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5 Ways to Tap Into Your Intuitive Wisdom as You Design a Successful Life

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Success, true success, can only be experienced when you are living life based on your particular design. The best way to know and design a life based on this is to be in constant connection with the wisdom present within you. Wisdom that goes beyond yourself and that, very possibly, put you together originally. People call it different names and intuition is a great way to describe it.

As a spiritual person, you know the power of the intuition. Being able to live from a place of wisdom beyond yourself allows you to find solutions that surprise and delight. These solutions also give you a sense of quiet power as well as you know you are never alone and always completely guided.

For me, intuition changed my life. It took me from working my pharmacist job with no hope for a respite to being a business owner and spiritual teacher living a purpose-driven life.

Here are 5 ideas for you to support your journey to living a more intuitive life:

1. Daily Practice

There can sometime be the assumption that unless something comes to one naturally, then it is not theirs to develop. That is nonsense. Most, if not all, good habits have to be developed. A consistent practice is needed, if you are to experience the benefits of a new skill.

Success is a habit. Each morning, I wake up earlier than my household (Usually 4am) and I sit in silence. I connect with source. I seek guidance for the day ahead. This is a habit I’ve developed.

Each day, the things you make time for are designing or destroying your life. Could you find an extra 20 minutes each day to practice quieting yourself down and connecting with the wisdom within you? Be consistent with the timing each day for long enough to build a habit. Some say 21 days, others say 40 days. For this habit, I would suggest that you make a decision to do it daily and at some point, it becomes a normal and natural part of your life whatever else is going on.

“At any moment, the decision you make can change the course of your life for the better.” – Tony Robbins

2. Quiet Yourself

We live in a very busy world – There is always something happening around you. Always some stimulation to distract you. You have to consciously choose to create space to be quiet. As mentioned earlier, you want to take 20 minutes or so a day to develop a practice and in that time, learn to still your thinking as much as possible, learn to tune into flow.

I use breathing and sometimes, candles to do this. I sit in silence staring at a candle and allowing intuitive flashes to come through or I simply pay attention to my breathing until I feel a stillness come over me. Any errant thoughts that try desperately to get my attention, are written in my journal with the intention of dealing with them later. This calms me down as the thoughts feel as though they are being acknowledged.

3. Suspend Judgement & Disbelief

As you begin working your intuition muscle, you will wonder if you are just talking to yourself or if you are making things up. In the session, refuse to humour that thinking. Instead, make a note of what you are feeling, seeing and hearing. You can have an intuition buddy and you can run things by them after the session to see what they intuitively feel but while you are choosing to tap into source within, suspend all judgement and allow what comes through to come through. It is a very tentative thing to sense your intuition and if you keep rejecting what tries to come through you, the flow will feel stuck.

“Failure is not a single cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement repeated every day.” – Jim Rohn

4. Come with Intent

This is something I teach clients because having a question you are seeking an answer to, can help with the calming of the mind. Sometimes, the intention is simply to develop my relationship with the source and so my intent is to listen. I generally then start with ‘Please speak to me’. Other times, there is something I specifically want to know the answer to and so I lead with that question. Having an intention keeps you focused.

5. No Desperation

Unfortunately, if you are too desperate about getting a specific answer, you will find it hard to still your mind. It is best to be in an open and receptive mood. How can you do that when you are actually desperate for an answer?  

Something I would do then, is to let calmness be my intention. I would seek guidance on how to still myself and reduce the feeling of desperation which also then has the effect of allowing me to think more clearly anyway. The other thing I do is write out my vision and goals first and keep my mind on those. If you focus on the need, you remain in the need and you remain reactive to the need. If you focus on the vision and the goal, then you become creator which is your true nature anyway.

Which of these 5 things will you implement today?

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Rosemary Nonny Knight used to be a pharmacist but replaced her income in her own business and now works as a Spiritual Business & Life Strategist coaching people to live the deliberate life - A life of abundance, fulfilment and freedom. Download a free copy of her book - Pray. Affirm. Receive - How to get clear, stay clear and take action to get what you want out of life - RosemaryNonnyKnight.com/freeguest.

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Life

4 Science-Backed Tips That Will Improve Your Social Life

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How to improve your social life

No one can deny being socially skilled is one of the most crucial traits one can ever have. As Dale Carnegie once noticed, more than 80% of your success is due to your character and people skills. Your ability to lead people and convince them with your ideas will always remain important.

Here are four science-backed tips which will improve your social life regardless of your social background:

1. Make People Open Up with The CCA Technique

Do you want to always have something to say and never worry about awkward silence? Author and Speech Pathologist, Carol A. Fleming has an interesting technique she uses to break the ice. She calls it, “Comment, Comment, then Ask.” Fleming realized that if you want to ask someone a personal question, it is less creepy and more comfortable to throw in a couple of comments in order to justify your request for information.

For instance, if you are in a convention and want to ask a stranger what brought them here, you can get a good response if you phrase it like this, “They certainly have a lot of booths set up. There were not nearly as many people last year. Have you been to this convention many times before? If you’ve noticed, this request consists of three pieces:

  1. The first comment: They certainly have a lot of booths set up.
  2. The second Comment: There were not nearly as many people last year.
  3. The final question: Have you been to this convention many times before?  

I`ve been using this technique for years, and it’s amazing, especially when I’m with strangers and don’t know what to say. To be good at this, use it on everything you see, from the stuff in your room to what you watch on T.V. Practice for two weeks straight, and I guarantee you’ll amaze yourself.

“To be interesting, be interested.” – Dale Carnegie

2. The Snowball Technique: Do What Athletes Do

The Snowball Technique is very simple. Anytime you have an important meeting make sure you first warm up your social skills by talking, smiling or even saying hi to 10 or 20 people.

Conversations are more like sports, you can’t play well until you warm up. People who have excellent social skills goof around with others the moment they leave home. They greet neighbors, wink at toddlers and have small talk with anyone they can talk to, so they`re already at their peak when it’s time for important meetings, dates or hangouts.

The next time you feel anxious, don’t blame or judge yourself, just remember to warm up and slowly build your confidence by talking to 10 or 15 easy targets. Eventually, your snowball will grow, words will come naturally, you will smile more, and begin to feel more confident.

3. Point Out Similarities

According to studies, people will like you more if you let them know how similar you are to them. Social psychologists Elaine Walster and Ellen Berscheid, believe people make friendships based on their shared interests. In other words, we like to be around those who agree with us because their similarities make us feel less alone and their predictability makes us feel more in control.

Behavioral investigator and bestselling author, Vanessa Van Edwards, shares the same beliefs. She believes that people magnets use every opportunity to highlight the common grounds they share with others.  A magnet will say things like, “Wow, you like Orange Is the New Black? I’m an addict,” or ”You’re gluten-free? Join the club.”

Whereas a people repeller will shut others down with stuff like “You know, I never really got into Orange Is the New Black. I thought it was kinda boring.” Or “You’re one of those gluten-free people? Don’t you think that’s a fad?”

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

4. Observe and Imitate

The easiest and fastest way to learn social skills is to hang around those whose social skills are better than yours. As studies have found, you will soon pick up some of those skills and your performance will improve without consuming your reservoir of willpower and mental energy.

Entrepreneur and bestselling author, Scott Adams used this technique to build his social skills. He noticed that outgoing kids usually come from outgoing families not because they have specific genes but because they mimic their older peers. If you do the same thing and find yourself some role models, then you will become like them without even knowing.

What are some things you do to help improve your social life? Comment below!

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6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

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New Year resolutions are often wishful thinking. Being your best self is not something to be ticked off a checklist,  it is part of a never-ending continuum of learning and self-discovery.

What we think of as “self” is really a story we have strung together over time. What makes this an incredible masterpiece, is that given you created the story of who you are, you have the power to change it.

Being precisely who you are at your highest level is your greatest gift to the people around you, to magnetizing the things you want most in your life and a powerful contributor to this world.

Here are the 6 stepping stones towards your greatest self:

1. Letting go of negativity

Negativity can hold us back from many things in life. An attitude of ‘I have the worst luck’ or “nothing ever goes my way” infects the mind. Your perception creates your reality. When you invest all your energy in to what you don’t want, your brain conducts a transderivational search and conspires to provide the very thing you don’t want.

A few tips to let go of negativity:

  • Give yourself a window to complain for five minutes, once a day and then bolt that window shut. Time yourself or partner with a close friend to allow the complaining, moaning and whining to occur for 6 minutes only. Then stop it.
  • When you practice gratitude, nothing else exists in that moment. Your brain cannot immerse itself in fear and be grateful at the same time. Try it on. Invest in a journal and start with writing one thing down in the morning and before you go to bed, identifying what you are grateful for. What you focus on, is what you get.
  • Self-reflection. Negativity stems from a place of unhappiness. Adopt curious questioning to unveil what is triggering your responses, what you would like to change. Edit the story to how you can improve to live a happier existence.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

2. Kindness costs nothing

Kindness is the easiest thing you can do to become a better person. Every person has their challenges in life and it can take a random act of kindness to impact another human being in a single moment. The simplest of things, holding the door open, smiling at a person walking down the street or asking someone at work if you could make them a coffee. Priceless.

3. What do you stand for?

Unveiling who you are and the values that underpin how you want to live, illuminate the pathway to becoming the best you. Values are the emotional states that you wish to experience every day. When you get clear on your code, decision making become effortless. Living your code, creates the person you are becoming.

4. Kicking self-doubt in the balls

Doubts, fears and accusations echo through. When your inner critic is amplified, it’s time to kick self-doubt in the balls, really hard. Remind yourself of all the things that you have achieved, the incredible people around you, the times that made you smile and the moments you felt alive. As long as you exist, there is potential within you to exceed every expectation, to upgrade your standards and step into your best self.

5. Investing in You

Whether you spend time reading, pursuing a workshop or walking along the beach, investing in you is the greatest gift. Detaching from the outcome and enjoying the moment can be unfamiliar however the more time you invest in discovering who you are, the masks you need to remove, and learn to dance with your fears, the more confidence you gain in becoming the best version of you.

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

6. Ikigai – your reason for being

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai, although not everyone has yet understood, discovered or developed it.  To find it, it often requires deep enquiry of self. Ikigai literally translates “the reason for being”. It is often used to describe a healthy passion for something that makes you feel as though life is worth living to the fullest.

An intense internal desire to carry out a personal mission that you have a magnetic connection to. When we manifest whatever is pulling at you, you experience an intense internal satisfaction. You create a feeling of being fulfilled and adding new layers of meaning to your life.

Some questions to ignite your ikigai.

  • What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive?
  • Identify what you are great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What do you excel at even when you aren’t trying? What does the world need and how you can deliver?
  • What cause do you believe in? What change would you love most to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What service, value or offering do you bring that adds value to others and people would pay for?

Reflect on how these elements relate to each other and ask yourself, what is one thing you could do today that would be an expression of your ikigai? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How To Be Happier And More Focused Using The Art Of Tidying Up: 34 Lessons From My Huge Tidy Up.

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Last week I spent two days throwing out more than 50% of my personal belongings.

What started this tidying up frenzy that caused me to throw out so much of my life’s possessions? It was a book that I read. In fact, I’ve read several books recently about why we should clean up our material possessions.

The results I experienced were phenomenal. By the end of this blog post, you’ll definitely want to do the same to replicate the results I got from this simple process.

Here are the 34 lessons from my huge tidy up which will inspire you to do the same:

 

1. Your mindset changes when you tidy up in one shot rather than bit by bit.

I’ve tried to tidy up for the last five years. It never fully happened. The reason was that I attempted to do this mammoth task in small chunks. As I tidied up one space or one category of belongings, I’d end up collecting more junk in the meantime.

“Seeing your home and workspace completely junk-free changes your mindset permanently”

I never want to go back to the old me because the tidy person I’ve now become is so much more organized, calm and in control. I now know what I value and what I don’t.

Once you’ve experienced this feeling, you’ll never go back. It’s only possible to get this feeling though by doing your big clean up in one shot without stopping.

Tidying up has changed my life and it can dramatically change yours too.

 

2. Discard first and organize second.

My huge tidy up followed the KonMari method. Basically, all you do is concentrate on discarding items that don’t bring you joy first and then the possessions you have left then need to be sorted. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Every other tidying up method I’ve tried previously has resulted in one big chaotic event that I never fully completed. Try this method and I promise you it will work.

 

3. Tidying up sentimental items forces you to let go of the past.

The first part of my clean-up was discarding clothing. Once I got to the sentimental items – these items are best to do last because they’re the hardest – I found that discarding sentimental items helped me to deal with elements of my past which I’d previously ignored.

I had old business cards from failed businesses that still haunted me, cards from ex-girlfriends, sad possessions that belonged to dead relatives, belongings that were part of my old passions like Djing and Playing the drums, and even items that I’d held onto from past careers.

As I discarded with these items, I finalized past chapters of my life that weren’t fully closed. This made me feel completely free and it’s created space for the future.

“We all suffer from the past and having a big tidy up is a great way to deal with it and bring a newfound joy to your life”

 

4. The stuff you throw away has already fulfilled its purpose.

The items you throw away have taught you what you don’t love and the things you want to spend less time with. The items you throw away teach you what no longer inspires you and the hobbies you no longer want to engage with.

Every item you throw away has taught you something. Some possessions have already given you all the joy they have to give you and so their time in your life has passed. Other possessions have taught you a lesson and so now they can move on to somebody else’s life too.

Going through my possessions taught me how so many of the things I had held onto had already fulfilled their purpose. It’s like I was expecting these throwaway items to give me multiple miracle gifts rather than be happy and grateful for the ones they’d already given me.

“I learned that the possessions I cherished were invisible because of all the things I held onto which didn’t serve me”

Everything has an expiry date including you. Don’t hold onto stuff forever. Set yourself free.

 

5. Tidying requires two decisions.

Whether or not to dispose of something and where to put the things you keep. It’s really that simple. Don’t overcomplicate it any more than that.

 

6. Being perfectly tidy once is enough to create sustained momentum.

You’ll never go back to your old untidy ways once you’ve lived in a perfectly clean and clutter-free space. It’s addictive and I want all of you to witness this for yourselves.

 

7. Better storage is not the answer.

Just because something has been put away, it does not mean that the clutter has been removed. Buying convenient storage solutions makes you think your clutter has gone. It hasn’t. Tidying up allows you to see everything you own and that in itself is very valuable.

Hiding objects in magic lock away storage solutions results in you probably never actually using that item. I had lots of possessions stored in boxes and the reality is that I’ve never opened those boxes in the last ten years. Possessions that bring you joy should be easy to access so you can reap the benefits.

Possessions that no longer bring you joy should be discarded so that maybe someone else can get some use out of what you discard. Unfortunately, you can’t take your material possessions to the grave with you, so you need to learn to let go, and tidy up!

 

8. Tidying by location doesn’t work. Tidying by category does.

You need to be able to see everything you have of a particular item like clothes.

When I went through this process I realized I had batteries stored in every room, I had three torches, loose change everywhere and a mountain of computer cables that I was never going to use – and that looked very untidy.

Once you can do a proper stocktake of what you have, you’ll find the process of discarding much easier. This step is fundamental to the tidying up process being effective.

 

9. All tidying begins with this question.

Does this item bring me joy? It’s the only question you need to ask. If you keep what brings you joy, you’ll experience more joy in your life which is the ultimate goal I want all of you to achieve. Keeping only what sparks joy will help you to reset your life and begin a lifestyle that is phenomenal!

 

10. The second question is this: When did I last use this item?

The answer to this question when I did my big tidy up was typically more than five years ago. If you haven’t used something for the last twelve months, then there’s a very strong chance you never will. It’s time to make a decision and discard items in this category.

 

11. It’s not about getting rid of stuff; it’s about cherishing what you have.

The sense of gratitude I got from my doing this tidy up made me love the items I held onto even more. Tidying up allows us to see just how lucky we are and it reminds us that it’s not about the possessions we have so much, but the feeling we get from them and the memories our stuff gives us.

We all need more gratitude. Tidying up is a fantastic way to be more grateful.

 

12. Calculating the amount of a category to hold onto.

In the category of clothes as an example, you might be wondering how you know when you have enough clothes. The lesson here is to hold onto the clothes that you enjoy and discard everything else. The clothes that bring you joy will equal the right amount in the end.

I know that doesn’t sound tangible but it really works. Trust me on this.

 

13. Your possessions affect your self-image.

If you’re holding onto old t-shirts with holes in them so you can wear them to bed, you’ll make yourself feel unattractive when you go to sleep at night. I found during my clean up that I was holding onto clothes that no longer fitted or reminded me of the person I used to be, and using these clothes as pyjamas I could wear to bed.

I found I was going to bed with a poor self-image that reminded me of who I used to be. Even the clothes you wear affect how you feel and your confidence. Bottom-line is to ditch possessions that don’t bring you joy.

 

14. Touch items before you throw them away.

Interacting with your possessions before you decide how they make you feel helps make the decision for you. I found that by touching shirts in my wardrobe, the feeling of the material and how they looked up close made my decision-making process easier.

 

15. Ask yourself “What purpose does this item serve?

I held onto many miscellaneous items that I found were useless when I asked myself this question. Having a bag full of safety pins is great but if I haven’t used one for more than ten years, then there’s a good chance I never will.

I held onto boxes of batteries too yet I don’t own any devices that require replaceable batteries anymore. The purpose of what you have is important to consider. Don’t overthink it though. You’ll know pretty quickly if an item has a purpose in your life.

If there’s any doubt, get rid of the item.

 

16. Charitable throwing away is key to letting go.

Throwing things away feels really horrible if you know that an item won’t get further use. That’s why, where possible, I gave my possessions away to charity. You win and people that have nothing win as well. Charitable throwing away is reinforcing the gift of giving and helping you to declutter as well.

 

17. eBay and giving to friends doesn’t work.

Why? Because it takes time and gives you an excuse to hold onto things. The best thing you can do sometimes is take things to the recycling center because if you don’t, you’ll never get rid of them. It will always be this conversation in your head: “Someday, I’ll sell it on eBay.”

You have better things to do with your time than listing every unwanted item you have online or trying to give things to friends.

“Once you’ve gone through the art of tidying up and refocused your life, you’ll have so many possessions to get rid of that listing your items for sale online will simply take up too much time that could be spent on income producing activities that outweigh the pocket change you’ll get for your unwanted items”

Think of it this way: the things you are getting rid of have already given you your monies worth. This simple reframe in your mind will allow you to let go. It will allow you to forgive yourself for buying useless stuff that you no longer use.

The other thing I found is that it’s surprisingly hard to give things away to your friends and you begin to feel bad because you end up cluttering up their homes.

 

18. Unused possessions teach you that you didn’t need them after all.

Again, these possessions have fulfilled their purpose so you can now let them go.

 

19. Discarding teaches you your true passions.

If you throw something away and deeply regret it, then you learn what you’re truly passionate away. Even if you buy the same item again, you’ve learned an important lesson which is worth the cost of throwing away the original item.

 

20. Your decision-making skills get better.

You end up being able to make decisions better when you learn to let go of your unwanted possessions. Your possessions are a reflection of your life and where you’ve been. Tidying up helps you to be satisfied with where you’ve come from and who’ve you’ve become.

Being forced to make a decision that is final and that you can’t come back from, is strangely satisfying and it will show up in other areas of your life down the track.

 

21. The moment you first encounter a book is the right time to read it.

If you didn’t read it when you bought it, you probably never will. This means the lessons the book could have taught you were not meant for you. Books are one of the biggest uses of space and many need to be thrown away so that you can be left with the books you’ll actually get value from.

There’s no better feeling than being surrounded by only books that you love and make you smile.

 

22. The best way to deal with loose paper.

Throw them all away because you’ll probably never read them. If you really think you need a bit of paper, take a photo of it with your phone and then throw it away. Loose paper looks really messy and makes you feel disorganized.

 

23. All empty boxes must go!

I am the biggest offender when it comes to keeping empty boxes. I kept every empty box, from every purchase I made in the last five years. The result is a home full of empty boxes. The space these boxes take up could be used for other things like renting out your spare room on Airbnb or having a quiet room to study in.

The reason I held onto empty boxes was that I thought when I eventually sold some items, they’d be worth more with their original box. In most cases, no one pays more for an item because it comes with the original box worth $1.

It’s perfectly fine to sell an item without a box. Create space by throwing away boxes.

 

24. And now onto those spare buttons you store.

I had a whole box of spare buttons from clothing I purchased. Guess what? I can’t sew and never hold onto a piece of clothing once the button falls off. Clothes that have buttons fall off are generally passed their expiry date. Chuck them out and don’t look back.

You’ll never match the correct button to the right piece of clothing 90% of the time anyway.

 

25. Tidying up can cause sickness. It’s part of the process.

After all of my tidying up, I became very ill. Part of the reason was because of all the dust my old, unused items spread in my living spaces from lack of use, and being disturbed from their existing storage locations.

As well as that, the process of letting go of most of your possessions is exhausting and it’s hard work on the body. Tidying up is like one big storm which is followed by carnage (sickness) and then calm at the end once you know you’re organized for life.

 

26. Storage solutions hide items you dislike from sight. Avoid them, they’re the enemy.

You can walk into a shopping mall and find lots of storage solutions to help you supposedly be tidier. Storage solutions are a trap. Storage solutions hide your possessions in complex places that make it even harder to know what you actually own, therefore increasing the chance that you have multiple items that serve the same purpose.

 

27. Round objects take up more room.

If there’s a square or rectangle option for things like furniture and laundry baskets, go for that. Round objects take up more space. Period.

 

28. Buying in bulk costs more.

Retailers promote the benefits of buying in bulk. I disagree. Buying in bulk forces you to do the following:

– Buy more than you need
– It doesn’t account for your tastes changing over time which leaves you with leftovers
– Waste your precious mental space because of the excess clutter that occupies your brain
– Forget the cost of storage which is more than the discount of buying in bulk
– Distract you from your true creativity which is enhanced through empty space

“Our homes are not commercial warehouses that are to be used for storage of widgets”

This whole concept forces us to behave like factory workers. Our homes are to be lived in and are supposed to spark joy and help us to relax after a long day.

 

29. Tidying up shows us what we love.

After a massive clean-up, you’ll learn more about yourself and the things you value. During my clean-up, I learned that I love the simplicity of certain items. I learned that I also love the color of an item and that affects whether I’ll retain it for the long-term. Having learned this about myself, I’ll now be much more careful about the colors of objects I buy in the future.

 

30. You’ll learn about your weaknesses.

I learned that I have trouble letting go of the past and now I can work on this weakness going forward. Up until my big tidy up, I would never have believed this fact to be true.

 

31. Letting go is how you add new things into your life.

By cleaning out the junk that was occupying space in my life, I’ve now made room for new things. Maybe I’ll take up a new hobby or surround myself with new people. At least I have space now to do so and I’d love you to experience this feeling of freedom for yourself.

 

32. You’ll learn why you can’t throw something away.

It’s because of two reasons according to the book I read: an attachment to the past or a fear of the future. I held onto old gym diaries out of a fear that one day in the future I would need to look at them again if I decided to start the gym once more.

I also held onto cards from ex-girlfriends because I was nostalgic and didn’t want to let go of these old memories which deep down I had no desire to indulge in any longer.

 

33. Putting your home in order puts your mind in order.

Your mind is partly a reflection of the physical world. A messy home results in a messy mind that can’t think straight, make decisions or allow space for new ideas. Your possessions say so much about you and are a hidden contributor to your overall success in life.

It’s time to clean your house and remove some possessions.

 

34. The result is being surrounded by things that make you happy.

Now that I have gone through this mammoth task of tidying up everything I own and decluttering, I’m now left sitting here and evaluating the whole process. The result has been quite surprising. I find myself sitting here and looking around at only things that make me happy.

Everything I’ve held onto feels like it has a purpose. The possessions I have left make me feel happy and the objects in my life that produced negative emotions are now gone. I would never have predicted that tidying up could be so life-changing.

Try it for yourself and let me know how you go.

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

2 Vital Keys to Having a True Breakthrough This Year

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Every person has a great deal of potential within them. However, the majority of people will never tap into that potential because something hinders them from getting it done whether that be a traumatic event that plagues their mind, or a negative mindset. This can be due to fear, insecurities, or of feelings of not deserving or not being good enough.

The list is literally endless because every person has different challenges in life. We are all different people, with different pasts, experiences, backgrounds, belief systems, but one commonality we all share: the pain of NOT DOING in our past.

If you’ve ever been to a conference for business, professional, or spiritual development, you know the feeling of getting fired up, motivated and inspired to go forward and DO! When you get home, the fire in your heart and mind is still burning. Nonetheless, this feeling tends to be short lived, as the reality of life sets in: bills, relationship problems, office issues, etc. and your fire begins to go out and you are back at square one… again.

There are some people that go to an event and then truly have a breakthrough in life. They explode in their business, family life, spiritual life, and health. The one thing that separates these people from the rest of us is their willingness to go deeper within themselves.

If you have attended an Anthony “Tony” Robbins motivational lecture, you know there are many reported success stories of people that he has inspired. Tony has stated in the past that individuals are able to “breakthrough” because they do not accept surface level BS; these successful people go deeper within themselves to determine the root cause of their issues or shortcomings. He also explained that by doing so, they would experience a true “breakthrough.”

If this year is going to truly be different for you, and you are going to see expansion and advancements in all parts of your life, you will need to go deeper.

Here are two important keys to help you have a breakthrough year:

1. Get Real With Yourself

Self-reflection is a powerful character building tool. However, when inspecting your life and who you are, you must go deep into this process. Don’t stay surface level and just think about what you need to improve on. Make the extra effort to think about the why of it all. Why are you weak in certain areas? Why do you seem to always fall short when doing certain tasks? Why do you dislike specific types of people and or places? Most importantly, why do you lack motivation in crucial aspects of your life?

When you start asking these types of profound questions and digging deeper, you are able to realize that there may be hidden reasons for your life constraints. Sometimes, pain in our past and heart-rending experiences of life are responsible for our weaknesses.

The challenge is to visit these places mentally and resolve root causes. Having these moments of reflection enables us to experience some very personal and self teachable moments. It is in these moments that true clarity will come and you will make decisions about where to go from here based on level headed logic rather than simply pure emotion.

Getting to know yourself better will help you in your personal and professional growth and help you to fast-track the breakthrough you desire.

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

2. Get Real with Others

Knowing yourself is vital, but knowing the people and the environment around you is also crucial. We’ve all heard the old saying, “hang around dogs with fleas and you’ll soon have fleas as well.” If you’re going to breakthrough this year, you better get to doing not only some self-reflection but also some social-reflection. Look around yourself and find out who and what is having a positive or negative impact on your life.

Are you exposed to people who are constantly complaining, talking bad about others, criticizing people, belittling others, and just outright being negative? If so, their negative viewpoints need to be either dismissed in your mind, and/or you should minimize the amount of time and attention that they take from you.

Tasks, habits, and extracurricular activities which provide no greater value for you should be reconsidered. Not that you shouldn’t have some down time and moments to recharge, but be careful about scrolling social media aimlessly and indulging in online window shopping. Such activities are not adding to your expansion or ascension up to the next level of life; rather they are wasting your time.

We have a total of 100% energy to give per day (a cellphone example). Just like the apps we have running in the background, they tend to drain us of our energy. Everything we take part in requires some percentage of energy investment from us. You must choose to dedicate energy to things and people that are part of your solution in helping you move the needle towards your goals. One simple question to ask yourself, and that all true leaders must ask themselves is: Does THIS propel me closer TOWARDS my goal or AWAY from it?

“Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

So, get real with the situation at hand: you either want to have a breakthrough year or you don’t. If you do, you should size-up your expectations, and key on these two important areas of your life: who you are on the inside, and the people and things around you that impact who you are.

What are you going to do this year to make sure you have the best year of your life! Comment below and share your goals.

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4 Science-Backed Tips That Will Improve Your Social Life

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How to improve your social life

No one can deny being socially skilled is one of the most crucial traits one can ever have. As Dale Carnegie once noticed, more than 80% of your success is due to your character and people skills. Your ability to lead people and convince them with your ideas will always remain important. (more…)

Marwan Jamal is a fitness and health blogger at healthline.com. He’s a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym, and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

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4 Science-Backed Tips That Will Improve Your Social Life

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How to improve your social life

No one can deny being socially skilled is one of the most crucial traits one can ever have. As Dale Carnegie once noticed, more than 80% of your success is due to your character and people skills. Your ability to lead people and convince them with your ideas will always remain important.

Here are four science-backed tips which will improve your social life regardless of your social background:

1. Make People Open Up with The CCA Technique

Do you want to always have something to say and never worry about awkward silence? Author and Speech Pathologist, Carol A. Fleming has an interesting technique she uses to break the ice. She calls it, “Comment, Comment, then Ask.” Fleming realized that if you want to ask someone a personal question, it is less creepy and more comfortable to throw in a couple of comments in order to justify your request for information.

For instance, if you are in a convention and want to ask a stranger what brought them here, you can get a good response if you phrase it like this, “They certainly have a lot of booths set up. There were not nearly as many people last year. Have you been to this convention many times before? If you’ve noticed, this request consists of three pieces:

  1. The first comment: They certainly have a lot of booths set up.
  2. The second Comment: There were not nearly as many people last year.
  3. The final question: Have you been to this convention many times before?  

I`ve been using this technique for years, and it’s amazing, especially when I’m with strangers and don’t know what to say. To be good at this, use it on everything you see, from the stuff in your room to what you watch on T.V. Practice for two weeks straight, and I guarantee you’ll amaze yourself.

“To be interesting, be interested.” – Dale Carnegie

2. The Snowball Technique: Do What Athletes Do

The Snowball Technique is very simple. Anytime you have an important meeting make sure you first warm up your social skills by talking, smiling or even saying hi to 10 or 20 people.

Conversations are more like sports, you can’t play well until you warm up. People who have excellent social skills goof around with others the moment they leave home. They greet neighbors, wink at toddlers and have small talk with anyone they can talk to, so they`re already at their peak when it’s time for important meetings, dates or hangouts.

The next time you feel anxious, don’t blame or judge yourself, just remember to warm up and slowly build your confidence by talking to 10 or 15 easy targets. Eventually, your snowball will grow, words will come naturally, you will smile more, and begin to feel more confident.

3. Point Out Similarities

According to studies, people will like you more if you let them know how similar you are to them. Social psychologists Elaine Walster and Ellen Berscheid, believe people make friendships based on their shared interests. In other words, we like to be around those who agree with us because their similarities make us feel less alone and their predictability makes us feel more in control.

Behavioral investigator and bestselling author, Vanessa Van Edwards, shares the same beliefs. She believes that people magnets use every opportunity to highlight the common grounds they share with others.  A magnet will say things like, “Wow, you like Orange Is the New Black? I’m an addict,” or ”You’re gluten-free? Join the club.”

Whereas a people repeller will shut others down with stuff like “You know, I never really got into Orange Is the New Black. I thought it was kinda boring.” Or “You’re one of those gluten-free people? Don’t you think that’s a fad?”

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

4. Observe and Imitate

The easiest and fastest way to learn social skills is to hang around those whose social skills are better than yours. As studies have found, you will soon pick up some of those skills and your performance will improve without consuming your reservoir of willpower and mental energy.

Entrepreneur and bestselling author, Scott Adams used this technique to build his social skills. He noticed that outgoing kids usually come from outgoing families not because they have specific genes but because they mimic their older peers. If you do the same thing and find yourself some role models, then you will become like them without even knowing.

What are some things you do to help improve your social life? Comment below!

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6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

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New Year resolutions are often wishful thinking. Being your best self is not something to be ticked off a checklist,  it is part of a never-ending continuum of learning and self-discovery.

What we think of as “self” is really a story we have strung together over time. What makes this an incredible masterpiece, is that given you created the story of who you are, you have the power to change it.

Being precisely who you are at your highest level is your greatest gift to the people around you, to magnetizing the things you want most in your life and a powerful contributor to this world.

Here are the 6 stepping stones towards your greatest self:

1. Letting go of negativity

Negativity can hold us back from many things in life. An attitude of ‘I have the worst luck’ or “nothing ever goes my way” infects the mind. Your perception creates your reality. When you invest all your energy in to what you don’t want, your brain conducts a transderivational search and conspires to provide the very thing you don’t want.

A few tips to let go of negativity:

  • Give yourself a window to complain for five minutes, once a day and then bolt that window shut. Time yourself or partner with a close friend to allow the complaining, moaning and whining to occur for 6 minutes only. Then stop it.
  • When you practice gratitude, nothing else exists in that moment. Your brain cannot immerse itself in fear and be grateful at the same time. Try it on. Invest in a journal and start with writing one thing down in the morning and before you go to bed, identifying what you are grateful for. What you focus on, is what you get.
  • Self-reflection. Negativity stems from a place of unhappiness. Adopt curious questioning to unveil what is triggering your responses, what you would like to change. Edit the story to how you can improve to live a happier existence.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

2. Kindness costs nothing

Kindness is the easiest thing you can do to become a better person. Every person has their challenges in life and it can take a random act of kindness to impact another human being in a single moment. The simplest of things, holding the door open, smiling at a person walking down the street or asking someone at work if you could make them a coffee. Priceless.

3. What do you stand for?

Unveiling who you are and the values that underpin how you want to live, illuminate the pathway to becoming the best you. Values are the emotional states that you wish to experience every day. When you get clear on your code, decision making become effortless. Living your code, creates the person you are becoming.

4. Kicking self-doubt in the balls

Doubts, fears and accusations echo through. When your inner critic is amplified, it’s time to kick self-doubt in the balls, really hard. Remind yourself of all the things that you have achieved, the incredible people around you, the times that made you smile and the moments you felt alive. As long as you exist, there is potential within you to exceed every expectation, to upgrade your standards and step into your best self.

5. Investing in You

Whether you spend time reading, pursuing a workshop or walking along the beach, investing in you is the greatest gift. Detaching from the outcome and enjoying the moment can be unfamiliar however the more time you invest in discovering who you are, the masks you need to remove, and learn to dance with your fears, the more confidence you gain in becoming the best version of you.

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

6. Ikigai – your reason for being

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai, although not everyone has yet understood, discovered or developed it.  To find it, it often requires deep enquiry of self. Ikigai literally translates “the reason for being”. It is often used to describe a healthy passion for something that makes you feel as though life is worth living to the fullest.

An intense internal desire to carry out a personal mission that you have a magnetic connection to. When we manifest whatever is pulling at you, you experience an intense internal satisfaction. You create a feeling of being fulfilled and adding new layers of meaning to your life.

Some questions to ignite your ikigai.

  • What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive?
  • Identify what you are great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What do you excel at even when you aren’t trying? What does the world need and how you can deliver?
  • What cause do you believe in? What change would you love most to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What service, value or offering do you bring that adds value to others and people would pay for?

Reflect on how these elements relate to each other and ask yourself, what is one thing you could do today that would be an expression of your ikigai? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How To Be Happier And More Focused Using The Art Of Tidying Up: 34 Lessons From My Huge Tidy Up.

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Last week I spent two days throwing out more than 50% of my personal belongings.

What started this tidying up frenzy that caused me to throw out so much of my life’s possessions? It was a book that I read. In fact, I’ve read several books recently about why we should clean up our material possessions.

The results I experienced were phenomenal. By the end of this blog post, you’ll definitely want to do the same to replicate the results I got from this simple process.

Here are the 34 lessons from my huge tidy up which will inspire you to do the same:

 

1. Your mindset changes when you tidy up in one shot rather than bit by bit.

I’ve tried to tidy up for the last five years. It never fully happened. The reason was that I attempted to do this mammoth task in small chunks. As I tidied up one space or one category of belongings, I’d end up collecting more junk in the meantime.

“Seeing your home and workspace completely junk-free changes your mindset permanently”

I never want to go back to the old me because the tidy person I’ve now become is so much more organized, calm and in control. I now know what I value and what I don’t.

Once you’ve experienced this feeling, you’ll never go back. It’s only possible to get this feeling though by doing your big clean up in one shot without stopping.

Tidying up has changed my life and it can dramatically change yours too.

 

2. Discard first and organize second.

My huge tidy up followed the KonMari method. Basically, all you do is concentrate on discarding items that don’t bring you joy first and then the possessions you have left then need to be sorted. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Every other tidying up method I’ve tried previously has resulted in one big chaotic event that I never fully completed. Try this method and I promise you it will work.

 

3. Tidying up sentimental items forces you to let go of the past.

The first part of my clean-up was discarding clothing. Once I got to the sentimental items – these items are best to do last because they’re the hardest – I found that discarding sentimental items helped me to deal with elements of my past which I’d previously ignored.

I had old business cards from failed businesses that still haunted me, cards from ex-girlfriends, sad possessions that belonged to dead relatives, belongings that were part of my old passions like Djing and Playing the drums, and even items that I’d held onto from past careers.

As I discarded with these items, I finalized past chapters of my life that weren’t fully closed. This made me feel completely free and it’s created space for the future.

“We all suffer from the past and having a big tidy up is a great way to deal with it and bring a newfound joy to your life”

 

4. The stuff you throw away has already fulfilled its purpose.

The items you throw away have taught you what you don’t love and the things you want to spend less time with. The items you throw away teach you what no longer inspires you and the hobbies you no longer want to engage with.

Every item you throw away has taught you something. Some possessions have already given you all the joy they have to give you and so their time in your life has passed. Other possessions have taught you a lesson and so now they can move on to somebody else’s life too.

Going through my possessions taught me how so many of the things I had held onto had already fulfilled their purpose. It’s like I was expecting these throwaway items to give me multiple miracle gifts rather than be happy and grateful for the ones they’d already given me.

“I learned that the possessions I cherished were invisible because of all the things I held onto which didn’t serve me”

Everything has an expiry date including you. Don’t hold onto stuff forever. Set yourself free.

 

5. Tidying requires two decisions.

Whether or not to dispose of something and where to put the things you keep. It’s really that simple. Don’t overcomplicate it any more than that.

 

6. Being perfectly tidy once is enough to create sustained momentum.

You’ll never go back to your old untidy ways once you’ve lived in a perfectly clean and clutter-free space. It’s addictive and I want all of you to witness this for yourselves.

 

7. Better storage is not the answer.

Just because something has been put away, it does not mean that the clutter has been removed. Buying convenient storage solutions makes you think your clutter has gone. It hasn’t. Tidying up allows you to see everything you own and that in itself is very valuable.

Hiding objects in magic lock away storage solutions results in you probably never actually using that item. I had lots of possessions stored in boxes and the reality is that I’ve never opened those boxes in the last ten years. Possessions that bring you joy should be easy to access so you can reap the benefits.

Possessions that no longer bring you joy should be discarded so that maybe someone else can get some use out of what you discard. Unfortunately, you can’t take your material possessions to the grave with you, so you need to learn to let go, and tidy up!

 

8. Tidying by location doesn’t work. Tidying by category does.

You need to be able to see everything you have of a particular item like clothes.

When I went through this process I realized I had batteries stored in every room, I had three torches, loose change everywhere and a mountain of computer cables that I was never going to use – and that looked very untidy.

Once you can do a proper stocktake of what you have, you’ll find the process of discarding much easier. This step is fundamental to the tidying up process being effective.

 

9. All tidying begins with this question.

Does this item bring me joy? It’s the only question you need to ask. If you keep what brings you joy, you’ll experience more joy in your life which is the ultimate goal I want all of you to achieve. Keeping only what sparks joy will help you to reset your life and begin a lifestyle that is phenomenal!

 

10. The second question is this: When did I last use this item?

The answer to this question when I did my big tidy up was typically more than five years ago. If you haven’t used something for the last twelve months, then there’s a very strong chance you never will. It’s time to make a decision and discard items in this category.

 

11. It’s not about getting rid of stuff; it’s about cherishing what you have.

The sense of gratitude I got from my doing this tidy up made me love the items I held onto even more. Tidying up allows us to see just how lucky we are and it reminds us that it’s not about the possessions we have so much, but the feeling we get from them and the memories our stuff gives us.

We all need more gratitude. Tidying up is a fantastic way to be more grateful.

 

12. Calculating the amount of a category to hold onto.

In the category of clothes as an example, you might be wondering how you know when you have enough clothes. The lesson here is to hold onto the clothes that you enjoy and discard everything else. The clothes that bring you joy will equal the right amount in the end.

I know that doesn’t sound tangible but it really works. Trust me on this.

 

13. Your possessions affect your self-image.

If you’re holding onto old t-shirts with holes in them so you can wear them to bed, you’ll make yourself feel unattractive when you go to sleep at night. I found during my clean up that I was holding onto clothes that no longer fitted or reminded me of the person I used to be, and using these clothes as pyjamas I could wear to bed.

I found I was going to bed with a poor self-image that reminded me of who I used to be. Even the clothes you wear affect how you feel and your confidence. Bottom-line is to ditch possessions that don’t bring you joy.

 

14. Touch items before you throw them away.

Interacting with your possessions before you decide how they make you feel helps make the decision for you. I found that by touching shirts in my wardrobe, the feeling of the material and how they looked up close made my decision-making process easier.

 

15. Ask yourself “What purpose does this item serve?

I held onto many miscellaneous items that I found were useless when I asked myself this question. Having a bag full of safety pins is great but if I haven’t used one for more than ten years, then there’s a good chance I never will.

I held onto boxes of batteries too yet I don’t own any devices that require replaceable batteries anymore. The purpose of what you have is important to consider. Don’t overthink it though. You’ll know pretty quickly if an item has a purpose in your life.

If there’s any doubt, get rid of the item.

 

16. Charitable throwing away is key to letting go.

Throwing things away feels really horrible if you know that an item won’t get further use. That’s why, where possible, I gave my possessions away to charity. You win and people that have nothing win as well. Charitable throwing away is reinforcing the gift of giving and helping you to declutter as well.

 

17. eBay and giving to friends doesn’t work.

Why? Because it takes time and gives you an excuse to hold onto things. The best thing you can do sometimes is take things to the recycling center because if you don’t, you’ll never get rid of them. It will always be this conversation in your head: “Someday, I’ll sell it on eBay.”

You have better things to do with your time than listing every unwanted item you have online or trying to give things to friends.

“Once you’ve gone through the art of tidying up and refocused your life, you’ll have so many possessions to get rid of that listing your items for sale online will simply take up too much time that could be spent on income producing activities that outweigh the pocket change you’ll get for your unwanted items”

Think of it this way: the things you are getting rid of have already given you your monies worth. This simple reframe in your mind will allow you to let go. It will allow you to forgive yourself for buying useless stuff that you no longer use.

The other thing I found is that it’s surprisingly hard to give things away to your friends and you begin to feel bad because you end up cluttering up their homes.

 

18. Unused possessions teach you that you didn’t need them after all.

Again, these possessions have fulfilled their purpose so you can now let them go.

 

19. Discarding teaches you your true passions.

If you throw something away and deeply regret it, then you learn what you’re truly passionate away. Even if you buy the same item again, you’ve learned an important lesson which is worth the cost of throwing away the original item.

 

20. Your decision-making skills get better.

You end up being able to make decisions better when you learn to let go of your unwanted possessions. Your possessions are a reflection of your life and where you’ve been. Tidying up helps you to be satisfied with where you’ve come from and who’ve you’ve become.

Being forced to make a decision that is final and that you can’t come back from, is strangely satisfying and it will show up in other areas of your life down the track.

 

21. The moment you first encounter a book is the right time to read it.

If you didn’t read it when you bought it, you probably never will. This means the lessons the book could have taught you were not meant for you. Books are one of the biggest uses of space and many need to be thrown away so that you can be left with the books you’ll actually get value from.

There’s no better feeling than being surrounded by only books that you love and make you smile.

 

22. The best way to deal with loose paper.

Throw them all away because you’ll probably never read them. If you really think you need a bit of paper, take a photo of it with your phone and then throw it away. Loose paper looks really messy and makes you feel disorganized.

 

23. All empty boxes must go!

I am the biggest offender when it comes to keeping empty boxes. I kept every empty box, from every purchase I made in the last five years. The result is a home full of empty boxes. The space these boxes take up could be used for other things like renting out your spare room on Airbnb or having a quiet room to study in.

The reason I held onto empty boxes was that I thought when I eventually sold some items, they’d be worth more with their original box. In most cases, no one pays more for an item because it comes with the original box worth $1.

It’s perfectly fine to sell an item without a box. Create space by throwing away boxes.

 

24. And now onto those spare buttons you store.

I had a whole box of spare buttons from clothing I purchased. Guess what? I can’t sew and never hold onto a piece of clothing once the button falls off. Clothes that have buttons fall off are generally passed their expiry date. Chuck them out and don’t look back.

You’ll never match the correct button to the right piece of clothing 90% of the time anyway.

 

25. Tidying up can cause sickness. It’s part of the process.

After all of my tidying up, I became very ill. Part of the reason was because of all the dust my old, unused items spread in my living spaces from lack of use, and being disturbed from their existing storage locations.

As well as that, the process of letting go of most of your possessions is exhausting and it’s hard work on the body. Tidying up is like one big storm which is followed by carnage (sickness) and then calm at the end once you know you’re organized for life.

 

26. Storage solutions hide items you dislike from sight. Avoid them, they’re the enemy.

You can walk into a shopping mall and find lots of storage solutions to help you supposedly be tidier. Storage solutions are a trap. Storage solutions hide your possessions in complex places that make it even harder to know what you actually own, therefore increasing the chance that you have multiple items that serve the same purpose.

 

27. Round objects take up more room.

If there’s a square or rectangle option for things like furniture and laundry baskets, go for that. Round objects take up more space. Period.

 

28. Buying in bulk costs more.

Retailers promote the benefits of buying in bulk. I disagree. Buying in bulk forces you to do the following:

– Buy more than you need
– It doesn’t account for your tastes changing over time which leaves you with leftovers
– Waste your precious mental space because of the excess clutter that occupies your brain
– Forget the cost of storage which is more than the discount of buying in bulk
– Distract you from your true creativity which is enhanced through empty space

“Our homes are not commercial warehouses that are to be used for storage of widgets”

This whole concept forces us to behave like factory workers. Our homes are to be lived in and are supposed to spark joy and help us to relax after a long day.

 

29. Tidying up shows us what we love.

After a massive clean-up, you’ll learn more about yourself and the things you value. During my clean-up, I learned that I love the simplicity of certain items. I learned that I also love the color of an item and that affects whether I’ll retain it for the long-term. Having learned this about myself, I’ll now be much more careful about the colors of objects I buy in the future.

 

30. You’ll learn about your weaknesses.

I learned that I have trouble letting go of the past and now I can work on this weakness going forward. Up until my big tidy up, I would never have believed this fact to be true.

 

31. Letting go is how you add new things into your life.

By cleaning out the junk that was occupying space in my life, I’ve now made room for new things. Maybe I’ll take up a new hobby or surround myself with new people. At least I have space now to do so and I’d love you to experience this feeling of freedom for yourself.

 

32. You’ll learn why you can’t throw something away.

It’s because of two reasons according to the book I read: an attachment to the past or a fear of the future. I held onto old gym diaries out of a fear that one day in the future I would need to look at them again if I decided to start the gym once more.

I also held onto cards from ex-girlfriends because I was nostalgic and didn’t want to let go of these old memories which deep down I had no desire to indulge in any longer.

 

33. Putting your home in order puts your mind in order.

Your mind is partly a reflection of the physical world. A messy home results in a messy mind that can’t think straight, make decisions or allow space for new ideas. Your possessions say so much about you and are a hidden contributor to your overall success in life.

It’s time to clean your house and remove some possessions.

 

34. The result is being surrounded by things that make you happy.

Now that I have gone through this mammoth task of tidying up everything I own and decluttering, I’m now left sitting here and evaluating the whole process. The result has been quite surprising. I find myself sitting here and looking around at only things that make me happy.

Everything I’ve held onto feels like it has a purpose. The possessions I have left make me feel happy and the objects in my life that produced negative emotions are now gone. I would never have predicted that tidying up could be so life-changing.

Try it for yourself and let me know how you go.

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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2 Vital Keys to Having a True Breakthrough This Year

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Every person has a great deal of potential within them. However, the majority of people will never tap into that potential because something hinders them from getting it done whether that be a traumatic event that plagues their mind, or a negative mindset. This can be due to fear, insecurities, or of feelings of not deserving or not being good enough.

The list is literally endless because every person has different challenges in life. We are all different people, with different pasts, experiences, backgrounds, belief systems, but one commonality we all share: the pain of NOT DOING in our past.

If you’ve ever been to a conference for business, professional, or spiritual development, you know the feeling of getting fired up, motivated and inspired to go forward and DO! When you get home, the fire in your heart and mind is still burning. Nonetheless, this feeling tends to be short lived, as the reality of life sets in: bills, relationship problems, office issues, etc. and your fire begins to go out and you are back at square one… again.

There are some people that go to an event and then truly have a breakthrough in life. They explode in their business, family life, spiritual life, and health. The one thing that separates these people from the rest of us is their willingness to go deeper within themselves.

If you have attended an Anthony “Tony” Robbins motivational lecture, you know there are many reported success stories of people that he has inspired. Tony has stated in the past that individuals are able to “breakthrough” because they do not accept surface level BS; these successful people go deeper within themselves to determine the root cause of their issues or shortcomings. He also explained that by doing so, they would experience a true “breakthrough.”

If this year is going to truly be different for you, and you are going to see expansion and advancements in all parts of your life, you will need to go deeper.

Here are two important keys to help you have a breakthrough year:

1. Get Real With Yourself

Self-reflection is a powerful character building tool. However, when inspecting your life and who you are, you must go deep into this process. Don’t stay surface level and just think about what you need to improve on. Make the extra effort to think about the why of it all. Why are you weak in certain areas? Why do you seem to always fall short when doing certain tasks? Why do you dislike specific types of people and or places? Most importantly, why do you lack motivation in crucial aspects of your life?

When you start asking these types of profound questions and digging deeper, you are able to realize that there may be hidden reasons for your life constraints. Sometimes, pain in our past and heart-rending experiences of life are responsible for our weaknesses.

The challenge is to visit these places mentally and resolve root causes. Having these moments of reflection enables us to experience some very personal and self teachable moments. It is in these moments that true clarity will come and you will make decisions about where to go from here based on level headed logic rather than simply pure emotion.

Getting to know yourself better will help you in your personal and professional growth and help you to fast-track the breakthrough you desire.

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

2. Get Real with Others

Knowing yourself is vital, but knowing the people and the environment around you is also crucial. We’ve all heard the old saying, “hang around dogs with fleas and you’ll soon have fleas as well.” If you’re going to breakthrough this year, you better get to doing not only some self-reflection but also some social-reflection. Look around yourself and find out who and what is having a positive or negative impact on your life.

Are you exposed to people who are constantly complaining, talking bad about others, criticizing people, belittling others, and just outright being negative? If so, their negative viewpoints need to be either dismissed in your mind, and/or you should minimize the amount of time and attention that they take from you.

Tasks, habits, and extracurricular activities which provide no greater value for you should be reconsidered. Not that you shouldn’t have some down time and moments to recharge, but be careful about scrolling social media aimlessly and indulging in online window shopping. Such activities are not adding to your expansion or ascension up to the next level of life; rather they are wasting your time.

We have a total of 100% energy to give per day (a cellphone example). Just like the apps we have running in the background, they tend to drain us of our energy. Everything we take part in requires some percentage of energy investment from us. You must choose to dedicate energy to things and people that are part of your solution in helping you move the needle towards your goals. One simple question to ask yourself, and that all true leaders must ask themselves is: Does THIS propel me closer TOWARDS my goal or AWAY from it?

“Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

So, get real with the situation at hand: you either want to have a breakthrough year or you don’t. If you do, you should size-up your expectations, and key on these two important areas of your life: who you are on the inside, and the people and things around you that impact who you are.

What are you going to do this year to make sure you have the best year of your life! Comment below and share your goals.

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