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The Art Of Life: Lessons Learned From Being A Year Older

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I sit here completely broken yet so perfect at the same time.

Another year of my life has passed and another birthday has arrived. With each birthday, life becomes clearer. My mission becomes clearer.

At least this year I know why I was put on this planet (to inspire). I’ve been blessed with some major highs that have shown me just what is possible if I believe in myself. Now, it’s not just me that believes. That belief has reached well beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

It wouldn’t be honest of me to only give you the high’s since my last birthday. If the truth be told, I’ve had the biggest year of low’s in my entire adult life. These lows have defined my comeback.

I’m no longer going to hide from what I really think. This last year has taught me many lessons.

Here are a few lessons you must use in your own life:

1. We can’t be inspirational all the time

Part of being a blogger is that I’m expected to always be inspiring. The truth is some days I don’t feel like being inspiring, and that’s okay. You can’t always be on. Some days you will be off. You’ll hate yourself, you’ll be lonely, you’ll be unmotivated and that’s okay.

2. Give to yourself once in a while

You can’t only give all of your talents to the world and never leave anything left for yourself. Sometimes you need to give yourself the following:

–   Forgiveness. Messing up is guaranteed. Don’t be too hard on yourself

–   Time. Low points in your life take time to get over. Give yourself that time.

–   Knowledge. Break the mould once in a while and learn a new skill. Do something that scares the hell out of you.

3. Make new friends

Perhaps your current friends are what are holding you back. Maybe it’s time to make some new friends and get access to new experiences. One thing that has always helped me develop is to surround myself with people who think the same as me but do life differently.

My definition of success always looked a certain way until I met people who had a totally different view of success. Our lives are often made up of ideas and goals we borrowed from other people. The more people you have around you that are positive, the more ideas you have to borrow.

4. Wear your heart on your sleeve

I’ve always believed you should do the opposite of the majority. That’s why I believe you should wear your heart on your sleeve. Say what you think and communicate how you feel. You’ll be surprised how much people appreciate this compared to the fakery that goes on day to day.

5. Success is seriously messed up

I’ve met a bunch of people this year that are obsessed with success. Normally I would love this but what I realized is that this so-called phenomenon has gone wrong for many people. Success is not about achieving all the time and being selfishly always about you.

As you mature, you realize that we have to go beyond ourselves. We have to care for other people. We have to contribute something meaningful to the world. After a while, being obsessed with a pursuit such as business can become overwhelmingly unfulfilling.

“Being successful is about having people who care about you, having someone to love and being dedicated to a mission that is far greater than you. All the money, sexual partners, fancy parties, degrees and nice clothes can’t do this for you”

6. Invest

Invest in the stock market

Invest in yourself

Invest in business, personal and romantic relationships

7. It’s okay not to be okay

There are going to be times in your life where it feels like you are walking through Antarctica in your freaking undies. You are going to have times when you are not okay even if you are mega successful. It’s okay not to be okay.

Nobody is on cloud nine all the time even though we are often tricked into comparing our lives to others.

8. The people you admire can often be in a dark place

I’ve been lucky enough to lift the curtain on some of the people I admire. What I learned this year is that many of them are not as they seem. Many of them have either come from a dark place or are in a dark place right now. As humans, we’re fantastic actors.

We act out what we want others to believe about us because to be vulnerable and ask for help hurts our ego. Someone like Robin Williams made us all laugh for so many years. You’d never know that he was actually living in a very dark place.

Focus on spending your time living your life and growing each day. Forget about comparing yourself to everyone else because chances are many of those people you think you admire are not who you think they are. People live in dark places all the time and you’ll never truly know who they really are.

At the same time, ensure you don’t go to that dark place yourself. Step into the light even during the hardest times in your life. Try to make sense of the events that happen to you which hurt like hell.

“Know that there is an empowering meaning for everything even if you can’t see it right now”

9. Your happiness starts with you

We’re all chasing the happy drug (even me). What I’ve learned over the last year is that happiness starts with me. I have to stop having so many rules and expectation that make it impossible for me to be happy.

Think about your own happiness. Are you trying to reach some crazy definition of happiness that can’t possibly be fulfilled? Strip away the layers just like an onion. Try and simplify what you define as happiness. You’re in control of the ship and you can be happy with you if you let yourself.

10. Focus is the winning formula

Our attention is being brought and sold at every second. The moment we try and do anything, chances are, we have to use a device connected to the internet. As soon as we turn to our phone or tablet, there are a hundred distractions right in front of us.

By watching successful people, I’ve seen that focusing on one thing is the winning formula. Our lives are already complicated enough and if you can’t find a way to divert your attention into the handful of things that matter to you, you’re unlikely ever to do anything that can be defined as success.

11. Ideas come from the weirdest places

To fuel your life, you need ideas. Ideas can come from everywhere and so you have to be consistently doing the following:

–   Reading

–   Listening to podcasts

–   Watching documentaries

–   Being curious

–   Going to new places

–   Attending events

Some of my best ideas have come from these well-known activities. Open your mind and get out there and do stuff. If you don’t know what to do with your life or what your mission is, the answer is you need ideas. Then, you obviously need to take action on a few of them.

12. We’ll all find love

It may take time, but we will all find love at some point in our life. The key is not to give up and try and be patient. Having said that being patient is hard (I should know as a single man). When the time is right you’ll find what you have always dreamt of and all the waiting will be worth it.

Don’t close your heart or tell yourself that love doesn’t exist for you. It does. Loves exists for everyone and you are worthy.

“Keep doing the reps towards your love goal just like you would in the gym”

13. Try not to judge

I find myself judging people without even knowing it. Not because I’m judgemental, but because people around me are and that influences me to do the same. Rather than judge people, help them. While judging people may make you feel good and help you to escape your own issues, it’s not an act that is going to help you live an inspired life.

Judging is taking away some of the power you have within you that could be used towards far better things such as your purpose. Watch how much you are judging and try and rein it in a little.

14. Don’t fall too in love with yourself

Especially once you have had a bit of success it’s easy to become obsessed with how good you are. Lighten up a bit and put your ego to the side. It’s nice that you can achieve some cool stuff, but don’t let it consume you.

You’re another human being just like me and while you are special in your own way, we’re all kind of the same in the end. Spread your success around rather than become focused on how good you are. No one likes a person who is over the top about their own success.

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 millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

Life

The 3 Types of Confidence You Need to Know and Understand

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the different types of confidence
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We’ve all heard it before, confidence is everything. Those that seem to have it, have it all. They, themselves, are not necessarily perfect human beings, but they seemingly have the charisma to attract whatever they want in life. (more…)

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3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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how to build better relationships
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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place? (more…)

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Life

If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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how to avoid failure
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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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willpower
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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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