10 Reasons Reading Everyday is Important

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I’m fascinated by people that are confident when speaking in a crowd. They are smart and knowledgeable. They are the ones who everyone stares and listens to in awe because whatever they’re saying is riveting.

An example of the type of person I am trying to paint a picture of is the character, writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), in the movie Limitless. The scenes I am referencing are when Eddie begins taking a drug that produces enhanced mental acuity.

The drug changes Eddie from a dead beat writer to an intelligent, confident author and financial tycoon. Everyone and anyone who meets Eddie becomes fascinated with his intellect. Unfortunately, though, there isn’t a drug that enhances mental acuity; however, reading a lot can certainly do it. We can too have limitless intelligence like Eddie– the key is to READ every day!

Reading is important because not only does it develop our minds, it perpetuates infinite wisdom while keeping our minds active. How? Books are capable of holding and maintaining all kinds of information, stories, thoughts, and feelings unlike anything else in this world.

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Before tablets, cell phones, television, mp3 players, reading was a dominant function. For years it was how people entertained themselves. Nowadays, it is no longer a source of entertainment. Technology and media replace it. We are likely to sit on a bench, look at Instagram stories than reading a book.

The more you read, the more you will understand the world and how it works, and in turn, make you a savvy-intelligent-successful person. It is up to you to begin to read often and make it a habit this year. Because when you do, you will notice how much you evolve and become a better version of yourself. Start today and make it a goal to read at least one book a month!

Below I list other reasons why reading is essential:

Builds vocabulary and understanding

By using context clues or looking up words when you don’t know what they mean, it helps strengthen your vocabulary. Makes it easier to comprehend hard to understand documents, such as legal contracts or insurances.

Develops the mind

The mind is a muscle and needs exercise. Reading helps to stretch your memory muscles that require you to remember details, facts, figures, plot lines, themes, and characters.

Discover new things

Whether its a book about learning how to do something specific or a novel, you always learn something new. In many cases, authors usually write books in hopes to get their point across or teach a lesson.

Develops imagination and the creative side of people

Reading broadens your imagination by stimulating the right side of your brain. It opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas, helping you experience and analyze the world.

Gain Experience of other people

Every book is written with intention, particularly by a person who has significant experience of a topic or genre.

Decreases Stress

Reading can relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.

Helps with concentration and focus

Reading forces you to use your brain; helping you to reason things out. When reading a book, you are concentrating, thereby enhancing your focus.

Improves your memory

As mentioned, the mind is a muscle, and reading is like a workout. Therefore reading exercises the mind. The more you read, the more information your brain retains.

Increases your communication skills

One of the most critical skills to have nowadays when owning a business or for a well-paying job is to have excellent written and verbal communication. Reading certainly strengthens that ability.

Boosts self-confidence

Reading makes you intelligent, which often stimulates confidence. Also, there are countless blogs (like this one) and books that could help build your self-esteem.

CONCLUSION

Reading is important, and we are given the gift to read and learn. So why not take advantage? Why not pursue to be smarter and wiser? Reading is a powerful tool. Knowledge doesn’t end when you finish school; it continues throughout life.

FAQ

How often do you read?

I read every day for one hour.

How do you keep yourself accountable?

I read more than one book at a time. Also, I am subscribed to Book of the Month.

What genres do you like to read?

Any books or novels that are inspiring, motivating, and encouraging. Therefore, I stick to Romance novels, self-help, and spiritual books. I avoid reading stories that are negative and have no happy ending.

Do you have book recommendations?

Yes, so many! For that reason, I decided to create a page for all the books I recommend. (Click here) Please note, I will only recommending happy books and novels– stories that are motivating and inspirational.

OTHER ARTICLES TO READ:

7 Reasons Why Reading is Important

Why Reading Is More Important Than Ever

Why reading is so important

New Year’s Resolution: Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action!

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A goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something.

While having a list of resolutions for the New Year is popular among people, it is not the same as making a list of goals. Why? Because goals are tangible; they are the things you want to accomplish in life because it is your passion and excites you. According to the New York Times, bestselling author and blogger, Ruth Soukup, when setting your goals it is essential toThink Big,and identify the things that are most important, such as a big dream you have been too scared to do. Because the dreams you fear most to achieve, are the ones to aim– the hard part is taking action and being consistent.

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I took Ruth’s advice, sat down for one hour and listed my big dreams. I imagined how my life would be like in ten years. I thought about my passion; it has always been writing. That explains the reason I wrote many stories as a kid; why I loved my creative writing class in middle school; the reason I majored in English Literature in college. What has held me back is having fear and being insecure. Over the past year, I’ve developed a frame of thought; fear is for people who are afraid to fail. With that in mind, there is nothing that is going to stop me from publishing many novels and becoming a New York Times bestselling author.

Now that I have a clear vision of my dream, I have set tangible goals that I will gradually achieve in 2019. The goals I set for myself are broken down so that I can accomplish them, not overwhelm myself and give up. I am taking necessary steps no matter how long it takes because success takes a lot of time, a lot of effort and consistency.

A new year is about to begin; you can break down your big dreams into realistic goals you can achieve this upcoming year. Below are a few suggestions for creating your list of goals and sticking to it.

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Take Ruth Soukup’s advice — ‘Think BIG.’

There is nothing wrong with dreaming big and doing all you can to make them come true. Dreams are what motivates people to succeed and become a better version of themselves. I recommend reading Ruth’s blog, “The Magic of Thinking Big.”

Write Your Big Dreams and Goals on Paper.

Handwriting your dreams and goals makes it real and personal. It also helps you remember what you are aiming so you can break down your big goals into Small and Smart Goals.

Make Small and Smart Monthly Goals.

I learned the hard way that to accomplish big goals; you have to break it down into realistic and measurable goals that are small and smart to prevent from burning out. For example:

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*Realistic goal: 300 – 500 words a day; Measurable goal: completing three to four chapters a month.

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Living Well Planner by Ruth Soukup

I haven’t tried the planner but will be beginning January 1st. I searched many planners and found the Living Well Planner the best one by far and know that it will do more than help organize my upcoming busy year of blogging/writing and juggling a full-time job. Four reasons I choose Living Well Planner:

  1. It is an All-in-one resource.
  2. Designed to help you take back your time, and to allow you to focus on your long-term goals while still navigating the daily, weekly, and monthly responsibilities.
  3. Helps establish a monthly cash flow budget so that you can tell where your money is going.
  4. Section for planning meals and shopping list, right on the same page as the weekly schedule so that you can see your whole week at a glance.

Reward Yourself

Anytime you fulfill one of your small and smart goals, reward yourself. Think about something you really want to do or buy and do it when you accomplish a goal. For example, after writing in my Five Minute Journal for three months, I bought myself pearl earrings from my favorite antique-vintage shop, Pippin.

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Failure is OKAY!

Failure is part of life; however, don’t give up. Understand that setbacks are purposely manifested to learn from them and grow in wisdom.

If necessary, Change Your Goals Throughout The Year.

Do not feel ashamed for deciding to change your goals (dreams) in the middle of the year. I sure did many times. It is normal. The important thing is that you are making the necessary adjustments to make your dreams come true.

Take Your Time – Be Patient.

Not only have patience with reaching your goals, be patient with yourself. It takes a long time to achieve success. No one has ever succeeded overnight. It takes years of mistakes, practice, and self-evolving.

Practice Gratitude

By practicing gratitude daily, you become more aware of what your goals are and appreciate all of the efforts you’ve put into making your dreams come true. Two gratitude journals I highly recommend:

The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day – great for gratitude and accountability.

Start Today Journal by Rachel Hollis- best for motivation and setting goals.

Love yourself.

Loving yourself is an essential guideline because it is not possible to build confidence if you do not love yourself. Love yourself by doing things that positively benefits you and makes you better.

CONCLUSION

One of my favorite things to say is, life is how you make it; it begins with you.  Success comes from your efforts; not from luck. The secret is, Dreaming Big, Setting Goals, Taking Action, and never giving up.

FAQ

What goals are you setting for 2019? 

Since my goal is to be a New York Times bestselling author, My top three goals for 2019 are:

  1. Write a novel.
  2. Teach myself how to grow my blog’s SEO on Google.
  3. Learn and gradually build a social media Platform.

How to Gradually Build Self-Confidence

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Insecurity is uncertainty and lack of self- confidence. People deal with their version of vulnerabilities everyday and its inevitable. I have lived my entire life being insecure and second-guessing everything I do. But, I have reached an age that I no longer want insecurity to define who I am. For so long, I have allowed it to consume me and bring me down, and for the first time, I am making progress and gradually building confidence.

My top three of my debilitating insecurities are:

  1. my body
  2. writing
  3. being comfortable taking photos.

Even though I am working on becoming confident, I will admit that it is hard. There will be days that you will feel insecure more than others, but those are the most important days that you’ll need to fight with your negative inner voice– let it know that you are not going to allow it to bring you down.

Below are five ways you can gradually develop self-confidence that has worked for me. One thing I advice is to be patient with yourself because building confidence is a journey, a transcendence to bettering who you are and what you are meant to be.

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Becoming aware and admitting to what makes you second guess yourself and feel insecure.

Admitting to having insecurities is hard for some people because to them, it is a sign of weakness, but it isn’t; it is an indication of strength. You are capable of making your life better; it all depends on fully acknowledging your capabilities and not bringing yourself down. Start telling yourself “I am capable.” instead of “I am incapable” or “I can’t.”

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Stop comparing yourself to others. 

Author Jen Sincero in her book You are a bad Ass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life quotes, “Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life. ” Why? Because you are not living a unique life. Instead of being your leader, writing your script, you are a follower and letting others lead because you are comparing yourself to them and their life. It is not realistic; it isn’t you.

Use or Don’t use Social Media.

Use – If you are like me and are insecure about what others think about you, then social media is a great platform to help build your confidence. Posting what you want, regardless of what others think, can help you become more secure with yourself because you are showing the world who you are no matter what they think of you.

Don’t use – If you go to social media and continually comparing yourself to others, then I do not recommend using social media; give it a break.

Don’t care what others think of you, even people closest to you.

Why waste time and energy on thinking about what others think? Are they helping you better yourself? If not, don’t care.

Stay away from negative people.

I am going to share with you one of the best advice my mom said to me many times growing up: stay away from negative people. They are only content when knowing others are miserable. From what I have experienced in my twenty-seven years of life– my mother is right. I’ve even lost friends because of how harmful they view life. I couldn’t bear listening to constant negativity, so I distanced myself. If you have to do the same, do it!

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Gratitude Journals

Practicing gratitude is helpful because it gives a different perspective about yourself, and generally, on life.  You become more aware of who you are and able to appreciate the beauty in living abundantly. I recommend the following journals:

The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day – great for gratitude and accountability.

Start Today Journal by Rachel Hollis- best for motivation and setting goals.

Love yourself.

Loving yourself is an essential guideline because it is not possible to build confidence if you do not love yourself. Love yourself by doing things that positively benefits you and makes you better.

CONCLUSION

There is nothing better in life than living it the way you want and should. To do that, you have to build confidence and love yourself. Don’t waste time and as the author, Rachel Hollis says Start Today.

Reach out to me at glenys.boyne@gmail.com

4 Reasons and Ways to Practice Gratitude

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Now that we’ve reached the Holiday Season, the first being Thanksgiving, it is the perfect time to begin to practice gratitude. Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return the kindness. It is correlated with optimism, which in turn makes us happy.

I began to practice gratitude recently. I am not sure why or how all a sudden I had the urge to practice gratitude, but it has been the most effective tool I’ve used so far to embrace who I am.

I urge that you begin to practice gratitude today! It is effortless and does not take much time or energy; however, it takes practice. I guarantee that once you do, you will see improvements in yourself– understand and appreciate life in a different way that you’ve never before.

Below I share four Reason and four ways to practice gratitude. I also include ten things I am grateful for and a simple 21 Days Challenge that I’ve tried when I first started to practice gratitude that takes less than 2 minutes each day to complete.

4 Ways to Reasons to Gratitude

1. Strengthens your awareness

The greatest gift you can give yourself is becoming consciously aware of the beauty and abundance in life. By practicing gratitude, you become aware of the present moment of what is happening right NOW. We learn the necessary acknowledgment that each moment of life is enough, no matter what experience, whether is pleasant or unpleasant.

2. Reduces the habit of complaining

“All happy people are grateful. Ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that being unhappy leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that complaining leads to people becoming unhappy.” – Dennis Prage

People who complain often, don’t know that they are and have no control. Researchers found that our brains and bodies respond more to negativity than positivity, which is why people are prone to complain. Think about how often you complain in a day and what causes the adverse reaction or feeling. Gratitude is the antidote of negativity and complaining. By practicing gratitude, you are automatically able to reduce the habit of complaining by noticing every time you whine and asking yourself, why am I complaining? Is it worth my energy? What are the things at this moment (right now) that I am grateful?

3. Improves your health:

4. Makes you a happier person

Gratitude leads to a more sustainable form of happiness because it is not based on immediate gratification; its a frame of mind. It is an attitude and a way of living that makes you conscious of the simple things. It can even lead you to appreciate all living things nature that makes the earth a livable environment for us humans to live.

4 Ways to Practicing Gratitude

Please note that the list below is in order in the way I started to work on becoming grateful.


1. Writing in a journal daily about the things you are thankful for.

Writing in a journal about the things you are grateful is easy. The hard part is remembering to do it every day and being consistent. After searching for many journals online, the best one I’ve found is The Five Minute Journal. By merely writing three things you are thankful for every day, you will gradually see how much in life there is to appreciate.

 2. Read books about Personal Development


Reading books about personal development can help you form a better understanding of its benefits, providing you with inspirational examples and suggestions of ways you can become grateful. I recommend the following books:

3. Meditation and Mindfulness

It has been found that meditation can reliably increase feelings of gratitude. Practicing meditation every day helps promote a positive mood, hope, and resilience. As we experience positive emotions, our awareness broadens, and our creativity and problem-solving capacities blossom, and we become more effective in whatever we choose to do in life.

4. Expressing and Sharing Gratitude

The ability to consistently experience gratitude is both a cultivated skill and a gift – one that must be shown and shared with others over and over again to realize its full power. You can express and share gratitude by:

  • Being an active listener
  • Being thoughtful to others
  • Being a support system
  • Volunteering your time
  • Saying Thank You

CONCLUSION

Gratitude is a significant component of experiencing happiness. It is a selfless act that is worth practicing because it helps you find meaning in life– your life’s purpose. After reading this blog, start today, start now, and I promise that you will begin to appreciate the simplicity of life and evolve to a happier and healthier person.

10 THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR:

  1. Who I am.
  2. My awesome-strong mother.
  3. My amazing and loving husband.
  4. My job working at the Rubin Museum of Art.
  5. My website and blog.
  6. My best friend, Amy.
  7. My demanding boss whose personality I love.
  8. Paying off my debt.
  9. Living in Astoria, NY.
  10. Living life!

21 Days Challenge

Have trouble listing what you are grateful for? Below I share 21 Days Challenge to start you off!

Day 1 – What sound am I grateful for today?

Day 2 – What color am I grateful for?

Day 3 – What smell am I grateful for?

Day 4 – What texture am I grateful for?

Day 5 – What season am I grateful for?

Day 6 – What in nature am I grateful for?

Day 7 – What emotion am I grateful for?

Day 8 – Who in my life am I grateful for?

Day 9 – What song am I grateful for?

Day 10 – What about my body am I grateful for?

Day 11 – What abilities am I grateful for?

Day 12 – What about my surroundings am I grateful for?

Day 13 – What relationship am I grateful for?

Day 14 – What material possession am I grateful for?

Day 15 – What moment this week am I grateful for?

Day 16 – What about today am I grateful for?

Day 17 – What tradition am I most grateful for?

Day 18 – What hobby am I most grateful for?

Day 19 – What about me am I most grateful for?

Day 20 – What about life am I most grateful for?

Day 21 – What challenge am I grateful for?

Other Related Blogs:

10 Ways To Find Your Purpose

How to Gradually Build Self-Confidence

New Year’s Resolution: Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action!

10 Reasons Reading Everyday is Important

6 Reasons to Shop at Trader Joe’s

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I started shopping at Trader Joe’s (TJ’S) a year ago. I’ve had avoided buying there before because of how crowded it is. But now, its become my go-to grocery store. The first time I went to TJ’s was for work to buy snacks for a meeting. I filled my shopping cart and only spent $28– way under the budget of $40. I looked at the receipt and noticed how low-priced the items were. And that is what makes TJ’s such awesome grocery store and the reason why it’s always crowded–their reasonable prices of great products.

Trader Joe’s was founded in 1958, originally a convenience store called, Pronto Markets. Over the years they’ve expanded, and there are now almost 500 stores nationwide! They describe themselves as “your neighborhood grocery store.” But how are they’re able to have low-priced items? There are two reasons. First, all their products are bought directly from vendors in volume. Second, unlike other grocers who charge suppliers for putting an item on the shelf, TJ’s doesn’t, which results to their low prices.

I love shopping at Trader Joe’s so much that I live next to a grocery store in Astoria, Queens and still choose to buy at TJ’s in Chelsea during lunch. To then, travel home with two heavy grocery bags on the train, during rush hour! However, I am not the only one– others do it too. If you are not a Trader Joe’s shopper, but looking for an organic or healthy grocery store, I recommend TJ’s! I share below six other reasons to convince you to shop there and why it’s worth it.

1. Great Customer Service!

Since I started shopping at TJ’s I’ve had the best experience. Their employees are always happy and smiling– willing to help, and know where everything is. The cashiers are genuine and often speak to you as they scan and bag your things. Also, their return policy is fantastic!

2. Do not be intimidated by their long lines.

Like I’d mentioned, one of the reasons I never stepped foot in TJ’s was because of the long lines– but, I promise you will never stand in line for more than 10 minutes. The lines move quickly because they make sure to have twenty or so registers open.

3. Spending under $120 (bi-weekly)

Being that I am in debt, spending $140-$160 or more bi-weekly at a regular grocery store, to now spending under $120, is incredible and a relief. If you are frugal as I am and buy only what is necessary, you’ll save and purchase healthy and quality products at TJ’s.

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4. Healthy Macro-friendly food

If you count macros or generally healthy, Trader Joe’s is the best to shop for such food and items. Please click here to direct you to my TJ’s shopping list, which includes the cost for each item, and macro-nutrients.

Click here to read, Health Coach and Blogger, Brittany Mullins’, list of 50 Healthy Trader Joe’s Items that I read in May. She took pictures of all items, which is helpful when trying to find them in store. And if you subscribe to her blog, she’ll email you her Trader Joe’s 7 Day Meal Plan!

5. Environmentally friendly and one-of-a-kind products

A typical grocery store carries 50,000 products, whereas Trader Joe’s stock 4,000 products. At first, I thought I’d mind that TJ’s doesn’t have a variety of brands to select from; but I am okay with it. In fact, I love shopping there because I don’t have to spend time choosing a good enough and affordable brand item. Most of TJ’s products are under its own private label, environmentally friendly, and of great quality. They’re known to phase out any vendor whose item(s) doesn’t do well–

“If an item doesn’t pull its weight in our stores, it goes away to gangway for something else.”

6. It’s a cool, unique, and happy place to shop!

It is great shopping at Trader Joe’s because it is easy to navigate their products even at their most crowded hour. All of their stores are large and open spaced– walls with cedar planks and donned crew in cool Hawaiian shirts.”  TJ’s sell unique-quality products, such as gourmet food, organic food, vegetarian food, frozen food, imported food, domestic and imported wine and beer, personal hygiene products, household cleaners, vitamins, pet food, plants, flowersand so much more! 

CONCLUSION

Trader Joe’s has many locations across the U.S. and still growing. If you do not live near one, make an effort, travel, and begin shopping there! Shopping at Trader Joe’s is worth it and will save you money on great-quality products!

FAQ

How many times a month do you shop at TJ’s?

I honestly go twice a week but during their least crowded hour. 

RECOMMENDED BLOG POSTS:

50 Healthy Trader Joe’s Items + A Trader Joe’s Meal Plan 

Trader Joe’s Macro-Friendly Shopping List

The grocery checklist below is the same one I use on my weekly Trader Joe’s haul. The list is not in order because I’ve added and deleted items over time. On the right column, I list the macronutrients (Fat, Carbohydrates, and Protein), and cost for each item.

What are Macronutrients? Macronutrients (macros for short) are what makes up the calorie content of food. The three categories of macros are fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Getting the right amount of protein, fat, and carbs will determine whether you are building or losing muscle and whether you are putting on or losing fat. We all have different fitness goals, so it is essential to track your macros according to what your goals are. For more information on how to calculate and count macros, please click here.

TJ's Macros list

10 Ways To Find Your Purpose

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1. Live in the present.

Living in the present is difficult, especially for those who are adamant about being in control about all aspects of their lives — living in the present means to live in the moment and concentrating on what is going on at this moment.

2. Reading self-help and spiritual books.

Reading self-help and spiritual books have been a tremendous aid in figuring out your purpose. So many authors have gone through similar experiences. It is refreshing to read about it because it gives you a piece of mind– you are not alone– you are not the only one on this planet going through problems. See the bottom of the page for a recommended list of self-help and spiritual books and podcasts.

Read:10 Reasons Reading Everyday is Important

3. Knowledge is POWER!

The more you educate yourself, the more your general awareness becomes clearer. Reading is a powerful tool because it exercises, challenges, and stimulates your mind and imagination.

4. Meditation

Meditation may be difficult to master at first, but after you put it into practice every day, you become better, and eventually, it will become part of your daily routine.

5. Stay away from negative people.

I am going to share one of the best advice my mom said to me many times growing up: stay away from negative people. They are miserable people that like to make others miserable like them. From what I have experienced in my twenty-seven years of life– my mother is right. I’ve even lost friends because of how pessimistic they view life. I couldn’t bear listening to constant negativity, so I distanced myself. If you have to do the same, do it!

6. No more excuses, be consistent.

When you find excuses not to do something, chances are, you will never come around and follow-through. The key is to be consistency and push yourself. You will notice that after, you will feel good about yourself because you accomplished something. So next time you decide not to do something force yourself and see how good you will feel.

7. Stop comparing yourself.

If comparing yourself know is a problem for you, try to detach yourself from the source, even if it’s ending a relationship or deleting your Instagram for a while. Because at the end of the day, nothing matters, but yourself. Become your biggest fan!

8. Stop trying to impress others.

Of course, you have to impress others at some point, for example, an employer on an interview. But, to always worry about what others think, negates you from living the life you are meant to live. It makes you do things that are not genuine, not you. The only person you need to impress is yourself.

9. Practice Gratitude

Life is not easy, and you should know that by now; however, be grateful– you are alive! You are given the opportunity to live in this universe– take advantage of it. Be thankful for the little things you have. When you practice gratitude, it makes wholesome and leads to feeling peaceful, content, and in the moment.


The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day

Read: 4 Reasons and Ways to Practice Gratitude

10. CONCLUSION: Love yourself, no matter what!

Loving yourself is most important in finding your purpose. You are unique and know there is a reason why you are here– hone who you are and flourish.

SUGGESTED SELF-HELP/SPIRITUAL BOOKS:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life



Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be



You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

PODCASTS TO LISTEN TO: 

  1. Melissa Ambrosini 

  2. PURSUIT WITH PURPOSE PODCAST by Melyssa Griffin

  3. Do It Scared by Ruth Soukup

  4. RISE Together Rachel & David Hollis