5 Steps Towards Finding Empowerment in Your Daily Routine

5 Steps To Finding Empowerment Through Your Daily Routine

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”  – Stephen King

In many ways your daily rituals define who you are and where you are headed. For most people, some routines are rewarding while others prove to be cumbersome and extremely tedious.

So does this mean eliminate routines all together?

Not exactly.

Fortunately, there is a way to maintain self-discipline while still spicing up your daily rituals.

Instead of trudging through a monotonous workout plan or job assignment you can learn the art of fulfilling a task while still enjoying the process itself.

Part of the formula involves  incorporating adjustments towards your beliefs and habits so that you stick to your routine for the long haul.

1. Prioritize self care 

Many people forget that the path to success is a marathon, not a sprint.

Being ruthless about your “me” time can make a world of difference in your life. Not only does self-care improve how you execute your daily tasks but it also ensures that you have the longevity that is necessary to keep pushing.

Every single day carve out time to rejuvenate and do what you love.

When you shift your thoughts and begin to see self-care as a necessity instead of an indulgence, you will begin to develop a healthier outlook on the work you do.

Remember, there is nothing glamorous about burning out.

2. Learn to say no

Throughout the day people, advertisements and media bombard you with their own problems and agendas that ultimately send you down a rabbit hole of non-productivity.

If you notice distractions are leading you away from your routine, learn to turn them off immediately.  When it is possible, turn off your phone or the television and commit to cutting back on checking your emails.

Though it is important that you engage with others and be friendly, this does not mean that you owe them the right to keep you away from fulfilling important tasks.

When you teach others to respect your schedule they inherently learn to respect you, your time, and your energy even more.

This also shows them, as well as you, that you are committed to your routine.

3. Let go of perfection

Sorry to tell you but we all slip up sometimes.

You may have missed your morning yoga because you slept in a few minutes longer than you anticipated. Or maybe you were out running errands all day and ended up making dinner later than usual.

So what.

We beat ourselves up all the time for not staying on task and doing things exactly as originally planned.

Truth is, perfection is not only impossible but overrated.

Everyday brings about new challenges and unforeseen roadblocks so learn to embrace this as a part of life.

Try to see that every situation provides hidden lessons that you can learn from.

4. Toss the monotony and add more spirit! 

This involves finding ways to stick to the task at hand while still incorporating a sense of  novelty and excitement. Adding quirks and individual flare to the work that you do can make a world of difference and help you stick to your journey of self-improvement.

For instance, if you are a regular jogger try to do something offbeat like wearing homemade ankle weights or singing out loud to your favorite tune. These minor adjustments should not serve as distractions that veer you off course but instead break up the monotony of your routine.

5. Manage your energy, not your time. 

Start thinking less about time management and more about self-sustainability.

Learn to be self-aware and acknowledge when you do not have the energy to fulfill every task you may have on your list. This may mean that you need to prioritize your most important tasks for the day and postpone the rest for tomorrow.

If you notice that you are more of a “morning person”,  consider indulging in your most important tasks at the start of your day. This way you ensure that the difficult tasks are done at a time in which you are most aware, alert, and engaged.

Biography: Bolajoko is an energy healer always looking for new and exciting ways to reach her fullest potential. In her spare time she can be found writing erotica or making quirky adjustments to classic vegan recipes. She can be followed through her radical self-empowerment blog where she chronicles her passion for herbalism and spirituality.

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The 9 Traits of Successful People

Success - ManSpirational.com

Successful people are like birds in a flock. They often possess like qualities and attributes. Here are 9 traits I have observed in successful people. If you want to be a success, then start implementing some of these habits in your own life. Work at them until they become a habit. After all, the only difference between a successful individual and one who is not is that a successful person has made it a habit of doing things that lead towards success.

Decide, Really Decide, What You Want

First of all, decide—really decide—what it is that you want. Write it down. By writing it down, you force yourself to state in clear and specific terms your wants as well as start formulating the steps to get there. But what does it mean to really decide? You already know. There are the decisions you make that you relinquish after a few weeks. Then, there are the ones that truly matter to you. You feel in your gut and know that you will chase after them, no matter what the cost. It’s the same feeling you had when you decided—really decided—to embark on an exercise program to gain 10 pounds of muscle in 12 months and stick with it. A year and a half later, you are still hitting the gym at least 3 times a week.

When you really decide on something, you know you are now on the road to great things. You are committed. You will persist and persevere in your decision towards the attainment of your goals.

Practice Daily Gratitude

Successful people also practice gratitude daily and really mean it. It could be something as simple as hearing your favorite song on the radio, having good health, and saying “hi” to a friend. By reframing your thoughts to what you already have, you are changing your mindset so that you are more open to receiving. Oftentimes, in the pursuit of our goals we become blinded to the little steps that make up the bigger picture. By practicing gratitude, we learn to appreciate the little things and learn how to receive.

Start your day by listing 10 things for which you are grateful. Then, sit there quietly for 5 minutes and ask the Universe for guidance. The latter is a form of meditation in which you learn to quiet your mind and the noise of other people’s opinions, learning over time to listen to yourself and to what you really want.

Do Things That Are Unpleasant

Successful people do things that normal people do not like to do because they know that they have to do them as part of the plan. They know that it is a necessary part of being successful. This could run the gamut from having to take public speaking classes in order to be a more effective orator, learning to improve one’s sense of fashion through a make-over, and spending the time after work to learn something for the job rather than sit in front of the television. This could also be boring, tedious tasks, such as filling and filing paperwork, or performing some other mind-numbing and repetitive task.

Go After Big Rather Than Mediocre Goals

The majority of people set goals that they already know how to accomplish. There is no glory, joy, or sense of accomplishment in this. Successful people set goals that are much greater than themselves and that they may not necessarily know how to accomplish. It is in putting themselves outside their comfort zones that the fulfillment their goals lead to real growth. That growth prepares them for the next great challenge. They go on to dream even bigger dreams as a result of that experience.

They also realize that they may fail many, many, many times before achieving their goals. So, they reframe failures as just learning experiences. Think about it this way: When you are doing something that you are truly passionate about and enjoy wholeheartedly, do you think of every mistake and failure as a mistake and failure? Do you give up after a few times or keep hacking at it until you get it? If you are truly passionate, then you will just think of them as learning experiences. You will also plow through hundreds of mistakes, taking note of what does not work and learning from those mistakes, gleaning insight into the process, and eventually finding what does work.

Passion, coupled with limitless persistence and perseverance, pays dividends.

They Rarely Change Their Minds

Once a successful person makes a decision, he rarely changes his mind. He often sticks with it until the very end, when success is in their grasp. In line with this, they have already begun with the end in mind. They know what the finish line looks like. They visualize having already been there and done that as a means to motivate themselves. The emotional component of having finally made it, even though they have not yet, provides the impetus and the drive.

They may hit roadblocks or detours along the way, but they work progressively towards the attainment of their goals.

Freedom From the Victim Mentality

They know that they are where they are because of their past actions, or lack thereof. Instead of blaming other people for their current situation or station in life, they need only look in a mirror and realize the greatest offender is looking right back at them.

By blaming others, successful people know that they take power from the one person that can do something about the situation: themselves. Blaming others often leaves the poor victim powerless. People play the victim because they love to wallow in self-pity and elicit the sympathy of others. They can also avoid taking action, in doing so avoid the agony of likely defeat.

In taking accountability, successful people possess the initiative to work towards what they really want. Most people are afraid to take action because they might get what they don’t want. The sad part is oftentimes they do get what they don’t want.

Have Successful Friends

If you want to know where you will be going in life, you need only look at your five closest friends. We are that with which we choose to associate ourselves. When Oprah Winfrey decided to lose weight, she faced criticism from her friends who asked why she would waste her time on such a pointless endeavor when she was fine the way she was. In other words, her friends refused to change for the better. So, Winfrey found new friends commensurate with her goals.

When you have a picture of what you want to become, you will attract the right people into your life.

Constantly Read Self-Improvement Books

Successful people constantly have their noses in self-improvement books. They read voraciously and their quest for new information never ceases. They also know that they have to take action on what they read or it just becomes intellectual stimulation. They know that fundamentally, man becomes what he thinks about. Reading numerous books is just approaching this idea from numerous angles until something clicks with them.

Visioneering

Another frequent habit of successful people is that they have habituated ways of being. They already know what they want by deciding. They begin with the end in mind. They hold that picture in their minds and work ceaselessly towards it. In parallel, they constantly visualize their lives and live in their minds as if they already have what they are chasing after. Doing so frees your mind and opens it up to new ideas and viewpoints that could very well help you to achieve your goal. The emotional component of the visualization exercise also keeps you grounded so that you work tirelessly towards your goal.

Decide and Work Towards Success

So if you want to get going on your own road to success, start implementing these 9 traits of successful people. Start with one and work at it until it becomes a habit. Remember what Earl Nightingale said. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.

Benson Wong lived in darkness for most of his life, until only just recently. Once he started viewing the world through a different set of lenses, the light was blinding. He enjoys sharing what he has learned with the rest of the world. We all have our own journeys, but in the end we are uniquely the same. Visit ManSpirational.com today for articles such as the one you just read. And while you are there, get your free eBook, 14 Ways to Boost Your Confidence!

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3 Secrets to Pushing Through the Dip (Before Giving Up)

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.51.56 AM

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.51.56 AM

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine in which he was venting his frustrations about work. Nothing seemed to be motivating him, he’s uninspired, he’s lost the creativity flow he once had.

I responded with, “It sounds like you’re in the dip.”

The dip, explained by Seth Godin in his book The Dip, is the idea that every new project or job starts out with endless amounts of drive, motivation and excitement. But then, deeper in to the commitment, it gets harder and less fun, until it finally hits a low point where it’s really hard, and not much fun at all.

You then find yourself asking if the commitment and journey you set out on is even worth the hassle. Maybe you’re in a dip; a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing.

The latter is trusting the process; trusting the intentional effort you put in will be the force that pushes you through the other side of the dip.

We all experience this and it’s something we know we are going to experience again. But, when you’re able to recognize it and be intentional with your actions, the dip experience doesn’t have to be as painful.

Here’s a short process in recognizing when you’re in the dip and for initiating the necessary actions to push through the dip:

Take responsibility for your dip experience

Often times it’s easier to point fingers at things or blame others for your lack of motivation. It’s so easy to always say it’s this or that, when in fact, it’s you.

It’s how you are approaching the dip, it’s how you react to situations that arise while in the dip environment. It’s not being aware that you are even in the dip.

Waiting for others, and the environment you’re in, to change will result to nothing. The two things it will do is prolong you from pushing through the other side of the dip and you’ll begin to create bad habits.

The dip characteristics start to become a part of who you are. They begin to seep into other areas of your life.

If you want to change others, or the environment around you, you need to change.

Confront your negative thinking

This voice is an asshole, but yet, we let it serve as our compass.

When in the dip everything has a negative and ugly side, as seen through the dip’s lens. These negative thoughts tend to be the only things we focus on.

The more time we spend focusing on them and repeating them to ourselves, they become the reality. Ultimately, making it more difficult to push through the other side of the dip.

Confront these thoughts, accept them not as your excuses, but your thoughts, own them. Get out your journal and write. What is that voice in your head saying? Get them on paper so you can see them with clarity.

Don’t continue to just act on them. Become mindful of the dip environment in which you find yourself in.

Until you take responsibility for your negative thoughts, you fall victim to them. You continue to surrender to the head chatter, allowing the dip to become your total reality.

Be intentional about your actions

Getting back your mojo is a frustrating task. When you slow down to reflect on the sources of the dip, it lays the foundation for how to fix it. It uncovers the holes, the gaps, the areas that are road blocks.

This is where you have to fall in love with fixing your flaws, your negative thoughts. As we’ve already stated; pushing through the dip is nobody else’s responsibility but your own. Own that. In fact, be grateful for it. This is where growth occurs.

Positive thinking alone won’t provide you with a one way ticket out of the dip, it must be coupled with intentional action and change.

Unfortunately, there’s not a step-by-step guide in getting through the dip. We all respond to things differently.

What must be present is your openness and acceptance to the change.

We all want to change, but there must come a point where your soul, your mind, your intentions all collide and are ready.

The process is a combination of learning how to handle, or respond to, those negative thoughts. It’s shifting your mindset and lens while in the environment of the dip.

Then, it’s putting those two things in motion.

It’s instilling the actions and habits that support your intentional journey out of the dip. This is the trial and error portion of the process in determining the necessary actions to push you through the other side of the dip. Often times, these evolve and change as you change.

Regardless, trust the process.

Have you ever experienced the dip before?

Eric Ungs is founder of the Unless You Care Project. He writes and coaches about leading a life of intentional self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook. Connect with Eric at unlessyoucareproject.com.

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9 Nelson Mandela Quotes That Will Inspire You to Change

Nelson Mandela Quotes That Will Inspire You to Change

I recently watched the film created about Nelson Mandela’s life for the first time last week, even though it came out back in 2013, and I found it incredibly inspirational. Those type of films always inspire me because they have such a powerful way of delivering an overview of amazing true stories.

Nelson Mandela was a great man, and inspired an amount of change that no man should ever have to inspire people with in the first place. The things he went through in order to change the standard of living for his people are astounding.

Here are some of the greatest Nelson Mandela quotes that will inspire you to change the way you think, and how you live your life, for the better.

 

1. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

It not about having no fear to begin with, it’s about being able to face your fears and get over them.

We gain our strength and courage through overcoming our fears, so whenever you see someone who may not have any fear to begin with, that doesn’t necessarily mean those people have a lot of courage within them.

2. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

This quote more than any other, is a clear representation of Nelson Mandela. Everybody thought that his fight for equality was impossible, until he did it.

People are often too scared or pessimistic to attempt things that are generally considered impossible, but the definition of impossible is ever-changing due to those who believe it can be done.

So they make the impossible possible, whilst the non-believers are now telling themselves that the next level up is definitely impossible though.

3. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”

The time to do whatever you want is now! There are no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ when it comes to time. You may not a second chance at an opportunity, so always use your time wisely and take the opportunities when you get them.

Just think, what would have happened if Mandela had started standing up for his people 10, maybe 20 years later.

Would he have still succeeded?

4. “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”

Success is often measured by the amount of wealth someone has amounted, but it’s far from that. Everyone’s entitled to their own definition of success, yet money always leaves people becoming greedy for more.

You should redefine your definition of success, to more measurable and life-worthy things such as having a career you love and enjoy, being able to surround yourself by family, living freely and wherever you want to.

5. “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

Anyone who has a good mind and a good heart can have the power to change the world in such a positive way.

Nelson Mandela had this combination of head and heart, and used it to do right by his people, rather than just think of himself as his number one priority.

6. “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”

Mandela felt that he’d be able to rest in peace on he’d done his duty to his people. That was his priority in life, and his process of thought was that until he’d done his duty he wouldn’t be able to rest peacefully.

Will you be able to rest peacefully? Have you helped those closest around you?

7. “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

When it all comes down to it, the dedication and passion you bring to what you do every day determines whether you will succeed at it or not.

Anything is possible if you love what you do and you commit yourself to it entirely. This statement is backed up highly by the passion that Nelson Mandela showed and the success he managed to achieve because of it.

8. “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

It’s in human nature to want to help others, for most of us anyway. So we should live in a way that is helping other people, in order to truly be happy with ourselves and our own lives.

9. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

People are often judged purely because of their success, as that’s normally the only thing that most people see. What they don’t see is all the times before that someone fell down and kept getting back up again.

That attitude is what should be judged, not by the final result.

 

Thank you for reading this great list of 9 Nelson Mandela quotes that have hopefully inspired you to change the way you think about life for the better.

Nelson Mandela was a true inspiration and what he has done for others during his lifetime will never be forgotten.

What’s your favorite Mandela quote?

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5 Simple Habits to Get More Plants into Your Diet

healthy habits

healthy habits

More and more people are waking up and realizing the impact of their dietary choices.

It seems like every day, new information is released that highlights the health benefits of eating less processed foods, and more plants. From weight loss to a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases, it appears those nutrient-dense power houses can almost make us superhuman.

We all know that we could benefit from eating more fruits and veggies, but bringing about that change is often easier said than done. Modern life is busy. We all have deadlines to make and commitments to fulfil, places to be and family to care for. And even if we do have the time to alter our diet, most of us don’t really know where to start…

If you’re someone who wants to eat healthily but can’t figure out how, here are a few simple actions you can take right now that will help you get more plants in to your diet. So you can start manifesting the changes you want to see, and get a little closer to realising your health potential.

1. Start your day with something green.

I usually like to get a head start on the day with a green smoothie. It’s packed full of nutrition, and it’s easy for your body to digest. It also tastes great, it’s quick to make, and you can drink it on the run if you’re in a rush. What more could you want from a breakfast meal?

I advise you to invest in a half decent blender, and try whizzing up a few bananas with some water, oats, seeds berries and leafy greens (either spinach, kale, or spring greens).

Drink it down, and even if you don’t have access to good nutrition throughout the rest of the day, at least you already have a load of vitamins and minerals in the bank.

2.Try a new recipe each week.

Attempting to make big changes straight off rarely leads to lasting habits, which is why I advocate starting small. Rather than going for a complete overhaul, perhaps start by trying just one new healthy evening meal each week.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to take up a load of time, and it doesn’t have to be difficult either. There are thousands of books and food blogs out there with tons of great recipes that are quick and simple to prepare.

Homemade curries and stir-fry’s are a great way to get a load of veggies packed into one meal.  Mexican food works well too. Remember to be creative, and find what works for you. If you’re really stuck for ideas, feel free to check out my growing list of recipes over at my blog Health Room.

3. Enforce the side salad rule.

Regardless of whether your main meal is full of plants or not, promise yourself that you’ll always endeavour to include a side salad of some sort. Maybe it’s just a simple bowl of salad greens, or if you’re feeling fancy maybe add some red onion, peppers, cucumber or sprouted seeds. Go crazy.

Even if you’re main meal is not that healthy, at least you’re including some health promoting food along with it. If nothing else, it will help your taste buds adapt to the flavour of the veggies, and soon you won’t want to eat without them.

4. Eat plant powered snacks.

Snacking is a big problem for a lot of people. When you’re dashing between meetings or in a rush back from work, it’s too easy to grab that chocolate bar or packet of crisps. The truth is that plant based snacks can be just as convenient, and they come with the added benefit of being health promoting too.

Fresh fruit is one of the best options, either whole or blended in a smoothie. Nuts and seeds are great too, and nut butters spread on wholemeal bread or rice cakes also do the job nicely.

Stock up on a few of these foods, and keep them in your desk drawers so you’ll always have emergency access to good nutrition.

5. Plan ahead.

Once you’ve built a solid repertoire of your favourite healthy meals, it can then be useful to start planning ahead.

You’re more likely to stick to a new habit if you build structure around it. Perhaps take some time on the weekend to plan your meals for the week. You can even batch cook them and store them in containers in the fridge and freezer.

Having meals that are already prepared will make you less likely to go through the drive through when you’ve had a long day at work. You’ve already got something healthy and delicious waiting for you at home!

—–

Luke Jones is the creator of Health Room, the site he uses to explore and share ideas in plant based nutrition, movement, mindfulness and sustainability. He recently wrote an eBook on forming lasting healthy habits, which you can get here free: The Health Room Starter Guide: 40 Ways to Eat More Plants, Move Freely, Live Mindfully and Exist Sustainably.

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7 Ways to Unmask the Superhero Inside of You

7 Ways To Unmask The Superhero Inside You

how to be a superhero

“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.” -Aristotle

We are fascinated with superheroes. These daring characters give us something to aspire to.

Even if not human themselves, superheroes represent the essence of being human. Like you and me, they may be flawed, yet theirs are stories of emerging from struggle, conflict, and trauma with amazing gifts.

A superhero offers hope and comfort as we mere mortals make sense of a complex world, and they inspire by illustrating the potential in all of us to be someone great. You see, heroes also exist outside of comic books and the silver screen. Of course, famous leaders, reformers, and philanthropists can be heroes, but countless other ordinary people make an extraordinary impact on someone’s world.

For all of our admiration, we might actually have one advantage over superheroes. Unlike those masked wonders saving the day, we don’t need a secret identity to be heroic (though many of us might underestimate ourselves or keep our talents hidden).

Everyone, even you, has a superhero inside. Here are seven ways to unmask yours.

Find and work at your passion.

Just as each superhero has a mission, we have special talents and interests that we feel passionate about. If you already know where your passion lies, work at it wholeheartedly. The end goal isn’t as important as the time spent doing something with passion.

Whether you want to dedicate more time to a hobby or make a radical career change, make a realistic plan to get yourself there (then act on it). If you are tempted to avoid action out of fear, uncertainty, or self-doubt, acknowledge this and use it as a reminder of how much you care (then keep moving).

If you haven’t found your passion, commit to exploring this. Think about what you would do for free, where you fit in the most, and what you would do no matter what anyone else thought.

You might also list the things you have always dreamed of doing or remember what you wanted to be as a child. Once you have a few ideas, try one. Treat it like an experiment and approach this with an attitude of curiosity.

Stand for something.

Any superhero knows that you need to believe in something and then stand up for those beliefs. Get to know what you believe and why, then stand behind it fully.

What do you value most? Human rights? The environment? Justice? Peace? Support a cause and take action. Speak up for what you believe, and let your actions match your words. Whatever steps you take, let them be taken with honor and respect.

Do good.

Superheroes make a name for themselves by doing good. Good deeds, no matter how small, go a long way toward helping others (and ourselves).

The first step is believing that you can make a difference. Next, do something good with your words and actions. Share a kind word, lend a helping hand, or donate time and resources to a cause you support.

Write your story.

Every superhero has an origin story. What is yours?

Ask yourself how you came to value what you do. Remind yourself of times that you’ve used pain as fuel for growth. Your story may be one of resilience, bravery, or inspiration.

Dreams, challenges, strengths, and aspirations are all part of your story, and this is a story worth sharing. Use the way you express yourself best to give your story a voice.

Don’t let fear become your nemesis.

For every superhero, there is also a supervillain, and for us, fear can be a pretty formidable opponent. Believe in your potential for greatness, and act with courage. This means moving forward even when you feel afraid.

Acknowledge fear’s presence and even listen to what it has to say, but don’t mistake it for the whole story. Understand where your fear may stem from, and move forward anyway.

Don’t stand in your own way by caving in to doubts, insecurities, and the message from others that you can’t. Take healthy risks to expand your comfort zone, and hang in there through discomfort.

Spend quality time alone. 

To hone your super potential, give yourself quality time alone each day. Establish a personal space that gives you a little solitude. This time can be used for reflection, learning, and practicing your talents.

Begin a contemplative practice, such as journaling, meditation, or prayer. Other activities like dance, yoga, art, music, writing, and martial arts are also great avenues of self-exploration and self-expression.

Above all else, conduct yourself with integrity.

Heroes can be distinguished from villains by their integrity and honor. They are committed to doing what is right.

Do what you think is right, even if it isn’t always what is easiest. Treat others with kindness and compassion. Rise above challenges, oppression, and discouragement, and do so with honesty, dignity, and respect.

 

Leslie Ralph, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in a university counseling center where she specializes in anxiety management, values exploration, self-compassion, and mindfulness. Outside of the office, she is a wife and mother, cat lover, music enthusiast, and weekend runner. She is the author of the Worth beyond Compare. See more about how to connect to the good within by visiting Openly Being.

 

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How To Use Your Power of Communication to Change Your Life

how to change your life

how to change your life

Growing up, I’ve always had a quiet personality. In the past, I opted to take in the world and all of its experiences rather than project myself at it. So I guess ‘my power of communication’ in my earlier years was ‘speechless’. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, I was just extremely shy and didn’t understand what my opinions were worth. As a child I would quietly pick and choose when to subtly inject my thoughts and opinions into adult conversations and would be completely shocked that more often than not, they would continue their conversation in-line with what I had said to them.

I believe we could learn a lot from children’s opinions largely because they are unfiltered but mostly because children see the world differently. I recently watched a mini series on television about children engaged in debates about various life topics. I found their perspective about life uniquely refreshing.

Connecting the Dots

From an early age I’ve loved everything about books the illustrations, the characters, learning new words and their meanings and was always branded a bookworm by my friends-and-family.

At the tender age of 10 years old I decided to write an adventure story about collecting little paper rings from various ‘fantasy type places’. It was an interactive story where the reader (aka classmates) would need to lift various flaps or solve puzzles to find rings. At the time I didn’t know the impact that writing would have on me or other people. To this day, I still have the books, although they are collecting dust in my attic. At the back of by mind they have been my driving force in life. I’m sure if you think back to your younger years, you’ll remember what really motivated you and gave you a real sense of achievement and passionate drive regardless of whether you received acknowledgement.

Paving the Path

On my exasperating path to achieving my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Psychology, I begun to confidently express myself through written and verbal communication. This led me to have a greater understanding of ‘The Power of Communication’.

I realized that, “life is about communication. But not frivolously executed communication; powerful communication should convey your needs, thoughts, opinions and feelings. Powerful communication should engage you in healthy debates without letting your emotions take over. Powerful communication should allow you to see things from other people’s perspective, whether you agree with them or not which should impart new knowledge”. Looking back I can now connect my dots in life. Can you connect your dots?

Strengthen your Communication

I remember reading an article called the ‘Art of Communication’, where an analogy was used called ‘Taking a Sip’ … in order to be an active listener. She went on to explain that you should take a physical or metaphorical sip to learn from others. Amongst other things, this helped me to consider what I had learnt in order to strengthen my communication:

1. Actively Listen:

We have a tendency to think we are always right, right. Well, believe it or not, in life we have like-minded people and those with differing perspectives.The key is trying to understand where other people are coming from,which can be incredibly difficult. But if you take the time to really tune into what other people are saying, along with gaining new knowledge, you may learn a multitude more about them than the actual words that are coming out of their mouths. This will help you to understand other people’s character, values and opinions leading to stronger connections to others.

2. Reasonably Reflect:

We all lead busy lives, darting from moment to moment and interaction to interaction sometimes without any acknowledgement on the part we play. So it is incredibly important to reasonably reflect on interactions with others. Consider, what your body language, your mood and your radiating energy tells others about you. I don’t think you should use this process to over analyse everything you do hence the word ‘reasonably’. However, I think it’s important to be mindful of the ‘you’ that you present to others in any given situation.

3. Think it, Believe it, Say it:

We have hundreds of thousands of thoughts a day. We tune into some and ignore others. If you have something playing on your mind, listen to your inner voice and address it with the right person. I find that as adults we often have ‘go to words’ to outwardly express how we are feeling. I used to say ‘I’m fine’ or I’m ok’, when in fact I wasn’t completely ‘fine’ or ‘ok’. Do you have ‘go to words’? And do you use it to stop yourself from exploring how you are really feeling?. Well, may I suggest that you take a moment to selectively think it, believe it and say it. I’m not suggesting you should tell your entire life story from start to finish to anyone who cares to listen. What I am promoting is a balanced sense of honesty.

How Ironic

It seems quite ironic that ‘The Power of Communication’ for me used to be ‘speechless’, because I’m proud to say ‘I am now a teacher’ and use my voice ALL the time. See how I’m still connecting the dots. But being a teacher is much more than talking, it’s also about the listening and reflecting (and a whole load of paperwork!).

So here is what I would like you to do, commit to following my ‘Strengthen your Communication’ advice. See what impact they have in your life. What did you learn about others? What did you learn about yourself? Did you build stronger connections with others?. I would love you to share your stories.

As we are all navigating through this marvellous creation called life. We often wonder how some make it work while others are barely making it. The power of communication could be one of the answers that helps you to improve the navigation process.

Life is like a flower – as one petal opens (in this case a communication petal) we experience a little more of life’.

——

Keyz is an active writer and blogs at YourKibitz.com

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7 Brutally Honest Reasons Why You’ll Never Be Successful (And How To Fix It Right Now)

7 Brutally Honest Reasons Why You'll Never Be Successful (And How To Fix It Right Now)

honest with yourself

It’s frustrating isn’t it?

You’ve set big goals for your life. You’re dreams are admirable.

But you’re not getting anywhere.

What’s the problem?

You’re not lazy, you’re exhausted after each day.

It’s not motivation, you’re inspired by others who’ve chased down their dreams.

It’s not your confidence, you know you’re capable, you know you’ve got what it takes, you feel success within your grasps.

What is it then?

If it’s not your work ethic, attitude or willpower, why haven’t you reached success?

The biggest reason: You need a change of perspective.

In other words, your idea of success sucks.

It’s not your fault – We’re raised with a narrow-minded view of success implanted in our brains and told anything that doesn’t fit the protocol is considered failure.

We’re taught to define success by the size of our home, price of our car, or the money in our bank account.

Truth is, you don’t need any of that to become successful.

If I knew in high school by 22 I’d be living in a van on the outskirts of Las Vegas, working part time with a solar company and using my free time to grow my business, I would say my life must be a complete joke.

Yet that’s me today and I love every bit of it. My income exceeds my expenses, every night I sleep under the stars and I focus most of my day on helping others reach their goals.

I changed my idea of success and success found me.

7 Brutally Honest Reasons Why You Aren’t Successful (And How To Fix Them Right Now)

There are plenty of reasons we aren’t successful.  Most are boring and repetitive:  You lack experience, have crappy genes, need more money.

If you want those same mundane reasons you’re in the wrong place, you won’t find them here.

Instead, we’re after results.  Whenever I accomplish one of my goals I feel a tingling sensation in my body so strong it makes me cringe.

I want you to feel that tingle.

And it starts with changing your perspective.

  1. You’re Still Using Someone Else’s Definition For Success

Your life’s not the same as everyone else. You have your own set of values, beliefs, goals, and your own body to store it all into.

You’re unique.

So why are you wasting your time using the same idea for success as everybody else?

In Tony Robbins Ultimate Success Formula he says, “Being clear about exactly what you want is the first and most fundamental place you need to go to make anything better.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Decide on what you want and that’s you’re definition of success. Forget what anyone else thinks.

My idea of success is helping others, living below my means, and growing as a human every single day.

It’s your life, define it.

  1. You’re Afraid To Ask For Help

For some reason there’s a belief the road to success is an unmarked path in the woods no one’s ever been down and if you’re lucky enough to find your way out you’ll be successful.

What a load of crap.

In Napoleon Hill’s famous book, Think And Grow Rich, he declares “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”

He wrote that in 1937, millions have since used his advice to reach levels of success they never before thought possible. (You can grab a free pdf of his book here)

The easiest way to grow is helping others grow, it’s only seems counter-intuitive because we’ve been raised to think there’s not enough wealth to share with everyone.

If you’re interested in only growing yourself, or think to be successful you have to do it alone you’re missing the point completely.

Which brings us to our next reason.

  1. You Want Success For Selfish Reasons

Everyone has a bit of selfishness inside and it’s good to express those emotions. If you spent your life only pleasing others you’d die miserable.

But if your ideas for success only make your life better you’ll never be successful.

In a study from The Scientific American on the side effects of greed and generosity, they found generosity keeps our body healthy while greed brings stress and produces cortisol, a stress induced chemical.

The more you gain the more you have to lose. If you only want success to better yourself greed will catch up to you. You’ll be rich in dollars but broke in joy, love, and passion, except for accumulating more money.

Now you see why a new car and a big house is a lame definition of success?

If I’m not making the world better I’ve let other things disrupt my goals and need to refocus my vision.

Turn your attention to leaving the planet you call home a little better than it was when you got here and you’ll never lose focus of success.

Jason Fried, author of Rework, calls it ‘making a dent in The Universe.”

Big or small, leave a dent that lives long after you’re gone.

  1. You’re Schedule Sucks

I know, the thought of micro-managing your life sounds like torture.

I used to think the same way, until I realized I wasn’t getting anything done.

I was staying busy – doing laundry, answering email, checking twitter, but theirs a massive difference between busy and productive.

Author J.R.R Tolkien said it best, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

If you don’t take control of your time and decide what needs to get done, someone else will do it for you.

Scott Dinsmore from Live Your Legend created an awesome weekly planning process you can get for free that turns scheduling into a ritual that’s become one of my favorite parts of every week.

By taking an hour a week to mark what’s important on your calendar you gain clarity over the steps your taking (or not taking) to become successful.

If it’s on your schedule, it gets done. Plain and simple.

  1. You’ve Stopped Growing Yourself

One of the biggest misconceptions about success is once you’ve reached your destination you’re set for life.

It’s just another lie society has spread for years.

Once you become successful you can still lose everything. People who gain something they’ve never had have no idea what to do with it.

And they lose it.

In his book Laws Of Lifetime Growth, author Dan Sullivan interviews business owner Dan Schmidt who says to avoid growth atrophy he asks himself,

“If everything I’ve done until now is only the beginning, what’s next?”

Put another way, everything you’ve learned is just a spec of the information floating around the Universe. There’s always room for growth.

It doesn’t matter if your trying to get in shape, start a business, or learning to cook. If you’re learning, you’re growing.

Develop a curiosity for all things in the world and you’ll never have to worry about lack of growth in your life.

  1. You’re Still Looking For Short Cuts Or Get Rich Quick Schemes

The only short cut you’ll ever need is so useful it puts any other short cut to shame and I can give it to you right now.

Ready?

There are no shortcuts.

Don’t believe me?  Take it from Richard Branson, one of the richest, most successful people in the world,

“If you spend your time looking for shortcuts, you will find one – right out of business.”

Get rich quick schemes are about stealing from many to make a few insanely rich.

Is that the type of person you want to be? Is becoming rich what’s most important?

If your goal’s to lose weight, would you really be satisfied taking weight loss pills that destroy your organs instead of committing to diet and exercise.

Short cuts are for toxic people who only care about themselves.

That’s not who you are.

Be real, and do it right. It may take longer, but you’re better off in the end.

  1. You’re Terrified To Commit Yourself To Being Successful

The reason people are so afraid to commit is because they have no idea what will happen.

If you fail, what will people think of you? Or worse, if you succeed how will you handle all the new found pressure?

In Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss says that “People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.”

People would rather live an unhappy life and never reach their goals because they’re too afraid to leave their comfort zone.

If you’re going to become successful you have to commit, and it’s not as simple as declaring a pledge.

Commitment is the secret ingredient to creating a meal others will replicate over and over using your exact recipe, yet it’ll never taste as good as when you made it.

Because the secret ingredient is love.

Being successful is more than money, status, or even reaching your goals. Those are mere by-products of true success – Great to have, but not as valuable as what true success is all about.

If you haven’t noticed, the ones who achieve true success love what they do. No matter how simple or complicated, easy or hard, they love it with a burning passion.

True success is about falling in love with the process every step of the way.

It’s about loving what you do.

It’s about loving your failures.

It’s about loving your triumphs.

It’s about loving all those who help you along the way.

But most of all, it’s about loving yourself.

They say an overnight success takes years of hard work behind the scenes.

Reading this article won’t bring you fame tomorrow, but implementing these strategies into your daily life will carve the path to achieving your most desirable goals.

So let me ask you, are you ready to commit to your wildest dreams? To helping others, to lifetime growth, to defining success, and to loving yourself?

Then leave a comment and share your story,

I can’t wait to hear it.

George Mortimer packed all his possessions into his van in search for a life of freedom.  His mission is to motivate people like you to create more freedom in your life.  You can find out more about his journey on Twitter.

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How to Keep Your Goals From Taking Over Your Life

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People make goals for all kinds of reasons. Some simply want to feel a sense of personal achievement, while others are trying to discover the meaning of life or make the world a better place. Sometimes, these are things we pursue in hopes of improving something inside ourselves (intrinsic goals) or things we pursue for some external reason (extrinsic goals).

Setting and achieving goals can be extremely beneficial; it creates a sense of self-expansion and connection by helping us latch onto the tangible value of life. Goals can also enhance our emotional well-being and give us a sense of autonomy and competence.

But sometimes, even goals that seem overwhelmingly positive can have negative effects.

Throughout high school, medical school, and my residency, I worked very hard. I was competitive and goal-oriented until one of my mentors pulled me aside and said, “If you keep on doing what you are doing, you will become the head of the National Institute of Mental Health, and you will hate it.”

My mentor wasn’t paying me an indirect compliment, and I may never even have made the cut; he was saying I had become so consumed with checking off award boxes and satisfying grant reviews that I had disconnected from my passion of integrating biology, psychology, research, clinical work, and the world outside psychiatry.

It took a lot of self-reflection, but I finally realized I needed to leave the safe bubble of academia and venture into a world that was more aligned with my passion.

When Goals Go Bad

Goals can become harmful when they aren’t congruous with who you are or when they’re selfish. Harmful goals can disconnect you from your true self or from a community that could help you. And if they drive you toward perfectionism rather than excellence or come at the expense of your emotional well-being, they might be doing more harm than good.

So how does goal setting change from something life-affirming into a destructive force?

Oftentimes, this occurs when your unconscious goals begin driving your behavior more than your conscious goals. For instance, perhaps your conscious goal is to find a relationship, but you end up ruining it due to your unconscious goal to manifest the sadness of a past relationship that failed.

In other cases, you end up losing your sense of self in the process of trying to achieve a goal. If a woman wants to meet someone, fall in love, and have a child, for example, she may start going out and meeting people. This is good for her and good for her goal. She’s also getting in shape, which keeps her healthy, helps her attract a partner, and supports a healthy birth.

But when the goal takes over, she may start tanning constantly or taking a slew of diet pills. At a certain point, she’s no longer interested in what’s good for her — only what will satisfy the goal.

Other times, the goals themselves aren’t harmful, but the motivation behind them is. For instance, if a person can’t confront something painful, he might try to ignore it by running from one goal to the next without stopping.

Some people never stop running, while others realize that it’s time to confront the issue and work toward more authentic, life-enriching goals.

Are Your Goals Hurting You?

There are a number of red flags that your goals are becoming harmful. Maybe you’ve hit a wall and feel as though you can’t work toward your goal anymore. Or maybe you feel like you’ve strayed from who you really are.

If you keep making the same mistakes over and over again or feel a sense of depression or anxiety, that could be a sign that your goals have morphed from something positive to something destructive. Discomfort is often a part of change and achievement, but the distress caused by negative feelings is usually a signal that something isn’t right.

If you think your goals may no longer be serving you in a positive way, there are a number of steps you can take to get back on track:

  • Reflect and manage your goals. Don’t just set goals and chase after them. Focus your energy on managing your goals so they don’t control you. Ask yourself: Does this goal fit who you are? How is it going to change over time? Is it impeding your life? Does it make you feel more or less connected to yourself and others?
  • Discuss your goals with people you trust. They’ll often have insights that you wouldn’t. 
  • Think about whom you will disappoint if you fail. Try to be compassionate, but realize that if you disappoint yourself, you’re going to have a much harder time serving others.
  • Eliminate Plan B. If your goal isn’t bringing you fulfillment, it might be because your backup plan is obstructing your primary goal. At some point, you must commit to your goals fully, so consider dropping Plan B to make it easier to achieve Plan A.

Achieving your goals and maintaining life satisfaction are not mutually exclusive. In fact, when you pursue the right goals in the right way, they should naturally support one another. In the end, it’s all about remembering that you are not your goals. Rather, your goals should be a concrete extension of your inner drive, passion, and hope.

Dr. Srini Pillay, founder and CEO of NeuroBusiness Group, is a pioneer in brain-based executive coaching, dedicated to collaborating with world-class experts to help people become unstuck and unleash their full potential by tapping into the power of their brains. He also serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and teaches in the Executive Education Programs at Harvard Business School and Duke Corporate Education.

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30 Thoughts to Keep You Positive

Be positive

We all get upset every now and then and lose hope, think that things will never get better and we probably won’t have the life we’ve always been dreaming about.

But that’s not true. Let’s not live in the prison of being sad and depressed because of momentous stuff, other people, daily problems or outer factors.

Positivity can be kept throughout the whole year and once you get used to this attitude towards life, you’ll become much more contented with who you are and the way things turn out. You’ll be smiling more, will focus on the good stuff in your life and that will make you considerably more satisfied and peaceful.

Here are some things to keep in mind that will remind you of how good life actually is:

  1. Everything you don’t like about yourself and your life can be changed.
  2. Happiness is right here, in the present moment.
  3. You deserve to be happy.
  4. Your actions inspire people.
  5. With every hardship you encounter, you become stronger.
  6. Your mistakes are your experience, and now you know what not to do next time. That puts you a few steps ahead of others.
  7. At any moment you can meet someone who’s going to change your life.
  8. No matter how bad you feel and what phase you’re going through now, remember two things:
    – it could have been worse;
    – it’s temporary.
  9. Success doesn’t depend on age, nationality, gender, looks, connections, capital, education or religion. These are just outer factors.
    If you have a purpose, stay focused and consistent and believe in yourself and your dreams, you can make them come true.
  10. It’s just a bad day and it doesn’t mean your life sucks. Just wait for tomorrow.
  11. After every time it rains, there comes a rainbow.
    And after every sunset – a sunrise.
  12. Some people look up to you without you even knowing.
  13. No good deed is ever wasted. Keep helping, giving and showing compassion. It’s worth it.
  14. Whatever you think about, you attract. So keep it positive and you’ll have a good life.
  15. Let the result of your efforts be the motivation you need to keep going.
  16. When you fix your relationship with yourself – and start to love, listen to, accept and appreciate yourself for who you are – you’ll be able to have great relationships with other people too.
  17. The future is uncertain. That’s the only certain thing. But you can be positive about it and be sure that whatever happens, it’s going to be the right thing. And while doing that, enjoy life in the present moment.
  18. You can still have the body you want – clean eating + training + consistency is the only formula that actually works. It’s your choice.
  19. The bad things from the past don’t have any place in your present. Learn from what has already happened, let go of it and make space for new amazing memories.
  20. Focus on the things you have in your life. You’ll soon see how rich you are and will start appreciating the abundance you live in.
  21. At that moment things are just the way they should be. Trust the natural flow and don’t interfere.
    In the next moment they’ll be different, but still just as they should be.
  22. All diseases come from stress and unhealthy lifestyle. Change your habits and you can live a healthy life.
  23. You’re unique. And no one can take that from you.
  24. Life is full of opportunities. You just need to take them and give them a try.
  25. You can turn your hobby into a career and find a way to make an income from it. Then you’ll never have to work a day in your life because all your time will be dedicated to your passion – the things you love doing the most.
  26. You have enough time. Slow down. But still, don’t waste it.
  27. You don’t need to work a job you hate. You’re your own boss and can just quit and find something better.
  28. You shouldn’t live by someone else’s standards. Play by your rules and do what you want.
  29. If you don’t do something right, you can always try again tomorrow.
  30. A relationship can always be saved. Learn to be honest, to say sorry and to forget.

All these things are simple and obvious, and we all know them. But we tend to forget because of all the distractions around us. So it’s never too late to remind yourself of these 30 things, and add even more to them, and then see life through the eyes of a positive person.

——-

Lidiya K. is a writer and blogger in the fields of self-improvement, life hacking, human potential and minimalism. She’s the creator of Let’s Reach Success , where her mission is to motivate and inspire and think of creative and unusual ways to overcome fear, procrastination, insecurity, clutter, failure, overthinking, discontent and much more.

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