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MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY - STILL IN SEARCH OF A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH?

by The Winning Team Real Estate Group

"With each passing year, fear [of aging] creeps a little closer..." 

 As we age we think more and more about prolonging our lives. Maybe we feel we missed out on some aspect because of the choices we made, or maybe we just want to feel we lived our lives to the fullest until the very end. Whatever the case, most of Western society continues seek the magic pill to feeling, looking and performing our best. Is there a secret to perpetual youth and longevity? Maybe the answers are simpler than we think?

Aging pro freeskier, Mike Douglas, traveled to Japan seeking youth. Not only are there 500 ski areas in Japan, making the destination an easy choice, the Japanese are also the longest living population of the world's major industrialized countries.

At the end of day, the secret to growing old with grace is probably not found in complicated diet formulas, yoga rituals or workout routines (not that any of those things are detrimental to our health),  but more about eating well, giving our bodies respect and time to strengthen and recover, setting goals and not rushing our success.  

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~Lao Tzu

Yuichiro Miura, famous for being the man who skied down Everest, and "...the most badass old dude on the planet" now 88, skis over a 100 days a year, and attributes part of his success to goal setting. He says, "at any age, you should have a goal set to always be stronger and healthier than you are right now". 


Secrets to Life

We all have the secret to longevity living inside of us. Create attainable goals, be forgiving of yourself, wake up every morning and choose to be a better version of you than yesterday, be strong in your convictions, laugh, take time to nourish your body and keep sight on your destination. Get out there and chase life!

Motivational Monday - REI's "Adventure in Real Life"

by Cory Dudley

 

"My plan never included this many roadblocks. But maybe the only difference between 'roadblock' and 'adventure' was my perspective..."

 

Life often doesn't go quite as planned. In fact, many of us are familiar with the old saying, "The only constant in life is change." Depending on the day and your mood when such change strikes, it can be difficult to embrace it fully for the adventure that it is! REI's short film "Adventure in Real Life" touches on the importance of changing perspective in order to appreciate experiences as they come; for better or for worse.

 

(Video Credit: REI)

 

"Slowly I discovered that nature was all the more beautiful because of the unplanned and the unexpected."

 

 

"I guess life is like that; full of setbacks and roadblocks. But when we love something enough, we can turn any obstacle into an Odyssey. The truth is, life isn't going to go as planned... The only question is will you choose to call it an adventure?"

 

Nothing forces someone to embrace a humble attitude like a tough challenge. You're bound to become kinder and more sympathetic to others and their own obstacles, too. Embracing your failures will better prepare you for your next great adventure, and remind you that you are indeed human. 

 

The most efficient use of your mental and emotional energy is to focus on yourself first; what do you think of your efforts? How do you prioritize personal growth? What makes you truly happy? What makes you feel accomplished? While the validation of others can be a temporary relief, your own validation will provide long term satisfaction in any situation.

 

 

 

 

 

"Love creates a communion with life. Love expands us, connects us, sweetens us, ennobles us.

Love springs up in tender concern, it blossoms into caring action. It makes beauty out of all we touch. In any moment we can step beyond our small self and embrace each other as beloved parts of a whole."

- Jack Kornfield 

 

 

We know all too well that the world can be a scary, overwhelming and confusing place; and lately there seems to be a lot going on. Between natural disasters and acts of violence, headlines are dreaded and draining before the day has even begun. Despite the darkness during challenging times, there is something else going on that's worth noting. 

People are donating their time and resources to charities and various efforts of all kinds. They're giving all that they can, however they can. It's during the darkest times that humanity can shine the brightest! That light is putting love and kindness into action, and we're all capable of putting this energy into practice. 

Beyond becoming involved in your community and in charities that speak to you, inward reflection is an essential aspect of processing tragic events that are beyond our control. Truth be told, the majority of us can only control how we react to such things. A simple meditation practice can cultivate the love & kindness that is so important following disasters, and can even be done in spare moments throughout your daily life.

 

 

Loving Kindness Meditation

 

Begin by finding a quiet or special space where you feel comfortable and relaxed. Take deep breaths for a few minutes, focusing on a soft heart and releasing all plans and precautions. First, recite the below phrases inwardly and focus on your own well-being. 

May I be filled with loving kindness.

May I be safe for inner and outer dangers.

May I be well in body and mind. 

May I be at ease and happy. 

While repeating the phrases, allow images to come and go naturally, and focus on allowing the feelings to fully permeate your body & mind.

 

When you are feeling a strong sense of self love, you can then feel confident in expanding the meditation to include others in your own social circles, then your community, and finally, humanity as a whole. Repeat the same phrases as above, but imagine sending the feelings outwards to others. 

May you be filled with loving kindness. 

May you be safe for inner and outer dangers.

May you be well in body and mind.

May you be at ease and happy.

 

Motivational Monday - 'Where We Belong'

by Cory Dudley

 

 

"When the day is full of potential, being lazy isn't a consideration.."

 

Throughout human history, people have gone out into nature in search of self discovery, connectedness and transformation. At times when we're feeling most unsure of ourselves and our place in the world, venturing into the wilderness can provide clarity and motivation. In a day and age when we're bombarded with technology, constant bustle and triggering stresses, removing yourself from your immediate environment can reveal the potential for seeing yourself elsewhere in the world. 

 

Someone's perception may shift along with a new vast and calming landscape....

Nature may initiate change help you to abandon your obsession over problematic frames of mind. Through that clarity, unexpected solutions will begin to form....

Mental static will melt away and the attachment to your version of reality will in turn begin to loosen, becoming fluid and neutral... 

 

 

Join 5 women as they traverse from Daniels Lake to Skwawka Lake in British Columbia. Along the way they discover that the wilderness truly is where they belong, despite the doubts that everyday life can instill. Though they were each hesitant to make such a trek solo, collectively their knowledge and spirit lifted them all up to greater heights. 

 

(Video Credit: Arc'teryx) 

 

"We're walking on the back of history and then it invites us in... We listen to it breathing. What we do is keep moving; we make a decision, we go. This is our real life. This is where we belong."

 

Nature invites us to open into awareness and discover where we belong - when will you answer the call? 

 

Motivational Monday - Break Free of Your Comfort Zone

by Cory Dudley

 


 

"One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again..."

Abraham Maslow

 

Countless people operate day to day within their comfort zone; a silent but common ailment. The longer someone stays within it's confines, the less happy they tend to be. Stepping beyond the boundaries of what's familiar is essential to finding happiness, accomplishing goals and discovering your true passions in life. So why do so many of us choose to stay there if it's slowly draining us?

Big changes take lots of energy. Everything in life takes energy, which can be translated into motivation. If we lack the motivation necessary to make big life changes, we as humans find reasons to remain in a state of stasis; after all, stepping beyond our current circumstances could end up being uncomfortable and even scary! 

But if you do not journey past all that you know, you're deliberately robbing yourself of 3 beautiful things life has to offer on the other side....

 

 

You are not growing

Shawn Achor, a positivity psychologist and author, states that happiness is "the joy you feel moving towards your potential.

We've all heard the saying that if you aren't growing and moving forward, you're really slipping backwards. Progress is a key ingredient to happiness in life! As long as you remain within your comfort zone, you're not growing because you're making no movement towards progress or growth. Remember, growth is about becoming more than you currently are and without experiencing all that is outside of you, you'll never get there. 

 

You're not out there trying new things

What are you passionate about? The luckiest of us discover what we love doing early on in life, and we're able to follow our hearts as we spend our lives mastering the art of it. But if you're anything like the majority of people, you spend the first two or three decades of life searching and testing and wondering what it is that our hearts desire.... And that's only if you're diving into one thing after another, and constantly trying new things.

Your comfort zone isn't about getting out there, challenging yourself and discovering. In fact, you'll rarely try anything new and if you do, it's typically not of your own free will. 

 

You're becoming comfortable with settling 

The worst fate of all! We all know those people that had a dream straight out of college and then life happened. They settled for a life that was good enough without being too much; they decided to remain comfortable and unchallenged versus chasing tirelessly after their passions. 

And this situation alone isn't the worst of it. If you become conditioned to settle in general, you will fail at recognizing prime opportunities that come along throughout life. You'll reject them out of the fear of leaving what you've always known. 

 

 

Don't worry - there is still hope! Anyone and everyone can expand their comfort zones and even wander beyond them in a healthy and enjoyable way. The real trick to beating is to make feeling uncomfortable a conscious and constant habit. The more you do it, the less resistance you'll experience to the feeling itself and to the actions associated with it. 

The old adage 'one step at a time' truly comes into play here. That first step is the most essential because it's the only one where we're facing our fears directly. Second and third steps are significantly less terrifying, and before you know it you're running from your comfort zone with a smile on your face. The next time around will be that much easier, as your confidence builds.

 

Here are 3 things you can do to develop the self confidence and strength necessary to step outside your comfort zone regularly...

 

 

1.) Make a list of your procrastinations

What are all of the things that you've been putting off and continue to put off? Try to think of everything, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that you've been procrastinating on for a few weeks or more. 

 

2.) Start checking off things from that list, beginning with the smallest

Don't go chasing the whales on your list; begin with the small fish and work your way up. It's essential that you take that first step and experience success as quickly as possible. 

 

3.) Continue moving forward 

It's all about momentum from here. Continue moving forward by stepping further and further from your comfort zone until you feel ready to tackle whatever comes your way!

 

Your resolve is a muscle - the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Before you know it, spending substantial amounts of time beyond your comfort zone will become the new norm. 

 

 

Motivational Monday - Embracing Solitude

by Cory Dudley

 

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.

Arthur Schopenhauer

 

Though we have all relied on our social connections with one another to advance as humans, time spent alone is crucial to our well-being - and is often put on the back burner. In a world that is constantly moving, loud, changing and demanding, we can easily become drained and robbed of creative energies and clarity if we aren't careful. 

 

Unfortunately for many of us, loving solitude doesn't come naturally! It can take a lot of practice and patience in order to become comfortable on our own, but once we do, the benefits are undeniable. Solitude allows you to reconnect with yourself and your truest desires without the expectations and distraction of others. It can also stoke the fires of creativity by allowing a safe space to explore ideas and feelings freely. Most of all, it can clear your mind of stress and bring about calmness and clarity. Inner peace is perhaps the most important benefit of embracing solitude. 

 

 

Here are some of the most productive ways to spend time alone:

 

1.) Create a personal space in your home that is dedicated to you and only you. Whether it's a corner of a room, an entire room or the whole house, make everything about it appealing to you. Decorate in a way that is welcoming and inspiring, and set aside time to be in that environment regularly. 

 

2.) Make a goal to become expert in something completely different & new. Research states that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated focus on something to become an expert - what better time to get started than now? 

 

3.) Prioritize 'me time'. It's perfectly healthy to carve out blocks of time in day to day life just for oneself. Doing something that relives stress and calms worries will spill over into other areas of life, too! 

 

4.) Start keeping a journal. Being alone offers time to explore our innermost feelings, desires, fears, hopes, worries and ideas. Keeping all that down in one place allows you to revisit past moments for inspiration. 

 

5.) Learn how to cat nap! As every busy adult knows, naps are a luxury that we should be accepting whenever they come our way. But wouldn't it be nice to fit a short nap into your schedule a few times a week? By napping now and then, you will experience much needed respite from daily stresses on both your mind and body. 

 

 

6.) Work on your confidence by doing an activity that you would normally only do with others. This could mean you hit the slopes for a solo session, or jam out on your guitar all alone. No matter what it is, the extra practice and focus you give to the task itself will result in increased skill next time you meet up with your friends! 

 


 

7.) Pursue learning more within your occupation beyond the proximity of others. Only if you genuinely enjoy your career, that is! It can be very fulfilling to further yourself without the confines that your employer or office guidelines dictate. 

 

Motivational Monday - Get Outdoors, Rewire Your Brain

by Cory Dudley

 

 

We all know that a long stroll outside can do wonders for a funk we find ourselves in, but it may not be clear why being outdoors has such an effect on our bodies and minds. It's safe to say that the majority of us live in cities or work in professions that keep us indoors (and even worse) sitting for long periods of time. Various studies have determined that those with little access to green and wild places have a much higher likelihood of psychological issues than those who live near parks or visit natural environments on a regular basis. 

 

But does immersing yourself in nature actually change your brain in a way that affects your overall emotional health?

 

 

According to a study published by Gregory Bratman, a graduate student at the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, there's a strong correlation between improved mood and spending time in natural environments. In a study, volunteers who were allowed to stroll along tree-lined paths with little noise pollution did not dwell on the same negative aspects of their life as they had prior to the walk. In addition, they had less blood flow to the portion of the brain that is highly associated with 'morbid rumination', or incessant fretting. Those who were forced to walk along a busy highway did not feel the same bliss afterwards!

 

 

There are still many unknown factors. How much time in nature is ideal for improved mental health? Must you be walking at the same time to reap the real rewards? Should you be alone or with a companion?

 

Conduct your own experimentation! Click HERE for a list of the best walking trails near Longmont, Colorado. 

 


Motivational Monday - "Words of Wilderness"

by Cory Dudley

 

Thank you to Pete McBride and Vital Films for creating this beautiful tribute to the wilderness of the United States in honor of the Wilderness Act's 50th Anniversary. 

 

"We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.."

Wallace Stegner

 

Motivational Monday - "The Honeymoon Is Over"

by Cory Dudley

 

"I think it's good enough to just be passionate about something that you really care about, regardless of what this is. It doesn't need to be some complicated, deep thing... You're just lucky that you have something you're that psyched about and that passionate about." 

- Josh Wharton 

 

Colorado-based climber, Madaleine Sorkin, is considered one of a few women in North America who are highly active in the styles of adventurous and challenging free-climbing.. And just last fall she became the first woman (and 5th person ever) to redpoint the infamous Longs Peak Route, The Honeymoon Is Over.

 

"Sometimes you have to get more insecure than you want to in the end." 

- Madaleine Sorkin 

 

The Honeymoon Is Over is among the most difficult high-altitude rock climbs in the world, and is considered the most difficult route up the Longs Peak Diamond. It's unique in the sense that you are climbing at such a high altitude while tackling an equally difficult climb - even before the altitude is factored in. Hiking in can take 3 to 4 hours on it's own, which most people choose to do very early in the morning. For those of us familiar with Colorado weather, summers can bring thunderstorms in the blink of an eye; as a result, the route itself is often wet and the weather can be extremely unpredictable... Though it required several failed or partial attempts to tackle, she didn't give up. 

 

"Actually failing doesn't feel that different from anything else. Thinking about failing or feeling like a failure - those feel terrifying." 

- Madaleine Sorkin 

 

With each attempt and failure, she was forced to muster deep for perseverance, and recall on her passion to reach the top. Check out the video below to witness how Sorkin approached the challenge and then achieved her goal! 

 

(Video Credit: Outdoor Research & Henna Taylor) 

 

 

Motivational Monday - Improve Self-Awareness in 4 Steps

by Cory Dudley

 

"The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart."

- Julien Green 

 

You too can improve your self awareness! Like anything else worth doing, it takes discipline; but the reward is worth the effort. Below are 4 easy habits anyone can develop to become a more conscious, highly evolved individual! Spread the word and watch the world change around you..

 

 

1.) Mindful Meditation 

In order to better understand how you react with the world around you, you must first explore your mind on a much deeper level. Scientific studies are constantly discovering the many benefits of committing to and cultivating a meditation practice, both to an individual's physical and psychological well-being. Meditation can provide an inward gaze; one that helps you become more conscious of your personality traits, habits and emotions. 

Try this: Start with just a 10-minute session every day and increase it weekly by a couple minutes. Before you know it, you'll have implemented a 30-minute meditation session into your daily routine! If you have difficulty sticking to something on your own, try an app such as Headspace; it helps guide you and remind you to take time for yourself each day. 

 

2.) Monitor your Self Talk

We all have that loop going in our minds, and while it can be near impossible to put it on pause for any length of time (see #1 above!), you do need to monitor what it's saying. Do you talk down to yourself? I'm so stupid, I can't do anything right, Why am I such a failure! Even brief negative self-talk can quickly spiral into something much more serious and detrimental. 

Try this: Ask yourself this - how do you respond to your failures and successes? Use this to determine what your tendency is for self compassion versus criticism and judgement. Focus on celebrating your successes, and forgiving your failures.

 

3.) Know Your Personality Type

It can be very empowering to know what type of personality you have any how you tend to react to opportunities and threats, as well as what you consider to be your natural strengths and weaknesses. A SWOT analysis is something that everyone can benefit from, and many of them can be done for free or very little financial investment! 

Try this: Take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test for an overview of your you approach and interpret your day to day life (you can download an example of the comprehensive report you'll receive HERE). If you're looking for a more affordable option, an SWOT analysis is a good start! 

 

 

4.) Start a Journal

Once you've got a reflective meditation routine down and you're familiar with your personality traits, a journal should come quite naturally. Your thoughts and thought process truly do matter! They can provide a snapshot into your life at different moments in time, and a clear sign of your growth thought the years. Words do have very real meaning, and it can be healing to see on paper how much negativity and positivity you let into your life - and reflect. 

Try this:  Start your own journal or invest in any of these journals that focus on mindfulness and provide the framework to take those first steps. 

 

 

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