Sunday, 27 October 2013

5 Empowering Questions to Challenge Your Excuses

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ~Benjamin Franklin

I used to live as a slave to fear. There were a lot of things in life I wanted to try, but fear always kept me stuck. Perhaps you can relate?
I didn’t realize how badly this affected me until I met my husband Aaron. He is a risk taker and life lover with two key mottos: “Try everything in life at least once” and “You can’t say you don’t like something if you’ve never tried it”.
As Aaron is an avid scuba-diver, and I was petrified of water, I often found myself using every excuse under the sun to explain why I wouldn’t ever try diving. He would smile, frown or laugh at all my creative excuses. One day he just gave up attempting to convince me of how incredible the underwater world is, and said “Oh well, you’re the one who will die without ever having experienced the marvel of seeing life under the sea”.
The sad thing was that while I was dead afraid of the water, particularly the ocean, I was also equally fascinated by it! Instinctively I knew diving would open up an amazing experience for me, but I wasn't willing to allow myself the chance to face my fear. I hid behind excuses.
One day sitting on the beach, watching Aaron dive, I realized that I was being my own worst enemy. I started having a debate inside my head. Here are the 5 questions I asked myself. You can use these same 5 questions to challenge your own excuses for what you say you wouldn't or couldn’t ever do…
1.  If I were to die right now and I hadn’t done “it”, how would I feel?
I had convinced myself that not learning to dive was a great decision, that diving and seeing underwater were unimportant to me. I was lying to myself. To me there was nothing more interesting, but I was being a chicken. I knew I would feel immense regret if I didn’t give it a go.
2. If I did “it”, would I feel more excited about myself and life?
I was living within an illusion that I was happy with who I was being, and that I didn’t need to do anything crazy to prove myself. I was right in the “not needing to prove myself”, but I was incorrect in saying I was happy with who I was being… because I was being a fearful shell of the real person I am. I was not allowing myself to step up and really experience all that life had to offer. If I did it, I knew I would feel super amped about myself and life!
3. If I knew I couldn’t fail and wouldn’t die in the process, would I give “it” a go?
I was irrationally attached to the thought of dying while diving! Perhaps a little melodramatic, but I had terrible childhood memories of badly run swimming lessons and almost drowning as a toddler from falling in a pool. This created an instinctive fight for survival whenever my head went under water. However, the deeper part of me knew that the “I might die” excuse was nonsense, because people dive every day around the world, and with an instructor by my side I would be very safe.
4. Do I believe I have the strength and courage to do it?
It was all too easy pretending that I wasn’t brave enough, that I wouldn’t be able to physically control myself and decisions in the water because of fear. The hilarious thing was that I was strutting around in every other area of my life with self-belief and incredible determination. Yet, here I was playing weak and meek regarding diving. I realized that “not being brave enough” was a lame excuse.
5. Do I think mastering this would help me in other areas of my life?
I had always convinced myself that you should stay away from what you fear, and stick to what you know and trust. However, when I got really honest with myself, I realized that my life was a safe little box that I was staying very comfortably within. Unless I started to do things differently, I wouldn’t grow as a person and I wouldn’t know what more I was capable of. I realized that when fear roars at you, it’s time to step up and face it, because that is the exact spot where life begins… at the end of your comfort zone.
Ditching Excuses to Start Living
Having challenged all of my own excuses and seeing how hollow they were, I finally did it! It took all my courage and will power to complete the diving certification and while it was the most fear striking experience of my entire life, it was also the most exhilarating and freeing. I believe there is nothing in this life now that I cannot achieve, having faced my biggest fear. I no longer allow excuses to cover up opportunities for growth. If I did it in the face of a fear this big, you can too!
I would love to know what are some of the excuses holding you back. Join the conversation in the comment section bellow.

This article was written by Bernadette Logue. Bernadette is co-founder of Pinch Me Living – inspiring you to BE WHO YOU ARE and DO WHAT YOU LOVE. She is an Amazon bestselling self-help author, blogger, coach and workshop leader. You can learn more about Bernadette at

Sunday, 13 October 2013

What Others Had Accomplished When They Were Of Your Age

This list right here is the true meaning of “Age is nothing but a number.” This list shows you what we are all capable of and that anything is possible at any age.Some of these amazing people started their dreams in their 30s & 40s, some started as soon as they were born.
Read on to see what these amazing people were doing at your age.
 1 yr old – . By this age, Christian Friedrich Heinecken had read the Pentateuch.
2 yrs old –  Speed skater Bonnie Blair began skating. She later won five Olympic gold medals.
3 yrs old – Jodie Foster began acting professionally at age 3, when she shot her first Coppertone commercial.
4 yrs old –  Singer/songwriter Tori Amos was accepted into Baltimore’s Peabody Academy of Music, the youngest student ever accepted there. She was expelled at age 11 for improvisation and playing rock covers by ear.
5 yrs old – Mozart began composing minuets. Once when a second violinist failed to appear for a string quartet performance, Mozart took his place, even though he’d never seen the music.
6 yrs old - Drew Barrymore, granddaughter of noted actor John Barrymore, was already a seasoned actress.
7 yrs old - Child film actor Jackie Coogan starred in the Chaplin movie The Kid and became the youngest person to make a million dollars.
8 yrs old - Three-time Olympic gold medal-winning runner Wilma Rudolph was unable to walk until she was eight.
9 yrs old - Daisy Ashford wrote her first and last novel, The Young Visitors, which sold over 200,000 copies.
10 yrs old - Recording artist Stevie Wonder was signed by Motown records.
11 yrs old - Country singer, songwriter and actress Dolly Parton made her first radio appearance.
12 yrs old - Filmmaker Steven Spielberg got his first movie camera and spent hours writing scripts, drawing storyboards and making movies of subjects such as head-on miniature train crashes and an exploding pressure cooker full of cherries jubilee.
13 yrs old – World champion Mario Andretti began racing.
14 yrs old - Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first athlete in Olympic history to achieve a perfect 10. She went on to do it six more times.
15 yrs old - Inventor Thomas Alva Edison became manager of a telegraph office.
16 yrs old - Tennis player Tracy Austin became the youngest person to win the U.S. Open.
17 yrs old - The youngest player to play in a World Cup final, Pele won the match for Brazil, then passed out on the field.
18 yrs old - Elias Howe, who worked in a watchmaking shop, dreamed the idea of the sewing machine and worked on developing it for the next five years.
19 yrs old - Tired of watching friends fall prey to drugs and crime, Matty Rich fought back by directing the award winning movie “Straight Out of Brooklyn.”
20 yrs old - Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and cofounded Microsoft.
21 yrs old - College dropout Steven Jobs co-founded Apple Computer.
22 yrs old - Olympic runner Herbert James Elliott, ranked by many as the greatest mile runner ever, retired undefeated at 22.
23 yrs old - Jack Nicklaus became the youngest golfer to win the Masters.
24 yrs old - Entrepreneur Ted Turner took over his father’s billboard advertising business. He later launched CNN.
25 yrs old - By this age, Charles Chaplin had appeared in 35 films.
26 yrs old - Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Italy.
27 yrs old - Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space.
28 yrs old - The Danish physicist Niels Bohr published his revolutionary theory of the atom.
29 yrs old - Blacksmith Kirkpatrick MacMillan invented the first real bicycle.
30 yrs old - Donald Trump persuaded bankers to lend him $80 million so he could buy the Commodore Hotel. + Bill Gates was the first person ever to become a billionaire by age 30.
31 yrs old – Gregory Pincus achieved in-vitro fertilization of rabbits. Later he invented the birth control pill.
32 yrs old - By the time of his death at age 32, Alexander the Great had conquered almost the entire known world.
33 yrs old - Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic alone.
34 yrs old - After defeating Antony and Cleopatra’s forces in a naval battle, Augustus became the master of the Roman world.
35 yrs old - American sprinter Evelyn Ashford won her final Olympic gold medal at age 35, old for a sprinter.
36 yrs old - German chemist Friedrich August Kekule discovered the ring structure of the benzene molecule in a dream.
37 yrs old - Jersey Joe Walcott became the oldest man ever to win the world’s heavyweight boxing title.
38 yrs old - Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon.
39 yrs old - Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization and led the way to the effective use of rubber.
40 yrs old - Joan Ganz Cooney founded Children’s Television Workshop and became the mastermind behind “Sesame Street.”
41 yrs old - Rudyard Kipling became the youngest Nobel Laureate in literature.
42 yrs old - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the oldest NBA regular player.
43 yrs old - John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the youngest man elected to the United States presidency.
44 yrs old - Assistant cashier Jim Priceman returned an envelope containing $37.1 million in negotiable bearer certificates found outside 110 Wall Street.
45 yrs old - George Foreman recaptured the heavyweight championship with a 10th round knockout, becoming the oldest person ever to win the heavyweight championship.
46 yrs old - A Scottish surgeon, James Baird, discovered hypnosis.
47 yrs old - Edward Jenner, an English doctor, pioneered the use of vaccination against smallpox.
48 yrs old - George Blanda played his last year of NFL football.
49 yrs old -Well known author Julia Child published her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
50 yrs old - Barbra Streisand won a 10-year film and recording contract estimated at $60 million.
51 yrs old - The Marquis de Sade, imprisoned for much of his life, wrote the novel Justine.
52 yrs old - Francis Chichester sailed around the world alone in a 53-foot boat normally manned by a crew of six.
53 yrs old - Inventor Walter Hunt patented the safety pin.
54 yrs old - Annie Jump Cannon, the dean of women astronomers, became the first person to systematically classify the stars according to spectral type.
55 yrs old - Richard Daniel Bass reached the summit of Mount Everest.
56 yrs old - Mao Zedong founded the Peoples’ Republic of China.
57 yrs old – Betty Ford was frank about her cancer surgery, in an effort to alert other women to the danger of breast cancer.
58 yrs old - Sony chairman Akio Morita introduced the Sony Walkman, even though nobody seemed to like the idea prior to its release.
59 yrs old - Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.
60 yrs old - Playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw completed a play, “Heartbreak House,” regarded by some as his masterpiece.
61 yrs old - Richard Milhouse Nixon resigned in disgrace, the first U.S. President ever to quit office.
62 yrs old - J.R.R. Tolkien published the first volume of his fantasy series, Lord of the Rings.
63 yrs old - Countess Rosa Branicka, a wealthy Polish noble, performed breast cancer surgery on herself and lived to be 82.
70 yrs old - Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
75 yrs old - Warren Buffett set up a $30 billion contribution to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for use in various world-wide charitable causes. + Cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people, and the first black woman, to reach the north pole.
80 yrs old – Jessica Tandy became the oldest Oscar recipient for her work in Driving Miss Daisy.
85 yrs old - At 85, “Coco” Chanel was the head of a fashion design firm.
90 yrs old - Pablo Picasso was still producing drawings and engravings.
95 yrs old - Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma, a degree in general studies with an emphasis on history.
100+ yrs old - Alice Porlock of Great Britain published her first book, Portrait of My Victorian Youth, when she was 102 years old.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Effectively Turn Plans Into Bold Action

Everyone has dreams and goals for where they want to be in the future. This could be anything from starting a business, going back to school or quitting your job to travel the world. But how many people actually take the necessary action to get those plans off the ground? Not many.

And it isn’t because people don’t have plans or lofty goals for themselves. Making plans and setting goals is the easy part of the process. Hard part comes in taking the necessary action to make those plans a reality.

Your Plans, Your Life
You should spend the least amount of time necessary to make your plans. While taking time to make good plans is important, any longer than needed just means you are putting everything off. Eventually you find that you never get around to actually doing them. In most cases it’s better to do what you want as soon as possible. Always look for reasons to start something instead of how to push it into the future. Turning plans into action requires this imperative thinking so procrastination doesn’t sink in.

1. Find Meaningful Purpose and Motivation
If you can find enough motivation and passion for your plans, everything else becomes much easier. Examine the reasons behind what you want to do. Is this something you’re really passionate about? Why?

The more you understand the purpose behind your plans, the better. Finding the meaning behind your plans can tap into a powerful way to drive action. You’ll naturally become more motivated to take action if you can let the passion of what you’re doing come out. But sometimes you might need a jump-start to get you going. One thing you can do is ask yourself, “Will you regret not doing your plans later in life when you’re too old to do it?” Personally speaking, this question has provided me with more motivation to take action than anything else. If you need to, imagine an older version of yourself that didn’t even attempt your plans. Imagine the regret you have for missing out on those plans and use that as motivation to move forward.

2. Face Down Your Fears
Finding motivation and purpose is only the beginning. You also need to address the fears and doubts you possess about the course of action you want to take. These can be quite debilitating and create a serious roadblock to taking action.

You need to accept and acknowledge that any plans worth doing will be scary at first. Realize that you’ll never be able to get rid of fear completely; you can only control it. However, you can’t let fear stop you from doing what you want to do. Otherwise you’re not really making the decisions for your life – your fear is. It’s important to understand one thing about fear: It’s always worse in your head. What you imagine happening is never as bad as what it actually turns out to be in real life. Plus, having fear is a sign that you’re heading in the right direction. You’re breaking out of your comfort zone and trying to make a better life. This is always something that will be scary. Make it a habit of running towards things that scare you instead of running away.

3. Take the First Step and Don’t Look Back
The first step towards your dreams is always the hardest, but it is also the most important. It’s the moment where you’ve built up enough drive and motivation and controlled enough of your fear. This is the crucial point where you stop making plans and actually put things into practice. It’s important how you make the first step. If it is too small a step, you give yourself too much room to pull out. You’re not really investing enough of yourself into it. It’s like putting your toe into a swimming pool as a first step to learning how to swim. It’s something you can easily pull back from and quit. It’s often best to not give yourself such an easy exit. For example, several years ago I moved to a new city without a job or means of income. But I knew it was where I wanted to live so I made the jump and forced myself to make my way. Without an easy exit, I found the motivation to succeed. And I found a job just a few days after signing the lease.

While I don’t really recommend burning bridges to your past, I still think any plan worth doing should be something you invest in completely. Having an easy exit you can do at any moment will just be too tempting to take when things get rough. Have faith that things will work out for you and just do it.

Jump Into Action
Taking time to fully make plans about your future is important and you should always think things through as thoroughly as possible. However, too much planning can be a bad thing when it prevents you from actually taking action. Remember that plans are only as good as the action you take on them. The sooner you take that first step towards your goals and dreams, the sooner you can make them a reality.

Taking action is the basis for what living a great life is all about. After all, you don’t want to be someone who later in life thinks back and wonders what might have been.