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How to Worry Less About the Future and Make Each Week Awesome

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I used to worry incessantly about how the future would turn out. Then, it finally dawned on me that all this worrying was doing nothing to help me. It was taking away from my present, and by doing that, it was draining my future from what it could eventually become.

I fundamentally began to realize that the feelings and actions I feel and take week by week, would ultimately create my future. So if I fret and worry now, I’m laying the seeds for continuing that cycle in the future. If I smile and do my best work now, then I’m laying the seeds for that too.

The only way I can be sure of creating a great future is to do my best to create a great present, incrementally improving it week by week – despite the mishaps and little pains that inevitably arise through the course of life.

These days, I write what I’m grateful for every morning and night. I hug my family every day. I do a little exercise each day. I eat a healthy meal each day. I work on my writing each day. Because small acts multiplied through Monday to Sunday and each week, change my future by an enormous amount.

Why are we focused on the distant future?

The underlying reason behind why we worry so much about the future is because we’ve put it on a pedestal. The same model of focusing on a particular guy or girl replicates itself with the way we lead our lives. Macy can’t stop thinking about Gary, so she’s spending less time feeling happy about her life; giving less time to her hobbies and friendships (her present). But really Gary is a scumbag (the future) and doesn’t care about her.

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” – Thomas Carlyle

Done right, thinking about the future may be useful since it can engender positive actions in the present. For instance, perhaps Macy realizes that Gary isn’t good for her after some careful thinking and starts focusing her attention on the right people and goals. Yet, when we concentrate on the future too much, it creates anxiety and a distorted vision that cripples our ability to take advantage of each week.

The first step in getting over our anxiety for the future is first to accept that the only reason why we’re anxious is because we’re looking away from what’s in front of us. The second step is recognizing that, at the deepest root, our anxiety for the future comes down to believing that it’s our salvation (most often, that’s never the case).

We need to change the lens we’re looking through

Since many of us don’t have a dominant overriding focus time view, our mind naturally gravitates to its default thinking; the distant future. But since our mind loves concepts, we might as well hold on to the one that serves us best. And a week to two weeks seems to be the sweet spot.

Tim Ferriss, the well know author of the Four Hour Work Week and Tools of Titans, lives his life through the mainframe of two-week experiments within six-month timelines; eschewing five-year plans for a more short term focus. Cancer patients, who know that their death is coming within the year, inevitably start losing their fear of being successful and start taking more action.

Several other different authors like Scott Adams, have explored the benefits of setting short-term deadlines and using systems based thinking. So for instance, instead of dreaming about writing a book, for example, ditch the idea and focus on writing a chapter per week. Short term focus gets you moving.

But you can’t do anything when you’re focusing on the what-if’s in-between a month, to five years, or a decade from now. And that state of inaction is what sets the stage for worry.

To worry less about the future, here are some of the things you can focus on through the lens of the week:

  • What time you wake up
  • What you choose to eat, read, and watch
  • Blocking 1-3 hours daily or more to drive you towards your goals
  • Meeting your friends
  • Saying thank you, smiling, and laughing as often as you can

We all have goals and dreams. But to build the best future possible, all you need to come back to is making your week as phenomenal as you can. Not too long ago, you were picturing how life would be like when you’d be *insert your current age*.

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

Don’t let that cycle repeat itself your whole life. Act this week, and make it count. Because once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Though, I’m not saying we need to live each day like it’s our last — we’re all going to have our off days. I just like you will have minor blips along my journey.

And having a perfectionist mindset is only going to screw us over in the long run. But long as we keep showing up in our work, relationships, and habits each week, the future will be okay. To have a dazzling future, all we need to focus on is making our average week better by 1-5% consistently.

By applying the principles in this article, living each week in a phenomenal manner will eventually become more and more natural. That’s the place where you want to get to. Where doing the hard things becomes easier. Where embracing the week instead of the imaginary future, becomes your default living mechanism.

Eventually, you’ll barely care about the future. Why? Because you’ll get all the thrills and fulfilment you need by crushing it every week.

What are some ways that help you stop worrying about the future so that you focus more on the present? Leave your thoughts below!

Samy Felice is a writer who is passionate about unique ideas related to living a meaning life. If you want to experience 10x more fulfilment than the average person, download his free book on creating your best week ever.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Aida

    Jan 26, 2017 at 8:22 am

    very educating!!thank you

  2. Anjali Papreja

    Jan 25, 2017 at 10:47 am

    It is amazing 🙂

  3. Marquita Herald

    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:14 am

    I absolutely agree with your point about breaking down goals and not underestimating the importance of today. On the other hand, there are an awful LOT of people who are already living their lives focused on just getting through today who can’t even conjure up an image of life beyond their current circumstances. Many of them are facing a future with no backup plan for what to do if they’re blindsided by an unexpected detour, let alone when they eventually reach their “golden” years.

    Like most things in life, I believe the key is balance, and while Tim Ferriss may focus on his goals in two week and six-month increments, no one is going to convince me that he doesn’t have a master plan for this career, or life for that matter. Creating a personal foundation that includes a vision for the future is vastly different from obsessing about it.

    One of my favorite quotes says it pretty well, “You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things so that all of the small things go in the right direction.” ~Alvin Toffler

    Thanks so much for the thought-provoking article!

    • Samy Felice

      Jan 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Hey Marquita,

      You do bring up a very important point. I definitely feel that its incredibly useful to have a vision to work towards. But at the same time, most people I’ve spoken to and come across feel an enormous amount of weight when they focus exclusively on this vision. I myself can’t perform at my best if I’m not focusing on what’s right in front of me.

      Distilling your vision into the week, is the principle philosophy being shared in this article. It’s about making sure you actually are doing “the little things” (as you mentioned), as opposed to just ruminating about the what-ifs.

      Thank you for commenting!

  4. Chris

    Jan 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Worry is useless … negativity is only valuable in that it defines problems so action can be taken. Great post as always!

  5. Ewen Munro

    Jan 22, 2017 at 7:38 am

    This is a great read, Samy! Thank you. 😉 #keepgrowing #keepcreating

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Life

Meditation for Beginners: How It Works and Where to Start

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Image Credit: Pixabay

Meditation was first developed in India many years ago (around 5000-3500 BCE). It took quite some time to become popular in the western world, but today, it is celebrated as a therapeutic tool to ease stress, anxiety, depression, and addictions. In the past years, it has also become recognized as helping to improve mental performance, and consequently became a multi-billion dollar business. If you’ve never tried it, you may be wondering how something so simple as sitting with your eyes closed could deliver such incredible benefits.

How meditation works

Meditation is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective over one’s thoughts. Many think that meditating is about trying to achieve a zen state of mind, but that’s not the point. Observing one’s thoughts, and then letting go of them so that eventually you may start to better understand them, is the real goal of each meditation practice.

There are different techniques to go through this mental process. Some focus on the breath and bodily sensation, others make you visualize an object, and others help you to channel your thoughts towards acts of love and kindness.

A typical meditation session involves you sitting on a chair or cross-legged on the floor with your eyes closed. Once you assume a comfortable position and focus on your breath, you should start noticing your thoughts. At this point, according to what type of technique you’re using, you will try to let those thoughts go away by focusing on something else (this could be your breath or a mental image you created).

With time and practice, you may be able to reach a state of mind where very few thoughts (or none) are present. Despite the simplicity of this process, meditating for more than ten minutes is extremely tough for most. Many people that try meditation get discouraged by the fact that “they can’t stop thinking.” In fact, it has been proven that people spend most of their days being anything but mindful and peaceful.

In a 2010 study, Harvard researchers asked more than 2000 adults about their thoughts and actions at random moments throughout their day via an iPhone app. People’s minds wandered 47% of the time, and mind wandering often triggered unhappiness, the scientists reported.

They also observed that spending time observing our thoughts without getting stuck on them, may help to better understand oneself, and possibly being able to reduce the number of negative thoughts one experiences.

“The mind is definitely something that can be transformed, and meditation is a means to transform it.” – Dalai Lama

What science says about meditation

People have practiced meditation for thousands of years, but scientists have studied its effects for only a dozen. In the past few years, many studies have been published about the neurological benefits of meditation, proving it to improve brain function in many different ways.

Meditation’s benefits range from preserving the aging brain, to improving happiness by reducing the activity of the brain’s “me center” (monkey mind). A more recent study has even proven that meditation is as powerful as antidepressants in treating depression, anxiety, and pain. Many more studies are being conducted every day on meditation, and we can expect to gain a lot more insight in the near future.

Can anyone meditate?

Millions of people are practicing mindfulness meditation every day with great results, but there are also as many people that have tried meditating and didn’t like it or didn’t manage to be consistent with their practice. The most important part of developing a meditation practice is consistency. You don’t have to meditate every single day, but the benefits are tied to regular, consistent practice.

Some studies claim that some benefits of meditation such as improved mood, decreased stress and decreased blood pressure, can be felt after a single session. Some other benefits like increased focus and decreased anxiety may be experienced after a few weeks and others take longer to develop.

Some people claim that as little as five minutes of meditation per day can make miracles, but research shows that a regular practice associated with benefits involves 10-20 minutes of meditation at least three times per week.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa

What’s the best way to begin a meditation practice?

A good place to start for aspiring mediators is Headspace. Andy Puddicombe, a former English student in sport science, dropped his studies to travel to Asia and trained as a Buddhist monk. He created Headspace with the goal of helping millions of people to live a more mindful life. Over 30 million people have downloaded and use headspace. This is due to his simplicity and its beautiful design and animations.

Do you meditate? If so, what’s your favorite aspect of it? Share your thoughts below!

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Life

What The Lion King Can Teach You About Self-Esteem

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Image Credit: Disney

Did you know that having high self-esteem can make the difference between being truly successful or a total loser? If you’re suffering from low self-esteem, your success probabilities are highly impaired because your confidence level will be reflected in all the areas of your life without discrimination.

You’re Not Alone

Maybe you think that you’re born insecure and that there’s no cure for that. Perhaps you believe you can change, but you don’t know how to make that transformation happen. The good news is you can change. Your self-esteem level is something that can be hacked, just like any other psychological factor.

However, what if your disbelief in improving your self-esteem is the real cause to why you’re still stuck? Keep reading because in this article I’ll give you 3 simple tips with which you can raise your self-esteem today.

What’s Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem, as the American psychologist Nathaniel Branden said, is the psychological condition when we feel effective in front life’s challenges and when we feel worthy of success and happiness. As I said before, everybody can increase their self-esteem levels naturally. The bad news is that authentic self-esteem never comes for free, and we need to work hard to grow our self-esteem through our thoughts and actions.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” – Mark Twain

What ‘The Lion King’ Can Teach You About Self-Esteem

To help you better grasp this concept, I will refer to my favorite Disney classic, the Lion King. When Simba’s father (Mufasa) died after having been hit by the herd of wildebeests, he was advised by Scar (his uncle) to leave his father’s kingdom and never to come back since Scar made Simba believe that Mufasa’s death was his fault.

Simba left the kingdom with a heavy feeling of guilt, consequently losing his own identity and self-confidence. He had also lost his primary reference point in life, his father, who taught him everything about life on the savannah, and the natural order of the “Circle of Life” that had to be respected to make everything function harmoniously.

Simba was supposed to be the next king of the savannah, but he didn’t feel confident to come back and reign over the animal kingdom. He also didn’t feel worthy of the king role he was destined to have because his true identity had been taken away.

Only when he meets Rafiki (that holds the position of wise mentor), he goes through a forest (his subconscious mind) and arrives at a small pool (his subconscious self-image) where Mufasa appears again in the form of a reflection. Then, Simba gets into a trance-like state where he has the vision of his father taking the nebulous form of a cloud that tells him, “remember who you are.”

The trance state is so deep that Simba is shocked by his vision and realizes who he really is along with his role in the circle of life. He thus gets back his self-worth and self-confidence, along with the drive to come back to the animal kingdom to bring the order back again.

As you can see, this cartoon that is destined to children, holds so many truths that we adults can benefit from as well.

My Struggle With Low Self-Esteem

In my personal experience, I also had periods of time where I lost my identity and struggled with my own self-worth. An example was after I had been bullied during my teenage years,

I didn’t feel worthy anymore to succeed, and I sabotaged myself many times on various occasions, especially with women as I didn’t feel enough for their attention and love. Then, I realized that I had let those bullies take control of my self-worth that was indeed intact before being insulted. 

I had allowed the bullies to transfer their problems onto me, just like Scar influenced Simba because of how much he hated himself and his life. As soon as I got this awareness, I started to gain my power back because I knew that deep within me, I had so much potential to express. That was my story, but this post is for you, so it’s time to talk about how you can raise your self-esteem.

Here are the 3 steps you can apply from today to build your self esteem:

1. Remember Who You Are

Remember who you are. Remember your true identity that might have been stolen from you from somebody else as it happened to Simba in The Lion King or to me after having been bullied. 

To understand this, you can ask yourself the following questions: Who are you at your best moments? Who are you when nobody’s watching? Which kind of person are you deep within?

2. Acknowledge Your Strengths

Only by knowing what your strengths are, you can leverage them to reach the goals you really care about faster and more effectively. Everybody has some strengths; we just need to have enough self-awareness to understand what those strengths are and use them to our advantage.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

3. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses

You also need to know what your weaknesses are because we all have vulnerabilities and unless we spot, acknowledge, and accept them, we can’t really unleash our full self-acceptance. 

That’s true because our weaknesses are what make us imperfect and thus humans. Moreover, the acceptance of your weaknesses is another way to raise your self-esteem and to get help from other people that can complement your shortcomings with their strengths.

To conclude, your self-esteem levels will highly determine how successful you’ll become in any area of your life. Everybody has to find his or her worth and confidence within, and unless you see it for yourself, nobody will ever be able to give it to you as that’s something that even the richest man in the world can’t buy with his billions.

Self-esteem must be cultivated consistently and, if you do this, then a tremendous amount of self-confidence and self-respect will be naturally brought to you.

How do you cultivate your own self-esteem so you remain strong and level-headed? Share your thoughts with us below!

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Life

How to Harness the Power of Your Personal Narrative

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Are you “living up” or “living down” to your personal narrative? When you set out to achieve an important goal, you’ll come face-to-face with many obstacles, such as starting a new business and not having your prospects reply to your prospecting emails. Perhaps you’ve had an interview for a new job and learned you didn’t make the final round of applicants. 

In those difficult moments, you have to have an internal conversation with yourself, known as self-talk. What do you say? How do you feel? You may find yourself succumbing to negativity or failing to believe in your own self-worth. If so, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We’re all easily overwhelmed by our doubts and fears, because it’s what makes us human.

However, these feelings can not only shape a sense of identity, but also allow our doubt and fear to determine the outcome. When this happens, it’s vital to understand how to have the courage and conviction to move forward despite the obstacles. This includes moving forward in the midst of struggling, even when success seems lightyears away. This may seem daunting, but the answer is right in front of us. It lies in our personal narrative.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

What is a personal narrative?

A personal narrative is a life-script that is often followed without question or protest. The conversations you have internally, known as self-talk, make up the core component to our personal narrative. Your self talk represents a powerful belief system that’s baked into our day-to-day existence.

Each of us possess a personal narrative that encompasses a belief system that shapes us and what we see as possible in our lives. As a result, we either ​live up or ​live down to that personal narrative.

While a personal narrative is the starting place, it’s a powerful one. On one hand, when a negative narrative becomes suffocating, it can be hard to escape. This will lead you to foster the belief that you’re incapable of accomplishing something, ensuring that you’ll be less likely to continue to take the necessary steps in the direction of a dream

Your narrative may be so powerful that you may just assume the worst, ending any possibility for you to put in the necessary time, effort and perseverance required to achieve a different outcome.

“The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.” – Ralph Charell

Cultivating positive narratives

On the other hand, what if we possessed personal narratives that were more positive? This  is not just positive thinking, because it is the practice of consciously cultivating a narrative that you could live up to instead​. Imagine how a more positive narrative could support more preferable outcomes.

In life, this may sound like, “I plan to do well in this interview, so I am going to take every action to support that expectation – like working with a career coach.” Or it may sound like, “Because I am someone who tries hard even when I am overwhelmed or uncomfortable, I am going to ask for help if I feel stuck.” That way, when a challenge arises – as they always do, you will grow to trust in your ability to navigate it.

The more you practice this, the more you will come to realize that your personal narrative really represents the essence of who you are. Your self-talk will evolve into someone who plans to do well during an interview, a business meeting, or a workout class because you become someone who invests in their personal well-being as an extension of your self-concept.

Cultivating positive narratives is not a what-if situation. It is an intentional practice that everyone can benefit from. It provides the framework for who you can become. Most importantly, it’s the key to help us transform into the best version of ourselves, while defending our dreams against a spiral of fear or self-doubt.

So, what does your personal narrative sound like? And how can you live up to it? Share with us below!

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Life

5 Reasons It’s Important to Understand What You Want to Do With Your Life

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No matter your age or your place in life, it is perfectly normal to not know exactly what your next steps should be. There are many factors that can contribute to this situation but it is always important to remember that everything happens for a reason and that this will help you build a much happier you.

There are many ways for you to understand what you should be doing with your life and there are just as many reasons why you should work towards getting a better understanding of those reasons.

If you wish to turn any situation around and start working towards finding your purpose, here are some of the most important reasons why:

1. You will be able to set long term goals for the future

Setting long term goals is one of the things that will help you feel more secure and certain about your future. Instead of relying on living day by day and trying to figure out what your next steps will be without having a future ultimate goal, you will now be able to plan accordingly so that your every step will bring you a step closer to making that dream come true.

One of the things many people forget though is that every plan, no matter how well-organized and planned out it is, will need to be adapted to every situation the person is experiencing. Knowing what your ultimate goal is will help you handle every change of plans with more confidence and will allow you to manoeuvre every situation and turn your problems into positive outcomes.

2. You will get rid of a lot of anxiety

One of the best things about finally getting a better understanding of what you wish to do with your life is that you will finally start feeling less anxious and unsure about the future. Having a certain plan you can follow and looking forward to making a big goal come true will help rid yourself of negative thoughts and allow you to be able to focus on achieving your dreams.

Anxiety is a very common problem in the time we live in and it can make a lot of people feel less productive and scared to take risks, especially in a professional manner. As a result, they tend to hold themselves back and do fewer things than they are capable of, simply because they are too scared to dare.

Realizing what you wish to do in your life and working towards achieving your goals will help you feel less stressed and even if you do, this type of anxiety could actually help you be much more productive and eager to do your best in order to make your dreams manifest into reality.

3. You will be much happier

Understanding what you wish to do in your life will truly help you finally figure out what you are meant to do in your life. For some people, it can help them find their purpose and give them a new perspective on everything they do in their everyday life.

This will help you feel a lot happier and will put your mind at ease, as you won’t have to continue wondering if the path you have chosen to follow is the right one for you or not. Feeling more certain of your decisions will help you feel a lot more confident and happier since you will feel strong enough to overcome anything that might come your way from now and on.

4. You won’t lose time or energy on smaller goals

Setting shorter goals without knowing what you are meant to do in the long run will cost you a lot of energy and time. This will happen as you will spend a lot of time planning out your every move and it will cause you to feel stressed and worried about every little thing going wrong.

Smaller goals will still be important but you won’t spend much time planning them as you would if you didn’t know what your end goal would be. Saving energy and preparing both mentally and physically for reaching your goal will help you achieve a much healthier outlook on dealing with everyday situations and it will make you more excited to complete your ambitions.

5. You will become an expert in one field

Last but not least, another important reason why you should try and understand exactly what you are meant to do in your life is that you will be able to focus all of your time and energy on learning as much as possible and growing only in one certain field.

The uncertainty of having a set goal for your future can make you feel like you need to know many different things in different fields in order to be able to succeed in life and make a living. While having knowledge in various fields is something that will prove to be useful, you will never fully be able to become an expert in one field and make a name for yourself in that sector.

A long term goal will allow you to either study or work full time on one subject you truly enjoy and are good at. This will help you build your reputation, make connections and allow yourself to enjoy and love the path you have chosen even more. As a result, you will be much happier and content with the end goal you have chosen and you will be able to work even harder to achieve all of your dreams.

Working towards a happier you

You might be at a point in your life where you feel like not a lot of things are truly worth your time but the truth is that every little thing you do will help you find what you are meant to do. This will help you feel happy and content and allow you to tackle every issue you come across with much less anxiety and fear.

You will find a lot of stability and comfort in setting a big and important goal for your future and this will allow you to start being more productive and happy to tackle every problem that might come your way. Your life will always be full of surprises and unplanned events but hard work and dedication on your goals will allow you to become the best version of you and enjoy every step of the way.

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