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My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism – Learn Practical Wisdom You Can Use

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I’ve been inspired to learn about Stoicism for a while.

The problem I’ve had is that it’s one of those topics that people love to complicate. The reason for the complication is that many of the teachings that come from Stoicism are spoken in English from a long time ago. I personally don’t have the patience to read this type of writing for long periods.

That’s why I’m going to debunk Stoicism for you in stupidly simple terms. The wisdom you get will transform you. You’ll gain a different perspective that will help you in all aspects of life.

“Everyone is preaching advice, but no one is sharing wisdom – that’s what Stoicism is”

 

What is Stoicism?

It’s an ancient form of philosophy. It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them.

Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started.

Here is Stoicism broken down into insanely simple dot points:

– Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life
– Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately
– Study is not required to understand Stoicism
– The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca. Marcus Aurelius is also very popular

Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does. Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life.

The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind. Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way.

At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life. It’s not an argument about what is right and what is wrong. The Stoics had no time for this way of thinking.

Okay so now let’s skip ahead to the best lessons you can learn from Stoicism:

 

We don’t control events, but we do control what they mean.

This is a famous teaching from a lot of Tony Robbins work too. Everything that happens in your life can be controlled by your own mind to be good or bad. Once you understand this teaching, you can take back the power. You become less reactive and a lot calmer. You have the upper hand.

 

Disruptions to serenity cannot be avoided.

Tranquillity can never be reached by avoiding or blocking out distractions or horrible events. The way to get to that tranquil place is through your choices and judgment about those events and situations.

 

You must disrupt yourself.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done will lead you to be disrupted by someone or something who changes with the environment. Operating out of habit means you’ve stopped thinking and are mindlessly drifting through life. This means you’re not in control.

“When you lose control, your environment determines your results”

There’s a good chance that you’re going to think these results suck. The lesson here is break your habits, get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself like a cool, hip startup from Silicon Valley.

 

In good and bad times we have a choice.

Whether you’re in jail or an entrepreneur running the most successful startup on the planet, you have a choice. We all come from different backgrounds and we’ll all go through major highs, and painstaking lows. Through all of these different circumstances, we have a choice.

It’s having the freedom of choice that will set us free in the long run. It’s that freedom of choice that will ensure you don’t waste your life away thinking about stuff you can’t control. You’ll always feel the power of freedom when you control your choices, no matter what life throws at you.

 

Make it a habit of looking inward.

Stoics are obsessed with taking time to look inward. It’s something they advocate above all of their other teachings. They suggest spending time in the morning to ask yourself questions about your life. As you do this, you’ll find the answers to life’s biggest questions become clearer in the context of your own life.

Looking inward helps you find the answers that you knew all along and thought were hidden inside of someone else, or something else. This practice will only work if you’re honest with yourself. Don’t be too brutal on yourself either. Realize that we all start somewhere and it’s where we can go that is the greatest gift we can enjoy.

 

Being paranoid and fearful will destroy you.

The antidote to fear and paranoia is self-control. Learn to control your impulses. If you become fearful that others will sabotage your success and you don’t remain in control over these fearful thoughts, you’ll lose sight of reality. These fearful thoughts will cause you to project your fears onto other people and they’ll give you exactly what you fear.

In simple terms, fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you put out comes right back at you.

 

Anger will not help you.

The Stoics believe that getting angry never gives you anything in return. Anger wastes your precious energy and resources, and provides no tangible benefit. This is why it’s better to practice non-reactivity rather than being pissed off at something you can’t control anyway.

Anger is like a contagious virus that spreads if you let it. Don’t let anger control you. Projecting anger on people can only result in you projecting anger on yourself. That’s why anger is also another self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Everything takes up space.

Seneca wrote many times that even things you get for free have a cost. That cost is space – space in your garage or even space in your mind.

“Learning to live with less will create space in your life for the things that truly matter to you”

The aim of the game is to look at your material possession and be honest with yourself: do you really need that object? If the answer is no, free some space up in your life. What Seneca says here is the reason I have personally given away and sold most of my possessions. I’ve never been happier.

 

Practice poverty.

Especially during prosperous times in your life, the Stoics believe you should practice poverty. This is how you prepare for hardship and become an expert in dealing with the ups and downs of life. Comfort can become a form of slavery because you consistently start to think that someone could take away what you have.

When you’re familiar with what you fear, it no longer controls you. The worst can happen and you go through it with a sense of calmness and ease. People think you’re resilient but actually, you’ve just practiced the hard times as preparation.

Quick tip: try eating a really cheap meal for a whole week every two months. Eat like you have almost no money. This will teach you to not only appreciate the nice meals but to be okay if you ever face poverty and have to live on very little money for a while. I know a few people that do a beans and rice meal for this week of living it rough. Try it!

 

You protect everything you have, why not your mind?

You don’t give away your wallet to a stranger on the street. You don’t hand the keys to your car over to a budding thief. You wouldn’t let your house be demolished by the council without a fight. So why would you hand over the keys to your mind so easily to any stranger who wants them?

You have to become aware of who you are unconsciously giving your mind over to. You need to realize who is influencing you in a negative way without knowing it.

“Your mind can create all the abundance you could ever imagine, so you need to protect it like it’s the only possession you have”

 

Don’t wreck the purpose of your life by trying to impress others.

The Stoics teach that the opinions of people you seek our to impress are not that great themselves. These people you seek to impress have addictions, their own problems, and are no wiser than the next person. The purpose of your life is not to impress people and doing so will have the opposite effect.

Focus on impressing yourself through personal growth and wisdom from people who serve the greater good. Go beyond yourself and avoid the need to seek approval. Take action and seek forgiveness later if you must.

 

Without proper training, you’re a fool.

If you seek to master a skill, then without proper training you will (by default) rely on ignorance, and you’ll act in a way that lacks discipline and requires chance.

“An investor without discipline is not an investor – he’s a gambler” – Ryan Holiday

 

Your mind becomes what you think consistently.

Whether you think mostly negative thoughts or positive thoughts will determine your default response to any situation. The more we practice negative thinking, the more likely we are to see the world as negative.

If we choose to practice nothing, then we also get the same outcome of an influx of negative thoughts. The only wise choice then is to practice seeing the good in everything. Start with being grateful

 

You don’t know everything.

This is a thought that many people secretly have when they claim they want to learn something new. The harsh reality is that many of us walk around as though we know everything. We know nothing of the infinite knowledge there is to acquire.

That sort of humbleness is where all the best learning starts from. Thinking less of yourself is the ultimate power: it’s where you can grow from and serve others. It’s this way of thinking that births leaders.

 

Think of your problems in relation to the sky.

Marcus Aurelius says that the stars wash away the dust of earthly life. This Stoic concept is a way for you to clear your mind of all the troubles you encounter day-to-day. In comparison, your problems are so small compared to the immense size of the universe.

Your problems don’t matter in the grand scheme of things so don’t fool yourself into believing they do. Look at the stars once in a while. Remember how lucky we are even to experience this planet we call Earth.

 

Forget stereotypes and labels: concentrate on character.

Stoics believe your character should be your most prominent feature. Outward traits such as skin color and clothing should be insignificant. Your character is defined by the work you do on yourself each day and the person you become.

Your character is what sells you as a person better than any other external force. Your character is your legacy. Your character is what you want to be known for.

 

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Do something inspirational yourself.

You can sit here all day and listen to me inspire you. You can watch all the inspirational videos that Youtube has to offer. What would be far better is to go out there and inspire people yourself rather than being inspired.

Take the inspiration you’ve gathered in your life and do something with it so you can allow others to create their own inspirational journey. Be the example rather than only listening to the example and saying “One day I’ll do that.”

 

There is never an end to the personal development journey.

You never reach mastery. The student never stops being a student. Even the teacher is still a student at heart. Stoicism is something you apply consistently, and it never ends. You apply it until the day you die and that’s how you gain the infinite wisdom it offers.

“You’ll never drink all the water in the ocean, just like you’ll never learn everything there is to know about Stoic philosophy and that’s fine too”

 

Work is good for you.

Ever heard that when people retire, they are statistically more likely to die within a few years of achieving this milestone in their life? That’s because work gives us a sense of purpose. Work gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Making progress through doing meaningful work feels good.

Too much idle time and the delusion that you can get rich and sit on a beach is what can cause you to feel empty inside. This feeling can cause you to have self-destructive thoughts that lead to an immense focus on one’s selfish desires and need for significance. In other words, work is good.

 

Don’t make life harder than it is. It’s your choice.

Choices are what stoics believe are the way to take a shortcut in life. They believe we can choose whatever we want including happiness, freedom, respect and feelings of being wealthy. The reoccurring theme here again is that we are in control of everything that happens and how we feel.

 

How you handle disaster is everything.

The way you deal with problematic situations is a true test of your character. Character in stoicism is not formed when everything is going right; character is formed when everything is going wrong. Don’t let problems spoil your mindset. Let optimism guide you in all situations.

 

Seek out obstacles.

Obstacles are a way for you to take a challenge that you may not like and use it as a lesson that can help you for the rest of your life. You learn from hardships above all else. Lessons from hardships make you smarter, stronger and better prepared for when adversity strikes again.

 

You have one job and only one job.

The Stoics have a core belief that all of us have only one job on Planet Earth: to be a good human being. If you learned nothing else about stoicism from this blog post, then I’ve succeeded.

Practice being a good human being and you’ll have one hell of a life.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Meg

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Wow! This is the best thing that I have read, it is just what I have needed to understand myself more! Thank you so much . I actually shed tears while reading this, again Thank you.

  2. T

    Sep 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Nice one. I like Stoicism as a mindset a lot while others prefer the more eastern philosophies.

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Life

10 Questions You Must Ask Yourself to Discover Your True Self

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A comprehensive guide to self-discovery; this is what one must ask themselves. There is nothing purer than the path to discovering the true meaning of one’s life, the purpose of existence and the acknowledgment and connection that can be forged from within with oneself.

Through self-discovery, a person is closer to realizing their true dreams and passions than they realize and comprehending the value that each of these goals holds to them.

The following are a set of 10 questions that everyone must ask themselves in order to discover their true self.

1. What about myself do I like most?

Perhaps the most important goal in one’s life must be to achieve inner peace and this is not possible without accepting yourself for who you are. Hence why the first question must be, ‘What about yourself do you like and appreciate the most?’ By preparing a list of things you like about yourself, self-acceptance is built.

2. What aspects of my life do I wish to see a change in?

Just as important as knowing the positive things, equally necessary is to ask oneself, ‘What aspects of my life do I wish to see a change in, with regards to myself?’ This helps to improve the quality of you as a person by working on your negative aspects.

3. What are my fears?

Confronting one’s fears is a big milestone, conquering of the fears and insecurities is only possible when you recognize what these fears are- hence the next thing you should be asking yourself is, ‘What are your fears? What holds you back?’

“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. What am I grateful for?

Gratitude is one of the most important virtues of a person. In order to understand and appreciate all the things that hold value and render you thankful for, you must ask yourself, ‘So far in my life, what are all the good things and who are all the people in my life I should be thankful for?’ This lets you access all the people who mean the most to you but most importantly who has been there for you in times of despair.

5. Am I happy doing what I’m currently doing?

Another life-changing question everyone must ask themselves periodically is whether they are actually happy doing what they are currently doing. Is it really what you wanted to be doing or are you just following instructions of those who have dictated to you that this is how life should be? If the answer is no, then you must ask yourselves what can be done to change this.

6. What are the most important things I’ve learned in life?

Another question that proves very helpful when addressed regularly is the one that asks, ‘So far in life what are the most important things that you have learned? Which of the lessons have been life-changing and what changes have you brought about- positive and negative to your life based on these lessons?

7. Who inspires me the most and what is it that inspires me about them?

Very insightful questions to ask yourself is, “Who is the person who inspires you the most and what is it about this person that inspires you? “-  This will give you an important outlook on what exactly is it that you are working towards and what necessary personal changes must you make in accordance with achieving these goals.

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

8. How important is money to me?

‘How important is money to me?’ This is a very important question as it determines not only your goals in life but also helps you discover what exactly your priorities are and whether or not you are assigning your time and resources towards what is most important to you. In case the answer is that money is not a priority, then it leads you to the question of what exactly is your current priority and what should you be doing for this.

9. Where do I see myself in 5, 10 and 20 years?

“Where do I see myself in 5, 10 and 20 years from today?’ Only when you recognize and accept your goals in a realistic and achievable manner keeping in mind your duties and responsibilities towards your family, can you work towards your goals as per your maximum potential and dedicate yourself towards realizing all of them in the order that you want to.

10. What do I believe in?

‘Do I believe in the idea of God? What does God represent in my life? Identifying with a religion irrespective of what you are born into highlights your moral principles in life and reflects what exactly you believe to be good and to be wrong. A person who believes in God is seeking security and a modem of self-reassurance as well as a conscience upon which they can build a set of values and virtues abide by for a life with the least regrets. The belief in God shows that such persons need the responsibility of being answerable to someone who checks out their actions.

Asking yourself the above-mentioned questions shall act as a guide in your path of self-discovery and realizing your goals and passions before time runs out. It also helps you to prioritize who and what means the most to you and whether you are dividing your attention correctly respective of the priority you have assigned.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

How To Make The Next Big Decision In Your Life.

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At regular intervals in your life, you have to make that challenging next big decision.

Life goes along just fine until one day you instinctively know that you have to make a giant change. This change comes about because we need to keep growing. Otherwise we die inside.

Making that next big decision has been something I’ve had to become an expert in over the last 12 months. I had to make the following big decisions:

– Am I always going to be a salesperson or can I go back to being a leader again?
– Is it possible to overcome my fear of public speaking so I can inspire people?
– Is traveling the world something I’m always going to be stopped from doing?
– Where is my love life going? Will I always be single or with someone who’s not right?

These have been very tough decisions to make.

I’ve had some epic failures trying to answer these questions. Here are some examples:

– I tried becoming more technical in my career. I hated it. I only enjoy high-level technical info.
– I gave a few speeches and sucked big time. My face was as red as a tomato.
– I went on a few overseas trips and fear nearly got the best of me.
– I made a bold move to go on lots of dates and find a girl that was right for me. Most of my attempts failed – except one.

Right now, the reason I’m writing this blog post is because I need to change my career. I’ve stopped learning. I’m starting to think I know everything in my field of expertise. I’ve become comfortable. I’m experiencing frustration because I’m surrounded by the wrong people.

These are all warning signs that it’s time to make the next big decision in your life.

 

Making the next big decision is playing on the offense.

Playing on the offense means that you are being proactive. It means you are skating to where the puck in Ice Hockey is going, not where it is right at this point in time.

The moment you start playing defense and protecting your position, you stop growing.

“Standing still is like being in the middle of a battlefield with no gun and no ammo and hoping not to get shot”

To stay on the offense, you have to recognize the signs I mentioned above and then make that big decision. When you’re forced to make that next big decision, that’s when you’re screwed. Being forced to make the decision means that you no longer have time on your side.

You end up settling for second best because you are in a hurry to make that big decision and you can’t proactively figure out what’s right for you. You don’t get the chance to speak with your network or your mentors and sense check what your next move is going to be.

 

Become comfortable with not having all the answers.

Making the next big decision will require you to be okay with not having all the answers. While you can do your research and speak to people who you trust about the decision, you won’t know the outcome until you try.

Maybe you’ll hate your next career move.
Maybe starting a business is the worst idea for you.
Maybe marrying that person will end in divorce.

It’s impossible to know the answers beforehand so you have to understand that things could go your way or they could end in disaster. This is a positive.

“You either get what you want, or you get to learn one of those life lessons that will help you become more self-aware and make you more resilient”

 

Not making that big decision is far worse.

You’ll know when you’ve reached the crossroad. Deep down you’ll know when it’s time to make that next gigantic step. Ignoring the signs is far worse than making that big decision and then having it all blow up in your face.

Failing to make that big decision ends up in regret.

“Regret slowly eats away at your confidence and your ability to be courageous”

Your head becomes full of white noise that drowns out the good ideas and clear thinking that will make you successful.

Go and meet people who are seventy years of age and older at a retirement village. Listen to their regrets and the decisions they wish they made. This will give you perspective. Continually dreaming about where that next big decision could lead is a waste of your energy.

Try something new for three months and then if it doesn’t work out it’s cool. There are thousands of opportunities and there is no one thing, no one person, no one idea, no one business that will give you everything you want.

 

Prepare and execute.

Big decisions creep up on you like a snake ready to bite you in the ass for disrupting its sunbaking session with your loud ass walking. If you don’t prepare, then you’ll get taken by surprise. Get good at writing lists on your phone.

Be prepared for the possible outcomes of your big decision and work out if there are more positives than negatives.

Once you are prepared, face into the decision and execute. Take the island and burn the boats behind you. Rip up your Plan B and execute like your life depends on it (well it does actually).

 

Be prepared to be blindsided.

That’s right. Surprises are going to happen. You can plan and still have the whole decision blow up in your face. Be prepared for stuff to come out of nowhere and risk everything you’ve put on the line.

I’m about to make my next career move and there are going to be things I can’t see. People are always going to tell you that working with them in their business is going to be amazing. They sell you the dream work-life balance, how great the people are, how you’re going to change the world.

It’s near impossible to know if they’re full of the brown stuff, but that’s okay. Trust your gut. If it all falls apart, then you get to make the next big decision far quicker than you expected.

In my case, I’ve had so many big decisions go wrong that I’ve become an expert in making big decisions and preparing for the myriad of outcomes that could transpire.

 

When would now be a good time?

That’s what I tell myself when I’m faced with a big decision. The best time to decide is right now. It will never be the right time. You’ll never have enough knowledge, you’ll never be perfect, you’ll never be ready, the economy will never be right.

So if there’s never a good time, then the best time has to be now. You can’t predict the future so you may as well focus on right now and take the wild bull that is your life by the horns.

Act with courage and now will always be a good time. Keep jumping at pretend shadows and you’ll never make a decision.

 

Failing to make decisions is what’s stopping you from moving forward.

If you feel you’re not where you want to be or you’re unhappy with any part of your life, it’s because you haven’t made the big decisions.

You’re fat? Change your diet and go to the gym.
You’re broke? Learn to control your spending.
You’re unhappy? Decide to stop focusing on yourself and focus on others.
You’re poor? Go on the Internet and find ways to make extra money.

There’s always an answer to your problems. The answer is always to make the next big decision with courage. The answer is always to believe in yourself. Everything will work out for the best. Trust me.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Life

5 Ways to Tap Into Your Intuitive Wisdom as You Design a Successful Life

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Success, true success, can only be experienced when you are living life based on your particular design. The best way to know and design a life based on this is to be in constant connection with the wisdom present within you. Wisdom that goes beyond yourself and that, very possibly, put you together originally. People call it different names and intuition is a great way to describe it.

As a spiritual person, you know the power of the intuition. Being able to live from a place of wisdom beyond yourself allows you to find solutions that surprise and delight. These solutions also give you a sense of quiet power as well as you know you are never alone and always completely guided.

For me, intuition changed my life. It took me from working my pharmacist job with no hope for a respite to being a business owner and spiritual teacher living a purpose-driven life.

Here are 5 ideas for you to support your journey to living a more intuitive life:

1. Daily Practice

There can sometime be the assumption that unless something comes to one naturally, then it is not theirs to develop. That is nonsense. Most, if not all, good habits have to be developed. A consistent practice is needed, if you are to experience the benefits of a new skill.

Success is a habit. Each morning, I wake up earlier than my household (Usually 4am) and I sit in silence. I connect with source. I seek guidance for the day ahead. This is a habit I’ve developed.

Each day, the things you make time for are designing or destroying your life. Could you find an extra 20 minutes each day to practice quieting yourself down and connecting with the wisdom within you? Be consistent with the timing each day for long enough to build a habit. Some say 21 days, others say 40 days. For this habit, I would suggest that you make a decision to do it daily and at some point, it becomes a normal and natural part of your life whatever else is going on.

“At any moment, the decision you make can change the course of your life for the better.” – Tony Robbins

2. Quiet Yourself

We live in a very busy world – There is always something happening around you. Always some stimulation to distract you. You have to consciously choose to create space to be quiet. As mentioned earlier, you want to take 20 minutes or so a day to develop a practice and in that time, learn to still your thinking as much as possible, learn to tune into flow.

I use breathing and sometimes, candles to do this. I sit in silence staring at a candle and allowing intuitive flashes to come through or I simply pay attention to my breathing until I feel a stillness come over me. Any errant thoughts that try desperately to get my attention, are written in my journal with the intention of dealing with them later. This calms me down as the thoughts feel as though they are being acknowledged.

3. Suspend Judgement & Disbelief

As you begin working your intuition muscle, you will wonder if you are just talking to yourself or if you are making things up. In the session, refuse to humour that thinking. Instead, make a note of what you are feeling, seeing and hearing. You can have an intuition buddy and you can run things by them after the session to see what they intuitively feel but while you are choosing to tap into source within, suspend all judgement and allow what comes through to come through. It is a very tentative thing to sense your intuition and if you keep rejecting what tries to come through you, the flow will feel stuck.

“Failure is not a single cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement repeated every day.” – Jim Rohn

4. Come with Intent

This is something I teach clients because having a question you are seeking an answer to, can help with the calming of the mind. Sometimes, the intention is simply to develop my relationship with the source and so my intent is to listen. I generally then start with ‘Please speak to me’. Other times, there is something I specifically want to know the answer to and so I lead with that question. Having an intention keeps you focused.

5. No Desperation

Unfortunately, if you are too desperate about getting a specific answer, you will find it hard to still your mind. It is best to be in an open and receptive mood. How can you do that when you are actually desperate for an answer?  

Something I would do then, is to let calmness be my intention. I would seek guidance on how to still myself and reduce the feeling of desperation which also then has the effect of allowing me to think more clearly anyway. The other thing I do is write out my vision and goals first and keep my mind on those. If you focus on the need, you remain in the need and you remain reactive to the need. If you focus on the vision and the goal, then you become creator which is your true nature anyway.

Which of these 5 things will you implement today?

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

4 Essentials to Keep You From Staying Satisfied in Life

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It may sound morally objectionable to not want to stay satisfied in life; however, truth be told, it is actually unethical and morally wrong to not pursue what you really want in life and realize your maximum potential.

The people around us in life, whether it’s family, friends, business associates, people under our leadership, or people in our communities, look at our lives and are impacted. They see how we live out our dreams, and how we overcome the obstacles of life and business. This inspires them to do more, better, or different in their own lives. The reality is, many people’s inspiration and reason to excel is resting on us.

With this great responsibility on our shoulders, that is the first reason we must always strive for more and never be satisfied: someone’s success is depending on your success.

In the tough times or even the times we have reaped the harvest of our hard work, always know we must keep going. Yes, savor the victory, but know that this is not the end. We must keep going. If you don’t do it for you at least think of the people that are watching you and observing your life and do it for them.

Here are some practical tips on how to be continually motivated and not easily satisfied with our successes:

1. Frequently Self-Reflect

Socrates famously stated that an unexamined life is not worth living. We should ask ourselves if THIS (certain point in our lives) is our best that we have to offer. If we are being honest with ourselves, we will truthfully answer, NO. Nonetheless, we must not beat ourselves up nor constantly criticize ourselves but always remind ourselves that there is always room for growth.

Life is all about growth and development, and the goal of all development is to realize our true potential. All organisms grow and when they stop growing, you can be pretty sure that their stage for destruction has set in. Humans are probably the only creatures that do not stop growing. While we have stopped growing physically, our other aspects such as psychology, social standing, ambitions and other areas do not stop growing at all.

“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.” – Wayne Dyer

2. Explore The World

You’ve probably heard of people who’ve stayed their entire lives in their birthplace. These types of people sometimes cannot believe the stories they hear from others that have travelled or lived in various places.

To truly see other people and parts of the world, other than where you come from is a must. Not only does it allow one to appreciate what you do have, but it challenges you to want to do more with your life and not settle. Some of the biggest moments of growth for many people happen when they attend missionary trips, participate in community service, business conferences, and even vacationing in other cities or even countries.

This occurs because your everyday existence and routine of life is challenged. You meet other people who may not be where you are in life or are doing exceptionally more than you. Either way, the first can remind you to always be hungry, and the other can remind you that you are not there yet and there is still more to success and growth; we still have room to grow.

So, travel, meet new people, and stretch your understanding of what life looks like and  what is attainable.

3. Be Curious

Most have heard the old saying when you were young, that “curiosity killed the cat.” Take that saying as a caution not a rule. We should be like children in the level of our curiosity. Curious children ask a lot of questions, and sometimes some of these questions even surprise adults. Because of their powerful curiosity, children think differently compared to adults and therein lies the power of having curiosity as a child.

Some very smart children are not satisfied with some answers adults give them at times, because they intuitively know that either the adult didn’t know the answer or they didn’t understand the topic at all. Don’t be satisfied, and always be eternally curious. Research topics that you know little to nothing about, and be open-minded to topics you are familiar with.

4. Be A Perfectionist

Don’t be satisfied with the present way of doing things. Progress would not happen if we did not tinker with doing things better. Consider textile weaving. People of long ago made textile for clothes using traditional weaving. If we had been satisfied with this way of making textile, we would not have discovered modern technologies of spinning and weaving to produce textiles to clothe billions of people across the world.

So never adopt a mindset that anything is ever perfect with no room for improvement. Systems and processes can always be improved.  

It is hard to work with a perfectionist, but without the perfectionist, we would not have the comfort of modern life. Machines are designed for perfection. An imperfect machine would not work, and even if it could be made to work, it would be hazardous to operate. Perfectionists are not satisfied with mediocre output. They always want the best.

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

A study published in the “Journal of Personality” entitled “On the Development of Perfectionism: The Longitudinal Role of Academic Achievement and Academic Efficacy,” by Lavinia E. Damian and colleagues showed that academic achievement predicted relative increases in both perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns. This is an important development because it suggests that as people become better and better, their level of perfectionistic pursuit also increases.

Never succumb to the mindset of people who achieve some level of success and say “I have arrived” and “I have made it.” For when we accept this, we have placed a ceiling over our potential and a limit on the truly limitless opportunities that await us. Always strive to be, do, achieve, reach, see, and grow more.

How are you making sure you continue to grow daily in order to be great? Share with us some tips in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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10 Questions You Must Ask Yourself to Discover Your True Self

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A comprehensive guide to self-discovery; this is what one must ask themselves. There is nothing purer than the path to discovering the true meaning of one’s life, the purpose of existence and the acknowledgment and connection that can be forged from within with oneself. (more…)

Kurtis Brase is a professional journalist. Now, she works at EssayPro as a writer and editor.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Meg

    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Wow! This is the best thing that I have read, it is just what I have needed to understand myself more! Thank you so much . I actually shed tears while reading this, again Thank you.

  2. T

    Sep 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Nice one. I like Stoicism as a mindset a lot while others prefer the more eastern philosophies.

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Life

10 Questions You Must Ask Yourself to Discover Your True Self

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A comprehensive guide to self-discovery; this is what one must ask themselves. There is nothing purer than the path to discovering the true meaning of one’s life, the purpose of existence and the acknowledgment and connection that can be forged from within with oneself.

Through self-discovery, a person is closer to realizing their true dreams and passions than they realize and comprehending the value that each of these goals holds to them.

The following are a set of 10 questions that everyone must ask themselves in order to discover their true self.

1. What about myself do I like most?

Perhaps the most important goal in one’s life must be to achieve inner peace and this is not possible without accepting yourself for who you are. Hence why the first question must be, ‘What about yourself do you like and appreciate the most?’ By preparing a list of things you like about yourself, self-acceptance is built.

2. What aspects of my life do I wish to see a change in?

Just as important as knowing the positive things, equally necessary is to ask oneself, ‘What aspects of my life do I wish to see a change in, with regards to myself?’ This helps to improve the quality of you as a person by working on your negative aspects.

3. What are my fears?

Confronting one’s fears is a big milestone, conquering of the fears and insecurities is only possible when you recognize what these fears are- hence the next thing you should be asking yourself is, ‘What are your fears? What holds you back?’

“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. What am I grateful for?

Gratitude is one of the most important virtues of a person. In order to understand and appreciate all the things that hold value and render you thankful for, you must ask yourself, ‘So far in my life, what are all the good things and who are all the people in my life I should be thankful for?’ This lets you access all the people who mean the most to you but most importantly who has been there for you in times of despair.

5. Am I happy doing what I’m currently doing?

Another life-changing question everyone must ask themselves periodically is whether they are actually happy doing what they are currently doing. Is it really what you wanted to be doing or are you just following instructions of those who have dictated to you that this is how life should be? If the answer is no, then you must ask yourselves what can be done to change this.

6. What are the most important things I’ve learned in life?

Another question that proves very helpful when addressed regularly is the one that asks, ‘So far in life what are the most important things that you have learned? Which of the lessons have been life-changing and what changes have you brought about- positive and negative to your life based on these lessons?

7. Who inspires me the most and what is it that inspires me about them?

Very insightful questions to ask yourself is, “Who is the person who inspires you the most and what is it about this person that inspires you? “-  This will give you an important outlook on what exactly is it that you are working towards and what necessary personal changes must you make in accordance with achieving these goals.

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

8. How important is money to me?

‘How important is money to me?’ This is a very important question as it determines not only your goals in life but also helps you discover what exactly your priorities are and whether or not you are assigning your time and resources towards what is most important to you. In case the answer is that money is not a priority, then it leads you to the question of what exactly is your current priority and what should you be doing for this.

9. Where do I see myself in 5, 10 and 20 years?

“Where do I see myself in 5, 10 and 20 years from today?’ Only when you recognize and accept your goals in a realistic and achievable manner keeping in mind your duties and responsibilities towards your family, can you work towards your goals as per your maximum potential and dedicate yourself towards realizing all of them in the order that you want to.

10. What do I believe in?

‘Do I believe in the idea of God? What does God represent in my life? Identifying with a religion irrespective of what you are born into highlights your moral principles in life and reflects what exactly you believe to be good and to be wrong. A person who believes in God is seeking security and a modem of self-reassurance as well as a conscience upon which they can build a set of values and virtues abide by for a life with the least regrets. The belief in God shows that such persons need the responsibility of being answerable to someone who checks out their actions.

Asking yourself the above-mentioned questions shall act as a guide in your path of self-discovery and realizing your goals and passions before time runs out. It also helps you to prioritize who and what means the most to you and whether you are dividing your attention correctly respective of the priority you have assigned.

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Life

How To Make The Next Big Decision In Your Life.

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At regular intervals in your life, you have to make that challenging next big decision.

Life goes along just fine until one day you instinctively know that you have to make a giant change. This change comes about because we need to keep growing. Otherwise we die inside.

Making that next big decision has been something I’ve had to become an expert in over the last 12 months. I had to make the following big decisions:

– Am I always going to be a salesperson or can I go back to being a leader again?
– Is it possible to overcome my fear of public speaking so I can inspire people?
– Is traveling the world something I’m always going to be stopped from doing?
– Where is my love life going? Will I always be single or with someone who’s not right?

These have been very tough decisions to make.

I’ve had some epic failures trying to answer these questions. Here are some examples:

– I tried becoming more technical in my career. I hated it. I only enjoy high-level technical info.
– I gave a few speeches and sucked big time. My face was as red as a tomato.
– I went on a few overseas trips and fear nearly got the best of me.
– I made a bold move to go on lots of dates and find a girl that was right for me. Most of my attempts failed – except one.

Right now, the reason I’m writing this blog post is because I need to change my career. I’ve stopped learning. I’m starting to think I know everything in my field of expertise. I’ve become comfortable. I’m experiencing frustration because I’m surrounded by the wrong people.

These are all warning signs that it’s time to make the next big decision in your life.

 

Making the next big decision is playing on the offense.

Playing on the offense means that you are being proactive. It means you are skating to where the puck in Ice Hockey is going, not where it is right at this point in time.

The moment you start playing defense and protecting your position, you stop growing.

“Standing still is like being in the middle of a battlefield with no gun and no ammo and hoping not to get shot”

To stay on the offense, you have to recognize the signs I mentioned above and then make that big decision. When you’re forced to make that next big decision, that’s when you’re screwed. Being forced to make the decision means that you no longer have time on your side.

You end up settling for second best because you are in a hurry to make that big decision and you can’t proactively figure out what’s right for you. You don’t get the chance to speak with your network or your mentors and sense check what your next move is going to be.

 

Become comfortable with not having all the answers.

Making the next big decision will require you to be okay with not having all the answers. While you can do your research and speak to people who you trust about the decision, you won’t know the outcome until you try.

Maybe you’ll hate your next career move.
Maybe starting a business is the worst idea for you.
Maybe marrying that person will end in divorce.

It’s impossible to know the answers beforehand so you have to understand that things could go your way or they could end in disaster. This is a positive.

“You either get what you want, or you get to learn one of those life lessons that will help you become more self-aware and make you more resilient”

 

Not making that big decision is far worse.

You’ll know when you’ve reached the crossroad. Deep down you’ll know when it’s time to make that next gigantic step. Ignoring the signs is far worse than making that big decision and then having it all blow up in your face.

Failing to make that big decision ends up in regret.

“Regret slowly eats away at your confidence and your ability to be courageous”

Your head becomes full of white noise that drowns out the good ideas and clear thinking that will make you successful.

Go and meet people who are seventy years of age and older at a retirement village. Listen to their regrets and the decisions they wish they made. This will give you perspective. Continually dreaming about where that next big decision could lead is a waste of your energy.

Try something new for three months and then if it doesn’t work out it’s cool. There are thousands of opportunities and there is no one thing, no one person, no one idea, no one business that will give you everything you want.

 

Prepare and execute.

Big decisions creep up on you like a snake ready to bite you in the ass for disrupting its sunbaking session with your loud ass walking. If you don’t prepare, then you’ll get taken by surprise. Get good at writing lists on your phone.

Be prepared for the possible outcomes of your big decision and work out if there are more positives than negatives.

Once you are prepared, face into the decision and execute. Take the island and burn the boats behind you. Rip up your Plan B and execute like your life depends on it (well it does actually).

 

Be prepared to be blindsided.

That’s right. Surprises are going to happen. You can plan and still have the whole decision blow up in your face. Be prepared for stuff to come out of nowhere and risk everything you’ve put on the line.

I’m about to make my next career move and there are going to be things I can’t see. People are always going to tell you that working with them in their business is going to be amazing. They sell you the dream work-life balance, how great the people are, how you’re going to change the world.

It’s near impossible to know if they’re full of the brown stuff, but that’s okay. Trust your gut. If it all falls apart, then you get to make the next big decision far quicker than you expected.

In my case, I’ve had so many big decisions go wrong that I’ve become an expert in making big decisions and preparing for the myriad of outcomes that could transpire.

 

When would now be a good time?

That’s what I tell myself when I’m faced with a big decision. The best time to decide is right now. It will never be the right time. You’ll never have enough knowledge, you’ll never be perfect, you’ll never be ready, the economy will never be right.

So if there’s never a good time, then the best time has to be now. You can’t predict the future so you may as well focus on right now and take the wild bull that is your life by the horns.

Act with courage and now will always be a good time. Keep jumping at pretend shadows and you’ll never make a decision.

 

Failing to make decisions is what’s stopping you from moving forward.

If you feel you’re not where you want to be or you’re unhappy with any part of your life, it’s because you haven’t made the big decisions.

You’re fat? Change your diet and go to the gym.
You’re broke? Learn to control your spending.
You’re unhappy? Decide to stop focusing on yourself and focus on others.
You’re poor? Go on the Internet and find ways to make extra money.

There’s always an answer to your problems. The answer is always to make the next big decision with courage. The answer is always to believe in yourself. Everything will work out for the best. Trust me.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Life

5 Ways to Tap Into Your Intuitive Wisdom as You Design a Successful Life

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Success, true success, can only be experienced when you are living life based on your particular design. The best way to know and design a life based on this is to be in constant connection with the wisdom present within you. Wisdom that goes beyond yourself and that, very possibly, put you together originally. People call it different names and intuition is a great way to describe it.

As a spiritual person, you know the power of the intuition. Being able to live from a place of wisdom beyond yourself allows you to find solutions that surprise and delight. These solutions also give you a sense of quiet power as well as you know you are never alone and always completely guided.

For me, intuition changed my life. It took me from working my pharmacist job with no hope for a respite to being a business owner and spiritual teacher living a purpose-driven life.

Here are 5 ideas for you to support your journey to living a more intuitive life:

1. Daily Practice

There can sometime be the assumption that unless something comes to one naturally, then it is not theirs to develop. That is nonsense. Most, if not all, good habits have to be developed. A consistent practice is needed, if you are to experience the benefits of a new skill.

Success is a habit. Each morning, I wake up earlier than my household (Usually 4am) and I sit in silence. I connect with source. I seek guidance for the day ahead. This is a habit I’ve developed.

Each day, the things you make time for are designing or destroying your life. Could you find an extra 20 minutes each day to practice quieting yourself down and connecting with the wisdom within you? Be consistent with the timing each day for long enough to build a habit. Some say 21 days, others say 40 days. For this habit, I would suggest that you make a decision to do it daily and at some point, it becomes a normal and natural part of your life whatever else is going on.

“At any moment, the decision you make can change the course of your life for the better.” – Tony Robbins

2. Quiet Yourself

We live in a very busy world – There is always something happening around you. Always some stimulation to distract you. You have to consciously choose to create space to be quiet. As mentioned earlier, you want to take 20 minutes or so a day to develop a practice and in that time, learn to still your thinking as much as possible, learn to tune into flow.

I use breathing and sometimes, candles to do this. I sit in silence staring at a candle and allowing intuitive flashes to come through or I simply pay attention to my breathing until I feel a stillness come over me. Any errant thoughts that try desperately to get my attention, are written in my journal with the intention of dealing with them later. This calms me down as the thoughts feel as though they are being acknowledged.

3. Suspend Judgement & Disbelief

As you begin working your intuition muscle, you will wonder if you are just talking to yourself or if you are making things up. In the session, refuse to humour that thinking. Instead, make a note of what you are feeling, seeing and hearing. You can have an intuition buddy and you can run things by them after the session to see what they intuitively feel but while you are choosing to tap into source within, suspend all judgement and allow what comes through to come through. It is a very tentative thing to sense your intuition and if you keep rejecting what tries to come through you, the flow will feel stuck.

“Failure is not a single cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement repeated every day.” – Jim Rohn

4. Come with Intent

This is something I teach clients because having a question you are seeking an answer to, can help with the calming of the mind. Sometimes, the intention is simply to develop my relationship with the source and so my intent is to listen. I generally then start with ‘Please speak to me’. Other times, there is something I specifically want to know the answer to and so I lead with that question. Having an intention keeps you focused.

5. No Desperation

Unfortunately, if you are too desperate about getting a specific answer, you will find it hard to still your mind. It is best to be in an open and receptive mood. How can you do that when you are actually desperate for an answer?  

Something I would do then, is to let calmness be my intention. I would seek guidance on how to still myself and reduce the feeling of desperation which also then has the effect of allowing me to think more clearly anyway. The other thing I do is write out my vision and goals first and keep my mind on those. If you focus on the need, you remain in the need and you remain reactive to the need. If you focus on the vision and the goal, then you become creator which is your true nature anyway.

Which of these 5 things will you implement today?

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

4 Essentials to Keep You From Staying Satisfied in Life

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It may sound morally objectionable to not want to stay satisfied in life; however, truth be told, it is actually unethical and morally wrong to not pursue what you really want in life and realize your maximum potential.

The people around us in life, whether it’s family, friends, business associates, people under our leadership, or people in our communities, look at our lives and are impacted. They see how we live out our dreams, and how we overcome the obstacles of life and business. This inspires them to do more, better, or different in their own lives. The reality is, many people’s inspiration and reason to excel is resting on us.

With this great responsibility on our shoulders, that is the first reason we must always strive for more and never be satisfied: someone’s success is depending on your success.

In the tough times or even the times we have reaped the harvest of our hard work, always know we must keep going. Yes, savor the victory, but know that this is not the end. We must keep going. If you don’t do it for you at least think of the people that are watching you and observing your life and do it for them.

Here are some practical tips on how to be continually motivated and not easily satisfied with our successes:

1. Frequently Self-Reflect

Socrates famously stated that an unexamined life is not worth living. We should ask ourselves if THIS (certain point in our lives) is our best that we have to offer. If we are being honest with ourselves, we will truthfully answer, NO. Nonetheless, we must not beat ourselves up nor constantly criticize ourselves but always remind ourselves that there is always room for growth.

Life is all about growth and development, and the goal of all development is to realize our true potential. All organisms grow and when they stop growing, you can be pretty sure that their stage for destruction has set in. Humans are probably the only creatures that do not stop growing. While we have stopped growing physically, our other aspects such as psychology, social standing, ambitions and other areas do not stop growing at all.

“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.” – Wayne Dyer

2. Explore The World

You’ve probably heard of people who’ve stayed their entire lives in their birthplace. These types of people sometimes cannot believe the stories they hear from others that have travelled or lived in various places.

To truly see other people and parts of the world, other than where you come from is a must. Not only does it allow one to appreciate what you do have, but it challenges you to want to do more with your life and not settle. Some of the biggest moments of growth for many people happen when they attend missionary trips, participate in community service, business conferences, and even vacationing in other cities or even countries.

This occurs because your everyday existence and routine of life is challenged. You meet other people who may not be where you are in life or are doing exceptionally more than you. Either way, the first can remind you to always be hungry, and the other can remind you that you are not there yet and there is still more to success and growth; we still have room to grow.

So, travel, meet new people, and stretch your understanding of what life looks like and  what is attainable.

3. Be Curious

Most have heard the old saying when you were young, that “curiosity killed the cat.” Take that saying as a caution not a rule. We should be like children in the level of our curiosity. Curious children ask a lot of questions, and sometimes some of these questions even surprise adults. Because of their powerful curiosity, children think differently compared to adults and therein lies the power of having curiosity as a child.

Some very smart children are not satisfied with some answers adults give them at times, because they intuitively know that either the adult didn’t know the answer or they didn’t understand the topic at all. Don’t be satisfied, and always be eternally curious. Research topics that you know little to nothing about, and be open-minded to topics you are familiar with.

4. Be A Perfectionist

Don’t be satisfied with the present way of doing things. Progress would not happen if we did not tinker with doing things better. Consider textile weaving. People of long ago made textile for clothes using traditional weaving. If we had been satisfied with this way of making textile, we would not have discovered modern technologies of spinning and weaving to produce textiles to clothe billions of people across the world.

So never adopt a mindset that anything is ever perfect with no room for improvement. Systems and processes can always be improved.  

It is hard to work with a perfectionist, but without the perfectionist, we would not have the comfort of modern life. Machines are designed for perfection. An imperfect machine would not work, and even if it could be made to work, it would be hazardous to operate. Perfectionists are not satisfied with mediocre output. They always want the best.

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

A study published in the “Journal of Personality” entitled “On the Development of Perfectionism: The Longitudinal Role of Academic Achievement and Academic Efficacy,” by Lavinia E. Damian and colleagues showed that academic achievement predicted relative increases in both perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns. This is an important development because it suggests that as people become better and better, their level of perfectionistic pursuit also increases.

Never succumb to the mindset of people who achieve some level of success and say “I have arrived” and “I have made it.” For when we accept this, we have placed a ceiling over our potential and a limit on the truly limitless opportunities that await us. Always strive to be, do, achieve, reach, see, and grow more.

How are you making sure you continue to grow daily in order to be great? Share with us some tips in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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