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Monday, 27 March 2023
Keys To Happiness Now (Infographic)
How To Set Yourself Up For A Productive Day (Infographic)
Monday, 20 March 2023
5 Characteristics of Ambitious People
Many of us wish we knew the secret formula to being ambitious and driven. Why are some people so determined to make it that they work on weekends and holidays, while others are a bit laid back and easy-going?
That’s what we’re here today to find out. We asked successful people in several fields, and they all agreed on one thing: no one is born ambitious. Instead, it’s something that takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work.
Interested in finding out more? Scroll down for our list of five characteristics of ambitious people.
They Avoid Negativity
Ambitious people seem to be always in motion. They take whatever stressors their day brings and harness it to create something good, like more ambition.
Yet, they’ve trained themselves to be good at staying in balance. They don’t allow their emotions to take over their thoughts and actions.
With each bump in the road, they breathe and look at things from a clearer perspective.
They avoid getting sucked into the vortex of negative self-take, self-doubt, and indecision—all of which are the enemies of ambition. These negative emotions keep you from seeing your true potential because you’re afraid you’ll mess up or not measure up.
However, your only true competitor is yourself. So, focus on your goals, then strive to be better than you were last week. That’s all anyone expects of you.
They Invest in Personal Growth
Motivated people know the value of personal growth. They know that there’s a whole world of knowledge out there we still don’t know anything about.
So, they never settle. They’re always on the hunt for the next thing to help them improve in all areas of their life.
This doesn’t just have to be taking online classes and attending seminars. Many self-improvement techniques are free of charge.
One of the ways you can invest in yourself is by getting good, quality sleep every night. It’s also about eating right and working out several times a week.
The point is to make yourself a priority. Then, pretty quickly, others will take notice and see you as a priority as well.
They Surround themselves with Like-Minded People
Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” In other words, if you want to be more ambitious, you need to be around people who are doing the same.
No, it doesn’t mean that you have to replace your friends. But it does mean you need to have people in your life with the right frame of mind to encourage you to be better and do better.
These are usually the ones who know what they want and aren’t afraid to go after it. If there’s a mentor you know or some kind of role model, then make an effort to spend more time with them.
Also, try to make friends with successful people in various fields, not just the ones you’re interested in. We’re creatures of habit, so whatever makes them successful will soon rub off on you.
They Set Well-Defined Goals
It’s not just about the task of setting goals. Anyone can make a list of goals they want to achieve in the next week.
What ambitious people have become good at is breaking down their goals into smaller, more manageable tasks that they can actually achieve. Not only that, but they have a certain level of self-confidence that allows them to push through even when they don’t feel like it.
Say you’re thinking about starting a professional blog. Avoid the urge to jump right in and try to do everything at once. Instead, give yourself daily targets to hit.
Get a large calendar and pencil in one thing you want to get done for the next 30 days. These don’t have to be fancy or anything grand. They just have to motivate you enough to get you to the next day’s target, and so on, until you reach your big goal at the end of the month.
They’re not Afraid to Take Risks
Everyone is always telling you how rewarding it can be to step outside your comfort zone. Yet, taking risks doesn’t have to be daunting or scary.
You don’t have to climb a mountain or go swimming with the sharks or anything like that—unless, of course, that’s where your ambition lies.
We’re simply suggesting that in order to be ambitious and motivated, you have to be willing to make mistakes. You have to be okay with taking work-related risks and seeing which ones will pan out and which ones will flop.
If they pay off, then great! Take it in, be proud of your accomplishments, then move on to the next big risk.
If it doesn’t pay off, then use it as a learning experience. Grow from it, understand what went wrong, then move on to something different.
It won’t be easy, but you’ll come out stronger, wiser, and more motivated to do more.
Feeling Stuck in Life? Practicing Ways to Get Going Again
There will come a time in life when you may feel that you are no longer living in the moment. You may look at things going on around you and feel hopeless and stuck, like you are on autopilot and things just happen to you, rather than you being the one in the driver's seat any longer. Finding a way to get emotionally unstuck so you can enjoy life once again can be key o helping you get the most out of life.
While many things can cause you to get stuck in life, from a mental health condition to a big trauma that goes on in your life, there are also many steps you can take to help yourself get restarted. Some of the best tips include:
Become More Aware
One place you can start when you feel like you are stuck in with your awareness. Consider an examination of your unconscious to see what is going on. You may find that there are cognitive distortions or defense mechanisms that are in place that make it hard to be aware of your surroundings. Even your default patterns in relationships could be to blame. Depending on the situation, you may be able to handle this on your own or may need to call in a professional.
Take on Responsibility
According to PsychCentral.com, many people find it easier to blame someone else, rather than take responsibility for their actions. You may not want to admit when you have done something wrong, but it can be freeing. Stop for a moment and take an honest inventory of how well you are behaving and what things you may have done wrong. Practice forgiveness, for others and yourself as well.
Detach from Unrealistic Expectations
We often find that we have unrealistic expectations in life. Whether you are a perfectionist or not, there are times when your expectations of a person or a situation are not realistic and it can lead to a lot of disappointment. You need to start looking at the situation and deciding if your expectations make sense for it or not, tapering back a bit if you end up adding too much that makes it impossible.
It is hard to get going again and enjoy the life you have if you can’t take the time to practice some self-love. The first step to doing this is to make that inner critic go away. When all you hear in your mind are all the ways that you are imperfect and not as good as others, you can feel down and depressed, unmotivated to get much done. Start by showing yourself some compassion and see what a difference it makes.
Ask for Support
Sometimes, you need to bring in some support to give you the help you desire. You are a strong and powerful individual, but you can’t do everything on your own. Bring in some support to see how they can help raise you and make you feel better. This support can come from friends and family members, but be open to seeking up from a professional, such as a therapist, who can assist you in looking deep down and working through some of your other issues too.
While it may be normal to get stuck in life sometimes and feel like you are on autopilot all the time, that doesn’t mean you need to stay in that situation forever. Learning how to enjoy life and jump right back in is one of the best ways for you to get going again.
7 Ways to Use Mindfulness to Attack Worry
Just like that, you’re frozen. You don’t know what to do or how to move forward. Your thoughts circle like vultures, waiting for your inevitable demise. It’s only a matter of time.
Worry has a way of derailing everything about your day. Using mindfulness, though, is a quick, easy way to get things back on track.
Stay in the Moment
You begin by taking a step back to examine the worrying thought, starting with the acceptance of the thought itself. This is the heart of mindfulness. Trying to ignore the worry only makes it worse. By giving the thought your attention, and then placing a label on it, you take power away from it. For example, if you’re worried about money, you might start by telling yourself, “Yes, I am worried about paying the bills this month.”
Find the Emotions
Once you’ve labeled your worries, identify the emotion accompanying it. Once you’ve got this, ask yourself honestly, what do these emotions make you feel like doing?
Kill the Worry with Normalcy
Instead of avoiding the worry, pay mindful attention to it and remind yourself this worry is normal. Do this every time it comes up. Eventually, it will seem less threatening.
Look for Patterns
Do these worries creep up at certain times? Using mindfulness means you’re paying attention to your thoughts in the moment. Understanding your triggers is a great way to keep the worrying thought from happening at all, as you’ll find yourself catching those damaging thoughts much faster and will be able to shut them down that much faster.
With mindfulness, you’re very much aware of the worries the moment they begin. This also means you’re capable of taking control of those thoughts and spinning them around onto something else immediately, putting your attention there instead.
Allow the Emotion to Play Out
Worry comes with a slew of negative emotions. Mindfulness means you’re aware of what you’re feeling right now. If you discover yourself falling into the fears and anxiety coupled with worry, let them play out, watching them as if from a distance, rather than suppress them, allowing them to dissipate naturally rather than escalate.
Flip it Around
Worried about trying something new? Rather than avoid it, try it anyway. By reacting to worries you know are irrational with action, more often than not, you’ll find you really had nothing to worry about in the first place. A word of caution? Sometimes worry is there for a good reason. Be careful which ones you challenge.
Remember, the whole point of mindfulness is to be in the moment and pay very close attention to what’s going on both internally and externally. Worry really doesn’t bear up under such close scrutiny. The act of simply paying attention will change the game significantly.
Monday, 13 March 2023
Journal Your Way to Self-Worth
Journaling is a fantastic way to build your self-worth. It’s a well-established practice in therapy and psychology, and it works equally well for children and adults. Journaling can be art or writing or a collage or a combination of whatever feels right for you.
There is a range of prompts to help you get over the fear of the blank page or to help you get over those ‘um, I don’t know’ moments. This article provides a few suggestions, but once you get into the swing of journaling, the ideas will flow!
- You can make it easier to break-through the ‘bashful barrier’ if you find it hard to find positive things to say - you can start at the back of the journal and work forward, write in a spiral or turn your book sideways or upside-down.
- Write in your happiest memories and include photos of parties, holidays and loved ones. You can make timelines of the best days in your life that make you feel proud of yourself, like graduation, your first job, your first solo car trip. Work over multiple or fold-out pages, make double-spreads, include photos as well.
- You can use affirmations to remind yourself of your positive traits, for example
o I am kind
o I am good at…
o People really like my…
o I’m proud I can…
o I am loved by…
o I feel good when…
- Think of three things your Inner Critic finds fault with and consciously turn them around – write down the positive in your journal. You can use your journal as a way of visualizing your goals – what do you want to achieve, feel or do today, this week, by Christmas?
- You can also make your journal a beautiful object – go to an art store and buy your favorite colors in a range of media – pencils, watercolors, collage papers, stamps. Use glitter, stickers, puff paints – you can go wild and treat your inner child. Your book about you will reflect all the colors within. Or maybe you’d prefer something more minimalist – make your journal a thing of monochrome beauty, use lovely rich Japanese inks, textured papers, graphite. Experiment with pens, pencils, and brushes – see how many different lines you can make.
Make journaling a happy activity. Something that you enjoy working on and reading. And then when you do have times when you’re not feeling so good about yourself, you have a tangible object to look at to defeat your Inner Critic.
Top Tips for Staying Inspired According to Life Coaches
The job of a life coach is relatively unique. It’s a heavy responsibility to act as both guide and guru to help keep your clients on track toward achieving their goals. That’s why it’s so important to stay motivated – especially when your day job is in motivating others on a fairly regular basis.
How do life coaches stay inspired? We can each take a page from their book to keep motivated and fulfilled in our lives.
1. Life coaches set firm boundaries. You can't take on your client's lives or problems. Maintaining a professional distance is essential not just for the health of the client, who needs to learn how to succeed on their own, but also for the mental health of those doing the guiding.
How can you apply this to your own life? Are there people in your life who expect too much of you? Do you always give in? Learn why boundaries are important and how you can set them in a loving, yet firm way.
2. Life coaches remember to put themselves first once in a while. There's a lot to be said for ‘me time.' For someone who lives by inspiration, you must ensure you consistently replenish your energy, and your natural positivity is at the fore. That is crucial for success.
What does this mean for you? Take time for a massage or bubble bath. Read things that inspire. Schedule a date with yourself, where you concentrate entirely on you. Repeat as often as necessary to keep your mood positive.
3. Find a friend. Going it alone is never easy. Having someone you can turn to is healthy and necessary. Life coaches understand that too much time alone can lead to depression. We all need others to keep us inspired to move ahead.
A life coach would tell us we need to take time for close relationships too. Feeling connected and supported naturally leads to staying in a positive mental space, even when times are tough.
5. Journal about it. A life coach well knows the value of journaling. A gratitude journal keeps you focused on the positive things that happen each day so you can draw upon those experiences later as you need.
For you, find the magic that lies in writing about the things that go right, that you're thankful about daily. A grateful heart breeds inspiration and keeps you from exploring the negativity just because others are.
You don't have to be a life coach to stay confident and inspired. But you can use their tricks to keep positivity high in your own life. Staying inspired isn't all that hard. It's mostly about remaining aware of the world around you and remembering to look for the good first in all things.
Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Aspire to Inspire Others
How many people do we come into contact with every day? Think about it. You talk to your co-workers or classmates. You brush up against how many strangers from the clerk in the grocery store to the barista who made you that cup of coffee? We spend time with friends, or we go out and do things with the expectation of meeting new people. It’s probably safe to say that in a week you've probably interacted with, at least on some level, a hundred people, most of which you barely talked to at all.
But what if you were capable of taking those interactions deeper, to the level of something special. Unique. What if you could inspire someone else, and indeed make a difference in their lives?
It's a powerful thought. Of course, you can’t change every interaction – it would be impossible to get anything done if you did. But when you stop to think about the value that you bring to the world, the things that you know and understand in ways that no one else does, there comes the point where you have to ask, what if you could share that with someone else?
In short, what if you could be inspiring? It’s not as hard as you think. Here are four ways that will hopefully convince you that yes, you should “aspire to inspire.”
1. You can help someone realize their potential. Personal growth is a fascinating process. As you get to know people, you get to see them in their highs and lows. It’s where those lows occur where you can find an opportunity. A word of encouragement at the right time might be just what they need to labor on and overcome a challenge.
2. It’s life-changing – for both you and them. Personal growth culminates in those tremendous moments where you might be just the person to inspire someone to change their path entirely or to consider a course of action that they might not have before.
3. The world becomes a better place. OK, maybe this seems a little over the top but think about it for a minute. That person you inspired might go on to encourage someone else. Or may build something or do something amazing. Imagine now that all of that started with you. Like ripples in a pond after a rock is thrown into the water, you never know just how far that influence will spread, and what shore those ripples will eventually touch.
4. YOU change. Remember that you're not in it to see what you can get out of it. Inspiring others though has a way of rewarding you both personal fulfillment and growth. In the end, you’re not going to be the same person you were anymore. That kind of satisfaction comes with a unique special kind of happiness.
Aspiring to Inspire is a fantastic process. Give it a try – you'll be amazed at where you end up.
Why You Should Choose Inspiration Over Motivation
Inspiration and motivation are not the same things. There is an argument that they are quite the opposite from one another. Inspiration is a strong desire to create, to reach out and make something or do something that never existed before. Motivation is a general willingness or the reason for an action.
What’s the difference? It’s all in how we express it. Motivated people charge forward, not letting anyone stop them or interfere with their process. Inspiration, on the other hand, pulls other in your wake and drags them along. With motivation, you grab the vision and run with it. With inspiration, the idea grabs hold of you.
Have you ever had an inspiration? You can probably remember every detail, the time it hit, the idea behind it, the way it felt. With motivation, that comes and goes and maybe you remember the project that came from it, but not in the fine detail that inspiration leaves on you.
And that is probably the most significant difference. Motivation wears out. Often it runs out long before the project is over. Inspiration can last a lifetime and take you to new horizons you’d never thought of before.
Motivation is like the coach that yells about “getting up,” “hitting harder,” “running faster.” It’s the push that we need to get over the initial slump or over that mid-point. Inspiration doesn’t need a push or a press. Inspiration is more like finding a new perspective, a fresh eye where you’ve never known existed.
You cannot teach inspiration; it can’t be passed on from one person to another. Inspiration comes indirectly, stealing into our thoughts when we don’t expect it when we’re clear-headed and often concentrating on something else.
Motivation is the drive to bring creation to reality, to finish the project, but inspiration is the birth of creativity. Inspiration can be a life-changing event that completely realigns your perspective on a permanent basis.
Motivation is independent of passion. Motivation is often a replacement for passion; inspiration is passion at its most raw. Inspiration is an idea, a vision that takes hold and never let's go. People who are inspired are more likely to succeed, more likely to influence others.
Being motivated to a task typically does not motivate another. Being inspired, on the other is contagious. Inspired people catch others in their passion and create inspiration in them. It’s easy to get caught up in a dream and then dream your vision, making inspiration the more valuable of the two.
Sunday, 1 January 2023
Happiness: A Key To Life’s Satisfaction
According to Wikipedia, "Happiness, in the context of mental or emotional states, is positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Other forms include life satisfaction, well-being, subjective well-being, flourishing and eudaimonia."
According to VeryWellMind, "Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. While happiness has many different definitions, it is often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction."
Psychology Today says, "Happiness is defined differently depending on who you ask. Some people define happiness as a positive emotional experience. Others define happiness as having two parts called hedonia (pleasure) and eudaimonia (thriving). Outside of the scientific world, most of us define happiness as a mixture of positive emotional experiences and a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life."
According To PursuitOfHappiness.org, "Leading Positive Psychologists claim that happiness has three sources, i.e., that the “Happiness Pie” has three slices: Slice 1: Our genetic makeup. Slice 2: Our environment. Slice 3: Our actions.”
Sonja Lyubomirsky, an author and researcher on positive psychology, describes happiness thus, “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” So, there is an evaluative component here, along with a felt one. How we think about what we feel matters as much as what we experience.
In a rather unhelpful fashion, dictionary.com defines happiness as “the quality or state of being happy.”Fortunately, the second definition elaborates with “good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.” What’s clear is that happiness is a subjective experience, it is something we feel, and hence it is lived individually, isn’t guaranteed, and can be transitory.
What does happiness mean to you?
Days Go By Swiftly
This experience becomes more evident the longer you live. Amidst the rush of seconds, minutes, and hours filled with work, family, and friends, it can be easy to lose track of where we are. Without care, we can end up in places we didn’t intend to, simply because we weren’t paying close enough attention, steering deliberately, and sometimes pumping the brakes.
To go where we want to go takes conscious effort. Most of us would like to experience a fulfilling life. A key way to achieve this is through doing things that bring joy to our worlds. Herein, we’ll discuss how to cultivate happiness and in doing so, unmask the key to living a satisfying life.
To make happiness a lasting feature of your life takes a bit of self-knowledge. Are you communally minded? Then harmony will be a necessary ingredient for you. Are you more of an individualist? Then a lived experience of personal joy will drive you.
In any case, the context you live in, complete with work, friends, family, home situation, cultural elements, and personal values, will all factor into how you find satisfaction. In addition, how you look at the world and treat others plays a role. These factors put your happiness, at least partially, in your hands.
According to Psychology Today, “regularly indulging in small pleasures, getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close social ties, and finding purpose beyond oneself all increase life satisfaction. It isn't happiness per se that promotes well-being, it’s the actual pursuit that’s key.”
In other words, life is a process, and when we make the process itself valuable, rather than focusing on destinations, we create the potential for greater enjoyment.
Furthermore, when we consciously develop our ability to see the good in our lives, even amidst hardships, we can begin to master ourselves, fostering an internal equilibrium. In doing so, our happiness is no longer in the hands of others or circumstances outside our control. Instead, we see that it is a lived thing that we must continuously cultivate.
When you become clear about what matters to you, and you focus your efforts on pursuing those things, you bring meaning to each facet of what you do. Missteps and foibles don’t throw you off your game because you understand them to be a natural part of life’s equation. This internal locus of control gives you a sense of efficacy, something that benefits everyone.
Since you experience happiness from within, make it a goal to prioritize helping it to grow. Foster ways of thinking and behaving that increase your enjoyment. You may not be able to control the world around you, but you can have a say in how you interpret it. So, choose happiness and watch your life’s satisfaction multiply.
- “Happiness Definition & Meaning.” Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/happiness. Accessed 19 October 2022.
- Lyubomirsky, Sonja. The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want. Penguin Publishing Group, 2007. Accessed 19 October 2022.
- “Happiness.” Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/happiness. Accessed 19 October 2022.
6 Hobbies For Physical Health
It’s an appealing idea to embody the Vulcan words of farewell, “live long and prosper.” However, navigating the creation of a long, healthy, and prosperous life can feel overwhelming, or worse, tedious. To combat this, it helps to make things that are good for us both accessible and fun. To that end, the following six hobbies for physical health have you covered.
Incorporating dance into your life can be an organized event, such as taking a class, attending salsa night at a Latin club, or heading to a concert. However, it can also be more impromptu, like putting on music that gets you moving and dancing like no one is watching. Regardless, it will be good for you.
A study for Complementary Therapies In Medicine found that exercise is as good as drug interventions for reducing the risk of overall mortality. In addition, they found that dance was a more enjoyable, easier-to-maintain, form of exercise that helps people to lose weight, improve flexibility, gain muscle tone, improve cardiovascular health, and convey social/emotional benefits.
You can ride a cruiser, invest in a peloton, downhill race, road bike cross country, or some other variation on the theme. There are many ways to cycle and each of them offers health benefits, a community of like-minded enthusiasts, and an enjoyable way to move your body.
3. Couples Yoga
Yoga is good for you. Few would bother to argue that point. In this case, the more can definitely be the merrier. There are postures you can try with a partner that would be impossible alone. Plus, the social aspect reinforces relationships, another key component of overall health.
The wonderful thing about running is that you can do it anywhere. All it takes is you, a pair of shoes, and the will to get going. When running in a new place, you see it in ways that you couldn’t otherwise. It’s immersive and personal. There’s also a meditative quality to it, an awareness of breath, gait, and environment that can firmly plant you in the present, enriching the moment and your life as a whole.
This is an activity that provides it all: challenges, intensity, myriad variations, low impact, and immersion in a fundamental element. In addition, there is something comforting about being in the water, perhaps an unconscious reminder of the womb.
Being in nature has been proven to benefit the mind, body, and spirit. When you add to this experience the mindful awareness of another species, the benefits multiply. In a simple sense, you create a kind of treasure hunt as you attune your eyes to picking out new feathered friends.
Each additional identification deepens and broadens your perception of the world around you. This connection increases your capacity to care for yourself and others by expanding your scope of care. Inclusiveness is good for everything.
Making play out of the physical activities you engage in makes them more enjoyable and hence more sustainable over time. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, what’s important is that you keep moving. Use these six hobbies for physical health as a springboard and explore some ideas of your own. This is your adventure, make it a good one.
- Lakes, K. D., Marvin, S., Rowley, J., Nicolas, M. S., Arastoo, S., Viray, L., Orozco, A., & Jurnak, F. (2016). Dancer perceptions of the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits of modern styles of partnered dancing. Complementary therapies in medicine, 26, 117–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.007
- Robbins, J. (2020, January 9). Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health. Yale E360. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health