by Sonya Derian
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I will tell you, I came to live out LOUD.” ~Émile Zola
1. Live your life on purpose. Not on “default.” Be Proactive. Make conscious and deliberate choices. When you don’t choose, circumstances choose for you and you are never leading: you are following or catching up—or worse, living in “default” mode.
2. Utilize your full potential. Give what you’re doing your best and fullest attention. Be here now. Even if you’re not where you want to be, giving it half your effort doesn’t move you forward. Master what you have at hand, for the sake of mastering it and something will shift.
3. Overcome your fear. Get out of your comfort zone. Find out you have a pulse. Let something give you butterflies in your stomach. This is how you know you’re alive—how you grow into something new. Every fear overcome is a freedom gained. Don’t know how to overcome fear? Do the thing you’re afraid of. Cross them off the list. Make it a game. Pretty soon, you will be invincible.
4. Discover a new talent. One of my favorite quotes by Martha Grimes is, “We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do.” But we don’t find this out until we try something new. Learn a new instrument, take an art class, play with a digital camera, sign up for a salsa class, take up cooking, plant a garden, join toastmasters, pick up a needle and thread, try mountain climbing, go scuba diving, camping or kayaking. Find something that interests you and explore it. You never know what will come out of it.
5. Honor your word. When you strip everything else away, your word is all you’ve got. Do what you say you’re going to do. By honoring your word, you honor yourself. And it doesn’t feel good when you don’t. So, make it a habit. Value your integrity and keep your promises. It’s a good life practice. It’s a good business practice.
6. Create a new habit or break an old one. Who has dominion over your life—you or your habits? Make it a game. How many things can you get under your control? How many bad habits can you convert? There is a great sense of empowerment when you feel you are in charge of your life. This helps you get there.
7. Pay a stranger a compliment. Not only does it make someone else feel good, but it makes you feel good to compliment someone else. All of the sudden the world is small and the stranger next to us becomes our friend and we recognize that we’re all in this together.
8. Take yourself out on a date. Treat yourself. Bring a book. Bring something you’re working on. Bring a journal and use it to write up all the amazing qualities that you want in a partner or a friendship when it comes your way. Find somewhere that has music or wireless and plant yourself there. Have a meal, enjoy it. Treat yourself. You deserve it. Living out loud is playing out loud whether you have someone to join you or not. And you never know who you might meet or strike up a conversation with.
9. Take 100% responsibility for your life. If things aren’t working out in your favor, take note and ask yourself what your part in it is. Being a victim is passé, boring. There is no power in blaming other people. Don’t wait for other people to change. When you change, your world will follow suit.
10. Live in the question. There is nothing you cannot be, do or have. So do not impose limitations on yourself. Instead of saying you can’t get there, ask “How can I get there?” Live in the affirmation of possibility rather than the declaration of negativity. There is always a way, and it is being presented consistently, but you have to live in the question to be on the lookout for the answer.
11. Make more decisions for yourself. There is great power in making a decision. It’s a declaration. You don’t know what you want? Then look at what you don’t want and work backwards. I bet you do know what you want; you just haven’t been in the habit of asking yourself. Hey. That’s a new habit to change! (See #6)
12. Learn to say “No.” To live your best possible life, you need to learn how to say no to the things that aren’t serving you. The best barometer to measure this by is: if it isn’t a “hell yeah” (yippee, so fun, can’t wait), then it is most probably a no. If you have to talk yourself into it, it’s a no. Once you get comfortable saying no, everything becomes a matter of choice. Living a life of choice is a living a life of freedom.
13. Know your own value. Others may be more educated, skilled or talented in one or another area, but there is something magnificent and valuable about what you have to offer this world that, in comparison, is equal. Do not allow yourself or anyone else to diminish it. You have a learning disability? So did Dr. John Demartini and that’s what makes him the most powerful speaker today. Joe Vitale came from homelessness. Look at him now. Stop idolizing anyone else’s gifts and dismissing your own.
14. Give yourself permission. For everything. Permission to make mistakes. Permission to shine. Permission to look beautiful. Permission to accept (instead of correct or dismiss) praise. Permission to have bad days. Permission to get angry. Permission to cry, to laugh, to scream. Permission to take the day off. Permission to take a nap, go to sleep early. Permission to get a massage. Permission to do nothing. Permission to succeed. Life is about being here now, in all your full range of emotions, mood swings, wins and losses. Give yourself permission to live out loud today.
15. Own your own opinion. No one has to agree with you in order for your opinion to matter. Stop waiting for consensus. YOU matter. Your opinion matters. The nature of Living Out Loud is that some people will agree with you and some people won’t. You will NEVER get consensus. So, stop looking for it. The only question you have to ask is, does your opinion matter to you? Claim it. Own it. And know that with new information, it could change tomorrow. Life is transitory. Live in the evolution.
16. Do not punish yourself for past actions. Your past behavior was what you’ve done, but it is not who you are. Who you are is still unfolding. Mistakes, errors in judgments, and failures all add to our character and value. They make us human and compassionate and wise. To berate yourself for acquiring these valuable qualities is wrong, so stop it. A new beginning starts today.
17. Live in the realm of “possibility” rather than “probability.” Stay open at the top. You don’t know what the outcome can be. Statistics are made up of groups. You are an Individual. Be the individual that charts your own course. You don’t know what is possible for you until you find out.
18. Do not argue for your limitations, but instead focus on your strengths. We all have weaknesses, but we also have our strengths. What do you do well? Practice that. When you lead with your strengths, the rest follows suit. And miraculously, your limitations sort of disappear. What you focus on grows.
19. Practice gratitude. In a world of imperfections, it’s amazing how perfect things actually are. But sometimes we have to look for them. When your life’s circumstances aren’t working in your favor, the one thing you do have control over is your attitude. If you lead with gratitude, and create a habit of it, in short order, your life will change.
20. Be authentic. Thoreau said, “If I am not I, who will be?” Did you ever notice that the ones who are most successful are not the ones that follow the masses and trends, but the ones who stand in their own authentic expression and declare who they are? Regardless of who agrees with them? There is an expression that is uniquely yours and to dismiss it, is to dismiss the divine.
21. Own your own power. The answers are not outside of you. Own what you know. The more you practice this, the more you hone the powerful magnetic field that surrounds you and the more power you emit in your convictions, knowing and in your life. Your results will confirm this.
22. Stop Complaining. Complaining is a form of passive victimhood. Ask yourself instead, why is this happening to me and what part do I play in this picture? Then work on your part of the solution. Have you ever found yourself not setting a boundary and allowing someone to take advantage of you? Or not taking care of yourself in a situation and getting burned by the outcome? We are always the single common denominators in our lives and we are the only ones we have control over. Use what you are complaining about as your inner clues as to where you need to start taking better care of yourself.
23. Practice “being” and have nothing to prove. Know your own value with or without results. Your value is in your human being-ness not your human doing-ness. In a society that is wrapped up in image, this is sometimes difficult to practice. People ask what you do, not who you are. But a person who knows their own value, does not have to prove it.
24. Be of service. Offer your help where you can and do your part in making the world a friendly place. We are all in this together. As Gandhi preached: be the change that you wish to see happen. You would be surprised by the impact you have.
25. Love generously. Spread random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. Hatred is already rampant. We need to tip the scales the other way. Love is a far more powerful emotion and has far reaching consequences. Living out loud means loving Out loud. And ironically, the more you love, the more love you have to give.
26. Find your bliss and live your passion. Again, don’t know what that is? Then it’s time to find out! Your emotions give away clues. When your life has spun out of control and you are finding yourself in a tizzy, go back to what makes you happiest and do that. The more you follow this thread, the more you are leading with the heart. There are always ways to monetize your passion, to find ways to make a living at what you love, but first you have to discover it. Your emotions don’t lie. Follow their lead.
27. Stop waiting. Life is happening right now. Don’t wait for the right career, the perfect relationship, the landfill of money. Make the best of what you have right now and be creative with it. Don’t put your life on pause. Live with the possibility that what you are waiting for can arrive tomorrow, and live your best life today.
28. Let other people off the hook. They didn’t mean harm, and even if they did, it hurt them more than it hurt you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and rise even taller. Don’t use anyone as your excuse to shirk your responsibility to live a bigger life. Victimhood is not a badge of honor. Overcoming adversity is. Use success and joy as your barometer. And march on.
29. Use co-creation to help you. We are always working in conjunction with invisible forces. They want to create on your behalf, but they are waiting for your leadership to direct them. Living out loud means acknowledging that we are a big presence with a big force of nature at our disposal. We don’t underestimate our power. We utilize it.
30. March to the beat of your own drum and stay the course. Do you hear your own music, but find yourself dancing to the tune of someone else’s beat? Stop it. Were you told at any point in your life that your own music was the wrong kind? Re-Consider. The symphony of the world’s vibration, the hum of its tune, is the sound OM (aum). Your task is to find your own Om—your life force vibration, life pattern or purpose, your song or melody . Find it, claim it, express it, and live it. Never give up on yourself. You are who you are. It’s time to honor that and make use of it. Stay the course.
For many of us, this is already a way of life. But to others, some of these practices may feel daunting. To you, I say this: just start. You may not succeed 100% of the time, but like a friend once said, “Life is a hard hat zone, we’re always under construction.”
Bloom where you are planted. Work from the inside out. Make the commitment to yourself and get started.
Find your “OM”. Claim It. Own it. Express It. Live it. You are divinely supported.