How to Renew Your Mind & Change Your Life

Just 30 minutes a day. That’s all it takes. Influencers like Jim Rohn & Tony Robbins will tell you the same thing.

So, 30 minutes of what?

How to Renew Your Mind ... and Change Your Life | Life, Unleashed

A LITTLE BACKGROUND

Growing up, I was extremely insecure and timid. I felt unliked and unimportant, and had a very “glass half-empty” outlook on life.

Everything in life seemed to be against me. I was always waiting for that other shoe to drop, so-to-speak.

And yet…

My mom had always encouraged my siblings and I to read. She took us to the bookstore & bought us books. And, we often saw her, Dad –and even Grandma– reading.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was unable to work, due to an injury, so I spent a lot of time reading. And, over the next ten years, as a stay-at-home-mom, I ended up reading more and more, as a way to pass the time.

In 2005, however, things started to shift. Instead of constantly reading fiction, I was now seeking out more and more nonfiction — at that time, mainly health & fitness books. Next, I was reading more Christian Living. Then, books on business, and success, and entrepreneurship, and personal development. Until, one day, I realized that I hardly read fiction at all, any more!

A SHIFT…

Ever since I began reading more nonfiction, there has been a shift in my life. I am no longer negative and seeing life as “out to get me”. I don’t blame others, or circumstances, for how my life is turning out but, instead, I accept responsibility for the choices I’ve made that have lead me to this point.

I’ve begun to submerge myself in positive messages, and to surround myself with people and words that lift me up and give me hope.

I now look at life very optimistically (despite less-than-ideal circumstances), and have an “anything is possible!” mindset.

What changed?

THE KEY

I honestly have to credit the books I read, plus the YouTube videos, and various pages I follow on Facebook that keep me constantly immersed in positive messages. And, obviously, I can’t go without giving credit to God, because I also prayed and asked Him to renew my mindset. He is faithful. ♥

In Network Marketing, we are encouraged to do at least thirty minutes of personal development each day.

Personal Development: the conscious pursuit of personal growth by expanding self-awareness and knowledge, and improving personal skills.

I believe this is for several reasons:

IT CHANGES YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Like I’ve mentioned, I went from being very negative and woe-is-me, to having a completely shifted view, or outlook, on life. I am now an optimist!

IT SHOWS YOU WHAT IS POSSIBLE

Before I started to read about others’ lives, and how they went from difficult starts to raving success, I had only my own circumstances (and that of those around me) to look to for an example of what might be possible. Since no one in my circle was all that influential, my expectations were pretty limited.

However, in reading these others’ success stories, I began to see how “small” I’d been thinking, and my ideas for what I could achieve began to expand.

Marianne Williamson quoteIT FORCES YOU TO LEVEL UP

When you surround yourself with those who are optimistic, positive, and driven — even if it’s only by following these people via social media, and/or reading their books, or watching their videos — you can’t help but be inspired to think differently. And, when you think differently, you then act differently.

You can continue to “play small”, but it won’t feel right. You will have an inner restlessness, drawing you towards becoming more, because you’ve now seen that more is possible!

IT CHANGES WHO YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH

When you begin to shift your mindset away from the negative, towards a more optimistic view, you’ll find it really hard to continue to spend any great amount of time with those who are still stuck in that negative thinking. As such, you will begin to seek out, and spend time with (again, perhaps only virtually), others who think positively, and are actively working on themselves and their lives.

IT PUSHES YOU TO PURSUE A BETTER LIFE

When you know better, you can do better. When you know more, you want more.

No longer will you be content to settle for what’s ordinary or expected. Instead, you will believe there’s so much more that is possible, and you will actively pursue that for your life.

And, not only will you want more for yourself, but you will also want to pass it on… to tell others, “Hey! You’ve got to try this!” (just like I’m doing with this post!)

When you’ve experienced something that changes your life in such a big way, you can’t help but tell others about it!

WHAT’S NEXT?

Let me strongly encourage you to give this a try. Like I said, all it takes is just thirty minutes a day, and you will start to notice a shift in your life. If you’re not big on reading, try listening to audio books (my friend, Sarah, never liked to read… but, after she got into network marketing, she decided to listen to books on CD… and from there, she started buying & actually reading physical books!).

You can also watch videos on YouTube, listen to podcasts, watch webinars… there are a lot of options.

And, if you don’t feel you can fit in 30 minutes all at once, try starting with just 10 minutes per day. Then, work your way up to 20 minutes… and, again, work your way up, from there, to 30 minutes. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

The key is to ignore your excuses, and just start. Find what works for you.

Need some ideas of who to follow? Check out the list I’ve created just for you on my Library page!

Personal Development | Life, Unleashed

Losing My (Fake) Identity

From about 2002 to 2012, I was immersed in the book blogging world. It started with a Yahoo! group I’d joined, called “Book-a-Week”. Its participants aimed to read 52 books per year (a “book-a-week”). One of the Book-a-Week group’s rules was that you had to keep a record of the books you’d read. So, I’d started keeping a book journal then, but only a paper version. In 2005, I decided to start keeping an online –blog– version, as well.

Losing My (Fake) Identity | Life, Unleashed

For the majority of my book blogging years, I was a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). As such, I had plenty of time to read and blogging became my place to connect with other adults.

As for the book-a-week goal, I managed to hit it almost every year. And then I started to exceed it. I talked books, read books, researched books, collected books. My collection grew from approximately 300 books to over 1400 books!

Because I’d started several book memes that my readers came, weekly, to play along in (on my blog), I was becoming known in the book blogosphere. I’d taken on the alias of “Mizbooks”, which my readers shortened to “MizB” — something I was fine with. Friends and family even came to know me as “Mizbooks”, and called me “the crazy book lately”.

And so, that’s who I was — who I became. My identity was caught up in my love of books and reading.

Then came the 5 years of being back out in the working world. When I landed a busy, full-time job, my time (and mental capacity) for reading greatly diminished. All-of-a-sudden, I found myself in a sort of identity crisis. If I couldn’t read, then who was I? I’d been the “avid reader”, “MizB”, for so long… now I felt lost.

And I felt ashamed …like I was betraying my blog readers by no longer being this woman who read 80 books per year.

Fast-forward five more years. My reading has dwindled to about 12-15 books read per year. My book blog is barely hanging on, with just two memes left, and about 1/3 of the readership.

I no longer feel as bad for my lack of reading time; but I do still wish I could (would?) read more. Really, it’s now more an issue of time-management and priorities.

The book blog… well, I’d been questioning that aspect, and I’ve decided that I’m not going to keep going with it after the new year (2017). I plan to either hand my two memes over to other bloggers or just let them go, entirely. Part of me doesn’t want to do either, as they feel like my “babies”. But another part of me knows it will be a relief to let them go.

Regardless, this whole “crisis” has taught me something. And that’s that we shouldn’t place our identity in what we do, or in the roles we play. Our truest identity (if we’ve accepted Jesus as Savior) is as daughters (and sons) of the King of Kings, and all that that entails. It’s the only thing that will not change. We’ve been adopted into God’s family, so we’re now set apart and He calls us His own.

I’m still learning to accept myself as who God says I am. But already, it has been both peace-giving and empowering.

So, who do you say that you are? Do you know yourself as a child of God? What do you need in order to make that mental shift?

 

Do We Have These in Common?

Just for fun, let’s see how many things we have in common, shall we?

Do we have these in common? | Life, UnleashedSTATIONARY STORE JUNKIE

I absolutely love stationary stores! One of my earliest memories includes going to the stationary store with my Dad, and watching as he chose new markers (Dad was a sketch artist for the police department, back then). He had a whole bin full of different markers at home, and I do believe I got my love of browsing these stores from him.

PEN PARTICULARS

I’m very particular about the pens I use. My favorites are the Bic Cristal (usually blue). They write smoothly, don’t usually leave any smudges or ink drops, and they’re comfortable to hold.

Back when I worked at Staples Business Depot (I know, right?! See my first point, above), I once asked my co-workers about a different kind of pen — I thought I’d maybe change things up. They couldn’t understand why I was making such a big deal of choosing a pen … they reiterated that the store had plenty! LOL. However, they didn’t understand how important it is (at least to me) that a pen meet certain criteria. I write a lot — I’m a Writer … duh! — so I need my pens to be “just right”.

NEW NOTEBOOKS | JOURNALS

There is something about a new notebook or journal that always draws me in … I just cannot help myself. I should never be allowed in the stationary aisle of the local Dollarama store, as I can’t help but walk out of there with at least ONE new notebook or journal. It’s a serious problem. It’s not like I don’t have any at home. LOL. But, I will always find a new excuse to buy another one. Maybe it’s the “possibility” that comes with a fresh book?

TREE-CLIMBER

Finally, something NOT stationary related! LOL. When I was younger, I used to love climbing trees. We lived in the country, so we had a bunch of good climbing trees in our yard … and Grandma lived across the street, and had a whole 4 acres of woods behind her house! If I had the strength (and I’m working on that!), I’d probably still be climbing trees! Who cares how old I am! (heck, I still wear pigtails in my hair, too!)

SO NOT  GIRLY!

I am not a fan of getting all dressed up, and I do not care that much for pink or sparkly things … sometimes my nails will get a sparkly or pink coat, but that’s close to the extent of it.

I much prefer to spend my days in t-shirts, jeans, and my Converse (“Chucks”).

FEISTY & STUBBORN

Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve had a super stubborn streak. My family loves to remind me of the time when I told my Grandma (who was babysitting me while my mom was in the hospital, giving birth to my brother) that I was going to “take these 2 feet” and walk all the way home, since she was refusing to give me a ride. Ha!

I can also be quite feisty, given the right circumstances.

The stubborn streak can come in handy, sometimes, though — for example, refusing to give up hope on my desire to remain self-employed. I’ll do whatever it takes.

SWEET TOOTH

I love sugar … especially Coca-Cola (classic) and chocolate. I’ve tried so many times to give up drinking soda, as I know how bad it is for me. But it never lasts for long. I’m still working on finding a fair compromise for this. And the chocolate … well, I’m never giving that up, thank you very much! (Faves: Reese Peanut Butter Cups & Snickers)

VROOM-VROOM!

I’m a girl who can appreciate a beautiful car. My husband might beg to differ (I don’t care for Corvettes), but to each their own, right? I love Ferraris and Lamborghini Aventadors… plus a wide range of more reasonably priced vehicles, of course. My Audi A4 and I were good friends… and I got plenty of kudos from others, given she was a manual. Now I drive my “beast” (a Dodge Ram pickup) … love her, too!

NON-FICTION

I used to read mainly fiction. I loved mystery novels, and romances set in Regency-era England. Somewhere, in the last several years, my tastes changed, and I’ve been reading primarily nonfiction. I’m like a sponge — I can’t get enough of learning through these books I read!

While it was already hard to find people who shared my love of reading (I was averaging 80 books per year, while most of my family & friends maybe read a handful of books each year), now it’s next to impossible … most of those who I “know”, online even, don’t read as much nonfiction as I do. But I love to learn all I can about things I’m interested in … so I just can’t seem to help myself!

Mind you, I have set myself a goal to read at least 4 fiction books, this summer! I’ve requested a couple of them for review, specifically because of this … and I have a few that I bought last year that are still waiting to be read. Here’s hoping!

CREATIVE, DREAMER, & VISIONARY

I’m a dreamer. I do better at seeing the “big picture” than I do keeping grounded in reality, or seeing what’s right here. I love possibility, and thinking of how things could be. I am always looking for the hopeful side of things, even if they seem impossible.

Creativity runs in my blood. My parents are both artistic, with Dad –as I said, earlier– having previously worked as a police sketch artist, and my Mom being into Interior Design. Music has also always been a big part of my life, with all of my mom’s family being musically-inclined (also a creative pursuit).

And, of course, the visionary bit comes into play in that I have great visions of where I want my life to go, and of changes that could be made. I’m always envisioning bigger and better … not just for myself and my own life, but also for other businesses or organizations, or even for other individuals.

SELF-AWARENESS

I’ve always been a huge fan of the self-help genre, and psychology. I also love personality quizzes! I’m naturally very introspective, always questioning why I do what I do, and thinking of ways to improve. I journal almost daily, reflecting on things that are going on in my life, or just the thoughts buzzing through my head. As a result, I feel like I know myself pretty well, compared to the general population. I don’t think many people take the time to really sit and dig into their personalities as much (I’d love for you to correct me, if I’m wrong about this!).

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

So, tell me … is there anything in here that you can relate to?