Archive for the ‘Self Improvement’ Category
Most are little steps, but when combined together they can create big and lasting change.
Here are 7 ways to change your life in the next 7 days:
1. Change your words and phrases
One of the most effective ways to change your life is to change your attitude and mindset. And the best way to change your attitude and mindset is to remove certain words and phrases from your vocabulary and to replace them with others that are more positive.
It might take some time to remove negative phrases and words because you’ve gotten so used to them. But once you start using new words and phrases that are more positive, you’ll be surprised at how almost instantly people around you react differently and how you look at the world around you in a fresh way.
Your entire life changes without you having to change everything.
Here are some words and phrases to stop using:
– “It’s just one of those days.”
– “Same s**t, different day.”
– “Same old, same old.”
– “What’s the world coming to?”
– “Kids these days.”
– “I can’t.”
– “I don’t know.”
– Hate – It’s such a powerful word that has become too common in our vocabulary.
– Retarded – I don’t know why people insist on using this word to describe something they don’t like or understand.
– Gay – based on the same negative use as “retarded”
For some ideas on what you can start saying to improve your life and make lasting, positive change, please read our article: 50 things to say before you die.
2. Count your blessings
We all get caught up and forget to reflect on how fortunate we are. So in the next 7 days take an hour and think about:
– What you’re glad to have experienced – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s a bad experience, but it’s shaped who you are. For me, one thing I’m glad I experienced was poverty.
– What you’re fortunate to have – family, food, shelter.
– What you’re fortunate to not have – it could be sickness or debt.
3. Dust off your bucket list
Take out your list of things to do before you die and find something you can do in the next week. Or write something new down and do it.
4. Wake up claiming the Best. Day. Ever.
One day can positively change your entire life. And that one day needs to start with one good morning.
During the next 7 days wake up claiming that it will be the best day ever and try your hardest to maintain that attitude all day.
5. Try something you think you’re bad at
Perhaps you think you’re horrible at singing, writing, basketball, or some other talent. But perhaps you’ve just never really given yourself the time to attempt and if you do, you might find a new talent for yourself.
6. Declare your life’s purpose
It can certainly be done in a week with focus and a bit of work.
To help you, here are two articles you might be interested in reading:
7. Recognize change happens constantly
Every single day your life changes no matter what. Even if you go through the same routine over and over again, no two days are ever the same. Recognize this and even the days of adversity and pain will become bearable because you know that “good new days” lie ahead.
How many of us haven’t yet figured out that broccoli is generally a better choice than a Big Mac? The challenge for most isn’t in knowing what we should do to lose weight, but rather in actually doing it. Enjoy these seven strategies that will help you enjoyably do what you already know you should.
1. Focus on the Solution, not the Problem
There is a Huna saying (Huna is the spiritual practice of the traditional Hawaiian culture) that goes “Energy goes where attention flows”. In other words, what you think about expands. If you are constantly thinking about what you don’t want, you will have more of it. The subconscious mind does not understand a negative command. So if I were to say “don’t think of a pink elephant with purple spots on its floppy ears right now” what do you think about? If you tell yourself “don’t eat”, what do you think you will want to do?
Consider focusing on what you do want instead. For example, “I want to be relaxed around food” or “I want to love to exercise”. The energy will happily flow to the solution, and your subconscious mind will begin to design ways to get you what you want.
2. Recognize the Positive Intent
We overeat for a reason, and the reason, believe it or not, isn’t self-torture. We all prefer pleasure over pain, and let’s face it, you’re getting some pleasure out of overeating, or you wouldn’t do it. Perhaps it’s the distraction, the taste, or the comfort.
Whatever the reason, notice that, in its essence, it’s positive. Then begin to design new behaviors and thought patterns that work even better than food. For example, if food is a distraction, what are you distracting yourself from? How could you enjoy that more?
3. Whisper Sweet Things to Yourself
How do you talk to yourself? Would you speak to a friend or a child in this way? If you did, how would it affect them? Just for fun, pretend you are your own best friend, and say the nicest, most supportive things you can imagine to yourself. Switch to “I feel good about myself” or even “I am so silly!” from your top ten self criticisms and watch your sweet words replace your sweet tooth.
4. Focus on Self-Correcting.
No matter what your resolve, no matter how miraculous the diet, you will overeat again. We know this because naturally slender people overeat from time to time. Sometimes they misjudge how filling their food will be, other times they make a conscious choice to do it. But it doesn’t matter. They are still naturally slender.
The difference is that the naturally slender self correct. They know how to bring themselves back into balance after over-indulging. So if they dip their chips a few too many times at a cocktail party, they eat less at dinner. If they become upset emotionally, they get the support they need before coping with food or drink.
Shift your focus to how you bring yourself back into balance after overindulging, and on decreasing the time it takes to do so. Whether it’s a walk in nature, a workout, or a talk with a friend that brings you back into balance, make self-correcting your new priority.
5. Change Your Definition of Success
If you have set a goal for yourself of reaching a certain weight, it will probably take some time before you reach that goal. And along the way, the scale may not always tell you what you want to hear.
Because it’s hard to stay motivated for a long term goal that involves short term “sacrifice”, consider changing your goal to something that you can be successful at every day, such as making a healthy choice, or self-correcting.
6. Persistence not Perfection.
We love to strive for perfection, with the idea that in striving we will be our best. Unfortunately, this strategy often backfires when we beat ourselves up for not being good enough, heading straight to the refrigerator for consolation.
Reward yourself instead for your persistent efforts – for your commitment to learning, for self correcting, or for saying sweet things to yourself. Recognize that progress happens in waves, where the troughs are just as important as the crests in moving forward.
7. Create a Learning Mind.
As humans, we love to learn, be it finding the quickest route to work or the easiest way to get the job done. Yet many of us get stuck when it comes to changing our eating patterns. We fail to learn new, better strategies, getting stuck in our old patterns.
Why? Because we ask questions that block our natural learning, like “Why do I keep doing this? “What’s wrong with me?” or “I’ll never change.”
What if we asked ourselves learning questions instead, like “How would I like to be next time?”, “What is there to learn from this situation?” or “How can I make this easier?”.
Highly happy people all share happy habits. It’s as simple as that. The happiest people I know share 7 very obvious habits. If you’re looking to expand your general happiness you may consider adopting these habits in your own life.
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
- Be a Part of Something You Believe In – This could be anything. People may take an active role in their local city council, find refuge in religious faith, join a social club supporting causes they believe in, or find passion in their careers. In each case the physiological outcome is the same. They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in. This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives.
- Share Time with Friends and Family – A happy life is a life shared with friends and family. The stronger the personal relationships are and the higher the frequency of interaction, the happier a person will be.
- Reflect on the Good – Quite often people concentrate too much of their attention on negative outcomes and leave no time to positively reflect on their successes. It’s natural for a person to want to correct undesirable circumstances and focus closely on doing so, but there must be a healthy balance in the allocation of personal awareness. It is important to mindfully reflect on the good while striving diligently to correct the bad. A continuous general awareness of your daily successes can have a noticeably positive affect on your overall emotional happiness.
- Exploit the Resources You DO Have Access To – The average person is usually astonished when they see a physically handicap person show intense signs of emotional happiness. How could someone in such a restricted physical state be so happy? The answer rests in how they use the resources they do have. Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has 25 Grammy Awards to prove it.
- Create Happy Endings Whenever Possible – The power of endings is quite remarkable. The end of any experience has a profound impact on a person’s overall perception of the experience as a whole. Think about reading a fairly well written, thought provoking novel. Now imagine the ending totally sucks. Even if the story was captivating up until the ending, would you still be happy recommending the novel to a friend? People always remember the ending. If the ending is happy, the experience creates happiness. Always tie loose ends, leave things on a good note, and create happy endings in your life whenever possible.
- Use Personal Strengths to Get Things Done – Everyone possesses unique personal strengths. We all have different talents and skill sets. Emotional happiness comes naturally to those who use their strengths to get things done. The state of completion always creates a sense of achievement. If this achievement is based exclusively on your own personal ability to get the job done, the physiological rewards are priceless.
- Savor the Natural Joy of Simple Pleasures – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best things in life are free. They come in the form of simple pleasures and they appear right in front of you at various locations and arbitrary times. They are governed by Mother Nature and situational circumstance and captured by mindful awareness. It’s all about taking a moment to notice the orange and pink sunset reflecting off the pond water as you hold hands with someone you love. Noticing these moments and taking part in them regularly will bring unpredictable bursts of happiness into your life.
Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions which speak louder than the words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through time after time after time, year after year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism. – Abraham Lincoln
No One is Perfect. The quicker this is realized the faster you can get on with being excellent. Start every morning ready to fight harder than you did the day before and run further than you ever imagine.
Avoid over explaining yourself. Be confident with who you are.
Keep balance in your life. Write down what’s most important to you and show up. Sometimes we tend to do the things that are most important to us when it’s written down.
Play the hand you were dealt. Have the courage to face challenges head on it builds character. Start looking for a way through instead of a way out.
Be a student of life. Learn something new every day. The day you stop learning is the day you become obsolete so keep learning.
No Excuses. Stop making excuses replace them with ways to do better. Excuses are a waste of time and energy.
Let others know where you Stand. Be uncompromising and be up front when someone steps on your core values.
Never be afraid of a challenge. You put on your shoes like every other man. Now it comes down to who wants it more.
Service to others. Small, simple or important be a volunteer and give the very best of you.
Work like hell. Everyone has a job to do so do it. Cross every “T” and dot every “I”.
Discover You. Find your passion, life purpose, and take action.
Don’t take it Personal. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself self confidence shows that you’re comfortable in your own skin.
Manage your time. Our situation and environment is ever changing so be careful not to confuse the things that are urgent with the things that are important. Look for time wasters and eliminate them.
Ask for help. Life can be tough remember you never have to do it alone.
Do your homework. Know what you getting into before you start. Doing your homework reduces uncertainty and fear.
Day Dream Often. On the weekend when you are relaxing embrace a day dream. During the week take action to preserve your dreams.
Be A HERO. Cultivate a healthy dose of forgiveness and set someone free. Learn to forgive others and stop carrying those bags of hate, guilt or regret.
Stay One Step Ahead. Be proactive, Take the initiative, Brainstorm with the big picture in mind.
Self Love. Become your own priority. Strive to be the you, you want to be.
Finish what you started. Avoid the urge to stray.
via all swagga
I didn’t make up this list…but I do love waking up early and can relate to all of these. If you aren’t an early riser yet, I recommend you give it a try!
1. Get a head start
If you wake up at 5am, you are starting your day earlier than 99.9% of the world. This is largely a psychological feel-good factor, but it ripples from there to create a whole host of benefits (especially #2, #3). A good start is half the battle won. It will motivate you to run ahead on your tasks so you can maintain or even widen the lead.
For example, my natural modus operandi when I wake up early is “Let’s get working now!” Compared to when I wake up late, the dominant voice in my head says: “There’s plenty of time later to do this, so let’s leave this first.” This is especially apparent when it comes to the bigger chunk, gold tasks (high impact tasks). While I have no problem moving straight into work whether I wake up early or late, in the latter scenario I’m doing things slower, doing easier things first and leaving the hard yet important tasks to the end of the day. This subsequently causes me to stay up late, which eats into my sleeping time and affects next day’s schedule. Then the cycle would continue the next day. This goes on to create a negative habit pattern in the long-run where I would always be rushing through tasks at night, extending beyond my bedtime, and wake up feeling tired even though I had slept more than a fair share of hours.
Honestly, in the past I never thought any tangible difference could arise from waking early and waking late. As long as you get the things done in the day, that should be all that matters, shouldn’t it? However, having tried both waking early and not, I realized the mindset difference that arises from the habit change plays a huge role in the actions you adopt. When you wake up early, you are ahead of the world and preparing for the day ahead as it unfolds. This creates an attitude of anticipation/forward thinking/proactiveness/foresightedness. When you wake up late and sleep late, more often than not, you are trying to finish your tasks for the day and getting on track in your deadlines. This leads to inclinations toward procrastination (because “I can always do this later at night”)/living in the past/reactiveness/myopia. This fundamental mindset difference makes the world of the difference in the long-run.
Of course, it’s about relativity. It doesn’t mean that everyone who wakes up late is reactive toward life. What this means is the same person will likely be more proactive and forward thinking when he/she starts waking up early, compared to if he/she wakes up late. Largely psychological but true nonetheless.
2. Increased productivity
My productivity soars on days where I wake up early. It’s a benefit that comes from getting a head start (see Reason #1). The head start creates a motivation to continue your lead ahead, resulting in (a) more things getting completed (b) things getting completed faster. This applies even if I’m awake for the same number of hours during days I wake up early and days I don’t. If I were to wake up late, I typically spend more time getting the same stuff done. This becomes a lot more apparent when you have your to-do lists laid out for the day. It’s something you have to try to experience for yourself to know what I’m talking about.
In addition, the morning creates the perfect environment to work due to the peace and quiet (see reason #5).
Ever woken up late before and have to make a mad rush out of the house for your appointments? Being on time is important to create a good impression and as a form of respect to the other party. In cases like work, being timely is essential. Rather than rush around every morning which can be a tiring activity, waking up early gives you more time to prepare and lets you be timely.
Putting a cap on your sleeping and waking time also gives structure to your days and makes you more sensitive of the how you spend your time. This goes a long way in improving your timeliness.
4. Self mastery
Waking up early is about self-mastery. As I mentioned above, there were many reasons which would thwart my waking early plans in the past. Reasons such as working late, being out late, delaying my exercise routine till late at night, being on the phone… these reasons were a function of the lack of mastery I was having over myself. If I wanted to wake up early, I had to learn to take a hold over those activities, which would mean being more organized and disciplined.
Let’s take working late as an example. If you often work late, have you ever wondered why that keeps happening? On first sight you might think it’s because you had too much work in the day or there were a lot of firefighting activities which prevented you from getting your work done. If you look into it, it’s because you are unable to manage your activities. Rather than being a master of your activities, you are letting your activities run over you. Looking into it one level deeper, the reason why you let your activities run over you is because you lack self-mastery. Being disciplined, organized, on top of your tasks, having clear stewardship – these are all elements of strong self-mastery.
5. Peace and quiet
The morning tranquility is indescribable. This tranquility comes about on two levels. First, there’s the physical quietness. You are alone with no disturbances. No one’s out on the streets, no traffic on the roads and the birds have not even broken into song yet! No smses or phone calls either to take away your attention.
Then there’s quietness on the mental level. Ever walked into an exam hall or an interview waiting room, where you can immediately feel the tension? Even though no one is speaking, you can feel the tension from the energy vibes around you. The same principle applies here. In the early hours of the morning when everyone is still at rest, you are free from the chatter in their minds. Not only that, because sleeping processes mental clutter, the chatter in your own mind is also lesser when you wake up. While physical peace is something you get by sleeping late, the mental peace only comes from waking up early.
The tranquility on both levels gives you the free space to get a fast start on whatever you want to do.
6. Faster commute
If you have to travel to work/school, you can now travel during non-peak hours and skip the traffic jams. This cuts down on the time spent in commuting.
It’s common for people to skip breakfast because they woke up late and didn’t have time. However as they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having spent some 5-8 hours without eating, it’s important to have your breakfast. One of my friends used this interesting analogy to describe the importance of breakfast – “Eating breakfast is like starting your engine. If you don’t have breakfast, your engine has not started.”. When I wake up early, I get time to prepare my breakfast (fruit salads, fruit and veggie smoothies, bread with peanut butter and the like) and enjoy it too.
Do you defer your exercise to the end of the day? Does your exercise plan get carried through or does it get rescheduled at times due to last minute changes? Waking up early gives you time to exercise in the morning, giving lesser chance for it to be shifted out. There’s nothing like a great workout to boost your day, too.
9. Seeing the world wake up
I totally enjoy my morning jogs where I literally see the whole city wake up before me. I start off with at 6ish in the morning, where the sky is dark, there’s minimal people on the streets and few cars on the road. As I jog through the morning (I usually jog anywhere between 6 to 11km which lasts about 1-2 hours), I witness the whole place coming alive. The human traffic increases and the traffic becomes heavier, steadily. The sky starts to lit up in different shades – first dark blue, then in gradients of purple, red, orange, yellow, and finally sunshine starts enveloping the whole place. It’s a very beautiful experience. It’s an amazing experience being an observer to the whole scene.
Start Waking Early
If you are not yet an early riser (5~6am), try it for yourself (give it a fair trial of at least 21 days) and see how it works out. Check out 21 tips to wake up early to help you out on how to do that. Make sure you tie waking up early with a clear objective (tip #1 of the 21 tips) as that will be the centerpiece of your plan
The condensed guide to changing your own life:
Realize it’s possible, instead of telling yourself why you can’t.
Become aware of your self-talk.
Squash negative thoughts like a bug.
Replace them with positive thoughts.
Love what you have already.
Be grateful for your life, your gifts, and other people.
Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
But be inspired by them.
Accept criticism with grace.
But ignore the naysayers.
See bad things as a blessing in disguise.
See failure as a stepping stone to success.
Surround yourself by those who are positive.
Complain less, smile more.
Image that you’re already positive.
Then become that person in your next act.
Focus on this habit first, and you’ll have a much easier time with any other.
‘A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.’ ~Herm Albright
‘Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune.’ ~Walt Whitman
Unlike a lot of these lists….I’m finding a lot of these to be really practical and beneficial. Take a look…
- Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.
- Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table, make lunches, put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.
- Don’t rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc. (“The palest ink is better than the most retentive memory.” – Old Chinese Proverb)
- Do nothing which, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.
- Make duplicates of all keys. Bury a house key in a secret spot in the garden and carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart from your key ring.
- Practice preventive maintenance. Your car, appliances, home, and relationships will be less likely to break down/fall apart “at the worst possible moment.”
- Be prepared to wait. A paperback can make a wait in a post office line almost pleasant.
- Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today; whatever you want to do today, do it now.
- Plan ahead. Don’t let the gas tank get below one-quarter full; keep a well-stocked “emergency shelf” of home staples; don?t wait until you’re down to your last bus token or postage stamp to buy more; etc.
- Don’t put up with something that doesn’t work right. If your alarm clock, wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers, whatever, are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.
- Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departures.
- Eliminate (or restrict) the amount of caffeine in your diet.
- Always set up contingency plans, “just in case.” (“If for some reason either of us is delayed, here’ss what we’ll do?” kind of thing. Or, “If we get split up in the shopping center, here’s where we’ll meet.”)
- Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get mowed this weekend.
- Pollyanna-Power! For every one thing that goes wrong, there are probably 10 or 50 or 100 blessings. Count em!
- Ask questions. Taking a few moments to repeat back directions, what someone expects of you, etc., can save hours. (The old “the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get, ” idea.)
- Say “No!” Saying “no” to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don’t have the time or energy for takes practice, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday, needs quiet time to relax and be alone.
- Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep, or read without interruption? Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect. (The possibility of there being a terrible emergency in the next hour or so is almost nil.) Or use an answering machine.
- Turn “needs” into preferences. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don’t get attached to preferences.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify.
- Make friends with nonworriers. Nothing can get you into the habit of worrying faster than associating with chronic worrywarts.
- Get up and stretch periodically if your job requires that you sit for extended periods.
- Wear earplugs. If you need to find quiet at home, pop in some earplugs.
- Get enough sleep. If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind you to go to bed.
- Create order out of chaos. Organize your home and workspace so that you always know exactly where things are. Put things away where they belong and you won’t have to go through the stress of losing things.
- When feeling stressed, most people tend to breathe in short, shallow breaths. When you breathe like this, stale air is not expelled, oxidation of the tissues is incomplete, and muscle tension frequently results. Check your breathing throughout the day, and before, during, and after high-pressure situations. If you find your stomach muscles are knotted and your breathing is shallow, relax all your muscles and take several deep, slow breaths. Note how, when you’re relaxed, both your abdomen and chest expand when you breathe.
- Writing your thoughts and feelings down (in a journal, or on paper to be thrown away) can help you clarify things and can give you a renewed perspective.
- Try the following yoga technique whenever you feel the need to relax. Inhale deeply through you nose to the count of eight. Then, with lips puckered, exhale very slowly through your mouth to the count of 16, or for as long as you can. Concentrate on the long sighing sound and feel the tension dissolve. Repeat 10 times.
- Inoculate yourself against a feared event. Example: before speaking in public, take time to go over every part of the experience in your mind. Imagine what you’ll wear, what the audience will look like, how you will present your talk, what the questions will be and how you will answer them, etc. Visualize the experience the way you would have it be. You’ll likely find that when the time comes to make the actual presentation, it will be “old hat” and much of your anxiety will have fled.
- When the stress of having to get a job done gets in the way of getting the job done, diversion, a voluntary change in activity and/or environment, may be just what you need.
- Talk it out. Discussing your problems with a trusted friend can help clear your mind of confusion so you can concentrate on problem solving.
- One of the most obvious ways to avoid unnecessary stress is to select an environment (work, home, leisure) which is in line with your personal needs and desires. If you hate desk jobs, don’t accept a job which requires that you sit at a desk all day. If you hate to talk politics, don’t associate with people who love to talk politics, etc.
- Learn to live one day at a time.
- Every day, do something you really enjoy.
- Add an ounce of love to everything you do.
- Take a hot bath or shower (or a cool one in summertime) to relieve tension.
- Do something for somebody else.
- Focus on understanding rather than on being understood; on loving rather than on being loved.
- Do something that will improve your appearance. Looking better can help you feel better.
- Schedule a realistic day. Avoid the tendency to schedule back-to-back appointments; allow time between appointments for a breathing spell.
- Become more flexible. Some things are worth not doing perfectly and some issues are well to compromise upon.
- Eliminate destructive self-talk: “I’m too old to ?,” “I’m too fat to ?,” etc.
- Use your weekend time for a change of pace. If you work week is slow and patterned, make sure there is action and time for spontaneity built into your weekends. If your work week is fast-paced and full of people and deadlines, seek peace and solitude during your days off. Feel as if you aren’t accomplishing anything at work? Tackle a job on the weekend which you can finish to your satisfaction.
- “Worry about the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” That’s another way of saying: take care of the todays as best you can and the yesterdays and the tomorrows will take care of themselves.
- Do one thing at a time. When you are with someone, be with that person and with no one or nothing else. When you are busy with a project, concentrate on doing that project and forget about everything else you have to do.
- Allow yourself time everyday for privacy, quiet, and introspection.
- If an especially unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with; then the rest of your day will be free of anxiety.
- Learn to delegate responsibility to capable others.
- Don?t forget to take a lunch break. Try to get away from your desk or work area in body and mind, even if it’s just for 15 or 20 minutes.
- Forget about counting to 10. Count to 1,000 before doing something or saying anything that could make matters worse.
- Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.
- Have an optimistic view of the world. Believe that most people are doing the best they can.
It’s no mystery that work slowly kills us. Unfortunately, it’s not something that we can just drop like a bad habit. Knowing that, we need to find a reasonable work/life balance. When working long hours, our health and fitness are the first things to go. Doing 60+ hours a week is going to take its toll, and let’s face it, who wants to go to the gym after having spent the last 13 hours in the office doing things that make you want to jump out a window. While you’re on your way home, that stop at Burger King seems so much easier than running to the grocery store to pick something up and THEN having to make it. How common does this sound to you?
We already have numerous studies showing that people who work more than 10 hours a day are at a heightened risk of heart disease. Consider the fact that the gym and a healthy diet are the first things to go when we are sticking to a heavy work schedule. Even the most disciplined and fitness minded individuals are at risk. Personally, I’ve been doing 12 hour days the past week and can completely see the effect it has. My daily ritual of spending 90 minutes in the gym has been broken more times than I’d like to admit. On my way home, I’m considering picking up fast food options I haven’t eaten in years (luckily my willpower overcame this!). Fortunately, I can get back to my regular schedule soon, but for many people this isn’t an option.
Don’t kill yourself for the man. Don’t sacrifice your health and well-being for a few extra dollars. You may rationalize it in your head by telling yourself you are doing it for your families’ benefit. If you really want to benefit your family in the long-term, get yourself into the gym and take that cheeseburger out of your hand. You aren’t going to be able to do much good when you’re six feet deep. Take your health and fitness just as seriously as you take your job, and you will strike a balance that leads to a long and productive life.
Finding happiness is at the heart and soul of every living creature. All things want to be happy and content. In our modern world, it has been drilled into our heads that more money equals more happiness. We go to school, work hard, and do everything we can to land that coveted job that will ensure our financial futures. All our lives, we’ve been told that hard work is the key to success. We slave away 60, 70, 80+ hours a week so we prove to the powers that be, that we are hard-working worthy employees. The hope is that they recognize this and decide to promote us or pay us more money.
Many studies have been conducted on the issue and overall, psychologists have generally come to the same startling conclusion: “…wealth increases human happiness when it lifts people out of abject poverty and into the middle class but that it does little to increase happiness thereafter.” What this means is the guy pulling in $80,000 a year isn’t any less happy than the CEO raking in $10 million a year.
In a generic study, people are asked to rate their well-being and happiness on a scale of 1-7, with 1 meaning “not at all satisfied with my life” and 7 meaning “completely satisfied”. American multimillionaires responded with an average score of 5.8. Homeless people in a third-world city responded with an average of 2.9. Before you go ahead and assume money does in fact buy happiness, consider some other ratings. A rural, native population in Greenland who lead a life far removed from the luxuries of the modern world responded with a 5.8 rating. The Masai herding tribe of Kenya who live in dung huts with no running water or electricity also collectively rated themselves near a 5.8.
The average American works hard for 40-50 years, buys countless things they think will bring them happiness, then dies. Work, consume, die; it’s a depressing existence. We spend more time in our offices and commuting to and from work than we do with our families in many instances. We get up at the crack of dawn and come home when it’s dark, and we do it for that extra buck. Understanding that entering the next tax bracket, or being able to shop at Nieman Marcus over Macy’s isn’t going to do anything for your long-term happiness.
You should listen to Grandma when she tells you to value your friends and your health over money and materialistic possessions. The elderly have the advantage of looking back on their lives and seeing things at face value. We often brush their advice aside as we foolishly allow ourselves to be sucked back into the work, consume, die mentality. Maintaining good health, feeling confident when you look at yourself in the mirror, and maintaining positive social circles is key to happiness. Simply undertaking a training routine and diet plan will do wonders for you. Feeling confident about yourself when you slip back into that bikini will bring lasting happiness that can never be realized by simply purchasing some $800 designer dress.
If you still don’t believe that more money doesn’t equal more happiness, just take a look at all the suicidal corporate executives, depressed socialites, and discontent “upper class”. Don’t sacrifice your one life for that extra buck. Focus on your health, your friends, your family, and fellow mankind to realize true happiness and live a life that matters.
Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
Curb your jealousy. Be happy for others.
Live with the 3 E’s : Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
Play more games.
Read more books than you did in 2009.
Be grateful for what you have, what you can do, and for everything in your life.
Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
With every disaster in your life, ask yourself, “will this matter in 5 years?”
Make time to practice meditation. It provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
Dream more while you are awake.
Don’t worry about what hasn’t happened.
Smile and laugh more.
Enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Try to make at least three people smile each day.
Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. While you walk, smile.
Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
Get more sleep.
Accept your friends’ mistakes. Accept your mistakes.
Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
Don’t have negative thoughts about things you cannot control. Invest your energy in the positive present moment.
Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. This will ruin your present happiness.
Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last forever.
You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
Forgive everyone for everything.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
The best is yet to come.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
Your inner most is always happy. So be happy.
Do the right thing.
Call your family often.
Each day give something good to others.