Motivation

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5 Strategies for Overcoming Self-Doubt

We all have moments of self-doubt.

Whether you’re giving a presentation at work or moving to a foreign country, it’s impossible to escape the little voice in your head that questions your decisions. Not all self-doubt is bad though. Self-doubt can help identify areas that we need to improve. The problem arises when you live in constant state of self-loathing.

In this article, we offer 5 strategies for overcoming self-doubt.

Observe your self-doubt through meditation

beat self doubt

Understanding self-doubt requires an ability to observe our own internal monologue and behaviors. The objective of self-analysis is to look inwards in a constructive way, without being too hard on ourselves.

Meditation is a helpful practice for learning to observe your thoughts without judgment. Set aside just 5 minutes everyday to watch the ebb and flow of your thoughts. The trick is to learn how to detach from your thoughts instead of constantly identifying with them.
The more you practice meditation, the easier this process of detachment will become.

Check out the Headspace app if you are looking for an easy way to get started with meditation.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Take action and learn by doing

The Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh once said:

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Sometimes our thoughts of self-doubt can cripple us from taking action. When in doubt we suggest to take action! You might stumble, but that’s better than doing nothing.

Each mistake is a learning opportunity and each mini-milestone builds confidence. So next time you catch yourself mired in self- doubt, ask yourself “What actions am I avoiding to take right now?” and then take them.

Identify and overcome limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs are those entrenched modes of thinking that prevent us from getting what we want. Because they run deep into our psyches, and are often formed in early childhood, limiting beliefs can be hard to identify.

A good example of a limiting belief is “People like me never end up rich.” Journaling is a great way to start to identify your limiting beliefs. Try writing for 10 minutes in a journal every day and start to observe the themes that emerge. Once you begin to identify your most common self-limiting beliefs, write them into a list.

Now, write a new list of positive statements to replace the negative ones. For example, “I believe in my abilities, and can make good money doing what I do.”

Be kind to yourself

Kindness and compassion are great antidotes to insecurity and self-doubt. Talk to yourself in the same way that you would talk to a close friend.

Be honest, compassionate, and encouraging.

Avoid self-judgment and focus on empathy instead. Try writing yourself a positive and encouraging message on a post-it note. Stick it somewhere you will see it every day and refresh the message every week with positive self-affirmations to keep you inspired.

Nourish your body and mind

beating self doubt thru food

Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between mental health and a well-balanced diet.

Make sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, legumes, seafood, nuts and plant-based fats. If you are experiencing a low and stressful moment, you could also consider adding adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha or a supplement like L-Tyrosine.
Some studies suggest that Ashwagandha helps ease anxiety and L-tyrosine has been shown to improve concentration and attention during stressful periods.

See Also: Eating Mindfully: What It Is and What It Can Do To Your Body

The bottom line

Self-doubt should be seen as a normal and necessary part of self-improvement. However, it needs to be thoughtfully managed. As you begin to develop the right tools and understanding on how to beat self-doubt, you’ll have more confidence to take on life’s obstacles with a feeling of excitement rather than anxiety.

The post 5 Strategies for Overcoming Self-Doubt appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Art of Cultivating A Sense of Purpose In Life

There are times in life when we all feel aimless. However, as long as we don’t let those temporary feelings define our lives, we will come out the other side. Knowing your purpose in life is what gets you up in the morning and keep you going when the going gets tough.

But did you know that having a sense of purpose can also prolong your life?

Best of all, a strong sense of purpose is something you can cultivate starting today. There’s no special equipment required.

It’s Hard To Feel A Sense of Purpose When You Are Under Stress

our purpose in life

People are under all kinds of stress, from family issues to work-related problems. It can be difficult to feel you have a purpose in life when it’s all stress from all angles. It’s also difficult to feel like there’s any hope for the future when you have been through trauma.

You see, trauma reshapes the brain to be overly cautious and pessimistic. It can make you fearful of the future and cause intolerance of uncertainty. Trauma can disrupt your daily life and cause all kinds of other mental health problems that prevent you from living life to its fullest.

Fortunately, an exercise known as reframing can help you look at traumatic and stressful events in your life. It will enable you to reshape them as valuable experiences.

See Also: 7 Easy Ways to Remove Negative Energy and Unnecessary Stress

What Purpose Can Do For You

Across all age groups, people who have a strong sense of purpose have a 15% lower risk for premature death. In one study, seniors were followed for several years and had periodic checks of their sense of purpose. Those who reported little purpose in their lives at the start of the study were 2.4 times more likely to pass away during the study. That’s in comparison to those who reported a strong sense of purpose in their lives.

Where To Cultivate Purpose In Your Life

purpose in life

Things like family and career can lead to a strong sense of purpose, but those aren’t the only things you should be relying on. Families have struggles and when children leave the nest, it can lead to a sense of aimlessness.

While it is important to cultivate strong family relationships, it is equally important to cultivate a sense of purpose in other areas of your life as well. The same goes for your career. While it is important to build a career that gives you a sense of purpose in life, it can’t be the only thing or you will reach retirement and not know what to do next.

For some people, religion is a nice way to keep a steady sense of purpose going throughout their lives. If religion isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other things that can give you a strong sense of purpose.

Lifelong learning is a great way to keep your mind active and give yourself a sense of purpose and belongingness. Curiosity and chasing the next big goal can keep your mind from withering away. They can also drive your sense of purpose as there is never a possibility of learning everything there is to know.

Likewise, hobbies and other interests are areas where you can continue to learn and grow for the rest of your life. There are also hobbies that come along with new friendships and meaningful contributions.

Doing inspiring activities, whether they are work, hobbies or something else, can keep you engaged in something even when other areas of your life may be in rapid change. It’s important to keep that balance among the various activities you enjoy. That way, when there is trouble in one area, there are still constants you can turn to for stability in the other areas.

It’s not always easy to feel a strong sense of purpose in your life. It’s something you will often have to put work into. But cultivating that sense of purpose can add life to your years and years to your life. In the end, there’s almost zero downside to cultivating a strong sense of purpose in your life.

Learn more about the art and science of purpose from the infographic below!
The Art and Science of Purpose
Source: Online College Plan

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7 Inspiring Movies to Watch When You Are Low on Motivation

We have all had days when we have woken up feeling uninspired and listless. Those are the days when we know we have a long list of tasks to do, but are unable to find the energy to get started. All we want to do is lie in bed and binge eat.

At such times, do you know what can help? Watching movies for motivation.

Movies have the power to move us in ways we can never imagine. They compel us to think, introspect, and reconsider our perspectives.

So, the next time you are low on motivation, don’t beat yourself over it. Allow yourself to just be and watch an inspirational movie instead.

Here is a list of 7 inspiring movies to watch when you are low on motivation:

Rocky (1976)

rocky
Via bcmoviediary.com

“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can. That’s what makes all the difference in your life.”

It’s been over four decades since this movie was released but it still manages to have the same impact on people who watch it even today.

Headlined by Sylvester Stallone, Rocky is a boxing drama film that teaches some key life lessons in the process. It speaks about believing in yourself, always putting up a good fight, and, having relentless persistence in the face of adversity.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

the pursuit of happyness

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it.”

The Pursuit of Happyness is about a man dealing with life’s struggles and how he chooses to go beyond them and fight for his dreams. All this man had was motivation and that was enough for him to rise from nothing and make his dreams come true.

If this isn’t encouraging, then what is?

The Pursuit of Happyness is power-packed with inspiration. It is bound to leave you with a renewed sense of hope and courage to never accept defeat.

Life of Pi (2012)

life-of-pi
Via filmblerg.com

“I was giving up. I would have given up – if a voice hadn’t made itself heard in my heart. The voice said “I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine.”

Life of Pi is about how a sixteen-year old boy finds himself stranded in a lifeboat with a hyena, orangutan, zebra, and a Bengal tiger. He survives because of his undying faith in himself and a better world. It tells us how determination and faith can help us live our best life.

The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

the diary of anne frank
Via cinemacats.com

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

Here’s a poignant story about a young girl who recorded her experiences in a diary while she and her family were in hiding in a warehouse during the Nazi regime.

Heartbreaking and motivating at the same time, this movie pushes you to see life in a new light. It uplifts you, makes you weep and leaves you inspired as this young girl teaches you some of the greatest life lessons.

Coach Carter (2005)

coach_carter
Via impaled.ws

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people don’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do.”

Coach Carter might be based on a basketball coach, but it delivers critical lessons. Through Carter, we learn about discipline, hard work, humility, respect and fearlessness. From students struggling to find motivation in college to entrepreneurs lacking courage to take risks – everyone needs to watch this powerful movie.

Julie and Julia (2009)

julie-and-julia
Via newonnetflix.ca

“Julia taught me what it takes to find your way in the world. It’s not what I thought it was. I thought it was all about-I don’t know, confidence or will or luck. Those are all some good things to have, no question. But there’s something else, something that these things grow out of. It’s joy.”

Julie and Julia is a heartwarming movie which teaches us how it’s never too late to make your dreams come true, rediscover yourself, and find joy. A must-watch for women, this movie gives you a dose of motivation in the most humorous and entertaining manner.

The Lion King

the lion king
Via bbc.co.uk

“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”

What’s impeccable about this movie is that it can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Whether it’s the inevitability of life, believing in yourself, forgiveness, learning from past experiences or conquering challenges – Lion King is a powerhouse of valuable life lessons that has something for people across all ages and stages.

See Also: 30 Best Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of the Day

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Staying Productive: 8 Tips I Follow To Break My Productivity Slump

For the last few days, I have been feeling way too sleepy. That could be because the weather is fantastic where I live or I am overeating (I just ordered Mexican food from Chili’s) or both. The point is I am a solopreneur, a freelancer. I am in the phase of scaling up my business and feeling sleepy at two o’ clock in the afternoon is not something I can afford.

I have too much on my plate at the moment. For starters – I want to get my website up and running. Don’t worry – it will be live by the time you read this article. My husband and I have family visiting us, so there’s that. We are traveling a bit too much in the coming months, so we have to plan for that.

And these are just non-work related tasks. There are assignments to be scheduled for the clients I signed up recently, and articles to be delivered before the month gets over.

Too much to do. Too little time.

These days, by the time I look up after finishing one assignment, it’s already nighttime and I can’t help but wonder if there is a way to break this productivity slump and complete all the tasks on my to-do list faster.

To answer my own question, I usually follow these eight nifty tips to staying productive. Check them out:

Write even when I don’t want to

Since a significant part of my job revolves around writing, I can’t escape it even when I want to. I have deadlines to meet and some critical clients who I can’t disappoint. Therefore, whenever I feel lazy or unproductive, I write. The output may not be as good, but I still get the job done. And, that’s what matters at the end of the day!

Talk to a friend or colleague

stay productive

I am lucky to have a few friends from the same industry. I get on weekly calls with them to discuss our goals and challenges. Sometimes, I have a casual call with them. It’s nice to know what they are up to besides work, which can often get boring.

When I am feeling low, I prefer speaking to a select few – the ones that make me laugh. My conversations with them put me back in the right place, and I can put things in perspective, professionally and personally.

You don’t know how much good vibes of a person can rub off on you.

Take a stroll in the park

I don’t do this often, but just going for a walk calms me and helps me readjust my focus. I really enjoy the weather here, so it’s great stepping out in the evenings. I try to walk for 30 minutes every day. Walking increases cardiovascular fitness, improves balance, reduces body fat, among other benefits.

Stay away from social media

When you are unproductive, don’t make it worse by browsing through your Instagram feed. Believe it or not – it is not the first thing I check right in the mornings anymore. I go on Twitter while I am working, but that too is controlled.

I was never a huge fan of Facebook and can go days without checking it. I am a bit active on LinkedIn, but really, it can’t and doesn’t do much harm. In the last year, if there’s anything that I have learned is that social media can suck your time and energy.

Worse, it can make you feel guilty, useless, and incredibly low by the end of the day. Trust me, you don’t want that.

See Also: Social Media Causing Depression and Anxiety: Is It True?

Listen to music

how to stay productive

I love listening to music. Sometimes I put on ambient music to remove all distractions while researching or writing. Hans Zimmer, anyone? And then, there are times when I want to listen to SZA, The Weeknd or Post Malone.

Music has a way of filling my surroundings with substance. It lifts my spirits and makes me very happy. The right type of music makes me want to dream big, achieve big, and live my life to the fullest! I hope your experience is similar.

P.S. I am listening to Unforgettable by French Montana and Swae Lee right now.

See Also: How Music Affects Your Productivity

Have some chai

I am a North Indian, and we thrive on chai. When I was working in an office, my friend and I would wait to go on a tea break. Now that I work from home, the charm of companionship may be lost, but hey, I still have my chai. Evenings are meant to be enjoyed with freshly brewed tea.

I feel I deserve a steaming cup after a hectic day. Don’t we all?

I am also a fan of green tea but I feel that’s an acquired taste. I recently bought Blue Pea green tea from Tea Trunk. It has a beautiful azure hue – a visual delight indeed! I like the dull taste too – balanced and calming – just how I want it.

Bottom line: Any type of tea breaks my productivity slump.

Finish off household work

I love my house, and I like it to be nice and proper. Whether it is folding laundry or cooking – I like to make sure I am at the top of things. This attitude is specifically handy during such dull days, when I still want to do something substantial.

When I know I have got one chore off my list, I know I can write an article or finish scheduling social media for a week pretty quickly.

Re-organize my Trello

I am a Trello geek. I think I have over ten boards on my Trello. When I want to break my productivity slump, I get on it and start re-organizing it. It helps me identify the tasks or clients that don’t need my attention urgently.

I can reschedule, reduce clutter, and start work with a clean state – all of which helps me become more productive and better at how I approach things.

What do you think?

As a new solopreneur, I am all about finding new ways to boost my productivity levels, work less and earn more. And, it would be great if you can help me perfect the way I am operating at the moment.

What do you have to say about my tips? Are they nifty enough for you?

The post Staying Productive: 8 Tips I Follow To Break My Productivity Slump appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

I Am Not Ashamed to Be Seen In Public Anymore

My wife and I were at a nice restaurant, eagerly waiting for the chance to order our meals. I salivated at the thought of the barbecue ribs.

A server came to our table and in his chivalrous way, asked Stephanie what she would like to eat first. After taking her order, he said it would be right out and I prepared to order.

As I began to open my mouth, I watched him close his notes. He started walking away without even looking up at me. I quickly yelled out in an insulted tone, “Excuse me, I would like to order as well.”

He turned around, seemingly befuddled over the fact that I spoke.

Did he really not notice me? Did he not think I was capable of speaking? Or did he not think I may actually have come to enjoy some particularly delicious barbecued ribs?

He apologized profusely as he fumbled through his notes, red in the face, presumably embarrassed at his indiscretion.

The Impression We Create

It is situations like this that remind me how different I look to the outside world. A freak car accident left me paralyzed below the shoulders in November 2009. After that, I have been on the journey of a lifetime that goes well beyond the physical limitations.

I launched FlatOnMyBack.com to share the ups and downs of my journey. I aim to give a front row seat to what’s been going on in my mind and the day-to-day experiences I face.
After enough dinners and time out with friends, sometimes shying away from being in public has more of an appeal.

From encountering long stares in public places to overly eccentric smiles, it often feels more convenient to just avoid it altogether. In the eye of the American public, I’m led to feel so otherworldly. It’s simply due to the fact that I physically cannot move certain parts of my body.

Looking through the lens of my new viewpoint has allowed me to reflect on the world around me in a way I never would have thought possible. It is easy to quickly get frustrated when I receive a different treatment or when a kid stares while asking his parents what is wrong with me.

However, it’s often made me reflect on how I’m also guilty of being quick to judge other people’s look. Skin color, dialect, socioeconomic background, and various physical differences all make for a subtle preconceived idea in my head about someone. And the way I treat them often reflects that.

I’ve learned that interacting with just one person, who is in some way different from me, can reshape my worldview when I actually take the time to look beyond the specific difference that sticks out. Why should I hold back an opportunity for someone to experience the same thing when it comes to my paralysis?

Final Thought

Next time, rather than acting annoyed and puffing out my paralyzed chest, I can carry myself in a different way. I hope to garner respect and open up a conversation that breaks stereotypes one person at a time. As each wall gets broken down, people are able to see that a wheelchair and lifeless limbs do not define me.

As I come to expect others to be open to my current difference, I have learned to be open-minded in creating an impression of others. This has made all the difference in the world.

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10 Ways To Woo A Girl The Right Way

The early days of dating are always the fun part. It’s where you can’t stop thinking about your girl and how you can make her happy. From flowers to chocolates and balloons, you have a lot of plans that are guaranteed to put a smile on her face.

However, as courtship ends, you feel less and less enthusiastic about wooing her. And that’s where problems happen and relationships break apart.

To keep your relationship in the best condition, here are some tips on how to woo a girl:

1. Be Genuine

We live in a world wherein being genuine has become such a rare quality. People are always being fake, pretending to be someone they’re not in order to impress the girl. Just think of online social media platforms where single men and women create “images” of themselves.

In person though, a discerning eye can tell real people from fakes. Be genuine and be appreciated for who you truly are.

2. Be chivalrous

I would strongly like to believe that chivalry isn’t dead. Be polite, open doors, walk on the traffic side of the road, and escort her and her friend’s home.

You may think these are small things but these small gestures will never go unnoticed. It’s not that she can’t do these things by herself but it is always good to know that there is someone whose looking out for her.

3. Give her your undivided attention

undivided-attention

Get off that mobile phone of yours when you are with her. You will have plenty of time to check game scorse or reply to your messages and emails when you are home. Unless it is extremely urgent, it will always be appreciated if you can give your phones a rest and give your undivided attention to her.

See Also: How to be a Good Husband to Make Your Life a Bed of Roses 

4. Notice her and likes & dislikes

Always take mental notes of her likes and dislikes and surprise her when she least expects it. Take her to her favorite concert, order her favorite drink when she’s running late, notice when she gets a haircut or wears something different.

She will really appreciate the fact that you are taking a keen interest in her and what she likes, and it will make her feel very happy.

5. Be there when she needs someone

You sure as hell don’t need to be a girl’s doormat but you definitely want to be her shoulder to cry on when she needs it. If she needs someone by her side, make sure it’s you. It will show her how committed, dependable and serious you are about having her in your life and wanting to be in hers.

6. Don’t keep talking about yourself, learn to listen

Noone likes a person who only talks about themselves and shows no interest in learning about the other person. If you are only going to keep bragging about yourself and your life, rest assured she will not turn to give you another look. Show a real interest in getting to know her better; it will take you a long way.

7. Make her feel special

If she is having a bad day, let her vent to you and be supportive about it. In fact, all you probably need to do is to listen.

Remember small dates like the first time you’ve met or the first time you took her out on a date. Make an effort to celebrate these with her. Do whatever is in your power to make her feel loved and cherished.

8. Keep that element of surprise

surprise-her

Now that you have learnt about what makes her happy, surprise her by using that information to your advantage. If she has a fantasy of a perfect date, make it happen for her. If she’s feeling low, show up on her doorstep to take her for a drive. Keep the element of surprise alive in order to keep her wondering and the excitement going.

9. Let her know that you are thinking about her

Drop her a message in the middle of the workday to check how her day is going or pick her up from work so that you’ll get that extra 30 minutes to spend together. Message her good morning first thing when you wake up or send her flowers or any small memento that makes you think of her.

Whatever big or small it maybe, show her that you are thinking about her.

See Also: 4 Original Ways to Be Romantic in the Digital Age 

10. Open up to her

Many men are brought up to avoid being vulnerable in front of the girl. However, think about it. You only open up in front of people you truly care about and are truly confortable with. If you talk about your fears or your problems or what makes you sad, it will show her that you are really invested in her and are not there just to pass your time.

We live in a world where women are strong and independent. They don’t need a man to be able to provide for them. They don’t need someone who can pay for a date. They are more than capable of doing that themselves.

Instead, how about a man who can treat them right because somehow that breed has become very rare in the 21st century. Make her feel loved and special. Always think of being in the wooing phase even after being in a stable relationship for a while.

This way you will never take each other for granted. Often, spontaneity is the key to a happy relationship. Be on your toes and keep her on hers. In turn, she will surprise you with her love and loyalty as well.

As Marilyn Monroe says, “A girl doesn’t need anyone who doesn’t need her.

The post 10 Ways To Woo A Girl The Right Way appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Know What Changes You Should Actually Make In Your Life

These days, the internet is full of confusing mixed messages. There is the message of “Be yourself! You’re beautiful no matter what you look like!” Then, there is the message of “You must look this exact way in order to be considered beautiful.”

Neither of those are necessarily true. Beauty is a standard and everyone has his own idea of what that looks like. You don’t meet everyone’s criteria and not everyone meets your criteria. That’s just how the world works.

This makes personal improvements tricky. When we hear things like “get in shape” or “get dressed up” or anything relating to becoming beautiful, our minds often go straight to models of some kind, whether Instagram or Victoria’s Secret.

We’re often overwhelmed by what we want to change about ourselves. We want to be perfect, but no one is perfect. We don’t like ourselves, but we don’t know what or how to change what we don’t like.

Instead of saying to yourself, “I want to be beautiful. I want to be skinnier. I want to be happier. I want to look like a Kardashian”, ask yourself this: What does being the best version of yourself look like?

This question takes all outward influences out of the picture. You don’t have to look like the models you see everywhere you look and you don’t need to look like anyone else. You can look like you.

Being The Best Version of Yourself

The best version of you might be ten pounds lighter or ten pounds heavier. You might have zit-free skin or you might have the perfect winged eyeliner look.

Maybe you drink more water and eat more bacon. Maybe you write in your notebook every day or smile at strangers more often. Or maybe you give your friends gifts more often or call your parents more. Perhaps you go out only Saturday nights, instead of Friday through Sunday. Maybe you finally do that thing you’ve been dreaming about for months.

People will still have their judgement to pass on you, even when you’re steadily working to better yourself. If you listen to them at all, take what they say with a grain of salt. What you do does not concern them and your happiness does not rely on them.

The important thing is to remember that you don’t look like anyone else, inside and out. There is a “best version” of yourself in you somewhere, even if sometimes it’s hard to find. Think about what you want to see from yourself, not what anyone else might want to see.

See Also: 3 Things That Can Help You Start Being Your Best Self

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Creating Great Habits Through Self-Improvement

When you realize you’re not happy in the situation you find yourself in, it’s time to take action. If you’re unsure about where to start and how to make that change, there are two options you can take: a sudden, dramatic overhaul of your life or gradual change that leads to a permanent improvement.

While the former might offer a short-term hit, the latter is where you need to go for longer-term gains and where you will find the most improvement.

Below, take a look at some of the most effective habits to improve yourself:

Be The Early Bird

It’s easier said than done if you’re a night owl but it’s true. The early bird really does catch the worm.

Getting up even an hour earlier will make your day a lot productive. Whether you spend that hour working, meditating or exercising, it will be an hour that sets your day up. Incorporating this great habit into your daily life will lead to self-improvement in your mind, body, and soul.

Be disciplined, set an alarm, and get into the habit of getting up over several days.

Bite Size Goals

You may feel frustrated at your lack of progress in your job or how your dead-end relationship is panning out. However, making a drastic change may not be the answer.

To improve your situation and set up the right habits, you need to consider your goals.

Get Into The Sleep Habit

Such a basic but necessary habit.

Think of all the benefits you take on board by getting sustained, deep sleep. Your brain function improves, your physical and mental well-being is enhanced and you generally feel more capable and ready for action.

Consider you in your sleep-deprived state — always dozing off, finding it hard to concentrate, and feeling strung out. Getting good sleeping habits will lead to huge improvements in your day-to-day life.

hypnosis for sleep disorders

Start by setting your own bedtime routine. Make sure all screens are off at least an hour before bedtime. Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary for sleep with a cool, dark, quiet environment. There should be no distractions, such as phones or television.

If you find your room is too light, consider blackout linings on curtains. If your environment is too noisy, then think about investing in earplugs.

Stay Reading

Making reading a habit can seriously change your life for the better. Reading books and magazines takes us away from the phone screen and transports us into a world of pure imagination and fantasy. It gives our weary brains a break from dealing with social media and business, allowing us to tap into areas that often lie dormant.

For personal growth, try and read things that you wouldn’t usually pick up, such as a historical novel or self-improvement book. Open your mind to new experiences and knowledge and this reading habit will quickly lead to a new, improved you.

Practice Meditation

A habit that has tangible improvements, quickly.

meditate regularly

Physically, meditating helps by improving blood circulation and bringing oxygen into the body more efficiently. You might also find that it lowers your blood pressure and gives you an enormous sense of calmness.

Mentally, a meditation practice like mindfulness, for example, will help to calm your thoughts and fight against stress and anxiety.

In many ways, it doesn’t matter which kind of meditation practice you follow as long as it’s one that is sustainable and can be incorporated into a daily routine with little or no extra stress.

Evaluate progress

Taking time to step back and seeing how far you’ve come is an invaluable part of any self-improving habit.

You’ll be amazed and encouraged at how much closer you are to achieving your life goals. It’s worth taking the time to regularly check in with yourself.

Don’t Waste Time

Procrastination is the thief of time and will rob you of forming life-changing habits that can lead to a better you.

writing goals

Instead of spending hours in front of the TV or your computer, you need to concentrate on your goals. Allowing yourself a set time every day to check out screens will help, but only if you have the discipline to follow it through.

The real key to success in this area is two-fold: to make it a habit and to replace those wasted hours with tasks that are fulfilling and useful.

Conclusion

Changing your life for the better is not an easy task and requires great discipline and sacrifice. However, this change is not impossible.

Write down your goals and dreams and believe in your vision. Take time to plot how you will get there and set about incorporating new habits into your life that can help meet these self-improvement objectives.

Don’t be distracted by unimportant things that will stop you from your dreams. Avoid being your own worst enemy by letting poor discipline let you down.

Instead, grasp the nettle and work towards a better, more fulfilled you. Start creating healthy habits that’ll make you even better than before.

See Also: 10 Simple Self Improvement Hacks

The post Creating Great Habits Through Self-Improvement appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

On Knowing What Destiny Has Prepared You For

What’s stopping you from being the creative person you were created to be? What’s stopping you from stepping into the void of your life and creating fullness?

For every mess, there is a creative idea to fix it and for every void, there is creative wholeness to satisfy it.

The creative idea you’re in need of, the creative wholeness you crave, is not outside you but within you.

On Discovering Your Destiny

Unfortunately, we tend to spend more time studying who and what surrounds us than we do ourselves. So, we don’t know ourselves. We don’t know our true capacity and capabilities.

Destiny is the only one who fully knows what’s inside you. In order to reveal you to yourself, it will sometimes put you in situations of chaos or void with the expectation that you can handle it.

Chaos will show you what’s inside you.

Rejection will show you what’s inside you.

Trouble will show you what’s inside you

Hard times will show you what’s inside you.

You can endure the challenge of any situation as long as the chaos of it doesn’t get in you.

Like a ship at sea, you can weather the waters of any storm as long as the water doesn’t get in you. Once the water gets in the ship, the survival of the ship lowers.

Have you ever been in a difficult situation where everyone around you seemed to fall apart while you remained steady? You knew it was a bad situation but somehow it didn’t affect you. It didn’t affect you, because it didn’t get in you.

I was in labor for over 87 hours with my son. It was a really hard labor. It was completely natural, with no meds and at home. As the days rolled on and my support grew tired and frustrated, a thought came over me, “stay strong, people. I need you to stay strong”.

During that time, I knew that I couldn’t afford my support to grow weak. I couldn’t afford for them to internalize the storm of frustration, fear, and tiredness. Also, I knew that the integrity of our journey through labor and delivery depended on how well they weathered the chaos of the storm.

I was tired, weak, afraid, and frustrated but I could endure as long as the rest of my crew stood strong, refusing to allow the chaos of the situation to go internal.

Can you recall a similar event in your life, when the integrity of your journey depended heavily on how well your crew weathered the storm of circumstances?

You will always have a special grace to get through the challenges that come your way. But, that doesn’t mean that the people present with you also have that grace for that challenge.

Have you ever looked back and wondered, “how did I do that? How did I pull that off”?

You were graced for it.

On Discovering Yourself

You’re designed strong enough to get through the storms of your life. Each storm is an opportunity to reveal the strength of what’s inside you. You absolutely have what it takes to overcome every storm of your life!

Your storms are your opportunities to discover yourself. You were in that situation to discover yourself, to stretch you, to encourage you, to empower you, to see eternity in you.

You’ll never know what’s in you if you don’t push through the storm.

You are creative because destiny is creative.

Destiny is also systematic and, therefore, so are you.

The seed of every thing is in itself. The seed is the potential of the thing. The apple seed is the limitless potential of the apple tree. The seed inside the apple is the life inside the apple. This is destiny’s system of design.

The potential to bring forth exists inside you as a key component to your inherent makeup and design. You were created with a system whereby whatever you need will always be inside of you.

The implication of this realization is significant…

You cannot expect people to give you what they don’t have.

They can’t give you love if they have none. They can’t give you peace if they have none. And they can’t give you wisdom if they have none.

The fact that you have a need doesn’t mean that the solution can be found in someone else. Your need does not determine another’s capacity to give, so don’t go looking to people for what you need.

You’ll wear yourself out looking for love, attention, affection, and significance from someone who has none to give.

On What You Need to Be

The primary expectation destiny has of you is that you would be productive.

You don’t have to ask for joy if you’re productive. You don’t have to ask for peace if you’re productive. You’re going to have joy, you’re going to be happiest, and you’re going to be most fulfilled if you live your purpose.

Your purpose above everything else is to be productive with what destiny has placed inside of you. So, be productive!

Every day of your life up to this point is forever gone.

Every day that’s entrusted to you is given with the expectation that you would be productive. Don’t let a single day go by without producing something or anything.

Use every new day you’re given to go further than the day you had.

At every age or stage, the only thing that Destiny asks of you is that you would be productive with what’s inside you.

This is divine expectation.

Have you ever suspected that there was more inside of you?

Have you ever suspected that you might be living beneath your best purpose, your highest use, your ultimate destiny?

Or have you ever looked into someone’s eyes and seen that they see that something special in you? What does that do to you?

It’s the most attractive quality, isn’t it? When they see it in you?

In order for you to be productive, you also need to see what’s inside you. Let the storms of your life serve to reveal your seed so that it can be turned into a fruit. Then, multiply the fruit.

However, do not multiply what didn’t survive the storms of your life. Take what’s left after the storm calms and multiply it.

Find a mirror. Get in front of your reflection and with your eyes locked onto the eyes of your reflection, say aloud, “Something is about to happen in your life. You had to fight to get here, but you survived. Your purpose is about to flow from your life. You’re about to multiply what survived. It’s your season!”

You’re coming into it! You’re starting to figure it out. Your eyes have not seen and your ears have not heard the things that destiny has prepared for you.

See Also: Accept Your Destiny and Build The Ultimate Form of Confidence

The post On Knowing What Destiny Has Prepared You For appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why You Need A Daily Morning Routine Even If You’re Not A Morning Person

I can almost hear you thinking: “Just one more snooze” as you shuffle around your bed early in the morning.

You’re either giving yourself just enough time to get ready for work or rushing to get one bite to eat before heading out. This is the sad reality most people face.

You hear about morning routines on the web and in Podcasts. You hear about morning routine practically everywhere yet you’re convinced they don’t apply to you.

Afterall, you’re not a morning person. You’ve always stayed up late and sipped on coffee like water throughout the day.

The problem with your current routine is that you’re bound to fail eventually. Worse yet, you may wake up one day and realize that you’ve been living someone else’s dreams and not your own.

Starting each morning without a plan is a recipe for accomplishing “random” tasks throughout your day. In other words, nada!

It wasn’t that long ago when I, too, fumbled each morning and after discovering the impact my mornings had to my entire day, I quickly adopted a daily morning routine.

It boils down to this: if you want to make every day successful, you’ll need a morning routine.

Let me walk you through on why this is the case.

Start your mornings with the intention

So, what’s the hype around your mornings?

Simply put: 0 distractions

Most dream about going back to school or starting a business. Most dream about finally having the courage to change careers.

The result?

Most people lose hope with achieving their dreams. Some struggle squeezing time for their dreams and very few accomplish them.

The answer?

Carve out uninterrupted time each morning. Use this time to plan out the most important tasks that you’d like to accomplish by the end of your day.

Let’s say you’re planning to go to grad school one day. Start breaking this goal down into actionable steps with concrete deadlines.

For example, if a prerequisite is taking the GMAT test, then spend 1 to 2 hours each morning studying.

Repeat this for 5 to 7 days a week and you’ll be carving out 10 to 14 hours for your most important tasks.

The best part is that your mornings are only a small portion of your day. Once you begin making progress towards your goals, you’ll become motivated to carve out additional time throughout your day.

Start waking up with intention and reap the benefits of your uninterrupted mornings.

Create a morning routine that sticks

morning routine

Accomplishing goals is great but goals alone won’t create a fulfilled life.

Instead of using your morning routine solely to accomplish goals, incorporate other meaningful factors. In the book “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, Hal covers 6 different components or Life Savers.

the miracle morning

The 6 components are:

  • Silence: Sitting in silence or meditating. (1 –5 mins)
  • Affirmation: Reading positive affirmations out loud (i.e. today’s going to be a great day). (1 –5 mins)
  • Visualization: Visualizing your goals or looking at a physical vision board. (1 –5 mins)
  • Exercise: Doing home workouts or going to the gym. (1 –60 mins)
  • Read: Reading blogs or books relevant to your goals. (1 –5 mins)
  • Scribble: Writing down your most key goals to accomplish by the end of the day. (1 –5 mins)

Start using Hal’s Life Savers in your morning and eventually add your own components to truly make this routine yours.

Start living a purposeful life

living a purposeful life

Imagine this:

You’re no longer snoozing your alarm and you wake up each morning excited.

You’re excited not because you’re going on vacation or anywhere special. You are feeling pumped because you’ll be making progress towards your most important goals. You’re healthier than ever, smarter than ever, and more present than ever.

It wasn’t too long ago when you considered yourself a night owl. Now, you can’t believe your life has changed for the better.

Sounds good?

The truth is you can transform your life for the better. You now understand why morning routines are a powerful way to start your day.

The only person stopping you from living a fulfilled life is you. I challenge you to adopt Hal Elrod’s morning routine and discover how your life transforms.

Are you going to keep wishing for better days or take the initiative to make each day a successful one?

The post Why You Need A Daily Morning Routine Even If You’re Not A Morning Person appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

12 Christmas Quotes about Love and Family that will Lift Your Spirits

Do you need inspiring Christmas quotes and cards to send out to your loved ones this holiday season?

Friends, throughout the year, our minds are filled with thoughts of improving our businesses,  boosting our productivity and focus, and ultimately creating success. It does get wearying and holidays are the perfect time to pause awhile, take stock, and turn our attention outward to all our blessings and all the people surrounding us.

Send out these inspiring Christmas messages to the loved ones in your life. It’s not about expensive gifts, rather, it’s the simple thought of being remembered that often counts.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas!

quotes christmas

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. – Roy L. Smith

christmas quotation

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

christmas blessing quotes

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. – Janice Maeditere

christmas-quotes

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things. – Thomas S. Monson

christmas greetings quotes

Christmas is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift-giving, and of families united. – Norman Vincent Peale

christmas-quotes-for-family

Christmas is a tonic for our souls. It moves us to think of others rather than of ourselves. It directs our thoughts to giving. – B. C. Forbes

family christmas quotes

The only blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart. – Helen Keller

famous-christmas-quotes

Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling. – Edna Ferber

quotes for christmas cards

Like what you see? See more Merry Christmas Images.

The BEST of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a HAPPY FAMILY all wrapped up in each other. 

xmas quotes

God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it. – Pope Francis

merry christmas wishes quotes

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas. – Dale Evans

christmas quotes

Please visit SayingImages.com for more Christmas Quotes, Messages and Greetings.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

 

The post 12 Christmas Quotes about Love and Family that will Lift Your Spirits appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Not To Give Up When Your Head Tells You to Quit

Most people have to work hard in order to live their dreams. However, all we see and celebrate is their success because the hard work is usually not done in public. So, when you are struggling in the shadows, wondering why success is not coming fast enough, it’s easy to want to quit.

Don’t.

The successful people you admire are there because they resisted the temptation to quit.

Before looking at the tips below on how not to give up, let’s get one thing out of the way:

No one is suggesting that you stay in a dead-end career which takes you nowhere. If you’re quitting because there is a better opportunity, then, by all means, go ahead. The quitting that does not help is the one where you leave just because you’re not getting results instantly.

Every time you want to quit and take the easy way out, just tell yourself that success doesn’t come overnight.

Things Don’t Get Easy Just Because You Switch Places

There is a misconception that if you don’t like something, then you can switch places and things will get easier. This is a fantasy. If you quit without introspecting and looking deep inside yourself, you may actually be moving with the problem.

In the beginning, you will enjoy the instant gratification which comes with moving. However, as time goes on, you will realize that you’ve solved nothing. The same problems you thought you ran away from in the last situation will suddenly appear.

If you quit just because of the instant gratification you feel when you move into something new, you’re sacrificing your long-term goals. The reality of life is that wherever you go, you’ll always be faced with challenges. It’s better to work on the challenges of something you have already started, rather than quitting and starting on a new set of trials in a new goal.

See Also: 5 Barriers That You Need To Cross To Achieve Success This Year

See the Bigger Picture

not giving up

Every time you want to quit, tell yourself that if success were easy, everybody would be successful. Most people quit because they forget to draw the bigger picture when they start on a goal. Some have drawn the bigger picture, but forget it in the face of challenges.

Always remember that journeys leading to success are often long and grueling. Take the disappointments you meet along the way and if you fall, stand up, dust yourself off, and get moving.

One thing you will have to accept is that success comes at different times for different people. Admit that you’ll see people you know reaching their goals before you do.

While this can be difficult sometimes, you should always try to celebrate with them. Instead of seeing their success as highlighting your failures, take it as proof that achieving your goals is possible.

See Success as a Journey, Not a Destination

Success happens in incremental steps. It is a result of everyday small, smart choices. If you do this consistently and never quit when the going gets tough, you’ll start to see the results of your perseverance.

Making smart, small choices every day starts by taking big tasks and breaking them into smaller units. Working on smaller tasks will help you to see your progress. Take reading a large book, for example. Breaking it into chapters seems more doable than finishing the whole book right away.

You’ll also see incremental results if you are consistent. A good example here is your daily exercise routine. Consistently working on your fitness for twenty minutes every day is better than trying to do a two-hour workout once a week.

Successful people are patient. They understand that progress takes time. For example, if you decided to write a book, writing just two pages a day results in 60 pages a month. That makes over 300 pages in half a year. That’s a very long book by any standards.

successful people

No one has ever said that success is easy. If it were, everyone would be successful.

See Also: Stumble, Success, Stumble, Success – 11 Simple Steps to Improve Your Life

The post How Not To Give Up When Your Head Tells You to Quit appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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4 Powerful Ways To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals Through Tough Times

Have you ever gotten excited about your New Year’s resolutions only to have them fizzle out mere weeks after? This is a common enough story and we’ve all been there. When the “fresh start effect” fades away, your determination falters and the first bump on the road often signals the end of the journey.

So, what can we do to keep our motivation high for the longer run? Here are 4 great ways to stay motivated.

Listen to your heart

goal vision

If you want to feel motivated in the long term, choose a goal with your heart. When an objective comes from your heart, it will be easier to stick with it through tough times. You will make sacrifices more readily when it is clear what you are making them for.

Dig inside yourself and get in touch with the vision that you have behind your goal. If your objective is to eat healthy or exercise, what is your underlying vision? Maybe a vision of yourself in good health, fit, slim and happy.

Whatever that vision is, take a moment to visualize the person you aspire to build. It will help you see meaning in everything you do.

For example, why would you put your sneakers on and go for a run instead of watching a TV series? The sofa might be more tempting than the effort. However, if you go back to your vision, the choice will come effortlessly.

Go after goals which are genuinely yours and you will find plenty of motivation to make them happen.

See Also: How to Set Personal SMART Goals To Succeed

Align your habits with your long-term goals

One day, I checked my own goals and tried to determine what the difference was between those that I achieved easily and those I seemed to struggled with. And I found a clear pattern.

I have a few long-term goals, like maintaining a certain weight or getting a new degree before I reach 40. I realized that I do well with the first one, less so with the second one.

Why do I seem to have a two-speed motivation?

I’m not less motivated in getting a new degree. The problem is that I have nowhere to start from. My weight goal, on the other hand, is linked to short-term goals or habits, such as eating 5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day, eating fish twice a week and exercising at least four times a week. These daily and weekly habits help me reach my long-term objective.

I haven’t set any corresponding habit for my degree goal. And I’m not going to achieve it just by looking at it…

The secret of success lies in the things we do regularly, like our daily and weekly habits. These habits must be aligned with the vision we have.

Having a vision is not enough. It must be translated into small daily steps. If we only have a vision or a long-term goal, we will feel overwhelmed by the mission and we won’t know where to start from.

Sometimes, it’s the other way round and we struggle to ingrain new habits. In that case, the long-term goal may be missing. For example, it’s much easier to find the motivation to go for a run when you have registered for a race or when you aim at getting your beach body back in time for the summer season!

The alignment between habits and a long-term vision works both ways. Having habits that are aligned to a long-term objective gives us the motivation to reach the end goal and sustain good habits.

When you struggle with one of your goals, check whether it’s a habit or a long-term goal. If it’s a habit, make sure that you have a corresponding vision. Why do you want to ingrain this habit?

If it’s a long-term goal that you struggle with, try and set up a daily or weekly habit that will help you get there.

See Also: 7 Habits I Started Last Year That Dramatically Changed My Life

Reward yourself

reward system

We all know that we are more motivated to do something when there is a reward at stake. The pleasure induced by a reward reinforces the activity which helped get the reward. This is called extrinsic motivation. It can be helpful to kick-start the process when intrinsic motivation is a bit low.

A simple way to introduce rewards is to plan/get/offer the rewards yourself. You need to set the bar properly. You need to do a decent effort to get it.

It can’t be too difficult or you may end up feeling discouraged. It can’t be too easy or you’ll get the reward without the need for motivation.

You also need to define a goal or reward system that makes sense. Eating junk food for a week if you manage to lose three kilos is probably not the best choice! Ideally, the reward and the effort should be somehow aligned. This will help create a virtuous circle.

Buying a smaller dress when you lose a few kilos and getting a massage after a few weeks of physical training are good examples. These rewards will help you build milestones on your path to a better you. They’ll become the symbols of your positive behavior change.

Reassess your goals over time

We can also keep motivated to reach our goals by changing goals!

Goals must be alive and reassessed regularly. It’s important to realize that because monotony is a big motivation killer.

When we set a new goal, we generally improve quite rapidly at the beginning. If you start exercising two or three times a week, you’ll be able to notice progress session after session. Then, it’ll get harder to improve and the progression curve gets less steep. This can be a little demotivating.

We can introduce excitement by having a few stable goals combined with some temporary ones. I want to lose weight, wake up early, exercise and read regularly. These are my core goals which I’m keeping for the long run. In addition to these core goals, I’ll try other things, such as journaling for a month, then learning chess, or cooking, etc.

You may sometimes adjust your goals down. If one of my goals is to play the guitar for 2 hours a week while I barely manage to play more than 30 minutes for a few weeks in a row, I may lose my motivation to eventually hit the target. In such a case, I may be well inspired to target 1 hour instead.

When the target is a little higher than what we are already doing, it pushes us to take a small step and fill the gap. When the target is too high, it becomes counter-productive. Why would I do an extra step if I stay so far anyway?

You can also give up on a goal when you don’t feel like pursuing it anymore or when you have already ingrained the habit and don’t need to monitor it any longer. Our aspirations evolve over time.

When a goal doesn’t make you dream anymore, it’s often better to let it go than drag it along painfully. You shouldn’t feel guilty about giving up goals as it’s natural. But, that doesn’t mean we should stop as soon as the first difficulty arises. It’s a matter of balance.

Take a break

It is also a good idea to take breaks at times, hit the pause button and do something else. It can be very beneficial. Even professional athletes take a break between two seasons in order to recover physically and mentally. They get back to training all pumped up for the new season.

Do the same when you feel tired. It will help you get refreshed and hungry.

Don’t forget to set a date for your come back though!

Once a month or every other month, try and take an “appointment with yourself” and review your goals. Assess what works well, update your goals and refine your strategies. These are some of the best ways to stay motivated and reignite your desire to go ahead.

 

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5 Simple Tips On How To Form A Habit

Do you still remember your New Years Resolutions? How many of them have you put into practice?

Let me guess: Little to none of them.

And you’re not alone.

Good habits seem to be very hard to form while bad habits just sneak up on us when we least expect them. That’s how it feels, at least

But, guess what? Good and bad habits actually form the same way.

As a Certified Fitness Coach and 100% Vegan, let me give you some tips on how to form habits.

Pull the trigger

Habits start with triggers.

You feel stressed out? You’ll feel compelled to smoke a cigarette. You’re about to go to bed? You’ll have to brush your teeth.

These are simple triggers that initiate reactions. And like these triggers, you also have to identify specific triggers that can help you build better habits.

Ask yourself: How are you reminded of the habit?

Build a checklist

Generate a trigger by creating a checklist. All you need is a blank paper, a pen and some duct tape. You duct tape the blank paper to an open spot in your home, like your fridge.
Then, write the name of the habit that you want to form on top of the checklist.

Put some small check boxes on the left side of the paper with your target dates. These dates should reflect the frequency of the habits you want to build. For example, if you want to go to the gym once or twice a week, you need to write down the dates of your planned workout days for the next two months. You should have a total of 18 dates for that. Every time you go to the gym on your specified dates, you check off the box.

Bonus Tip: Use your signature

An even better way to check off the habit is by using your signature. If you put your signature on the checkbox after finishing the habit, you’re telling yourself that you’ve done the work the right way. You’re using the self-serving bias to your advantage.

The self-serving bias means that you want to enhance your self-esteem and self-worth with your actions. The signature is a reflection of yourself.

Think of it this way:

You’re putting your signature on the stuff you agree with. You’re enhancing your self-worth by completely nailing the habit. Because of that, the habit is more likely to stick.

Start Small

walking exercise

If your goal is to go to the gym four times a week, don’t start with that habit.

I know that you might be extremely motivated this very moment, but the key to long-term change in your habits is consistency.

Start with a 5-minute walk, two times a week. When you have low expectations, it dramatically increases your likelihood of forming a habit that will last long.

Why?

Because having time for a 5-minute walk every day is easy while 2 hours of exercise isn’t. You can eat one banana every day but you’ll find a full day of eating healthy harder.

Start with smaller goals as much as possible and it will make you less likely to procrastinate.

Overcompensate

Starting small won’t only make habit formation easier; it can help you compensate on certain days, too.

What you will find, after a certain period of time, is that you’ll be able to easily go for a ten-minute walk, instead of the planned five-minute walk. You’ll be progressing in an easy, playful way and this will increase your motivation. Plus, it will make habit formation feel like something that you ‘want’ to do, instead of ‘needing’ to do.

See Also: Daily Habits That Will Improve Your Life

No need to feel sorry now. What are you waiting for? The year isn’t over yet. Take your New Year’s Resolutions out of your closet and start forming new habits the simple, fun and sustainable way.

If you enjoyed this article, please watch and share my video below.

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7 Ways Mindfulness Can Unlock The Door To Your Authentic Life

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

In between work, family and social media, we take few precious moments to reflect upon our lives and realize the importance of mindfulness.

Perhaps, you purposely avoided looking at your life because, if you’re totally honest, it can be brutal. Just think about the tsunami of judgmental thoughts that swamped your mind and caused you a great deal of stress and anxiety.

Not surprisingly, a lot of worries are just byproducts of our society. However, our greater personal dissatisfactions are actually the result of our own internal turmoil driven by confusion.

Are you feeling confused?

You’re not the only one. Notice how confusion is self-evident all over the world.

Research scientist Kathryn Tristan suggests in her book Why Worry that at some time in our lives, half of us in the U.S. will suffer from anxiety, depression or addiction—the very opposite of an authentic life.

But, then something miraculous happens.

On your way home from work or a rushed meal out, the dusk’s rising luminous moon captivates you and you experience a moment of ecstasy and utter peace.

All is right with the world and you weren’t thinking about a thing. You were just alive and brilliantly so!

From mundane to miraculous

What was the shift?

The clouds of confusion lifted. For a moment, you were in perfect balance, consciously mindful of the miracle of life that involves you.

Here’s the big picture:

You were being your best, most authentic self instead of listening to habitual, self-limiting thought patterns.

Authenticity emerges when you live not just from mind and body, but from the heart which is your natural state. Done consciously, it is mindful living. It is the mastery of life.

A life lived without a heart and soul is a life filled with confusions. This can manifest as problems in your personal life.

“If quality of life is important to you, mindful living trades confusion for life’s magical moments—every single day.”

In his book, Living from the Heart, Nirmala said, “What you are seeing, smelling, hearing, sensing, and pondering is limited by and filtered through your thoughts. Your thoughts mediate between you and reality and interfere with seeing it more fully and purely.”

According to neuroscience, what thoughts are and what gives rise to them is still a mystery.

Think of thoughts as one of the many useful tools the brain uses to navigate our physical world. By themselves, thoughts are two-dimensional mind fences.

An expanded awareness that includes the heart means a far richer life that is fulfilling, regardless of the circumstances or what you are doing.

Shocking to some, you don’t have to do anything at all to experience an authentic life.

But, ask yourself this:

Would you rather run through a meadow at sunset with fences? Or the meadow of your life unhindered as far as the eye can see or even beyond?

When we live from the more inclusive reality of our mind, body, and spirit (heart), we open our lives to the miraculous on a daily basis.

How to enjoy the miracle of your authentic life

Slow life down each day

Although you’re not fully aware of the importance of mindfulness, you’ve been actually practicing it intermittently throughout your life without realizing it. Immersing yourself in nature, going for a walk and even hand-washing dishes are forms of mindfulness.

Recall how you felt a sense of calm and well-being within your body. Notice how balanced your world became. Now, do these things consciously and with your heart. Add yoga and meditation.

Life gets immensely satisfying when we let go of our mental expectations and enter the “Zen” or the flow.

Mind the gap for miracles

“When you allow your thoughts to breathe by paying attention to the gap in between, you move out of reactive-ness to being response-able.”

Thought devoid of the heart and soul is a form of insanity. No wonder so many people are confused.

You have the ability to tap into your highest wisdom and determine whether the glass is half empty or half full.

Minding the gap is how you go from continually making lateral moves in life to sky-high vertical limitlessness.

Whenever there’s a challenge, rather than carelessly and spontaneously reacting, surprise everyone by saying you’ll give it some thought. This means giving your initial thoughts some space to breathe.

Silence without judgment is extremely powerful and contains miracles. It shifts, even breaks, habitual destructive patterns.

Give up planning for 90 days

In Western culture, planning is thought to be one of our greatest assets. Google the power of planning and you’ll be inundated with reasons why a plan is paramount to reaching your goals.

Are you willing to open the door to the even higher power of synthesis the Harvard Business Review calls “strategic thinking?”

Strategic thinking lets go of planning initially, integrating intuition and creativity to allow spontaneity to appear naturally.

Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Rather than projecting different possible scenarios, be a blank slate by asking, “What’s next?”

Leaving infinite possibility open is to create a vacuum that life must fill. It’s more powerful than projecting imagined preferred scenarios which contain limits.

Say “I don’t know” often

get comfortable with emptiness

At least to yourself!

Emptiness is very challenging when you are pressured by society to fill every nook and cranny with busyness. Your brain will be sure to scream it to you every chance it gets.

Emptiness removes all barriers, including you getting out of your own way.

I can tell you, based on my experience as a writer, that the muse is within. Any artist or creative person will agree to that. All inspiration arises from the void of emptiness.

Get comfortable with emptiness and learn to play with unlimited possibilities.

I personally prefer being a blank slate every chance I get. Like the unofficial Buddhist mantra goes, “Empty, empty. Happy, happy.”

I can easily put myself into a state of emptiness by watching trees blow in the breeze.

Open yourself to higher consciousness

In Practicing the Power of Now, spiritual teacher and author, Eckhart Tolle, extols the value of mindfulness by acting as witness to your thoughts. To quote, “So when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in.”

Have you tried being a witness to your own thoughts? It’s life transforming.

The beauty of learning to be mindful at any age is that it allows you to express your thoughts at your personal level of truth and authenticity while enabling you to dig for deeper understanding.

Don’t stop there. Yes, keep going. There is always more inclusive wisdom to discover.

“Let us honor one another where we stand, knowing we each travel
a unique journey toward higher consciousness.”

Be bigger than your body

practice meditation

Ask any Zen Master or Yogi and she or he will tell you that your identity is not wrapped up in your thoughts. Yet, it’s one of the causes of human existential crisis.

As you climb Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs toward self-actualization, you will come to realize that you are much more than your body. Only in the complete synthesis of mind, body and spirit can you see beyond basic survivalism so that you finally begin to thrive!

Know you are enough

Mind, body and spirit realization is fulfillment in and of itself!

There is no greater authenticity than to know who you really are as part of the infinite. Greater is the gift of YOU, boundaries removed.

As a guiding light, you now offer others, by example, the same freedom and opportunity. No longer confused, doing good naturally follows as you move from a place of selfishness to one of service to humanity.

Are your choices today filled with love?

Your authentic life

As part of evolution, aided by the tools of technology, human consciousness is expanding faster than ever. Living multidimensionally in mind, body and spirit will be your brilliant future.

Embodying consciousness, your new, authentic life will change everything for you. Your mojo is now working for you, instead of the other way around.

You will wake up energized in the morning, excited to be alive because you’re expressing yourself authentically. You will feel empowered like never before as things you despise begin to disappear. Freedom and prosperity will flow more abundantly in your life.

The importance of mindfulness is now completely clear to you. You will see the world and the Universe supporting you every step of the way.

It got you here, didn’t it?

The post 7 Ways Mindfulness Can Unlock The Door To Your Authentic Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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30 Best Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of the Day

One thing that successful people share is that they are driven to set goals and meet them every time. There are various techniques that you can employ to feel inspired every day and one of them is getting positive reinforcement from the best motivational quotes.

You can surf the internet for websites that specialize in quotes or you can download a daily quotes app to deliver the best motivational quotes to you on a daily basis. We are rarely ever apart from our mobile phones so it makes sense to use it as a tool to get our daily dose of inspiration.

daily quote app iphone

We’ll share this little tidbit with you. Apparently, there are three things that make inspiring quotes highly effective.

First of all is the measure of self-selection. You see, in general, not all people are drawn to those quotes and anecdotes. However, when one feels an extreme connection, it triggers a self-dialogue that pushes us to try harder.

Haven’t you ever read a quote and thought, “This is it. This is my quote! The universe is sending me a message.”

happiness quote

Another factor is good wordsmithing. It’s relatively easy to say a motivational piece. But, once you add good rhyming and arrangement of words, the message becomes a lot stronger and more appealing for us.

Work for a cause,
Not for applause.
Live life to express,
Not to impress.

Finally, in addition to those two things, motivational psychology plays a big role, too. Humans are highly aspirational. We tend to look to others for inspiration. We look up to successful and credible people and we follow what those people say. Think Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, or Nelson Mandela.

How To Choose A Good Motivational App For Your Phone

There are tons of motivational apps you can download on your phone but not all of them can keep you engaged. The best daily quotes app should be able to stimulate your senses so you can stay motivated to improve your life.

It should also have the following features:

  • Gives you the option to set your goals and track them
  • Has a friendly user interface
  • Contains a wide range of quotes from famous and successful personalities
  • Has no typographical errors
  • Has beautiful imagery
  • Features sharing options
  • Sends notifications
  • Has the option to customize and save your favorite quotes
  • Provides the opportunity to come up with a list of goals

One great example of a daily quotes app that has these add-on features is Motive. You don’t just get your daily dose of inspiration, you can also use it as a tool to easily track goals and to-do’s. It is Inspiration and Productivity all in one handy little app.

Here are some example quotes that you can get from motivational apps. Is there any one quote that resonates with you in particular?

30 Inspirational Quotes That Can Change Your Life

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

motivational quote

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” – Dolly Parton

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
– Chinese Proverb

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

inspirational quotes

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” – Albert Ellis

“ Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.” – Andre Maurois

inspiring happiness quotes

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Herman Cain

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” – Ken Robinson

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

fear of failure quotes

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J.K. Rowling

“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” – Mia Hamm

motivational productivity quotes

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

“Being lazy does not mean that you do not create. In fact, lying around doing nothing is an important, nay crucial, part of the creative process. It is meaningless bustle that actually gets in the way of productivity. All we are really saying is, give peace a chance.” – Tom Hodgkinson

“Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.” – Unknown

inspirational happiness quotes

“Whatever you decide to do make sure it makes you happy.” – Paulo Coelho

“Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success.” – Denis Waitley

“If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

failure quotes

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” – William Feather

“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” – Anonymous

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic.” – Anonymous

inspirational motivational quote

“Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy. The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful.” – Alexander Kjerulf

“Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.” – Unknown

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.” – Unknown

inspirational happiness quote

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Losers quit when they fail. Winners fail until they succeed.” – Robert Kiyosaki

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

inspirational motivational quotes

If you’re feeling stuck in your career growth or feeling depressed with how things are going in your life, that one special quote heard at the perfect time can be just the very thing to shake you out of your funk. So pay attention! Be inspired and do the work.

 

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Responding To Pain With Positivity: Unleash The Stronger You

We all have had our share of pains, bruises, and bumps. These things are what make life more meaningful and memorable.

For me, things were pretty bad and so out of hand that I wanted to kill myself. However, with time, everything fell back into place and life looked way better than before.

Trust me, attracting pain is usually beyond human control. If we are destined to face the harsher realities of life, no protective measure would come in handy. At the end, it will all depend on the will of an individual and how he or she will use that pain to grow stronger.

There are individuals who give in to the pain and trauma while there are superheroes who use these roadblocks as motivation. They start learning, moving towards a positive direction and growing beyond their limitations.

Today, we will be talking about the approach used by these winners to unleash their stronger side.

Understanding The Will And The Lack Of It

There are two types of individuals: one who breaks down upon experiencing a barrage of hardships and the other who moves on towards a better life despite the pain.

It took me twenty years to get over nephrotic syndrome, an ailment that nearly damaged my kidneys. I witnessed my father’s death. There was my girlfriend who stood by me during the tough days but later on cheated on me with a few other men. All those things happened within a span of two years, leaving me twisted, broken and beyond repair.

However, facing all these wasn’t the difficult part. My father’s absence made me feel lonely and her betrayal made me an insomniac. I was confused as which pain should I lament to and there were no answers.

Just a blank slate with my teardrops on it.

I am not ashamed to admit that I cried and I cried a lot. This actually helped me vent out the anger for her and the gut-wrenching pain and sadness associated with my father’s absence. As a result, my work suffered. I found it hard to concentrate on anything constructive.

I got three huge scars even before I could turn 25. The heart can take only that much but mine kept on asking for newer challenges.

Getting fired from the workplace due to frequent mistakes, getting my right leg fractured, and losing a pet were some of the other roadblocks that sabotaged my growth. There was even a time when I took medicines for depression.

See Also: 15 Symptoms You Are Depressed (Even When You Think You Aren’t)

Fast-forward to 5 years later and at 30, I feel that my life has never been better. I have a beautiful wife, a growing business empire and a lovely daughter. Things do look bright but I wouldn’t be complacent. Then again, this isn’t my story to share. It’s ours.

You can never learn the right way to deal with pain. You must experience it. Therefore, enumerating points wouldn’t make a lot of difference. However, I believe that reading on can help a lot of readers in dealing with emotional pain.

Pain Is Not Everlasting; Glory Is

 

Trust me, the pain isn’t going to last forever, but your inner toughness will. Yes, I admit that certain experiences can haunt us for years but every pain-filled moment has an expiry date.

A Hint of Narcissism

Be self-obsessed. Be in love with yourself. Be a narcissist.

Yes, you won’t find motivational speakers recommend these traits, but they can do you good. The love for your own body and attributes will overshadow the pain which you might be finding hard to deal with.

Keep Changing Things

keep changing things

When in pain, monotony can be the biggest tormentor. This is why you need to hustle down the alley and play a sport, go to the gym or do both. Never allow yourself to be stagnant in situations that haunt you. Become the free-flowing stream which never stagnates or sits at one place.

Cultivate Acceptance

The day you can accept everything that has happened to you, nothing in this world can torment or torture you anymore.

I could only accept the sudden demise of my father 3 years after the incident. I know he had to go someday, but, sadly, it happened when I least expected it.

My girlfriend cheated on me and this was actually harder to accept because of my ego. However, I love myself way too much to spoil my health and sleep over her betrayal.

Pain often brings disappointment and fear with it and we should stand and face these things head on. Running from them can actually make the pain a lot worse but eventually, we’ll be able to go ahead of them.

The Wrap

Believe me, there is no quick fix to killing the pain and the reasons associated with it. You need to live through each and every moment of anguish— all by yourself.

There can be friends and family members to support you, but this fight is all yours and nobody else can join the combat for you. Pain, inflicted upon us by people or circumstances, is a medium to make us stronger.

Have you ever seen how a piece of iron is forged into something unbreakable?

It needs to undergo massive amounts of heat and pressure before it becomes strong. Similar to that, you can imagine yourself as that piece of raw iron that needs to be strengthened with pain.

See Also: Why Pain Is Necessary To Help You Progress

The post Responding To Pain With Positivity: Unleash The Stronger You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Mental Toughness: The Secret To Success

Have you ever wished you had a super power? Something that can make you special or better than everyone else?

Of course, almost everyone wishes, in one way or another, to have some secret potential to unlock. Well, what if I told you that all your superhero dreams of unlimited power, potential, and unmatched skills are completely attainable?

Now, you might probably be thinking that this is another cheesy scam. Well, it’s not. I’m not trying to sell anything either.

I am trying to tell you the simple yet spectacular secret to success: mental toughness.

You may have probably heard of this before many times, but let me give you a new perspective. There are two kinds of talent in this world: talent you are born with and talent you develop.

einstein

Think of Mozart, Einstein, and Stephen Hawking. These are examples of people born with an amazing talent or just pure genius.

How could anyone ever be like them? Especially you and me, right?

This is where mental toughness comes in.

You see, we all know that if we want something, all we need to do is work hard to obtain it. Easier said than done, but it makes sense. The problem with doing this is the universal law: nothing is free. Ever.

We might be willing to give up some time and hard work to achieve a goal, but to truly achieve that goal, we need to understand what it is going to cost. This is mental toughness. It’s not just mentally pushing yourself to endure through the hard times, but it is knowing what you are willing to give up, the challenges, and rewards.

Let me give you an example. I love to run. I run quite often and have even done races and triathlons. A friend of mine coaxed me into training for a 50-mile race…50 MILES!!!

running mental toughness

For some reason, I agreed (probably because I’m an idiot) and have been training for this demon of a race for several months. But, I ran into a problem.

You see, training so hard for so long tends to take its toll on the body, especially the tendons, ligaments, and joints. I have developed a pretty bad case of runner’s knee (if you are a runner you will understand), and have put a lot of thought toward what I am going to do about this 50 miler.

Should I keep training and risk further injury? Or should I quit?  Well, if I am truly mentally tough, I will push through and suck it up, right? Wrong.

Being mentally tough does not mean being an idiot. Being mentally tough means you see all your options and do the math. For example, with that situation, I can look at the problem as if there are only two perspectives: injure myself or quit.

I can consider what needs to be done to continue and if it is worth it. Could I run this race with my injury and still complete it? Yes. It would hurt like hell and maybe give me a permanent injury, but, yes, I could do it. But, do I want to take that risk? No, I don’t.

So how can I achieve my goal without so much risk and pain? I can treat the injury, let myself heal and then resume training. Is this a perfect plan? No, I may still be injured and unable to race when the scheduled date arrives but that doesn’t matter. Why? Because I have an entire lifetime to achieve this goal.

See Also: How Runners Can Easily Improve Their Foot Strength

The point of this story and article is to give you a new perspective of what you can and cannot do. Can you climb Mt. Everest? Some of you reading this will say no. BUT YOU CAN, you just don’t want to.

Can you do 1,000 pushups in under an hour? Right now, maybe not. But, eventually, could you? YES! You just have to want to.

You must understand what you are giving up (time, sweat, pain) and the worth of that to you. This is mental toughness. This is the power of the mind. Your body can do just about anything, you just need your mind to guide it.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you want to be successful, then you must endure through the hard things. But more than that, you have to understand things in a simpler way.

One plus one is two. Pain plus sweat can give you a healthy body. Hard work plus schooling can give you a successful business. Walking one step millions of times can get you across the country. Swimming one stroke over and over can take you across the ocean.

Think about these things. If you want to be successful, remove yourself from your body and win with your mind. This is mental toughness. This is mind power.

See Also: 5 Ways To Use The Mind Muscle Connection For Better Workouts

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4 Things Highly Successful People Do Differently

If you are genuinely happy with your life and your career, it’s easy to consider yourself successful. Most of us can agree that Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey are also successful people, even though we don’t know them personally.

All we know is that their businesses are great and that they have made quite a lot of money running them. Apart from these factors, there are other things these people share.

In case you are wondering what they are, below is a list of the things highly successful people do differently.

Keep A Routine

Keeping a routine is crucial to success. Time spent wondering what to do next is time wasted.

Elon Musk, for example, schedules his day in five-minute increments.  Knowing what he should be focusing on keeps him from wasting time. He splits his days between Tesla and SpaceX- always.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has a slightly different way of avoiding wasted time: he wears basically the same outfit every day. By spending less time thinking about insignificant things, Zuckerberg is able to spend more time on important ideas.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, used to break up his self-improvement plans into 13-week chunks, cycling through 4 different points of improvement every year. Throughout those cycles, he kept the same daily schedule. He asked himself every morning: “What good shall I do today?”

Continuously learning

reading habit

Reading is crucial to learning, yet most people would often complain that they have no time. In reality, books can give you access to the knowledge of other high achievers.

Oprah Winfrey began reading when she was 3 years old and, since then, has never stopped. She claimed that books were her pass to personal freedom and she encourages other people to think the same way. Her book club has already made over 70 book recommendations since 1996.

Warren Buffett began his investment career by reading 800-1000 pages a day. Today, he reads an average of 80% of his waking hours. Bill Gates reads 50 books a year and advocates strongly for others to do the same, noting, “Almost one book a week is very doable- try it!”

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

Staying fit

daily exercise

Physical fitness helps you learn to push through barriers while enhancing your cognitive abilities. Richard Branson is a good example.

He wakes up at 5 a.m. to do various forms of physical activity. He claims that he gets 4 additional hours of productivity out of each day because of it.

Tyra Banks, meanwhile, recommends keeping workouts fun and inspiring while Mark Cuban suggests doing 6-7 hours of cardio per week.

Being persistent

Steve Jobs is known not only for his great success but also for getting fired from the company he helped built in 1985. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance,” said Jobs.

He was well known for his drive and for his way of looking at things differently- if he heard the word “no” too often, he knew that meant something has got to change.

See Also: The Top 3 Habits That Made Steve Jobs Successful

Part of perseverance and persistence is being flexible. If you are too rigid in your thinking, it will prevent you from being innovative. Peter Thiel believes in keeping things unplanned so you can have room to experiment.

Thomas Edison is well known for learning from his mistakes and turning those mistakes into teachable moments. “I have not failed 10,000 times, I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work,” said Edison.

Applying These Lessons In The Workplace

Looking for job candidates who have a good sense of work-life balance is the best way to nurture things like perseverance, physical fitness, and lifelong learning. Candidates who want to punch a time clock and go home after just to play video games should not be expected to work on their personal development in their spare time.

If you want to find innovative people, find out what their traits are. Looking at the habits of highly successful people can give you an idea of what a successful job candidate might look like.

Learn more about these traits from this infographic.

Source: Habits of Highly Successful Entrpreneurs

The Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs [Infographic]

 

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6 Interview Hacks That Are Sure To Land You The Job

Interviewing for jobs is a stressful but unavoidable part of most people’s lives. Whether you are looking for your first job or looking to move up the corporate ladder, it is important that you nail the interview so that you can land that coveted job.

When you ask someone for tips on how to make an impression during an interview, everyone will give you a different answer. They are all helpful, but we wanted to make a short and sweet list of the best hacks to focus on.

If you can get these right, you are sure to land the job!

Research The Company Before You Arrive

company research

Companies are more and more interested in making sure that you know the company you are joining. You don’t need to know everything about them, but you should know how long they have been in business, any key clients, and maybe even some of the directors. This will show them that you are geniunely interested and invested and are willing to do the extra few minutes of work to make a great impression.

It is also a great idea to do a little research on the company’s current projects and events. If you can walk in the door and tell them that you would be a great help with their current project because you have certain experience, they will eat it up.

Know Your Resume Like The Back Of Your Hand

Your resume is all that your interviewers know about you when you walk through the door. It is a safe bet that they are going to probe and question a good portion of what you have written in your resume. Make sure that you really know what you are talking about if you claim that you are an expert.

The company interviewing you is looking to make sure that you can speak intelligently on the topics you claim to know. Don’t take offense to that. They are just ensuring that you can come in and do the job that you applied for.

See Also: 16 Worst Resume Mistakes

Know What The Position Requires

Study the job description before you arrive so that you fully understand what they are looking for. Being armed with this knowledge is a huge benefit because you can tailor your answers to show that you are exactly what they are looking for. If they are looking for someone who can lead a team, make sure that you talk about leadership skills and examples of times when you led others to accomplish a goal in the past.

Aim To Show Up 30 Minutes Early

Remember that you are going somewhere you probably haven’t been before, so leave yourself time to get lost. You never know when you are going to make a wrong turn or find a closed road. You aren’t going to show up for a flight to the Bahamas right on time, so don’t do it during an interview. If you feel that you are way too early, you can always wait in the car!

Make A Great First Impression

good impression

I’m sure that everyone knows this by now, but first impressions are everything in an interview. Make sure that you start off with a firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile. A first impression starts the interview off on a good foundation that you can build on.

Be Yourself

Make sure that you be yourself throughout the interview. Don’t try and be someone else just to get the job because it will just bite you in the behind later. If you are not right for the position and team, you want to know that from the start. You don’t want to discover that four months into the position!

See Also: Interview Tips: What Not To Say During Your Next Job Interview

 

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How To Find Inspiration After A Big Failure

I am sure that you have heard the saying that if you have never failed at anything, then you never tried anything. This saying is quite true. Ask the big captains of industry and the inventors of things that changed the face of humanity, and they will tell you how they kept moving from failure to failure. I certainly agree with those who say that the real challenge is not in falling, rather it is in your ability to rise up after every failure.

Learning to deal with failure is not something you start learning when you are an adult. It is actually something you have to learn especially while you are still going to college. This is the reason why I am starting this article by looking at the common instances of failure while you are still in school and college. I have also looked at rejection when you apply for a place in college or a job. You will certainly be glad to hear that when you fail, you are not the first and you will certainly not be the last.

Failure In College

failure in college

I still remember when I arrived in college for the first time. It had not yet dawned on me that college was a lot different from high school. No one had told me that essay-writing in college is something which requires research and diligence. I just thought that I would use my natural intelligence and everything would be fine.

I was in for a rude awakening. For the first time in my life, I got a mark below 50%. However, this never happened again as one of my professors took the time to give me pointers. As you can see, it was through failure that I discovered a very important lesson.

Expulsion

Another big failure for many students in college is being expelled. While I was in college, two of my friends were expelled; one for failing to hand over the minimum number of assignments for a given semester and another one for presenting work of another student as his own. My friend actually thought that since the assignments were going to be marked by different professors, they would not see that the work was the same.

He was wrong. The college was now using a new system where all assignments were checked for plagiarism. In the event that another assignment had already been submitted to this system, if you attempted to submit another one which is the same, the system would flag it. His biggest problem was that even when he had been caught, he refused to accept that he had done something wrong. So he was put before a disciplinary committee which found him guilty.

Rejected College Application

Another big source of disappointment for many college students is when they fail to get space in a college that they want to go to. There is usually more competition when it comes to getting into really good colleges. Many more people are rejected at such colleges than are accepted. I do not think that this should be viewed as a failure at all. It is not about the college you go to but rather your character and what you can do with your degree. I would rather work with someone who went to a lesser known college but has a great work ethic than someone who has been to the Ivy League with a wrong attitude.

A Job Taken By Someone Else

job interview

Only after leaving college do you see that it is a jungle out there. Sooner rather than later, those expectations of a corner office with air conditioning start to fade away with each regret letter you get from the employers of your choice. It is easy to start thinking that maybe something is wrong with you. Well, nothing is wrong with you, there are millions of other graduates competing for the same job and the very same corner office you have in your imagination.

Sometimes, you know that the job was going to be yours if it had not been stolen by someone who already knows someone else in the company. You feel hurt because you know you could do a great job if you had been given the chance.

Tips On Finding Inspiration After Failing

The good thing about failure is that it is actually not the end. You can use the following tips to find inspiration after failure.

Accept Your Weaknesses. Every human being has weaknesses. The first thing you need to do after failing is to accept that it has happened to you because failure happens to human beings. Accepting this helps you to accept that this is not a reflection of your life as a whole. It is just a temporary setback.

Accept That Everyone Fails. Show me anyone who has never failed in their lives and I will show you someone who has never lifted a finger. Everybody has had experience of failure before. This should comfort you.

See Also: Your Ability To Fail Without Fear Is A Requirement To Reach Your Goals

Accept That You Are In Control. When you are expelled from college, when your application is rejected, or when someone else takes a job you thought was yours, it is easy to blame others for it. When you stop the blame game and take responsibility, you are growing. It helps you to address any deficiencies you may have.

See The Lesson. The biggest thing you can take from failure is the lesson it has taught you. This gives you a chance to examine your life. It gives you a chance to introspect. If there are any weaknesses you need to address, you will only be able to see them after doing this soul searching. There are many lessons I would never have learned if I had not failed.

Pain Helps You Grow. You will find inspiration if you accept that the pain you get from failure helps you to grow. There are certain things you will not understand until you have had a chance to live them. For example, you would not know what it feels like to lose a job unless you had lost one before. We only learn the feeling of losing a loved one after we have lost a loved one. That is the essence of life.

It Gives Material For Stories. If you have ever listened to a story about how someone succeeded against the odds, you are essentially listening to a story about failure. The reason why the story is moving you is because someone has learned from the failures of their lives.

See Also: Why The Road to Success is Always Full of Failures 

Failure should never be considered as something permanent. It only becomes permanent if you allow it to defeat you. It’s something that happens to all human beings who have ambitions. If we look at the lessons we can learn from our failure, we will soon realize that in order to succeed, we have to be prepared to fail. It should never be seen as the end, but rather the beginning of a new way of looking at life.

 

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8 Awesome Strategies to Ensure Your Success

“Progress equals happiness.” – Tony Robbins

If there is one thing that nearly guarantees success in life, it is this: progress. No matter whether it is in your business, your marriage, health, or your finances, if you just make a little bit of progress towards your goals every day, you feel like you´re on fire. Your energy and passion increase, your happiness skyrockets, and you wake up every day like you are on a mission. You feel the energy and excitement that comes from chasing your vision of a better future and can´t wait to wake up again when you go to bed each night because you are so eager to create something new.

If you haven´t felt like this lately, it is time to supercharge your days with these 10 awesome strategies to becoming better every single day!

Wake up early to work on yourself

healthy breakfast

As Henry Beecher said, “the first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.” I believe this to be absolutely true. How you start each day is likely how you end it. If you roll over five more minutes after your alarm goes off, watch TV while having an unhealthy breakfast, and then need to hurry to get to work on time, those are all habits that ruin your day before it even starts. They take away your energy, enthusiasm, and self-discipline, leading to nothing more than mediocrity.

But what if, instead, you started out your day succeeding? You wake up early, go for a morning run or walk, feel the gratitude for being alive, and read a book on your chosen profession while having a nutritious breakfast. While everyone else is still sleeping or at least half asleep, you are up, rocking the day and becoming a better you.

Think of the countless hours most people spend commuting to and from work each week. Instead of listening to the radio, why not increase your skills by listening to audiotapes? Simply by doing this, you can become an authority in your field in just a few years. Do you think that kind of morning routine would change the way you think and act throughout the day and therefore your results in all areas of your life? You bet!

See Also: Do These 5 Things To Wake Up Energized (And Productive) Every Day

Rewrite your goals every day

There are few things as powerful in getting you focused and enthusiastic about your vision for your life as rewriting your goals every day. Way too many people go through life, without any idea on why they are actually doing what they are doing. They are like the ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly through life.

And even if they have set goals at some point in their lives, it is all too easy to forget about them, isn´t it? Do you even remember this years New Year´s resolutions or all the goals you set in your life at any other point? If not, how on earth do you want to achieve them?

Rewriting your goals every day is powerful because it zeroes you in on what you want out of life and how to get there. Greatness in anything requires an utterly obsessive focus on what you want and what you need to do every single day to make your dreams come true. A million dollar dream doesn´t happen overnight, and it will surely not happen without the necessary focus and determination to do whatever it takes to be successful.

Rewrite your most important goals every day, and when you do so, recommit to paying the price for their attainment. Anything you want comes at a cost of energy, pain, effort, and time. Commit to paying this price every day, and you will find yourself seeking out new challenges and following through rather than giving up.

Plan every day in advance

plan your dream

After rewriting your goals and committing to their accomplishment, the next step is to plan your day in advance before you get caught up in your work. If you want to accomplish greatly, it is absolutely essential that you focus on your non-negotiables – those tasks that would create the most value and that can only be done by you.

In nearly any job, there are only a few such key activities that create the most results. Your job is to find them and then pursue them rigorously until they are finished. Only in this way can you ensure that you get the most value out of your time. Once your high-priority tasks are finished, you can go on to less important tasks. Things that determine your success and failure must never be at the mercy of things that barely make a difference.

Focus on one thing at a time

deep work

In his great book Deep Work, Cal Newport makes the case that any time we interrupt out workflow by doing unrelated things, we lose enormous amounts of time. Not only does it take time to pick up another task and then come back to the first one, but we also lose focus and take a while to get into a productive state. By doing this, we jeopardize both the quality of our work and the time it takes to get it done. To avoid this, start the task you deemed most important in step 3 every morning and focus on it until you are finished.

See Also: 3 Tips for Being More Focused and Staying That Way

What gets measured gets done

The easiest way to make sure you are on the right track is to measure your progress. How many miles are you running? How many calls are you making, and how many products are you selling? How many hours do you spend working on yourself? Only when you see in black and white what you are actually doing or not doing are you able to track your progress and become better.

If your goal was to run 20 miles this week or to make 40 sales calls but the numbers don´t add up, you know there is something wrong. Now you have two choices: Admit to yourself that you are not doing what it takes to succeed and recommit or throw in the towel and quit. The choice should be obvious.

In either case, tracking your progress raises your awareness. You can´t lie to yourself anymore, saying you did enough when actually you didn´t. It´s all there in black and white for everyone to see. A great way to hold yourself accountable is to have other people check your progress. Whether that is your boss or your wife, find someone to hold you accountable and call you out if you are not doing what you said you would do.

The two magical questions

After each sales call, presentation, or any other significant performance, ask yourself these two questions: What did I do right? And what can I do better next time? Doing this allows you to be your own coach. Find out what you are great at and what you need to improve.

After a while, patterns should become obvious. For example, do you always lose your sales on a specific step? By something you say? Find your weaknesses and then systematically eliminate them. Always look for ways to improve and become better. Doing this alone could completely change the direction of your career.

Which one skill, if developed, would change your life/career the most?

No matter how great you are at what you do, there is always something you need to work on. If you can´t find anything, you should probably check again! The problem with our weaknesses is that we often like to avoid them. It´s like the student that has some bad grades in math and then decides that it´s not for him or her – and stops trying altogether. The problem with that is, ignorance doesn´t excuse failure. After all, just because you don´t like math doesn´t mean that it won´t show up as an F on your report.

The same goes for anything. Just because you are in terrible shape doesn´t mean you can forget about your health completely. In fact, it should be even more reason to double down and change your diet and workout routine! But sadly, that´s not what most people do. Instead of addressing their weaknesses, they tend to ignore them until it´s too late.

The good thing is, by addressing your weaknesses systematically, you can set yourself apart from the masses and constantly upgrade your skills. Ask yourself, which one skill, if developed, would change my life/career the most? Which one skill am I missing that is preventing me from further success right now? Asking these questions and then working on solutions may be hard work sometimes, but will surely pay off in an increased ability and therefore higher income in the long run!

Count your wins and losses

Every night before going to bed, I review my day. Where have I succeeded, where have I failed? What could I have done better? And how can I apply that tomorrow? What is the biggest lesson I have learned today?

Looking back and counting my wins and losses every day has become one of the most important rituals I have. It helps me learn more about myself and enables me to improve every day. I can only recommend reviewing every day to work on your skills and learn from your mistakes. Doing this, together with the techniques outlined before, can drastically change the course of your career and speed up your climb on the ladder of success!

 

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Staying Motivated as an Entrepreneur – Top Tips from Some of the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Staying motivated is one of the most difficult things for entrepreneurs. It is the lack of motivation that causes many entrepreneurs to quit.

Below are some tips on how some of the world’s successful entrepreneurs stayed motivated despite the ups and downs in the business.

Joe Martin, President of Merchandize Liquidators, LLC

Joe Martin, an Israeli-born, founded Merchandize Liquidators while pursuing a Business Administration degree at Florida International University. Hardworking and persistent to finish college, he opened Merchandise Liquidators to pay his way through college. Although faced with different challenges during the start of his business such as time and money for capital, it didn’t stop him from reaching his goal.

He was an international student during that period, which means he had to stay as a full-time student for legal reasons. The main issue he faced regarding his business was to convince major chain stores that he could get their closeouts on a consistent basis regardless of the lack of capital to buy goods and space to place it.

According to Joe Martin, socializing with the most successful people is the key to staying motivated. He says that when you socialize with people who are at a higher level of success than you, you get a mental push that will help you break the barriers that are stopping you from making millions.

See Also: 7 Power Habits of Great Leaders, Business Icons and Inspirational Achievers

Chase Jarvis, CEO at CreativeLive

chase jarvis

Chase Jarvis, along with Craig Swanson, founded CreativeLive. Chase, a leader and a renowned creative himself, dedicated his company to providing an online space for visionary instructors to connect with creative professionals. He was not just the present CEO at CeativeLive, but also a director, an award winning photographer, and media maven. Furthermore, he created campaigns for Starbucks, RedBull, Nike, Apple, and other companies. He is also known for creating Best Camera, the world’s first photo application that lets the user share images to social networks.

Chase Jarvis first took the spotlight when he became the world’s best photographer at a young age. He went ahead to create CreativeLive which is the world’s biggest live-streaming education company.

Chase says that much of his success and motivation was from following his passions. He says that you should go after something that is dear to you and not random market opportunities. If you go for random opportunities, you will only be doing it for the dollars and thus you will not have the passion to stay with it.

Juanita Hines, Regional Consulting

juanita hines

Juanita Hines, passionate about helping people succeed, founded Regional Consulting. Because of her ability to help craft perfect resumes for her clients, she was known to be the “Resume Whisperer.” Her passion for helping has led her to start her company dedicated to professional empowerment by providing interview coaching and training in communities where no such opportunities were previously available.

Juanita also does a lot of speaking engagements at youth camps and schools. She also works with other non-profit organizations in encouraging students to start planning for their futures and assist professionals with insights on how to heighten their careers.

Juanita says that you should surround yourself with people who are striving to pursue their own success. This will encourage you to succeed in your own life as well.

See Also: 5 Women Entrepreneurs Who Failed Before Becoming Millionaires 

Tim Ferriss, best-selling author and CreativeLive instructor

tim ferris

Tim Ferriss, considered as one of “Most Innovative Business People, is also an author. He wrote “The 4-Hour Workweek, the 4-Hour Body, and the 4-Hour Chef”, considered as Wall Street Journal and #1 New York Times bestsellers. Furthermore, he is an investor and consultant in Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, Uber, Duolingo and much more. His podcast was also recognized as the “Best of 2015” by Apple and the #1 business podcast on iTunes.

Tim’s key to success and staying motivated is to choose your friends wisely. He says that the best advice he ever received and still keeps him going is that you become an average of the 5 people who you associate with most.

Will Curran, President of Endless Entertainment

will curran

Will Curran, who was only 17 during that time, started his interest in DJing. He found a need missing in the entertaining industry and went head-first into satisfying such need.

Due to his passion for putting on events, each mistake he made became building blocks to grow his company further. One of his discoveries during the journey towards his goal was how customers would start coming to him if he provided excellent customer service after which everything would fall into place.

Will says that you succeed by fighting the small battles. He says he finds joy in overcoming obstacles and celebrating even small wins. He rewards himself after all the jobs are well done. According to Will, you can get overwhelmed if you focus too much on the bigger picture.

Justin Palmer, Founder & CEO of MedSaverCard

Justin gets his motivation by thinking about his future freedom. He says that entrepreneurship requires a lot of hard work but if you concentrate on your business now, it will give you the freedom and resources for the years to come.

 

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9 Powerful Lessons from the Success Story of Bill Gates

Most people know Bill Gates as the founder of Microsoft. He is the brain behind most of the computer technology that the world currently enjoys. The most important thing is to learn some lessons from his life.

Here are 9 powerful lessons you can learn from the success story of this great mind.

Be Competitive

Some of the attributes you can draw from the life of Bill Gates is that he was competitive, smart and persistent. Bill is a person who had the drive to win. You should try to be the best you can be whatever it takes so long as you succeed in the long run. You cannot achieve your dreams unless you call forth a very strong desire to succeed.

Be Persistent

Bill Gates is one of the most determined people on earth. He presents a person who would hammer his way until he got an ideal solution. Persistence calls for having a goal and fighting your way towards its accomplishment. The process can be very long and painful, but you have to fight your way through.

Read a lot

book reader

The parents of this great mind made a subscription to Fortune, and he took advantage to read a lot. You cannot become smart unless you read broadly. Bill Gates was a dedicated reader from his childhood. You will still find him writing about the books he reads on his website.

You can also get this advice from Warren Buffet. The best way to harness the power of knowledge is to read widely.

Focus

Bill was very curious when it came to studying everything in sight. However, he would concentrate on a single task at a time with a lot of discipline. You would find him sitting while clenching a marker in his mouth, rocking and tapping his feet, impervious to distraction. You cannot do this unless you have a lot of focus which comes with overcoming disruptions. You must appreciate the fact that it’s quite hard to do important works. The reason is that such actions require full concentration. You cannot carry out such assignments unless you overcome any distractions.

Carefully Pick Your Battles

According to the reality checks of Bill Gates, you should stop wasting time in places where you have little chances for success. Make sure you give full attention whenever the right opportunity surfaces. You may have limited resources, and you should be careful not to waste them. Assess each opportunity that comes your way and only pick the right ones. You can gain some of these insights through reading widely.

Make the Most of any Opportunity That Comes your Way

According to Bill, we have the skill and the energy, and we have all it takes to seize the opportunity. Make the most of any opportunity that you decide to take. You should spare no effort because if you allow it to pass, it may never come your way again.

See Also:  7 Power Habits of Great Leaders, Business Icons and Inspirational Achievers 

Be Efficient

According to Bill Gates, they staged nightly competitions just to squeeze a submarine – a small section of code in a program that performs a particular task with very few instructions. You should aim to be as efficient as possible while reaching your goal. You can avoid wasting your resources by improving your processes to allow you take the shortest route to your destination.

Be Intense

The intensity of Bill Gates was virtually unstoppable. Steve Jobs had the same level of intensity, and that’s why he asserts that there is power in intensity. Bill states that you cannot build momentum unless you are intense. Therefore, you need to put your soul and heart into what you do. The lone survivor movie has a quote that explains that you can over do anything in life that is worth doing. You can never succeed unless you are intense in all you do.

Build a Great Team

great team

Bill is a person who never wanted to lose a talented individual. He would do all it takes to retain his entire team. You need other people to stand with you because you can’t succeed alone. Therefore, your goal should be to find great people and put their skills together to build a great team.

See Also: How to Save Your Startup by Hiring the Right People

Conclusion

You can apply these lessons from Bill Gates if you want to succeed in life. However, you should remember to balance all aspects of your life. You should not get obsessed with your goal to until you forget other parts of your life. This approach will guarantee you true and lasting success.

 

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56 Challenges To Kick-Start Life After Fifty

Some people wait their whole life to start living… don’t be one of them.

If you’re past the big 50 feeling jaded and lifeless. Concerned about the world. Concerned about your world. Your finances, relationships, health or work…

Reading this list should spark at least one change. Kick-start your life with a new challenge and then the reward.

Look for an idea that will set you off along a different path. Plant it like a seed and let it develop into a full grown life change.

1. Never think of yourself as too old. You aren’t.

2. Never stop learning. If you’ve stopped, consider the break as a “time out” and start again. Watch Ted talks. Read about all the fantastic technologies that are being developed at breakneck speeds: 3D printing, mapping the human genome, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, robotics and big data. Plus, all the other things we aren’t even aware of.

3. Write a bucket list of 50 things to do before you die.

bucket list

4. Plan to visit 50 countries – even a fleeting visit will do.

5. Consider becoming a “roving retiree”.

6. Accept yourself. Accept that your youthful physical perfection is fading replaced by a more perfect complete person.

7. Take up yoga.

8. Move more. Our body wasn’t designed to sit behind a computer screen or slouch around watching TV.

9. Exercise regularly. It has many benefits – healthier body plus a healthy, active brain equals a more fulfilled life … more confidence and self-esteem.

10. Activate your mind. Play mind games. Do a crossword puzzle. Play chess or bridge or scrabble online.

11. Do fun things. Get your children, or grandchildren, or friend’s children to teach you a computer game. Try “Minecraft”, “Lego Marvel Superheros” or “Batman”.

12. Subscribe to a free online course. Anything that takes your fancy. Sites like Coursera, Udemy, Alison Khan Academy offer many free courses covering just about anything you can imagine.

13. Practice mindfulness … Be in the moment.

14. If you hate your job, then leave it. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow but start making a plan … Build an escape plan or Plan B. Be daring. Think an “El Chapo” Guzman break-out-of-jail style!

15. Start a business.

16. Clear away some baggage like so-called “friends”, limiting thoughts, physical stuff, ideas and relationships.

17. Become more spiritual. Practice or follow whatever suits you best.

18. Listen more. You’ve possibly become an “advice monster”. Arrogantly believing “been there done that, so I know what’s best for you”!

19. Don’t believe the news or opinions of other so-called “experts”.

20. Acknowledge that you are responsible for your financial well-being. Not your husband, your wife, your partner and especially not your financial advisor. You never know what the future will bring and you are going to have to live it.

21. Start learning about your finances. Understand what you are told. Understand that the people who are providing you with information have been described by Nassim Taleb as “experts who are not experts”. They suffer from group think and run with the herd … with your money!

22. Take a good hard look at your life. Are you stuck in a rut? Take a short trip out of your comfort zone.

23. Be grateful for all you have.

24. The world is not limited to your neighbourhood. Explore more.

explore the world

25. Rejuvenate your creativity. It may have hibernated waiting for a spring to bring it alive.

See Also: Top Tips On Training Your Brain To Be Creative 

26. Find something you love and pursue it.

27. Ignore the voices of naysayers (and the monkey on your own shoulder) as you consider your newfound freedom.

28. Become an authority on something you love. You don’t have to be a 10,000-hour expert. Just an “expert” who has studied 3 books and knows more than 80% of people. Remember: In a kingdom of blind people, the one-eyed man is King.

29. Acknowledge all the things where you are “better than most people”. Where YOU are already the one eyed man!

30. Accept that you’ve still got a lot of living to do. You are aged 50 In the western world where the average life expectancy is another 35 years for women and 30 years for men. For most people, this will be longer than your working life up to then!

31. The only barriers to your dreams is your thinking, “whether you think you can or think you can’t.”

See Also: 5 Barriers That You Need To Cross To Achieve Success This Year

32. Find a mentor. Find someone you look up to and respect. Find that mentor who will support you. You don’t have to do it all on your own.

33. Ask for help.

34. Don’t live your life for someone else. Not your husband or wife or partner. Not your kids and definitely not your friends. As James Altucher says “choose yourself”.

35. Realize that life is not all about money and possessions.

36. Don’t make excuses for where you are in life. You are there because of the best choices you made.

37. Keep on dreaming big. Life can start at 50.

38. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. You are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with. They don’t have to be immediate friends, they could be online groups, mentors or coaches. For me, sitting here in the Philippines, I have online friends like Ramit Sethi’s Accelerator Group and Jon Morrow’s Serious Bloggers Only.

39. Never give up. Whatever life has dished up in the past, you don’t have to accept that’s your future.

40. Don’t put it off. There is time. There are choices. There are options. Don’t procrastinate. If you want to do it, you’ll find a reason. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

41. Nothing happens until something moves. Don’t waste too much time inside your head. Only action gets rewarded. Take the first step.

42. You don’t need certificates or credentials. If you want knowledge, study for knowledge and not pieces of paper.

43. Forget about planning for retirement and start planning for life. Traditional retirement is a redundant concept that went out of fashion with defined benefit pension schemes. If you have one of these, beware. Many are insolvent and there will be many more in future.

44. Acknowledge that you have a lot to give. With the many things that you have experienced, you can help a lot of people.

45. You can always get better. You might not compare with the best, but there’s only one of them anyway.

46. Giving is better than receiving. Remember “sow so shall you reap”. Develop a “how can I help you” mentality.

47. There will always be someone stronger, prettier, cleverer, richer, poorer, weaker, uglier than you so just be the best you can be. But never put yourself down. Never believe you are worthless.

48. Never say never. It’ll come back to haunt you.

49. Read 50 Shades of Grey. For anyone whose relationship has turned a bit “grey” and lost its sparkle.

read fifty shades of grey

50. Identify your cognitive biases. There are many and we all have them. Recognise them, acknowledge them and combat them. A tiger can’t change his spots. But we’re lucky, we aren’t tigers!

51. Don’t rely on the government to look after you. The government is made up of millions of self-serving bureaucrats who have far bigger problems to solve like their own pensions, their legacy, their own stuff, to be worried about you. Your best guarantee is to be independent. Be fine without them.

52. Develop a “Plan B”. You never know what the future will bring.

53. Do something for 50 people. Small, big, time or money, kind word or deed. Then make it a habit.

54. Acknowledge that you teach people how to treat you.

55. Decisions are not binary. There are many choices – occasionally take a risk.

56. Connect with 5 school friend you haven’t seen or heard of since leaving school. Try Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn

facebook

Be positive. Be the best you can be. Be humble, be healthy, be grateful. There will be good times and bad, obstacles and opportunities. Be aware, be vigilant.

Make your mark. You owe it to the world.

 

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7 Power Habits of Great Leaders, Business Icons and Inspirational Achievers

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Aristotle

Our never-ending quest towards self-improvement is a long journey of small steps. Small habits we repeat day after day, week after week, year after year. Small habits that have turned us into who we are today can also determine who we will become in the future.

Below are 7 Power Habits of some of the greatest human beings to ever live.

Have a Vision

martin luther king jr

Who did it? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest American leaders of the 20th century. A civil rights leader, a religious leader, and an African-American leader. King is famously known for his I-have-a-dream-speech at the March on Washington in 1963.

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

His dream was nothing less than racial equality, something that seemed to be a long way off at that time. King’s visionary speech is widely regarded as one of the finest speeches in American history, helping African Americans put racial equality on top of the political agenda which ultimately led to the Civil Rights Act in the following year.

Why you should do it!

The ability of visionary thinking enables us to see past our status quo. It allows us to see past current conditions and limitations. Through a powerful vision we can dream, create and manifest what does not yet exist. Your own personal mission statement will have a directional and a motivational function. It will help you focus on those activities you have to do in the present in order to achieve the desired future state of success.

One of the most well-known and most respected voices on visionary thinking is Napoleon Hill. Hill spent more than 20 years researching the accomplishments and habits of successful people in business, coming to the conclusion that the path to success starts in your mind. You will become what you believe you will become! If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to read and study his book Think and Grow Rich. It’s one of the most powerful books ever written.

Take Action

bill gates

Who does it? Bill Gates

As a guest on Larry King’s famous talk show, Bill Gates opened up about the three key factors of being successful. Besides having a clear vision and being in the right place at the right time, another crucial success factor is to take massive and immediate action. Or to put it in the words of Bill Gates:

“When you find a good idea act on it right away.”

In business, success is often determined by turning ideas into action before your competition does. As the co-founder and president of Microsoft, Gates revolutionized the computer industry. Today he is consistently ranked in the Forbes list of the world’s richest people—so he obviously knows what he is talking about.

Why you should do it!

In our lives, we are all presented with numerous ideas and promising opportunities. Many of them could lead us to wealth and self-fulfillment. They could help us escape the corporate 9-to-5 grind forever.

However, most people, even when they actively recognize that they have a great idea, don’t do anything with it. Most people are simply afraid to take action, or they are just too lazy to follow up on their dreams. Most people would rather stay in their comfort zone. Yet, they all love to read books like these and are inspired by those that took massive action in their lives.

If you dream of a better life, you’d better take action! Now!

See Also: Top 5 Traits Of Billionaires

Don’t Break the Chain

jerry seinfeld

Who does it? Jerry Seinfeld

The New York native started his career as a stand-up comedian before he turned to acting, playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the sitcom Seinfeld. As a touring comic Seinfeld discovered his don’t-break-the-chain method for more productivity. His technique enabled him to become a better comedian and to write better jokes. Just like Stephen King, Seinfeld turned writing into a daily habit. He used a unique calendar system to motivate and pressure himself to write, even when he didn’t feel like it. All he needed was a big wall calendar and a big red magic marker. For each day he successfully followed his habit of writing, he put a big red X over that day.

“After a few days, you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

Why you should do it!

Seinfeld’s productivity technique can be used for almost every habit, from writing to exercising, from dieting to quitting an addiction. Daily action builds habits. Success is the result of a long series of simple steps. Not breaking the chain for a couple of days will give you momentum and motivation to carry on and not quit. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months. You can use a wall calendar like Seinfeld, or a mobile app.

Follow Your Curiosity

albert einstein

Who did it? Albert Einstein

If people are asked to name the smartest person they know, the name of Einstein will most likely be the most common answer. German-born Albert Einstein developed the grand theory of relativity (e = mc²), the cornerstone of modern physics. In 1921 he won the Nobel Prize for physics, honoring his explanation of the photoelectric effect. He is considered the most influential scientist of the 20th century. He was passionately curious about the mysteries of science. He was also a great philosopher, and moral leader, who has written hundreds of books and articles.

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

Why you should do it!

“Why?” A simple question both parents and teachers alike dread to hear. A question many have stopped asking at some point on their way to becoming an adult. However, constantly following your curiosity is something that offers numerous benefits. Research has shown that curious people are happier. They also tend to be more achieving and successful in life. Curiosity can expand empathy, and thus strengthen social relationships.

See Also: Be a Rebel: 7 Tips for Radical Achievement from Albert Einstein 

Go the Extra Mile

arnold schwarzenegger

Who does it? Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Austrian-born Schwarzenegger began lifting weights at the age of fifteen. That’s when he decided to become a bodybuilder. Five years later he won the title of Mr. Olympia, the most prestigious award in his sport. He has won it seven times! After his bodybuilding career, Arnold moved to America and decided to become an actor. Despite all the doubts of his critics, and his strong accent, he became one of the highest paid movie stars of recent decades. To many, he is the greatest action star Hollywood has ever seen. He then decided to move into politics, only to become the Governor of California.

His resume sounds like the resumes of three different men rather than just one, and it is only due to his relentless drive and insane work ethic. He mastered the ability to go the extra mile in his early life, lifting weights, and applied this concept to all other areas of his professional life as well.

“The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens.”

Why you should do it!

Going the extra mile is tough. It requires people to get out of their comfort zone. However, it is the ability to push through your limits that separates the greats from the average Joes. Going the extra mile will separate you from the rest.

This habit can be applied to many areas in your life, from your workplace to the gym. If you want to look good naked, push your body to go the extra mile. If you want to really excel in business, school, and life, go the extra mile. Give the people around you—your customers, your team, your family, and friends—more than they expect, and you’ll be rewarded with loyalty, referrals, opportunity and money in return.

Laugh

charlie chaplin

Who did it? Charlie Chaplin

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Sir Charles “Charlie” Spencer Chaplin spent his entire professional life attempting to make people laugh, and he still does, even to this day. He became an icon through his on-screen persona and portrayal of The Little Tramp. His career lasted no less than 75 years, earning him an honorary Oscar in 1971, six years before his passing in Switzerland in late 1977.

Why you should do it!

Laughing is one of the best feelings in the world. Not only is it a lot of fun, it is also highly infectious. But unlike most things infectious, laughter comes with a great amount of health benefits for your mind and body.

Laughing is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective ways of beating stress. It reduces stress hormones and releases endorphins in return. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. A good dose of laughter will also boost your immune system, making your body more resistant to diseases. Laughter protects your heart. It improves the function of your blood vessels and increases blood flow, which will help your body to protect itself against cardiovascular diseases, even heart attacks. Further benefits of having a good laugh include: improved mood, muscle relaxation and strong social relationships.

Now go ahead and smile, and start spending more time with fun people.

Build Bridges

isaac-newton

Who did it? Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton was an English-born physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian. He was certainly one of the most influential people in the history of the world. His famous book Principia, published in 1687, may be the most important science book ever written. It describes universal gravitation, and the three laws of motion, a topic which dominated the scientific view of the universe in the centuries that followed.

Besides that, he also built the first ever telescope, developed a theory of color, formulated an empirical law of cooling, studied the speed of sound, and the list goes on. Besides living a life devoted to science, he was also very religious. He was also a guy that understood the importance of building quality relationships with other people.

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

Why you should do it!

Do you know Bronnie Ware? Neither did I. But it’s well worth listening to what she has to say. Ware is an Australian nurse who spent many years working in palliative care, taking care of patients in the last weeks of their lives. Ware has collected and published their dying epiphanies in the bestselling book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

According to the book, people gain an incredible clarity of vision as they get close to death. When she asked them about their regrets and missed opportunities in life, common themes surfaced over and over again. One of them is the wish that they had stayed in touch with their friends.

“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

Now you still have time to tear down walls, and build bridges. Do it, before it is too late!

 

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Finding a Connection to Your Future

A man of many successes and struggles, Alexander Graham Bell is the perfect example of a man who knows the importance of connecting to the future. He invented the metal detector and helped relaunch the National Geographic Magazine. He gave his wife Mabel, who was deaf, 1497 shares of his 1507 total shares in the Bell Telephone Company.

When talking about missed opportunities, he was quoted as saying, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the door that is closed that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Losing sight of the future keeps you mired in the past, unable to see your possibilities.

During your successes and struggles here are four ways to connect to your future without being mired in the past:

Pick a few adjectives to describe who you want to become this year as a person

adjectives

Do you want to be friendly, helpful, or kind? Choose adjectives related to behavior. The main thing you can control is your behavior, so behavior is a useful place to start. The words you pick help you keep focused so that when challenges or change occur, you work to keep your adjectives in mind as you choose actions to support the chosen adjectives.

When dwelling on the past, redirect yourself

Make a checklist of things to do that week. Clean out a closet. Read a book. Exercise. Take a class. Write out goals for the year.

Take actions that support your plans and goals. Remember to stay aware and intentional about the behaviors you chose. Connecting to the future sometimes involves an intentional and authentic plan of behaviors and actions.

See Also: 5 Barriers That You Need To Cross To Achieve Success This Year

Don’t judge people or events as good or bad, or wrong or right

You may not agree with how others act or see the world, but these events and individuals do not have the power to change your behavior. When you take away good or bad, or wrong or right from your dialogue, you disconnect from the need to prove yourself in past situations.

Since people see the world differently, expand understanding of internal (you) and external (other individuals) with observation, not labels. You can say, “I did not care for his behavior.” It is a subtle wording difference to saying, “That guy is wrong.”

Nurture yourself

take up a hobby

Take up a hobby you enjoy. Snuggle in a chair with a blanket and a book. Go for a walk. Golf. What makes you feel healthy and relaxed? Think of activities you do where time disappears. Sometimes your life feels nice when connected wholly to the present.

See Also: 5 Habits to Make The New Year Your Best Year Yet 

The past plays a role in today, but it does not have to define your future. The next time an individual or a situation frustrates you, think of your adjectives, choose actions that support your words, then change your dialogue to observations, not labels. Find ways to connect with the future possibilities of life.

This cycle of living keeps your energy focused on opportunities in the future instead of the mire of the past. During work or at home you have the potential to create a style of living that offers you a stronger connection to the future.

 

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Why We Need More Warriors (And How to Become One)

In today’s world, many aspects of masculinity have been called into question. I think we can all agree that masculine drives to dominance and force have led to much violence, corruption, trauma, and suffering in the world. I see these manifestations as unhealthy aspects of the Warrior spirit, which is inherent in all men.

Healthy Warrior spirit is positive and necessary for men—a heroic striving to become more, slay one’s own demons, protect others, speak truth the to power, and stand up for what’s right in the world. I believe one of the most important challenges for men today is learning to cultivate and harness their Warrior spirit as a force for good, for change, and for supporting the best in themselves and others.

So how do we find our Warrior nature? And how can we distinguish between our healthy and our destructive Warrior instincts?

The Warrior and the Man of Wisdom are at the heart of the Hero’s Journey

being a warrior

The Hero’s Journey is omnipresent in the genetically driven archetypal forms that arise from all cultures. For men, embracing his Warrior nature and transforming through quests into the Man of Wisdom is at the heart of the masculine Journey.

The Hero, when he finally heeds an authentic call to action and embraces his Warrior self, develops, strengthens, and clarifies through ordeal and struggle on the road to becoming a Man of Wisdom.

We become the Warrior when we are willing to endure discomfort and put ourselves at risk for our principles. 17th Century “Sword Saint” Miamoto Musashi maintained that resolute acceptance of death in serving your purpose—your current mission—is the signature hallmark of the Warrior. Principle over comfort and safety seems to be a central organizing principle in most teachings about the Warrior and Man of Wisdom, and is consistent with the evolutionary roots of the archetypes. I’ve also found it to be true for my clients and me over the last forty-three years and fifty-five thousand therapy sessions.

When a man becomes stable in his Warrior consciousness, discerning what’s true or false, and feels more moved to serve others’ development and less absorbed with testing himself, he’s often transitioning into Man of Wisdom.

Why is the Warrior archetype so necessary for men? Male competition and dominance are built into the human genome just as it is in chimpanzees, walruses, wolves and countless other species. This instinct is met putting purpose ahead of personal comfort or safety in critical situations.

The Hero’s journey—the universal human attraction to being on a mission—often involves an initial transition into the Warrior who, through traveling the road of trials, transforms into the Man of Wisdom.

The hero in the hero’s journey by definition expands his Warrior nature. He hears a call to action, says “Yes!” faces and defeats the threshold guardian, and crosses the threshold onto the road of trials and ordeals. The Warrior, receiving transformational spiritual guidance, feels in his heart when he’s on or off his mission and adjusts back to his mission, even under extreme duress.

Ordeals lead to the Well of the World—the Belly of the Whale—where he must reconcile Masculine and Feminine, Father and Mother, Light and Shadow.

shadow light keith witt
Dr. Keith Witt’s latest book on personal growth

As he does, his identity is progressing towards Man of Wisdom who returns through the threshold, a living bridge to the Other World. Great examples?

• Luke embodying the Jedi Knight into defeating and then reconciling with the wounded father–Darth Vader.
• Harry Potter finding deep compassion even as he destroys Voldemort.
• Bill Clinton facing the humiliations of his impeachment and wounded sexuality and continuing on to serve the world in multiple ways.
• Einstein first surrendering to his calling to more deeply understand the cosmos–in the face of much adversity–and going on to be a powerful philosophical voice for unity.

The core of the Hero’s Journey is the challenge to grow or collapse under stress. We are called, we resist the call, we finally accept the call, and embark on our personal Odyssey—choosing the adventure and coming home transformed. The monsters arise from within and without, seeking to consume us, craving violence. Attack! Flee! Attack you! Run from you! Attack me! Run from me! A man discovers his Warrior nature facing such monsters guided by his principles and strengthened by his resolve.

See Also: The Change in the Meaning of Manhood Through Time 

How do we develop our Warrior?

becoming a warrior

In mythic terms, each time we slay the monster, face the ordeal, or choose principle over comfort, we discover and deepen our Warrior self. This dynamic is at the core of the Warrior’s journey.

I was a high school athlete who wrestled, practiced Shotokan Karate, played tennis, and ran cross country. My fears of pain, opponents, injury, and failure were the monsters who said, “Don’t risk that try-out, don’t get on the mat with that opponent, don’t take that ten-mile run, you will never do well in that race.” I had to meet those monsters and consume them, absorb their energy and step through the resistance thresholds into the training and contests, the victories and defeats. Each time I faced them and stepped towards them, I found my Warrior self just a little bit—I absorbed some of the resistance power and alchemically transformed it into a little more courage to step forward the next time in service of my principles.

This is the beauty of merit-based hierarchies likes sports, dance, theater, and heartfelt projects, especially for adolescents who are discovering their adult identities through success and failures, temptations and ordeals.

This is also consistent with modern research on willpower. As Roy Baumeister details in his Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, willpower is resisting a lesser impulse (like procrastination) in service of a deeper, more meaningful impulse, and is associated with increased happiness, success, health, and love. Of three dozen personality characteristics, willpower was the only one that, at four-years-old, could predict future college GPA.

Also, whether we naturally have more or less willpower as children, we can develop willpower with practice. We all have the human superpowers of focused intent and action, in service of principle, and driven by resolve. Consciously choosing goals/principles and utilizing our superpowers to pursue them increases willpower and develops our Warrior selves.

Most guys are lit up by the Warrior archetype. The Warrior is someone willing to sacrifice comfort or safety for his principles. Every single time a guy endures risk or discomfort, or sacrifices in service of principle, he nourishes his Warrior nature. The desire to do this rises up in men. If you’re not true to your principles, you suffer. If you are true to your principles, you find your Warrior self each time you hold your ground, face your fear, or embody your purpose.

We want to find ourselves as Warriors. Many men I’ve discussed this with craved this from earliest memories. I personally wanted to find myself as a warrior when I was three, five, eleven, fifteen, and thirty—the hunger was always there. I didn’t know exactly what I was reaching for, but I yearned for power and purpose, like my favorite characters in books and movies. Looking back I can see them clearly—Mighty Mouse, Mowgli (from Kipling’s The Jungle Book), Super Man, Bilbo Baggins, and The Man from UNCLE. All were Warriors serving the higher good.

As a boy grows from child to teen, to man, he expands into the Warrior. He finds meaning at the edge of death—either actually or symbolically by risking injury, failure, or defeat. He takes the Hero’s Journey—sometimes again and again. When we’re tested and rise to the task, we find our Warrior selves—a blissful experience to the masculine. And life tests us again and again, leading to successes and failures, both potentially supporting our Warrior selves.

At a particular point in adult development, something changes–we no longer need to find our best selves as much as to consistently embody our best selves. This marks the transition in Man of Wisdom. As we shift into Man of Wisdom we’re less drawn to the ordeal and more to service. I suspect this archetype arose in our misty genetic past when age diminished men’s physical capacities, but experience expanded their judgment and discernment. Tribes who accessed this wisdom had distinct evolutionary advantages.

The Man of Wisdom naturally embodies his principles. He transmits compassion and wisdom into the world and is moved to care. Man of Wisdom is often less drawn to competition and trials for himself, but loves to help others, especially the young Warriors.

Both these archetypes, Warrior and Man of Wisdom, arise in all cultures and are centrally important to most men.

What are your relationships with your Warrior nature? When have you embodied your Man of Wisdom? If you can’t answer these questions, ask someone you love about when they’ve observed these archetypes in you, and use all the information you gather to clarify your own masculine journey into Warrior and beyond into Man of Wisdom.

See Also: Two Rules for Guys

 

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15 Unforgettable Haruki Murakami Quotes For Dealing With Adversity

Haruki Murakami is an internationally renowned Japanese writer, probably best known for his novel, Norwegian Wood. If you need to rebuild your strength when you’ve been through tough times, the wisdom in these quotes by Haruki Murakami will show you the way.

“Life is not like water. Things in life don’t necessarily flow over the shortest possible route.” – 1Q84

1q84 quotes

When it seems as though everything is complicated, that’s perfectly normal. Accept that there will be difficulties as you try to get through life. Don’t fight against it, and you’ll find things far less stressful.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” — What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can choose how you react to it. Attitude can influence how well you cope with adversity.

“Listen, every object’s in flux … They don’t stay in one form or another or in one place forever.” – Kafka on the Shore

quotes by haruki murakami

Change can be difficult for many people. But it’s a natural part of life. So go with the flow. Embrace change. Seize the opportunities it brings. Ask yourself what you can learn from these new situations and what you can gain.

“Even castles in the sky can do with a fresh coat of paint.” – South of the Border, West of the Sun

From the outside, the lives of others can seem perfect. But you don’t see everything. Perfection isn’t always desirable.

“Two people can sleep in the same bed and still be alone when they close their eyes” – Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

haruki murakami quote

A relationship is often seen as the ultimate goal. Isn’t it lonely to be on your own? But you have to be happy within yourself to be happy in a relationship. Be cautious of assuming that having a partner will solve all your worries.

“Hatred is like a two-edged sword. When you cut the other person you cut yourself.” – Norwegian Wood

It’s inevitable that some people will treat you badly. You can’t change them or the past. What you can change is how you view their actions. Forgiving them allows you to move on. You may not forget what they did. But it’s healthier for you to move on and not be angry at them.

“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.” – Kafka on the Shore

quotes by murakami

Few of us will make an impact on the world. But we can make a difference to a few people.

“One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds.” – Colorless TsukuruTazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Love can be painful. That’s part of the price we pay for having this joy. People will hurt you, and you may hurt them.

“Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up back where we started.” – 1Q84

1q84 murakami

If only we could change the past! Things would be different. But we can’t go back. Focus on the present and the future instead. What can we do differently from now on?

“You can’t run away from your life. So deal with it. The end.” – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

People often change their environment, thinking they can get away from unhappiness. But you can’t escape yourself. Your problems will go with you if you don’t address them. Learn to face things that scare you. Change your attitude. Work on yourself.

“If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.” –1Q84

haruki murakami quotes love

It’s heartbreaking if you can’t be with someone you love. But at least you have that love, even if you can’t do much about it. Some people never even have that much. It shows you have the capacity to love.

“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.” – Kafka on the Shore

Most of us are stronger than we think. We need to have faith in ourselves. We may look back and wonder how we coped with adversity. But we do. Every time. We have inner strengths that we’re unaware of.

“I happen to like the strange ones. People who look normal and leads normal lives – they’re the ones you have to watch out for.” – Kafka on the Shore

quote haruki murakami

Have you been ridiculed for being ‘different’ or ‘strange’? Perhaps people secretly envy you. But you’re unique, you’re yourself. Love yourself for who you are. What other people think doesn’t matter.

“Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.” – Dance Dance Dance

Time spent in regrets is time wasted. You can’t change anything. Enjoy your life. Make the most of it from now on. But don’t have regrets. You did the best you could at the time. Don’t criticize yourself.

“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.” – Kafka on the Shore

murakami quotes

Life can be a wonderful experience. But there has to be balanced. It can’t be amazing all the time. There has to be loss and pain as well. It’s all part of the cycle of life.

 

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3 Unique Things That Successful People Do Differently

Are you already wavering on your New Year’s resolutions? It’s okay, you’re not alone. If you want this new year to be the year that they stick, you are going to need some proven routines to keep you going. Where better to look than at the habits of highly successful people?

We all know the typical things that successful people do differently – wake up early, set goals, network – but what does the next level of successful behavior look like? No matter whether your passion is baking or real estate, everyone has something which they strive to be successful in.

While there is no one defined behavior for successful people, anyone who has spent extensive amounts of time reading interviews of and articles by successful people can agree that there are similar attitudes and behaviors that they possess. There are universal traits and practices that are common to all successful people regardless of their background and field of influence.

If you want to create a culture of success in your life, here are the most common and effective habits of successful people to get you started.

They set daily goals

Most successful people attest to the fact that they do not simply wake up to an agenda filled with random activities. Instead, most successful people come up with large, long-term goals.

American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, for example, states that “at the beginning of each year, I set the key priorities and key objectives”. These priorities and objectives are part of a larger, long-term vision, and are easily achievable when broken down into smaller pieces. Every day then, successful people take the initiative to set themselves small, daily goals that contribute to the priorities, objectives, and long-term vision. They then plan their day ahead of time to ensure that they have activities and appointments planned that address each of their goals.

They take care of themselves first.

eat good food

The most valuable resource you have is yourself. Successful people, especially those in the service industry, understand that they need to continually work on their personal brand and physical appearance. They also understand that their social life is as important as their finances and, as such, set aside enough time for leisure activities with friends and family. They know when to stop working. They also know that their bodies need good food, hydration, rest, and sleep.

On top of physical maintenance, they look out for experiences and relationships that will enhance their lives. They read widely from good authors and engage in positive conversations. They understand that you cannot change the world if you have not taken care of yourself first.

The concept of remembering to attend to one’s own needs is captured by the term self-care. It was coined by and remains a pillar of the work that mental health professionals do every day. There are countless resources that uphold the importance of the practice as well as provide resources in its pursuit.

If you are unsure of where to start, I recommend an interactive self-care flowchart by Jace Harr entitled, “You feel Like Shit: An Interactive Self-Care Guide”. It walks the user through his or her needs, beginning with the most basic. As the landing page asserts, it is designed “for people who struggle with self-care, executive dysfunction, and/or who have trouble reading internal signals”. It is a simple, straightforward, and effective first step at attending to yourself when you are not feeling your best.

They meditate

meditate

This may seem trivial to many people, especially given the number of things vying for our attention these days. However, successful people always make time to meditate.

What they do during this quiet time varies by personal preference and time of day. If it is the end of a busy day, they might take the time to reflect on their goals as well as the day that has passed: their achievements and failures, the status of their personal relationships and their spirituality.

The successful people who do this understand that when so much is going on that you do not have time to reflect, it is easy to miss out on the lessons. Since they are continually seeking ways to improve themselves, they take the time to reflect on their strengths and areas for growth. If they are feeling particularly drained or negative, they might use the quiet time for positive self-talk. Other times, if they are feeling particularly stressed or overworked, they might choose to focus on their breath and enjoy ten minutes of not thinking at all.

If you are interested in starting a practice but unsure of where to begin, there are many support out there for you, beginning with the mogul Oprah Winfrey. She is a huge proponent of meditation, stating that it has shifted her life in ways that she never imagined. She is such a firm believer in the practice that she has instituted a period of “Quiet Time” twice a day in her network offices. For those who do not work for Oprah, she has collaborated with spiritual guide Deepak Chopra to create a number of free 21-day guided meditations. There are others with free meditations available, including Tara Brach. If you prefer music or silence, there are free apps available that help you to time and keep track of your meditation sessions.

See Also: 8 Success Habits of Wealthy People That Cost Nothing

While there is no script that successful people follow, there are traits that are common amongst them. If you are seeking practices that will give you a boost in your productivity and overall success in life, consider the importance of goal setting, self-care, and meditation. Make each of these practices a pattern of behaviour and you will surely be on the road to success.

See Also: 10 Habits of Successful People

 

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Be a Rebel: 7 Tips for Radical Achievement from Albert Einstein

People love a good rebellion story. From Alexander Hamilton to Luke Skywalker, rebel heroes inspire us.

The idea that we can rise up, against all odds, has captured the imagination of generations.

But day-to-day social pressures are a powerful force. It’s extremely difficult to escape the status quo and go against the grain of our culture. Too often this results in a feeling of being stuck or trapped. Have you ever had this feeling?

Fear not! You can make your escape by learning from smart-guy poster child Albert Einstein.

That’s right, Einstein was a rebel. In fact, his disregard for established thinking was a huge contributor to his revolutionary scientific accomplishments.

scientist quotes

“Other scientists had come close to his insight, but they were too confined by the dogmas of the day.” ~ Walter Isaacson, The World Needs More Rebels Like Einstein

So, consider the tips from Einstein below and spark your own rebellion!

Try New Things

quotes einstein

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein

Einstein made plenty of mistakes but his successes are what we remember. To make real progress, you have to step outside of your comfort zone. Try new things. Make mistakes. All in the name of progress.

Question Authority

quotes by albert einstein

“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” ~ Albert Einstein

Don’t take things at face-value. Develop your own understanding and be open to the fact that authority figures can be wrong too.

Seek Truth, Not Popularity

quotes of albert einstein

“What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.” ~ Albert Einstein

Sometimes, being right will make you unpopular. Be right anyway. Popularity is cheap and temporary. Strive for quality and truth despite the opinions of critics.

Run Towards Problems

albert einstein famous quotes

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” ~ Albert Einstein

People who create the most valuable solutions are often those who chase the most difficult problems. Don’t be intimidated by big challenges because they represent the greatest potential.

Be Persistent

quotes by einstein

“You never fail until you stop trying.” ~ Albert Einstein

Be patient. Keep going. Things of great value often take years to build. But in the end, it will be worth it.

Recognize When You’re Wrong

einstein quotes

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ~ Albert Einstein

When the facts change or you’re proven wrong, don’t be stubborn. Don’t let a mistake waste any more time, or create additional mistakes. Own your failure and move on.

Be Optimistic

quotes albert einstein

“I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.” ~ Albert Einstein

At the end of the day, we will experience successes and failures. But, the attitude we take will determine how we experience the world.

So strive, fail, succeed and smile at the possibilities of the future.

See Also: Amazing Life Lessons You Can Learn From Albert Einstein: Part Deux

 

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7 Powerful Habits To Skyrocket Your Self-Confidence

Have you ever imagined how it would be to gain a ton of self-confidence?

Every challenge would feel way easier to you. You would negotiate the pay raise you have been dreaming for years. You would ask out that girl you always think about.

And there’s a whole new world of possibilities…

It’s a shame that it’s just a dream…

Wait…

Are you sure that it’s just a dream? What if it were possible?

Let me tell you a secret. Not only can you gain self-confidence, but it’s even easier than most people think. It’s all about knowing the right way to do it.

You know, I’m a huge fan of habits. The reason is simple. Habits are super-effective and don’t require much energy once they are ingrained. Besides, learning a new habit isn’t impossible – in the end, it’s just a matter of patience.

Here’s the trick: Adopt the right habits and your self-confidence will skyrocket before you even realize it.

Change your focus

focus on the solution

How many times have you told yourself “I can’t do that”? Well, that’s a horrible point of view. You are focusing on the problem, not the solution. Of course, you can’t do it, because if you have that thought, you won’t take action.

Instead of focusing on your problem, focus on the solution. That will make a world of a difference. Instead of telling yourself “I can’t do that”, ask yourself “HOW can I do that?”. You’ll start thinking about the multitude of ways in which you can solve the problem. And you will solve it – and as a result, your self-confidence will go up.

So, here’s the habit. Every time you think you can’t do something, change your focus to how you can do it.

See Also: 3 Keys to Staying Focused & Reaching Your Goals

Exit your comfort zone when you need to

Your comfort zone is the set of actions you can take without feeling discomfort. We all spend most of our day in the comfort zone.

But sometimes, something makes us feel a little of discomfort – maybe a colleague you have a crush on just heard you said something embarrassing, maybe you just stumbled in front of a person you wanted to impress, etc…

Other times, we are required to take actions that make us feel discomfort. For example, you may have to call someone you haven’t heard in a while and ask him a favor.

Do you know the response of most of the people in the face of these situations? They run away, trying to avoid discomfort. The problem is that doing so undermines your self-confidence.

Here’s what to do instead. Every time you find yourself in an embarrassing situation, don’t run away. Stay in the discomfort and feel it. Every time you have to do something that embarrasses, don’t avoid it – do it.

Do you want to know what will happen? The amazing truth is that you won’t die! You will realize that discomfort isn’t that bad after all. And your self-confidence will grow a lot.

Make this a habit and you’ll be very self-confident.

See Also: 7 Ways to Get More Comfortable With Feeling Uncomfortable

Work on your body language

do yoga

Do you want to know what’s the fastest way to gain self-confidence? It’s to assume the posture of a self-confident person.

Countless studies have shown that our inner thinking conditions the body. However, the reverse is also true. Therefore, by changing your posture, you will change your feelings and thoughts.

This is especially important if you don’t exercise regularly and if you work sitting at a desk. Do postural exercises or practice any physical activity that positively affects your posture – like swimming and yoga. In addition, put your focus on your body and assume a more dominant posture often – especially when you need to take important decisions.

Improve your voice

Like body language, your voice is a reflection of your inner world. A self-confident person speaks with a higher voice volume – of course, he/she can still whisper when needed! Thus, speaking with a higher voice volume will make you feel more confident.

This means that working on your voice volume regularly (let’s say 10-20 minutes, 2-3 times a week), will make a big difference. Also, put your efforts into noticing when you decrease your voice volume when speaking with others – and increase it, within reason of course.

Read inspiring thoughts

Your mind is like a sponge. It absorbs whatever gets to it. It means that if you feed your mind with horrible information, it will produce lots of horrible thoughts. If you feed it with wonderful information, it will produce lots of wonderful thoughts.

You can leverage this by adopting a very smart habit. Read inspiring thoughts/information frequently and your way thinking will improve continuously. Which means that you will feel good and make better choices. And as a result of both, your self-confidence will increase.

You have plenty of choices. Read a good book from a great person, listen to an inspiring speech, read a great personal improvement blog, enjoy a powerful quote, and so on. The are so many possibilities!

Change the words you use

Have you ever noticed that the way in which you talk to yourself changes the way you feel? Well, the truth is that even changing a single word can make a very big difference.

If you think that your day is just okay…well, you’ll feel just okay. Let’s change that, and let’s say that your day is fabulous. How will you feel? You will feel way better than before. Given that you choose the words you use, you have the power to change your emotions.

How do you feel about asking that person out? If you say you feel nervous, you will feel nervous and won’t be self-confident enough to ask him/her out. Instead, try to describe that feeling as excitement and you’ll ask him/her out right away.

Remember past successes

So many people think that they can’t do anything remarkable. But that is so untrue!

Here’s a game. Write the 10 biggest accomplishments in your life. No matter what, get to 10 accomplishments. Even if you need 1 hour – don’t worry. Every time I make a client do this exercise, he finishes after 10-15 minutes at maximum.

Now, after writing this list, do you still think that you can’t do anything remarkable? You already are at 10 – and probably even more.

After you graduated, or made that amazing travel, or solved that problem at work, or got an amazing partner…how easy does it sound to make that call that you were delaying? Really easy!

Remember your accomplishments often, and you’ll soon feel more confident.

And there you have it: 7 powerful habits that can make you gain a lot of self-confidence. And, of course, you don’t have to put all of these 7 into action. Actually, just pick one – the one that resonates the most with you. Put that one into action.

Once you have mastered that first habit – no less than 20 days, please – you will be free to add another one.

 

The post 7 Powerful Habits To Skyrocket Your Self-Confidence appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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