1. Everyone has dreams and goals...
However, very few people actually achieve them. This is because majority of us let our limits hold us back. These limits take various forms. Examples are physical inability, doubt, fear or a negative past. When you meet your personal limits, you feel resistance. This makes everything feel much harder to accomplish. Many people around the world are unable to hold on when it gets to this point. Therefore, they give up. It is important to learn how to beat your limits and overcome them. This enables you to achieve your goals. Here is how to push beyond your limits and achieve your biggest goals.
2. Find someone to assist you...
Sometimes, all that you need to overcome your limits and keep moving towards your dreams is a little encouragement. It is important to have someone to support you when things get tough. They can be a counter-balance for any negative thinking or self-talk that you could have when the going gets hard. By showing you how strong you are, they can help you to shift focus from your limitations to your strengths. As a result, you can accomplish more and push yourself to do the things that exist beyond your comfort zone. This is a sure way to achieve your big dream.
3. Adjust your mindset...
The mind is the greatest weapon in our personal arsenals. It is capable of any thought hence can help us to accomplish anything we want. For many, it convinces them to quit when the path gets too challenging. Our minds instinctively protect us. Therefore, when we face imminent hardship, the first response is to give up. If you become used to accepting this, you will become a quitter. If done regularly, this can create a limit and keep you within it. To achieve your goals, you have to overcome the desire to give up. This can be accomplished by looking up to someone whose resilience you admire such as your role model, a movie star, your parents or your mentor. Watch how they overcome the desire to give up. Then you can visualize yourself doing the same every time that you face hardship and feel like giving up. You will find yourself holding on for longer, training your mind to become more optimistic and eventually become strong enough to overcome your limits.
4. Embrace bigger challenges than you think you are capable of...
The fundamental activity required in pushing beyond your limits is to take on challenges that are harder than what you are used to. If you do not push past your capability regularly, you get stuck within your comfort zone and do not experience any growth. This causes stagnation and eventually despair. Therefore, enthusiastically embrace challenges that are bigger, harder and more complex than what you are used to. This will help you to get comfortable being outside your comfort zone and get you closer to your dreams.
5. Go for what is unknown to you...
Majority of us are afraid of the unknown. We feel threatened when we even think of going past our comfort zones. This shows a low ability to handle ambiguity. When there is an unknown chance of success or failure, we are afraid to move forward. Research shows that children are more willing to embrace the unknown more than adults. This is because the desire for safety and security is much stronger as we grow older. This makes us want to stay within our comfort zone more. However, the only way to overcome our limits is to embrace the unknown. Moreover, if you currently enjoy and are satisfied with your current work, you will be able to embrace the discomfort that comes with the unknown. According to Bill Walsh who is the San Francisco 49ers' former head coach, if your reason why is bold enough, then you will know how to get where you want to be.
6. Visualize yourself at the next level...
One of the most important activities to perform so as to push past your limits is to stay focused. Visualization is a handy tool that you can use towards this effect. You need to focus on what you want so as to get motivated in pursuing your plan despite your imagined limits. Many times, we know where we have been and where we currently are. However, we rarely know exactly where we need to go. Take the time to imagine where you want to be by a certain time in future. Visualize this every single morning when you get up. This will motivate you to go out of your comfort zone and achieve your goals.
7. Establish clarity about your next step...
If you have a great goal, then your path will be unclear. This causes you not to know exactly what the future holds. It can cause a fear of the unknown. If this fear is big enough, you can easily give up on your passionate dreams and pursue more familiar plans for example getting a stable job. It is essential to have clarity for your goals but you do not have to see all the way down the path. All you need to see is the next step or two. To do this, you need to have clear milestones or list of checkpoints. You also need the tools required to achieve this step. A strict timeline is also essential for success. Last but not least, you need a support system to keep you focused. This is a manageable way to handle a big dream. Therefore, work to establish a clear plan of action for the next step and follow up on it. This will help you to gradually overcome your limits and achieve your goals.
8. Eliminate your weaknesses...
It is important to know that where there are weaknesses, there are limits. Each one of us has specific strengths and weaknesses. Weaknesses take away from our strengths. They deduct as we make efforts to add. They are a leak in the ship of your life. Many motivational speakers encourage us to focus on our strengths and ignore our weaknesses. However, ignoring a problem will not make it go away. We have to face our weaknesses and transform them. We can either turn them into strengths or eliminate them completely. This is the only way to overcome our limits and achieve our biggest goals. It is a painful process with lifetime benefits.
9. The Important Take Away...
By pushing beyond your limits, you can become everything that you ever wanted to be. You can achieve your dreams and leave a lasting legacy. The tips above can help you to achieve this. Read and apply them in your life to observe a gradual, positive transformation.
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by Stan Goldberg
Self-change is tough, but it's not impossible, nor does it have to be traumatic, according to change expert Stan Goldberg, Ph.D. Here, he lays out the 10 principles he deems necessary for successful change.
My mother died on Christmas day of a massive heart attack. I later counted 15 self-help books on her shelves, but found each offered only broad ideas; none provided the specifics necessary to save her life.
Like my mother, many of us want to change but simply don't know how to do it. After 25 years of researching how people change, I've discovered 10 major principles that encompass all self-change strategies. I've broken down those principles and, using one example—a man's desire to be more punctual—I demonstrate strategies for implementing change in your own life.
All Behaviors Are Complex
Research by psychologist James O. Prochaska, Ph.D., an internationally renowned expert on planned change, has repeatedly found that change occurs in stages. To increase the overall probability of success, divide a behavior into parts and learn each part successively.
Strategy: Break down the behavior
Almost all behaviors can be broken down. Separate your desired behavior into smaller, self-contained units. He wanted to be on time for work, so he wrote down what that would entail: waking up, showering, dressing, preparing breakfast, eating, driving, parking and buying coffee—all before 9 a.m.
Change Is Frightening
We resist change, but fear of the unknown can result in clinging to status quo behaviors—no matter how bad they are.
Strategy: Examine the consequences
Compare all possible consequences of both your status quo and desired behaviors. If there are more positive results associated with the new behavior, your fears of the unknown are unwarranted. If he didn't become more punctual, the next thing he'd be late for is the unemployment office. There was definitely a greater benefit to changing than to not changing.
Strategy: Prepare your observers
New behaviors can frighten the people observing them, so introduce them slowly. Becoming timely overnight would make co-workers suspicious. He started arriving by 9 a.m. only on important days.
Strategy: Be realistic
Unrealistic goals increase fear. Fear increases the probability of failure. Mornings found him sluggish, so he began preparing the night before and doubled his morning time.
Change Must Be Positive
As B.F. Skinner's early research demonstrates, reinforcement-not punishment-is necessary for permanent change. Reinforcement can be intrinsic, extrinsic or extraneous. According to Carol Sansone, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Utah, one type of reinforcement must be present for self-change, two would be better than one, and three would be best.
Strategy: Enjoy the act
Intrinsic reinforcement occurs when the act is reinforcing. He loved dressing well. Seeing his clothes laid out at night was a joyful experience.
Strategy: Admire the outcome
An act doesn't have to be enjoyable when the end result is extrinsically reinforcing. For instance, I hate cleaning my kitchen, but I do it because I like the sight of a clean kitchen. After dressing, he looked in the mirror and enjoyed the payoff from his evening preparation: He looked impeccable.
Strategy: Reward yourself
Extraneous reinforcement isn't directly connected to the act or its completion. A worker may despise his manufacturing job but will continue working for a good paycheck. Whenever he met his target, he put $20 into his Hawaii vacation fund.
Being Is Easier Than Becoming
In my karate class of 20 students, the instructor yelled, "No pain, no gain," amid grueling instructions. After four weeks, only three students remained. Uncomfortable change becomes punishing, and rational people don't continue activities that are more painful than they are rewarding.
Strategy: Take baby steps
In one San Francisco State University study, researchers found that participants were more successful when their goals were gradually approximated. Write down the behavior you want to change. Then to the right, write your goal. Draw four lines between the two and write a progressive step on each that takes you closer to your goal. The first week, he would arrive by 9:20 a.m., then five minutes earlier each subsequent week until he achieved his goal.
Strategy: Simplify the process
Methods of changing are often unnecessarily complicated and frenetic. Through simplicity, clarity arises. Instead of waiting in line at Starbucks, he would buy coffee in his office building.
Strategy: Prepare for problems
Perfect worlds don't exist, and neither do perfect learning situations. Pamela Dunston, Ph.D., of Clemson University, found cueing to be an effective strategy. His alarm clock failed to rouse him, so for the first month he'd use a telephone wake-up service.
Slower Is Better
Everything has its own natural speed; when altered, unpleasant things happen. Change is most effective when it occurs slowly, allowing behaviors to become automatic.
Strategy: Establish calm
Life is like a stirred-up lake: Allow it to calm and the mud will settle, clearing the water. The same is true for change. To make mornings less harried, he no longer ran errands on his way to work.
Strategy: Appreciate the path
Author Ursula LeGuin once said, "It's good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Don't devise an arduous path; it should be as rewarding as the goal. He enjoyed almost everything involved in being punctual. The coffee could be better, but it was a small price to pay.
Know More, Do Better
Surprise spells disaster for people seeking change. Knowing more about the process allows more control over it.
Strategy: Monitor your behaviors
Some therapists insist on awareness of both current and desired behaviors, but research suggests it's sufficient to be aware of just the new one. In a journal, he recorded the time taken for each step of work preparation.
Strategy: Request feedback
A study in the British Journal of Psychology found that reflecting on personal experiences with others is key to successful change. But because complimenting new behavior implies that the observer disliked the old one, it can make observers feel uncomfortable. If, for example, you were once demeaning to people, few would now say, "It's nice talking with you since you stopped being a jerk." Give the observer permission, suggests Paul Schutz, Ph.D., of the University of Georgia, and you will receive feedback.
Every Friday he asked a friend how well he was doing with his time problem.
Strategy: Understand the outcome
Success is satisfying, and if you know why you succeeded or failed, similar strategies can be applied when changing other behaviors. Every morning, he analyzed why he did or did not arrive to work on time.
Change Requires Structure
Many people view structure as restrictive, something that inhibits spontaneity. While spontaneity is wonderful for some activities, it's a surefire method for sabotaging change.
Strategy: Identify what works
Classify all activities and materials you're using as either helpful, neutral or unhelpful in achieving your goal. Eliminate unhelpful ones, make neutrals into positives and keep or increase the positives. After evaluating his morning routine, he replaced time-consuming breakfasts with quick protein drinks.
Strategy: Revisit your plan regularly
Review every day how and why you're changing and the consequences of success and failure. Research by Daniel Willingham, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, showed that repetition increases the probability of success. Each night he reviewed his plan, smiled and said, "Hawaii, here I come."
Strategy: Logically sequence events
According to behavior expert Richard Foxx, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Penn State University at Harrisburg, it's important to sequence the aspects associated with learning a new behavior in order of level of difficulty or timing. He completed all bathroom activities, then ate breakfast.
Practice Is Necessary
Practice is another key approach to change, suggests one study on changing conscious experience published recently in the British Journal of Psychology. I've found that the majority of failures occur because this principle is ignored. Practice makes new behaviors automatic and a natural part of who we are.
Strategy: Use helpers
Not all behaviors can be learned on your own. Sometimes it's useful to enlist the help of a trusted friend. When even the telephone answering service failed to wake him up, he asked his secretary to call.
Strategy: Practice in many settings
If you want to use a new behavior in different environments, practice it in those or similar settings. Dubbing this "generalization," psychologists T.F. Stokes and D.M. Baer found it critical in maintaining new behaviors. During the first week he would try to be punctual for work. The following week, he would try to be on time for his regularly scheduled tennis game.
New Behaviors Must Be Protected
Even when flawlessly performed, new behaviors are fragile and disappear if unprotected.
Strategy: Control your environment
Environmental issues such as noise and level of alertness may interfere with learning new behaviors. After identifying what helps and what hinders, increase the helpers and eliminate the rest. Having a nightcap before bed made it difficult to wake up in the morning, so he avoided alcohol after 7 p.m.
Strategy: Use memory aides
Because a new behavior is neither familiar nor automatic, it's easy to forget. Anything that helps memory is beneficial. He kept a list in each room of his apartment describing the sequence of things to be done and the maximum allowable time to complete them.
Small Successes Are Big
Unfortunately, plans for big successes often result in big failures. Focus instead on a series of small successes. Each little success builds your reservoir of self-esteem; one big failure devastates it.
Strategy: Map your success
Approach each step as a separate mission and you'll eventually arrive at the end goal. For each morning activity he completed within his self-allotted time limit, he rewarded himself by putting money into his Hawaii-getaway fund.
The process of changing from what you are to what you would like to become can be either arduous and frustrating or easy and rewarding. The effort required for both paths is the same. Choose the first and you'll probably recycle yourself endlessly. Apply my 10 principles, and change, once only a slight possibility, becomes an absolute certainty. The choice is yours.
About The Author
Stan Goldberg, Ph.D., is a private speech therapist , a change consultant, and the author of four books on change.
Written by peacefulbanyantree.com
“Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation. All of our self-talk, our internal dialogue, is a stream of affirmations. You’re using affirmations every moment whether you know it or not. You’re affirming and creating your life experiences with every word and thought.” ∼ Louise Hay
Almost all of us are confronted with negative thoughts every once in a while. But unfortunately, the number of people who have negative thoughts on a regular basis is seriously increasing. And for some, negative thinking has become a chronic habit.
However, most of us pay very little attention to these thoughts. We don’t realize how destructive this thought pattern can be. Negative thinking affects our mood and can slowly change our general outlook on life.
We shouldn’t create the thought of what our life is right now. We should create the thought of what our life should be. Because we know the equation – our life doesn’t create our thoughts, our thoughts create our life. So, we need to create the thought of what we want our life to be.
We can do this with the help of positive affirmations. Affirmation is such a powerful tool with what we can create miracles in our lives. But unaware of the technique, we are creating thoughts which are opposite to what we want in our life.
For example; I am stressed, I am depressed, I am tired, what a depressing weather! We keep on repeating these phrases and negativity of it becomes our reality. These are all negative affirmations you repeat to yourself not knowing that you are actually attracting all this.
Affirmation is a statement that you repeat to yourself in order to get your subconscious mind reprogrammed. Basically, it’s really anything you say or think. In most cases, we are unaware of this process.
If we do not pay attention to this process, it can work against us. We might subconsciously affirm negative beliefs which can even cause us to self-sabotage our progress in life.
We can use positive affirmations as a breakthrough to come out of this self-sabotaging process. However, saying positive affirmations is only a part of the process. The secret to having your affirmations work is to believe in them. You can not just say your affirmations and later doubt on them.
You have to consistently prepare an atmosphere for affirmations to work by keeping your thoughts positive and clean. Just think about, how you want your life to be and make your own affirmations around those desires.
Your life won’t change overnight, but if you use positive affirmations consistently every single day, you will definitely see improvement in every area of your life.
I am able to find positivity in every situation.
I create only positive thoughts and radiates positivity.
I am getting stronger and healthier every day.
I am taking good care of my mental and physical health.
I am becoming a better version of myself every day.
I am confident to overcome any hurdles.
I know my self-worth and I am worthy of the best.
I believe in myself.
I am overflowing with happiness, joy, and satisfaction.
I choose happiness over doubt and fear.
I forgive myself and everyone else for all the mistakes.
I choose to release hurt and resentment.
I am a money magnet and attract money easily.
The universe is creating opportunities for me to earn more and more money.
I see success and abundance everywhere.
I am becoming more and more successful every day.
Every breath I take fills my soul with calmness and ease.
I am at peace now.
Today is the most beautiful day.
Today I lay the foundation for a wonderful future.
If used correctly and consistently, affirmations can be incredibly powerful. However, we should not expect some magic here. Positive affirmations allow you to cultivate the necessary mindset that helps to accomplish your dreams.
You still need to take actions to make your dreams come true and to achieve the quality of life you desire.
By Erica Ariel Fox
Mobius Executive Leadership
Martin leads the largest division of a global company. You feel his presence immediately when he walks into a room. Not because he’s flashy or full of ego, but because he’s neither. Instead, it’s the unshakable confidence that comes from knowing exactly who you are, and the star power that accompanies a certain kind of seniority. It’s hard to imagine him in a moment of self-doubt.
And yet on the inside, he does berate himself. If something catches him by surprise, he’ll think, “You should’ve seen that coming.” After giving a keynote, he tells himself, “Lousy talk!” If a client turns down a proposal, he asks himself the aching question: “What’s wrong with you?”
Dominique, an executive at a European company, has a similar kind of inspiring confidence — and critical inner monologue. I’ve seen rooms full of people stop talking and turn their attention to the door when she shows up. She’s a force of nature, but they look up to her with admiration, not fear. She’s tough but fair. She hears people out. Still, at the end of the day, it’s her team, and no one is confused about who makes the final calls.
But despite her hard-earned stature, she’s pulled down by an inner voice that questions her every move. Though her team talks to her with respect, the way she talks to herself is far from it. “Why should they listen to you?” she sometimes thinks. “Why didn’t you prepare more?” And other times, “You’re a fraud.”
Advising Martin, Dominique, and other C-suite executives, I’ve learned that for successful senior leaders like them, the hardest difficult conversations they have are the ones they have with themselves.
When it comes to having tough conversations with their colleagues, clients, or direct reports, they often take them in stride, seeing them as just “part of the job.” A common reaction is, as one leader told me: “We have an opportunity to build something truly special here. I don’t shy away from tackling anything — including “people issues” — that stands in the way of our mission.” To be sure, none of the people I work with enjoy confronting people on performance issues, or delivering bad news. Yet, they tell me, it comes with the territory. They expect it.
Though these executives are comfortable dealing with topics most people would find stressful to discuss, they still struggle with how they talk to themselves. What I’ve learned, however, is that leaders whose gravitas runs deep don’t run away from this struggle. The ones who make it to the top learn to deal with the universal voice of self-doubt head on.
When I ask executives how they think about difficult conversations with others, they say things like, “We’ve built a culture I call ‘high challenge, high support.’” So I build on that, encouraging them to apply the same standard to that critical innervoice.
The negative voice in your head wants something. It wants to be heard. It needssomething, too: a bit of compassion and friendly reassurance. When you provide these, the conversations with yourself start to go a lot better. Instead of silencing or denying that inner voice, respond to it. Here’s how it sounds:
Other techniques you use for difficult conversations with others can also work when contesting with your own inner voice. With other people, you ask yourself “is this battle worth fighting?” Pick your battles with yourself, too. You know best practice is not to lecture someone, but rather to have a dialogue. Embrace the tone of dialogue in your inner speech as well. Hostile confrontation is rarely the way to go, with other people, or with yourself. Do you give people second chances? Do you forgive a small mistake? Then give yourself a second chance, too. Forgive yourself when you miss the mark. If you expect the people around you to learn from their mistakes and move on, then you can, too.
What makes conversations difficult is the desire to avoid them, and the way we lose our cool when we have them. Practice makes powerful. The same is true whether you’re talking to someone else, or to yourself.
About the Author
Erica Ariel Fox is the author of the New York Times bestseller Winning From Within: A Breakthrough Method for Leading, Living, and Lasting Change. She is a founding partner at Mobius Executive Leadership and she teaches negotiation at Harvard Law School. She also teaches negotiation at Harvard Law School, and is founder of the Harvard Negotiation Insight Initiative (HNII) and the Global Network for Negotiation Insight and Exchange (GNNIE). A highly sought-after advisor, Erica works with senior leaders around the world with her partners at Mobius Executive Leadership, and she is also a Senior Advisor to McKinsey Leadership Development.
A simple guide to be mindful throughout the day—whether you're washing the dishes, eating a snack, or sitting down to meditate.
By Jeffrey Brantley
Have you ever started eating an ice cream cone, taken a lick or two, then noticed all you had was a sticky napkin in your hand? Or been going somewhere and arrived at your destination only to realize you haven’t noticed anything or anyone you met along the way? Of course you have! These are common examples of “mindlessness,” or as some people put it, “going on automatic pilot.” Which may lead you to wonder—how can I bring more mindfulness into my everyday life?
We all fall into habits of mind and body, of attention and inattention, which result in our not being present for our own lives. The consequences of this inattention can be quite costly. They can result in our missing some really good things, and also in our ignoring really important information and messages about our life, our relationships, and even our own health.
We all fall into habits of mind and body, of attention and inattention, which result in our not being present for our own lives.
An important antidote to this tendency to “tune-out,” to go on “automatic pilot,” is to practice mindfulness. To practice mindfulness means to pay more careful attention in a particular way. We all have the quality of mindfulness in us. It is the quality of bare awareness that knows what is here in the present moment. Mindfulness knows what is going on outside, and also, inside our own skin.
Our reactions to the stressful events of our lives can become so habituated that they occur essentially out of our awareness, until, because of physical or emotional or psychological dysfunction, we cannot ignore them any longer. These reactions can include tensing the body, experiencing painful emotional states, even panic and depression, and being prisoners of habits of thinking and self-talk including obsessional list making, and intense, even toxic self-criticism.
All we have to do is to establish attention in the present moment, and to allow ourselves to be with what is here.
So, we can practice mindfulness and become more present. All we have to do is to establish attention in the present moment, and to allow ourselves to be with what is here. To rest in the awareness of what is here. To pay attention without trying to change anything. To allow ourselves to become more deeply and completely aware of what it is we are sensing. And to be with what it is we are experiencing. To rest in this quality of being, of being aware, in each moment as our life unfolds.
And, to the extent we can practice “being” and become more present and more aware of our life and in our life, the “doing” we do about all of it, will be more informed, more responsive, and less driven by the habits of reaction and inattention.
Make the effort! Whenever you think of it in your day or night, remember that you can be more mindful. See for yourself what it might be like to pay more careful attention and to allow yourself to experience directly what is here, especially including what is here in your own body, heart, and mind.
There are three simple ways you can add more mindfulness to your daily life:
In these situations, use the sensation of the breath as the “anchor” for awareness in the present moment. Establish mindfulness on the narrow focus of just the breath sensation. Allow yourself to feel the breath as it goes in, and goes out and the pause between in and out. Do not try to control the breath. Simply let it come and go. Bring as much attention, as completely and continuously as you can to the direct sensation of the breath.
After awhile, if you wish, when you have established awareness on the breath sensation, you could widen the focus to include all body sensations along with the breath sensation. Again, not trying to change anything at all. Simply allow yourself to feel, and be aware of the changing sensations in the body.
After awhile, again if you wish, you can further widen the focus to include all that is present. This means whatever you are hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, or even thinking. Just practice being with these different experiences as they unfold. Allowing yourself to feel your life in this moment. Resting in mindfulness, the open-hearted choiceless awareness of what is here in this moment.
Anytime you feel lost or confused or frustrated, gently narrow the focus and return awareness to the sensation of the breath. You may have to do this frequently. It is ok. Or you may wish to concentrate mainly on the breath, especially if you are new to meditation. That, too, is ok. The important thing is the quality of awareness you bring to the moment. One moment of mindfulness, one breath when we are truly present, can be quite profound. See for yourself.
You can practice mindfulness in this way throughout the day and night. Practice for a few breaths at a time, even for a few mindful moments. And, if you wish, you can make this a more “formal” meditation practice, by setting aside some time (from a few minutes to an hour or more, as you wish) free from other activity or distraction to devote full attention to simply being present, being mindful of what is present. Over time you may find that the “formal” practice supports and strengthens your ability to practice “informally” throughout the day and night in different situations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Psychiatrist Jeffrey Brantley is the director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. He is author of Calming Your Angry Mind.
A simple guide to be mindful throughout the day—whether you're washing the dishes, eating a snack, or sitting down to meditate.
By Catherine Beard
When was the last time you took a moment to reflect on your life? Maybe it was at the end of December when you were getting ready to welcome the new year (we all love a little end-of-the-year reflecting, right?). Other than that, there aren’t many times when we might feel compelled to spend time in self-reflection.
The truth is that many of us are so busy trying to move forward with our lives that we rarely take a moment to slow down and be at one with our thoughts. Plus, we often don’t recognize the importance of self-reflection and the impact it can have on our lives.
What if we made self-reflection part of our everyday routine instead of a yearly thing?
In my opinion, self-reflection is one of the best ways that you can shift your mindset, increase positivity in your life, and discover a greater connection to yourself.
Self-reflection has helped me to understand more about the way that I respond to situations, to not be completely oblivious to my faults, and to find ways that I can deal with situations positively instead of letting them consume me.
Today, I want to share what self-reflection really means and why being a reflective person is so important for a positive mindset.
Self-reflection is all about creating self-awareness. So many of us focus on getting ahead that we don’t necessarily take time to reflect on what’s going on within us.
There are many ways to practice self-reflection, but I’ve always used writing as a way to process my thoughts and feelings. Journaling has helped me to learn more about myself by identifying patterns, habits, and regular themes that come up my life. If I never took the time to get my thoughts out of my head, I probably would not be the positive person that I am today.
Self-reflection is one of the best things you can do to create a positive mindset and discover a greater connection to yourself. Here are seven reasons why you should make self-reflection a priority in your life:
“There is no greater journey than the one that you must take to discover all of the mysteries that lie within you.” – Michelle Sandlin
Self-reflection can help you process your thoughts and feelings. When we keep our thoughts floating around in our heads, we only confuse or frustrate ourselves more. Getting your thoughts on paper can help you understand why you’re feeling a certain way and make those feelings a little easier to navigate.
“The soul usually knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” – Caroline Myss
Whenever I write, I end up with some sort of solution to my problems. I recognize what I need to do next because everything is laid out in front of me. When we keep thinking the same thoughts over and over without taking action, we see our problems as bigger than they really are. By taking a moment to pause, reflect, and look within, you’ll find that you actually have many of the answers you’ve been seeking for so long.
3. TO CHALLENGE YOUR THOUGHTS
“Don’t believe everything you think.” – Byron Katie
Self-reflection offers us the opportunity to challenge our ways of thinking. Most of us have a tendency to ruminate on the bad things; for example, our perceived weaknesses, mistakes we’ve made, or embarrassing moments. When you actually take the time to reflect and write these things down, it’s important to ask yourself if you really believe them. Eventually, you’ll start to realize that the things you tell yourself about yourself are not always true.
Read This Next: How To Move Past Self-Doubt And Do That Thing Anyway
“Self-reflection is so healthy. When I record the details of what I’m going through, whether it’s a relationship issue or negative thoughts, I can look back and see how far I’ve come. It makes me proud to see my progress and how I got through a bad situation.” – Kelly Rowland
Self-reflection allows us to look back and see where we’ve come from. If you take the time to write down a few thoughts about your day, you can look back on it in weeks, months, or years later and see how much has changed. This can help you recognize that the things you were so worried about before were perhaps not so significant.
“Change requires two things: a goal, and an awareness of where one currently is in order to assess the discrepancy between the two.” – Psychology Today
If you’re on your own self-improvement journey, you need to know both where you’re going and where you are right now. Without self-awareness, we can’t fully understand our emotions, values, goals, or strengths. I’ve learned so much about myself simply by reflecting on the place I’m at right now and considering how it will help me get to where I want to be.
6. TO INSPIRE SELF-ACCEPTANCE
“The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination… until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.” – Iyanla Vanzant
I’m all about POSITIVE self-reflection and making sure that if I ever say or write something negative about myself, I follow it up with something good. This has helped me to increase my self-acceptance and keep going even when I doubt myself.
For example, I was having one of those days when I kept comparing myself to everyone. In my mind, I was telling myself that I wasn’t beautiful or pretty enough. I started to write because I knew this was something I needed to let go of. As I started to write down my feelings, I began to wonder WHY I needed to believe I was *pretty*. What importance did that have in my life? It seemed so inconsequential to who I am as a person. I started to write, “I just have to be confident in myself and know that I AM beautiful, inside and out.”
7. TO LIVE WITH MORE INTENTION
“When you’re living deliberately, you’re living from a position of responsibility; you’re making choices with greater awareness.” – Lauren Mackler
Reflecting on what’s going on in your life can simply serve as a reminder of what you do on a daily basis. Most of our days end up blending into one another, so regular reflection can be an opportunity to show you that the days are different. On the other hand, it can encourage you to think about how you can add more joy and fun into your daily life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Catherine is a mindset & self-care coach, blogger, and the creator of The Blissful Mind. I’m here to help you enjoy less burnout and overwhelm in your life so you have the time, energy, and confidence to pursue what matters.
by Amanda Gore, huffingtonpost.com
A while ago I was chatting with an author and expert on how to make money work for you. Discussing people’s pasts, he commented on the value of having someone in your life who “does something for you without keeping a score.”
A person who is happy to help you, guide you or set you on the right path and expects nothing in return. They don’t think in terms of “reward,” or expecting you to reciprocate. Their joy is in seeing you prosper, grow or develop.
In particular we were discussing the impact a person like this can have on a child who has no parents — or children whose parents are absent or abusive — or anyone with a low or damaged self esteem. One person who sees potential in another and gives love (when love hasn’t been given for a long time) in the form of “something without keeping a score” can change a life direction. That gesture or gift can make a person realize they are valuable or capable or worthwhile.
Thinking about this idea, I realized what a wonderful gift it would be for anyone, let alone a loved one. And often that’s all a human needs to charge ahead and be successful in life — where success is defined as living a balanced, happy and useful life. Once a person has done something for us and never expected anything in return, we are more likely to do the same for another. It’s as though a seed is planted the first time we experience this gift and although we may not nourish and fertilize and water the seed, it grows anyway — just more slowly.
Can you think of anyone in your life who has helped you this way? Our true friends do this all the time, as do many parents. Mentors are great for giving without expecting a return — their reward is watching you blossom.
The more I thought about this the more I realized that this is one of the components of unconditional love — doing things for others and never even contemplating seeing a reward or response or payback.
Is it one of your common behaviors? It’s a fantastic way to create, enhance or develop relationships. And it’s very rewarding both psychologically and physically for us.
If it isn’t a routine part of your day, why not write “do something for someone today without keeping a score” on a piece of paper and stick it on a wall where you see it every day to make that behavior one you integrate into your daily life.
By Ashley Cullins, Big Life Journal
As a parent, it’s never easy to hear your child express negative thoughts or to see her wallow in feelings like self-doubt, sadness, or anger.
Unfortunately, science says it’s natural for people to dwell more on negative thoughts than on positive ones, and this can be even more true for children. This negativity is usually driven by fear, doubt, or shame, which produce stress chemicals in the brain. Ultimately, a negative attitude can shape how a child sees herself and the world around her. But as parents, there’s plenty we can do to help our children develop a more positive attitude about themselves and their world.
Are Negative Thoughts Bad?
There are no “bad” emotions. All thoughts and feelings are valid. Both positive and negative thoughts and emotions play a valuable role in how we process the world around us.
For instance, sadness can help us process difficult times, and we would have no moral compass if we never felt shame or guilt. Danish psychologist Svend Brinkmann explains that the pressure to think positively and be constantly cheerful has turned happiness into “a duty and a burden.”
Additionally, trying to be happy all the time alienates us from our emotions, which simply isn’t healthy. In fact, recent psychological research indicates that emotional avoidance is one of the main causes of many psychological issues. For these reasons, there's no need to pressure children to avoid or dismiss negative emotions.
What Can You Do Instead?
Instead, we can teach our kids to accept negative emotions and process them in a healthy way. We can encourage positive thinking and positive affirmations. According to positive psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson, positive thinking is important because it broadens your sense of possibility and opens your mind, allowing you to build new skills. Positive thinking, Fredrickson says, “broadens and builds.” It also makes children (and adults) more resilient.
Neurobiologist Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin explains that the brain is “plastic” and can be trained to be more emotionally resilient and to respond to certain emotions in a healthier manner. This can be accomplished by engaging in mental exercises that help “rewire” the brain. By practicing skills that foster positivity, people can learn to be more positive.
Here are seven activities you can practice with your child to encourage a more positive attitude. You can try these activities in practice with your kids with our 7-Day Positivity Challenge.
1. RECORDING AWE MOMENTS - Encourage your child to create an Awe Journal. In the journal, they will record sights or moments from their daily lives that they find beautiful or extraordinary: a rainbow, a kind act, or even the smell of freshly baked cookies. Your child can record these moments with drawings, descriptions, poems, etc.
2. PRACTICING POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS - Guide your child to come up with affirmations that are short, positive, and present tense: I am kind, I am enough, I am loving...instead of giving your child instructions or requiring them to say affirmations, try to use them in a playful manner.
3. PRACTICE LOVING KINDNESS - Engage your child in loving kindness meditation. It involves thinking of loved ones and sending them positive thoughts together. The four traditional phrases are, "May you feel safe, May you feel happy, May you feel healthy, May you live with ease."
4. DEMONSTRATE HELPING OTHERS - Your child could help others by assisting an elderly neighbor with yard work or chores, helping a friend with homework, or nonparticipating in conned food or clothing drive. You could also make volunteering a family affair and regularly help out with a soup kitchen or other charitable organization.
5. SETTING AND ACHIEVING GOALS - Encourage your child to set goals and plan for obstacles in advance. This is called the WOOP approach: Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan This approach makes it more likely that your child will actually achieve their goals, resulting in increased confidence and a more positive attitude.
6. SHARING POSITIVITY - Share positive experiences with your child. Laugh with your child, hug your child, set aside time to provide your undivided attention, and enjoy positive experiences together.
7. DEVELOPING NEW SKILLS - Recognize your child's strengths and five her opportunities to develop them and experience success. If your child expresses interest in a new activity, let her try it out. You can even find new activities to try with your child in order to increase your shared positive experiences.
To learn more about How to Develop a Positive Attitude in Your Child's Life, visit Big Life Journal.com
Many times, new customers come to us in times of hardship. Usually, they are experiencing illness, grief, financial struggle or simply the feeling of being stuck. They turn to crystals to reconnect with nature, heal from the past and receive new energy to move forward.
One of the things crystals are able to teach us during these times is the power of positive thinking. They remind us that no matter what challenge we are faced with, that there is good within it. The key, however, is to be open and patient in recognizing that good. It may come to us in a day or it may be years down the road when we realize why things occurred when and how they did. The crystals help us remember that the Divine has a bigger and better plan for us than we do.
How to Increase Positive Thinking in Your Life
~ Writing in a journal — Research has found that people who write down a positive experience in a journal each day had better mood levels, fewer visits to the doctor and fewer illnesses.
~ Daily meditation — Those who meditate daily have more positive emotions than those who do not, according to research. Those who meditate have also been found to display increased mindfulness, purpose in life, decreased illness symptoms. This contributes to being able to stay positive even during the most challenging times.
~ Discovering your inner child — Schedule a time each day to do something that brings you joy. Having fun shouldn’t be left for just on the weekends if you have time. It needs to be part of our everyday life. By creating your own happiness and joyful experiences, you will foster more positive thoughts.
~ Live in the present moment — Often times, we put our happiness in the future. “I will be happy if I make more money.” But we have no control over what happens in the future, only the present moment. Think of the ways you can learn from your current situation, how you can make tangible adjustments to improve it, and what can make you happy that day, versus down the road. Try a positivity mantra that you can repeat throughout the day when you need extra strength.
Creating a more positive outlook does not mean that we avoid feels of anger, sadness or frustration. Feeling those emotions is extremely important to our well-being. It is when we become stuck in them, unable to see the light in all things, that causes us to enter into more darkness.
by ENERGY MUSE
The Power of Positive Thinking Attracts Opportunity motivation inspiration
"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and in the belief in a thing makes it happen."
- Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 projects resulting in more than 500 completed works, recognized by the American Institute of Architects in 1991 as the greatest American architect of all time (1867-1959)It may sound like a case of circular logic, but the quote by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright is, in fact, an example of what often happens in life. Others have said words to the effect that imagining your future is the first step toward making it a reality. The unspoken part of that line of thinking, however, is that nothing just happens to allow us to achieve our goals. It requires action of us to make it a reality.
Still, there can be no denying that having a positive outlook strongly impacts or influences what actions we do take. Whether our actions are already what we have set down as a deliberate plan to take, step-by-step toward a particular goal or they are those that we revise as we are actively working our plan in anticipation of achievement of that goal, when we look forward with optimism to the realization of those goals, we are more strongly motivated to keep pushing ahead.
Positive thinking and belief that we can do something also helps us overcome challenges along the way that may otherwise discourage us and deter us from staying the course.
The power of belief and its ability to help us make what we want and dream about a reality does not, however, imply that this will always happen. Sometimes it is our belief that is misguided or outright wrong. For example, if we believe that we can overcome our addiction simply by the strength of our willpower or just because we said we want to do so, we are likely to be destined for both disappointment and possibly relapse.
The opposite of positive belief is also true. If we believe with every fiber of our being that we are doomed to failure, that we don't deserve happiness and will never achieve it, that we are evil and condemned to live a life of pain and suffering, guess what? The reality that may very well be our future is strongly tinted by such dark beliefs. In that case, believing in a negative outcome influences what actually happens.
Why is belief so powerful and what can we do to make sure we employ it to help propel us forward? Belief is like water that helps plants grow. Without it, we would wither and shrivel up, becoming desiccated and shrunken vestiges of what we could have been. With it, we have the chance to flourish and thrive, to grow in stature and abundance, to glisten and radiate life and energy.
Think of the power of belief, then, as part of our essence. Strive to find that which we strongly believe in and allow that belief to energize and motivate us to take action to achieve our desired goals. If we find that we lack the ability to believe in anything right now, either because we have never felt our beliefs held any weight or we are simply beat down and trying to climb back up after addiction, just give it some time. Allow for the possibility that we can believe in something, and seek guidance and counsel so that we may be able to recognize the first signs of our beginning to believe when they do occur.
And they will. Recovery doesn't happen in a single day or week or month. We have a long time, literally the rest of our lives, in recovery. We have time to begin to believe and to make things happen.
by Tanja Hester
The last several months of our careers were more procedural drama than victorious epic, with a long string of to do items and trips keeping us focused on checking things off the list rather than really absorbing what was happening.
Fly to DC, give notice, tell colleagues and clients, reveal ourselves on the blog, go to FinCon, wrap up work projects, go on more work travel, plan first post-retirement trip, more work travels, go back to DC for farewells, travel for Christmas, take first international trip…
And though we’ve had plenty of days so far when we’ve really felt this whole early retirement thing in our bones, to us it has felt, more than anything, deeply normal.
We’ve been planning this life in a serious way for six years, after all, and I’ve written well more than 300 blog posts about it, and have chatted with you all to the tune of more than 25,000 comments and responses. And that’s not counting the emails (which I’m still embarrassingly slow on — working on this, friends!), the Twitter chats and the real life meetups with so many of you, all of which have brainwashed us into believing that early retirement is something that lots of people do — because we talk with a lot of people about it!
But of course it’s not. It only feels that way when we surround ourselves with people who are as bought into the idea as we are. That’s the power of the echo chamber.
It’s only been in the last month or so, now that we’re spending more time at home than at any point since we moved to Tahoe six years ago, as we’ve been talking to more people in real life and telling them our story that we’ve actually started to see:
This is a Big Freaking Deal. We did something kind of amazing.
Not that we are especially amazing. Nor that we overcame any particular obstacles. On the contrary, we had plenty of boosts in life that put us in a position to do this. And not that early retirement is all that hard to accomplish if you have the means to do so. But just that, in the scheme of things, almost no one does this. (Yet.)
I wonder how many people who do big things really feel the bigness of them in the moment when they achieve their goal, or if it takes them until later to appreciate it. Because when you set out to achieve a big goal, you plan for it, you work toward it for years and then you eventually get there, it doesn’t feel momentous. It just feels inevitable.
But it’s not inevitable at all. It takes much more than the passage of time to achieve the big things.
Reaching a multi-year goal that defies societal expectations takes sustained determination and focus. In the case of early retirement, it’s for sure helped by more income and lower expenses, though those aren’t required. But it takes more than all that.
What does it really take to achieve early retirement? Let’s dig into it.
This isn’t about how much money you earn or what kind of savings rate you can achieve. Those are a given. That’s like saying that to win a boxing match, you have to know how to land a punch. To even get into the ring for early retirement, you need to understand that living as far below your means as you can will accelerate your journey, and that your wealth will grow fastest in low-fee investments. But if you want to do more than get into the ring, and actually win the match, there’s extra stuff you need to have within you.
(I swear that’s the end of the boxing metaphor. And I almost said something about needing the right stuff, but I’m not going to mix a space program movie into my boxing analogy, because I like you and you deserve better.)
Beyond all those financial knowledge givens, here’s what it really takes to retire early:
Conviction That You’re Right
While some of the underlying acts that precede early retirement — basic saving, debt payoff, frugality — can be practiced without any strong convictions, to achieve early retirement, you must know that this is what you want, and that you’re right for wanting it. Because you will be tested. You’ll be tested by the big spending temptations like trips and nicer places to live, and by the insidious, everyday pull of mindless spending. And you’ll be tested by other people who don’t share your vision and want to dictate how you should spend your money. To get through all that — over the multiple years that it takes to save — you’ve got to believe with every ounce of your being that you’re right, and that early retirement is what you truly want.
Willingness to Be Wrong
But. Get ready to embrace some paradoxes. Because not only do you have to be sure you’re right, you also have to be completely willing to be wrong. Because you will be wrong, a lot. You’ll be wrong about how parts of the journey will feel. You’ll be wrong about how early retirement will feel. Not because you’re dumb or haven’t thought it through, but because you can’t know without experiencing it for yourself. And you’ll be wrong about when the markets will go up or down, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be wrong about how long it will take you to reach early retirement, because you’ll actually take less time than you imagined.
More Hard Talks
Every relationship involves some hard talks. But if you’re partnered up and you both decide to pursue early retirement, prepare yourself for many more of ’em. Even if you’re lucky like we were and immediate got on board with the FIRE idea, and one of you didn’t have to convince the other (more hard talks!), you’ve still got lots to hash out. How much is really enough to let you both sleep at night. How long you both have to keep working. How much you’re spending when your partner is feeling more frugal. How much your partner is spending when you’re feeling more frugal. What to do about big offers at work that you know you can’t take. What to do when you’re burned out and exhausted and want to quit already but haven’t hit your number. If you want to get to early retirement with your marriage or partnership intact, these hard talks over the years aren’t optional.
Retiring decades early requires taking complete, radical responsibility for your life and your circumstances. It means never saying, “Well I could never do that because…” You have to know that what happens is ultimately up to you, and is the direct result of the actions you take or don’t take.
Willingness to Surrender Control
But then you have to be just as willing to let that mindset go, because you truly can’t control everything, perhaps nothing less than the stock markets (and whether it snows in Tahoe). When we’re talking about investing, it’s up to you to do everything in your power to make smart choices, but then to surrender to the fact that you can’t control a thing. And regardless of what your emotions tell you you want to do, and regardless of what the markets are doing, you keep investing, over and over and over. And you ride that wave wherever it takes you.
To READ the Full Article, Click HERE
Tanja worked as a political and cause marketing consultant before retiring at age 38 to live a life of adventure and creativity with her husband, Mark Bunge. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way
She is the writer of the award-winning blog Our Next Life, an influencer within the FIRE (financial independence/retire early) movement, a columnist for MarketWatch, and co-host of The Fairer Cents podcast about women and financial equality. After spending most of her career in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, she now lives in North Lake Tahoe, California, with Mark and two tiny rescue dogs.
By Lisa Griffin, Inspirational Blogs
Life is extremely short. In that short amount of time, we tend to spend an enormous amount of if hesitating, having second thoughts, and being afraid of something. Wouldn’t it be so much wiser to stop worrying and start enjoying life?
Yes, many people would agree with that. But it is easier said than done. Though, you can learn how to overcome your fears and follow your dreams. Here is solid guidance that can enable you to worry less and make you confident so you never give up and follow your dreams.
1. Face your fear
The first step towards worriless life is to shine the light on your fears. Many of us have fears, they simply sat deep in our minds, unremarkable and unconscious. We try to ignore them and pretend that there are no fears. But they are real. They affect us every day, throughout our entire life.
Whether you are afraid to be left alone or frightened to be fired – ask yourself: How the fear affects you? Does it hinder your decision-making process and put off your aspirations? Does it make you weak-willed and miserable? Answering such questions, you will acknowledge your fears and determine how much they affect your mind.
2. Consider the worst
Ask yourself: what’s the worst that can happen? Frequently this is not as scary as we think. Are you afraid that you will not manage new responsibilities at work? And what if you won’t? You will find yourself another job. You will go further. You will succeed anywhere else. Are you afraid of being rejected by someone you like? Well, what will happen? You will get over it and find someone else. Are you afraid of being left without money? What will happen in this case? You will reconsider your expenses, perhaps ask your family or friends for help and find a way to earn.
As long as you are alive, there is always a way out.
3. Try mantras
Whenever you feel frightened, the mantra can fill you with hope and confidence. This short phrase or sentence is powerful instrument against fears. To practice mantras, you need a calm place and a mirror. Stand in front of the mirror and look in your eyes, Breathe deeply and concentrate on your fear. Then say loudly and confidently to yourself: “this too shall pass.” Say it as much as you need to start overcoming your worries and anxiety.
4. Talk about your anxiety
Paying too much attention to own worries, you may forget about other people around you. Friends, family, and colleagues are those who can help you out with one piece of advice. They can distract you from negative thoughts and inspire to chase your dream. The world is full of attentive people: online writers can help with your assignments, doctors can explain the inner reasons for your fears and friends can be great supporters.
5. Take actions
The only way to forget about second thoughts is to start doing something. If you are organized and busy, you won’t have time to be concerned about things or events that frighten you.
Start with doing small steps towards your goal. Make that phone call, send that e-mail and talk to your boss about a promotion. Do everything that was put on the back burner before. By doing such simple tasks, you will come closer to your dream.
6. “Engrave” a dream to follow on paper
Our brain tends to concentrate on the disadvantages of doing something that is looking for perspective advantages. That’s why it is harmful to entrust your dreams and aspirations only to our mind. It’s better to write them on a sheet of paper.
Browse some inspirational quotes about following your dreams and write them down. Make a list of the things you want to achieve and huge opportunities they can bring you. This list will be a constant reminder of things you lose while being afraid of life.
7. Enjoy the present moment
Fear doesn’t come without “friends.” It is frequently accompanied by worries about future. Predicting some unpleasant situation, which may happen you are showing the fear the green light and letting it in your mind.
The only way to block the way for negative thoughts is to enjoy the present moment. Concentrate on the things that are happening now and try to delve into tasks that matter at the moment.
There is no one to rescue you from anxiety and worries – only you can change the way you perceive life and turn dreams into reality.
By Jim Rohn, Success.com
Take care to feed and stimulate your brain and you will expand your mind. The two are inextricably connected. We need to see the human brain and mind with wonder, awe and inspiration.
The brain is the equivalent of a human supercomputer. It is more complicated than any computer mankind has ever made, and maximizing its ability is essential to becoming the success you want to be—because it controls who you are. It is the command center involved in and controlling absolutely everything you do, determining how you think, feel and act.
Simply put: When your brain is working at peak performance, it allows you to be your best because it controls the rest.
Related: How to Exponentially Improve Your Performance
There are some basic influences on the brain that shape how it functions and how far it develops, including genes, self-talk, life experiences, stress and study. Although these things influence the brain, they do not determine how far you can go or what you can learn. In other words, you have the incredible opportunity to go as far as you desire.
So with such a tremendous tool at our disposal, what keeps so many people from experiencing the possibilities that it can bring? There are some simple barriers that have the potential to wreak havoc on your learning if you allow them to, but you can overcome them. The key to breaking through these barriers is to do the opposite…
1. Change your beliefs.
Many people do not believe that they can learn, master knowledge or become “smart.” These are deeply held beliefs for many, and ultimately, if we do not believe it, we will not achieve it.
So change your beliefs. It is up to you to do the work of changing your beliefs. And when you do, you will be opening up new worlds—literally! Feed your mind with information that will change your belief. The truth is that you have an amazing mind with a capacity for learning that is beyond your comprehension. You must believe this. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind.
2. Get the right knowledge.
What keeps some people from learning is that they choose not to access or do not have access to knowledge. Knowledge comes from experiences, books, people and other “knowledge dispensers.” We must tap into that knowledge.
So get the right knowledge. Words if they are not true are meaningless. I hear children say, “I read it in a book.” But is it true? Just because someone says it or writes it, doesn’t mean it is true. As a learner, you want to get the right knowledge, not just information or opinions. It is your job to seek out information and knowledge and then test it and run it through your mind to see if it is true, and if it can be rightfully applied to your life in order to make it better and help you succeed. You need to weigh and measure what you learn in order to gain the right knowledge. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind.
3. Become passionate about learning.
Some people simply do not have the desire to learn. They may be lazy, or they may not see the positive impact that learning would have on them. They have no passion inside that drives them to learn.
So become passionate about learning. This will take some work, but the only way to do it is to begin learning about things that have an immediate impact in your life. When you learn about a new financial concept that helps you earn money or get out of debt, that will get you fired up. When you learn about how to interact with your family in a healthy way and your relationships get better, that will inspire you. Become passionate about learning. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind.
4. Discipline yourself through the hard work of study.
Gaining knowledge is hard work and takes a lifetime to master. It is an ongoing discipline that is never complete.
So discipline yourself through the hard work of study. Learning will take work. Until someone comes up with modules that can plug into your mind and give you instant access to knowledge, you are on your own, and that takes work. The process of learning is a long one. Yes, we can speed it up, but it is still a process of reading, listening, reviewing, repetition, applying the knowledge, experiencing the outcomes, readjusting, etc. Simply put, that takes time. Slowly but surely, when you discipline yourself, you gain knowledge and learn. And when you do, you will be unlocking the potential of your mind.
Learning is possible, no matter what your age. You are never too young or too old. Your mind was created to learn and has a huge capacity to do so. This week, make a commitment to unlock the potential of your mind!
By Paula Davis-Laack J.D., M.A.P.P.
Wake up after too little sleep, think about exercising, hit the snooze button, drag yourself out of bed, wake up the kids for school, start the coffee, take a shower, wake up the kids again, make breakfast, pack lunches, read email, quickly kiss your significant other goodbye, answer emails and deal with the first crisis of the day on your way to the office, get to the office and realize you're not going to have the day you thought you would, answer emails from clients who want answers now, do some actual work, make a mad dash to a local restaurant and buy some lunch, rush back to your desk, eat quickly while working, spend several hours on the phone talking to clients, put out a few fires, talk to your significant other because one of your kids has become sick and has to go home, answer more email, drink more caffeine to keep going, attend post-work client development event, eat something at the event, head home, put the kids to bed to bed, relax for ten minutes, significant other wants some "alone time..." WHAT? Sound familiar?
Last year I attended a luncheon where the keynote speaker was Marie Wilson, founder and president of The White House Project, and co-creator of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. She was there to talk to us about women and leadership. Surely, I thought, this champion of women's rights would back up the notion that work/life balance existed and regale us with her wisdom of how women can and should have it all. Instead, she leaned forward and said, "You know, work/life balance doesn't really exist." As much of the audience cheered, I nearly jumped out of my chair and called her out right on the spot. How could that be true, I thought?
Since that luncheon, I have realized a few things about work/life balance, and I now see that Ms. Wilson was probably right.
Balance isn't either/or
I used to think of balance just like I used to think of happiness or resilience - you either have it or you don't; but, in reality, those constructs are made up of so many smaller parts. Dr. Edy Greenblatt has spent years studying the effects of overwork and exhaustion on employees. She cites a common theme that many people think of work as depleting and non-work as restoring, so in order to achieve balance under that model, you would either have to quit work or work as little as possible. Not exactly an option for most people. Rather, Dr. Greenblatt suggests you put work and non-work on one axis and what restores you and what depletes you on the other axis. The key is to identify what restores you and depletes you both at work and non-work, then do more of what restores you (Greenblatt, 2009).
Balance isn't a destination
When I heard Ms. Wilson's presentation, I was growing my business after years as an unhappy attorney, so I was happy as a clam. I thought I was at destination "Balance," population one; however, my new work journey, with all its ups and downs, was just beginning. Balance implies that there is some end point, and as high-achieving individuals, you likely fight to find that elusive sweet spot; some days you'll be close; other days, on another planet and that's because balance is fluid. Balance is also self-defined. What works for you and your family may not work for other people, and that's OK!
Let's ask a different question
Instead of wondering whether you have balance or not, look at all the facets of your life and ask how you are performing. Are you fully engaged? Are you physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and connected to something significant in your life? If the answer to any of these is no, one of your "muscles" likely needs to be developed. Do you want more confidence? More focus? Are you connected with friends? How frequently do you work out? What kind of foods do you eat? What do you value?
Put another way, how do you maintain your personal resources - that blend of physical, psychological, emotional, social, and other domains that keep you going and functioning in peak condition? In order to more fully explore what barriers might exist that would prevent you from performing at your best in work and life, I've developed a short questionnaire called the Personal Performance Barriers Inventory. It also includes several questions to help you reflect on your results.
You have many things competing for your time and energy, and I agree with Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz's assessment: "Full engagement begins with feeling eager to get to work in the morning, equally happy to return home in the evening and capable of setting clear boundaries between the two" (Loehr, & Schwartz, 2003).
From the Author
"Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit."
- Gordon Parks
Do you sometimes feel enthusiastic, motivated and energetic when you start something new, but after some time lose your enthusiasm and interest?
This can happen when practicing a self-improvement program, studying a new subject, dieting, exercising, or doing anything else.
Though you understand the importance of what you are doing, know that it will help you, still, you let laziness set in, as well as lack of motivation, lack of enthusiasm, and lack of enough willpower. This makes you feel that what you are doing is some kind of a burden.
Often, people start practicing concentration exercises, meditation, self-discipline exercises, or any other program relating to self improvement or spiritual growth, but if they don't experience immediate and spectacular results, they stop and give up.
Everything in life requires some work, effort and time, and self-improvement or spiritual growth methods are no different.
The program or goal might seems worthwhile, but there isn't enough inner strength to pursue them. Self-defeating habits, negative programming, and lack of inner strength stand on one's way.
This is why people buy books, attend classes, courses, and workshop, and yet, find they are not making enough progress. This is why enthusiasm and hopes are replaced by depression, self-pity and lack of self-esteem.
Often, after reading a book or an article, after listening to a lecture or watching a movie, there is a burst of enthusiasm and a high energy level, but this often does not last long.
What can you do to keep motivated and enthusiastic? Short spurts of enthusiasm or motivation are not enough to accomplish anything of value. You need to keep your desire and inner flame alive and focused on your goal. So what can you do about it?
How to Keep Motivated and Enthusiastic - Tips
Remember, this is your own life, and you are responsible for it. Why succumb to laziness and negative programming? This might not be easy, and there might be obstacles on the way.
Keep thinking about how happy you would be after achieving success. Visualize how your life would change, if you overcome laziness, negative thoughts, negative programming. Just keep your mind on the goal, no matter what. Don't rely on spurts of enthusiasm to carry you to your destination. You need to stand up, not give up, and awaken the dormant powers that are within you.
Never give up, but keep going on, even if the going is tough and you want to quit. If you keep going, and use affirmations and visualization, soon your desire and enthusiasm will grow, and the progress will become easier.
How to Keep Motivated and Enthusiastic motivation inspiration