4 Key Ways to be Selfish the Right Way

You’re reading 4 Key Ways to be Selfish the Right Way, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

4 Key Ways to be Selfish the Right Way

why you should be selfish

I’m going to tell you something that may go against what people have been telling you your whole life.

Whether these people were your parents, older siblings, teachers, or even friends, what they may have told you is probably not what you’re going to hear from me.

And what I want to tell you is this;

You need to be more selfish.

But what does it mean to be selfish?

Well to be selfish is to be concerned primarily with one’s own benefit.

While it is obviously not good to do this all the time, it is important to do so when you need to devote time to working on yourself. Being selfish allows you to focus, and stops your attention from being divided between personal benefit and concern for others.

And the paradox here is that the more you are able to invest in yourself, the more you are able to grow, and the more you are able to help others.

In many situations, acting in your own self-interest can be good for your physical and mental health, it can mean that you are more likely to end up in leadership roles, and counterintuitively, it can improve your relationships.

Contrary to belief, setting firm boundaries with people can actually be beneficial, it is when you do something that your friend or family member doesn’t expect, that they will usually be disappointed or hurt.

If you are able to say no, they will adjust their expectations of you, and be happy and comfortable with your congruence and honesty.

Real selfishness takes courage, confidence, and knowledge of self.

How to know if you need to be more selfish?

  • If you are trying to help someone else and it is distracting you from your own goals.
  • If you are holding back from creating the business, product, or life that you want, because you’re worried about hurting someone else’s feelings.
  • If you have people in your life that are emotionally draining you and stopping you from being the best version of yourself.

Here are 4 ways to be selfish the right way

  1. Commit more time to self-education

Self -education and personal development is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

You may have commitments to others or they may expect you to do something with them or for them, but sometimes it’s better to invest your time and money in books and courses that are going to help you improve.

  1. Take more opportunities to say no

So many of us are caught up in not wanting to rub others the wrong way that we end up saying yes to too many things that we don’t really want to do.

The truth is that you should be able to say no without fear and without guilt.

Every opportunity you get to authentically say ‘no’ is an opportunity to practice self- assertiveness. This doesn’t mean you have be aggressive, it just means you can be honest.

For example if your friend asks you to go out for a drink, and you know you have work to finish – where you would usually try and rush the work to go out with your friend you can gently say “no not this time sorry, I really have too much work to do.”

  1. Spend less time calling and texting friends

Americans spend on average 4.7 hours a day on their phones.

The vast majority of this time is spent unnecessarily. Unfortunately, because almost everyone has the same habit, when you want to step away from social media, phone calls and group chats, it can feel isolating and even come across as offensive to your friends.

Again, this is another instance whereby it pays to be selfish. Cut out the time calling and texting people and you’ll have a richer experience when you are with them face to face.

You’ll also end up with more time in your day to do what you want to do.

  1. Every once in a while be intentionally lazy

In our society it can be easy to get caught up in wanting to make every moment productive. However, it’s not healthy to be switched on and working all the time. It can be good for your body and mind to take a day to recharge, lie in bed for most of the day and watch movies guilt free.

This could also be just going out in nature or to the beach by yourself or with friends and just laying down, reading a book, or taking a nap. Remember that you don’t always need to be ‘achieving’ something.

To be selfish isn’t always a bad thing. Looking after yourself is about having strict boundaries, try and start by incorporating some of the above tips into your life.

Attention Pick The Brain Readers!

Do you want to get more out of your day by starting off with a great morning routine?

Grab a free copy of our new eBook: MORNING MASTERY: The Simple 20 Minute Routine For Long Lasting Energy, Laser-Sharp Focus, and Stress Free Living.


Ben is a freelance writer, and the co-creator of Project Monkey Mind—a new blog for the 21st century solopreneur and young professional who wants to lead a more free and fulfilling life.

You’ve read 4 Key Ways to be Selfish the Right Way, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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Top 10 Websites to Learn a New Language Even If You’re Too Busy

You’re reading Top 10 Websites to Learn a New Language Even If You’re Too Busy, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Top 10 Websites to Learn a New Language Even If You're Too Busy

how to learn a new language

How come most people never reach fluency in a foreign language?

It turns out there are two main reasons: using the wrong method, and lack of time.

In hindsight, we can attribute these two factors to just about anything we want to learn, do, and achieve. Luckily, when it comes to learning a new language, there are time-saving websites we can use to learn a foreign language even if you’re busy.

1. Learn A Language (100 Day Challenge)

Want to learn 90% of any language in just 100 days?

Research from the top language experts show that if you can learn the first 1,000 most common words in any language, you can familiarize yourself with ~90% of the oral language!

This 100-Day Language Challenge will send you 10 new words in your target language every morning, sharing the English translation, pronunciation, and an example of how to use the word in everyday conversations. Each email takes only 3-5 minutes to read.

By the end of 100 days, you’ll learn 1,000 words and familiarize yourself with ~90% of your target language!

2. Conversation Exchange

Make friends online that also want to speak your target language! If you’ve never heard of a conversation exchange before, it’s where language lovers around the world come together to talk about languages and even practice with each other.

It’s great for hobbyist language learners, since conversation exchanges aren’t meant to connect professional teachers with language learners, but a destination for language lovers to meet and mingle.

3. Rype

Now if you want to get serious about learning a language without interrupting your busy schedule, Rype is worth checking out.

As the first website to offer 24/7, unlimited private language lessons online (think Netflix for private language lessons), you can book as many lessons as you want, at anytime of the day, any day of the week. It’s primarily focused on Spanish right now, but being able to work one-on-one with a professional native speaking teacher can do wonders for accelerating your language skills.

Check it out for free here.

4. Michel Thomas

If you’re more of an audio learner, or someone who enjoys listening to language podcasts, Michel Thomas can be a good option for you.

With pre-recorded audio tapes in various languages, Michel works with students to review lesson materials to improve your language skills. Keep in mind that this is a one-sided conversation, so you may find yourself speaking out loud to yourself in order to practice your conversation skills.

5. Duolingo

With over 50M downloads, Duolingo is recognized as one of the most popular language apps out there. Their gamified approach makes it a fun and seamless way to learn the basics of a language, while you’re on-the-go.

Since the app is based on algorithms, it’s a good way to learn basic vocabulary, but not ideal for improving your speaking skills.

6. Busuu

Busuu is a similar app to Duolingo, but is not as gamified. It offers a straightforward process of helping you identify and discover new words and phrases in your target language.

The ability to take it with you on-the-go makes it easy to learn when you’ve got some ideal time in your schedule.

7. Fluentin3Months

Recognized as one of the most popular blogs for language learning, Benny Lewis talks about everything you need to know about language learning.

Benny also has programs and a popular book that you can check out if you want to learn some of his best kept secrets, and how he managed to become a polyglot in such a short amount of time.

8. Memrise

Memrise is a great website for memorizing just about anything, not just languages. You can find pre-made “flashcards” and “quizzes” on their website for your target language, such as learning the most common words in Spanish, French, Italian, etc.

9. BBC Languages

BBC Languages (created by BBC) has video tutorials, quizzes, and articles that you can check out to learn your target language online.

It provides content that’s useful for real-life situations, such as ordering at a restaurant to understanding the basics of a foreign language, including grammar, vocabulary, sentence structures.

10. Babbel

Babbel is a desktop and mobile application that helps you learn the basics of a language, through visual slides and pre-recorded audio recordings. It has a clean, yet slightly messy interface, and costs around $15-20/month to use.


Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype App, the first personalized language learning website.

You’ve read Top 10 Websites to Learn a New Language Even If You’re Too Busy, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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A Real Life Inspirational Story That Will Motivate You To Never Give Up On Your Dreams

You’re reading A Real Life Inspirational Story That Will Motivate You To Never Give Up On Your Dreams, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

A Real Life Inspirational Story That Will Motivate You To Never Give Up On Your Dreams

inspirational life stories

My name is Anubhav Srivastava. I am an author, speaker and a director of an inspirational movie called Carve Your Destiny.  It is  a comprehensive movie on the principles of success. The USP is that it  features my interviews with some of the most famous achievers across the world (A Billionaire entrepeneur,  a two time Olympic medal winning Sportsman, a scientist who invented DNA testing, a Former Deputy Prime Minister of India and many more) who teach us how we too can make our dreams come true.

This movie took 6 years in the making but I decided to release it for free. The movie has since garnered over One Million Views on Youtube and gotten almost unanimous praise from viewers. It ranks among the top positions for the keywords Inspirational Movie and Inspirational Documentary. But the journey of making the film is a story that is almost as inspirational as the film itself.

As a young kid I always had the desire to do something that would impact the lives of a million people. But I had no idea what to do. Fast forward to late 2007. I came up with the idea for this project when I was a student and proposed this for an inter university competition.  I thought if we made a film on the subject of success which actually featured real famous achievers, that would be tremendously useful to people.

But straight away I faced my first setback. The professor said they didn’t have the resources or the contacts to meet the famous people and the budget would be way too high. Rejected! However, deep within me, I felt I could do it.  People won’t believe in your dream anyway, its you who will have to believe in yourself and your dream. So  I decided to take up the challenge – Alone.

What happened next? People laughed at me. They told me that I was a young student with no connections, why would any of these famous people even care to meet me for an interview. They told me I had little money and resources. They told me I would end up looking like a failure.

Well, failure did happen. My first failure was being rejected. Then I had people desert my team. I failed numerous times at my attempts to contact the people I wanted. Every time I called their assistants, they used to ask me what organization I belonged to. When I said none, they decided it wouldn’t be worth the celebrity’s time.

There have been times when trying to set up meetings, assistants have laughed at me in front of me. I have had times when I was rejected over 30 times before finally getting an interview. There were times they kept postponing the meeting for months and finally said no. I have had times when the after getting a confirmed appointment and hiring a cameraman and reaching the spot, I was turned away at the last moment.

The worst feeling was when my father was not well but I had a confirmed appointment with an extremely famous British author. I didn’t want to go but my dad said I would not get the opportunity again. So with a heavy heart, I went to England, all the way from India. The moment I reached the interview was cancelled for good. When I told the assistant I had come all the way from India and left an ailing father behind, she said they had done me a huge favor by even giving an appointment (which they cancelled) and refused to talk further. It was a horrible feeling.

But then there were others that did say yes and meeting them motivated me. Over hundreds of rejections, I found 20 famous achievers who agreed to be a part of my film. If you can handle rejection from enough people who don’t believe in your dream, eventually you will find someone who does. And it did for me, even though it took 4 years. This was 2012. The process also took terribly long because I simply didn’t have the financial resources to hire a big team and I also had other things to do, like completing my education and setting up a business.

So now, I had all the interviews, struggle over, right? Nope! Getting interviews is one thing but then turning it into a beautifully woven story that people actually care about is a huge challenge.  Also, I had zero technical knowledge of editing. I learned movie storytelling and video editing all by myself . There was a slow learning curve in terms of both but I stuck it out.

After about an year, in early 2013 I had completed a rough cut of the film. Then I invited small groups of people for a test screening. I thought it was a masterpiece. But was an absolute disaster. Nobody liked the film. I was shattered! If you fail over and over again, there comes a time when you just feel like throwing in the towel. I felt so too. But what can you do when you have worked so hard on something? If you quit now every single day of pain you put in becomes worthless. If you jump into the sea, you better be prepared to keep swimming or you will die.

So I decided to push on and  improve the movie. After three months, I held another screening. This time the feedback was better but I wasn’t satisfied. So I repeated the process over and over again until finally everyone who watched the movie stood up and clapped! I knew I had finally overcome this hurdle as well and had made something people truly loved.

Challenge over? Not Quite. I had made a film that was loved by its target audience. So how do I get it out to the people? I had no time or patience to spend more years submitting it to film festivals and play the indefinite waiting game hoping for a distributor to pick it up. I wanted to get it out to the ones who needed it as soon as possible.

I made the decision of putting up 6 years of my hard work online, for free, on Youtube. But even to be noticed on Youtube is not easy. Your content needs to be great and I had done a fairly good job at that but it still needs a lot of   promotion. But promoting your content quickly needs a lot of paid marketing which would be several thousand dollars. Some people even put in hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote their stuff. As I was not selling anything, I had no plans to go bankrupt doing so.

The other option I had was to get “influencers” to share my film. Well it turns out most of these people were not going to share anything unless it already had social validation (a million views). Many of them demanded considerable money and it made no sense because I wasn’t selling anything. The most shocking part was that even people who were a part of the movie didn’t do anything to help promote it. Basically, imagine the worst luck  when it comes to launching something you worked tremendously hard for and I seemed to have it.

Disillusioned, I decided to put up my movie on Youtube with very little promotion and mostly relying on my social media following to spread the word. No the movie did not go viral overnight, but something great seemed to happen.  Thousands started watching the film everyday. It received almost unanimous praise!

People running their own businesses emailed me that they were ready to shut down because of repeated failures but my film motivated them to keep trying.  Students who were on the verge of giving up trying to get into their dream university told me my movie inspired them to try again.  People who were laid off and were struggling to get a new job told me that they were now more determined than ever.

People suffering from  life threatening diseases  told me my film gave them the will to claim their life back! I even got an email from a girl who had attempted suicide previously who told me that watching the film gave her the will to live! In my own little way I was influencing the lives of so many people and that made me tremendously happy.

Even though the movie didn’t go “viral”, each day it was being viewed across the globe and positively impacting the lives of thousands of people. Around one year after I put the movie on Youtube, it hit One Million Views.  The number of people watching it daily keeps going up. So in the years to come this movie will impact millions of more people. My Childhood dream has come true!

Your dream maybe doing something totally different. But unless you possess the most insane amount of good or bad luck, your story will not be too different from mine. On the way to success you will have to encounter a huge amount of obstacles and failures. You will begin with a lot of excitement, then setback will slap you in the face, then you will get up, beat the obstacle and then face another obstacle.

This process is going to keep going on! But you must learn from these failures. What you achieve out of life is not always proportionate to how hard you work but how fast you learn. The ultimate thing that will decide whether or not you will give up is the question – How badly do you want to achieve your dream. If you don’t want it badly you will give up. If you do, you will either achieve it or die trying!

Some people think if you go after your dreams, you are wasting your time. I believe that if you don’t, you’re wasting your life. But the truth is going after dreams is not easy, you need to be brave, persistent also a little crazy. Most people don’t have what it takes because they are only willing to give it a shot and then quit the moment they face difficulties. That attitude will guarantee failure because success rarely comes to those who are only prepared to give it a shot, it mostly comes to those who are willing to achieve it no matter what!

Miracles don’t usually happen overnight but if you work with the right dedication and sincerity your efforts will begin to pay off. Over time everything you will add up and to everyone else, your life will look like a miracle to everyone else. Go create your miracle! I will be rooting for you!



Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind, comprehensive motivational movie on the principles of success. It has been seen on Youtube by a million people.  Visit Anubhavsrivastava.com for his inspirational blog for more great content and to watch the Film.


You’ve read A Real Life Inspirational Story That Will Motivate You To Never Give Up On Your Dreams, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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21 Quotes To Change How You Think About Life Today

You’re reading 21 Quotes To Change How You Think About Life Today, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

1When you are content to be simply yourself and dont compare or compete everyone will respect you

Some words are just better left said by history’s greatest minds.

Great psychiatrists and psychotherapists, eccentric poets and playwrights, ancient Chinese philosophers, ultra-successful entrepreneurs, even incarnations of supreme gods.

I mean, any problem you face today has been faced in some form or another thousands of times before. So why spend your life stumbling in the dark looking for the path, when you can be a handed a map and flashlight to help guide you the way.

The wisdom and truth in the following quotes is so simple that it can be—and often is—overlooked. Take a moment to let them seep into your very core and they’re sure to set you on the way to a life of greater meaning and purpose.

“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.”
―Carl Jung

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

“You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire”.

“Wisdom begins in wonder”.

“Many a false step has been made by standing still”.
—Fortune Cookie

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination”.
—Oscar Wilde

“Until we lose ourselves there is no hope of finding ourselves”.
—Henry Miller

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
―Joseph Campbell

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
―Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”
―The Bhagavad Gita

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
—Andre Gide

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
—Maya Agelou

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
—Joshua J. Marine

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
—Farrah Gray

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
—Carl Bard

“I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. Its because of them I’m doing it myself.”
—Albert Einstein

“Even if you fall on your face you’re still moving forward.”
—Victor Kiam

“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”
—Wayne Dyer

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”
—William Butler Yeats

“Fortune favours the brave.”
—Latin Proverb

Want to get each day of your new life off to the best possible start?

Grab a free copy of our new eBook: MORNING MASTERY: The Simple 20 Minute Routine For Long Lasting Energy, Laser-Sharp Focus, and Stress Free Living.

Joseph is a freelance writer, and the co-creator of Project Monkey Mind—a new blog for the 21st century solopreneur and young professional who wants to lead a more free and fulfilling life.

You’ve read 21 Quotes To Change How You Think About Life Today, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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10 Ways Travel Can Be A Stress Buster

You’re reading 10 Ways Travel Can Be A Stress Buster, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


Travel enriches you at various levels – personal, social and intellectual. It provides enriching experiences to everyone. And, rightfully said those who do not travel read only one chapter of the book; however, reading multiple chapters assist in overcoming and understanding yourself and the world better.

Thus, traveling is also known to help people deal with their personal problems that cause unwanted stresses in life. Still don’t agree? We can prove it, here is how:-

Assists In Gaining Newer Perspectives

It is a well-known fact that when one distances himself from a particular problem, he tends to understand the nature of the problem and also a circumstance much better. This helps one overcome problems and bring out an amicable solution to it. Also, the stress attached to it will be easily overcome. On your way you meet a lot of people, and your interactions with them keep you away from the core problem of your life. Keeping a distance from your life’s problem for some time helps you see your life in a different light. Many travelers have said that a chance of interaction with a stranger helped them solve their personal problems. You too may find your angel somewhere. Why not travel then?

Gaining Confidence

If you are an under confident person and this is what is the reason behind your stress, traveling solo is the solution to your problem. You may ask how this will make you a confident person. Very simple! When you are out alone, you will have to do everything on your own. You will meet new people every day and interact with them. You will gain a sense of self belief in yourself. And this is what might have been lacking in your personality. Now doesn’t that sound like a fruitful venture? Invest now to gain that confidence. Suppose you are traveling in the interior parts of the city San Francisco and it is you who is responsible for arranging everything, you will be left with no choice but do things on your own. For example, arranging trips with locals for the San Francisco road trip, negotiating rates, planning the day and night trips, and, so forth. Sometimes, being on your own helps you gain massive levels of confidence.

Gain Inspiration

Travel is inspirational even if you are doing it for leisure. Traveling to distant lands makes you more thoughtful as you come across different people, different cultures, glorious past and colorful present. For instance, if you happen to visit the Mount Everest and listen to the stories of the people there you will feel inspired by their everyday struggles, their experiences and their knowledge. The vision will leave a profound impact on you, which no text book can ever provide you with. So travel to feed your brain with inspirational stories.

Is A Health Booster

Traveling helps one attain an improved overall health. Traveling makes you happy, and when you are cheerful, there is change of hormones in your body. A happy mood activates the pleasure circuit in the brain, thereby triggering feel good hormone serotonin in to the bloodstream. A happy mind is the key to a healthier body. When one feels healthy, you approach things with much more vigor and vitality. This helps in staying enthusiastic and full of life. Traveling also plays a brilliant role in keeping the optimistic levels high of a traveler, which means you are more likely to deal with stress positively and constructively.

Helps In Anti-aging Process

One of the reasons you should push yourself to travel should be to look younger. Yeah! Leading a stressful life can fasten up the signs of ageing, and one of the ways to delay signs of ageing is by traveling. Distance yourself from everything that is causing ageing on your skin. Traveling is believed to be a wonderful way to detoxify your skin. Getting your skin detoxified is a good reason to travel and get younger.  So, don’t delay and take this beautification tour once a year. There is no better way to beat the stress.

Calms Mind Too

Even psychologists suggest moving out of the noisy, hustle-bustle and stress of everyday life, once in a year. This helps one calm his mind and move away from the negativity causing problems. Calming the mind makes one counter life again with more energy and more positivity. It helps one live a more fulfilling life.

Helps You To Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

One of the best aspects of traveling is that you no longer stay in your little bubble. Within no time, you have already left your comfort zone, and are now in a new world with new people. Isn’t that making a chill pass through your spine? Yes indeed! When you travel, on an almost daily basis you are met with uncertain situations. Some of the situations force you to make decisions. Making decisions on a daily basis helps you improve your problem-solving skill, which also assists in beating stress out of your life. Stress is not always bad, but it is our ways to deal with it that really matters. Traveling teaches you to handle your stresses in healthier ways.

Rejuvenates Your Energy Levels

A peculiar benefit of traveling is that a change in the environment and people helps you look at life differently. A change in the external setting will irrefutably play a significant role in providing you with the much needed ‘Me’ time. This ‘Me’ time is crucial in order to relax and calm down your nerves. It is, however, imperative to choose a place carefully. Look for places that bring you near water, as water has a tendency to calm the nerves. Bay cruises from San Francisco come to mind as they really provide a splendid time to its visitors. It is a good idea to get in touch with San Francisco sightseeing tour operators to help you arrange the logistics as doing it yourself will just add to the existing stress of your life.

Builds Positive Memories

Life is all about memories, isn’t it? Traveling fetches you with memorable and pleasant memories that you can cherish for a lifetime. The photos that you click of happy-you, and the videos that you will shoot of your happy moments, will assist you in bouncing back in those times when you feel low. These pleasant memories will play a pivotal role in creating positive thoughts when you are faced with stressful situations.

Nothing Is Larger Than Life

Finally, traveling will bring you back to a simple way of living and thinking. We tend to take our lives too seriously, which inevitably results into stressful living. A human mind is full of worries about petty things such as paying bills on time, traffic on the roads, official meetings, what to wear, what to cook, and so forth. However, traveling will teach you how to take life as it comes. It will allow you to go with the flow and not worry unnecessarily.

Final Thoughts!
Travel at every opportunity you get. It works like a magical pill that will eliminate varied stresses from your life. Pack your bags and choose your next destination today!

You’ve read 10 Ways Travel Can Be A Stress Buster, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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6 Ways to Start Living Healthy Right Now

You’re reading 6 Ways to Start Living Healthy Right Now, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

6 Reasons To Start Living Healthy Right Now

As they say, it’s never too late to start doing anything good. Similarly, it’s never too late to start investing in and focusing on living a healthy lifestyle. The hustle-bustle of daily life takes away the focus from some of our fundamental needs, one being maintaining optimal health by eating right, working out, and creating sound work-life balance.

The World Health Organization defines good health as, “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Good health can be maintained by consistently following best practices and attending to health-related shortcomings with utmost care and significance. Take necessary medication and make changes in lifestyle if you notice not just symptoms of disease, but stress, unhappiness, laziness, and any other physical discomfort.

Here are a few practices to switch from unhealthy ways to healthy living:

1. Breathe Deeply with Yoga

The practice of conscious breathing or pranayama is the fundamental exercise in yoga. The benefits of a few rounds of breathing through alternate nostrils are numerous. Pranayama helps to calm the mind and induces better sleep patterns. The exercise when practiced regularly builds good mental health by balancing emotions effectively.

Would it be enough motivation to take to Yoga if we told you that breathing slows down the ageing process? Well, it does! So, it’s time to buy a yoga mat and get started.

Disciplined pranayama practice boosts the immune system and clears up blocked energy channels within the body. Of the many other beneficial breathing techniques, Kapalbhati (Skull Shining Technique) is the most important to wash out toxins and detoxify the body.

The Sudarshan Kriya yoga is highly beneficial in fighting depression and individuals can feel the difference within 3 to 4 weeks. This practice works as a natural anti-depressant with zero side effects.

Click here for more breathing techniques and their benefits.

2. Pause, Meditate, and Unwind

Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?”

He replied, “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I lost: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Death.”

Meditation helps to get rid of negative emotions and caters to the human need for joy and peace. Systematic practice helps to ease tension, and stabilizes mood swings and extreme behavioral patterns.

According to the teachings of Gautama Buddha, the two significant qualities that meditation helps build are ‘tranquility,’ which steadies, comforts, and unifies the mind, and ‘insight,’ which empowers one to see and explore beyond the set formations and perspectives.

Through meditation, you can build better endurance, tolerance, and gain improved control over the thoughts that rattle the mind.

3. Exercise Persistently and Consistently

You can walk, run, jog, swim, cycle, play, skip or sweat it out with aerobics, weight training, stretching, yoga, karate, etc. Select an exercise routine by diligently studying the purpose, techniques, and the benefits of the practices you choose, and follow the routine consistently. Working out will make you active, agile, flexible, and sharp. The body is fueled with enough energy to function efficiently and stays in good shape through regular exercise.

Exercise is a great way to balance the nutritional intake and burn excess calories, thus, keeping obesity and cholesterol away. Work out at the same time everyday and maintain healthy gaps between exercise sessions and meals.

You can consult with health and fitness experts to design an effective exercise regimen and diet that suits your schedule and taste respectively. Following a disciplined lifestyle proffers motivation to your kids and helps them take a similar path.

4. Junk Out the Junk

We often hear about the importance of eating healthy and the need for refraining from consuming processed, packaged, and artificially-flavored foods and drinks. Sweetened foods with free sugars add enormous calories and can potentially lead to obesity, if left unchecked.

Include lentils, pulses, wholegrain foods, and a lot of fruits and vegetables in your meals instead. A daily intake of 400 grams of fruits and vegetables is recommended by the WHO for adequate supply of dietary fiber.

Enjoy home-cooked meals to keep a track of the ingredients you consume. Because giving up comfort food completely can be difficult, you can resort to low-calorie versions of the food items. You can add new twists to old favorites by changing the cooking form, i.e. from frying to baking or grilling, using the same ingredients to savor your favorite recipes.

Above all, drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Men should consume about 3.7 liters of water per day while the adequate intake recommended for women is about 2.7 liters.

5. Go for Regular Health Checkups

Regular and timely health checkup can help in early diagnosis of diseases, if any, which can provide better treatment with a relatively better chance of curing the patient as compared to late diagnosis.

One must make it a habit to check their body weight, blood pressure, and other vital examinations as recommended by the doctors. Consult with your doctor to check if you’re due for certain screenings or vaccinations and get them done accordingly.

Apart from a general physician, visiting a dentist at regular intervals is also crucial to maintaining good dental health.

6. Maintain Healthy Work-Life Balance

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy!

There is a time to work and there is a time to play. Maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life to pursue your hobbies, spend time with people, and do the things you love. Define the boundaries between work and home clearly to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Did you know that a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey?

Poor work-life balance is known to induce fatigue, raise stress levels, and negatively impact relationships.

Disengage from work on regular intervals to release the stress and work pressure arising from the monotony of your routine. Boost your emotional and social wellbeing by periodical examination of your priorities as they tend to change with time. Create spare time to do things you like for a fulfilling experience. You will be able to return to your work more efficiently after pursing other interests.


Cultivating healthy practices early on leads to a long and a stress-free life. Eating healthy and exercising regularly can potentially lower the cost of medical visits and treatments. Share and exchange good practices with your family and friends, and mutually benefit through knowledge-sharing for a pleasant life. Because it concerns your life, do not hesitate in visiting a health expert or a doctor, should the need arise. Follow good practices, and play and work with equal intensity to make the best of your life.


Pratima Makanji is the founder of (American Institute of Healthcare & Technology), a US based healthcare training and educational institute. She started AIHT with the aim of providing the best education opportunities in the rapidly growing field of Allied Health. Located in Connecticut, AIHT helps graduates pursue lucrative careers in the medical industry by providing traditional and structured training.

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How You Are Undermining Your Personal Success

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How You Are Undermining Your Personal Success

your personal success story

Awareness extends beyond simple identification of the world. You must also listen to the inner voice that guides you. In order to do this, you must become an outside observer to the mechanics of your mind and think about your thinking before achieving true personal success.

Psychologists have termed this process of cognitive thinking metacognition. Metacognition is “you” understanding the thought process behind your decision to grab a cupcake even though you’re trying to lose weight. It is “you” catching yourself making negative statements about you while randomly doing other things.

When I started to think about thinking, I began analyzing every nook and cranny of my brain, questioning its existence and intent. Why did I continue to place myself in the same self-destructive situation over and again?

It was like clockwork. I’d push my projects at work back until the very last minute, and then the perfectionist in me would place stress on myself to complete it right and on time. Meanwhile, my subconscious was telling me that “the project could still be a little better”, or, “you’ll never finish this by the deadline.”

The stress was always overwhelming, and it affected the way I treated others. At times, I avoided conversations or kept them to a minimum.

I realized that I needed to go deeper into ME to gain a better understanding. Once I did, I found that an unconscious voice narrated my actions and thoughts. This voice provided the mental script for my daily life. You will discover the same in yourself.

This unconscious voice—my self-talk—was the narrator in my mind that told me what to do and how to perceive things. It was a James Earl Jones-like voice that directed me based on past experiences, traumas, insecurities, fears, and outside images.

Because it dictates the trends, patterns, and little idiosyncrasies that make up your world, this is more than enough reason to begin thinking about thinking. Who knows what the James Earl Jones voice is telling you every day? You don’t want to replace the guy; you just want him to read a new script. You have followed the same one for quite some time; now is the time to rewrite it. Redefining yourself means rewriting your mental script to achieve happiness.

Listen to Your Inner Voice

I’ll never forget the story my friend Tim shared about the first time he recognized his inner voice.

It was a weekend void of work—and much else for that matter—and Tim jumped in the shower, a seemingly benign and routine activity. The shower was also a time for the idle mind run wild, and this particular day was no different, when the following thought popped into his head unprompted: “I hate my life.”

Tim was worried. Why would he tell himself this? His job and personal life had been great. Was there an insecurity or fear that led to this message? Did someone say it to him? How often did he subconsciously repeat this statement? Did it change the way he interacted with people or participated in life?

A negative message like this tends to stem from insecurities and fears. You too may have developed them as a child or when bombarded with the wrong messages from work-driven, high-pressured teachers, parents or employers. Your inner voice can be very convincing and destructive. It can also hold you back from a goal or rip your self-esteem to shreds.

How does this happen? Tim probably wasn’t filtering the development of these messages throughout his daily life. His mind is a talking parrot repeating whatever was said or seen, building stronger and stronger associations with the world inside and outside of him. Whatever the message, it was probably reinforced or in the process of being reinforced through repeated exposure. It is an example of the messages that our minds learn intentionally and unintentionally.

Pay attention to the messages that you tell yourself. When you practice meditation, mindfulness, and slowing down for a moment to become more aware, this voice is far louder than you ever realized. What does it say? It may have a far more negative influence on how you feel or what you do than you imagine. There’s no doubt that the “I can’t do it” messages that I told myself for years held me back from taking chances in my business or being more intimate in my romantic relationships.

Don’t be mistaken; having an inner voice is a strength as much as it is a weakness. We can be very convincing to ourselves, and this is especially important when we need reassurance or confidence. It will often be your inner coach giving you a constant pep talk to “take a leap of faith”, or, give you advice or perspective when you need it most.

Your new goal is to wake up to life around you—and inside of you—at any given moment. It is during these times that you will be able to take a moment, breathe, focus on the now, and remove yourself from instinct and emotion.

Typically, people begin this transformation process by observing their inner voice, behaviors, and environment. They follow this step with an analysis of their trends and patterns, also known as figuring out ‘why you do what you do.’ You can try to discover the origin of any negative message. You don’t want similar messages from the same source, and you certainly don’t want them reinforced.

It is an intriguing process, but it can also be a scary one. You may open a box of feelings from your childhood that has consequently affected your decision to do something over 20, 30, or 40 years later. It can be a strange, weird, sad, or intriguing experience.

You may start placing blame on others or yourself. You may ask yourself, “Am I a good person?”, or, “Am I screwed up?” It could result in a tailspin of fears and insecurities.

It’s very easy to judge—especially yourself. It takes effort and practice to look at you objectively. Just like other unconscious truths about you, you must decide how deep you wish to go and how much time you spend on each message.

Either way, you’ll need to replace negative messages with positive messages. You may also need to provide proof for yourself that these messages aren’t real.

I am a visual person: I need to see the messages in front of me. If I tell myself “I’m not a good personal trainer,” I look for evidence to dispute this claim. I read positive reviews from clients who enjoyed their personal training experiences with me. This strategy may work for you too. The following positive messages may help you overcome your fears, insecurities, irrational emotional reactions, and more:

  • I can overcome this.
  • My history proves the inaccuracy of this negative message.
  • I will only think rationally about this situation.
  • I will always try to be my best self despite my imperfections.
  • I am prepared to handle any unknown.
  • I can change this situation even though I can’t do it right now.
  • I love who I am and accept the little idiosyncrasies of my being.
  • Fears and insecurities disappear as quickly as they appear.
  • I will be strong enough to face my fear again.
  • My insecurities are irrational.
  • I have the power to redefine myself.
  • I have the control to change my environment.
  • I have the control over my happiness at work.

With the right practice, you will develop the power to reinforce a strong message—a message that can drive you to new heights and triumph over your weaknesses.


Looking for other ways to redefine your life? Check out my recent articles 50 Ways to Change Your Life Today or 9 Self-Improvement Books That Will Change Your Life too.


Michael Moody is the author of the self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness and the former fitness expert on NBC’s The Biggest Loser/MSN Chicago tour. The owner of the successful Chicago personal training business Michael Moody Fitness, his fitness and life-structure programs have helped his personal training clients lose more than 2,500 pounds since 2005. Michael has been featured in Muscle & Fitness and Today’s Chicago Woman magazines, among others. During his time as the official trainer for PBS’s The Whitney Reynolds Show, he also produced an inspirational segment about his travels in Guatemala.

Having researched emotion and coping behaviors in university-level studies, Michael has presented various fitness, motivation, body image, and stress-management programs at Illinois State University, DePaul University, corporations, high schools, and workshops.

You’ve read How You Are Undermining Your Personal Success, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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Top 3 Teachers That Will Help You Live With More Joy and Awaken the Heart

You’re reading Top 3 Teachers That Will Help You Live With More Joy and Awaken the Heart, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Top 3 Teachers That Will Help You Live With More Joy and Awaken the Heart

the 3 most inspirational self improvement teachers

There is a set of stereotypical images surrounding mindfulness and meditation in most of the mainstream media that we are looking to break so we can help more people successfully navigate thru their journey into achieving their goals: images of monks meditating for hours to achieve peace of mind or images of experiencing a cathartic experience while visiting a guru or foreign land á la “Eat Pray Love”

How can the rest of us achieve more joy, self-love and abundance without having to spend thousands of dollars going to remote Asian monasteries or spend hours in meditation?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand time – continuing your education is the key to real self growth, self confidence and happiness. The greatest teachers and thinkers are on a constant quest for more knowledge and understanding of not only the world around them, but who they are in that world.

If you are keen to learn more about mindfulness and achieve more joy in your everyday life, Udemy has 3 courses I’ve handpicked for you. These are online courses you can finish in about 3hrs and include the condensed teachings of Buddhist masters Pema Chödrön, Jack Kornfield and Thích Nhất Hạnh who have dedicated their lives to bringing Eastern Buddhist philosophies to the West.

These courses are a way for these teachers to help more people who don’t have time to dedicate 4-5hrs daily to meditation and study of Buddhist philosophy (who does!). Their live seminars are few and expensive but these online courses who range at about $30 are now for a limited time with 30% off using the special coupon PICKTHEBRAIN30

Jack Kornfield has taught meditation for over 30 years and has organized teacher training and led international gatherings of Buddhist teachers including the Dalai Lama and has worked as a peacemaker and activist. Pema Chödrön founded the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners


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6 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Have Clear Goals

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6 Powerful Reasons You Should Have Clear Goals

why you need clear goals

Do you have a list of goals? If you don’t, in this article I will try to convince you of the value of setting goals and writing them down. Set clear goals for every month and I promise you that, a year from now, you will look back at 2016 with a smile on your face.

Now, let me give you 6 great reasons why you should set goals.

  1. Setting goals gives you a great opportunity to define what you want in life

Setting goals offers you a great opportunity to think about what you really want in life. Unfortunately, most of us spend more time planning our next vacations than sitting down and planning our life. As Jim Rohn said: “Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change”. How many hours do you spend each year planning your life and setting goals? How about your vacations?

  1. Setting goals gives direction to your subconscious mind

Your subconscious mind is a very powerful tool that works 24/7 without you being even aware of it. When you set clear goals and write them down on a piece of paper you send a strong message to your subconscious mind. It is a fact that there are billions of choice you could make every second, but your subconscious mind, knowing where you want to go, will make sure that you maximize your chances of success by taking the appropriate choices.

  1. Setting goals empowers you

When you set clear goals in all the areas of your life, you send a strong signal to the world around you and to yourself that you are not going to give your power away and, instead, commit to take full responsibility for your life. You have a clear target in mind that guides you throughout your life. While, other people keep complaining about their environment, blaming people and circumstances, you are fully focused on your goals, and take inspired actions to move closer and closer to your goals each day.

  1. Setting goals changes your reality

Being totally open-minded while setting goals can have a transformative impact on your reality. Why? Because, just for a while, you forget about what you can do and what you can’t, and simply focus on what you really want. By opening yourself to opportunities and letting go of your limiting beliefs, you start realizing that you can accomplish more than you thought were possible. You start telling to yourself, “why not”, “what if it was actually possible?” Setting goals will definitely change your present reality.

  1. Setting goals (and achieving them) increases self-esteem

Setting goals and achieving them is one of the best ways to increase your self-esteem. Indeed, self-efficacy – your own ability to complete tasks and reach goals – greatly influences your self-image and your self-worth. The more you will achieve goals, the more you will gain confidence in your ability to achieve even bigger goals. By setting clear goals, you will increase your chance of success and thus boost your confidence.

  1. Setting goals improves your health

Having clear and inspiring goals give you a sense of purpose. In some extreme cases it can keep you alive against all odds. In his book, The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz relates the story of a woman, who contracted cancer when her son was two. She decided that she would see her son graduate college, despite the fact that her doctors only gave her a few more months. After multiple surgical operations, 20 years went by and she did see her son graduate college, but died six weeks later. Her goal was, without a doubt, specific! We can easily imagine that if her goal had been a vague goal like “I want to see my son grow up”, she would likely have died earlier, wouldn’t she? This extreme example shows you that having a goal with a clear deadline can be very powerful.

I hope that, by now, you are convinced of the importance of setting goals. So what are your goals for 2016? Why not share them with me below in the comment section.

Here is a special bonus for you

Why not go further in your personal development journey? If you like this article I’m sure you will 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 on Amazon now.

You’ve read 6 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Have Clear Goals, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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Why The Way You Think About Passion is Broken

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Why The Way You Think About Passion is Broken

how to live your passion

Passion is such a powerful trigger word.

It arouses images of happiness, sweat, racing blood, shouting from atop buildings and reaching for the stars. You expect a revelation when you land on it. A sudden strike of clarity. A light bulb or eureka moment.

Really? Me? A writer? A designer? A photographer?

You get the picture?

So when none of this happens and there are no fireworks, we assume there is nothing we are passionate about. Nothing we truly care about.

We grapple. We lurch in a million different directions trying to find that one thing.All the while the question— What are you supposed to do—looms larger and larger at the back of our minds.

We throw ourselves into our work. We try to find passion in out 9-5s. We work longer and harder hoping that this elusive being called passion is going to pop out of somewhere…or served on a platter and the world will celebrate with us saying “Congratulations! Here’s your calling!”

But it doesn’t happen that way does it? So where have we gone wrong?

The root of all this confusion and struggle is asking the wrong questions in our pursuit of passion.

Why the questions we ask don’t help

We often enlist an outcome based approach to discovering passion.

  • Will this make me money? 
  • Is this feasible in the long run? 
  • Does this maximize returns for effort? 
  • What industry is growing? 
  • What looks good on my resume?
  • What jobs are hot in the market?

These questions have nothing to do with discovering your passion. They have everything to do with consequence and results. What you should be asking are a set of questions that guide you through your past, your emotions and experiences. answer them honestly, and you may just see how your life has set you up to seize this very moment.

Questions to ask in your pursuit of passion

1. What clues do your past give you?

In  the best selling bookQuitter, author Jon Acuff says, finding your passion “is rarely a first encounter. It’s usually a reunion.” It’s things that are second nature. Things that you have been doing for as long as you remember. You may knit or bake or fix junk. Nothing is too small or insignificant and that’s the whole idea.

Often, sifting through the past doesn’t bring joy but frightening feelings of pain and humiliation. Of being told that you are not good, or that you don’t live up to expectations, or that you’ll never make it. But digging through the pain of the past is necessary because the revelations you make may be startling.

2. What makes you angry

Now I don’t mean the mindless, or violent form of anger, rather compassionate anger. Is there anything about the state of things or the world at large that makes you angry and you think there needs to be an alternative?

I came across a story about a cafe called Sheroes Hangout in Agra India that is run and served by victims of acid attacks. It was founded by Alok Dixit who was aghast at the lack of job opportunities for acid victims and the stigma they faced.

But this compassionate anger does not necessarily have to be a social ill. It could be your frustration on the lack of products, facilities or tools for a certain market.

3. What have you always been questioning?

Have you always questioned why there isn’t a better way or a better product to solve a problem? What do you silently loathe or disagree with? Let your hunches, your nudges, your ‘huh’ moments lead you.

4.What do people come to you for? 

What have you been helping people with all along? What may be insignificant to you, might just be what makes someone’s day. Ask your friends or colleagues what they see as your strengths. You will be surprised at the answers.

5. Where do you find flow?

Ever worked on something with such intense focus that you lose track of time. You look up and realize hours have gone by. That’s when you’ve experienced flow. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi terms flow the quality that sets creative labor apart from work. Take note of when these instances occur. What were you working on? what about it fuels you? You’re likely to find answers to your questions about passion in there.

6. What are you willing to suffer for today?

Passion is not about you. Passion is others-focused, not self-focused. In Die-Empty, Todd Henry speaks of productive passion. Productive passion is “what motivates you and is also beneficial to others.” It is what “drives you to labor on behalf of others rather than to simply satisfy your own needs.

He says “Instead of asking “What would bring me enjoyment?” which is how many people think about following their passion, we should instead ask “What work am I willing to suffer for today?”

Let’s fix the way we’ve been thought to think about passion

If you take the time to answer the questions above, you will start to see links and how the pieces of your life connect. It’s not a magical exercise that fixes everything, but it certainly lends light to what your reunion would be. So the next time someone says they have nothing they are passionate about, get them to ask the right questions.

Meera is a writer, mom and blogger at Meera Kothand. She helps busy solopreneurs and bloggers find focus, build authority and stand out online. Want to find more time for your side-hustle? Download her free guide of 27 productivity tools and hacks that add hours to your day. 

You’ve read Why The Way You Think About Passion is Broken, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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