Category: Positively Positive

The Unique Bill Murray Technique for Saying “Yes”

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Aggression from Other Kids: Here’s How to Help Your Child Find His Voice

“Dr Laura… What if it is not your own child being aggressive, but other kids? A few days ago my two year old and I were splashing in puddles when two girls with their grandparents walked past. The 3 year old walked up to my son and said ‘We will kill you.’ It was obvious she thought the puddles were all their’s and she was lashing out with hostility.”

It sounds like the other three year old was having a hard time. And of course, that could be a traumatic experience for your toddler. We all wish we could protect our children from incidents like this.

But since we can’t, let’s help our kids find their voice so they can stick up for themselves without attacking others. We all need to learn to stay grounded in our own dignity and compassion as we cope with the unhappy people who will inevitably come our way. That’s how we, and our kids, help transform the world we live in — by adding to the love, rather than the pain. How?

1. Model an appropriate response to the other child.

“You sound mad! Are you saying that you don’t want other kids playing in the puddles?” 

Obviously, you won’t usually engage with an enraged stranger. But most people who are rude just want their position acknowledged. Once you let them know you understand their concerns, they generally feel less threatened, and are therefore less threatening. Since you’re speaking to a child who seems to have some reason to feel unhappy, you might resolve things simply by acknowledging her point of view.

“I guess it’s hard to share the puddles, isn’t it? Don’t worry, there are plenty of puddles for all of us to enjoy!”

The more kind and empathic you can be, the more the other child will soften. Who knows? She might even smile and begin playing with you. At the very least, most kids will shrug and move on.

2. Reassure your child that he’s safe.

Turn to your child and say something like “She’s mad that we’re playing in the puddle…. Don’t worry…  I will keep everyone safe….. There are plenty of puddles for everyone.” It’s fine, even good, if the other child overhears this. It’s probably scary for that child to feel so much at the mercy of her own aggression.

3. If the other child says anything else inappropriate, like

“No! These are OUR puddles!” or moves physically toward your child, you’ll need to protect your child by stepping between them. Model strength by restating your limit in a strong voice. For instance, you might say firmly “I know it’s hard to share, but these are EVERYONE’s puddles….We will stay over here so you can have those puddles.”

4. Support your child to find his voice.

In a situation where another child infringes on your child by pushing him, or grabbing something from him, explicitly give your child permission to speak up for himself, without acting like it’s an emergency. You might say gently “Are you okay with that? You can say ‘Don’t push my body’ or ‘Hey, I’m playing with this…I will give it to you when I’m done.’”

5. If necessary, appeal to the adult who is accompanying the other child.

You don’t want to get into the position of fighting with the other adult, or implying that they’re doing a bad job. Instead, smile at them and directly appeal for them to step in, by saying something like: “It sounds like your girl loves these puddles and needs a puddle of her own! Our family is using this puddle right now. We’ll be happy to let her have this puddle once we’re done with it.” At this point, most adults will move their child off to another puddle.

Should you “teach” the other adult how to do a better job with their parenting? You are! Modeling is always the strongest teaching. Love is always the strongest teacher.

6. Help your child work out his feelings.

It’s scary for your child to feel that he’s the object of someone else’s aggression. Once the other family is gone, say “That was hard, wasn’t it?… I think that girl must have been having a tough day! What did you think?”  If he seems upset, you might want to role play a bit so that he gets the experience of saying “Excuse me?! I was playing in that puddle! You can have it as soon as I’m done.” Encourage him to use his strongest voice.

And then? Get your child laughing about the incident to dispel any anxiety you’re both feeling, by playfully asking if you can share his puddle, or inviting him to share yours. Get some good splashing in! And be grateful that you’re in a position to raise a child who will make the world a better place, just by being himself.

Dr. Laura Markham, founder of and author of The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life.

Image courtesy of RODNAE Productions.

How to Maintain a Positive Mindset


As much as we know that our thoughts – whether positive or negative – will affect our feelings and manifest our reality, it is often difficult to keep up the positive mindset in the face of events or situations that arise.

We need to look at our thinking from a perspective of consciousness. It is only with this deeper dive into our psyche, and blueprint of who we are, that we can adopt a long-term positive effect. It’s not only about recognizing your patterns. It’s about understanding that a mind will create a story. Whether that story is true or not can only be decided by you, and you alone.

With so much emphasis on the physical world, the power of consciousness is overlooked. We often focus on the circumstances in our lives that aren’t going well, instead of thinking about what is going well and counting our blessings. We focus on what we see as problematic, instead of looking at the bigger picture and all who are involved in it.

Positive consciousness starts with the awareness of the ability of your mind to change and grow. Consciousness is the most powerful tool in breaking the negative emotions that can cause a chain reaction in our brains. Utilizing a conscious decision to turn over these feelings to a higher level of consciousness and let them go is not easy, it takes consistent minute-by-minute work.

Positive consciousness acknowledges negative thoughts and feelings but doesn’t hold on to them.

When we persist, we begin to see the expansive nature of consciousness, as opposed to the “small mind” focus on our problems. Then the picture of our lives and the outer experiences begin to change, and then the bigger definition adjusts.


Positive consciousness is in partnership with the subconscious, which understands why our mind tends to default to the negative. We may have heard “don’t” and “can’t” and “not” much more in the past than “go for it” and “you can do it” and “yes”.

Our higher consciousness defaults to positive so much so that it does not hear negatives in sentences. When we say, “I am not smoking again”, our mind only hears, “I am smoking again” – it takes out the “not” because that’s a negative and it blocks out negatives. There might have been a purpose of basic survival, back when we were emerging as humans, to hear the negative warnings of lurking danger, and that’s why society carried those negative statements forward.

We have now evolved to higher purposes – to ourselves and to the world – that point to positivity needing to be our default in what we say and do. It is not only possible but necessary. Both individuals and the entire planet are helped by positive consciousness.


The next step in positive consciousness is the realization that positivity is acutely closer to “neutrality” than we may think. To keep a positive mindset is more about accepting the ebb and flow of life rather than forcing an unnatural brightness.

When we keep our consciousness in the positive realm, we are greeting ALL that life encompasses with a “hello,” and a “welcome.” We greet joy the same as pain; birth the same as death. Emotions are embraced, whether they be sadness or happiness, and we are not scared of any of these emotions, nor do we hold on to them as if they will never change.

Everything will change around us. Internally, our consciousness can bring peace and a sense of continuity by being neutral and nonjudgmental. Positive consciousness is nurtured by receiving life on the universe’s terms, not ours.

If only we were always in a state of equilibrium and balance, it would be easy to see that everything is in divine accord, and all that occurs externally happens in Divine Order. The fact is, we’re not!

We are creating our own reality by how our consciousness reacts to life, whether it be good fortune, or misfortune.

There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to pleasure by directing your consciousness towards it, as long as you know that the space between two pleasures is pain, and conversely, the space between two pains is pleasure. So sooner or later, pleasure is going to de-manifest. The evolution of consciousness, and the goal that teachings and meditations reach for, is neutrality.

This is the higher consciousness that yogis have – the ability to neutralize the whole game. That’s why they can sit perfectly still. They’re neither attracted to pleasure nor averted by pain. They just are, and that’s what we should be doing, as best as we can. When we are neutral we are not attracted to nor averted by anything, we just accept it for what it is and we act in the moment.

The enlightenment of a higher consciousness is not something you go looking for – you are it, already.

Enjoy it!

Derek O’Neill, fondly referred to as the Celtic Sage, inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights listen to his free radio archives explore over 20 personal development books including Stop The Struggle, Bullying, Love/Divorce, Grief, Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress and Depression.

Image courtesy of Ion Ceban.

5 Ways to Know If You Should Say Something or Keep It to Yourself

I don’t like confrontation. Never have. I’d rather keep things to myself than rock the boat.

But I also have this overdeveloped sense of responsibility where I think that I should be working on making other people feel better or helping them live their lives in ways that are outside my jurisdiction.

When combined, the tendency not to say what I know to be true while also feeling responsible for other people’s lives is tricky, at best.

I’m often left wondering if I should say something about what I see (which I really never want to do) so that I can help ease someone else’s pain, or if I should focus on keeping my own side of the sidewalk clean and let the people in my life be on their own journey.

So I return to the Serenity Prayer as often as I remember:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

When I find myself wanting to change things I can’t, I return to this.

When I find myself wimping out about speaking up, I return to this.

And when I can’t figure out if I should say something or shut up, I return to this.

In this dance between feeling like it’s my job to fix other people’s lives while simultaneously avoiding difficult conversations whenever possible, I want to share a couple of wisdom nuggets I’ve gathered in case they’re also helpful to you.

  1. Other people’s lives are not our responsibility.
  2. The best way to help someone else is to love them.
  3. Loving someone is not the same thing as trying to fix them.
  4. If someone you love is endangering themselves or someone else, it’s time to say something, no matter how much you’d rather stay silent.
  5. Your truth heals. (And sometimes the only one who needs to know that truth in order for it to be healing is you.)


  • When the other person has not asked for my advice
  • When the other person is fundamentally safe
  • When the other person is not harming themselves or others with their behavior

That’s when I remind myself that other people’s lives are not my responsibility, and I instantly feel more relaxed.


  • When someone else is hurting me (or has hurt me)
  • When there’s someone too young to advocate for themselves or unable to speak up for themselves for some other reason
  • When someone else is a danger to themselves or others (physically or emotionally)

When in doubt:

Keep your side of the sidewalk clean.

When you find yourself wanting someone else to change, see what you can change within yourself.

And remember always that the best way to help someone is to love them, right where they are.


Do you fall on the side of finding it hard to keep things to yourself or finding it hard to speak up? How do you determine when to say something and when to keep it to yourself? Which of the 5 wisdom nuggets resonates with you the most? Tell me in the comments!

Kate Northrup is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, and mother who supports ambitious, motivated and successful women to light up the world without burning themselves out in the process. Committed to empowering women entrepreneurs to create their most successful businesses while navigating motherhood, Kate is the founder and CEO of Origin Collective, a monthly membership site where women all over the world gather to achieve more while doing less. Her first book, Money: A Love Story, has been published in 5 languages. Kate’s work has been featured by The Today Show, Yahoo! Finance, Women’s Health, Glamour, and The Huffington Post, and she’s spoken to audiences of thousands with Hay House, Wanderlust, USANA Health Sciences, and more. Kate lives with her husband and business partner, Mike, and their daughter Penelope in Maine. Find out more and receive your free copy of the 5 Simple and effective ways to get the results you want in your business at

Image courtesy of mentatdgt.

The Pain of Not Living in a Trauma-Informed Society

My journey of healing started many years ago when I was in Australia. I remember that back then I was so full of anxiety that oftentimes I even found it hard to get out of bed. To make it worse, I judged myself for it a lot.

How could I not? After all, what was wrong with me?! I hadn’t suffered ‘major’ trauma during childhood, my parents were loving (to their best abilities at least) and I grew up in a safe environment with enough food every day. So why couldn’t I simply be normal? Get up and get a life like everyone else around me?

Well, that was way before I understood anything about trauma.

It was before I learned that our bodies hold the past in their cellular memory and that we experience that blocked, undigested energy as negative thought patterns and emotions.

Once I started releasing my own pain and tensions, I also started seeing more clearly.

Through understanding trauma, all of a sudden the world around me began making more sense.

It was as if someone had cleared my filters and I was able to perceive the root cause of people’s behaviors and suffering. Now when I experienced someone as being an ‘asshole’, I couldn’t just dismiss him as an idiot and be done with it. I couldn’t go that easily into judgment anymore, because it was so obvious that their anger, aggression, or disrespect (etc.) came from a deep wound within themselves.

I had been there myself. Compassion was therefore the only possible response.

And this is where the tragedy of not living in a trauma-informed society lies

It’s like we are all living in pain but we think it’s normal because we lack a comparison to a healthy baseline. So instead we compare ourselves to the only thing we’ve got: the incoherent fight and flight-driven world that we perceive through the media.

We look at characters on the screen that are ‘successful’, better than us, and we judge ourselves for not being good enough (if I was good enough I would be on the screen too, after all.)

Then we look at characters on the screen that are ‘bad players’ and we judge them, which makes us feel a bit better about ourselves.

But it’s all the same. Whether we feel superior or inferior, we will always miss the point, unless we understand that:

We are all in the same boat. We all carry some trauma in our bodies.

I might be less traumatized than others, great, but if that doesn’t make me more compassionate then I still have work to do.

Our Collective Shadow

The world right now is the direct reflection of this ‘shadow’ of not understanding our bodies and nervous systems. I say shadow, because most of us don’t own that we have been living in fight and flight/fear, even before 2020.

And yet it is so obvious, isn’t it?

Increased stress, increased mental health issues, increased physical health issues, increased dissatisfaction, increased disconnection…

these are all signs of trauma.

And the only way out is to look at ourselves and acknowledge where we are at: there is trauma in me and the world.

That’s the first step. Acknowledgment.

The second step is: what are we going to do about it?

How about letting ourselves out of the prison of ‘I’m not good enough’ and working on our compassion muscles instead?

How about we talk more vulnerably about our experience of life and we admit that we are scared of where all of this is going? (i.e. that maybe we don’t have access to our best capacity)

How about we stop blaming ourselves and others for what’s happening (on any level) and we become humble in our limitations? (i.e. that we probably need each other to come up with a solution)

Ah, and of course, the most important:

How about we demand that this conversation becomes mainstream?

(i.e. we start talking about what’s really important)

Judging ourselves or others for our flaws and ‘brokenness’ is simply not helpful. It only creates more separation. What we need more than anything right now is to understand that we all have something incredibly precious in common and that’s our Nervous System and Body.

We need to learn how to collectively take care of it together.

Kasia Patzelt works as an Embodiment Coach and is passionate about integrating our spiritual experiences into the here and now of daily life aka how to be truly heart intelligent. She is a writer on Medium and works one-on-one with people online or on the magic island of Ibiza, where she lives.

Image courtesy of nappy.

Never Start with Goals; Start with Clarity

All confusion comes from lack of clarity.

Confusion itself doesn’t present a threat, or give us pain, necessarily, but it does make us aware of potential pain.

Complexity is fine. Avoiding complexity just because and idolizing simplicity just because isn’t wise; it’s naïve.

There’s nothing truly simple in the universe we inhabit.

We keep trying to distill complex things to their simplest essence, and the damned things erupt into more complexity. We find, in our quest for simplicity, that we can go infinitely outward or infinitely inward, and find ever unfolding layers and levels and patterns and overlaps and pieces and connections and dependencies and always movement, always change.

The quest for simplicity is a futile one, if we’re honest.

Also, if we’re honest, we don’t really want simplicity, if by simplicity we mean fewer options.

What we want is clarity: clarity lets us scan all the options, and find the few that are important right now. Clarity lets us wade through the noise and hear the signal.

The problem isn’t too much noise.

The problem is that, without clarity, we don’t recognize the signal when we hear it. We don’t know what we want, what we’re after, so we can’t find it. It may be right in front of us (usually it is). But until we have clarity, we can’t tune in. We’re twirling the dial, hearing the static, hearing the noise, and trying to define the signal while we search for it.

It’s like trying to tune a flute while you’re playing the flute. You can’t do it. The nature of the first activity—tuning—necessarily interrupts the other activity.

It’s the same when we try to find the signal while we’re still figuring out what the signal is. Until you know what you’re listening for, how do you know when you hear it?

I’ve worked with many clients who don’t quite know what they want from their content marketing.

They know they need content. They know they’re supposed to be creating it, lots of it. They know they’re supposed to market with content, somehow? Right? And they know that the content should be related to their business, and helpful to their customers, and, you know, not crap.

They usually have a content goal like

  • increase website traffic by X%
  • increase conversion rate by Z%
  • get better search rankings for XYZ keywords/topics
  • get more list subscribers
  • make more sales
  • increase readership
  • establish expertisein XYZ topic/area
  • get backlinks.

All of those things are fine, and can be specific, measurable, achievable. In other words, they can fit the “right definition” of a SMART goal.

But that doesn’t mean there’s clarity.

Clarity is the WHY that supports your goals.

Clarity gives you the reason to keep working toward your goal when the initial motivation’s gone, your energy is low, and you keep hitting obstacles.

If you don’t have clarity, you’ll start second guessing your goals. You might second guess them even with clarity. But having clarity will bring you back, help you remember WHY the goal matters to you.

If it doesn’t matter to you, why put yourself through pain to achieve it?

And let’s be honest: reaching a goal—any worthy goal— will bring some pain into your life. A worthy goal is one that stretches you, pushes you, expands your reality in some way. In order to reach the goal, you have to become more than you are now. You have to venture into unknown territory. You have to change something about yourself, your choices, and/or your behaviors to reach new places, to create new results. There’s going to be some pain involved.

This is true of both personal and professional goals.

Goals aren’t a good starting point.

Goals are what you define after you sit still and quiet long enough to get clarity, to answer your own question: WHY?

WHY am I putting effort into this area? WHY do I want to change what’s happening? WHY do I want different results? WHY do I want something other than what I already have?

One WHY leads to another WHY which leads to another WHY. It’s a trail that takes some time to follow.

Don’t rush it.

If you walk the clarity trail long enough, you may find a shortcut. No, not a shortcut to clarity, but a shortcut to getting whatever it is you really want.

Sometimes the goals are distractions. Sometimes they’re goals that sound good, look good, and make us feel good. We pick goals we can justify, goals that make us feel more like the kind of people we want to be.

That’s all well and good if the goals line up with what we’re really after, with the big WHY underlying all our choices and actions. If the goals don’t line up, though, we’re either wasting our time or … Well, we’re wasting our time.

We may burn out before reaching the goal because deep down we know it doesn’t really matter. Or we may reach the goal because we’re good at self-discipline, but reaching the goal won’t give us what we want, sooo… it still doesn’t really matter.

I don’t know about you, but I do not like wasting my time. I do not like spending my energy on meaningless pursuits, no matter how good they sound or how much my ego lights up at the idea of having a new “braggable” achievement.

Clarity is hard to get to because it requires gut-level, ego-free, childlike honesty.

We have all these internal filters that keep us from operating in that kind of honesty. Oh, we’re honest people, mostly. I’m as honest with you as I can be. The limit of my honesty with you is this: how honest am I being with myself?

I can’t be honest with you about something when I’m refusing to be honest with myself about it.

Honesty with self is the real challenge. Clarity requires some good old-fashioned sit-still-and-think time because most of us are not in the habit of being truly freely perfectly unfiltered and honest with ourselves.

So that’s our challenge. It’s a tough one for those of us who value things like efficiency and productivity and who are Type-A overachievers. (Hands up! I see you.)

Let’s remember that effectiveness is as important as efficiency. Let’s take time to be still. Let’s give ourselves time and space to get to the why, the underlying answer, the real motivation.

Clarity first. Goals second. Action third.

Annie Mueller is a writer, reader, seeker of growth, and transplant to Puerto Rico, where she lives with her best friend and their four children. Her crash course in self-discovery came from experiencing job loss, financial devastation, Hurricane Maria and its aftermath, and major surgery—all in less than a year. She writes about creativity, personal growth, and spirituality; runs Prolifica, a content management consultancy for small teams and solo professionals; and sends out a popular weekly newsletter about feelings and freelancing. You can find more of her work on her website.

Image courtesy of Anastasia Shuraeva.

How to Find Your Purpose in Life

When I was in college, I began to find my purpose in life. I was actually a Chinese history major, but in my senior year, I took an elective course for an “easy A” called Social Relations 10.

In that class, we talked about our feelings and got to know each other on a deeper level than anyone I had ever talked to in college. I realized I loved human behavior — how people interact with each other, how they set goals, what human psychology is all about. I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Over the next several years, one opportunity led to another, and I discovered that my true purpose in life was inspiring and empowering people to live their highest vision in the context of love and joy.

Since then, my whole life has been developed around that purpose. Once I was clear with that, I could align every single behavior and goal with my purpose.

So today I want to talk to you about one of the most important, yet challenging things you must do: how to find your purpose in life.

Determine What’s Keeping You From Finding Your Passion

One of the biggest challenges we face is figuring out exactly what we want to do with our lives.

For some of us, our purpose and passion in life are obvious and clear. We’re born with a set of talents and through persistent practice, we develop our talents into skills.

My children are prime examples of clear purpose. It was clear from the moment they got on the planet what they were interested in.

One son wanted to draw all the time, and he is now in the art world. Another son was always tapping out rhythms on paint cans and dishes, and he’s now in the music world, along with one of his brothers.

My daughter is in the literary world, and my stepson is definitely in the business world.

My stepdaughter is also in the arts – she began singing and drawing when she was two. And my stepson is in the business world. He was making business plans and selling things to his friends by the time he was in middle school.

They all had natural talents that were clear indicators of what they ended up ultimately being passionate about.

For others, it’s not as easy to identify a passion. You may even have asked yourself at one point or another, “What should I do with my life?”  “What is my passion?” or “What is my life purpose.”

Alternatively, you may enjoy what you do, but on deeper exploration, discover that you’re passionate about something different than what you do.

It is these people who I hope to offer some useful guidance.

Before we can address how to go about finding what it is you want to commit to in your life, it’s important to better understand why it can be so difficult to figure out. Several factors can make finding your purpose in life hard.

Problems Affecting Your True Purpose

When seeking your true passion, there will always be problems or obstacles that come up and hold you back. Pressure from outside influences is often the root cause that leads people down life paths they don’t enjoy.

Another is that people often prioritize things such as money and prestige above doing what they love. However, it’s beneficial to know that those things will most likely come to those who pursue their true purpose and passion.

Oftentimes, people may also feel that it is too late for them to find their true purpose. They believe they are too old or too established in their current life. This, however, is rarely ever true.

It’s never too late to start doing what makes you happy and the belief that it is too late is nothing more than another factor holding you back.

It’s Time to Move On From Any Setbacks

Once you’ve identified the factors that may be keeping you from finding your purpose in life, you can silence them and follow your true calling.

Thankfully, we’re all born with an inner compass that tells us whether or not we’re on the right path to finding our true purpose. That compass is our experience with happiness or joy.

If you enjoy what you’re doing and it fulfills you, you’re on the right track. If not, it’s time to readjust your course.

By listening to your inner compass and learning to ignore any outside influences or factors that point you in the opposite direction, you’ll find that discovering your true purpose isn’t so hard after all.

How to Discover Your Purpose in Life

Identifying, acknowledging, and honoring your true purpose in life is perhaps the most important action successful people take. They take the time to understand what they’re here to do – and then they pursue that with passion and enthusiasm.

After pinpointing the things that could be holding you back from finding your purpose, it’s time to start uncovering what it is you were truly meant to do with your life.

To do this, start by following these 10 tips that will help you determine how to find your purpose in life.

1. Explore the Things You Love To Do

We are all born with a deep and meaningful purpose that we have to discover. Your purpose is not something you need to make up; it’s already there. You have to uncover it in order to create the life you want. You may ask yourself, “What is my purpose in life?” You can begin to discover your passion or your purpose by exploring two things:

  1. What do you love to do?
  2. What comes easily to you?

Of course, it takes work to develop your talents- even the most gifted musician still has to practice-but it should feel natural, like rowing downstream rather than upstream.

I love to teach, write, coach, facilitate, train, and develop transformational seminars, workshops, and courses. I love to bring other leaders together for conferences and to co-create new approaches to our work.

These things come easy for me. Although I invested many years in learning how to master these skills, I loved every minute of it. In other words, work is required, but suffering is not. If you are struggling and suffering, you are probably not living on purpose.

2. Ask Yourself What Qualities You Enjoy Expressing the Most in the World

First, ask yourself, What are two qualities I most enjoy expressing in the world? Mine are love and joy.

Second, ask yourself, What are two ways I most enjoy expressing these qualities? Mine are inspiring and empowering people.

I inspire people with the moving stories that I tell in my seminars and that I write about in my books, and I empower them by teaching them powerful success strategies that they can apply in their own lives.

3. Create a Life Purpose Statement

Take a few moments and write a description of what the world would look like if it were operating perfectly according to you. In my perfect world, everybody is living their highest vision where they are doing, being, and having everything they want. Finally, combine all three into one statement, and you will have a clear idea of your purpose.

Mine is “Inspiring and empowering people to live their highest vision in a context of love and joy.”

4. Decide Where You Want to Go

Use your inner compass to clarify your vision and figure out where you want to go. Then, lock in your destination through goal setting, affirmations, and visualization, and start taking the actions that will move you in the right direction.

With every picture you visualize, you’re “inputting” the destination you want to get to.

Every time you express a preference for something, you are expressing an intention.

A table by the window, front row seats at a conference, first-class tickets, a room with an ocean view, or a loving relationship.

All these images and thoughts are sending requests to the universe.

If you stay out of its way—meaning you don’t interrupt the process with a stream of negative thoughts, doubts, and fears, your inner GPS will keep unfolding the next steps along your route as you continue to move forward.

In other words, once you clarify and then stay focused on your vision (you can do this with a vision board or meditation), the exact steps will keep appearing along the way in the form of internal guidance, creating ideas, and new opportunities.

5. Be Clear About Your Life Purpose

Once you’re clear about what you want and keep your mind focused, then how will keep showing up—sometimes just when you need it and not a moment earlier.

You were born with an inner guidance that tells you when you are on or off course by the amount of joy you are experiencing. The things that bring you the greatest joy are in alignment with your purpose and will get you to where you want to go.

When you present your goals to the universe with all its powerful technology, you will be surprised and dazzled by what it delivers. This is where the magic and miracles truly happen.

Take some time to think honestly and openly about where you currently are in your life and what you want to do with your life.

What is your financial status? How are your relationships going? How is your health? And so on…

Next, think about where you would like to be.

If your life were perfect right now, what would it look like? What kind of job would you have and where would you be living? By continually doing this exercise, you’ll send powerful triggers to your subconscious mind to help you get there.

6. Conduct a Passion Test

Developed by Chris and Janet Attwood, The Passion Test is a simple, yet elegant, process. You start by filling in the blank 15 times for the following statement: “When my life is ideal, I am ___.” The word(s) you choose to fill in the blank must be a verb.

When Janet took me through the process, my statements looked like this:

  • My life is ideal when I’m being of service to massive numbers of people.
  • My life is ideal when I’m helping people with their vision.
  • My life is ideal when I’m speaking to large groups.
  • My life is ideal when I’m being part of a spiritual leaders network.
  • My life is ideal when I’m creating a core group of ongoing trainers who feel identified with my organization.

Once you’ve created 15 statements, you identify the top 5 choices. To do this, you compare statements #1 and #2 to identify which is most important. Take the winner of that comparison and decide whether it’s more or less important than statement #3.

Then take the winner of that comparison, and decide whether it’s more or less important than statement #4, and so on until you’ve identified the passion that is most meaningful to you.

Repeat the process with the remaining 14 statements to identify your second choice. Then repeat the process until you’ve pinpointed your top 5 passions in life.

Next, create markers for each of your top five passions, so that you can look at your life and easily tell whether you are living that passion.

For me, a life goal would be, “When I’m helping people live their vision I’m giving at least 20 workshops a year for at least 10,000 people total, and at each event, people are coming up afterward and saying, ‘You’ve really empowered me to live my vision.”

Once you know what your passions are and how your life will look when you are living it, you can create action plans to turn your dreams into reality.

7. Conduct a Joy Review

Another technique you can use to help you identify your purpose is to conduct a joy review. Simply set aside about 30 minutes and make a list of all the times you’ve felt the greatest joy in your life.

When I did this it was when I was a patrol leader in the Boy-Scouts, when I was an officer in my military high school, when I was a summer camp counselor at a camp in Maine, my years as a leader in my college fraternity, my years as a high school teacher, when I was conducting workshops and training, when I was telling jokes, telling stories and when I was traveling.

Then look for a pattern among all these times.

In my case, it was when I was teaching, inspiring, and empowering people to reach for their dreams and to have more love, joy, and abundance in their lives.

Since we know that the secret of happiness is part of your internal guidance system telling you when you’re on course, you can determine a lot about your life purpose from completing this joy review.

8. Take Time for Yourself

One of my coaching students, a successful cardiologist, was struggling to identify his purpose. I suggested another exercise, and asked him to look back over his life and answer the question, When have I felt most fulfilled?

He shared three periods in which he felt the happiest and most fulfilled.

First, he told me about a time with his grandfather when he was growing up in India.

The second was his experience of playing with his own grandchildren.

The third was a time he spent vacationing on a sailboat.

When I asked him what was common to all three of these experiences, he told me that it was the sense of freedom that he felt.

Noticing that none of his three experiences related to his profession in medicine, I asked him to tell me about his most fulfilling experiences as a doctor.

As we examined his life further, it became apparent that he took very little time for himself. He was always on call, always working late, always over-scheduled with little or no free time for self-care. I asked him why this was so. He answered that people could die if he didn’t attend to them.

The problem became clear: By attending only to patients and never to himself, he was in a sense- dying.

To drive this point home, I asked him what he would do in the following situation: “A patient comes to you for an operation. If you operate on this patient, you will die. If you don’t operate on him, he will die. It’s him or you. What would you do?” He reflected quietly on this scenario for a long time, and then finally, he said, “I would choose to live, rather than die myself. It doesn’t make sense to kill myself to save others.”

This was a turning point in his life. He later told me that while he still wants to serve people, he now knows he has a right to take care of himself, his mind, his body, and his needs.

This cardiologist now places a higher value on doing what truly comes from his heart, not someone else’s.

9. Align Your Goals With Your Life Purpose

We’re all gifted with a set of talents and interests that tell us what we’re supposed to be doing. Once you know what your life purpose is, organize all of your activities around it. Everything you do should be an expression of your purpose. If an activity or goal doesn’t fit that formula, don’t work on it.

Aligning with your purpose is most critical when setting professional goals. When it comes to personal goals, you have more flexibility.

If you want to learn how to paint or water ski, go ahead and do so. If your goal is to get fit and lose weight, move ahead with confidence. Nurturing yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually will make you more energized, resilient and motivated to live your purpose on the professional front.

However, don’t ignore the signs that your job or career is not right for you. If you dread Monday mornings and live for the weekends, it may be a sign that it’s time to follow your heart and pursue the work you long to do.

10. Lean Into Your True Life Purpose

Once you have gained more clarity about your purpose, you don’t need to completely overhaul your life completely all at once. Instead, just lean into it, bit by bit.

Start living your purpose a little more fully every day, and pay attention to the feedback you’re receiving from others and in terms of the results you are producing, and also to how you are feeling.

Let’s Find Your True Purpose in Life

You’ve got big dreams and ambitions. Now, it’s time to start acting on them while taking your life to a whole new level.

I want to leave you with a bit of homework. Think about your true purpose. Assume that the world is perfect right now. What does this world look like? How is everyone interacting with each other? What does it feel like? 

Write down your answer as a statement, in the present tense, the way you see a perfect world. Remember, that a perfect world is a fun place to be. Once you determine this, go back and read it every day.

Your purpose most likely has something to do with creating that world in some way. Maybe in a small way with your friends, family, neighborhood, community, or workgroup, or maybe on a  grander scale.

Simply close your eyes and visualize that perfect world for a few minutes every day. Then you can watch for opportunities that help create that world wherever you are.

And if, like me, you’re interested in helping others transform their lives along with your own, register for my Train the Trainer Online program. You’ll discover the Success Principles that have helped thousands of people achieve their biggest dreams, learn how to speak, teach, and coach others.

Undoubtedly, you can find your true purpose in life. And remember, nothing will change for the better until you do.

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at and sign up for his free resources today!

Image courtesy of Hakan Hu.

Make This One Change to Your Goals  And You’ll 10x Your Results

“Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.”Gary Keller, Billionaire

If you want extreme levels of motivation and flow, you need a few key ingredients:

  • A clear and compelling future
  • One very specific outcome you’re seeking
  • The full-out acceptance that what you want is already yours
  • Happily making “trade-offs” of “lesser” goals (even highly exciting opportunities)

A Clear And Compelling Future

“Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without having a goal it’s difficult to score.”Paul Arden

Viktor Frankl, the Holocaust survivor summed-it up best: Without having a future to look forward and stretch to, the present becomes meaningless and unbearable.

Your view of your own future directly impacts your physical and emotional health here-and-now. If you have a positive view of your future, then your emotions and behavior will be positive here.

If the future looks uncertain or bleak, then you’ll fall apart emotionally and behaviorally.

Your view of your own future is the single greatest factor in what you do here-and-now.

If you’re distracted or depressed right now, then what that means is that you’ve either lost hope in the future, or you don’t believe in your future.

This is why Dr. Angela Duckworth has found that cultivating hope is one of the most important aspects of being “gritty” or resilient.

So what does your future look like?

Many psychologists now believe that “consciousness” is really about imagining different future scenarios. That’s what makes us “human” and not “animal.” We can project the future. We can imagine something totally different. We can commit to something that we have no evidence of.

Dr. Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist, has found that very few people spend time imagining their FUTURE SELF. We spend much more time remembering the past.As a result, we fail to predict where our lives will go. This isn’t because we can’t predict where our lives will go, but that we don’t.

Imagination is a skill to be developed. It’s something you can get incredibly good at. It’s something you must get good at if you want to control the direction of your life.

Albert Einstein said, Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

You can imagine whatever future you want. You also can imagine who you want to be in the future. If you do not do this, then you can’t possibly make conscious decisions in the present.

You must imagine where you want to be so that here-and-now, you can make conscious decisions that will take you there.

How much time do you spend imagining your future self?

What is the future you want?

How much of your present here-and-now experience is driven by your chosen future?

One Very Specific Outcome You’re Seeking

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.”Viktor Frankl

Having a “bigger future” is essential to mental and physical well-being in the present. But in order for your future to be effective, you need to quantify it. You need a specific goal to direct your focus and behavior at.

Viktor Frankl explained that “purpose” is essential. But “purpose,” as his quote above states, is really just a “freely chosen task.” This clarifies what most people have wrong about “purpose.” Most people think you must “discover” your purpose, and that your “purpose” is some big broad thing.

It’s not.

Your purpose is a freely chosen task. You CHOOSE your purpose, and your purpose must be a task you accomplish. For example, if you’re in college, then your purpose is to finish your degree. If you’re writing a book, then your purpose is to finish the book.

Your purpose is an outcome. It’s tangible. It’s something you can measure and accomplish. It’s time-bound.

Your “purpose” right now is different from what your purpose may have been last year. Next year, when your purpose may shift as well.

It’s crucial that your purpose centers around ONE SPECIFIC OUTCOME. The more singular your focus, the more inspired and clear will be your path to achieving it.

This is where it gets tricky for a lot of people. You need to choose ONE GOAL. ONE OUTCOME.

Right now, you’re probably trying to accomplish too many things. You have competing goals that are stretching you thin, stunting your flow and progress.

If you want more flow states and motivation, you need to simplify your future. You need to clarify one single outcome that is “YOUR PURPOSE.”

Making Trade-Offs

“Essentialism is doing the right thing at the right time in the right way.”Greg McKeown

Choosing ONE OUTCOME is essential to having clarity and focus. Therefore, you must look at all of the “potential futures” you have in your mind and start making some decisions.

Look at all of your goals.

Which ONE is clearly the most important?

Put another way, which one, if you accomplished it, would change your life the most?

Which one, if you truly focused on it and succeeded, would make the biggest impact on your future?

Robert Brault has said, “We are kept from our goal not by obstacles, but by a clear path to lesser goals.”

All of your goals are important or interesting to you. But some of them are “lesser goals,” even if you really want them. An “essentialist,” someone who focuses on the purely essential is willing to make trade-offs. They’re willing to forego certain things in order to have better ones.

The truth is, you can’t have it “all.” Decisions require removing alternative options. Making a true decision is how you change your life. But it also means you must say no to other things — even great things.

What is the most important OUTCOME you could turn into your purpose?

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your other goals. But maybe, you need to wait on some of the other ones? The order of how you do things matters. If you crush your ESSENTIAL GOAL — the most important one — you’ll probably have 10X more freedom and opportunity than you have now. If you achieve your ESSENTIAL and SINGLE GOAL — then the other things you want right now may become irrelevant.

Your one goal needs to be time-bound. Without a deadline, you have a “dream” not a “goal.” Once you’ve made the bold move and chosen the single goal that will become your current purpose, give yourself a deadline.

Creating A “Process” Of Sub-Goals

“Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled.” Neville Goddard

Once you’ve clarified and committed to your single goal, you need to change your daily schedule. You need to target more and more of your time and attention toward your purpose — the “one goal.”

How much of your day is currently designed around creating this one outcome?

Committing to this purpose takes guts. It will challenge you to the core. Life will start to question your resolve. You’ll need to get help and support from the right people. In the book The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho talks about the “omens” that God leaves on your path, to not only confirm to you that you’re on the path, but to encourage you.

Once you’re truly committed, you’ll start seeing “omens” or having amazing experiences that will build your confidence and resolve. These “omens” are really just peak experiences that solidify to you that you’re serious about this, and that you’re going to achieve this.

The more committed you become, the more clarified will become your process. Yes, you have one single goal. But you need “sub-goals” or “means” to achieve that goal. Sometimes, the “sub-goals” or “process” will be non-linear. Sometimes, you must zig while everyone else is zagging.

The main point here is: You need a “process” to achieve your goals. When the “why” is strong enough, you’ll figure out the “how.” Overtime, the “hows” may change. For example, just yesterday, I recommitted fully to my single goal of selling millions of copies of Personality Isn’t Permanentmy new book. This led me to conversations and experiences that opened me up to an inspired path to making this goal real.

In order to have true hope and motivation — you need a clear outcome that you want, you need the sense of agency or confidence that you can do it, and you need a pathway to getting there. The pathways are your subgoals. And yesterday, I discovered a much better pathway to achieving my single goal than I previously had. This, of course, boosted my motivation and hope.

I would not have discovered or thought of this pathway, though, had I not been committed. It was through seeking help and guidance that I was able to find this new path.

You need a path to achieve your goals.

That path — your “sub-goals” — also needs to be quantified. You need specific milestones or outcomes along the way.

Your sub-goals need to clearly lead to your ONE MAJOR goal.

This is how you create insane motivation. This is how you live your life in a flow state. This is how you live your life “on purpose” and “with purpose” and “through purpose.”

Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work. His blogs have been read by over 100 million people and are featured on Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Cheddar, Big Think, and many others. He is a regular contributor to Inc. and Psychology Today and from 2015-2018, he was the #1 writer, in the world, on He and his wife Lauren adopted three children through the foster system in February 2018 and, one month later, Lauren became pregnant with twins, who were born in December of 2018. They live in Orlando.

Image courtesy of Jonas Svidras.

Why I Became an Entrepreneur 16 Years Ago

The best and most honest answer is that I wasn’t good at anything else.

For better or worse, I learned that I was a terrible employee. I was unreliable and unskilled.

I’ve written before about my last official job, lugging boxes onto FedEx trucks in the middle of the night.

Stacking boxes was surprisingly hard! It wasn’t just about picking up the box and tossing it in the truck—you had to stack it in a certain way that led to maximum efficiency (and presumably out of some concern for the contents, though that never seemed to be much of a priority).

I lacked the spatial reasoning to do this task well. I was decent enough at Tetris, but when it came to real boxes, I sucked. I kept waiting for that big horizontal bar to come down the chute, so I could clear off four lines of bricks or boxes all at once, but it never arrived. Instead, the supervisor kept messing with me, adding boxes with incorrect zip codes to the queue while laughing at my poorly-stacked pallets.

Whatever. I quit and never went back.

Before that job, I worked at a pizza place, where I was a fairly decent delivery driver. Sure, I might have gotten lost from time to time, but this was in the prehistoric age, before you could look at your phone to see where to go—who could blame me? And even better, no one knew when I got lost. Whenever I figured it out and found my sense of direction, I just showed up back at the pizza place and took the next delivery. Shaving fifteen minutes off the clock was no problem.

But then one time I had to stay inside while other people drove, and the boss showed me how to use the cash register. I should clarify: He showed me once, and then he showed me again.

And I still couldn’t get it right.

Every single time I tried to operate the cash register, I became really confused. Which buttons should I press? How did I make change? I began to get anxious whenever a customer walked in to pick up a takeout order. Would I have to take his money, and possibly return some to him from the cash drawer?

More than once I screwed it up, and I felt deeply embarrassed each time.

My boss finally gave up and put me to work folding pizza boxes. One time another employee who was working the register asked me to take over, and the boss intercepted the handoff. “Don’t do that,” he told the other employee, looking at me and then back to the employee. I got the message: I was the box-folder. My skills weren’t up to par with being able to make change for a twenty.

I think of this story from time to time. I’ve managed to find a certain degree of success. But I’m still not good at some pretty basic life skills—the difference is, now I just don’t care.


Sooner or later, some of us figure out that we’re essentially unemployable.

If you never learned how to operate the cash register, or if there’s something else that you supposedly should have learned, you can still “make it” in life. You aren’t condemned to a minimum wage job.

There’s probably something that you’re much better at, and you should do whatever it takes to find that thing. In fact, you should fight for it. Don’t give in until you get it.

If you’re stuck in a miserable job, you should walk away from it and do everything you can to build something for yourself. It might not work right away, and you’ll probably have some missteps until you get it right. But it will absolutely, totally, and completely be worth it.

Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit, The $100 Startup, and other books. During a lifetime of self-employment, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Every summer in Portland, Oregon he hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people. His new book, Born for This, will help you find the work you were meant to do. Connect with Chris on Twitter, on his blog, or at your choice of worldwide airline lounge.

Image courtesy of Tima Miroshnichenko.

Is Your Business Disability-Friendly? Creating Accessibility for All

When you are building a business, finding customers or clients and treating them well is usually a top priority, often being of service is why you got into business in the first place and without customers, you don’t have a business.

But did you know that many businesses are excluding thousands upon thousands of potential customers in your business every day (up to 6.9 million in the UK [1] and 56.7 million in the USA [2]), because the business isn’t accessible to people with disabilities.

Not only is this excluding potential customers and perpetuating inequality and prejudice, it’s also, in many cases, potentially contravening the law. Big stuff, big consequences.

How To Prepare For Every Type Of Disability

There are so many different types of disabilities that you may meet, just as there are so many different non-disabled customers with different needs. How do you prepare for them all? Well, realistically, you can’t prepare for every eventuality, ever.

But, you can prepare with the necessities that disabled people might need when entering your building, for example.

For example, let’s start with mobility access requirements.

Brick and Mortar Mobility Access

If you have a brick and mortar business, are you confident that people with mobility impairments can access it?

If not, what expert help do you need to get to make that possible? Please don’t just ask any disabled person you know, they aren’t your unpaid disability consultants and can’t be expected to know how to help you become fully accessible.

Have you ever borrowed a wheelchair and tried to access it? Can you reach the loo paper in the bathroom without standing up? Are there grab rails where they need to be? Can you look in the mirror over the sink if you are sitting down? Can you move around easily or do you knock over stacks of goods in narrow isles? Are you able to open your doors sitting down or when leaning on a stick or cane? If your doors need lots of effort to open them they may be inaccessible, try adjusting them so they are easier to move. Some businesses sadly seem to think that an accessible lavatory doubles as an employee storage area… uh, that’s not the case. We can do better than that.

If there are steps into your building, can you get a ramp fitted? If not, can you provide your customers access in another way, such as by online shopping or home delivery?

Many businesses have lifts alongside stairs which is wonderful but not all lifts are accessible to wheelchair users. The lift needs to be wide enough for a wheelchair, have a long enough delay on the doors closing for someone to enter the lift and it’s good to think about getting the most reliable lift maintenance service you can too.

You can contact a disability organisation or disability support group and get your building assessed for disability access by an expert, and if it’s a new build or new fitting, make sure your architects are up to scratch on disability access requirements.

Wording Matters

The lavatory doesn’t have a disability. It’s an accessible lavatory, please. Think about it; the lavatory isn’t disabled, it isn’t for ‘disabled people’ because disability isn’t a gender. It’s a lavatory that’s accessible, so let’s call it that.

Talk to the person, not the disability. It’s often a good idea to use ‘people first language’, so speaking to a ‘person with a disability’ rather than a “disabled person” or (worse), a “handicapped” person (very offensive) or “the disabled”.

On that note, we don’t “suffer” from disabilities, and aren’t “bed or wheelchair ridden” and not “confined”. Thankyouverymuch.

Talk to the person, not the carer/companion.

Vision Needs

It may be cool and atmospheric but having a dark environment can make things very difficult for visually impaired customers. Keep your business bright and have clear signage. Make sure any steps or edges are marked with a high visibility contrasting colour to prevent trips and falls and make sure all paths, inside and outside are clear of obstructions.

Online Access

If you want to check out my accessibility statement for Trailblazing Wellness (Un)Ltd, it’s in the footer of my site. Have a look and if you have any suggestions for improving access, please do let me know.

Please, for love of all that is holy, stop using the alternative text field in your website images to put in a Pinterest Caption, it’s not there for your Pinterest needs, it’s there so people with vision impairments can still access the information. Thank you.

List your businesses access on your website. Let people know if you have an accessible lavatory, if you have level access or well-lit premises and clear signs. Often, these things can’t be assumed, so it’s great to know a business is accessible and to let ALL your customers know they are welcome. (We haven’t yet touched on things like translations, non-binary gendered lavatories or cultural awareness but they are important too, and not forgotten.)

What Else Needs To Be Considered?

Everything your business does, from how it carries out fire drills to training programs needs to be accessible to everyone. Additionally, disabled people carrying out a specific role may need a tailored manual and set of requirements.

What About The Rest Of Your Employees?

Unfortunately, disability is still all too often a taboo topic and your staff may need support in how to serve customers in an accessible way. You want happy staff and customers, so training in access issues allows confident service to all customers including those with access needs. That’s why it’s important for employees to be educated effectively before the person joins the company. This training material should also be implemented into future training for new employees.

‘Never assume’ is often said to be one of the first rules of disability awareness. Asking if someone needs assistance, not assuming and acting on their behalf is basic politeness.

It’s important that employees are prepared to serve customers who are Deaf or have vision impairments as well as those who may have difficulty speaking. Knowing that people with communication difficulties may need extra time to make a request or ask a question can allow staff to dedicate the time the customer needs and even invite them to a quiet area or to use a pen and pad to write a request if this is required.

(Obviously it’s beyond the scope of this blog to cover all the issues, this is just a starter, and I’m just one woman with disabilities, not an architect or access expert).

What action are you going to take today towards making your business disability friendly?

Grace Quantock is an award-winning international wellness expert, coach, author, motivational speaker, certified Reiki master and spiritual response therapy practitioner. She is the founder of Healing Boxes CIC and The Phoenix Fire Academy. Currently living – and thriving – with often debilitating illness, she is the real deal and knows, firsthand, the emotional and physical roller coaster that accompanies diagnosis and life struggle. Currently, a resident of Wales, Grace loves reading, gardening and early mornings. She firmly believes that life is meant to be celebrated, and has made it her mission to help others do just that …joyfully and on their own terms. You can follow Grace on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Marcus Aurelius.