5 Reasons You Need to Take More Risk

5 Reasons to Take More Risk

Risk is one of those things that’s hard to quantify. Think about it. What exactly does it mean when someone says, “Take more risk.”

I was confused by this as well, until I began to find myself in situations where I had a unique choice to make. It didn’t have to be jumping off a cliff in Mexico or pouring my entire life savings into launching a startup.

It was more a matter of whether to follow the safe, proven route that would prevent me from having to stand out if I failed, or following my instincts about what I felt would be effective and exciting.

Things like wearing neutral business clothes, using company issued marketing materials, and speaking in a communal, non-authoritative way, would be considered safe and even “good enough.” If I branched out with my wardrobe, developed my own presentations based on the observations I made my marketplace, and spoke about my ideas with authority, I would be taking the risk of failure and embarrassment.

Feeling the thrill of the risk, I chose the latter, and it paid off in big ways. It got me noticed by my peers, bosses, and clients, who began to view me as confident, intelligent, and a promising resource to do business with, so my success rate went up.

Since then, I’ve come to see that taking risk has a pattern of benefits that come with it.

1.Risk gets you noticed

Most people will take the easy route, because in general the population lacks self confidence, and taking risk forces you to put yourself out there. You’re not just following the program when it comes to risk. Instead, you’re saying to those around you, “Look at my ideas.”

Because it’s rare for people to take risk, when you do, you’ll get noticed. And when you’re noticed, you’ll be thought of when it comes to advancing at work, or when clients are deciding who to do business with.

2. Risk creates change

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and to mindlessly follow the habits you’ve been entrenched in for years. This is true for large organizations, small companies, and individual people alike. So if you want something to change, you’re going to have to do something different. Doing something different is uncomfortable and comes with a sense of the unknown. After all, you haven’t proven it’s effectiveness yet.

But taking this risk of lost time and unproven results, is the only way to create change, so it’s well worth the effort. Even if the initial plan isn’t effective, it will teach you more about what will and will not work, being productive in the end.

3. Risk makes you feel alive

There is a satisfaction to doing everything “right” and pleasing the world around you, but there’s also an undeniable thrill that comes from taking risk. The adrenaline that pumps through your body when you’re doing something in an entirely new way, is worth the risk on it’s own. In fact, I have found myself getting addicted to risk because of this feeling.

4. Risk creates a higher standard

When you begin taking risk and seeing the results it offers, a new standard begins to form in your mind. You are no longer satisfied with just enough, and know that in order to create something of excellence, you will need to go to the next level.

This kind of behavior pushes you or your company forward and sets a new standard. Soon, a new comfort zone is created where risk is the norm, and the rate at which you are working is higher than before.

5. Risk teaches you more about yourself

Because risk is usually an expression of your own ideas, it can teach you a lot about yourself. The more comfortable you are with exploring new abilities within yourself, the more aware you will become of just what lies inside you. And the more success you experience within those areas, the more confident you will become.

Are there downsides to risk? Sure. That’s why it’s called risk. You could put yourself out there in a big way, and fall flat on your face. But what if you don’t? The benefits are worth it. Evaluate where you are and think about where you want to be, and take the risks necessary to get there.


The post 5 Reasons You Need to Take More Risk appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain

Grow as You Go: The Importance of Lifelong Learning

importance of continued learning

importance of continued learning

Just because you are now out of school and over your twenties does not mean the learning process is over. Some might say it has only just begun, and that the real work starts after finishing formal education and graduating from high school or college. Only after you have started working and being active professionally do you realize that most of the things you’ve been taught in collage are fine when left to the world of education, but that in real life, some additional skills are also needed. Lifelong learning does not just include enrolling in various courses and workshops, but keeping your brain up to speed, your head above water and you mind curious.

The Basics

The main differences between lifelong learning and your formal education are the age of the learner and the fact that one of them is voluntary. That is why it is not uncommon to see people in their forties, fifties or even sixties enrolling into courses or attending lectures because they choose to make a difference in their lives. Also, an important reason behind this choice is the mental activity that is triggered through learning – as people age, their brain functions are not on the level they used to be in their youth, so stimulating your thought process is always welcome. You can also boost your self-esteem, test your adaptability to new things and add some excitement into your life. Lifelong learning includes more than courses and school programs, so you can effectively learn via educational trips, researches and activism in your community. Challenging yourself with puzzles, doing the NY Times Sunday crossword or playing an online quiz will also keep you both entertained and your mind sharp.

Personal Development

Once you become a bit bored with your life or are fed up with your job, you may tend to start looking into new hobbies and activities which will get you back you zest for life. You can choose to dive into something work-related, or, on the other hand, learn a new skill which you’ve never had time for before.

Because this is completely voluntary and usually not for the sake of professional advancement, you can choose what you want to learn. Most people focus on languages and computer skills as something they did not have a chance to do in their youth, or, on the other hand, find a more practical course on pottery, carpentry or other handicrafts. This way, they engage both their brain and hands, so it is good for preventing mental and physical diseases at the same time. If you’ve always wanted to learn to knit, your forties or fifties are the perfect time to take this up.

Professional Development

When applying for a job, you should know that your CV will not be enough. It is not about what you know any more, but what you can do – proper education is essential, but a good set of skills is sometimes even more vital. Finally, when you are out of work, additional knowledge will give you leverage over others. That is why everyone needs to continue learning new things even after they have reached a certain position in their companies.

When it comes to lifelong learning for professional purposes, you are expected to take opportunities provided by your employer, such as trainings, learning seminars, coaching performed at your company, etc. Being involved in these things shows that you are keen to continually develop and also take your job seriously, so, in the end, new skills might get you a better position or a promotion you have been hoping for. Moreover, you can become an expert in other fields of the industry and always seek a job there once yours becomes unsatisfactory.

The Benefits

Even though the main benefit of lifelong learning is actually learning something new which should be enough, there are other perks as well, both personal and professional. People who do it have more motivation for everyday activities, develop mental skills, add fun to their lives and make new friends, while professionals get more options for further employment, are in a better position than their competitors and, finally, become better employees.

Striving to continually better yourself should be a goal in itself, without a definite endpoint. Remember that this is not something you have to do, only something you are enthusiastic about.


The author of this article, Norah Martin, has recently gone back to school and is now taking several courses through Upskilled, aiming to improve both her business skills and her business itself. While never a bookish person, she has now realized learning gets better as one gets older.

The post Grow as You Go: The Importance of Lifelong Learning appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain

14 Steps to Finding the Right Career Path

14 Steps For Finding The Right Career Path

how to find the right career

Look Within

Think About What You Love

What are you passionate about? What excites you and makes you feel alive? Thinking about the things that you love doing will help steer you to what might be the best career path for you. Love numbers? Maybe you’re an accountant. Love fixing things? Maybe you’re a carpenter.

Remember Past Experiences

Think back to a time when you felt really satisfied with your work. Remember when you felt really proud about the job you did? What kind of work were you doing? Was it a project you managed, or something that you created on your own completely from scratch?

Think About What You’re Good At

What are your strengths? If you’re great at persuading people, maybe you’re a natural-born salesperson. If you’re not good with grammar, maybe you shouldn’t be a writer or editor. Making a list of your strengths will help you find the right career path for you.

Discover Your Personality Traits

Get clear on who you are and what interests you. Are you a people-person? Maybe customer service is a good fit. Are you shy? Maybe customer service isn’t a good fit. How would your friends describe you? These are all clues for you.

Look at Your Values

What’s most important and meaningful to you? Maybe you want to make a difference in the world, for people who really need help. (Think non-profit.) Maybe you just want to make money. (Think Wall Street.) What are your highest values?

List Out What You Want From Your Career

What do you want to get out of your career? Some jobs, such as consulting, allow you to travel a lot. Perhaps you want to work for a cause, or you want the prestige of being an accomplished expert.

Get Outside Yourself

Get a Career Coach

Speaking to someone in person and bouncing ideas off of them will help you find your way. There are career coaches, jobs coaches, and even life coaches available to help you find what’s right for you. They might have even more suggestions for ways you can the perfect career for you.

Take an Online Test

There are a lot of online tests to help you discover what career path is best for you. Just simply answer the questions given to you, and their algorithm will tell you what possible fields you are best suited for. Couldn’t be easier!

Imagine Yourself Doing That Job

See yourself doing that job. How do you feel while you’re doing it? Do you love it sometimes? All the time? By picturing yourself in that role, you can try to imagine how you might like doing it.

Get in the Real World

Read Some Job Descriptions

This one is easy. Just go on a job board and see what the required tasks are for certain jobs. This will give you a sense of what that job might be like, and if it’d feel like something right for you.

Talk to People in the Fields You’re Considering

Hear straight from the horse’s mouth what it’s like in that career you keep thinking about. How are the hours? Do they get to do the things you’d love to do? Connect with people on LinkedIn and set up a time to ask them some questions.

Shadow Someone Else

Know someone who’s in the industry you’re considering? Shadow them for a day and see what they do. It can be a real wake-up call. Maybe you had idealized how glamorous and exciting their job is, only to discover that it’s more hum-drum than you had imagined.

Try It Out

Really think you’re ready to jump into a new career? Try out an internship so you can test the waters and see how you like it. You can even do this in the evenings or weekends if possible, while you work your day-job or go to school.

Search Online

See if you can find online a “day in the life of” or some first-hand accounts of what someone in that field does all. You might be surprised to learn that what they do is nothing like you had imagined.

Stuck in a rut? Find the right life coach for you and learn more about life coaching, like what a life coach is and what a life coach does. Click here to learn more about coaching.

The post 14 Steps to Finding the Right Career Path appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain

8 Questions To Help You Find Your Own True Self

find yourself

find yourself

Who were you before you were born?

“ We are born originals and die as copies” (Kierkegaard)

Before you were born you were free to be yourself. You had no one to worry about, no one to copy. And then you were born.

Born into a life where the search for meaning is totally dependent on finding and expressing your true self, but do you know who that is?

Psychological struggles that bombard and restrict many of us, in varying degrees, have their origins in the developmental hurdles of our childhood.

We are all individuals with our own special talents and personal power. And yet everywhere we look we are told what to do, how to behave, who to love etc.

From ancient days, culture has gendered male and female bodies with stereotypes that tell us who we are before we are born.

This gender stereotyping is unseen and pervasive as it is such a familiar part of our daily lives.

Within the media, images of men and women in society reinforce stereotypical perceptions of their place and role.

The intense circulation of these images interacts with and supports deeply embedded assumptions about the differing roles of men and women.

Women as mothers. housewives, and carers. Men as workers, business executives and workaholics.

And yet these images are so much more than images, they are profoundly persuasive symbols of everyday behavior and beliefs.

For men and women who fit neatly in the prescribed stereotypical roles and behaviours of society there is no problem, but for so many people who would like to step outside of the ‘norms’ of society, the reality is that they often spend a lifetime of unhappiness attempting to fit into the mould and failing.

They suffer because of stereotypical ‘ideals’ that are embedded in their psyches.

In an attempt for acceptance, men and women build their lives on a superficiality, a false image which focuses on external events, such as appearances, sexual choices, circumstances, behaviours and the desires of others, whilst leaving them bereft within themselves.

This false self is promoted and defended vigorously and this can become a permanent part of mental makeup from childhood to adulthood.

Stereotypical expectations of contemporary culture and about what constitutes men and women will not fade overnight. Therefore it is within psychotherapy that the rigid stereotypical constructs in our minds need to be gently dismantled, so that all our notions of gender and sexual orientations become more flexible and fluid, allowing them to drop away.

Are you living your life from your true self?

8 Questions to ask yourself.

1.Are you are a cardboard copy of what society wants you to be ?
2.Do you live your life through through family members?
3.Can you say No to requests for your help?
4.Is your life panning out the way you want it to?
5.Are you working in a career that gives you satisfaction and happiness?
6.Are you in a fulfilling relationship?
7.Do you know who you are and where you are going?
8.Is your opinion more important than what others think of you?

What do you think? Are you living life from your own true self or are you at the beck and call of others?

Bio: Carole Lyden is a writer and psychodynamic psychotherapist specializing in depression therapy at Teddy Bear Therapy Centre in Perth Western Australia. She is passionate about the power of psychotherapy and its ability to change lives. Download your free e book entitled “ Who were you before you were born?” How to find your true self.

The post 8 Questions To Help You Find Your Own True Self appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain

5 Deceptively Easy Ways to Double Your Energy Today

5 Deceptive Ways To Double Your Energy Today

increase energy

It’s 3 pm at work, and you’re dragging. You’ve still got a couple hours to go, and you’ve already had a coffee or two, but you just can’t get the energy to really focus enough and keep going to make it happen.

What do you do?

Well here are five tiny habits you can start doing (today) for loads more coffee-free energy to keep you fueled for your busy life.

#1. Flip the nutrient ratio

Ever notice how when you eat certain foods (or a big meal) you feel sluggish, tired and gross for a few hours? Maybe you just feel unproductive and sleepy after lunch while you’re working – well that’s because what we eat has a large influence on our perceived energy.

Think of it like this: how do you feel after eating a salad versus eating a big steak with mashed potatoes and gravy?

The steak and mashed potatoes probably make you feel stuffed and tired. Now I’m not saying to stop eating steak or go vegan or anything, but maybe save that for a dinner meal.

When you add more plants to your meals, you’re going to be getting more fiber, more nutrients, and more water, while also getting filled without stuffing yourself and feeling heavy after.

The idea of flipping the nutrient ratio simply means to include more unrefined grains (like whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa), which are dramatically higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, rather than the typical “Standard American Diet” which leaves you sluggish and tired.

It also means including more plants and “green things” that are fresher, which will give you important vitamins, hydrate you, and leave you feeling less tired after you eat.

#2 Do the swap

Ever find yourself struggling to get anything done first thing in the morning without coffee?

Or maybe it’s the afternoon crash – if so, wait before you reach for that next cup of coffee.

A recent study suggested that drinking ice cold water first thing in the morning (or anytime you need a pick me up) might be just as effective as drinking coffee (and a lot better for you).

Next time you need to wake up a bit and don’t have a good spot to nap, take a couple ice cubes, toss them in your water and you’ll get a pretty quick wake up call.

Especially if you find yourself working lots of hours, it can seem natural to just rely on drinking multiple cups of coffee per day, but not only is too much coffee (and caffeine) just going to increase stress hormones, it’s also going to affect your ability to relax after you finally get off work.

#3 Follow the rule of 180

You’ve probably heard all the conflicting advice on the planet regarding nutrition: eat every three hours, make sure to eat breakfast, do intermittent fasting and so on and so forth.

But eating every three hours is one of the best things you can do to offset low blood sugar.

Low blood sugar is a primary cause of fatigue, lack of energy, mood swings, and cravings. And just by eating more regularly – keeping your blood sugar consistent, you can offset any kind of crash that will alter your energy levels.

Like we’ll talk about in step five, the best way to also have a stable blood sugar is to change specifically what you’re eating.

Some of the fastest ways to do this are super simple, like:

  • Change your snacks to high-protein snacks, which keep you fuller, longer and stabilize blood sugar
  • Eat more whole grains (like brown rice), because they have more fiber and nutrients
  • Eat every three hours, and don’t snack – because you’ll constantly be on the verge of hunger

#4 Drop the white stuff

It’s so temping to grab a bagel with butter when you’re rushing to work in the morning, but in reality, refined carbs (white bread, bagels, etc.) especially in combination with sugar (hello pastries), are quite possibly the worst combination for your mood and energy.

Refined carbs (versus whole grains for example) have two major problems:

First, they rapidly spike your blood sugar and then make it quickly crash after.

This is bad news for your energy (and mood!). The reason is because they lack some of the fiber and bran that unrefined carbs have, and as a result, they don’t regulate your blood sugar as well.

The other big problem is that refined carbs actually have a lot less nutrition than whole, unrefined carbs. In some nutrients, it’s as little as 1/20th the nutrition.

So you’re not only getting less nutrition, but you’re also making yourself more prone to cravings and weight gain.

#5 Have a “30g” breakfast

The last principle here to having way more energy today is to have the “30g” breakfast, which just means emphasizing at least 30g of protein with each meal.

In fact, if you want energy all day long, have at least 30g of protein at each meal with your veggies.

Having a sizeable amount of protein in the morning will help you stay fuller, longer, it’ll help stabilize blood sugar which is important for mood and energy, and it’ll keep those cravings away.

Follow these five daily habits, and you’ll be sure to double your energy very quickly, boost your mood, and have that sustained productivity you’ve been craving.

What’s worked for you? Share it below!

Bio: Alexander is the founder of Modern Health Monk, an integrative health site that shows busy professionals how to lose weight using the power of tiny habits. You can get his free starter’s guide here: 5 daily habits for healthy weight loss here.


The post 5 Deceptively Easy Ways to Double Your Energy Today appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain

7 Truths that Helped Me To Heal from Trauma and Abuse

heal from abuse

heal from abuse

Chances are if you’re reading this right now, there’s something you want to change:

  • Maybe you want a better job
  • Maybe you want a different partner
  • Maybe you want to find your purpose

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably tried various methods to answer these tough questions, ranging from the Internet to alcohol to therapy.

I grew up in a suburb outside of New York City in a family that valued high achievement. As in many Indian families, I was taught that success is an external thing you pursue. An esteemed job you can brag about is like the Holy Grail for many in my culture, and I bought into that concept hard.

By age 13, I had full-on depression. Everyone else assumed I was simply sad. I soon began a love-hate relationship with medication at 14, taking anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, ADD medication, and sleep aids … You name it, I took it.

I loved having a diagnosis; it was a label that could define me and explain the way I felt. It comforted me. It reaffirmed my victim mentality: that I had no choices and this was just who I was. Not surprisingly, things got worse. Beyond the constant adjustments of pills and playing the side-effects-balancing game, this strategy confirmed the belief that true happiness was an external thing I had to get. I felt flawed, broken, and alone.

Years, drinks, and many relationships later, I was ready to give up. But a small and frustrated voice inside me said, There has to be a better way. But what way could that be? I had already tried everything!

Unfortunately, a small, irritating voice is pretty easy to ignore. I needed a rock-bottom moment for that tiny voice to turn into a full-on scream. For me, that happened on December 31, 2010. I was raped. In my apartment. By someone I knew. The side-effect of my new medication virtually paralyzed my muscles during sleep. I couldn’t fight him off. I just woke up repeatedly and witnessed it. That was the moment when my dislike for medication turned into disdain.

For the next two weeks, I was numb. For the two weeks after that, I was drunk. That little voice came back and hit me over the head. I knew I had a choice: I could either allow him to ruin the rest of my life or I could take some responsibility and make a change.

I began boxing. It felt good to hit something. Exercise opened the door to other much-needed changes in my life. Changes that, had they been suggested before, I would have greeted with an overly-dramatic eye roll.

I had never believed in holistic anything. I always thought it was a bunch of granola-eating hippies who thought they could fix everything with herbal tea. Nevertheless, I had tried everything else. What did I have to lose?

As a self-proclaimed know-it-all, it was a struggle to admit that maybe I’d have to venture into the world of nutmilk, super foods, and—dare I say it—kale. It was my “Aha” moment. I decided not to be a victim anymore. At that moment, my health and happiness became MY responsibility; it wasn’t for a person, a pill, or a thing to fix. I wasn’t broken. It was the most empowering moment of my life.

Within two weeks, my life drastically changed. As I look back, hiring a coach, eating veggies, and meditating didn’t fix me. They did something much better: they allowed me to see that I was never broken at all.

Now, my vision of success is not an external thing you “pursue, ” but an internal state of alignment and bliss. Most people saw my external transformation, but the real change was internal. I no longer needed medication, things, or people to make me happy.

When people ask me how I got over the Depression and abuse, I tell them “I don’t get over things, I get through them.” And in my personal experience and as a coach, there are

7 Truths that Helped Me To Heal from Trauma & Abuse:


When it first happened, I spent some time questioning whether I was actually “raped.” It was too difficult to accept what had happened and I felt that it would be easier to blame myself or call it some sort of “misunderstanding.” The truth is that culpability doesn’t change a situation. No matter what happened to me or to him, it was my responsibility to take care of myself. And while I could have spent more time in the “I wish things were different” cycle, all it did was keep me stuck. And so I chose to be courageous. I chose to feel the feelings, ask for help, and stop silencing my voice. Because ultimately, courage isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision.


More than forgiving the other person, the biggest shift in my life came from forgiving myself for what happened. Unconsciously, I held onto anger and guilt, further exacerbating the issue by attracting people and situations that would confirm my self-limiting beliefs. I found compassion for others, but never for myself. The moment I decided to give myself what I gave to others was the start of my journey to self-love, self-esteem, and self-respect. Forgiveness gives you the power to re-write your story. And self-forgiveness is just as important as forgiving others.


Everyone who knows will try to help you. Despite their best intentions and desire to help, they will give you advice on how you should feel and deal. Unless they have gone through it, their advice will annoy the shit out of you. And while there may be times you want support and want to talk about it, don’t assume that your usual go-tos for answers are the right people. They love you, but they may injure you more. And honestly, I feel for them. It’s hard to feel powerless to help someone you care about when you can’t magically fix it. My advice: choose where to get support. Explain to your loved ones what you need.  It took me a while to learn to say, “I’m going to share with you how I feel. I don’t want you to try to fix it. I just need you listen.” Sometimes we need to directly tell others how to meet our needs.


Based on #3, I’m not advising you to keep it to yourself. Once you make the choice to get help from appropriate sources, get lots of it. DBT, CBT, EMDR, not to mention yoga, meditation, couples therapy, a spiritual mentor, and puppy cuddles. Loved some, hated others. I wanted to find the one modality that would fix everything. But much like the perfect chocolate chip cookie, it simply doesn’t exist. As I look back and fondly bitch about the methodologies and practitioners who claimed their way to be best, I realize that everything played a role in my growth.  I learned positive communication & coping skills, emotional resilience, and more than anything, how to trust myself. Today, I see an AMAZING therapist, I exercise, I engage in creative outlets, I meditate, and I honor my intuition. Ultimately, even if only 10% of everything I do now is actually making a difference, it all adds up. Try everything that intuitively feels right, there’s more than one path to healing.


When you’ve spent a long time feeling small, it can be hard to prioritize your needs. On a very deep level, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we don’t deserve it, that it’s wrong, or that it’s selfish to care for ourselves. It’s no wonder we have such a hard time choosing to love ourselves before we love others.  Sexual assault shakes your sense of self to the very core. To heal yourself, prioritize your self-care. These actions may be uncomfortable, but that just means you’re doing the right thing. After all, in discomfort is where we grow. Choose to be gentle and compassionate with yourself.


Much of my growth came from honoring and cultivating my own voice. I began singing, I spoke up for myself, I started writing. I began expressing myself. More than that, I began owning it, listening to it, and loving it.


Each year, I feel better. There are still moments when I feel like curling up in a ball. And in those moments, I get scared that I’m going to enter a serious Depression or that my growth wasn’t as large or legitimate as I had thought. But the truth is that growth isn’t linear. Feeling the full range of emotions is imperative to processing what happened. And the many layers of recovery offer greater opportunities for growth, self-awareness, and peace. Despite the temporary relief that Netflix and alcohol might offer, you need to feel it to heal it.

For me, life is about gratitude. For what I am, what I’ve achieved, and what I’ll create. Each day gives me an opportunity to begin again. An opportunity to let go of the past and take steps toward my ultimate goal: creating a life aligned with my best self. And each year, another bit fades away and reveals who I’m meant to be, allowing me to step into my potential and live my true life’s purpose. And it all started with a moment of surrender and the humbling admission that there had to be a better way to create a happy, fulfilling, and successful life that I love.

Download Amita’s eBook 10 Tips To Become The Happiest Person You Know.


Amita is the Owner and Founder of AlignedHolistics.com, a coaching services company that empowers individuals to create a life they love from a place of self-love vs. self-discipline. As a coach, writer, and wellness expert, Amita works with individuals to break through their barriers and embrace lifestyle change from the inside-out. Her unique approach combines nutrition, physical activity, relationships, career, and personal philosophy. Amita has been featured on CBS, NBC, and the Huffington Post. She received her Master’s Degree from New York University and her Health Coach Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Want to learn more? Book your initial breakthrough session today to identify the blocks getting in your way. Download your free copy of “10 Tips To Become The Happiest Person You Know” and receive weekly tips delivered straight to your inbox.

The post 7 Truths that Helped Me To Heal from Trauma and Abuse appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain

5 Quotes to Jumpstart Your Gratefulness and Peace of Mind

5 Quotes To Jumpstart Your Gratefulness & Peace of Mind

gratefulness quotes

There is nothing I seek more than gratefulness and peace of mind. When I’m in their grip, I’m floating on air.

You’ve felt it, too, haven’t you?

Then, you’ve also felt it slip away… Because it’s tough to spend every moment of our lives in a state of gratitude, especially when things that happen to us aren’t exactly positive, right? It’s tough to be grateful on a rainy day when everything seems to go wrong. Not to mention feel peace of mind!

Luckily, there’s a way to jumpstart your gratitude engine and get back into a peaceful frame of mind. 

Here are a few quotes I love to read when I need that extra push…

1. “Sometimes we get so focused on the difficulty of our climb that we lose sight of being grateful for simply having a mountain to climb.” — Oprah Winfrey

I mentioned earlier that it’s hard to be grateful all the time because real life isn’t always rosy. But what it we could be grateful for the difficult stuff, too?

Just having the opportunity to be alive, to be striving for better, to have a mountain to climb (in Oprah’s words) is something to be grateful for. The path we’re on, while it may feel difficult now, is a beautiful one, for its our own. It’s an opportunity.

2. “Nothing which life has to offer is worth the price of worry. ” — Napoleon Hill

The easiest way to squash peace of mind is through worry. According to Napoleon Hill, worry is a waste of your time and your energy. Instead of spending the time worrying, why not doing something proactive instead?

The way I see it, you can worry and act OR you can just act. Which do you prefer?

If worry adds no value to my life and crowds out my peace of mind, I’d rather drop it completely. Are you with me?

3.  “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.” – Abraham Maslow

I’ve found the easiest way to stay within a gratitude mindset is to be loyal to my creativity. That is, to continually heed the call of creating what my soul yearns to create. Sometimes, that is writing articles like this and other times that means drawing a beautiful quote I come across. Other times, it’s taking photographs of my child.

Whatever I feel in the moment, I try my best to answer by freely creating with no judgement and no hesitation.

What do you create?

4.Happiness only comes through inner peace and joy, which is only attainable through being in the present moment, free of expectations.” — Eckhart Tolle

Another shortcut to peace of mind? The present moment.

No matter what is going on in your mind, drop it and pay attention to what’s in front of you. Are you reading this on your phone? Stop and look around. Are you reading this on your computer? Stop and look around. There’s life happening all around you. Are you paying attention?

The life that’s bursting all around you is beautiful. There’s no denying it. Feel yourself be inundated with gratitude for it.

5. “What we know matters, but who we are matters more.” — Dr. Brene Brown

Have you ever watched someone lose their even keel, their joyful state because of something that happened at work? This happens every single day to so many of us.

Instead of letting this happen to me, I try to remember these wise words. My intelligence and my achievements aren’t what matter. What matters is what’s at my core: me, just the way I am, right now. And that feels like the relief in taking a deep, deep breath.

That’s it!

I hope this helps you get back into a frame of mind that’s full of gratitude and inner peace. That’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it? To feel wonderful no matter what is going on around us.

I invite you to bookmark this page for when you need a pick-me-up. Go ahead, do it! These great minds will be here waiting to support you and remind you that there’s a better way, a peaceful state of mind available to you at any moment. Every moment!

And if you’re interested in more where this came from, join me over at my website.

About the author: Marcella Chamorro is a new mom, writer and entrepreneur intent on helping you gain peace of mind and creative flow (if that’s your jam). Read her work at marcexo.com.

The post 5 Quotes to Jumpstart Your Gratefulness and Peace of Mind appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain

The Five Positive Effects of Abstaining From Social Media

The way we communicate has been changed forever, thanks to social media. Whereas letters and telegrams took forever to reach their destinations, nowadays, a simple press of a button allows you to send a message instantly regardless of location.

We can’t deny the fact that social media brought a lot of benefits, particularly with regard to communicating with friends and loved ones. It has also broken language and continental barriers, allowing you to know what is happening around the world by just sitting in front of the monitor or by swiping the screen of your mobile phone.

However, being online too much can be quite dangerous, and may affect your mood and your overall productivity.

I conducted a month-long experiment (on myself), and found out firsthand about the effects of abstaining from social media. Here’s what you’re in for:

You’ll Sleep Better and Longer

The simple act of turning off all digital devices and having the discipline not to use them by 8:30pm clears your mind and gives you more time to think before shutting your eyes.

As of now, it’s probably a habit to check your e-mails, your social networking news feeds, and play social games prior to turning in. Basically, social media makes your mind hungry for information – once you look into a story, you’ll be craving for more. You’ll probably end up losing sleep over funny cat videos your friends are laughing about, leaving you stressed, puffy eyed and unproductive the following morning despite heavy doses of caffeine.

Sleep is easy to attain if you don’t have to check your smart phone every five minutes, leaving you well-rested. Remember how easy it was to sleep at night before the age of Facebook and Twitter?

You’ll Be Able to Think More

Browsing social media takes a lot out of your time: before you know it, you’ve spent the last hour and a half flicking your thumb across the screen. It’s also time spent unproductively: your mind is wandering elsewhere, when you’re better off thinking about what you’re doing with your life.

That being said, abstaining from social media gives you more time to meditate and clear your mind. By investing your time in thinking, it gives you the opportunity to reflect on the events that transpired in your life, as well as the chance to plan and get ready for tomorrow. In my case, it helped me realize that I had lost my ambitions, and helped me formulate another set of goals.

More Time to Read

Sadly, social media deprived me of my reading habits – something you can relate to as well. Years ago, I used to sleep at three in the morning just by reading Harry Potter books, Japanese comics and Reader’s Digest magazines…and I daresay times were better back then.

When I did this experiment, I found new reading obsessions – new adult fantasy novels, books about ancient history as well as law-related novels. If you were once a reader, ditch social media and engross yourself in the world written on paper and inscribed in ink, rather than deal with the petty squabbles on Facebook comments regarding provocative articles.

Immune from Negative Feelings

Back in January, I spent hours reading news articles and user comments regarding a particular issue. In my country, 44 policemen were slain by rebels, and it gained widespread fury across the nation. People, including me, were distraught, enraged and were in tears after knowing the fate of the gallant heroes who sacrificed themselves for the country. I shared the sentiments of my fellow countrymen: rage and sorrow merged into one.

By empathizing negative feelings, you leave yourself vulnerable to truckloads of trouble. Personally, I had a small breakout of acne, and was clearly unmotivated – all because I read and absorbed the negative feelings of the people in the comment sections. If I hadn’t read the stories and comments back then, I think I would have slept and worked better.

Remember though, ignorance is never a bliss, but the things you know can hurt you.

Lastly, You’ll Enjoy Life More

Instead of browsing pictures depicting breathtaking scenery, get off the keyboard and take a stroll around the neighborhood. Seeing the sunset, hearing children’s laughter and breathing fresh air is more enjoyable than looking at a phone screen…and gives you the chance to feel and enjoy being alive.

PS: Take note that you should only abstain from social media, not avoid it completely. You still need to network and share content – just limit the time you spend on the digital platforms and you’ll be experiencing the above mentioned benefits!

Mikhail Blacer is a sports junkie and the current sports editor of Scoopfed, an online magazine. He also works part time as a peer counselor in his locality. Strike up a conversation with him through his e-mail (mikhailblacer@scoopfed.com) and via Twitter

The post The Five Positive Effects of Abstaining From Social Media appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain

9 Ways to Reach Your Goals Lightning Fast

9 Ways To Reach Your Goals Lightening Fast

how to set goals

Fully Commit

Decide that you’re going to keep working at it until your reach your goal. The word “de-cide” literally means “to cut away from”. Think of the other strong commitments you’ve made in your life. There’s no turning back, you stick to it consistently and keep moving forward, no matter what. Make this same kind of commitment to your goal.

Challenge Your Excuses

Don’t let your excuses rule you. Listen to them and write them down. Make a list of all of the excuses and reasons why you can’t be working on it today. You’re not “in the mood”, something came up, etc. If there are real circumstances and responsibilities that are preventing you from working on it, then that’s okay. But if it’s just because you have to check Facebook for 30 minutes, you’ll want to write that one down, and see if that’s a good enough reason to not be working towards your goal.

Choose the Right Goal

Make sure that your goal strikes a balance between being challenging and realistic. If you give yourself too big of a goal, to the point where it becomes overwhelming, you won’t even want to attempt it. Make sure that you goal is do-able. If you break that goal down into smaller steps to be completed every day, however, you won’t feel so intimidated.

Take Action Every Single Day

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And your biggest goals won’t happen overnight. They will take time to accomplish. When you make the commitment, you’re committing to doing something (to get one step closer) every, single, day! Okay, you can take off Saturday and Sunday, but the rest of the week, do something every single day to get closer.

Write Down Your Goals, Clearly

How clear are you on what you want? The more clearly that you can write it down, the easier it will be for you to achieve it. So take just a few minutes now and start writing down clearly, exactly what your goals are. You can’t achieve them if you don’t have a clear idea of exactly what they are. So, what exactly are your goals?

Write Down Your First/Next Steps

What are the next small steps that you need to take? Break your overall goal into smaller steps, and then break down those small steps into even smaller steps. Now look at the first small steps that you need to take. And start taking them, today, right now. Ask yourself, “What can I do today to get one step closer, however small, to achieving my goals?”

Start Today, Right Now

What are you waiting for? If you need permission to get started, then I’m giving you that permission right now! If you’re feeling afraid, it’s okay to feel afraid and still move forward despite your fear (you won’t die, trust me!). If you’re feeling uncertain about moving forward, then you probably need to make your commitment first, and start to accept the uncertainty.

Celebrate Your Successes

No matter how small your wins are, if you celebrate them, you will reward yourself and give yourself a psychological motivator to create more wins. If after your wins, you beat yourself up and say, “That wasn’t good enough” and “I have to do better”, you won’t be giving yourself the satisfaction of feeling good about what you’ve already accomplished. Celebrating your successes will empower you to create more of those same successes going forward.

Get Help From An Expert

Have you ever spoken to a goal achievement expert, also known as a life coach? A coach is a professional who will help you achieve whatever you want in your life, allowing you to sail right through your mental and emotional blocks. Imagine how good it will feel to start moving forward, with your own personal guide and mentor. Get started now.

If you want to reach your goals and you feel stuck in a rutlearn more about what a life coach is and read our guide to find a life coach.  At Life Coach Spotter, we help you build your confidence, find your path, reach your goals, and create the life you want.

The post 9 Ways to Reach Your Goals Lightning Fast appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain

6 Ways to Ditch Unhealthy Eating Habits with Minimal Effort

6 Ways To Ditch Unhealthy Eating Habits With Minimum Effort

how to live clean

Our eating habits and food choices are shaped by far more than just hunger, which is why for most of us, choosing a salad over a slice of pizza requires some serious willpower.

Over the past decade, researchers from the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab have made some fascinating discoveries about how our environment and perceptions of food affect not only what but also how much we eat. So here are six ways you can use their research to trick yourself into making healthier food choices every time.

  1. Use smaller plates

The size of plate you use directly impacts how much you end up eating, because a bigger plate makes a regular serving of food seem smaller.

A study that took place at a health and fitness camp found that people who were given larger bowls ate 16% more cereal than those with smaller bowls. And even though they had eaten more, they estimated that they had eaten less compared to the small bowl group.

So not only can bigger plates cause you to overeat, they may even fool you into thinking you’ve been quite modest. With this in mind, opting for smaller plates whenever possible could help you to eat less but still feel full and satisfied.

  1. Start each meal with something healthy

Since visual cues are so powerful, the order in which you serve yourself can impact your whole meal. One experiment that studied two groups of people as they enjoyed a free buffet found that when healthier items like fruit were arranged at the beginning of the buffet rather than at the end, people served themselves more of those foods.

So rather than denying yourself every ‘unhealthy’ food, which can cause cravings and lead to binge eating, you can positivity influence your choices by starting each meal with a healthier item like a fresh salad or other vegetable dish.

  1. Turn off the TV while eating

Numerous studies show an association between watching TV and consuming more food, and it makes sense; watching TV is distracting, so when you eat while watching your favourite show, you don’t pay much attention to what or how much you’re eating.

Surprisingly, though, certain types of television are worse to watch while eating than others. One study found that participants who watched a suspenseful movie ate 98% more than those who watched a talk show, while another showed that moviegoers ate an average of 55% more popcorn when they watched a sad movie than when they watched an upbeat comedy.

Switching the TV off during mealtimes is best, but if you must watch something, save the tearjerkers and action thrillers for after your meal. Also, if you enjoy snacking while watching TV, make a point of putting out only as much food as you plan to eat.

  1. Stay away from low-fat foods

It may sound crazy, but we’re more likely to gain weight when our diet is composed primarily of low-fat foods. Why? Research shows that when we eat foods that are labelled as low-fat, we mistakenly assume that because we’re consuming less fat; we can afford to eat more.

So instead of maintaining sensible portions and simply switching out ordinary products for their low-fat counterparts, we actually end up increasing our calorie intake. With this in mind, sticking to full-fat products can prompt you to monitor your food intake more closely and avoid the trap of overeating.

  1. Never skip meals

When you skip meals, you’re far more likely to end up bingeing on starchy, high calorie foods once you finally do eat, and food shopping on an empty stomach could even ruin your diet for the whole week, with research showing that short-term food deprivation can cause you to buy nearly 45% more high calorie foods.

To avoid this, try not to go for more than 3-4 hours without eating at least a small snack, and make sure you’ve had a good meal before you step foot in the grocery store.

  1. Dim the lights and play some music

The atmosphere in which you eat your meals can also affect how much you end up eating. In one experiment, a section of a fast food restaurant was transformed with soft lighting and jazz music.

Although participants all ate the same type of food, those who had eaten their meal in the revamped section ate less. They also spent more time eating and rated the food as more enjoyable than those who had eaten in the regular fast food environment.

Since watching TV while eating isn’t the best idea anyway, have your meals at the table with pleasant lighting, music and conversation whenever you can – you’ll not only be less likely to overindulge, but will also enjoy your food more.

Marianne Stenger is a writer with Open Colleges. She covers career development, workplace productivity and self-improvement. You can connect with her on Twitter and Google+, or find her latest articles here


The post 6 Ways to Ditch Unhealthy Eating Habits with Minimal Effort appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

Source: pickthebrain