5 Ways You Create Your Overwhelm (That’s Right, It’s Your Fault)

5 Ways You Create Your Overwhelm (Yes, It's Your Fault!)

build self esteem

So how are you? No, let me guess.

You’re crazy-busy. Overwhelmed by your ‘to-do’ list, overburdened by demands, and overtired from racing around trying to get everything done.

You keep thinking you just have to work smarter, and maybe put in a bit more effort, and you’ll get over the ‘hump’.

Then things will get back to normal.

But you’ve been trying to get over the hump for months.

You like being busy, but this is ridiculous.

The sheer volume of information and demands is, well, overwhelming.

You’re too busy and overwhelmed to work out how to get yourself out of this mess.

Sounds like your life is one big, crazy, endless cycle of demands.

Your life is too precious for you to be stuck in this vortex.

Let’s face it, being constantly overwhelmed sucks. Big time.

But here’s the thing that no one will tell you. You could be contributing to the problem.

That’s right. This situation could be down to you.

1.  You’ve Become A Go-To Person

Go-To people are great, but you don’t want to be one.

Go-To people take responsibility seriously. They have high standards, want to do the right thing, and want to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If you’re a Go-To person, people know that no matter how busy you are, you won’t let them down. You’ll get the thing done.

Unfortunately, your reputation is keeping you busy. It’s keeping extra tasks and extra responsibilities coming in the door.

And part of you feeds on it. You feel important because people need you, and you’re efficient.

But you’re drowning in responsibilities, so you have stop this. Now.

I know your standards are high, and you’re concerned that other people won’t do things as well. But they deserve the opportunity to try.

Instead of doing things for others, offer to show them how to do them themselves. Sure, it will take longer in the short term, but they’ll become more self-sufficient, and soon there will be less for you to do.

2.  You Fall For False Hustle

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I was really busy today, but I don’t seem to have achieved a lot”?

We all have days like that, but if they’re happening frequently you could be experiencing False Hustle.

Maybe you’re trying to keep your in-tray clear, you’re trying to answer all your emails, or you’re devoted to other time consuming, but ultimately fruitless tasks.

Maybe you receive requests for lots for urgent tasks each day.

Whatever the reason, you have to limit your time on these small tasks, or you’ll lose your whole day doing them.

The key is to spend most of your day on things that are important. Important to you, or important to the work of your team, or important to the organization.

Even with small, quick, “It will only take 5 minutes to finish” tasks, you should ask yourself whether they’re important. The answer may be ‘yes’ to a few of them, but anything you can put a ‘no’ next to, reduces your workload.

If you’re not sure whether something is important, ask yourself if anyone has committed to it.

If you’ve committed to be at your daughter’s athletics carnival, then that’s important.

If you or your team have committed to producing results in a certain area, then it’s important.

If no one has committed to the action, then it’s probably not important.

By focusing most on important tasks, you’re being strategic, and working smarter.

Remember: an empty In-Tray is a thing of the past.

3.  You Take On Too Much

You’re interested in everything, and you love to please.

Whether it’s at work, or at home, you love being involved.

If the local community want you to deliver neighbourhood newsletters, or your boss wants to start a new project, you’re there.

If the school wants your help fundraising, they can rely on you.

But I have to ask you, are you thinking straight? How often do you consider your availability before you jump in so enthusiastically?

Right now you should not be saying ‘yes’ to anything else.

Start flexing that ‘no’ muscle so you can get your life back in control. If ‘no’ is too hard, you can try something softer like, “I’d like to help, but I don’t have time right now”.

Once you’ve tried it once, I guarantee you’ll love the power that comes from having control over your life.

That in itself will make you happier.

4.  You’re Too Busy To Plan

You ‘don’t have time’ to file, or organise, or plan. You’re too busy, so you just jump in and start doing things.

You’re a person of action, and you’re great at getting the ball rolling.

But you spend a lot of time searching for things, because you’re not organised. And you sometimes waste time doing things in the wrong order, or worse still, doing things that don’t need doing.

So later on, you incur delays because you weren’t efficient.

You need to take the time to get organised. You must discipline yourself to store important files, and plan your work.

If you don’t you, end up looking like a hamster, running on a wheel. You’re using a lot of energy, but ultimately making no progress.

And you’ll get burnt out doing it.

5.  You Live In The Future

You’re overwhelmed by what’s coming. You’re not sure if you’re going to be able to handle the enormity of the task or project, when it comes to fruition.

You’re not sure if you should start a thing, because you’re scared of what it might become.

The trick is not to think about tomorrow, just focus on what you can achieve today.

So, let’s say you decide you want to run a marathon, but then you start to feel daunted by the amount of training involved.

You worry about your knees, and your back, and your asthma. You start getting all freaked out “because-it’s-so-much-work-how-will-I-ever-get-there …..”.

It’s overwhelming. So you wonder if you should stop, before you ever really got started.

Instead, you need to think, “Right now I don’t have to run a marathon. Right now I just need to be able to walk around the block without getting puffed out.”

You need to focus on the immediate, small steps (pardon the pun) that you need to take now. The small steps that you CAN achieve.

Focus on the piece of the project that you can achieve now, and have faith that you’ll be ready for each step as it arrives.

The Harsh Reality of Overwhelm

The truth is that we all deal with overwhelm every day. It’s just a matter of HOW you deal with.

Do you let it suck you into the vortex of trying to get it all done, or are you strategic?

I’m guessing you’re strategic.

So here’s how to think about your life, and all the stuff you’re trying to cram into it.

It’s a smorgasbord, or a buffet.

There are endless options and possibilities, all laid out, begging to be chosen. All the demands of the workplace are there, along with the demands of your family and home life.

You dreams and aspirations are there as well.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but most people are not great at selecting from a smorgasbord.

Everything looks so enticing that they overfill their plate, and then they overfill their bellies.

They make themselves uncomfortable by gorging, and they create a lot of waste.

They don’t make sensible decisions, and when they’re done, they regret their choices.

You’re cleverer than that.

You won’t allow the buffet to overwhelm you.

You can take the best of what’s on offer, and pace yourself.

You can select the most important options from the work demands, and the richest and most enjoyable selections from your family and home life.

You won’t overfill your plate, and you won’t allow yourself to become uncomfortable.

Because you’re here to enjoy yourself.

And you know that you can always go back for a little more.


Cate Scolnik is on a mission to help parents stop yelling and create families that listen to each other. She does this while imperfectly parenting two boisterous girls of her own, and learning from her mistakes. Download her free Cheat Sheet to Get Your Kids from “No” to “Yes” in Three Simple Steps and reduce your yelling today.

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Could Cancer’s Favorite Building-Block Be Right Under Your Nose (And On Your Dinner Plate)?

Could Caner's Favorite Building Block Be Under Your Nose (and on your dinner plate!)

cancer and sugar

We all love our sweets from dark chocolate to buttercream frosting.  The lure of sugar is undeniable.

In 1907, the average consumption of sugar per person was about 90 pounds per year.1  In 2009, more than 50 percent of Americans eat ½ pound of sugar per day, that’s a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!

Worldwide annual consumption of sugar is about 120 million tons, and rising by 2 million tons per year.  Even as sugar consumption grows around the globe, so does the public awareness that we’re getting fatter and sicker with every passing decade.











Based on the increase in consumption over the past 300 years, Dr. Stephan Guyenet determines the American diet will be based 100% on sugar by year 2606.2

Sugar feels like your friend, offering comfort and respite. It acts as a natural painkiller, stress reliever, and mood lifter.

Over time, your body becomes conditioned to sugar highs but the long-term cost of that sweet high has terrifying and devastating effects to your entire body.

Sugar has zero nutritional value. It’s empty of vitamins and minerals and destructive to your health.

This silent attack on your body is especially dangerous, since sugar is a building block of cancer – especially breast, prostate, colorectal and pancreatic cancer.

The link – the science between sugar and cancer is real.  The way your body reacts to processed sugar can lead to cancer.

But, now there is good news, Cancer is preventable and it is curable.

Every single day, tens of thousands of people just like you are stopping cancer (and/or preventing it) from destroying their bodies and taking their lives.

It begins with simple actions.  Now, that you know that white processed sugar destroys our bodies and wreaks havoc on our immune system, you know limiting your intake of sugar is necessary for cancer prevention.

It’s time to take matters into your own hands and become proactive in the fight against cancer.

Take the first step now and watch “The Quest for The Cures…Continues,” a FREE eye-opening 11 episode docu-series that shows how cancer is naturally preventable and curable.

You’ll find out how even though we are bombarded with information about “healthy eating,” Americans suffer from higher obesity and cancer rates than other nations.

You’ll also discover how natural foods, herbs, and spices can be medicine and used to correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

In 2014, an estimated 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States alone. Experts believe that of those diagnosed, more than half a million of those patients will die from the disease.3

Cancer is the second highest cause of death in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The financial burden to patients, their families, and society at large is astronomical but that is nothing in comparison to the mental, emotional, and physical toll this deadly disease leaves on so many lives.

Take a moment today to become a part of this FREE worldwide movement to end the cancer pandemic.

You’ll learn:

  • How to supercharge your immune system
  • How to eliminate cancer causing foods and toxins from your environment
  • Why you should detox and how to do it correct to rejuvenate your body
  • Discover cancer prevention secrets from trailblazing physicians and cancer survivors
  • 3 hours of specific “how-to” cancer treatment protocols shared by the doctors who use them everyday to save thousands of lives
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Don’t miss out learn these hidden natural cancer prevention and treatment secrets today by simply clicking here to watch to the FREE 11-day worldwide docu-series.

It could save your life or the life of someone you love.

“The Quest for The Cures…Continues,”
is an 11-part, investigative report (60 minutes style) documentary mini-series where you’ll hear from 28 doctors, 11 scientists, 9 survivors and one “FDA Dragon Slaying” attorney exactly how to prevent and treat cancer.

They break their “code of silence” and expose the TRUTH you need to know!

Real world, real science, real survival.

Take the first step toward making sure your life and the lives of the people you care about remain free from the blight of cancer.

Watch the trailer and get the link to watch the entire series for free… Watch “The Quest for The Cures…Continues” right now…

Enjoy 🙂

-Ty Bollinger
Cancer survivor and author

PS. “The Quest for The Cures Continues” docu-series will broadcast for free to the world from March 30th – April 11th. You don’t want to miss it.Not only will you learn proven protocols to treat cancer but also what you and your family can do to ensure that you prevent cancer from ever occurring.

Episode 1 – Modern Medicine & The Cancer Pandemic
Episode 2 – Your First Line Of Defense…
Episode 3 – Eliminate These “Dirty Dozen” To Prevent Cancer
Episode 4 – Your Secret Fountain Of Youth…
Episode 5 – Nature’s Pharmacy
Episode 6 – Clean Foods & The Cancer-Free Diet
Episode 7 – Diagnostic “Do’s & Don’ts” – Proven Treatment Protocols Part 1
Episode 8 – Proven Treatment Protocols Part 2
Episode 9 – Proven Treatment Protocols Part 3
Episode 10 – Doctor’s Orders
Episode 11 – How To Survive & Thrive

Go here to watch all 11 episodes for free

1. Montreal Gazette Dec. 22, 1908 – Bureau of Stats in 1907 puts average U.S. consumption of sugar at 82.6 pounds per year.
2. Whole Health Source; By 2606, the US Diet will be 100 Percent Sugar
3. American Cancer Society; Cancer Facts & Figures 2014

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7 Things You Need to Know About Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

7 Things You Need To Know To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

get out of your comfort zone

Everybody knows how to say it. “You’ve get out of your comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens.”

But it’s always so easy to say it.

It’s the doing that is actually hard. Starting to get out of your comfort zone is easy. It’s what happens after that when it gets scary. That’s when you even question yourself if it was a good idea in the first place.

The comfort zone and outside of it is tricky. This what you need to know.

1) You’ve to raise your standards

Are you still doing the same old things? Are you practicing your craft within bearable range? Are you aiming for a goal you know you can achieve in the first place?

If you answered yes to any of the above, your standards are too low. And when they’re too low, it means it’s still too comfortable.

You’ve to raise your standards. You must do things out of the ordinary and aim for goals or milestones never thought achievable.

And it will never end. The standards need to always go up. Keep pushing yourself.

2) You’ve to change your lifestyle

Are you still eating the same old, fried crap?

Are you getting enough sleep? Or are you sleeping abnormal hours?

Are you just “going with the flow” hoping for something good to happen when deep down you aren’t really sure what you’re doing?

Drastic lifestyle changes must be made. It’s uncomfortable, but that’s the point. You can’t get great results if you think they should happen “somehow” and fit into your currently lifestyle.

You only get the results when you work for it!

3) You’ve to get rid of some friends and then feel awkward around new people

That means to say, you need to weed out the toxic ones.

Regardless of the number of years you’ve known each other, the memories you have or that you think they’ve changed, it is a must to get rid of the negative influences in your life. Some friendships simply don’t last forever.

If you want to get out of your comfort zone, then start by surrounding yourself with new, positive people.

But be warned, it’s going to feel awkward at first. Imagine going to a new country and making new friends with the locals there.

You never know what you’re going to get next, but be strong and be positive. The right people who belong in your life will come along.

4) You’ve to be extremely honest and stop coming up with lame excuses

Excuses are the bane of everybody’s existence. They are plentiful and easy to use.

Now, are you always coming up with excuses? Are you doing it to avoid asking yourself the honest, but terrifying questions?

Great things happen outside of the comfort zone, but only to great people. And great people know themselves perfectly. They don’t create lame excuses to justify their shortcomings.

They only make changes to constantly improve.

5) You’ve be mentally prepared for things to not work out

Or not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

No venture or endeavor plays out like you thought it would or what others taught you.

Things WILL go wrong. You WILL fail. And you WILL hit a point where you feel like giving up.

That’s how it is outside the zone. The magic happens there, but well, so does a lot of nasty spells.

Stay strong and don’t give up. You already left the zone. It’d be shame to come back.

6) You’ve to shield yourself from others’ lack of understanding

And it can be harsh. That is when people criticize, lambaste, tease or even attack you.

Mostly, they just don’t understand why you do what you do. They only understand the conventional path laid out for them. And when people do not dare to venture out, they attack what they don’t understand.

Ignore them. You’ve to be strong, alone. Keep working hard and eventually you’ll earn them respect and admiration.

7) You’ve to feel the fear and do it anyway

Thus is the entire point of getting out of your comfort zone.

You’re going to feel scared, anxious, afraid, filled with fear and even depressed. You’re going to want to turn around and feel safe again.

But the scary feelings only mean that you’re going in the right direction.

You can’t turn back. You’ve to get used to it. You’ve to grow up and harden yourself.

That is how you eventually align your new self with the rewards that will come for you.

That is how the magic works.

Special bonus for Pick The Brain Readers

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Alden Tan keeps it real at his blog and writes about motivation in unconventional ways. His two main passions are Bboying and writing. Check out his free report12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**k About! 

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3 Steps To Declaring Your Financial Independence

declare your financial independence

Remember those times when you had to depend on your parents to provide you money for school?

What about that time when you had no money to buy food and you were starving, but didn’t want to borrow money from your friend?

It wasn’t a nice feeling was it?

Nobody likes to bother or beg other people for money. We all want an abundance of wealth to live our lives the way we want to live them.

And that’s only possible by becoming financially independent.

Having people care for you is great, but being able to care for yourself is even greater! This is exactly why I believe our main priority in life should be to first become rich.

I believe that if you apply these 3 steps into your life you will not only become more clear on your vision, but you will be taking the first steps to declaring your own financial independence!

Step 1 – Make A Commitment

All true success begins with first making a firm commitment and declaration.

A declaration to yourself that you will not only “try” to become successful, but you WILL become successful no matter what it takes.

Far too many people are afraid of making commitments because they fear failure.

Well the sad truth is that failure is a part of the journey. It’s a part of the process. You have to fail in order to succeed.

When I first started my journey as an internet marketer, I was far from productive and failed multiple times before ever seeing any sign of success.

Plenty of obstacles were thrown my way and I felt like giving up, but I didn’t.

I stuck through it reminding myself of my commitment, and I found ways to overcome every obstacle blocking my path. Now here I am sharing this story with you today.

The difference between a person stuck in poverty and a person thriving in prosperity is their mindset.

I believe that if you make a firm commitment to achieving your success, you’ll not only develop a more prosperous mindset, but you will also be taking the first step to declaring your financial independence!

Step 2 – Believe In Yourself & Your Dreams

If you pay attention to the people around you, you will see that many people don’t believe in themselves and their abilities.

We constantly come up with excuses to why we can’t have something or achieve an end goal.

Things like:

  • I’m too old to do it
  • I’m not good enough
  • This is impossible to do
  • I can’t succeed in this
  • And the competition is better than me

And then we wonder why we aren’t living the life we want to live.

You have to first develop firm believe in yourself. This also means you have to believe in any dreams that you have for yourself. Your dreams are today’s answers for tomorrow’s questions!

The day you allow someone to suck the life out of your dreams is the day you stop living. No matter how big your dream may be, you can achieve it!

You just have to have unshakable belief in yourself and everything will fall into place as you take focused action on chasing your dream.

Because there is no one but yourself holding you back from your success.

So start to truly believe in yourself today and nothing or anyone will be able to stop you!

Step 3 – NEVER Lose Faith

Doubt or disbelief in yourself is certain to repel your dream away from you.  On the other hand, holding onto your dream with faith and purpose will certainly attract it towards you!

The world will be a much better place for having you chase your dreams instead of letting them wither away to mediocrity.

All you must do is form a clear mental picture of the type of lifestyle you want to live, and then you must do all that you can do each and every day with faith and purpose.

Hold onto that vision of yourself in the better environment, but act upon your present environment with all your heart, strength and will power.

You must begin to do what you can where you are, and you must do all that you can where you are.

This is inevitably how you make your dreams become a reality and in the process, how you make the most of yourself.

And the very best thing you can do for the entire world is to make the most of yourself!

First you must make a commitment to yourself, then you must develop a firm belief in yourself and your abilities, and then you must have unshakable faith that you will live the way you want to live if you act on it every single day with faith and purpose.

And nothing will be able to stop your from declaring your financial independence!


Donovan Barrett Jr is a young inspirational entrepreneur with a vision to empower the working class citizens to become the master class. Click here to download his FREE e-Book: The Empowered Entrepreneur Guide. He is a poet, loves to play basketball and runs a blog about self-empowerment and internet marketing!

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How to Stay Productive in an Open Office Space

how to stay productive in open office space

how to stay productive in open office space

Open offices have once been considered signposts of innovation meant to promote collaboration and give a sense of community. Today, however, it turns out that working in an open space office has as many challenges, as it has benefits. The greatest difficulty many open office workers have is to stay focused during office hours and get on top of their daily duties. Looming deadlines and stress inducing work environment can negatively influence performance. Have a look at the list of ideas which will help you stay productive at all times.

Alarming statistics

In his powerful TED talk, Julian Treasure describes the impact different sounds may have on our productivity. He mentions the research conducted by Simon Banbury and Diane C. Berry published in British Journal of Psychology in 1998, which shows that productivity usually falls down by 66% in an open space office. Treasure claims that noise is one of the biggest factors lowering our ability to work efficiently.

Music is your best friend

If your line of work allows you to listen to music during office hours, make sure you have some soothing tunes handy. The right type of music can help you relax and get all things done. Professionals recommend avoiding music with lyrics. The best choices would therefore include classical music, ambient, and sounds of nature. Additionally, get noise-cancelling headphones for extra comfort.

Ignore distractions

Another drawback of open-plan offices is that you constantly have to deal with negativity of other people. The best advice I can give you is to, by all means, avoid complainers. Their attitude can be pretty toxic for the entire office and may have dramatic effect on your productive capacity. The same goes for workplace gossip – it’s better not to engage in the office grapevine.

Upgrade your personal space

We all know how hard it is to find distraction free zones in an open plan office, therefore you should do all it takes to create one yourself. Your workstation can be easily turned into a calming and motivating Zen space, even if it’s just a small cubicle. The first rule you should keep in mind, is to have your desk organized at all times. You can add a plant or a photo for more personal touch.

Don’t waste time on superfluous tasks

Undeniably, open office environment enhances communication between employees. Sometimes it may work to your advantage, especially when you are stuck with particularly hard task. There is always this special someone, who may give you a helping hand. But there are times when conversations become overwhelming. Try not to waste time on counterproductive chitchats. If you feel like you need a short break, take a walk outside the office. It will help you recharge and get some fresh perspective.

Brainstorm ideas with your colleagues

If all ceaseless attempts at improving situation in a noisy office have met a dead end, there is still one last resort option you can try. You need to remember that if something is bugging you, your work buddies may have the same problem, so keep lines of communication open. Try to share your concerns with others. Working on a problem together will definitely bring your team closer.

Finding peace of mind in a noisy office can be a daunting task, but the above tips may help you keep your productivity at the highest level at all times.


Monique Craig is an Australian blogger and marketing specialist who works for Oneflare, an online marketplace which connects customers with local service providers.


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5 Reasons Why You Must Be a Constant Learner

learn to grow

why you should learn

How many times you had the feeling that you are lost with a new subject at work? If you are like most people, probably many times… But don’t worry! It’s super common in this day and age because we live in a very dynamic environment, with a lot of new information to handle every day and staying up to date is a real challenge.

The hard truth is that if you want to grow as person in your society and in your job, you have to constantly keep learning new things.

But, why exactly?

1. To perform, perform and perform.

You can only succeed at what you are doing if you have the right knowledge to do so. Today’s society is so well educated that you really need to be a “Superman” or “Superwoman” if you want to succeed. If you are not a top performer there will be someone in the next corner really well prepared to do your job, and willing to do it. Then, simply learn how to be the best.

2. To get out of your comfort zone.

Experience shows that the most successful people are those who constantly go out of their comfort zone. These people welcome new challenges, new risks, and constantly discover new subjects, becoming this a daily practice in their lives. In other words, people succeed when they put themselves beyond their current limits. But the only way to get out of the comfort zone is by knowing what is beyond. You will be so scared to put a foot out if you don’t know what you are going to find there. First of all learn what is out there and then go for it!

3. To have a longer and healthier life.

Believe it or not, but different demography studies performed all around the world show that keeping an active mental activity is one of the key factors to have a longer and better live. It is proven that diseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson or memory loss tend to appear less in people who stay mentally active. Be aware that staying active does not mean simply doing word searches (which are fun!). It means taking real mental challenges. A great example might be to learn a new language.

4. To improve your personal relationships.

This point is really simple to explain. When you have broader knowledge about more subjects, you can really connect with different people concerned by those subjects. This, automatically, will enrich your relationships. Imagine for a moment that you take a course on personal motivation which puts you in plenty of real situations applicable to your friends and family. Can you imagine how your relationships will improve as soon as you start giving them good tips that help them to be more motivated?

5. To feel good.

There is no better feeling than knowing interesting things. Imagine yourself traveling to a place where you acknowledge what is around: you know the history of the place, the important people who lived there, the meaning of a monument,… surely this will make you and the people with you feel great.


It is now really evident that you have to learn new things to be happy and to feel complete as a person. So, just go for it! There are plenty of opportunities out there.

But bear in mind something: once you start doing this, you will become an addict to it!

Fernando Vilas is founder and CEO of Quisapit, an online website which mission is to put in contact motivated students with the best teachers around the world, in many different subjects. You can subscribe to the Quisapit regular updates or follow Quisapit in Facebook.


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How To Achieve A Zen Attitude To Cope With Every Day Problems

how to achieve zen

how to achieve zen

People usually have trouble responding and coping with every day problems. For a long time, I, myself, had trouble with my daily “problems”….

Why? Because we tend to react the same way every time. Our brain is lazy when it comes to problem solving. It has a “tried” response, that is usually easy to implement, and fast, you don´t even need to think, you just react to a stimulus.

For a lot of people this “tried and easy response” is anger. They react with anger to everything and everyone, and the reaction is an impulsive reaction, because there is no thought involved, just an emotions.

But, there is another type of response, a “more elaborate and custom response” to each  situation that we have, we could  create a new reaction in that instant. A response that requires our brain to take action “thinking”, and not just reacting.

Our brain is very complex. If we could simplify it in order to understand its functions towards problems, we could say that our brain has various types of responses. It has a double response, which is the fastest, and a triple response (this are my words, just to simplify things. A note of caution, I´m not a neuropsychologist, nor a neuro-something…I´m just a psychotherpist, trying to explain in simple words, so please bare with me, and if I´m mixing something please clarify in a comment.)

This double response process takes place in our brain and nervous system. It is caused by a  division in our brain in which our brain is divided into different reactive and thinking parts. According to neuroscience, we have three brains merged into one. Neoroscientist Paul D. MacLean (1913-2007) proposed that the human brain is really three brains in one, a “Triune brain”. A Reptilian Complex (Or sometimes called Croc Brain), a Limbic System (Central Area), and The Neocortex (The rugged part of our brain).

If we just react impulsively to a problem, we are actually using an Action-Reaction loop. For instance, I used to react with anger towards my daughter (She is seven now), every time she walked without shoes, and her socks ended black with soil. It happened every day, various times each day. She took her socks off – out came an angry  shout, from my mouth, towards her. My brain just reacted without thinking.

What I needed was a tripple phase loop, or action-PAUSE-reaction. The double loop is used by our reptilian brain, or croc brain, and it usually helps to protect us. It is why you take away your hand from fire. You react without thinking, BAM! But the triple reaction I needed, takes time, because it needs thinking. It takes our neo-cortex of our brain to carry out the action, so we can have an action-PAUSE-reaction setting for a problem, or in other words, your brain receives the stimulus through the senses, it processes the stimulus, sends it to the Neo-cortex, and the neo-cortex decides what to do ( Hence the PAUSE time), you decide what to do with your neo-cortex, and then you DO it…

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

-Viktor E. Frankl

The important part is when Victor Frankl mentions SPACE. It is a PAUSE between the action and reaction. That pause is what keeps you from reacting impulsively to the problem.

According to wiktionary.org  a problem is:

  1. A difficulty that has to be resolved or dealt with.
  2. A question to be answered, schoolwork exercise.
  3. A puzzling circumstance.


In order for you to master ZEN, you need to master the moment. Be mindful of it…

1. Observe the problem with an objective mind. Evaluate the situation in a third person point of view.

2. Let Go – Let go of everything you can´t control. This is very important…you need to let go of everything that is not in your control. This will take care of any negative thought you might have.

3. Don´t give up, before you try… VARIOUS TIMES.

4. Think before you react. Take a moment. -If you are very Angry… You could try this simple breathing technique: Breathe in through your mouth, counting in your head up to 4. Keep the breath in, don´t exhale, for a 4 count. Exhale through your mouth, counting in your head, form 1 to 4. This is called the 4 x4 breathing technique. After that, react.

5. If you are having an issue or problem, try putting things into perspective by thinking: “What´s the worst that can happen?” If the answer is very negative, like death, or going crazy, put things into perspective by thinking in terms of Percentages. What is the actual percentage that you might become crazy, because of the problem?

What will happen is that your brain has trouble understanding percentages, and when you try to be real with percentages you get a better perspective. Before you thought that you would die, but a real percentage of dying would be 5%. Try it out. This is great for working with negative thoughts. I use it when doing work with Panic Attacks.

Well I hope I have help you with these Zen Like strategies.

Carlos is a Psychology Professor in a local university in El Salvador, a psychotherapist, creator of HandLink Technique (Energy Psychology), blogger, musician, and host of Sight For Sore Eyes Blog. At his blog you may get free information to learn HandLink Technique, or get simple yet profound content so you may “Learn the art of living a meaningful life.”



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8 Things I’ve Learned Since I Quit My Day Job

8 Things I've Learned Since I Quit My Day Job


It’s been exactly one year since I quit my day job to pursue a full-time career as a freelance writer. Often that includes editing and marketing and other things so I’m not exactly writing 100% of the time, but I’m still living the dream in so many ways. Pursuing this career has taught me a number of things:

1. Everyone has to follow their own path. In my time in the corporate world, I learned that the 9 to 5 office job wasn’t for me. Some people, however, completely thrive in more structured jobs like that. When I was engaged in that world, I couldn’t see that. Since following my own path, though, I have discovered that we all have to find what makes us thrive. You can’t look to society or your parents or your friends to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. You have to live your life the way that works best for you. And that may mean trying things in an unconventional way

2. The ability to motivate yourself is important. When I had a boss, there was always motivation outside of myself. I had to show up to work, and I had to get things done or I wouldn’t get paid. Now, I am the only one who holds myself accountable. I also found, though, that now I get more work done and I do better work. Even if you are in a traditional job, you get a lot more accomplished if you find a way to motivate yourself as opposed to relying on external forces.

3. Criticism and rejection should be valued. As a freelancer and as a writer, I get rejected a lot. I have had to learn how to see rejection in a positive light. Now, I am able to learn from criticism and rejection in a way I was never able to before. I’ve realized that when I can take a step back and not be so emotionally tied up in rejection and criticism, it’s a lot easier to see the lesson that rejection can teach me.

4. Growth and knowledge are worth the investment. Sometimes I resist spending money on books or courses or software that might help me grow or do my work more efficiently, and when I look at my outstanding student loan balance, I start to wonder if it was all worth it. But then I think about everything my degrees taught me about writing and literature and life in general. I think about all of the experiences I had in college and grad school and how they caused me to grow so much as a person. And then it’s a little easier to write that repayment check.

5. Thinking outside the box can lead to opportunities. I was looking for writing or editing work one day, and the usual freelance writing boards were coming up short. I decided to look up a bunch of independent editing companies online and reach out to them, offering my services. Many of them never got back to me, but a few did, and a couple of them even gave me projects. When you are creative and think of unconventional ways to reach out to people or organizations you want to be a part of, sometimes it can lead to incredible opportunities.

6. Comparing yourself to others is never productive. There have been times when I was sitting beside my space heater in my little bohemian apartment and I would see a friend positing on Facebook about their promotion or their wedding or their new car or what-have-you. And I would think, “wow, they really have it together, and I clearly don’t.” I realized, though, that it’s never a good idea to compare yourself to others. Everyone has different goals and objectives. Everyone wants different things so it’s not fair to compare yourself to someone who’s on a totally different path than you are.

7. It’s essential to set boundaries. When you work an unconventional schedule, there can be a tendency to work late into the night or be available for your clients to call you any time on the weekends. I have learned, though, that I need to set boundaries for myself. I need to be willing to tell my clients when I am and when I am not available, and I need to be able to make space for myself. This is an important lesson for anyone, whatever stage of life you are in.

8. Success comes in many forms. Just as you can’t compare yourself to others, you should also be aware that there are many different definitions of success. It’s true that I don’t have as much money as other people my age, but I do have a lot of freedom. You may not graduate from college with honors or you may not use your degree. You may get married soon or you may be single for a bit. You may become a highly respected engineer or you may help people in your community at a small non-profit. The point is, you have to follow your own path, do whatever will help you to thrive, and evaluate success on your own terms.

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Sara Crawford is a writer and musician from Atlanta, Georgia. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans, and her upcoming debut young adult novel is called WE OWN THE SKY. In addition to her writing blog, she maintains THE DAILY WRITER mailing list providing daily inspiration for writers.


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3 Steps To Mastering Your Habits

how to master good habits

how to master good habits

Why is it so hard to adopt good habits like everyday exercising or eating healthy food? To answer these questions it is necessary to understand what people in general, are doing wrong when trying to make such changes in their lives.

The most common mistake is that they focus on an overnight success.

For example, John Doe wants to lose weight. At first he is highly motivated, seeing himself as Arnold Schwarzenegger in his best times. In spite of achieving such a huge goal he goes to the gym for the first time and exercises so much, that he develops a muscle fever for next week.

This process repeats a few more times. But the motivation suddenly decreases. John with soreness and inner feelings of disgust spends a weekend watching youtube videos or reading productivity articles to gain the lost motivation. This could help for a while but after some time John is burned out and gives up.

Focusing on motivation simply doesn’t work because it is too unstable. But what to do then? Consciously work on building everyday small routines – your good habits. Exactly like brushing teeth which you naturally do every day.

If there’s someone who can tell us how to stick to good habits and how the whole psychology of people’s daily routines work, it would be behavioral psychology researcher BJ Fogg, professor from Stanford. In his academic research he found out that behind every human habit there is a simple 3-step pattern which our routines follow. This is how it goes:

  • Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
  • Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)
  • Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)

Example how this pattern works in real-life experience:

You are an occasional smoker. The most common trigger that initiates smoking may be going out to the bar in the evening with friends who smoke. Sitting with a glass of beer and talking with friends who in that moment light their cigarettes makes you light you own (this is your routine). The reward you get is that you satisfy your need for nicotine. In this case accompanied with a feeling of guilt.

Replacing bad routines with good ones

At first you have to find out what the triggers are for your bad habits and then cut out as many of them as possible.

If you eat chocolate bars when you get stressed at work get rid of them all, so you don’t have any on hand. If you permanently waste your time on Facebook or watching YouTube videos instead of working, completely disconnect from the internet if it’s not absolutely necessary for doing your job.

After cutting triggers, substitute the bad habits with good ones with a similar benefit. If you smoke because it relieves stress, try to substitute this behavior with actions that address the same need. For example meditation, deep breathing, exercising, etc.

Creating good new habits and sticking to them

In order to create good new habits that would last, you should follow the 3 R’s pattern. Why? Because it is a natural way how habits arise in human behavior. After some time, it would become a fully automated routine without the need to force yourself doing it.

  • Use current triggers for your new habit

There are activities you do each day like brushing teeth, taking a shower, having a coffee, eating… or happens to you each day like the phone rings, a commercial comes on TV, etc.

These activities can serve you as reminders for new routines. For example, after drinking morning coffee (reminder) do ten push-ups (routine). After the sound of an email notification on your smartphone do ten squats. The key is to pick which routine suits you best for being the right trigger for your new habit.

  • Start small and gradually add

Instead of doing drastic changes by taking big quantitative leaps, choose a different attitude. Small improvements, step by step, day by day. Doing a small thing each day won’t hurt, but when they accumulate, they will make a huge difference in your life.

So if you were to do push-ups after your morning coffee, start with just two. It’s almost effortless. After doing 2 push-ups becomes too easy, continue with four, etc. It is easier to complete the behavior with every day small actions, especially on days when motivation lacks.

  • Celebrate every small progress

Reward yourself after each small improvement you achieve. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. Tiny little things like a positive self-talk or a smile in the mirror can serve you as well, because as scientific research has shown, your brain is actually very bad at distinguishing between feeling awesome after doing a huge thing and feeling awesome after doing a tiny thing.

Therefore, celebrating every achievement would overwhelm you with good feelings, help you to gain confidence and makes habits easier to follow.

Tracking your bad and good habits

Tracking your activities till they become your new habits would take some time and practice, but it’s worth the effort. It would help you become aware of your triggers, routines and overall progress. It’s awareness that will show you how to make a change.

Accurately tracking habits will give you ideas for stopping bad habits and empowering the good ones. How do your routines activate? Who are you with? Where are you? What are the triggers that work and what triggers actually don’t? How often do the routines repeat?

It’s a bit of an endless loop. In spite of creating and sticking to new habits you should be tracking them. But tracking them is also a new habit that need to be grown and requires the same discipline and steadiness.

This article covers just the basics. To learn more on how to break this vicious circle of creating a habit of tracking habits we recommend you to read this article – 3 tricks how to keep track of habits


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6 Obstacles Keeping You From Pursuing Your Passion (and How to Overcome Them)

6 Obstacles Keeping You From Pursuing Your Passion (and How to Overcome Them)

pursuing your passion

You have something to say — a story to tell, emotions to stir, imaginations to captivate. But there are obstacles that stand in the way of your success. It’s a lot easier to talk about pursuing your passion than it is to actually do it.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are six of the biggest obstacles keeping you from pursuing your passion, and how to overcome them:

Obstacle #1: You don’t have enough time.

We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day. Pursuing what you want in life isn’t a matter of having more time, it’s about focusing on the things that matter.

Consider the 80/20 Rule. If you aren’t familiar, the 80/20 Rule is the observation that most things in life aren’t distributed evenly. Some examples:

  • 20% of the customers create 80% of the profits.

  • 20% of the employees do 80% of the work.

  • 20% of the population own 80% of the wealth.

Think about how this applies to your own life. What things could you work on that will bring you closer to your goals? What tasks are you wasting your time on?

It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of everyday life. Making progress on your goals requires focusing on the “big wins.” Everything else can wait.

If you find yourself wondering how to prioritize, ask yourself, “Will I regret not doing this tomorrow?”

If the answer is yes, move it to the top of your list.

Obstacle #2: You need more money.

There’s a ton of advice out there on how to manage your money, but this one in particular has stuck with me through the years: pay yourself first.

I saved up six months worth of expenses before I left my job as a psychotherapist to pursue blogging and photography. I did this by having 15% of each paycheck automatically transferred into my savings account, before I could spend any of it.

Try this out for yourself. Decide in advance how much you want to have transferred to your bank each payday, then set it up so that it happens automatically. Before you know it, you’ll have saved up a substantial amount of money without even having to think about it.

A little caveat though: It’s easy to fantasize how having more money would be the cure to your creative woes. But the truth is, you don’t need a big bank account to get your ideas off the ground. Forget about paying big bucks to afford Facebook advertising, or shelling out top dollar for the fanciest camera on the market so you can learn photography. Sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got.

Remember, having money is often a result of success, not the other way around. By all means, take control of your finances and start building a foundation. But don’t let a lack of funds keep you from getting things done.

Obstacle #3: You don’t have enough ideas.

Sometimes the well runs dry. You sit down to work on your ideas and can’t seem to come up with anything. It happens to the best of us.

So how do you reignite the creative spark?

Get out there in the world and live.

Do things. Explore. Hang out with motivated people. When these areas are firing on all cylinders, creative synergy begins to form  — ideas start to flow, and you find yourself connecting the dots in ways you never did before. When this happens, don’t forget to write things down. Ideas are fleeting. That’s why it’s important to keep a list of them when they’re fresh in your mind.

If all else fails, become a fan again. When I’m lacking in creativity, I like to indulge in the works of other artists who inspire me to pursue my craft; writers, painters, musicians, filmmakers, and athletes.

Read a book. Watch a movie. Listen to music and let yourself get lost in the melody. Sometimes we need to be on the receiving end of art to remind ourselves of what we’re aiming for as artists.

Obstacle #4: You’re going it alone.

Doing creative work can be a lonely process. Sometimes isolation can improve productivity. Other times, it just plain sucks.

The good news? It’s never been easier to connect with other creative people.

Recently I came across an article I really enjoyed and decided to reach out to the author. I contacted her on Twitter telling her how much I appreciated her work and suggested that we collaborate. She replied, and we ended up having a brainstorming session on Google Hangout. Now we’re planning on guest posting on each other’s blogs, and we catch up regularly to see how we’re both doing with our creative projects.

Use technology to your advantage. Search conversations on Twitter that are relevant to you and add your two cents. Give feedback, share your experience, and offer to team up with other people.

Remember, no man is an island. There’s nothing like having the support and encouragement of your peers. Offer to collaborate with someone who’s doing similar work to you. You never know who you’ll end up meeting.

Obstacle #5: You’re plagued with self-doubt.

“I’m not good enough.”

Four dangerous words powerful enough to kill anyone’s dreams of success.

Most creatives make the mistake of underestimating their unique voice. They assume they have to be the world’s greatest at their craft, or that their idea has to be completely original, and if it isn’t, it’s not worth pursuing.

Think about how many fitness experts there are in the world. How about financial gurus or yoga masters? There are millions. Are they all the world’s best? Do they all have original ideas?

Of course not.

Building a following isn’t about being world-renowned at what you do. It’s about you, the person behind the art, and why people should care.

So give people a reason to care. Be authentic. Tell a story. Create something of value. In a world where so many people follow trends, blaze your own path and do something different. That’s ultimately what will set you apart.

Obstacle #6: Your work isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

Being an artist means being vulnerable. It means being unafraid to put your work out there in the world.

Remember, sometimes it’s not about the result, but the process.

Recently I made it a point to take photos every day and post at least one of them on social media, along with a description of how I took the photo. The feedback was enormous; people asked me all kinds of questions, like what equipment I used and what techniques I employed to capture the shot.

Suddenly, creating art didn’t mean merely posting a photo and calling it a day. It was about engaging with my followers and offering them a glimpse into the creative process.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let these obstacles hold you back from success. You have more control than you think. Commit to taking action and stay the path; your dreams are worth it.


Kevin is the founder of People Passionate – a blog dedicated to helping others pursue their creative ideas. You can download his free guide here: Stop Dreaming and Start Doing: How to Actually Do What You Love. Connect with him on Twitter @ppl_passionate.

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