10 ways to harness your power

If you’re anything like me then chances  are that you wish you had the power to do one, or both of the following:

  • Improve the quality of your life.
  • Improve the quality of life for others.

When you think about these things your head starts to spin. You think about how difficult it is to make lasting change as an individual and you think about how flooded with problems our planet has become and how challenging it is to approach them.

And you start to feel powerless.

Powerlessness is a complete and utter lie. It’s a false feeling. It holds no water.

The fact of the matter is that you can, right now, improve your life and improve the lives of other people. Here are five ideas for each:

Improve your life right now:

1) Listen to the inner monologue in your head. Just listen. Is it negative? Mine often is. Listen to it until it is quiet, and then think about a compliment that someone gave you recently. Once your inner bully has shutup, fill the empty space in your head with positive, loving self-talk.

2) Do ten pushups. If you can’t do ten, do 5. If you can’t do 5, do 1. It will make you feel more energetic and you’ll be happy that you got at least a bit of additional exercise.

3) Go for a walk. I know, you’re busy, you have a meeting coming up and it’s cold. Go for a walk anyways. It clears the mind and you deserve a few minutes for yourself.

4) Hand write a list of 10 things you are grateful for. This will shift your focus to how great your life is and the abundance that you rarely notice. This is like a super hack for happiness.

5) Spend two minutes meditating. Just sit, close your eyes and try to focus on your breathing.

Improve other’s lives right now:

1) Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to and tell them how much you appreciate them.

2) Go buy a beggar a hot meal or pay for her night in a hostel. Bonus points: ask a few personal questions and listen – form an actual connection with someone whose life has gone off the tracks.

3) Spend ten minutes researching different volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood right now and commit to volunteering for at least one hour this weekend.

4) Go through your closet and find five pieces of clothing (or five books, five toys, five canned goods) that you don’t need and donate them to a local shelter.

5) Instead of going out to dinner (or buying that cup of coffee, that beer, that movie ticket) donate a few bucks to a local charity. If you’re an employee see if your company has a matching policy to double your impact.

One effect of the numbing agents we are surrounded with is that we end up feeling powerless when in fact we are quite powerful. Take your power back. Go improve your life. Go improve someone else’s life. The only thing stopping you is you.

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