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A Simple 7 Step Process to Mindfulness for Beginners

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How many of you can relate to this? You’re living in a big city. You commute to work each day to a job you dislike. As you push past other commuters on the sidewalk or nudge up against strangers on public transport, you daydream about your last trip to somewhere exotic. You imagine planning your next trip, and you imagine a well deserved pint after work with your friends.

At the office you do tasks you find tedious or pointless, so you distract yourself by tracking the price of Bitcoin online, texting your friends, or planning your next vacation. You get dragged to meeting after meeting and seem like you’ll never be free to explore your true passions which, you don’t even know what they are.

Whenever you talk with your friends and family, you’re constantly reliving the past or planning for the future. On the way home you try to ignore the blaring sirens of ambulances and police cars driving past, the cacophony of humanity around you as you stumble into the nearest pub and try to drown the boredom and frustration with a pint.

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

This scenario is well known to many of us that live and work in the modern world. We are caught up in well-built habit loops which allow us to think back into the past or ahead into the future but allow us to conveniently avoid what’s going on around us. We do this because as humans we are trying to conserve vital mental energy and processing power. Sadly, this means that few of us live in the present moment and are aware of our surroundings on a regular basis.

Mindful meditation is a practice that is fast becoming a global phenomenon. It is a type of meditation that helps individuals focus their efforts and their mental energy on the present moment. It has been argued by spiritual aspirants and medical professionals alike that mindful meditation helps reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of boredom, lack of motivation, and even attention deficit disorder.

Here is a seven-step process you can try to help you start to develop your own mindful meditation practice:

Step 1: Sit

Find a spot that will allow you to sit free from distraction for 10 to 15 minutes. This might be a park bench, a conference room, a train car, the seat on a bus, a closet, a couch, a yoga studio or in the middle of the floor of your kitchen. In the end, it doesn’t really matter where you sit, as long as you can find a place that is comfortable and will allow you to avoid distractions for between 10 to 15 minutes without being called to take care of some task or interrupted by a friend or stranger.

Step 2: Straighten up

Settle into the right posture with a straight back and feet resting on the floor or crossed underneath you. Finding a relaxed and alert posture is important when you attempt to develop a mindfulness practice, because as you enter the meditation phase of the practice you will become aware of any slight discomfort. The more balanced your posture when you start, the better off the practice will go.

Step 3: Close your eyes… or don’t

Some people prefer to close their eyes while they practice sitting meditation, while others prefer to maintain a soft gaze looking straight ahead or focusing on a single object. Both options work, but if you are just starting off it may be easier to close your eyes to avoid distraction from the outside world.

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh

Step 4: Focus on your breath… or anything

Again, one of the easiest ways to develop a keen awareness for the present moment is to focus on your breath. That being said, some people prefer focusing on a single object nearby, or on the sensation in a certain part of their body. To each their own. I would experiment to see what works best for you.

Step 5: Be open to distractions

The harder you try to block out all distractions from your mind, the more challenging it will be to find flow and reach that altered state of consciousness.

Step 6: Feel the burn, and let it pass

Understand that the process of mindful meditation is like going to the gym; you are training your mind and building habit loops which will benefit you in the long run. When someone is trying to get fit, they will often elect to take the stairs up to their apartment or to their office rather than take the elevator.

When your legs start to ache and you become short of breath, you don’t think “I’m climbing the stairs wrong,” instead you think “I’m out of shape, I should climb the stairs more often!”  The same goes for mindful meditation.

Mindful meditation is something that should be practised just as people practice yoga or go to the gym. You are working out your mind, so you should treat the practice like a workout. You will get better with time, but it will be hard work.

Step 7: Look for little wins

It is expected that you will become distracted many times over the course of a mindful meditation practice, it’s completely natural. Rather than being disheartened by this, try to become aware of the moments in which you become distracted. Once you become aware that this distraction is present, consider celebrating your ability to recognize it as what it is, a distraction, before returning to your breath.

While this seven-step process doesn’t provide much detail into the actual practice of mindful meditation, there are plenty of programs available online that provide free mindful meditation courses and lessons for you to try.

Do you practice meditation? Comment below!

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

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Adithya Shetty

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Hi Osborne,

    Great post, Recently I’ve started practicing mindfulness and minimalism and your above tips sound good.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. TH

    Mar 12, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Awesome simple guide! Meditation/ working on being mindful has been a huge help for me personally so glad to read that others are working on this as well! Cheers and keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

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4 Ways of Handling a Mental Illness for the Optimists

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Not everyone is accepting of mental illnesses, especially when it’s people they don’t know. However, it’s important to understand how to better handle mental illness in order to get ahead in life. Below, are the four best ways to better handle mental illness conditions if you consider yourself an optimistic person:

1. Be Grateful

Research studies have shown that being more grateful can make you feel happier, more positive, and better overall. Don’t focus on the negatives of your mental illness, instead, be thankful for all you do have. You likely have a lot to be thankful for like a warm bed to sleep in and a family who loves you. Even as an optimist, you may have a hard time celebrating the small things in life, but being mindful of your advantages helps. 

You can help keep yourself in touch with your emotions and feel happier by noticing when your life is going well. Consider keeping a gratitude journal. Overall, having gratitude and writing down your thoughts on some of the things you value and enjoy in your life, you can handle mental illness a little better. 

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

2. Look for Professional Help

If you seriously can’t manage your own thoughts and they’re interfering with day-to-day activities, you should consider looking for professional help. Therapy and counseling can help reduce your emotional suffering and improve self-growth with your mental illness. Try to find a professional who can help you understand your condition and keep your pathophysiological level.

Here are a few other things that can offer you support when handling your mental illness:

  • If you have a hard time taking care of all the tasks you need to account for every day, ask for help from your friends and family. Once you get back on track, you can start doing things on your own; it’s never shameful to ask for help when you need it. 
  • Ask for emotional support. Sharing what frustrates you, venting, relieving stress, and crying are totally normal for people who have a mental illness. Don’t be afraid to get professional help when you need it the most. 
  • Ask for advice from your friends, family, medical professional. Especially if you don’t know much about your mental condition, sometimes it’s best to get advice from the people you can trust. 

3. Focus on Your Strengths

It’s completely normal and only human nature to focus on the negatives in life, overlooking the positives that surround you. However, you can focus on your strengths and not obsessively care about the mistakes you’ve made. Doing this will only help project your life forward and give you the push in the right direction you need. If you find yourself having too many negative thoughts or thinking too harshly of the things you’ve done, you should take the time to pause and consider what you have done right so far. By doing so, you can look on the bright side of life and cope with your mental illness with ease.

“ Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.” – Roy T. Bennett

4. Face Your Problems Head On

If you’re feeling stressed out about your mental illness, it’s important not to sit and play the blame game, but instead, solve the problems you may be having on your own. Doing so will only make you stronger as a result. To solve your own problems, you should first write down all the problems you’re having. Putting your thoughts down on paper is much more manageable than having them circling your mind. 

Next, you should try listing a few solutions to the problems you’re having. Even if they aren’t realistic, just write down everything that comes into your mind, and you can judge the solutions later on. Once you’ve done that, you can start assessing the list you’ve made. Of all the solutions you’ve created on your list, write down the pros and cons of each one. Ask yourself how you want your situation to end and figure out the best way to get there. Remember, you only want to use reasonable solutions that won’t end in failure, or else you’ll only feel disappointed in yourself. 

Now that you have the solution to handle your problem, you should break them into smaller chunks to create a solid plan of action. However, you should also create some deadlines for yourself as well, to keep yourself on track with your plan. If your plan doesn’t work and/or something falls out of place, you shouldn’t get discouraged and give up. Instead, simply try another solution. 

It’s never easy to self-manage a mental illness, especially if you consider yourself an optimist. However, with the help of this guide, you should be able to start taking care of your mental illness and take the necessary steps to make it more manageable for yourself. Now, you should be able to handle anything that comes your way.

How do you handle negative thoughts and make sure you are grateful for being alive? Please comment below and let us know!

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7 Common but Unhelpful Conditioned Beliefs and How You Can Change Them

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Most of what limits us as people are personal beliefs based on past experiences, or unconscious conditioning that we have been programmed with or picked up during our education or development. The people I look up to and respect the most are those who have managed to unlearn what society has taught them by way of conditioning and have created their own lives in line with what works for them.

They still operate from a space of personal integrity and caring towards others and they can see the limitations in unquestioningly following what society has taught them. They have learned to listen to and follow their own internal guidance and values, create successful habits and win at life.

Some common beliefs that I’ve noticed trip up my clients and students are as follows:

1. Expecting anything from others, life and the world

“If it is to be, it is up to me” is my motto. That’s not to say I don’t collaborate with others, contribute and receive from them, but I am the driving force in my Universe. I know when others do something for me, an opportunity comes my way or something great happens. It’s always my legwork that’s created that association, opening or sense of gratitude or invitation and it’s something to be deeply grateful for and not to take for granted.

TIP: Look for inspiration that resonates for you and act from that space

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

2. Functioning from thinking at the exclusion of our intuition

Many of us have learned to mistrust our instincts instead of acknowledging what feels right deep down in our gut (which may offer seem counter to what we think about a situation). The term ‘stinking thinking’ exists for a reason. If logical thinking alone worked for running our lives, none of us would have problems. Instead, combine logic with your inner awareness and appropriate action to become unstoppable.

TIP: How can you begin to listen to that powerful voice inside, starting today?

3. Pushing aside our soul whispers because they seem too hard

How often have you ignored a constant urge to do something new/different because you couldn’t quite fathom why that was a good choice, because it felt messy or risky or just didn’t fit with what you have decided is best for you right now?

Staying stuck and perhaps miserable is safer and may seem easier than hacking a track that no one’s ever taken before, but the cost of ignoring our knowing seems to grow over time in terms of stagnation, regret and always wondering.

TIP: What if being truly you and following what excites you most is the only thing you’re supposed to do?

4. Not realizing that feelings are based on conditioning

We tend to associate particular emotions with how we think about certain events/outcomes because of past negative experiences or due to conditioning, even when it’s not actually true for us. When we are in our truth, our thoughts are of such a positive/freeing nature that not much can throw us off centre.

TIP: What is the underlying belief in a current difficult situation that you haven’t acknowledged? How can you change your beliefs about that person/situation to give you a different outcome?

5. Having Expectations of others based on their ‘Role’

People often expect family members/partners/friends or colleagues to behave in accordance with the values and behaviours that they have assigned to those roles. For example “Family must love me”, or “colleagues must be supportive”. In an ideal world these things are always true, but more often than not, our belief just hinders our ability to deal with the reality in this individual situation. People are only capable of being who they are and acting from that space regardless of their role in our lives.

TIP: Always assume who others are based on their behaviour not their relationship to you.

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

6. Expecting others to have the same values/capabilities as us

People always show us who they are. Some of the most stuck clients I see, are those who repeatedly ignore who someone else is based on who they want the other person to be. People will always be who they are and do what works for them, regardless of your preferences. It’s good to understand why we are invested in someone being that way and to provide ourselves with that thing, instead of seeking it through others.  

TIP: When you see people for who they are instead of who you would like them to be life gets exponentially easier and you will have so much energy for you.

7. Thinking that the personal development journey is too hard

Realizing we have a lot of work to do is no reason not to start. A year from now, 12 months will have passed whether or not you have grown and developed the way you know you can. Personal growth can be tough, however can you live with staying the way you are now and depriving yourself of the opportunity to reach your greatness? Who are you to play small and not share your potential with the world?

I get it, you might put all that work in and it might be for nothing, but it’s extremely doubtful if you are able to be honest with yourself, devote a bit of time to the journey and follow some great mentors that you are the one person this stuff won’t work for.

TIP: Who do you want to look back and say you were able to have been in this lifetime? Now start doing what it takes to be that person.

Identifying and recognizing unhelpful conditioning and beliefs and changing them in a way that works for you is valuable process to master. It takes courage to look beyond we have been conditioned to believe, seek our truth and live according to that and the rewards are phenomenal.

What are some limiting beliefs that are holding you back? Comment below!

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2 Simple Keys to Open the Door to More Prosperity in All Areas of Life

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Prosperity is your divine right. You are here on this planet, at this time, with a divine right to create every single thing you desire. This is acknowledgement of the fact that you are a divine being having a human experience.

You are here to remember, and your desires are how you begin remembering. When you stop downplaying them and start allowing them to lead you to the path you were created to play out, life will become a lot more fun than it is currently. As a spiritual person, you may have bought into the general spiritual story that it is not okay to be wealthy and spiritual but that is just the story spread by those who did not choose to stay on track to receive all their desires.

The crazy thing is that something inside of you knows that what I am saying here is true. There is a deep acknowledgement inside you that your desires are sacred. So, why not stop fighting your true design, stop calling it greedy and instead choose to live to the fullness of your ability and open up to receive all that is yours.

Here are the 2 simple keys to open up the door to more prosperity in life:

1. Affirmations

Life and death lies in the tongue. What are your words creating into your life? Most people have forgotten that they are powerful enough to say something and then see it play out in their life.  We can no longer be ‘most’ people. You have to get very conscious about the words you let out of your mouth or even that you let run free in your mind. Those words are determining what actions you allow yourself to take and therefore what results you get.

From a spiritual perspective, your words go past just you into the energy of the universe. You attract what you seem to desire and the universe can only figure that out by noticing what words seems to keep coming out of your mouth. Essentially, what seems to be the default state of your mind.

Get deliberate about the words and phrases that come from you. Be aware of what you deeply desire and write out that vision as a list of affirmations. Start with “I give thanks that…” or simply use “I am now…”. Notice if your mind sends out any resistance to what you are writing down and tweak it until it represents your desires in a way that does not cause your mind to throw up too many objections.

For instance, a goal stated as “I give thanks for my growing ability to create x amount of money each and every month” is less likely to cause a negative reaction from your mind than “I am now creating x amount of money.”

Can you see the difference? Once you have your list, repeat, repeat, repeat until they become second nature to you to say what you want, rather than joking or talking about what you do not.  GET DELIBERATE about your words.

“My life is a gift. I will use this gift with confidence, joy and exuberance.”

2. Mind Movies

Your imagination is another superpower of yours and it connects you with the Divine. Most people imagine the worst a lot of the time, therefore sending out the message they want more of the same and then wonder why their life seems to represent what they do not want. Again, we can no longer be most.

As your imagination can be used to attract in low-level situations, it can also be used to attract high vibe situations taking you where you want to go. Deliberately choose to fill your mind with visions of what you choose to create. Take a few moments every 30-90 minutes to sit in silence and imagine DELIBERATELY the life you are creating – the best case scenario.

Be the star of the show. Do the things you would be doing. Have the things you desire to have and manipulate them in your mind movie. You must get into the feeling of your vision fulfilled because it only needs 90 seconds to create an elevated and open prosperity consciousness.  

Your mind cannot tell the difference between your imagined reality and your true reality so as you deliberately do this practice, you will find you are inclined to take different actions that you may not even have thought of because your mind is seeking to resolve the disparity between what you imagine and your actual reality – It will support you in making it happen now. Try it for a period of time and see for yourself the changes that are attracted into your life.

“You create your own reality. – Jane Roberts

These two simple keys, if practised, will open you up to a lot more prosperity than you are currently experiencing. Please do realise that there is no real lack of anything in the world, there are simply people who lack consciousness. Opt out of that, and become someone who chooses to see abundance for all and then take action to make it a reality firstly for you and then for the people you choose to serve.

Always remember prosperity is your divine right. Accept nothing less.

How do you make sure you are living your best life? Let us know in the comments below!

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10 Things You Must Do More Often in Order to Build an Enjoyable Life

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Most of us constantly look for ways to improve our lives. We want to make more money, be more attractive, and be regarded more highly by our friends and our colleagues. We are on a mission to achieve more, earn more, and learn more. More often than not, we are in a hurry to do all of it.

Unfortunately, this mindset misses the point. Think about it, what do all the things mentioned above have in common?  They’re all about ME. We’re all busy, we’ve all stretched out our limits and we’ve all got too much to do.

In the rush to improve our lives, we end up focusing too much on ourselves, which leads to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as planned. But there are small actions we can take which help ground us in reality and make us remember what is most important about our lives.

Here are 10 things that you should do more often if you want to build a life that you truly enjoy:

1. Wake up before everyone else

Waking up early may not be your cup of tea, but I would urge even the most stalwart night owl to try this trick at least once over the course of the next few weeks. Set your alarm for an ungodly hour (like 5am) and make a concerted effort to get out of bed when your alarm goes off.

The brain functions differently in the early hours of the morning. Things may seem sharper, and ideas may come to you in different ways. On top of that, there is a subtle motivating factor that comes from the knowledge that you are up being productive while everyone else is still asleep in bed.

2. Spend a day doing anything you want to do

Many of us are shackled to our jobs, or studies and our personal commitments. We have become so overbooked that we rarely have a night off just to sit and relax. Even if we have that time, our minds typically wander to what we have to be doing the next day or later in the week.

Due to the above reason, I urge you to schedule one day a month where you actively schedule a full day of doing nothing but what you want to do. Not something for your business or your side project. Not something for someone else. Be selfish.

3. Reach out to old friends

The power of a network grows stronger based on how strong the connections are between each piece. Reach out to an old friend (or friends) and start the process of catching up and rebuilding relationships that have faded. You never know what opportunities may develop from these connections, so it is always a good idea to maintain these open channels.

“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

4. Ask someone to do something for you which you could do yourself

You may have the time or skill necessary to do something, but delegating will be invaluable to you as you continue to move through life. The practice of delegating is a subtle art that few of us are comfortable with, but almost all of us would benefit from.

Delegating requires you to plan exactly what you want to happen, and it also requires that you set clear expectations for what you expect from others. You can practice this by hiring someone from Fiverr or Upwork to help you with your job or a random task of some kind.

5. Say thank you to someone that made a difference in your life in the last year

You have no idea what a difference a gesture of this kind can make to someone. Reach out to a stranger, a colleague, a family member, or a long lost friend. Tell them why you appreciate them, and say thank you for what they’ve done for you. You don’t need to tell them it was because I told you so… just go for it. You won’t regret it, and you’ll make their day.

6. Give your opinion about what someone should do in their life or in their work

This is nearly as hard as asking someone to do something for you. As humans, we tend to avoid potential conflicts, and telling someone to change something about their lives has a huge potential for conflict or argument. Still, if you are able to share your opinion in a clear and thought through manner, that person will not only appreciate your advice, they will respect you moving forward.

7. Give a compliment to someone without expecting anything in return

Similar to saying thank you to someone, giving a compliment allows you to strengthen your relationship with others in and outside of your network while helping you build the self confidence to share your opinions openly and without self-judgement. If possible, focus on giving “growth mindset” compliments rather than “fixed mindset” compliments.

Growth mindset compliments are those relating to skills or traits which can be learned and improved upon (i.e. you did such a good job with that presentation), whereas fixed mindset compliments are those which relate to fixed attributes related to physical appearance, intellect, etc (you’re so smart).

“Everybody likes a compliment.” – Abraham Lincoln

8. Make something and share it with the world

Often we are told to create widgets for our employers or to churn out content for individuals that pay us. However, real creativity requires tapping into our inner passions and ideas about how the world works. Being creative in this way is a great way to reconnect with your true nature and ground yourself in the present moment.

9. Go to a free event and see something you’ve not experienced before

Always keep on learning! If you live in or near a big city, chances are there are a ton of free events being advertised online which you can attend. Look for new museum exhibitions, street fairs, musical concerts, talks, etc. and try to attend something new every month. Even networking events can lead to future job prospects or business opportunities.

10. Cook a meal for someone (or a group of people)

Some of the strongest bonds between human beings are formed around food. Since the discovery of fire, humans have been gathering around and feeding one another, sharing memories, advice, opinions and accolades. Even if you’re not a good cook, throw a few pizzas in the oven and invite a few friends over for a drink.

Now I know what you’re thinking right now. I don’t have time to do all that every week, or even every month. Heck, maybe even every year is asking too much. But I assure you, you do have time for these activities. Some of them let you reconnect with yourself at a deeper level, while others require you to connect with the ones around you in an empathetic and emotionally engaged way.

Remember that this life is not just about you, it’s about everyone you come in contact with. Every small action you take will have a butterfly effect which changes the hearts and minds of those you come in contact with.

How are you making sure you’re building the life you truly want to live? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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4 Ways of Handling a Mental Illness for the Optimists

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Not everyone is accepting of mental illnesses, especially when it’s people they don’t know. However, it’s important to understand how to better handle mental illness in order to get ahead in life. Below, are the four best ways to better handle mental illness conditions if you consider yourself an optimistic person: (more…)

Alex Moore is a psychology blogger and keen observer of human nature. Through his work, he tries to appeal to people of all types and help them realize that they can all change for the better.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Adithya Shetty

    Mar 12, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Hi Osborne,

    Great post, Recently I’ve started practicing mindfulness and minimalism and your above tips sound good.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. TH

    Mar 12, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Awesome simple guide! Meditation/ working on being mindful has been a huge help for me personally so glad to read that others are working on this as well! Cheers and keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

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

Life

4 Ways of Handling a Mental Illness for the Optimists

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mental illness
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Not everyone is accepting of mental illnesses, especially when it’s people they don’t know. However, it’s important to understand how to better handle mental illness in order to get ahead in life. Below, are the four best ways to better handle mental illness conditions if you consider yourself an optimistic person:

1. Be Grateful

Research studies have shown that being more grateful can make you feel happier, more positive, and better overall. Don’t focus on the negatives of your mental illness, instead, be thankful for all you do have. You likely have a lot to be thankful for like a warm bed to sleep in and a family who loves you. Even as an optimist, you may have a hard time celebrating the small things in life, but being mindful of your advantages helps. 

You can help keep yourself in touch with your emotions and feel happier by noticing when your life is going well. Consider keeping a gratitude journal. Overall, having gratitude and writing down your thoughts on some of the things you value and enjoy in your life, you can handle mental illness a little better. 

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

2. Look for Professional Help

If you seriously can’t manage your own thoughts and they’re interfering with day-to-day activities, you should consider looking for professional help. Therapy and counseling can help reduce your emotional suffering and improve self-growth with your mental illness. Try to find a professional who can help you understand your condition and keep your pathophysiological level.

Here are a few other things that can offer you support when handling your mental illness:

  • If you have a hard time taking care of all the tasks you need to account for every day, ask for help from your friends and family. Once you get back on track, you can start doing things on your own; it’s never shameful to ask for help when you need it. 
  • Ask for emotional support. Sharing what frustrates you, venting, relieving stress, and crying are totally normal for people who have a mental illness. Don’t be afraid to get professional help when you need it the most. 
  • Ask for advice from your friends, family, medical professional. Especially if you don’t know much about your mental condition, sometimes it’s best to get advice from the people you can trust. 

3. Focus on Your Strengths

It’s completely normal and only human nature to focus on the negatives in life, overlooking the positives that surround you. However, you can focus on your strengths and not obsessively care about the mistakes you’ve made. Doing this will only help project your life forward and give you the push in the right direction you need. If you find yourself having too many negative thoughts or thinking too harshly of the things you’ve done, you should take the time to pause and consider what you have done right so far. By doing so, you can look on the bright side of life and cope with your mental illness with ease.

“ Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.” – Roy T. Bennett

4. Face Your Problems Head On

If you’re feeling stressed out about your mental illness, it’s important not to sit and play the blame game, but instead, solve the problems you may be having on your own. Doing so will only make you stronger as a result. To solve your own problems, you should first write down all the problems you’re having. Putting your thoughts down on paper is much more manageable than having them circling your mind. 

Next, you should try listing a few solutions to the problems you’re having. Even if they aren’t realistic, just write down everything that comes into your mind, and you can judge the solutions later on. Once you’ve done that, you can start assessing the list you’ve made. Of all the solutions you’ve created on your list, write down the pros and cons of each one. Ask yourself how you want your situation to end and figure out the best way to get there. Remember, you only want to use reasonable solutions that won’t end in failure, or else you’ll only feel disappointed in yourself. 

Now that you have the solution to handle your problem, you should break them into smaller chunks to create a solid plan of action. However, you should also create some deadlines for yourself as well, to keep yourself on track with your plan. If your plan doesn’t work and/or something falls out of place, you shouldn’t get discouraged and give up. Instead, simply try another solution. 

It’s never easy to self-manage a mental illness, especially if you consider yourself an optimist. However, with the help of this guide, you should be able to start taking care of your mental illness and take the necessary steps to make it more manageable for yourself. Now, you should be able to handle anything that comes your way.

How do you handle negative thoughts and make sure you are grateful for being alive? Please comment below and let us know!

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7 Common but Unhelpful Conditioned Beliefs and How You Can Change Them

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Most of what limits us as people are personal beliefs based on past experiences, or unconscious conditioning that we have been programmed with or picked up during our education or development. The people I look up to and respect the most are those who have managed to unlearn what society has taught them by way of conditioning and have created their own lives in line with what works for them.

They still operate from a space of personal integrity and caring towards others and they can see the limitations in unquestioningly following what society has taught them. They have learned to listen to and follow their own internal guidance and values, create successful habits and win at life.

Some common beliefs that I’ve noticed trip up my clients and students are as follows:

1. Expecting anything from others, life and the world

“If it is to be, it is up to me” is my motto. That’s not to say I don’t collaborate with others, contribute and receive from them, but I am the driving force in my Universe. I know when others do something for me, an opportunity comes my way or something great happens. It’s always my legwork that’s created that association, opening or sense of gratitude or invitation and it’s something to be deeply grateful for and not to take for granted.

TIP: Look for inspiration that resonates for you and act from that space

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

2. Functioning from thinking at the exclusion of our intuition

Many of us have learned to mistrust our instincts instead of acknowledging what feels right deep down in our gut (which may offer seem counter to what we think about a situation). The term ‘stinking thinking’ exists for a reason. If logical thinking alone worked for running our lives, none of us would have problems. Instead, combine logic with your inner awareness and appropriate action to become unstoppable.

TIP: How can you begin to listen to that powerful voice inside, starting today?

3. Pushing aside our soul whispers because they seem too hard

How often have you ignored a constant urge to do something new/different because you couldn’t quite fathom why that was a good choice, because it felt messy or risky or just didn’t fit with what you have decided is best for you right now?

Staying stuck and perhaps miserable is safer and may seem easier than hacking a track that no one’s ever taken before, but the cost of ignoring our knowing seems to grow over time in terms of stagnation, regret and always wondering.

TIP: What if being truly you and following what excites you most is the only thing you’re supposed to do?

4. Not realizing that feelings are based on conditioning

We tend to associate particular emotions with how we think about certain events/outcomes because of past negative experiences or due to conditioning, even when it’s not actually true for us. When we are in our truth, our thoughts are of such a positive/freeing nature that not much can throw us off centre.

TIP: What is the underlying belief in a current difficult situation that you haven’t acknowledged? How can you change your beliefs about that person/situation to give you a different outcome?

5. Having Expectations of others based on their ‘Role’

People often expect family members/partners/friends or colleagues to behave in accordance with the values and behaviours that they have assigned to those roles. For example “Family must love me”, or “colleagues must be supportive”. In an ideal world these things are always true, but more often than not, our belief just hinders our ability to deal with the reality in this individual situation. People are only capable of being who they are and acting from that space regardless of their role in our lives.

TIP: Always assume who others are based on their behaviour not their relationship to you.

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

6. Expecting others to have the same values/capabilities as us

People always show us who they are. Some of the most stuck clients I see, are those who repeatedly ignore who someone else is based on who they want the other person to be. People will always be who they are and do what works for them, regardless of your preferences. It’s good to understand why we are invested in someone being that way and to provide ourselves with that thing, instead of seeking it through others.  

TIP: When you see people for who they are instead of who you would like them to be life gets exponentially easier and you will have so much energy for you.

7. Thinking that the personal development journey is too hard

Realizing we have a lot of work to do is no reason not to start. A year from now, 12 months will have passed whether or not you have grown and developed the way you know you can. Personal growth can be tough, however can you live with staying the way you are now and depriving yourself of the opportunity to reach your greatness? Who are you to play small and not share your potential with the world?

I get it, you might put all that work in and it might be for nothing, but it’s extremely doubtful if you are able to be honest with yourself, devote a bit of time to the journey and follow some great mentors that you are the one person this stuff won’t work for.

TIP: Who do you want to look back and say you were able to have been in this lifetime? Now start doing what it takes to be that person.

Identifying and recognizing unhelpful conditioning and beliefs and changing them in a way that works for you is valuable process to master. It takes courage to look beyond we have been conditioned to believe, seek our truth and live according to that and the rewards are phenomenal.

What are some limiting beliefs that are holding you back? Comment below!

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2 Simple Keys to Open the Door to More Prosperity in All Areas of Life

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Prosperity is your divine right. You are here on this planet, at this time, with a divine right to create every single thing you desire. This is acknowledgement of the fact that you are a divine being having a human experience.

You are here to remember, and your desires are how you begin remembering. When you stop downplaying them and start allowing them to lead you to the path you were created to play out, life will become a lot more fun than it is currently. As a spiritual person, you may have bought into the general spiritual story that it is not okay to be wealthy and spiritual but that is just the story spread by those who did not choose to stay on track to receive all their desires.

The crazy thing is that something inside of you knows that what I am saying here is true. There is a deep acknowledgement inside you that your desires are sacred. So, why not stop fighting your true design, stop calling it greedy and instead choose to live to the fullness of your ability and open up to receive all that is yours.

Here are the 2 simple keys to open up the door to more prosperity in life:

1. Affirmations

Life and death lies in the tongue. What are your words creating into your life? Most people have forgotten that they are powerful enough to say something and then see it play out in their life.  We can no longer be ‘most’ people. You have to get very conscious about the words you let out of your mouth or even that you let run free in your mind. Those words are determining what actions you allow yourself to take and therefore what results you get.

From a spiritual perspective, your words go past just you into the energy of the universe. You attract what you seem to desire and the universe can only figure that out by noticing what words seems to keep coming out of your mouth. Essentially, what seems to be the default state of your mind.

Get deliberate about the words and phrases that come from you. Be aware of what you deeply desire and write out that vision as a list of affirmations. Start with “I give thanks that…” or simply use “I am now…”. Notice if your mind sends out any resistance to what you are writing down and tweak it until it represents your desires in a way that does not cause your mind to throw up too many objections.

For instance, a goal stated as “I give thanks for my growing ability to create x amount of money each and every month” is less likely to cause a negative reaction from your mind than “I am now creating x amount of money.”

Can you see the difference? Once you have your list, repeat, repeat, repeat until they become second nature to you to say what you want, rather than joking or talking about what you do not.  GET DELIBERATE about your words.

“My life is a gift. I will use this gift with confidence, joy and exuberance.”

2. Mind Movies

Your imagination is another superpower of yours and it connects you with the Divine. Most people imagine the worst a lot of the time, therefore sending out the message they want more of the same and then wonder why their life seems to represent what they do not want. Again, we can no longer be most.

As your imagination can be used to attract in low-level situations, it can also be used to attract high vibe situations taking you where you want to go. Deliberately choose to fill your mind with visions of what you choose to create. Take a few moments every 30-90 minutes to sit in silence and imagine DELIBERATELY the life you are creating – the best case scenario.

Be the star of the show. Do the things you would be doing. Have the things you desire to have and manipulate them in your mind movie. You must get into the feeling of your vision fulfilled because it only needs 90 seconds to create an elevated and open prosperity consciousness.  

Your mind cannot tell the difference between your imagined reality and your true reality so as you deliberately do this practice, you will find you are inclined to take different actions that you may not even have thought of because your mind is seeking to resolve the disparity between what you imagine and your actual reality – It will support you in making it happen now. Try it for a period of time and see for yourself the changes that are attracted into your life.

“You create your own reality. – Jane Roberts

These two simple keys, if practised, will open you up to a lot more prosperity than you are currently experiencing. Please do realise that there is no real lack of anything in the world, there are simply people who lack consciousness. Opt out of that, and become someone who chooses to see abundance for all and then take action to make it a reality firstly for you and then for the people you choose to serve.

Always remember prosperity is your divine right. Accept nothing less.

How do you make sure you are living your best life? Let us know in the comments below!

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10 Things You Must Do More Often in Order to Build an Enjoyable Life

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Most of us constantly look for ways to improve our lives. We want to make more money, be more attractive, and be regarded more highly by our friends and our colleagues. We are on a mission to achieve more, earn more, and learn more. More often than not, we are in a hurry to do all of it.

Unfortunately, this mindset misses the point. Think about it, what do all the things mentioned above have in common?  They’re all about ME. We’re all busy, we’ve all stretched out our limits and we’ve all got too much to do.

In the rush to improve our lives, we end up focusing too much on ourselves, which leads to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as planned. But there are small actions we can take which help ground us in reality and make us remember what is most important about our lives.

Here are 10 things that you should do more often if you want to build a life that you truly enjoy:

1. Wake up before everyone else

Waking up early may not be your cup of tea, but I would urge even the most stalwart night owl to try this trick at least once over the course of the next few weeks. Set your alarm for an ungodly hour (like 5am) and make a concerted effort to get out of bed when your alarm goes off.

The brain functions differently in the early hours of the morning. Things may seem sharper, and ideas may come to you in different ways. On top of that, there is a subtle motivating factor that comes from the knowledge that you are up being productive while everyone else is still asleep in bed.

2. Spend a day doing anything you want to do

Many of us are shackled to our jobs, or studies and our personal commitments. We have become so overbooked that we rarely have a night off just to sit and relax. Even if we have that time, our minds typically wander to what we have to be doing the next day or later in the week.

Due to the above reason, I urge you to schedule one day a month where you actively schedule a full day of doing nothing but what you want to do. Not something for your business or your side project. Not something for someone else. Be selfish.

3. Reach out to old friends

The power of a network grows stronger based on how strong the connections are between each piece. Reach out to an old friend (or friends) and start the process of catching up and rebuilding relationships that have faded. You never know what opportunities may develop from these connections, so it is always a good idea to maintain these open channels.

“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

4. Ask someone to do something for you which you could do yourself

You may have the time or skill necessary to do something, but delegating will be invaluable to you as you continue to move through life. The practice of delegating is a subtle art that few of us are comfortable with, but almost all of us would benefit from.

Delegating requires you to plan exactly what you want to happen, and it also requires that you set clear expectations for what you expect from others. You can practice this by hiring someone from Fiverr or Upwork to help you with your job or a random task of some kind.

5. Say thank you to someone that made a difference in your life in the last year

You have no idea what a difference a gesture of this kind can make to someone. Reach out to a stranger, a colleague, a family member, or a long lost friend. Tell them why you appreciate them, and say thank you for what they’ve done for you. You don’t need to tell them it was because I told you so… just go for it. You won’t regret it, and you’ll make their day.

6. Give your opinion about what someone should do in their life or in their work

This is nearly as hard as asking someone to do something for you. As humans, we tend to avoid potential conflicts, and telling someone to change something about their lives has a huge potential for conflict or argument. Still, if you are able to share your opinion in a clear and thought through manner, that person will not only appreciate your advice, they will respect you moving forward.

7. Give a compliment to someone without expecting anything in return

Similar to saying thank you to someone, giving a compliment allows you to strengthen your relationship with others in and outside of your network while helping you build the self confidence to share your opinions openly and without self-judgement. If possible, focus on giving “growth mindset” compliments rather than “fixed mindset” compliments.

Growth mindset compliments are those relating to skills or traits which can be learned and improved upon (i.e. you did such a good job with that presentation), whereas fixed mindset compliments are those which relate to fixed attributes related to physical appearance, intellect, etc (you’re so smart).

“Everybody likes a compliment.” – Abraham Lincoln

8. Make something and share it with the world

Often we are told to create widgets for our employers or to churn out content for individuals that pay us. However, real creativity requires tapping into our inner passions and ideas about how the world works. Being creative in this way is a great way to reconnect with your true nature and ground yourself in the present moment.

9. Go to a free event and see something you’ve not experienced before

Always keep on learning! If you live in or near a big city, chances are there are a ton of free events being advertised online which you can attend. Look for new museum exhibitions, street fairs, musical concerts, talks, etc. and try to attend something new every month. Even networking events can lead to future job prospects or business opportunities.

10. Cook a meal for someone (or a group of people)

Some of the strongest bonds between human beings are formed around food. Since the discovery of fire, humans have been gathering around and feeding one another, sharing memories, advice, opinions and accolades. Even if you’re not a good cook, throw a few pizzas in the oven and invite a few friends over for a drink.

Now I know what you’re thinking right now. I don’t have time to do all that every week, or even every month. Heck, maybe even every year is asking too much. But I assure you, you do have time for these activities. Some of them let you reconnect with yourself at a deeper level, while others require you to connect with the ones around you in an empathetic and emotionally engaged way.

Remember that this life is not just about you, it’s about everyone you come in contact with. Every small action you take will have a butterfly effect which changes the hearts and minds of those you come in contact with.

How are you making sure you’re building the life you truly want to live? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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