The Challenge: Day 22

The challenge started at the end of 2011 and I made it about 60% of the way before deciding to focus on other topics. I would now like to take the opportunity to revisit the challenge and finish the 30 days.

I started last week excited to prepare for the final nine episodes of the challenge and then life happened. As the reality of life unfolded right before my eyes, I found myself flustered with a friendship wrought with tension, stressed about various work projects that all had overlapping deadlines, and discouraged by the unexpected financial burden of a repair cost to my not so budget-friendly, German-made automobile. I woke up on Monday morning with energy and spunk, but returned to my bed by Tuesday night with a heavy heart and slightly red eyes thanks to the increased stress in my life. I have no doubt that, on some level, you can relate to the feeling of a fresh start being clouded by the needs of the world pounding at your door.

By Wednesday, I was what you might call a “head case.” Luckily, the car trouble required me to visit Los Angeles bright and early to retrieve my vehicle and then I had to drive two hours to San Clemente, California for a meeting. Those two hours became an unexpected time of self-reflection and rebuilding. I realized that while my life was busy and demanding, it was certainly still filled with blessings and opportunity. I also realized that much of my downfall was a function of my mind circling the tragic "To-Do" list, which was weighing me down. I had become engulfed in it all and the road trip was pulling me off this slippery slope. It was time to get a grip!

This unexpected opportunity of dedicated personal time allowed me to clear my mind of all the circular and frantic thoughts, so by the time I returned to the office, I was in a much better place. The experience reminded me of one of my favorite sayings, “Where thoughts go, energy flows.” So, don't underestimate the power of your mind. If you focus on the stress of life, it will carry into every detail of your day. In contrast, if you do your best to maintain a positive and productive frame of mind, you will be better equipped to take the bad in stride with the good and find life to be significantly more manageable.


Physical: When was the last time you made time for outdoor physical activity that also overlapped as alone time? The physical activity will get the blood flowing and the fresh oxygen will improve your mental well-being. We all love to socialize and make working out fun, but go it alone this time.

Personal: If you want to really condense this challenge, work on the physical and personal well-being at the same time by selecting a soundtrack that will bring a smile to your face and peace to your eyes. The mind will quickly follow suit.

Spiritual: Nothing encourages positivity quite like gratitude. Whether you prefer to journal, pray or simply take a moment to think, spend just five minutes today reflecting and meditating on all that you have to be grateful for in your life.

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