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5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness That Will Make Life More Enjoyable

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10 years ago, there were relatively few people in the western world that actively took part in meditation or mindfulness exercises on a regular basis. Now, mindfulness is top of mind (pun intended), and individuals and organizations are starting to see the real benefits associated with teaching and training methods used to focus one’s thoughts and momentarily reconnect with a deeper sense of self.

Studies have shown that people who practice mindful meditation on a regular basis are happier and exhibit lower levels of anxiety than others from the same group that do not practice mindfulness. Interviews with top performers and leaders around the world have also uncovered that a vast majority of them attribute their success to the benefits derived from regular mindfulness activities.

But finding the right mindfulness regimen or meditation practice isn’t as simple as picking what to watch next on Netflix. I have practiced one form or another of meditation for over 15 years, and I have yet to find one system or mindfulness regimen that suits my needs perfectly. Ultimately, meditation is a personal journey towards the better understanding of oneself and one’s purpose.

Consider these five approaches to mindful meditation below to see which appeals to you most:

1. Concentrate on one thing or on nothing in particular

The intent of this approach is for you to focus your mind on one object, sound or image through intense concentration so that all other thoughts evaporate and you are left with a clear mind. This type of practice is often partnered with some kind of mantra or chant, although it does not have to be.

Next time you are feeling anxious, angry or frustrated at work or school, take 2-3 minutes to sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes, and allow yourself to direct all of your energy and emotion towards one object, sound or image until everything else floats away.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

2. Pay attention to those things in your sphere of influence

This approach is what most practitioners would refer to as true “mindful meditation”, and it is widely recognized as being able to alleviate stress and even treat depression. The emphasis of mindful meditation is in cultivating highly receptive attention toward any action or objects within your sphere of influence.

Described in a different way, mindfulness is a human’s capacity to be fully present in the moment while not getting overwhelmed or overreacting to the world around them. Anyone can practice mindful meditation in any particular moment, in as little as 10 seconds. Mindful.org has a great description of what mindfulness meditation actually is, and how to integrate it into your life on a regular basis.

3. Reflect openly on one question or problem

Often described as “thinking meditation”, focused reflection requires the person to come up with a specific question, theme or topic and then conduct a thorough analysis of the question over the course of meditation.

The more you practice this type of disciplined thinking, the less frequently your mind will wander, and the more clearly you will be able to develop arguments and perspectives based on your observations. This type of meditation is particularly useful for business people or entrepreneurs looking to work through work challenges or come up with new ideas.

4. Focus on strengthening one personal quality or targeting one goal

Visualization is a powerful tool that can help to set far off goals or strengthen existing personal attributes or qualities (i.e. kindness, compassion, focus, etc.). There are many ways to practice visualization, but for me the easiest way to start is in one of two ways.

The first way is by imagining “My Perfect Day”. Take the time to imagine, in great detail, your ideal day from start to end. Where do you wake up? Who are you with? What do you do for work? How do you spend your day? Do this in your head or on paper. You’ll be surprised what you come up with.

The second way is to consider one personal trait that you feel could be improved upon. Now, visualize the pieces that make up that attribute, and imagine that you are the human embodiment of that trait. Again, think about this in your head, or write down your visualization on paper. The choice is yours. What you have to remember is that, just by visualizing yourself as having this trait or imagining yourself in this perfect day, you are subconsciously training your brain to want and seek out that end goal.

“You must see your goals clearly and specifically before you can set out for them. Hold them in your mind until they become second nature.” – Les Brown

5. Express gratitude and compassion

Perhaps the most powerful of the five, meditating on gratitude and compassion is one of the best ways to reduce stress and gain a deeper understanding of the world around you. By focusing on others and by sharing yourself with those around you, you will find that the worries and cares you once thought were important simply slip away. In the grand scheme of things, this type of realization will take you in all sorts of new directions.

I’m curious to know what you’re doing. What ways are you practicing mindfulness/meditation? Please leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

McVal is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Wil Dieck

    Apr 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    First, I’d like to say, great tips McVal! While they are all excellent, I’ve found that the practice of gratefulness is not only the easiest, it gives me the biggest bang for my mindful buck. By being mindful of what we have – or being grateful – we allow space for more to enter, a wonderful added benefit. Again, McVal, thanks for the tips!

  2. Rachel

    Apr 5, 2017 at 4:53 am

    I like to do a mindfulness of the sounds around me, that is very easy to do anywhere. Also a mindfulness walk just purposely looking for anything which is usually insignificant in the immediate environment which has some beauty about it and bringing it to my awareness eg: sunlight hitting some shiny leaves, a green lawn, a cloud. One of the best ones I find is following the sound of a brass cymbol or tibetan bowl being tapped, follow the sound to the end with concentration and then listen to the sound that is there after the ringing ends. I like to do that 3 times.

  3. Summer "Glitter" Weirich

    Feb 25, 2017 at 2:27 am

    At the beginning of our team meetings for Rebel + Connect, the team does a quick 1 minute meditation, next we do a movement exercise to open up our mind to receive and then we do a “popcorn” of how we are feeling. We close with the “popcorn” and the movement exercise and typically we are all feeling much better at the end of our meetings even if they are unnecessarily long!

    I personally like to “meditate” with nature through snowboarding and also creatively by coloring in adult coloring books or doing other types of art.

    I also always make sure to tell friends and strangers how grateful I am for them and for their actions.

    As far as I’m concerned, love is the only way forward!

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Life

Extraordinary Money Hacks So You Can Save For Your Dream.

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I’ve had several times in my life with almost no money. During these times, I learned a few money hacks. It’s cool how having no money can actually teach you so much.

It’s not about being a tight ass either. Money is about understanding what business does to take money out of your pocket and it’s also a journey in understanding temptation.

 

Why save money?

Saving money is how you fund your dream. No matter what you want to achieve, you need to have some money put aside to make it happen. Having a small amount of money saved can do the following:

1. Help you deal with emergencies
2. Give you surplus cash to put towards your dream
3. Make you less stressed
4. Allow you to take a break

Here are the money hacks I’ve learned from going through hard times:

 

Rethink subscriptions.

Recurring revenue is the best source of income for your business. On the flipside, subscriptions will make you broke. The whole subscription model is designed to take advantage of you being lazy. Most of the subscriptions you have, you don’t need.

I find that one time purchases for things I don’t use a lot is actually better. Make a note of all of your subscriptions and then cull as many as you can.

 

Books instead of Netflix and movies.

Netflix and movies can use up your capital and they generally give you nothing. Replace these two media forms for books. Books are cheaper in the long run and if you focus on reading biographies and books that provide real strategies, you’ll become smarter too.

 

Go to the supermarket instead of the shopping mall.

Walking into a giant shopping center with all of your favorite brands is a disaster. You’re guaranteed to buy stuff you don’t need and temptation is likely to take over. The only shopping you have to do every week is your grocery shopping.

Visit the supermarket that’s not in a shopping mall and then you’ll be focused on buying things to fill your stomach, instead of your wardrobe.

 

People won’t remember what you’re wearing.

There’s this myth that we have to wear something new all of the time. The harsh reality is that most people won’t remember what you’re wearing anyway because they’re so focused on their own appearance and problems.

None of us need as many clothes as we have. Culling the size of your wardrobe will save you lots of money.

 

Buying petrol.

There are cheap times to get petrol and expensive times to get petrol. In my area, I find that every four weeks, petrol is cheaper than the other weeks. So, being smart about when you fill up can save you lots of money. Obviously, aim for the times when petrol is low.

 

Going out to restaurants.

Those of us who have worked in restaurants know that most of the profit is made on drinks, not the food. Most of the drinks you buy when you’re out for dinner are not good for you. The only real liquid you need is water. So, when going to restaurants, skip the drinks and focus on the food.

 

Getting around.

Driving everywhere is expensive. Try sharing an Uber with friends or taking public transport.

Parking is expensive and most of the time the car takes longer.

Use the frequent car trips you make to have someone else do the driving and then download some podcasts so you can educate yourself.

 

Car servicing.

This whole industry is a bit of a scam. The idea is to make you think that everything needs to be consistently maintained and replaced otherwise you’ll end up lost in the desert with no way home, and you may even die of starvation.

The only two things you must do on a car every year is changing the oil and the oil filter. Watch some Youtube videos on when to change your tires and brakes because most mechanic shops will tell you that you need to change them when you don’t.

 

Credit cards.

They’re evil. You don’t need the reward points and the benefits of not having one are far greater. Get a debit card instead. Credit cards give you a false sense of your true financial position. You will mess up. That’s how the credit card game is designed.

 

Book holidays in advance.

We all need to take a break at least a few times a year. The cheapest way to do this is to book in advance. Plan when your holidays are going to be and then book them, so you get more choice, and more chances to spot a deal.

I’ve recently used Airbnb a lot more and that’s halved my accommodation costs. The only challenge with the platform is that the good properties sell out early so you must book in advance.

Also, consider whether you are going to stay local or go overseas. In my country, it’s cheaper to go overseas than it is to travel within Australia.

 


Don’t join mailing lists for deals.

An IT guy told me the other day to sign up for all of the retailers mailing lists because then I will see more deals. This is the worst advice ever! These mailing lists will make you develop a habit of making impulse purchases and looking for things you don’t need.

“You don’t need access to more deals; what you need is to spend less and avoid temptation”

 

Let loose one day a month.

If you’re a scrooge every day of the week, you’ll get tired of it and eventually quit. The best way to be good with money is to have one day a month where you can let loose a bit and indulge on one or two things. Just don’t undo all of your hard work by going out of control.

 

Donate or volunteer.

Puts your BS money problems into perspective. The best way I’ve found to save money towards my dream is to meet people who have nothing.

“Once you put your finances into perspective by being around the homeless and people that are going through terrible tragedies, you’ll know why you are saving in the first place”

More importantly, being exposed to people in rough places will make you want to give some money away. This charitable act will make you a better person which is far more important than how much money you have.

 


***Final Thought***

So that’s what I did folks when I had no money. That’s how I saved money towards my dream which I’m now living.

Be smarter with your money.
Save for your dream.
Be a good human and give money or time to people who need your help.

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

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Life

4 Scientifically Proven Habits That Will Give You the Edge You Need

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For me, outstanding success and prosperity that remains stable in a fast-evolving world is the only kind of success I care about. Not enough success gurus and motivational coaches are good at sharing principles and practices that can actually help anyone anywhere achieve long-term success.

Due to the fact that most people are only interested in “quick fixes,” the marketplace, especially in personal and professional growth, has focused on selling the idea of magic bullets and instant productivity spells aimed at luring you into whatever product they want you to buy.

However, there are those who seem to be focused on the long game, the grand vision. I spent a significant amount of time and money several years ago learning from one of the world’s leading high-performance coach, Brendon Burchard.

At a time when the highway to online success seemed grim and too advanced for me to tackle on my own, Brendon Burchard’s weekly mentoring, encouragement and training on how to speak my voice regardless of my past played a major role in the birth of my business. 

In fact, to a great extent, his ideas still continue to positively impact my life which is why the scientifically based research he revealed on habits helping shape world-class individuals resonates with me tremendously. 

If you haven’t taken the time to figure out the kind of habits you need in order to achieve significant success in any area of life – now is the best time to do so. 

As this year ripens into full maturity you need to make sure you end it bigger and better than it started. More importantly, you need to make sure the coming year is already primed for even greater growth and success.

How do you do this without driving yourself insane? How do you become extraordinary at whatever it is you desire to accomplish? What are the specific habits you can deploy today to become a high performer?

After three years of extensive data and research from dozens of countries, here are a few of the success producing habits now being backed by science:

1. Seek more clarity

This is a habit few ever consciously develop. No wonder overwhelm and confusion are considered normal. Start asking yourself high-quality questions on a daily basis enabling you to discern truth in your life. Approach your daily activities with greater intention and razor-sharp focus.

There are few things more powerful than a life lived with passionate clarity.” – Erwin McManus

2. Learn to generate energy

If you want to enjoy sustainable success and ever increasing prosperity, you can’t afford to be bogged down by fatigue, loss of enthusiasm and lethargy. When was the last time you went seven straight days feeling energized, enthusiastic and ready to crush it in your personal and professional life?

Mental, emotional, and physical energy is something you must deliberately and consciously learn to create and imbue into the world if you don’t want to burn out. This is how you’ll learn to cultivate and generate more positive emotions and interactions with other people as well as your daily activities.

3. Raise your standards and expectations

Setting the right expectations for your life and business is a must. Most people have big dreams but very low standards and even lower expectations for themselves. There’s a mindset shift that’s required here because your results will never outperform the standards you’ve set for yourself.

To be a high performing individual in your chosen field, you will have to make excellence your new norm. Brendon Burchard frames it differently, he teaches it as increasing your performance necessity levels. Why is this important?

Unless your brain and entire being perceive it as your normal standard, unleashing the leader within you and becoming your best self will feel more like forced labor which will not be sustainable.

Raise your standards to exceed your expectations.” – Cecily Morgan

4. Increase your productivity

Productivity is a hot topic with almost every motivational speaker. But do you really know what you need to do to increase your productivity? Or are you just running through the motions of listening to outside opinions trying to imitate what works for others, in the hopes that it’ll work for you too?

Every ambitious success seeker understands the importance of being productive. Few are actually able to do it effectively, consistently and toward meaningful work. As you learn to integrate the first three habits into your life, it will feel more natural and effortless to increase output and do work that matters.

If you want to crush it day in day out, week after week in your primary field of interest then it is time to learn effective strategies and tactics that align with your goals, your values and simultaneously make you more productive. Thanks to technology, this is not only possible, it’s doable.

While this isn’t the comprehensive list of habits that can make you “get the edge” in life and finally out-perform others in your space, you now have a solid starting ground for simple things you can start doing today to become a high performer.

Now I would love to hear from you, did any of these habits resonate with you? Do you have any suggestion of your own that has proven effective? Comment below!

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Life

3 Steps to Increasing Your Confidence for Good

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As an ambitious person on the road to success, you know first hand how challenging it is to achieve your lofty goals. Let’s be honest, the road to success is littered with potholes and unexpected curves.

You need a consistent feeling of confidence if you want to make it to the finish line and rise victoriously. That’s why in this article, you’re going to learn the most simple and effective 3-step sequence to help you increase your confidence for good.

1. Learn One Thing

As an informed reader here, we’re skipping past the part where we harp on the importance of taking action for building confidence. You already took action by reading this article with the desire to get better. Perhaps, you made the sales call, pressed publish on your new post, did the interview, or pitched your idea.

But now it’s time to immediately learn one thing from the action you just took. The second after you take action, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can learn from this, to ensure I get a better result next time?”

If you’ve read Gary Keller’s powerful book, The One Thing, you know success isn’t about trying to do a million things. It’s about doing one thing — exceptionally. Similarly, instead of trying to derive 86 lessons from that sales call you just finished, start learning simply the number one best thing you can.

Here in step one, you do so by asking yourself the aforementioned question. It works like magic. When you ask yourself a question, your brain outputs an answer. This only happens if you start this sequence immediately after you take action — regardless of the result.

Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.” – Gary Keller

2. Validate Yourself

In step two, take the time to validate yourself with positive self talk. Tell yourself, “Nice job. That took courage. Let’s keep going, baby. I’m going to do this. I’ve got this.” The key here is to speak to yourself positively and authentically. Speak to yourself the way a great mentor, coach, or friend would. Remember too, in this step, you are not pumping yourself up with empty affirmations or false hope.

You are validating yourself because you took action and you learned from that action. This deserves credit. By practicing the act of self validation here in step two, you train yourself to remain confident regardless of whether or not you achieved or came up short.

Validate yourself whether you land the client or fail to do so. Most don’t do this, it’s why they lack confidence. But you? You act, learn, then validate yourself, regardless of the external result. This trains you to feel good about yourself no matter what people say about you.

While most people crumble when they don’t get the results they desired, you feel confident even when you lose this battle. You know that the campaign is long, and, if you keep learning, you’ll get accomplish the goals you desire in the end.

3. Repeat the Action

Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it.” Carnegie said it best and it’s why step three is a simple call to action — to repeat the action you just took. By repeating the action as soon as possible, you don’t give yourself time to ruminate or overthink.

In step one, you learned one important, personalized nugget of wisdom that’ll help you perform better from now on. Then in step two, you validated yourself with positive self talk — reminding yourself that by continuing to take persistent action, success is inevitable.

Now? There’s nothing left to say. Without delay, it’s time to get back on the horse and take another crack at it! Your confidence continues to grow as you take more actions, learn more from those actions, and remind yourself that you’re a champ for taking all these actions!

“Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Think big, aim high, act bold. And see just how big you can blow up your life.” – Gary Keller

Why This 3-Step Sequence Increases Your Confidence for Good

By repeating this sequence, you gain important knowledge, continuously remind yourself of your positive traits, and most importantly — you desensitize yourself to any fears you once had.

You’re going to fall in love with this process of taking action. Whether that action for you is making sales calls, pitching your startup to investors, interviewing for competitive positions, or publishing new content online, the more you act using these 3-steps, the more confident you’ll become.

A key side benefit of using this sequence is you quickly enter a massive, perpetual state of action. This all but guarantees you increased real world results. These improved results become the cherry on top to your core confidence.

When you lack confidence, how do you find the confidence you need again? Let us know by commenting below!

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Life

3 Ingredients to Create the Life of Your Dreams

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how to create the life of your dreams

Let’s bake a cake! This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: one cup of Courage, two tablespoons of Initiative, and three teaspoons of Will. You can put the money, education, and physical attractiveness back in the refrigerator. They can help improve the taste or quality, but they are not required to bake this cake. The cake is a metaphor for the life of your dreams. If you want to create massive achievement in your life, you will need to obtain courage, initiative, and will.

The main ingredients of courage, initiative, and will are fundamental to long term-achievement. You need the courage to start. The initiative is necessary to think outside the box. Will is required to continue when it gets tough.

Whether we are talking about achieving long-term happiness via a personal relationship or individual experiences, the ingredients mentioned above can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the life of your dreams. You aren’t born with courage, initiative, or will. In fact, you are born with fear, reluctance, and other mechanisms designed to keep you safe. However, with an intentional mindset guided by positive optimism, these characteristics can be grown and cultivated in a garden of possibilities for your life!  

How can you acquire courage, initiative, and will? Check out my 3 tips below:

1. Travel or better yet move out of the country

Yes, I will give you a moment to reread the line above. My first recommendation is for you to travel or ideally move out of the country! Travel and undeniably relocating outside of the country you were born in, requires courage. You must be brave to face the unknown, and there is no better way to do this other than to get out of your comfortable home environment and see the world. The experiences with traveling or moving will automatically build the courage within you to reach toward the achievements that you desire in life.  

“Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.”

2. Learn a new language

Ideally, with the recommendation from number one, you will choose a location where a language other than your native tongue is spoken. With language acquisition, the learner must develop a spirit of initiative to do something that is not required. You can live your entire life and only communicate in one language, or you can expand your horizon and do something different. To become fluent in a new language will not be easy; the life of your dreams is worth the fight. The process of learning a language will attract the necessary skill set that accompanies initiative and ties in within my final recommendation.

3. Fail as often as possible

In traveling and undeniably with learning a new language, you will make mistakes. If you are not failing in the process of adjusting to a different culture, which will occur in traveling and language acquisition, you are doing something wrong! You must fail to adapt and ideally this will happen as frequent as possible. This does not mean that you look to fail. It does mean that you understand failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure builds your ability to develop the power of will. Possessing will can enable you to learn from your mistakes, improve, and keep pushing toward the achievements that can create the life of your dreams.  

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way

If you put courage, initiative, and will into the oven responsible for making your dreams become a reality, you will be successful. It will not be easy. Occasionally you will become frustrated and want to open the door and see what’s taking so long for the cake or the life you desire. However, just stay the course and allow courage, initiative, and will to blend and bring into fruition the life of your dreams.

What other ingredients would you add?  Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Is Fear of Failure Keeping You Stuck in a Lifeless Job? Here Are 5 Things to Do

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Are you stuck in a job that doesn’t fulfill you and you can’t seem to find a way out? Chances are that your fear of failure is holding you back. You constantly dream of change, but the dream is quickly replaced by worse case scenarios or self-doubt: What if you don’t find a better job? What if you don’t stand out in a competitive market? What will others think if it doesn’t work out?

At the end of this line of reasoning is the conviction that you’re not the only one who’s not satisfied, and that’s just how life goes. After all, bills won’t pay themselves, right? So you keep toiling away, increasing your level of self-dissatisfaction while quietly hoping that things will somehow improve on their own.

Fear becomes the self-imposed obstacle that prevents you from taking the steps that are necessary for the change(s) you long for. I can recall numerous times in my life where I gave in to my fears and compromised with my goals and desires to play it safe. I was stuck and my dream life and career felt so out of reach. The voice of my inner critic showed up every time I attempted change, to convince me I wasn’t ready and I didn’t have enough to shift.

So how do we overcome the fear of failure, so we can propel change? By removing the notion that change is a threat. Our ego thrives on fear. Its sole purpose is to keep us safe and protect us from taking risks. When we perceive a threat we activate the part of our brain called “amygdala” and we go into fight, flight or freeze mode.

Our simple survival mechanism limits our potential by overemphasizing the fear of failure. Fight or Flight takes hold, but growth does not. We survive, but we don’t thrive, and therein lies the problem. We crave meaningful work that doesn’t drain us, but fulfills us and makes us happy. So how do we take the leap? (more…)

Vanya Lazarova is a certified professional coach, specializing in helping people create their life's work by starting with purpose and authenticity. She loves writing, reading, psychology, philosophy, arts and all forms of self- expression. She co-founded a personal development podcast called "The Coaching Journal", where she offers thought provoking concepts to empower people intentionally design the life they want to have. You can find more about Vanya and the work she does on her website www.LiveAuthentic.net and at her podcast The Coaching Journal.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Wil Dieck

    Apr 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    First, I’d like to say, great tips McVal! While they are all excellent, I’ve found that the practice of gratefulness is not only the easiest, it gives me the biggest bang for my mindful buck. By being mindful of what we have – or being grateful – we allow space for more to enter, a wonderful added benefit. Again, McVal, thanks for the tips!

  2. Rachel

    Apr 5, 2017 at 4:53 am

    I like to do a mindfulness of the sounds around me, that is very easy to do anywhere. Also a mindfulness walk just purposely looking for anything which is usually insignificant in the immediate environment which has some beauty about it and bringing it to my awareness eg: sunlight hitting some shiny leaves, a green lawn, a cloud. One of the best ones I find is following the sound of a brass cymbol or tibetan bowl being tapped, follow the sound to the end with concentration and then listen to the sound that is there after the ringing ends. I like to do that 3 times.

  3. Summer "Glitter" Weirich

    Feb 25, 2017 at 2:27 am

    At the beginning of our team meetings for Rebel + Connect, the team does a quick 1 minute meditation, next we do a movement exercise to open up our mind to receive and then we do a “popcorn” of how we are feeling. We close with the “popcorn” and the movement exercise and typically we are all feeling much better at the end of our meetings even if they are unnecessarily long!

    I personally like to “meditate” with nature through snowboarding and also creatively by coloring in adult coloring books or doing other types of art.

    I also always make sure to tell friends and strangers how grateful I am for them and for their actions.

    As far as I’m concerned, love is the only way forward!

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

Life

Extraordinary Money Hacks So You Can Save For Your Dream.

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money small

I’ve had several times in my life with almost no money. During these times, I learned a few money hacks. It’s cool how having no money can actually teach you so much.

It’s not about being a tight ass either. Money is about understanding what business does to take money out of your pocket and it’s also a journey in understanding temptation.

 

Why save money?

Saving money is how you fund your dream. No matter what you want to achieve, you need to have some money put aside to make it happen. Having a small amount of money saved can do the following:

1. Help you deal with emergencies
2. Give you surplus cash to put towards your dream
3. Make you less stressed
4. Allow you to take a break

Here are the money hacks I’ve learned from going through hard times:

 

Rethink subscriptions.

Recurring revenue is the best source of income for your business. On the flipside, subscriptions will make you broke. The whole subscription model is designed to take advantage of you being lazy. Most of the subscriptions you have, you don’t need.

I find that one time purchases for things I don’t use a lot is actually better. Make a note of all of your subscriptions and then cull as many as you can.

 

Books instead of Netflix and movies.

Netflix and movies can use up your capital and they generally give you nothing. Replace these two media forms for books. Books are cheaper in the long run and if you focus on reading biographies and books that provide real strategies, you’ll become smarter too.

 

Go to the supermarket instead of the shopping mall.

Walking into a giant shopping center with all of your favorite brands is a disaster. You’re guaranteed to buy stuff you don’t need and temptation is likely to take over. The only shopping you have to do every week is your grocery shopping.

Visit the supermarket that’s not in a shopping mall and then you’ll be focused on buying things to fill your stomach, instead of your wardrobe.

 

People won’t remember what you’re wearing.

There’s this myth that we have to wear something new all of the time. The harsh reality is that most people won’t remember what you’re wearing anyway because they’re so focused on their own appearance and problems.

None of us need as many clothes as we have. Culling the size of your wardrobe will save you lots of money.

 

Buying petrol.

There are cheap times to get petrol and expensive times to get petrol. In my area, I find that every four weeks, petrol is cheaper than the other weeks. So, being smart about when you fill up can save you lots of money. Obviously, aim for the times when petrol is low.

 

Going out to restaurants.

Those of us who have worked in restaurants know that most of the profit is made on drinks, not the food. Most of the drinks you buy when you’re out for dinner are not good for you. The only real liquid you need is water. So, when going to restaurants, skip the drinks and focus on the food.

 

Getting around.

Driving everywhere is expensive. Try sharing an Uber with friends or taking public transport.

Parking is expensive and most of the time the car takes longer.

Use the frequent car trips you make to have someone else do the driving and then download some podcasts so you can educate yourself.

 

Car servicing.

This whole industry is a bit of a scam. The idea is to make you think that everything needs to be consistently maintained and replaced otherwise you’ll end up lost in the desert with no way home, and you may even die of starvation.

The only two things you must do on a car every year is changing the oil and the oil filter. Watch some Youtube videos on when to change your tires and brakes because most mechanic shops will tell you that you need to change them when you don’t.

 

Credit cards.

They’re evil. You don’t need the reward points and the benefits of not having one are far greater. Get a debit card instead. Credit cards give you a false sense of your true financial position. You will mess up. That’s how the credit card game is designed.

 

Book holidays in advance.

We all need to take a break at least a few times a year. The cheapest way to do this is to book in advance. Plan when your holidays are going to be and then book them, so you get more choice, and more chances to spot a deal.

I’ve recently used Airbnb a lot more and that’s halved my accommodation costs. The only challenge with the platform is that the good properties sell out early so you must book in advance.

Also, consider whether you are going to stay local or go overseas. In my country, it’s cheaper to go overseas than it is to travel within Australia.

 


Don’t join mailing lists for deals.

An IT guy told me the other day to sign up for all of the retailers mailing lists because then I will see more deals. This is the worst advice ever! These mailing lists will make you develop a habit of making impulse purchases and looking for things you don’t need.

“You don’t need access to more deals; what you need is to spend less and avoid temptation”

 

Let loose one day a month.

If you’re a scrooge every day of the week, you’ll get tired of it and eventually quit. The best way to be good with money is to have one day a month where you can let loose a bit and indulge on one or two things. Just don’t undo all of your hard work by going out of control.

 

Donate or volunteer.

Puts your BS money problems into perspective. The best way I’ve found to save money towards my dream is to meet people who have nothing.

“Once you put your finances into perspective by being around the homeless and people that are going through terrible tragedies, you’ll know why you are saving in the first place”

More importantly, being exposed to people in rough places will make you want to give some money away. This charitable act will make you a better person which is far more important than how much money you have.

 


***Final Thought***

So that’s what I did folks when I had no money. That’s how I saved money towards my dream which I’m now living.

Be smarter with your money.
Save for your dream.
Be a good human and give money or time to people who need your help.

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

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Life

4 Scientifically Proven Habits That Will Give You the Edge You Need

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For me, outstanding success and prosperity that remains stable in a fast-evolving world is the only kind of success I care about. Not enough success gurus and motivational coaches are good at sharing principles and practices that can actually help anyone anywhere achieve long-term success.

Due to the fact that most people are only interested in “quick fixes,” the marketplace, especially in personal and professional growth, has focused on selling the idea of magic bullets and instant productivity spells aimed at luring you into whatever product they want you to buy.

However, there are those who seem to be focused on the long game, the grand vision. I spent a significant amount of time and money several years ago learning from one of the world’s leading high-performance coach, Brendon Burchard.

At a time when the highway to online success seemed grim and too advanced for me to tackle on my own, Brendon Burchard’s weekly mentoring, encouragement and training on how to speak my voice regardless of my past played a major role in the birth of my business. 

In fact, to a great extent, his ideas still continue to positively impact my life which is why the scientifically based research he revealed on habits helping shape world-class individuals resonates with me tremendously. 

If you haven’t taken the time to figure out the kind of habits you need in order to achieve significant success in any area of life – now is the best time to do so. 

As this year ripens into full maturity you need to make sure you end it bigger and better than it started. More importantly, you need to make sure the coming year is already primed for even greater growth and success.

How do you do this without driving yourself insane? How do you become extraordinary at whatever it is you desire to accomplish? What are the specific habits you can deploy today to become a high performer?

After three years of extensive data and research from dozens of countries, here are a few of the success producing habits now being backed by science:

1. Seek more clarity

This is a habit few ever consciously develop. No wonder overwhelm and confusion are considered normal. Start asking yourself high-quality questions on a daily basis enabling you to discern truth in your life. Approach your daily activities with greater intention and razor-sharp focus.

There are few things more powerful than a life lived with passionate clarity.” – Erwin McManus

2. Learn to generate energy

If you want to enjoy sustainable success and ever increasing prosperity, you can’t afford to be bogged down by fatigue, loss of enthusiasm and lethargy. When was the last time you went seven straight days feeling energized, enthusiastic and ready to crush it in your personal and professional life?

Mental, emotional, and physical energy is something you must deliberately and consciously learn to create and imbue into the world if you don’t want to burn out. This is how you’ll learn to cultivate and generate more positive emotions and interactions with other people as well as your daily activities.

3. Raise your standards and expectations

Setting the right expectations for your life and business is a must. Most people have big dreams but very low standards and even lower expectations for themselves. There’s a mindset shift that’s required here because your results will never outperform the standards you’ve set for yourself.

To be a high performing individual in your chosen field, you will have to make excellence your new norm. Brendon Burchard frames it differently, he teaches it as increasing your performance necessity levels. Why is this important?

Unless your brain and entire being perceive it as your normal standard, unleashing the leader within you and becoming your best self will feel more like forced labor which will not be sustainable.

Raise your standards to exceed your expectations.” – Cecily Morgan

4. Increase your productivity

Productivity is a hot topic with almost every motivational speaker. But do you really know what you need to do to increase your productivity? Or are you just running through the motions of listening to outside opinions trying to imitate what works for others, in the hopes that it’ll work for you too?

Every ambitious success seeker understands the importance of being productive. Few are actually able to do it effectively, consistently and toward meaningful work. As you learn to integrate the first three habits into your life, it will feel more natural and effortless to increase output and do work that matters.

If you want to crush it day in day out, week after week in your primary field of interest then it is time to learn effective strategies and tactics that align with your goals, your values and simultaneously make you more productive. Thanks to technology, this is not only possible, it’s doable.

While this isn’t the comprehensive list of habits that can make you “get the edge” in life and finally out-perform others in your space, you now have a solid starting ground for simple things you can start doing today to become a high performer.

Now I would love to hear from you, did any of these habits resonate with you? Do you have any suggestion of your own that has proven effective? Comment below!

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3 Steps to Increasing Your Confidence for Good

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As an ambitious person on the road to success, you know first hand how challenging it is to achieve your lofty goals. Let’s be honest, the road to success is littered with potholes and unexpected curves.

You need a consistent feeling of confidence if you want to make it to the finish line and rise victoriously. That’s why in this article, you’re going to learn the most simple and effective 3-step sequence to help you increase your confidence for good.

1. Learn One Thing

As an informed reader here, we’re skipping past the part where we harp on the importance of taking action for building confidence. You already took action by reading this article with the desire to get better. Perhaps, you made the sales call, pressed publish on your new post, did the interview, or pitched your idea.

But now it’s time to immediately learn one thing from the action you just took. The second after you take action, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can learn from this, to ensure I get a better result next time?”

If you’ve read Gary Keller’s powerful book, The One Thing, you know success isn’t about trying to do a million things. It’s about doing one thing — exceptionally. Similarly, instead of trying to derive 86 lessons from that sales call you just finished, start learning simply the number one best thing you can.

Here in step one, you do so by asking yourself the aforementioned question. It works like magic. When you ask yourself a question, your brain outputs an answer. This only happens if you start this sequence immediately after you take action — regardless of the result.

Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.” – Gary Keller

2. Validate Yourself

In step two, take the time to validate yourself with positive self talk. Tell yourself, “Nice job. That took courage. Let’s keep going, baby. I’m going to do this. I’ve got this.” The key here is to speak to yourself positively and authentically. Speak to yourself the way a great mentor, coach, or friend would. Remember too, in this step, you are not pumping yourself up with empty affirmations or false hope.

You are validating yourself because you took action and you learned from that action. This deserves credit. By practicing the act of self validation here in step two, you train yourself to remain confident regardless of whether or not you achieved or came up short.

Validate yourself whether you land the client or fail to do so. Most don’t do this, it’s why they lack confidence. But you? You act, learn, then validate yourself, regardless of the external result. This trains you to feel good about yourself no matter what people say about you.

While most people crumble when they don’t get the results they desired, you feel confident even when you lose this battle. You know that the campaign is long, and, if you keep learning, you’ll get accomplish the goals you desire in the end.

3. Repeat the Action

Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it.” Carnegie said it best and it’s why step three is a simple call to action — to repeat the action you just took. By repeating the action as soon as possible, you don’t give yourself time to ruminate or overthink.

In step one, you learned one important, personalized nugget of wisdom that’ll help you perform better from now on. Then in step two, you validated yourself with positive self talk — reminding yourself that by continuing to take persistent action, success is inevitable.

Now? There’s nothing left to say. Without delay, it’s time to get back on the horse and take another crack at it! Your confidence continues to grow as you take more actions, learn more from those actions, and remind yourself that you’re a champ for taking all these actions!

“Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Think big, aim high, act bold. And see just how big you can blow up your life.” – Gary Keller

Why This 3-Step Sequence Increases Your Confidence for Good

By repeating this sequence, you gain important knowledge, continuously remind yourself of your positive traits, and most importantly — you desensitize yourself to any fears you once had.

You’re going to fall in love with this process of taking action. Whether that action for you is making sales calls, pitching your startup to investors, interviewing for competitive positions, or publishing new content online, the more you act using these 3-steps, the more confident you’ll become.

A key side benefit of using this sequence is you quickly enter a massive, perpetual state of action. This all but guarantees you increased real world results. These improved results become the cherry on top to your core confidence.

When you lack confidence, how do you find the confidence you need again? Let us know by commenting below!

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3 Ingredients to Create the Life of Your Dreams

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Let’s bake a cake! This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: one cup of Courage, two tablespoons of Initiative, and three teaspoons of Will. You can put the money, education, and physical attractiveness back in the refrigerator. They can help improve the taste or quality, but they are not required to bake this cake. The cake is a metaphor for the life of your dreams. If you want to create massive achievement in your life, you will need to obtain courage, initiative, and will.

The main ingredients of courage, initiative, and will are fundamental to long term-achievement. You need the courage to start. The initiative is necessary to think outside the box. Will is required to continue when it gets tough.

Whether we are talking about achieving long-term happiness via a personal relationship or individual experiences, the ingredients mentioned above can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the life of your dreams. You aren’t born with courage, initiative, or will. In fact, you are born with fear, reluctance, and other mechanisms designed to keep you safe. However, with an intentional mindset guided by positive optimism, these characteristics can be grown and cultivated in a garden of possibilities for your life!  

How can you acquire courage, initiative, and will? Check out my 3 tips below:

1. Travel or better yet move out of the country

Yes, I will give you a moment to reread the line above. My first recommendation is for you to travel or ideally move out of the country! Travel and undeniably relocating outside of the country you were born in, requires courage. You must be brave to face the unknown, and there is no better way to do this other than to get out of your comfortable home environment and see the world. The experiences with traveling or moving will automatically build the courage within you to reach toward the achievements that you desire in life.  

“Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.”

2. Learn a new language

Ideally, with the recommendation from number one, you will choose a location where a language other than your native tongue is spoken. With language acquisition, the learner must develop a spirit of initiative to do something that is not required. You can live your entire life and only communicate in one language, or you can expand your horizon and do something different. To become fluent in a new language will not be easy; the life of your dreams is worth the fight. The process of learning a language will attract the necessary skill set that accompanies initiative and ties in within my final recommendation.

3. Fail as often as possible

In traveling and undeniably with learning a new language, you will make mistakes. If you are not failing in the process of adjusting to a different culture, which will occur in traveling and language acquisition, you are doing something wrong! You must fail to adapt and ideally this will happen as frequent as possible. This does not mean that you look to fail. It does mean that you understand failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure builds your ability to develop the power of will. Possessing will can enable you to learn from your mistakes, improve, and keep pushing toward the achievements that can create the life of your dreams.  

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way

If you put courage, initiative, and will into the oven responsible for making your dreams become a reality, you will be successful. It will not be easy. Occasionally you will become frustrated and want to open the door and see what’s taking so long for the cake or the life you desire. However, just stay the course and allow courage, initiative, and will to blend and bring into fruition the life of your dreams.

What other ingredients would you add?  Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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