7 Simple Techniques to Unleash Creativity

7 Simple Tips To Unleash Your Creativity

If you are prone to creative work, you know that inspiration hits you naturally. Sometimes you fall into a dark spot, so you think that waiting is the best solution. It’s not! Creativity is a trainable skill, so you can make an effort that will yield results.

Jonah Kehrer, an American author who’s famous for tackling topics from neuroscience and psychology, explained the patterns of creativity in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works. According to Kehrer, imagination is not separate from other kinds of cognition. This function of the brain is based on its ability to combine insights, perspective, and information with the purpose to approach the subject from a different angle.

Every function of the brain can and should be practiced. There are effective techniques that will make you more creative; you just need to stay committed to your goal! Analyze the following 7 methods and experiment with them to find out which ones work well for you:

  1. Reframe problems by asking the right questions!

One of the best ways to unlock innovation is to reframe the problem. Ask different questions that don’t have only one right answer. When you change the frame, you’ll be able to approach the problem from a different angle and think of few unexpected solutions. Start with ‘why’.

  1. Connect and combine different ideas!

Different thoughts and ideas hit you even when you’re struggling to reach your highest level of creativity. Even when these ideas seem useless, try to take them into consideration. Connect different thoughts and use them to create unexpected combinations. Compare the ideas between each other, and you’ll most likely come up with cool metaphors and analogies.

Remember what Steve Jobs said: “The key to creativity is to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then to bring those things into what you’re doing.” You probably have access to other people’s ideas and solution to the particular issue you’re struggling with. You can combine them into a non-obvious pattern and you’ll have a completely new idea on the rise.

  1. Don’t run with the first solution you discover. It might not be the best one!

The creative state of mind thrives on ideas. The first idea you come up with may seem brilliant, but don’t limit yourself to it; maybe it’s not the best solution you have. Open yourself to different opportunities! Have you heard of Tim Hurson’s ‘the third third’ concept? In his book Think Better, the author elaborates an interesting method of brainstorming.

For example, let’s say you’ve set a goal to come up with 60 ideas. The first third of these ideas (the first 20 of them) will be the most obvious picks. They will hardly offer anything interesting. The second third of the ideas you got through brainstorming will be more interesting. This shift results from your mind’s inclination to scratch the surface of mediocrity. Then, you’ll start getting even better ideas. The third (last 20 ideas) will be the most unexpected, unusual, and innovative potential solutions.

That’s an interesting way of awakening your creativity, isn’t it?

  1. Pay attention!

The creative state of mind is not unconscious. You need to observe, collect tons of data, and try to examine the information you have from different angles. When you pay attention to every single detail, you’ll be able to act more boldly.

Sometimes inspiration does come out of nowhere, but when you can’t act passively when you want to kindle it.

  1. Surround yourself with creativity!

Have you noticed that your mind works differently when you change location? Each space has a different energy that makes you respond appropriately. Before you start generating ideas, you need to make sure that the surroundings don’t suppress your ability to think creatively. Is your working area messy? If your desk is cluttered with pens, paper, and several coffee cups, you’ll just get distracted. If everything is too neat, on the other hand, you’ll lack visual stimulation.

You need to personalize your environment in a way that boosts your creativity. Of course, you cannot lock yourself in the same room for days or months when you’re trying to come up with a creative solution. Take walks and allow different surroundings to change the way you feel and think.

  1. Impose restrictions upon yourself!

Believe it or not, constraints can make you more creative. For example, let’s say you’re writing a novel. You have access to state-of-the-art writing software that limits distractions and enables you to format the content to perfection. Plus, it supports an auto-correct function! That will hardly make you more creative, though. Sometimes the best solution is to go back to basics. If pen and paper are all tools you need, maybe you don’t need to complicate the process too much.

When you get stuck even though you have access to an abundance of resources, try to see how you function without them.

  1. Experiment!

Whether you like it or not, risks and failures are inevitable parts of the creative process. Some ideas will take you to great heights, but others simply won’t work. If you are afraid to experiment, you won’t be getting any ideas to start with. Creativity means doing things that no one has done before. In other words, it doesn’t work without taking risks.

Don’t be afraid to throw some of your ideas away. If you’re not dismissing a large number of ideas, then you aren’t trying hard enough to think of plenty of options!

Picture: Designed by Freepik

Short Bio: Antonio is a New Jersey-based hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s writing for http://www.edugeeksclub.com/

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7 Skills You Must Learn to Reach Your Full Potential (And Where to Learn Them)

The Skills You Need To Reach Your Full Potential (and where to get them)

the skills you need to be successful

The stepping stone from where you are today to where you want to be is simple: learning more skills.

If we compare the differences between the people living an average lifestyle, and successful, happier people, is that the latter have learned and leveraged more valuable skills in their lives.

To become our best selves, we must constantly be learning more skills and educating ourselves on how to provide more value to the world.

As Tony Hsiesh, the CEO of Zappos, once said,
“if you want to make a million dollars, serve a million people.”

With that said, here are 7 new skills you must learn to reach your full potential

1. Speak a New Language

If English is the only language you know, then you’re missing out on 1/5th of the world’s population that doesn’t speak native English.

As globalization rises, everything from business, media, and the economy will require interaction with foreign people outside of your language.

Learning how to speak a new language will give you a significant advantage over those who lack the knowledge, and it’s better to get started sooner than later. As a side benefit, language acquisition has been shown by numerous sources to increase your mental agility, memory retention, and decision-making skills.

Where to learn: You can get started with a free mobile app like Duolingo, or learn faster using a personalized language learning website like Rype, which matchmakes you with a native speaking teacher for private lessons online.

2. Play an Instrument

Playing an instrument can not only wow your friends, but also make you smarter. Studies have shown that playing an instrument can increase your IQ by 7 points.

Studying music also increases your concentration skills, which is becoming a necessary skill in today’s distracted world, and helps you become a better listener.

If you’re not sure which instrument you should learn, read this article.

Where to learn: For instruments, I would recommend getting started finding an in-person teacher in your local city on Craigslist. If you prefer learning online, you can check out this complete list of websites to learn different instruments from piano to the drums.

3. Public Speaking

Warren Buffet has often claimed that the most valuable skill a recent graduate can learn is the art of public speaking.

Being a good communicator is massively understated and a crucial skill that can never be improved enough. Whether you’re going into a job interview, making a presentation, or starting a business, being a great speaker is what will make you stand out from above the crowd and get your message across.

Where to learn: Join a local Toastmasters organization in your city, and you can start to receive immediate feedback.

4. Blogging

The concept of blogging is only 20 years old, and is still incredibly important if you want to build your brand, grow your business, or differentiate yourself amongst others.

Blogging helps you develop a mixture of valuable skillsets from writing, marketing and resilience that is hard to develop anywhere else. With over 150 million blog readers (2014) in the US alone, blogging is one of the most powerful platforms to reach a global audience with your message.

Where to learn: Blogging can be started for free with new platforms like Medium gaining popularity. Or you can start and host your own blog using WordPress or Tumblr. Check out this post to how to set up your own blog in 5 minutes. You can also check out courses on how to blog here.

5. Networking

As Jim Rohn once said, “you are the average of the five people around you.”

If you want more success, then surround yourself with people that are smarter, more motivated, and more successful than you are.

In order to become a better networker, especially with high-profiled individuals, then you need to learn how to bring value first.

Where to learn: The best way to learn how to network is to watch how other succesful people network. In order to do this, you need to attend industry conferences, networking events, and get infront of these people in-person.

6. Speed Reading

Bill Gates has went on public to admit his biggest regret in life, which is the ability to read faster.

Time is the most important and limited commodity that we have, and it’s the only commodity that we can never have back. By learning how to read faster, you can save yourself dozens of hours per year, even hundreds if you’re an avid reader.

Where to Learn: You can take a free speed reading course online, or you can use technology such as Spritz to increase your speed.

7. Learning Faster

The ability to increase your learning speed may be the most valuable skills of all, as you can learn any skill faster.

Learning faster is not always limited to your cognitive abilities, but it’s about developing a certain framework of learning.

This includes modeling those who have come before you, applying the Pareto’s Law, and skill deconstruction.

Where to learn: There’s no magical formula to this skill, other than applying the framework taught by learning experts through action.
Two books I would recommend are The Art of Learning and The 4-Hour Chef.

Over to you

Which skills from this list are you most interested in learning?
Is there a valuable skill that we didn’t mention that others should know?
Share it in the comments below!

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7 Happiness Factors That You May Have Forgotten

7 Happiness Factors That You May Have Forgotten

how to be happy

Let me be straight forward.

When it comes to happiness, 99% of the world has gotten it wrong.

Most of us think that happiness depends on something, someone or anything that is outside of us.

That is not the way. We keep forgetting where happiness comes from and what it’s really about.

Here’s 8 happiness factors that we may have forgotten

1) It ultimately does not depend on somebody else

Be it your boyfriend, girlfriend, ex, your boss or even your mom. They don’t make you happy.

It is up to you. You’re emotionally in charge of how you feel all the time.

Relying on others to be happy is like saying you require a servant to be there for you on hand and foot just so you can be happy.

So stop depending on others. Above all else, look within.

2) It is not somebody else’s fault

Henceforth, if you want to be happy, you need to stop laying blame on others.

People will always disappoint. People will always let you down.

And that’s okay.

If anything, you need to adjust your expectations and learn how to deal with people so you can keep growing from within and stay above THEIR unhappiness.

3) It is not about attaining something

It’s not a matter of hitting a goal or getting some reward just so you can be happy.

More often than not, in life, the grass is always greener on the other side and that’s when you realize what you really wanted to get isn’t all that is cut out to be.

You need to realize that being happy is within your reach anytime during whatever it is you’re doing. You can be happy while doing the work too.

So let loose your grip on what you sought to achieve. Enjoy the journey instead.

4) Success does not bring happiness

It is the other way around.

You do not want to work so hard to achieve common success, such as becoming rich or famous only to realize that it doesn’t make you happy.

Arguably, being happy is the biggest success you can achieve in life. That is something nobody can take away from you.

Think about it: Is there a real meaning to life or behind what you do if you aren’t even happy?

5) Your thoughts are your happiness

What you think is what you feel and what you get.

It sounds obvious, but the idea here is to remember that this factor is about simplicity.

Life and happiness doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s all about perspective from you. It’s all in your head!

If you want to be happy, then learn to control your thoughts. It’s not easy, but it has to be done.

6) Happiness comes from being challenged

That is why you need to put in the work.

To put it simply, the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment you gain from doing the work is what makes for a good day, a well-deserved break. You can’t help but feel happy that way.

You need to be challenged and you need to get over the challenges. If you aren’t doing the work, then it means you’re bored. And boredom will never bring happiness.

So don’t shy away from challenges. Stop procrastinating or lazing around. Get that satisfaction!

7) You’re bound to feel unhappy at times and that’s okay

We’re only human and that’s normal.

You can’t filter reality. Things will go wrong. People will let you down and it’s not something you can ever comprehend, try as you like.

Anger, sadness, frustration, stress and confusion will show up from time to time, but that’s okay.

Don’t panic or anything. Don’t dwell on it. Pick yourself up and move on. It’s possible.

Then choose happiness again. And again. And again.

Special Bonus for YOU

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Time to shed the crap in life and start being happy! This free book is available through this link to Alden Tan.

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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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How Time Became My No. 1 Resource

How Time Became My Number One Resource

best time management resource
Realizing time is your most important resource will automatically make you a time management pro. Unfortunately, before this realization occurs, all your time management attempts are in vain.

I moved to Sweden 3 years ago to look for a job. Unemployment is rampant in Kenya and I had previously moved to other countries to find human resource work. In October 2013, I was really struggling with learning the language and was antsy to still make some type of contribution.

I choose what came most naturally and easy to me; writing. I started a blog in early 2014 but a famous Kenyan author checked it out and told me he wanted me to write books. I had no idea what that entailed but a seed was planted.

This April, I decided to author several books which would most likely be self-published. I was still jobless; had no money, but lo and behold I had plenty of time.

A successful, prolific writer is a time management expert. The way they look at time is not the same way every other person does.

“You must protect your writing time. You must protect it to the death.” screenwriter William Goldman.

Tim Grahl, the book marketing guru, asked writers what their biggest challenge was and they said it was finding time to write.

I realized that having time was going to be my competitive edge. I was unknown, had no money, had no connections, no platform, but lots of uninterrupted time. Time to write, time to study self-publishing, time to master the Amazon machine, time to learn from writers I admired and looked up to, time to listen to the millions of webinar and podcasts available to authors, time to master book marketing.

My habits changed without me coaxing them to.

I stopped my TV show addiction. I would binge watch shows like Greys Anatomy before. I haven’t watched that show for so long but know McDreamy died. I haven’t seen Game of Thrones, Downtown Abbey; don’t follow Scandal as well as many other popular shows.

I stopped watching movies as well. I was a serious movie buff before. I’ve not even seen Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years A Slave and the way I totally adore her.

I don’t play any video games or games on my phone. I’ve never played Candy Crush Saga.

I like to talk a lot and would spend copious amounts of time on the phone. I am now very conscious of the time I spend on the phone and know which of my friends talk for thirty minutes versus those who talk for ten minutes.

I don’t chat endlessly with people on Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp. Especially if it’s impromptu.

I plan my days the night before to keep me from wasting time and say no to many activities that are unplanned, spontaneous and unscheduled.

I partake in fewer socializing activities. I select the people I will spend my time with so when I have a coffee or dinner with someone, it’s totally worth it.

I am single and in my 30’s and would obsess about my future husband and join a trillion dating sites to try and find this person. I stopped that…..it became too time consuming. All fear of ending up alone has been overshadowed by the fear of selling less than 250 books (the average a nonfiction book sells per year according to Tim Grahl)

Al I have is time and treat it with delicate care and attention.

My days are spent listening to webinars, reading, researching, writing and editing guest posts which have a rainy chance of being rejected, keep going after being rejected, study, study and study self-publishing, going to church, the gym and spending time with my few friends. That’s it.

Gosh, writing about it makes me seem so cold…but I’m always freezing in Sweden so maybe the weather has something to do with it!

———–

Nyakarima King is a soon to be published author. Sample her writing on her website www.nyakarimaking.com and connect with her on Twitter @nyakarimaking.

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20 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Truly Be Yourself

20 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Truly Be Yourself

Toop 20 Motivational Quotes

How often have you heard someone telling you to “just be yourself”? In reality, being ourself in a world that is constantly trying to make us everything but ourself is far from being an easy task. It is a tremendous endeavor!

Our current society is playing on our insecurity to sell us products that will give us a false sense of belonging. It doesn’t sell us products, it sells us values like freedom, power, fame or beauty.

However, do these products help you be yourself ? Ins’t being true to yourself the only real freedom and beauty of life?

My sincere hope is that the following quotes will inspire to truly be yourself, not the person your parents, friends, colleagues or society want you to be. It is not easy, but it is definitely worthy.

Here are the 20 that will inspire you to be truly yourself:

1) Be Yourself, everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde

2) I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. – Mahatma Gandhi

3) I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself. – Rita Mae Brown

4) If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? – RuPaul

5) Fashion is what you adopt when you don’t know who you are. – Quentin Crisp

6) Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. – Oscar Wilde

7) Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. – Steve Jobs

8) You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years

And get pats on the back as you pass

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass – Dale Wimbrow

9) Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. ― Bernard M. Baruch

10) Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. ― Marilyn Monroe

11) If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it. ― Frank Zappa

12) When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

13) Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” ― Henry David Thoreau

14) The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position.” ― Leo Buscaglia

15) Let others determine your worth and you’re already lost, because no one wants people worth more than themselves.” ― Peter V. Brett

16) Imitation is suicide. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

17) Strive to become the best version of you instead of the best copy of someone else’s life.” ― Edmond Mbiaka,

18) Don’t compromise even if it hurts to be yourself. – Toby Keith

19) I’ve finally stopped running away from myself. Who else is there better to be? – Goldie Hawn

20) To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. – E.E. Cummings

Here is a special bonus for you

Why not go one step further in your personal development journey? If you like this article you will greatly benefit from my free e-book. You can download it below:

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

Thibaut Meurisse is the founder of whatispersonaldevelopment.org. Obsessed with improvement, he dedicates his life to finding the best possible ways to durably transform both his life and the lives of others. Check out his free e-book “The 5 Commandments of Personal Development” or order his new book “Goal Setting: The Ultimate Guide To Achieving Goals That Truly Excite You” now on Amazon.

 

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6 Steps for Communicating Calmly When Someone Upsets You

6 Steps For Communicating Calmly When Someone Upsets You

how to stay calm

When someone upsets you, the way you reply can either bring calm and closure, or it can escalate the situation. To avoid pouring fuel on the fire of an already upsetting situation for you, it helps to stand back and reflect before planning what you want to say.

Here are several important facts about communicating when upset, followed by 6 practical steps for planning a calm and effective response.

Communication Facts to Understand Before Blurting Out Your Upset 

  • People receive much more than just your words when you communicate. They receive your energy, body language, facial expression, tone of voice, and then your words. If you communicate from intense upset, frustration or anger, that energy can cause the person to shut down or go into self-defense mode. This blocks them from clearly hearing the words you are saying.
  • It is possible to communicate to someone that you are upset or frustrated with them, without communicating in an upset and frustrated way. You say the words and explain the feeling, without enacting that feeling. If you remain calm in this way, you have more mind space, thus more clarity and control to get your core message across.
  • While it might initially feel good to blurt hurt back at someone who has upset you, it rarely (if ever!) feels good once the intensity of that moment has passed. Negative energy lingers, and we feel the bite of our own compounded upset long after we have fired it at the other person.
  • At times you might feel that your words alone are not powerful enough to show the other person what they have done to you. You might feel inclined to add strong emotion to your words thinking that will add weight to your message. Your ego can lure you into thinking you have to hurt the other person for them to understand how hurt you feel, or that you must show your frustration visibly to the other person so they understand the consequences of what they did or said. Yet, negative energy never adds valuable weight to anything. It only distorts your powerful spoken word, and provokes more negative energy from the other person.

6 Practical Steps for Planning a Calm & Effective Response

Having reflected on the above points about how to effectively communication, now you can get clear on what you want to say and why:

  1. Write down exactly what actually happened. Stay present to the hard facts. X happened. X was said.
  2. Now write down what your interpretation of the facts is. Notice any additional meaning you have added to the facts. Notice any assumptions, exaggerations or story your mind might have created. What have you made their actions or words mean?
  3. Next, close your eyes and ask yourself how you really feel about what they did/said. Anger and frustration are usually surface level feelings that disguise something deeper. Ask yourself, “What is the raw, underlying feeling that bothers me most?” Is it feeling misunderstood, disrespected, lonely, isolated, disconnected or sad.
  4. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes for a moment, and ask yourself, “What is going on inside of them that might have led them to do or say something so upsetting to me?” Pain only comes out of someone when they are in pain themselves in that moment. This is not to justify their behavior, but rather to understand. Understanding allows empathy. Empathy means you recognize their humanness, because you have that same humanness inherent in you.
  5. Now ask yourself why exactly you need to communicate. What is the point and what is the intended outcome? Use your conscious awareness to really hone in on the result you want. Are you doing this to create healing, resolution or closure so everyone can move forward? Or, are you doing this to “even the score”, to rectify their misdeed or point out their wrongdoing? The latter will only add further heavy energy to the situation, layering it with hurt ego in response to their pained ego. Choosing a desired result that is healthy for everyone involved will come across in your energy, body language, facial expression, tone of voice and words, and this aids a much better outcome. After all, what most of us really want is not to cause someone else pain, but instead to cause our own inner peace. Our peace never comes from hurting another person, but rather from conscious choice to focus on resolution as our desired result.
  6. Pick one or two key things that are most important for you to convey to the other person. While you may have many things you want to say, there are usually a couple of crucial points. It is easy to get lost in the mind when strong feelings are at play, and lose sight of what you want to say as the conversation unfolds. Having a couple of key points clearly written down will help you to stay on track.

——-

Bernadette Logue is an Author & Transformation Coach, and the founder of Pinch Me Living. She supports clients worldwide to unleash their inner peace, freedom and success, both personally and professionally. Visit Bernadette at www.pinchmeliving.com and receive free affirmation and meditation audio resources, and join her Youtube community for weekly mind liberation.

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10 Reasons Why Done Is Better Than Perfect

10 Reasons Done Is Better Than Perfect

get it done

“Do not plan for ventures before finishing what’s at hand.” Euripides

Anyone who is assigned a project, has a creative passion, or runs a business knows the struggle that is actually finishing what you’re working on. You know how easy it is to spend several long days followed by late nights on a project, and still not feel totally satisfied.

The reason for this is because you are chasing an idea of perfection that cannot be reached. At first, this feels like the well-placed desire to create something of quality, but when the project doesn’t end up representing your initial inspiration it’s easy to feel disappointed and demotivated.

However, when you try to live by the phrase ‘done is better than perfect,’ you will learn more than just how to finish your projects, but also discover several other virtues that will be crucial to your success in anything you do.

Below are 10 reasons why done is better than perfect:

  1. Self-Respect

The worst thing about not finishing the projects you start is that you will slowly stop expecting yourself to finish things after you begin them. This not only leads to a lack of overall results and output, but also a lack of faith in yourself to follow through with what you say you’re going to do.

You’re only as good as your word, right?

  1. Positive Momentum

You can accomplish more than you ever imagined possible, when you have the strong breeze of positive momentum at your back. Each project you accomplish creates a positive momentum that will make everything that comes after easier, faster, and better.

This is why many authors say the second book is easier than the first, and before long they have a list of best-sellers.

  1. Publish For Feedback

If you start looking at your projects as experiments designed to gather feedback, you will no longer fear criticism. Everything you publish is only a draft, and you know that whatever comes of it will serve to make the next iteration better.

This is how the pros do more and get better each time.

  1. Nothing Is Perfect

In your mind you have an idea of the perfect end result of what you’re working on. Usually, it’s based on the first spark of inspiration that motivated you to start the project to begin with. But the truth is, you can never reach this idea of perfection, because it doesn’t actually exist.

Art itself is never perfect, but the rendering always implies perfection. That’s what makes it beautiful and human. And when you learn how to accept and appreciate what is good about what you’ve created, your audience will be able to see it too.

  1. Settling For Mediocrity

At some point you’re going to have to settle for mediocrity. You need to understand that your boss, your audience, and your customers will be seeing your work exactly as it is, and that’s a good thing. Because they they won’t see the faults you see in your own work.

They will experience what you’ve made subjectively, relate to it in their own way, and find qualities to appreciate in it you won’t be able to recognize yourself.

  1. If No One Sees It, It Doesn’t Exist

The struggle of chasing after perfection is the main reason why many of the world’s most talented people never get the recognition they deserve. You could be sitting on a masterpiece all your life, but if you never get it into a beta form and put it out into the world, no one will ever be able to know about it. And what good does that do anyone?

Plus, if you get it to a place where others can experience your work, they may be able to help you get the resources you need to accomplish the full vision you have for your project.

  1. Create A Body Of Work

When you create often enough you will reach an effortless state of output, which will allow you to imbue your projects with an essence of authenticity. And because of this your audience, whoever they happen to be, will feel feel more connected to you as they pour over your body of work.

Plus, you never know which creation will be your best work yet. So, keep putting them out with equal effort and consideration. Then, your audience’s feedback will guide you towards your magnum opus.

  1. The First Version Always Sucks

Just accept it, the first version always sucks. Think about all the platinum selling musicians whose first albums were terrible. And try to imagine all the first drafts of books that went on to be bestsellers.

No one talks about the first drafts, but they are always necessary. The first versions of anything you do will help you refine your work to the place where it will eventually provide massive value and be loved by others.

  1. It’s Time To Move On

When you find yourself drained from working on the same project for far too long, then you know it’s time to end it and move on. Everyone knows that it’s easiest to do the work for anything when you’re inspired to do so. But if you’re still backlogged and working on things that inspired you weeks ago, you don’t leave space for inspiration to strike.

So, set aside some time now, finish the project and move on, because bigger and better things are waiting. And by practicing finishing what you begin, you’ll be able to honor the inspirations that come with completion.

  1. Be Unattached To the Results

The master level of anything you want to do is to always be in the flow of creative output. And the only way to reach this level of flow is to develop the habit of finishing what you start without attachment to the results.

You learn to do the work because you love the process, and eventually you will get the results you desire. But when the results come they won’t phase you, because you know that they’re just inspiration for what comes next.

Let these virtues guide you to success and remember: learning to finish your projects is a muscle. And the only way to build it is to exercise it more often.

So, what are you going to go finish?

Me+Nastya


Colton Swabb 
is a writer, author and entrepreneur. He has a passion for freedom and focuses on helping others find both their will to live free and the means to do so. You can learn more about how you can live free with your own lifestyle business by visiting  List Liberation now.

 

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8 Easy Ways to Become Highly Productive Without Working Harder

8 Easy Ways To Become Highly Productive Without Working Harder

how to be more productive

I have always known hard work to be an essential secret of success. And because I like succeeding in all I do, I work hard.

The harder I work, the more I realize that I need to work a little harder in order to get better results. This creates a vicious cycle for me.

If you are like me, you must have gotten tired of this cycle. Of course you want to be more productive, but you don’t want to work harder than you already do.

Here are 8 things you can do to become more productive without working harder:

  1. Don’t multi-task.

Multitasking usually promises to get a million things done at the same time. What it won’t tell you is that it will take a longer time, and you will lose focus. Worse still, you may end up not completing any of those million tasks.

Don’t fall for that trap.

Be focused on your goals. Follow through with your to-do lists without distractions. Don’t do too many things at the same time. And please keep a tab on your tabs.

When working on an important project, switch off your phone if you have to. Ignore those emails unless they are very urgent. You can answer them later.

 

  1. Go straight to the point.

Make it a habit to go straight to the point. If you have a meeting, hit the nail on the head as soon as possible. There is no point spending one hour in a meeting that could have lasted for thirty minutes.

Prepare your elevator speech in such a way that anybody can know who you are and what you do in forty five seconds.

Time is a very precious asset; you don’t impress anybody by beating around the bush. Make it a habit to be concise with words.

 

  1. Learn every day

Make it a habit to learn every day. Learning will expose you to what other people have done to obtain the same results you desire.

Go for seminars, read books, listen to audio teachings, get yourself a mentor, and join a mastermind group. Whatever you do, make out time to learn every day.

My favourite quote was gotten by Mahatma Gandhi. He said, “Live as if you will die tomorrow. Learn as if you will live forever.

  1. Type Faster.

Most of our jobs today have one or two things to do with a keyboard. Learn how to type faster. There are so many shortcuts that can give you better and faster results while working on the computer.

For instance, you can press Ctrl +N when you need to open a new document.

Get the Mavis Beacon Typing Tutor application and practice during your spare time. No matter how fast you type, you can always be faster.

  1. Call more than you type.

We tend to type a lot these days. There are so many texts to send, and so many emails to reply to. From my experience, calls still get better and faster results.

First of all, speaking over the phone saves you more time because we normally speak faster than we type.

Apart from that, emails and texts can be impersonal at times. So if you want better results with that client, prospect or boss, pick up your phone and call.

  1. Take care of your Health.

You cannot be productive if you are bedridden and hospitalized. Make it a habit therefore, to take good care of your health. Go for check-ups regularly, especially if you are above forty.

Exercise more, it clears your brain. It also makes for a better flow of oxygen to your brain. This alone can give you better results.

Also make out time to eat well. If you notice fatigue, please rest, take a nap, or sleep.

Personally, I get better results after a nap, than when I try to fight off sleep.

  1. Make a “don’t do” list, and keep it handy.

We all know about the importance of writing to do lists. Equally important is having a “don’t do” list.

Having this list will help you keep yourself in check, and prevent you from engaging in unproductive activities.

  1. Ask the right Questions.

Make it a habit to always ask the right questions. This can save you tonnes of hard work. You can easily learn what to do to get the result you desire if you ask the right question.

In conclusion, nobody will give you a special price for the effort you put in to obtain the result you did. All everybody is after is how productive you are at the end of the day..

Of course, hard work is still indispensable to success in any venture. However, smart work will help you become highly productive at the end of the day.

——–

Toby Nwazor is an entrepreneur. He is equally a free lance writer who is passionate about helping other people live their best lives now. He is the co-founder of the personal development blog  http://www.tobyandkc.com

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6 Nutrition Books That Will Transform Your Health

best-nutrition-books

Nutrition books are a dime a dozen and most of them are just no good. But, if you’re serious about getting a handle on your health and wellness, which really is the single-most important area of your life, then these are the books you’ll want to read.

Note that these nutrition books do not contain any “secrets” to “fast fat loss,” nor are any of them about “how to lose weight quickly.” Such magic bullets simple do not exist. The nutrition books outlined in this article are science-backed and research-driven. This should give you piece of mind that the advice from these books has been tried and tested for maximum effectiveness. So let’s dig in, shall we?

1. Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes

Why We Get Fat- And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes book cover

Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid? These are the answers you’ll learn about in this research-driven book about the reality of diet and exercise in the modern world.

Get the book here

2. Brain Maker by David Perlmutter and Kristin Loberg

brain-maker-book-summary-perlmutter

Did you know that 80 per cent of your immune system is comprised of your gut? Yep. This nutrition book is packed with recently uncovered science (like the bit mentioned above) regarding the impact gut bacteria has on our health.

Get the book here or listen to the audiobook summary here

3. The China Study by Thomas Campbell

the-china-study

If you’re interested in learning from the single-most comprehensive book about nutrition conducted to date, then this is the book you need to read. The research behind this book, and its health and weight-loss implications, will do more than expand your mind, it’ll downright surprise you (and maybe even scare you) into embracing a healthier way of life.

Get the book here

4. Wheat Belly by William David, MD

wheat_belly_book-cover

After watching over 2,000 of his own patients dramatically transform their health after dropping wheat from their daily diets, William Davis decided to write Wheat Belly, a nutrition book filled with compelling evidence about why wheat — not fat — is among the primary contributors to America’s obesity epidemic.

Get the book here

5. Grain Brain by David Perlmutter and Kristin Loberg

grain_brain_book_cover_david_perlmutter

This book outlines the surprising truth about how wheat, carbs, and sugar act as the brain’s silent killers. The authors argue that these foods can cause significant nutrition problems — like gut-related issues, lack of creativity, and extreme fatigue.

Get the book here

6. The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner

the_blue_zones_solution_book_cover

What makes the healthiest people in the world so healthy? That’s what you’ll learn about in this fascinating nutrition book that outlines how the healthiest people in the world lead their lives — from what they eat to how they sleep, and everything in between.

Get the book here

Nutrition books galore

Now that you’ve got this list of nutrition books, there’s only one question left… Which one do you read first? Should you go out and get all of them immediately? Should you read them all at once? Or should you take a lifetime to read them? Ultimately, it’s totally your decision what you do with this list and how you apply it to your life. But if I may, here’s what I would suggest you consider as you get started:

  • Subscribe to a book summary site like FlashBooks to get the key-takeaways from the books on this list.
  • If you’d prefer to read an entire book, I would highly suggest that you read just one book at a time. Sometimes, when we see something new and exciting, we have tendency to want to do/learn/read it all at once… and as we all know, this is nearly impossible to do without stressing ourselves out. So, choose a book and then commit to reading it from start to finish.

——–

Dean Bokhari is best-selling author and host of Meaningful*FM (MeaningfulHQ.com),one of the web’s most popular personal development podcasts.

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The 5 Little Secrets of Highly Persevering People

The 5 Little Secrets of Highly Persevering People

best motivational quotes

Are you getting pumped up with your new exciting project just to give up when it gets hard? Do you start projects never leading them to completion?

This article was made for you. In this article, I will give you 5 secrets that will turn you into a highly persevering people and ensure you don’t give up on your dreams.

Here are the 5 little secrets of highly persevering people

1) They cultivate self-compassion

Would you accept to spend your life with someone that is constantly criticizing you, making you feel that you are not good enough, not capable and unworthy? Well, that’s what most of us are doing with ourself every day! Self-criticism is probably one of the main reasons why we give up.

You may fear that if you are not hard enough on yourself you won’t get much done, but it is a great misconception. In reality, while self-discipline is important, self-compassion is as much or even more important. Studies have shown that having self-compassion helps us being more persistent and more perseverant.

Highly persevering people respect themselves and cultivate sel-compassion.

Here is a challenge for you: ban entirely self-criticism for one week and see what happens.

My guess is that you will 1) feel better 2) get as much or probably more done than usual.

Remember that we are all trying to do our best with our current level of awareness and personal growth. Blaming yourself won’t help, no matter how tempting or natural it may seem.

2) They expect the worse

When we set goals, obviously we want to achieve them. We already envision ourself achieving our goals and feel great about it, don’t we?

However, being too optimistic and failing to expecting the worse is probably one of the biggest mistakes people make when working on their goals.

Before setting a goal for yourself, it is crucial that you prepare yourself mentally to face any challenge that you are likely to encounter in the future.

Ask yourself: what is the worst thing that can happen? Then, multiply it tenfold. Take ample time creating the worse scenarios in our mind, or even better on paper, and think of how you will deal with them. Finally, decide what exactly you are ready to go through before giving up. How will you know it is time to give up?

Simply preparing yourself mentally to face tough challenges will take you a long way and will help you to significantly increase your ability to persevere. You won’t give up to soon anymore!

Highly persevering people, while being optimistic, prepare for the worse.

3) They don’t play the victim

Most of us tend to have unrealistic expectations regarding our goals. We blame ourself when we fail, believing we are not competent enough or unlucky. We enjoy playing the victims telling ourself and everyone around us how hard we tried, how unlucky we were or how stupid we are.

What we often fail to realize is how much work is needed to get where we want to be and how much time it may take to get there.

For instance, it is not uncommon for startup entrepreneurs to work very hard 2 or 3 years on building their companies and fail. They may need several attempts before they eventually succeed or may never succeed for all we know. While it may seem somewhat depressing, it helps you put things into perspective and realize that you may need to take more action or keep persevering before you get results.

Highly persevering people don’t play the victim. Neither should you.

4) They practice meditation

Meditation has many benefits. One of it is the strengthening of your ability to focus on the task at hands. By practicing meditation, you learn to bring back your attention in the present moment.

We are living too much in the past or in the future. When we think of all the things we need to do in order to achieve our goals we easily get overwhelmed. However, by learning to focus your attention on the present moment, you reduce stress, feel less overwhelmed by all the things you need to do, and, as a result, increase your ability to persevere.

Highly persevering people focus on what task at a time and get it done.

Are you getting tired just thinking about all the things you need to do? Why not start practicing meditation today?

5) They get their daily dose of motivation

Zig Ziglar said “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily”. Reading, watching or listening to motivational materials is a great way to set the tone for your day. As you are listening to motivational materials, overtime, you will automatically start picking up some sentences you like and they will become your mantras. These mantras will help you persevere during tough time.

Most of the battles we are fighting happen in our mind, so make sure you get your daily dose of motivation to receive the extra boost you need to persevere during challenging times. When you feel like giving up, chances are that most people feel the same.

Highly persevering people learn to persevere when most people are giving up and it makes all the difference.

What about you? What method are you using to persevere? Share it with me below

Here is a special bonus for you

Why not go one step further in your personal development journey? If you like this article you will greatly benefit from my free e-book. You can download it below:

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

Thibaut Meurisse is the founder of whatispersonaldevelopment.org. Obsessed with improvement, he dedicates his life to finding the best possible ways to durably transform both his life and the lives of others. Check out his free e-book “The 5 Commandments of Personal Development” or order his new book “Goal Setting: The Ultimate Guide To Achieving Goals That Truly Excite You” now on Amazon.

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