I want you to live your best life, and it starts with how you talk to yourself, and how you treat yourself.

Take the words can’t and impossible out of your dictionary. Thoughts are things, and what say to yourself — matters!

Remember that what you say about yourself is much more important than what people are saying about you. As my mentor Rev. Dr. Cecil ‘Chip’ Murray once told me, “it’s not what people call you, it’s what you answer to that’s important. Never answer out of your name.” And then I added, “and to argue with a fool, (only) proves there are two….”

Here are some basic, fundamental mental strength rules for your day and week, from my bestselling book The Memo:

  1. On the Surviving Side: Remember, most people are not very happy with their own lives. Don’t expect that they are going to be thrilled with yours. If I don’t like me, I am not going to like you. If I don’t feel good about me, don’t expect me to feel good about you. If I don’t love or respect me, don’t expect me to love and respect you. If I don’t have a purpose in my life — I will make your life, a living hell. Whatever goes around, comes around.
  2. On the Surviving Side: Hurt people, hurt people. Stay as far removed from toxic people as you can. At least, remove from their your heart valve. Keep them around the rim of your life, wave from a distance and keep it moving.
  3. On the Surviving Side: Understand that the path to hell is paved with good intentions. That there is an old southern saying, ‘no matter how much I love you my son or my daughter, if I don’t have wisdom, then I can only give you my own ignorance.’
  4. On the Surviving Side: Out of love, we pass down bad habits from generation to generation. Out of love. Why? Because, as I have outlined in The Memo‘it’s what we don’t know that we don’t know that’s killing us — but we THINK we know.’ Read. This. Again please.
  5. On the Thriving Side: Remember that life is 10% what life does to you, and 90% how you choose to respond to it. The only question is what kind of response are you going to have. You control your response to people, you do not control other people.
  6. On the Thriving Side: Remember that “success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
  7. On the Thriving Side: Remember that you must be relentless. Over it, around it or through it, you must commit to get to it! No excuses. No whining. No complaining. Complaining — even legitimate complaining — doesn’t pay one single bill in your household. Real talk.
  8. On the Thriving Side: Remember that real leaders talk positively about their ideas. And real losers talk negatively about other people.
  9. On the Thriving Side: Remember that you are already amazing. That ‘you have been doing so much, with so little, for so long, that you can almost do anything, with nothing.’ Don’t sell yourself short.
  10. On the Thriving Side: Remember that “an entrepreneur works 18 hours a day to keep from getting a real job!” In other words, nothing good comes easy. Nothing. Whatever you love will drive you a little crazy. Whatever you love will be a little exhausting. Whatever you love is going to stretch you beyond your comfort zone, sometimes. But there is no option to love.

Love is work, non-love is lazy, and anti-love is evil. Evil exist, but it is very rare. Most people are just lazy; emotionally lazy, intellectually lazy, financially lazy, physically lazy. They just don’t want to DO THE WORK that real success in life, on any level, requires.

But the love of self, is the first love – and it is absolutely required if you are going to put on the armor of life each day today and go out and win, as the sole agent and representative of your dreams.

When the plane is going down, the flight attendant instructs you to ‘place the oxygen mask on your face first, and then your child. Because if you cant’t save you, you cannot save them.’ Charity starts at home.

Get up today, tomorrow and the next day that follows — and DECIDE that you are going to Live Your Best Life.

You are not going to settle.

You are not going to be dragged down by toxic, depressed, hurt people.

You are not going to be defined by the low expectations that others around you may live by.

Dr. Benjamin Mays, former president of Morehouse College and mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “the worse sin is not failure, it’s low aim.”

It’s time for you to Live Your Best Life. Right now. Let’s go….

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This piece was originally published on LinkedIn

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