Monday, January 12, 2009

Challenge Thyself

Life can hand us a lot of challenges. There are also times in life when we challenge ourselves.

Some of us may want to do something to reinvent ourselves. Others, like myself, may want to make major changes in our lives such as getting a new job or career.

Challenging ourselves begins with a goal. What is it that we want to strive for? Then we have to decide if we want to take that journey. Are we up to the challenge of working toward fulfullling our life goals or dreams?

In my own life, I feel like being complacent and accepting the way things are is not the direction I want to go in. I know embarking on a job search isn't going to be easy. I haven't worked in two years because of my MS. But trying to get back into the working world is a challenge I am ready to take on.

Here is a list of what I see as rules to live by when challenging thyself in life:

Think big. Don't go for something too easy. If it's too easy, where's the fun in that? You want to go for something big, something that's going to really make an impact on your life. Want more from your life. Do more; work harder. Have a positive attitude and don't back down from the challenge.

Follow your dreams. Everyone has something they dream of doing. We all have that airplane we want to jump out of or the desire to do something that we really love for a living. Think of the thing you dream of having the most in life. Maybe you want to challenge yourself this year to finally take the first step in making that dream a reality.

I think having a dream is a wonderful thing, and while I would never discourage anyone from pursuing their dreams, I'd caution them not to shirk responsibilities or quit their "day job". You can still go for the thing you really want more than anything even while having to stick things out in your life as it is now.

Stay motivated. Sometimes we may feel trying to reach our goal is becoming too challenging, and we're tempted to just say "forget it" and give up. Don't give in to that feeling. Maybe you can get friends and family involved for encouragement. Even with their support, it still comes down to you, though. Work on your self-confidence and be your own biggest cheerleader.

The important thing is to keep moving toward the ultimate goal and not lose momentum. Stay focused and keep pushing through.

Keep your eyes on the prize. Fear of failure is a sure fire destroyer of motivation. Don't worry about not succeeding at reaching your goal. Just keep thinking how great it will be and how much positive change will come into your life if you do succeed! (Or I guess I should say when you succeed.)

Setbacks may occur, but they are only there to step over as you move toward meeting your goal.

Celebrate your achievements, however small they may be. If you've had even a small success on the way to accomplishing your goal, reward yourself. Knowing that you're moving in the right direction and keeping up the positive energy will get you that much closer to your goal.

This new year seems like a good time to rise to your own personal challenge and do something awesome.

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