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5 Half Marathon Training Techniques That Will Boost Your Motivation

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5 Half Marathon Training Techniques That Will Boost Your Motivation

Working alone as a start-up, home based business or freelancer can mean that motivation doesn’t come easily.

You have no co-workers to bounce ideas off of, no boss checking that you’re delivering on time, and too many distractions, like the dog wanting walked and the laundry pile beckoning. So how do you stay motivated in your business when working conditions are less than perfect?

Training for a half marathon taught me a lot about motivation, particularly as I only started running at the age of 39.

Here are 5 tips that I used while training for my half marathon that you can use for motivation in your business:

 

1. Goal setting

As someone who had only just started running 6 months prior to my half marathon entry, and having never run more than 5K, I didn’t have the first idea how to go about setting a running plan for a much longer distance. 

I downloaded a beginners training plan that instantly gave me motivation in the form of specific actions. Distances, speed work, rest days, different types of workouts – all was mapped out for me. Without such clear goals, my early motivation would have quickly diminished and disappeared. 

Having goals in your business is a huge motivator, as goals move you into action. Knowing where you are heading and why, gives you a clear roadmap to your end goal. Large goals, like your overall vision for the business and the service you provide, can be broken down into smaller monthly, weekly and even daily goals. Like training to run 13 miles, business goals will show you how each day will lead you to the end result.

 

Martin-Luther-King-Jr
 

2. Monitoring performance

I use a training app that records how far I’ve run, how fast and even how many calories I’ve burned. I can see on a day-to-day basis how my performance has been affected by the weather or the time of day I’ve gone out.

In your business, you should have a weekly check in to figure out what has worked and what hasn’t. Not only will this show you the successes that you’re having on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, but over time, you’ll also get a sense of what isn’t working. That means that you can ditch these activities rather than relentlessly plugging away at them for months on end.

 

3. Motivational music

I can’t run without music. Well, obviously, I can run, I just don’t run particularly well. I focus too much on my breathing. Is it too heavy? Too shallow? I worry about my gait – too long, too short? And I just can’t get into the zone. In short, other things distract me.

So, my running soundtrack helps to motivate each and every training session. I have fast paced dance tracks when I want to focus on my speed, rock music that helps me to focus on that finish line and not the pain in my lungs. And a few tracks that are nice and slow for those recovery runs.

A motivational soundtrack – be that tunes, a podcast, a regular radio show or even whale music – will help you to get in the zone, particularly on those days when you’d rather be anywhere than at your desk. You might prefer music with no lyrics, or you might like some opera. The whole point is that you need to figure out the soundtrack that works best for you. HINT: It should lift your spirits, and help you to work better.

 

4. Get accountable

The first time I ran a half marathon I was terrified. What if I couldn’t run further than 5K without collapsing? What if I got halfway and seized up? Fear kills motivationIt stops us from taking action. One way to overcome fear is to become accountable to others. I decided to train for a half marathon not just to challenge myself, but like thousands of others, to do it for charity.

I signed up to raise money for a cancer charity, then sent all of my Facebook friends a link to my fundraising page before I could even think about it. I had expected that the fear of backing out after all my friends knew about my half marathon goal would be too humiliating. What I hadn’t expected was to gain 100’s of virtual cheerleaders. Friends and family sent messages of support. ‘ You can do it.’ ‘What a fantastic idea.’ And, my favourite, ‘You’ve inspired me to do it too.’

You can do this at every stage of your business or freelance career. From when you start out by telling people what you’re planning to do, to when you are making important goals for your business – such as changing direction, earning more profits or gaining more clients. TIP: choose wisely. Don’t pick negative people.

The aim is to gain motivation and, while you don’t want people who think everything is wonderful either, those who are persistently negative will not help to motivate you. (Unless it’s to prove them wrong, of course). Making yourself accountable to others is a powerful motivation techniqueIt broadcasts your intention – giving you the motivation to show that you can do what you’ve set out to do; while also giving you a strong set of supporters for when your internal motivation needs a boost.

 

5. Put one foot in front of the other and just do it

My final point was going to be ‘just do it’ but Nike beat me to that tag line. The first step to my half marathon was setting out the door on that first training run and just putting one foot in front of the other. Again and again. Training for a half marathon is a big time commitment compared to a 5K. It requires persistence.

The first training sessions were tough, but by half way through, I had stopped gritting my teeth every time I headed out and started looking forward to runs. I was keen to see how much I could challenge myself. And how much I’d improved.

Every successful entrepreneur started out one day with nothing but an idea. Instead of being crippled by judging yourself against those who are already successful, just start. Take the first step to get your business idea into action. And the next one. Then the next one. And pretty soon you will start to see the fruits of your labors.

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson

You’ll win that first client. You’ll get that 5 star customer review. Action leads to motivation. Motivation leads to action. Keep the circle moving and you will stay motivated throughout your business life.

What motivational exercises have you learned from one area of your life that you’ve used in another?  Do you use any of the techniques above – or do you have suggestions to add to the list?
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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. InScioltezza

    Sep 23, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Hello Heather, great post!
    I understand what you say because some months ago i have done my first half marathon and it was very easy with the right techniques about training and motivation.
    I have discovered something news when i have read your post.
    Thank u so much! 🙂

    • Heather

      Sep 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Thank you – glad you discovered something new. Although I wouldn’t describe my first half marathon as easy – you are obviously much better at running than me! – it was certainly achievable with the right mindset and preparation. Like much in life, including running your own business.

  2. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 20, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Hello Heather,
    I really enjoyed this post. Even though I’ve never ran a marathon before but i can relate to all you said here. Goal setting is important in anything we do in life and, the most important thing is to always take that first step towards whatever we aim for.

    Once we’ve taken that first step, the next and the next ones will become much easier. Its all about going for it.

    Its always better to start something we want even when we do not have all the facts.

    • Heather

      Sep 22, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Hi Theodore,
      Thanks for your comment. Taking the first step is definitely the key to it all. It’s too easy to become immersed in fear – what will people think? what if I fail? – that we become distracted from getting in to action. I haven’t been immune to those feelings myself either. Often it’s just a question of taking a deep breath and just getting on with it. Glad you liked my first post for Addicted2Success 🙂

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Motivation

7 Ways Yoga Effectively Motivates You to Achieve Success

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Yoga is an appointment with your own self. It is time to meet your true self and receive a return ticket to your true nature that is bliss and happiness. You will naturally feel happy while doing yoga. Many people don’t realize they are in a distressed state until it’s too late. The same thing happened with me when I failed to understand my life’s circumstances. I was struggling with a lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and maintaining my personal relationships, which eventually started affecting my physical health.

Last year, I struggled with depression and general anxiety disorder. I was constantly chasing after money, a lucrative career, happiness, and success. I was afraid that if I told my colleagues about my mental health issues, they would criticize me and eventually it would hamper my progression and I would not be taken seriously.

Last winter, my responsibilities in life increased in a short period of time, which created a lot of anxiety. It began to disturb my mood at home as I was unable to relax and felt low. I hated my own egotistical self because I was an extremely competitive individual as well. I always felt that I did not have the career of my dreams and I was not where I aimed to be. It felt like I was failing because I was not able to attain any of the goals I set in my own life.

I decided to share my emotions and feelings with someone who could potentially make things easier for me. I ended up explaining my struggles and mental illness to my manager. His reaction was amazing because he thanked me for being honest, and he introduced me to yoga. I am happy that I made this decision because it felt better after sweating it out in the Yoga workshop.

Yoga helped me in focusing on what I truly had, instead of on what I didn’t have. I learned how to embrace my competitive side and to use it in a way that pushed me to become a happier person. Yoga taught me that instead of wasting most of my life chasing after success and competing with others, I had to let life run its natural course. Happiness and success will then come to us naturally.

Below I have listed some reasons as to why yoga works effectively to motivate yourself to achieve success:

1. It Solves Your Problem

When it comes to challenges and tackling problems, yoga works amazingly. When you get on a yoga mat and begin to practice, you are made to deal with everything that comes to you and asked to face it gracefully. In turn, this increases your focus and patience levels, so that you will be able to face the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges at every turn.

2. It Lowers Your Anxiety and Stress

Yoga doesn’t mean that you will heal instantly, but constant practice can help you destress. The simple breathing and moving exercises can help a lot in releasing your tension and anxiety. 

Yoga helps in stretching your muscles by relaxing them as most of the stress and tension is stored there. The breathing exercises energize your body by increasing the blood flow, which eventually refreshes your body and mind. The daily practice of yoga makes you aware of the surroundings by making you control your emotions and stress.

“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.” – Norman Vincent Peale

3. Increase Your Focus

Yoga helps improve your focus through the breathing exercises you do during the yoga postures. It relaxes the body and mind so you can think clearly, and in time build up the ability to concentrate. 

Yoga is focused on concentration, breathing,  and the alignments. Additionally, yoga’s claimed to bring mental and physical relaxation by energizing the parasympathetic nervous system, and this is the reason why yogis sleep well at night. No wonder they have such a healthy and a stress-free lifestyle.

4. It Helps in Redefining Success

Real success comes when you use yourself to your full capability. It does not matter what you become, the only thing that matters is that you are living your life to your full potential. 

If you want to be successful, then you must see everything just the way it is, without any distortion. Yoga helps you with just that. Through practicing yoga daily, you will start to see the results and live more joyfully.

5. It Boosts Your Health

Mental health affects your work and your physical health. Your physical health can drastically  affect your work as it will make you work less and take more time off, which will lead to lined-up pending assignments. 

Yoga helps your body with almost every physical problem. Yoga increases your blood flow, oxygen, and improves your circulatory system. All the postures of the Bikram yoga help to improve the flow of fresh and oxygenated blood to every part of the body and mind.

“Move your joints every day. You have to find your own tricks. Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.” – Sri Dharma Mittra

6. Gives Mindfulness and Makes You Present

Mindfulness teaches us to become more present at any given moment. It makes us more aware and conscious of our inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, and hence makes us strong enough to control our actions towards situations. 

Practicing breathing in yoga teaches you to experience and live each moment to the fullest. Over time, yoga will help you live in a deep sense of fulfillment and inner peace, which will ultimately help you in making the right decision for yourself and your team.

7. Stay Aware and Positive

A yogi tends to have a balanced outlook on life. Yoga sessions of meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness will aim at making you conscious and aware of yourself. Additionally,  it will open up new possibilities of understanding your true self. 

Yoga also aims at making you a positive person, and the effects of yoga are not limited to relaxation after a workout but are exceptionally long-lasting. Yoga makes you attain the attitude of gratitude that helps you identify the brighter side of life.

To achieve success through yoga, you must adapt it into your day to day life because having good health is a basic necessity to live a happy and healthy life and no one but you can keep yourself healthy.

Have you tried yoga? If so, share with us how it’s positively impacted your life below!

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5 Ways to Find Everyday Motivation in the Least Likely Places

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When you’re down in the dumps, the natural thing you want to do is find motivation to recharge and restart. But unlike computers or phones, people don’t work that way…or do they?

Think of it this way, people are natural sources of motivation, and we may not even be aware of it. Recall the last time you went to the store, chatted with the happy counter girl, and the helpful guy in the queue, you came out smiling and feeling good, didn’t you? That’s because those people charged you with their positive energy.

The problem is, just like them, there are people with negative energies who drain you of your motivation. After you interact with them, you feel listless, depressed or just simply low. In such a scenario, I would advise you to go to that grocery store again, but that’s just not practical.

Here are 5 unlikely places to get your dose of motivation:

1. Wind from Within

Where else would you find motivation quickly but yourself? You are the ultimate source of inspiration. Don’t believe me? Try these tactics.

Think about the reason why you’re feeling down, and treat it as a challenge. Consider it as a game, and you need to beat your competition with any strategy that you can think of and come out on top. Feel that boost of energy?

Next, dive in and consider why you feel like such a failure. Is it the career choices? The face-off incident with your ex at the office gathering? The boss who is always criticizing you? Take these issues one by one and devise plans to tackle them.

Change your career if you must, or give this one your 200 percent. Avoid your ex or talk it out with them. Face your boss by telling them how disappointed you are with their behavior, or keep on taking the criticism. The point is, not to overthink but to resolve what’s bugging you and pulling you down.

Perhaps this feeling of failure which is dragging you down stems from your fear of it. To make it right and regain your motivation, you’ll have to face your fear head on. There is no way around it so might as well deal with it like a “challenge”. There’s that word again, you know what to do now.

2. Tune in to Ted Talks

What if you still can’t find motivation from within, and still feel down? Ted Talks are the best sources of inspiration.Real people. Real experience. Real talk. You can’t get any closer to real motivation than a Ted Talks. From career to personal, emotional, educational etc. each Ted Talk takes you on a journey of the speaker, forces you to face their reality, and end up with a solution, which might be yours too.

One of my favorites is by Adam Grant, “Are you a giver or a taker?”. It has really given me thoughts about what my life is all about and what I would like to change. One of the lines which struck me and turned my life around was: “If you’re a matcher, you try to keep an even balance of give and take: quid pro quo — I’ll do something for you if you do something for me. And that seems like a safe way to live your life. But is it the most effective and productive way to live your life?

That’s just one Ted Talk. There are tons out there. The point is not what you watch but what you garner from their experiences, wisdom, and lessons delivered.

3. Soul Searching Speeches

While Ted Talks are about your average Joe, whom you can relate to and may even bump into in your everyday routine, speeches from successful people are another thing entirely.

We are talking about golden nuggets from dynamite, successful tycoons who have changed the world. They’re revolutionizing the way we live and breathe.

And you know what else they are? They’re powerhouses who have the immense capability of giving you the much needed motivation spark to come out of your lowest low. When famous people like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Jack Ma, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama get invited to deliver commemorating speeches, they share with you their world.

They tell us about using smart decisions to solve complex problems. They share with us their dilemmas, and how to come out of it without harming yourself. But most importantly, they tell us about their fears, challenges, and failures which they’ve successfully overcome.

One of the most famous speeches, and my personal favorite, is Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford University. Jobs, who has revolutionized home computing, mobile devices, and luxury branding of technology, tells us if we live each day as if it were the last, then there is nothing to fear. After all, fear is the reason why we don’t do a lot of things that would boost our motivation.

4. Tap Into Teaching

People say that teaching is a noble profession but nobody tells you about the motivational aspect of it. Even if you’re down, nothing brightens your mood up instantly like a student looking up to you. You feel thousands of feet tall.

You don’t have to be a full time teacher to feel motivated. Help someone at the workplace and teach them a skill. Teach your kids about what you know. And if you’re single, teach the neighbor’s kids.

When you teach someone, you are actually learning and discovering yourself. It gives you a new perspective and forces you to look at problems from the student’s point of view. And, you might discover the reason for feeling demotivated, or stressors that are pulling you down. When you are able to identify the problem, you’ll be able to find the solution.

5. Interest in Interviews

What do Humans of New York, Larry King Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon have in common? You guessed it…interviews. Funny or serious, interviews are meant to bring out the inner person of the interviewee, but I bet you didn’t know they also bring the humane side of the interviewer.

Interviews force you to wear the interviewee’s shoes, think like them, and understand their dilemmas. What better lessons to learn and get motivation from real life people who’ve been there and done that?

Of course it doesn’t mean you start grabbing any Tom, Dick or Harry to interview. Find an angle, seek permission and have a purpose for your interviews. Maybe you want to find out where people go to find inspiration, or motivate others. Or, ask people what they do when they hit bottom, or at the peak of their career.

You’ll be surprised at the rationale, humbling experiences and feelings these individuals will share. Let their answers be your motivation. 


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4 Simple Yet Effective Ways to Boost Your Team’s Motivation as a Startup

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Many startup leaders are able to grow their organizations quickly, thanks to their off-the-charts motivation and productivity. Unfortunately, when the organization is no longer a one-man show, it becomes very difficult to equip their team members with the same degree of motivation. This can negatively affect the organization’s morale, productivity, and possibly revenue.

Below are the four simple and effective ways to boost your team’s motivation as a startup:

1. Evaluate your own leadership as a leader

Many leaders had their own share of experience with bad leadership. Tim Denning, Addicted2Success contributor, also goes as far as saying, “working with a bad boss is a soul crushing dream killer.” No leaders want to be known as a bad leader. Unfortunately, some startup leaders unintentionally fall into the trap of micromanaging and never listening to the team members because they might not always have an experience as a leader.

If your team is big enough, you can also consider doing an anonymous survey that evaluates your leadership. But if that is not an option, there are tools that allow you to assess your own leadership performance. Go through the assessment, and focus on implementing the changes. Even if the team members’ motivation does not skyrocket overnight, there will be an improvement overtime.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” – Jim Rohn

2. Focus more on intrinsic motivation

A study of 200,000 U.S public sector employees by Yoon Jik Cho and James Perry showed that intrinsic motivation, rather than extrinsic motives such as position and salary, makes triple the impact on employee motivation and engagement. This study shows that motivating team members through position and salary is important, yet the biggest transformation will show when you get team members to focus on internal rewards.

For startups and teams with a limited budget, this represents a powerful way to be able to attract and retain the best team members. Though there will be some team members that might be disengaged because they are more motivated by position and salary, there will also be team members that may choose to stay in the organization because of the team’s culture– even if they get other job offers that might be more extrinsically appealing.

Challenge your team members with bigger responsibilities and goals. Encourage them to continue developing their skills or learn new ones. Show them you appreciate their loyalty. The internal rewards and the personal loyalty that your team members develop by working with your team will ensure that they can continue to stay engaged to the work and stay motivated to get the work done.

3. Be specific on HOW their work matters, and how much you care

Most leaders are aware of the importance of great team members and focus on recognizing the team’s efforts. However, when specificity as to how their work makes a difference in the team is added on, it can become extremely powerful. Team members want to know that the business cares about their work and jobs, but also about making a positive impact on the society.

Everytime you remind your team members about how their work makes a difference in the company’s growth, and how the organization makes a difference in the community, your team member will not only feel pride in their work, but they will also be fired up with an extra dose of motivation.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

4.  Encourage team members to become self leaders

An article by HR Digest shows that 25% of millennial team members are looking for a chance to prove their leadership skills. Although it is highly encouraged for startup leaders to challenge their team members and give them opportunities to showcase their leadership abilities, it can be risky if they do not have a previous leadership experience. That is when self leadership comes in.

Self leadership is a concept developed by Bryant and Kazan and is about having a clear individual identity as a leader. This can mean having a clear understanding of the vision, who they are as a leader and what their capabilities are as a leader. This helps your team members embody an identity of a good leader while developing their leadership skills.

There are many ways of empowering team members to develop self-leadership, such as encouraging them to take on new challenges or allowing them to partake in professional development activities. It can also mean giving them room to innovate and make their own decisions with their authority.

As the team gets bigger and the organization is no longer a one-man show, it can be challenging for leaders to keep their team members motivated. However, with these simple ways, it’ll be easier to equip your team members with the extra dose of motivation to continue doing their best and boost the team’s performance as a whole.

How do you keep your team motivated and excited? Share your ideas and thoughts below!

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5 Ways to Remain Undefeated In Life and Cherish Each Moment Successfully

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Life is an amalgamation of existence and survival. It often replicates Pandora’s box. When we talk about existence, it relates to one’s identity. When we talk about survival, stories of struggles, success, victories, and defeats come into the panorama. Survival defines the continuation of existence.

The concept of existence makes us curious about, “who am I”?  Whereas, instincts of survival raise queries about “how to know who I am”? This journey from Who to How comprises several halts and platforms to make life interesting and beautiful.

Let’s Have a Look at the Surroundings

Have you ever seen a bird building its nest? It appears beautiful yet simple, right? Stop and think about the efforts they have put behind its construction. They collect sticks, twigs, yarn, grass, leaves, mud, and many other things. They prove to be skilled architects of nature. This is one of their necessities to survive.

When the eggs hatched, the baby birds come into existence and struggle to survive in the external environment. They adapt and try to fly. They fall and get scared but never give up because they know this is vital for their survival. Then a day comes when they fly higher and soar in the sky.

Why doesn’t their survival seem complicated to us? Why don’t they have any emotional and mental breakdowns? Human beings have evolved and are privileged to experience emotions.

What Makes Life Interesting and Brings Meaning to Your Existence?

There are 3 things that brings mean to your existence: Desire, Determination and Struggle.

Desire

Human beings have desire to achieve things. Sometimes desires become the cause of one’s misery, but desires can also be the driving force which let you manifest your highest potential. Having desires is important. It motivates us to forge ahead towards victory. It gives us a reason to work and strive for more.

But desire should not dominate you, and you should not depend on it to be happy. Your willpower and attitude determine your approach towards its fulfilment.Many times we don’t get the desired results. Sometimes it is better than what we thought, and sometimes it’s the opposite. A wise person neither gets swayed away with the victory nor disheartened with failure.

Determination

If the desire is the force, then determination is the velocity. Their product gives us the power to become courageous and fight like an invincible spirit. The determination provides a direction and illuminates your way to success. Hence, determined, every time you get a setback in life. When life throws curve balls, apply the technique of self-motivation and wisdom.

Struggle

When we do not achieve a set goal, we consider ourselves failures. When life doesn’t seem easy, when things turn out to be contrary or opposite of our expectations, we define the situation as tough and full of struggles.

The real struggle in life is not with the situation but with ourselves. If you succeed to win over the lowest state of your mind, your weaknesses, you win half of the battle. We win the other half with courage, hope, and a never give up attitude.

Winning is important, but to never get defeated is something even more important. If you remain undefeated no matter what, that’s a success.

Here are 5 Ways to Remain Undefeated:

1. Build a Habit of Reading and Self-Motivation

In the moment of delusion and doubt, books prove to be a guiding force and a loyal companion, capable of empowering and motivating you. When we are stuck in a situation and not able to figure anything out, reading an article, blog, book or magazine has been proven to be a saviour.

A habit of reading helps you to learn and grow. It’s like self-help pills. You keep yourself motivated. Whenever doubt comes, you seek the writings of ancient wisdom, derive its meaning according to you and keep yourself in a high life state.

2. Thinking and Introspection

Thinking is an art, and introspection is the tool to perform this art. When we spend time with the inner self, we contemplate many things. When we dwell in the dialogue with ourself, we find answers to many questions, and our vision becomes more explicit.

We know ourselves. We don’t get affected by people’s criticism or applause. We consistently focus on our thoughts and keep moving forward along the chosen path, and that is the key to achieve your goal.

3. Seek Inspiration from a Mentor

A mentor is someone who guides you throughout and enables you to achieve success in your life. A mentor is a source of inspiration. A mentor can be anyone; a teacher, a friend, your parents, grandparents, or even some celebrity. When you get down and gloomy, look at your mentor and many deadlocks of your life open automatically.

4. Connect Yourself to Spirituality

Spirituality is the way of living one’s life unaffected by worldly affairs. When we open the gate to eternity, we leave behind our footprints. It will not only guide others but also paves their way to a peaceful life.

Practicing Yoga brings you closer to spirituality and meditation and helps with mental health. Hence, Yoga and meditation have the quality of a lotus flower. No matter what condition you are going through, you will bloom.

It calms your mind, relaxes your body, and improves your concentration. Your stress levels reduce and you achieve the hormonal balance your body and mind is looking for. This balance boosts your confidence and your belief system.It is a capsule for the overall development of your personality and inculcating this habit in our daily routine takes us to a higher level of success.

5. Be Courageous and Never Get Defeated

Courage is a virtue which enables us to make our dreams come true. To keep fighting the battle of life, you must have courage. It helps you to overcome your fear. When you win over your phobias, you increase your potential. You never get defeated, and that is an epic victory one can report.

In the weakest of your moments, when life seems unfair and ruthless, calm down, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and talk to yourself. Pay gratitude for whatever you have. You will find the meaning of your existence and that ethos to survive will never let you get defeated. You will triumph.

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