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I Dare You.

dare you to be great
It’s so much easier in life to be average. To not rock the boat and to toe the line.  It’s so much easier falling into a routine with everyone else.  Falling into the norm.  Doing exactly what your parents, not you, want you to be in life.

Yea, ok.  No.  I have always been someone who wanted and did the opposite of others.  I didn’t follow the crowd in school.  I never really had a ton of friends.  Just like-minded people on the fringes like me who always did their own thing.  Sure, there were times where I wanted to be popular.  But that quickly subsided when I figured that high school was very temporary and we actually had to be something productive in life afterward.

I knew early on that I was destined to be something bigger than just another kid graduating and joining the workforce.  I joined the military knowing I wanted to be the best Logistician and Soldier I could be.  Sometimes I fell short and others I excelled, having retired after 23 successful years. During that time I fell into depression and grew very pessimistic.  But one thing that kept me going was that phrase:  I Dare You To Be Great.  I often told myself this.  I dare you to do good on this promotion board.  I dare you to do your absolute best on this deployment day in and day out.  I dare you to give your best leading these soldiers.  Every single day that was my mission:  to be great just that one single day. Like I said, some days I was great and some days I fell short.  But I always dared myself and gave the best I could.

It’s something that all of us can do.  It’s not a gift given to the rich, privileged, or gifted.  Each one of us has the “greatness gene” dormant inside of us.  Each one of us has the willpower to be everything we imagined. We just need to follow these simple steps:

 

Believe in Yourself

Set Your Goals

Accept and Take Action

Acknowledge and Repeat

In the coming weeks, I will be elaborating more on these four principles in a new way titled the Becoming Better Project. My goal is to assist one hundred people in realizing their fullest potential. The plan will be to build a community of people from all walks of life who just want to become better.  And it’s free.  All I want is your time and commitment to want the best for you and others on the same path.

Will you commit?  Drop me a comment below or send me an email with Becoming Better in the subject line letting me know you want to be apart of this.

 

-alv

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Pay Attention To What’s In Front Of You

I will be the first to admit that I am completely wired to the internet.  Building a brand here at Living The Dream has had me constantly on the world wide web working on it.  But that has like anything come at a cost.  What cost you ask?

Time.  Now that I am here in Saudi Arabia (you didn’t know?) working and living I am thousands of miles from my family.  And the eight hour time difference doesn’t help either!

See, time is a commodity in my world.  The time I take to interact with people is engagement that pays off in the long run.  But what about the people physically there with me in the same space?

That time is more important than anything else.  Honestly.  Be mindful of being present in the moment and fully engaged with who has chosen to spend their time with you.  Even if it’s not in the presence of another, make sure you do it whether on Skype, Google Hangout, etc.

Listen to them speak and watch the emotions in their face. Actively listen and pay attention to their words.  Show them that you value their time and what they are saying.

I am going to make an effort to be more engaged this month, this year, and this lifetime. Will you?

-alv

 

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How Negativity and Adversity Are Your Best Allies To Living A Better Life

 

 

adversity and negativity are really our allies

How do you view negativity situations and adversity? 

You know the world would be a pretty boring place if we all looked and acted the same.  It would also be equally boring if we were all handed things without putting any effort into obtaining thing.

In the real world you and I both know that nothing is easy.  Nothing is given to us for free either.  You have to claw, fight, scrape, kick, and push your way to the life you want. From birth, we are surrounded by people who play a significant role in helping you realize and fulfill your dreams.

But you learn quickly in your interactions with other kids that negativity is part of the human makeup.  That there will be many who don’t want you to succeed at an early age.  And you have to quickly learn who has your best interests in mind all the time.

If that’s no one, that’s ok too. Because there are people out there rooting for you. You just haven’t met them yet. And something that you won’t believe, but negativity really is your friend.  Now, I know you are sitting there wondering what the hell I am talking about.  But hear me out.

Negativity can be used as fuel.  Think about it.  People who talk about other people are actually helping you.  They are pointing out your so called flaws.  They are allowing you to prioritize how you go about addressing these supposed flaws.

But remember that negativity is really masked insecurity.  The other person is really insecure about themselves and try to project that on you.  I say use that negative energy for the good.  Use it as an ally in this instance to make yourself better. Here’s why.

They told you that you wouldn’t graduate school and have a better life. They told you didn’t have the experience to start your own business.  They told you that if you started a blog no one would read it.  They told you that no matter what you do, you will never amount to anything.

I don’t know about you, but that fires me up.  Because I know that adversity is right behind negativity.  They are best friends and come hand and hand.  And I know that in the end both of them will make me a changed man after I am finished.

Look at adversity as really what it is: an opportunity to grow. And see negativity really as positivity. A chance for you to work through some tough times and show others and yourself that you have the grit to get through it all

See don’t look at the experience with negativity and adversity as being a bad one.  The minute you do you have already lost.  Plain and simple.

Look at it as a positive.  They told you that you couldn’t do something and now you show them.  Embrace adversity and negativity and allow them to be the fuel on your journey to greatness.

-alv

What has happened recently that you thought was negative, but could be the opposite? 

 

 

 

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How Your Attitude Effects Your Growth


Attitude determines altitude

Your mom always told you about your bad attitude as a child, huh?  Mine used to tell me that a bad attitude will stunt your growth.  Luckily I listened because I am over six feet tall now!

But is the old wise saying even true?  I would say yes.  Think about it this scenario:  You just had an argument with someone and minutes later you are still reeling from it.  You are thinking the worse derogatory thoughts imaginable about that person.  You are festering in a bad aura and can’t think about anything else.  Practically seeing red.

Now it’s been ten minutes or so and you finally calm down and allow the anger to subside.  But what have you gained?  Nothing.  But you have lost six hundred seconds of productive time.  The time you could of spend achieving something worthwhile besides a bad attitude.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that you must go through life never being angry.  That’s ridiculous. What I am saying is the more you stay in the positive zone, the more you will achieve.  Yes, you will learn through pain, anger, and despair.  But the quicker you get out of those zones and into the positive side, the faster you will see growth.

See, when you fail at something you feel beaten down and have a solemn attitude.  If you wallow there, you will continue to stay at the same level.  But if you take the necessary time to learn from the mistake and then apply it, you quickly move out of your current position to a better one.  A lot of times it’s a vertical position and not lateral. Ultimately placing you above where you just were and at a heightened sense of awareness.

Make a conscious effort to go into work, school, or just start your day with a good attitude.  Make an effort to smile and speak to people.  Help out a friend at work and get them a coffee on the way in.  See how much it changes their attitude and how more productive they become.

You will indeed grow and add points to your overall character and reputation amongst your colleagues. Like the picture suggests, having the right attitude will have you soaring above the clouds quickly.

What are you consciously going to do today to make sure you start  the day with the right attitude?

-alv

General Information

Let Go and Enjoy The Ride

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We have an app to keep track of what we eat throughout the day.  We have another to help us with our to do lists.  Hell, some of us use them to tell us when to drink water.  Or is that just me?

How about we just try to take a different approach this week.  I know it’s going to be hard not tracking everything. But you will survive.  So you ready? Just let go.  Revolutionary I know. Just let go.  I don’t want you to stick to a plan this week.  No, I didn’t say not go to work.  But don’t stick to any to do lists.  Don’t fight the day’s events.

Is there something that you have been putting off?  Something you felt wasn’t important, but you wanted to do anyway?  Do that and see what happens.

Take a long way home tonight and stop by that coffee shop you saw. Go in and have some coffee and relax.  There a book that you wanted to read, but you felt like it wasn’t productive to read it?  Read it tonight before you go to bed.

Just let go and see what happens.  I think you will find that when we do so we actually grow. We become better at being ourselves.  Try it.

What are you going to let go of today?

-alv

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Hustle (MM)

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Are you ready?  You had a great weekend, but it’s time to get back to work.  And by work I just don’t mean your day job.  I mean your life in general.  Don’t just go through the motions in a state of denial about your present circumstances. Continue reading “Hustle (MM)”

General Information

CEO

Everyone will tell you how and what to do with your life.  Everyone will tell you to go to college, get a good job and work hard.  Nothing wrong with that, but is that necessarily for everyone?  Maybe.  Maybe not. The point is that it’s your choice and you must take control of your life.  Go and execute. Live your life.  

-alv

General Information

Distance Yourself

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Despite our best efforts negativity will creep into our lives like a thief in the night. It is waiting for you at your job. At your gym. Even at the place that you go to get away from it all.

Keep it out of there. Away from the things and places sacred to you. Especially out of your home.  Your home is your castle.  If negativity  gets inside it will have the very walls you built come crumbling down.

So be mindful of the way you are consciously and subconsciously. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes and don’t let negative people rule the day.

You got this.

-alv

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Failures and Successes

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I have failed. So much that at one point in time it affected my attitude towards life.  I have doubted myself many times. I failed at the first blog last year.  I had no idea what I was doing. Failed to progress through the ranks because I made the mistake of comparing myself to others.   Continue reading “Failures and Successes”

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The reason I write

I write a lot to just get out my inner thoughts.  A lot of times I am talking to myself more than anything.  Not always knowing that I am helping someone get back on track.  I am humbled to see words like below come across my Facebook timeline.

“Antonio Vereen, this should be enough motivation for you to keep going! You’ve truly inspired me to evaluate and take time to lift my esteem back to a “go getter” type personality. I look and write it everyday, so that it sticks. Keep up the blogs please, they do make a bigger impact than ending with yourself. Thanks SO much for sharing your beautiful mind and optimism on life. ~ your Brother in Arms”

Grush's words

Thank you Matt.  Keep Living The Dream Brother.

-alv