Realm—king and queen

Realm

You are the ruler of your realm.

It may not always feel that way, but, if you think about it, everything you come across is part of who you are, part of your life experience, part of your own little empire.

From that perspective, we are all responsible for our interactions, our perceptions, our feelings, and our experiences; they are the elements of our realms, and we are the monarchs.

We can decide what kind of rulers we will be. We can be hands-on benevolent rulers who take responsibility for our realms and don’t abdicate our duty. Or we can be thoughtless rulers who don’t pay attention to the business of our realms and let others determine their fate.

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Habit. Girl practicing violin.

Habit

We are what we do.

Each of us has activities, things we do day in and day out, over and over. Our habits become part of our psyche—part of our identity.

A famous statistic from Maxwell Maltz said that it takes a minimum of 21 days of doing something to make it a habit. Subsequent research suggests that it takes more like a minimum of two months and up to eight months before an activity becomes ingrained. So, if we want an activity to become part of our lives, we know what we have to do to make it happen.

However, knowing this is easier than doing it. We have to be motivated to do something day in and day out, for that long. To get that kind of motivation, we must have a clear image of how and why those activities should be part of our lives. That means that we should be able to consistently fit them into our routines and recognize what they will contribute to our happiness, health, or fulfillment.

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Alone. Woman Sitting on Dock Feet in the Water

Alone

How comfortable is your relationship with yourself?

People are, for the most part, social beings; we love to interact. If we spend too much time alone, most of us feel a strong need for the company of others. Aside from the most extreme introverts, all of us rely on our relationships to some degree or another.

Most of us work on those relationships. We buy each other presents, we laugh at each other’s jokes, we are polite, and we give compliments. But how many of us put in the same effort for ourselves?

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Experience. Guitar, book, writing, and wine on a wooden table.

Experience

What’s on your to-do list today?

Whenever I get too busy, I think about how my experiences shape who I am.

It is very easy for busy people to become their to-do lists or to base their identities on how they meet their responsibilities. Sometimes our experiences seem out of our control—we do what we have to. However, if our experiences define who we are, it is important for us to retain some control over those experiences.

Often our plans for any given day are made up primarily of those things we feel we have to do. Although that designation (what we have to do) is a bit of a misnomer (see “Choice”), let’s assume we all have things that need to be done given the choices we’ve made.

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Gesture of Anger

Anger

Have you ever been so angry that you’re shaking? So angry that rationality goes right out the window? When you get angry, how do you handle it?

Angry people can be rational or irrational. Anger itself doesn’t have consequences, but acting on that anger does, and the consequences of those actions can be positive or negative.

Anger is designed to be a survival mechanism. When bad things happen to us, anger provides us with adrenalin along with a drive to overcome it. But how we define “bad thing” and what we mean by “overcome” is where we can run into trouble. When acting in anger, it would help to ask ourselves, “What do I hope to achieve?”

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