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The 3 Meta-Skills You Need to Learn to Achieve Anything in Life

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In the world today, the only thing that we are sure of is that it will change. But by the words of Jeff Bezos, we need to focus on the things that won’t change, not on the things that will. And this is where meta-skills come into play. A meta-skill is a higher-order skill that allows other skills to be used and developed. This basically means that in order to master lower level skills, you need to master their common denominator.

So if you can master these 3 meta-skills below, you can achieve almost anything in life:

1. Building Habits

Aristotle used to say “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit,” and Jim Rohn agreed by adding  “Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.”

We can find strong proof of the importance of habits everywhere in the world, from business to sports to education and most business books tell us to form habits in this or that. But rarely do we learn how to build habits and are presented with a step-by-step process of doing that.

I’ve read so many books about building habits but most of them lack at least a couple of steps which would help you build a habit. Eventually, I managed to build my own system. This system helped me build a reading and a writing habit and currently, I’m building a health habit with it.

I took the time to learn how to build habits – any habits – and it gave me a massive payoff. I can now build any habit if I want to and this meta-skill will be an invaluable tool for the rest of my life and it can be in yours too. Habits train you to do one single action every single day until it becomes a part of who you are and the next meta-skill perfectly compliments this one.

“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rhon

2. Small Actions

Everyone celebrates Elon Musk’s motivation to work 28 hours a day but, I put my focus on a smaller “celebrity” that has:

  • Written 5 bestselling books
  • Earned a computer science Ph.D. from MIT
  • Became a father of three
  • Obtained a tenured professorship at Georgetown

And he did all of this while shutting off work at 5:00 p.m. every single day and keeping the weekend just for his family. Oh and I forgot to mention – he did all of this by the age of 33 (he is 35 now.) His name is Cal Newport.

Cal never runs on 100% of his speed because he understands that life isn’t a 100-meter dash, it’s a never-ending marathon and if you go all in the beginning, you will just burn out a couple of kilometers in the race.

Eric Edmeades said, “I do less every single day to do more in a year” and if you can keep doing small everyday actions, they will lead you to achieve mastery in life. The reading habit I started – doing only 20 pages a day – accumulated into 47 books in a year. That is the power of small actions.

3. Self-Awareness

So many books and articles rave about self-awareness today and hail it as one of the strongest meta-skills you can have. When they asked Gary Vaynerchuk what is the one skill people should master today, his response was “Self-Awareness.”

Self-awareness is the ability to consciously understand and know your own character, personality, and feelings. Self-awareness has a couple of layers but it’s best to only go 2 layers deep.
You are on Level 0 when you are so long on autopilot that you forget that you’re on autopilot. Level 0 is a level where you have no self-awareness. On level 1 you have some metacognition (you have thoughts about your thoughts) and you think about the thoughts you have in your head. Level 2 is thinking about your mental models (where your thoughts originate and why).

A good example of this is, a guy who you hate from work just pulled a prank on you in front of the entire office. You became mad and as soon as you came home, you had a fight with your wife. On level 0, you just do it. On Level 1 you think “Maybe I’m not mad at my wife at all- this is just the consequence of the guy from work.”  On Level 2 you realize that you don’t need to answer the prank by hating the guy or being angry, just accept that it was just a prank, smile or laugh, and continue with your day.

Self Awareness will help you get better at anything faster, it will help you professionally, personally, and socially; and as soon as you master it, the sooner you can reap the rewards from it.

“Self awareness is one of the rarest of human commodities. I don’t mean self consciousness where you’re limiting and evaluating yourself. I mean being aware of your own patterns.” – Tony Robbins

In a world where the only constant is change, we need to find and focus on the skills that won’t change. And with that, we have seen 3 meta-skills that we should learn to achieve mastery in our life.

Building habits, taking small actions and being self-aware are the ones that will help us the best. So what are you waiting for? Take control over your life by becoming the master of these 3 meta-skills.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Bruno Boksic is a writer at Medium.com. An avid reader of personal development books, with a 7-year long experience of helping people become the best version of themselves. I don't have all the answers, but the ones I do, I share through my writing.  You can contact me at boksicbruno@gmail.com

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5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself to Stay Cool in Difficult Situations

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We all face challenging situations at work and in our personal lives, yet few of us deal with these experiences in a systematic way. We encounter obnoxious bosses, rude customers, and infuriating family members on a daily basis, yet we often don’t articulate the best way of dealing with these situations. Over time, these strains on our emotions and our mental resources take their toll, so it’s important to find ways to deal with challenging experiences efficiently and with the least about of work.

What do you do when you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or frustrated? Do you lash out or disengage from those around you? If you’re like me, you struggle to hold back your strong reactions when you experience a setback or a challenge.

Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to help slow down your reactive brain and assess your current situation so that you can respond more effectively to challenging situations:

1. Why do I feel triggered by this situation?

Start by asking yourself a broad question to assess the current situation. Why do you feel the way you do about this situation? This question allows you to take a brief pause to examine why you feel the way you do about a specific situation. Asking why is powerful because it forces you to consider your own feelings and emotions more closely. Sometimes, you may not even be fully aware that you are feeling stressed, angry, or threatened by a particular situation. Take the time to recognise those feelings and ask yourself why you are feeling them.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford

2. What would I be thinking if I was in the other person’s shoes right now?

Often times, emotional stress or strain comes from an interaction with someone else – be it a work colleague, a client, or a loved one. Most of our lives we live in a bubble of “me”. We constantly think about our situation as it relates to ourselves, rather than those around us. Ask yourself what the other person is thinking in this situation, and why they might be acting the way they are. Maybe they aren’t lashing out at you because they’re rude, rather, they may be worried about their own job or career.

3. How would an outsider look at what is going on right now?

Take one more step back and look at the situation from the perspective of an outsider. If the situation is too close to your heart, chances are that putting yourself in the other person’s shoes may prove impossible. Instead, consider how an outsider would react to this situation if they were in the room with you. The outsider’s point of view will be more well rounded, and you will have the opportunity to judge whether your reactions are being influenced by the situation itself or by unconscious biases, thoughts, worries or concerns.

4. If I wasn’t tired, hungry, grumpy, sad, how would I react to this same experience?

Chances are, if you still feel the need to react or lash out in a forceful way, you may be experiencing a weakened mental state brought on by being tired, hungry, grumpy, sad, etc. By asking yourself how you might react if you were well rested and clear headed, you will give yourself a few much needed seconds to slow down and cool off before reacting emotionally. Just by realising that your mental state may be compromised, you will give yourself valuable insight before overreacting to a situation.

“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estée Lauder

5. In a week’s time, what would your best self think about this situation?

By thinking about how your “best self” would react to a certain situation in a week’s time, you are doing two things. First, you are shifting your perspective to think about the problem through the lens of your “best self”. This means understanding that you are coming to this situation from a state that is less than perfect, and you must adjust your expectations. Second, you are distancing yourself from the situation by forcing your mind to consider what things would look like in a week’s time. By doing both of these things, you are ensuring you react in a balanced way.

The more you practice asking yourself these questions in times of stress, the better you will be at reacting to any challenges that come your way.

Are there any questions you ask yourself to frame problems or challenges differently?

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3 Ways to Uncover Your Blind Spots and Live Life on Your Terms

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Do you ever start to say something you know you shouldn’t, but cannot help to say it anyway? How about a specific relationship breaking down again, despite employing an array of differing strategies? I’m talking about the times where it seems no matter what you do, history has no choice but to repeat itself.

This, ladies and gentlemen, can be attributed to our blind spots. The areas where our ways of thinking hide the key to unlocking our full potential. We assert we’ve looked everywhere, but we cannot look where we cannot see. These barriers to awareness cannot be distinguished with the same thinking that got us there. A new mind and a new heart must be fashioned to break old, embedded patterns. For a life we truly love, we must take to the hills for a new vantage point.

Here are three essentials to uncovering your blind spots and living life on your terms:

1. Deal With Your Ego

Your ego, more than anything, is a protective device. Fashioned from the most primitive parts of your brain, such as the amygdala, your ego puts up a wall as you make mistakes or fall victim to your weaknesses. This component of your psyche, essentially your false self, makes it increasingly difficult for you to address your shortcomings logically and riddle them with emotion.

Because your survival and safety is paramount, responsibility is dodged and allocated elsewhere. Worse off, these areas of the brain are not accessible to our conscious awareness.

The saving grace however, is the part of the brain responsible for logic and reason. This higher-level, non-reactive consciousness can guide you in the right direction if you allow it. Understanding you have a war going on in your mind is the first step — with the second being, who you allow to win.

Your ego is insecure, underdeveloped, irrational, and painfully selfish. Calling it out when it attempts to run wild is up to you. Ironically, because it will stop at nothing to ensure your superficial needs — attention, love, praise, connection, etc. — are met, it typically jeopardizes them by being too attached. It’s a question of what you want the most versus what you want right now. You’ve got Jekyll and Hyde at odds in your head — who are you going to give the hammer to?

“Check your ego at the door. The ego can be the great success inhibitor. It can kill opportunities, and it can kill success.” – Dwayne Johnson

2. Question Everything

Success is not final. What works in producing results may not work for as long as we want to believe. With certain approaches having produced results for us in the past, we’re naturally inclined to lean into a sunk-cost bias and ride them out ignorantly. No one wants to give up their beliefs. Where we are in our lives right now is because of a sum of the choices we’ve made based on those beliefs.

Of the same token, what got you here won’t get you there. This is where many people struggle to stay in the game and begin to suffer — helplessness sets in when it appears all you know won’t make any difference. The only way to keep the door open to possibility is through inquiry.

By constantly questioning the approach, the mindset, the attitude and the focus on which you employ, you sift through the options objectively until you land on what you choose to try. Even if you’re wrong the first time, you simply go back to the drawing board and try something else. It gets messy when we over-identify with what we think. You can have strong opinions, but go easy on the Kung Fu grip.

3. Seek Feedback From Thoughtful People

This step is listed last for obvious reasons — it’s the most difficult. Putting yourself out there in the open for potential harm is no easy feat. When you realize the reward far outweighs the risk however, you’ll act every time.

Find a few close confidants whose opinions you value. Maybe they’ve accomplished some success in their lives or maybe they just know how to strike a chord with you. Set up regular conversations with them to provide feedback on what you’re up to in life, assuring them your feelings are suspended throughout the sit-down. Create a safe space for them to provide honest, thoughtful feedback for you to look at from a third person perspective and make a decision on whether or not you’re going to add it to your arsenal. Remember, they can see what you cannot.

This isn’t an open forum for someone to trash you. It’s simply a training ground for you to be with the perceptions that you’ve created for yourself through your attitudes and actions. By honoring and valuing others’ opinions, you’ll be one step closer to getting in the minds and hearts of the people you wish to influence most — as well as one step further away from your ego.

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” John C. Maxwell

People can’t appreciate what they don’t know is there. There’s more than one lens in life and you just happen to possess one of the billions. Life isn’t the way you see it, but merely the way it is. Staying grounded in situations and seeing your emotions for what they are (i.e. a cry for help) will allow you to continue to heighten your perspective and gain a panoramic view.

You don’t access your peripherals without stretching your sight. Try these three techniques today to take a break from informational learning and discover for yourself what’s been in your way this whole time.

How do you discover what’s holding you back from achieving success in your life? Do you have any techniques? If so, please let us know in the comments below!

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7 of the Best Time Management Tips From the Master of Success, Jim Rohn

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Becoming a master at time management will allow you to design and improve every aspect of your life. Jim Rohn was one of the most influential speakers when it came to this. His tips and tricks are very actionable and revive a sense of motivation in millions of people to date. Managing your time meticulously is easier said than done but just like anything great you will ever accomplish, the hardest step is to begin. Try not to just read through these steps but to put them into action.

Here are 7 time management tips from Jim Rohn:

1. If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan

Designing your life is a nice way of saying ‘don’t let life happen to you, make your life happen’. A ship that leaves its dock without a planned destination will wonder the seas aimlessly and guess what, it will never get to where it was meant to be. Every day is an accumulation of time, therefore, managing your time is managing your day. This will lead to having your life planned out, day by day until you realize you have achieved most, if not all, of your goals.

2. Think on paper

Write down your goals and dreams. This might be a document, app, or the old-fashioned pen to paper, but this is not an option. There is something special that happens when we jot down our goals, because the mind begins to see them as actionable steps not just dreams.

Most people say they want to be successful and dream about being great, but have never written it out the steps to get there. Meticulously plan and schedule your life in real time on paper. This will lead to the next step which is planning out how you will achieve your goals.

3. When you don’t control your time, your time will control you

Have you ever experienced a day in which you did not plan out your time and before you knew it, you had gotten nothing done? This is how most people’s lives go by. They have no specific plan for their time and therefore for their lives. Your choices determine the person you end up being. See every moment as an opportunity to savor the time and make the most of it.. If you control how you spend your time, you can control your successes and failures.

Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.” – Jim Rohn

4. If it’s easy to do, it’s easy to NOT do

We kid ourselves, ‘Ah, that’s simple, why should I plan it out, I’ll just do it!’ This has proven not to work time and time again. Simply because if it’s easy to do, it is easy not to do. We are a product of the things we continuously do.

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is structured around a simple principle. Every single action, no matter how small, if done over and over again will compound to a much larger product. The small things we ignore and don’t do because we never plan for them will eventually accumulate to some big action we now have to take which will be much harder.

5. Without a sense of urgency, desire loses value

If you don’t plan out your time you are not putting a timeline on your goals. Having deadlines creates a sense of urgency. This is why we start to work on a month-long project around the last week to the deadline. The pressure makes it seem dire and will act as a type of motivator to completing and accomplishing our goals. Put a deadline on your dreams, otherwise they are just that, dreams.

6. Study the art of setting goals

Every day, write your goals fresh without focusing on yesterday. This is a good way to weed out non-priorities and refocus on your true goals. Focus is something lacking in today’s society. Don’t fall ‘victim’ to this, so review your goals on a daily basis to reinforce them and make realizing them practical. Derek Mills suggests a Daily Standards system where we don’t necessarily work towards a long time goal but focus on daily goals which eventually turn into long-term successes.

Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

7. We all have the same amount of time in a day  

Start where you are, it doesn’t matter where you are now. 90% of millionaires started out broke. The key to success is taking a lot of action on a great idea and the only way to do this is to manage your time. Plan around every single action, no matter how simple. You can turn your life around at any given moment. The best way to do this is by time management.

Start simple by having a notebook where you write down how you spend every hour of your time. If you surf the web for 2 hours, write it down. If it takes you 30 minutes to stalk your favourite celebrity, write it down. Everything you do, for one week, write it down. In the end, you will see where most of your time goes.

You will also start to resent having to write down that you spent one hour looking at pictures of a car you could only afford if you actually used that time wisely. This is a great place to start, from there you can follow the many time management tips available to you and see what works best for you.

How do you manage your time to get the best results? Let us know in the comments below!

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8 Ways to Help You Stay Productive Even When You Think You Can’t

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To succeed big, you must work your butt off. I just read a book about the routines of billionaires and some of history]s most successful figures, and every single one of them were super productive…and you should be too. If you want better things in your life, then you must stay productive regardless of how lazy you feel or how hard a task seems to you.  

Here are 8 ways to help you stay productive even when you think you can’t:

1. Calm the HALT down

HALT is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These four moments are when you`re emotionally at your lowest, and all you can think of is bad food and a bed. Ever notice that you eat more on the days you feel tired or lonely? A great productivity tip is to take notice of when you’re at the HALT, and take some time to cool down before getting back to work. Take some time off, call a friend, take a nap, see a movie or eat something refreshing. The key is to realize that what you’re feeling is normal and to be okay with it. Once you feel better, you can get back to work.

2. Take tasks to their simplest form

“Open Gmail + type client’s email address.” This is a task I scheduled on my calendar yesterday. I was negotiating new rates with a client and because asking for a raise will always be intimidating, no matter how often you do it, I chose only to schedule the first step (Open my Gmail, then type in the client`s email), and let the ball roll from there.

I’ve been using this anti-procrastination trick for a decade, and it has never failed me. And in case you`re wondering, I wrote the email and scheduled a Zoom meeting. He said no, and we broke off. But I’m overbooked and happy.

Whenever I’m intimidated by a task, I look for the easiest thing I can do about it, and I do it. Then I look for the new “easiest” thing to do, and again I do it. Then again and again until I`m invested in the task that I no longer want to quit until I finish it.

“Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.” – Margaret Bonnano

3. Put everything on a calendar

I couldn`t believe how much working with a calendar was awesome until I tried it. The best thing about using a calendar is that it puts time constraints on everything you do. Each task has its start and end time which makes you feel like a player before a scheduled game; you can`t reschedule the game or delay it, so you`d better pull your things together and get back to work.

4. Take no emails when you feel bad

Avoid taking emails early in the morning or when you feel bad. It`s part of the anti-HALT process discussed shortly. Emails usually come with an unexpected change in plans and sometimes worse —take an angry customer for example. So, it makes sense that you schedule emails two or three hours after you wake up to stay in a perfect mood for productivity. It`s what many productivity experts do, including Tim Ferris.

5. Eat your frog first

Eat the frog is a term made by Brian Tracy, the Steph Curry of productivity. The frog is the most significant, most difficult and the most important task on your calendar and to Tracy, that should be the first thing you do every morning. Guess what? Eating the frog does work, and if you make a habit of it, you`ll be extraordinarily productive because of the amount of motivation it will give you. It`s like passing the first exam of the semester, which happens to be the toughest. All the following will be pieces of cake to you.

6. Try the power pose

Anytime you feel unproductive, stand up, breathe deeply and take the power pose or do some stretches. Changing your physiology can improve your mood, that`s what science discovered many years ago. If your time allows, you can hit the gym or go for a run. The pump you feel, and the accomplishment will regulate your mood and motivate you to take more action.

“To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth

7. Work from the most boring place you can find

A tiny mean room with just a bed, a bible and a deck of cards – that`s where Maya Angelou, the great poet, did her daily writing. “I can’t work in a pretty surrounding. It throws me,” she said in an interview. Maybe this can work for you too. My first ever writing coach gave this tip in my quest to make writing a daily habit. He told me the reason why most writers, including Angelou, love to write in dull environments is that it rushes them to get things done. It makes sense because if you can`t stand the place, then you`d do anything to get out.

8. Every now and then, Work only when you feel like working

When it comes to productivity, Georges Simenon is the man. He lived 86 years and wrote over 425 novels while only working two weeks every other month. As Mason Currey wrote about him in his book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, “The Belgian-French novelist worked in intense bursts of literary activity, each lasting two or three weeks, separated by weeks or months of no writing at all. Even during his productive weeks, Simenon didn’t write for very long each day” writes Currey.

Realizing that all you need is three hours of hard work before calling it a day may motivate you.  It`s bizarre, uncommon, and may not work for you, but maybe it does. So, why not give it a try? Pick a day this week, or the next, and set to work for only three, undistracted, hours then try to squeeze out every ounce of creativity and work in those hours. Once the clock ticks, take the rest of the day off.

How do you stay productive? Comment below!

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5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself to Stay Cool in Difficult Situations

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We all face challenging situations at work and in our personal lives, yet few of us deal with these experiences in a systematic way. We encounter obnoxious bosses, rude customers, and infuriating family members on a daily basis, yet we often don’t articulate the best way of dealing with these situations. Over time, these strains on our emotions and our mental resources take their toll, so it’s important to find ways to deal with challenging experiences efficiently and with the least about of work. (more…)

McVal Osborne is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself to Stay Cool in Difficult Situations

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how to stay calm
Image Credit: Unsplash

We all face challenging situations at work and in our personal lives, yet few of us deal with these experiences in a systematic way. We encounter obnoxious bosses, rude customers, and infuriating family members on a daily basis, yet we often don’t articulate the best way of dealing with these situations. Over time, these strains on our emotions and our mental resources take their toll, so it’s important to find ways to deal with challenging experiences efficiently and with the least about of work.

What do you do when you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or frustrated? Do you lash out or disengage from those around you? If you’re like me, you struggle to hold back your strong reactions when you experience a setback or a challenge.

Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to help slow down your reactive brain and assess your current situation so that you can respond more effectively to challenging situations:

1. Why do I feel triggered by this situation?

Start by asking yourself a broad question to assess the current situation. Why do you feel the way you do about this situation? This question allows you to take a brief pause to examine why you feel the way you do about a specific situation. Asking why is powerful because it forces you to consider your own feelings and emotions more closely. Sometimes, you may not even be fully aware that you are feeling stressed, angry, or threatened by a particular situation. Take the time to recognise those feelings and ask yourself why you are feeling them.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford

2. What would I be thinking if I was in the other person’s shoes right now?

Often times, emotional stress or strain comes from an interaction with someone else – be it a work colleague, a client, or a loved one. Most of our lives we live in a bubble of “me”. We constantly think about our situation as it relates to ourselves, rather than those around us. Ask yourself what the other person is thinking in this situation, and why they might be acting the way they are. Maybe they aren’t lashing out at you because they’re rude, rather, they may be worried about their own job or career.

3. How would an outsider look at what is going on right now?

Take one more step back and look at the situation from the perspective of an outsider. If the situation is too close to your heart, chances are that putting yourself in the other person’s shoes may prove impossible. Instead, consider how an outsider would react to this situation if they were in the room with you. The outsider’s point of view will be more well rounded, and you will have the opportunity to judge whether your reactions are being influenced by the situation itself or by unconscious biases, thoughts, worries or concerns.

4. If I wasn’t tired, hungry, grumpy, sad, how would I react to this same experience?

Chances are, if you still feel the need to react or lash out in a forceful way, you may be experiencing a weakened mental state brought on by being tired, hungry, grumpy, sad, etc. By asking yourself how you might react if you were well rested and clear headed, you will give yourself a few much needed seconds to slow down and cool off before reacting emotionally. Just by realising that your mental state may be compromised, you will give yourself valuable insight before overreacting to a situation.

“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estée Lauder

5. In a week’s time, what would your best self think about this situation?

By thinking about how your “best self” would react to a certain situation in a week’s time, you are doing two things. First, you are shifting your perspective to think about the problem through the lens of your “best self”. This means understanding that you are coming to this situation from a state that is less than perfect, and you must adjust your expectations. Second, you are distancing yourself from the situation by forcing your mind to consider what things would look like in a week’s time. By doing both of these things, you are ensuring you react in a balanced way.

The more you practice asking yourself these questions in times of stress, the better you will be at reacting to any challenges that come your way.

Are there any questions you ask yourself to frame problems or challenges differently?

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3 Ways to Uncover Your Blind Spots and Live Life on Your Terms

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Do you ever start to say something you know you shouldn’t, but cannot help to say it anyway? How about a specific relationship breaking down again, despite employing an array of differing strategies? I’m talking about the times where it seems no matter what you do, history has no choice but to repeat itself.

This, ladies and gentlemen, can be attributed to our blind spots. The areas where our ways of thinking hide the key to unlocking our full potential. We assert we’ve looked everywhere, but we cannot look where we cannot see. These barriers to awareness cannot be distinguished with the same thinking that got us there. A new mind and a new heart must be fashioned to break old, embedded patterns. For a life we truly love, we must take to the hills for a new vantage point.

Here are three essentials to uncovering your blind spots and living life on your terms:

1. Deal With Your Ego

Your ego, more than anything, is a protective device. Fashioned from the most primitive parts of your brain, such as the amygdala, your ego puts up a wall as you make mistakes or fall victim to your weaknesses. This component of your psyche, essentially your false self, makes it increasingly difficult for you to address your shortcomings logically and riddle them with emotion.

Because your survival and safety is paramount, responsibility is dodged and allocated elsewhere. Worse off, these areas of the brain are not accessible to our conscious awareness.

The saving grace however, is the part of the brain responsible for logic and reason. This higher-level, non-reactive consciousness can guide you in the right direction if you allow it. Understanding you have a war going on in your mind is the first step — with the second being, who you allow to win.

Your ego is insecure, underdeveloped, irrational, and painfully selfish. Calling it out when it attempts to run wild is up to you. Ironically, because it will stop at nothing to ensure your superficial needs — attention, love, praise, connection, etc. — are met, it typically jeopardizes them by being too attached. It’s a question of what you want the most versus what you want right now. You’ve got Jekyll and Hyde at odds in your head — who are you going to give the hammer to?

“Check your ego at the door. The ego can be the great success inhibitor. It can kill opportunities, and it can kill success.” – Dwayne Johnson

2. Question Everything

Success is not final. What works in producing results may not work for as long as we want to believe. With certain approaches having produced results for us in the past, we’re naturally inclined to lean into a sunk-cost bias and ride them out ignorantly. No one wants to give up their beliefs. Where we are in our lives right now is because of a sum of the choices we’ve made based on those beliefs.

Of the same token, what got you here won’t get you there. This is where many people struggle to stay in the game and begin to suffer — helplessness sets in when it appears all you know won’t make any difference. The only way to keep the door open to possibility is through inquiry.

By constantly questioning the approach, the mindset, the attitude and the focus on which you employ, you sift through the options objectively until you land on what you choose to try. Even if you’re wrong the first time, you simply go back to the drawing board and try something else. It gets messy when we over-identify with what we think. You can have strong opinions, but go easy on the Kung Fu grip.

3. Seek Feedback From Thoughtful People

This step is listed last for obvious reasons — it’s the most difficult. Putting yourself out there in the open for potential harm is no easy feat. When you realize the reward far outweighs the risk however, you’ll act every time.

Find a few close confidants whose opinions you value. Maybe they’ve accomplished some success in their lives or maybe they just know how to strike a chord with you. Set up regular conversations with them to provide feedback on what you’re up to in life, assuring them your feelings are suspended throughout the sit-down. Create a safe space for them to provide honest, thoughtful feedback for you to look at from a third person perspective and make a decision on whether or not you’re going to add it to your arsenal. Remember, they can see what you cannot.

This isn’t an open forum for someone to trash you. It’s simply a training ground for you to be with the perceptions that you’ve created for yourself through your attitudes and actions. By honoring and valuing others’ opinions, you’ll be one step closer to getting in the minds and hearts of the people you wish to influence most — as well as one step further away from your ego.

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” John C. Maxwell

People can’t appreciate what they don’t know is there. There’s more than one lens in life and you just happen to possess one of the billions. Life isn’t the way you see it, but merely the way it is. Staying grounded in situations and seeing your emotions for what they are (i.e. a cry for help) will allow you to continue to heighten your perspective and gain a panoramic view.

You don’t access your peripherals without stretching your sight. Try these three techniques today to take a break from informational learning and discover for yourself what’s been in your way this whole time.

How do you discover what’s holding you back from achieving success in your life? Do you have any techniques? If so, please let us know in the comments below!

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7 of the Best Time Management Tips From the Master of Success, Jim Rohn

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Becoming a master at time management will allow you to design and improve every aspect of your life. Jim Rohn was one of the most influential speakers when it came to this. His tips and tricks are very actionable and revive a sense of motivation in millions of people to date. Managing your time meticulously is easier said than done but just like anything great you will ever accomplish, the hardest step is to begin. Try not to just read through these steps but to put them into action.

Here are 7 time management tips from Jim Rohn:

1. If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan

Designing your life is a nice way of saying ‘don’t let life happen to you, make your life happen’. A ship that leaves its dock without a planned destination will wonder the seas aimlessly and guess what, it will never get to where it was meant to be. Every day is an accumulation of time, therefore, managing your time is managing your day. This will lead to having your life planned out, day by day until you realize you have achieved most, if not all, of your goals.

2. Think on paper

Write down your goals and dreams. This might be a document, app, or the old-fashioned pen to paper, but this is not an option. There is something special that happens when we jot down our goals, because the mind begins to see them as actionable steps not just dreams.

Most people say they want to be successful and dream about being great, but have never written it out the steps to get there. Meticulously plan and schedule your life in real time on paper. This will lead to the next step which is planning out how you will achieve your goals.

3. When you don’t control your time, your time will control you

Have you ever experienced a day in which you did not plan out your time and before you knew it, you had gotten nothing done? This is how most people’s lives go by. They have no specific plan for their time and therefore for their lives. Your choices determine the person you end up being. See every moment as an opportunity to savor the time and make the most of it.. If you control how you spend your time, you can control your successes and failures.

Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.” – Jim Rohn

4. If it’s easy to do, it’s easy to NOT do

We kid ourselves, ‘Ah, that’s simple, why should I plan it out, I’ll just do it!’ This has proven not to work time and time again. Simply because if it’s easy to do, it is easy not to do. We are a product of the things we continuously do.

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is structured around a simple principle. Every single action, no matter how small, if done over and over again will compound to a much larger product. The small things we ignore and don’t do because we never plan for them will eventually accumulate to some big action we now have to take which will be much harder.

5. Without a sense of urgency, desire loses value

If you don’t plan out your time you are not putting a timeline on your goals. Having deadlines creates a sense of urgency. This is why we start to work on a month-long project around the last week to the deadline. The pressure makes it seem dire and will act as a type of motivator to completing and accomplishing our goals. Put a deadline on your dreams, otherwise they are just that, dreams.

6. Study the art of setting goals

Every day, write your goals fresh without focusing on yesterday. This is a good way to weed out non-priorities and refocus on your true goals. Focus is something lacking in today’s society. Don’t fall ‘victim’ to this, so review your goals on a daily basis to reinforce them and make realizing them practical. Derek Mills suggests a Daily Standards system where we don’t necessarily work towards a long time goal but focus on daily goals which eventually turn into long-term successes.

Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

7. We all have the same amount of time in a day  

Start where you are, it doesn’t matter where you are now. 90% of millionaires started out broke. The key to success is taking a lot of action on a great idea and the only way to do this is to manage your time. Plan around every single action, no matter how simple. You can turn your life around at any given moment. The best way to do this is by time management.

Start simple by having a notebook where you write down how you spend every hour of your time. If you surf the web for 2 hours, write it down. If it takes you 30 minutes to stalk your favourite celebrity, write it down. Everything you do, for one week, write it down. In the end, you will see where most of your time goes.

You will also start to resent having to write down that you spent one hour looking at pictures of a car you could only afford if you actually used that time wisely. This is a great place to start, from there you can follow the many time management tips available to you and see what works best for you.

How do you manage your time to get the best results? Let us know in the comments below!

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8 Ways to Help You Stay Productive Even When You Think You Can’t

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To succeed big, you must work your butt off. I just read a book about the routines of billionaires and some of history]s most successful figures, and every single one of them were super productive…and you should be too. If you want better things in your life, then you must stay productive regardless of how lazy you feel or how hard a task seems to you.  

Here are 8 ways to help you stay productive even when you think you can’t:

1. Calm the HALT down

HALT is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These four moments are when you`re emotionally at your lowest, and all you can think of is bad food and a bed. Ever notice that you eat more on the days you feel tired or lonely? A great productivity tip is to take notice of when you’re at the HALT, and take some time to cool down before getting back to work. Take some time off, call a friend, take a nap, see a movie or eat something refreshing. The key is to realize that what you’re feeling is normal and to be okay with it. Once you feel better, you can get back to work.

2. Take tasks to their simplest form

“Open Gmail + type client’s email address.” This is a task I scheduled on my calendar yesterday. I was negotiating new rates with a client and because asking for a raise will always be intimidating, no matter how often you do it, I chose only to schedule the first step (Open my Gmail, then type in the client`s email), and let the ball roll from there.

I’ve been using this anti-procrastination trick for a decade, and it has never failed me. And in case you`re wondering, I wrote the email and scheduled a Zoom meeting. He said no, and we broke off. But I’m overbooked and happy.

Whenever I’m intimidated by a task, I look for the easiest thing I can do about it, and I do it. Then I look for the new “easiest” thing to do, and again I do it. Then again and again until I`m invested in the task that I no longer want to quit until I finish it.

“Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.” – Margaret Bonnano

3. Put everything on a calendar

I couldn`t believe how much working with a calendar was awesome until I tried it. The best thing about using a calendar is that it puts time constraints on everything you do. Each task has its start and end time which makes you feel like a player before a scheduled game; you can`t reschedule the game or delay it, so you`d better pull your things together and get back to work.

4. Take no emails when you feel bad

Avoid taking emails early in the morning or when you feel bad. It`s part of the anti-HALT process discussed shortly. Emails usually come with an unexpected change in plans and sometimes worse —take an angry customer for example. So, it makes sense that you schedule emails two or three hours after you wake up to stay in a perfect mood for productivity. It`s what many productivity experts do, including Tim Ferris.

5. Eat your frog first

Eat the frog is a term made by Brian Tracy, the Steph Curry of productivity. The frog is the most significant, most difficult and the most important task on your calendar and to Tracy, that should be the first thing you do every morning. Guess what? Eating the frog does work, and if you make a habit of it, you`ll be extraordinarily productive because of the amount of motivation it will give you. It`s like passing the first exam of the semester, which happens to be the toughest. All the following will be pieces of cake to you.

6. Try the power pose

Anytime you feel unproductive, stand up, breathe deeply and take the power pose or do some stretches. Changing your physiology can improve your mood, that`s what science discovered many years ago. If your time allows, you can hit the gym or go for a run. The pump you feel, and the accomplishment will regulate your mood and motivate you to take more action.

“To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth

7. Work from the most boring place you can find

A tiny mean room with just a bed, a bible and a deck of cards – that`s where Maya Angelou, the great poet, did her daily writing. “I can’t work in a pretty surrounding. It throws me,” she said in an interview. Maybe this can work for you too. My first ever writing coach gave this tip in my quest to make writing a daily habit. He told me the reason why most writers, including Angelou, love to write in dull environments is that it rushes them to get things done. It makes sense because if you can`t stand the place, then you`d do anything to get out.

8. Every now and then, Work only when you feel like working

When it comes to productivity, Georges Simenon is the man. He lived 86 years and wrote over 425 novels while only working two weeks every other month. As Mason Currey wrote about him in his book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, “The Belgian-French novelist worked in intense bursts of literary activity, each lasting two or three weeks, separated by weeks or months of no writing at all. Even during his productive weeks, Simenon didn’t write for very long each day” writes Currey.

Realizing that all you need is three hours of hard work before calling it a day may motivate you.  It`s bizarre, uncommon, and may not work for you, but maybe it does. So, why not give it a try? Pick a day this week, or the next, and set to work for only three, undistracted, hours then try to squeeze out every ounce of creativity and work in those hours. Once the clock ticks, take the rest of the day off.

How do you stay productive? Comment below!

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