Showing posts with label Discipline. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Discipline. Show all posts

Monday, 5 June 2023

Developing Willpower And Self-Control To Change Behavior


Willpower and self-control are crucial ingredients for success, transformation, and mastery. So, how can you develop each one to change your behavior and thought process for the better? Keep reading to find out.

 

Willpower

 

The spiritual leader and activist, Mahatma Gandhi, said, “Strength doesn’t come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will [power].” Yet, what exactly is willpower?

 

Basically, willpower is your ability to turn down and curb inner conflicts, such as short-term temptations, to meet long-term goals.

 

Say you want to supersize your takeout order or smoke a cigarette. But, deep down, you know you shouldn’t.

 

Or it could just as easily be the reverse. Maybe there’s something you know you should do, but keep procrastinating to avoid doing it, like going to the gym or filing your taxes.

 

When you reach this crossroads, that’s when your willpower kicks in. This instantaneous reaction stems from the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is the front section of the brain responsible for regulating our behavior and decision-making abilities.

 

So, the first thing you need to do to develop your willpower is to keep your prefrontal cortex in good shape by:

 

  • Getting quality sleep each night
  • Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • Exercising 3–5 times a week

 

Can We Run Out of Willpower?

 

Interestingly enough, experts say that we have a finite stockpile of willpower. You start your day with only so much and the more you use it, the faster you run out.

 

Take, for example, trying to control your temper on your way to work, at work, then on your way back home from work. You also use up your willpower when you try to ignore distractions, help your kids with their homework, and negotiate a compromise with your partner.

 

Just like our actual muscles, our willpower gets worn out from all that repetitive use.

 

How to Develop Your Willpower

 

Check out these tips to increase your reserve of willpower.

 

  • Practice daily affirmations
  • Meditate each day
  • Focus on what’s important now by postponing what you shouldn’t do for later
  • Limit your intake of addictive substances, like alcohol and nicotine

 

Self-Control

 

Self-control is defined as the “restraint exercised over one’s impulses, emotions, or desires” and works side-by-side with willpower. When you practice self-control, you direct your willpower toward the outcome you want.

 

This means that at times, you’ll have to not do something, like when you want to eat healthy and pass on the supersize meal. It also means that there will be times when you have to put in a conscious effort to dosomething, like building good habits or getting started on those taxes.

 

Ego Depletion

 

And, as with willpower, it’s also finite. In other words, each time you use self-control, your power to make sound decisions gradually diminishes until you start again the following morning. This is what experts refer to as ‘ego depletion’ and it happens because you spend most of your waking hours trying your best to focus on making decisions and exerting your willpower.

 

So, it’s no surprise that by the end of the day, you feel depleted and exhausted, and probably find it difficult to think coherently, let alone be able to make choices you won’t regret in the morning.

 

How to Develop Self-Control

 

Luckily, there are ways to improve your levels of self-control and reduce the impact of ego depletion. Many of them rely on the same techniques used to boost your willpower, like getting good sleep and managing stress, while others are slightly different.

 

Take a look.

 

  • Learn how to regulate your emotions.
  • Practice self-compassion.
  • Become aware of your wants and needs to direct energy toward self-improvement.
  • Manage your time and energy more efficiently.
  • Create short and long-term goals to stay motivated.

 


Monday, 29 May 2023

How Avoidance Actually Creates More Stress


When you have an especially difficult or stressful task on your plate, it can be very tempting to avoid completing said task. Or if you don’t like to think about a subject because of an experience, it can seem easier to just not think about that topic. Both of these situations are known as avoidance, and though it may be tempting to engage in this behavior, it causes more stress than it relieves. 

 

You Won’t Stop Thinking About It

 

If you’ve ever experienced trauma, it can be tempting to avoid all thoughts of things that may remind you of the trauma you experienced. Although this may be less painful in the short run, the truth is, long term, this will stress you out more because the thoughts of your trauma will always return until you genuinely learn to deal with them rather than avoid them. The same holds for certain physical tasks. You may put them off because you don’t want to think about them, but this will only stress you out more because you will have to keep thinking about the task instead of simply completing it now.

 

You’ll Run Out Of Time

 

When you put off a task, you may momentarily relieve your stress by telling yourself you will complete the task later. But this is worse than doing the job now because later you will experience more pressure as you are faced with a fast-approaching deadline. This is especially true if you haven’t left yourself enough time to complete the task and have to rush at the last minute. 

 

Avoidance Creates Conflict

 

Maybe a coworker is waiting for you to complete your work so they can get started on theirs. And if you didn’t leave yourself enough time before the deadline, you may cause them to be late on meeting their deadline as well. This can cause a conflict between you as your coworker may be upset that you made them late. And when you experience conflict in your relationships, this only adds to your overall stress level rather than lowering it.

 

Although it can be extremely tempting to avoid certain tasks or put them off, this is a flawed approach as it will only cause you more stress in the long run. This is because avoidance doesn’t solve any problems. Instead, it just creates conflict, which leads to increased stress in the future.

 


Monday, 22 May 2023

Never Look at a Failure As Final


Do you know anyone who seems to be bulletproof? You know, that friend of yours that takes failures in stride and is always smiling and moving forward in life. How do they do it? You know they're not immune to setbacks or hardship. They just seem to be able to bounce back quickly. Life's inevitable difficulties don't keep them from living the life they desire.

 

By the way, that person can be you. Mental resilience is something that can be developed. It's not a character trait you have to be born with. Every time you suffer some type of loss or failure, you have an opportunity to respond with resilience and emotional control.

 

If that seems impossible for you sometimes, here's what you need to start doing. Never look at a failure as the final result. Don't let some hardship or difficulty be the final chapter in your story. Or, as famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald said ...

 

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."

 

That is such a powerful reminder that your outlook is everything. The person with resilience chooses a positive outlook. They understand that negative things are going to happen in their life. Yet they don't allow that to be the end of their journey.

 

They don't embrace any single failure or loss as the final declaration of who they are.

 

Just Take One More Step

 

Resilience means persisting. You keep going. You push forward and see life's difficulties as nothing more than challenges. You can either become stronger and more capable or allow a defeat or failure to be a statement of who you are.

 

This can seem like simple advice, but the truth is, sometimes, the hardship we encounter in life can be truly debilitating. We simply don't see a way out. The worst of possible things has happened, and there's simply no way that we see any good coming from this.

 

When this happens, as it inevitably will in life, just take one step forward.

 

Don't worry about some big end result. You may be in a terrible situation. If you are, just make one positive movement. 

 

Have one positive thought. Move in the direction of a positive outcome. Even if it's miles away, don't worry about that end result. Just take the first step that moves you a little bit away from the difficulty you encountered.

 

Never let any single defeat be your final defeat. The instant you decide to relentlessly push forward, you show the world and yourself that you are a resilient human being. You won't be kept down for long because your unbreakable mental resolve won't allow you to be defined by defeat.

 


5 Types of Negative Self-Talk and How to Stop Them


We like to think we’re optimistic, positive people. After all, no one wants to be considered a grump. Besides, isn’t that what we’re taught from the time we’re children, to smile and think the best of those around us?

 

In truth, we don’t always quite hit the mark. We might mean to be positive, but those negative thoughts have a way of creeping in, especially if we’re tired or anxious. Strong emotion has a way of derailing us, as do the negative influences around us. In short, we’re constantly being broadsided by negativity, and we can’t help but respond in kind. 

 

How do we learn to recognize when our self-talk is turning negative and stop it before it gains a foothold in our lives? We start by learning how to identify the most common culprits.

 

Black and White Thinking

 

The minute you start using ‘all’ or ‘nothing’ statements you’re already falling into a negativity mindset. When this comes up, the best thing to do is to remind yourself the world doesn’t really work that way. In fact, there are more shades of grey than you might think.

 

Tunnel Vision

 

When you can only see the bad in everything, it’s no wonder you can feel lost in a sea of despair and negative self-talk. Here you see the world as only negative and seek out proof by pointing out every flaw or failure. This is defeated by rewording the statements as they come up. Look for the positive spin you can put on things. 

 

The Disaster Plan

 

When you can only see the negative outcome in everything. For this, accept that sometimes, failure happens. You can even use dire predictions to work out a ‘plan B’ in case you need one, but also remember to remind yourself there’s also a chance of success in what you try. There’s no reason to assume the worst.

 

Anticipation

 

In this, you assume you know what someone else is thinking, and it’s never good. To combat it? Try having an honest conversation with the person instead. Let them speak for themselves. They might even surprise you. Again, quit assuming the worst.

 

The Guilty Conscience

 

You messed up. Once. A long time ago. It’s time to let it go. For some people, their brains are expert at bringing up the past, regardless of how much time has passed or what you’ve done to correct the mistake. Here you need to remind yourself of the lessons you’ve learned. Remember, the past is in the past. Look forward, seeing the possibilities. Let go of the rest.

 

The world really is a more wonderful place than you might have realized. When you let go of negative self-talk, you’re giving yourself the ability to try out a new frame of mind and see just how good things can be. Embrace positivity. Discover what the world has to offer!

 


4 Steps to Creating Affirmations that Work for You


You've probably heard about the Law of Attraction, and how powerful affirmations can be to help you get what you want out of life. When you focus on positive thoughts, you can turn around negative beliefs, feelings, and attitudes that have been stopping you from living your best life.  

 

Affirmations are so powerful that it's essential that you get them right. But shaping the right affirmations for you and your situation is not always easy. Here are four steps you can follow to make sure that your affirmations fit you like a glove. 

 

1. Take That Negativity Bull By the Horns

 

Now is the time to identify and confront those negative beliefs that are holding you back. What are the messages that have stuck with you since childhood? Some of the most common ones are that you're not smart enough, or you've never been good at math/writing/public speaking/standing up for yourself. Or the sucker-punch of 'I always mess things up.' These beliefs make you feel bad, and it's time to look them in the eye and tell them to take a hike. 

 

2. Write Down Your Set of Negativity Beliefs

 

Once you have worked out your negative mindset script, be brave, and write them all down, even the ones that make you squirm. Writing them down gets them out of your head and into the cold light of day. 

 

This may not feel good, but it will feel so much better when those words are out of your head. Keep going even if it hurts! Now you're ready for the fun part.

 

3. Make Your List of Opposites

 

This step will feel a whole lot better. Take each negative belief and write down the opposite belief in the second column of your paper. And make sure that you make it a positive statement. Do not write "I am not good at math'; instead, frame it as a positive "I can do math,' or whatever positive statement works for you. If this feels too hard, you can start with something softer like 'I am open to being good at math." 

 

Make your positive statement as strong as possible. 

 

4. Rinse and Repeat

 

The power of affirmations is becoming embedded deep in your mind. And the best way to do that is to repeat them over every day until your affirmations become part of your mindset. 

 

Say them out loud in front of a mirror every day. Make it part of your routine, like brushing your teeth. Soon those affirmations will be beliefs that build you up. 

 


Monday, 15 May 2023

5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Find Your Life’s Purpose


Some people seem to be born knowing what they want in life. They find their passions or their talents early and just know to go after them. If you’re struggling to work out what is you really want to do with your life, don’t give up. 

 

There are some simple questions you can work through to discover your life’s purpose. While it’s important to give each question proper consideration, try not to agonize over your responses. Allow your Inner Child and your intuition to guide your answers, and don’t forget to think big! Make your starting point ‘in the best of all possible worlds.’

 

Use these questions to dig deep and find out more about yourself so you can set yourself on your true path. 

 

Question 1: If Money Were No Object, What Would You Do?

 

If you had a never-ending magic source of money, how would you choose to spend it? Be honest – the answers are to help you, not to impress anyone else!

 

Question 2: If You Could Do anything for A Whole Day, How Would You Spend it?

 

Think of your perfect day. It’s ok if it’s lying on a sun lounger by a pool or skiing in the Alps. Try and describe your ideal day in as much detail as possible. 

 

Question 3: What’s Your Passion?

 

What energizes you? What gets your heart racing and your imagination firing? It could be political issues, connecting with people, being creative, or playing sports. Whatever your passion is, write it down!

 

Question 4: What Do You Really Love Doing?

 

Do you like nothing more than to bake or learn new gourmet techniques? Maybe you love writing or analyzing or even making spreadsheets. Or being out in nature or helping other people. 

 

Question 5: What Was Your Childhood Passion?

 

Think back to what you loved to do when you were a kid. What did your parents have to call you away from, to come to the dinner table? What was the thing you would lose hours doing?

 

Close your eyes and remember back when you were totally absorbed in some kind of activity, maybe drawing or playing make-believe games or drawing or being outdoors. 

 

Once you have a good picture of what lights you up, both now and when you were a kid, you can start to see some themes emerging. Think laterally about how you can begin to focus on what’s important to you. Your life’s purpose is there in front of you. 



Finding Your Purpose: Questions to Ask Yourself


Do you know how to find your purpose? If you posed that question to several people, the majority would likely answer no. It’s because there is a world of possibilities. People are afraid to try something new out of fear of the unknown. They often don’t know how to go about looking for what they should be doing.

 

You need first to ask if what you are doing now is satisfying. Put aside the bills and your paycheck for a moment. Do you get a charge out of getting up every morning to go to work? How do you feel on Sunday evenings, assuming you start up work on Mondays? Do you dread having to get up in the morning on Monday, or does it excite you?

 

Another problem is you may feel stuck doing something in which you don’t believe. Suppose you work for a company that isn’t doing right by the community. It may be legal, but you don’t feel it’s ethical. It pays well, and that is why you stick with it. You even like many of the people who work there. However, the company sells something that makes your stomach turn. An example of this could be working for a tobacco company. You need to ask yourself if you can continue to work in an environment which doesn't fit well with you. 

 

You will also need to ask yourself what will it take to make changes to get out of your current situation and into something you enjoy. It may require going back to school or at least, training online. Luckily, there are several options available, and many of them are cheap or free. 

 

If you find that the path is well laid out, ask yourself are you’re willing to put in the time and make an effort? If not, you haven’t truly found your purpose. You either need to continue what you are doing or find another path. Keep doing this until you are willing to put forth the effort.

 

You should explore your current situation and determine if you can change up your routine. For instance, ask your company if there are other opportunities within the organization that you can explore. If there are, they may ask you to serve two roles (your old position and your new one) while transitioning. Working like this could require putting in overtime, etc. But it gives you some options to explore your purpose.

 


Monday, 8 May 2023

5 Lessons from Great Athletes Who Use Visualization for Success


If you think visualization is a lot of hooey, think again. Throughout the ages (dating all the way back to ancient China and the days of the Roman Empire), people have been using visualization to achieve their goals. In fact, you'll find many athletes have been using these techniques for years, leading them to achieve more than they ever thought possible. 

 

Don't believe it? Read on to explore several lessons from the great athletes themselves. 

 

It Starts in the Vision

 

MMA fighter James Te Huna said, "I visualize what I'm going to do on that day, walk out to the fight. I'll go over and over it inside my head so when I do actually do it, I've been there 100 times before, so it's nothing new." By having a clear goal from the start, you've already won half the battle. What's your goal?

 

Focus on the Success 

 

You're never going to make the goal perfectly. Visualization can start hurting you if you get super-specific on what you want. For example, picturing the perfect shot in a soccer game might leave you so hung up on doing it a certain way, you'll miss a better shot you're already set up for. Instead, focus on the outcome when it comes to things involving factors out of your control.

 

Focus on an Image

 

On the other hand, it's good to focus on hard on things you can control. A study done on professional basketball players asked one simple question: Do they visualize themselves making a basket before shooting the ball. The answer was astonishing. Those who visualized the shot, made it about 67% of the time. Those who didn't? 54%. By picturing your outcome in your mind, you are that much more likely to make it.

 

Do it Often

 

Professional soccer player, Alex Morgan, had this to say: "Pregame, I eat pancakes for a meal. I always do mental visualization before the game to prepare myself." She's made visualization part of her routine. So should you. By repeating the visualization, you're much more likely to attain the success you desire. 

 

Don't Forget the Work

 

Don't rely entirely on the visualization to get you through. These athletes still practice daily. You still have to put the work in, no matter what it is that you want.

 

Success comes through many channels. Practice, self-talk…all of these things are important. But if you don't succeed first in your mind, you're never going to get anywhere. As every one of these athletes would tell you if they could, their most significant success started right here in visualization. The rest just followed naturally.

 


What Can I Learn From Tasks I Fail to Finish?


It's quite likely there's been a task you've failed to finish at some point in your life, whether it was a project at work or maybe even one in your personal life.

 

However, although failing to finish something isn't a great feeling, there are many ways you can learn from the tasks you fail to complete. 

 

How Not To Do The Task

 

The first thing you will learn from failing to complete a task is how not to do it. This lesson might seem a little silly, but it matters - a lot. Learning what not to do, is an essential part of the learning process. The next time you aim to complete this task, you know what actions and behaviors to avoid. The more times you fail, the more ways you learn how not to accomplish your task. 

 

You Will Learn Something About Yourself

 

Whenever you fail at anything in life, it will teach you a lesson about yourself. Failure - and more importantly - your reaction to failure will teach you a lot about yourself. It will be an insight into your ability to deal with obstacles. You can also learn about your ability to bounce back from failure. Most importantly, failure can reveal weaknesses you need to address or strengths you never knew you had. 

 

That It’s Time To Move On

 

Sometimes, when you fail to finish a task, it may teach you that it is time to move on. While on the one hand, you don't want to give up; on the other hand, you need to examine if it is worthwhile pursuing in the first place. 

 

This lesson is especially true if the reason for failure is completely out of your control. Maybe there isn't a market for that new product idea. Socio-economic issues that you can't do anything about might impact your career. These are times it might be time to move on. 

 

It's also important to examine if your goals still reflect your current values and needs. If you regularly fail to complete a task, maybe it is because it isn't that important to you anymore?  Why waste energy on tasks that don't reflect who you are? 

 

Conclusion

 

You will likely come across a task you cannot finish at some time during your life. Don't fret, though. When you fail to complete a task, it can teach you several important lessons. You can apply those lessons to your next task to ensure you can complete it and finally achieve success. 

 


4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Regret Your Past Decisions


Regret is often the outcome of failure. Sometimes it is the result of a poor decision. Sometimes it’s a hard lesson learned. Regret, at its core, is an emotion. But you do not have to feel regret at all when you think of your past decisions that turned out less than stellar. You might even need to be thankful that it happened.

 

Character Building

 

Failure, poor decisions, or whatever, it all builds character. Our character is continuously changed and shaped throughout our lifetime. The only way to do that is through experience. The experiences you have, good and bad, will ultimately build your character in a better and stronger version of what you started with.

 

There’s a Reason for Everything

 

“Everything happens for a reason” is super cliché, but it’s the truth. Be it a bad relationship or a misstep on an important work or school assignment, there is a reason why it happened. Sometimes that reason is just learning a lesson (start early on a big project), or maybe that bad relationship allowed you to meet the love of your life. When regret weighs heavy, take a step back and look at the big, interlocking picture of your life.

 

Lessons Learned

 

We all have to learn lessons. That’s just a fact of life. Instead of regretting every past decision, look back at all the lessons you have learned and the wisdom you now have to move forward more prepared than when you started. Be thankful for the opportunity to learn.

 

Success Isn’t Free

 

No success is free. For every achievement you see, someone somewhere had to pay for it. So, you might as well pay for your own success. For every failure you experience in life, every regret you feel to your bones, you are that much closer to succeeding, to having paid your dues, learned your lessons, and having every tool you need in your toolbox to make your success happen.

 

Regret and success are fickle creatures. You cannot have one without the other. However, sometimes we become so caught up in the woes of remorse that we can’t see the success just over the horizon or that with every failure, we have marked off another way not to succeed. Reframing your regret will open up a new world of possibilities for your past decisions and your future self. 

 


Monday, 27 March 2023

How To Set Yourself Up For A Productive Day (Infographic)

 


Saturday, 10 December 2022

Should You Keep Your Dreams to Yourself?


In 2010, Derek Sivers participated in a TED Conference. His speech lasted just three minutes and in it, he encouraged people to not share their goals with their friends, family, co-workers, or anyone around them. Derek backed up his reasoning with several scientific studies (listen to his presentation here).

 

In his speech, Derek says, “When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that’s called a social reality. The mind is kind of tricked into feeling it’s already done. Then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.”

 

Derek goes on to point out how talking about an important life change or goal can make you less likely to succeed. But those aren’t the only reasons you may want to keep your latest ambition a secret from everyone else. Here are three more reasons you should consider keeping mum:

 

Talking about a Goal Destroys Your Stamina

 

How many times have you told someone else you were going to do something hard? Maybe you told a co-worker that you’re planning on losing 50 pounds. Perhaps you told a family member that you were going to get out of debt this year. 

 

You may think doing this pumps you up and makes you more likely to accomplish your goals. But talking about doing something hard can actually drain your energy. You start to come up with all the reasons you won’t achieve it. You might tell yourself, “Well, I just can’t say ‘no’ to sugar. I don’t mind debt that much and I don’t want to change my standard of living.”

 

Sharing a Goal Can Discourage You

 

You’re really going to do it. This will be the year that you quit the factory job you hate so much and start your work at home business. Then you make the mistake of sharing a goal with someone else. 

 

The problem is the other person is negative and quickly points out all of the reasons you’re bound to fail. They may say unsupportive things like, “You don’t have a degree. You don’t have the time. Where are you going to get the money?” 

 

Within a few minutes, you start feeling discouraged. You’d felt so energized and were determined to act on your motivation earlier. But now, you’re filled with self-doubt and negativity.

 

Telling Others about Your Goal Can Damage Your Reputation

 

You’re always the one in your circle of friends with the big dreams. You love sharing your visions and ideas with other people. After all, your new goal is going to work out spectacularly.

 

The only problem is your goals change frequently.  You’re always pursuing something new and you rarely see a goal through to completion. While being a dreamer has its advantages, if you don’t pair your goals with follow-through, you can end up damaging your reputation. People will describe you as flaky and no one will trust your word.

 

Before you tell a friend or family member about your next goal, consider carefully if you should do that. You may accomplish this dream and become more successful if you keep it to yourself rather than sharing it with someone else.  

 


What’s the Dream You’re Afraid to Share?


You have a dream in your heart. It’s the one that’s so precious, so fragile, and so important to you that you don’t share it with others. You hold it close, in the hopes that by protecting it, you’ll one day get the chance to live it. 

 

That’s what Maddie did. She’d dreamed of being a writer since she was a kid. She wanted to write books and see them sold at bookstores around the world. She never shared the dream with anyone and by the time she graduated high school, she decided she needed a practical career.

 

So, she went to college for years and got a degree. Then she began a career as a dentist. She enjoyed getting to help her patients but she still went home every night, feeling unfulfilled. She daydreamed in the quiet moments about the books she’d write.

 

Why Does This Dream Scare You?

 

Are you like Maddie? Do you have a dream that you’ve managed to quiet over the years? Maybe you’ve told yourself that you’ll write that book when the kids are grown. Maybe you’ve decided that you’ll have time to travel when you retire. Maybe you’ve said that one day you’ll go back to school and pursue that career dream, just as soon as you have enough money.

 

But stop and think. Ask yourself what you’re really afraid of. What makes you so frightened of going after the dream? Are you afraid of what people will say? Do you worry that your spouse won’t be supportive? Are you concerned about being shunned by others in your community?

 

How Will It Change Your Life?

 

Sometimes, we fear fulfilling our dreams because it means change. Even good changes – like finally working in a career that makes you happy or making room in your life to travel as often as you want – can feel scary. 

 

Before you can go after that dream, you need to ponder how your life will change. You need to imagine the day you’ll leave your job. You should visualize the moment you step on the stage and receive the diploma you’ve always wanted. You need to close your eyes and create the life of your dreams in your mind.

 

Are You Ready to Pursue It?

 

There is a chasm between the life of your dreams and your life now. The space in between the two will be filled with hard work, bitter tears, crippling setbacks, and intense pain. But if you’re willing to persevere, you’ll find the life you want is on the other side.

 

Maddie followed after her dream of becoming an author. She started writing books. She took writing classes. She networked with other authors. She began submitting her work to publishing houses and got feedback that helped her improve her work even more. She hasn’t sold a book yet, but she’s close. 

 

It takes courage to pursue your dreams and it’s tough. But it’s not nearly as hard as sitting on the sidelines of your own life, hoping that one day you get a chance to live out your deepest longings.