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6 Lessons I’ve Learned From Staying In A Place That You Want To Escape

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6 Lessons I've Learned From Staying In A Place That You Want To Escape

“Purgatory” is my own personal nickname for the hometown I’ve been shackled to for so long. In purgatory, there is no good and no bad, just endless, drab waiting.

In my hometown, you wait and wait until you’re old and grey, and then you die, confused and angry.

Here are the 6 lessons I’ve learned in trying to escape this place and live a life of color:

 

1. Never waste opportunity

Opportunity can be fickle. For some, it never seems to stop coming along. For others, it has to be created. If you want to have an easy life, don’t allow opportunity to slip through your fingers. I don’t care if you’re 15 or 55, there’s no excuse to opt out of an opportunity to create a better life. If you’ve got a good gut feeling about it, go for it.

I’ve been given opportunities quite a few times in my life, and I wasted every last one because I either couldn’t see them for what they were or didn’t take them seriously. Hindsight is 20-20 they say, but I can tell, looking back, that my biggest problem was always my cocky attitude. I never thought opportunities would stop falling into my lap. Silly me.

To not let opportunity pass you by unnoticed, humble yourself enough that you take every possibility seriously. Don’t think that you are above anything or that you deserve better just because it isn’t ideal. Life is never truly ideal; get over it and make a move.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

2. You never do it alone

This isn’t a world that you can flourish in by isolating yourself. Everything that you could possibly want in this life, you can more easily get by knowing the right people. Everybody says that you should walk the walk instead of talking the talk, but talkers get a lot done too.

Is it your goal to land a job or start a business? Knowing the right people can help you with that immensely. What about excelling at a particular talent or sport? Knowing an expert and getting involved in the right community will set you on your way with that as well.

This rule applies to everything. When it comes to socializing, always seek to expand, never contract. What I mean by this is that you should always be reaching out as much as you can to meet new people and get to know the people already in your life. You’ll be surprised by how things turn out when you do!

 

3. It’s all about the end result

Forget “The Journey.” You can start enjoying your journey once you start succeeding, but until then you’ve got to stay focused and angry enough to make it happen. Yes, anger is your weapon (see below).

When you start thinking about it as a journey, you lose focus. It becomes a “lifestyle” and not something that you’re starving to move forward in. Maintaining some sense of equilibrium while trying to enact major change is an oxymoron, and you will sabotage yourself if you’re not willing to let yourself get obsessed.

Stephen Covey
 

4. Knowing how to use knowledge is more important than knowledge itself

I learned a ton of things in school, but only apply about 10% of it in my day-to-day life. Logically, this makes it all a massive waste of time. I could have just researched into what I wanted to know on the fly; it is the age of information. Even if you were to go on to college or university, there’s always more money to be made from going into business and creating your own income. This applies before or after your schooling. If I were to go back to school though, I would go with an in-demand trade and start getting paid sooner than later.

The exception to this is experience. If you have experience in a money making skill like sales or marketing, you have a real leg up in making money in many many ways.

Having a lot of knowledge isn’t what makes someone a genius. A genius is someone who brings a new perspective to the table, and does things a little differently. They can use knowledge in new and creative ways to create solutions and become a leader in their field.

There is no right answer to how to use knowledge. Once you understand that, you’re one step closer.

 

5. Suffering doesn’t mean you’re moving forward

Suffering is just the passing of misfortune. Suffer enough, and you can become delusional, and start to think that you’re paying the price for success. You are not. Only taking control of things and improving your situation is moving forward, and this is especially so when you’re in a situation that causes you to suffer.

I’ve been through many difficult situations which caused me to suffer. Eventually, I started thinking that this is just how life is going to be for me, and that I gained something from going though hardship. Well I did,  after many difficult years of the same old crap, I finally learned that I can refuse to suffer anymore.

Get in the mindset of refusing to suffer. Sure, do what you gotta do to get where you’re going but never confuse that with pointless suffering. If there’s nothing to gain, you don’t need pain. We all go through some rough patches, but don’t ever let yourself start thinking that it’s just something that you have to put up with forever.

“Better be wise by the misfortune of others than your own” – Aesop

6. Anger is how you save yourself

When the going gets tough, the tough get angry. When all else fails, anger will keep you on your feet and pushing you forward. It is the great useful emotion that gives you the power to do more than you thought you could before.

Anger works because it is a state of strong discontentment. “I’m not happy with how things are going, and  I’ll fight to make a change.” With this deep burning to make a change driving you forward, it really becomes possible. A lot of us have been conditioned to not experience strong anger so easily. You have to break this conditioning. Use this exercise: Think about a situation where you were treated particularly unfairly, and allow yourself to experience the spark of anger from this. Focus on this emotion and learn to cultivate it. Repeat this exercise over and over, and soon enough you will have much easier access to your own anger.

Don’t be afraid to unshackle the chains society has placed on your emotions. These limits only serve to hold you back and homogenize your soul. Let your rage show in all it’s burning glory!

 

Thank you for reading my article. Please leave your comments below!

Chris Turner is someone who bet his future on obsessively learning and moving forward- particularly when it comes to all things moneymaking, rather than taking the normal, "traditional" route. He writes about what he's learned from his struggles and successes at his blog, unhappyinvalid.com.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Monik

    Jan 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Well written Chris. I agree with your points, specially on using anger in your favor to over come being stuck.
    I would also add: Don’t complain about the place you are in or the people you are surrounded with. But identify what best the situation has to offer and utilize it to the maximum. There is always something that can be used in your favor to escape the situation. Complaining makes us focus on the bad stuff and prevent us from identifying the opportunities.

  2. Rachel

    Jul 26, 2015 at 5:52 am

    Wow Chris,

    Brilliant post. It really resonated with me. I too agree that anger will pull your out of complacency and into action. I have however got the great gift of motivation, when I found what I wanted to create and where I wanted to go. I get the start of your post with never miss an opportunity because it gets delivered in overalls and it looks like hard work. Right on.

    Your right about going against the grain when you say it is about the end result and not the journey. I do agree to a point. Because once again it circles in that lifestyle, relaxed mode. However I think you can remain focused and spirited in your work and develop the skill set you have when angry so that you get an all round win. I don’t want to have that anger all the time, but I certainly want that fire to keep me going, to keep it real.

    For me whenever failure seems to sit me on my butt, of late I have this in built mechanism that keeps reminding me it is only a day and it will pass. Like the depths of this belief is real. Thanks again, I like your straight up, don’t mess about attitude, it is refreshing.

    Rachel.

  3. Rose Costas

    Jul 13, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Thanks Chris for this great post. I can relate so much to being in a place I want so badly to escape from but I also learned that life sometimes put us in uncomfortable situations. Unfortunately too many of us surrenders and choose to suffer when that’s the time we should be fighting our hardest. I have been there and done that and I am now learning not to accept suffering as normal.

  4. Cynthia

    Jul 10, 2015 at 1:25 am

    This article is definitely one I can relate to!!! The part about when the going gets tough the tough gets angry….Angry enough to go harder for your goals. This article has definitely boost me 1000 to keep achieving my goals. Keep them coming!!!

  5. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 7, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I really like this article because it’s different. I havent read too many articles that state that knowing hot to USE knowledge is more important than knowledge itself. I also think that knowledge is only the stepping stone to power, while action is the true culprit to power. These is some great information. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Jacob S.

    Jul 7, 2015 at 4:56 am

    Great article, Chris! I identify most with #6 and how anger can drive you, but in a healthy way of course. This is something that I use often and work to not let it get to me, but rather place it into something worthwhile and healthy. Thanks Chris!

    • Chris

      Jul 7, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Anger is ugly and chaotic, just like life. Whenever I’m angry, I feel like I’m more in touch with life in general. You have to “get it” to get it.

  7. Elita Torres

    Jul 7, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Great choices of lessons. You Never do it Alone – Sometimes people are focused so much on moving forward, they pay no mind to the people they are pushing down to get there. Help enough people get what they want and you get what you want.

    It’s about the end result – This a powerful message. When I first read it in the “Seven Habit of Highly Effective People”, it put a lot of things in perspective for me.

    Thanks for the article

  8. Nick

    Jul 6, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    This Article is brilliant.

    “Its all about the End Result”. This is very true. Thanks for writing!

  9. David

    Jul 6, 2015 at 4:13 am

    LOVE IT!!!! Great Article!

  10. Samudra Kumaratungga

    Jul 6, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Great article! and the anger part, i really do love it, while i don’t particularly agree in rage for advancement, i do agree in major discontent being the driving force; I mean really what else sparks change, right? But I also focus that discontentment into excitement, and getting really really pumped up for the change that I’ll be making. Everyone is different in the driving force of their success, but discontentment with one’s current situation seems to be the common ground that people have for change.

    It’s like the obsession for bettering lives, it’s so congruent with what people are meant to do in this world, It’s freakin bad ass, I love that mindset.

    • Chris

      Jul 6, 2015 at 3:07 am

      There’s many ways to get motivated, but in my experience anger is the best way to not allow a difficult situation to crush you. It has absolutely worked for me.

  11. Jimmy Roos

    Jul 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Hey Chris, great article with a number of very points. I agree with most of them except “anger” and “it’s all about the end result.” Anger can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. You need to know the balance between letting the anger fuel your drive and not becoming angry about the life and what it is dealing you. There’s a very thin line. You have to be kind of a a psycopath in a way to get it right.

    As far as not enjoying the journey and focusing on the end result. It is again about keeping the balance.To me, enjoying the journey is about being grateful and appreciating life, rather than remaining unhappy with life because I have not achieved the end result. I have found that, that can actually delay the end result.

    It is said that “success is shy,” … and I have found that it comes much faster when you’re not continually focused on it.

    • Chris

      Jul 6, 2015 at 3:16 am

      Agreed. Self awareness is key.

      A balanced life is that of a normal person. You have to be exceptional to get exceptional results like success. You can feel however you like about it, but keep your eye on the prize. It’s easy to be lead astray.

  12. Heitem Ak

    Jul 5, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Wow, this is gold!

    “something that you’re starving to move forward in.”

    As soon as I read this, I pulled out my notepad!

    Keep them coming! 😉

    Best,

    Heitem Ak

    • Chris

      Jul 6, 2015 at 3:18 am

      Glad you like it Heitem. This is all real stuff; no fluff or theory.

  13. Ibra

    Jul 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    What about not enough money to seize a great opportunity ?

    • Chris

      Jul 6, 2015 at 3:20 am

      Anyone with a brain and some discipline can turn money into more money. This is about getting started.

      • Ibra

        Jul 7, 2015 at 6:50 pm

        That’s true but, for example, a soccer player who needs money to travel abroad for achieve his dream to become professional can be blocked in his progress cause of lack of money

        • Chris

          Jul 7, 2015 at 9:10 pm

          A lot of life is still dumb luck. Even if he has talent, he might not be provided the answer to such difficulties while still young enough to excell. The will without the means is no good.

          I don’t know much about being a professional in soccer but if traveling is all it takes, the cost should only be in the thousands- possible for your average working man. The first step may instead be to learn an in-demand trade- a ~2 year investment that makes you much more employable(be sure that it is in demand though). Again I don’t really know what it takes exactly but hope this helps put things into perspective.

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Life

How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life

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Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:

1.    “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2.    “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?” (more…)

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Life

The Truth About the Law of Attraction

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When we want something, we generally imagine the form it will take when it manifests. If we’re not careful, however, we can find ourselves attached more to the imagined form than the actual desired outcome. This is like placing an online order and expecting it to come in a blue box shipped by UPS. If we then receive a red box delivered by FedEx, we might not realize that it’s what we ordered, and never even open it!

For example, most of us say that we want money, but when money comes in the form of a free coffee or a gift or a discount, we don’t see it for what it is. We overlook it, and maybe we even say “No, thanks” and decline the gift which is, in one way or another, still money. In doing so, we fail to appreciate the value of the discount, the gift, or the freebie. If it isn’t cash being handed to us, we don’t see it as a manifestation of our desire.

The law of attraction is a funny thing.

It is much more complex and much more intricate than what it seems to be and yet, at the same time, it’s so very simple: We always get what we want. We always receive more of the energy at which we vibrate. Always.

However, if we’re acting from the energy of “I don’t deserve it” or “I don’t think I’m worthy,” then whatever it is that we receive will be negated and essentially unseen. On the other hand, if we are open, observant, and maintaining an abundance mindset, we will receive our request on numerous levels and from plentiful sources!

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

This is because we “place our order” not only through our words, but through our actions, our beliefs, and our thoughts.

Last month, I was open to receiving a new client. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I’d set my intention: I was going to get a new client. That night, out of nowhere, I got a message from an old student of mine. She was looking to hire me again as her coach for the upcoming college entrance exams in the U.S. But wait! I didn’t want an entrance exam client.

What I actually wanted was to get life and business coaching clients. This student was my “red box from Fed Ex.” I wanted to decline at first, but as I was about to reply, something made me stop. I asked myself, “Why am I rejecting this?”

This student is an amazing client. She pays on time. She’s not needy. She does her part. Best of all? She doesn’t short-change me. So I said yes, because I realized that the Universe was simply responding to the essence of my desire.

You see, my “Big Why” in everything I do has always been to facilitate an accelerated personal and business growth for my clients, and this student fit the bill in every way. She wanted the personal growth, she was ready to go all in and she reached out to me.

It didn’t look like the package I was expecting so I didn’t recognize it at first—and I nearly turned it away—but she was the perfect answer to my request.

Serving people like her has always been a driving force in my life.

The Universe knows that. It also knew that I wanted a client asap so that I could re-invest the money into my business, so it responded in the most ideal way… but in an unexpected form. And I came so close to missing it!

How many times have I missed other opportunities like this? How many times have I dismissed a “red box” because it wasn’t “blue?” I’ll never know. But I do know that, had I not stopped myself from sending a “No, thanks,” I would have felt as though the Universe wasn’t listening.

That’s the thing: the Universe is always listening.

The more open we are in receiving, the more we thrive. The more open our energy is, the greater the possibilities. Don’t just return that red box to the post office and keep waiting on a blue one. Ask yourself, first and foremost, if what you’re receiving at the moment matches up with your underlying desire.

See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it.” – Rhonda Byrne

The key is to be willing to receive anything and everything. How? Keep on reading1

1. Get clear on your “underlying desire.”

Identify exactly what it is that you really want—in my case, it was an ideal client (underlying) as opposed to a coaching client (surface)—and focus on that. Clear out all the mental noise and static that clouds your awareness.

2. Be flexible

Keep your eyes and mind open for anything that fits the description. When you ask for money, recognize that free coffee for what it is: $3 you were going to spend anyway, that can now remain in your pocket. Every penny on the ground, every coupon, it’s all money.

3. Keep an attitude of gratitude.

The more you appreciate what you have, the more that comes your way. Your grateful mindset opens the energetic door for more to flow your way, because “where attention goes, energy flows.” The more you focus on the things you want, the more you will draw them into your experience.

Remember, that the Universe responds to our requests in whatever way fits best within the big picture.

It’s a picture so big that we couldn’t possibly begin to see how it comes together. Trust it. Know that when you ask, you will receive. It may not come in the form you anticipate, but always in a form that responds to your underlying desire. You just have to be ready to see it.

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7 Simple Ways to Master Your Emotions When Making Decisions

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A lot of people have big regrets when lying on their deathbed. These regrets are often related to bad decisions or decisions not taken. Thus, as it turns out, decision-making is dependent on great self-confidence. A person who has confidence in their decisions has an easier time making them.

Emotions also play a big role in all of this. This is a debate that has confronted two great thinkers. According to Descartes, “decisions are the product of the rational mind.” In other words, decision-making is essentially based on facts and mathematics.

But this thesis was refuted and proven to be wrong by Antonio Damasio in one of his works called “The Error of Descartes”. This was partly based on the story of Elliott, a kid that was very smart, who had above average rational capabilities, but incapable of making a decision, after a surgery to remove a brain tumor on the surface of his frontal lobes. After all his work in that matter, he concludes that a person who is incapable of emotion is incapable of making the most rational decisions.

The management of emotions is therefore completely inherent to good decision making, especially when making the most important decisions. To this end, here are 7 tips to put into practice to really master your emotions thus making the best decisions possible and never regreting them.

1. Take a step back

You must learn to take the time to identify and understand your emotions. Since physical reactions are emotionally related, also take the time to detect the reactions you have to some of your emotions. To be able to take the distance necessary to make decisions, it’s important to refer to your prefrontal cortex. This is the area of ​​the brain responsible for reasoning. To do so you need to put yourself in a stress-free environment for a few minutes.

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent and committed decision.” – Tony Robbins

2. Breathe

The best way to do this is to learn to breathe deeply. This will allow activating your prefrontal cortex again, therefore, to have better control of your emotions so you do not react to them, let alone to the event that causes these emotions. Do this exercise for at least 15 minutes. It’s amazing how you can train yourself never to react, no matter what the situation. Ideally, let at least 24 hours go by before responding to a situation that would normally cause tension.

3. Pay attention

Once you are in the prefrontal cortex, put one hand on your abdomen, at the level of your intestines, and the other hand on your heart, and take the time to listen. These two parts of the body are the two major centers of vibrations and emotions. This is why it’s important to listen and pay attention to them.

The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of your gut and heart. What you need to remember is that the only person you need to trust is yourself. By practicing this exercise, one thing will become very clear: what the emotion you feel seeks to convey to you about the decision you have to make.

Since everything is energy, first make sure that the vibration of the decision you are about to make and that of your heart and gut are in sync. You will then know whether to go ahead with your decision or reject it based on whether you feel serenity or heaviness.

4. Discern untruths

It is important to know whether your nervousness is the result of an untruth you’ve told yourself. These can corrupt the vibrations that should help you make the right decision. You have to throw out all of these untruths and come to the decision-making without any filter. Stop thinking that you’re unlucky, that you’re in a bad situation, that your life is a failure, or that you are a victim.

5. Become aware of your emotions instead of avoiding them

To become aware of your emotions, you must learn to coach yourself. Ask yourself questions: How did you feel the last time you had to ask these types of questions? What did you get in return? Rename what you felt and the result you obtained from what you decided to do. You will thus be much better at assimilating, understanding, and welcoming your emotions.

6. Be as present as possible

There is no point in focusing on the big events surrounding the decision you want to make. Concentrate instead on the present moment, without analyzing the events. Judge based on emotions rather than the event. By being more present, you will be better able to listen to your emotions and feel them.

Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” – John C. Maxwell

7. Make your emotions your allies

Each of your emotions speaks to you through the physical and physiological reactions that they generate in you. Look to the weight of their impact on you as an indicator. Only by listening to them, using them, and managing them can you manage your emotions.

Habit comes with practice. With time, these 7 points will become much more natural and will become automatic. You will make better decisions for yourself.  This is one of the best ways to not end up with one of the big regrets.

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Life

How to Keep Your Mind Away From Distractions in This Tech-Loaded World

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Social media notifications, push notifications, email notifications, and messages from chatting apps, keep peeping from the notification area of our smartphones and invite us into a world of a never-ending loop. Perhaps, even if it is ending, it is not until we have wasted 15-20 minutes of our productive time in just checking different apps and emails that we realize the need to get back to what’s important. No wonder many organizations insist employees on keeping their mobile phones in lockers prior to proceeding to their desk!

Technology is so enslaving that we don’t realize what an endless loop we are stuck in when we are constantly replying to our friends and relatives on social media or checking that limitless newsfeed on our timelines. If all the time of the day is put together, we can observe that we spend almost 4-5 hours on social media with the total output zero and sometimes negative.

Of course, keeping smart phone on airplane mode or switching it to Do Not Disturb mode, or somewhere away from us is the first line of defense against distractions, there are other steps preceding it to really spend your day productively.

Adopt a Proactive Approach

This implies that prior to beginning the day, you must take-charge of it. Instead of letting the day rule you, it should be vice-versa. You must adopt a zealous approach by planning your day and if possible, hours. You should have the determination to pay no heed to distractions in place of just letting them ruin your day by reacting to your impulses.

Instead of acceding to the fact that distractions are surely going to come your way and take up the major portion of your productive time, think about the ways in which you can tackle them.

You need to ponder on the need to focus and be determined to remain so during the day. You need to take the following steps for it:

  1. Plan how you are going to spend the hours of your day and deadline for completing tasks.
  2. Consider your to-do list as a choice rather than a chore to be completed.
  3. Remind yourself of the consequences of surrendering to distractions instead of completing your work. For instance, getting a reprimand from the manager for consistently low productivity and quality or having to rush to complete the work at the end of the day.
  4. Visualize the benefits of the time you gained by winking at notifications. Perhaps, you can spend more quality time with your kids or researching your new business idea.
  5. Note down hourly productivity – How many tasks did you accomplish in the last one hour?

“An addiction to distraction is the end of your creative production.” – Robin Sharma

Enhance Your Concentration Power

What keeps your mind stick to a task until it is sufficiently completed, is your ability to concentrate. If your concentration power is stronger, distractions will not bother you. You have to sharpen your power to focus by consistent practice. Meditation is a great way to improve your ability to work on a single task for a long time. If possible make meditation a part of your daily routine. It will keep your mind silent and give it the power to resist distractions.

If you cannot find time to meditate at the start of the day, it is advisable to do a one minute meditation every hour or every time you get that urge to check social media or chat with a friend. This will bring back your attention to what you have to do instead of what you want to do.

Here is the best way to improve concentration power: Take Regular, Refreshing Breaks.

One of the major keys to staying charged up for work is to take regular breaks. Continuously working for hours is only going to make you feel more tired. Instead, take planned breaks and do what you like the most during those breaks.

Of course, you should check your phone to be aware of any urgent messages or calls; remember to take refreshing breaks rather than just keep scrolling through that never-ending newsfeed. Rejuvenate your senses by reading some motivational stuff, watching an inspiring video, taking a walk in the lobby or having a non-work related chat with a colleague, to recharge your batteries and get back to work with even more focus and passion.

One technique utilized and propagated by productivity gurus is the Pomodoro Technique. It is the practice of working in chunks of 25 minutes and then taking a break of 5 minutes. After 4 such sessions, you can elongate the break time to 15-20 minutes.

Have an Organized Mindset

Adopt an organized mindset towards all aspects of your life. Keep clearing irrelevant mails, adding e-mail addresses to spam, organizing all your photos and videos on one drive, keeping all your documents accessible from one place, etc. Keeping your life clutter free and organized right from your shoe-rack to your locker, empowers your ability to spend your time in a disciplined way.

Even when it comes to online browsing, keep it limited to certain topics rather than just browsing and then jumping from that topic to all the related topics. Note down the ideas you would like to research on a specific day instead of randomly browsing through a plethora of topics.

Also, jot down the points which you found useful. Set aside an hour or 30 minutes of time for this. If you feel the need to read that lengthy but useful article, then save it under bookmarks, instead of swaying and spending more than the planned  time on it.

These seemingly little, yet practical things, help you adopt the same approach towards your day and work.

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” – Christopher Columbus

It is a fact that technology has taken up major share of our life, however, it would be a misjudgment to regard it as bad. If maneuvered the right way, it can help us live a more disciplined life. It is a boon but if we let it rule us instead of us ruling on it then it may eat up most of our focus and productive time of our day.

What distractions do you feel take most of your time? What steps you have taken up to put the brakes on them, apart from just whining about them? Ponder over it, take a proactive approach, and share your action plan with us by commenting in the section below.

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