Connect with us

Life

30 Life Changing Tips from World Travelers Under 30

Published

on

travel the world while you're young

Are you looking for the best way to tackle your fears and live your most desired dreams? Then grab a map and start planning your next travel destination. Traveling is the best way to expand your mind beyond what you already know and tap into the potential that is within you.

I left all of my doubts and fears at the door when I decided to travel around the world on a 6-month international performance and service tour with Up with People. I traveled to cities in the USA, Mexico, Bermuda, and Europe, where I had the chance to network with influential leaders from all over the world and deliver over 100 hours of service by volunteering at schools and community organizations.

What surprised me the most was the courage and commitment that I witnessed from world travelers under the age of 30, who were fired up about their future and willing to do what it took to pursue and share this traveling opportunity.

Here are inspirational thoughts from 30 world travelers under 30 who took the leap to live their travel dreams and use their gifts to impact the world:

1. Seize the opportunities. Not just the ones that are in your face and those that are presented to you in a nicely wrapped bow, but watch out for the smaller opportunities that are hiding in between each moment.   – Tess Zondervan, Netherlands

2. No matter what your aspirations or interests are, perspective is your most valuable asset. You have to pursue that, regardless of fear or anxiety, because you can’t know the things that are on the other side of them. Step out on faith and travel the world. –Cameron Wright, USA

3. You need to get over your fear of failure if you want to travel. I think ANYONE can travel. It doesn’t have to be scary or a huge commitment. The worst thing that can happen is that you quit your job and have to start over. People make things so serious when they don’t have to be. –Katie Walter, Sweden

4. Prepare yourself for your next adventure by practicing spontaneity. Let’s keep that kid within us who isn’t afraid to try something new. Your inner child is waiting on you to say YES to all the things that your conditioned mind thinks are too irrational. –Charles-Guerin Valtille, France/Belgium

5. The hardest part about trying something new is that you question everything you do before you do it. Stop wondering if you are making the wrong decision and start acknowledging everything that is right in that moment. Be present. –Vicky He, China

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

6. If you want to travel, don’t look at all the roadblocks. Clearly set your intentions, and you will get everything you asked for. You will be better qualified for what you want to do next, and you’ll discover things you didn’t know you were interested in. –Melanie Jean, USA

7. Be very clear about what type of life that you want to live. If you want to experience a different type of life and meet people outside of your social circle, you have to be willing to step beyond what you know now so that you can gain something better later. Traveling around the world is a great way to experience a new type of life. –Ou Lu, China

8. When you surround yourself with the same people, it’s hard to find something new. Stepping beyond your comfort zone allows you to meet people who inspire you in a different way. –Pepa Ul, Germany

9. Don’t get so hung up on hypothetical situations before you execute your plans. You don’t need to overthink everything. Just do it! Traveling can bring you something more than you expected. I think people need to travel in order to find themselves. –Mike Johnsen, USA

10. If you are seeking a career as a credible business professional, you have to be open to new cultures and new ways of operating in order to remain relevant and maintain a sustainable enterprise. Traveling allows you to enhance these relationship-building skills that are crucial to your success. –Jialu Pang, China

11. If you are not finding the answers to what you want to do in life, travel the world! Traveling opens your mind to new experiences. You start to think about things that you would have never thought about before. –Marie Englebert, Belgium

12. Whether you meet individuals who are 10 or 100, everyone has a different experience that can teach you something. When you are traveling, you have a unique opportunity to encounter a teacher everywhere you go. –Sophia Berntzen, Norway

13. Nothing can boost your confidence faster than doing something that you didn’t think you could do. Taking the leap to travel is truly empowering. You can gain back your self-confidence by increasing your understanding of the people around you, becoming a world citizen, and stepping outside of your safe zone. –Paulina Ramos, Mexico

14. If you have a little bit of urge to do something, don’t second-guess yourself. Just do it! Don’t fixate on the money. Your experiences may connect you to the passion and power that is within you, and that discovery is priceless. –Chelsea Henak, USA

15. When you learn about new places and cultures, you learn more about yourself. This is one of the best investments you can make. Most people only invest in education and things that bring temporary satisfaction. Invest in experiences, and you will receive rewards that will enrich you as a person. –Jennifer Brown, Sweden

16. We have been conditioned to follow the rules of society. Now it’s time to follow our hearts. We need to find what sets our soul on fire and pursue that. Amazing things only happen outside of your comfort zone. –Lenize Dos Santos, Cape Verde

17. Don’t be afraid of the challenge zone. Enjoy the challenge zone! Traveling allows you to take on experiences that expand your capacity to stretch yourself beyond what you think you are capable of. If there were no challenges, life would be boring. –Glenn De Kemel, Belgium

18. So often we learn the grammar rules of a foreign language at school, but we are hesitant to use what we learned in real life. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. People will be inspired by your willingness to learn another language, and you may inspire someone else to learn something new. –Margaux de Boeck, Belgium

19. If you think something is impossible, you are just limiting yourself to your safe zone. You have to be willing to invest in yourself outside of a classroom. Traveling exposes you to so many opportunities that will help you learn more about yourself and the world around you. –Timo Bossema, Netherlands

20. You will be surprised by how much you can learn while traveling. You can start learning a different language in one week! Immerse yourself in the language by taking advantage of cultural activities, host-family living, language buddies, and cell-phone apps in order to accelerate your learning. –Roxane Blondel, Belgium

“Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” – Unknown

21. Traveling can help you become a global instrument. The more you discover about yourself, the more in-touch you are with those around you. You learn how to be the best person that you can by embarking upon different cultural experiences.–Nikki Smith, Philippines

22. If you have a dream, traveling won’t make that dream go away. In fact, the insights you receive while traveling will only magnify your dream if that is something that you truly want to do. –Alexandra Bungum, Denmark

23. Business students often wonder if they should take advantage of more internships or study-abroad opportunities. I think that you should travel as often as you can, whenever you can. The job will always be there. Traveling fosters new ideas and allows you to expand your mind in ways that will heighten your impact in the job market. –Tiki Shou, China

24. Don’t have doubts. Just jump in. It’s not as bad as you think. Traveling is the path to freedom and independence, because it’s up to you to figure out how to manage your money, allocate your time, and develop relationships. If you want to gain the confidence you need to follow your own path in life, travel to a new place alone. –Lauren Reed, USA

25. The more you get out there and just do stuff, the more your comfort zone expands. You will feel like you can do anything. That is the best feeling. Traveling allows you to tap into this feeling and will move you in ways that you never imagined. –Violette Defourt, Belgium

26. Sometimes you think you have to gain access to a certain key in order to gain happiness. When you travel, you realize that happiness is not a key but a puzzle. Each key is a part of the puzzle. Every experience may not give you exactly what you wanted, but it gives you exactly what you needed in order to complete your puzzle.  –Xavier Rosales, Mexico

27. Take advantage of opportunities that allow you to do things you have never done before. Every new experience that you take on can be used to propel your future goals. Whether it’s singing or dancing or acting, you need to see the full picture and how everything comes together — that’s with anything in life. –Caity Cecio, USA

28. You have to tap into your creative bones when you travel in order to make the most of situations that come your way. Traveling teaches you how to use your gifts more intentionally in order to achieve certain results and connect with people from all walks of life. –Raymond Mulangu Gieskes, Netherlands

29. Things will work out the way they are supposed to be. Be vulnerable to everything that comes your way. Through vulnerability, you can fall easily, but through vulnerability, you can fall softer. Traveling experiences will show you how to jump in and be vulnerable. –Andrew Erusha, USA

30. Every day you have to choose to say yes to what you are doing, because it may be your last day. What you are doing now may not be your dream job, but look at it as a way of prepping you for something else. Traveling opens your mind to being flexible in your career and taking advantage of the NOW. –Alicen Schade, USA

What do you need in order to make the leap towards your dreams? Have you learned any new skills while traveling? Let me know in the comments section below!

After 7 years of working in Corporate America as a Certified Public Accountant, Charlene left her job in April 2015 and decided to travel around the world with a non-profit international education organization called Up with People. She has traveled around the world with 100 individuals from 20 different countries. You can visit her www.careergoddessacademy.com or connect with her through Twitter.

Advertisement
17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Michael Williams

    Jun 24, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Thank you for the motivational words! It given me the drive to want to do greater things in my life. Completely awesome!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 26, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Hi Michael, I’m glad that this post motivated you. Start creating your travel goal list and make it happen. Anything is possible!

  2. Michael

    Jun 24, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Thank you for the motivational words! It really help to drive me more to go out and achieve greater goals.

  3. Gerald

    Jun 21, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Great post Char,
    I believe in designing your life. It can make such a difference in your entire experience.
    Stepping outside of your comfort zone allows you to change and grow. I’m always looking for the next challenge to change and I know that travel would be a great way to experience growth.
    Appreciate your point of view and sharing your experiences.
    You are a rock star Char!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Great insights, Gerald! It’s important that we take 100% responsibility for our lives and design a life that makes us excited to get out of bed every morning. We must always be willing to go beyond what we already know in order to discover untapped potential. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom!

  4. SUDARSHAN RAI

    Jun 20, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Thank you Charlene for sharing and wonderful write up . inspiring quotes and very well articulated content. The moment we step out of our comfort zone and open up ourselves to a new world through travel, innovation and by showing interest, we get to learn lot of things.Traveling not only enhances our experience but also establishes a gateway to different cultures, language, ethinic customs which truly makes the concept of global village and small world true.
    Look forward seeing more such articles from your experience and best wishes for your further journey.

    Regards,
    Sudarshan Rai

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 21, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for sharing your insights, Sudarshan! Traveling is a great way to gain exposure to different cultures, languages, and ethnic customs that we may not immerse ourselves in if we stay in the comforts of our home. I think it’s awesome that you decided to venture outside of your home country and immerse yourself in the business culture of the U.S.

  5. Toño

    Jun 14, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Thank you so much for this article, Charlene, it was very inspiring read and I must say how law of attraction actually works out. Last few weeks been all tough, raw, learning journey for me which helped me realized some important things. I started to look into travelling more and there you go, your wonderful experience, yours and all of that beautiful people. Some of the quotes are simple amazing and life changing!

    I started my boring Sunday at work with it and my day got muchly better!

    Looking forward for more, appreciate your time!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 15, 2016 at 4:27 am

      Hi Toño! Thanks for reading and for sharing your story. The law of attraction works FAST! Now you will start to see more articles like this and everything you see will get you closer to the lifestyle that you want. Sending positive vibes your way as you tap into more of what you want and travel on a journey that will expose you to the best days of your life!

  6. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 12, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Tim, your articles ignited a fire within me to write and travel more! I can’t thank you enough for your insights. The last 6 months have been my most adventurous moments of my life thanks to your inspiration. I want to inspire and open doors of opportunities for others like you have done for me. More travel motivation will be coming soon;)

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 13, 2016 at 2:08 am

      Wow thanks for the kind words Charlene I am glad I was able to inspire you. Best of luck with your travels!

  7. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 12, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing your insights, Garrick! Embracing the inner child within us who isn’t afraid to dream big and try something new will take us further than we imagined. You are right about incorporating fun into our lives. We only have one life so we might as well enjoy the journey!

  8. Sue Dunlevie

    Jun 12, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Super post, Charlene! Love hearing all these ideas.

    Thanks,
    Sue

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Jun 15, 2016 at 4:20 am

      Thanks for reading and sharing Sue! It’s amazing what young leaders around the world can teach us.

  9. Tim Denning

    Jun 11, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Charlene thank you for this article, this is my kind of topic. Travelling has taught me that the rules of life are the same no matter where you go. While the cultures vary, the problems remain the same. Looking forward to your next post Charlene 🙂

  10. Garrick Bradley II

    Jun 11, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    What I love most about this post are the points unleashing your inner child. I think that will take you so much further in life and you will always have fun. No matter what you do! Always keep that inner child going. Because once you lose it you get old!

  11. Young Wealth Builders

    Jun 11, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    My favorite point of this post is the importance of releasing your inner child. So many people feel as they get older they have to “act their age”. When you unlock your inner child, life is so much fun and exciting. You become more daring and want to try new things. The power of yes can take you anywhere!

Leave a Reply

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

Life

Conquering Inner Battles: Tyson Fury Outside of the Boxing Ring

Published

on

tyson fury
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.

Continue Reading

Life

This 5 Minute Test Will Instantly Change Your Life

Published

on

how to improve your life
Image Credit: Unsplash

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!

Continue Reading

Life

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

Published

on

how meditation makes you more productive
Image Credit: Unsplash

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.

Continue Reading

Life

5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Hitting Rock Bottom

Published

on

what you can learn from hitting rock bottom
Image Credit: Unsplash

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!

Continue Reading

Trending