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3 Modern Diseases That Ruin Your Life And How To Avoid Them

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3 Modern Diseases That Ruin Your Life And How To Avoid Them

You might be wondering what modern diseases are. When you think of the term disease, pictures of ill people in a hospital come into your mind.

But what has this to do with me? I am completely healthy!” You keep wondering.

Modern diseases don’t necessarily affect your body and can’t make you ill by raising your body temperature. However they can have an indirect impact to your health.

They have the power to ruin your life more than anything but only if you let them do so. The fact is that you can have complete control over them, but if you fall in the temptation to relinquish control you will be beaten to the ground.

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease” – Buddha

What are these modern diseases?

They are activities that affect your way of living in a negative way and are obstacles to everyone who wants to become successful in life.

These activities are:

  • Video games
  • Television
  • Social media

 

If these three are leveraged correctly they can give you a huge boost in your life and can be a really powerful tool, but only if you don’t fall in the trap of relinquishing control.

The technology expansion has given us amazing benefits and made our life much easier and more comfortable. However it has created activities that enslave our brains and make us live like zombies. Zombies which don’t think, don’t take risks and don’t seek growth in life but only in a virtual reality.

Activities that distract us from finding our purpose in life and make us believe we are not great enough to break out of homeostasis.

If you still believe that video games, television and social media can offer you benefits, make you more productive and improve your life’s quality then try to find someone who is really successful and you will be astonished by the fact that he doesn’t spend time in these worthless activities.

I don’t know any successful person who achieved his goals and spent more than half an hour per day watching the latest popular series in TV or killing dragons in his Xbox.

 

1. Video games

After many years of spending unlimited hours in video games and staying in front of a digital reality world from morning to night (with breaks only for food and WC) I came to the conclusion that I have lost a ton of precious time.

I would give everything to have that time back. Unfortunately when your life goes away it never returns and never forgives you. It doesn’t care about how you spend it, it just goes away. When you realize that it’s gone, it might be too late.

Fortunately for me, I have realized it soon enough in my life and that’s the reason I want to share this with as many people as possible because making that realization when you are 40 or 50 will destroy you. You won’t be able to handle the repressed emotions, you won’t be able to turn back the time and do all the things you didn’t do.

Some people might say that video games offer entertainment. Some might say that video games are proven to improve mind and reflective. Even if this is true, these little benefits aren’t worth your TIME . You could do a million things that have a huge positive impact on yourself instead of killing monsters or playing football in front of a TV screen.

You spend all your time in front of a reality world and then you keep wondering why your life is so miserable, why your girlfriend dumped you for somebody else or why you don’t have money and need to live with your parents.

But why are you wondering? The only person who has control over your life is you and by relinquishing that control you let circumstances ruin your life’s quality.

 

2. Television

Okay, not all TV programs are terrible and time-wasting. You can find shows or movies which are entertaining and give information. Unfortunately the majority of TV shows are crap and don’t offer anything at all. They are a total waste of time.

There was a period in my life that I could spent 4-5 hours per day watching TV. I have spent an entire summer in front of a TV screen watching worthless shows and movies instead of going to the beach and enjoying my life.

When I rewind those moments my feelings are mixed. I feel so ashamed about myself 5 year ago but I also feel so proud for me today. I don’t watch television at all, I don’t even have a TV at home and if I want to see a movie I simply watch it online.

Television has a major disadvantage. You don’t have many choices about what you can see. You just open it, search the 4-5 best channels and check what they have to show you. On the other side internet provides countless information and choices.

At least you have the ability to choose what you will see instead of opening the TV and being fed up with the program that X or Y channel decided to show at 6pm. Does this mean that you can’t get lost in the internet? Of course not, but at least you have a little more control over your choices.

Fred Allen has said that “Television is the triumph of machines over people” and he was completely right. Do you know how awesome it feels when you stop brainwashing yourself with stupid TV shows?

You instantly have 3 to 5 free hours to spend on yourself by exercising, reading a book, starting a new hobby or just sleeping. You have more time to socialize, meet new people and do something meaningful with your life. You aren’t a slave to TV anymore.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

3. Social media

The growth of social media in the last decade was astonishing. The internet was flooded with millions of people full of narcissism and insecurities trying to validate themselves through a social profile where they showcase their experience, beauty and life.

Social media can be a really great tool to communicate, connect and meet new people or even help your business grow. They have a great power, but you have to use them in the right way. If you let them control your life then you have lost the game. How do you know that you have let them control your life?

When you go for a drink with your friends and the only thing you can remember from that night is that Becky liked your profile picture at 2.20 am or the “check in” you did on Facebook at 3.00 am with title “having amazing fun with my buddies“.

Sure, you had amazing fun. That’s why you spent almost all the night scrolling down your social profile timeline. You know that you have let them control your life when you are continuously checking your smart phone and the only thing you care about is how many people liked or shared your photo.

When you eat dinner with your family and instead of talking with them you check your snapchat updates. Or when you don’t have something productive to do and you decide to kill your time on Instagram. That’s how it is when you let social media control your life.

 

How to take control of your life:

Many people suffer from addictions to these three “modern diseases” and can’t find a way to take back control over their lives. It’s easy to give advice like “come on, just shut down the TV” or “the only thing you have to do is to close the video game” but it’s not so simple.

When you are deeply addicted, both emotionally and pshycoligically it’s so difficult to disconnect and just close the video game or simply shut down the TV. That disease doesn’t let you grow and keeps you static and mediocre.

Take control of your life

Personal growth occurs because of two reasons:

Think about it. When is it easier to run faster? When you know that if you run fast enough you will win $10,000 or if your life is threatened and you know that if you run fast enough you will save your life.

In both cases you will run, but the second case is a tragedy and is more likely to force you to succeed and run fast enough to win. The only way to cut these worthless activities and regain control over your life is by creating a tragedy.

How are you doing that? Easier said than done but you have to:
  • Delete all your data in the video game.
  • Sell your TV or video game.
  • Throw your video game/TV out of the window or break it down(though it’s more profitable to sell it)
  • Delete your social media accounts.

These might sound a bit extreme but the only way to stop doing something is by not having the ability to do it. When are you more likely to binge eat and gain weight? When you have a kitchen full of biscuits, sweets and chocolates or when you have a kitchen full of fruits and vegetables? If you don’t have the ability to do something then you will end up not doing it.

When I moved to my new house I noticed that I didn’t spend time watching TV because I haven’t bought a new TV yet. This saved me 2-3 hours per day and I ended up never buying a new TV because I realized the time-saving benefit. 

If you find yourself in a situation where your life sucks and your dreams fly away, then modern diseases are probably ruining your life. Sell your TV, video game, burn it or break it down. Delete all your data from your social profiles. Just get rid of them completely. That’s the only way to take back control of your life.

 

What’s your experience with modern diseases? Do you believe they have a negative or positive impact on your life? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Sammy Blackmore

    Oct 17, 2016 at 1:15 am

    This is really a great read. As for me, I have completely eliminated watching TV news and shows cos of the extremely biased media and stupid shows.

  2. Rondol

    Oct 13, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    This is a great article Damian, I do believe that these 3 “modern diseases ” play a major role in preventing people from being successful in life. I don’t play video games, I hardly watch TV and I’m breaking into the habit of using Facebook two time per week. I mainly use Facebook to listen to inspirational videos.

  3. Lynn

    Oct 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Social media has made us anti-social. I enjoy these type of sites, and the physical fitness ones. So easy to overdo it. Moderation is how YOU manage the beast.

  4. Steve

    Apr 8, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I couldn’t disagree more. I watch all the TV I want, play video games when I want and if it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t have read this (I guess that is an argument for getting rid of social media haha) and I am highly successful and very happy. I stumbled on your site via Twitter and have enjoyed most of what I have read but this is just way off base. I say do what makes you happy.

  5. Heather

    Jun 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Love it! I hate video games, and very rarely watch TV. I do use social media in my business promotions though, so that was the main one I struggled with, as I often found personal social media creeping into professional social media time. So, I took the apps off my phone (so I have to be sat in front of my Mac working to access them) and I block off specific time during the day to check my social media. And like a charm, my life has become instantly less complicated and more productive.

    Great post – thanks!

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 23, 2015 at 9:07 am

      Hey Heather, I have to thank you for adding to the discussion with your experience. Do you use any app to block social media sites for certain period of time during the day?

  6. Kwing

    Jun 18, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Hey this is a really nice article! I do collect and play video games but I only play around 2 hours on a saturday weekend. I just play to release the tension from the week’s hard work and to refresh myself. 🙂

    You were right, there were people who don’t go out anymore and they only spend their time playing games. There are plenty of great stuff that we can do with our time!

    If only they can transfer their time I’d be super glad to receive it! 🙂

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 18, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      Hey kwing, thanks for adding to the discussion.

      It’s great that you have self-control and play only in the weekends. Well done!

  7. Robb Mann

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Like Andrew Carnegie said,

    “If you want to be happy, set a goal that
    commands your thoughts, liberates your
    energy, and inspires your hopes.”
    – Andrew Carnegie

    (replace “happy” with free from the bondage of time wasting pursuits)

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Andrew Carnegie was a very wise man.This quote is pure gold and timeless even if it’s decades old.

  8. Robb Mann

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Hey Damian,

    I went over to D&C, good stuff! I signed up, keep up the great work!

    Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions. I agree, with you sometimes the extreme is necessary, like in the case of the alcoholic that may not have a social drink in light of the binge that would surely follow.

    We have a book called “Taming the Techno-Beast” that I have had our children read. It also deals with the life sucking nature of consuming your time with technology, written for children.

    After reading your post I am left thinking that these “modern diseases” are best brought under control by creating an even more compelling future than these pursuits offer. It’s always going to be more effective to replace your habits than STOP them. Throwing the stuff out is good and does “create tragedy” but – how many times do we resolve to stop a thing and find ourselves back at it before we know it? I’m sure it works for some people, however, my mind tells me, “you manufactured this tragedy, now give me back my stuff!”

    What works for me is to find greater pleasure in my future or I will find it instantly right NOW with games, stories, and social validation. If we track our progress toward our goals we find daily motivation and leverage game mechanics, thus replacing the need for games. To replace TV, we face challenges toward our goals which give us our own stories to tell or just entertain ourselves with instead of needing to live vicariously through others on TV. To need social validation less we find validation through achievement. This also is a function of game mechanics where we would count “likes” we see the measured progress, and viola validation!

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond, I hope this adds value to your discussion!
    Robb

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Hey Robb, thanks for your kind words.

      You are totally right about everything you said , throwing something out of our lives might not work sometimes if we don’t replace it with something else which should be obviously better. Throwing out a negative habit is just the first step.

      I have to say that this was an amazingly insightfull comment!

      • Robb

        Jun 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm

        Thank you Damian,
        Again, I appreciate the post as well.
        Robb

  9. Damian Pros

    Jun 15, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Hey Usman,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

  10. Fredrick Mutooni

    Jun 14, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    The three things you listed are exactly oposite of what your talking about. The first two listed as Video games and TV i have no commeents because i have no interest in either. However to say instagram is controlling you is wrong. Yrs back i could not talk to people outside my village. Now i do through social networks. If thats wrong then i let it be wrong but i love it

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 15, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Hey Fredrick,

      I totally agree with you. I agreed inside the article “Social media can be a really great tool to communicate, connect and meet new people or even help your business grow. They have a great power, but you have to use them in the right way”.

      BUT, it depends on HOW you use social media. You are probably using instagram the rigth way. But do you know how many people I see going out for a coffee or a drink with their friends and are scrolling down their instagram timeline instead of socializing with the real people they have in front of them?

      I also see young men in the university wasting time in instagram or facebook when they are in the classroom and they have lesson. Why are you going to the classrom in the first place then?

      I guesst you can see my point..Thanks for sharing your opinion!

      • Abel

        Jun 15, 2015 at 11:13 am

        Great article I believe millions of people in the western world fall victim of this disease unknowingly, in response to Fredrick I understand your point and it`s valid, but I think the author is speaking from a western perspective and his point is very valid and no one from this part of the world can disagree that these things will do you more bad than good. But I think it`s awesome you are able to connect with different people from your village.

        • Damian Pros

          Jun 15, 2015 at 1:07 pm

          Hey abel, as you correctly understood I was referring mostly to the western world. Nice observation.

  11. Damian Pros

    Jun 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Hey lawrence,

    You are spot on about what you said. You don’t have to eliminate them completely but sometimes it’s difficult to find a balance between these activities and your goals. That’s why I suggested to eliminate them completely. Even if you are the most disciplined person in the world you can fall into the temptation and watch 2 hours TV instead of commiting to your goal.

  12. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    These are truly some things that have made people waste valuable time. They can be really addicting because they are fun to do, but you have to ask yourself, when you play video games or are watching television, are you really contributing to accomplishing your dreams. I don’t think you have to give up these things entirely because we all can use time to ourselves and our hobbies, but definitely limit the time spent doing these activities.

  13. Usman Mahmood

    Jun 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Enjoyed reading this article especially where you highlighted that personal growth occurs because of two main reasons, which is so true. Definitely a good read for the younger generation because they often lose focus and motivation to pursue their goals because of these modern diseases.

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 15, 2015 at 7:30 am

      Hey Usman,

      Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

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Life

Conquering Inner Battles: Tyson Fury Outside of the Boxing Ring

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Image Credit: Ben Stansall AFP

Tyson Fury was born seven weeks premature. He weighed 1 pound and was born the size of his father’s hand. Doctors gave him little chance of survival, but Tyson’s father, John had other ideas. John predicted that one day Tyson would be Heavyweight World Champion and at the hospital, named his son after boxing legend Mike Tyson.

Growing up in Manchester, England, Tyson Fury doesn’t remember a life before boxing. He started boxing at a young age because of the constant bullying and torment others gave him; the many reasons why individuals take up boxing. As the years progressed, Tyson reached a height of 6 ft 9 and became one of the most dangerous heavyweight boxers in the world.

This article highlights the importance of conquering our inner battles through Tyson Fury’s actions and delves into what it takes to overcome mental battles to find a purpose and achieve what we all strive for; happiness.

“Exterior assets mean nothing if you can’t control what’s going on inside.” – Tyson Fury

The Empty Feeling Of Achievement

In 2015, Tyson was training and preparing for the biggest fight of his career against Wladimir Klitschko. It was revealed after the fight, Tyson had been struggling mentally and didn’t know how to overcome his battles. Even though he won, there was no sense of achievement. The belts, money, and success meant nothing to Tyson. He knew he would feel this way before even stepping into that ring.

Before the fight, Tyson said to his father “If I win this fight, I’ll probably never box again”. Even before the fight, there was no flame and Tyson still didn’t want to box. He had had enough. He expected more in life and wanted boxing to feel different. The value and achievement were gone.

After beating Klitschko, a rematch was on offer and it appeared the two would fight again. In a lead-up media conference, Tyson said, “I can do my best and that’s it. Win, lose or draw I put on my best fight. And if Wladimir beats me then good luck to him and I shake his hand and say he’s the better man. And obviously, if I beat him I’m in the same position. Still as sick as ever, still as depressed as life can be and still don’t really care for dying any second of the moment. That’s the way I live my life.

Not long after the press conference, Tyson had tested positive to cocaine and had his boxing license suspended, unable to compete. It was from then, Tysons life spiralled and he pushed away everyone close to him. He was out of boxing for 2 and a half years.

Tyson faced confronting battles that could at any moment end his life. He drove his Ferrari 190mph towards a bridge to end his life, tried to drink himself to death and ate and drank his way to obesity, ballooning out to 175kg (385 lbs). His wife and kids were the only thing that saved him before he was able to come to terms with overcoming his mental battles.

Here are 4 Ways To Conquer Our Inner Battles:

1. Reflection & Mindset

What we can all learn is that reflecting on the past and changing your mindset can be a good thing. By building a habit of introspection in our lives, we uncover more about ourselves, our values and our mindset starts to change about what’s important to us. It helps bring control and decision making back to within ourselves. The moment Tyson Fury decided to change his mindset was after being in a dark place, understanding his family was the most important thing to him. It helped him gain back control and his mind started to change.

2. Gratitude

It’s scientifically proven that showing gratitude makes you happier. Gratitude is appreciating something we have as opposed to reaching something new in the hope it will make us happier. When we use gratitude regularly, our mental state grows. Ways to show gratitude can be; write a thank you note, pay it forward, offer support, meditate or share your skills. Tyson shows gratitude by counting his blessings, donating to charity and being thankful. This has helped him become much more of a mentally strong individual. At the end of his fights, he uses his platform to express gratitude to all those who have helped him.

3. Change Your Routine

Routine can have negative connotations to it. We can think of them as tedious, boring and unfulfilled. By changing our mindset, we can establish a routine as a positive force and become happier because of it. If you’re finding yourself unhappy, change up your routine. Try different things. Whether it’s exercising, nurturing relationships or eating healthy, the smallest changes make the biggest difference.

In an interview with GQ magazine, Tyson Fury mentioned he found solace in ‘training, eating, sleeping and repeating’. He said, “I’m fantastic at the moment. I stress this a lot: It’s all got to do with routine, giving yourself short-term goals”. When it comes to your routine, try something you enjoy doing and repeat. You’ll find yourself a happier and more mentally strong person because of it.

4. Have A Purpose

Human beings desire purpose. A Purpose is a fundamental component of living a satisfied life. When you have a purpose, you never wake up wondering what you’re going to do or what’s in store for the day. You become naturally less stressed and life becomes less complicated.

“Instead of consciously thinking about your purpose, you can try an indirect approach. Just realise that your purpose is inside of you, it’s just afraid to expose itself. You must trust that someday it will seemingly appear out of nowhere. When that day comes, make a happy dance, celebrate, whatever, but the next day, wake up and start working on your purpose” – Darius Foroux

After the Klitschko fight, Tyson felt he didn’t have a purpose. He had achieved everything in becoming the heavyweight champion. When the boxing was gone, there was nowhere he felt he could go. He tried golf, clay pigeon shooting, off-road driving but nothing interested him. Tyson also wasn’t training, which was something he had done every day since he was a child.

Eventually, he found purpose In relationships and faith. He turned his life around by understanding what drove him to happiness. Putting his purpose to action was how he became a healthier, more mentally strong person. It’s how he conquered his inner battles.

The Influence On Society

The influence on society is apparent. Tyson receives thousands of messages daily on social media with personal stories of individuals giving thanks on overcoming their inner battles. He’s an official ambassador for mental health in sport, does public speaking and is extremely open about struggles he has faced.

The man who thought he would be dead and the man everyone thought would never box again, has overcome the mental mindset that was derailing him. He is still recognised as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of this generation and uses his struggles to help others.

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Life

This 5 Minute Test Will Instantly Change Your Life

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Twelve months is too small for a life plan. The moment you understand this, the new year celebrations become a cliché. Success in life is always a build-up of several years of consistent “little” progress. The new year celebration is for gratitude, not for life planning.

People often overestimate what they can achieve in a year. But they greatly underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years. I discovered a whole new way of making progress in life quite recently. It was from the story of how a friend of mine made her most profound life progress yet. It began with a simple test that can change your life.

My friend was working in a small non-governmental organization that year. She was unsure of how to go forward in life. Life was looking scary and she was getting confused. Then, she attended a conference and took a simple test that helped her change her life.

Here are the 5 questions you must answer in the next 5 minutes:

1. What do you want to be doing (as work) 10 years from now?

Forget about today. Forget about next year. Let us go a bit further into the future. This question is not asking what you think you will be doing in 10 years. The question is asking what you would like to be doing in 10 years.

Saying that you want to be traveling around the world doesn’t count. Even if you plan to retire by then, you still have to be doing something to be responsible. To be doing nothing is to have no reason to be alive. Other people must feel your impact in some way. So, add 10 to your age and write down what you would like to be doing then.

My friend wanted to be working with top international organizations like the UN. She wants to be winning grants and handling big projects in her field. What is yours?

“Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

2. Who is doing what you want to be doing in 10 years?

Believe it or not, there are people that are already living at least a similar version of your dream today. Do you know them? If you think there aren’t any, I challenge you to get on the internet and find out now.

Try as much as possible to find at least five names. Write only people whose life conforms to your answer in question 1. For my friend, she realized most of those she knew who had this life were in professors in academia. Go out and find your potential mentors today!

3. Identify (from the people you listed) who you need to become to get to your dream

It became clear to my friend that she ought to aim at becoming a university professor. Interestingly, she had always wanted this but never gave it attention. There is a person you’ll need to become to make your dream a reality. Until you identify who you need to be to have the life you want, your life will be without focus or direction. Who have you identified you need to be?

4. What job, work or responsibility will put you on a straight path to becoming who you’ve identified in question 3?

For my friend, she instantly knew she should be seeking a job opportunity at a University. It was the straight path to rise through the ranks to become the person she desired to be. Now, it is not about money or the pressure of getting something worthwhile to do. She had a clear target.

Becoming who you need to be will require that you have some experience credentials. You will get that experience by working somewhere. This is about handling a particular responsibility where you grow and develop. You need that job or responsibility that will put you in line to become who you need to become. So, what is that job for you?

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah

5. What is the training that will qualify you for the job in question 4?

My friend already had the training and qualifications she needed, so she took off with finding the job she had identified. It took about 3 months of researching job opportunities and taking very bold steps prior to landing the job she wanted at a university.

Most people need some amount of training to land the job they have identified. Work training has become easy today because of the internet. There are myriads of training opportunities that exist in any field you can think of. If you can’t afford the ones you are seeking, I can assure you that there is a free one somewhere that can get you started.

In the professional line, many schools around the world now offer online degrees. In the gig economy also, there are lots of training by experts in various spheres. There is no way you won’t find an online course that is right for you.

Is a particular training coming to mind right now? Take action on it immediately! The training gets you the job. The job makes you into the expert. Search out the training you need and take action immediately!

Conclusion

Once you identify the training and start it, you begin working your way from question number 5 to question 1. From the training, you get the job. From the job, you grow to become an expert or authority in the field. From becoming an expert, you will be free to live the way you want.

For some people, this can indeed take 10 years. But for most, it takes less than that to get to question 1.

My friend is now transitioning from the job to the expert. She made new changes after reevaluating her goals with another test. She recently quit her job at the university to get a more ambitious job in a bigger city. And yes, it is with an international organization.

Now you know what to do, what are you waiting for? Share with us your dream job you’d like to have!

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Life

How 8 Minutes of Meditation Can Give You the Productivity Boost You Need

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Of all the productivity hacks I’ve tried over the years, none has had as much of a positive impact relative to the time I put in than meditation. Just 8 minutes per day to be precise. Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries. Once primarily used by practitioners of Buddhism to reach a higher level of consciousness, science has since shown it has a lot of more earthly benefits as well.

As Healthline reports, meditation improves concentration, reduces fatigue and stress, brings a sense of relaxation and improves sleep patterns, among other benefits. All the above reasons explain why some of the most successful people rely on meditation to thrive in their professions. Jeff Weiner, former Yahoo executive and the current CEO of Linkedin says that meditation has made a huge positive impact on his productivity. Similarly,  Ray Dalio, who is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, attributes a big part of his success to meditation.

5 Ways Meditation Helps with Productivity

Before I get to my own meditation routine that takes just 8 minutes of my time daily, let me first go over in general how meditation can give you a huge leg up in your career and business, backed by studies.

1. Improves Your Attention Span

There are tons of factors that improve productivity, but one that plays a very important role is the ability to focus. Being attentive enough to complete the task at hand means you’ll finish your work with higher accuracy and better efficiency.

According to Pubmed, several studies have shown the efficacy of meditation in reversing parts of the brain that cause mind wandering and the inability to concentrate. Russell Simmons, the CEO of Rush Communications, says that meditation is one of the things that has helped him focus the most.

2. Increases Neuroplasticity

For a long time, scientists believed that brain development only happened during childhood and then ceased. But recent discovery regarding the neuroplastic nature of the brain concludes that our brains actually continue to change and adapt through experiences. In other words, the brain is continually reorganizing itself by creating new neurons and new connections.

Meditation is one practice capable of changing your brain’s structure and functions. In fact, Harvard Researchers at MGH have shown that meditation increases grey matter volume in your brain. What this means is that it causes more neurons to accumulate in one space.

Another theory that explains how meditation boosts neuroplasticity is that it increases cerebral blood flow (CBF). By placing you in a state of relaxation, blood is able to flow more freely leading to better oxygenation and nourishment in your brain. With increased neuroplasticity, your ability to acquire new skills and positive habits increase.

3. Sharpens Your Memory

A major benefit of mediation is that it boosts one’s working memory capacity. The working memory determines how much information the central nervous system can hold and process at any time. It’s like the Random Access Memory in a computer.

A study was done to investigate the effect of active meditation on individuals’ working memory capacities. Researchers had the participants take part in a 45-minute meditation exercise twice per week. After a couple of weeks, they recorded the results and discovered that the respondents’ working memory capacities had increased by more than 30%. Put simply; they could hold and process 30% more information than the average person.

The study proved that meditating increases the working memory capacity. With a larger working memory, you can take on more sophisticated tasks and handle them efficiently.

4. Improves Cognitive Thinking

As you age, your cognitive functioning deteriorates gradually. The resulting deficit weakens your ability to reason, remember and process information. All these are factors that can make you less productive at work and in other areas of your life. Good news is, practising meditation and mindfulness can help with that.

To examine the impact of meditation on cognitive function, researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara conducted a study. They asked 48 undergraduate students to attend one of two classes: a nutrition class or a mindfulness class. The result? Those who attended the mindfulness class saw marked improvements in their exams afterwards, while the nutrition group saw no statistically significant improvements.

One factor that can explain this outcome is that meditation improves the balance of the left and right sides of the brain. Synchronizing both brain hemispheres allows for greater processing power and neural communication.

5. Reduces Stress

Stress is something that people experience on a daily basis, and more so at work. According to the American Institute of Stress, work-induced stress is the most common form of stress. Based on a recent survey they did, at least 80% of Americans experienced stress at work, hampering productivity and leading to mistakes.

Thankfully, having a meditation practice as part of your routine can lower stress and make you more productive. It goes beyond just stress reduction, however. According to the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, meditation has been shown to reduce the symptoms of social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.

How 8 Minutes of Meditation Daily Has Changed My Life

My personal journey with meditation has been nothing short of life changing. What if I told you there was a productivity hack that only required 8 minutes of your day, and as a consequence, will double your attention span, mental stamina, and ability to function under stress? What if I told you, thanks to just 8 minutes a day, a once self diagnosed ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) sufferer now frequently loses track of time as he ticks off one item after the next on his daily to-do lists? Yes, that’s what meditation has done for me, and I believe it can do that for anyone.

The meditation routine I follow is based on the best selling book “8 Minute Meditation” by Victor Davich. As a meditation guru, Victor sought out to devise a meditation program that fits in with the ultra busy lifestyles of Westerners while still delivering the main benefits the practice at its fullest provides.

Here is the gist of the “8 minute meditation” that I practice every day right before I go to bed:

  • Set a timer for 8 minutes.
  • Find a comfortable sitting pose. This could be in a cozy meditation chair or sitting with your legs crossed on a yoga mat
  • Close your eyes slowly as if you were planning to sleep. Avoid squeezing them or shutting them involuntarily.
  • Next, start taking slow, deep breaths.
  • With every inhale, envision that you are breathing in light. Follow the light as it enters your body.
  • With every exhale, imagine breathing out all the tension and negativity that you have been harbouring. Relax every muscle from those on your face, chest, back, legs all the way to the tips of your toes.
  • As you breathe in and out, your mind will most likely start to wonder. Do not get upset. Just slowly bring your awareness back to your breathing. Imagine catching a fish and just letting it go.
  • Continue this until the timer goes off. Then, slowly open your eyes again..

A big part of the magic happens in meditation when you do it consistently. For me, with every day of practice, my ability to stay focused on my breathing and stay present increased during those critical 8 minutes. And as my ability to do those seemingly simple things improved, that’s when I started to notice all the tangible benefits of meditation I mentioned earlier.

Meditation is not a new concept. And it doesn’t require you to invest anything that you don’t already have. This is one of the greatest benefits of meditating; it doesn’t require any special equipment or registration for training. Essentially, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. To me, meditation dare i say is the greatest productivity hack of all time.

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Life

5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Hitting Rock Bottom

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what you can learn from hitting rock bottom
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At one time, the term rock bottom was completely foreign to me. I can remember feeling really bad for anyone who claimed to have ‘hit rock bottom.’ What devastation they must feel. Their whole world must have just collapsed. How will they go on? I was soon to find out.

My journey to rock bottom

I’m not gonna say I had it all but for the most part, my world was pretty good. It wasn’t perfect and I’ll admit, I was sailing through on a song and a prayer. I lived in a nice house in a posh neighbourhood with my partner and in 2010 I purchased my first business, a hair salon.

I belonged to an amazing networking group of successful women. I was well respected in the community and had lots of friends. You could say my life was pretty good. However, this didn’t last for long.

Three years after the purchase of the salon I closed the doors and declared bankruptcy. Six months after bankruptcy, I walked out of my abusive relationship with nothing to my name.

I was a shell of a person. I had nothing and in my eyes, I was a complete and utter failure. At 52 years old, my whole world came crashing down on me and I for the first time in my life, was absolutely terrified.

I walked around in a daze for months. I was completely empty inside, both emotionally and mentally. I had no desire to rebuild my life. There was little life left in me to work on. I secured my old job at the salon I was at prior to my business purchase. Every day I had to face people who I’m sure were disappointed in me and most likely laughing at me behind my back.

I was a loser. They knew it and so did I. When you hit rock bottom, any and all self respect and self confidence you ever had goes right out the window. You’re constantly embarrassed and feel worthless all the time. However, one day something snaps when you look in the mirror and can’t stand to look at the person looking back at you. This is without a shadow of a doubt the moment some confidence and hope arises to change.

I looked in the mirror one day and I didn’t recognize the person staring back. She was sad, empty, blank and lifeless. This wasn’t Iva and I so desperately wanted her back. I missed the optimistic, bubbly and outgoing girl that used to stare back at me in the mirror. And I was determined to get her back.

I had reached a point where I was tired of crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was tired of telling myself I was a loser and a failure and that I would never amount to anything. But I was mostly tired of just existing with no purpose or passion.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling

The climb out of rock bottom

I started devouring self help books and reading any and all blogs I could on how to get your life back on track and how to find self love and self worth again. I read inspirational quotes and listened to motivational YouTube videos day in and day out. I journaled and cried and prayed and meditated. All the things I have never done in my life, I was doing daily without fail.

Slowly, Iva was emerging but she was so much different this time around. She had hope, faith and determination and nothing was going to stop her or stand in her way of rebuilding her life. My journey out of rock bottom took almost a full year to complete but in that time, I learned so much about myself, people and life.

Here are the 5 life lessons I learned from hitting rock bottom:

1. Failure isn’t real

There’s no such thing as failure. I’m not even sure why this word exists. You had an idea or a plan, tried it, and it didn’t work. You learn lessons from this and you move on. Always remember one very important thing: you tried. Most people don’t even bother. Believe in yourself.

2. You’re not stuck anywhere

If something isn’t working or isn’t good for you, leave it. I was terrified to leave my abusive relationship because I knew it meant I would lose everything. And I did. When I finally took the plunge and left, everything in my life changed for the better. Have faith!

3. Change is fun and scary, but do it anyway

Although change is terrifying, it’s necessary. We don’t grow in our comfort zone or in our misery. Sometimes you have to do things that will scare the daylights out of you..do them anyway. This is where you learn and grow. You meet people and you experience things you never would have if you stayed in your comfort zone. Take the leap.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

4. Everything is temporary

The good and the bad. Nothing is forever. No matter how horrible your situation is, it won’t last. It will eventually go away or maybe even turn out great! Embrace all the good life has to offer you and learn the lessons the bad will give you. Have patience.

5. You have great power over your life

I was determined to change my life any way I had to. I did whatever I had to do to turn my life around. Was it easy? No. Is it impossible? No. I knew I had the power to change and it was up to me, and only me, to do that. No one could do it for me.

No matter where you are in your life right now, if things aren’t working out the way you expected, don’t worry. Things will always get better if you try to make them better. You can do anything you want. All you have to do is find the power that’s in you and unleash it.

Have you ever hit rock bottom? What advice do you have for someone who’s there? Share your ideas and advice below!

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