Connect with us

Life

11 Actions You Can Take Today to Discover Your Life’s Purpose

Published

on

Find-Your-Life-Purpose

Take a breath, sit back, and imagine for a moment.

You are in the last hour of your life. Your time has come. You have a flashback, it’s your life, from birth to death. The good times, the bad times… It’s all there.

 

What will you see?

Will you have regrets?

Will you feel fulfilled?

As your eyes close… What will be your final emotion?

 

It’s scary to think about that day. But here’s the reality: It’s going to come.

The question isn’t will it come. It’s how will you feel when it does come?

 

The Question That Can Change Your Life

 

Can you discover your purpose?

Let’s back up a little bit. What does that even mean? Your “purpose“?

Let’s make it simple. Your purpose is what you love you doing, and is your opportunity to have the greatest positive impact on this world.

So when I ask the question: Can you discover your purpose? I’m really asking 2 questions:

1. Can you discover what you love doing?

2. Can you have a massive impact on this world by doing what you love?

 

Is this possible?

If the answer is yes, and I believe it is, then you’re not only selling yourself but the entire world short if you do not discover your purpose.

 

Are You Leaving it up To Chance?

Are you being intentional with the choices you make on a daily basis?

If you have no idea what you want to do with your life will talking about how you have “no idea what you want to do with” your life provide the answer?

I’m going to jump out on a limb here and say “no”.

The problem that most people run into is that they spend so much time talking about their worries and concerns that they never take the necessary actions to solve it.

Instead of spending days, weeks, months and even years stressing about discovering your all powerful magical purpose… how about you focus on taking action to figure it out?

 

Make Discovering Your Purpose Your Purpose

Discovering your purpose isn’t something that magically occurs. It requires that you take intentional action.

This isn’t rocket science. It’s just logical. If you want to figure out what you want to do with your life… Then you should spend time each day trying to figure out what you want to do with your life.

If you don’t know your purpose, then make finding your purpose your purpose.

 Mark Twain - Find Your Purpose Inspirational Picture Quote

 

11 Actions You Can Take Today to Discover Your Life’s Purpose

This all sounds nice and dandy but let’s get practical. Below I share with you 11 actions you can take today that can help you discover your life’s purpose.

 

1. Write out Your Life’s Vision

Take out a pen and paper. Imagine that 5 years have passed. All of your dreams have come true.

Where do you live? How do you feel? What are your hobbies? How much money do you make? How do you make money? What people are in your life? What people are no longer in your life? How do you spend your days?

The more details the better.

Then after you write the vision, answer this question:

What 1 action can you take today to start moving towards that vision?

Then take that 1 action.

 

2. Start a New Hobby 

What is that one thing you have been claiming “I would love to do this if…”

Want to learn a new language? Start a badminton club? collect stamps? learn how to sow?

It doesn’t matter what it is. If you want to do it, it’s great. Go do it.

 

3. Volunteer In Your Community

Choose to volunteer for something you find really interesting.

High quality people like to volunteer. They are nice, giving, and enjoy meeting new people. So not only will you get to be around great people but you also might happen to discover your purpose along the way.

Worst case scenario you spend a day making the world a better place. Best case scenario: you discover your purpose. Win-Win.

 

4. Answer The Million Dollar Question

Sit back, take a deep breath and answer the following question:

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with your life?

One of the major impediments to discovering your purpose is the money excuse. You buy into this lie that it’s impossible to make money doing what you love. So, you don’t even bother to search for your purpose.

The first step is to find your purpose, then later you can find a way to make money doing it.

 

5. Take Action Without Thinking

All too often you have a wonderful idea that’s going to change the world (or at minimum your world) and then the “voice of reason” comes in.

Sometimes it’s our own voice. Sometimes it’s from peers or family. The problem with the voice of reason is that it’s often lame, boring, lacks any sense of adventure and is… WRONG.

So, answer the following question based on your gut instinct:

What do you want to do with your life?

Great! Now don’t make any excuses. Just take the first step. If you don’t know the first step then your first step is to identify the first step.

 

6. Use Fear to Guide Your Actions

Sit back, and grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Answer the following question:

What are you deathly afraid to do? I’m not talking about a little bit afraid… I’m talking about pee your pants scared. What is it?

Fear is an indicator that something truly matters to you. Therefore you must identify that which you fear and then do it.

Commit to conquering this fear. Start with baby steps.

What action can you take today that would move you towards eventually destroying this fear?

 

7. Personify “Your Purpose”

Let’s make this personal… Literally. Imagine that your “purpose” was a human being. In fact, they are next to you right now.

What would this person be like? Would it be a man or a woman? What does it look like? how does it act? What types of activities does it do? What kind of relationship do you have with your purpose? Is it a marriage? a friend? a business partner.

Have fun with this one. You’ll be surprised how much it reveals.

 

8Read Inspiring Books Everyday

The greatest impediment you face to discovering your purpose is your own self doubt. Therefore it is critical that you defend yourself against these woeful voices of doubt and insecurity.

The simple way to do this is to commit to read 30 to 60 minutes of inspiring books everyday. Imagine feeding your mind with some of the greatest and most inspiring thinkers in all of human civilization.. everyday.

Do you think that will impact your sense of possibility?

Heck yes it will.

As you read more, your sense of possibility will increase. As your sense of possibility increases you will start to be more comfortable exploring potential purposes because you will know that you can find a way to make it happen.

 

9. Plan Out “Purpose Exploration” Activities

Look at your schedule this week. Write down 5 actions you will take to start discovering your purpose. Book it just like a doctors appointment. Write in the day and time that you will do it.

Don’t know what action to take? That’s easy. Just choose 5 from this post and add them to your calendar’.

 

10. Commit 60 Minutes to “Life Reflection”

A while ago someone said that “experience is the greatest teacher”. That’s wrong, experience isn’t the greatest teacher. “Experience reflected on is the greatest teacher”.

Set 60 minutes aside this week to think about your life. Grab a pen and paper and just write. Ask yourself the big questions:

What makes you happy?

What do you want to do with your life? 

What impact do you want to have on this world?

Write. Write. And write some more.

You will be amazed at the insights that come out of this.

 

11. Imagine The Impossible Then Take The First Step

For just one moment, imagine that you could do anything in the world you want to do. So, if that were possible, what would you do?

If you were going to do that one thing, what is the first step that you would need to take to make it happen?

Now, take that first step.

 

 

Above All Else Take Action

Above all else you must take action if you are going to discover your purpose. Take a breath… A big deep breath. Then answer the following question:

What 1 action am I going to take today after reading this post?

Then immediately take it.

 

 

Feature Image Courtesy of James Nord

Head over to The 30 Year Old Ninja to learn the critical mindset, steps, and principles to turn your dream into a reality. Izzy coaches people one on one and runs an online course to help you Achieve The Impossible. You can also follow him on Facebook to get daily inspiration.

Advertisement
30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Christopher Adom

    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Thank God we have people like you in our lives it’s so great, the starting is the problem, here man need money first after getting money ideas change BUT all the same with God all things are possible thanks Izzy.

  2. Bradley thomas Finkeldei

    Jun 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for a great article.

  3. Sola

    Nov 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Izzy for this post. Highly inspiring. I’m in my 40s and have interests in things that, to me, seem unrelated: event planning & decoration, sewing, and writing. I do not have the required skills for some of them yet but I’m thinking of acquiring the skills. The thought cripples me because I think it’s a bit late for me to start all these. I’m in a paid employment but I’m thinking of quitting anytime soon for some reasons. Can you help pls with some guide?

  4. tbabey85

    Nov 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    i dont have an answer to most the questions asked here. i do not what i love or enjoy doing. that is so pathetic

    • Roland

      Dec 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      tbabey85… It isn’t pathetic that you haven’t figured out what you truly enjoy. A lot of us have found ourselves in the same place. Be proud of the fact that you’ve come to where you are now questioning what that might be. No one ever gets the answer to the question without asking it first. Your answer may simply just require a little digging and prioritizing as you create your list of the possibilities you choose to pursue. If you commit yourself to finding the answer, it will appear. – Believe it

  5. Onochie

    Nov 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    clay, have you ever thought of the reason why you have so much interest? That might just be your purpose!

  6. Sebastian

    Oct 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Answering the million dollar question makes me realize that having a million dollars has nothing to do with what I want to do with my life.

    Great post.

    Ps: You have the coolest dream Izzy

  7. clay

    Sep 17, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Oh man. These are very inspiring ways. But for every number I read, there’s a question, and every question that I try to answer, still nothing comes out. “Imagine 5 years have passed.” “What makes you happy?” What do you want to do with your life?” Nothing. Not even the money question, for money was never really my purpose.

    Unlike others who do not have any interests though, my problem lies in having to many interests. I have so many things I like doing: to swim, to draw, to be an advocate, to write, etc. etc. But that’s the problem, because I dont know which of those things I love the most and would love to do for the rest of my life. Also, I think my coping mechanisms make it even more confusing. Like, I love to write, but then I’ll think “what if I only like it because I’m good at it.” Or I’ll claim I like the medical field, but eventually I reflected “Do I really like it or I just like being smart?”

    I’m screwed. help.

    • Adam

      Sep 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Clay, stop over thinking it mate… Sounds as though you just need to enjoy what you enjoy… do it, relax and enjoy. The one that you do the most will find you and that passion will open up other possibilities without you even realising. Find happiness in the comfort you have so many things you enjoy….good luck, I’m sure you’ll be great.

    • Clare

      Jan 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

      I totally understand this! I love so many things I have lots of interests which I do regularly. I have come to the conclusion that most of them fit into ” I love improving myself and others” but this is so broad I can’t fit it into one thing one career???

    • E

      Jan 9, 2014 at 6:20 am

      Clay as I was reading your comments I felt as if you are writing my thoughts exactly it brought some strange emotions out of me..I feel just like you do I am more confused than you but I just realizes as I’m writing this that I am taking my fist step in the right path SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS IS MY FIRST STEP and I’m not alone.

  8. Christopher

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    My life vision is so extensive that I am crippled by it. I may be too ambitious about what I want to do. This is the one factor that has held me back. However, I plan to document everything, and then prioritize and focus on just those things to start with. Taking action is the key to progress. This article is an excellent guide. Thanks!

  9. Shilpa

    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    As everyone mentioned here, it s a grt read..
    N nothng impossible. Just beautiful insights put down very well.
    This was my today’s inspiring read.
    Thank you.
    God bless:)

  10. shobee

    Aug 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    This is such a very easy to read and inspiring post

    • alma

      Mar 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      it was great to see so many of you questioning purpose ,for awhile i though as was all alone with frustration on purpose, is the same as some those who have many interest and not one thing that stands out.I’m in my 40s so the feeling of finding purpose is very strong.thanks for sharing,,,,,,,,, with kindness and gratitude

  11. A. Solomon

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    26 year old dude from London, you have literally shifted the direction of my life, this post confirmed what I have been feeling. Thank you so much!

  12. Sachin

    Aug 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Wonderful insight! This is what I was looking for ! Life ! All answers are within us !

  13. antoniojavar

    Aug 25, 2013 at 5:29 am

    I love this article. There is so much power in writing things down. It helps us clarify are deepest and strongest desires. Thanks again!

  14. Hirantha Perera (@HiranthaPerera)

    Aug 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful post Izzy. This came just in time. I was just looking for some insight on verifying what I m doing actually what I love doing and its my purpose of living. And I gotta tell you, you life story so far had inspired me greatly. Thank you very much! 😀

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

      What’s up man.
      It’s a wonderful thing to be able to confirm the path you are heading down is the correct one.

      I’m really happy to hear my story has inspired you. That is the exact reason I share it: to prove your dream is possible and to compel you to take action.

  15. Rosie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Can’t wait to get cracking on this. Thanks Izzy.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Awesome Rosie :).

  16. Karun

    Aug 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Take action.. and Write down what you want? These 2 tips really pushed me forward and I believe another 60 days from now, I will be a different guy who believes in achieving stuff.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Hi Karun :).

      Isn’t it amazing how simple and powerful those 2 things are. I can say with certainty it forever changed the direction of my life. If you do it, I’m confident it shall do the same for you.

  17. Eddie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Great article….thanks a lot .God bless you.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:12 am

      What’s up Eddie :).

      Thanks man. I’m glad it helped you man.

  18. Zeeshan Ali

    Aug 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Bundles of thanks izzy Arkin u share very very nice article. 🙂

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Zeeshan :).

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a nice comment.

  19. Kevin

    Aug 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Nice article izzy, hopefully i can now find my life’s purpose, thanks man

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

      What’s up Kevin :).

      I hope you can too brother. Take action, reflect on those actions and you can figure it out. I’m sure of it man.

Leave a Reply

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

Life

How to Prevent Social Media From Stunting Your Personal Growth

Published

on

social media addiction
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Over the years, social media has taken over our lives. Our society has become so addicted to social media to where we’re not only missing out on enjoying some of life’s most precious moments, but we’re also losing valuable interpersonal skills. The introverts have become more introverted, and the extroverts are becoming more recluse.

Social media has made “Netflix & Chill” the ideal date night, replacing the traditional “dinner and a movie” where you’re getting to know each other amongst others. If people were to go out, they have a constant need to document their every move on social media instead of being truly present and enjoying themselves. What’s also worse is that I see this social media dynamic being passed on to the younger generation. More and more kids are becoming hooked on social media, causing them to place their own personal value in the hands of strangers through a “like”.

Luckily, we don’t have to allow social media to ruin our lives. Despite how addicting social media is, we have complete control on how it’s used. Here’s how I prevent social media from stunting my own personal growth.

1. Limit Your Time On Social Media

Scrolling your timeline is like diving into a black hole. Once you start scrolling on Instagram, Facebook, or even Twitter, it’s hard to stop. Even for me, I struggle putting my phone down, thus getting sucked into the “social media matrix”.

What I found to be extremely helpful is limiting my time on social media. I literally allow myself a certain amount of minutes of “scroll time” before I put my phone away to focus on something else. Because my business revolves around social media, I check my phone approximately 4 times a day, for 15 minutes at a time. During those short periods, I’m responding to any comments or DMs, and engaging with other people’s posts to keep my own personal engagement high on my profile.

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

2. Find New Hobbies

There was a period of time where I was very conscious of when and why I randomly start scrolling social media. What I discovered was that I was more prone to fall into the black hole of social media when I was bored.

I’m a part of the last generation to have experienced life without the internet and social media. I recall days being spent reading, wrestling with my dad, walking or riding bikes at the local park, playing sports outside with the neighborhood kids, or building small LEGO communities (remember those?). There was never a dull moment because our days were filled with hobbies.

If you let the demands of being an adult consume you, don’t be afraid to re-introduce your old hobbies back into your life.

3. Unplug With Family & Friends

There are more and more people who are spending time on social media in the company of their family and friends. Family dinners and time spent with your friends are now being interrupted by social media. As I mentioned earlier, this is typically a sign of boredom that comes across as rude to those in your presence. By not being in the moment, you could be missing out on valuable information and vital conversations that could strengthen your personal growth and interpersonal skills.

One thing I found to be helpful when in the presence of your friends and family is to designate one spot where everyone can dump their phones so that everyone is now forced to be in the moment and enjoy the company of those around them. At family dinner, I make everyone leave their phones in their room, and when my friends get together, I make them turn their phones off and place them in a small bag that I bring. It’s imperative that we unplug. You’ll find that the time spent was much more enjoyable when you’re focused on being mentally present.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

4. Don’t Go To Bed With Your Phone

We’re all guilty of going to bed and falling asleep with our phones in our hand. There were times where I literally fell asleep looking at my phone in the air, and it dropped and popped me in the face. That was a “wake-up call”, literally, that I needed to change my ways. Not to mention, I also noticed that I was experiencing weird dreams and sometimes nightmares because of what I was consuming before I went to sleep. All of which is not good for your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Rather than charge my phone overnight using a power outlet close to the bed, I now charge my phone overnight on the other side of the room. The first few days of doing this was rough. I was so used to falling asleep scrolling social media that it was hard to fall asleep without it. Now, I lie down and meditate until I fall asleep. After a week of light meditation prior to sleep, I noticed that I woke up feeling energized and well rested. My mind wasn’t mentally fatigued like before, and my days were much more productive. As a result, I highly recommend everyone to go to bed without their phone by their side.

Conclusion

Moderation is key when it comes to social media consumption. Social media is not bad however, like anything, too much of something can have a reverse effect. Social media is a very valuable tool, one that allowed me to connect with people of all walks of life across the world and earn a living. We don’t have to let social media take over and ruin our lives. What we can do is find balance.

How do you stay balanced? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Life

5 Mindset Shifts You Can Steal From the Movies to Have Blockbuster Success

Published

on

blockbuster success
Image Credit: Unsplash

If only our clients had the passion of Potterheads. Remember the midnight premiers? Potterheads lined up for hours, dressed in full costume, wands a-blazin’. When the doors finally opened, they couldn’t throw their money at the ticket booth fast enough. How do you create that kind of enthusiasm for your own business?

I’m going to share five mindset shifts straight out of the movie business that you can use to fuel lifelong fanatics. Some of it is going to be tough love, but hey, nobody said getting your own fan club was easy.

1. Stay humble, stay hungry

Working actors audition an average of 67 times before booking a gig. 67 times! And that’s working actors—people who earn their entire livelihood from acting. Most entrepreneurs will hear this stat and say, “I get it. I need to accept failure 66 times.” But this isn’t about that. It’s about showing up 67.

Accepting failure is passive. You can accept failure from your couch. Showing up and trying, however, is active. When you show up, you commit to taking a step forward. And 66 times, you’ll get knocked down. It’s humbling. But on attempt 67, that step forward might finally stick.

Mindset shift: You have an insatiable appetite for success. You know that every failure is one failure down and that, soon, you’ll knock it out of the park.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Treat your audience as kings

The box office doesn’t care what the director’s intentions were, how cool the writer is, or if the lead actor was featured in some fancy magazine, it cares about people in seats. And when thematic costumes clothe them (ala Potterheads), there are more of them.

In movies and entrepreneurship, your most critical metrics depend on your audience’s choices. So, the sooner you start treating your audience as kings and making everything about them, the sooner your metrics will start climbing.

How does the Harry Potter franchise treat Potterheads as kings? Movie premiers are 100% about the fans. They get to feel cool in costume, show off to friends, be among the first, hang out with other super-fans, and more. No matter what, putting your audience’s desire ahead of your own will always pay off in the long run.

Mindset shifts: Other entrepreneurs pursue immediate recognition. But you know that the more special you make your audience feel, the more success you’ll have down the road.

3. Depict compelling transformations

Humans have a fundamental desire for transformation. We love watching movies about redemption, growing up, settling down, overcoming adversity, underdogs, and more. Harry Potter is full of that stuff. Heck, the series even allowed a generation of readers to transform into adults alongside Harry.

This is why Before and After pictures are so incredibly persuasive. They help us to visualize the change we crave. And every single product or service on the market offers some form of transformation. All you have to do is call it out.  

Mindset shift: Bad entrepreneurs sell products. Good entrepreneurs sell solutions. Entrepreneurs who create rabid fans sell transformation.

4. Trust the fundamentals

When I took my first screenwriting class, the number of hyper-specific rules shocked me. Did you know that about 20 minutes into every movie, something dramatic changes in the protagonist’s life and propels them into a new world?

Don’t believe me? Time it. Unsurprisingly, one kid in my class completely ignored the rules. Even more unsurprisingly, his scripts sucked. When my professor called him out, the kid blubbered, “But Tarantino—” To which my professor replied, “Are you Tarantino?” No. No, he was not Tarantino.

The difference between you, me, that kid, and Tarantino is that Tarantino paid his dues. It’s extremely rare to find someone who became successful by completely ignoring the conventions of their craft. And the same is true for entrepreneurship.

Mindset shift: Nobody is “above” learning the fundamentals. You know that by appreciating the current structures and systems, you will be better poised to disrupt them in the future.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. Kill your darlings

Once upon a time, an animation studio was four years into creating a film about the ocean. They had sunk thousands of hours, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the project. Then, the unthinkable happened… Finding Nemo. You know what the studio did with their ocean movie? They scrapped it.

As entrepreneurs, once we invest a lot of time and energy into something, we’re afraid to abandon it—even if the circumstances that made it worth pursuing in the first place don’t exist anymore. It’s the sunk cost fallacy. It’s important to remember that regardless of if you keep chugging along, the investment you made is unrecoverable. On the flip side, the gains you made are still valuable. The only choice you have is how you move forward—and sometimes, that means changing course.

Mindset shift: No effort goes to waste, even if the resulting work becomes irrelevant. Instead of letting your ego rule your decisions, you choose the best course of action and move on.

Building enthusiasm for your business is a slow but crucial process. What techniques have you pulled from other fields to help connect with your audience?

Continue Reading

Life

How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life

Published

on

stress
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:

1.    “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2.    “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?”

The researchers found that people who experienced high levels of stress were 43% more likely to die in the study’s 8-year period. Doesn’t that prove stress is in fact bad for your health? Not exactly, stress was only harmful to the people who believed stress was harmful.

Those people who experienced high amounts of stress but didn’t believe it was harmful to their health were less likely to die than all other groups in the study. They were even less likely to die than the people who experienced low levels of stress (but believed stress is harmful.)

Put simply, people who believe that stress is not harmful live longer lives than those who believe it is. This study showed that it might not be stress that damages our health, but our beliefs about stress that damages our health.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Breakthroughs In Stress Research

At first, this might be hard to believe. Kelly McGonigal elegantly explains this phenomenon in The Upside of Stress, “Stress mindsets are powerful because they affect not just how you think but also how you act. When you view stress as harmful, it is something to be avoided. Feeling stressed becomes a signal to try to escape or reduce the stress. And indeed, people who endorse a stress-is-harmful mindset are more likely to say that they cope with stress by trying to avoid it.”

People who believe stress is negative are more likely to avoid it by smoking, binge-eating, or watching too much TV. Afterwards, their physical health pays the price. Fortunately, research has shown that your beliefs about stress can be changed – and changing them has powerful benefits.

A study by Jeremy Jameson and colleagues had people endure a grueling social stress test. Participants were asked to give a 5-minute impromptu speech about their personal weaknesses to a panel of judges. To make this situation even more stressful, the judges were instructed to give negative feedback to the participant giving the speech. This study wasn’t just about sadistically putting people through social pressure, it was testing whether a mindset intervention could change how people react to stress.

Before giving the impromptu speech, participants were shown one of two videos:

  • The first video opened with the message, “Most people think that stress is negative… but research shows that stress is even more debilitating than you expect.”
  • The second video opened with, “Most people think that stress is negative… but actually research shows that it is enhancing.”

Participants who were shown the video that gave examples of how stress can be enhancing were less stressed out during the interview, felt more confident while speaking, and gave better interviews (as rated both by themselves and the judges). Even more impressively, although normally a stress response causes a person’s blood vessels to constrict, the blood vessels of participants who saw the pro-stress video remained relaxed.

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen

The Power Of Your Stress Mindset

So, a 3-minute video was able to change the way people responded to a stressful situation, not just psychologically, but physiologically. When we think stress is something we must avoid, stress becomes a negative feedback loop. We experience stress, we think it’s a bad thing, and then our stress makes us even more stressed (and on and on).

But, when we think stress is just a natural part of life, or even a good thing, we are able to embrace it instead of being controlled by it. This not only allows us to perform better in stressful situations, it also enables us to make healthier decisions (because we won’t attempt to avoid stress with unhealthy coping behaviors).

How do you handle stress? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Life

One Piece Of Simple Advice That Changed My Life.

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash / Danilo Santos
“Stay positive no matter what happens.”

That’s one simple piece of advice that changed my life.

I learned the importance of this advice the hard way when my life was traveling along just nicely. I had a high paying job, a booming blogging career, a partner who loved me, and enough money to live and enjoy a few simple pleasures.

I got to travel overseas to exotic locations and work even allowed me to have some pretty unique experiences like sleeping on a yacht and going surfing with a crazy bunch of entrepreneurs.

I thought I had it all.

People looked at my life and thought it was spectacular.


Deep inside of me, I knew something was not quite right.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Something about this so-called perfect life felt wrong.

Before I knew it, I broke up with my girlfriend, lost all of my work colleagues to competitors and found myself staring into a glass half full of instant coffee.

When I hit challenges, I found myself getting pissed off. I’d say to myself “Why me?” and “Get out of my way idiot, you’re blocking the path in front of me.”

How could an internet proclaimed self-help blogger have these crazy, messed up thoughts?

What was wrong was I’d forgotten how to stay positive. I thought that I was past the point of having to deal with challenges and I’d reached a level that I could never go back from.

“Personal development and inspirational content can make you feel invincible — especially when you’re the one creating it”

Sometimes the very thing you preach can be the one thing that is your own downfall.

As I analyzed the situation, I saw that I’d forgotten how to practice positivity.


How does one practice positivity?

By deciding to. Positivity is a choice.

Positivity is like going on an adventure and forcing yourself to see at least one good thing about the journey.

One little hack I used was writing down three things each day I was grateful for. I forced myself to do it at work and locked it into my diary for 9 am every morning.

During the career challenges I mentioned earlier, the lady that sits a few desks away from me described my situation as like being on the Titanic. She called my business unit the “Sinking Ship.”

Outside forces are going to have an effect on you if you let them. I chose to see positivity in what she was saying. I wrote down notes of how this could be positive.

It took a while, but eventually, I got the answer: The Titanic she described was a forced career change into something I liked even more. I’d become comfortable and that was the issue.

At that moment, I realized that I had the power within me to always see positivity if I wanted to.


It’s not about getting rid of negative thoughts necessarily.

It takes a lot of energy to remove or block negative thoughts. Choosing positivity is a much easier process to go through and it takes less energy.

Committing to yourself that there is at least one good outcome from every situation, forces your mind into positivity. It can be done.

You’re supposed to have negative thoughts. They keep you alive. Having zero negative thoughts is impossible. What helped me was balancing my thoughts to be more of the positive variety.


Gossiping and complaining breeds the opposite outcome.

Trying to stay positive no matter what is extremely difficult when you’re in conversations with people who are egging you on to complain, or gossip about someone or something.

The temptation is huge because whether we like it or not, it feels good.

The trouble with complaining or gossiping is that it only breeds more negativity.

You’re asking your brain to dish up negative possibilities and recall negative situations. The other person’s reaction to your negativity only rewards your brain for its hard work.

You can’t focus on being positive if you deliberately hijack your brain every time with gossip talk and picking faults with your co-workers.

People stuff up; they have different beliefs to you; they have other priorities.

Gossiping and complaining doesn’t make anyone else wrong. It does make you practice negativity though and that’s not going to change your life.


Take a long hard look at yourself.

Are you being positive most of the time? When I asked myself this question, I could see clearly that I was not.

I’d fallen into bad habits and allowed outside forces to manipulate my thoughts and turn them toxic.

My life started to change when I acknowledged what was going on and took ownership for it.

“It’s damn hard to admit as a self-help blogger that you’re being extremely negative and ruining your own success. It’s somewhat counter-intuitive. Either way, this reality was my truth and I owned it!”

Ignoring the problem is not going to make it magically disappear.

So, what did I do?

  • Stayed clear of the people who were fuelling my negativity
  • Focused on the positivity that already existed in my life like blogging, love and family
  • Chose a new career path that was closer to what I loved
  • Spent more time with other bloggers to learn how they dealt with negativity
  • Took accountability and stopped focusing on outside interference
  • Doubled down on my blogging so I could spread more positivity
  • Spent lots of time watching videos on a Facebook page called Human Kindness

Above all else, one thing that helped was being more kind.

When you’re kind to everyone you encounter, positivity comes at you a hundred miles an hour.

People will make you feel positive when you are kind towards them. You don’t have to hand out millions of dollars in donations or build an orphanage either.

Simple acts of kindness like holding the door open, complimenting someone, or letting a driver into your lane is all it takes.


Tragedy will strike everyone.

That’s not something to be sad about it’s just a fact of life. When you can go through any event and always find a way to be positive, you’re able to recover much quicker. This allows you to support others during these tough times.


Positivity can make you see another way.

By seeing positivity, you’ll discover other options that those around you can’t see.

“Positivity is closely linked to creativity”

Seeing hidden opportunities doesn’t happen when you’re pissed off and want to kill your neighbor because of their dog that always barks when you’re sleeping.

Positivity sparks possibility and that’s where your next opportunity will come from.


Final thought.

Positivity really is the simple advice that will change your life. We can all use more of it and it’s missing in so many souls around the world. Find another way to move forward and don’t be afraid to take a step back once in a while.

Choose positivity in every situation and your life will change. You’ll see a brighter future, and better yet, you’ll create that future for yourself.

You deserve to be fulfilled and do what you love. Let positivity get you there faster.

<<<>>>

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

Continue Reading

Trending

Motivation

7 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

Published

on

encouragement
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles. (more…)

I am Eliana Jags, Co-Founder & Author at beinginsightful.com. I'm passionate about writing motivational and inspirational articles. Before I became a full-time blogger, I was a Software Engineer but left the job to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer and thus I've committed myself completely to my passion of writing. You can connect with me on my Facebook page here.

Advertisement
30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Christopher Adom

    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Thank God we have people like you in our lives it’s so great, the starting is the problem, here man need money first after getting money ideas change BUT all the same with God all things are possible thanks Izzy.

  2. Bradley thomas Finkeldei

    Jun 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for a great article.

  3. Sola

    Nov 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Izzy for this post. Highly inspiring. I’m in my 40s and have interests in things that, to me, seem unrelated: event planning & decoration, sewing, and writing. I do not have the required skills for some of them yet but I’m thinking of acquiring the skills. The thought cripples me because I think it’s a bit late for me to start all these. I’m in a paid employment but I’m thinking of quitting anytime soon for some reasons. Can you help pls with some guide?

  4. tbabey85

    Nov 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    i dont have an answer to most the questions asked here. i do not what i love or enjoy doing. that is so pathetic

    • Roland

      Dec 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      tbabey85… It isn’t pathetic that you haven’t figured out what you truly enjoy. A lot of us have found ourselves in the same place. Be proud of the fact that you’ve come to where you are now questioning what that might be. No one ever gets the answer to the question without asking it first. Your answer may simply just require a little digging and prioritizing as you create your list of the possibilities you choose to pursue. If you commit yourself to finding the answer, it will appear. – Believe it

  5. Onochie

    Nov 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    clay, have you ever thought of the reason why you have so much interest? That might just be your purpose!

  6. Sebastian

    Oct 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Answering the million dollar question makes me realize that having a million dollars has nothing to do with what I want to do with my life.

    Great post.

    Ps: You have the coolest dream Izzy

  7. clay

    Sep 17, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Oh man. These are very inspiring ways. But for every number I read, there’s a question, and every question that I try to answer, still nothing comes out. “Imagine 5 years have passed.” “What makes you happy?” What do you want to do with your life?” Nothing. Not even the money question, for money was never really my purpose.

    Unlike others who do not have any interests though, my problem lies in having to many interests. I have so many things I like doing: to swim, to draw, to be an advocate, to write, etc. etc. But that’s the problem, because I dont know which of those things I love the most and would love to do for the rest of my life. Also, I think my coping mechanisms make it even more confusing. Like, I love to write, but then I’ll think “what if I only like it because I’m good at it.” Or I’ll claim I like the medical field, but eventually I reflected “Do I really like it or I just like being smart?”

    I’m screwed. help.

    • Adam

      Sep 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Clay, stop over thinking it mate… Sounds as though you just need to enjoy what you enjoy… do it, relax and enjoy. The one that you do the most will find you and that passion will open up other possibilities without you even realising. Find happiness in the comfort you have so many things you enjoy….good luck, I’m sure you’ll be great.

    • Clare

      Jan 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

      I totally understand this! I love so many things I have lots of interests which I do regularly. I have come to the conclusion that most of them fit into ” I love improving myself and others” but this is so broad I can’t fit it into one thing one career???

    • E

      Jan 9, 2014 at 6:20 am

      Clay as I was reading your comments I felt as if you are writing my thoughts exactly it brought some strange emotions out of me..I feel just like you do I am more confused than you but I just realizes as I’m writing this that I am taking my fist step in the right path SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS IS MY FIRST STEP and I’m not alone.

  8. Christopher

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    My life vision is so extensive that I am crippled by it. I may be too ambitious about what I want to do. This is the one factor that has held me back. However, I plan to document everything, and then prioritize and focus on just those things to start with. Taking action is the key to progress. This article is an excellent guide. Thanks!

  9. Shilpa

    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    As everyone mentioned here, it s a grt read..
    N nothng impossible. Just beautiful insights put down very well.
    This was my today’s inspiring read.
    Thank you.
    God bless:)

  10. shobee

    Aug 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    This is such a very easy to read and inspiring post

    • alma

      Mar 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      it was great to see so many of you questioning purpose ,for awhile i though as was all alone with frustration on purpose, is the same as some those who have many interest and not one thing that stands out.I’m in my 40s so the feeling of finding purpose is very strong.thanks for sharing,,,,,,,,, with kindness and gratitude

  11. A. Solomon

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    26 year old dude from London, you have literally shifted the direction of my life, this post confirmed what I have been feeling. Thank you so much!

  12. Sachin

    Aug 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Wonderful insight! This is what I was looking for ! Life ! All answers are within us !

  13. antoniojavar

    Aug 25, 2013 at 5:29 am

    I love this article. There is so much power in writing things down. It helps us clarify are deepest and strongest desires. Thanks again!

  14. Hirantha Perera (@HiranthaPerera)

    Aug 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful post Izzy. This came just in time. I was just looking for some insight on verifying what I m doing actually what I love doing and its my purpose of living. And I gotta tell you, you life story so far had inspired me greatly. Thank you very much! 😀

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

      What’s up man.
      It’s a wonderful thing to be able to confirm the path you are heading down is the correct one.

      I’m really happy to hear my story has inspired you. That is the exact reason I share it: to prove your dream is possible and to compel you to take action.

  15. Rosie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Can’t wait to get cracking on this. Thanks Izzy.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Awesome Rosie :).

  16. Karun

    Aug 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Take action.. and Write down what you want? These 2 tips really pushed me forward and I believe another 60 days from now, I will be a different guy who believes in achieving stuff.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Hi Karun :).

      Isn’t it amazing how simple and powerful those 2 things are. I can say with certainty it forever changed the direction of my life. If you do it, I’m confident it shall do the same for you.

  17. Eddie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Great article….thanks a lot .God bless you.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:12 am

      What’s up Eddie :).

      Thanks man. I’m glad it helped you man.

  18. Zeeshan Ali

    Aug 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Bundles of thanks izzy Arkin u share very very nice article. 🙂

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Zeeshan :).

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a nice comment.

  19. Kevin

    Aug 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Nice article izzy, hopefully i can now find my life’s purpose, thanks man

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

      What’s up Kevin :).

      I hope you can too brother. Take action, reflect on those actions and you can figure it out. I’m sure of it man.

Leave a Reply

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

Life

How to Prevent Social Media From Stunting Your Personal Growth

Published

on

social media addiction
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Over the years, social media has taken over our lives. Our society has become so addicted to social media to where we’re not only missing out on enjoying some of life’s most precious moments, but we’re also losing valuable interpersonal skills. The introverts have become more introverted, and the extroverts are becoming more recluse.

Social media has made “Netflix & Chill” the ideal date night, replacing the traditional “dinner and a movie” where you’re getting to know each other amongst others. If people were to go out, they have a constant need to document their every move on social media instead of being truly present and enjoying themselves. What’s also worse is that I see this social media dynamic being passed on to the younger generation. More and more kids are becoming hooked on social media, causing them to place their own personal value in the hands of strangers through a “like”.

Luckily, we don’t have to allow social media to ruin our lives. Despite how addicting social media is, we have complete control on how it’s used. Here’s how I prevent social media from stunting my own personal growth.

1. Limit Your Time On Social Media

Scrolling your timeline is like diving into a black hole. Once you start scrolling on Instagram, Facebook, or even Twitter, it’s hard to stop. Even for me, I struggle putting my phone down, thus getting sucked into the “social media matrix”.

What I found to be extremely helpful is limiting my time on social media. I literally allow myself a certain amount of minutes of “scroll time” before I put my phone away to focus on something else. Because my business revolves around social media, I check my phone approximately 4 times a day, for 15 minutes at a time. During those short periods, I’m responding to any comments or DMs, and engaging with other people’s posts to keep my own personal engagement high on my profile.

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

2. Find New Hobbies

There was a period of time where I was very conscious of when and why I randomly start scrolling social media. What I discovered was that I was more prone to fall into the black hole of social media when I was bored.

I’m a part of the last generation to have experienced life without the internet and social media. I recall days being spent reading, wrestling with my dad, walking or riding bikes at the local park, playing sports outside with the neighborhood kids, or building small LEGO communities (remember those?). There was never a dull moment because our days were filled with hobbies.

If you let the demands of being an adult consume you, don’t be afraid to re-introduce your old hobbies back into your life.

3. Unplug With Family & Friends

There are more and more people who are spending time on social media in the company of their family and friends. Family dinners and time spent with your friends are now being interrupted by social media. As I mentioned earlier, this is typically a sign of boredom that comes across as rude to those in your presence. By not being in the moment, you could be missing out on valuable information and vital conversations that could strengthen your personal growth and interpersonal skills.

One thing I found to be helpful when in the presence of your friends and family is to designate one spot where everyone can dump their phones so that everyone is now forced to be in the moment and enjoy the company of those around them. At family dinner, I make everyone leave their phones in their room, and when my friends get together, I make them turn their phones off and place them in a small bag that I bring. It’s imperative that we unplug. You’ll find that the time spent was much more enjoyable when you’re focused on being mentally present.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

4. Don’t Go To Bed With Your Phone

We’re all guilty of going to bed and falling asleep with our phones in our hand. There were times where I literally fell asleep looking at my phone in the air, and it dropped and popped me in the face. That was a “wake-up call”, literally, that I needed to change my ways. Not to mention, I also noticed that I was experiencing weird dreams and sometimes nightmares because of what I was consuming before I went to sleep. All of which is not good for your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Rather than charge my phone overnight using a power outlet close to the bed, I now charge my phone overnight on the other side of the room. The first few days of doing this was rough. I was so used to falling asleep scrolling social media that it was hard to fall asleep without it. Now, I lie down and meditate until I fall asleep. After a week of light meditation prior to sleep, I noticed that I woke up feeling energized and well rested. My mind wasn’t mentally fatigued like before, and my days were much more productive. As a result, I highly recommend everyone to go to bed without their phone by their side.

Conclusion

Moderation is key when it comes to social media consumption. Social media is not bad however, like anything, too much of something can have a reverse effect. Social media is a very valuable tool, one that allowed me to connect with people of all walks of life across the world and earn a living. We don’t have to let social media take over and ruin our lives. What we can do is find balance.

How do you stay balanced? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Life

5 Mindset Shifts You Can Steal From the Movies to Have Blockbuster Success

Published

on

blockbuster success
Image Credit: Unsplash

If only our clients had the passion of Potterheads. Remember the midnight premiers? Potterheads lined up for hours, dressed in full costume, wands a-blazin’. When the doors finally opened, they couldn’t throw their money at the ticket booth fast enough. How do you create that kind of enthusiasm for your own business?

I’m going to share five mindset shifts straight out of the movie business that you can use to fuel lifelong fanatics. Some of it is going to be tough love, but hey, nobody said getting your own fan club was easy.

1. Stay humble, stay hungry

Working actors audition an average of 67 times before booking a gig. 67 times! And that’s working actors—people who earn their entire livelihood from acting. Most entrepreneurs will hear this stat and say, “I get it. I need to accept failure 66 times.” But this isn’t about that. It’s about showing up 67.

Accepting failure is passive. You can accept failure from your couch. Showing up and trying, however, is active. When you show up, you commit to taking a step forward. And 66 times, you’ll get knocked down. It’s humbling. But on attempt 67, that step forward might finally stick.

Mindset shift: You have an insatiable appetite for success. You know that every failure is one failure down and that, soon, you’ll knock it out of the park.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Treat your audience as kings

The box office doesn’t care what the director’s intentions were, how cool the writer is, or if the lead actor was featured in some fancy magazine, it cares about people in seats. And when thematic costumes clothe them (ala Potterheads), there are more of them.

In movies and entrepreneurship, your most critical metrics depend on your audience’s choices. So, the sooner you start treating your audience as kings and making everything about them, the sooner your metrics will start climbing.

How does the Harry Potter franchise treat Potterheads as kings? Movie premiers are 100% about the fans. They get to feel cool in costume, show off to friends, be among the first, hang out with other super-fans, and more. No matter what, putting your audience’s desire ahead of your own will always pay off in the long run.

Mindset shifts: Other entrepreneurs pursue immediate recognition. But you know that the more special you make your audience feel, the more success you’ll have down the road.

3. Depict compelling transformations

Humans have a fundamental desire for transformation. We love watching movies about redemption, growing up, settling down, overcoming adversity, underdogs, and more. Harry Potter is full of that stuff. Heck, the series even allowed a generation of readers to transform into adults alongside Harry.

This is why Before and After pictures are so incredibly persuasive. They help us to visualize the change we crave. And every single product or service on the market offers some form of transformation. All you have to do is call it out.  

Mindset shift: Bad entrepreneurs sell products. Good entrepreneurs sell solutions. Entrepreneurs who create rabid fans sell transformation.

4. Trust the fundamentals

When I took my first screenwriting class, the number of hyper-specific rules shocked me. Did you know that about 20 minutes into every movie, something dramatic changes in the protagonist’s life and propels them into a new world?

Don’t believe me? Time it. Unsurprisingly, one kid in my class completely ignored the rules. Even more unsurprisingly, his scripts sucked. When my professor called him out, the kid blubbered, “But Tarantino—” To which my professor replied, “Are you Tarantino?” No. No, he was not Tarantino.

The difference between you, me, that kid, and Tarantino is that Tarantino paid his dues. It’s extremely rare to find someone who became successful by completely ignoring the conventions of their craft. And the same is true for entrepreneurship.

Mindset shift: Nobody is “above” learning the fundamentals. You know that by appreciating the current structures and systems, you will be better poised to disrupt them in the future.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. Kill your darlings

Once upon a time, an animation studio was four years into creating a film about the ocean. They had sunk thousands of hours, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the project. Then, the unthinkable happened… Finding Nemo. You know what the studio did with their ocean movie? They scrapped it.

As entrepreneurs, once we invest a lot of time and energy into something, we’re afraid to abandon it—even if the circumstances that made it worth pursuing in the first place don’t exist anymore. It’s the sunk cost fallacy. It’s important to remember that regardless of if you keep chugging along, the investment you made is unrecoverable. On the flip side, the gains you made are still valuable. The only choice you have is how you move forward—and sometimes, that means changing course.

Mindset shift: No effort goes to waste, even if the resulting work becomes irrelevant. Instead of letting your ego rule your decisions, you choose the best course of action and move on.

Building enthusiasm for your business is a slow but crucial process. What techniques have you pulled from other fields to help connect with your audience?

Continue Reading

Life

How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life

Published

on

stress
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:

1.    “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2.    “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?”

The researchers found that people who experienced high levels of stress were 43% more likely to die in the study’s 8-year period. Doesn’t that prove stress is in fact bad for your health? Not exactly, stress was only harmful to the people who believed stress was harmful.

Those people who experienced high amounts of stress but didn’t believe it was harmful to their health were less likely to die than all other groups in the study. They were even less likely to die than the people who experienced low levels of stress (but believed stress is harmful.)

Put simply, people who believe that stress is not harmful live longer lives than those who believe it is. This study showed that it might not be stress that damages our health, but our beliefs about stress that damages our health.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Breakthroughs In Stress Research

At first, this might be hard to believe. Kelly McGonigal elegantly explains this phenomenon in The Upside of Stress, “Stress mindsets are powerful because they affect not just how you think but also how you act. When you view stress as harmful, it is something to be avoided. Feeling stressed becomes a signal to try to escape or reduce the stress. And indeed, people who endorse a stress-is-harmful mindset are more likely to say that they cope with stress by trying to avoid it.”

People who believe stress is negative are more likely to avoid it by smoking, binge-eating, or watching too much TV. Afterwards, their physical health pays the price. Fortunately, research has shown that your beliefs about stress can be changed – and changing them has powerful benefits.

A study by Jeremy Jameson and colleagues had people endure a grueling social stress test. Participants were asked to give a 5-minute impromptu speech about their personal weaknesses to a panel of judges. To make this situation even more stressful, the judges were instructed to give negative feedback to the participant giving the speech. This study wasn’t just about sadistically putting people through social pressure, it was testing whether a mindset intervention could change how people react to stress.

Before giving the impromptu speech, participants were shown one of two videos:

  • The first video opened with the message, “Most people think that stress is negative… but research shows that stress is even more debilitating than you expect.”
  • The second video opened with, “Most people think that stress is negative… but actually research shows that it is enhancing.”

Participants who were shown the video that gave examples of how stress can be enhancing were less stressed out during the interview, felt more confident while speaking, and gave better interviews (as rated both by themselves and the judges). Even more impressively, although normally a stress response causes a person’s blood vessels to constrict, the blood vessels of participants who saw the pro-stress video remained relaxed.

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen

The Power Of Your Stress Mindset

So, a 3-minute video was able to change the way people responded to a stressful situation, not just psychologically, but physiologically. When we think stress is something we must avoid, stress becomes a negative feedback loop. We experience stress, we think it’s a bad thing, and then our stress makes us even more stressed (and on and on).

But, when we think stress is just a natural part of life, or even a good thing, we are able to embrace it instead of being controlled by it. This not only allows us to perform better in stressful situations, it also enables us to make healthier decisions (because we won’t attempt to avoid stress with unhealthy coping behaviors).

How do you handle stress? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Life

One Piece Of Simple Advice That Changed My Life.

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash / Danilo Santos
“Stay positive no matter what happens.”

That’s one simple piece of advice that changed my life.

I learned the importance of this advice the hard way when my life was traveling along just nicely. I had a high paying job, a booming blogging career, a partner who loved me, and enough money to live and enjoy a few simple pleasures.

I got to travel overseas to exotic locations and work even allowed me to have some pretty unique experiences like sleeping on a yacht and going surfing with a crazy bunch of entrepreneurs.

I thought I had it all.

People looked at my life and thought it was spectacular.


Deep inside of me, I knew something was not quite right.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Something about this so-called perfect life felt wrong.

Before I knew it, I broke up with my girlfriend, lost all of my work colleagues to competitors and found myself staring into a glass half full of instant coffee.

When I hit challenges, I found myself getting pissed off. I’d say to myself “Why me?” and “Get out of my way idiot, you’re blocking the path in front of me.”

How could an internet proclaimed self-help blogger have these crazy, messed up thoughts?

What was wrong was I’d forgotten how to stay positive. I thought that I was past the point of having to deal with challenges and I’d reached a level that I could never go back from.

“Personal development and inspirational content can make you feel invincible — especially when you’re the one creating it”

Sometimes the very thing you preach can be the one thing that is your own downfall.

As I analyzed the situation, I saw that I’d forgotten how to practice positivity.


How does one practice positivity?

By deciding to. Positivity is a choice.

Positivity is like going on an adventure and forcing yourself to see at least one good thing about the journey.

One little hack I used was writing down three things each day I was grateful for. I forced myself to do it at work and locked it into my diary for 9 am every morning.

During the career challenges I mentioned earlier, the lady that sits a few desks away from me described my situation as like being on the Titanic. She called my business unit the “Sinking Ship.”

Outside forces are going to have an effect on you if you let them. I chose to see positivity in what she was saying. I wrote down notes of how this could be positive.

It took a while, but eventually, I got the answer: The Titanic she described was a forced career change into something I liked even more. I’d become comfortable and that was the issue.

At that moment, I realized that I had the power within me to always see positivity if I wanted to.


It’s not about getting rid of negative thoughts necessarily.

It takes a lot of energy to remove or block negative thoughts. Choosing positivity is a much easier process to go through and it takes less energy.

Committing to yourself that there is at least one good outcome from every situation, forces your mind into positivity. It can be done.

You’re supposed to have negative thoughts. They keep you alive. Having zero negative thoughts is impossible. What helped me was balancing my thoughts to be more of the positive variety.


Gossiping and complaining breeds the opposite outcome.

Trying to stay positive no matter what is extremely difficult when you’re in conversations with people who are egging you on to complain, or gossip about someone or something.

The temptation is huge because whether we like it or not, it feels good.

The trouble with complaining or gossiping is that it only breeds more negativity.

You’re asking your brain to dish up negative possibilities and recall negative situations. The other person’s reaction to your negativity only rewards your brain for its hard work.

You can’t focus on being positive if you deliberately hijack your brain every time with gossip talk and picking faults with your co-workers.

People stuff up; they have different beliefs to you; they have other priorities.

Gossiping and complaining doesn’t make anyone else wrong. It does make you practice negativity though and that’s not going to change your life.


Take a long hard look at yourself.

Are you being positive most of the time? When I asked myself this question, I could see clearly that I was not.

I’d fallen into bad habits and allowed outside forces to manipulate my thoughts and turn them toxic.

My life started to change when I acknowledged what was going on and took ownership for it.

“It’s damn hard to admit as a self-help blogger that you’re being extremely negative and ruining your own success. It’s somewhat counter-intuitive. Either way, this reality was my truth and I owned it!”

Ignoring the problem is not going to make it magically disappear.

So, what did I do?

  • Stayed clear of the people who were fuelling my negativity
  • Focused on the positivity that already existed in my life like blogging, love and family
  • Chose a new career path that was closer to what I loved
  • Spent more time with other bloggers to learn how they dealt with negativity
  • Took accountability and stopped focusing on outside interference
  • Doubled down on my blogging so I could spread more positivity
  • Spent lots of time watching videos on a Facebook page called Human Kindness

Above all else, one thing that helped was being more kind.

When you’re kind to everyone you encounter, positivity comes at you a hundred miles an hour.

People will make you feel positive when you are kind towards them. You don’t have to hand out millions of dollars in donations or build an orphanage either.

Simple acts of kindness like holding the door open, complimenting someone, or letting a driver into your lane is all it takes.


Tragedy will strike everyone.

That’s not something to be sad about it’s just a fact of life. When you can go through any event and always find a way to be positive, you’re able to recover much quicker. This allows you to support others during these tough times.


Positivity can make you see another way.

By seeing positivity, you’ll discover other options that those around you can’t see.

“Positivity is closely linked to creativity”

Seeing hidden opportunities doesn’t happen when you’re pissed off and want to kill your neighbor because of their dog that always barks when you’re sleeping.

Positivity sparks possibility and that’s where your next opportunity will come from.


Final thought.

Positivity really is the simple advice that will change your life. We can all use more of it and it’s missing in so many souls around the world. Find another way to move forward and don’t be afraid to take a step back once in a while.

Choose positivity in every situation and your life will change. You’ll see a brighter future, and better yet, you’ll create that future for yourself.

You deserve to be fulfilled and do what you love. Let positivity get you there faster.

<<<>>>

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

Continue Reading

Trending