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What happens when you sleep? If you ask someone in the scientific community they’ll probably give you some long winded explanation about the different types of brain waves that occur during each stage of sleep. And they’ll definitely tell you about REM sleep and how it’s the longest stage of the sleep cycle and that during REM sleep you are more likely to experience dreaming. They’ll tell you this, but for those of us who don’t want to be bogged down with all of that sleep trivia, we’ll probably just listen and wonder when we’ll be able to go home and experience sleep for ourselves. And that’s because, for most of us, sleep (at its simplest form) is a chance for us to unwind. We don’t have to think about our daily stresses while we sleep; we just get to rest and get refreshed for the next day. And for those of us who do dream, we may actually get excited about the prospect of sleep because sleep means that we get to enter into another world where the rules and regulations of our waking world no longer apply. In dreams, we can jump off of a skyscraper, open up our arms, and soar through the sky like a bird. We get to marry our celebrity crush at a wedding that is so far-fetched and elaborate that it could only occur in a dream. Or we can eat and eat and eat some more and not have to worry about all of those pesky health issues. Each night we enjoy the world that our dreams transport us to because we get to indulge in our deepest desires with zero repercussions. There’s freedom and power in dreaming and that’s why so many people like to do it.

But alas, when the buzzer on our alarm jolts awake in the morning or when the sun peaking through our blinds forces us to awake from our slumber we must get out of our beds, leave our dreams behind, and start on with our days. We can’t sleep forever. We cannot dream forever. We have to get up and live our lives. This is what we have to do, and as much fun as sleeping dreams are, we have to wake up so that we can engage in the dreams that we seek out to pursue while we are awake.

And sometimes are waking dreams are just as exciting and invigorating as the dreams that we have while we are sleeping. We dream of being doctors, lawyers, fashion designers, artists, mothers, fathers, writers, actors, teachers, scientists, mathematicians, CEO’s, motivational speakers, presidents, and senators. When we dream we dream big, but sometimes when we dream in real life we forget to enjoy the new world that our dreams transport us to.

When you decide that you want to be a lawyer instead of an actor, your world is going to be a lot different than somebody who decided that they wanted to be an actor. You’ll meet different people, you’ll work different hours, and you’ll have completely different journeys just because your dreams are different. And sometimes your journey is more difficult than you expected, and when this happens you might even think about giving up on your dream altogether. You want so desperately to have your end goal, but the journey that you’re on may not be what you expected so you make the decision to bail out.

But you shouldn’t bail out positive thinker because your dream is worth fighting for. When you try and achieve a dream you should give it all you got, but while you’re giving it all you got remember that enjoying the process of reaching your dream is just as important as obtaining the dream itself. Do you really want to achieve your dream one day and start to wonder about how you even got there in the first place? When you dream while you’re sleeping you just end up on the top of that skyscraper, but you can never remember how you got up there in the first place. When you marry Brad Pitt in your dream, you don’t remember dating him and you don’t remember how you first met. And the reason that you don’t remember these things is because when you’re dreaming while you’re sleeping you don’t get the privilege of experiencing the journey to your end goal. You don’t get the satisfaction that you feel from working hard by climbing up to the top of the skyscraper. You don’t get to experience the joys and pain that comes from dealing with a relationship everyday. You don’t get to experience that because you’re sleeping and because those dreams that you have while you slumber (no matter how amazing they may be) aren’t real. And it’s true that you may not get to experience a journey during your sleeping dreams, but in real life you do get the opportunity to experience one. It may be a hard and long journey at times, but that’s how you know that you’re living. And putting hard work and dedication into achieving your dream makes that dream even better when you actually do achieve it. Because on that fateful day, when your dream comes true, you’ll know that it wasn’t handed to you and that you gave everything you had to reach it.

Positive thinker, achieving your dream is great, but don’t forget to live in the moment while you’re experiencing the journey to your dream.

And never forget, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” –Dumbledore, The Sorcerer’s Stone

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You can ask any boxer and they will tell you that training takes a lot of preparation and hard work. They have to train their bodies by working them out on a daily basis so that they can stay physically fit. Eating healthy is also a must if they plan on reaching peak physical agility and fitness. And they even have to stay mentally fit as well. They can’t allow their opponents to psych them out on fight day, so they make sure to find ways to not let the nay-Sayers trip them up. They do all of this preparation so that they can be well equipped to put up their best fight on D-day. And when these fighters step into the ring on that fateful day, they don’t know what their future will hold. They don’t have some crystal ball that will tell them whether or not they’ll win the fight. They might end up winning with the best fight of their life or they might end up getting beat so badly that the fight only lasts a few minutes, but even though they do not know the outcome, they still get out there knowing that they have put in all the preparation that they need to be a contender.

The future can be a pretty scary thing for boxers, and it can be equally as terrifying for us. We don’t like the unknown and uncertainties, and the future seems to hold a lot of that. We already know what happened in the past because it already happened, and we know what’s going on in the present because it’s happening right now at this very second, but the future will now and forever more be a mystery to everyone, and this is understandably unsettling.

Even though boxers are uncertain of their futures in the same way that we are uncertain of ours, one of the things they can say when they get into the ring is that they have learned from past mistakes. If they have faced this particular opponent before then they know to watch out for his uppercut and to not fall for all of his tricks. They know how this person fights because they have faced them before, and because they have faced them before, they know what they need to do to have a better chance at beating their foe. They want to get hit less, and they realize that they cannot expect to win if they step into the ring and do the exact same thing that they did in the past when they faced their competitor the last time, so they change it up and adjust their techniques and tactics based upon the lessons that they learned from the past. And even though the outcome of the next fight is uncertain, they can go into the ring with a little bit more confidence because they have these lessons from the past that can guide them to victory.

If boxers going into the ring can carry lessons from the past into there with them then so can you. You see the thing is positive thinker, when you learn from your past, no matter how painful it may be, you can use those lessons and apply them to future challenges that may be similar to what you have already gone through.  Good things have happened to us in the past and so have bad things and we often think about these things. When we think about the good things we smile as we look on at these memories with fondness, but when the bad memories enter into our consciousness we often times become scared of them. We hold on to these bad memories, but most of the time we don’t use them to benefit us in some way like we do with our good memories. So, instead of holding on to the bad things from the past, you should let go of these bad memories. Let go of the memories, but carry any and all lessons that you have learned from your painful past into the future with you.

The future may end up seeming a little less scary when you show up each day with an arsenal of life lessons that can help you to combat any potential threats that you might face. Remember you don’t ever want to show up to a fight unprepared. Even the smallest bit of preparation can give you an edge over whomever or whatever you’re facing, and when you come to your fight with your lessons in hand you will end up having just a little bit more of advantage to help you win that fight!

In the wise words of Rafiki, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.”

Learn from your past positive thinkers. Don’t run from it.

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FOMO (also known as the Fear Of Missing Out) is an all too real feeling, especially in this age of social media. People post pictures from their exciting nights out on the town all over Facebook and instagram. Your friends and associates tweet about how much they love their new job. With all of the status updates and snapchats it’s hard not to see how much everyone else is enjoying their lives. Anyone is able to paint a picture of themselves as this person who seems to have their life completely together, and when they do this, sometimes you can’t help but wonder if you’re missing out on something. You may start to think that you should be living a life that’s just as fun and exciting as the person who posts all of their envy-inducing pictures to instagram, but that’s their life positive thinker, not yours.

And the truth of the matter is that most of us only tend to share the good parts about our lives on social media. You hardly ever see anybody posting a picture of an outfit that they look just ok in. You rarely read a status update where somebody says that they kind of like the job that they’re at. And you can probably count on one hand the number of times you’ve been on one of your social media accounts and read about somebody having a mediocre weekend. You never see these kinds of things. What you just so happen to see is the exact opposite. Nobody wants to highlight their less than exciting lives, so the only time we feel the urge to share tidbits and snippets from our lives is when we have something great to share. And when you only see the good in somebody else’s life you also may start to think that they are only experiencing good things, but even that insta-famous guy or gal that you’re following has a life where things don’t go their way 100% of the time. Their life is not perfect even though it may seem like it is through their perfectly constructed life that they portray through social media.

It’s also quite possible that this life that they are displaying to the world may not actually be the life that they want to live. Just because somebody is smiling from ear to ear in their Facebook profile picture at some hot party in an upscale part of town doesn’t mean that they are enjoying that party as much as they are letting on. It’s very possible that they are, but it’s equally as possible that they are just putting on a show that their instagram followers and Facebook friends will like. Advancements in technology are a wonderful thing. With it, we are able to achieve things like life-saving medical procedures and ways to make our planet more sustainable, but with it we also have a few things that aren’t so great. Unfortunately, with this wave of connectedness that things like Instagram and Twitter bring us, we’ve started to move towards a world where are worth seems to hinge upon how many likes our photos get and how many re-tweets we receive. We want to be liked and our social media accounts make it possible for people to tell us that they like what we’re doing almost instantaneously, which can seem like a good thing. However when you don’t get that like that you’re craving, you may start to think a little bit less of yourself, but, believe it or not, you are more than just what you display on your social media accounts.

If you’re happy with where your life is at positive thinker, then forget about FOMO. You’re not missing out on anything because you’re living the life that you want to live. It may not be as glamorous or exciting as what other people portray, but as long as you’re out there doing what you love to do then that’s all that should really matter. True happiness comes when whatever is on the inside matches what is on the outside. If spending your Saturday nights curled up by the fireplace with your favorite novel is going to make you happy then do that. Don’t try and live a life that’s full of glamour and parties just so that other people can think that you have an amazing life. Being authentic to who you are is what you should aim for positive thinker. Don’t worry about what other people are doing; worry about what you’re doing, and try to live a life that you’re going to be happy with.

Remember, “Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.”

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Have you ever meant someone who is truly passionate about something? This person could be passionate about his or her career or maybe even a hobby that they have. Or perhaps they just so happen to be passionate about some worthy cause like feeding starving children or stopping animal abuse. It’s even possible that you might know someone out there who is passionate about another person in their life. And when you meet these kinds of people or hear about them do you ever think about how they’re able to do the things that they do? Have you ever wondered why somebody can sit in a tree for weeks and protest against some big business that is destroying a forest full of wild life? Have you ever looked at someone and wondered how they could put so many hours into their job to the point that they fail to spend enough time with their loved ones and start to lose sleep, and yet, despite all this, they still have a smile on their face? Or have you ever heard of someone who decided to move to some poor village in a third world country so that they could spend time helping out those who don’t have as much as they do? All of these scenarios involve different people doing very different things, but they do have one common factor. All of these people are passionate about these things that they have decided to devote so much of their life to; they have a why.

And they don’t just have a why. They have a strong why. These people can’t do the things that they do without having a why that’s strong enough. You don’t leave your family, give up all of your gizmos and gadgets, and move to the middle of nowhere because you’re kind of into helping make life better for people who are living in poverty. You do it because it’s a cause that you strongly believe in.

Or you could do all of these big acts if your why wasn’t that strong, but if you did do it you probably wouldn’t be happy while doing it. Joining the Peace Corps or some other similar organization isn’t for everybody and that’s because not everyone can find a why that’s big enough and strong enough to help them through their time of service. Wanting other people to think that you’re a good person isn’t going to get you through all of those years, but truly wanting to make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate probably will.

And p­­­­­­ositive thinkers, you need to find your whys in everyday situations too. So figure out the reason why you’re working that job that you have. Find out the reason why you’re in the relationship with that guy or that girl. Find out the reason why you get up and go to church every Sunday. And find out the why behind why you go to the places that you go. Finding your whys aren’t just for the people who are deciding to give up their life of luxury in order to join the Peace Corps. It’s for everyone.

The chances are, if the whys behind whatever you’re doing in your everyday life can support the activities that you’re doing then you’re going to have enough energy and determination to keep up with those activities even when they get tough. If the why behind the activities that you’re doing aren’t strong enough then you have two options…

You can either choose to give up on that thing that you’re doing that doesn’t have a big enough why for you, or you can search to find another why that is big enough. And neither of these options are necessarily bad decisions for you too make. If you want to keep up with whatever activity you’re doing then finding a new why that’s stronger will help you to keep on doing that activity even when you’ve lost some interest in it. Sometimes your why needs to change and there’s nothing wrong with that because as we change our whys might have to change right along with us. And if not having a big enough why is problematic for you and if you’re unable to figure out a why that is big enough for you to keep on doing that thing that you don’t want to do then giving up on it might be what’s best for you. That thing might not be important enough for you to keep on pushing through with it, but if it is important to you, and you do want to keep on going on then make sure that you find a strong enough why that will help you to keep on moving forward. ­­­­

Positive thinker, the next time you take on something new or the next time you find yourself loathing an activity that you’re engaging in ask yourself this…

“Why am I doing this?”

“What’s driving me to do this?”

“What’s that thing that’s going to push me forward even when things start to get difficult?”

“What’s my why?”

You have to have a why positive thinker…

What’s yours?

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There seems to be a point in a lot of our lives when we simply give up on trying to do something with our lives that will make us feel truly alive. “Reality” catches up with you somewhere down the road. You realize that you need to make a living and that pursuing that thing that makes life worth living for you won’t bring you enough money to survive, so then you start to think that because you haven’t started to live the life that you want to live yet that you won’t ever be able to live that life, and then next thing you know, you give up on that life that you once dreamed of having. And because you have given up on trying to live the life that you want to live, you end up reaching a point where you feel like you need to settle for a life that isn’t really going to make you happy. Years go by and you find yourself stuck in this life that you’re living, and you may even start to figure that you’re never going to be able to live that life that you once thought that you could live.

You may have resigned yourself to live a life of complacency, but if you want more for your life than that then it’s not too late. If you constantly find yourself doing things that make you unhappy then it’s time to throw those things out of your life in a hurry. It doesn’t make sense to participate in activities that will weigh you down because when you do that you aren’t being true to yourself. And when you aren’t being true to yourself then you aren’t being your best self, and you deserve to be your best self positive thinker. Just because up until this point you’ve felt like you needed to engage in these spirit crushing activities doesn’t mean that you have to keep on doing it. Your path isn’t written in stone, so just because you’ve been doing things that haven’t been making you happy doesn’t mean that there isn’t time left in your life to start doing things that do make you happy.

In TV and in movies, and sometimes even in real life, people decide to start living the lives that they want to live after they receive some life altering news. Their doctor tells them that they only have a few months left to live, and so they drop everything that they were doing before that was making them unhappy and they start to pursue the things that they know are going to make them happy. A lot of TV shows and movies today don’t have the best lessons in them, but when these kinds of stories about people pursuing their dreams do come across our screens, a very clear message is presented to us— you shouldn’t have to wait until the end of your life to start living the life that you want to live. You deserve to be happy for all of your life, not just at the end of it, so don’t wait until the end of your life to start living with purpose. Go out and do things now that are in line with who you are as a person so that you can start to be happy now instead of waiting to be happy later.

And I know I’ve mentioned this before, but let me remind you again. You don’t have to just give up and leave your responsibilities behind you in order to live a life that allows you to do the things that bring you happiness. If you haven’t found a way to eliminate all of the things from your life that bring you down then you should at least make some time in your life to do the things that are going to bring you up. For instance, if you find yourself scrolling down your Facebook newsfeed for hours on end then try cutting back on that so that you can use your new found extra time to start doing things that are going to fill you up with new life. If you can spend time doing things that you don’t like to do then you should definitely find time to do the things that you do actually like to do because you’re only going to end up being a better and happier version of yourself because of it.

You shouldn’t give up on living a life that brings you happiness. We weren’t put here just to survive. We were put here so that we could live. Yes you have responsibilities now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start being who you wanted to be before life threw all of these new challenges your way, so go out there and find that thing or things that will give you life. Life’s to short to go around not living the life that you want to live, so if you find yourself living a half life, then go out there and find something that will make your life whole again!

Remember positive thinkers, “Strive to do things that define you. Say no to the things that don’t inspire you. Say yes to everything that fuels you. It’s the only life we live. Live it to your standards.”

Wally was scrolling down his facebook timeline and found a very touching video for you all! It brought this huge smile across his face and he hopes it will bring a smile to you too. This video helps you to remember that even when you have nothing, you are still capable of happiness.  Click here to Enjoy!

Isn’t it strange how when one thing goes wrong, it feels like ten others follow? You get a flat tire, which causes you to be late for work, then you forget an appointment you had, then… Well, you get my point.  I could go on forever because that’s how these things work.  They go on forever if you let them.  I think these things, let’s call them disappointments, sneak up on you like a bad cold and they are always a shock and very unwelcome.  When they happen, you think, as a responsible person, that you should be prepared and then you reprimand yourself for not being psychic and preventing the problem in the first place.  Because, of course, you should have known. Right?

Well…not really.  Let’s think about it rationally in an effort to cut ourselves some slack.  When an incident, one of these disappointments, occurs, we immediately use all of our mental resources (and any other resources we have at the time, including financial) to cope with the shock to our routine. We do this because we instinctively do everything we can to get our lives back to the status quo, which is really the everyday routine that we are used to.   We like that routine because we are the experts at it.  We know what time we are supposed to get to work everyday, we know who we are going to see and we know how much of our mental and monetary resources we will need to use on a regular basis.

When that comfortable routine is sent off-course, we get stressed out.  Stress leads to mental and physical discomfort and then, guess what? You are not feeling as efficient and confident as you were prior to the commencement of the first disappointment.  Therefore, you are more likely to be susceptible to making small mistakes and doubting yourself.  In addition, those small mistakes feel really big when you’re feeling down.

If we let it, feeling down can become the new routine and that is how depressive symptoms can arrive and take a toll on you and your family.  It is hard to feel confident, successful, and positive when you expect everything to go wrong and if you expect things to go wrong, most likely they will.

A person’s thoughts are their greatest weapon in combating the disappointments in life.  You are what you think (and occasionally what you eat, ha ha).  I have always tried to instill a belief within myself and my clients that whatever we go through, we will get through it somehow and be stronger for it.  And you know what usually happens? We get through it and we are stronger for it because we lived it and we learned our lesson for the next time.

Living life has its ups and downs.  Sometimes it feels like it has more downs but if you really start to believe that there is no way up, then it will only get harder for you because it is likely that you will get what you expect. Positivity really does work in these instances because a positive mindset motivates you to believe that when life does give you lemons, you can make a really yummy glass of lemonade and share it with your loved ones once the lemons stop pelting you in the head.

Next time the first disappointment hits, please try the following: Believe it gets better. Enjoy your life. Smile big and give someone a hug. Do something that makes you laugh. Make plans to do something you used to enjoy and call it self-care, because you need it. Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, but we don’t all rebound from them.  Rebound. And make some lemonade. Oh…and send me some, I do love me some lemonade. =)

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