Writing and publishing this post will be an achievement for me. It’s helpful to consciously acknowledge when something would be an achievement, and when something has been achieved. An achievement is something we’re proud that we accomplished.
Appreciation is also something we can consciously acknowledge. By “consciously acknowledge” I mean it requires mental focus, and by focusing on the things we appreciate, we attract more of it into our lives. Appreciating is consciously acknowledging and savoring the beauty, worth, and value of something.
Achieving and appreciating are powerful self-improvement techniques. By using both of these mental skills, we can truly create a more positive experience for ourselves, and by extension, a more positive world.
I asked the I Ching:
“What can I do to have courage and strength?”
The answer was so powerful that I had to write it down in my journal so I could internalize it, and I also wanted to type it up on my blog to share it with you, because it’s just good advice in general.
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It is time to eliminate bad habits and behaviors and free yourself from relationships and situations that drag you down. Deliverance requires inner resolution and perseverance. You alone can save yourself. No one else can do it for you. But if you stay the course, people who undermine your self-worth or have an unhealthy influence in your life will see that you cannot be taken advantage of and they will withdraw of their own accord.
“Delivering yourself” means treating yourself with respect and developing a positive attitude toward who you are and what you do. Deliverance requires a narrative of redemption. It means believing in a vision of yourself and in a story of your life in which things can get better. If you hold fast to this vision and make this story your story, your life will indeed improve.
By believing in yourself and becoming committed to your deliverance, you will no longer attract harmful people, and you will no longer get yourself entangled in unhealthy behaviors and difficult circumstances that you could have avoided.
Jack M. Balkin, The Laws of Change
I need to stay focused on this message, because I need courage and strength in order to stay on the right path. After a lifetime of approval seeking and people pleasing, I finally know what it’s like to be free, but there are still backsliding and self-sabotaging habits that I need to be aware of. Only I can save myself.
I got home from work last night and saw that my mom had taken out the trash in “my room.” I’m moving into my own place in a week, so I’m not too bothered by anything that happens while I’m staying with her. I’m actually quite appreciative and grateful, but I also felt like my personal space and privacy had been violated.
This incident affected my mood as I woke up this morning. After doing some daily self-improvement habits, I felt better and made peace – not with my mom – but with myself. Being clear about my values helped me to resolve inner conflict.
- Having a sense of purpose allowed me to put things into perspective (I’ve got bigger things to focus on).
- Being resilient helped me to improve my mood after (almost) waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
- Being self-reliant lets me know that I can work on having my own personal space (physically and emotionally).
How have you benefited from being clear about your most important values?
Walking to the recycling bin is a meditation.
Wildflowers greet me along the way.
Nature paints a scene better than anyone.
Perfectly unpretentious in their comings and goings.
A nuclear reactor millions of miles away invites them out to play.