I have always been a passionate, committed person who seeks excellence in all I do. From the time I was a young girl, I set targets, passionately pushed myself through all obstacles, decided my three future professions at age 6, achieved my goals and made a name for myself as an outstanding person.
Throughout my academic career I was at the top of academic lists, in the highest academic tracks, the winner of academic awards and the recipient of scholarships and other financial bonuses for my dedication and hard work. In the community, I won spelling bees, city-wide monthly citizenship awards, prizes and recognition for fundraising as a member of volunteer organization, allowances to apply for free to Ivy League universities. I maintained stellar grades, boldly applied for and got professional jobs in journalism while still in university, and won awards.
Professionally, on my life journey, I followed my passion and in my professions as journalist and ordained minister made a great difference in people’s lives. My personal evolution and passion spurred me to pursue a university education in psychology and, in 1998, to begin my consulting practice, Humanity Institute, as the method to best inspire excellence people worldwide.
I threw my passion for excellence into empowering others while educating myself further and conducting research so that I could be a pioneer and create a system of education and empowerment that would benefit as many people as possible between people, across cultures and throughout life via 1) cultural training and tours and 2) the Humanity Institute Lifespan Consultation™ program.
It is my belief that the worst thing someone can say to you is “You have so much potential (but you are not using it)” or “You had so much potential”.
We are all called to use our passion to push our unlimited potential into manifestation. Personal evolution is a movement towards personal excellence. One of Humanity Institute Lifespan Consultation™ focii is the Turning 30 program. In it, I work with people ages 28-30 who seek to evolve and grow through the particular challenges of that time, striving for excellence in their adult lives. Each person is at a different place when they start the program; all at different stages of manifesting potential, but all have what it takes to attain excellence. In the spirit of the personal growth that can take place at age 30, I have compiled a list of 30 ways to achieve a life of excellence.
If you would like daily empowerment in achieving these goals, you can register for the 30 Steps to Excellence Coaching Program. Contact me at email@example.com — Barrett
Be passionate. It gets no more excellent than this when your life is filled with love and the ability to live out your calling every day. In everything you do, there should be passion. Play hard. Work hard. Stop doing what you hate and start doing what you love. Tend to the fire in your soul and do what turns you on! Yes, it may mean you must quit your job and take a chance. It may mean you must leave security and take a huge risk. Take your passion and run with it. Discover and if necessary, create your niche in life. Be a pioneer if you must. Many years ago I was fired from a job. The person who fired me said that she knew I was too intelligent to have the job. I was angry and foul-mouthed all the way home. I sat at the kitchen table and said aloud that never again search for a job or put myself in a position where someone could control or take away my income. I would have a career and determine my future. I would accomplish it using the resources at my disposal: a computer, the Internet, a telephone my university degrees, my work experience and my love of empowering people for a short time period so they could change their lives forever. I started the Humanity Institute, designed a cross-cultural coaching course and created the Humanity Institute Lifespan Consultation™ program. I am on fire, passionately doing what I love!
Discipline your mind. You are what you think. A disciplined mind is filled with plans. Goals, positive thoughts and a focus on excellence is a disciplined mind. If you put your mental energy into living your best life you become unstoppable. All physical manifestations in life are a result of past thoughts given repeated focus. Discipline yourself to think positively, and stay focused on what is important, productive and beneficial to your goal of excellence.
Define your purpose. Why are you here? What is your mission? When you define that, you will feel a great sense of satisfaction. Defining your purpose is possible for each of us to do and it does not take long. Sit down and start thinking and writing. Clarify your purpose by boiling it down to one or two sentences. My two-fold Life Purpose is “To empower people to live their best lives and to build bridges between people and across cultures.” It is why I awaken in the morning, it is the foundation for my life goals, it fuels all that I do, and governs my interactions with people I meet each day.
Believe in yourself. You can be, do or have anything you desire. When you understand that the spirit of our universe is a friendly and loving universe that wants to work with, not against, you will achieve so much in life. You shape your future. You only need decide what you want to achieve, see and feel yourself achieving it, do the actions that are required on your part to make it happen, and be open to receiving what you desire. It is about your attitude, about believing in yourself and your ability to be, do and have what you want in life.
It is as simple as that.
Face your fears. Fear is lack of believe in yourself. Fear is an obstacle we erect or allow others to erect to prevent ourselves from achieving our goal. Fear is created in and exists n your head. It only grows if you focus on it and put your energy into reviewing what could go wrong, the bad things that could happens, how your goal cannot be reached, how things failed last time or did not work for another person. Stop giving fear energy and focus on success.
Make plans. What are your biggest goals and dreams? Set them. The life I’m living each day is a result of the goals and plans you made the day(s) before. If you don’t set any goals or make any plans, you will be wasting your energy moving in place instead of moving forward. Planning does not need to be complicated or time-consuming. Spend 5 minutes the night before planning what you want to accomplish the next day to achieve your goals. Write it. When you wake up the next morning, review this list before you get out of bed.
Create a bucket list. If you have seen the marvelous film “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, then you know what I mean. For most of the film, these two men do the things on their “bucket lists”, the list of things they want to accomplish before they “kick the bucket” (die). No one gets out of this life alive. So, you have about 100 years. What do you want to do, see, say and experience in this lifetime that is meaningful to you? I created my bucket list; now it is your turn. Put anything on it that you like. It can be learning to dance salsa, climbing Mount Everest, viewing Paris from the Eiffel Tower, falling in love, photographing polar bears in the Arctic, flying in a hot-air balloon, or eating at an expensive restaurant. When you achieve something, cross it off and add something new.
Create a life guide. Make your personal life guide using a 3-ring binder. In it, include your life purpose, mission statement, values, goals, plans, schedules/timelines and all that is valuable to you in living a life of excellence.
Maintain a journal. There are many beautifully designed and sometimes plain, hardcover sketch books that can be used as a journal. Writing in your journal gives you the ability to voice your thoughts, intentions, emotions and plans. You can clarify what seems to be complicated about you and your life. It can be private or you can share it with others.
Create a vision board. I make a vision board every New Years Day. I also hold vision board workshops for small groups. These are easy to create, come from your heart and can be composed of whatever is important to you. Best of all, after you have made one, you can then watch as what is on it manifests.
Start the day early. Get out of bed! When you start your day early, 5:00am or 6:00am, with a good shower and a hearty breakfast, you can accomplish many things in one day. I awaken each day at 6:00am. I get more done by 12pm than most people accomplish by 5:00pm.
Eat well. Healthy nutrition fuels your body so you can feel good. Feeling good helps you achieve excellence. I have been following the “Eat Right 4 Your Type nutritional program for about a decade. It is based on the four blood types and divides food, according to whether you are blood type O, A, B or AB, into beneficial, neutral and one you should avoid. Of course, you can use some other approach, but the basic point is that it provides me with healthy nutritious foods I can eat: fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and in limited amounts, dairy and grains. But you can follow any plan and it can be healthy so long as you are consuming lots of fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates. Limit your sugar and salt intake. Ease up on the fast-food, fried things and processed foods. You do not need to be a vegetarian or vegan to eat healthily. Only make a decision to do it and stick with it. Start each day with a good breakfast and try to make breakfast or lunch your biggest meal.
Exercise regularly. When you calculate how much money you spend on junk food and other tings you do not need but spend $5 on here or there, it adds up! Do you realize you realize you waste money that could be spent on a gym membership and maybe even enough to supplement it with a personal training session once a month. Go to the gym every other day (Zumba!! Yoga!!) and take a class, then run on the treadmill for 10-15 minutes, then do 30 minutes of weightlifting and machines. That gives you 8 hours of exercise per week. It is hard at first but it gets easier and you will like how your body looks and feels after eight weeks. You will be hooked on fitness. Walk when you have the chance. Maybe take up running. I ran my first-ever 10K this year with the goal of running a marathon in 2015. I liked crossing that finish line under my own power. Find something(s) you like and just do it.
Take a daily nap. Studies prove that a nap of at least 30 minutes per day is good for your heart and your attention span. Find a quiet space, whether I your car, your office, your couch or bed, and sleep for 30-60 minutes somewhere between 2:00pm-4:00pm. You will have more energy for the late afternoon and evening. You will have energy to tackle last-minute tasks at work, take an evening or night class, enthusiastically spend time with your partner/spouse or children, read for pleasure, have a late dinner, play a sport etc.
Find a mentor. In fact, I recommend having two mentors, one as a general mentor and one for your specific professional field. We all have dreams. A mentor who has gone before you can help guide you and help you shape your unique journey, reducing your learning curve and helping you avoid pitfalls and traps. There is an excellent organization for women in Copenhagen which provides non-Danish women with a Danish woman mentor. After I moved to Copenhagen, I signed up and was matched with a mentor who not only had a professional background in two of the three professional fields I which I worked, she was able to give me insight into the Danish community, give me professional references and practice speaking Danish with me. You could have a mentor at work, a mentor in your chosen field, a mentor with experience and contacts in something you wish to achieve on your bucket list. The possibilities are endless. With a mentor as a partner, you can manifest your potential faster than you can alone.
Mentor someone. Connect with someone and share your wisdom in a mentoring relationship. This is giving back to the universe, and when you put good stuff out there you get good stuff back. There are formal mentoring organizations where you can do this, and you can also stay open to opportunities that come your way for forming a mentor relationship that mostly benefits the mentee.
Embrace your parents. Despite what you may see on television programs and a church, most people do not have perfect families. Most of us have families that are dysfunctional in some way, and distant or dysfunctional parental relationships are often at the center of them. Remember this, your parents are a different generation and ways of doing things yes, but when they are no longer alive you WILL miss them. Your children will one day view you as a relic from the Middle Ages, out of touch with the reality of modern life. Time is short, embrace your parents and enjoy the time you have with them. Swallow your pride, laugh at the jokes that are repeatedly told, let your mother fuss over you and your father share his wisdom, without protest. Our parents sacrifice for us, even if we cannot always understand how. Refrain from saying things you know will cause an argument. Find ways to make the time you send with them enjoyable. They also had no course in being a parent; no one knows how to be a parent until they go through it. Excellence is having good parental relationships.
Create better sibling relationships. If you have sisters or brothers, that is a precious gift. These are the people who have known you from your youth, in your best and worst moments. They have seen how rough you look in the morning when you awaken, they know what you really do and don’t like, they have experienced your faults and eccentric habits, and through it all, they still love you. Relationships with your siblings, like wine, tend to ripen and improve with age. Make good memories with your siblings. I am taking a long vacation with one of my sisters. These are the people with whom you will share your elder years. Excellence is having good sibling relationships.
End negative friendships. Friends should uplift you and time spent with them should leave you and them feeling positive, content and inspired. If this is not happening, you need actual friends. Take the active approach and first talk to these people about the problem to see if you can mutually agree to change. If it does not change, spend more time forming and nurturing new friendships with positive, uplifting people and less (and eventually, no time) with negative people.
Associate with positive people. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with in life according to American author Jim Rohn. Who are those five people in YOUR life? Your accomplishments in life, your level of personal excellence, can be directly traced back to those five people. Are you with people who inspire, motivate, and support you IR who depress, criticize and depress you? Choose your five people carefully.
Smile often. Did you know it takes more muscles to frown than to smile? Did you also know your mother was right when she said you face will get stuck like that? Constant frowning sets that expression on your face as you age. When you smile, others tend to smile back and both of you get a release of endorphins, those natural hormones that make you feel good.
Cultivate your spiritual life. Explore various religions and spiritual paths and find the one that resonates with you. Once you have found what is right for you, you will know it. Spend time each day nurturing your faith and growing deeper in your personal spirituality. If it is meaningful for you, spend time in a like-minded community (worship service) at times. Be open to listening to others about their path; share yours when you feel comfortable. Let your faith improve and expand your life, not limit it.
Forgive people. Forgiveness releases you from a painful and destructive relationship with someone who has hurt you. You may always remember what they did to you, but you release yourself from the pain of it. When that happens, positive and new people, relationships and experiences have space to enter into your life.
Be considerate. We are all imperfect and we all need love. Even crabby people need love…maybe even more than those who are not! Treat everyone with respect, love and kindness. Overlook small slights and mistakes. Smile. Speak kindly to people and all this will return to you more often than not.
Read great books. Bookstores and libraries are living treasures of wisdom and knowledge. While not all intelligence comes from books, the most knowledgeable people in the world are well-read. Crack open a book and take in the words. A bookworm from birth, I have created a list of 30 Books You Must Read Before You are 30, that I share with my clients. I will post it soon, and of course, if you are older than 30 you can still enrich your life by reading them.
Limit your television time. Most of what is on television and movie rentals is garbage. What you take in is what comes out of you, so, the phrase “garbage in, garbage out” is true. Ask yourself what you learn through what you watch. It is rarely anything valuable and life-affirming. It is typically violent, unintelligent and motivates you to overeat and spend money on things you do not need. I think it is unrealistic to expect that everyone will never watch television again, nor is everything on it garbage. If you do not want to eliminate television from your life, I suggest limiting yourself to 4-7 hours of television or movie rentals per week. That is, 1 hour a day maximum, 4-7 days a week. Limit yourself to classic films, historical, nature or scientific programs that you can learn from and no more than 1-2 hours per week of the typical television fare (series etc). Eliminate “reality shows”. Find other things to do than watch television. Do not save up the hours for one day. If you do not watch television that day, so what? There are many other, excellent, things you could be doing.
Limit your news consumption. Murder. Rape. Child molestation. War. Gossip. This is the content of most news. I know, because I once worked as a member of the media. Stop watching mainstream television news. Subscribe to a non-tabloid newspaper and read it in the morning. Read the comics first, then the front page, which is typically mostly international news. Stop reading “celebrity” gossip about the lives of entertainers. Spend more time minding your own life and focusing on how you can improve your life and the lives of others that day, not on who is having sex with whom, war propaganda, murder, rape and child molestation.
Expand your world. The phrases “The sky is the limit” and “Aim for the stars” are beautiful and true because the sky has no limit and the stars are countless. The sky is always moving, always changing and if you push straight through it you head into space, among the stars, out into the galaxy, out into this universe whose size is beyond our ability to conceive. Aim for the sky, shoot into space and be all you can be. Living your best life, living a life of excellence, is aiming for the stars. There is nothing you cannot achieve when you understand there is nothing you cannot achieve.
Meet new people. I live part of the year in Denmark. Danes are accustomed to forming their friendships when they are very young, attending school with the same small core group of people for all of their childhood and young adulthood, and then socializing with that same group the remainder of their lives. They add in some friends from a sports club and that completes their social group. Now there are thousands of expatriates living and working in Denmark who want to make friends with their Danish neighbors and colleagues, but hit a brick wall when they try. It is a significant cultural issue for expatriates when deciding whether to stay or leave the country. Danes report being distressed by being asked to include new people in their social lives, even for an unscheduled cup of coffee. They miss out on great opportunities to meet new people, grow personally and expand their world. However, meeting new people brings great and varied opportunities in life, changes our perspective, enriches our lives, and increases our intelligence by allowing us to learn new things. Make the effort to go somewhere new and meet new people.
Do something new each week. Change it up! Do a new activity, have pick up your coffee at a new coffee shop, learn a new skills, take a class, talk to a stranger in the elevator, visit someplace nearby that you have never seen. Whatever it is doing something new prevents you from stagnating. Your brain and emotions benefit as you think new thoughts, start forming new opinions and feeling new things during your new experience.