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6 Daily Steps To Compete Like A Champion

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Each day, whether we realize it or not, we endeavor to compete for something; the affection or love of a partner, a promotion in the workplace or, with ourselves to become a bigger, bolder version of ourselves.

Herein, I provide 6 steps on how you can compete every day to set yourself up for success. As you read these steps, visualize and imagine your personal definition of success. Think about how your definition of success jives with these steps.

Determine whether you are already incorporating them into your daily routine- or if you can begin introducing them into your day. Most importantly, find what works for you, stick to it and develop consistency.

1. Plan your day the night before

I’m glad that no one keeps a tally of the number of unsuccessful days I’ve lived. Frankly, I’m willing to bet we could all agree to that. What I can tell you is, the unsuccessful days have mostly been the ones that I did not plan.

As I have grown over the years in my management consulting and professional career, I have dramatically reduced those unsuccessful days by following one simple step: I have planned my day the previous night. I recommend that you list out goals that you aim to accomplish each week. Then, at the more granular level, highlight the tasks that you want to accomplish each day.

You can choose to put them into time slots, depending on whether you use a daily planner or simply a task or milestone list for the day. Once you have something in writing, you’ve made an actionable commitment to get it done.

Always allow yourself the ability to adapt and change if it’s in your best interest to do so. As the great Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.” Chances are, you won’t need to dodge monster right hooks over the course of your day, but you will encounter adversity and changes that force you to adapt and modify your plan.

 

2. Read your plan out loud in the morning

Reading your plan helps you process the information and store it in your conscious and subconscious mind. No matter how good you think your short or long-term memory is, if you don’t write or read your plan, you will forget some information. Recognizing new opportunities is a skill that comes to those who have a clear, prepared mind.

When you visualize what you want to do, you have an image in your imagination. Your imagination gives birth to the ideas, goals and plans that you have. Suddenly, you have a vivid picture of seeing yourself successfully carry out your goals for the day.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

3. Strengthen your conviction by believing in yourself

We can speak positively over our lives in two ways: Actually speaking the words and sending the same words from our mind into our subconscious mind via, “the voice inside our head.” Both are powerful ways to build faith. Here, I want to focus a little more on the second way.

Napoleon Hill once wrote: “Auto-suggestion is the agency of control through which an individual may voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on thoughts of a creative nature, or, by neglect, permit thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into this rich garden of the mind.

The key here is to speak positively and to do this throughout the day. Don’t confuse this with ego-stroking or self-aggrandizing behavior. The most successful people practice auto-suggestion to feed their subconscious mind, in an effort to fuel their success.

 

4. Take breaks throughout the day to clear your mind

Scientific studies show that taking regular breaks help you to sharpen your focus and increase your ability to perform. Throughout my career, I’ve always built in time each day to get up, walk around and clear my mind.

We weren’t meant to spend our whole day fixated on a computer screen or working nonstop on our feet without a break. Take some time to chill and relax. Get outside and walk around a bit, fresh air will do you good. The change will give you some perspective and could take the edge off any stress or anxiety you’re dealing with.

 

5. Leave nothing to chance – always give 100%

There are two things you can always control- your attitude and your effort.

Achievement, both your sense of self-worth and that of others is well within your grasp if you have a positive, determined attitude and you’re willing to work harder than anyone else.

You may not always love everything you do. Heaven knows, our days will not be entirely comprised of pursuing our passions and loves all the time. Regardless, bring your best effort and attitude to everything that you do. The feeling, the emotional reward that comes with doing so is a brilliant sense of satisfaction to savor.

6. Rest with confidence, re-charge for the next day

Resting your mind and body are essential for living a successful, competitive life. If we never stop to rest, we’ll eventually burn ourselves out and suffer the consequences. A proper amount of sleep and rest is vital to our health and productivity.

During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health.” – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

We all need to re-charge our mind and body every day. Never underestimate your need to shut down, decompress and get some sleep. You’ll be better for it!

How will you dominate your market? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Chris Connors is a senior business strategy consultant, writer, blogger and basketball coach focused on self-improvement, emotional intelligence and virtue. He works each day with top executives at Fortune 100 companies, helping them build their brands and improve their efficiency. In the evenings, he’s a family man, prolific blogger and aspiring author. Check me out here to connect with me on Facebook.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. RONALD BURTON

    Sep 16, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Good article I am applying these principles today!

  2. Thea Dunlap

    May 24, 2016 at 2:20 am

    Wonderful article. The things you’ve pointed out here are very motivating. I really need this for my daily routines at work and home. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Tim Denning

    May 3, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Chris I am able to do well by also planning my day the night before. Recently, I have started going to bed early and waking up at 3am to work on my dreams rather than waiting till after work when I am exhausted. Thanks for your advice.

    • Christopher Connors

      May 11, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Awesome to hear, Tim! That’s serious dedication and VERY inspiring to see. It’s all about carving out that time in your schedule and insisting on making room for what you want most. Thanks for reading- I enjoyed reading your piece on Tony Robbins- great stuff!!

  4. Christopher Connors

    Apr 27, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Chris- I appreciate your comment! You’re preaching to the choir! For a long time in my life, I didn’t plan my days out and I believe that I have paid the price for that. It really doesn’t take much effort- all about discipline.

    I have chosen to not plan my day out by hourly tasks. I work in management consulting and, effectively, it’s done for me by my Microsoft Outlook calendar. But I try to keep that minimal. I highlight things the night before- essentially a milestone list- and I operate off that, allowing myself the creativity and flexibility to adapt as things come up. My personal recommendation would be to not plan your day out hourly but to definitely write down the main things you want to accomplish each day.

    I appreciate you reading! Your stateside pal, Chris

  5. Chris Targett

    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Thanks for the article Chris.

    I have always known deep down that writing a plan the day before is the way forward, but always failed to do so. This will be one thing I am going to change.

    The other point I’ll be putting into practice is reading my plan out loud, never done this before! Do you plan your day by hourly tasks?

    Thanks from the UK

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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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Motivation

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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