"If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I will tell you, I came to Live Out LOUD." ~Émile Zola
1. Live your life on purpose. Not on "DEFAULT ". Be Proactive. Make conscious and deliberate choices. When you don't choose, circumstances choose for you and you are never leading: you are following or catching up, or worse, living in "default" mode. Instead, make a decision to be the leader in your own life and take front and center. Lead.
2. Utilize your full potential. Give what you're doing your best and fullest attention. Be here now. Even if you're not where you want to be, giving it half your effort doesn't move you forward. Master what you have at hand, for the sake of mastering it, and something will shift. Give it what you've got.
3. Overcome your fear. Get out of your comfort zone. Find out you have a pulse. Let something give you butterflies in your stomach. This is how you know you're alive - how you grow into something new. Every fear overcome is a freedom gained. The less afraid you are,the more room you have to play. Consider that you live in a huge mansion with 35 rooms but you only live in 3 of the rooms because the rest of the house is dark. Go in and open all the lights. Unveil the darkness and you have a bigger house to play in. Don't know how to overcome fear? Do the thing you're afraid of. Cross them off the list. Make it a game. Pretty soon, you will be invincible. Living a life out loud, is living a life of freedom. Living a life of freedom is good.
4. Discover a new talent. One of my favorite quotes by Martha Grimes is, "We don't know who we are until we see what we can do". But we don't find this out until we try something new. You don't know what jewels you have inside of you until you tap into them. You might just find out you are a multi-talented, multi-faceted individual. Don't know what to try? Here are some suggestions; learn a new instrument, take an art class, play with a digital camera, sign up for a salsa class, take up cooking, plant a garden, join toastmasters, pick up a needle and thread, try mountain climbing, go scuba diving, camping or kayaking. The list is endless. And they don't all cost money. Create an online social network. Find something that interests you and explore it. You never know what will come out of it and isn't that the whole purpose of being here? To discover who you are?
5. Honor your word. When you strip everything else away, your word is all you've got. Do what you say you're going to do. By honoring your word, you honor yourself. And it doesn't feel good when you don't. So, make it a habit. Value your integrity and keep your promises. It's a good life practice. It's a good business practice.
6. Create a new habit or break an old one. This goes in line with #1 - Leading. Who has dominion over your life - you or your habits? Make it a game. How many things can you get under your control? How many bad habits can you convert. Jack Canfield in his book, Success Principles: How to Get from Where you Are to Where You Want to Be includes a chapter entitled: Develop Four New Success Habits a Year. There is a great sense of empowerment when you feel you are in charge of your life. This helps you get there.
7. Pay a stranger a compliment. Does the woman ahead of you in the check out have a fabulous hair style? Tell her so. Is the man on the subway wearing a nice tie? Tell him so. Not only does it make someone else feel good, but it makes you feel good to compliment someone else. All of the sudden the world is small and the stranger next to us becomes our friend and we recognize that we're all in this together.
8. Take yourself out on a date. Are you ashamed to be single? Don't be. And don't wait until you have company to get out. Treat yourself. Bring a book. Bring something you're working on. Bring a journal and use it to write up all the amazing qualities that you want in a partner or a friendship when it comes your way. Find somewhere that has music or wireless and plant yourself there. Have a meal, enjoy it. Treat yourself. You deserve it. Living out loud is playing out loud whether you have someone to join you or not. And you never know who you might meet or strike up a conversation with. There may be another single diner dining about, or your waitress (or waiter) may become your new best friend. Again, small world. Six degrees of separation. We're all in this together. There is no "right" way to do it. Make your own rules. Live by them.
9. Take 100% responsibility for your life. If things aren't working out in your favor, take note and ask yourself what your part in it is? Being a victim, is passé, boring. There is no power in blaming other people. Don't wait for other people to change. When you change, your world will follow suit. Claim dominion over the only life you have control over. Use the unwanted circumstances to make clear what NEW thing you want to create in your life and then start asking about how to get there. You will be led, but you first have to lead with the question, the intention, the commitment to change. There is no power outside of yourself.
10. Live in the question. There is nothing you cannot be, do or have. So do not impose limitations on yourself. You are ALWAYS in co-creation with something much bigger than you. Call it God, Universe, Angels, Divine Beings - you have an invisible team that is supporting you, waiting on your very direction. But it works in collaboration with you, in partnership. Instead of saying you can't get there, ask "How can I get there?" Live in the affirmation of possibility rather than the declaration of negativity. There is always a way, and it is being presented consistently, but you have to live in the question to be on the lookout for the answer.
11. Make more decisions for yourself. Living out Loud is about being a DECIDER. It's part of taking dominion over your life. When you are not making the decision, something or someone else is deciding for you. People who have become successful made a decision to become successful. There is great power in making a decision. It's a declaration. You don't know what you want? Then look at what you DON'T want and work backwards. I bet you DO know what you want, you just haven't been in the habit of asking yourself. Hey. That's a new habit to change! (See #6)
12. Learn to say "No". A fabulous teacher, I once knew said "Your 'Yes's mean nothing until you can learn to say "No." Many people, especially women, have a problem with saying the word "NO", mostly in fear of letting someone else down. And in order to live your best possible life, you need to learn how to say NO to the things that aren't serving you. Living out Loud means taking your "Yes's" seriously. The best barometer to measure this by is: if it isn't a "HELL YES " (yippee, so fun, can't wait), then it is most probably a NO. If you have to talk yourself into it, it's a NO. Living your life on purpose is following the Yes's. Once you get comfortable saying NO, everything becomes a matter of choice. Living a life of choice is a living a life of freedom. Living a life of freedom is good.
13. Know your own value. Do not defer. There is no one above or below you. Others may be more educated, skilled or talented in one or another area, but there is something magnificent and valuable about what you have to offer this world that, in comparison, is equal. Do not allow yourself or anyone else to diminish it. It is a "sin"(error in thinking), to deny your greatness. The great teacher Jesus, who once walked this earth said, "Yea are Gods'. . . and yea shall do greater things than me". How do you know he wasn't talking about you? What are you hiding? Are you a computer geek? So was Bill Gates. Billionaire. What? You have a learning disability? So did Dr. John Demartini and that's what makes him the most powerful speaker today. Joe Vitale came from homelessness. Look at him now? Stop idolizing anyone else's gifts and/or dismissing your own. Stop hiding your light under a bushel. Take pride in your talents. Living Out Loud is allowing yourself to shine and allowing others to do the same.Don't know what sorts of talents you have? Good. Then, it's time to find out!
14. Give yourself permission. For everything. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Give yourself permission to shine. Give yourself permission to look beautiful. Give yourself permission to accept (instead of correct or dismiss) praise. Give yourself permission to have bad days. Give yourself permission to get angry. Give yourself permission to cry, to laugh, to scream. Give yourself permission to take the day off. Give yourself permission to take a nap, go to sleep early. Give yourself permission to get a massage. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Give yourself permission to succeed. Give yourself permission to fail. Life is about LIVING, not about getting there, being there, acquiring stuff, or pursuing some end result. Life and living is about being here NOW, in all your full range of emotions, mood swings, wins and losses. Take responsibility for where you are, now. It will change soon enough tomorrow. Give yourself permission to Live Out Loud. Today. No shame.
15. Own your own opinion. No one has to agree with you in order for your opinion to matter. Stop waiting for consensus. YOU matter. Your opinion matters. The nature of Living Out Loud is that some people will agree with you and some people won't. You will NEVER get consensus. So, stop looking for it. The only question you have to ask is, does your opinion matter to you? Claim it. Own it. And know that with new information, it could change tomorrow. Life is transitory. Live in the evolution.
16. Do not punish yourself for past actions. Know this: your past behavior was what you've DONE, but it is not who you ARE. Who you ARE is still unfolding, being discovered, being triumphant in it's evolving stages. Forgive yourself for past actions.Stop berating yourself. Mistakes, errors in judgments, and failures all add to our character and value. It makes us human and compassionate and wise. To berate yourself for acquiring these VALUABLE qualities is wrong, so stop it. A new beginning starts today. Living Out Loud means claiming yourself in your entirety (warts and all), and to see your own beauty in the midst of it all.
17. Live in the realm of "possibility" rather than "probability". Stay open at the top. You don't know what the outcome can be. Statistics are made up of groups. You are an Individual. Be the individual that charts your own course. The laws of the universe adhere to your vibration. So declare it. Do not fall into the temptation of "GROUP THINK". Own your truth. You don't know what is possible for you until you find out.
18. Do not argue for your limitations, but instead focus on your strengths. We all have weaknesses, but we also have our strengths. What do you do well? Practice that. When you lead with your strengths, the rest follows suit. And miraculously, your limitations sort of disappear. What you focus on grows.
19. Practice gratitude. In a world of imperfections, it's amazing how perfect things actually are. But sometimes we have to look for them. Practicing gratitude is an antidote to depression. It is also the precursor to a fabulous life. The more grateful you are, the more you have to be grateful for. This goes with #1 & #6. When your life's circumstances aren't working in your favor, the one thing you DO have control over is your attitude. If you lead with gratitude, and create a habit of it, in short order, your life will change.
20. Be authentic. Thoreau said something profound, "If I am not I, who will be?" Why try to be like anyone else? Did you ever notice that the ones who are most successful are not the ones that follow the masses and trends, but the ones who stand in their own authentic expression and declare who they are? Regardless of who agrees with them? There is an expression that is uniquely yours and to dismiss it, is to dismiss the divine. Living Out Loud is leading with the authentic. Don't know what that looks like for you? Then, that's a good place to start. Live in the question. Watch for clues.
21. Own your own power. Innately, we were given an inner guidance, an inner knowing that is capable of leading us to live extraordinary lives. And something in you is always aware of this knowing. The answers are not outside of you. Own what you know. The more you practice this, the more you hone your own powerful magnetic field that surrounds you and the more power you emit in your convictions, knowing and in your life.And your results will confirm this.
22. Stop Complaining. Complaining is a form of passive victimhood. It's a way of saying that someone (or something else) has taken dominion over your life. Stop. Ask yourself instead, why is this happening to me and what part do I play in this picture? And then work on YOUR part of the solution. Have you ever found yourself not setting a boundary and allowing someone to take advantage of you? Maybe you didn't take care of yourself so well in a situation and got burned by the outcome? Or, have you ever not trusted your gut instinct and ended up having to pay the consequence? We are always the single common denominators in our life and we are the only ones we have control over. Use what you are complaining about as your inner clues as to where you need to start taking better care of yourself. Be the VICTOR in your life. It's the only life you have to work with. This is part of leading and not living your life on default.
23. Practice "Being" and have nothing to prove. Know your own value with or without results. Your value is in your human Being-ness not your Human Doingness.In a society that is wrapped up in image, this is sometimes difficult to practice. People ask what you DO, not who you ARE. But a person who knows their own value, does not have to prove it. There is great power in just being. Be still and know that you are GOD. "To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders." Chuang-tse
24. Be of service. Cast a wider net, energetically, of your circle of friends. Be of service where you can, to who you can be of service to. Edwene Gaines, a funny teacher, says "Don't be so "spiritual" that you're of no earthly good!" Offer your help where you can and do your part in making the world a friendly place. We are all in this together. As Gandhi preached: BE the change that you wish to see happen. You would be surprised by the impact you have.
25. Love generously. Spread random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. Hatred is already rampant. We need to tip the scales the other way. Love is a far more powerful emotion and has far reaching consequences. Living out Loud means Loving Out Loud. And ironically, the more you love, the more love you have to give. It is a generative emotion capable of transforming the entire planet. Be generous with it. Don't skimp.
26. Find your bliss and live your passion. Again, don't know what that is? Then it's time to find out! Your emotions give away clues. When your life has spun out of control and you are finding yourself in a tizzy, go back to what makes you happiest and do that. The more you follow this thread, the more you are leading with the heart. There are always ways to monetize your passion, to find ways to make a living at what you love, but first you have to discover it. Your emotions don't lie. Follow their lead. They will "true" you every time. If it's not a "Hell Yeah" (yippee, hooray, more of this please!) then it's not worth exploring. Find out what rocks your world and play there for awhile. Find out where it takes you. Make this your real job.
27. Stop waiting. Life is happening right now. Don't wait for the right career, the perfect relationship, the landfill of money. Make the best of what you have right now and be creative with it. Don't put your life on pause. Live with the possibility that what you are waiting for can arrive tomorrow, and live your best life TOD AY. Time is Now. Make use of it. This moment doesn't repeat itself tomorrow. Tomorrow is a different moment. Live today's moment. Today.
28. Let other people off the hook. They didn't mean harm, and even if they did, it hurt them more than it hurt you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and rise even taller. Living Out Loud is Thriving out Loud. Don't use anyone as your excuse to shirk your responsibility to live a bigger life. Victimhood is not a badge of honor. Overcoming adversity is. Use success and joy as your barometer. And march on.
29. Use co-creation to help you. We have at our disposal a power that creates worlds. We are ALWAYS working in conjunction with invisible forces. Acknowledge them, address them, put them to work. They want to create on your behalf, but they are waiting for your leadership to direct them. Consider them invisible managers in the sky. They have broad reach and are ready to put into place your heart's desire. Living Out Loud means acknowledging that we are a big presence with a big force of nature at our disposal. We don't underestimate our power. We utilize it.
30. March to the beat of your own drum and STAY THE COURSE. Do you hear your own music, but find yourself dancing to the tune of someone else's beat? Stop it. Were you told at any point in your life that your own music was the wrong kind? Re-Consider. Your own music has genius to it. Just like the acorn has contained within it everything it needs to become an oak tree, so within your own music, do you have the notes to play out your life's grand song. The symphony of the world's vibration, the hum of it's tune, is the sound OM (aum). The task is to find your own Om - your life force vibration; life pattern or purpose; your song or melody - and to live it. We all have a divine patterning, a blue print that we can't escape, something that has our original imprint on it. As we move closer and closer in alignment with this source, we feel closer and closer to our own divinity, our own God, our own life force, our own "OM". So the task is always to find it, claim it, express it, and live it. And to never (not ever) give up on yourself. You are who you are. It's time to honor that and make use of it. Stay the course.
For many of us, this is already a way of life. But to others, some of these practices may feel daunting. To you, I say this: just start. You may not succeed 100% of the time, but like a friend once said, "life is a hard hat zone, we're always under construction."
Bloom where you are planted. Work from the inside out. Make the commitment to yourself and get started.
Find your "OM". Claim It. Own it. Express It. Live it. You are divinely supported.