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Five Questions......

*This is an excerpt from an article that I recently published on Keshia's blog. This article was so compelling and different from what I have posted before that I decided to share it with you guys. Let me know what you think in the comments section below!*
One of the best ways to start out your new year is to make a self-assessment list. Don't focus on what you may have failed to accomplish in the last 12 months. It's unimportant and can be self-defeating. Rather, look at where you want to be and use tiny steps to get there. I'll give you an example:
Although there's always room for improvement, I see myself as somewhat content with my life the way things are. It is, of course difficult to think of anything else when there are real issues to be discussed.

We all have to deal with problems from time to time. Whatever they may be, these challenges are all a part of growing up. Modern psychology has taught (or conditioned) us to "get in touch with our inner child". 

Here's a challenge:
Try telling your mortgage lender that you missed last month's payment because you needed to explore your fascination with dollies, so you blew off making the payment.
Explain to your kids that there are no groceries this month because your "inner child" would not allow you to report in to work for weeks due to some deep-seeded issues with your parents not letting you watch cartoons.
Let me know what happens...
For God's sake people, leave the regressive psychobabble behind. It is time to grow up.

Real adults need real solutions to everyday issues. Here's a few questions to help you along:

1. What is my niche?
Finding something you're good at can help you realize that first small step towards improvement. If one thing doesn't work out try something else.
So you can't fly a plane, but maybe you can design one. If you have the know-how you may even be able to write about planes in a book.
Diligence is the key to success.

2. What is sacrifice?
Society, in general, is focused on the preservation of "the self". In other words, survival of the fittest has become the norm and anything resembling humility is viewed as abnormal. 
Again, hogwash.
If there is one thing that society can benefit from is goodwill. You do not always have to have the last word in a debate. You do not always have to make sure that you get "the best" of everything. You do not need to be the ultimate authority on all things.
One more. 
You ARE NOT always right.
Not everyone can or needs to be first.

3. Is there always "a path of least resistance"?
Automation is one of the greatest inventions ever conceived. We use automation to perform mundane tasks for us like paying bills, shopping, searching for information, etc.
Automation has made life easier for many of us.
Then again, there is always the easy way and the right way to do things. 
Who likes dealing with a pre-recorded message when you are trying to conduct business on the phone?
A personal touch makes a world of difference.

4. Is criticism good for you?
Everybody's a critic, right?
Most criticism takes on a mean-spirited overtone and can be quite injurious.
People have opinions on various subjects and are more than willing to share their thoughts on them (often when we don't even want to hear them). 
Very few people have mastered the art of constructive criticism. With that in mind remember what Bruce Lee said "Absorb what is useful, discard that which is not " (paraphrased)

Don't take it personal.

5. I want more. How do I get it?
We'd all like to have lots of money. The question is that how much are we willing to work for it?
It's easy to dream about having every single need taken care of financially. 
Money doesn't buy happiness, but you are a lot happier with it than without. One of the keys to having more is to not worry about having more. 
If you focus too much on the expected fruits of your labor, you miss out on enjoying them when they do come. Turn your focus instead on getting to the top one step at a time. Therefore, you're never behind schedule and when you get there and you'll never be disappointed with what you have. 
This is one reason why a lot of wealthy folks are dissatisfied with their gain. Some have lost sight of what is truly important in life.
Pacing is everything.

Why are you being so harsh, Kurt M?
Please forgive me for my bluntness.
My original intent for this article was to provide you with some encouragement to deal with the challenges of life, but as I was writing, I noted that the context of what I was saying was really no different than what you get on most self-help blogs. 
There are some good ones out there, but the vast majority only address symptoms and not root causes. 
In short, most self-empowerment courses and articles do not help. 
A bandage does little to a festering wound.

So, was I being too harsh or what? Let me know in the comments section below...

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