Everyone is born with innate, creative talents. Everyone has the potential to bloom, and make life richer and happier. There are seeds already planted in us awaiting fruition leading to a more rewarding life. Anyone can tap into this potential. You too! It just needs determination to turn the tide and do wonders for your life. It will take some doing, of course. But what? Let’s see.

One of the biggest culprits that prevents most people from achieving great heights is procrastination, the habit of delaying things for later. If you don’t do things when they should be done, you will have to suffer. An ordinary situation may turn into a serious one. A small problem may become bigger and more difficult, or even impossible to handle. A stitch in time saves nine, as they say. If something is to be done, do it as soon as possible, as soon as required, and be done with it, so that it doesn’t hang over you. Who knows you might enjoy doing it! And if you have done it before the emergency arises, you might have a chance to make it better. You know that the past is history, and the future unknown. It is the present that you have control over. Do what needs to be done. It’s in your hands. The present comes to you wrapped up as a “present”, a gift—utilize it to the fullest. Believe me, procrastination is a real time waster.

Learn to get your priorities right. List your tasks in order of priority. It simply means that you should get the most important things done first. As you know, everyone has 24 hours, not a minute less or a minute more. Many things are worth doing, but you cannot do everything. You need to decide what things are essential and when. What things demand your immediate attention and what things can wait.

Answer these questions honestly. Are you telling lies to yourself? Are you living in a la-la land? Do you betray yourself? Are you pinning your hopes on some imaginary things, people or events? Mind you, you are in for a rude awakening. Ignoring the harsh facts of life is the worst form of self-disrespect. Don’t lie to yourself. If you are on a diet, adding calories is not right. Don’t pretend overspending is okay. Check the ways you are being untruthful to yourself, and make amends if necessary. Honesty is still the best policy.

People will be happy when you agree to whatever demands they make. Learn to firmly but politely say ‘No’, when you cannot do what others want you to. You can’t please everyone all the time. It’s not necessary. On the contrary, it’s a crime unto you. People pleasing will get in your own way. Don’t let others control your time and energy. Using your time and energy the way you like is your foremost duty. Everyone has a right to live the way one chooses. You too deserve to live your own the way YOU like. Help others when you can, but don’t feel guilty if you really can’t help someone. A simple sincere ‘sorry’ will do. People do understand.

A thought or dream without action is like a car without an engine. Many are great dreamers, but very few are really doers. You must have heard the proverb: If wishes were horses beggars would ride. The meaning is simple: just wishing for something doesn’t make it happen. You have to work hard to achieve something. Actions, not dreams alone, will fetch desired results. Be like the hounds on leads raring to go. Be a go-getter. Make things happen, come hell or high water.

Stop complaining. There’s no point griping about anything, really. Many people become unhappy when they don’t have certain things that others have. They start complaining, which is nothing but an energy drainer. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Live your life full of positivity. Don’t complain when you have problems. Don’t see problems just as problems. They are there to strengthen you and to help you put your life on track.

Simplify your life. Wash your hands off certain things which are not fruitful. Learn to give a shrug to some energy drainers such as gossiping, chatting or playing games on a mobile, watching useless programmes on television, and roaming here and there. In that way, you will have a lot of time on your hand.

Everyone has some or the other weakness. Don’t hide your weaknesses, for goodness’ sake. Own up. Stop making lame excuses. Face life head on. Grab it by the neck and give it a shake instead of being shaken. Find ways of overcoming your weaknesses and turn them into your strengths.

When you have done some of the above, you will feel like an achiever. Every small success will boost your morale. So, let’s make the most of the precious gift called LIFE.

Have a great life!

–Dharmendra Sheth