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The 10 Key Ingredients to Happiness

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Happy Life Girl living in happiness
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Ask a dozen individuals what the key to happiness in life is and you will most likely get a dozen different reasons that this is attributed to. Interestingly enough, every one of them have certain habits in common with one another.

These habits are the key components to living a happier life. Ironically, these habits do not have anything to do with being better looking, richer, or smarter than the next person.

 

What makes People Unhappy?

Granted, there are a number of circumstances and situations that are attributed to how unhappy a person may be with their life.

The following is a list of the 7 most destructive habits that unhappy people typically practice on a daily basis:

 

1. Attempting to achieve perfection

Your behavior and your life do not have to be perfect in order for you to be happy, yet this is an all too common misconception that many people share. You will wind up setting unattainable goals and your self-confidence will suffer for it.

 

2. Comparing your life and yourself to others

This is not only one of the most common of the bad habits listed here, it is quite possibly the most destructive. We tend to compare our assets, our relationships, and our social acceptance with others. As a result, you create many negative feelings and thoughts.

 

3. Focusing on life’s negative details

Dwelling on the negative aspects of your life and situation almost guarantees that you will be unhappy. Not only that but you drag down everyone around you in the process.

 

4. Getting stuck in your past or thinking too much about the future

Reliving conflicts, missed opportunities, and painful memories can take a toll on you emotionally and mentally. You can also create nightmarish scenarios by spending too much time in the future and imagining how your health could fail or that your relationship will fall apart.

 

5. Limiting your life by thinking that everyone and everything in the world revolves around you

Thinking that the world revolves around you causes you hold back out of the fear of rejection. It scares you to think what people may say or think about you.

 

6. Living in an world of negativity

What we listen to and watch, what we read, and who we socialize with can have a negative or positive impact on our emotions and our thoughts. If you constantly expose yourself to negativity and let yourself get dragged down by it, it’s going to be extremely difficult for you to ever be happy in your life.

 

7. Overcomplicating your life

Life is complicated enough so why would you want to make it worse? This causes us to create stress and unhappiness while making the world more complex than what it already is. However, developing the right habits can simplify things a make your life easier.

It’s important to note that happiness does not happen overnight. After all, it took years for you to grow unhappy and you can’t just erase that by flipping a switch or taking a magic pill. Just be sure that you set challenging yet realistic goals for yourself.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” – Charles Spurgeon


 

The 10 Ingredients to Happiness

Everyone’s happiness is attributed to a variety of reasons. However, past research suggests that the following 10 elements contribute to an individual’s happiness and well-being:

 

i choose to be happy quote

 

1. Acceptance

Dwelling on our flaws makes it exceedingly difficult to achieve happiness in our lives.

Accepting ourselves and being kind to ourselves increase our enjoyment, resilience, and well-being.

 

2. Appreciation

Once you start noticing the world around you, you will begin to appreciate it that much more. If you’ve ever felt that there has to be more to life, you’d be safe in your assumptions. You just need to stop every now and then so you can take the time to appreciate what’s out there.

 

3. Direction

You have to have goals in order to feel good about the future. That takes direction and motivation. Our goals must be challenging yet realistically achievable. Attempting the impossible creates undue stress. However, choosing ambitious goals gives us direction.

 

4. Emotion

Regularly experiencing positive emotions such as contentment, gratitude, inspiration, and pride helps us to develop our resources.

It helps us focus on the positive aspects in our lives (the glass is half full, not half empty).

 

5. Exercising

Your mind is connected with your body. So when we are active it not only benefits our physical health, it makes us happier. Our moods improve and we can even lift ourselves out of depression as a result.

Interestingly enough, our activities do not have to involve complex exercises. There are simple things that we can do every day so that we are more active.

 

6. Giving

Caring about others and doing for others is vital to a person’s happiness. When we give to others or help them, it makes us happier and we become healthier in the process.

Giving helps us to create a better society. However, it also helps us to develop stronger connections with those around us.

 

7. Meaning

People feel more in control, get more out of their efforts, and are typically happier when their lives have meaning and purpose. Plus, they experience less anxiety, depression, and stress in their lives.

 

8. Relationships

Relating with others is quite possibly the greatest contributor to our happiness. Individuals who have broader, stronger relationships with others are happier and healthier. It also helps us to live longer.

We can increase our self-worth by developing close relationships with our family members and friends.

 

9. Resilience

All of us have experienced failure, loss, stress, and trauma in our lives. However, it is the way we react and respond to these issues that can have a huge impact on our lives and well-being. In other words, it is the way that we bounce back when we get knocked down.

 

10. Trying out

There are a number of positive benefits to learning. You get exposed to new ideas which enables you to stay curious and learn new things.

We become more resilient and improve our self-confidence, eventually gaining a sense of accomplishment.

 

Closing note: if you unscramble the first letter of each component above (A, A, D, E, E, G, M, R, R, and T) it spells “GREAT DREAM”.

Ajax Oliver's mission is to help 1,000,000 people create a harmonic relationship with money by eliminating the stress, doubt and insecurities we feel about money. You can also read his lifestyle and relationship advice online.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. janet

    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:24 am

    You have helped my life a lot, thank you.

  2. Passive Pursuit

    Aug 9, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Hey Alex,

    Regular reader and love your work man!

    Can’t tell you how many ups and downs i have been through in my life that have been rectified by applying these 10 principles.

    The biggest one for me was my health. Ever since I started getting away from the PC and working out, my energy levels have increased and I am 10x more productive.

    Regards,
    Richard

  3. Keith Rozairo

    Jan 10, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Great article. Thank You, it adds more meaning and puts a lot of things in perspective if we follow those principles.
    Cheers

  4. Damien Parsons

    Jan 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Splendid article and I admire your style. As a novice writer, one could really learn from your work.

    “The 10 key ingredients to happiness” – A title I will bookmark most definitely.
    Your closing note “Great Dream” was a fantastic conclusion to these ingredients to happiness. It can really put in perspective to the “levels” of happiness there is to achieve.

    Perform with these 10 pointers in mind and your happiness will lead to a successful lifestyle.

    Thanks for your inspiration, and glad to have acquainted here, and on Twitter as well.
    See you around!

  5. Nguma

    Jan 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    It’s true that it is not how much we have but how much we enjoy that brings happiness.

  6. Ajax Oliver

    Dec 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! It was a pleasure to contribute to the A2S community!

  7. Cody

    Dec 15, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Ajax! Loving the post buddy! I just got done reading The Pursuit of Happiness by Chris Guillebeau and these ingredients resonate so well with what Chris talks about in his book. Alongside physical exercise, I’ve learned that emotional exercise is just as strong if not stronger. The happiness I experience with persistent gratitude and inspiration is a second to none for me. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  8. Rose Costas

    Dec 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for the reminder. It all seem so very easy when it is written but most of us go through life stumbling about trying out other peoples life’s and dreams and ignoring ours. I think the best way to remain focus is to have all our goals, dreams and how to get their written as it will help us to remain focus on ourselves and our dreams.
    I also gets upset when people claim to have made it alone. No man is an island and no one can do it alone. There must be people who are willing to lend you a hand and give you valuable insight as you go through life.
    Thanks again for the reminders.

  9. Dan Western

    Dec 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Ajax,

    Absolutely spot on, both the reasons why people are unhappy and the ingredients to become happy!

    I don’t think we can highlight just one key ingredient, as they’re all needed for happiness and one without the other wouldn’t give you fulfillment.

    Thanks for sharing. Nailed it!

    Dan

  10. ThatSEOGuy

    Dec 15, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Hi Ajax,
    Brilliant post, having a strong relationship with your family is something I have really tried with recently and is definitely bringing a sense of self-worth to the equation. Great tips once again 🙂 Have the attitude of gratitude. Awesome mission too, tick one more person off of your list.
    Tom

  11. Peter

    Dec 14, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Hey Ajax,
    Great post! I can really relate to No 10. I love learning new things about a variety of topics – history, physics, food, business (I have a long list!). That’s what keeps me really excited about life and look forward to every single day.
    Peter

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Life

Change Your Life Forever With These 30 Strategies

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There are strategies which bring together all happy and successful people who can also use them to improve the quality of your life. Usually when you want to change your life, you don’t know where to start and you risk losing the motivation because you don’t know the best strategies to apply. To change your life forever you have to change yourself. If you want to achieve extraordinary results, you must become an extraordinary person.

Here are 30 ways you can change your life today:

1. Face your fears, first the smallest, then the greatest.

2. Transform gratitude into a daily and constant mood. This will allow you to change your life.

3. Be conscious in every moment of what you think, feel, desire and do. Be Present. Do the exercises of “Remembering yourself” all year round.

4. Engage in realizing your dreams, creating a monthly plan with daily actions to accomplish them.

5. Decide what person you want to become, create a purpose that will guide your life and your days.

6. Practice observing thoughts, without identifying yourself with them.

7. Make your power supply healthier.

8. Read more books and take part in several courses and seminars.

9. Always out of the ordinary, do not imitate the mass.

10. Make gentle gestures to people you don’t know.

11. Imagine yourself while you have realized your dreams.

12. Take more time to be alone and get to know you better.

13. Live with the awareness that nothing is yours, everything is a gift.

14. Stop complaining; stop complaining; stop complaining.

15. Help others with the example.

16. Smile and laugh more often, even without reason.

17. Stay for a longer time in contact with nature.

18. Think, talk and act as the person you want to become.

19. Be punctual and if you make a mistake, please apologize.

20. Say thank you for each gift, learn to receive.

21. Change a habit or recurring reaction.

22. Take responsibility for the successes and failures you achieve, never point your finger at someone else.

23. Admire and bless more often.

24. Strive to perceive perfection and beauty in everything that happens to you.

25. Inwardly love your enemies, even if you don’t talk to them externally.

26. Learn a musical instrument or a new language.

27. Keep promises made.

28. During a difficult period ask yourself “What can I learn from this situation”?

29. Do more often what is right and less what is convenient for you.

30. Change your way of thinking.

If you want to change your life forever, you must act as if you were already the person you want to become. Take action as if you were already sure of yourself, and see what beliefs are held by successful people, great leaders, the best in your industry and those who get great results.

Listening to them, spend time with them, try to understand what they think, how they see each other, and what they think about their activity. Read the books of those who get the same results that you want to achieve, listen to their interviews, read their autobiographies, and find out what their mental attitude is.

All successful people have similar beliefs

I’ll tell you a secret: There is no greater psychological strength than the need we have to remain consistent with our own identity; to remain consistent with who we believe we are. What does that mean? Simple, that everything that anything I put after the words “I am:…” becomes reality.

If you think you are shy, you will do everything you can to act accordingly. If you believe you are extroverted, you will give everything to act accordingly. Listen and pay attention to what you add after the words “I am…”. If you don’t believe you can achieve your goals beyond the objective difficulties, you won’t be able to do it anyway: you will be the first cause of your failure.

Which one of these 30 strategies will you implement in your life today? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Lost Your Mojo? Focus on These 3 Areas to Get Back in the Game

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It’s time for some good news! You’re only ever lacking in three areas and guess what? You can turn those 3 things around relatively easily and quickly!

It’s easy to get caught up thinking, that you’re miles behind, that you can’t find your flow or mojo or that you’re just lazy and unmotivated. The good news is you are only a few decisions, actions and days away from finding your mojo again!

Here are 3 things you need to look at when you’re feeling down and out:

1. Energy levels

The first place to look when you lose your mojo is your energy levels. What are you eating & drinking? Are you eating lean, green and light? If you aren’t already, cut your intake down and focus on hydrating your body with water and eating fresh organic food. Being light on your feet and energizing your body is most important.

Also, take a look at your exercise regime. Are you exercising for energy or are you burning your body out at the gym? Make sure you are getting good consistent rest every night and don’t forget to spend some time alone in nature connecting with your inner most self.

“You just got to wake up with a smile and love every minute of building your dream.” – Joe Duncan

2. Production levels

The second place to look is your production levels or more so, your lack of production! Are you producing enough work or activity to get the results you want? That’s usually the real cause of most of your problems; a lack of work, effort and momentum. In many cases a lack of production stems from a lack of energy – but hey, we’re working on that right?

3. Confidence levels

The third place to look when you’re floundering is your confidence levels. But don’t panic, we all lose our confidence from time to time. When you lose your confidence and your sense of certainty, everything else will be impacted, especially your performance.

The best way to get your confidence back is to go back to basics for a few days and try and build some momentum and get your flow back. You lose your confidence when you lose your self belief, so do the simple things you know you can do well, then you’ll start to believe in your ability again!

“You won’t always get it right, but that doesn’t mean you’re never going to get it right.” – Joe Duncan

It’s time to get your mojo back and get back in the game. Remember next time when you get stuck you only have to make adjustments in these three areas and most likely they will only be small tweaks and changes that need to be implemented. 

Click here if you are having trouble finding your flow, lost motivation and need some help to get back on your feet!

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How Never Giving Up Can Lead You From Pain and Suffering to Ease and Joy

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I struggled with many aspects of life early on such as growing up in challenging circumstances and getting bullied at school. I read my first self-development book at 13 and attended many courses and workshops, but nothing I encountered made the difference for me. It was only once I found a set of energetic processes and tools which I now use in my life and my work that I was able to turn things around.

Today, I get to write for you about my experiences, run a thriving mentoring and healing practice and travel to attend classes and events.

Here are some of the things I’ve done/learned along the way:

1. I took responsibility for my actions

I believe we attract all our experiences in order to learn from them. It is tough when we go through things we don’t know how to handle and experience pain, fear and anxiety as a result.  

This leaves us many emotions to release and a skill gap to bridge, which if done right, allows us to develop a level of confidence about how to turn experience into awareness and integrate our learning into wisdom for future ease and higher outcomes.

For me, learning to let go was hard (we are not taught this and I kept feeling like I had to hold onto things to protect myself). After a while, I came to the decision that “It’s not what’s happened to me, it’s how I deal with it that matters”.

Choosing from this space was empowering and allowed me to move from regret and develop a sense of purpose from my experiences.

2. I jumped off the cliff without a parachute and became inspired and trusting on the way down

I had gotten to the point where if I stayed where I was, I would die. I didn’t know how my life would look or who I would become in the process of changing, yet I knew if I was going to survive I had to become a radically different version of me.

Once I made that decision, I found the tools I was looking for that were relatable, fun and powerful. I began to change my thoughts, feelings and emotions and way of viewing the world.

After a while, instead of using personal development to escape the pain of my life, I became addicted to pursuing the highest version of myself and curious how much change and transformation I could create. I was having fun!

I began to ask what was possible for me I’d never imagined and realized that who I actually am is completely different from who I had thought I wanted to become. I discovered my soul purpose was connected to my inner work and my years of struggle and transformation meant that I had something valuable to offer others.

“What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.” – Mandy Hale

3. I had the unshakeable belief something else was possible

As growth, healing, and expansion became my highest goal, the details filled themselves in. The right people and things showed up to trigger my growth and to support me which helped me be less fearful, and more able to give and receive love from others.

I lost layers of accumulated emotional garbage and started to connect with my power and purpose. I stopped telling my victim story (except to inspire others) and I began to trust myself and have faith in life again to have my back.

4. I made heaps of mistakes and instead of feeling bad about it, I felt determined, courageous and free

This part was tough. There were setbacks, embarrassments, discouragements and challenges but I wasn’t going to give in and quit.  

I had to suck at some things in order to get better. Creating a new life from scratch is a great way to lose ego. There were a few hurdles where I would get super upset, yet giving up was never an option.

There’s no point in being upset so I sucked it up and moved on. This takes courage and feels totally weird at first, but it is so worth it.

5. I became a new version of me

In the course of recreating myself, I began to develop new attributes. I was so focusing on changing, I didn’t notice what was different about me at first.

Every few months I would write my goals and it wasn’t until I would check them that I began to realize how much I’d accomplished in the process of changing me.

This became clearer whenever I would run across someone who I once looked up to because their life suddenly looked smaller than I remembered. While they had been comfortable and barely moving, I had plodded past them like the proverbial tortoise. As I stay on this trajectory, the benefits and changes multiply exponentially over time.

“Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.” – James Altucher

6. I became open to new ideas and concepts

In the process of being cracked wide open by life, I became curious, accepting and interested in different ideas, concepts and techniques.

Things like manifesting, consciousness, spirituality and other ‘strange’ ideas became my friends.  After years of trying to create change via psychological means, effort, willpower and implementing traditional tools of personal development, I found my wheelhouse in the different.

Today I am grateful for my early adversity and my own persistence and determination. Without them, who I am today would have remained undiscovered and I wouldn’t get to do the cool stuff I do with other people. I am grateful for the amazing tools and information around today, which can make the journey so much easier.

What helps you keep moving when you feel like giving up? Let us know in the comments below!

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As Bad As Smoking? 3 Reasons to Occasionally Unplug From Technology

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A popular meme reads: “I’m having people over to stare at their phones later if you want to come by…” It’s kind of funny in an alarming way since many people would consider walking barefoot across flaming hot coals before parting with their smartphones for a few weeks.

As useful as things like the Internet and mobile devices are, taking time to occasionally unplug is a good habit. Even if for no other reason than to develop your willpower and avoid being too heavily addicted to your wireless toy.

Consider the following three reasons for periodically unplugging from technology and taking a minute to smell the roses:

1. Face-To-Face Interaction

As useful as social media is for things like marketing, maintaining contact with old friends and sending messages across the world in the blink of an eye, there’s no substitute for a friendly meeting and a firm handshake.

There are few things in life that have more potential to increase our happiness than building good relationships with the people around us. Taking the effort to postpone the reading and answering of your latest text message in order to listen and offer attention to the person in front of you can be a great way to improve relationships and show people you care.

If you want a more practical and success-driven reason, then consider the fact that developing a healthy network is one of the most powerful ways to successfully grow your business or career. Spending a business lunch or golf game glued to your touchscreen is a lousy way to build that network.

2. Creative Thinking

Creativity is another powerful asset in your effort to expand your success, solve your problems and increase your happiness. Getting in the habit of frequent, diligent reading (an activity often performed with mobile devices) is essential in developing your creative capacity. In addition, investing alone time to occasionally take a step back to think, review options and consider possible solutions towards life’s struggles is a great quality.

Making a habit of doing so can be beneficial for planning your career, planning an exciting night out on the town with your spouse, planning how to discipline your teenager and plenty more.

“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart.” – Mencius

3. Health Concerns

The health risks caused by electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) are numerous and not to be ignored. Health damaging EMFs are emitted by various types of electronic devices including cellphones, tablets and laptops among others. Although pretending these dangers don’t exist may seem convenient, there’s nothing convenient about dealing with the consequences. Some have even suggested that cell phones may eventually prove to be as cancerous as cigarettes. Don’t believe me?

In the book ‘The Non-Tinfoil Guide To EMFs’, Nicolas Pineault writes, “A $25M study performed by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) studied the effects of exposing rats and mice to an amount of cellphone radiation equivalent to what a human would get by talking for 30 minutes a day, for 36 years.

“As reported by Microwave News: ‘The exposed rats were found to have higher rates of two types of cancers: glioma, a tumor of the glial cells in the brain, and malignant schwannoma of the heart, a very rare tumor. None of the unexposed control rats developed either type of tumor.’

“The irony is the whole reason John Bucher, the senior manager of the NTP study, wanted his agency to run this study is to prove once and for all that cellphones do not cause cancer.”

Swearing off technology is probably not the most practical solution. (Although if that’s your thing, then rock on.) That said, occasionally taking a break from technology and spending some time in nature might help counteract some of the negative effects.

Bonus: Stress Reduction

With so many people in our culture complaining of excessive stress and/or taking antidepressants, it makes sense to proactively take steps to reduce stress before it builds up so much that you experience a nervous breakdown.

I don’t know about you, but when I get away from the computer or turn off my mobile device for a bit, I can feel the difference. If I’ve been working on my laptop or tablet for too long, then getting away and taking a break offers a noticeable relief. I almost immediately feel calmer.

If you’ve been on your phone/tablet/computer for a while, consider taking a few minutes after you finish reading this article to leave technology behind and catch a breath of fresh air.

“The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug.” – Pico Iyer

Are you ready to build stronger relationships? Are you ready to proactively develop creative solutions? Are you ready to start preserving your health? Are you ready to leave some of that stress behind you? If so, then it’s time to fit a periodical unplug into your schedule. You might be surprised by how much this helps.

How many hours of the day do you use your phone? Are you being productive on it? Let us know in the comments below so we can help one another.

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How I Spent The Last 3 Years Becoming Minimalist And Why You Should Too

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It started after a record few years of earning more money than I could spend.

I accumulated junk and things I didn’t need.

I’d buy ten pairs of black shoes, a new shirt for every birthday party I attended and every piece of audio software that some guy I didn’t know told me to get. It got out of hand quickly. It was a time in my life where I hadn’t begun working on myself and I was pretty down a lot of the time.

Buying useless junk numbed the pain but only for a short while. The lies I’d tell myself about my bad habit were incredible. I’ve been having a serious go at becoming minimalist for the last three years. I actually started a few years prior and ended up having a few false starts.

Here’s how I became minimalist (I’d suggest doing the same if you can):

 

Start with the big stuff.

That BMW had to go. It was taking up so much of my time and money to keep on the road. It was like a screaming child, always wanting something. Unlike a child, I had no passion or drive to take care of this European piece of crap that society told me I needed to be successful.

I put the car online for sale. It was a painful process and every person that came to see it found problems with what I thought was a spotless car.

It was a negotiation tactic and it was stopping me from beginning a new life with this whole minimalist dream.

I ended up selling the car for much less than it was worth. I did the numbers and no matter what, even losing a bit of money on it still made sense. Once the car was gone, the process of becoming minimalist began.

 

You can easily forget how out of control you are.

At the start of this minimalism process I had 4 computers, 5 microphones, 2 laptops, 5 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 2 soundcards, 2 large sized wardrobes of clothes, more than 20 pairs of shoes, multiple spare car stereos, and a whole pile of CDs and DVDs that were overflowing from my draws.

As I read back the list I just wrote, I now see how out of control I was. Oh and I even had an old VCR with heaps of old cassette tapes that I kept telling myself I’d watch one day even though I hate the idea of having to fast forward through in real-time to find out what’s on the tapes. I was delusional about my junk habit, to say the least.

 

Trying to give stuff away is useless.

The delusion that is giving stuff away is why you are still not a minimalist. The key lesson I had to learn time and time again was to stop trying to give stuff away, Some of the stuff I wanted to chuck out was valuable to someone, somewhere.

The trouble is that it’s hard to find the right person, at the right time who may have the space for your item. I thought about all the time wasted giving stuff away. I thought about the effort it took to deliver my junk to people’s homes. I thought about all the space my junk took up in my life.

 

It just wasn’t worth it. If you are serious about becoming minimalist and the benefits that come with this lifestyle, you’ve got to marry the idea that you’ll need to throw things away.

 

Not used it in 12 months? Chuck it.

This question sent my minimalist quest into hyperdrive. When I looked at how much stuff I had that in some cases hadn’t been used for more than 5 years, I figured out that these were things that I should discard. We tell ourselves that one day we’ll use a particular item.

That one day never comes and these items become a burden the longer we hold onto them.

 

Support charity where you can.

You may be reading this blog post thinking “Who is this a**hole who’s so disrespectful to the environment?”

Well, you’d be wrong. I did consider the environment and people less fortunate than me. Where possible, I gave away lots of clothes, shoes and electronic items to charity. If you want to be minimalist, then I’d strongly urge you to do the same.

The cool thing is you get to clear out your junk, feel good, and help someone in need. There are just so many good reasons to become minimalist. Jump on the bandwagon!

 

Get some external motivation.

While going through the journey of becoming minimalist, I coincidently interviewed a blogger named Joshua Becker. He runs a blog called Becoming Minimalist. Joshua taught me so many awesome little hacks to clear out junk and he changed the way I was thinking about material possessions.

 

It’s not just the physical junk.

I was trying to be the next big music producer before my minimalism quest started and so I kept buying more audio gear. I somehow thought that the more gear I had, the more cool sounds I could create. The trouble was I always had to learn how to use new gear, so I never mastered one instrument or audio effect.

Meanwhile, back in France, Daft Punk would brag about how old their computer was and how they always used the same small number of instruments. No wonder they had such cool music.

“Daft Punk went for minimalism that led to mastery, while I was dabbling in being a master of everything”

 

The other point to consider is that junk is not just your material things. We also collect digital garbage now as well. I still have more than 10 TB of data to sort through. This excess storage on our computers slows our operating system down, makes it hard to find stuff and requires us to keep buying more storage.

Having lots of data also makes it difficult to back stuff up because storing things in the cloud becomes an expensive pursuit for a data hoarder.

 

Some of us like the idea of becoming minimalist but never do.

Is that you? It was certainly me. Having dreams of taking action is what’s holding you back. It may be affecting more than just your goal to get rid of junk. Don’t think about taking action: commit to it.

Here’s how:

Aim to throw away one piece of junk every week.

I did this little hack and it’s how I’ve now been able to free up space in my life for things that matter.

 

Minimalism allows for more of the good stuff.

Once I had heaps of room from clearing out my junk, I noticed my mind was less busy. One of the key pieces of junk that was very hard to throw away was my old Mac Pro computer. I kept telling myself I may need it in the future even though my current Mac laptop is more than good enough.

I’m dumbfounded at how much time I would spend every day thinking about whether I should throw out my very old 2009 Mac. Finally, I got pissed off. The thinking time wasted on this idea could be used to do other stuff. Ultimately, what convinced me to throw it away was the time I’d get back to keep blogging for all of you.

Having space in your home and mind allows you room for the stuff and ideas you actually want in your life. You feel so free when you get to this point.

 

It’s a long journey.

Keeping junk out of your life becomes the next challenge once you are free of all of your garbage. Every holiday I go on I’m tempted to collect souvenirs I’ll never look at again.

“Every trip to the shopping centre makes me feel like a gambler trying not to place a bet”

The temptation at these giant concrete shopping centres is to buy more clothes, more shoes and more things that will supposedly make you happy.

I’ve learned through minimalism that less is more and that’s what leaves me space to be happy. I can’t be happy when I’m simultaneously pissed off with all of the junk in my life.

 

Junk sucks up our time and that’s the one thing we should never waste.

Do you want to waste time thinking about and maintaining your junk or would you prefer to live a life where you have room for what personally matters to you?

Not being minimalist is costing you more than you think. It’s leading you down a path that makes other people big profits while keeping you both broke and with a mind not focused on your goals.

Get a divorce from the material world. Marry the empty space of what you love instead.

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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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. janet

    Sep 19, 2016 at 9:24 am

    You have helped my life a lot, thank you.

  2. Passive Pursuit

    Aug 9, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Hey Alex,

    Regular reader and love your work man!

    Can’t tell you how many ups and downs i have been through in my life that have been rectified by applying these 10 principles.

    The biggest one for me was my health. Ever since I started getting away from the PC and working out, my energy levels have increased and I am 10x more productive.

    Regards,
    Richard

  3. Keith Rozairo

    Jan 10, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Great article. Thank You, it adds more meaning and puts a lot of things in perspective if we follow those principles.
    Cheers

  4. Damien Parsons

    Jan 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Splendid article and I admire your style. As a novice writer, one could really learn from your work.

    “The 10 key ingredients to happiness” – A title I will bookmark most definitely.
    Your closing note “Great Dream” was a fantastic conclusion to these ingredients to happiness. It can really put in perspective to the “levels” of happiness there is to achieve.

    Perform with these 10 pointers in mind and your happiness will lead to a successful lifestyle.

    Thanks for your inspiration, and glad to have acquainted here, and on Twitter as well.
    See you around!

  5. Nguma

    Jan 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    It’s true that it is not how much we have but how much we enjoy that brings happiness.

  6. Ajax Oliver

    Dec 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! It was a pleasure to contribute to the A2S community!

  7. Cody

    Dec 15, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Ajax! Loving the post buddy! I just got done reading The Pursuit of Happiness by Chris Guillebeau and these ingredients resonate so well with what Chris talks about in his book. Alongside physical exercise, I’ve learned that emotional exercise is just as strong if not stronger. The happiness I experience with persistent gratitude and inspiration is a second to none for me. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  8. Rose Costas

    Dec 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for the reminder. It all seem so very easy when it is written but most of us go through life stumbling about trying out other peoples life’s and dreams and ignoring ours. I think the best way to remain focus is to have all our goals, dreams and how to get their written as it will help us to remain focus on ourselves and our dreams.
    I also gets upset when people claim to have made it alone. No man is an island and no one can do it alone. There must be people who are willing to lend you a hand and give you valuable insight as you go through life.
    Thanks again for the reminders.

  9. Dan Western

    Dec 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Ajax,

    Absolutely spot on, both the reasons why people are unhappy and the ingredients to become happy!

    I don’t think we can highlight just one key ingredient, as they’re all needed for happiness and one without the other wouldn’t give you fulfillment.

    Thanks for sharing. Nailed it!

    Dan

  10. ThatSEOGuy

    Dec 15, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Hi Ajax,
    Brilliant post, having a strong relationship with your family is something I have really tried with recently and is definitely bringing a sense of self-worth to the equation. Great tips once again 🙂 Have the attitude of gratitude. Awesome mission too, tick one more person off of your list.
    Tom

  11. Peter

    Dec 14, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Hey Ajax,
    Great post! I can really relate to No 10. I love learning new things about a variety of topics – history, physics, food, business (I have a long list!). That’s what keeps me really excited about life and look forward to every single day.
    Peter

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Life

Change Your Life Forever With These 30 Strategies

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change your life

There are strategies which bring together all happy and successful people who can also use them to improve the quality of your life. Usually when you want to change your life, you don’t know where to start and you risk losing the motivation because you don’t know the best strategies to apply. To change your life forever you have to change yourself. If you want to achieve extraordinary results, you must become an extraordinary person.

Here are 30 ways you can change your life today:

1. Face your fears, first the smallest, then the greatest.

2. Transform gratitude into a daily and constant mood. This will allow you to change your life.

3. Be conscious in every moment of what you think, feel, desire and do. Be Present. Do the exercises of “Remembering yourself” all year round.

4. Engage in realizing your dreams, creating a monthly plan with daily actions to accomplish them.

5. Decide what person you want to become, create a purpose that will guide your life and your days.

6. Practice observing thoughts, without identifying yourself with them.

7. Make your power supply healthier.

8. Read more books and take part in several courses and seminars.

9. Always out of the ordinary, do not imitate the mass.

10. Make gentle gestures to people you don’t know.

11. Imagine yourself while you have realized your dreams.

12. Take more time to be alone and get to know you better.

13. Live with the awareness that nothing is yours, everything is a gift.

14. Stop complaining; stop complaining; stop complaining.

15. Help others with the example.

16. Smile and laugh more often, even without reason.

17. Stay for a longer time in contact with nature.

18. Think, talk and act as the person you want to become.

19. Be punctual and if you make a mistake, please apologize.

20. Say thank you for each gift, learn to receive.

21. Change a habit or recurring reaction.

22. Take responsibility for the successes and failures you achieve, never point your finger at someone else.

23. Admire and bless more often.

24. Strive to perceive perfection and beauty in everything that happens to you.

25. Inwardly love your enemies, even if you don’t talk to them externally.

26. Learn a musical instrument or a new language.

27. Keep promises made.

28. During a difficult period ask yourself “What can I learn from this situation”?

29. Do more often what is right and less what is convenient for you.

30. Change your way of thinking.

If you want to change your life forever, you must act as if you were already the person you want to become. Take action as if you were already sure of yourself, and see what beliefs are held by successful people, great leaders, the best in your industry and those who get great results.

Listening to them, spend time with them, try to understand what they think, how they see each other, and what they think about their activity. Read the books of those who get the same results that you want to achieve, listen to their interviews, read their autobiographies, and find out what their mental attitude is.

All successful people have similar beliefs

I’ll tell you a secret: There is no greater psychological strength than the need we have to remain consistent with our own identity; to remain consistent with who we believe we are. What does that mean? Simple, that everything that anything I put after the words “I am:…” becomes reality.

If you think you are shy, you will do everything you can to act accordingly. If you believe you are extroverted, you will give everything to act accordingly. Listen and pay attention to what you add after the words “I am…”. If you don’t believe you can achieve your goals beyond the objective difficulties, you won’t be able to do it anyway: you will be the first cause of your failure.

Which one of these 30 strategies will you implement in your life today? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Lost Your Mojo? Focus on These 3 Areas to Get Back in the Game

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get back in the game

It’s time for some good news! You’re only ever lacking in three areas and guess what? You can turn those 3 things around relatively easily and quickly!

It’s easy to get caught up thinking, that you’re miles behind, that you can’t find your flow or mojo or that you’re just lazy and unmotivated. The good news is you are only a few decisions, actions and days away from finding your mojo again!

Here are 3 things you need to look at when you’re feeling down and out:

1. Energy levels

The first place to look when you lose your mojo is your energy levels. What are you eating & drinking? Are you eating lean, green and light? If you aren’t already, cut your intake down and focus on hydrating your body with water and eating fresh organic food. Being light on your feet and energizing your body is most important.

Also, take a look at your exercise regime. Are you exercising for energy or are you burning your body out at the gym? Make sure you are getting good consistent rest every night and don’t forget to spend some time alone in nature connecting with your inner most self.

“You just got to wake up with a smile and love every minute of building your dream.” – Joe Duncan

2. Production levels

The second place to look is your production levels or more so, your lack of production! Are you producing enough work or activity to get the results you want? That’s usually the real cause of most of your problems; a lack of work, effort and momentum. In many cases a lack of production stems from a lack of energy – but hey, we’re working on that right?

3. Confidence levels

The third place to look when you’re floundering is your confidence levels. But don’t panic, we all lose our confidence from time to time. When you lose your confidence and your sense of certainty, everything else will be impacted, especially your performance.

The best way to get your confidence back is to go back to basics for a few days and try and build some momentum and get your flow back. You lose your confidence when you lose your self belief, so do the simple things you know you can do well, then you’ll start to believe in your ability again!

“You won’t always get it right, but that doesn’t mean you’re never going to get it right.” – Joe Duncan

It’s time to get your mojo back and get back in the game. Remember next time when you get stuck you only have to make adjustments in these three areas and most likely they will only be small tweaks and changes that need to be implemented. 

Click here if you are having trouble finding your flow, lost motivation and need some help to get back on your feet!

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Life

How Never Giving Up Can Lead You From Pain and Suffering to Ease and Joy

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I struggled with many aspects of life early on such as growing up in challenging circumstances and getting bullied at school. I read my first self-development book at 13 and attended many courses and workshops, but nothing I encountered made the difference for me. It was only once I found a set of energetic processes and tools which I now use in my life and my work that I was able to turn things around.

Today, I get to write for you about my experiences, run a thriving mentoring and healing practice and travel to attend classes and events.

Here are some of the things I’ve done/learned along the way:

1. I took responsibility for my actions

I believe we attract all our experiences in order to learn from them. It is tough when we go through things we don’t know how to handle and experience pain, fear and anxiety as a result.  

This leaves us many emotions to release and a skill gap to bridge, which if done right, allows us to develop a level of confidence about how to turn experience into awareness and integrate our learning into wisdom for future ease and higher outcomes.

For me, learning to let go was hard (we are not taught this and I kept feeling like I had to hold onto things to protect myself). After a while, I came to the decision that “It’s not what’s happened to me, it’s how I deal with it that matters”.

Choosing from this space was empowering and allowed me to move from regret and develop a sense of purpose from my experiences.

2. I jumped off the cliff without a parachute and became inspired and trusting on the way down

I had gotten to the point where if I stayed where I was, I would die. I didn’t know how my life would look or who I would become in the process of changing, yet I knew if I was going to survive I had to become a radically different version of me.

Once I made that decision, I found the tools I was looking for that were relatable, fun and powerful. I began to change my thoughts, feelings and emotions and way of viewing the world.

After a while, instead of using personal development to escape the pain of my life, I became addicted to pursuing the highest version of myself and curious how much change and transformation I could create. I was having fun!

I began to ask what was possible for me I’d never imagined and realized that who I actually am is completely different from who I had thought I wanted to become. I discovered my soul purpose was connected to my inner work and my years of struggle and transformation meant that I had something valuable to offer others.

“What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.” – Mandy Hale

3. I had the unshakeable belief something else was possible

As growth, healing, and expansion became my highest goal, the details filled themselves in. The right people and things showed up to trigger my growth and to support me which helped me be less fearful, and more able to give and receive love from others.

I lost layers of accumulated emotional garbage and started to connect with my power and purpose. I stopped telling my victim story (except to inspire others) and I began to trust myself and have faith in life again to have my back.

4. I made heaps of mistakes and instead of feeling bad about it, I felt determined, courageous and free

This part was tough. There were setbacks, embarrassments, discouragements and challenges but I wasn’t going to give in and quit.  

I had to suck at some things in order to get better. Creating a new life from scratch is a great way to lose ego. There were a few hurdles where I would get super upset, yet giving up was never an option.

There’s no point in being upset so I sucked it up and moved on. This takes courage and feels totally weird at first, but it is so worth it.

5. I became a new version of me

In the course of recreating myself, I began to develop new attributes. I was so focusing on changing, I didn’t notice what was different about me at first.

Every few months I would write my goals and it wasn’t until I would check them that I began to realize how much I’d accomplished in the process of changing me.

This became clearer whenever I would run across someone who I once looked up to because their life suddenly looked smaller than I remembered. While they had been comfortable and barely moving, I had plodded past them like the proverbial tortoise. As I stay on this trajectory, the benefits and changes multiply exponentially over time.

“Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.” – James Altucher

6. I became open to new ideas and concepts

In the process of being cracked wide open by life, I became curious, accepting and interested in different ideas, concepts and techniques.

Things like manifesting, consciousness, spirituality and other ‘strange’ ideas became my friends.  After years of trying to create change via psychological means, effort, willpower and implementing traditional tools of personal development, I found my wheelhouse in the different.

Today I am grateful for my early adversity and my own persistence and determination. Without them, who I am today would have remained undiscovered and I wouldn’t get to do the cool stuff I do with other people. I am grateful for the amazing tools and information around today, which can make the journey so much easier.

What helps you keep moving when you feel like giving up? Let us know in the comments below!

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Life

As Bad As Smoking? 3 Reasons to Occasionally Unplug From Technology

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take a break from technology

A popular meme reads: “I’m having people over to stare at their phones later if you want to come by…” It’s kind of funny in an alarming way since many people would consider walking barefoot across flaming hot coals before parting with their smartphones for a few weeks.

As useful as things like the Internet and mobile devices are, taking time to occasionally unplug is a good habit. Even if for no other reason than to develop your willpower and avoid being too heavily addicted to your wireless toy.

Consider the following three reasons for periodically unplugging from technology and taking a minute to smell the roses:

1. Face-To-Face Interaction

As useful as social media is for things like marketing, maintaining contact with old friends and sending messages across the world in the blink of an eye, there’s no substitute for a friendly meeting and a firm handshake.

There are few things in life that have more potential to increase our happiness than building good relationships with the people around us. Taking the effort to postpone the reading and answering of your latest text message in order to listen and offer attention to the person in front of you can be a great way to improve relationships and show people you care.

If you want a more practical and success-driven reason, then consider the fact that developing a healthy network is one of the most powerful ways to successfully grow your business or career. Spending a business lunch or golf game glued to your touchscreen is a lousy way to build that network.

2. Creative Thinking

Creativity is another powerful asset in your effort to expand your success, solve your problems and increase your happiness. Getting in the habit of frequent, diligent reading (an activity often performed with mobile devices) is essential in developing your creative capacity. In addition, investing alone time to occasionally take a step back to think, review options and consider possible solutions towards life’s struggles is a great quality.

Making a habit of doing so can be beneficial for planning your career, planning an exciting night out on the town with your spouse, planning how to discipline your teenager and plenty more.

“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart.” – Mencius

3. Health Concerns

The health risks caused by electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) are numerous and not to be ignored. Health damaging EMFs are emitted by various types of electronic devices including cellphones, tablets and laptops among others. Although pretending these dangers don’t exist may seem convenient, there’s nothing convenient about dealing with the consequences. Some have even suggested that cell phones may eventually prove to be as cancerous as cigarettes. Don’t believe me?

In the book ‘The Non-Tinfoil Guide To EMFs’, Nicolas Pineault writes, “A $25M study performed by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) studied the effects of exposing rats and mice to an amount of cellphone radiation equivalent to what a human would get by talking for 30 minutes a day, for 36 years.

“As reported by Microwave News: ‘The exposed rats were found to have higher rates of two types of cancers: glioma, a tumor of the glial cells in the brain, and malignant schwannoma of the heart, a very rare tumor. None of the unexposed control rats developed either type of tumor.’

“The irony is the whole reason John Bucher, the senior manager of the NTP study, wanted his agency to run this study is to prove once and for all that cellphones do not cause cancer.”

Swearing off technology is probably not the most practical solution. (Although if that’s your thing, then rock on.) That said, occasionally taking a break from technology and spending some time in nature might help counteract some of the negative effects.

Bonus: Stress Reduction

With so many people in our culture complaining of excessive stress and/or taking antidepressants, it makes sense to proactively take steps to reduce stress before it builds up so much that you experience a nervous breakdown.

I don’t know about you, but when I get away from the computer or turn off my mobile device for a bit, I can feel the difference. If I’ve been working on my laptop or tablet for too long, then getting away and taking a break offers a noticeable relief. I almost immediately feel calmer.

If you’ve been on your phone/tablet/computer for a while, consider taking a few minutes after you finish reading this article to leave technology behind and catch a breath of fresh air.

“The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug.” – Pico Iyer

Are you ready to build stronger relationships? Are you ready to proactively develop creative solutions? Are you ready to start preserving your health? Are you ready to leave some of that stress behind you? If so, then it’s time to fit a periodical unplug into your schedule. You might be surprised by how much this helps.

How many hours of the day do you use your phone? Are you being productive on it? Let us know in the comments below so we can help one another.

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