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3 Life Mistakes You Are Making Today That’s Impacting Your Success

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3 Life Mistakes You Are Making Today That is Impacting Your Success

As a psychiatrist in New York City, the folks I see in my practice commonly have come to NY to achieve a level of success.  Many are seeking financial success, artistic success, or success within relationships.

There is no doubt trying to achieve a semblance of success here is quite challenging, frustrating, and draining to our egos.  It doesn’t come easy for many.

As I assist in navigating the course with my clients to achieve success, I tackle various aspects of the human condition that are risks for decreasing one’s ability to feel fulfilled.  Many folks walking through my door have difficulty mastering control of their thoughts, their usage of language, and regulating their emotions.

I am always humbled when someone picks up the phone to contact me to participate in their journey to help them achieve their goals they are hoping to achieve.

Here are three common presentations to my office that commonly impact our ability to achieve success:

 

1. Stop living your life on pause

After my clients and I discuss their long-term goals and what they are looking to achieve, I ask how else do they spend their time? For many, they look at me with a blank stare as if not spending every moment focusing on their goals seems a waste of time.

This is extremely detrimental. Awaking each day solely looking to work towards the long-term goal minimizes and under appreciates other wonderful smaller life moments. Yes, you may not update on facebook how you held the door open for someone or gave your subway seat to an elderly person, but by not doing so and loving yourself for the small moments in life, you will exhaust yourself and feel low for not “achieving” the larger life goals you have set.

Learn to value the small steps. Work on loving yourself for the small successes and “live” in each moment. This is equivalent to walking up a mountain and keeping your head down solely awaiting the peak. By doing so, you miss all the various plant and animal life that make this mountain unique. Keep your head up.

Robert Collier

2. Pay attention to your narrative

We all walk around with the story of our lives. This is where attitude comes into the picture.  Pay attention to the way you use language; within yourself, your inner voice as well as the way you share you narrative with others. For example, I find anyone who moves from another city or a small town to NYC are already incredibly successful. What an achievement. Think of all the steps it took to move here, find an apartment, and make NYC your home.

Unfortunately for many folks, they will tell their narrative along the lines of: “I moved here and nothing has happened.” Though they are not acknowledging how they found a job, pay rent, and developed a social network. They will also say, “Everyone appears to have a better life than me.” Though they have their own albeit small company, or that they were cast in a small film, play, or had their work shown at a gallery.

Focus on if your narrative leans negative.  If so, you are creating a risk for not feeling successful. I question if your narrative regardless of achievements, will ever be enough. By not incorporating positive narratives through small successes, you are not raising your healthy platform; the platform that grows as you continue to take risks and achieve a flow needed to fulfill your long-term dreams.

Be patient.  Love yourself and your story, especially when small successes are achieved.

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

3. Be curious like a cat

I understand finding the right mentor to assist you obtaining success is ideal. Who wouldn’t want the CEO of a corporation, the Hollywood actor, or the fashion guru to speak one on one with you and give you absolute guidance? If we are waiting for this type of guidance -guess what?  Life mistake!

There are mentors all around us, including you and I.  We each all have valuable life experiences. It may not be what folks spend top dollar on like they do with a highly popular mentor but it can be just as valuable.

I find we minimize how much we can all learn from each other. A subtle piece of advice about any aspect of our day to day may maximize our positivity to make one part of our life easier, leaving more mental room to focus on obtaining your dreams!  Take note of those around you in your everyday life. You never know what others have seen or learned from their experience.  It can be the guidance you needed to overcome that hurdle! Be curious!

 

Thank you for reading my article. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Dr. Johnny Lops is a practicing psychiatrist in Brooklyn, NY.  He is the former team psychiatrist for the Brooklyn Nets.  His new book is Reinvent Yourself: Essential Tools from a Brooklyn Psychiatrist Who has Seen it All (Tailwinds Press, May 2015).  An accomplished actor and film producer, Lops has starred in numerous stage productions, as well as commercials for Sprite, Budlight, and the NY Knicks.  He is the medical advisor for the boxing website, thesweetscience.com and the medical advisor to the new independent film in production, Life Hack.  He can be reached at www.drjohnnylops.com as well as @drjohnnylops on Twitter

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    These are some great lesson that can help many improve their chances of success and finding happiness within their lives. I really like the one where you sated to live in the small moments and dwell entirely on your long term vision. Sometimes, I have to remind myself of this because I get wrapped up on how I want to my life to be in the future and forget to enjoy those little moments with the people that truly matter to me. When you balance your life, success will come a lot easier. Thanks for this reminder. Great post.

    • Dr. Johnny Lops

      Jun 14, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Lawrence, thanks for the reply! I agree; we all love to dream and contemplate the big moves ahead, but it’s super important to take it day to day. Keep going strong!

  2. osaretin

    Jun 13, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I am a student and sometimes I feel down when I look at my cgpa lol, and the road that I have to face if I don’t do so well. But I have dreams to be an IT entrepreneur working on something like a social network with a friend now. It is nice to feel good about the things you have achieved even though they don’t seem so big at the moment. Life is what you make it I believe. Nice piece btw

  3. Joseph Mutori

    Jun 13, 2015 at 5:30 am

    Beautiful article, loved it. I get what somebody should be doing but I didn’t really get what living your life on pause really is about.

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    Jun 13, 2015 at 1:04 am

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  5. kani

    Jun 12, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Nice piece, it’s totally amazing how we refuse to give ourselves credit for tiny daily victories. The courage to attempt a huge task will be easier gotten if we celebrated the little courage it took to achieve the little task.

  6. Diego Cardona

    Jun 12, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I have been living in this beautiful and blessed country for about 10 years,I live in NJ, I have a great job as a welder in Queens NY, and some times felt like behind in my life, like I can do more, achieve more, without realizing everything I have and how blessed I am,since my beautiful family, house, and cars, even a dog, not everyone can afford it. Lol, thanks Doc for Opening my eyes.

  7. Jose Retana

    Jun 12, 2015 at 4:07 am

    “Be curious like a cat” -> Love this one haha If perfectly true! Always seek for that information around us (:

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Life

3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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how to build better relationships
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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place? (more…)

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Life

If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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how to avoid failure
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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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Life

3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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willpower
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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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3 Inspiring Lessons We Can Learn From Jim Carrey About the Law of Attraction

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You’ve more than likely heard of Jim Carrey before. Over the years, he has starred in many popular films including The Truman Show, The Mask, and Bruce Almighty (just to name a few.)

But his personality goes a lot deeper than just his comedic persona and movie star charisma. In fact, Jim Carrey is probably one of the most philosophical individuals on the planet

Although he isn’t in the spotlight as much anymore, throughout the years, he has credited his success and fortunes by applying the Law of attraction into his life. What’s even more inspiring is that Jim Carrey, like you and I, came from humble beginnings. No silver spoon or easy ticket. In fact, his family was very poor throughout his childhood. So what made him so successful in attracting such an extravagant and self-fulfilling life?

Here are 3 lessons you can learn from Jim Carrey when it comes to manifesting your dreams into a reality:

1. You Have To Take Action

You can’t just visualize then go eat a sandwich”, Jim Carrey says. It goes without saying that the law of attraction does require action. You cannot simply rely on visualizing and expect to see results, especially when it comes to manifesting desires that other people would like to achieve also. E.g. Careers, scholarships, competitions, anything that involves another individual.

Visualization and positive thinking are crucial when it comes to using the law of attraction, but you have to meet the universe halfway with the steps you take as well. We are physical beings that require physical steps to get physical results. The real key is to make daily plans/goals in order to get you closer towards achieving your desires. So after that sandwich, make sure start taking action toward your dreams!

This could be working on your hobbies or passion, applying for that dream job or studying to get better grades. As long as you are moving toward your goals then there’s no reason why it can’t happen. So get out there and kick some butt.

2. Double Down On What You Love

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that: You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If this story of Jim Carrey’s father doesn’t pull on your heartstrings and inspire you at the same time, nothing else will! This is such an undeniable life lesson that everyone needs to learn. A lesson to take risks, push comfort zones and go all-in on what you love doing. So if your dreams, hobbies or goals seem far fetched to the majority, then you are already beating the other 99%.

Be that 1% that’s willing to dream big and rise above the norm. Unfortunately, in today’s society, our ancestral instincts still rule our everyday life. Fear is one of them and controls the majority of our population. It’s scary to push comfort zones and try something new, the thought of failure is often paralyzing to many. But my question to you is, will you look back one day and regret the chances you didn’t take?

3. Keep Your Eye On The Prize

As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass.” Holding onto every little detail when it comes to manifesting, can conjure up more harm than good. The reason is that the universe will deliver in ways you might not expect.

If you are too busy wondering when your desires will manifest, comparing yourself to others, or ignoring every sign that doesn’t look like your detailed plan you’ve written down, then you may be missing out on opportunities that are right in front of you! Your visualizations don’t have to be perfect, in fact, it’s better to just let go altogether and focus on the result itself rather than dwelling on every little detail. This doesn’t mean to simply forget about what you want but instead having the confidence it will happen in time. 

An example of this is when Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for 30 million dollars. The only detail he knew was that he would earn it through his acting career, and he did indeed achieve this goal! So make sure to tell the universe what you want, but try not to hold onto every little detail!

Jim Carrey is just another person like you and me, with his own personal ups and downs in his road to success. He is someone to look up to when applying the law of attraction in your life too. It doesn’t matter if your goals or desires are different because the core foundation will always stay the same. You can and will do this if you think, feel and act as if it will happen!

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