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8 Practical Ways to Stay Mentally Sharp

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In a modern age where intelligence is much more valued than physical strength, it is very important one stays mentally sharp and active. To stay dull and ignorant in a rapidly developing world like ours can be likened to going into a war zone without any weapons.

Here are 8 tips on how to keep your mind healthy:

1. Focus On Your Priorities And Goals

To stay mentally sharp, you must focus on your goals and aspirations. This is essential because it keeps you from being distracted and let’s you channel your mind to what really matters. You must utilise your time properly to prepare, plan and take action towards your goals.

When there is focus, mental alertness is improved and one’s productivity naturally improves. Resolve to always take some time periodically to define your priorities and the things you want to achieve, then focus on the step by step actions needed to make them come to pass.

 

2. Worry Less, Do More

Worrying does us more harm than good. It keeps us brooding over the past or future while stealing our alertness. Stop spending time worrying about things, instead you should always be asking yourself the question “What is the next step?” “What can I do to improve my situation?”

This attitude gets you thinking and coming up with new ideas on how to better yourself. Always remember that useful time is wasted when you worry, all you need to do is focus on making plans and taking action.

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.” – John Lubbock

3. Exercise Your Mind And Body

Exercise is very important for our well being. Most of us are used to bodily exercise but few exercise their minds. Bodily exercise is important, but so is mental exercise. Make schedules to include exercise into your routine, this may include hitting the gym, joining a team for an outdoor sport, dancing, gymnastics etc

Don’t forget to exercise your mind as well. Games like Chess, Monopoly, Scrabble, Billiards, crossword and puzzles keep your mind thinking fast and sharp. There are lots of bodily and mental exercises, find out what suits you best.

 

4. Stay Around Smarter People

The power of association cannot be over emphasised. Little wonder why the popular maxim “Show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are”, gained so much acceptance. If you associate with dumb people all the time, there is a tendency that you’ll start thinking and behaving like them even without your knowledge.

To stay mentally sharp and alert, ensure you stay around become who think fast and come up with brilliant ideas. They’d quickly stimulate you to also think the way they do.

 

5. Find Time To Entertain Yourself

Entertainment is also a wonderful part of life. We all need to find time to unwind after doing our daily work. Only doing your work all day can be boring and cause you mental stress. The brain doesn’t like it because it’s just like eating the same food all day.

Find time to relax, visit your friends, hang out with friends, see a new movie, play good music, go for a party or a date. Life is beautiful and we are meant to enjoy it. The only downside is just that some people over entertain themselves and I’m coming to that.

 

6. Eat A Healthy Diet

Your body and your mind are usually in sync. You can’t neglect one and expect the other to function well. Eating good food is important to your body and consequently your mind. That good feeling you get when you eat a balanced and satisfying meal actually improves your mental health. Have you ever thought clearly when you’re terrible hungry or when you’ve eaten junk all day? Probably not.

 

7. Keep Your Mind Open

Openness of mind is a quality you must possess if you value your state of mental health and activity. An open mind keeps you observant and aware of all possibilities that may emanate from an existing situation. When your mind is closed, you tend to think less and do the same things in the same way. A closed mind is not open to fresh knowledge, new discoveries and innovative ways of solving problems.

“Have an open mind – allow different ideas into your way of thinking.” – Peter Diamandis

8. Avoid Bad Habits

It is important you shun your bad habits if you want to stay sharp and smart. Bad habits range from over entertaining yourself with the media, smoking, drunkenness, watching TV all day, laziness to work etc. You know exactly what you’re doing wrong that is not adding any value to your life. You better make a firm decision to stop it now rather than let it control your life. Don’t let bad habits steal your time and your alertness.

Which do you believe is most important to staying mentally sharp? Share your thoughts below!
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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Evan

    Aug 18, 2016 at 7:15 am

    What’s up Nigel?

    Thanks for posting this article at A2S – I really like the prioritization methods and staying around smarter people. They say if you’re smarter than most people you’re around, you’re in the wrong room. If we can always improve our circle of influence, by placing smarter and more successful people around us, we will always improve.

    This is uncomfortable, and makes you feel like you haven’t done as much, but it’s where the growth occurs: outside your comfort zone.

    – Evan

  2. Nigel

    Aug 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks to everyone who commended the post and gave useful feedbacks.

  3. Zak Davis

    Aug 17, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Very informative. I like tip# 2 and 3

    We should not worry too much, sometimes the things we are worrying about does not really exist or will happen.

    Mind and Body exercise is also important. learning new skills such as a new language or trying activities we are passionate about is a good way to destress

  4. Tim Denning

    Aug 17, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Nigel this is a great post and clearly other people have really loved it by sharing it on social media. The most important point you raised to stay sharp is to worry less and do more. Worry and anger wastes a lot of our mental capacity. When we release all of this negative energy it allows us to think clearly and stay mentally sharp.

  5. Bryan Oliver

    Aug 16, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Great post, Nigel. Appreciate the awesome reminder. Instead of focusing on avoiding bad habits I focus on creating and maintaining good habits. This helps me do your points 1-7. Keep up the great work brother! Inspired.

  6. Benson Wong

    Aug 16, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Another one of my favorites is to read voraciously, for books introduce you to new ideas, concepts, and ways of thinking and doing. One sign of intelligence and mental sharpness is our ability to simultaneously keep and argue two opposing thoughts. Books do this for us.

    • Nigel

      Aug 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      Nice one Wong, it’s important to read voraciously, but reading too much itself is a vice.

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

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Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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