like they can’t get ahead, can’t help themselves, or aren’t where they want to be in life because of some force that’s holding them back. But today, I had you do one of those 10 things above because:
– If you can pick up an item and put it somewhere else, it shows that you have the ability to change/impact your direct environment. This should be a life altering realization! The fact that you, with your own two hands and feet, can physically impact and change the things around you – that’s a miracle and a blessing! You don’t like where you’re at? Change it! Fix it. Manipulate it! Make use of your God-given ability to bring about change in your life.
– If you can take a deep breathe and exhale slowly, you have everything you need to survive for the next couple of minutes. At your lowest point, no matter how bad things are… if you have air, then you at least have a couple of minutes. If you regulate your breathing, you can calm yourself down in times of stress, anxiety or fear. Breathing is life. If we don’t breathe, we don’t live. The person who can control and regulate their breathing, is capable of controlling and regulating their reactions. The person who can control their reactions to the things that happen to them is the person who can control the quality of their life.
– If you can pour yourself a glass of water and drink it, you have the ability to drastically improve your health and overall well-being. Water gives you life, energy, and helps your body perform at its best. It keeps your joints lubricated, helps you digest food properly, keeps toxins flushed out of your body, and ultimately, keeps you alive. The number of benefits of being properly hydrated are borderline miraculous. I firmly believe that one of the easiest ways to drastically improve your health is simply to drink more water. I began drinking a gallon a day a couple of weeks ago, and once I got past the initial period of having to pee every 5 minutes, I was blown away by how much of a difference it made in my overall energy and health.
– If you can eat a single piece of fruit or vegetable, then you have the ability to eat healthily, and to give your body the proper sustenance to thrive. I’m not saying that you will always like or enjoy it. I’m also not saying that you can never have foods that you actually enjoy. But – if you can eat at least one single piece of fruit or a vegetable… then you can eat more than one. And the more you eat, the better off you’ll be. Despite the popular myth that healthy eating is more expensive than eating junk – fruits and vegetables are actually among the most inexpensive food items in the grocery store. It should not be a big revelation to you by this point that eating healthier will directly impact the quality of your life. The healthier you eat, the better you will feel. You will have more energy, you will be less sick, you will hurt less, you will lose excess weight, and you will generally feel better about yourself.
– If you can do 10 jumping jacks, then you have shown yourself that you have the ability to perform physical exercise. Maybe you can’t do a lot of it. Maybe even doing 10 jumping jacks was difficult. But that can always be improved. The fact that you can do any at all is an indicator that you have the ability to do something physical. And anybody who can perform any amount of physical activity is capable of improving on the amount of physical activity that they can do. And the more physical activity you do, the better you will feel. There is no job in the world that can be done better by being in bad physical condition. The better shape you’re in, the better you will do at everything in life.
– If you can make a list of everything that you want to get done tomorrow, then you have shown yourself that you have the ability to plan. Planning is critical for long-term success. Those who do it regularly, almost without exception, are more successful at their goals than those who don’t plan. Any plan, even an imperfect one, is far better than no plan at all. As the saying goes, “Fail to plan? Plan to fail.”
– If you can set even $1.00 aside and not worry about it, then you have the ability to save money. Maybe it’s not a lot – but it doesn’t have to be. A little bit, over a long period of time, adds up to a lot. In order to be successful with money, you absolutely, without question, need to develop the ability to save. For every dollar you earn, it is your right to keep at least 10% of it. If you can, without fail, set aside one dime for every single dollar you earn, and not spend it – you will be amazed at how quickly your finances begin to improve.
– If you can reach out to somebody and make them smile, then you have the ability to connect with other human beings in a positive way. If you treat everybody with kindness, and let them know that they’re important to you – life becomes so much easier. I am regularly amazed at how difficult people make life out to be for themselves by acting rudely, or letting their anger overcome them. The very simple act of treating other people kindly, and being a good natured person who doesn’t take themselves too seriously is the easiest way to get people to respond positively.
– If you can stare intently at one spot for 15 seconds, then you have demonstrated to yourself that you have the ability to focus on one thing, and to give that one thing all of your attention. If you want to drastically change your work performance – break your day up into 15 second intervals, and commit to focusing intently for 15 seconds at a time – many times throughout the day. Of course you can always increase that amount of time – but sometimes, just knowing that you have the ability to do something is half the battle. Truly, you can do amazing and unbelievable things when you can dedicate your undivided focus to something. If you can do that regularly towards the right things, you will be amazed at the success you experience.
– If you can hug/kiss your spouse or a loved one, then you have access to the single greatest force on this planet: love. When you have people in your life whom you can love, and who in turn, love you, you get to enjoy the best thing that this life has to offer. No amount of money, fame, or material possessions can ever give you the joy and lasting happiness that love can. Indeed, love is really all that matters in this life.
And finally – while this wasn’t specifically on the list – if you can do any one of those things when you don’t feel like it – then you have unlocked the final key to true success in this life. The ability to do the things that we should do (or abstain from doing the things that we shouldn’t do), even when we don’t feel like it, is what separates the average from the elite. And just like anything else, the more we practice it, the easier it gets. If you make a habit of doing things that are good for you even when you don’t feel like it, before you know it, it will become second nature.
So yeah, these little menial tasks might seem silly – but if you can see for yourself that you are capable of doing them, then you should know that you can do truly unbelievable things in your life. You don’t need anything else!
I hope everybody has a fantastic 2017. But don’t let it fall to chance. Take action, and make it that way. YOU HAVE THE POWER!