That's being mindful. And that's what you want to create now. Studies of newborn babies show that unless we receive love, our survival is in jeopardy from the first days of our lives. As we grow up, if we are not convinced that we have it, we will go through life trying to find it. There is a certain way in which we need to be touched, held, and regarded behaviorally and emotionally. If we feel deprived, even from an early age, and before we have the vocabulary to describe it, we will be driven in our lives to find it. That drive can be so powerful as to dominate our thinking and motivations and therefore our choices throughout life. Some of your most critical choices in life may have resulted from your need for, your search for a love that, whether real or imagined, you felt was elusive. Once we have satisfied our survival needs, have attained a basic sense of security, and feel loved, we relate our decisions about life to self-esteem. Unfortunately, most people haven't got the foggiest idea of what self -esteem is all about, because they've been chasing after other people's versions--that is, external sources of esteem--all their lives. For many, self-esteem or self-worth is too often measured as a function of what one accomplishes, accumulates, or extracts from the world in the form of titles, trophies, or acknowledgments. Too often it can mean a particular car, house, dress size, golf score, or bank account. When we ask ourselves big questions regularly, tuning in to what actually matters to us and brings us joy, we begin to make daily, short-term decisions in alignment with our spirits and our bigger picture, long-term goals. We needn't ever be overwhelmed, thinking that we have to make lots of enormous changes all of a sudden. Simply by choosing to prioritise the nurturing of our sparkles in daily life, day by day, year by year, we find ourselves living lives in harmony with our values and dreams. We begin to feel all the more empowered, fulfilled, courageous and content. Magical living encompasses all the things we do. When we choose to touch all parts of our lives with attention, appreciation and love, our lives give back to us with abundant joy and inspiration. Make constant daily effort to rise up and match the frequency of the joyous energy you want to feel. Let's be what we are looking for.

Life has taught me that people are born to succeed. Struggles, adversity, and setbacks are inevitable; indeed, they are frequently the stepping stones to great achievement. But I'm convinced that every individual---and that includes you---carries within the seed potential of high performance and personal excellence. I believe each and every person is meant to flourish. My perspective owes much to the school of hard knocks. No matter what challenges I faced, though, I've found that faith, high expectations, and fortitude can see you through to a higher station on your journey. I've experienced firsthand that reality can treat you pretty rough. I'm here to tell you that if you have the belief to hang in there, then you will eventually discover a hard-won wisdom that is even tougher. High expectations are the key to unlocking your potential. The idea that lofty aspirations can define who you become is inspiring, humbling, and empowering at the same time. What ambitious goal or worthy cause fills you with enthusiasm? How can you harness your passions and tap great reservoirs of creativity and fortitude in order to achieve your aims? Expectation Therapy is an examination of the psychological principles and habits of mind that fuel success. Are you ready to start making your dreams come true? The human brain is the most important tool we have. It's more important than any technology, device, or instrument. Robert Greene, the author of Mastery, put it best: "If there is any instrument you must fall in love with and fetishize, it is the human brain--the most miraculous, awe-inspiring, information-processing tool devised in the known universe, with a complexity we can't even begin to fathom, and with dimensional powers that far outstrip any piece of technology in sophistication and usefulness." However, there's one problem. We're born with this great tool, but we don't know how to use it properly. We're highly impractical beings. We think that we're good thinkers, but research paints a different picture.

We think we make practical decisions that we base on logic. But that's not the case, as Dan Ariely, author of Predictable Irrationality, writes: "We usually think of ourselves as sitting in the driver's seat, with ultimate control over the decisions we made and the direction our life takes; but, alas, this perception has more to do with our desires--with how we want to view ourselves-than with reality." (emphasis mine) Yet if the emotions are painfully strong, being present with them can feel as if you could be crushed by them. If this is the case, or you fear that it might be, four things could be very helpful: You can actively visualize a place where you feel secure and go there in your mind if needed. You can use your meditative practice to not fuel the pain but to simply note it and let it go. You can find safety through writing. Instead of allowing the emotion to gather steam and take you somewhere that's destructive, writing can give it shape and form, or a beginning and an end. You could ask someone to be with you and to be there for you. That said, take breaks from this process. Do something you haven't done in a long time that you've missed. Go on a walk or get moving in a way that feels good. Make sure you have movies you could watch or music that you could listen to that can ease the tension. That's the kind of distraction that can be healthy and constructive. This craving for esteem, if it is measured by an external yardstick and or worldly "stuff," can be elusive, fickle, and as addictive as any drug. Research with adolescents has shown that consistently boosting kids' esteem externally, such as with random, "just-be-positive praise" or a particular title or position in school, is not a good idea: Children can end up as a bottomless pit, wanting more and more, even going so far as to commit illegal acts to gain it from their peers, all because the external never really "hits the spot," and so they just keep trying to meet a need from the outside that can only be met from the inside. The more your internally defined self-esteem is lacking, the more you are vulnerable to external influence. In short, if you aren't "squared away" within yourself, they can "get to you" from the outside. The world will pick on self-doubt like it is an open wound. As a result, you can find yourself making decisions driven by a need to build how you feel about yourself, but from all the wrong resources. Simply put, if you don't love, believe in, and accept yourself, you will try to find someone else to do it for you. Seeking that validation so desperately from someone other than yourself can have a huge effect on the choices you make.

We are not alone when we long for more meaning, more connection and more kindness in our lives. This longing for more is collective. The challenging states that we experience personally are known and felt by all human beings in all manner of ways. When our spirits seek deeper and more sustaining experiences our yearning can present itself in different, often challenging states of being. Restlessness, depression, conflict, disharmony; even pain and physical illness can be understood and tended to as very important messages from deep within. While lacklustre states and experiences can be unpleasant to endure, they are valuable calls to tend to our spiritual wellbeing - to explore, nourish and nurture ourselves as deeply and lovingly as possible. When viewed not as failings but rather as invitations to look more deeply, love more deeply, or choose differently, we may experience and explore lacklustre states as gateways to our bliss. Our negativity, cynicism and sarcasm can be our world-weariness at play. A disconnection from the mystery of life. A call for us to return to gratitude, humility and grace. Our irritability and grumpiness can be an expression of unfulfilled desires of our souls; invitations to balance rest and play in our daily lives; to dial down our seriousness and reconnect with joy and nurture our sense of humour. Our fatigue might be directing us to reassess the ways we use and expend our precious personal energy. Perhaps we need to better protect our personal boundaries to nurture our vitality? Perhaps we are not enjoying the work that we do, and are being encouraged to make positive change? It might be a call to observe and workshop relationships and circumstances that deplete us. In any case, tiredness is a wonderful call for us to slow down, tread lightly and go gently with our spirits. Expectation is far more than a word. It is more than a concept or an idea. It is more than an imagined outcome for yourself or for someone else. It is more than a motivating goal.

It is more than a desired end state that pulls you forward. So, what is an expectation? It is the basic root from which we grow. Expectation provides a framework that infuses your life with meaning, purpose, and passion. It is the seed of success. High self-expectations determine the breadth of your dreams and the heights of your achievements. Expectation transcends gender, religion, economic class, and physical abilities. You have the power to set high expectations. Doing so helps you blossom as a person. Expectations can be either your best ally or your staunchest foe. If you diminish or destroy someone's expectations, then you undermine the person's potential. If you accept lowered expectations for yourself, then soon there is no higher goal or purpose, and consequently imagination and hope wither. You must water your life with high self-expectations so that creativity can flourish. Then you can dream big and accomplish great things. I don't pretend to have all the answers to thinking better, though. However, I do have the answers to how I've used nothing but my thoughts to live a happier, healthier, wealthier, and more meaningful life. I'm the living proof of the "change your thoughts, change your life" idea. Only three short years ago, I was stressed out of my mind, gave up my entrepreneurial desires, and hated my life. I felt stuck. But I don't want to be too dramatic about my situation.