A Life to Live – Shirley's Blog

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  • 10:10:01 am on August 17, 2015 | 0 | # |

    Changing Yourself Instead of Others

    Let’s face it: changing someone else is a near-impossible task. And even if you believe you’ve successfully “changed” the person, it’s usually not long before old habits come roaring back. Why? Because it’s not the other person you want to focus on –it’s you!


    The need to change someone often stems from an underlying incompatibility. For example, if you want to change your romantic partner, it’s doubtful you are compatible in the long term. The desire to change another when in such situations usually means you don’t like the person very much, because if you did you wouldn’t want to change him or her! Yes, everyone has little quirks and habits that annoy their partners, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to overhaul their personalities.

    Changing Your Reaction

    Changing your reaction to another person is arguably the best way to deal with the situation. Whether you need to change your reaction because of the aforementioned incompatibility or another reason, doing so is key in regards to your mindset. This is especially true if you know you’re going to be dealing with the person for a long time! For example, let’s say you don’t care for your sibling’s partner. If breaking up isn’t in the foreseeable future or your sibling intends to marry the person, hating or resenting the individual will do nothing but harm your mindset…and your relationship with your brother or sister. It’s therefore imperative that you train your mind to change your reaction or perception of the other person and how you behave around him or her.

    The Best Reaction

    Not only do you want to change your reaction to a “problem” person, but you want to do so in a way features foundations in love and compassion. People generally “act out” negatively because of their own suffering, with many suffering in silence. Since you don’t really and truly know what is happening with this person, isn’t it best to react with compassion? Changing your reaction to the person in this way allows you to put out the positive energy and mindset you want, which subsequently makes you happier and more at peace. The surprising thing is it also may actually change the person into behaving in a nicer or at least more civil way to you!

    Remember, change your mindset first–it’s always the right solution!


    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me today at A Life to Live.

  • 10:10:02 am on August 15, 2015 | 0 | # |

    Training the Mind to Let Go and Move On

    Training the mind to let go and move on, whether it be from a person, place, or thing is something many find challenging. It can prove very difficult to let go of someone you love, to let go of anger or hurt over a certain person or event, or anything else that keeps replaying over and over again in the mind. Yet training the mind to let go is one of the best things you can do for your overall mindset, as it allows you to enjoy a happy existence uncumbered by past haunts.

     Changing Perception

    One of the arguably best ways to move on from anything is to change your perception about it. Buddhists believe no one is really trying to hurt you, rather it’s our perception of their actions that we find hurtful. Changing your perception about a situation can therefore prove revolutionary, as it allows you to let go of old thoughts and feelings and move on like you should.


    Another excellent way to train the mind to let go is with distraction. For example, if you begin to dwell on a situation that caused pain, train yourself to instantly think of something else–anything else. A funny saying. A favorite friend or vacation memory. Anything works so long as it’s completely unrelated to what you were just thinking of.

    Distracting yourself with various activities works too, especially if distracting yourself by learning a new skill! Signing up for a class or taking advantage of seemingly-endless YouTube tutorials are merely two examples of distracting yourself in order to move on.

    Self Control

    One of the many beautiful things about training your mind to let go and move on is the extra degree of self control it provides. Rather than allowing your mind to control and subsequently torture you with thoughts of the past, you can enjoy total or at least near-total control over what you think about on a daily basis. It also allows you to react they way you want to react most of the time, as it makes dealing with things in a calm, rational manner that much more achievable.

    Wrapping Up

    Stop holding onto what’s already done and over with! Train your mind to let go and give yourself an incredible gift that’s a companion for life.

    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me today at A Life to Live.

  • 10:10:44 am on August 13, 2015 | 0 | # |

    Training the Mind to Forgive

    Forgiveness isn’t always something that comes easy, rather it’s considered very difficult by many! There’s a saying that forgiveness isn’t so much something you do for another person, rather it’s something you do for yourself. This is absolutely true, especially in terms of our minds and day-to-day mindsets!

    The Challenge of Forgiveness

    Perhaps the greatest challenge of forgiveness is people often play hurtful events and words over and over again in their minds, which stirs up angry feelings. It doesn’t take long to find yourself in a full-blown rage when in “replay” mode, and feel just as hurt and upset as when the incident occurred. But what is actually happening when we go over the past in such a way? All we’re doing is hurting ourselves and severely injuring our mindsets. The person or people involved in the hurtful event don’t know you’re replaying what happened, so it certainly isn’t affecting them in any way. What it is doing is affecting you–anger and stress have physical, emotional, and mental ramifications that range from the mild to the severe.

    Many, Many Benefits

    Training the mind to forgive offers a slew of fabulous benefits, each of which contributes greatly to a happy, healthy mind. Holding onto anger and resentment from past hurts does nothing to help you, rather it festers in the mind and heart, and often spills out in our words and deeds. Failing to forgive eventually becomes a habit that undoubtedly makes others wary of us and the negative energy we’re emitting.

    Forgiveness fosters a better sense of self, a happier, more peaceful mindset, and positivity that’s simply infectious. It’s a way to quit focusing on what’s already happened, because it’s done. It’s over with. And unless you invent a time machine, there’s nothing you can do to change it except forgive and move on. Think about it: would you rather be angry and hold onto the past, or enjoy a happy mindset and remain concerned with the here and now?

    Wrapping Up

    Learning to forgive is a great way to let go of the past and stay concerned with both the present and the future. Another saying absolutely applies to training the mind to forgive: “Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Remaining angry or hurt about past events isn’t helping you. It’s only hurting you.

    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me today at A Life to Live.

  • 09:24:56 pm on July 28, 2015 | 0 | # |

    Feeling Empty?

    Feelings of emptiness occur for a number of reasons. They may result because life lacks a certain number of people or things. The flip side isn’t much different-those with such feelings may have incredibly hectic schedules, but that doesn’t mean they feel any less empty. Why? Because empty feelings stem from having a seeming lack of control over life.

    “Filling” Your Life

    Dealing with emptiness feelings on a daily basis is a path to misery, plain and simple. Longing for something or someone and feeling helpless in terms of obtaining it is certainly enough to sink the mind into a deep depression. Feeling helpless is arguably one of the worst feelings in the world, regardless if it’s because you’re too busy or not busy enough. Life can sometimes seem like a fast-moving train that you’re hanging onto with all your might, and can never get off. That overwhelming feeling is enough to make even the strongest person break down!

    One of the best ways around empty feelings is to fill your life with the right “nouns,” i.e. people, places, and things. This doesn’t mean going out and buying everything in your favorite department store, but it does mean picking and choosing what you believe is best for you and being proactive about it.

    Making a List

    An easy option for helping yourself determine what your life is missing is to quite literally write out a list entitled “What is Missing From My Life Right Now?” Don’t worry about filling in the blanks in the course of a week, rather fill in said blanks at a reasonable pace. This differs by individual, however as long as you’re consistent about it, you’re on the right track to a more fulfilling existence.

    Think about every aspect of your life to help make your list–work, family, personal life, living situation, etc. For example, what do you do for work and how can you get a raise, promotion, switch companies, etc. as needed? If you’re satisfied with your career at the present time, move on to your relationships. Do you wish you had a partner who truly loves and understands you? Take steps to rectify the inequity, such as taking a class, signing up for online dating, or spending more time out and about with friends in hoping of meeting someone.

    Remember, what’s right for you is right for you, so don’t compare your situation to someone else’s! Think long and hard about what you want and be diligent about it–before you know it, that emptiness feeling will subside!

    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me today at A Life to Live.

  • 09:28:28 pm on July 27, 2015 | 0 | # |

    The Lazy Mind

    Let’s face it: people are always looking for shortcuts. Whether it’s having someone else take over a work project, take out the trash, take the dog for a walk, etc., one thing’s for sure: it doesn’t take long for this kind of behavior to become habit. And once it becomes habit, a “lazy mind” results.

    Waiting Vs. Finding

    The lazy mind is one that waits instead of discovers. A person with a lazy mind waits for people to come into their lives instead of going out and finding them, whether they be new friends, new co-workers, or new romantic partners. Such a person waits for a new job offer rather than taking the proactive approach, and is subsequently complacent about income rather than attempting to obtain a raise. This same person is also content to siphon off of those who generate larger incomes, such as parents or partners.

    The Epitome of Procrastination

    A lazy mindset is essentially the epitome of procrastination, as everything is put off. Everything is a waiting game. Everything is about entitlement rather than working hard. The lazy mind is therefore a sluggish mind, and one that never ventures into unchartered territory.

    Severe Consequences

    Living with a lazy mindset eventually causes stagnation. And while people with a lazy minds may think they’re fine with their current situations, it’s important to remember that complacency isn’t happiness. It isn’t living with a sense of adventure or the urge to discover new things. It isn’t even living with a sense of wanting more, whether professionally, personally, or both.

    The result of the lazy mind is an unexamined life often filled with regret. No one wants to look back at the end of their lives and realize they didn’t do half the things they wanted or were capable of because they were sitting around. The idea that sitting about, waiting for your life to happen is going to work is quite silly, because if nothing changes, guess what? Nothing changes!

    Changing the Mind

    Deciding to change the mindset for the better and take the proactive approach to everything isn’t something that happens overnight, especially if laziness has been the norm for years upon years. Professional help with a mind coach is a good way to get over the first few proverbial humps and put the self on the path to a happier mindset and a more fulfilling life. It takes work every day, but the end result is well worth it!

    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me today at A Life to Live.

  • 10:10:26 am on July 24, 2015 | 0 | # |

    Train Your Mind to Wait!

    Being impulsive is often a good thing, as it leads to spontaneous excursions and other events/activities that result in great time. However, being impulsive can also put you in proverbial hot water and result in very messy consequences and situations.

    The Downside to Impulsive Words and Actions

    Many negatives unfortunately stem from impulsive words and actions. Blurting out a thought the minute you have it can easily result in hurt feelings, while impulsive actions can sometimes result in leaving others you would normally associate with out. Impulsive words and actions are hurtful because they involve little to no thought, and can potentially leave many feeling badly about themselves and or you.

    Training the Mind to Plan

    The way around the thoughtlessness associated with impulsiveness is to train the mind to plan, ask questions, and listen to inner conversations. The old advice about “counting to 10” before making a decision or saying a few words can work, but most require more than 10 seconds to think critically about something. And that’s okay! The main thing is to be aware of impulsive thoughts and to take a moment to stop and reflect before saying something the minute it enters your head.

    Asking questions in such scenarios is therefore key. For example, asking yourself, “Will this person be offended by this statement?” is rarely a bad thing, nor are questions such as “Am I ignoring the wants of friends and family?” and “What are the potential repercussions of what I’m about to do/say?” While there is such a thing as over-analyzing, it’s still important to ask yourself the right questions and simply take a minute to slow down before making an insensitive comment or doing something rash.

    Those Inner Conversations

    The decision to ask the right questions goes hand in hand with listening closely to inner conversations. Most of the time we know the impulsive decision we’re making isn’t the best, though such thoughts often come too little, too late. That’s why listening intently to our inner conversations in conjunction with asking the right questions is so essential. That inner monologue guides us and serves as our companion throughout life, and always pushes us in the right direction. It’s when we ignore inner conversations that things go badly.

    Writing It Down

    A great method for training yourself to stop before making an impulsive decision is to write it out. This gives you a clear idea of why doing something impulsive is worth it…or not worth it in the slightest. The more you practice this, the more adept you’ll get at slowing down for reflection. Eventually, you won’t have to write anything down anymore!

    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me at A Life to Live today.

  • 10:10:09 am on July 22, 2015 | 0 | # |

    Your Mind as a Tool Box

    Feeling it’s time you took steps to grow as a person and otherwise improve your life? The best way to build your future mindset is to make room in the mind for new things. Your mind has limited room, with “making room” therefore necessary to enjoy a happy, healthy mindset in the future.

    Letting Go

    Letting go of the past–past hurt, past excuses, past inner conversations, past explanations–is a must if you want to build your future mindset. The mind doesn’t have the room to harbor past pain if you want to move forward, and to hold onto said pain equals stagnation–in your mind and in your life. If you can’t let go of the past, how can you “get on with it”? The past isn’t supposed to function as proverbial chains weighing you down. Constantly dwelling on the past means you aren’t living in the moment, and subsequently aren’t enjoying what’s going on in the here and now.

    The decision to let the past go is a beautiful thing, however it usually takes time and effort to truly do it. Don’t fret, however–the point is to take the time to change your mindset. How long it takes varies by person, so don’t compare yourself to another and what’s going on in his or her life. As the old saying goes, “Comparisons are odious.”

    Your Mind Is a Tool Box

    Think of your mind as a tool box. When examining a tool box (whether it be the one in your mind or an actual tool box), you’ll find some tools aren’t working or otherwise necessary anymore. If this is the case, why keep them? Why hold on to a past memory that just brings pain, either in the form of anger or sadness? Why allow your mind to torment you in this way when you can easily throw out these old “tools”? Don’t force yourself to keep using the same tools that don’t work for you anymore.

    Replacement Tools

    As you’re going through your “toolbox” and considering what you want to throw out, also take the time to think about what you want to replace them with. “Buy” new tools to replace the old ones with, such as replacing a negative thought about your career with a positive one about going for the promotion you want.

    Rid your mind of the thoughts that prevent you from moving ahead with your life–it’s one of the best decisions you can make for yourself!

    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me today at A Life to Live.

  • 08:48:42 pm on July 20, 2015 | 0 | # |

    Live Bold!

    If you’re wondering why you aren’t happier or things just don’t seem to work out the way you want, it could very well be because you aren’t “living bold.” The decision to live boldly is one that takes courage and determination, but also one that pays off tenfold.

    Allow Yourself to Want

    The first step in living a bold life is to allow yourself to want. Few realize they are the ones getting in their own way, because they don’t think they really and truly deserve what they want in life. Getting over this proverbial hump takes time, but it’s worth it, as the result is a happier, more peaceful, more satisfied you. Train your mind to accept yourself and that it’s okay to want the things you want. Don’t feel bad about the process taking a chunk of time either–everyone’s process is different, as no two people will change their mindsets the same way.

    Allow Yourself to Ask

    The next step in living boldly is to allow yourself to ask for what you want. Remind yourself–every day if you have to–that asking for what makes you happy isn’t selfish, it’s necessary to enjoy your life and subsequently contribute to the lives of those around you. It’s okay to ask for more than you currently have, and to be ambitious enough to go after it. As long as your actions aren’t harmful to others, motivating yourself to take what you want is a great thing.

    Make a point of allowing yourself to think about what you want, and to take the time to focus on these things. What really and truly makes you happy? What about your current situation is making you unhappy, and what can you do to change it? Remember, the decision to live boldly or to stay in your current situation and remain miserable is a choice. No one is holding a gun to your head and making you stay where you are in your life. It’s you and you alone!

    Wrapping Up

    Retraining your mindset so you may live a bold life might just be the best decision you’ll ever make. It gives you the courage to go after that job promotion, or to change careers. It makes it possible to move across the country if you wish, or to travel. It makes dealing with personal situations easier, such as finally approaching the person you’ve been swooning over for months.

    Give yourself the gift of changing your mindset…and enjoy living boldly!

    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me today at A Life to Live.

  • 09:16:16 pm on June 26, 2015 | 0 | # |

    Relationships at the Workplace

    Ah, the workplace. Whatever you do for a living, you spend the vast majority of each week at work. And while you may work in an office full of people or with only a few individuals, it’s important to get along with co-workers. This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends and go out for after-work happy hour every day, but it does mean you should get along well enough to do your jobs without personal interference.

    Just as Important 

    Believe it or not, workplace relationships are just as important as any other relationship you can think of. This is due to the sheer amount of time you spend working together! It therefore follows to be mindful of these relationships, whether at work or not.

    Take a moment to think about each of your co-workers, or those you work with directly on a daily basis. How do you feel about them? Does your attitude towards one or more of them negatively impact your work in a way you didn’t realize? How about those you have a positive relationship with? Does your job seem easier when working on a project or otherwise around such people? If you find your job is seriously impacted by a co-worker you dislike, what can you do to rectify the situation?

    How We Respond

    When considering how to rectify certain co-worker-related inequities, it’s a good idea to think about your mindset whenever you see the person. Our reactions are often so ingrained we rarely stop to think about how they may hurt us and those around us. Consider your inner conversation when around co-workers, as well as body language. Does your body instantly stiffen when near a certain co-worker? Do you cross your arms and use other body language frequently construed as “defensive”? Do you hear your voice lowering an octave into something that’s monotone, if not bored and sarcastic?

    Stopping for a moment to become mindful of our inner conversations and body language is key in improving our work relationships. You may not be able to change your co-worker or anyone else in your life, but you can change how you respond to the person. And whether you think so or not, changing your attitude towards someone in a positive way always has great results. These results may not be instant, but they do help create much healthier, happier relationships.

    Do yourself a favor and improve your relationship with your co-workers! Work is often stressful enough….why add to your stress and therefore irritate your mind?

    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me today at A Life to Live.

  • 10:10:53 am on June 24, 2015 | 0 | # |

    Your Mind and Business Calls

    It’s happened to all of us: you’re supposed to make a work call, and you “freeze up.” You start blanking on what you want to say, your tongue suddenly feels three times bigger, you pause uncomfortably, and even laugh out of nervousness. What is it about making a professional phone call that gets us so freaked out?


    A Big Difference

    Making a work-related call is very different from writing an email, sending a text message, or using an instant messenger service. Rather than typing out a message at your leisure, editing it as you see fit, and sending it when you’re good and ready, you’re talking directly to another person, and there’s no time for “do-overs.” While not being able to see the person you’re talking to is often helpful, it’s not uncommon for a “rushed” feeling to overtake us when talking on the phone. We spit out what we need to say quickly, and are praying that we don’t forget a major point or trip over our words.


    A Brick Wall

    We feel like this about business phone calls, whether it be a cold call, follow-up on a lead, or conversation with a current client, because we’ve trained our minds to react negatively. It’s easy to develop a negative mindset about an aspect of your job you don’t want to do or makes you feel uncomfortable. However, if we don’t take steps to change this mindset, it becomes a block, a proverbial brick wall that ensures we “screw up” every professional phone call we make. Even if the person on the other end of the line thinks the phone call went well, if we feel it went terribly, more nervous phone calls are in our future.


    A Change

    So how do we change our mindsets and subsequently enjoy or at least easily get through work phone calls? It starts with being aware of our thoughts. Before making a call or answering one, take a moment to calm the mind and stop the flow of negative thinking that usually accompanies such calls. We have the power to stop what we’re thinking regarding work calls, no one else. It therefore follows that we are the only ones who can do anything about it! Take charge of your mind and remember that you control it, not the other way around.

    Do what you need to do to feel good before a work call, whether it’s taking a few deep breaths, writing out talking points to ensure you discuss everything, or even watching a funny video to put you in a better mindspace. Whatever you do, remember that you are the one with the power to change your approach to work calls.


    For more on changing your mind and changing your life, please contact me today at A Life to Live.

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