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10 Actions You Can Take That Will Dramatically Change Your Life

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Someone once said “experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” However, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what that test is. We are not going to go into the usual jargon about taking up a hobby, going for a jog, or joining a self-improvement group. Changing our lives can be complex. Nonetheless, the flow of life is onward and upward irrespective of our need for self adjustment.

Here are the actions you can take to create dramatic change in your life.

 

10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Change Your Life

 

#1 Get over It!

Yep, that’s it. Get over life. Stop making life more complicated than it is. Everything happens for a reason, and when one door shuts, another one opens. Once we stop resisting life and live it, we will see dramatic changes take place. One famous and wealthy actress who once lived in a homeless shelter stated “I learned that I could live through any situation. I grew into a person who knew that they could always make their own way.”

Learn your lesson, get over it, and move on.

 

#2 Change Your Outlook

Dramatic changes calls for employing that stint of courage that propels us to make positive changes in our lives. Prepare for positive and new things to enter your life. A shift in consciousness is all that is needed to make the changes you seek.

 

#3 Go for it!

If you are dreaming of something bigger, it won’t come to you. You will have to go out there and get it. Jenna Fischer, an actress on the hit TV show “The Office,” made a trip from her hometown to Los Angeles expecting to land a super job within a year. However, it took much longer. But patience paid off and she eventually landed movie roles and started producing.

 

#4 Don’t Give Up

Good things come to those who do not give up, not to those who wait! Change requires action but those changes won’t usually happen over night. In 1983, Dewey Bozella, then an amateur boxer, was convicted of a murder he did not commit. It took over 20 years for his name to be cleared. Free to continue pursuing his dream of becoming a boxer, he was 52, stepped into the ring against a 30 year old fighter and won! At the end of the night he said “Don’t every give up.” Lesson learned.

 

#5 Go on a Diet

Many of us have tried various diets whether to loose weight or gain it. But those are not the types of diets we are referring to here. In order to make significant changes in your life you should try a “mental diet.” Get out all the clutter that’s been stuck in your brain for eons. That means releasing yourself from the negative thoughts that keep you from being the person you wish to be.

 

#6 Be Thankful

Instead of wondering through life like an ungrateful tormentor always wanting more, more, more, maybe its time to appreciate what you already have. It may not seem like much, but making this type of change in your life will help you feel better about yourself, thereby, changing your outlook on life.

 

#7 Chill Out

Today, it seems so difficult for people to simply relax. Beating the walls and making a big hoot about everything will only make you a nuisance, and no one will want to be around you. Former US president Ronald Regan once stated “its true, hard work never killed anybody, but why take the chance.”

There’s a difference between hard work and working hard. If you have the “all or nothing” attitude, change it.

 

#8 Become Less Sensitive

Sometimes changing ourselves requires “seeing ourselves as others do.” If you are one of those people that others feel the need to “walk on eggshells” whenever they are around you maybe they are on to something. Our own thoughts about ourselves are always the most important, but delusional musing is a great obstacle to change.

 

#9 Have a Broader Sense of Humor

Nothing changes the heart and mind like a good laugh. Laughter creates an opening where tension and fear once closed the door. Even while alone, have a few funny quotes you read that generates a deeply rich honest chuckle. A humorous quote by political satirist and entertainer Mark Russell says “the scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline baggage.” It’s imaginative and funny.

 

#10 Love

The love being referenced to here is not the clinging, dark, jealous, possessive love that makes you hate yourself and causes others to run away from you. Love in general is the modus operandi referred to here. It’s easy to point the finger at others but love understands because we are not perfect ourselves. It changes you because you become more perceptive.

 

You can probably think of a few other ideas that can result in dramatic changes in your life or someone else’s. All that is required is the desire to change.’

 

Tony Robbins - Change Your Life Picture Quote

 

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 60 million lives in the last 4 and a half years.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Stephanie Figuerado

    Jun 7, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this article. Great examples of real life stories mixed in too!

  2. Emmanuel S. McDaniel

    Mar 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Great list but typos in almost every paragraph take away from the articles credibility.

  3. Chetz Togom

    May 9, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Great list. I think # 1, 3, 4 ,5 ,6 and 7 are a must if you really want to change your life.

    Chetz

  4. WorkWithJoey.com

    Apr 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Great article

  5. Weight loss

    Mar 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    whoah this weblog is wonderful i like reading
    your articles. Stay up the great work! You recognize, lots of people are searching around for this info, you can help them greatly.

  6. Ivan

    Mar 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Everything happens for a reason? If that is so, ¿why would i want to improve my life?

    • Burton

      May 8, 2013 at 1:54 am

      Because as you change your life to create what you want out of it, than the reasons things happen to you will be more in line with who you really want to be. The things that seem to just happen will be more amazing than you would expect.

      You have to try to improve your life because that is where the beauty is. Thats when we are content enough to enjoy all the small things in life. Its a beautiful thing and you should try. You will be surprised at what you are capable of.

    • Kimberly

      Jun 22, 2013 at 11:36 am

      This is a good question! You would want to work on yourself so you can get through those tough seasons… When life happens for a reason we become better or bitter. That’s the why we work on ourselves. So we don’t turn bitter!!

  7. Lisa Levine

    Feb 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Joel, you are one wise man. Your right in that attitude is altitude. It can be so easy to get stuck in the mental rut, where you think ‘why me’, but everyone has their ups and downs, its just they may not let it grind them down as much as the next person. And once you get stuck in the role where you feel everything is against you, it can get harder and harder to escape from the vicious circle.

  8. Pat

    Feb 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Nice concise article with good content. Like most worthwhile things, simple!

  9. akilispensor

    Feb 7, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Well put! I think the big takeaways are that small shifts in perspective can make a world of difference.

  10. Bliss Magazine (@LivingUrBliss)

    Feb 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Gratitude is the big one for me. Not only does it bring me back to the present moment but also brings about a mental shift from lack to abundance, from fear to love. “Gratitude for the abundance you have received is the best insurance that the abundance will continue.” Mohammad

  11. joe

    Jan 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Well said…most of the them i need in this life

  12. 3paysmembers

    Jan 23, 2013 at 4:23 am

    10 simple but powerful steps. Thanks.

  13. Terry

    Jan 20, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Great advice. Although I’m thinking how far can this sort of advice get people. For example can people be less sensitive by trying to be less sensitve?

  14. Wolf

    Jan 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Love #4: “Good things come to those who do not give up, not to those who wait”

  15. Soal

    Jan 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Namaste, Thanks for the amazing post! I live by these values every day. One of the most important is being thankful every day, we are very lucky to have what we do and appreciation humbles the soul.

  16. Catherine White

    Jan 15, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    You make some great point and start with the strongest one of all:
    “Get Over It”.
    Many people are too busy dwelling in the past to think about the future. Every situation – good or bad – can teach you something. Take your new knowledge and move toward the future.
    Thanks for sharing these points.

  17. rakeah saha

    Jan 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Very well said – Thoughts become things and reality happens twice -first in mind and then in reality, hence learn to switch pattern from your problem state to resourceful state whenever it is required and feed on to your subconscious mind.

    Get yourself conditioned to what you want to be and unlearn what you do not want to be .

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Life

My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism – Learn Practical Wisdom You Can Use

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I’ve been inspired to learn about Stoicism for a while.

The problem I’ve had is that it’s one of those topics that people love to complicate. The reason for the complication is that many of the teachings that come from Stoicism are spoken in English from a long time ago. I personally don’t have the patience to read this type of writing for long periods.

That’s why I’m going to debunk Stoicism for you in stupidly simple terms. The wisdom you get will transform you. You’ll gain a different perspective that will help you in all aspects of life.

“Everyone is preaching advice, but no one is sharing wisdom – that’s what Stoicism is”

 

What is Stoicism?

It’s an ancient form of philosophy. It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them.

Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started.

Here is Stoicism broken down into insanely simple dot points:

– Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life
– Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately
– Study is not required to understand Stoicism
– The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca. Marcus Aurelius is also very popular

Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does. Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life.

The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind. Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way.

At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life. It’s not an argument about what is right and what is wrong. The Stoics had no time for this way of thinking.

Okay so now let’s skip ahead to the best lessons you can learn from Stoicism:

 

We don’t control events, but we do control what they mean.

This is a famous teaching from a lot of Tony Robbins work too. Everything that happens in your life can be controlled by your own mind to be good or bad. Once you understand this teaching, you can take back the power. You become less reactive and a lot calmer. You have the upper hand.

 

Disruptions to serenity cannot be avoided.

Tranquillity can never be reached by avoiding or blocking out distractions or horrible events. The way to get to that tranquil place is through your choices and judgment about those events and situations.

 

You must disrupt yourself.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done will lead you to be disrupted by someone or something who changes with the environment. Operating out of habit means you’ve stopped thinking and are mindlessly drifting through life. This means you’re not in control.

“When you lose control, your environment determines your results”

There’s a good chance that you’re going to think these results suck. The lesson here is break your habits, get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself like a cool, hip startup from Silicon Valley.

 

In good and bad times we have a choice.

Whether you’re in jail or an entrepreneur running the most successful startup on the planet, you have a choice. We all come from different backgrounds and we’ll all go through major highs, and painstaking lows. Through all of these different circumstances, we have a choice.

It’s having the freedom of choice that will set us free in the long run. It’s that freedom of choice that will ensure you don’t waste your life away thinking about stuff you can’t control. You’ll always feel the power of freedom when you control your choices, no matter what life throws at you.

 

Make it a habit of looking inward.

Stoics are obsessed with taking time to look inward. It’s something they advocate above all of their other teachings. They suggest spending time in the morning to ask yourself questions about your life. As you do this, you’ll find the answers to life’s biggest questions become clearer in the context of your own life.

Looking inward helps you find the answers that you knew all along and thought were hidden inside of someone else, or something else. This practice will only work if you’re honest with yourself. Don’t be too brutal on yourself either. Realize that we all start somewhere and it’s where we can go that is the greatest gift we can enjoy.

 

Being paranoid and fearful will destroy you.

The antidote to fear and paranoia is self-control. Learn to control your impulses. If you become fearful that others will sabotage your success and you don’t remain in control over these fearful thoughts, you’ll lose sight of reality. These fearful thoughts will cause you to project your fears onto other people and they’ll give you exactly what you fear.

In simple terms, fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you put out comes right back at you.

 

Anger will not help you.

The Stoics believe that getting angry never gives you anything in return. Anger wastes your precious energy and resources, and provides no tangible benefit. This is why it’s better to practice non-reactivity rather than being pissed off at something you can’t control anyway.

Anger is like a contagious virus that spreads if you let it. Don’t let anger control you. Projecting anger on people can only result in you projecting anger on yourself. That’s why anger is also another self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Everything takes up space.

Seneca wrote many times that even things you get for free have a cost. That cost is space – space in your garage or even space in your mind.

“Learning to live with less will create space in your life for the things that truly matter to you”

The aim of the game is to look at your material possession and be honest with yourself: do you really need that object? If the answer is no, free some space up in your life. What Seneca says here is the reason I have personally given away and sold most of my possessions. I’ve never been happier.

 

Practice poverty.

Especially during prosperous times in your life, the Stoics believe you should practice poverty. This is how you prepare for hardship and become an expert in dealing with the ups and downs of life. Comfort can become a form of slavery because you consistently start to think that someone could take away what you have.

When you’re familiar with what you fear, it no longer controls you. The worst can happen and you go through it with a sense of calmness and ease. People think you’re resilient but actually, you’ve just practiced the hard times as preparation.

Quick tip: try eating a really cheap meal for a whole week every two months. Eat like you have almost no money. This will teach you to not only appreciate the nice meals but to be okay if you ever face poverty and have to live on very little money for a while. I know a few people that do a beans and rice meal for this week of living it rough. Try it!

 

You protect everything you have, why not your mind?

You don’t give away your wallet to a stranger on the street. You don’t hand the keys to your car over to a budding thief. You wouldn’t let your house be demolished by the council without a fight. So why would you hand over the keys to your mind so easily to any stranger who wants them?

You have to become aware of who you are unconsciously giving your mind over to. You need to realize who is influencing you in a negative way without knowing it.

“Your mind can create all the abundance you could ever imagine, so you need to protect it like it’s the only possession you have”

 

Don’t wreck the purpose of your life by trying to impress others.

The Stoics teach that the opinions of people you seek our to impress are not that great themselves. These people you seek to impress have addictions, their own problems, and are no wiser than the next person. The purpose of your life is not to impress people and doing so will have the opposite effect.

Focus on impressing yourself through personal growth and wisdom from people who serve the greater good. Go beyond yourself and avoid the need to seek approval. Take action and seek forgiveness later if you must.

 

Without proper training, you’re a fool.

If you seek to master a skill, then without proper training you will (by default) rely on ignorance, and you’ll act in a way that lacks discipline and requires chance.

“An investor without discipline is not an investor – he’s a gambler” – Ryan Holiday

 

Your mind becomes what you think consistently.

Whether you think mostly negative thoughts or positive thoughts will determine your default response to any situation. The more we practice negative thinking, the more likely we are to see the world as negative.

If we choose to practice nothing, then we also get the same outcome of an influx of negative thoughts. The only wise choice then is to practice seeing the good in everything. Start with being grateful

 

You don’t know everything.

This is a thought that many people secretly have when they claim they want to learn something new. The harsh reality is that many of us walk around as though we know everything. We know nothing of the infinite knowledge there is to acquire.

That sort of humbleness is where all the best learning starts from. Thinking less of yourself is the ultimate power: it’s where you can grow from and serve others. It’s this way of thinking that births leaders.

 

Think of your problems in relation to the sky.

Marcus Aurelius says that the stars wash away the dust of earthly life. This Stoic concept is a way for you to clear your mind of all the troubles you encounter day-to-day. In comparison, your problems are so small compared to the immense size of the universe.

Your problems don’t matter in the grand scheme of things so don’t fool yourself into believing they do. Look at the stars once in a while. Remember how lucky we are even to experience this planet we call Earth.

 

Forget stereotypes and labels: concentrate on character.

Stoics believe your character should be your most prominent feature. Outward traits such as skin color and clothing should be insignificant. Your character is defined by the work you do on yourself each day and the person you become.

Your character is what sells you as a person better than any other external force. Your character is your legacy. Your character is what you want to be known for.

 

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Do something inspirational yourself.

You can sit here all day and listen to me inspire you. You can watch all the inspirational videos that Youtube has to offer. What would be far better is to go out there and inspire people yourself rather than being inspired.

Take the inspiration you’ve gathered in your life and do something with it so you can allow others to create their own inspirational journey. Be the example rather than only listening to the example and saying “One day I’ll do that.”

 

There is never an end to the personal development journey.

You never reach mastery. The student never stops being a student. Even the teacher is still a student at heart. Stoicism is something you apply consistently, and it never ends. You apply it until the day you die and that’s how you gain the infinite wisdom it offers.

“You’ll never drink all the water in the ocean, just like you’ll never learn everything there is to know about Stoic philosophy and that’s fine too”

 

Work is good for you.

Ever heard that when people retire, they are statistically more likely to die within a few years of achieving this milestone in their life? That’s because work gives us a sense of purpose. Work gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Making progress through doing meaningful work feels good.

Too much idle time and the delusion that you can get rich and sit on a beach is what can cause you to feel empty inside. This feeling can cause you to have self-destructive thoughts that lead to an immense focus on one’s selfish desires and need for significance. In other words, work is good.

 

Don’t make life harder than it is. It’s your choice.

Choices are what stoics believe are the way to take a shortcut in life. They believe we can choose whatever we want including happiness, freedom, respect and feelings of being wealthy. The reoccurring theme here again is that we are in control of everything that happens and how we feel.

 

How you handle disaster is everything.

The way you deal with problematic situations is a true test of your character. Character in stoicism is not formed when everything is going right; character is formed when everything is going wrong. Don’t let problems spoil your mindset. Let optimism guide you in all situations.

 

Seek out obstacles.

Obstacles are a way for you to take a challenge that you may not like and use it as a lesson that can help you for the rest of your life. You learn from hardships above all else. Lessons from hardships make you smarter, stronger and better prepared for when adversity strikes again.

 

You have one job and only one job.

The Stoics have a core belief that all of us have only one job on Planet Earth: to be a good human being. If you learned nothing else about stoicism from this blog post, then I’ve succeeded.

Practice being a good human being and you’ll have one hell of a life.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Life

Why Choosing the Right Romantic Partner Is Crucial to Your Success

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business couple

There are lots of things which can affect your success at work. Your drive and ambition, how well you work with the rest of your team, how you are perceived by your boss, and of course, how good you are at your job. Nevertheless, did you ever think your partner’s personality could be a contributing factor, too?

Most people don’t think about their partner’s personality in terms of affecting their career success, but in fact, here are 5 reasons why your success at work lies in your partner’s personality:

1. You’re Independent – But You’re Not An Island

Some people are naturally resistant to the idea that their partner’s personality has an impact on their career success. It’s understandable. After all, aren’t we all sovereign beings who have sole responsibility for our lives and success?

But, think about it this way – are you more likely to perform well at work if you’re struggling with a lot of drama at home, or if your home life is running smoothly?

Imagine trying to get through an important meeting with your energy and focus intact, after a rough night fighting with your partner. When you think of it that way, it’s clear that your home life can and does impact your work life.

2. It Goes Beyond Whether You Fight Or Not

It’s obvious that having drama at home bleeds over into the workplace and impacts your performance. However, the effect of your partner’s personality on your career success goes beyond whether your relationship is drama-free or not.

Recent research from Washington University in St Louis shows that your partner’s personality has an effect on your working success. The study showed that the impact goes far beyond whether your partner is supportive during the big moments such as going for a promotion or a pay raise. In fact, your partner’s everyday behavior and attitude have a noticeable effect on your work life.

“It’s getting the right person that’s the challenge.” – Bob Schieffer

3. Why A Conscientious Partner Contributes To Work Success

Specifically, the study showed people who have a conscientious partner do better at work. If you have a conscientious partner, you know that you can trust them to do what they say they will do and have a strong sense of responsibility towards household tasks and chores.

People who have a conscientious partner feel more comfortable “outsourcing” to them. That means that if they’re busy at work, or caught up in a big project, they can put more attention and focus on it, because they know things at home will be taken care of in their absence. This increased focus makes it easier for them to succeed at work.

4. What If Your Partner Isn’t Conscientious?

Some of you might be reading this thinking “that’s great, but my partner isn’t that conscientious!” In that case, don’t despair. It’s time for some honest and open communication with your partner.

Sit down with your partner and talk honestly about how much their support means to you. Don’t accuse – that won’t help – but simply be honest about how their support at home contributes to your work life. Take the time to reassure them you want to offer them similar support when they need it.

5. It’s Time To Be Each Other’s Best Teammate

Whether it’s you who’s employed or your partner or the both of you, it’s time for you to be each other’s best teammate. Sit down with your partner and have an honest discussion about division of labor at home. Figure out who is responsible for which chores and household tasks, and talk about what happens when one of you is busy at work.

Being a good team goes beyond collaborating when it comes to housework and childcare, and into recognizing the way you impact each other’s work life and success. After all, success for one of you at work equals success for your household as a whole in terms of better cashflow and more stability.

“When I find the right person, nothing else will matter, but I’m prepared to kiss a lot of frogs.” – Sam Smith

Make time to talk with your partner about what is going on at their workplace, and share what is happening in your own career. Be aware of the times when your partner needs extra support because work is busy, and share honestly with them when you need some extra support.

Your home life has a direct impact on your working success. Stay aware of the effects so you can keep open communication with your partner and work towards greater success for both of you.

What does your partner do that makes you feel like they support you? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

5 Ways to Kickstart Your Morning and Dominate Your Day

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morning routine

For many years, I dreaded Monday mornings and felt extremely excited for Friday mornings. I lived with this mindset for years until I realized that this was not a way to live a happy life. Why did I let these emotions dictate my days, I thought? Since I had seen this mindset all around me, I eventually thought this mindset was normal.

It wasn’t until I started reading various books on personal development that I finally made this shift. One common theme that I noticed was that regardless of the day, successful people living in a state of joy are this way because of how they start off each and every day. Once I started to implement some new ways to live, my outlook on each day and in life drastically changed.

Here are 5 ways to begin each morning to dominate your day:

1. Wake up with an intention

Many times, when we wake up, we immediately check our emails, Facebook, Instagram, press the snooze button multiple times, and rush off to start the coffee maker before going to work. What about setting an intention to have a positive and productive day? This can be in the form of writing in a daily journal or even visualizing for 5 minutes on having a phenomenal day. When we do this, we immediately shift our minds to a place that makes us happy and excited to experience a great day. This is a quick tool and can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

2. Prepare your day in advance

When we are able to prepare our days ahead of time, we have a way of having a happy and joyful day. This can include scheduling out our productivity for the following day, doing tedious tasks when needed, and eliminating any procrastination. I have found when we bring over tasks that should have been completed the day before, we are only filling up our schedules with unnecessary things. This can also eliminate any stress that can also be avoided.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell

3. Spend time alone

There is nothing more liberating than being able to spend time alone in the morning before starting your day. Two of my favorite activities include meditation and reading for 30 minutes. These activities also tie into setting an intention for the day. They assist in setting a clear, calm, and amazing tone for the day. Also, when you are able to do things you absolutely love, this happiness stays with you throughout the day and also increases your energy for yourself and those around you.

4. Learn something new that excites you

Have you ever learned a new skill and felt so excited about it that you weren’t able to sleep? If you have, congratulations! This usually signifies that you have found your calling and are closer to fulfilling your purpose on earth. Think of a skill you have been wanting to learn that absolutely excites you. When you do this, you will find yourself waking up with more excitement because of this new skill set has set your soul on fire to learn. Be excited about this and include this new skillset as part of your morning routine.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

5. Each day is a new opportunity

How many times have you heard someone say “I cannot do that, I am not a morning person.” Well, when we tell ourselves this, our subconscious mind takes this as being true and will make you believe this. However, if we change our mindsets and tell ourselves every day is another opportunity to make a difference, add more value to the lives around us, and achieve our dreams and goals, our day will be better off.

This is very exciting to think about. If you are someone who is still looking for exciting days ahead, take some time to reflect on what excites you. Maybe it is a new skill set or just a new routine to start off your days ahead. Every morning sets the tone for the day. Set a tone of joy and bliss and let that carry you out throughout the day!

One of the easiest ways to implement these steps is to pick out a few you feel really good about. These will be the easier ones to work with and then move on to the other steps that may take you out of your comfort zone. It may be difficult at first, but it always becomes easier and even more rewarding. Make each day count. You totally deserve it!

How do you live each day purposefully? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

8 Simple Methods to Boost Your Willpower and Self Control

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willpower

Surely if you’ve ever tried helping someone quit smoking, odds are that you will hear the word “will” spoken in the first 5 minutes. Aside from the popular procrastinating sentence: “I will quit smoking next year”, you might hear a smoker say: “It takes a lot of willpower to give up on cigarettes”. What do you think is the reason that most people quit smoking? Is it because they don’t have enough willpower?

At the beginning of every year, you will hear a lot of discussion about New Year’s resolutions. These tend to be high hopes for the year lying ahead in the form of a list of objectives. Let’s face it, most of us feel the need to start fresh, with a new chapter in the book of our life in which we’ve learned from our past mistakes and feel ready to move on.

These thoughts can take the form of: “I’m going to stop eating fast-food” or “Next year I promise I’ll hit the gym every other day” or “By the end of next year, I’ll have learnt a new language”. The list can go on and on because, after all, setting objectives is the easiest step. However, abandoning them is also easy. So, does willpower have anything to do with it?

First, let’s examine the relationship between willpower and self-control. Roy Baumeister conducted a study in which he wanted to test the effects of forced actions (or doing something that one doesn’t enjoy) on self-control. People have a limited amount of energy dedicated to self-control. The more one consumes that energy, the harder it becomes to maintain self-control and be productive.

Baumeister pinned the term “ego-depletion” to describe the loss of self-control due to mental effort.

Willpower is the fuel that drives self-control and both could be looked at as a muscle that loses tone if you don’t exercise.

Below, are 8 things you can practice to boost your will-power and self-control:

1. Control the context in which you live

For example: You decide to quit smoking but you continue meeting your smoker friends in places where people generally smoke. With the help of your own willpower, you manage to refrain from smoking for a while. Unfortunately, refraining from smoking drains you.

You then give in to your impulses, light up a cigarette and think to yourself: “Gosh, it’s so difficult to quit smoking. I might do it someday, though.” In this scenario, if you know yourself and you’re determined to quit smoking, it’s OK to admit that you aren’t capable (yet) to meet up with people in places that you know that your willpower will be drained.

2. Build good habits

Most of the things that we do every day are done on auto-pilot, according to our habits. It may not be obvious, but if you look back, you’ll notice the things you do now are more or less the same things you did yesterday, a month or a year before.

The good news is once a habit has been formed, the new actions you take will begin forming a better more productive habit. The bad news is that when you’re stressed or run out of willpower, you turn to bad habits or actions that bring you instant gratification such as drinking alcohol or playing computer games.

3. Sleep well

Going to the gym isn’t all about exercise. You need enough sleep and nutrients to see the best results. The same goes with your willpower-muscle: if you don’t get enough sleep, your brain won’t function at optimum levels and you will find it more difficult to do what needs to be done.

4. Start early on the most difficult tasks

Willpower is a limited resource and is consumed over the course of a day. Mornings are the best part of the day to get the really boring or difficult tasks done because your energy and willpower levels are at the top.

“The early morning has gold in its mouth.” – Benjamin Franklin

5. Keep your glucose levels under control

Another experiment conducted by Dr. Baumeister identified the fact that each act of self-control causes glucose levels to drop. You can counteract loss of self-control and willpower by making sure that your blood glucose levels are optimum.

6. Take breaks often

The best way to refresh your self-control is to split your workload into small tasks. A famous method called the Pomodoro technique works wonders for a lot of people. You work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break to recharge and repeat the process. That way, you’ll stay focused, knowing you have a limited amount of time to complete tasks you won’t be in danger of information overload.

7. Exercise

It’s no mystery that so many successful people mention exercise as one of their top daily priorities. Any type of physical activity that requires self-control and discipline is beneficial for your mental and physical health. It will also make it easier for you to be disciplined in other areas of your life.

8. Prioritize and minimize

The fewer decisions you need to make, the more willpower you will have in your “reservoir” for the activities that are truly important to you. Steve Jobs, for example, was renowned for always wearing the same clothes. When asked why he did this, he simply replied that it’s one less decision to make every day.

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Keri Russell

Habits take time, effort and discipline to form. One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to change their habits is to be overly proud of the “battles” they’ve won against their will and comfort. It’s important to know that if you want to be a winner in the game of life, you have to maintain balance, so you will be as ready as you can for all of life’s challenges.  

What tips do you have for managing your self-control? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism – Learn Practical Wisdom You Can Use

Published

on

I’ve been inspired to learn about Stoicism for a while.

The problem I’ve had is that it’s one of those topics that people love to complicate. The reason for the complication is that many of the teachings that come from Stoicism are spoken in English from a long time ago. I personally don’t have the patience to read this type of writing for long periods.

That’s why I’m going to debunk Stoicism for you in stupidly simple terms. The wisdom you get will transform you. You’ll gain a different perspective that will help you in all aspects of life.

“Everyone is preaching advice, but no one is sharing wisdom – that’s what Stoicism is”

 

What is Stoicism?

It’s an ancient form of philosophy. It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them.

Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started.

Here is Stoicism broken down into insanely simple dot points:

– Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life
– Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately
– Study is not required to understand Stoicism
– The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca. Marcus Aurelius is also very popular

Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does. Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life.

The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind. Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way.

At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life. It’s not an argument about what is right and what is wrong. The Stoics had no time for this way of thinking.

Okay so now let’s skip ahead to the best lessons you can learn from Stoicism:

 

We don’t control events, but we do control what they mean.

This is a famous teaching from a lot of Tony Robbins work too. Everything that happens in your life can be controlled by your own mind to be good or bad. Once you understand this teaching, you can take back the power. You become less reactive and a lot calmer. You have the upper hand.

 

Disruptions to serenity cannot be avoided.

Tranquillity can never be reached by avoiding or blocking out distractions or horrible events. The way to get to that tranquil place is through your choices and judgment about those events and situations.

 

You must disrupt yourself.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done will lead you to be disrupted by someone or something who changes with the environment. Operating out of habit means you’ve stopped thinking and are mindlessly drifting through life. This means you’re not in control.

“When you lose control, your environment determines your results”

There’s a good chance that you’re going to think these results suck. The lesson here is break your habits, get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself like a cool, hip startup from Silicon Valley.

 

In good and bad times we have a choice.

Whether you’re in jail or an entrepreneur running the most successful startup on the planet, you have a choice. We all come from different backgrounds and we’ll all go through major highs, and painstaking lows. Through all of these different circumstances, we have a choice.

It’s having the freedom of choice that will set us free in the long run. It’s that freedom of choice that will ensure you don’t waste your life away thinking about stuff you can’t control. You’ll always feel the power of freedom when you control your choices, no matter what life throws at you.

 

Make it a habit of looking inward.

Stoics are obsessed with taking time to look inward. It’s something they advocate above all of their other teachings. They suggest spending time in the morning to ask yourself questions about your life. As you do this, you’ll find the answers to life’s biggest questions become clearer in the context of your own life.

Looking inward helps you find the answers that you knew all along and thought were hidden inside of someone else, or something else. This practice will only work if you’re honest with yourself. Don’t be too brutal on yourself either. Realize that we all start somewhere and it’s where we can go that is the greatest gift we can enjoy.

 

Being paranoid and fearful will destroy you.

The antidote to fear and paranoia is self-control. Learn to control your impulses. If you become fearful that others will sabotage your success and you don’t remain in control over these fearful thoughts, you’ll lose sight of reality. These fearful thoughts will cause you to project your fears onto other people and they’ll give you exactly what you fear.

In simple terms, fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you put out comes right back at you.

 

Anger will not help you.

The Stoics believe that getting angry never gives you anything in return. Anger wastes your precious energy and resources, and provides no tangible benefit. This is why it’s better to practice non-reactivity rather than being pissed off at something you can’t control anyway.

Anger is like a contagious virus that spreads if you let it. Don’t let anger control you. Projecting anger on people can only result in you projecting anger on yourself. That’s why anger is also another self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Everything takes up space.

Seneca wrote many times that even things you get for free have a cost. That cost is space – space in your garage or even space in your mind.

“Learning to live with less will create space in your life for the things that truly matter to you”

The aim of the game is to look at your material possession and be honest with yourself: do you really need that object? If the answer is no, free some space up in your life. What Seneca says here is the reason I have personally given away and sold most of my possessions. I’ve never been happier.

 

Practice poverty.

Especially during prosperous times in your life, the Stoics believe you should practice poverty. This is how you prepare for hardship and become an expert in dealing with the ups and downs of life. Comfort can become a form of slavery because you consistently start to think that someone could take away what you have.

When you’re familiar with what you fear, it no longer controls you. The worst can happen and you go through it with a sense of calmness and ease. People think you’re resilient but actually, you’ve just practiced the hard times as preparation.

Quick tip: try eating a really cheap meal for a whole week every two months. Eat like you have almost no money. This will teach you to not only appreciate the nice meals but to be okay if you ever face poverty and have to live on very little money for a while. I know a few people that do a beans and rice meal for this week of living it rough. Try it!

 

You protect everything you have, why not your mind?

You don’t give away your wallet to a stranger on the street. You don’t hand the keys to your car over to a budding thief. You wouldn’t let your house be demolished by the council without a fight. So why would you hand over the keys to your mind so easily to any stranger who wants them?

You have to become aware of who you are unconsciously giving your mind over to. You need to realize who is influencing you in a negative way without knowing it.

“Your mind can create all the abundance you could ever imagine, so you need to protect it like it’s the only possession you have”

 

Don’t wreck the purpose of your life by trying to impress others.

The Stoics teach that the opinions of people you seek our to impress are not that great themselves. These people you seek to impress have addictions, their own problems, and are no wiser than the next person. The purpose of your life is not to impress people and doing so will have the opposite effect.

Focus on impressing yourself through personal growth and wisdom from people who serve the greater good. Go beyond yourself and avoid the need to seek approval. Take action and seek forgiveness later if you must.

 

Without proper training, you’re a fool.

If you seek to master a skill, then without proper training you will (by default) rely on ignorance, and you’ll act in a way that lacks discipline and requires chance.

“An investor without discipline is not an investor – he’s a gambler” – Ryan Holiday

 

Your mind becomes what you think consistently.

Whether you think mostly negative thoughts or positive thoughts will determine your default response to any situation. The more we practice negative thinking, the more likely we are to see the world as negative.

If we choose to practice nothing, then we also get the same outcome of an influx of negative thoughts. The only wise choice then is to practice seeing the good in everything. Start with being grateful

 

You don’t know everything.

This is a thought that many people secretly have when they claim they want to learn something new. The harsh reality is that many of us walk around as though we know everything. We know nothing of the infinite knowledge there is to acquire.

That sort of humbleness is where all the best learning starts from. Thinking less of yourself is the ultimate power: it’s where you can grow from and serve others. It’s this way of thinking that births leaders.

 

Think of your problems in relation to the sky.

Marcus Aurelius says that the stars wash away the dust of earthly life. This Stoic concept is a way for you to clear your mind of all the troubles you encounter day-to-day. In comparison, your problems are so small compared to the immense size of the universe.

Your problems don’t matter in the grand scheme of things so don’t fool yourself into believing they do. Look at the stars once in a while. Remember how lucky we are even to experience this planet we call Earth.

 

Forget stereotypes and labels: concentrate on character.

Stoics believe your character should be your most prominent feature. Outward traits such as skin color and clothing should be insignificant. Your character is defined by the work you do on yourself each day and the person you become.

Your character is what sells you as a person better than any other external force. Your character is your legacy. Your character is what you want to be known for.

 

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Do something inspirational yourself.

You can sit here all day and listen to me inspire you. You can watch all the inspirational videos that Youtube has to offer. What would be far better is to go out there and inspire people yourself rather than being inspired.

Take the inspiration you’ve gathered in your life and do something with it so you can allow others to create their own inspirational journey. Be the example rather than only listening to the example and saying “One day I’ll do that.”

 

There is never an end to the personal development journey.

You never reach mastery. The student never stops being a student. Even the teacher is still a student at heart. Stoicism is something you apply consistently, and it never ends. You apply it until the day you die and that’s how you gain the infinite wisdom it offers.

“You’ll never drink all the water in the ocean, just like you’ll never learn everything there is to know about Stoic philosophy and that’s fine too”

 

Work is good for you.

Ever heard that when people retire, they are statistically more likely to die within a few years of achieving this milestone in their life? That’s because work gives us a sense of purpose. Work gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Making progress through doing meaningful work feels good.

Too much idle time and the delusion that you can get rich and sit on a beach is what can cause you to feel empty inside. This feeling can cause you to have self-destructive thoughts that lead to an immense focus on one’s selfish desires and need for significance. In other words, work is good.

 

Don’t make life harder than it is. It’s your choice.

Choices are what stoics believe are the way to take a shortcut in life. They believe we can choose whatever we want including happiness, freedom, respect and feelings of being wealthy. The reoccurring theme here again is that we are in control of everything that happens and how we feel.

 

How you handle disaster is everything.

The way you deal with problematic situations is a true test of your character. Character in stoicism is not formed when everything is going right; character is formed when everything is going wrong. Don’t let problems spoil your mindset. Let optimism guide you in all situations.

 

Seek out obstacles.

Obstacles are a way for you to take a challenge that you may not like and use it as a lesson that can help you for the rest of your life. You learn from hardships above all else. Lessons from hardships make you smarter, stronger and better prepared for when adversity strikes again.

 

You have one job and only one job.

The Stoics have a core belief that all of us have only one job on Planet Earth: to be a good human being. If you learned nothing else about stoicism from this blog post, then I’ve succeeded.

Practice being a good human being and you’ll have one hell of a life.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Stephanie Figuerado

    Jun 7, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this article. Great examples of real life stories mixed in too!

  2. Emmanuel S. McDaniel

    Mar 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Great list but typos in almost every paragraph take away from the articles credibility.

  3. Chetz Togom

    May 9, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Great list. I think # 1, 3, 4 ,5 ,6 and 7 are a must if you really want to change your life.

    Chetz

  4. WorkWithJoey.com

    Apr 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Great article

  5. Weight loss

    Mar 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    whoah this weblog is wonderful i like reading
    your articles. Stay up the great work! You recognize, lots of people are searching around for this info, you can help them greatly.

  6. Ivan

    Mar 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Everything happens for a reason? If that is so, ¿why would i want to improve my life?

    • Burton

      May 8, 2013 at 1:54 am

      Because as you change your life to create what you want out of it, than the reasons things happen to you will be more in line with who you really want to be. The things that seem to just happen will be more amazing than you would expect.

      You have to try to improve your life because that is where the beauty is. Thats when we are content enough to enjoy all the small things in life. Its a beautiful thing and you should try. You will be surprised at what you are capable of.

    • Kimberly

      Jun 22, 2013 at 11:36 am

      This is a good question! You would want to work on yourself so you can get through those tough seasons… When life happens for a reason we become better or bitter. That’s the why we work on ourselves. So we don’t turn bitter!!

  7. Lisa Levine

    Feb 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Joel, you are one wise man. Your right in that attitude is altitude. It can be so easy to get stuck in the mental rut, where you think ‘why me’, but everyone has their ups and downs, its just they may not let it grind them down as much as the next person. And once you get stuck in the role where you feel everything is against you, it can get harder and harder to escape from the vicious circle.

  8. Pat

    Feb 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Nice concise article with good content. Like most worthwhile things, simple!

  9. akilispensor

    Feb 7, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Well put! I think the big takeaways are that small shifts in perspective can make a world of difference.

  10. Bliss Magazine (@LivingUrBliss)

    Feb 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Gratitude is the big one for me. Not only does it bring me back to the present moment but also brings about a mental shift from lack to abundance, from fear to love. “Gratitude for the abundance you have received is the best insurance that the abundance will continue.” Mohammad

  11. joe

    Jan 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Well said…most of the them i need in this life

  12. 3paysmembers

    Jan 23, 2013 at 4:23 am

    10 simple but powerful steps. Thanks.

  13. Terry

    Jan 20, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Great advice. Although I’m thinking how far can this sort of advice get people. For example can people be less sensitive by trying to be less sensitve?

  14. Wolf

    Jan 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Love #4: “Good things come to those who do not give up, not to those who wait”

  15. Soal

    Jan 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Namaste, Thanks for the amazing post! I live by these values every day. One of the most important is being thankful every day, we are very lucky to have what we do and appreciation humbles the soul.

  16. Catherine White

    Jan 15, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    You make some great point and start with the strongest one of all:
    “Get Over It”.
    Many people are too busy dwelling in the past to think about the future. Every situation – good or bad – can teach you something. Take your new knowledge and move toward the future.
    Thanks for sharing these points.

  17. rakeah saha

    Jan 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Very well said – Thoughts become things and reality happens twice -first in mind and then in reality, hence learn to switch pattern from your problem state to resourceful state whenever it is required and feed on to your subconscious mind.

    Get yourself conditioned to what you want to be and unlearn what you do not want to be .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism – Learn Practical Wisdom You Can Use

Published

on

I’ve been inspired to learn about Stoicism for a while.

The problem I’ve had is that it’s one of those topics that people love to complicate. The reason for the complication is that many of the teachings that come from Stoicism are spoken in English from a long time ago. I personally don’t have the patience to read this type of writing for long periods.

That’s why I’m going to debunk Stoicism for you in stupidly simple terms. The wisdom you get will transform you. You’ll gain a different perspective that will help you in all aspects of life.

“Everyone is preaching advice, but no one is sharing wisdom – that’s what Stoicism is”

 

What is Stoicism?

It’s an ancient form of philosophy. It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them.

Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started.

Here is Stoicism broken down into insanely simple dot points:

– Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life
– Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately
– Study is not required to understand Stoicism
– The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca. Marcus Aurelius is also very popular

Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does. Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life.

The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind. Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way.

At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life. It’s not an argument about what is right and what is wrong. The Stoics had no time for this way of thinking.

Okay so now let’s skip ahead to the best lessons you can learn from Stoicism:

 

We don’t control events, but we do control what they mean.

This is a famous teaching from a lot of Tony Robbins work too. Everything that happens in your life can be controlled by your own mind to be good or bad. Once you understand this teaching, you can take back the power. You become less reactive and a lot calmer. You have the upper hand.

 

Disruptions to serenity cannot be avoided.

Tranquillity can never be reached by avoiding or blocking out distractions or horrible events. The way to get to that tranquil place is through your choices and judgment about those events and situations.

 

You must disrupt yourself.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done will lead you to be disrupted by someone or something who changes with the environment. Operating out of habit means you’ve stopped thinking and are mindlessly drifting through life. This means you’re not in control.

“When you lose control, your environment determines your results”

There’s a good chance that you’re going to think these results suck. The lesson here is break your habits, get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself like a cool, hip startup from Silicon Valley.

 

In good and bad times we have a choice.

Whether you’re in jail or an entrepreneur running the most successful startup on the planet, you have a choice. We all come from different backgrounds and we’ll all go through major highs, and painstaking lows. Through all of these different circumstances, we have a choice.

It’s having the freedom of choice that will set us free in the long run. It’s that freedom of choice that will ensure you don’t waste your life away thinking about stuff you can’t control. You’ll always feel the power of freedom when you control your choices, no matter what life throws at you.

 

Make it a habit of looking inward.

Stoics are obsessed with taking time to look inward. It’s something they advocate above all of their other teachings. They suggest spending time in the morning to ask yourself questions about your life. As you do this, you’ll find the answers to life’s biggest questions become clearer in the context of your own life.

Looking inward helps you find the answers that you knew all along and thought were hidden inside of someone else, or something else. This practice will only work if you’re honest with yourself. Don’t be too brutal on yourself either. Realize that we all start somewhere and it’s where we can go that is the greatest gift we can enjoy.

 

Being paranoid and fearful will destroy you.

The antidote to fear and paranoia is self-control. Learn to control your impulses. If you become fearful that others will sabotage your success and you don’t remain in control over these fearful thoughts, you’ll lose sight of reality. These fearful thoughts will cause you to project your fears onto other people and they’ll give you exactly what you fear.

In simple terms, fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you put out comes right back at you.

 

Anger will not help you.

The Stoics believe that getting angry never gives you anything in return. Anger wastes your precious energy and resources, and provides no tangible benefit. This is why it’s better to practice non-reactivity rather than being pissed off at something you can’t control anyway.

Anger is like a contagious virus that spreads if you let it. Don’t let anger control you. Projecting anger on people can only result in you projecting anger on yourself. That’s why anger is also another self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Everything takes up space.

Seneca wrote many times that even things you get for free have a cost. That cost is space – space in your garage or even space in your mind.

“Learning to live with less will create space in your life for the things that truly matter to you”

The aim of the game is to look at your material possession and be honest with yourself: do you really need that object? If the answer is no, free some space up in your life. What Seneca says here is the reason I have personally given away and sold most of my possessions. I’ve never been happier.

 

Practice poverty.

Especially during prosperous times in your life, the Stoics believe you should practice poverty. This is how you prepare for hardship and become an expert in dealing with the ups and downs of life. Comfort can become a form of slavery because you consistently start to think that someone could take away what you have.

When you’re familiar with what you fear, it no longer controls you. The worst can happen and you go through it with a sense of calmness and ease. People think you’re resilient but actually, you’ve just practiced the hard times as preparation.

Quick tip: try eating a really cheap meal for a whole week every two months. Eat like you have almost no money. This will teach you to not only appreciate the nice meals but to be okay if you ever face poverty and have to live on very little money for a while. I know a few people that do a beans and rice meal for this week of living it rough. Try it!

 

You protect everything you have, why not your mind?

You don’t give away your wallet to a stranger on the street. You don’t hand the keys to your car over to a budding thief. You wouldn’t let your house be demolished by the council without a fight. So why would you hand over the keys to your mind so easily to any stranger who wants them?

You have to become aware of who you are unconsciously giving your mind over to. You need to realize who is influencing you in a negative way without knowing it.

“Your mind can create all the abundance you could ever imagine, so you need to protect it like it’s the only possession you have”

 

Don’t wreck the purpose of your life by trying to impress others.

The Stoics teach that the opinions of people you seek our to impress are not that great themselves. These people you seek to impress have addictions, their own problems, and are no wiser than the next person. The purpose of your life is not to impress people and doing so will have the opposite effect.

Focus on impressing yourself through personal growth and wisdom from people who serve the greater good. Go beyond yourself and avoid the need to seek approval. Take action and seek forgiveness later if you must.

 

Without proper training, you’re a fool.

If you seek to master a skill, then without proper training you will (by default) rely on ignorance, and you’ll act in a way that lacks discipline and requires chance.

“An investor without discipline is not an investor – he’s a gambler” – Ryan Holiday

 

Your mind becomes what you think consistently.

Whether you think mostly negative thoughts or positive thoughts will determine your default response to any situation. The more we practice negative thinking, the more likely we are to see the world as negative.

If we choose to practice nothing, then we also get the same outcome of an influx of negative thoughts. The only wise choice then is to practice seeing the good in everything. Start with being grateful

 

You don’t know everything.

This is a thought that many people secretly have when they claim they want to learn something new. The harsh reality is that many of us walk around as though we know everything. We know nothing of the infinite knowledge there is to acquire.

That sort of humbleness is where all the best learning starts from. Thinking less of yourself is the ultimate power: it’s where you can grow from and serve others. It’s this way of thinking that births leaders.

 

Think of your problems in relation to the sky.

Marcus Aurelius says that the stars wash away the dust of earthly life. This Stoic concept is a way for you to clear your mind of all the troubles you encounter day-to-day. In comparison, your problems are so small compared to the immense size of the universe.

Your problems don’t matter in the grand scheme of things so don’t fool yourself into believing they do. Look at the stars once in a while. Remember how lucky we are even to experience this planet we call Earth.

 

Forget stereotypes and labels: concentrate on character.

Stoics believe your character should be your most prominent feature. Outward traits such as skin color and clothing should be insignificant. Your character is defined by the work you do on yourself each day and the person you become.

Your character is what sells you as a person better than any other external force. Your character is your legacy. Your character is what you want to be known for.

 

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Do something inspirational yourself.

You can sit here all day and listen to me inspire you. You can watch all the inspirational videos that Youtube has to offer. What would be far better is to go out there and inspire people yourself rather than being inspired.

Take the inspiration you’ve gathered in your life and do something with it so you can allow others to create their own inspirational journey. Be the example rather than only listening to the example and saying “One day I’ll do that.”

 

There is never an end to the personal development journey.

You never reach mastery. The student never stops being a student. Even the teacher is still a student at heart. Stoicism is something you apply consistently, and it never ends. You apply it until the day you die and that’s how you gain the infinite wisdom it offers.

“You’ll never drink all the water in the ocean, just like you’ll never learn everything there is to know about Stoic philosophy and that’s fine too”

 

Work is good for you.

Ever heard that when people retire, they are statistically more likely to die within a few years of achieving this milestone in their life? That’s because work gives us a sense of purpose. Work gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Making progress through doing meaningful work feels good.

Too much idle time and the delusion that you can get rich and sit on a beach is what can cause you to feel empty inside. This feeling can cause you to have self-destructive thoughts that lead to an immense focus on one’s selfish desires and need for significance. In other words, work is good.

 

Don’t make life harder than it is. It’s your choice.

Choices are what stoics believe are the way to take a shortcut in life. They believe we can choose whatever we want including happiness, freedom, respect and feelings of being wealthy. The reoccurring theme here again is that we are in control of everything that happens and how we feel.

 

How you handle disaster is everything.

The way you deal with problematic situations is a true test of your character. Character in stoicism is not formed when everything is going right; character is formed when everything is going wrong. Don’t let problems spoil your mindset. Let optimism guide you in all situations.

 

Seek out obstacles.

Obstacles are a way for you to take a challenge that you may not like and use it as a lesson that can help you for the rest of your life. You learn from hardships above all else. Lessons from hardships make you smarter, stronger and better prepared for when adversity strikes again.

 

You have one job and only one job.

The Stoics have a core belief that all of us have only one job on Planet Earth: to be a good human being. If you learned nothing else about stoicism from this blog post, then I’ve succeeded.

Practice being a good human being and you’ll have one hell of a life.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Why Choosing the Right Romantic Partner Is Crucial to Your Success

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There are lots of things which can affect your success at work. Your drive and ambition, how well you work with the rest of your team, how you are perceived by your boss, and of course, how good you are at your job. Nevertheless, did you ever think your partner’s personality could be a contributing factor, too?

Most people don’t think about their partner’s personality in terms of affecting their career success, but in fact, here are 5 reasons why your success at work lies in your partner’s personality:

1. You’re Independent – But You’re Not An Island

Some people are naturally resistant to the idea that their partner’s personality has an impact on their career success. It’s understandable. After all, aren’t we all sovereign beings who have sole responsibility for our lives and success?

But, think about it this way – are you more likely to perform well at work if you’re struggling with a lot of drama at home, or if your home life is running smoothly?

Imagine trying to get through an important meeting with your energy and focus intact, after a rough night fighting with your partner. When you think of it that way, it’s clear that your home life can and does impact your work life.

2. It Goes Beyond Whether You Fight Or Not

It’s obvious that having drama at home bleeds over into the workplace and impacts your performance. However, the effect of your partner’s personality on your career success goes beyond whether your relationship is drama-free or not.

Recent research from Washington University in St Louis shows that your partner’s personality has an effect on your working success. The study showed that the impact goes far beyond whether your partner is supportive during the big moments such as going for a promotion or a pay raise. In fact, your partner’s everyday behavior and attitude have a noticeable effect on your work life.

“It’s getting the right person that’s the challenge.” – Bob Schieffer

3. Why A Conscientious Partner Contributes To Work Success

Specifically, the study showed people who have a conscientious partner do better at work. If you have a conscientious partner, you know that you can trust them to do what they say they will do and have a strong sense of responsibility towards household tasks and chores.

People who have a conscientious partner feel more comfortable “outsourcing” to them. That means that if they’re busy at work, or caught up in a big project, they can put more attention and focus on it, because they know things at home will be taken care of in their absence. This increased focus makes it easier for them to succeed at work.

4. What If Your Partner Isn’t Conscientious?

Some of you might be reading this thinking “that’s great, but my partner isn’t that conscientious!” In that case, don’t despair. It’s time for some honest and open communication with your partner.

Sit down with your partner and talk honestly about how much their support means to you. Don’t accuse – that won’t help – but simply be honest about how their support at home contributes to your work life. Take the time to reassure them you want to offer them similar support when they need it.

5. It’s Time To Be Each Other’s Best Teammate

Whether it’s you who’s employed or your partner or the both of you, it’s time for you to be each other’s best teammate. Sit down with your partner and have an honest discussion about division of labor at home. Figure out who is responsible for which chores and household tasks, and talk about what happens when one of you is busy at work.

Being a good team goes beyond collaborating when it comes to housework and childcare, and into recognizing the way you impact each other’s work life and success. After all, success for one of you at work equals success for your household as a whole in terms of better cashflow and more stability.

“When I find the right person, nothing else will matter, but I’m prepared to kiss a lot of frogs.” – Sam Smith

Make time to talk with your partner about what is going on at their workplace, and share what is happening in your own career. Be aware of the times when your partner needs extra support because work is busy, and share honestly with them when you need some extra support.

Your home life has a direct impact on your working success. Stay aware of the effects so you can keep open communication with your partner and work towards greater success for both of you.

What does your partner do that makes you feel like they support you? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Ways to Kickstart Your Morning and Dominate Your Day

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For many years, I dreaded Monday mornings and felt extremely excited for Friday mornings. I lived with this mindset for years until I realized that this was not a way to live a happy life. Why did I let these emotions dictate my days, I thought? Since I had seen this mindset all around me, I eventually thought this mindset was normal.

It wasn’t until I started reading various books on personal development that I finally made this shift. One common theme that I noticed was that regardless of the day, successful people living in a state of joy are this way because of how they start off each and every day. Once I started to implement some new ways to live, my outlook on each day and in life drastically changed.

Here are 5 ways to begin each morning to dominate your day:

1. Wake up with an intention

Many times, when we wake up, we immediately check our emails, Facebook, Instagram, press the snooze button multiple times, and rush off to start the coffee maker before going to work. What about setting an intention to have a positive and productive day? This can be in the form of writing in a daily journal or even visualizing for 5 minutes on having a phenomenal day. When we do this, we immediately shift our minds to a place that makes us happy and excited to experience a great day. This is a quick tool and can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

2. Prepare your day in advance

When we are able to prepare our days ahead of time, we have a way of having a happy and joyful day. This can include scheduling out our productivity for the following day, doing tedious tasks when needed, and eliminating any procrastination. I have found when we bring over tasks that should have been completed the day before, we are only filling up our schedules with unnecessary things. This can also eliminate any stress that can also be avoided.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell

3. Spend time alone

There is nothing more liberating than being able to spend time alone in the morning before starting your day. Two of my favorite activities include meditation and reading for 30 minutes. These activities also tie into setting an intention for the day. They assist in setting a clear, calm, and amazing tone for the day. Also, when you are able to do things you absolutely love, this happiness stays with you throughout the day and also increases your energy for yourself and those around you.

4. Learn something new that excites you

Have you ever learned a new skill and felt so excited about it that you weren’t able to sleep? If you have, congratulations! This usually signifies that you have found your calling and are closer to fulfilling your purpose on earth. Think of a skill you have been wanting to learn that absolutely excites you. When you do this, you will find yourself waking up with more excitement because of this new skill set has set your soul on fire to learn. Be excited about this and include this new skillset as part of your morning routine.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

5. Each day is a new opportunity

How many times have you heard someone say “I cannot do that, I am not a morning person.” Well, when we tell ourselves this, our subconscious mind takes this as being true and will make you believe this. However, if we change our mindsets and tell ourselves every day is another opportunity to make a difference, add more value to the lives around us, and achieve our dreams and goals, our day will be better off.

This is very exciting to think about. If you are someone who is still looking for exciting days ahead, take some time to reflect on what excites you. Maybe it is a new skill set or just a new routine to start off your days ahead. Every morning sets the tone for the day. Set a tone of joy and bliss and let that carry you out throughout the day!

One of the easiest ways to implement these steps is to pick out a few you feel really good about. These will be the easier ones to work with and then move on to the other steps that may take you out of your comfort zone. It may be difficult at first, but it always becomes easier and even more rewarding. Make each day count. You totally deserve it!

How do you live each day purposefully? Let us know by commenting below!

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8 Simple Methods to Boost Your Willpower and Self Control

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Surely if you’ve ever tried helping someone quit smoking, odds are that you will hear the word “will” spoken in the first 5 minutes. Aside from the popular procrastinating sentence: “I will quit smoking next year”, you might hear a smoker say: “It takes a lot of willpower to give up on cigarettes”. What do you think is the reason that most people quit smoking? Is it because they don’t have enough willpower?

At the beginning of every year, you will hear a lot of discussion about New Year’s resolutions. These tend to be high hopes for the year lying ahead in the form of a list of objectives. Let’s face it, most of us feel the need to start fresh, with a new chapter in the book of our life in which we’ve learned from our past mistakes and feel ready to move on.

These thoughts can take the form of: “I’m going to stop eating fast-food” or “Next year I promise I’ll hit the gym every other day” or “By the end of next year, I’ll have learnt a new language”. The list can go on and on because, after all, setting objectives is the easiest step. However, abandoning them is also easy. So, does willpower have anything to do with it?

First, let’s examine the relationship between willpower and self-control. Roy Baumeister conducted a study in which he wanted to test the effects of forced actions (or doing something that one doesn’t enjoy) on self-control. People have a limited amount of energy dedicated to self-control. The more one consumes that energy, the harder it becomes to maintain self-control and be productive.

Baumeister pinned the term “ego-depletion” to describe the loss of self-control due to mental effort.

Willpower is the fuel that drives self-control and both could be looked at as a muscle that loses tone if you don’t exercise.

Below, are 8 things you can practice to boost your will-power and self-control:

1. Control the context in which you live

For example: You decide to quit smoking but you continue meeting your smoker friends in places where people generally smoke. With the help of your own willpower, you manage to refrain from smoking for a while. Unfortunately, refraining from smoking drains you.

You then give in to your impulses, light up a cigarette and think to yourself: “Gosh, it’s so difficult to quit smoking. I might do it someday, though.” In this scenario, if you know yourself and you’re determined to quit smoking, it’s OK to admit that you aren’t capable (yet) to meet up with people in places that you know that your willpower will be drained.

2. Build good habits

Most of the things that we do every day are done on auto-pilot, according to our habits. It may not be obvious, but if you look back, you’ll notice the things you do now are more or less the same things you did yesterday, a month or a year before.

The good news is once a habit has been formed, the new actions you take will begin forming a better more productive habit. The bad news is that when you’re stressed or run out of willpower, you turn to bad habits or actions that bring you instant gratification such as drinking alcohol or playing computer games.

3. Sleep well

Going to the gym isn’t all about exercise. You need enough sleep and nutrients to see the best results. The same goes with your willpower-muscle: if you don’t get enough sleep, your brain won’t function at optimum levels and you will find it more difficult to do what needs to be done.

4. Start early on the most difficult tasks

Willpower is a limited resource and is consumed over the course of a day. Mornings are the best part of the day to get the really boring or difficult tasks done because your energy and willpower levels are at the top.

“The early morning has gold in its mouth.” – Benjamin Franklin

5. Keep your glucose levels under control

Another experiment conducted by Dr. Baumeister identified the fact that each act of self-control causes glucose levels to drop. You can counteract loss of self-control and willpower by making sure that your blood glucose levels are optimum.

6. Take breaks often

The best way to refresh your self-control is to split your workload into small tasks. A famous method called the Pomodoro technique works wonders for a lot of people. You work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break to recharge and repeat the process. That way, you’ll stay focused, knowing you have a limited amount of time to complete tasks you won’t be in danger of information overload.

7. Exercise

It’s no mystery that so many successful people mention exercise as one of their top daily priorities. Any type of physical activity that requires self-control and discipline is beneficial for your mental and physical health. It will also make it easier for you to be disciplined in other areas of your life.

8. Prioritize and minimize

The fewer decisions you need to make, the more willpower you will have in your “reservoir” for the activities that are truly important to you. Steve Jobs, for example, was renowned for always wearing the same clothes. When asked why he did this, he simply replied that it’s one less decision to make every day.

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Keri Russell

Habits take time, effort and discipline to form. One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to change their habits is to be overly proud of the “battles” they’ve won against their will and comfort. It’s important to know that if you want to be a winner in the game of life, you have to maintain balance, so you will be as ready as you can for all of life’s challenges.  

What tips do you have for managing your self-control? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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