Photo credit: Karl Fredrickson,

Writing your life story is akin to imagining yourself on your deathbed at ninety. You look back over your life. What do you see? What gives you joy? What brings you peace? It’s like all of a sudden you see clearly. You realize the material things, though nice, never really made you happy. You see where you came from only in the context of where you are. Your expectations of what life has to offer are replaced by what you can leave behind.

What will your legacy be?

A lot of old emotional baggage surfaced, while I was writing my life story. No memory from my traumatic childhood came unattended. Emotions, feelings, and beliefs that I’d never dared to or could acknowledge were staring me down. Sometimes I doubted I would get through to the proverbial end. But, I kept going because I was on a mission. I was determined to achieve my goal to inspire others to go on a journey of self-discovery via travel and studying abroad.

In the process, I noticed that determination was more than a trait I’d developed. It was a pattern of thought that had gotten me through many periods of anxiety and depression. By the time I was finished, (three years after deciding to write part-time), I became aware of cultivating other powerful patterns of thought that I now call forth frequently.

You don’t have to wait until you’re 90 years old, and on your deathbed, to benefit from your own insights.

Courage is the willingness to face our own thoughts and feelings. According to the renowned psychiatrist, David R. Hawkins, we’re afraid of our inner feelings because “they hold such a massive amount of negativity, that we fear we would be overwhelmed by it, if we were to take a deeper look.” If we consider that most of our thoughts are about how we don’t measure up, it makes sense that we go out of our way to ignore, avoid, or push them away. Courage is what happens when we dare to do something different — like challenge the validity of a single negative thought.

100 Words About Responsibility

Only 10 percent of life is what happens to us. The other 90 percent is our response to it. The good news is that we’re only ever responsible for controlling our own thoughts. The bad news is that we choose to respond to life’s events based on a belief system that was implanted during our childhood by our parents, teachers, religions, cultures, etc. We spend our adulthood reliving other people’s fears and confirming their mostly negative beliefs. If we don’t inquire into our beliefs, we’re essentially making choices based on other people’s beliefs.

100 Words About Confidence

Hands down, we’re our worst critic. Moreover, this mean-spirited critic voice never shuts up… constantly telling us how inadequate we are. It’s judgment that shoots us down. No wonder we won’t trust our inner knowing. Insecurity — not time, energy, or money — is keeping you from trying something new.

Confidence is a by-product of lowering the volume on that ornery critical voice. How will you trust that inner knowing?