Why Do I Procrastinate & What I Can Do About It
why do I procrastinate, reasons why we procrastinate

Why Do I Procrastinate & What I Can Do About It

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

20% of American men and women are chronic procrastinators - higher than both people diagnosed with clinical depression and phobias in the U.S.

Procrastination isn't "new."

It isn't an advent of modern society and the constant need for mental stimulation.

This behavior of putting an aspect of one's life off to be done at a later time dates back to the dawn of civilization. In fact, ancient Greek philosophers even had a name for the phenomenon. They called it "Akrasia."

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This a super effective action guide designed for helping you tackle procrastination! ✔

The Constant Struggle Between Doing & Waiting

Akrasia refers to a state of mind in which one acts against one's better judgment as a result of lack of will.

Procrastination or Akrasia seems to be an inherently human problem.

A decision that we make in moments of weakness, to not do something, anything, that we either planned to do or know we will inevitably have to do at some point.

We usually associate procrastination with putting off "work" tasks, but the term encapsulates much more than work.

Professor of Psychology, Joseph Ferrari, has done significant research into the reasons for and results of procrastination. 

He's found that chronic procrastinators "delay at home, work, school and in relationships. These 20% make procrastination their way of life. We are a nation of doers, but we are also a nation of waiters."

This notion of "putting things off" permeates our lives constantly, whether we identify as procrastinators or not. Each of us has certain activities, tasks, or areas of our lives that we procrastinate with.

The questions we all need to face are, why, and how can I stop?

why do I procrastinate, reasons why we procrastinateWhy Do I Procrastinate & What I Can Do About It

“Lack of confidence, sometimes alternating with unrealistic dreams of heroic success, often leads to procrastination, and many studies suggest that procrastinators are self-handicappers: rather than risk failure, they prefer to create conditions that make success impossible, a reflex that of course creates a vicious cycle.”
James Surowiecki

Personally, I don't identify as a procrastinator, but I procrastinate as much as anyone else when it comes to certain things. I don't usually put off significant work tasks or relationships, but I'm not the most proactive person when it comes to very ordinary things like dealing with a parking ticket or filing my taxes.

I've been trying to use my own putting off of such simple and ordinary tasks as a basis for a little personal study about why we procrastinate, and here's what I've come up with as the root cause of my own procrastination:

I project and associate a certain discomfort, fear or unhappiness with and onto the task I'm putting off, which naturally causes me to want to avoid the pain that I'm imagining I will feel by doing it.

These are some of the reasons that objective research has found to be the root cause of procrastination.

  1. Fear of failure. The anxiety that you won't be able to set out what you accomplish or that your performance will be unsatisfactory. This usually stems from a lack of self-esteem.
  2. Fear of success. The anxiety one feels when thinking that if they're successful, the outside world's evaluation and expectation of them increases.
  3. Fear of being imperfect. Perfectionists often become so overwhelmed with wanting to do something so well that they never get to doing it at all.
  4. Absence of structure. The hardest part of any given task is starting it (more on this to come), and many people have trouble designating time towards tasks.
  5. The present version of you thinks the future version of you will be more disciplined. This is the result of illogical thinking. When it comes to our future, it's easy to get caught up in thinking that you'll "feel like" or "feel more like" doing something in a few days than you do in this moment. We don't realize that the way we feel in this moment, our present self who doesn't want to do the task will re-appear in the future moment. The desire for instant gratification and prolongment of pain is a constant, moment to moment struggle.

Regardless of the reasons for your personal procrastination, the act of saving for later what can be done right now is destructive behavior and has been proven to lead to stress, anxiety and dissatisfaction with oneself.

What Can I Do About My Procrastination?

“Every duty that is bidden to wait comes back with seven fresh duties at its back.”
Charles Kingsley

What's really comical about procrastination is that we know it doesn't benefit us. We know we ultimately have to do or deal with whatever we're putting off. We know it causes us needless anxiety and stress.

From this basic standpoint stems the very simple truth of just how illogical procrastination is when it comes to thinking about our overall happiness and well-being.

Learning to Front-Load Your Pain (The Band-Aid Approach)

The band-aid approach is about facing the discomfort, anxiety, stress or uneasiness you'll inevitably feel later, in the present moment, in order to minimize any negative feeling and foster a positive one.

We become illogical when it comes to thinking about tasks that we attribute some negative association to. How many times do I have to pay double the amount of a parking ticket before realizing that the "pain" of doing it right now is much less than the pain of paying extra and getting upset with myself over it?

The key to actually being able to apply the band-aid approach in real time, in a moment of decision making, is to really ask yourself whether it's worth it to procrastinate at the very moment you feel the desire to procrastinate on something.

These are some questions to help guide the thinking process:

  1. How much pain, discomfort, stress or anxiety will I feel right now if I start or complete the action I know I need to take?
  2. How much happiness will I feel if I get a part, or all of it done? How accomplished will I feel?
  3. What is the activity I am thinking about procrastinating with? How much value do I gain out of the activity I'm procrastinating with?

If you can apply this approach to moments in which you're debating procrastinating (or find yourself procrastinating), you'll quickly develop a more logical approach to whether or not it's actually worth it to avoid the extra pain you'll feel later by not getting something done right now.

Just Start & Re-evaluate How You Feel

The hardest part of doing anything is starting it.

Whether you want to find a new home, pay for that parking ticket you got, start to read more, become someone who meditates, get fit, write a book, clean your bathroom or study for school, the absolutely most difficult aspect of achieving what you either need to do or desire to accomplish is taking that first step.

There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, we mentally project a lot more discomfort and anxiety to activities than we actually feel when approaching a given task. Once we start, we almost always quickly find that it isn't so bad and we're unsure of why we were so reluctant to just get it done in the first place.

Secondly, once you get started on something, momentum carries you along the way. The same way it's way harder to start a fire than it is to throw an extra piece of wood on it, once we begin an activity, we've already taken the most difficult step and the force of momentum can help us along the way.

The Best Part

What's most amazing about avoiding procrastination and just starting whatever it is you need to do is that it has the exact opposite effect of the anxiety that comes with procrastination. You feel accomplished, empowered, and able. You feel lighter. A load has been taken off and you now have time to enjoy whatever it is you would have procrastinated with, stress-free.

Learn to fall in love with that.

Download the FREE FILLABLE action guide here:


Why Do We Need To Sleep

Why Do We Need To Sleep

Reading Time: 1 Minute

On average, we spend about 33% of our lives sleeping. 25 years out of a 75 year life, completely unconscious laying on a mattress. Pretty remarkable to think about.

Sleep is obviously a necessity. Every living being on earth has to "sleep" in order to function. We all know what it feels like not to have gotten enough sleep. We get groggy, our brains don't seem to work properly, our bodies are sluggish, and we become irritable. We know very well that we need it, but why?

Why Do We Need To Sleep ?

When we get in our favorite position in bed and close our eyes for that wonderful break we get from life, we go (or are supposed to) through five stages that make up one proper sleep cycle.

Throughout the sleep cycles we generally experience unconsciously, the different parts that make up our organism rest (are not required to respond to external circumstances) in order allow restoration of the energy expended throughout the day.

Everything we do in our lives requires energy. Every bodily movement, every thought, every emotional outburst.

To supply all of our energy requirements, we have different life-sustaining mechanisms that force us to unconsciously re-gather what we need.  

You can think of it as the same reason why we eat.

Every couple of hours we get hungry and our body signals us to fill it with nutrients to continue its proper instinctive functioning. Depending on the quality and quantity of what we eat, our energy levels and moods are affected differently.

Feeling tired provides the same utility as feeling hungry or thirsty.

We are being signaled to abide by laws that sustain our lives. And depending on the quality and quantity of sleep we get.. let's just say there have been many days ruined due to inadequate sleep.

Some of our most important restorative functions occur in sleep such as tissue repair, muscle growth, protein synthesis, and the release of growth hormones.

At the same time, our brain undergoes its own rejuvenation process in sleep by doing a lot of the necessary mental processing and storing of information we've perceived throughout the course of a day.

I like to think of it as if we usually interfere with the correct mental processing of information with our subjective additions to what we perceive while we're awake. At night, without our involvement, our brains and bodies can more efficiently process on its own.

Although research has shown and told us what happens in sleep, different theories for the underlying necessity of sleep are inconclusive. But like gravity, it seems to simply be a law of nature.

Food for thought

Something I find extremely interesting about sleep is the question about what exactly sleeps. When you have a dream, for example, you're fully aware of what is taking place and take it to be reality for the time being. When you wake up in a dream, your attention is actually there in the dream. But at the same time, "I" am asleep; fully aware of the fact.

why do we need to sleepSome tips for getting to bed on time and getting adequate sleep!

Get to know your body clock

We all think we know how much sleep we generally need, but if that were true, then why would we snooze three times every morning? You can get to know your body clock really quickly with this simple process:

For one week straight, get to bed at the same exact time and do not set an alarm for the morning. When you wake up, get out of bed and start the day. Write down how much sleep you got throughout the day and how you felt. At the end of just one week, you will have a great idea of how much sleep your body naturally needs as opposed to how much sleep your imagination tells you that you should have.

After you gain insight into the average amount of sleep time you need to feel great upon waking up, use it to determine when you should go to bed, based on when you want to get up in the morning.

No electronics for 30 minutes before bed

The reason people nowadays have so much trouble falling asleep at night is because of all the constant mental stimulation we're exposed to, and the fact that we no longer associate our bedrooms with sleep alone. Our beds are associated with entertainment, our laptops, T.V., phones, etc. Our brains don't get the clear cut message that when we get into bed, it's time to rest.

If you stop using electronics for 30 minutes before you go to bed, and stop using them while in bed, you will quickly begin to form the right associations between your bed and your rest.


How To Organize Your Office Like a Boss & Make Your Space Work For You

How To Organize Your Office Like a Boss & Make Your Space Work For You

Reading Time: 1.5 Minutes

Do you ever feel like your mind is so cluttered you can't focus on any one thing? When it comes to working effectively, maintaining mental clarity is obviously a huge component.

But what about your external work space? Does it really matter whether your physical work space is cluttered or isn't set up to maximize work output?

The answer is a resounding, emphatic yes.

Why Maintaining Your Physical Work Space With Intention Is So Important

There are a couple of reasons its so important to organize your office space in a way that works for you.

Firstly, it is because of just how important it is to retain mental clarity to work productively and efficiently. When our external environment doesn't foster us with a sense of coherence, we tend to feel cluttered internally.

In other words, if you don't make your office work for you, then its working against you.

Secondly, if you organize your office with the intention of creating a uniquely personal environment conducive to productivity, your office will quite literally create automatic triggers in you to work towards achievement of your work goals.

how to organize your officeHow To Organize Your Office Like A Boss & Make Your Space Work For You

The principles listed here aren't just about setting up your office space the right way. These ideas can be applied to any space in your life as a way of helping you accomplish different goals you have.

 Step One: Getting Rid Of The Unnecessary

We have a unique relationship with every single item we own & every physical space we occupy in our lives. Every single article of clothing, item of jewelry, home appliance, phone app, each room in our home, etc.

The same applies to our work space.

What's important is beginning to understand the different relationships to the different "stuff" in your office so that you can choose wisely in determining what's worth keeping and what might be worth leaving at home or throwing away.

When you work, negativity and stress prevent you from working as effectively as you possibly can, right? That's because when we're in relationship to stress and negative emotion, there's a lot of unnecessary tension that comes between us and the work we have to do in front of us.

The de-cluttering process is exactly analogous to freeing yourself from letting stress hinder you in light of your work.

Look around at your office space and ask yourself, "what is my relationship to each of the items on my desk and in my office?"

If your entire office is in your laptop like mine is, then ask yourself, what items do I have on my laptop that distract me due to my associations with them?

A really good example of what I mean is phone applications. Apps like snapchat and Instagram are extremely distracting. We don't even realize how our fingers gravitate towards and press the icons the moment our eyes see them after we've unlocked our phones. Simple actions like hiding those applications in far away folders and turning off notifications for them end up in dramatic increases in productivity.

De-clutter your office by removing or hiding every item that you associate with in a way that has nothing to do with getting your shit done. Your work space is for work.

Step Two: Create "Zones"

Bedrooms are for sleep and sex.

Gyms are for exercising.

Libraries are for reading and studying.

Cafeterias are for eating. 

After you've rid your work space of everything that has nothing to do with working - i.e. any item that you associate with in a way that has no relevance to achievement of your work objectives - the next step is actively organizing the space in a way that will allow you to create brand new associations related only to work and productivity.

The best way to intentionally organize your office is by categorizing the different types of work you do.

For example, my different "zones" would be for reading, creating my to-do list, writing in my work journal, a separate zone for anything related to the internet (I create "space" for the different computer-related zones by having different folders on my laptop), and a phone call/meeting  zone.

It's not about having a completely separate physical space for each of these types of work. It's about organizing the space with different items associated with each of the types of work as "alarm clocks" or triggers.

My space is comprised of whatever book I want to read for the day on the left, my journal next to it, my computer to the right of the journal, and my phone at the end with a small notepad for any notes I need to take. For me, organizing everything from left to right in order of the things I want to do works well.

I keep absolutely nothing else on my desk because anything else would be unnecessary.

If you do most of your work on a computer or laptop, make sure to turn off any notifications that aren't related to work, and to organize the space in your computer in a similar way you would any other physical space. Make sure you label properly for any computer related work - its like a combination of de-cluttering and creating zones within the space of your computer.

Step Three: Repeat The Process Every Night

You can't expect to de-clutter your office and zone it appropriate for productivity once for the rest of time. It's so easy to get messy and retreat to old work-space habits even after putting a lot of thought, time and effort into the best way to organize your office.

If you want to maintain maximum output on a daily basis, your space should be ready to go as soon as you walk into it. Every night when you leave the office or clean up your work space, create zones in a way that will ensure efficiency for the next day's tasks. Especially if everyday looks different for you in terms of the work you're doing, taking time to re-zone at night will be an enormous help.

Substance Over Form

This whole process is about SUBSTANCE over FORM. Just because your office "looks nice" and isn't messy in the ordinary sense of the word doesn't mean its set up for productivity. Organizing your office like a boss requires a commitment to set it up with intention based on the work you need to get done.

If you engage in a daily struggle to make your work space about nothing but work, you will be amazed at how much more you can get done in a day.

 

 


100 Books To Read Before You Die
100 books to read before you die

100 Books To Read Before You Die

*10 Categories, 10 books in each, not in any specific order.

  1. Biographies
  2. Career & Financial Success
  3. Communication & Relationships
  4. Entrepreneurship
  5. Growth Through Habits
  6. Love & Happiness
  7. History
  8. Health & Wellness
  9. Philosophy & Spirituality
  10. Fiction

There's only one thing I want to say to you before you start blowing through all these absolutely amazing books.

This list represents a mere idea - that there is some topic you'll be interested in. That somewhere out there is at least one book that will have an impact on you. There are few things in life more important than learning and opening your mind through reading.

I hope with all my heart that this motivates you to find a book that you love, which might spark a love for reading in you.

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This will help you make a habit out of reading (an amazing habit)! ✔

100 books to read before you die

100 Books To Read Before You Die

Biographies

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

The content of the book is based on over forty interviews conducted with Steve Jobs, his family, friends, competitors, adversaries and colleagues over the span of two years. It’s an intensely thorough book about the roller-coaster life of one of the greatest inventive minds ever to live.

2. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Ever wondered what Einstein was really like? How his mind actually worked? This book delves into the life and mind of perhaps the most brilliant man the world has ever known.

3. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

In this absolutely unique read on what may be considered an overly saturated topic of Abraham Lincoln, Goodwin uncovers much of the truth behind Lincoln’s leadership and insightful understanding into human motivation and behavior.

“How he soothed egos, turned rivals into allies, and dealt with many challenges to his leadership, all for the sake of the greater good, is largely what Goodwin’s fine book is about.” – Shawn Carkonen

4. The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

“Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer’s questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates—opening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as The Snowball makes immensely clear. Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett’s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people’s lives. This book tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time.”

5. Hellen Keller: A Life by Dorothy Herrmann

A riveting biography that explains the difficult and controversial relationship between Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. The book discusses Helen’s love life, struggle through College and career as an advocate disabled individuals. Keller’s humanity, sexuality, relationships and career are all in question in this very special book.

"We meet an entirely unexpected Helen Keller—a woman with deep if concealed ambivalence toward her self-sacrificing teacher; a political radical; and a woman longing for romantic love and the fulfilled sexual life of a woman."—Joan Mellen, Philadelphia Inquirer

6. Tolstoy by Henri Troyat

Leo Tolstoy is largely known as one of the greatest authors of all time. This book trucks through Tolstoy’s life as a Russian aristocrat, acclaimed author, and ultimately the moral crises and spiritual awakening he underwent. In what seems to be a life characterized by contradiction, Troyat does an amazing job of explaining what Tolstoy, whose own writing had a profound impact on leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., experienced in his life.

7. Adolf Hitler by John Willard Toland

Toland writes an objective account of the life of who will undoubtedly be one of the most feared and hated men in the history of existence. Toland conducted hundreds of interviews with people close to Hitler to find who this man that makes us cringe at the sound of his name really was.

8. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

A minister, leader, icon and criminal are only a handful of the words used to describe the life of a man who changed the world before being assassinated at thirty-nine. Known largely as a symbol of change, revolution and progress, Malcolm X is a legend whose remarkable life sheds light on what it means to be passionate.

9. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Needless to say, Musk has become one of the icons of the day, and a clear symbol for progress. His story begins with living the beginning of his life in South Africa, and ends with…..

10. Socrates: A Man For Our Times by Paul Johnson

The life of Socrates, his philosophy, his inquiry into the nature of the human mind has existed since the 5th Century BCE. History erases the memory of most ideas in an instant, but the philosophical questions Socrates wanted answers to will likely exist as long as we do.

"One of the most important thinkers of all time"… what a title.

Career/Financial Success

1. The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career For a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicolas Lore

This book works like a personal career coach, putting you through multiple assessments to help you find a career path that makes sense for you as a person.

2. Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales From The World of Wall Street by John Brooks

Warren Buffet calls this “the best business book he’s ever read.” If you want to understand the corporate structure of today based on the history of the world of finance as told by engaging stories, definitely pick this up.

3. Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement by Tony Robbins

There’s a reason thousands of people pay north of $6,000 every year to spend a week with Tony Robbins. He can help change your life and unlock the potential inherent in you through words, exercises, and changes of your perspective. In this book he provides you with the tools you need to become a leader, find self-confidence, and sheds light on what’s really important to an overall successful life.

4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

With a 13-step program to find success & stories about massively successful people and how they achieved their status, this book has withstood the test of time (written in the 1930’s) because it is legendary.

5. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

This book is based on the premise that successful people exhibit similar habits (kind of what our whole website and company – Habit Nest is about). To live the life you want, you need to take actions on a daily basis that help you get there. This book teaches and thoroughly explains exactly what some of those habits are.

6. The Up Side of Down by Megan McArdle

Through stories, McArdle explores the potential we have to learn from every failure. It can be a life-changing read for anyone who has trouble seeing the opportunity and lessons to be learned in any given situation.

7. Works Well with Others: An Outsider's Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You by Ross McCammon

The title pretty much sums this one up.

8. Your Money Or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

Amazing read to help you re-adjust your priorities and help you understand the very significance of money in life. This book can change your whole outlook on whats important, along with give you a step by step method for better spending.

9. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Mel Lindauer, Taylor Larimore, and Michael LeBoeuf

No matter who you are, where you're from or how old you are, this one can give you the practical information, knowledge and motivation you need to start making real-life investments that pay off.

Making money is just one part of financial success... deciding where to put your money is even more important.

10. Getting Things Done by David Allen

Productivity and focus are essential to working effectively and enjoying the fruits of your labor. This is one of the best books ever written on time management and plowing through your work with focus and intensity.

Communication & Relationships

1. How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is the book that got me into reading. It's an artfully crafted and insightful read into relationships, communication, and using kindness to live a happy and successful life. Carnegie is called "the grandfather of people skills," which you shouldn't take likely. Might be the book with the easiest to implement actions on a daily basis for leading a happy and successful life.

2. Living Non-Violent Communication: Practical Tools To Connect and Communicate Skillfully In Every Situation by Marshall Rosenberg

This book is absolute GOLD. Non-violent communication isn't just an idea, its a practice, a way of living that ensures your growth, satisfaction of your needs, and the understanding you need to help satisfy the needs of those around you. This one is life-changing, and might be the most important book on this list.

3. Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last by John Gottman

A book that helps you understand the patterns that lead to divorce, and how to resolve issues in a healthy way. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship and specific actions for working on them.

4. How To Talk To Anyone: 92 Little Tricks For Big Success In Relationships by Leil Lowndes

Ever wonder how some people seemingly attract love, respect and authority from everyone they meet? Leil Lowndes gives her secrets for understanding exactly how to talk to different people in order to get what you want.

5. The Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols

One of the most important aspects of connecting with others is making them feel understood. We all know what it feels like to feel as if we haven't been "heard."Nichols helps you understand what's necessary to really re-connect with others through the way we listen.

6. Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships by Mark L. Knapp

Social science is legitimate, and this one is aimed at helping students understand interpersonal communication and motivating them to continue to learn through their relationships.

7. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What The Most Effective People Do Differently by John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell is a leadership expert.

In Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, Maxwell shares the Five Principles and Five Practices to develop the crucial skill of connecting, including:

- Finding common ground, Keeping your communication simple, Capturing people's interest, Inspiring people, and Staying authentic in all your relationships.

8. On Becoming A Person by Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers is mind blowing. This is another one of my all-time favorite books. Rogers helps us understand, through his sharing of his experience with clients, just how create an environment in communication that allows others (and ourselves) to grow.

9. Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and In Life One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott

Here's what Amazon has to say about the incredible Susan Scott:

"The master teacher of positive change through powerful communication, Susan Scott, wants her readers to succeed. To do that, she explains, one must transform everyday conversations employing effective ways to get the message across. In this guide, which includes exercises and tools to take you step by step through the Seven Principles of Fierce Conversations, Scott teaches readers how to:

  • Overcome barriers to meaningful communication
  • Expand and enrich conversations with colleagues, friends, and family
  • Increase clarity and improve understanding
  • Handle strong emotions-on both sides of the table"

10. Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendrix

Hendrix has helped millions of couples create and build insanely satisfying relationships. Regardless of where you are in your relationship, use this to help guide you and your significant other to new levels of satisfaction.

Entrepreneurship

1. The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

I love Tim Ferriss. This one guides you through taking entrepreneurship to new levels of comfort and success by making use of virtual assistants overseas. Make more money in less time is the theme, and his advice is really practical.

2. The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Startups Don't Work & What To Do About It by Michael Gerber

This is one of the top 5 selling business books of all time. Gerberg takes you through the life of an entrepreneur and dissects the stages of growth, along with sheds light on some of the myths regarding starting your own business. Must read for any entrepreneur.

3. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Horowitz is one of the most successful and storied entrepreneurs Silicon Valley has ever seen. He has much to say about the ins and outs of entrepreneurship... what business school fails to teach you.

4. The Entrepreneur Mind by Kevin D. Johnson

President of a number of multi-million dollar companies shares the common beliefs, habits and and characteristics of the world's elite entrepreneurs. He makes the experience of reading fun through his personal stories and stories about other insanely successful business owners.

5. The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan

The One Thing is another one of the best business books ever written.  Develop a thorough understanding of how to formulate the lifestyle you want efficiently by building daily momentum towards your goals and staying focused.

6. Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products by Nir Eyal

There is a science to creating products people can get hooked on. Nir Eyal teaches you these critical steps through stories about other successful companies... pretty remarkable stuff.

7. Will It Fly? by Patt Flynn

Flynn helps you test your latest idea to see whether its really worth pursuing or not. He wants to help people stop running into businesses they just get excited about for a few minutes and start formulating real plans to get their businesses off the ground.

8. #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take On Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk

This guy Gary Vee is one of the most motivating and real entrepreneurs I've ever heard talk. Everything he says is truth, coming from personal experience and it comes with a sense of honesty you don't usually get when reading. He is unorthodox in his approach, but he will help change your life - both in business and personal.

9. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Thiel preaches that the most important skill any business man or entrepreneur needs to have is the ability to think for yourself. He believes that anyone can revolutionize an industry, and helps you understand just how you can by opening your mind.

10. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

A model for doing something you love and making a difference all at once.

Growth Through Habits

1. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Hal Elrod is one of the people with the craziest stories I've ever heard. He's defeated horrific life circumstances multiple times. In this book he provides you with morning habits to lead you to the life you want.

2. The Power of Habit by: Why We Do What We Do In Life & In Business by Charles Duhigg

The science behind how habits are formed - both good and bad. Duhigg helps us navigate human nature and the potential for change. It is insanely practical. A lot of our company (Habit Nest) was built with this book as a foundation.

3.  The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide To Getting The Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker

Stop wasting time and start focusing in the right places on a daily basis with the help of Drucker's comprehensive guide.

4. Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise

This approach is SO important to actually creating the change you want to see. Learn how to make your habits too small to fail with this guide by Guise.

5. Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits: 14 New Behaviors That Will Energize Your Life by Joyce Meyer

From happiness to faith, excellence, responsibility, discipline and others, Meyer delves into how to make good habits, break bad ones, and learn to love life in the process.

6. The Creative Habit: Learn It And Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp

As someone who wants to work on his creativity, this book gives me a lot of hope. Tharp says that creativity can be cultivated through making it a habit on a daily basis. She provides you with 32 very real and practical exercises to boost your creativity and help you add the habit.

7. Million Dollar Habits by Brian Tracy

Tracy is one of the most well-known self help speakers and writers in the world. In this book he helps you understand the habits that help lead to successful living, along with helping you create an action-based plan to create the life you want.

8. The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself To the Essential.. In Business and In Life by Leo Babauta

Leo is one of my favorite self-help writers.

"The Power of Less will show you how to:

  • Break any goal down into manageable tasks
  • Focus on only a few tasks at a time
  • Create new and productive habits
  • Hone your focus
  • Increase your efficiency

By setting limits for yourself and making the most of the resources you already have, youll finally be able work less, work smarter, and focus on living the life that you deserve." - Amazon

9. Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals by Thomas C. Corley

Corley discusses the 10 habits that seem to show up in the routine of every massively wealth individual that he's found through research and study of his clients. He's also created a program to help you add these integral habits.

10. Willpower: Rediscovering The Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

I wish I could explain just how important of a concept willpower is. If we had the ability to follow through on our word, we'd each have the lives we wanted. A strong will is what is standing in between you and your dream life. Baumeister and Tierney help you understand this, along with give you a strategy for working towards strengthening your own willpower.

Love & Happiness

1. The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

I can't say enough about this book. Every single person I've ever met who read it has says that its changed their life. Stop expecting and start loving with wisdom from Don Miguel Ruiz (one of my favorite authors).

2. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

"Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge. How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?"

3Unworthy: How To Stop Hating Yourself by Anneli Rufus

Stop being your own worst enemy and learn how to provide yourself with the right type of attention - love.

4. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

Singer helps you learn how to navigate through your own voice in this masterpiece. Another one of the books that put me on a path to change my life. This one is extra special.

5. A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson

Williamson teaches us how to accept love in our every day lives to put us on a path towards light and goodness in life.

6. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment And How It Can Help You Find - And Keep - Love by Amir Levine & Rachel S.F. Heller

This book is based on the science of relationships. These psychiatrists analyze different types of people, how they attach to relationships, and how to begin to attach in more constructive and fruitful ways.

7. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story by Dan Harris

Dan Harris is in my opinion one of the most thoughtful and learned minds today. This is his story about how he discovered that the voice in his head was his greatest enemy, and how anyone can come to overcome the prison of our mind.

8. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook For Living by The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is known as one of the happiest people in the world. He is very much a ray of sunshine, and the best part is just how well he conveys the reason for his happiness to others. In his book he helps us understand the day to day struggle towards positivity and happiness.

9. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

I had to include another one from Don Miguel Ruiz just because of how drastically he's impacted my life. The Four Agreements are agreements each person can make with his or herself to live in understanding, compassion, love, and happiness. The book is short, sweet, and utterly comprehendible.

10. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

I distinctly remember when this book came out because my mom was crazy about it. In the end of the day, the law of attraction is very much real. We're each living in completely different worlds - the world inside of ourselves. Byrne helps you understand what's necessary to create the life you want by introducing you to the way you interpret and attract your life.

History

1. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Going from nothing to all that exists today, Bryson craftily answers the question of how we came to be where we are.

2. Before The Mayflower: A History of Black America by Lerone Bennett Jr.

A complete history of slavery and racism.

3. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Texbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen

Exploring the truth of American history and an uncovering of the common myths that come with it. Includes a mind boggling analysis of Iraq and 9/11.

4. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn

"Occasionally there emerges a book which has an influence far beyond its originally intended audience. . . . Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . . . has clearly emerged as just such a work." --Ron Johnston, Times Higher Education Supplement

5. The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw

“Full of wonderful, wrenching tales of a generation of heroes. Tom Brokaw reminds us what we are capable of as a people. An inspiring read for those who wish their spirits lifted.”—Colin L. Powell

6. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I watched the movie, and I can't wait to read the book. It's a true story about an Olympic Runner who ended up caught and held by the Japanese in World War II. It's an amazing story about triumph and honor.

7. A Criminal History of Mankind by Colin Wilson

Analyzing criminality and violence in different points in human history, Wilson provides an in depth analysis aimed at finding the place of crime in our history.

8. The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski

This one is another complete history of man in terms of progress from the very beginning of human life.

9. Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt

"Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy." - Amazon

10. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. Mcpherson

A history of the Civil War with astounding detail.

Health & Wellness

1. Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan

Analyzing what the world's healthiest diets have in common, and the intricate relationship between health and food. What our ancestors knew that we've forgotten. For those of you looking to build a habit of healthy eating, this one is for you.

2. Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery by Anthony William

Here's what Amazon has to say: "Anthony William, the one and only Medical Medium, has helped tens of thousands of people heal from ailments that have been misdiagnosed or ineffectively treated or that doctors can’t resolve. He’s done this by listening to a divine voice that literally speaks into his ear, telling him what lies at the root of people’s pain or illness and what they need to do to restore their health. His methods achieve spectacular results, even for those who have spent years and many thousands of dollars on all forms of medicine before turning to him. Now, in this revolutionary book, he opens the door to all he has learned in over 25 years of bringing people’s lives back: a massive amount of healing information, much of which science won’t discover for decades, and most of which has never appeared anywhere before."

Haven't read it yet, but really looking forward to it.

3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown

It's about doing less and having more through de-cluttering your life and taking what Mckeown labels as "only important actions."

4. The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body by Cameron Diaz

Diaz shares her secrets to health, happiness and love for one's body (both the way it looks and the way it feels). She's struggled through it, came to the light, and now has this New York Times #1 bestseller to show for it.

5. It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell

A memoir of a food blogger that overcomes a food addiction to learn just how to love herself. It's an amazing book about weight loss, getting through confusion in oneself, and acceptance.

6. Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Interesting read on how to become a master of organization and de-cluttering. Kondo provides a step by step analysis, along with illustrations and epic descriptions to help you tidy up your life.

7. RETOX: * Yoga * Food * Attitude; Healthy Solutions For A Real Life by Lauren Imparato

I love the basic concept of this book. It provides you with real and practical strategies to combat the difficulties we each feel in life. The basic premise is that we each deal with this "stuff" - stress, anxiety, low energy, physical pain, hangovers, a lack of sleep, but that there are ways to combat them with basic habits.

8. Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence by Rick Hanson

Amazon says,  "Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and peace. You’ll learn to see through the lies your brain tells you. Dr. Hanson’s four steps build strengths into your brain—counterbalancing its ancient negativity bias—making contentment and a powerful sense of resilience the new normal. In mere minutes each day, you can transform your brain into a refuge and power center of calm and happiness. You can hardwire in happiness."

9. Creativity, Inc. Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

“Over more than thirty years, Ed Catmull has developed methods to root out and destroy the barriers to creativity, to marry creativity to the pursuit of excellence, and, most impressive, to sustain a culture of disciplined creativity during setbacks and success.”—Jim Collins, co-author of Built to Last and author of Good to Great

10. The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel

The science behind self-control and how to use it to your advantage. Mischel has proven with his Marshmallow test that delaying gratification is one of the secrets to living successfully, and he outlines why and how in this book.

Philosophy & Spirituality

1. The Science of Spirituality by Lee Bladon

This book incorporates philosophy, science, spirituality, and religion to help us better understand ourselves and the universe we live in. It is science based, and at the same time, delves into what science can't really answer.

2. The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution by P.D. Ouspensky

A psychological study of the potential that lies in man. This is one of the most important books ever written.

3. Compassion In Action: Setting Out On A Path of Service by Ram Dass

Ram Dass is one of the better known spiritual leaders and I believe it is because of how purely honest he is. He makes you want to face yourself in a way that allows you to grow. This book explains much of his life, and how he came to understand what he was meant to do.

4. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Helping people see how pain is created in our lives, Eckhart Tolle takes you on a spiritual journey through yourself in an easy to digest way.

5. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements are agreements each person can make with his or herself to live in understanding, compassion, love, and happiness. The book is short, sweet, and utterly comprehendible.

6. Waking Up: A Guide To Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris

Explaining meditation and spirituality through the lens of neuroscience and psychology. Look up some of his videos, Harris is legit.

7. A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

This one isn't quite as easy to read, but is largely considered one of the most important philosophical works ever. Russell discusses basically every major philosopher from the beginning of time.

8. Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

I read this one recently.. all I can say is WOW. Through analogizing a motorcycle to our human psyche, Pirsig beautifully explains through a turn-paging story of his life just how we can (and must) work on ourselves.

9. Finding Freedom: Writings From Death Row by Jarvis Jay Masters

Can't wait to read this. Here's what Amazon has to say, "Incarcerated in San Quentin at the age of 19 for armed robbery, Jarvis Masters was accused four years later of participating in a conspiracy that resulted in the death of a prison guard. Finding Freedom is a collection of prison stories -- sometimes shocking, sometimes sad, often funny, always immediate -- told against a background of extreme violence and aggression. Masters' commitment to nonviolence leads him more and more into the role of peacemaker as he tries to put compassion into action. We see Masters meditating amid chaos and squalor, touching the hearts and minds of those around him."

10. The Place That Scares You: A Guide To Fearlessness In Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

"We always have a choice, Pema Chödrön teaches: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. Here Pema provides the tools to deal with the problems and difficulties that life throws our way. This wisdom is always available to us, she teaches, but we usually block it with habitual patterns rooted in fear. Beyond that fear lies a state of openheartedness and tenderness. This book teaches us how to awaken our basic goodness and connect with others, to accept ourselves and others complete with faults and imperfections, and to stay in the present moment by seeing through the strategies of ego that cause us to resist life as it is." - Amazon

Fiction

1. The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald

2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

3. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

5. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

6. The Stranger by Albert Camus

7. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

8. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

9. 1984 by George Orwell

10. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov


Using The Eisenhower Decision Matrix To Transform Your Productivity
the eisenhower decision matrix, work smarter

Using The Eisenhower Decision Matrix To Transform Your Productivity

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

"What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year.

Time exists  uniformly for every single one of us. Have you ever really thought about just how incredible it is that some of the most massively successful people on the planet have the time they need to accomplish everything they do in life? It is absolutely astonishing when you think about it.

Most of us just struggle through our days hoping to get some things done and create some leisure time while there are people out there who quite literally make use of every moment they have to do mind-blowing things.

What we fail to realize is that setting ourselves up for productivity and accomplishment is less about "fitting things in" and more about getting organized and intelligent about how we plan our days.

Being busy doesn't equal getting a lot done. On the contrary, being productive actually helps you avoid being busy.

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix was created by the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower, being the insanely busy individual he was, thought deeply about how to prioritize tasks on a daily basis in order to accomplish his every goal. He utilized his methods of productivity not for days or months, but for decades.

He left us a principle, which if followed with intention can help us prioritize our daily tasks by urgency, importance, and avoid spending unnecessary time on different obligations. It's a to-do list on crack.

Using The Eisenhower Decision Matrix To Transform Your Productivity

the eisenhower decision matrix

It isn't complicated. A simple box with four quadrants each designating both the importance and urgency of the different tasks,  obligations and desires you currently have.

Urgent tasks: Those tasks and actions that must get done to avoid negative consequences, and simply to "stay afloat." They're maintenance tasks that you have no choice but to do right now.

Important tasks: Those tasks and actions that are extremely important to your overall vision of what's necessary to create the life you want, but don't necessarily need to be done this very moment.

Step One: Determining your highly important, highly urgent tasks

The upper left-hand quadrant is meant for the actions that you absolutely have to take today. They are important and urgent (highly time-sensitive).

I think of this section as my to-do list for TODAY.

What I love is that it really forces you to question what is of actual importance, and what is wholly unnecessary to focus on right now. It helps get your mind straight and prepared to do what's necessary TODAY. You actively force yourself to let go of the stress of what you know doesn't need to be done right now.

The answer will be different for all of us, but what should remain constant is putting down all of your maintenance tasks like answering emails, scheduling obligatory meetings, phone calls, bills, taxes, and any other maintenance tasks specific to your work and life.

Step Two: Determining your highly important, less urgent tasks

The second quadrant is meant for those activities you have decided are extremely important to your overall goals and the life you want to create for yourself, but are not time-sensitive.

The goal here is to really help you remember on a daily basis what is of true importance, and scheduling time for it so that you don't keep it in the back of your mind and end up completely forgetting about it.

Here you can include things like working on a relationship you want to strengthen, when you want to exercise, time you can set aside for a side-project you've been wanting to work on, etc. Highly important activities that aren't urgent, but that we have the tendency to simply forget about.

What's really important here is actually setting a schedule for times you can work towards these important goals. Be very specific and don't let yourself off the hook by setting unrealistic times you know you won't end up taking action (sometimes we tend to put ourselves in situations in which we know we're unreliable).

Step Three: Delegating urgent tasks that aren't important

This third quadrant is really about getting smart with regards to what you need to do. What can you hand off to other people that you trust to create time for yourself? The activities listed in this quadrant should be very time-sensitive, but don't need to be important.

Examples (and remember these are just examples) of what you should put in here are things like looking for flights/other travel accommodations, picking up kids from school, responding to emails, doing hands-on marketing work (beyond strategy), putting together data that doesn't require mental power, etc.

My favorite thing about this quadrant is you're really forced to get creative and intelligent about the things you actually need to use your own energy for. There are a lot of ways to hand-off work for cheap or no cost at all. You just have to decide what you're willing to let go of personal control over because it isn't nearly as important as other areas or tasks you can focus on.

Step Four: Eliminate it altogether

The fourth quadrant is about helping you dump actions that you take that aren't important, aren't time-sensitive, and quite frankly shouldn't be on your list of daily actions.

When something is sitting in your head as a "task," "obligation," "necessary action," or something that you "just do," there's a stress and anxiety that comes along with it no matter how little of importance or energy draining it actually is. That's why getting rid of it altogether is really important to your overall well-being, productivity and efficiency.

These are things that are time-wasters, don't have any real utility, and drain us of energy unnecessarily.

A good example of this is going through junk mail that you know is worthless. Another one is endlessly browsing social media outlets, watching fluctuations in stock prices for no reason, checking fantasy sports updates, etc.

Don't get me wrong, watching T.V., and messing around with social media aren't "wrong to do," but if we can minimize the time we waste with unnecessary activities to the greatest extent possible, we're well on our way to being way more productive.

Having these activities that you personally like to waste time with in what is effectively your to-do list helps remind you every single day that you have way bigger goals to work towards and much more important obligations. 


Step By Step Guide To Answering "How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?"
how many calories should i eat to lose weight, how many calories to lose weight

Step By Step Guide To Answering "How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?"

Reading Time: 4.5 minutes

In the end of the day, figuring out how many calories you need to eat to lose weight is simple math – you need to burn more than you consume.

Here’s how it works in practice: You determine your Basal Metabolic Rate, and then you apply that rate to something called the “Harris Benedict Formula,” which takes into account your daily activity levels (calorie expenditure) and spews out a rough estimate of what your daily caloric intake should be if you want to lose weight. 

Bonus: Download the FREE FILLABLE action guide now! This will help you take action on how many calories you need to eat to lose weight. ✔

How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight ?

There are a ton of resources – weight loss calculators – out there to help you estimate the amount of calories YOU personally should be eating depending on your weight loss goals. I’ll explain exactly how to both understand and use those resources, along with shed some light on what you really need to do to achieve your body goals.

how many calories should you eat to lose weight

Step One: What are my goals?

Do I want to look fit or get skinny? Do I want to build muscle? How quickly do I want to lose the weight? Figuring out what you need to be eating, and how much you should be eating should be based on specific goals you want to achieve, and you should have a pre-determined time frame in which you want to see progress. So first and foremost, define your goals.

That being said, regardless of what your goals are, you need to understand that accomplishing your objectives in a timely fashion isn’t just about how many calories you’re eating on a daily basis.

It’s about a combination of:

(1) what you’re eating

(2) how much you’re eating and

(3) whether/how you exercise.

What I’m eating & how much I’m eating

I don’t care if you’re eating 400 calories a day – if you want to lose weight and keep it off, it’s way more important to eat healthy foods and stay away from garbage than to have a low caloric intake.

You can probably lose 120 pounds in a year by eating 500 calories a day (if you’re really overweight) and exercising moderately, but the second you start to eat like a human being again (and I mean simply a normal diet), the weight will come crashing back into your life like 10-ton truck.

Stay wary of this and try to organize the calories you consume around this concept. Yes, to lose weight we need to consume less than we “normally eat.” But avoiding junk food, drinks with tons of sugar and carbs rather than merely counting calories is the name of the game if you want to maintain any weight loss you achieve. You don’t want to kill your metabolism by not eating enough.

The thing most of us don’t realize is that by changing up our diet rather than consciously counting calories, we start eating less. A study was performed at the University of Washington in which women who were overweight increased their protein intake to 30% of their total calories. The results were incredible. On average, these women started consuming 441 fewer calories per day without even thinking about it.

how many calories should i eat to lose weight

Good calories vs. Bad calories

Have you ever heard the phrase, “a calorie is a calorie”? If you haven’t, good. If you have, completely eliminate it from your mind because it is absolute bullshit.

A calorie is NOT a calorie.

You can cut your calorie count by what you need to lose weight and not only fail in losing weight, but even continue to gain weight.

How exactly is that possible?

By messing up the hormones that control weight gain, fat metabolism, mood and hunger. If a majority of your calorie intake is coming from processed, refined and high sugar foods, chances are you’re going to have a lot of trouble losing weight – even if your overall caloric intake is cut.

Some of the most weight-loss friendly foods are very high in calories. Foods that are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats help push towards weight loss goals because they make us feel full for longer periods of time – regardless of the calorie count.

To effectively lose weight, you need to get the most out of what you eat by consuming nutrient dense foods that your body will appreciate and use effectively.

Some of the foods that are highly correlated with weight loss are:

  1. Salmon (and other fish)
  2. Leafy greens
  3. Nuts
  4. Beans
  5. Lean beef
  6. Chicken
  7. Avocados
  8. Hummus
  9. Salsa
  10. Potatoes
  11. Greek yogurt
  12. Broth-based soups
  13. Chia seeds
  14. Berries
  15. Oatmeal
  16. Fruits
  17. Quinoa
  18. Eggs

pexels-photo-136394

Step Two: What’s my BMR?

Getting to the number of calories you need to eat daily to lose weight starts with determining your BMR. Each of us has a Basal Metabolic Rate – that is, we have a certain number of calories we’d each burn naturally on a daily basis, even if we were to lay in bed all day long.

This is because our bodies expend a certain amount of energy by simply being alive and undergoing the physiological processes that need to occur for us to remain alive and function properly (respiration, digestion, etc.).

With regards to achieving weight loss and preventing weight gain, the higher your BMR is, the better it is. The more calories your body naturally burns on its own without physical stimulation, the easier it will be for you to lose weight from a caloric standpoint.

As we grow older, our BMR starts to slow down (like every other bodily process). But we can maintain and even speed our BMR up by regularly engaging in cardiovascular exercise. Jogging, running, biking… any exercise that gets your heart rate up will increase the speed at which your body naturally burns calories – provided you do the activity regularly.

Get an estimate of your Basal Metabolic Rate with a BMR calculator – a simple google search does the job.

Here’s one for your convenience.

Step Three: Applying the “Harris Benedict” Formula

To get to the actual number of calories you should be eating daily, you multiply your BMR by the appropriate factor to get your overall energy expenditure in kilocalories a day. This is the break-up explaining which factor would apply to your case.


Sedentary: Little to no exercise.

Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.2


Mild activity level: Intensive exercise for at least 20 minutes 1 to 3 times per week. This may include such activities as bicycling, jogging, basketball, swimming, skating, etc. If you do not exercise regularly, but you maintain a busy lifestyle that requires you to walk frequently for long periods, you may meet the requirements for this level of activity.

Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.3 – 1.375


Moderate activity level: Intensive exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes 3 to 4 times per week. Any of the activities listed above will qualify.

Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.5 – 1.55


Heavy or (labor-intensive) activity level: Intensive exercise for 60 minutes or longer 5 – 7 days per week. Labor intensive occupations also qualify for this activity level, including construction work, farming, landscape work, or similar occupations.

Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.7


Extreme level: Exceedingly active and/or very demanding activities. Examples include athletes with almost continuous rigorous training schedules, and extremely demanding jobs such as shoveling coal for long hours. It is very very difficult to achieve this level of activity.

Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.9


The number that you get after applying the formula is the total number of calories you could eat a day to maintain your current weight, assuming that you consistently maintained your current physical activity level.

Step Four: How fast do I want to lose it?

Depending on how quickly you want to drop the weight, you need to be eating more or less calories. The old rule of thumb was that to lose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. Essentially, if you ate 500 less calories a day than what you would need to maintain your current weight, you’d be losing one pound of fat per week.  

This view is now being contradicted by subsequent research done by the National Institutes of Health. The new rule is that the number of calories equating to a pound of fat (for purposes of loss) is said to range somewhere in between the 3,500 mark (still wisely used today) and 7,000 calories for weight-loss over 12 month periods.

Amby Barfoot has explained about this new research and the resources that have come of it:

“The BWP (body weight planner) allows you to pick your current weight, a target weight, and your timeframe for losing weight. It then calculates the changes you will need to make—lower calorie intake and increased physical activity—to reach your target. The free BWP connects to the NIH’s (National Institutes of Health) free “Supertracker,” which provides access to a food database, an exercise log, and other health tools.”

You can use the new Body Weight Planner to help you create a time frame in which you believe you can achieve your weight loss goals, and create a caloric intake plan that accommodates the time frame.

Finding a balance

Again, I can’t repeat enough how dependent your diet should be on the specific goals you have for your body. A huge part of getting the body you want is finding the right balance between exercise and diet.

Although maintaining a healthy diet will help you lose weight (more or less quickly depending on how serious you are), regular exercise brings a whole new dimension to the weight-loss game.

You’re obviously increasing the amount of calories you burn daily and over time (by increasing your BMR), but the true benefit is that good habits tend to build upon each other.

People who exercise regularly don’t really feel the need to indulge in extremely unhealthy foods all the time.

The reason is simple.

Hard work makes you want to see progress.

By being someone the type of person who puts hard work into either their diet, or exercise, you inevitably grow the motivation to let the desire to look good and be healthy pour into other parts of your life.


“You can’t make yourself feel positive, but you can choose how to act, and if you choose right, it builds your confidence.”

Julien Smith


When you start to make healthy decisions in one aspect of your life, you are guaranteed to start making other healthy decisions. Over time, these healthy decisions turn into lifestyle habits. Once you have healthy habits in place, it’s only a matter of time until you have the body you want.

Having a healthy balance between regular exercise and the foods you eat provides you with the added benefit of not feeling so bad when you do decide to indulge.

Leading a healthy lifestyle with a proper diet isn’t about depriving yourself – it’s about making better decisions on a daily basis about the type of fuel you feed your body. That being said, when you’re regularly burning calories by exercising, you have the right to reward yourself every so often.

how many calories should i eat to lose weight

Hacks for sticking to a healthy diet

Keep it simple!

When it comes to healthy eating, the number one rule to follow is – don’t make too many rules. You have a general idea of what is healthy and what isn’t. Make a few decisions about changes you want to make, but I guarantee that if you overdo it, you will not end up following through. Maintain a variety of foods you enjoy that are high in fiber, protein, fats, and healthy carbs.

Junk free home:

When you have a bunch of food in the house, it’s just too tempting. Don’t even give yourself the option and you’ll find a way to deal with the momentary cravings for junk.

Carry water with you everywhere:

Staying hydrated is an essential part of staying healthy, it helps keep you satisfied, and it’s easier to say not to have drinks with sugar in them when you already have a drink with you!

Plan ahead:

If you the discipline to plan (and maybe even pack) your meals ahead of time, do it. For a similar reason to why carrying water around makes it easier to be healthy, when you’ve already made decisions about your meals, there’s something about the concrete-ness of it in your mind that allows you to avoid temptation. The best time to get organized about your meals is in the morning when there is little to no distraction and you can think clearly and logically about what your food intake is going to look like for the day. If you’re one of those people that just can’t find the motivation and energy to get up early and plan ahead, The Master Your Morning Sidekick Journal is a great resource that helps you add the habit of waking up early and creating the perfect morning routine to start the day.

Juice:

The easiest way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need is by blending or juicing fruits and vegetables. It makes your life easy because you can drink it all at once, and they’re really satisfying – and yummy.

Concluding remarks

In essence, the answer to the magical question “how many calories should I eat to lose weight” is both easy and not so easy to answer. You can get a good estimate of a raw number based on calculating your basal metabolic rate and applying the Harris Benedict Formula, accounting for your general activity levels. On the other hand, there is no set in

On the other hand, there is no set in stone formula for weight loss. Each of our bodies are different. Each of our physical needs are different. Some of us need to work way harder to lose weight than others. A diet that works for one person will not necessarily work for others. The key to weight loss is getting organized about how your goals, formulating a plan to achieve those goals, and tweaking the plan based on the results.

What you should do after reading this article

  1. Write down the goals you have for your body and when you’d like to accomplish those goals by.
  2. Find out what your BMR number
  3. Apply the Harris Benedict formula to get an estimate of the number of calories you would need to eat daily to maintain your current weight.
  4. Based on the time-frame in which you want to lose weight, find the number of calories you need to cut on a daily basis to get there.
  5. Start counting!

Download the FREE FILLABLE action guide here:

 


Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset & Their Relationships to Change
growth mindset vs. fixed mindset

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset & Their Relationships to Change

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." 

Frank Zappa

A short story. . .

Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.

The first salesman reported back, "There is no potential here, nobody wears shoes."

The second salesman reported back, "There is massive potential here, nobody wears shoes!"

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This a super effective 3-step guide for adopting a growth mindset! ✔

growth mindset vs. fixed mindsetGrowth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

What would you say if I told you that you are your mindset?

That you are the way you think, the way you mentally and emotionally respond to situations, and you are how you judge yourself.

Each of our lives is filled with "events." Events are merely things that happen. Circumstances and situations that surround our unique existence in this life.

Where and how we show up in response to the events happening in each of our lives is what defines us - is who we are.

Mindset is a term that connotes our established set of attitudes in response to events. It refers to precisely how we mentally respond to what happens in our lives.

The Origin of Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets

In 1988, research was conducted by Carol Dweck on students' behavior and attitude in response to "failure."

What Dweck found is that when individuals believe in the possibility of getting smarter rather than their intelligence being static, they understand that effort leads to growth, which facilitates working harder.

"In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it."

—Carol Dweck, Stanford University

In effect, Dweck's research proved that an individual's mindset sets the stage for performance and achievement.

Where an individual exhibits a "fixed mindset," they generally hold the belief that who they are in this very moment (at least in terms of certain basic qualities) is who they will be for the long haul. The belief that the qualities and characteristics one attributes to oneself are, well, fixed.

Phrases that illustrate a fixed mindset are any statements about oneself that imply a stability of characteristics.

Statements about oneself that start with "I am...I am not...I only like...I don't like...I am unable...I am only able to..."

A "growth mindset" is an established attitude with which a person believes that his or her capabilities are susceptible to change and growth. The belief that a person's qualities are not static, and that with effort and dedication, a person can actually develop the ability to do almost anything.

To be almost any way.

Phrases that illustrate a growth mindset imply a possibility of change in the relationship between an individual and a given quality.

Statements like, "I haven't developed the skill yet... I'm working on it...I've previously had a hard time doing...That hasn't worked for me before, but maybe a different approach will..."

What's important to realize is that the mindsets don't only refer to certain "capabilities," but also to typical responses to situations.

It's the difference between thinking, "I just get really angry when someone cuts me off while driving" vs. "My road rage is a problem, I need to work on it."

Mindsets are Self-Reinforcing

What's incredible about the concept of a mindset is that regardless of whether someone generally hold a fixed or growth mindset, it acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Where one exhibits a fixed mindset, their view about their own faculties as static leads to corresponding actions based on that view. As such, a fixed mindset leads to action or inaction that leaves little to no room for growth.

A person who simply believes that "they're not good at public speaking" won't endeavor to master the event of speaking in front of a crowd. Rather they'll either consistently avoid the task, or dread anytime it is forced upon them with the quality of their output matching their self-limiting belief.

Why?

Because people who hold "fixed mindsets" want to hide their flaws so as to avoid negative judgment and criticism. We stick with what we know to protect ourselves from devastation and maintain some sense of confidence. In a fixed mindset, fear of failure defines the quality of our actions.

Similarly, where one believes that the quality of their characteristics is subject to positive change, their actions correspond to the belief. To use the same example of public speaking, a growth mindset would lead to motivation and practice of speaking in front of groups with an eye towards improving, which would ultimately result in gaining relative mastery over the skill.

Why?

Because in a growth mindset, the fear of failure is less daunting than with a fixed mindset. Where qualities aren't fixed, one strives to adapt, learn and grow. Confidence isn't fostered by the judgment of others but rather is the result of continued effort in spite of previous difficulty. It's more about the process than the outcome of a given action.

The Relationship Between Mindset & Habits

Without believing in the possibility of change, nobody in their right mind would struggle to adjust or improve their habits.

We take for granted just how powerful our minds are. The stories we tell ourselves about who we are and who we have the potential (or lack thereof) to be can either help guide us to new-found skill and confidence, or keep us exactly where (and who) we are in this moment.

The intricate relationship between what we think about ourselves and how we take action in our lives is the most important relationship we have.

If we fail to cultivate the relationship between what we think about ourselves and the things we do in life, we're essentially writing off growth as a possibility.

We all have ways in which we want to change for the better. Habits we want to adjust and qualities we want to improve. The first step towards creating that positive change is to set the proper foundation for the way you think about your capabilities.

Download the FREE FILLABLE action guide here:


What This 75-Year Harvard Study Says Is The Secret To A Good Life
how to live a happy life

What This 75-Year Harvard Study Says Is The Secret To A Good Life

Reading Time: 1.5 Minutes

In the end of the day, every single one of us wants the same thing - fulfillment. A good life in which we get to enjoy this experience of living with love, appreciation, gratitude, comfort and joy.

The only true difference between any two people is the way they try to reach the sense of fulfillment we crave. We each have different upbringings, values, and ideas about what leads to a good life.

But make no mistake - a good life is what we're all after.

What Keeps Us Happy & Healthy As We Go Through Life?

Grant & Glueck

In a recent survey of millennials asking them what their most important life goals were, over 80% said that one of those goals was to get rich. Another 50% said that a major life goal was to become famous.

For over 75 years, the Grant and Glueck studies have been tracking the physical and emotional well being of two distinct groups of American males.

There was one overall question the study wanted to have answered - What keeps us healthy and happy as we go through life?

The Grant study was made up of 268 American males, all Harvard graduates in between 1939-1944. The Glueck study was composed of 456 men who grew up poor in Boston's inner cities.

The goal of the study was to examine whether any psychosocial and biological factors early in life could be identified to predict health and well-being much later in life. Every two years each participant would answer a questionnaire, the researchers would receive information from the participants' physicians (every 5 years), and many personal interviews were conducted (every 5-10 years).

The questionnaires the men received and responded to consisted of questions regarding physical and mental health, marital quality, career or retirement enjoyment, and many other aspects of their lives.

The study was conducted extremely thoroughly by generations of different researchers (due to the nature of this type of longitudinal research). They wanted to understand what factors led to healthy, long-lasting marriages, and an overall sense of fulfillment throughout life.

Among the many findings that resulted, there is one clear indication of what leads to a "good" life - and it isn't money or fame (any type of fame social or political).

Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development (of which the Grant and Glueck study is a part):

"The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period."

What's more telling is that the quantity of relationships is unimportant.

In his famous Ted Talk describing the findings of the study he stated, "It's not just the number of friends you have, and it's not whether or not you're in a committed relationship, it's the quality of your close relationships that matters."

Depth. Feeling love. Importance. Gratitude. Appreciation. These are the factors important in determining the quality of relationship and thus the quality of life.

In what is known as the longest study of adult life ever done, and what is in my eyes the most important research ever conducted, we've come up with an answer to the only question that truly matters.

One of the more interesting aspects of the findings was that at the beginning of the study, the participants largely felt that fame, wealth and high achievement were the secrets to living a good life - just like millennials believe today.

Here is what we can really take away from all of the effort that's gone into answering the question of what leads to a good life. 

  1. Social connections are extremely valuable. People that are socially connected, whether it be to a community, friends or family are simply happier, physically healthier, and they live longer.
  2. Loneliness kills. People who report being chronically lonely live shorter lives, are unhealthier throughout life, and their brain functioning declines quickly in comparison to others.
  3. Loneliness doesn't refer to whether you're constantly surrounded by people. It refers to how you feel about your relationships. You can be lonely in a marriage, and you can be lonely as the most famous or popular person in the world. It's all about how we experience are relationships that counts.
  4. Emotional pain that results from lack of relationship leads to enhanced experience of physical pain later in life. People who were happiest in their 80's reported that even where they had physical pain, it didn't necessarily detract from how happy they were. Lonelier people in their 80's felt a magnified sense of physical pain when they had it.
  5. At retirement age, finding ways to replace work relationships with personal ones leads to stability in happiness.
  6. Good relationships protect our brains. Those people who feel that they could count on someone later in life - whether it be a spouse or friends keeps their memory in tact for longer than those who feel they don't have a shoulder to lean on.

The magnitude of this research is unfathomable. I hope that anyone who reads this can just take a few minutes to question what they believe is of true importance in their life right now, and whether that vision is blinding them from what's really important.

"There isn't time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.

- Mark Twain


10 Ways To Relieve Stress | Practical Exercises You Can Do Anytime
10 ways to relieve stress

10 Ways To Relieve Stress | Practical Exercises You Can Do Anytime

Reading Time: 1.5 Minutes

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”

– Winston Churchill

What is “Stress”

Stress is emotional or mental tension we feel as a result of difficult or trying circumstances. It is a fight or flight response we exhibit in response to circumstances we’re not sure how to deal with. Stress isn’t necessarily unhealthy. There is a range of psychological tension that we call “stress.”

Low-level stress can actually help boost brain function, create a sense of resiliency in you, motivate you, enhance productivity and focus, and even provide a short-term boost in immune system functioning.

Ever been able to pump out a paper for school in just a few hours before its due? Low-level stress was a major factor in making that possible.

Chronic stress, however, is clearly unhealthy both psychologically and physically. It leads to confusion, inaction, has an actual negative physical effect on us, and ultimately can potentially result in depression and insomnia.

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This a 3-step simple action guide designed to help be happy with what you have! :heavy_check_mark:

 

10 ways to relieve stress

10 Ways To Relieve Stress Quickly & Consistently

1. Write Down What’s Stressing You Out and Why

Most of the time we’re completely illogical about whatever is making us feel stressed. Taking the time to separate from your jumbled and negative thoughts and emotions by putting them on paper will help you see more clearly that stress is not the answer.

Write and answer the following:

  1. What is the situation that’s “stressing me out?”
  2. What are the different ways I can deal with this situation?
  3. What are the possible consequences of the different courses of action I can take?
  4. Is being stressed helping or hindering my ability to deal with what I’m facing?

2. Use This Two-Minute Breathing Exercise

The idea is really to stop the flow of negativity you’re feeling by quite literally preventing your attention from focusing on it. Any exercise to stop the connection between your attention and the negativity you’re feeling will work.

Here’s an exercise for you to use:

  1. Sit in a chair and relax your body – try to see where you sense tension and let it fall (in your face, shoulders, lower back, everywhere).
  2. Take 30 very quick,  short breaths through your nostrils.
  3. On the 31st breath, take 10 deep, long breaths. In through your nostrils and out through your mouth.

3. Realize That We Usually Have Something To Be Thankful For In Stressful Situations

When we’re complaining about how much work we have to do, or juggling personal and work-life, remind yourself how blessed you are to have a family worth stressing about, and a ton of work to do to accommodate your style of living. Trying circumstances are more often than not a result of being fortunate. Remember that.

4. Get Physical

Another way to get out of our hearts and open the door to relief and the ability to face whatever is stressing us out is by getting into our bodies. Physical stimulation not only fosters a sense of positivity and happiness, but it makes it way harder for you to sit and dwell about the stress of a situation.

A walk might not be enough, but a light jog will definitely do the trick. A more physical workout is guaranteed to make you feel better about whatever it is you’re facing. Your emotions have a chance to calm down and you can then face your circumstances logically.

5. Call The Person You Trust Most In The World

Doesn’t matter if its a parent, sibling, friend teacher or psychologist. Calling the person you trust most in the world automatically reunites you with feeling connected to a safe place. If you can, try avoiding complaining about what’s stressful. Explain the situation as objectively as possible and ask for their guidance.

6. LAUGH

When I was a kid and either me or one of my brothers was sad my parents would make us stand in a circle, hold hands, and we would fake laugh. It’s pretty incredible how our fake laughing quickly turned into one of the most hilarious situations in the world. Fake laughing (especially with someone else there) WILL make you burst into genuine laughter, which reminds you that you can feel light hearted in the face of anything.

7. Take A Quick Nap

Again, this is about breaking the movement of negativity you’re feeling. We all know w hat it feels like to go to bed really upset about something and wake up in a completely different,  clear-headed mood. A quick nap will change your mood at least a little bit. Make use of it to re-boot your mindset.

8. Get logical

One of the easiest ways to relieve stress that you’ve attached to a circumstance very quickly is by getting out of your emotional  functioning and into your intellectual function.

If you think about the type of situations that “stress us out,” they usually require either deciding between alternate courses of action, taking an action you already know is necessary,  or simply thinking about future situations that haven’t even happened yet and any negative thoughts or emotions you attach to it.

Get out of your heart and into your head by reminding yourself that all you can do is make sense of the situation and do what you think is best.

For example, if you’re stressed out about having so much work to do with not enough time, use your mind to create a plan that makes sense for accomplishing the different tasks. Everything else – all the negativity is simply made up in your mind. In the end of the day all you can do is get what’s necessary done, or face the consequences of not getting it done.

When it comes to stressing out about future situations, remind yourself that you cannot possibly avoid what is inevitably going to happen. All you can do is decide the best way to deal with it and move forward.

9. Watch 3-4 Hilarious Youtube Videos

Get on youtube, look up “funny babies” or “funny puppies” and open up your heart to positivity. If you don’t feel at least a little better after watching some really funny shit, keep going until you find something that really has you bursting out in laughter.

10. Use These Affirmations

Use these specific affirmations to take control of your thoughts. Play around with them to better suit your personality and your needs, but saying these out loud to yourself is a really good way to break the chain of negativity you’re feeling.

Whether or not I feel stressed, the circumstances I’m facing already exist. 

I have no choice but to deal with anything that comes my way.

I can and will always find a way to intelligently and thoughtfully handle stressful situations. 

 


How To Have More Energy | A Guide To Defeating Energy Draining Habits
how to have more energy

How To Have More Energy | A Guide To Defeating Energy Draining Habits

Reading Time: 1.5 Minutes

If you stand on the street and just look around for a while you'll quickly find that most people genuinely look like they're just trying to get through the day. It's always a nice shock to see someone lively, with spirit and energy.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to just "get through" my days. I want to own every day with enthusiasm and zeal. I want to have the best day of my life every single day.

It's no secret that low energy levels kill our sense of passion and enthusiasm. The answer for most people is to develop a coffee addiction and ignore the real problem. Not to say that there's anything wrong with a coffee addiction, I definitely have one too.

But understanding how your energy levels are affected by the different daily habits you exhibit will provide you with a new perspective on going about your day, and may even ignite a new sense of life in you over time.

How To Have More Energy | Habits That Drain Our Energy Levels & How To Defeat Them

Everything we do requires a certain amount of energy. Every thought, physical movement and emotion requires energy to manifest. In a way you can say that all we are is energy being manifested in different forms.

On a very practical level though, we need high levels of energy to not only get through the day, but perform optimally. In order to accomplish everything we set out to do, we need to possess energy levels that allow us to stay focused and hungry for long periods of time.

The secret to maintaining high energy levels is taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Lack Of Physical Stimulation

When you don’t get physical movement, your energy levels cannot possibly be anywhere near your greatest potential. When I’m sitting in a chair all day long at work physically idle without any direct physical stimulation, you best believe that I’m going to feel lethargic as hell.

Physical stimulation doesn't necessarily mean exercise (although exercise is the best way to defeat the body's feeling energy-less), but it does require actual movement. Taking a walk once a day could do the trick. It really depends on what your levels of physical activity are generally. The more you normally workout, the more thats required for it to keep you energetic.

What's also pretty remarkable is the way our bodies learn to associate certain feelings (like "tiredness" and "lethargy") with different physical postures. If you're lacking energy on a daily basis, I'd bet a lot of money that you usually feel it around the same time, when you're doing the same activity you do every day, in the same posture you're usually in.

Here's what I mean: Most of us associate sitting up with our back straight with energy and confidence. A slouched back or laying down is associated with sleep, laziness, and tiredness. That's a very basic example, but if you open your eyes to it, you'll start to see that we have a bunch of different postures that are associated with different feelings and emotion in us.

Sometimes all it takes is standing up, stretching a little bit, and sitting differently than you were before to change your entire state (mentally and emotionally). It's a nice little trick but to sustain regularly high energy levels, actual physical stimulation for at least 15-20 minutes is necessary on a daily basis.

Think about how beautiful this idea is: When you exercise your body quite literally rewards you with happiness and energy in the form of endorphins.

Check this out if you need help creating a structured exercise routine.

 Eating Garbage Foods & Overeating Regularly

Our bodies are highly intelligent machines. They have instinctive brains that know how to differentiate between good fuel and bad fuel. Just like a car won’t run without proper oil, and runs better with certain types of oil, our body demands the best fuel to operate at its maximum possible capacity.

When we’re eating like shit we feel like shit. We’ve all experienced it countless times.

When you don't eat to the point of over-fullness, you feel light and satisfied. You know those people that have to take a nap after every meal? It's because they eat more than their body needs to feel satisfied.

Solution: You don't have to go on a crazy diet, just cut the junk food and limit carbs to some extent. Think about it like this, your body literally thanks you for taking care of it, and the way it pays you is with energy. If you start paying attention to the way your body responds to different foods, it'll obligate you to take care of it.

Daydreaming, Negative Thinking & Extreme Emotional Outbursts

Why do extreme emotional states like anger and anxiety leave us feeling tired when they pass?

We don’t think of the intellectual and emotional functions as events that drain our energy, but they may be our biggest energy wasters.

Thoughts and emotions require energy to manifest. If you think of the fact that our thoughts are constantly in motion, you start to imagine just how much of your energy is being lost in them. Daydreaming and imagination don't serve any real utility.

What's more is that negative emotions and thoughts usually come with real force. What goes up must come down. The stronger we feel an emotion, and the more that negative thoughts spin in our heads, the more energy they waste.

Solution: Meditation for even 5 minutes a day will help you separate from the constant flow of thought you experience throughout the day. You won't be quite as attached to your thoughts - they'll have less force.

Here's a guide for beginning a regular meditation practice.

Sleeping Really Late, Waking Up Really Late & Sleeping Too Much

The time we get to sleep is hugely important for our energy levels.

We don’t really think about what sleep IS, but it is a time when our functions slow down and disconnect. The thought isn’t roaming as swiftly, we’re literally immobile, and because we’re in an emotionally idle state, the whole of us is receiving a rest and re-accumulating the energy we need for the next day.

Sleeping really late simply gives you less time to sleep, and pushes you to points of exhaustion which has lasting effects for days to come. On the other end of the stick, waking up really late and getting too much sleep makes you feel REALLY tired. As odd as that sounds, we all know it because we’ve all been there.

Solution: Set a strict lights out time and decide when you’re going to wake up. You shouldn’t wake up out of necessity to get somewhere because again, the stress of waking up and rushing WASTES energy. Try to wake up with some time to relax in the morning before the madness of the day starts and you WILL feel more energy throughout the day.

Surrounding Yourself With Lazy People

You are an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If they're always tired and lack the energy they need for the day, so will you.

Solution: Make your friends aware of your need for higher energy levels (don’t make it sound weird obviously but if you explain it adequately they’ll get the point) and try to get them on board. If not, try not to spend SO MUCH time with lazier people. Obviously don’t get rid of your friends but the less time you spend with lazy and lethargic people, the more tired and exhausted you’ll feel.


Inspirational Life Quotes & Commentary To Inspire You Right Now
inspirational life quotes

Inspirational Life Quotes & Commentary To Inspire You Right Now

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Inspirational Life Quotes

Inspiration is the process of being mentally and/or emotionally stimulated to act in a certain way. When we become inspired we feel a strong need or desire to act. We know when we're inspired because we feel alive; we feel motivated.

We can be inspired by a variety of different stimuli, and we can become inspired to do almost anything.

The inspirational life quotes listed below are split into categories depending on the type of inspiration you need right now.

inspirational life quotes

Inspiration To Work Hard

"A year from now you may wish you had started today."

-Karen Lamb

We almost never regret the things we do that don't end up working out. We almost always regret the things we didn't do. And when we finally do something and find out we waited too long because it was one of the best decisions we've ever made, we always regret not having started earlier.

"Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish. The time will pass anyways."

-Earn Nightingale

Time is all we have. It is the only currency that has actual value. The space in between life and death contains the possibility of every opportunity, and every moment is one that can be made use of. We can let time pass or we can love and cherish it. Any effort put into working towards our life goals is an act of love from us to time.

"The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire, the size of your dream, and how you handle disappointment along the way."

-Robert Kiyosaki

The question is really, what do you want and how hard are you willing to work for it? Can you accept that there is no such thing as a straight path to success? Can you accept that there are no such things as "problems" or "obstacles," but rather that the path is simply different than you initially thought?

"Don't count the days. Make the days count."

Muhammad Ali

These days most people are simply waiting for the next exciting thing to happen in their life. Waiting for the weekend. Waiting for the workday to end. What the hell are you waiting for? This is your fucking life. Every moment of your life is a part of your existence. Stop waiting for what you might enjoy and find ways to enjoy right now. You want something, go out and get it NOW. The struggle, the effort, the adversity is all a part of what makes life so wonderful.

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

I love this quote because it speaks to one of the most important concepts ever thought. What we do is not important but how we do it. The way we give attention to the actions we take in our life and the circumstances of our lives determines the quality of our existence. Act with meaning, with love, and with passion.

inspirational life quotes

Inspiration To Grow

"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And can you guess what they have planned for you? Not much."

-Jim Rohn

There comes a point where we have to ask ourselves whether we're satisfied with the shape our life has taken thus far. It's only when we realize that we've been dragged along until now do we have any power over the direction we want to choose to go in.

"Go as far as you can see and you will see further."

-Zig Ziglar

If you think about that literally, its obviously true. When we understand that it applies psychologically to the way we view the world inside of ourselves is when we open up to an opportunity for growth.

"Someday is not a day of the week."

-Denise Brennan-Nelson

Who you are in this very moment is exactly who you will be in your future unless you make the decision to change RIGHT NOW. For some reason we have this completely illogical tendency to believe that the future version of us will "feel like working harder, feel like overcoming fear, feel like changing." Change right now and you alter the course of your entire life. Don't and your entire life is already pre-determined.

"The tiny seed knew that in order to grow it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered with darkness, and struggle to reach the light."

-Sandra Kring

All around us there are lessons to be learned. If you think its an accident that the natural world provides us with so many analogies of how growth happens then you need to start looking harder.

"Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."

-Joshua J. Marine

When we remember to accept over and over that accomplishment feels good precisely because we worked hard to make it happen is when we'll stop letting obstacles stop us from taking action.

inspirational life quotesInspiration To Conquer Your Fears

"Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor."

-Truman Capote

Without failure, success cannot possibly exist. Everything in life has an opposite. Stop seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. Accept life on all of its terms, and then work to expand your sense of who you are. When we fall in love with breaking through barriers of comfort we'll understand that we can realize limitless growth.

"What we fear doing most is usually most what we need to do."

-Tim Ferris

Are you happy with who you are? Do you have ideas for the person you envision yourself being ideally? The person you want to be needs YOU to do what you're currently unwilling to face.

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."

-Herman Melville

All around us we're being told what's right and wrong. Family, society, friends... everyone has their own ideas about life. Listening to everyone else's beliefs instills fear in us to be different. You have one opportunity at this life. Stop accepting who you think you should be and find out who you want to be.

"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain."
-Frank Herbert

Fear is an imaginary mental construct. Our brains instinctively seek pleasure and attempt to avoid pain and discomfort. Stop accepting thoughts that come with fear. Understand that you don't have to believe in all of your thoughts. Your actions can change your beliefs about fear.

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."

-Dale Carnegie

When you stop letting your automatic thoughts about fear control your actions you realize that you had nothing to be afraid of in the first place. Stare fear in the face and shut it up by not letting it control you.

inspirational life quotes

Inspiration To Treat Others With Kindness

If we wait for the world and the people in it to be kind to us for us to decide to be kind to others then we'll never understand one of life's most important lessons. Kindness, love and gratitude are universal remedies for just about anything. You put out what you see, and you see what you put out. Being kind when others are kind is easy. You show up in the way you act when confronted with a lack of kindness.

"Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness."

-George Sand

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate."

-Albert Schweitzer

"One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others' feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others' weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all -- to the aged and the young, to animals, to those low of station as well as the high."

-Ezra Taft Benson

"There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity."

-Nathaniel Branden

"A human being is part of the whole called by us 'universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

-Albert Einstein


Why Self-Education Is The Key To Success
education is the key to success

Why Self-Education Is The Key To Success

Reading Time: 1.5 Minutes

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one learned in school."

- Albert Einstein

Self-education refers to learning in its purest form. It is taking on the task of gaining knowledge and insight for the sake of one's own benefit. In adulthood there's no curriculum holding us accountable to learning and advancing ourselves in life or our careers. Whether we put in the time to become experts in our field is left up to us. Whether we ask ourselves what's important in life and how to go about learning to develop ourselves in a way that will be truly satisfying is left up to us alone.

What Does "Success" Really Mean?

There is no static or uniform definition of "success." We each have an absolutely unique understanding of what it would mean to have lived a successful life. We may want financial success, relationship success, spiritual success, success in making real developments in the field we work in, all of the above, or anything else we think is important to living happily in a way that makes us content.

The only way to define "success" objectively is the following:

  1. Setting a goal,
  2. Pursuit of that goal,
  3. Achievement of that goal.

If I succeed at something, it is because I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish, I worked to make it happen, and ultimately, the goal I had in mind when I started came to fruition.

Why Self-Education Is The Key To Success

If I haven't been clear enough, when I say "success," I'm not only referring to financial success. Financial success is one aspect of living the lives we want. Nevertheless, successful living is about continuing to develop our capacity for creating the lives we dream about.

When we get out of school, whether we drop out of high school, finish college or end up with a PHD, its a huge mistake to think that our education is complete.

Formal education gives us the tools we need to become life-long learners, but continued learning gives us the tools to become life-long doers.

Start Asking The Right Questions

The real question we have to ask ourselves is whether we're doing the learning that is required of us to achieve the successful lives we want?

What's standing in between us and the achievement of any life-goals we have are:

  1. Knowledge
  2. The understanding we need to use the knowledge we have to adequately pursue our goal.

How you gain the necessary knowledge and understanding starts with asking yourself the right questions.

Self-education means to stop accepting who you already are and start living in a way that embodies who you want to become. 

Take a moment to look at your life.

Are you happy? Are you healthy? Do you have as much money as you want? Do you have fulfilling relationships? Are there aspects of yourself you would like to develop and work on? Are you satisfied with the quality of your life?

If the answer to any of these questions is no,  are you doing anything to push towards any of these goals?

If the answer to THAT is no, then you need to accept that nothing is ever going to change.

If the answer to that is yes, awesome. Is your strategy working?

If your strategy is working, keep pushing.

If your strategy isn't working, why not? How can you alter your strategy to be more "successful?"

These types of questions are ultimately the only ones that let us see the gap in between who we are and who we want to be. And they're the same questions that allow us to question how to fill that space.

Start Looking For Answers

Once you've narrowed in on what's missing in your life, pursuit of filling those gaps is the next step.

Three important considerations here:

  1. Circumstances are irrelevant
  2. Books are your best friend
  3. Developing willpower is a huge part of self-education

Why Circumstances Are Irrelevant

What you have, where you are right now and what you've accomplished is of no importance. Life isn't some race that has a finish line. The only end goals are those which you see a need for. It really doesn't matter what resources you have access to.

It's a beautiful thing to realize that you can improve and advance no matter where you currently stand. The only requirement is faith in yourself, and pursuit of what you think will enhance the quality of your life.

Why Books Are Your Best Friend

If you don't give your mind new food to chew on and decide what's important to digest or spit out then you can't expect your thoughts or actions to change.

Every single question you have has been in answered in a book somewhere. Self-education is a two-step process that includes learning and acting on that knowledge to see what works for you. Learning requires you to open up your mind through the help of those who came before you.

Here's a list of 100 books related to different self-help topics.

Why Developing Willpower Is So Important

Nobody holds a gun to your head to help you do the things you think are important.

It doesn't matter how much you know if you don't have the will necessary to actively pursue your goals.

Understand this: Good and bad only exist in relation to aim. Whatever helps you push towards any of your goals is GOOD. Whatever hinders you in light of your goals is BAD. Make use of that idea to motivate you.

We easily fool ourselves into justifications for being lazy and making excuses. We can't lie to our goals. We either take action to pursue them or we let them die and accept who we are.

Like life, there is no linear aspect of self-education.

It comes with learning through reading, and experience through trying. Ultimately, you are responsible for your life. The road is windy, bumpy, and there are an infinite number of red lights and stop signs.

Self-education is about asking the right questions to pinpoint to what's lacking in your life, understanding and learning about the different ways to fill the holes, and acting on that knowledge. 

So think about what it is your missing in life - what's standing in between you as you are and what you imagine as a "successful" life for yourself.

Is there ANYTHING more important than educating yourself in a way that let's you create that life?


Dream It | Do It
dream it | do it

Dream It | Do It

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Once upon a time a baby was born. When this baby was born, his mother and father were massacred. Luckily for this baby, a herd of sheep happened to walk by soon after. One of the sheep in the herd came to the isolated baby and whispered "bahaaa, bahaa." The baby followed with the herd and soon after was one of the herd.

Then one day a group of tigers came to pass these sheep and slaughtered all of them.

The baby, now a grown animal stood there repeating all he had ever been taught, "bahaa, bahaa." This animal in absolute shock had his entire herd murdered and he whimpered waiting for his death when one of the tigers grabbed him by the neck and pulled him to a nearby river.

The now enormous animal looked in the water and saw his reflection for the first time. He looks and sees that he isn't a sheep. This tiger still dazed and confused doesn't know what to do.

The other tigers that had just murdered his herd forced this tiger to eat his brethren. And then something magical happened. The tiger felt something inside of him so strong, a power he had never experienced which has lived in him his whole life.

And the tiger Roared.

*This story is paraphrased from a documentary I watched about a Tony Robbins seminar. 

Dream It | Do It

Why We're Confused About What We Want

We don't choose who are parents are before we're born. We don't choose the body we're going to inhabit throughout life. We don't choose whether we're born into money or poverty. Whether we'll have siblings or be an only child. We don't choose the values that we'll be raised with.

All of these things were chosen for us or were purely chance (depending on what you believe). And as we grow older, we are raised with certain values, beliefs and prejudices. Our parents do their best to raise us and mold us into what they believe is a valuable individual. Formal education and schooling tells us what's important to learn and understand. We learn from our friends what's cool and what isn't.

All around us from the moment we're born, we're subject to thousands of influences from the people and places we happen to be born into.

These influences tell us what it means to be successful (everyone has a different idea of it), the difference between good and bad (everyone has a different idea of it), how to feel  in response to different situations,  what to believe in. And the truth is that no matter who you are or where you're from, you have been subject to all of these influences from your first moments of life.

And then comes adult age. The "responsible" age during which we're expected to find jobs, start and raise families of our own...

At one point (or many points) throughout life many of us feel confused about what we want.

On top of that, when we ask ourselves what's really important, we're confused about how to go about answering the question.

Without ever suspecting it, we have been told how and what to think, feel, strive for and dream about our entire lives and when we finally realize that we're not sure what we want, we have difficulty opening up because its questionable whether we've ever thought for ourselves.

But there is a way out of this cycle of conformism.

Dream It.

Once you realize that you ACTUALLY have a choice about the life you end up living, a beautiful opportunity opens up.

The only important question each of us has to ask ourselves is, "What can I do with my life that might lead to a sense of satisfaction at the end of it all?"

There is nothing, absolutely nothing more important than asking ourselves what we want out of life and whether our actions conform to our dreams.

So the first step in this process of truly growing up is asking yourself what you want and why.

The reason its so important to question your answer (provide a "why") about the life you want to live is that we often find we're not exactly sure about the reason for our answer.

The result is an opportunity to actually face the question with honesty, and an acceptance of our actually not knowing what we want.

When we can become honest with ourselves and see past our typical responses to what's important to us in our lives, we tend to really start looking for truth and honesty that helps us answer the question.

Only by being honest with ourselves can we begin to really form a conception about a life that's worth dreaming about.

Do It.

When you question what's really important to you and why, you might be surprised by the answers. You may or may not actually care about making a ton of money. You may or may not want to be famous. You may or may not care about having children.

The answers you come to aren't nearly as important as whether your actions conform to what you believe is important - what you dream about.

The most frustrating thing in life is consistently doing things that don't conform to our idea of what's important. 

You can literally live ANY life you want. You can LITERALLY do WHATEVER you want provided you believe you genuinely want it, and you actively strive to have it.

Limitations are almost always mental constructs we believe in only because we rarely question or struggle against them.

Again, honesty with yourself is the key.

Do your actions conform to your sincere dreams?

Which actions do, and which don't?

What can you change about the way that live your life that might lead to fulfilling your conception of what a dream life would be?


How To Be Happy With What You Have
how to be happy with what you have

How To Be Happy With What You Have

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

– Frederick Keonig

What is happiness?

We all know the sensation of it in our bodies. We know what it feels like to be in a state of happiness. We understand the difference between being happy, and being in an altogether different state. We crave its presence and feel we deserve its existence in our lives.

But what exactly is it?

Some things in life are simply undefinable, unexplainable without using subjectivity to support an understanding of them.

We all have ideas about the things that “make” us happy.

For some, happiness results from spending time with family. For others, happiness is the result of contributing to society. For many others, happiness comes from sitting at home relaxing with a book or watching TV.

What’s more is that the things that make us happy are not static. What once made us happy in the past may not create the same feeling in us now. If we’re really being honest, what made us happy 5 minutes ago might not even touch us in the same way now.

If happiness is what we crave, the questions we have to try and answer are whether we can cultivate happiness – this unexplainable feeling we each intimately have come to know, and how we can achieve its presence in our lives regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This a 3-step simple action guide designed to help be happy with what you have! ✔

how to be happy with what you have

How To Be Happy With What You Have

Step One: Stop defining what has to happen for you to be happy 

One of the main reasons we don’t maintain a stable sense of that unexplainable feeling we all so deeply want to feel the presence of in our lives is the fact that we continuously condition it upon things happening in our lives.

By the very act of saying and living as if you will be happy when some event or circumstance appears in your life, you are creating a distinction between being happy and not being happy that becomes an absolute reality.

Have you ever noticed how young children don’t need anything to make them feel joyful?

Everyone has basic needs that have to be met in order to create the possibility of overall well-being. Babies cry when they need their diapers changed, when they’re hungry, when they feel pain, when they need warmth, etc.

Outside of these basic needs, feeling happy – content – satisfied  –  is a state that is characterized only by subjective ideas about what it is.

As we grow up we’re taught through imitation and suggestion by others that happiness is something we should crave. We don’t see that by the very act of craving something, we create an actual lack of whatever it is we say we want.

So long as I identify circumstances in which I will be happy, I cannot cultivate a sense of content with where I am in life. I will forever be chasing the very thing I crave.

Step Two: Become Happiness

“If you ask a tree how he feels to know that he’s spreading his fragrance and making people happy, I don’t think a tree looks at it that way. I am just like that, and it is just my nature to be like this.”
― Sadhguru

Happiness is a way of life. It is an attitude.

I want you to think about your current situation, the circumstances that surround your life in this moment. Now think about everything you think of as “good” or “bad” in your life.

Here’s the very simple truth.

You are exactly the way you look at the events that are occurring in your life. The way you see a circumstance as good or bad, as beautiful or ugly, is who you are. That is the true secret to finding yourself, and to transforming your entire reality.

We take for granted that we know ourselves.

In reality, we are how we give our attention to the things that happen in our lives.

There are always multiple ways of looking at something, and we each bring a different type of attention to the discussion of any given topic. The fact that we each have differing viewpoints about what brings happiness is direct proof of this. All we share in terms of what happiness means is the common feeling and sensation that comes with the word.

Some of the ways we bring attention that rob us of feeling happy are:

  • Comparing ourselves with others
  • Choosing to see what’s bad about a situation rather than the potential for learning from it
  • Thinking about how things could be better rather than worse
  • Dwelling on past events we identify with negatively

Becoming the happiness you seek is about understanding what type of attention you bring and realizing that there is a possibility of transforming your relationship to the things that happen in your life. It is a real work, it isn’t something you turn on and have it be present forever. Bringing an attitude of happiness to your situation requires constant effort, constantly remembering that you ARE your attitude.

But ultimately, if happiness is the thing we all say we want, what’s more important than working towards it?

Step Three: Understanding That What Goes Up Must Come Down

The third aspect of cultivating an attitude of happiness within yourself stems from an understanding of one of the truths about life. Nothing is permanent. Nothing is fixed. Things are always evolving and degenerating both outside of us and inside of us.

Accepting that our emotional states aren’t constant, but rather are continuously changing is one of the keys to staying separated from the consequences that come with all negative emotions.

If you can begin to faithfully understand that life flows in a pattern characterized by movement upwards and downwards, you can learn to find a balance and happiness in this complete movement of change that is always happening inside of you.

Simply remembering that feeling hopeless, lonely, angry, frustrated, anxious, and sad are never permanent because life is always changing and how we feel about life is always changing is the only healthy method for staying separated from negativity that we feel.

Life is too short to waste it with an attitude that hurts. Choose to see beauty and opportunity in everything that comes your way, regardless of your circumstances, and you will become the very happiness you want to feel. 

You have everything you need to be happy right now. 


Better Monday Habits: How To Break Your Negative Connection With Monday Mornings
better monday habits

Better Monday Habits: How To Break Your Negative Connection With Monday Mornings

Reading Time: 2.5 Minutes

That awful moment when you hear the sound of your alarm at 8:00 a.m. and the dreadful feeling of actually having stuff to do casts its veil over your entire world. Ugh, it’s Monday.

A change of perspective

The truth is, it’s quite sad that Monday morning is such a dread for most of us. The majority of our week consists of well, Monday through Friday. The fact that we’re so opposed to Monday morning is concrete evidence of our eagerly waiting Friday afternoon to arrive so we can get just a few days of “peace.” What is it about those awful things called weekdays that we’re so against?

If we each take a second to answer that question with some sincerity, we quickly come to the conclusion that…maybe we’re not as happy and excited about our lives as we think.

Think about it.

If you were utterly happy with your life, wouldn’t the moment of waking up to this beautiful world you live in with all the opportunity embedded in it to make the most of your existence on this planet be the best part of the day, every day?

Wouldn’t you love being awake more than you love being asleep? Wouldn’t you finally reach that truthful conclusion you know in your heart that the snooze button might actually be your worst enemy and waking up to get mentally, physically and emotionally ready for the week every Monday morning would significantly enhance the quality of your life?

Better Monday Habits: How To Break Your Negative Connection With Monday Mornings

The root of the problem

The real issue with Mondays has nothing to do with Mondays themselves—but rather the way we associate with the beginning of the week. For most of us, Monday signifies obligations, the need to satisfy others, the lack of time to simply be lazy, the lack of opportunity to do something we might “actually want to do.” We associate Monday with so much negativity that we literally wait all day for it to end until we can see the light of Friday afternoon start to make its appearance.

So how does one change the way they think so that they might actually look forward to the beginning of the week?

It begins with a proper Monday routine.

Step One: Ignoring that negative voice in your head

We all have one. “I’m so annoyed I have this meeting… I really don’t want to see that person today… wow I’m exhausted… I wish I didn’t have to go to work… how am I supposed to get everything I need to done today… I’m thirsty…I shouldn’t have drank all that wine last night… I can’t wait till tonight.”

As soon as that voice kicks in with the never-ending stream of complaints about all the negative associations you have with Mondays, it is absolutely imperative to take a second to gather yourself.

The difficulty is that we usually think we’re the ones “thinking” our own complaints about just how big of a dread the morning is, but the truth is that no active thought really goes into it whatsoever. We open our eyes and the associations start running in our minds without any decision on our part. So long as we take those automatic, negative associations to be the product of our own choosing, we’re subject to whatever we happen to feel the moment we get up.

Here’s the solution.

When that voice starts running with all its glorified negativity, you have to make an effort to insert conscious action in its place. One way to do this is to literally scream at the top of your lungs, only you do it in your head and not out loud with your mouth. It instantly stops the flow of automatic thought and gives you a chance to make a true decision about how you want to approach the morning and your day.

To really begin to break the negative connection you have with Mondays, there has to be a process of re-wiring the way you think. It’s necessary to ignore the negative associations that appear the moment you open your eyes, and to make an effort to replace them with what might lead to a positive association with the morning. Take just one moment to place yourself in the situation you find yourself in. You’re at home, you’re awake, you have some tasks to do for the day, but who on earth doesn’t. You don’t have to hate the day you’re about to have. It might end up being the best day of your life.

Step Two: A moment to appreciate your life—Your “first world” problems

I hate to have to say it, but the way we approach Mondays – the thousands of memes that are posted every week by people all around the world making jokes about how bad it sucks, the constantly waiting for it to end, the hours of imagining what we’d be doing if only if weren’t Monday—is the epitome of a “first world problem.”

The fact that we have such luxurious lives so as to be enable us to have complaints about what day of the week it is and have the time to sit and imagine what incredible activities we could be doing if only it were Saturday, makes the thought of complaining about the quality of our lives just a little bit sad.

We all do it.

Life is all relative. No matter what we have, we each find a way to complain about something.

But you can begin to associate positively with Mondays by taking time, immediately after you get up and ignore that voice in your head spewing out negativity, to appreciate what you do have.

This job you’re dreading going to—is an opportunity people would die for—no matter what your job is.

These screaming kids you have to take care of—are the best thing that ever happened to you.

The classes you’re about to go sit in and learn about—can provide you with knowledge for the rest of your life.

That coffee you’re about to wait 15 minutes in line for—is a luxury.

No matter who you are, what you do, or where you live, I promise you have no lack of what to be appreciative of in your life. Start your week by taking a few minutes every Monday morning to be appreciative for the day to come, and the way you associate with the beginning of the week will begin to change on its own.

Step Three: Do something you love

Another important habit to add to your Monday routine is your absolute favorite activity.

Mondays, for whatever reason, are difficult. It isn’t in your imagination.

One of the easiest ways to change the way you associate with Mondays is by inserting an activity that you genuinely love doing into your day. Whether it’s a morning hike, watching a night-time movie, going on a date, having a glass of wine with a book open isn’t important. If you have an activity that you look forward to specifically on Mondays, Mondays won’t be quite as awful.

To Conclude:

We spend fourteen percent of our lives on Mondays.

It’s a full day that most of us have written off as “difficult, annoying, frustrating, upsetting,” for what could be the rest of our lives if we don’t change the way we think.

It’s an entire day that signifies the start of our opportunity to make what we want of this life—that we give some negative label to and live by it.  Whether we do it jokingly through memes or we actually, genuinely hate our lives when that alarm rings on Monday morning, the way we approach a week, a day, or a given moment is extremely powerful.

When we give Monday a label and decide that the contents of that label are an “absolute truth,” we give up the power we have to approach life with what could be creativity, positive thoughts and love for ourselves and our lives.

Start taking steps to change the way you associate with Mondays by ignoring the negative voice in your head that shows up on Monday mornings, taking time to appreciate what you usually complain about, and planning your favorite activity on Mondays.


How To Love Your Neighbor As Yourself
how to love your neighbor as yourself

How To Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

Reading Time: 2.5 Minutes

"Love your neighbor as yourself" is a commandment that shows up in every major religious text in some form or another. To put into perspective just how important this commandment is with regards to the Bible, it is repeated eight times.

As children we're taught the  "golden rule" - treat others the way you want to be treated.

What does this commandment, this truth, really mean? How can we learn to fulfill it in our every day lives to enhance the quality of both the world around us, and our own experience in it?

How To Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

The first, and most obvious thought that comes to mind when trying to understand the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself is that we must be kind to one another. But I believe that if we want to truly learn how to love the world around us and everyone in it the way we love ourselves, we first have to answer a different question.

How do I love myself? 

Without knowing whether and how to love and be kind to ourselves, we can't help but have difficulty loving others the same way. We usually take the idea of "loving ourselves" to refer to this imaginary concept of how we'd treat ourselves if we were separated from ourselves, but still experienced life as "who we are."

What most of us fail to realize is that we ARE in constant relationship with ourselves. Unfortunately that relationship is usually characterized by constant judging of oneself, talking to oneself negatively, and putting all of our time and energy into what other people think about us.

The way we treat others more or less mirrors the way we treat ourselves in the world that each of us, and only us, experiences personally within our own reality.

We each experience life on two different levels.

On the level of the outside world, we're taking action, making decisions, dealing with other people, becoming professionals, supporting our families, etc.

But inside of ourselves, we each have this wholly unique experience of the things, the events that are happening in our lives. No two people judge the same experience identically. No two people interpret outside information the same way. Even if two lives were identical, no two people have the same conversation in their head throughout the day.

If we can transform our relationship with ourselves to one of kindness, acceptance, and love, we will inevitably begin to love our neighbors with the same quality.

how to love your neighbor as yourselfLearning To Love Myself

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

We're much less kind inside of ourselves than we imagine we would be if we were separated from ourselves. We often expect the outside world to conform to our needs and desires, but it's questionable whether we properly satisfy our own needs.

Learning to love ourselves takes constant effort to see how exactly we treat this internal relationship we have - our personal experience of the lives we're each living. We often think there's something "wrong" with us when we act differently than we wish to in our lives - when we procrastinate, when we don't follow through on the things we say we want, when we "disappoint" others, when we feel any "negative" emotion.

Loving ourselves must first come from an acceptance of being a human.

Part of being human is experiencing this whole spectrum of feeling, of positive and negative thoughts. We need to be able to tell the difference so that we can hopefully decide for ourselves what is worthwhile and what isn't.

The first step towards letting go of what weighs you down is recognizing it.

Once we accept that there is a range of emotion, thought, and physical sensation that we're going to come into contact with, transforming our internal experience of life becomes about beginning this process of discarding what is unnecessary to enhance the quality of each of our experiences.

Through this process of recognizing that we are in relationship to ourselves, and that the quality of that relationship can be altered by seeing how we treat ourselves, we may learn just what it means to "love myself."

how to love your neighbor as yourselfLearning To Love Others

"Be one who nurtures and who builds. Be one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart, who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them. If we could look into each others hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently."

- Marvin J. Ashton

Learning to truly love and accept others is very similar to the process of transforming your relationship with yourself.

The same way that we have to accept that we are human and we each have this internal life in which we can be more kind to ourselves, we have no choice to accept that each and every person living on this planet has a life that is just as real to them as yours is to you.

There's a truth that I came across that radically transformed the way I behave in relationship to others.

Nobody has ever, in the history of time done anything that believed was the WRONG thing to do.

Take a moment to digest that. Have we ever in our lives done something because we thought, at the moment, that it was the exact opposite of the right thing to do?

Every decision we make, every action we take, every word we say doesn't always seem perfect in hindsight. In fact, our minds almost always make them wrong in hindsight. But at the moment that we act, we believe that we are doing and behaving in terms of what is "right" to us.

The only difference between any two people is the way they experience the events that are happening in their lives.

So the next time you want to judge yourself or anyone else, remember this.

We all have expectations. We all have problems. We all have desires. We all crave love and relationship. We all have places to go. We all have a need to feel as if we're contributing to the world.

We're all doing our best.

If you can remember this, and understand that you always act and behave in terms of what makes the most sense in the moment, you can truly begin to love yourself. 

And if you can remember that if you were anyone else you'd behave exactly as they do, you can begin to love your neighbor as yourself. 


Quick, Intense, & Equipment-Less Daily Workout Routines
daily workout routines

Quick, Intense, & Equipment-Less Daily Workout Routines

Reading Time: 2.5 Minutes

No time? No equipment? No money for a gym membership?

No problem.

There are a number of different daily workout routines you can do anytime, any place to get the toned, fit look we all crave. The only things you need are a body, either a towel or t-shirt, and a timer.

daily workout routines

Daily Workout Routines

Routine #1:

Duration: 5-7 minutes per round; 4-5 rounds

Consists of: Warmup, simulated pull-ups, squats, crunches, high-knees, in and out push-ups, and plank.

Warmup:

Duration: 1 minute

Goal: Just to loosen your body up a little bit, take 30 seconds to just jump around and shake out any tension you may be having. The goal is to move around and get blood circulation flowing throughout the body to get it ready for the workout. After the 30 seconds is up, do jumping jacks for 30 seconds.

Simulated Pull-ups:

Duration: 30 seconds

Goal: Target upper back and arms (biceps).

  • Grab your towel or a t-shirt.
  • Stand up straight holding the towel high above your head with both hands.
  • Try to literally rip the towel apart with your hands and maintain that flexing intensity throughout the exercise.
  • Lower the towel down to your shoulders (hands as close to shoulders as possible) by bending your elbows as if you we're doing an actual pull-up.
  • Repeat the same motion upwards and downwards while trying to rip the towel apart.

*15-20 second rest

Squats:

Duration: 30 seconds

Goal: Target quads, hamstrings, and butt.

  • Aim your toes straight ahead while standing shoulder-with apart (if you need to, spread your legs for comfort).
  • Bend your knees down with your back straight.
  • Your knees should ideally not pass beyond where your toes are located in front of your body. The motion is supposed to be straight up and down with your knees staying as bar behind your toes as possible.
  • On the way down, get as low as you can without feeling any pain or discomfort.
  • Repeat the motion up and down.

*15-20 second rest

Crunches:

Duration: 30 seconds

Goal: Target abdominal muscles

  • Lie on the floor with your feet on the ground, knees off the ground.
  • Put your hands behind your head.
  • Bend upwards towards your knees without using your lower back for the motion.
  • You really only want to be using your abdominal muscles by focusing on using the upper half of your upper body.

*15-20 second rest

In and Out Push-Ups:

Duration: 30 seconds

Goal: Target chest and shoulders

  • Lay on the floor with your face and chest towards the ground.
  • Lift yourself up off the floor with your hands so that they're straight and holding your body off the ground.
  • Make sure your entire body is in a straight line.
  • Look straight ahead.
  • Bend your arms so that your chest almost touches the floor, and push yourself back up.
  • Alternate the push-ups with first a WIDE grip (hands very far apart from each other), and then a NARROW grip (hands very close to each other)

If doing ordinary push-ups is difficult for you, you can lay your knees on the ground and do the same upper body motion.

High Knees:

Duration: 30 seconds

Goal: Get your heart beat up

  • Place your hands flat in front of you either at the level of your waist or a little bit higher than your waist.
  • Pretend you're running in place, with the goal of hitting your hands with your knees, one after the other.

*15-20 second rest

Plank:

Duration: 30 seconds - 1 minute

Goal: Target core

  • Lie flat on the floor with your face towards the ground.
  • Lift yourself up to a push-up position.
  • Place both forearms on the ground so that your elbows and wrists are on the floor rather than your hands.
  • Make sure your back is straight and aligned with the rest of your body.
  • Hold the position for the duration of the exercise without letting your back cave in towards the floor, or bending upwards to the sky.

*1-2 minute rest and repeat the entire routine 2-4 more times

daily workout routinesRoutine #2:

Duration: 6-8 minutes per round; 3-4 rounds

Consists of: Warmup, towel-snatches, prayers (don't laugh, it burns), jumps, one-armed planks, flexing your entire upper body, and pushups.

Warmup:

Duration: 1 minute

Goal: Just to loosen your body a little bit, take 30 seconds to just jump around a little bit and shake out any tension you may be having. The goal is to move around and get blood circulation flowing throughout the body to get it ready for the workout. After the 30 seconds is up, do jumping jacks for 30 seconds.

Towel-Snatches:

Duration: 30 seconds

Goal: Target shoulders and trapezius muscles

  • Grab your towel or t-shirt.
  • Get in a squat position - feet straight out in front of you with your knees bent and your back straight.
  • Hold the towel in both hands, and pretend you're trying to rip it apart throughout the exercise.
  • Start with your knees bent, holding the towel at the level of your knees.
  • EXPLODE upwards while trying to rip the towel apart and bringing your arms as high above your head as possible while holding them straight out. Don't bend your elbows at all.
  • Repeat the same explosive motion until time is up.

*15-20 second rest

Prayers: I know it sounds funny, but this one is an absolute killer.

Duration: 30 seconds

Goal: Target chest, shoulder and arms

  • Stand up with your knees slightly bent.
  • Put your hands together in a praying position with your elbows pointing out towards your sides.
  • Throughout the exercise you want to be pushing your hands together as hard as you possibly can to really get the full burn.
  • Slowly move your hands outward so that your arms straighten out while still together and pushing against each other as hard as possible.
  • Bring your hands towards back towards your chest and repeat the same motion.

*15-20 second rest

Jumps:

Duration: 30 seconds

Goal: Get your heart beat up

  • Jump for 30 seconds straight while trying to raise your legs as high off the ground as you possibly can.

One-armed planks:

Duration: 30 seconds - 1 minute

Goal: Target core

  • Lie flat on the floor with your face towards the ground.
  • Lift yourself up to a push-up position.
  • Spread your legs apart so that they look like two equal sides of a triangle.
  • Put one arm behind your back while leaving the other on the floor.
  • Hold the position for 15-30 seconds.
  • Switch arms, and hold the position for 15-30 seconds.
  • This is a really hard one. If you're having difficulty, stick with ordinary plank described above in Routine #1.

*15-20 second rest

Flex:

Duration: 30 seconds

Goal: Light your entire upper body on FIRE!

  • Stand up with your knees slightly bent.
  • Put your hands in a fist for purposes of intensity.
  • Flex every muscle you have in your upper body - forearms, arms, shoulders, chest, abs, back all at the same time.
  • Hold the intensity until time is up.

*15-20 second rest

Push-Ups:

Duration: Do as many as you can

Goal: Target chest and shoulders

  • Lay on the floor with your face and chest towards the ground.
  • Lift yourself up off the floor with your hands so that they're straight and holding your body off the ground.
  • Make sure your entire body is in a straight line.
  • Look straight ahead.
  • Bend your arms so that your chest almost touches the floor, and push yourself back up.

If doing ordinary push-ups is difficult for you, you can lay your knees on the ground and do the same upper body motion.

*1 minute rest and repeat the entire routine 2-3 more times

I guarantee that if you doing either of these routines, you will be sweating throughout, your muscles will be sore as hell and you'll have done it all in under 40 minutes.

No more excuses.

Have fun ;).


Lacking Self-esteem? Here's How To Get More Confidence
how to get more confidence

Lacking Self-esteem? Here's How To Get More Confidence

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”

– Malcolm S. Forbes

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This is a super simple action guide designed to help you create a to-do list you’ll love! ✔

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is a completely subjective and wholly personal valuation of one’s own abilities and worth. It’s a personal reality within ourselves in which we determine how much self-respect we deserve – by our own standards.

Self-esteem isn’t static.

Our valuation of our capabilities is continuously ascending and descending along a spectrum of relativityEven the people you encounter that seem extremely confident in themselves have moments of doubt and self-pity.

To re-phrase the definition for purposes of clarity:

Self-esteem is a perpetually changing reality in which we either believe in, or lack belief in how valuable we are.

The Problem With Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is an inherently flawed concept.

Because to properly evaluate your own self-worth – to question how valuable you really are, you need to have the ability to view yourself and your capabilities objectively.

Here’s an illustration to vivify the issue: A person who has absolutely nothing in their life besides family and a place to sleep can have an abundance of self-esteem whereas a rocket-scientist who has everything he ever dreamt of could have a very low valuation of themselves.

As an outsider, we’d naturally think that someone who has “accomplished” great feats in their life would hold themselves in considerably high regard. The reality is that we’re the ones defining what qualities, characteristics and actions are worthy of esteem, which aren’t, and whether or not we’re living up to them.

The difference between my self-esteem and your self-esteem has nothing to do with what each of us has accomplished in our lives.

If I have a positive association with my life and my ability, regardless of what that ability and potential actually is, I have self-esteem.

By contrast, it doesn’t matter whether I’ve cured cancer, made 10 trillion dollars, or created products used by people all around the world. Not at all.

We lack self-esteem because we each subjectively project an image of self-worth that we’re not meeting. In a way we “choose” to create a gap between ourselves and the version of us that would be worthy of esteem.

We don’t realize that self-esteem is a state of mind, and not the consequence of direct actions or accomplishment, so we perpetually distance ourselves from the image we project.

As long as we think we need to be someone we’re not in order to believe in ourselves, and we subjectively believe we don’t have the traits or characteristics that we imagine, we’re creating a gap that we cannot possibly fill.

how to get more confidence

Lacking Self-Esteem? Here’s How To Get More Confidence

Low self-esteem has empirically been proven to be correlated with fear of failure, lack of a growth mindset, and a tendency to dramatize and view life events as negative. It’s correlated with making things a bigger deal than they are in reality. High self-esteem on the other hand is empirically linked with an eye towards growth and improvement.

In this way, self-esteem plays a large role not in who we are, but who we’re willing to become based on our views of the world and ourselves.

Step One: Realizing When & How You Condition Your Self-Esteem

“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”
– Stacey Charter

The first step to moving towards the confidence end of the spectrum of self-esteem is becoming present to those moments in which you’re unconsciously conditioning your self-esteem on the happening of some event or acquiring of some quality or outcome.

What this means is that you have to become aware of the fact that you are in constant relationship to yourself. 

You have no choice but to start seeing the way you talk to yourself in moments you feel a lack of self-esteem. What are you telling yourself?

The goal is to see what you’re “attaching” your own self-worth to, to see just how you’re limiting the way you view yourself.

Here’s a personal example: 

I work out a lot. For the majority of the year I’m very happy with the way my body looks and it provides me with confidence and is a positive source of self-esteem.

But as a result, I’ve attached a part of my own valuation of myself to the way I subjectively feel my body looks. What happens is that in those times during the year where I can’t get to the gym as often, my valuation of myself diminishes. I find myself more negative in general and feel as if I’m less capable than I usually think I am.

By conditioning my own value on the way I look (remember, this is just one small example), I’m creating a gap between the version of me that deserves a high valuation, and the one that doesn’t.

It’s completely arbitrary. 

I combat this self-defeating, unconscious attachment of my worth to my body by seeing how I talk to myself when I feel that my body doesn’t look great. I realize what I’m doing in limiting my positive emotions towards my own confidence, which provides me with the perspective I need to have confidence in myself again.

Step Two: Avoid Inner Consideration of What You Imagine Other’s Are Thinking

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay

Our self-esteem isn’t only attached to what we subjectively believe is worthy of high regard. It’s also attached to how we subjectively believe others view us.

Internal consideration is a phrase that speaks to the fact that we’re constantly considering internally what we imagine everyone else thinks, has thought, or will think about the person we are.

Although sometimes necessary and natural, inner consideration of what we imagine other people think of our qualities, characteristics and actions is one of the easiest ways to lose confidence in ourselves. When we attach or condition our self-worth to what we “imagine” others think, we’re creating naturally destructive barrier to having confidence.

More often than not, we’re not merely curious what other people think.

We worry about it.

We fear it.

We tell ourselves that we’re not living up to whatever we imagine we need others to think of us in order to feel confident.

It’s one of the major causes of self-defeating thoughts that end up in a lower valuation of ourselves.

Step Three: Learning To Love All of Yourself

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Life is a process.

It’s a process that proceeds externally in the things we do, and internally in the way we’re experiencing it. Every moment we exist on this planet we’re in relationship to the outside world, but more importantly, in relationship to ourselves.

The difference in the experience of life between me, you, or anyone else living in this world is our internal reality in response to the events that are happening. 

The events happening in each of our lives aren’t important. What’s important is the VALUE OF OUR EXPERIENCE. Value of experience defines the quality of our lives.

Low self-esteem, which results through conditioning our own value on outside events or people is an internal experience we all deal with. 

But the beauty of life is that we each have an opportunity to grow and gain confidence through simply seeing what we condition our own confidence on.

Everything you feel is there for a reason. But don’t think for even one second that you “are” or “aren’t” what you feel. Our sense of reality changes, and our job is to allow it to move in positive direction rather than a self-defeating one.

If you can catch the way you talk to yourself and really see the fact that you don’t enjoy feeling pity or feeling like you’re internally weak, you can learn to foster the growth and confidence you crave without changing the way you operate in the world.


15 Positive Thoughts For The Day To Guide Your Experience
positive thoughts for the day, positive thought for the day

15 Positive Thoughts For The Day To Guide Your Experience

Reading Time: 1.5 minutes

Positivity, happiness, gratitude, and love aren't accidents.

They don't come from external things, places, or other people. Life is lived from moment to moment, and in each successive moment we are blessed to have the opportunity to make a choice about the quality of attention and emotion we'd like to bring.

15 Positive Thoughts For The Day To Guide Your Experience

positive thoughts for the day

1. I am merely a visitor here. This planet, these people, and the circumstances that surround my existence are meant to help teach me understanding, compassion, empathy and love.

"The beautiful thing about life is, that we will never reach an age where there is nothing left to learn, see or be; it's magical really."

-Dulce Ruby

2. The most important question I need to face is, "How can I make life more wonderful for myself and others?"

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new."

-Dalai Lama

3. Most people fail at the exam of life because they're trying to copy others, not realizing that everyone has a different question to answer.

"No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again."

-Buddha

4. My life will begin to take the shape I sincerely wish when I give as much energy to my dreams as I do to my fears.

"It takes no time for the Universe to manifest what you want. Any tie delay you experience is due to your delay in getting to the place of believing, knowing and feeling that you already have it. It is you getting yourself on the frequency of what you want. When you are on that frequency, then what you want will appear."

-Rhonda Byrne

 

positive thoughts for the day

5. I understand that if I can show just a moment of patience in a moment of anger, I will save myself 100 moments of regret.

"Once I realized the most beautiful things in life may have come from transmuting my greatest pains, I understood that feeling things so deeply is in fact a blessing and not a curse."

-Raz Soos

6. I will experience negative emotion rising in me. But I know that I do not have to let them control me.

"Get out of your head and into your heart. Think less and feel more."

-Osho

7. I will not taint my experience of the day by complaining to myself. I will accept my actions, and remain polite to myself.

“People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

positive thoughts for the day

8. I will not take what anyone else does or says personally because I know that the way others feel and act has nothing to do with me.

"The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."

- Socrates

9. I have absolutely everything I need to be happy in this moment.

“Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough”
Oprah Winfrey

10. I will not hold on to pain, grief, stress or anxiety. Rather I will listen with untainted ears and an attentive heart, and let them go politely with the understanding they're meant to provide me with.

"I have learned that when sadness comes to visit me, all I can do is say 'I see you.' I spend some time with it, get up, and say goodbye. I don't push it away. I own it. And because I own it, I let it go."

-Carolina Zacaria

11. There is no objective good or bad. There are only the things that happen and the quality of the lens through which I perceive them.

“There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?”
C. JoyBell C.

positive thoughts for the day, positive thought for the day

12. I will not make my happiness contingent upon the happening of some event, or the receiving of some prize. I simply choose to be the happiness I desire.

"I was looking for someone to inspire me, motivate me, support me, keep me focused...Someone who would love me, cherish  me, make me happy and I realized that all along I was looking for myself."

-Alex

13. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I will carry with me the intention of promoting peace, love, security, and satisfaction in myself and in others.

"There will be no peace until we humble ourselves and admit that we have no idea how life became a thing, no idea what life is, no idea what will happen once our body disappears; there will be no peace until we humble ourselves and admit that none of us know what we are doing, admit that all of us are just pretending, playing this game that we have been told to play before we had the ability to think for ourselves."

-Kyle D. Jones

14. Doing my best is a necessity.

"When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily. He who understands this, understands life..."

-Osho

15. I will maintain an open mind towards any idea I come across and anyone I come into contact with. I understand that each one of our experiences here is unique.

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

-Albert Einstein

 

Before I send you off to have an incredible day, I'll leave you with one final quote.

“Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy.

So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness


How To Make A To-Do List You'll Love
how to make a to do list, how to do list

How To Make A To-Do List You'll Love

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Lesson From a Founding Father

The father of the modern day to do list is none other than one of the founding fathers of the U.S., Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was an incredible mind, and had a truly profound impact in so many different areas its hard to believe. He helped draft the U.S. Declaration of Independence, was a scientist, an inventor, and a writer who excelled at everything he did. He is a beacon of productivity. One of the secrets to his insane efficiency was the to-do list.

Here's what it looked like:

how to make a to-do list you'll love, how to do list

To-do lists seem pretty straight forward. They're generally revolved around writing down the things you need to get done in a given day (or period). What I've found is that in order to make a truly effective to-do list, you have to think about why you're doing it.

What are you expecting the list to do for you?

Without keeping in mind the reasons you want to take the action, the action itself is inevitably limited in its value.

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This a super simple action guide designed to help you create a to-do list you’ll love! ✔

What Are To-Do Lists Meant to Help Us Accomplish?

The most obvious answer is that a list of all of our tasks helps keep us organized. It provides us with clarity about the actions we need to take so that we don't have to keep them arranged in our minds. Our minds are generally unreliable when it comes to staying thoroughly organized.

But a to-do list can be much more powerful and provide way greater benefits than mere organizational clarity.

If you take the time to construct it with care, a to-do list can provide you with:

  1. A consistent sense of accomplishment
  2. Emotional strength
  3. Mental ease
  4. Longer and more intense periods of productivity
  5. Enhanced ability to accomplish large-scale goals
  6. The ability to avoid procrastinating

So how do I actually begin to form a to-do list that works for me? What tasks should I include in it? What's unnecessary to keep track of? Where do I keep all this information?

How To Make a To Do List You'll Love

Breaking It Down Into Sections

Making a to-do list work to your benefit requires breaking it down into different sections for different types of activities. What I've found really useful is breaking the list into sections based on personal stuff, work stuff, and "ideal me" stuff.

Personal Stuff - The personal section is about writing down the very ordinary tasks you seem to never get to. It should include activities like cleaning the gutters, changing light bulbs around the house, filing taxes, dealing with auto maintenance, calling or seeing that family member you've been thinking about, doing something nice for a loved one, or going through your wardrobe to donate old clothes you never wear.

The goal here is to have a daily reminder of the very basic tasks that wouldn't take long if you just made the effort to get them done, but for some reason keep delaying the completion of.

Leave these tasks on your to-do list and re-write them every single day until you've actually completed each one. When its staring at you in the face on a daily basis, you'll start to question why its still there, which is both motivating and provides you with a necessary sense of "come on you fool, what are you waiting for."

Work Stuff - This section is pretty straight forward, but there are a couple of important things to keep in mind. Firstly, you should not include ordinary and routine tasks in your work section. Things that you know you're going to get done regardless of whether they're on your to-do list or not have no place in being on what should be sacred for you. They don't actually provide you with the sense of accomplishment you want to feel when you cross them off.

Secondly, your work section should be split into an order of priority through which you successively move through each task.

When it comes to prioritizing your work tasks, you should keep in mind both the importance of the task, and the time at which you're most likely to get it done as efficiently as possible.

If you know you don't want to start the day with a certain activity or that you're more likely to get it done at a different point during the day, schedule it accordingly. The goal is to create a chain of tasks you can move through based on importance of them getting done with the least resistance from your own laziness or lack of desire.

"Ideal Me" Stuff - This is the most important section of your list. Both personal and work matters, although helpful to have written and broken down are ultimately going to get done at some point or another. "Ideal me" stuff is about writing the actions that will help you step closer to the person you ideally envision yourself being.

It should include things like reading, meditating, and exercising. Writing these actions and behaviors down every day will be first hand evidence of your own wanting to change in certain ways. Seeing those things every day will help engrain in your mind the importance of doing them.

In this section, prioritizing isn't nearly as important as designating specific time frames for them. If you know you're not going to wake up and work out in the morning, don't schedule it at that time. If you know you'll never read before going to bed, try scheduling it for when you sit at your desk before you start work.

The Importance of Specificity

I lightly touched on it above with regards to timing, but it is extremely important to be specific about both the actions you need to take to get a given task done, and the time frame in which you want to do it.

The real benefit of being specific about what you need to do rather than just stating overall tasks is that there's a lot less thinking involved. When you simply write "file taxes" or "draft contract" there is a tendency to become overwhelmed by all that needs to go into getting it done. On the other hand, when you break the task down into "call accountant, ask what documents need to be sent, and organize information for accountant," the task itself seems like a lot less of an endeavor.

The Reward

“I needed a vacation. I needed 5 women. I needed to get the wax out of my ears. My car needed an oil change. I'd failed to file my damned income tax. One of the stems had broken off of my reading glasses. There were ants in my apartment. I needed to get my teeth cleaned. My shoes were run down at the heels. I had insomnia. My auto insurance had expired. I cut myself every time i shaved. I hadn't laughed in 6 years. I tended to worry when there was nothing to worry about. And when there was something to worry about, I got drunk.”
Charles Bukowski, Pulp

Although the quote above is comical, it really gives us a good idea of the benefits we can reap if we stayed on top of and wrote down the actions we needed to take. It also provides a great illustration of just how easy it is to put things off for another day and the harmful side effects that come along with regularly procrastinating on what you know you need to get done.

A to-do list shouldn't be some mechanical action you take that doesn't serve you any real benefit because you never use it. It's meant to provide you with utility. It's supposed to foster productivity, efficiency, clarity, along with mental and emotional well being. It helps you balance different areas of your life, avoid procrastinating, and remind you of what's important.

Keep in mind that there's not necessarily a right answer to making this work. Only the principles of consistency and doing it with intention. But I promise that if you consistently draft a to-do list every day with the basic guidelines I recommended, you will feel the impact in the quality of your life.


The One Benefit of Journaling You Need To Hear + How To Write In a Journal Every Day

The One Benefit of Journaling You Need To Hear + How To Write In a Journal Every Day

Reading Time: 1.5 Minutes

Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.”
Pat Conroy

Something that really amazes me is my own lack of ability to see just how jumbled up and contradictory my own thoughts and emotions are.

Whether I'm thinking about something that's work-related, just moving through my ordinary associations as I take a walk, or I'm feeling some negative emotion, I don't see that my thoughts aren't linear or cohesive.  To be honest, a lot of the time I'm not even sure my thoughts really make sense.

I feel like they make sense while they're going through me, but I might find that two hours later I'm believing in the exact opposite of what I was initially thinking - and that opposite belief also makes complete sense in the moment I'm thinking it.

Weird, right?

There is a lot in me that I don't quite know how to express in words when I speak to myself in my head, or even when I'm speaking to others out loud.

There is a lot in me that I don't really understand. I see and feel the affect of what I'm experiencing, but I don't really know what it is or how I got there.

Most of the time I just make up a story about it in my head and forget until I experience the same feelings or thoughts again.

how to write in a journal

The ONE Benefit You Need To Understand About Writing in a Journal Every Day

The predicament I explained above is a part of the human experience. Whether or not you're ready to admit it, we all know what it means to feel like we can't express ourselves and that we don't really understand what we're experiencing in a given moment.

As a result of not understanding what we're experiencing, we often (almost always) make up a story about it in our heads and label that story as the absolute truth of the experience.

Here's what I mean:

Let's say you tell a friend a secret that you don't want anybody else to know and later you find out that this friend whom you trust told the secret to someone else.

The ordinary response to experiencing that situation might be a feeling of betrayal. It might be a feeling that tells you that should have known better than to trust this friend. You might not care at all.

Depending on what you end up experiencing, thoughts will arise and TELL YOU exactly what happened as if it was the absolute truth. This truth becomes your reality and you act in accordance with it.

Isn't it weird that we might all respond just a little bit differently to exact situation described above.

There will be almost as many different stories about it that we label as "truth" as there are people living on this planet.

Here's where journaling comes in.

Journaling on a daily basis helps you get OUT of your head by forcing you to put one voice to everything you're experiencing rather than just believing whatever comes to mind.

It forces you to ACTIVELY think about how you feel rather than simply having responsive thoughts labeling the experience for you.

A good way to understand this is thinking about the difference between the thoughts that we think when we're really motivated and the thoughts that we think when we're not as motivated. Depending on our mood, or what we're experiencing, the thoughts we have are different. Even in relation to the same external event.

When we're motivated, we'll have thoughts that push us to do whatever it is we're motivated to accomplish. When we're not feeling that source of excitement to accomplish something, our thoughts come in and justify why its okay to hold off on the action right now.

Achieving a greater understanding of yourself, what you experience on a daily basis, and how to deal with the circumstances that surround your life right now is dramatically heightened by taking the time to find one voice and putting that voice on paper.

These are the incidental benefits you'll see if you journal consistently:

  • You develop willpower and discipline as a result of working every day towards building a new habit
  • You become more reflective.
  • You become more self-aware.
  • Because you don't generally write while you're experience extreme emotion, you can better understand situations by looking from a more detached perspective.
  • You have an opportunity to start organizing yourself internally.
  • You'll better deal with difficult situations as they arise because you have a better understanding of yourself
  • You have a specific time of the day where you know you will feel a certain level of relaxation

So how do you go actually go about making a habit out of writing every single day?

How To Write In a Journal Every day

Altering our habits is really, really difficult. It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes truly wanting to get something out of it.

Step 1: Why are you making the decision to write every day?

When we don’t know the reasons we want to make positive changes in our lives, we tend to quickly stop taking the positive actions we decided to take. The WHY, the REASON you want to start writing is the emotional fuel you need to actually stick to doing it consistently.

Answer these questions:

(a) Why do I want to start writing?

(b) What positive affects will writing have on my life if I do it consistently for 30 days?

(c) What’s stopping me from writing every day right now?

(d) What are the main excuses I make for not writing when I want to, and how can I defeat those excuses?

Step 2: Choose a time

To effectively add a habit, consistency is crucial.

If you really want to start writing every day, you need to choose a time of day you'll set aside for your journaling habit. Your mind and body need to adapt in such a way that when the hour you usually write comes around, you’re already prepared for it, you’re looking forward to it.

It isn’t important when you decide, as long as you make a definitive determination about when you know you have the time on most days, and actually stick to it.

BUT, any time you can’t get to writing at the hour you decide, don’t make it an excuse not to do your writing. You have to have an all or nothing mentality. You have to make the decision that nothing is going to stop you from doing your habit every day.

Action steps to take:

  • Think about a time of the day when you usually have 10–15 minutes of free time.
  • Choose a time to write.
  • Think about what usually do with that free time.
  • Think about how much it would benefit your life if you wrote for those 10–15 minutes instead of the activity you usually do.

_______________________________________________________________________

Writing is really important to better living. I hope this hit you all in the right spot and that you're motivated to get going.


Why Is Time Management Important? Time's Hidden Treasures

Why Is Time Management Important? Time's Hidden Treasures

Reading Time: 2.5 Minutes

Time.

It is one of the universal laws governing our existence on this planet. The incredible phenomenon that gives everything in our lives a sense of stability. It gives life to progress. We're always subject to it, we're constantly talking about it, and without it, we'd be lost.

Time can either be your greatest enemy or your most trustworthy companion. It all boils down to the way we approach it, and whether we're willing to treat it with the love and respect it deserves to allow a wonderful relationship with it to grow.

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This actionable guide will help you immediately own time management as a life-long habit! ✔

Why Is Time Management Important?

In trying to understand the concept of "the arrow of time," theoretical physicist Sean Carroll explains, "We remember the past but we don’t remember the future. There are irreversible processes. There are things that happen like you turn an egg into an omelet, but you can’t turn an omelet into an egg."

Carroll's explanation is simple, yet so illustrative of precisely how time works. We're very obviously moving forward in some sense. There is a process of aging. All things degenerate or evolve over time.

A New Perspective On Time

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay

Does progress in time actually exist?

By definition, without time, progress wouldn't exist. Progress is a movement forward in time, with reference to quality.

With respect to the outside world, progress in time is an obvious occurrence. The most simple example is technological advancement.

However, with regards to each of us as individuals, I'm not sure that progress in time is obvious as we think.

The past and future both seem to exist in our minds, but whether we're making progress - advancing as individuals, is a unique question we all need to face if we want to learn to utilize time effectively.

The past and future can be said to come to one point, which is the present moment.

Here's how: Everything we are in this moment is a compilation of the past. Our past circumstances, actions, and decisions. The circumstances we've been handed and the way we've responded to those circumstances all comes together into who we are, right now. By the same token, what will happen to us in the future is already set in stone, unless we make decisions that don't conform to who we are right now.

Based on who we are in this moment, whenever we face new events or circumstances, we will respond according to how we've habitually been programmed to respond, which is a direct result of the past.

This begs the question, how can I change my relationship to time, and how can I utilize it more effectively?

why is time management important, time management

The Hidden Treasures of Time Management

“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.”

Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères

Embedded in the notion of time management are two significant ideas.

  1. Do I take advantage of the opportunity to grow and alter my decisions on a moment to moment basis to conform to the person I want to be?
  2. Do I make the necessary time to do both what I am obligated to do, and what I want to do in and with my life?

Time Management refers to the idea of dividing time in an organized way and designating certain periods of it for specific activities.

Without effectively splitting up our time towards the different things we need to and want to do, we feel the constant pressure of time like a 200-pound boulder on our minds. We get stressed about  when we should do what's necessary to be done and whether we'll have the time to do what we want.

The effect is that we get confused and act without thinking logically about how we can make everything fit together in a coherent and stress-free way. We end up constantly wishing we had more time. Just like the incredibly truthful quote above explains, if we don't organize our time effectively, we'll always be chasing more of it.

The hidden treasures of time management are the ability to create the changes you want to see in yourself and to live comfortably without questioning whether or not you're making time to live the life you want to have.

How To Effectively Manage Your Time

Changing your relationship to time and learning to manage it effectively is about evaluating how you currently treat your time and getting logical about how you can split it to actually do what you plan.

The biggest problem with time management isn't the act of sitting and thinking about how to split time, but rather the fact that we don't follow through on how we decide to divide it - we procrastinate whenever we "don't feel" like doing what we planned. 

That's exactly how the two hidden treasures of time come together. We have to plan logically and effectively, along with make moment to moment, day to day decisions about following through on how we plan.

Step One: Divide your time in a way you can trust yourself to act

We can plan to get up at 5:00 a.m. and workout all we want, but unless we actually get up and go to the gym, we're abusing our time. In order to do time management the right way, we really have to designate times for actions in a way that we can trust ourselves to act. If you know you won't be willing to do a designated action at the time you specify for it, you're WASTING your time. If you plan to read, meditate, work, exercise, write, or do any other habit you continuously tell yourself you want to do without ever getting to it, designating a new time for it might be the secret to finally getting it done.

Step Two: Keeping your promises to time

One of the hidden treasures of time I explained was that this moment holds the only possibility of change. If we learn to change our relationship to the moments in which we make decisions about how to act and what to do, we can make our every dream come true.

To USE time in the way we PLAN for it, we have to learn and appreciate that if we don't stick to our plan now, the chances of us sticking to what we decide later diminishes drastically. On the other hand, if we do begin to follow through on our plans in those moments we don't feel like it or think there's something more pressing, time will reward us with the beauty of its structure.

Stop breaking your promises to time and time will give you the life you want.


The 50 Best Love Quotes You'll Ever Hear

The 50 Best Love Quotes You'll Ever Hear

Reading Time: 2.5 minutes

There is almost nothing in life that we crave more than love. It is the connection we hope to feel in every relationship we have in this life.

If you take a step back and evaluate everything you do – there is some connection to the receiving or giving of love at the root of it. It is what drives us. It is what satisfies us. It is of the most basic human strivings.

But love isn’t merely represented by happiness, and there isn’t only one type of love.

Inherent in the concept of love is the broad range of human emotion, hard work, sincerity, and sacrifice.

We also have a number of different relationships – with ourselves, significant others, friends, family, children, enemies, and animals. Each one of these relationships inherently provides for a unique opportunity to love and to be loved.

The 50 quotes listed here express the range of emotion and action that we each experience in the quest for, and maintenance of love in our lives.

The 50 Best Love Quotes You'll Ever Hear

love quotes

Love of Self

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching, love like you'll never be hurt, sing like there's nobody listening, and live like it's heaven on earth.” 

William W. Purkey


“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”

 Rita Mae Brown


“Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you. What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but what's important to me is my opinion of myself.” 

JoyBell C.


“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.”

 Karl Lagerfeld


“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.” 

AberjhaniJourney through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry


“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself - what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.”

Warsan Shire


“Did your mom ever tell you, ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything’? She was right–and talking nicely also applies when you’re talking to yourself, even inside your head.”

 Victoria MoranYounger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit


“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.”

 James Baldwin


“We can't be so desperate for love that we forget where we can always find it; within.”

 Alexandra Elle


“Don't doubt yourself, that's what haters are for.”

Turcois Ominek


person-couple-love-romantic

Love of a significant other

“Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was by choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control.”


"If I had to choose between loving you and breathing, I would use my last breath to say I love you."


“I realized I was thinking of you, and I began to wonder how long you’d been on my mind. Then it occurred to me: Since I met you, you’ve never left.”


“When in a relationship, a real man doesn’t make his woman jealous of others, he makes others jealous of his woman.” 

Steve Marabol


Being deeply loved by someone gives you the strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Lao Tzu


The difference between sex and love is that sex relieves tension and love causes it.

Woody Allen


"Three things I want in a relationship: Eyes that won’t cry, lips that won’t lie, and love that won’t die."

Wiz Khalifa


"We're all a little weird, and life's a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."

 Seuss


"Love is a promise; love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear." 

John Lennon


love quotes

Love of your neighbor

“If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it is at least fair to love yourself as your neighbor.”

Nicholas de Chamfort


“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”

C.S. Lewis


"But don’t allow yourself to be used. Love. But don’t allow your heart to be abused. Trust. But don’t be naïve. Listen. But don’t lose your own voice. If you don’t love your fellow man, women, person, then you don’t have anything. If you don’t treat your neighbor as you would want to be treated that to me is the fundamental message.”

Denzel Washington


"A good neighbor sometimes cuts your morning up to mince-meat of the very smallest talk, then helps to sugar her bohea at night with your reputation.”

 Elizabeth Barrett Browning


"Everybody needs you, but you need you first. Don’t help everyone else and neglect yourself. Love your neighbor as you love yourself, not instead of yourself.”


“Once I start disliking someone, everything they do is irritating to me.”


"When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast with a scientific and technological abundance. We’ve learned to fly the air as birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas as fish, yet we haven’t learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters.”

Martin Luther King Jr.


“All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.”

Plato


"If I see you neglecting to pick up your dog’s poop, I’m going to throw it at you. I have good aim. It will probably get in your mouth."

 The sign on the tree outside.


love quotes

Love of your enemy

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

Oscar Wilde


“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

Abraham Lincoln


“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”

Mahatma Gandhi


“If you have enemies, good. That means you stood up for something.”

Eminem


“No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not work those who work with him. Don’t knock your friends. Don’t knock your enemies. Don’t knock yourself.”

Alfred Tennyson


“Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.”


“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”

 Gautama Buddha


“Your friends will believe in your potential, your enemies will make you live up to it.”  

Tim Fargo


“The life of the enemy. Whoever lives for the sake of combating an enemy has an interest in the enemy’s staying alive.”  

Friedrich Nietzche


“I smile to myself knowing that they may be dead.”  

Emilie Autumn


love quotes

Love of Friends

"Friendship is not about people who act true to your face. It’s about people who remain true behind your back."


“True friends don’t judge each other. They judge other people… together.”


“Maybe I can’t stop the downpour, but I will always join you for a walk in the rain.”

Vicky Smith


“If you find someone who makes you smile, who checks up on you often to see if you’re okay, who watches out for you and wants the very best for you, don’t let them go. Keep them close and don’t take them for granted. People like that are hard to find.”


“A friend is someone who comes to find you when no one else knows your missing.”


“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; They make the latitudes and longitudes.”

Henry David Thoreau


“Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.”

Elie Wiesel


“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

William Shakespeare


“Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.”

Oscar Wilde


“Friendship is as delicate as a glass, once broken it can be fixed, but there will always be cracks.”

 Waqar Ahmed


 

I’ll leave you with one final quote:

“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star."

E.E. Cummings


How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone | Breaking Personal Barriers
how to get out of your comfort zone

How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone | Breaking Personal Barriers

Reading Time: 3 minutes

"A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are built for."

- John A. Shedd

I love quotes that speak real truth about the human experience, and this one by John Shedd is one of the most accurate quotes I've ever heard. 

I'd like to take it one step further in analogizing a ship at harbor to humans in their "safe place." In the quote, the ship obviously refers to us as humans, and the harbor is tantamount to where we each feel safe - in our comfort zone.

Ships are meant to sail, birds are meant to fly, fish are meant to swim and humans... well, what are humans really "meant" to do?

What exactly is the "ship" analogous to? Our bodies? Our minds? Our actions? How do we as humans leave the harbor into the water? What exactly does it mean to sail in our case?

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This an effective guide designed for helping people step out of their comfort zone! ✔

how to get out of your comfort zoneHow to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone - Breaking Personal Barriers

What is a "Comfort Zone?"

In essence, a comfort zone is a psychological state, determined by our past, in which we feel at ease with our environment. It's a state of mind that happens automatically within us, and is wholly dependent on whether we inherently recognize a given environment or situation as "familiar" and "stress-free."

Why do we have comfort zones?

Could good exist without bad? Hot without cold? Wake without sleep? Bumpy without smooth?

Without the possibility of anxiety, comfort zones wouldn't actually exist. We tend to forget that as humans, we are extremely complex animals - but nonetheless, we are animals. Animals do what feels "good," and avoid what they uniquely perceive as potentially harmful, painful, or might cause anxiety.

Throughout each of our lives we have different experiences based on the environment we're raised in. We're more familiar with certain people, places and views that we're exposed to. The older we get, and the more we "define" the world around us as one way or another based on each of our unique experiences, the less open we are to different possibilities; new stimuli.

That's because we're specifically trained to avoid what we label as "bad," and only seek what our mind labels as "good."

The problem with this is that as we grow, the routine labeling that we do in relation to our lives grows stronger and more permanent within us.

This process goes on until we get to a point where we really become crystallized in the way we live our lives. Our past - our habit of avoiding the "bad," seeking the "good," and not inviting uncertainty and risk, essentially lives our lives for us.

A lesson from lobsters

If you've ever eaten a lobster, you know that they're soft, mushy animals that live inside of rigid, stiff shells. What I bet you didn't know about a lobster was that as lobsters grow, they cast off their shells and grow new ones.

What's really incredible about the way lobsters cast their shells is not the process of how it happens, but rather the reason they do it. The stimulus that alerts a lobster of its need to form a new shell is the feeling of confinement, discomfort and pressure it feels after its mushy body has grown and the shell is no longer suitable for it.

So the lobster retreats under a rock to avoid predators, casts of its shell, and grows a bigger one that properly fits. When the lobster is again confronted with the feeling of anxiety and confinement of not comfortably fitting in its little home of a shell, it repeats the process.

We can learn a lot from the way lobsters cast their shells.

Through our being trained to label "stress," "adversity," and "discomfort" as negative, we've completely written off the ability to grow from difficult times. As such, our ordinary response to "difficult" situations is to avoid them, numb ourselves from actually feeling the reality of life, and blaming the entire world for our "problems."

We are born soft, mushy animals. Over time we each grow unique "shells" called our personalities, which make conclusions about life for each of us. These shells are bigger or smaller depending on what we're comfortable with doing or not doing, saying or not saying, feeling or not feeling, which has all been determined based on our past experiences.

In order to allow ourselves the room we need to grow, we first have to learn to shed our rough exterior.

Step One: Recognizing growth opportunities

Most of us get to a point in our lives where we "accept" the person we've become. "I don't do public speaking...I'm not a good dancer...The gym isn't for me... I don't really enjoy reading..."

Beyond the qualities and characteristics we've labeled ourselves with, we also have very rigid likes, dislikes, preferences, views, opinions and beliefs. All these serve as our shell, confining us and limiting our potential growth.

If you want to break out of your comfort zone, the truth is that you're going to have to physically, mentally and emotionally place yourself in situations that are beyond your comfort. Begin recognizing opportunities for struggling with your ordinary preferences, and make an active effort to engage in uncomfortable situations, regardless of how difficult it is.

Most of the time, that voice in our head telling us how scared we should be disappears fairly quickly and we see there was nothing to be nervous about. The moment you decide to intentionally enter into an uncomfortable situation, you've chipped off a piece of your rigid shell.

Step Two: Ignore your first response

Once you recognize a growth opportunity (which comes by a lot more often than you think), your job is to analyze how you automatically react to the situation. What I mean is that we have very habitual responses to situations we perceive as "difficult," or beyond the walls of our comfortable place.

If we listened to how we initially responded to situations, we would NEVER change, grow or learn because we would quite literally be stepping on our own feet as we tried to move forward.

Who you are now isn't who you have to be for the rest of your life. But, if you accept your first response to a difficult situation as "the right one," or "the only one possible," then you are never giving yourself any chance to change.

Step Three: Never stop growing

Life itself can be a process of perpetual growth. Just like a lobster, we can forever break down any self-imposed limitations as long as we're willing to struggle with our own habitual responses to life.  Growth isn't possible without struggling.

So find love in discomfort. Break your barriers. Question yourself. If you don't, you may never find out who you really are.

Download the FREE FILLABLE action guide here:


What "Becoming Minimalist" Means & How It Will Change You

What "Becoming Minimalist" Means & How It Will Change You

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

When I Really Began to Understand Minimalism

I had this experience a while back while simply reading a book. I was sitting at a coffee shop, alone, trying to read with a sense of focus and all of the sudden I started seeing everything that was standing in between me and the book in front of me.

I’m not talking about the physical space in between me and the book. It was in my hands, right in front of me.

What I’m talking about is all the unnecessary stress about things that happened during the day, worry about an event I’d be going to later in the day, daydreaming and imagining that was happening in my head while I was trying to take this simple action of reading a book.

It was such a big shock to see how much unnecessary baggage I brought to this very simple act of sitting and reading.

As I moved on with my day, I became aware of this baggage coming with me wherever I went. This very real moment in which I became aware what felt like this extremely heavy coat covering up the love and happiness in me that was glued on, and I couldn’t take it off.

At that moment, I connected the experience with this concept of minimalist living. Living without unnecessary baggage. Creating an external environment that allows you to be even just a little it more free internally to live in a more wholistic way.

What Does It Mean To Be A Minimalist?

We are what we do.

Being a minimalist is really about adopting a mindset of intentional living. A mindset is something we experience internally, but what we do and how we behave in life is a direct result of our current state of mind.

The entire minimalist movement is supported by the foundation of one concept – freeing yourself from all of your unnecessary external “stuff” to support the inner freedom you need to live a life with purpose.

There isn’t much that is required to be considered “minimalist,” and of course, there’s no uniform definition.

You just have to answer one question over and over and over: What do I want to accomplish and experience in this life, and how can I simplify my life so I can remain focused on what’s genuinely important?

The large question of course comes with many other smaller questions you have to ask and answer with some real sincerity.

  • What do I own, and what purpose does everything I own serve in my life?
  • What do I do on a daily basis, and do those actions support the quality of life I wish to experience every day?

I truly believe Millburn and Nicodemus landed on one of the most significant truths about this world – that most of the time, we’re living as slaves.

We are slaves to our mortgages, to our children’s private schools, to our expensive home appliances, high end cars, 60-70 hour a week jobs…. you get the point.

I am in no way saying that there is anything WRONG with having a mortgage or sending your kids to private school.

Being a minimalist is about understanding all the unnecessary tension, anxiety and distress that comes with this external slavery and realizing that you don’t HAVE to subject yourself to it.

If you have everything described above and the quality of your life is what you would consider high as hell, that is absolutely amazing. You have the inner freedom that Millburn and Nicodemus wished to achieve with the shedding of all their possessions.

But if you’re like most of us and you don’t really understand the purpose and meaning of your life anymore because you’re constantly juggling different external responsibilities that seem trivial the majority of the time, adopting some form of a minimalist mindset might help change the quality of your life.

becoming minimalist

How Becoming A Minimalist Can Change You

It forces you to face extremely important questions

I believe that understanding what’s important in life comes first of all with asking questions we’ve never really faced. Coming to the door of these questions is the first step towards living with intention, and it is the first true benefit that comes with “becoming a minimalist.”

The questions I listed above about questioning why you own the things you own and the purpose they serve, whether you’re satisfied and happy with what you’re doing, asking yourself what in your own life are you a slave to, and whether your actions conform to the quality of life you want to experience and live with on a daily basis are the only possible foundation for true fulfillment.

If you never ask yourself whether what you’re doing and how you live is really going to lead to fulfillment, you can basically throw it out the window because you’re depending on luck to live a high quality of life. And I’m not talking about a high quality of life in the eyes of others, I’m saying, according to your OWN standards, you cannot possibly live with the quality you expect.

Opens up a possibility of inner freedom

One of my favorite analogies for this is the beautiful way that trees shed their leaves in the fall so that new ones can grow in spring.

The simple act of ridding yourself of things you own that aren’t necessary facilitates an opening inside of you.

You start to realize that there’s a lot of what’s unnecessary both inside of you and outside of you, and you begin to question it. When you question what’s unnecessary a space opens up for something new, and only when you have this sort of inner freedom can you make a decision about how to fill it with intention rather than reaction.

When you continually engage in this behavior of letting go of what’s unnecessary and filling the space based on intention, you quickly find that you are have the ability to be brand new person with a brand new sense of life. One based on what you truly believe is important.

You see that life can be simple

Life on its own isn’t complicated. We make it complicated.

A chair is for sitting. A party is for celebrating. Thought is for creativity, curiosity, and questioning. My body works to keep me alive. Negative emotions don’t feel good because they’re unhealthy.

I could go on forever, but here’s the point. When you live in a simple way outside of yourself, your inner world becomes more simple. How you interpret life can become simple. You have an opportunity to stop making events, objects, and even thoughts and emotions more than what they are.

You can begin to see things for what they are. We bring complication to the world by the way we live and interpret it.

You realize that taking care of yourself is important

When you start living more simply and are forced to question what is of genuine importance, you have no choice but to face mental, physical and emotional health as an enormous factor.

The way you take care of your mind, heart and body shows up in the quality of your life and when you get past all the unnecessary baggage, you can see it more clearly. This causes you to WANT to take care of yourself.

Better relationships & love life

The concept is similar to taking care of yourself. Realizing what’s important always comes with the understanding that relationships are of extreme importance to the quality of our lives. This causes you to cherish them, work on them, and work towards creating more love in your life.

Learn to let go of negativity

Fear, anxiety, stress, depression, anger… have they ever helped take you in a positive direction? Do they ever help you work productively towards your goals, create or maintain relationships, or do they do the complete opposite?

Living simply brings you to the truth of this.


3 Practical Tips to Make Your New Years Resolutions Stick This Year
make your new years resolutions stick

3 Practical Tips to Make Your New Years Resolutions Stick This Year

Reading Time: 2.5 minutes


The Problem With The Way We Set Goals

It's that time of the year again. That time of the year where 100% of us set goals about changes we want to make in our lives and only 8% of us succeed.

Why is it so damn difficult to keep our New Year's resolutions & how can we learn to keep the promises we make to ourselves at the beginning of every year?

The problem is

Most of us TALK about the things we want in life

Very few of us actually SET ascertainable goals

Fewer PURSUE those goals

& a minuscule amount come anywhere close to ACHIEVING those goals.

We all want to be successful right? Some of us want monetary success, some want it spiritually, others may want physical or relationship success.

The only way to define success objectively is: (1) setting a goal (2) pursuing that goal & (3) achieving that goal.

Setting a goal is really fun and inspiring, it gets you excited and gives you something to look forward to.

But what happens almost immediately after we set goals?

We forget to pursue them.

Pursuing a goal is about taking all the steps necessary to turn your dream and aspiration into reality. It’s about the daily struggle you have to engage in to make what you want happen. It’s about tracking your progress, developing, and adjusting your frame of mind as you move forward.

Why is this so frickin' important to understand?

Because in order for you to actually stick to your resolutions this year, to make the life changes you promise yourself you'll make, to add the habits you so desire and know will benefit your life, you need to find ways to remind yourself that setting a goal and achieving a goal are both nice... but they REQUIRE CONSTANT PURSUIT.

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This will help you take action on making your New Year’s Resolution a reality. ✔

How To Make Your New Years Resolutions Stick This Yearmake your new years resolutions stick

1. Keep it VERY simple!

"Hmmm, I'm going to start a diet - no carbs till June. I'm going to work out 5 times a week. I want to sleep by 10:30 p.m. every night. I definitely need to make sure I'm better when it comes to spending. Oh yeah, I also want to meditate every day for at least an hour. Also, I'm only eating out twice a week and making absolute sure that I cook almost every meal at home."

Please don't be that person.

False Hope Syndrome is a phrase that designates how unrealistic we are about the process of changing our ordinary behaviors. When we're excited and motivated to create change, we're unable to accurately assess the speed, effort, ease and consequences of self-change.

Most of us get over-eager about all the incredible things we want to do when setting our New Years resolutions that we forget the most important thing of all... actually doing something.

What follows over-zealousness is a feeling of being overwhelmed. Eventually, when motivation fades and we realize how much we've put on our plate, we get scared. Our fear of failure then paralyzes us, freezes us into inaction, and we never end up taking even one step in the direction of any of our goals because we've given ourselves so much to do that we're unsure where to start.

This year, try and choose 1-2 changes you want to struggle with throughout the year.

If you have a good grasp on them and you feel you're ready to change more, great. If not, you have clearly defined goals you can continue to struggle with.

2. Make sure your goals are realistic & practical

When it comes to goal-setting and New Years resolutions, we're usually too idealistic about the quality of goals we set. Not only do we set too many goals, but we set unrealistic and impractical ones.

Be realistic about what you can accomplish. If your overall goal is to diet, don't make a goal of eating 0 carbs and 6 meals a day if you know you're not up for the task. Start small. Have one carb-less meal a day for a week and build on that progress. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for failure.

Make sure the goals you set are practical in the sense that they serve a specific purpose that will enhance your quality of life. If you're happy with your body, you probably won't get much utility out of a diet. If you REALLY REALLY love sleeping in in the morning and you see the point to waking up any earlier, don't.

Take a step back and look at your life right now. What do you need? What do you wish you could have more time for? What would make you happier? What are causes for unhappiness in your life? Which qualities do you consistently wish you could change about yourself? 

Ask yourself sincere questions and work with practical ways to approach resolving those issues or chasing those desires. 

3. Make a plan of action

If you just choose overarching goals without designating specific actions that you'll take towards those goals, you're setting yourself up for failure from the start. To actually create the positive changes you want to see, you need to be very specific about what it is you're going to do.

The reason being that we need specified tasks that can serve as measuring sticks. Without being very specific about the actions we want to take, we can never be sure whether we're following through on our goals or not. We're really good at making ourselves believe that we're doing more than we actually are. 

Don't allow yourself to lie to yourself about your progress. Set ascertainable goals that are rooted in action.

A little motivation

The pursuit of your goals defines who you are.

It defines the struggle that takes place inside you daily. It defines your willpower, and your willpower defines your ability to not just SAY the things you want, but to actually go out into this big beautiful world and make them happen.

Setting habit goals, and pursuing those habit goals to enact dramatic change in your life is literally the act of building your willpower, and your willpower is carried with you throughout your life.

IT IS YOUR ABILITY, YOUR CAPACITY, YOUR STRENGTH & THE ONLY RESOURCE YOU NEED TO SUCCEED.

So when you wake up tomorrow morning and you have the goal of either waking up early with a purpose, meditating to clear your mind and unwind your emotions, reading to expand your knowledge, eating healthy so that you can look good and feel good, or becoming a fitness beast to boost your confidence and attraction.

What Defines You is your ability to say no to what hinders you in pursuit of your goals and at the same time, your ability to take action in pursuit of your goals.

Every single day you take even one tiny action toward your goals, your life is changing, your willpower is being strengthened, and therefore your ability to succeed in every aspect of your life is enhanced because a fundamental change is taking place within you...

You slowly form into action...

What you say you want begins to have meaning..

Your life begins to take the shape you always dreamed it would....

Download the FREE FILLABLE action guide here:

 


How to Get Up Early and Not Feel Tired
how to wake up early and not feel tired

How to Get Up Early and Not Feel Tired

Reading time: 3 minutes

Monday Morning

7:30 ....beep...beep...beep.

Snooze.

7:45 ...beep...beep...beep.

Snooze.

8:00 ...beep...beep...beep.

Snooze.

8:15 ...Open eyes. "Shit, I have to be at work in 45 minutes." Take a two-minute shower, rush to put clothes on, grab whatever muffin or bar is laying on the counter and rush to work.

9:00... Sit in your chair. "I'm exhausted. I can't wait for this day to end... Where's my coffee?"

Tuesday -Thursday Morning

Repeat.

Fast forward to Friday Morning

"What a tough week. I'm so excited to sleep in tomorrow and finally get some rest... Where's my coffee?"

Monday Morning

7:30 ...beep...beep...beep

Snooze.

See the problem?

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This will help you take action today on becoming an early riser! ✔

How to Get Up Early and Not Feel Tired

The illustration above might be somewhat dramatic, but bare with me for a second.

How often do you actually wake up feeling energized? How many times a week do you get up with your alarm, take the time you need to get ready without feeling rushed, have a breakfast that might actually fill you with the energy you need to start the day?

How often do we get up looking forward to the day?

Here's the simple truth - it's sad to wake up without excitement and zeal to start the day. It's a disservice to life itself to consistently wake up without positive emotions towards the day. If we take a moment to sincerely think about what it means to be AGAINST waking up when your alarm goes off, we come to a real question about the quality of our attitude towards our lives.

All that being said, there is something weirdly difficult about getting out of bed the moment you open your eyes. Oh wait, that's right. It's not weird at all. Years of practice and training to dread waking up will do that to you.

Step One: A shift in attitude

“The best way to make your dreams to come true is to wake up.”  

- Paul Valery

how to wake up early and not feel tired

The first step towards becoming a morning person must necessarily be an attempt to change the way you ordinarily think about waking up. One of the biggest problems with the way we approach sleep and waking up are the thoughts that bombard us both before we go to bed and the moment we open our eyes.

Before going to bed, most of us usually think some variation of, "I should have slept earlier. I'm not going to get enough sleep and I'm going to be tired all day tomorrow."

After waking up, we usually think some variation of, "I should have slept earlier. I already have no energy, I have no idea how I'm going to get through this day."

I have news for you. You don't have to believe the first thoughts that come to your head when evaluating a situation. You have the ability to hear that voice in your head talk, and make it say what you want to feel. To decide for yourself what is or isn't going to be true.

What you tell yourself about your reality determines the quality of your life

To change your attitude towards the morning, you have to be aware of self-sabotaging thoughts and make an active effort to direct them with a more positive quality.

Rather than thinking about everything you "have to do" the next day before you go to bed and when you wake up, think about everything you're fortunate enough to be able to do. Tell yourself that the amount of sleep you got last night was the perfect amount you need to have an amazing day.

Over time, this practice will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the way you approach your day, and you may even realize you can make use of it to alter your attitude towards everything else you do.

Step Two: The morning starts in the P.M.

Although a shift in attitude is the most important aspect of becoming an early riser, we'd all be hopeless without some practical advice.

The reason mornings "suck" is because we're almost always rushed to start the day. We don't have time to do anything for ourselves before getting sucked into the madness of all that we have to get done. We start the day because we HAVE to rather than because we WANT to.

That's why it's really important to make the process of getting up as simple and painless as possible.

You do that by preparing all the mindless things you do in the morning before you go to bed so that when you actually get up, you have extra time to do an activity that will benefit you rather than an obligation.

Every night, plan the following:

  1. Have the clothes you want to wear laid out so you don't have to make any choices in the morning
  2. Bags packed and ready to go
  3. The breakfast you want to have already chosen
  4. A pre-chosen activity that you enjoy, but don't usually make time for

If you follow the plan, you will have some extra time before the obligations of the day start (provided you don't hit your snooze button and waste it). Be thoughtful and serious about deciding what you can do with extra time that will make you feel good. It can be anything from spending time with a loved one to reading, meditating or even taking a 45-minute shower.

The feeling of calm and clarity does wonders, regardless of your chosen activity.

Step Three: The snooze button is the enemy

how to get up early and not feel tired, how to feel tired

If you really want to feel fresh in the morning, you HAVE TO get out of the habit of hitting that snooze button. I've tested this out for myself and forced at least a dozen other people to try waking up without snoozing, and it is beyond remarkable how much more energized you feel if you can avoid the temptation to get 5 or 10 extra minutes of just laying.

When you snooze, you're not really getting more sleep. It doesn't make you feel better about waking up. It actually does nothing beneficial for you. Every single time you hit the snooze button you wake up more tired.

Just trust me here and try it for a week. The moment your alarm goes off, get your feet on the floor, walk to the bathroom and wash your face.

Step Four: Figure out exactly how much sleep YOU need

A lot of the reason we wake up feeling lethargic and "out of it" have to do with inconsistent sleep hours. We tend to regularly sleep too much or too little. 

Luckily, there is a really reliable method for figuring out how much sleep your body personally needs to wake up feeling fresh.

  1. Try to sleep at a reasonable hour for a week straight. Make sure you go to bed at the same time every night.
  2. Wake up naturally - without an alarm, and without snoozing.
  3. Write down the number of hours you slept every night, and how you felt throughout the day. 

At the end of the week, you should be able to easily see how many hours you need to wake up and have a good day.

Step Five: Take notice of other lifestyle habits that impact your energy levels

Every choice we make in our lives has some impact on our energy levels. The food we eat, the emotions we feel, the thoughts we have, the level of physical activity we regularly engage in - all require some amount of energy.

Particularly when it comes to food - it's very easy to see how different types of foods, the hours you choose to eat, and the amount of food you eat in a given meal all affect our energy levels throughout the day.

One thing I've found is that eating lighter meals close to bedtime has this amazing effect of helping you feel really energetic in the morning.

Lighter meals throughout the day also help you feel fresh, but it isn't easy to completely change your eating habits all at once.

The goal is to start taking notice of how your decisions throughout the day affect your energy levels. Start with food because it's easiest to see direct relationships, but ultimately, you can really zero-in on how every decision you make affects your body's energy levels.

Step Six: Stay consistent

There is only ONE reason it isn't easy to be a morning person.

You've never done it.

Without knowing it, you've trained your entire life to hate waking up. Every single day of your life, you've literally practiced sleeping more than you need to.

And guess what, your body is going to be confused when you try to change the habit. Your body is going to resist. It's like telling a right-handed adult and that they now have to use their left hand to write.

You're re-wiring your brain and body to act completely differently than it has for years, probably decades.

But if you can stay consistent for just a week, something really incredible happens.

After just a week, the way you think about waking up starts to change. The moment you start seeing any benefit out of waking up without the snooze button, and starting your day before you absolutely have to, your mindset begins to shift.

Your body realizes what's happening and recognizes that it inevitably has to adjust. The way you associate with waking up undergoes a radical transformation.

After about a month, you forget ever having hated the morning hours.

Download the FREE FILLABLE action guide here:


How to Stay Motivated at Work
how to stay motivated at work, staying motivated at work

How to Stay Motivated at Work

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Where does motivation to work come from?

If you really think about what most of us naturally feel when we hear the word “work,” the obvious truth is that we tend to associate negatively with it. We think obligation, commitment - something annoying that we can’t free ourselves from because it is a necessary part of survival.

We think of work as a means to an end.

The means being the money that results from spending our time engaging in some mental or physical activity we more often than not just don’t feel like doing, and the end being the ability to spend the money we make to “live our lives.”

We think money means freedom, which is why we work in the first place. Freedom to buy luxury items, freedom to partake in activities, freedom to live a certain lifestyle.

How to Stay Motivated at Work

If I asked you whether you would keep working if you knew you’d continue to get your paycheck without actually working, how would you reply?

Almost every single one of us would obviously choose to avoid work. I mean come on, who in their right mind would choose to work if they’d continue to get paid regardless of whether they showed up to the office?

Apparently, every CEO in the country.

how to stay motivated at work

Changing the way you think about “work”

The first step in answering the question, “how to stay motivated at work,” is changing the way you think about WHY you work. To help put this into perspective, let’s see if we can figure out why the average CEO works longer and more difficult hours than the average middle-class American.

The average American

The average American works 34.4 hours per week. Adults that work full-time positions work an average of 47 hours per week in the U.S. The average American makes about $52,000 a year.

Sounds about right. Most of us work our relatively stable hours. We mindlessly blow through the daily tasks we’re either required to or set out to complete, and we do it with our only sincere intention being getting that paycheck at the end of the week.

The average CEO

The average CEO works about 60 hours per week. And for the most part, that’s referring to time actually spent in the office.

In response to a question about how many hours he works a day, Mark Zuckerberg stated:

“That depends on what you count as work… If you count the time I’m in the office, it’s probably no more than 50-60 hours a week. But if you count all the time I’m focused on our mission, that’s basically my whole life.”

            Making sense of the dichotomy

Now look, there are two ways to try and make sense of this information. On the one hand, you can attribute the long, grueling hours that corporate Directors and Officers work to the fact that they’re in a position that requires them to work crazy hours – that they don’t have a choice if they want to keep their jobs.

On the other hand, you can look at the dichotomy between the hours the average American and the average CEO works to the reason they work in the first place.

Here’s why I think the latter interpretation makes sense.

The average executive at an S&P 500 company makes about $1.5 million in salary, but salary is a merely a small portion of what these top executives actually earn annually. Bonuses and other incentive pay make up the vast majority of their annual pay.

If I told you that you could make $1.5 million a year, how many years would you need to work before you felt that you would be financially “ok” for the rest of your life? 3 years? 5 years? 15?

The average tenure of a CEO is 9.7 years.

It’s easy to think, “I’d be motivated as hell to work 100 hours a week if I was making over a million dollars a year.”

It might help a bit, but the truth is that staying motivated at work is more about why we work than the “freedom” that results from earning an income.

Why passion isn’t the answer

Passion does, to an extent, result in motivation. But passion alone cannot possibly keep us fully engaged and excited all day long, every day, during working hours.

My passion is writing – I’m a self-help blogger.

I truly do enjoy sitting here and putting words together that I hope touches people in the way that I intend to. I genuinely have fun trying to adequately convey the very specific idea I have in my head that I want to share. But actually getting to sit down and write is only a small part of what I really need to do in order to get my ideas out there into the world.

In each of our individual work-lives, there is a lot that we’re required to do that we really just aren’t passionate about. If you’re a lawyer, you might LOVE being in the court-room, but dread sitting to write briefs and motions. If you’re an accountant, you might love the strategy behind the job, but despise actually dealing with numbers. If you work at a retail store, you might love dealing with customers, but hate dressing manikins and doing inventory control.

Passion is nice, but it doesn’t provide lasting motivation for work.

Think bigger

If it wasn’t about earning money, why would we work? What other reasons are there for us to subject ourselves to difficult hours and constantly performing tasks that we consider boring or meaningless?

When we die, there is only one thing that we build throughout the course of our lives that will undoubtedly exist for the rest of time. The beauty is that we all build it, whether we like it or not, and regardless of its quality.

Our reputation.

The way we approach any part of our lives is a sign of who we are.


Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of – for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”

Socrates


We generally spend 40 hours of the 168 hours there are in a week working. If you factor in sleep (say 8 hours a night), then the 40 hours we spend working makes up 36% of the time we spend awake throughout adulthood.

The question is what do we want to leave behind in terms of our reputation about this 1/3rd of our lives that we spend in work? You see it isn’t just about making money and living a certain lifestyle, but about what we’re doing on a daily basis, for the majority of our day, and whether we want to be remembered for the quality of what we did, or merely that we “showed up.”

4 Practical Tips 

Step One: Get your most annoying/routine tasks done at the beginning of the day

Every single day there are tasks, events, activities that we each know we have to do or engage in that we just really don’t look forward to.

Getting those tasks done at the beginning of the day is indispensable to staying motivated at work because the more we’re doing the work we genuinely enjoy throughout the day, the more naturally motivated we’ll be to get it done and do a good job at it.

Personally, I take the first few hours of my workday to just respond to emails, to making the articles I’m writing “pretty.” What I genuinely enjoy of my work is writing, being creative and really thinking with intention. When I get annoying tasks done at the beginning of the day the rest of my day opens up for creative work, that makes staying motivated a lot easier.

Step Two: Push yourself, for yourself

The harsh truth is that nobody really cares about your work but you. A boss or manager cares about your work to the extent that you’re getting it done because he has his own job to do in managing his employees.

But in the end of the day, the quality of your work is really for your own benefit. We all want to exert confidence, the ability to be proud of ourselves and the things we do.

What’s equally important is that the work we do affects others, regardless of what our work consists of. We work to make money, and you make money by providing either some service or value to other people in a way that warrants them paying money for it. Whether you’re a grocery store clerk or an entrepreneur doesn’t matter in this regard. We constantly have an impact on others through how we handle our work, and how we handle ourselves AT work.

Working diligently and pushing yourself to be the best you possibly can will create positive self-esteem while also enhancing the lives of the people you’re connected to through your work.

Step Three: Find ways to make work fun

We all have needs throughout the day. Nobody, and I mean nobody enjoys sitting alone at a desk all day with paperwork in front of them.

Changing your mindset about your work environment can be accomplished, and is a great way to create self-motivation at work. If you can find ways to laugh throughout the day by making jokes with co-workers, or enjoying a snack with a friend on a break, you’ll develop a positive association with your work place that will inherently keep you motivated to get done what’s necessary.

Step Four: The importance of a “got done” list

Positive reinforcement is one of the true secrets to motivation. Even if it comes from ourselves.


“Well, you know, a lot of people look at the negative things, the things that they did wrong and – which I do. But I like to stress on the things I did right, because there are certain things that I like to look at from a positive standpoint that are just positive reinforcement.”

 Tiger Woods


Having a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish in a day, or in a week is great for organizing the work you need to do, and can play a huge role in how accomplished you feel with what you have gotten done. More often than not, we’ve gotten a lot more done than we initially think we have.

Making a simple list with either check-boxes next to each task that you can check off once completed will make you feel as if you’re accomplishing things throughout the day, which motivates you to continue the momentum. If you stay strict about this, pretty soon you’ll see that you’re flying through your tasks for the day without the need for much external motivation.


Guided Meditation for Entrepreneurs
guided meditation for

Guided Meditation for Entrepreneurs

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Importance of Freeing Yourself Every Day

The mental beating that entrepreneurs take on a daily basis is no joke.

Every entrepreneur knows what it feels like to have a mind that moves at a million miles an hour, with a never-ending to-do list, and a lack of time to get everything done. It’s really one of the hallmarks of the entrepreneurial struggle.

We work tirelessly to push forward step by step toward our goal of creating something that demands respect. Something that will bring us financial success, change the world, and put us in the company of the world’s elite businessmen.

Here’s the problem.

Being an entrepreneur requires engagement in this constant internal battle to keep pushing against yourself. To keep moving forward when you have nothing left in the tank. It requires constantly making difficult social and personal sacrifices with the aim of achievement of something great.

The bigger the vision, the more that is required of you.

Entrepreneurship isn’t a game. It’s not some hobby you do when you’re bored.

Your reputation, career, and your dream are completely dependent on what you’re willing to give up to make it happen.

What many of us don’t realize is that the perpetual mental and emotional battle takes a serious toll on our well-being.

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This an awesome 3-step guide for a better meditation experience! ✔

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs to Find The Time to Slow Down

When you have a million and one things to do every day with a limited of time to get it all done, it becomes normal, customary, to ignore your own needs. We forget to take care of ourselves because we become so conditioned to take action at every moment. We strive for accomplishment from the moment we wake up, and our minds don’t rest until we actually fall asleep.

It’s inevitable that we will feel doubt, fear, and frustration. It’s really a part of the job description. But as I’m sure you know, the way we deal with all the bullshit is what governs our output. The way we face adversity is what defines us.

Your mental and emotional well-being are absolutely vital to your efficiency and productivity. To operate as effectively as possible, one needs clarity, focus, health and to be liberated from one’s own mental anguish.

I don’t care if you have the greatest work-ethic in the history of mankind and you can work 80 hour weeks for months at a time.

If you don’t find a way to take care of yourself mentally, and take time every day to separate yourself from the mental bullshit that goes on inside all of us, you will feel the effect. And it will have an impact on the quality of your life.

My Story

Early into my second year of law school I had an opportunity to start working with a few friends on a business idea that I really fell in love with.

Law school is tough on it’s own, but I almost immediately started working full time on this startup. I had partners that weren’t in school, and I had to sacrifice my time in order to make all of this work.

I was already that guy that woke up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym and still get to school before 7 to start studying or working before the rest of the world woke up. I knew I had to get even more serious if I really wanted to make it work.

I actually remember having a conversation with myself soon after we really started moving forward in developing our business idea.

“You’re good… This is nothing new… You know how to sacrifice… You know how to sit down and get your shit done… Don’t sweat it… Just prioritize, stay organized, ignore the rest of the world and get it done. This is your time.”

And that’s exactly what I did.

Until one day, a few months later, I woke up really confused.

“Wait, what am I doing? I’m a law student. Shouldn’t I be trying to find a job? I can start making serious money next year.. am I really going to give up on all the work I’ve put into getting into a good law school and killing myself for good grades to start a business? There’s no way I can get this all done.. wow it might actually be impossible. I have no time. I have no life. Where am I going? What do I want?”

The conversation ate at me. There I was, completely lost.

I didn’t know who I was or where I was going. It affected my work output. It affected my studying.

Even though outwardly I was still “making it work,” internally I felt like I was losing control of who I was. I was trying to please everybody. Keep all my relationships intact, keep my family happy, keep my partners happy… and that’s when I realized.

I had forgotten to keep myself happy.

guided meditation for entrepreneursGuided Meditation For Entrepreneurs – A Step By Step Guide

When most people hear the word “meditation” they think about it as some abstract concept. Like its just some random thing people do where they sit and close their eyes for some weird random reason.

It’s actually weird for me now to think about why we’re so resistant to just sitting for a few minutes with our eyes closed without engaging in any other activity.

In the end of the day, “meditation” isn’t really an “action.” You’re not really “doing” anything. As an entrepreneur you spend a lot of time in action. You know what it means to move at a fast pace.

Meditation is in one sense, the complete opposite of action, and in another sense, the most active thing a human being do.

As human beings, we have the ability to evaluate our own behavior, consciously. We can take a step back and somewhat objectively look at ourselves with a different set of eyes.

Meditation is the practice of opening that new pair of eyes.

Step One: Preparing Yourself For What You'll See

As an entrepreneur, you should learn over time not to “expect” anything. You do what you can to the best of your ability and the results are well, the results. You can’t change what happens. You can simply evaluate, take action, re-evaluate and refine the approach.

Expectation is one of those human characteristics that almost always defeats us. Nothing is ever as good as we “expect.” The problem is that by having an expectation, we project an image that isn’t based in reality of what we want to happen, might happen, or should happen, which leaves us bitter about what ends up actually happening.

The expectations, doubts and fears all arise automatically as waves in our mind. If you’ve ever had trouble falling asleep, you know the intense experience of being with your wandering mind.

Meditation (at least at first) is similar.

The first step you need to take to start dealing with your own expectation for the day is simple: Before the day starts, sit in a chair or pillow with your back straight, and close your eyes.

Step Two: Finding Something Stable

We have resistance to “meditation” because it is actually, weirdly, really hard to just be with ourselves. The moment we close our eyes we start dreaming and imagining. We think about the day to come, what we “expect,” what we “fear,” what we “desire.” We think about other people, at what points we felt like someone “wronged us” yesterday. We start judging ourselves.

All you need to remember at the point you actually get yourself to sit and close your eyes is that everything that is going on in your mind, the actual content of what it is saying isn’t important.

Your thoughts move on their own in an indestructible stream, and its only true goal is to continue in perpetuity.

This is where you have to come in and find something stable that you can hold on to in spite of the rapid movement of your thoughts and imagination.

You have two options: either your breath, or your body.

Here’s the thing about the mind: There’s nothing stable about it.

You could be thinking about yourself sitting in your chair for one moment and at the very next instant you’re in China where you vacationed last year. Two seconds later, you’re cringing while thinking about how your most recent ex-girlfriend/boyfriend broke up with you.

By contrast, our breath and our bodies don’t move from place to place. They don’t have imagination, they don’t fear, and they don’t expect anything. They simply are.

The goal is to try to find a sensation of a body part, or of the process of inhaling and exhaling. Then, you need to find a way to stay with it.

Step Three: Hold On Tightly

What you’ll find immediately is that we have such little control over our attention that it's almost pathetic. That’s actually the reason most people never follow through with meditation in the first place. They think, “I can’t do it.”

All you need to remember is, “I can’t do it,” is simply another slippery thought that will quickly transform into something else.

That’s why you need to find a way to grip either your breath or your body. To find something stable in the midst of the movement.

The most difficult part of all of this is that we inevitably try to stay attentive with our minds, which is largely the most unstable part of our being. When you realize that you’re lost and you’ve wandered off into China or you’re stressing about the day ahead, come back to your breath or body.

Repeat.

What You Get Out Of This Process

I ended my personal story above with, “I had forgotten to keep myself happy.” The connection between what it would mean to “keep myself happy” and meditation is simple. I started to learn not to take the BS that happens in my head so seriously all the time.

When you’re moving quickly through life with an extremely active mind, you don’t have the time to differentiate between what’s valuable and what isn’t. You stop remembering to be grateful. You don’t think about how amazing it is that you have this opportunity to create something amazing, with the God given ambition to actually make it happen.

What I believe is the true hallmark of an entrepreneur is the elimination of a “problem” from your vocabulary. Entrepreneurs don’t believe in “problems.” They only know situations, events, setbacks that are nothing but mere barriers that have to be broken.

But without taking even just a few minutes every day to remember all this, we can lose our vision and our way. Every entrepreneur knows the power of a thought.

So meditate. Slow down. Take the time to remember what’s important. Take the time to let your thoughts roam.

Because you have a long day of work ahead of you.


What Are The Benefits Of Reading | The Truth About What You're Missing
what are the benefits of reading

What Are The Benefits Of Reading | The Truth About What You're Missing

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

From the time I was a kid up until the age of 19, I HATED reading.

I always preferred being outside playing basketball, or any other sport for that matter. My dad would consistently offer me money to read books but for some reason, it just didn't appeal to me at all. Who wants to read when you can do something more "fun?"

I never really gave reading for fun a chance until I read the book How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It's pretty remarkable how Carnegie has impacted my life so dramatically.

Carnegie did much more than merely provide me with insight into relationships. He gave me a first-hand lesson about the true value of a book.

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This will help you make a habit out of reading (an amazing habit)! ✔

What Are The Benefits of Reading?

The Simple Truth

We change a LOT over time.

Or do we?

Most people have an idealistic vision of continuously growing and developing throughout the course of their lives. It's an innate human characteristic to desire to make progress and positive changes to the way we think and live.

Here's the thing: If we're not exposed to new mental stimuli, new modes of thinking, new food for thought, then our brains are continuously repeating the same old patterns throughout the course of our lives.

Over time, our brains become very set in the way they operate. We close off to new interpretations of situations, and lack the ability to appreciate alternate viewpoints and beliefs that are out of line with "the way we think."

To put it simply, without new material for our brains to process, we stop learning and growing.

Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to change both functionally and physically throughout the course of an individual's lifetime. It is a term that reflects our incredible ability to adapt and change in the way we think and live our lives.

The concept of neuroplasticity brings to life this possibility of permanent learning of the brain.

A professor of neurology at Harvard, Rudolph E. Tanzi, and Deepak Chopra explain in their revolutionary book - Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being,

If you think of everyday experience as input for your brain, and your actions and thoughts as output, a feedback loop is formed. The old cliché about computer software — garbage in, garbage out — applies to all feedback loops. Toxic experiences shape the brain quite differently from healthy ones. This seems like common sense, but neuroscience has joined forces with genetics to reveal that right down to the level of DNA, the feedback loop that embraces mind and body is profoundly changed by the input processed by the brain.

Reading Physically and Functionally Alters The Way Our Brains Work

Reading is a special, immersive experience during which your brain truly comes to life. If you've ever read anything that you've remotely considered interesting, you've felt that new-ness, the special-ness of being introduced to a concept, idea or mode of thought you've never heard or had a chance to think about.

What's incredible is that through the process of reading, the brain is actively growing, adapting, changing, and making new connections and different patterns from what it is ordinarily accustomed to.

Research conducted through brain imaging has shown that the connectivity we experience in our brains while reading stays with us. Researchers call it "shadow activity," and equate it with muscle memory.

This muscle memory brings a possibility of openness to the way you approach life. When you read a novel, you're put in another's shoes. When you read non-fiction, you learn facts and hear opinions that you can take the time to evaluate.

All of this activity that happens semi-automatically as a result of reading has this amazing effect of causing you to approach life situations with new eyes. 

An Intro to "Theory of Mind"

"Theory of mind (often abbreviated "ToM") is the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different from one's own." - Christopher Bergland

Research has shown that reading improves theory of mind, and other less interactive forms of stimulation like television reduce it. Reading has this incredible effect of forcing you into other people's shoes and helping you adapt to new situations mentally, which all pours over into the way your brain works on a daily basis.

what are the benefits of readingEvery Problem You've Ever Encountered Has Been Solved & Written About

Beyond the remarkable ways that reading changes who we are and how we live our lives, there are an infinite number of very practical benefits that result from taking the time to read regularly.

You know those things we call "problems?" Those annoying situations that we hate because we're not sure what the correct method of response is... well here's some good news.

Every problem you can possibly have has been solved by someone who has had the problem before you. Very rarely are problems or difficult situations wholly unique.

Regardless of whether you're having emotional, psychological, spiritual, economic, or personal difficulty, others have gone through the same or very similar experiences and undoubtedly written about how they dealt with or solved their issues.

All it takes is a little bit of research, and a sincere desire to solve the issue you're having.

Reading Helps You Become A Well-Rounded Person

Every book you read adds value to your personality that you can never be stripped of

With every new thought or idea you're exposed to, you gain value. The value you gain has a dual benefit of both changing you internally and adding to any interaction you have with others.

I always admire when others have the ability to join in any conversation and speak intelligently about any given topic.

Outwardly, it's an extremely sexy characteristic, and inwardly you feel better about yourself. 

It's very comforting to have the ability to talk to anyone.

Increasing Attention Span

Most of us have difficulty focusing for long periods of time. Reading plays an enormous role in helping you work on keeping your attention in one place for more than a few minutes.

Our brains, just like our biceps, are muscles. The more you workout your attention, the longer you can stay in focus. Reading is one of the easiest ways to get your brain-workout in because of how engaging and enjoyable it is when you find reading material you're excited about.

Realizing You're Not Alone

What's most special about reading is the understanding that you're not alone. You're not alone in the way you live, the feelings you have, the problems you deal with, and the way life hits you.

Each one of us has different life circumstances, but in the end of the day we're all human.

Your life is just as real for you as my life is for me. It's a very special feeling to become aware of the fact that the only true difference between two given people is the life they've been given.

Through reading, your understanding of other people's emotions grows, which helps you better deal with your own emotions. You connect better with others on all levels, which in turn allows you to connect better with yourself.

Download the FREE FILLABLE action guide here:

 


What To Think About When Meditating | Easy To Use Methods
What to think about when meditating, what to think about while meditating

What To Think About When Meditating | Easy To Use Methods

What to Think About When Meditating

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Takeaways: To start seeing the benefits you want to get out of meditation, you need to (1) allow your thoughts to slow down before attempting to meditate. (2) Find a routine that allows you to stay present. (3) Understand that your emotions that come in the form of thoughts are simply events. (4) Refrain from judging yourself.


What to think about when meditating is a question that most people have a lot of trouble trying to answer. You may wonder how exactly people manage to cultivate the discipline to sit down for hours meditating - with no more external stimulation than the peaceful quiet surrounding them. What exactly do they think about when meditating? Or more importantly, how do we manage to become like them; peaceful and tolerant amidst the chaotic world that surrounds us? How do we answer this incredibly thought-provoking question of “How to meditate effectively?”

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This an awesome 3-step guide for a better meditation experience! ✔

Step One: Allow Your Thoughts to Slow Down

Before you delve into this wonderful art of centering yourself and coming to the door of greater peace and enlightenment, it is important to understand that meditation does not come to you all at once just because you took a second to sit and close your eyes. Your mind is an extremely powerful tool, capable of great feats under normal conditions.

It is almost impossible to shut down, with all of its wonderful intricacies and possibilities embedded in it. What you really want to achieve while meditating is to get to know and recognize your thoughts by seeing them, which in turn slows down the pace at which they move.

There’s this common misconception about meditation - thinking that we “do” something when we make the effort to meditate. The truth is, we don’t really “think about” or "do" anything when meditating.

∴  We simply come face to face with the constant internal movement that we never take the time to get to know.

But before we can really bring our attention to the constant movement of the mind – watching our own internal lives, we have to allow our thoughts to slow down so that we can pay attention to what is actually happening.

Before engaging in meditation, take the time to enjoy an activity that will quiet you internally and allow you to relax. Some good exercises are listening to classical or other relaxing music. Even just having a cup of tea while not engaging in another activity does the job.

comfortable

Step Two: Concentrate On Your Breathing

Once your mind isn't moving quite as swiftly, this beautiful opportunity to watch what is happening presents itself.

The next step is to realize that meditating is not about forcing your mind to think in a particular direction. Rather, it is about allowing it to think, while seeing that you’re not actively making it happen.

This is a difficult demand, and for that reason, we need to find an anchor.

To actually see that your thoughts simply happen without your own real control, you need to have something to hold on to that will allow you to stay where you are and not move wherever your thought decides to go.

One great tool you have to hold on to is your own breathing.

Your breath is in constant movement – back and forth between inhalation and exhalation. You never “think” to breathe, your breathing simply happens.

Our thoughts are similar, only we never take the time to get to know our wandering minds. Your breath doesn’t wander the way your thoughts do – there is simply inhaling and exhaling. By placing your attention in the process of breathing, you have a grip on something based in reality. When your mind begins to wander into imagination, your breath will keep you based in reality if you can stay with it.

Step Three: Watch Your Emotional Thoughts Without Judgement

This may sound absurd to you but the truth is, meditating is not about forgetting your thoughts, good or bad, and locking them up in the deep abyss of your mind. Meditation is also definitely not about transforming you into an emotionless being, devoid of feelings. What you need to do is view your thoughts without judgment, whether positive or negative, let them be.

Remember, your thoughts may define you to some extent, but they do not have to control you. It is imperative that you not feel guilty over how you reacted or behaved when particular thoughts arise, because the point of meditation is to ultimately better understand the way your mind works.

We can think of our thoughts as events, just as factual as getting in a car accident. The thoughts themselves simply happen, but we are the relationship to the happening thoughts.

Here are some ways to deal with your thoughts when you encounter them:

  • Think of your thoughts as floating balloons. When a thought occurs, view it objectively. Do not feel the need to justify your feelings, just understand that it is a thought and it does not have to control the quality of life you feel in any given moment.
  • Once done with the thought, do not dwell on it and simply allow the balloon to float away.
  • Bring your attention and focus back to the space between your breathing and allow the process to repeat itself.

what to think about when meditating, what to think about while meditating

Step 4: Coming Back To The Present Moment

Now after practicing the first few steps, you may soon realise that thoughts about the past may not be the only thing in your mind. You will struggle with keeping still – you’ll think about past events that happened, how you reacted, how you could have reacted.

You’ll think about future events that may or may not happen and how you might respond to those future events. You will think about how much longer you should continue before you get up. What’s important is remembering that these thoughts are simply in your imagination, happening without your conscious involvement.

You are not the thoughts but rather, the relationship to those thoughts as they arise. Once you truly see your lack of control and take the seeing of thoughts as merely events happening inside of you which you don’t have to identify with, you’re coming closer to what you truly are.

Simply bring your mind back to the present by shifting your focus to your five senses (four if your eyes are closed) and how they are interacting with your surroundings. Feel the air around you – is it cool, damp or warm? Let your skin absorb the texture of the very fabric that you are sitting on. Doing this would very effectively allow your mind to be brought back to the present and you can then go about focusing on your breathing

⇒ Practice these tips until they become second nature to you


Conclusion:

The benefits of meditation aren’t “merely” clarity and peace of mind. Science has shown there are true biological effects that meditation has on your physical body. Once you grow in your meditation practice with these steps, you will soon realize that meditation isn’t “difficult.” You never really “think about” anything when meditating, you simply come into contact with different, more internal parts of yourself. Make the commitment to practice these steps every day for 10 minutes at a time. Before you know it, meditation will become your bliss and sanctuary, allowing you to improve your quality of life as a whole.

 

Download the FREE FILLABLE action guide here:


Success Habits & Strategies for Implementing Them In Your Life
Success habits and strategies

Success Habits & Strategies for Implementing Them In Your Life

Reading Time: 2.5 minutes

There’s one truth that we all have to accept in order to place ourselves on the right path to success.

We ARE our habits.

Our lives are comprised of the sum total of the things we do on a daily basis, NOT the things we do sometimes.   

Once we’ve accepted the fact that our lives are comprised of the daily actions we take, the next step you have to take in order to move from where you are right now to where you want to be, is to determine the daily actions that will take you from here to there and find ways to actually implement these daily actions into your life.

That being said, there are certain habits, what I like to call ‘success habits,’ that almost all successful people seem to incorporate into their lives in some way or another.

The habits themselves are precisely related to your welfare; your physical, mental and emotional well-being.

If you’re feeling great physically, are able to withstand and deal with problems that might invoke difficult emotions in you, and mentally you aren’t bogged down by identifying with every passing thought, you are essentially giving yourself the energy and space that you need to be an energetic, creative, problem-solving individual on a pathway to success.

The only question left is, what are these habits & how can I begin to implement them into my life?

Success Habits and Strategies for Implementing Them Into Your Life

success habits and strategies

The Habit: Waking up early with a purpose

The reason waking up early is correlated so highly with success is that the world is truly quiet in the morning hours and distractions are at a minimum compared to the rest of the day. You can use the morning hours to either get a necessary task done before the day even really starts or you can partake in another activity that will help ensure your mental, physical or emotional welfare for the coming day by eating a good breakfast, meditating, reading, writing, etc.

How to become a morning person:

(1)  Sleep early and stay consistent about sleeping at a reasonable hour.

(2)  Have all of the following items done before going to bed:

  •  All your bags packed and ready to go for the next day so you don’t have to do anything besides pick it/them up on the way out of the house.
  • The clothes you want to wear the next day should be decided and laid out so you can just put them on after you brush your teeth or shower.
  • What you want to eat for breakfast (I recommend eating breakfast to help create lasting energy for the day).
  • A thought out plan for what your morning will consist of.

(3)  As soon as you open your eyes, JUMP out of bed and do something active like 5 pushups or 10 jumping jacks. What this does is it gets your energy flowing and literally forces your body to wake up without giving your mind a chance to come in and convince you to sleep for those five extra minutes.

(4)  Don’t waste any time before you get your day started.

Demo media 1364382466The Habit: Physical stimulation/Exercise

Looking good and feeling more confident about your physical attraction are just a few of the incidental benefits of exercising. When you give your body the physical stimulation that it craves, your body literally rewards you with happiness in the form of endorphins. Creating this beautiful reciprocal relationship with your body is one of the keys to success.

How to begin an exercise regimen:

(1)  Think deeply about the type of body you want. Do you just want to lose weight? Are you trying to put on muscle? Do you want to tone up?

(2)  Do some research about different activities that will get you the results you crave.

(3)  Determine which of the activities that will help push you towards your goal body seem the most fun to you. Which of these activities do you genuinely think you will enjoy?

(4)  Set aside a specific time in your schedule to engage in the physical activities you choose and try to the greatest extent possible to remain consistent about the times you dedicate towards your physical well being. After a few weeks, your body will be ready for physical activity at the time you ordinarily exercise.

(5)  If you see that your physical activity is starting to feel more like a burden than an enjoyable time of the day, switch it up! Go back to the drawing board and think about different ways to exercise that sound fun and appealing to try.

success habits and strategies

The Habit: Eating Healthier

To operate at maximum productive capacity, you need to have maximum energy levels. Begin paying attention to how your body responds to the different foods you eat and you’ll quickly understand the importance of not over-eating and eating nutritious foods that fuel your body with clean energy. You’re not dieting, you’re just cleaning up your diet.

How to clean up your diet:

(1)  Our junk food intake has to be at a minimum and the easiest way to ensure that happens is by simply not buying soda, chips, chocolate, candy, etc. for your home. Keeping your home clean of junk will help keep your diet clean.

(2)  Try to eat bread and other carbohydrates earlier in the day rather than during dinner and as part of late night snacks.

(3)  Water, water and more water. Water helps keeps you full and fresh. Dehydration manifests in pretty subtle yet aggravating symptoms.

(4)  No matter what the rest of your diet looks like, make sure to eat vegetables and fruits. For your body to operate at its maximum possible potential it needs a strong immune system along with nutrients required to ensure its health and energy.

success habits and strategies

The Habit: Meditating

All day long our minds are racing at 100 miles per hour and most of the time we’re completely unaware of it. We don’t ordinarily think about our thoughts as events that require energy, but every thought that we have requires a certain amount of energy. The thoughts that we really identify with strongly and force us into imagination drain us. Meditation helps patch up the leaking of energy caused by the neuroticism of our minds.

How to implement meditation into your life:

(1)  Full body stretch for 2-3 minutes.

(2)  Sit comfortably in a chair or cross-legged on a pillow on the floor. If you’re on the floor, try to sit on the edge of the pillow so you’re leaning forward towards your knees as opposed to your back to ensure no pressure on your spine.

(3)  Close your eyes and try to follow your breath. Become aware of the fact that it is taking place. Your mind will begin talking immediately and all you have to do is see it. It’s not about controlling what the mind is saying, you’ll quickly realize you can’t do that. The point is to simply be aware of what is taking place and come back to your breath when you are taken by the flow of thoughts.

________________________________________________________

Conclusion:

The success habits and strategies discussed are meant to prepare your body, mind, and heart for whatever they’ll each be faced with throughout the day. Remember, you are your habits

If on a daily basis you eat a bunch of junk, disrespect your body by failing to provide it with the physical stimulation it needs, and allow your thoughts to run your day, you cannot possibly operate at your maximum potential.

Just like you need to take care of your car with oil, gas, water, and good breaks to run perfectly, your body, mind and heart need you to take care of them in order to operate at maximum capacity.


How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise
how to motivate yourself to exercise, how to motivate yourself to workout, how to motivate yourself to work out

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Reading time: 2.5 minutes

So there you are sitting in your car in the parking lot of your local health food grocery and there they come: the fit people.  Girls with their sun-streaked hair pulled smartly in a bun, walking with their weirdly good posture in their workout gear.  The men with their muscles rippling under their wife beaters and their fit bits on their arms.

You look down on your less than perfect physique and think, "I'll never be one of them."  But the truth is, there is nothing inherently different about you and any one of those people. The truth is - you have the potential to possess your dream body.  The only thing separating you from these people is a little motivation.

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise Regularly  | 6 Simple Steps

In order to motivate yourself to exercise, you need to:

(1) Get very clear on what your goals are

(2) Determine the proper exercise regimen

(3) Use positive reinforcement by rewarding yourself

(4) Create a system of accountability

(5) Be realistic about your goals and

(6) Find the right time to act on your fitness goals.

Step One: Understanding Your Why

First off, you need to think about why you want to exercise in the first place because unless you answer the WHY question with some sincerity, it'll be difficult to ever find motivation to work out.

Is it so that you can lose weight? Are you trying to build muscle? Do you want to feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin? To be more attractive?

You need to be honest with yourself in answering the question, because your answer serves as the emotional fuel that will provide you with necessary motivation.

Secondly, you need to answer the question of what are you doing with your time when you're not exercising – specifically when you have the time to do it.

Do you waste time watching T.V.? Are you mindlessly browsing social media outlets, randomly browsing the internet, or smoking weed with friends?

By answering the question, you see first-hand how the activities we usually engage in rather than doing things we know are good for us really aren’t worth it.

As humans, what sets us apart from other animals is our desire to be great as opposed to simply survive. We all have a vision of what our ideal life might look like. The desire to change your life through exercising in itself is evidence that there is some way you think you can improve your quality of life.

Answering questions related to the reason you want to alter your habits are really important to whether or not you’ll succeed in changing. The reason being that when we forget (and we forget quite often) the reason we’re struggling to improve our lives, we tend to retreat to our habitual selves; to the person we were before we made the decision to change.

Having a clear understanding of your ‘why’ (what you want to change and why you want to change it) is what pulls you through the tough times you will inevitably face when altering your habits.

Step Two: The Proper Exercise Routine

It's really important to figure out how to exercise (depending on your goals) because one of the reasons we don't exercise in the first place is we don't know what we're doing and we're scared of what people will think of us.

Do your research, and don't be afraid. Everybody is worried about themselves, nobody cares about how YOU look!

Depending on your goals (that you come up with when answering the 'why' question), you should be doing different exercise routines.

If you want to generally be healthier, your options are unlimited. You can hike/walk/run a few times a week and it'll get the job done.

If you want to pack on muscle and get to a point where every muscle on your body is defined, you need to be doing a lot more work and dieting properly. You would need to determine a weight-lifting regimen based on research.

If your goal is to lose weight, you can do interval training aimed at burning fat quickly.

Step Three:  Make use of positive reinforcement

If you exercise, you know you will eventually see the positive changes you want to in your body and in your life, but most people are too results oriented.  We get discouraged if we don’t see a reward right away. So what we propose is to give yourself one.

Author Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We do What We Do In Life and Business, says that to successfully add a new habit, we need to create a neurological "Habit Loop"  in which we begin to associate certain events with rewards.

In other words, say you treat yourself to a massage or dessert every time you exercise.  Eventually, exercise will become worthwhile to you because you have something immediate to gain every time you do it. Hence, exercise becomes an event you enjoy rather than a time of suffering.

The idea is that once you consistently make the time to exercise with the help of a reward that you give yourself, you will start to see the inherent benefits that exercise brings. Pretty quickly, exercise itself will be the reward.

Step Four: Create accountability

Even though we may wish we didn't, we care a lot about what people think of us.  Fortunately, when it comes to exercising, we can use that to our advantage.

There’s a ton of research out there to support the notion that we are way more likely to keep promises when we make them in the presence of friends or other people we think have a positive image of us.

It creates a sense of ownership to our own goals. We don’t want to distort the positive image we know that other people have of us by making it seem like we can’t keep our word to ourselves.

Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert,PhD, and assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University suggests that it might even be a good idea to make pacts with friends in which you agree to pay a monetary penalty to them if your skip your routine. He’s so adamant about the concept that he uses it to motivate himself.

He’s been quoted saying,

"If I don't do that (exercise), I'm going to have to pay some kind of penalty, whether it's monetary or the embarrassment of having friends know I didn't live up to my word."

Step Five: Be realistic

If you set your goals too high, you may never reach them.  Don’t tell yourself that if you don’t look like The Rock within two months you’re a failure.  In speaking about people who regularly work out, expert Roger Lawson says,

"They're simply too hard and expect too much from themselves; they think it has to be much harder than it has to be and when they don't live up to the expectations that set for themselves, it all begins to fall apart.”

Take small steps.  Doing something is better than doing nothing.  Start with something you can do effortlessly.  Instead off setting out to exercise 5-6 times a week, aim to do it 1-2 times consistently. Set the bar low so that you stay strong mentally and don’t get discouraged. The goal is small victories and consistency. I promise you’ll know when to step it up as you go.

Step Six: Implement other healthy lifestyle habits that will motivate you to go to the gym

When you start living a healthier lifestyle in general, you'll exercise more. By the same token, when you start exercising more often, you'll start eating healthier, sleeping earlier, waking up earlier.

All positive health habits build on each other, so whatever you can do in other areas of your life to contribute to your health will help motivate you on a daily basis.

When is the right time to exercise?

It isn’t really important what time of the day you act on your fitness goals, but it is important to try and exercise at the same time every day. Because the thing is, motivation is unreliable after some time.

Motivation gets you started, but what keeps you going is making a habit out of going to the gym regularly. One of the best ways to do this is by going to the gym at the same time every day (or on days that you go). When you go at the same time

One of the best ways to do this is by going to the gym at the same time every day (or on days that you go). When you go at the same time every day your body is prepared at that time for exercise and your mind will signal to you that it is time to workout!

Action steps to take now

  1. Write down the exact reasons you want to exercise based on the questions above – spend the time to be honest with yourself.
  2. Based on the reasons you want to exercise, do some research to find the best regimen to help you push toward your goals.
  3. Decide how you can positively reinforce your own actions.
  4. Tell the people you care about what your goals are.
  5. Choose 1-2 other SMALL healthy lifestyle changes you can make and start acting on them immediately.
  6. Decide how many times a week you want to exercise, and what time during the day. Stick to your plan.

Concluding Remarks:

Exercising regularly isn’t easy.  It's a big commitment and it requires serious time and energy.  But if you keep your mind focused on the outcome, you can make it happen.  Follow the steps outlined above and we promise you are well on your way to your fitness goals.


Learn How to Meditate | For Beginners
learn how to meditate for beginners

Learn How to Meditate | For Beginners

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Benefits to "Learn How to Meditate for Beginners":

Upon completion of this article, you will be able to (1) meditate effectively in any environment, (2) develop a greater understanding as to how meditation works, and (3) start being aware of your surroundings and in turn develop a greater focus in life.

Meditation has become much of a social norm for people from all walks of life due to the immense benefits that it brings. Long gone are the days where you’re met with wary eyes when speaking about the positivity that meditation can bring to one’s life. But with the immense popularity of meditation slowly growing in strength, comes the question – How do beginners meditate or how long to meditate for beginners? Today we unravel some keys to meditation that will help beginners learn how to meditate instantly.

Bonus: Download the free action guide checklist now! This an awesome 3-step guide for a better meditation experience! ✔

Step One: Find a quiet spot to meditate in

As with everything you do, it is incredibly easy for you to lose focus. Especially if the activity requires using your voluntary attention to concentrate on a given task. Meditation is of no exception. Thus it is imperative to find the perfect spot in your home where you will remain undisturbed by the world throughout the entire duration of your meditation.

Beginners often think that meditation requires constant effort to actively block out surrounding distraction. But what they don’t realize is that most avid meditators avoid putting themselves in such difficult positions to begin with.

Don’t drain your mental capacity before you start meditating by putting yourself in a position in which you will be constantly disturbed.

If you’re living with roommates, wake up earlier than they do every morning so you won’t be disrupted by them. A quiet room in your workspace works well if you have to rush in the morning. If you’re already out roaming around in this beautiful world, a bench in the park during lunch hours could suffice.

If you really can’t find any comfortable place in which you won’t be bothered by the external world, don’t worry. The goal is to bring your attention to one place, yourself. When you get distracted, bring your attention to your senses. Come back to your body, sitting in the chair or on the floor. The sensation of the tension in your face.

It will be more difficult to start but as long as you maintain the right attitude, you can meditate anywhere.

Step Two: Adopt a comfortable position

Once you’re done finding a quiet spot, it’s time to take on a comfortable pose. Now this may come as a surprise to many of you who’ve just started out meditating or have yet to attempt it, but you don’t have to sit in a complicated lotus position or the usual “meditative pose” you’re always seeing images of.

Understand that when just starting out, comfort is more important than nailing a particular power pose for meditation. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive to increase your flexibility and aim to acquire a proper meditation pose at some point, but it shouldn’t be your priority when just starting out on your journey.

Many beginners make the mistake of starting their meditation straight in a lotus position only to lose focus and get discouraged because of the uncomfortable position involved. All you’ve got to do is sit in a position that feels most comfortable to you. Whether that position means sitting cross-legged or with your legs dangling from a chair isn’t relevant. You may choose to close your eyes or keep them slightly open, depending on what’s most comfortable to you.

Step Three: Be Aware of Your Surroundings

The common practice that you may have read over the internet is to focus on your breath. But that is not the only way to go about meditating. Meditation isn’t about focusing on something in particular, much less is it about sitting down in a fixed pose and thinking about peaceful thoughts. It’s merely a way for your mind to connect with your body and in turn allowing a special connection between your different parts to take place. What it brings is for you to see.

After finding your comfortable position, simply sit in stillness and silence as you become aware of your surroundings. This is not the same as thinking of something. Rather, you are observing the things around you and comprehending them as your senses register them. When thoughts that don’t relate to where you are in that very moment arise, ignore them. Don’t suppress them, don’t grow upset with yourself for having those thoughts. Just know that you didn’t actively think them and only by understanding that you didn’t actually think those thoughts can you become free of them.

Action steps

To be honest, there is no such thing as “a perfect time for meditation.” As you read this article, you’re probably focused enough and comfortably seated to meditate right now. From this sentence onwards, start being aware of your surroundings as you read on within the article. Notice how silent or how noisy your environment is, and how still your mind is compared to the rest of your surroundings, all while you’re reading this article. Allow your thoughts to come to you, without judgment or fear. If you’re thinking about what to eat for lunch, just let your thoughts continue as you become aware of the presence of this thought.

We can’t help but stress the difference between thinking and actually being aware of your thoughts, so make sure you make an effort to determine what that difference is.

You won’t realize the benefits you want to see from meditation right away. You’ve got to accept that you’re going to struggle as you begin on this journey into meeting your inner life. You may not feel refreshed or relaxed at the end of every meditative session. But despite your frustration, know this – you will learn an incredible amount very quickly as long as you make a habit out of sitting every day to meditate.

When and how to do this

  1. Set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier than you wake up
  2. Once you hear your alarm in the morning, get up, brush your teeth and wash your face
  3. Immediately go to your meditation sanctuary
  4. Sit
  5. Realize where your attention is, make an effort to bring it to the moment and continue to bring it back when it wanders

Try to limit rest days. Just 20 minutes a day even while on holiday or when you’re busy working/studying. That is the only way to go about building the habit and reaping the rewards that you want to see. More often than not, beginners will give up easily and complain that they are not getting the benefits from meditation after trying just a few times. You HAVE to be mentally prepared for the internal struggle within yourself and believe that the day will come when you can at last experience true bliss while meditating.

Conclusion: It may seem tough at first, but you have to realize that not a single practitioner got to reap the benefits of meditation without prior years of practice and perseverance. By practicing every single day, you’ll eventually come to a point where the benefits of meditation outweigh the time spent every day pursuing this activity. Make yourself a promise to stick to this regime and before you know it, your life will change for the better.

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