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How A Broken Heart Can Make You Believe In A Higher Purpose

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Have you ever had your heart smashed into pieces? We all have. Sadly for me, recently, it was my turn to remember what it’s like to have a broken heart. I experienced the end of a long-term relationship with a very special girl.

Reflecting back on the situation, I realised that there had to be a reason for this to happen; there had to be a higher purpose for me. While it’s too soon to fully understand the situation, I am choosing to take the positive road.

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion and the sadness. In the end, sadness is a choice that we can choose to make. I have decided not to act out the way most people go through breakups and try to put an entirely different spin on it.

What if the only two people that understand the pain are the person I was in the relationship with and me? What if we could both help each other through the pain because we are the only two people on the planet, at this point in time, who are in the exact same situation?

I decided this was the best way to deal with the situation. The best panacea to the pain was to focus my energy on the other person’s to distract myself from my own pain. Time heals everything.

Below are eight benefits I got from my broken heart that can help you in your life.

1. You’ll realise that your purpose can consume you

The purpose that you have dedicated your life to can consume you. What I learned from my recent breakup is that your purpose is supposed to consume you and if anything gets’s in the way, then it’s a sign to keep going.

What I do here on Addicted2Success has become an obsession. I don’t do it for me; I do it for all of you that spend your time using the advice I am giving you for free, to transform your life, and in turn, inspire others.

So let me lay it all on the line. One of the primary reasons I ended my recent relationship was so that I could keep serving all of you. That’s right! I don’t give an “F” about followers, or money or any of that stuff. I’m here alive, raw and ready to serve all of you. No matter the struggle I will just keep showing up. Showing up is 90% of success.

I will never stop serving all of you until I take my last breathe. Through the blood, sweat, tears, and heartache, I will keep doing what I am doing. This is not some joke to me. It’s all I’ve got, and it’s all I have to give.

If you have had your heart broken you will see, if you look deep enough, that your purpose had something to do with it. See, if the person you’re with doesn’t understand your purpose, then the universe will help you to end the relationship so that you can get back on track.

When you find someone who is willing to support your purpose so that it can consume you, then that’s the person you should marry and live every single day with.

2. A chapter has come to a close in the book of life

Every part of your life is a chapter in the book that is you. When you have your heart broken, it’s just another chapter coming to a close that is meant to happen. No good books have a consistent story of happy experiences.

The best books (and the best lives) are the ones that have the struggles, the sadness, and most of all, the heartbreaks.

I felt the dark clouds assembling over the last few months. Then, the thunder came crashing down a week ago to tell me that I was on the wrong path and that things had to change. Now it’s time for the sun to shine brightly and help me to get to the next phase of life.

I knew a change was coming, and what we have to realise is that a change like a breakup can be the start of something phenomenal.

When one chapter passes, all it means is that a new one is going to begin, and it’s likely to be more positive than the last. What’s the next chapter for me? No idea. All I know for sure is that new chapters create amazing people who go out there and change the world.

New chapters are what all of us need to take things to the next level. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t know why everything happens. What I do know is that I can give meaning to any outcome both positive and negative, and you have the power to do the same.

3. Your purpose will become clearer

The advantage of a broken heart is that it can decode your purpose further. When you have nobody next to you each day, you will have more time in the silence to be with your thoughts and work out what you were put on this planet for.

Your purpose is the answer to your entire life, and it’s bloody hard to figure out no matter how smart you are, and no matter how many university degrees you have. If what I do on Addicted2Success is part of the reason for my broken heart then could it be a sign that my purpose is becoming clearer?

4. You will react differently to everything

After you have had your heart broken, everything will be different. You won’t see, hear or feel anything the same way again – this is a good thing. Songs will start to sound different even if you have heard them a hundred times before. Movies will suddenly have a different meaning to you than before.

I witnessed this last point first hand. During this difficult time, I went back and watched “The Pursuit Of Happyness.” It was as if I was watching an entirely different movie. It was as if I was the man looking after that little boy and going through a low point in life.

The benefit of having you heart broken is that it raises your emotions. You suddenly become much more aware of how you’re feeling. This gives you the opportunity to change your reactions to things that happen in your life.

5. The phrase “nothing lasts forever” becomes a reality

Rather than look back on all the sad memories from your relationship, you’re better of realising that nothing lasts forever. Breakups have the power to show you that no matter what, nothing lasts forever. Everything on Earth grows and then dies at some point.

You’re better off enjoying the good parts of your life while they’re happening, rather than trying to live in this false world where everything stays the same and where you live with the same person for eternity.

Wake up every morning and be grateful for the person you’re with. Looking back, I wish I was more grateful for what I had at different times in my life. I can’t change the past but what I can do is create the future and practice gratitude daily.

6. No one has all the answers including me

It’s easy to put people that we follow on social media on some imaginary pedestal. Somehow, people think I have all the answers and that I’m perfect. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and my recent breakup is proof of that.

I have every little bit of imperfection that everyone else has. I am no smarter or no dumber than the next person. As easy as it can be to think that people that write for websites like Addicted2Success have some crazy superpower, we don’t. We’re normal just like you.

There is no influential or motivational person who hasn’t experienced a breakup or divorce (even Tony Robbins has been married multiple times).

7. You will realise that money doesn’t fix real problems

Think about this point very carefully. Even the largest amount of money in the world can’t help heal your broken heart. Only you can fix the damage and pick up the pieces. The greatest resource you have is your mind, and so you should help expand it every day.

You can throw as much money as you want at another person but that will never make them love you. The only thing that will make someone love you is the skill of giving everything you have, even when you’ve got nothing left.

Someone can only love you when you love yourself and what you do for others. Love and your life’s purpose is all you’ve got. There is nothing else, and the world is not complex when you understand this fact. Stop chasing money and start following your purpose, and giving love at the same time.

8. You will see the parts of yourself you need to work on

A romantic relationship is really just a true reflection of you. All the flaws that you deem the other person to have, and everything that goes wrong in a relationship, says more about you than anything else.

In my own situation, I realised I can be selfish, overly productive to the point of madness, and completely and utterly obsessed, and addicted to success (hence the reason I’m probably on this site in the first place).

The strange thing about the obsession of success is that high achievers seem to all suffer from this problem. Two modern day self-help phenomenon’s – Lewis Howe’s and Tim Ferriss – are both single. When one part of your life is very successful, the chances are, another part of your life suffers.

Having your heart broken gives you the opportunity to reassess who you are and the areas of your life that still need work. It’s not about the other person it’s about you.

***Final Thought***

Through the darkest times in your life, there is always a little bit of sunshine that pokes through the cracks. As I write this article, through all the pain, Addicted2Success reveals the first photos of the school that Pencils Of Promise is building with the $50k USD that the Addicted2Success community raised at the end of last year. Acts of kindness like this are what real love is all about.

How has a broken heart affected your life? Did anything positive come out of it? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook. I would really love to hear from you all.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Tyler

    Jun 23, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Great Article!
    Went through the rough patch myself of a broken heart. Long-term relationship that both of us knew was toxic, and it had an effect on all aspects of my life. I lost friends, family, any sort of motivation, and it caused me to lose a job. After losing the job, I ended the relationship, even though it was one of the hardest things that I have ever done, moved into a CHEAP apartment to save money, and spent 3 months living my dream of traveling through Europe. A few weeks into my trip, as a happy and easy-going person, I met someone new, realized what I was missing out on in a relationship, proposed within 8 weeks of knowing her, and have been happily married living on the other side of the planet for almost 2 years!

    Life throws lots at you, and the biggest thing that I have learned from my experiences is that while life may be tough now, keep at it, and do what makes you happy, things are going to get better.

    Positive attitudes in any situation are KEY!

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 23, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks Tyler for the kind words. Your story sounds a lot harder than mine that’s for sure. I love that you never gave up and used travel as a way to rediscover where your life was heading. Glad everything is alright now and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with all of us.

      Cheers mate

  2. Thea Dunlap

    Jun 22, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Wow this post really caught my eye. What a better way to channel that broken heart in to something positive. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 22, 2016 at 4:19 am

      No problem Thea thank you for your thoughts.

  3. Toño

    Jun 22, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Another portion of raw wisdom I can totally benefit from having at my breakfast.

    Yep, many of us suffered from broken heart moments and I am with you here. The girl I was with in a long-term relationship, broke my heart twice (hence th elesson if you break up it most likely means you should not return to that person, but I learned that hard way), leaving me with nothing but pain inside. It was one of the most difficult period of my time as I lost my job, friends, money, relationship and more importantly, my sanity. But it was one of the most beautiful and important moment in my life as well, as I was provided with the opportunity to start from scratch and change everything. Only later on I realized how lucky I was to end those relationship and be bale to grow as a person. Before I was drowning into swamp and universe took care of me and helped. It took me time to let it go, forget and eventually forgive that girl, but it will come to you too, Tim. It certainly will.

    Now I like your aproach towards sadness, that this is only but choice we can make. It’s all about our focus and how we can switch it. It gives you more attention and require a lot more awareness to not simply reflect on what happens in your daily life, but to consciously create your life. Nothing lasts forever is the great truth, and as I discovered (or re-learned) this with my deleted files, your life gives you the chance to have this lesson as well.

    I am now practice appreciation more and more, looking for mythoughts and feelings to get caught into trap, and you know, the struggles are the most helpful ally here and a good reminder. You spoke about how you can see things different now and how some things become clearer and this is exactly what I realized yesterday as well! Once I quit the pitty party regarding my deleted docs I felt re-charged, emotionally and got some extra energy to run my day. It sounds nearly ridiculous but this little struggle inspired me to keep going and have my mood up! Reading your article now I can sense you may experience similar phenomenon or at least near to it.

    You may not appear the superhero in the usual meaning of this term, but you are super human, Tim, strong and ever changing and ever growing being who seek the opportunity to be the greatest version of himself every single day. I was thinking how can I cheer you up and help with something, but you don’t even need this, and in your dark times you are even stronger than usual and always here to land us a hand (or two) and inspire the world once again, no matter what. You got this, my man. Just keep going and don’t you ever give up.

    Whatever happened, happened for a reason. Accept it and let it go. Life is beautiful and you’re unique being. Enjoy the journey. You will get to destination one day.

    Peace and blessings, my friend. Stay strong and healthy. Much love to you!~
    Appreciate your desire to share this experience, thank you so very much!

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 22, 2016 at 2:41 am

      Toño I have never been called super human so thank you so much. I had a tear in my eye as I read your very kind note. I love the fact that you go out of your way to share your experiences and you don’t leave anything out. You have really motivated me today my friend and I am very grateful for that. Lets catch up soon and thanks again 🙂

  4. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jun 21, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Wow! The title of this article immediately caught my attention and I had to push everything aside in order to give this my full attention. It’s like you were taking the words right out of my head. First, I want to thank you for having the COURAGE to share such a heart-breaking feeling that impacts everyone. Thank you for turning the table and adding a positive, purpose-driven perspective.

    These words stood out, “See, if the person you’re with doesn’t understand your purpose, then the universe will help you to end the relationship so that you can get back on track…When you find someone who is willing to support your purpose so that it can consume you, then that’s the person you should marry and live every single day with. A change like a break-up can be the start of something phenomenal.” This post just filled me up! Thank you again for sharing, Tim!

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 21, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      Thank you Charlene for your continuous kind words and wisdom. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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Life

Conquering Inner Battles: Tyson Fury Outside of the Boxing Ring

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tyson fury
Image Credit: Ben Stansall AFP

Tyson Fury was born seven weeks premature. He weighed 1 pound and was born the size of his father’s hand. Doctors gave him little chance of survival, but Tyson’s father, John had other ideas. John predicted that one day Tyson would be Heavyweight World Champion and at the hospital, named his son after boxing legend Mike Tyson.

Growing up in Manchester, England, Tyson Fury doesn’t remember a life before boxing. He started boxing at a young age because of the constant bullying and torment others gave him; the many reasons why individuals take up boxing. As the years progressed, Tyson reached a height of 6 ft 9 and became one of the most dangerous heavyweight boxers in the world.

This article highlights the importance of conquering our inner battles through Tyson Fury’s actions and delves into what it takes to overcome mental battles to find a purpose and achieve what we all strive for; happiness.

“Exterior assets mean nothing if you can’t control what’s going on inside.” – Tyson Fury

The Empty Feeling Of Achievement

In 2015, Tyson was training and preparing for the biggest fight of his career against Wladimir Klitschko. It was revealed after the fight, Tyson had been struggling mentally and didn’t know how to overcome his battles. Even though he won, there was no sense of achievement. The belts, money, and success meant nothing to Tyson. He knew he would feel this way before even stepping into that ring.

Before the fight, Tyson said to his father “If I win this fight, I’ll probably never box again”. Even before the fight, there was no flame and Tyson still didn’t want to box. He had had enough. He expected more in life and wanted boxing to feel different. The value and achievement were gone.

After beating Klitschko, a rematch was on offer and it appeared the two would fight again. In a lead-up media conference, Tyson said, “I can do my best and that’s it. Win, lose or draw I put on my best fight. And if Wladimir beats me then good luck to him and I shake his hand and say he’s the better man. And obviously, if I beat him I’m in the same position. Still as sick as ever, still as depressed as life can be and still don’t really care for dying any second of the moment. That’s the way I live my life.

Not long after the press conference, Tyson had tested positive to cocaine and had his boxing license suspended, unable to compete. It was from then, Tysons life spiralled and he pushed away everyone close to him. He was out of boxing for 2 and a half years.

Tyson faced confronting battles that could at any moment end his life. He drove his Ferrari 190mph towards a bridge to end his life, tried to drink himself to death and ate and drank his way to obesity, ballooning out to 175kg (385 lbs). His wife and kids were the only thing that saved him before he was able to come to terms with overcoming his mental battles.

Here are 4 Ways To Conquer Our Inner Battles:

1. Reflection & Mindset

What we can all learn is that reflecting on the past and changing your mindset can be a good thing. By building a habit of introspection in our lives, we uncover more about ourselves, our values and our mindset starts to change about what’s important to us. It helps bring control and decision making back to within ourselves. The moment Tyson Fury decided to change his mindset was after being in a dark place, understanding his family was the most important thing to him. It helped him gain back control and his mind started to change.

2. Gratitude

It’s scientifically proven that showing gratitude makes you happier. Gratitude is appreciating something we have as opposed to reaching something new in the hope it will make us happier. When we use gratitude regularly, our mental state grows. Ways to show gratitude can be; write a thank you note, pay it forward, offer support, meditate or share your skills. Tyson shows gratitude by counting his blessings, donating to charity and being thankful. This has helped him become much more of a mentally strong individual. At the end of his fights, he uses his platform to express gratitude to all those who have helped him.

3. Change Your Routine

Routine can have negative connotations to it. We can think of them as tedious, boring and unfulfilled. By changing our mindset, we can establish a routine as a positive force and become happier because of it. If you’re finding yourself unhappy, change up your routine. Try different things. Whether it’s exercising, nurturing relationships or eating healthy, the smallest changes make the biggest difference.

In an interview with GQ magazine, Tyson Fury mentioned he found solace in ‘training, eating, sleeping and repeating’. He said, “I’m fantastic at the moment. I stress this a lot: It’s all got to do with routine, giving yourself short-term goals”. When it comes to your routine, try something you enjoy doing and repeat. You’ll find yourself a happier and more mentally strong person because of it.

4. Have A Purpose

Human beings desire purpose. A Purpose is a fundamental component of living a satisfied life. When you have a purpose, you never wake up wondering what you’re going to do or what’s in store for the day. You become naturally less stressed and life becomes less complicated.

“Instead of consciously thinking about your purpose, you can try an indirect approach. Just realise that your purpose is inside of you, it’s just afraid to expose itself. You must trust that someday it will seemingly appear out of nowhere. When that day comes, make a happy dance, celebrate, whatever, but the next day, wake up and start working on your purpose” – Darius Foroux

After the Klitschko fight, Tyson felt he didn’t have a purpose. He had achieved everything in becoming the heavyweight champion. When the boxing was gone, there was nowhere he felt he could go. He tried golf, clay pigeon shooting, off-road driving but nothing interested him. Tyson also wasn’t training, which was something he had done every day since he was a child.

Eventually, he found purpose In relationships and faith. He turned his life around by understanding what drove him to happiness. Putting his purpose to action was how he became a healthier, more mentally strong person. It’s how he conquered his inner battles.

The Influence On Society

The influence on society is apparent. Tyson receives thousands of messages daily on social media with personal stories of individuals giving thanks on overcoming their inner battles. He’s an official ambassador for mental health in sport, does public speaking and is extremely open about struggles he has faced.

The man who thought he would be dead and the man everyone thought would never box again, has overcome the mental mindset that was derailing him. He is still recognised as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of this generation and uses his struggles to help others.

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Life

This 5 Minute Test Will Instantly Change Your Life

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Twelve months is too small for a life plan. The moment you understand this, the new year celebrations become a cliché. Success in life is always a build-up of several years of consistent “little” progress. The new year celebration is for gratitude, not for life planning.

People often overestimate what they can achieve in a year. But they greatly underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years. I discovered a whole new way of making progress in life quite recently. It was from the story of how a friend of mine made her most profound life progress yet. It began with a simple test that can change your life.

My friend was working in a small non-governmental organization that year. She was unsure of how to go forward in life. Life was looking scary and she was getting confused. Then, she attended a conference and took a simple test that helped her change her life.

Here are the 5 questions you must answer in the next 5 minutes:

1. What do you want to be doing (as work) 10 years from now?

Forget about today. Forget about next year. Let us go a bit further into the future. This question is not asking what you think you will be doing in 10 years. The question is asking what you would like to be doing in 10 years.

Saying that you want to be traveling around the world doesn’t count. Even if you plan to retire by then, you still have to be doing something to be responsible. To be doing nothing is to have no reason to be alive. Other people must feel your impact in some way. So, add 10 to your age and write down what you would like to be doing then.

My friend wanted to be working with top international organizations like the UN. She wants to be winning grants and handling big projects in her field. What is yours?

“Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

2. Who is doing what you want to be doing in 10 years?

Believe it or not, there are people that are already living at least a similar version of your dream today. Do you know them? If you think there aren’t any, I challenge you to get on the internet and find out now.

Try as much as possible to find at least five names. Write only people whose life conforms to your answer in question 1. For my friend, she realized most of those she knew who had this life were in professors in academia. Go out and find your potential mentors today!

3. Identify (from the people you listed) who you need to become to get to your dream

It became clear to my friend that she ought to aim at becoming a university professor. Interestingly, she had always wanted this but never gave it attention. There is a person you’ll need to become to make your dream a reality. Until you identify who you need to be to have the life you want, your life will be without focus or direction. Who have you identified you need to be?

4. What job, work or responsibility will put you on a straight path to becoming who you’ve identified in question 3?

For my friend, she instantly knew she should be seeking a job opportunity at a University. It was the straight path to rise through the ranks to become the person she desired to be. Now, it is not about money or the pressure of getting something worthwhile to do. She had a clear target.

Becoming who you need to be will require that you have some experience credentials. You will get that experience by working somewhere. This is about handling a particular responsibility where you grow and develop. You need that job or responsibility that will put you in line to become who you need to become. So, what is that job for you?

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah

5. What is the training that will qualify you for the job in question 4?

My friend already had the training and qualifications she needed, so she took off with finding the job she had identified. It took about 3 months of researching job opportunities and taking very bold steps prior to landing the job she wanted at a university.

Most people need some amount of training to land the job they have identified. Work training has become easy today because of the internet. There are myriads of training opportunities that exist in any field you can think of. If you can’t afford the ones you are seeking, I can assure you that there is a free one somewhere that can get you started.

In the professional line, many schools around the world now offer online degrees. In the gig economy also, there are lots of training by experts in various spheres. There is no way you won’t find an online course that is right for you.

Is a particular training coming to mind right now? Take action on it immediately! The training gets you the job. The job makes you into the expert. Search out the training you need and take action immediately!

Conclusion

Once you identify the training and start it, you begin working your way from question number 5 to question 1. From the training, you get the job. From the job, you grow to become an expert or authority in the field. From becoming an expert, you will be free to live the way you want.

For some people, this can indeed take 10 years. But for most, it takes less than that to get to question 1.

My friend is now transitioning from the job to the expert. She made new changes after reevaluating her goals with another test. She recently quit her job at the university to get a more ambitious job in a bigger city. And yes, it is with an international organization.

Now you know what to do, what are you waiting for? Share with us your dream job you’d like to have!

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Life

How 8 Minutes of Meditation Can Give You the Productivity Boost You Need

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Of all the productivity hacks I’ve tried over the years, none has had as much of a positive impact relative to the time I put in than meditation. Just 8 minutes per day to be precise. Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries. Once primarily used by practitioners of Buddhism to reach a higher level of consciousness, science has since shown it has a lot of more earthly benefits as well.

As Healthline reports, meditation improves concentration, reduces fatigue and stress, brings a sense of relaxation and improves sleep patterns, among other benefits. All the above reasons explain why some of the most successful people rely on meditation to thrive in their professions. Jeff Weiner, former Yahoo executive and the current CEO of Linkedin says that meditation has made a huge positive impact on his productivity. Similarly,  Ray Dalio, who is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, attributes a big part of his success to meditation.

5 Ways Meditation Helps with Productivity

Before I get to my own meditation routine that takes just 8 minutes of my time daily, let me first go over in general how meditation can give you a huge leg up in your career and business, backed by studies.

1. Improves Your Attention Span

There are tons of factors that improve productivity, but one that plays a very important role is the ability to focus. Being attentive enough to complete the task at hand means you’ll finish your work with higher accuracy and better efficiency.

According to Pubmed, several studies have shown the efficacy of meditation in reversing parts of the brain that cause mind wandering and the inability to concentrate. Russell Simmons, the CEO of Rush Communications, says that meditation is one of the things that has helped him focus the most.

2. Increases Neuroplasticity

For a long time, scientists believed that brain development only happened during childhood and then ceased. But recent discovery regarding the neuroplastic nature of the brain concludes that our brains actually continue to change and adapt through experiences. In other words, the brain is continually reorganizing itself by creating new neurons and new connections.

Meditation is one practice capable of changing your brain’s structure and functions. In fact, Harvard Researchers at MGH have shown that meditation increases grey matter volume in your brain. What this means is that it causes more neurons to accumulate in one space.

Another theory that explains how meditation boosts neuroplasticity is that it increases cerebral blood flow (CBF). By placing you in a state of relaxation, blood is able to flow more freely leading to better oxygenation and nourishment in your brain. With increased neuroplasticity, your ability to acquire new skills and positive habits increase.

3. Sharpens Your Memory

A major benefit of mediation is that it boosts one’s working memory capacity. The working memory determines how much information the central nervous system can hold and process at any time. It’s like the Random Access Memory in a computer.

A study was done to investigate the effect of active meditation on individuals’ working memory capacities. Researchers had the participants take part in a 45-minute meditation exercise twice per week. After a couple of weeks, they recorded the results and discovered that the respondents’ working memory capacities had increased by more than 30%. Put simply; they could hold and process 30% more information than the average person.

The study proved that meditating increases the working memory capacity. With a larger working memory, you can take on more sophisticated tasks and handle them efficiently.

4. Improves Cognitive Thinking

As you age, your cognitive functioning deteriorates gradually. The resulting deficit weakens your ability to reason, remember and process information. All these are factors that can make you less productive at work and in other areas of your life. Good news is, practising meditation and mindfulness can help with that.

To examine the impact of meditation on cognitive function, researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara conducted a study. They asked 48 undergraduate students to attend one of two classes: a nutrition class or a mindfulness class. The result? Those who attended the mindfulness class saw marked improvements in their exams afterwards, while the nutrition group saw no statistically significant improvements.

One factor that can explain this outcome is that meditation improves the balance of the left and right sides of the brain. Synchronizing both brain hemispheres allows for greater processing power and neural communication.

5. Reduces Stress

Stress is something that people experience on a daily basis, and more so at work. According to the American Institute of Stress, work-induced stress is the most common form of stress. Based on a recent survey they did, at least 80% of Americans experienced stress at work, hampering productivity and leading to mistakes.

Thankfully, having a meditation practice as part of your routine can lower stress and make you more productive. It goes beyond just stress reduction, however. According to the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, meditation has been shown to reduce the symptoms of social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.

How 8 Minutes of Meditation Daily Has Changed My Life

My personal journey with meditation has been nothing short of life changing. What if I told you there was a productivity hack that only required 8 minutes of your day, and as a consequence, will double your attention span, mental stamina, and ability to function under stress? What if I told you, thanks to just 8 minutes a day, a once self diagnosed ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) sufferer now frequently loses track of time as he ticks off one item after the next on his daily to-do lists? Yes, that’s what meditation has done for me, and I believe it can do that for anyone.

The meditation routine I follow is based on the best selling book “8 Minute Meditation” by Victor Davich. As a meditation guru, Victor sought out to devise a meditation program that fits in with the ultra busy lifestyles of Westerners while still delivering the main benefits the practice at its fullest provides.

Here is the gist of the “8 minute meditation” that I practice every day right before I go to bed:

  • Set a timer for 8 minutes.
  • Find a comfortable sitting pose. This could be in a cozy meditation chair or sitting with your legs crossed on a yoga mat
  • Close your eyes slowly as if you were planning to sleep. Avoid squeezing them or shutting them involuntarily.
  • Next, start taking slow, deep breaths.
  • With every inhale, envision that you are breathing in light. Follow the light as it enters your body.
  • With every exhale, imagine breathing out all the tension and negativity that you have been harbouring. Relax every muscle from those on your face, chest, back, legs all the way to the tips of your toes.
  • As you breathe in and out, your mind will most likely start to wonder. Do not get upset. Just slowly bring your awareness back to your breathing. Imagine catching a fish and just letting it go.
  • Continue this until the timer goes off. Then, slowly open your eyes again..

A big part of the magic happens in meditation when you do it consistently. For me, with every day of practice, my ability to stay focused on my breathing and stay present increased during those critical 8 minutes. And as my ability to do those seemingly simple things improved, that’s when I started to notice all the tangible benefits of meditation I mentioned earlier.

Meditation is not a new concept. And it doesn’t require you to invest anything that you don’t already have. This is one of the greatest benefits of meditating; it doesn’t require any special equipment or registration for training. Essentially, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. To me, meditation dare i say is the greatest productivity hack of all time.

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Life

5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Hitting Rock Bottom

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what you can learn from hitting rock bottom
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At one time, the term rock bottom was completely foreign to me. I can remember feeling really bad for anyone who claimed to have ‘hit rock bottom.’ What devastation they must feel. Their whole world must have just collapsed. How will they go on? I was soon to find out.

My journey to rock bottom

I’m not gonna say I had it all but for the most part, my world was pretty good. It wasn’t perfect and I’ll admit, I was sailing through on a song and a prayer. I lived in a nice house in a posh neighbourhood with my partner and in 2010 I purchased my first business, a hair salon.

I belonged to an amazing networking group of successful women. I was well respected in the community and had lots of friends. You could say my life was pretty good. However, this didn’t last for long.

Three years after the purchase of the salon I closed the doors and declared bankruptcy. Six months after bankruptcy, I walked out of my abusive relationship with nothing to my name.

I was a shell of a person. I had nothing and in my eyes, I was a complete and utter failure. At 52 years old, my whole world came crashing down on me and I for the first time in my life, was absolutely terrified.

I walked around in a daze for months. I was completely empty inside, both emotionally and mentally. I had no desire to rebuild my life. There was little life left in me to work on. I secured my old job at the salon I was at prior to my business purchase. Every day I had to face people who I’m sure were disappointed in me and most likely laughing at me behind my back.

I was a loser. They knew it and so did I. When you hit rock bottom, any and all self respect and self confidence you ever had goes right out the window. You’re constantly embarrassed and feel worthless all the time. However, one day something snaps when you look in the mirror and can’t stand to look at the person looking back at you. This is without a shadow of a doubt the moment some confidence and hope arises to change.

I looked in the mirror one day and I didn’t recognize the person staring back. She was sad, empty, blank and lifeless. This wasn’t Iva and I so desperately wanted her back. I missed the optimistic, bubbly and outgoing girl that used to stare back at me in the mirror. And I was determined to get her back.

I had reached a point where I was tired of crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was tired of telling myself I was a loser and a failure and that I would never amount to anything. But I was mostly tired of just existing with no purpose or passion.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling

The climb out of rock bottom

I started devouring self help books and reading any and all blogs I could on how to get your life back on track and how to find self love and self worth again. I read inspirational quotes and listened to motivational YouTube videos day in and day out. I journaled and cried and prayed and meditated. All the things I have never done in my life, I was doing daily without fail.

Slowly, Iva was emerging but she was so much different this time around. She had hope, faith and determination and nothing was going to stop her or stand in her way of rebuilding her life. My journey out of rock bottom took almost a full year to complete but in that time, I learned so much about myself, people and life.

Here are the 5 life lessons I learned from hitting rock bottom:

1. Failure isn’t real

There’s no such thing as failure. I’m not even sure why this word exists. You had an idea or a plan, tried it, and it didn’t work. You learn lessons from this and you move on. Always remember one very important thing: you tried. Most people don’t even bother. Believe in yourself.

2. You’re not stuck anywhere

If something isn’t working or isn’t good for you, leave it. I was terrified to leave my abusive relationship because I knew it meant I would lose everything. And I did. When I finally took the plunge and left, everything in my life changed for the better. Have faith!

3. Change is fun and scary, but do it anyway

Although change is terrifying, it’s necessary. We don’t grow in our comfort zone or in our misery. Sometimes you have to do things that will scare the daylights out of you..do them anyway. This is where you learn and grow. You meet people and you experience things you never would have if you stayed in your comfort zone. Take the leap.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

4. Everything is temporary

The good and the bad. Nothing is forever. No matter how horrible your situation is, it won’t last. It will eventually go away or maybe even turn out great! Embrace all the good life has to offer you and learn the lessons the bad will give you. Have patience.

5. You have great power over your life

I was determined to change my life any way I had to. I did whatever I had to do to turn my life around. Was it easy? No. Is it impossible? No. I knew I had the power to change and it was up to me, and only me, to do that. No one could do it for me.

No matter where you are in your life right now, if things aren’t working out the way you expected, don’t worry. Things will always get better if you try to make them better. You can do anything you want. All you have to do is find the power that’s in you and unleash it.

Have you ever hit rock bottom? What advice do you have for someone who’s there? Share your ideas and advice below!

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