Fostering a Lust for Life

Author Article –  

February is often thought of as the month of love. For some people this refers to romantic love, and for others, it might refer to love for a friend or relative. It can also be about the love — or lust — for life and living life to its fullest, which means listening to the messages of your heart and going in the direction of what brings you the most joy.

Many people experience unhappiness at different times, and often they’re unsure of what to do to change or transform their situations. They may feel that they want something more out of life, but they don’t know what that something is. In essence, we all want to be happy and make some sort of impact on the world, and the places where we want to do so are usually those areas we feel passionate about, and which are connected to our life’s purpose.

Most often your life purpose is already present within you — it’s just a matter of finding it. First, you need to know yourself, what has shaped your past, and what inspires you to move forward. These are all pieces of information offering tools for self-awareness. This knowledge can be very empowering and a means to fostering a lust for life.

Journaling to Learn Your Life’s Passion

One way to figure out your passion and your reason for living is to begin a regular journaling practice. A good place to start is to write about what you’re grateful for and all the positive aspects of your life. This is also an excellent way to learn about the messages of your heart and to tap into your subconscious mind.

Sometimes people begin journaling during challenging times. My own writing journey began when I was ten and my mother gave me a Kahlil Gibran journal to help me cope with the loss of my grandmother. Although I began writing from a place of pain, I realized that during the creative process, I was tapping into some profound inner truths. This helped me heal and find my life purpose, which involves teaching others how to transform their lives through the written word.

Humanist Psychologists and Life Purpose

Humanist psychology, the newest branch of psychology that was born in the 1960s, highlights the importance of everyone living their true potential, which is also known as self-actualization. Psychologists Abraham Maslow and Rollo May were instrumental in launching this branch of psychology, and their influence remains significant today. In fact, May was influential in inspiring my own ongoing journaling process back in the 1960s. When I turned 18, my family doctor gave me a copy of May’s Love and Will, which informed a great deal of my adolescence, taught me self-awareness, and gave me myriad ideas to journal about, even though when I initially read the book, I didn’t really understand much of what the author was saying.

I shelved the book but knew that I would return to it at a later date, and when I fell in love in my early twenties, I dusted it off and began to read. May reminded me of the importance of love in my life, how to differentiate love from sex, and also to see where the two intersect.

Many years later when I became a published writer, I became enamored with May’s book The Courage to Create, which tapped into the idea of listening to the messages of the heart and mind when it comes to being creative, and having the courage to listen to those messages. In doing so, we break old patterns and release long-standing fears on the road to living a meaningful life.

The Importance of Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is key for anyone who yearns to foster a lust for life. Knowing oneself requires a deep sense of inner knowing. Writing is an ideal way to increase our sense of self-awareness, as it helps us see ourselves and the world around us in a nonjudgmental, clear, and honest way. Being self-aware helps facilitate writing for healing and transformation and also stimulates the mind-body connection, which offers an opportunity for positive change, and ultimately, happiness.

There are many ways to foster self-awareness, so you need to find what works best for you, but writing is a good way to start because it serves as a container to express and hold feelings, emotions, and experiences. It’s also a way to begin a dialogue with yourself. Dialoguing, whether verbal or written, is very healing — emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Identifying Moments of Being

In addition to knowing and appreciating all the positive aspects in your life, it’s wise to identify what writer Virginia Woolf calls “moments of being,” or moments that help define us. These moments could be simple things like remembering the shoes your mother wore or how your father played with you in the backyard. It could be the day your little brother or sister came home from the hospital as a newborn, or the time your family adopted a pet for the first time. These are moments when an individual experiences a sense of stark reality, which can result from a shock of some sort or a discovery or revelation. These are transformative moments. And sometimes, the moments that impact us most are those we don’t even fully understand at the time they’re occurring.

Writing prompt: Make a list of ten or more moments in your life that were pivotal and transformative. The memories that come to your mind can serve to inspire you in many ways and foster a lust for the rest of your life.

References

Maslow, A. (2014). Toward a Psychology of Being. New York, NY: Sublime Books.

May, R. (2011). Love and Will. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

May, R. (2009). Man’s Search for Self. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

May, R. (1994). The Courage to Create. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.

How Habits Become Your Destiny

Author Article
By Susanna Newsonen

Habits are a part of everyone’s life. We all have them, we all know of them, and most of us tend to complain about them. Yet not many of us take the time to learn about them. If we did, we would be a lot more successful with building good habits and eliminating bad ones.

With 40 percent of your daily behavior being based on habits, it’s important to stop and take stock of what they actually are. Imagine if 90 percent of that 40 percent is all bad habits, or habits that are holding you back? That’s not a fun nor productive place to be.

That’s why it’s important to become your very own social scientist for your own life. Explore what your habits are, how they have been built, and whether they are good or bad for you. This is where you have to start. Without the self-awareness and the breaking down of the habits, it’s very difficult to start changing your habits or adding new ones in.

To help you get started, I have three questions for you to use when you start exploring your habits:

1. Is this habit helping me to be happier, healthier or more successful?

If the answer is no, it’s obvious you’ve got to let it go. The only tricky part is you can’t just eliminate it because it’s an existing neural pathway in your brain. Instead, you’ve got to dress that bad habit in new overalls to turn it into a good habit you want to keep.

2. How is my habit formed?

Without understanding what your habit consists of it’s impossible to change it or adapt it. This is where Charles Duhigg’s habit loop comes in, with each habit having a cue (a consistent time, location, emotion, person or activity), a routine (the actual behavior) and a reward (some sense of satisfaction). The key is realising that even the bad habits have a reward even though we might not label them as such.

3. Do I want to change one or more habits in my life?

No one can tell you what habits you should or shouldn’t have. You know what is best for your body and being, and you know what habits you are happy to involve in your life. When you’re deciding whether to change a bad habit or to add a new good habit into your life, make sure you have a clear why behind it. Doing it “because someone said so” isn’t going to keep you motivated through your habit change.

The most important thing to remember is that habit change is possible. Even though it’s difficult at the start, the more you stick with it, the easier it becomes. There are lots of different tools and strategies to test when it comes to changing habits and building new ones successfully, but before all that comes the understanding of what habits actually are, how they are formed, and how you can override the neural pathways of bad habits.

Then, like Aristotle said, you’ll be on your way to excellence: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

The Best Foods to Eat for Better Sleep

Author Article

Nonfat Popcorn
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Nonfat Popcorn

The carbohydrates in nonfat popcorn help bring the amino acid tryptophan into your brain, where it’s used to make a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter called serotonin. Since eating a heavy meal within two hours of bedtime can keep you awake, popcorn (just 93 calories in three cups popped) is a great late-night snack. Choose plain, fat-free popcorn and jazz it up with some curry powder or any of these other tricked out popcorn toppings.

Halibut
2 of 10 LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Halibut

Halibut is packed with two building blocks for better sleep: tryptophan and vitamin B6, and when it comes to seafood, halibut has a mild flavor and meaty texture that appeals to finicky fish eaters. Other foods high in tryptophan include poultry, beef, soybeans, milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts, and eggs.

Mango Lassi
3 of 10 sveta_zarzamora/Getty Images

Mango Lassi

Packed with antioxidants, protein, and vitamins, this treat satisfies your creamy, sweet craving as well as ice cream—without the sugar bomb.

BTW, a lassi is basically a smoothie, but it’s always made with yogurt. To make a mango lassi: cut up one fresh, peeled mango and put it in a blender. Add a handful of ice, a small scoop of plain Greek yogurt (go with full-fat dairy for all its health benefits) and a splash of water or milk. Add a dash of stevia for extra sweetness if desired.

Don’t like mangoes? Substitute frozen berries or watermelon.

Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
4 of 10 Claudia Totir/Getty Images

Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

High-fiber garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) are rich in vitamin B6, which your body uses to produce serenity-boosting serotonin. Try adding garbanzo beans to salads, soups, and stews when you need sleep.

Chamomile Tea
5 of 10 simarik/Getty Images

Chamomile Tea

This herbal drink lacks the caffeine found in traditional teas, and it has a calming effect on the body. Also, a warm liquid before bed can make you feel cozy and ready to hit the sheets.

Related: How to Practice Mindfulness with Tea

Honey
6 of 10 Henri Tia/EyeEm/Getty Images

Honey

A rise in blood sugar can reduce the production of orexin in the brain. Orexin is a recently discovered neurotransmitter that’s been linked to wakefulness. Try drizzling a small amount of honey in your chamomile tea for a touch of sweet without a full-down sugar rush.

Dried Tart Cherries
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Dried Tart Cherries

A handful of dried cherries not only provides the requisite serotonin-boosting carbs, but it’s also one of the few food sources of melatonin, which has been found to promote better sleep and lessen the effects of jet lag. Plus, tart cherries are packed with antioxidants.

Turkey
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Turkey

The reason behind your epic post-Thanksgiving feast nap is also the secret to helping you sleep better. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is known to help calm you down and naturally get you to sleep.

Not feeling a deli turkey sandwich? Try roasted pumpkin seeds, which also contain tryptophan.

Banana  Soft Serve
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Banana “Soft Serve”

Frozen bananas make the perfect base for healthy, vegan “nice cream”. and the potassium in them will not only help you fall asleep faster but can prevent those awful cramps (AKA Charlie horses) that wake you up. All you need is the proper blending technique. The trick is to keep blending for several minutes. At first, they’ll just look slimy, but then air works its magic and before you know it frozen bananas morph into a creamy, light treat. Add a handful of chopped nuts for a sweet and salty treat.

Kale Chips
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Kale Chips

Don’t knock these roasted green “chips” until you’ve tried them. The hefty dose of vitamin K helps repair and build muscles while you sleep. Simply chop up a bunch of kale, toss with olive oil and sea salt, and spread out and bake at 350 degrees until crispy.

Is Waking Up Early Good or Bad?

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By Bryan Lufkin

Being successful means waking up early – or so we’re constantly told.

It makes you more productive. Celebrities and CEOs do it. You’ll be healthier and happier. You’ll feel in control of your life.

But despite the deluge of such stories, waking up at an ungodly hour isn’t some sort of magic productivity hack that will solve your time-management problems. For some, it can even be counterproductive.

The trick is finding a routine that fits your situation. Here are some timeless tips that can help you cut through the noise and figure out a wake-up strategy that’s right for you.

What are the benefits of getting up early?

There can be lots – at least, according to all the people who get up at daybreak.

(Credit: Getty Images)

US actor Mark Wahlberg made headlines last year when he said he wakes up at 2:30 am (Credit: Getty Images)

Many people cite fewer distractions during the early hours: kids or anyone else in your home are probably still asleep, for example, and you’ll probably be receiving fewer texts or emails at that time.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he rises at 03:45 to start checking email in California before his East Coast colleagues can (which, at 06:45, is still quite early in its own right). Oprah Winfrey says she gets up at 06:02 every day for reflection, meditation and exercise before starting work at 09:00. The most extreme case might be Mark Wahlberg, who wakes up at 02:30 to exercise, play golf, pray and recover in a -100C cryochamber.

You might be more alert and have better cognitive ability in the afternoon

Studies have also suggested early rising and success might be linked. People who wake up early are more in sync with the traditional corporate schedule and tend to have more proactive personalities, which might lead to better grades in school or higher wages on the job.

If getting up early doesn’t come naturally, there are some strategies you can try. Early exercise and exposing yourself to light as soon as possible can help stimulate metabolism and body temperature, which gets you going more quickly.

Yet the early alarm clock may not work for everyone – it turns out there are plenty of caveats around trying to become a morning person if it’s not an easy fit.

Is getting up early for everyone?

No. Whether or not waking up early actually makes you more productive could be in your genes.

There’s been lots of research about how some people are biologically more likely to feel more alert in the morning, while others are at their best at night. You might be more alert and have better cognitive ability in the afternoon, for instance.

In fact, a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications provided further evidence that this is the case. Looking at data from over 700,000 people, researchers found over 350 genetic factors that could influence whether people feel more naturally energised either in the morning or in the evening. The large sample size makes the study the biggest of its kind so far, though further research is needed to confirm the results.

So, if you don’t naturally feel alert in the morning but decide to wake up early anyway, you might be sabotaging your actual peak performance times.

(Credit: Getty Images)

Humans aren’t built to go to sleep with glowing distractions, which can cause sleep problems (Credit: Getty Images)

Of course, people may have personal reasons for making an early start. “There may be other factors at play, such as enthusiasm and high job satisfaction, which facilitate eagerness to get up earlier and get to work,” says Marilyn Davidson, professor emerita of work psychology at the University of Manchester.

Parents with young children or workers with non-traditional hours may also have no choice about what time they start the day.

Getting up early doesn’t necessarily translate to instant success at the office

The main point: the mere fact of getting up early doesn’t necessarily translate to instant success at the office. In fact, depending on the person, it could end up having a negative effect.

Can getting up early ever be counterproductive?

Yes. Especially if you don’t normally wake up super early and are trying to hop on some kind of productivity bandwagon.

“People say: ‘Oh, this CEO is doing his 05:00 regimen, I’m going to hop on and do this on Mondays and Fridays,’” says Rachel Salas, an associate professor of neurology who specialises in sleep medicine and sleep disorders at Johns Hopkins University in the US. “But that’s not consistent [sleep]. You’re messing with your system.”

Salas says that getting a full night’s sleep and getting the same amount of sleep at the same time each night are both important. An even worse scenario? If you’re actually reducing sleep to become an early riser.

Sacrificing sleep means you may be hit by the many negative effects of sleep deprivation, including moodiness, poor concentration, potential weight gain, anxiety, increased risk of heart disease and higher blood pressure.

So if early rising means cutting sleep, don’t do it. Salas says she’s had patients come into her clinic who got by on reduced sleep in their 20s and 30s, but struggled as they got older, their lifestyles changed and they had kids.

“If you start early, you will need to stop work earlier too, so there may be no real benefits,” points out Gail Kinman, professor of occupational health psychology at the University of Bedfordshire in Luton, England. She thinks that high-profile businesspeople who follow up an early start with long hours in the office or a late-night presence on email have a damaging effect.

(Credit: Getty Images)

Famous CEOs and celebrities frequently brag about early rising – but is it really right for everyone? (Credit: Getty Images)

There’s something particularly pernicious about the bragging of a CEO chronicling their early starts. The New York Times recently coined the term ‘performative workaholism’, referring to workaholics flaunting early wake-ups and long hours as a badge of honour, which can end up setting a bad example.

“CEOs are important role models for staff,” Kinman says. “And seeing this behaviour as desirable is just irresponsible.”

What should you do?

Experts say to experiment. Don’t listen to vocal thought-leaders or LinkedIn influencers – figure out what works best for you. And, hey, maybe that does mean waking up super early after all.

Pay attention to when you feel most tired and most awake. When on holiday, make a note of the times you fall asleep and wake up naturally. Try to sync your schedule to those times, as that’s how you’ll tap into most of your natural energy for the day ahead.

When it comes to the workplace, experts suggest an approach that accommodates everyone’s habits to bring out the best in them. Susan Stehlik, director of New York University’s management communications programme, suggests offices and teams use a technique called “appreciative inquiry”.

Pay attention to when you feel most tired and most awake.

This means that the team sits down at the very initial stages of a project and brings up their individual needs, schedules and preferences right out of the gate to the group – ideally, so that the group can adjust accordingly.

“That way you bring up things [like]: ‘I have kids, I have to be up at 05:00 every day and have to get them to day-care and can’t stay late’,” Stehlik says. “‘Here are my vulnerabilities right now, and here are my strengths right now.’ It’s mostly teamwork.”

If team leaders are flexible, you could agree to have an early riser start checking email or working earlier, and then allow them to knock off earlier in the afternoon. That way, workers can enjoy the benefits of early rising, but avoid burnout.

You’re also applying the practices of early rising to those to whom it’s applicable or useful, instead of arbitrarily getting everyone up early to chase the illusion of increased productivity.

In the end, though, it’s all about taking sleep advice from non-experts with a grain of salt. It’s about knowing your unique sleep preferences and the times of the day (or night) that you feel at your peak. And above all, it’s getting adequate – and consistent – amounts of sleep.

For some people, forcing yourself to wake up before the chickens because that’s what your business idol does may not be the smartest or healthiest way to start the day.

“Don’t do it,” Kinman says. “Unless you are a true morning person.”

Bryan Lufkin is BBC Capital’s features writer. Follow him on Twitter @bryan_lufkin.

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Simple Practices To Help You Sleep Better

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By Arash Emamzadeh

People with breathing difficulties, chronic pain, urinary and gastrointestinal problems, and high blood pressure, have higher levels of sleeplessness, than those without these conditions.2

Insomnia itself may also increase the risk of certain physical but also mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression.

Therefore, it is a good idea to consult the appropriate health professionals to address potential causes and complications of your sleeplessness, especially if you have chronic insomnia.

Today’s article, however, is about things you can do yourself to help improve your sleep.

I begin with perhaps the most obvious one, good sleep habits.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene refers to behaviors and habits that promote good sleep. These can include:

  1. Exercising regularly (not close to sleep time).
  2. Following a healthy diet and not consuming large meals in the evening.
  3. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
  4. Establishing a soothing routine prior to sleep (e.g., reading a spiritualbook).
  5. Keeping the environment conducive to sleep (e.g, keeping the lights low).
StockSnap/Pixabay
Source: StockSnap/Pixabay

Stimulus control

Stimulus control includes techniques intended to re-associate bed with sleep:

  1. Going to bed only when sleepy.
  2. Leaving the bedroom if unable to fall sleep in 20-30 minutes.
  3. Not napping during the day.
  4. Waking up the same time each day no matter what.
  5. Not studying, working, watching TV, or using the computer, while in bed.

Relaxation

Relaxation helps reduce physiological arousal. Try these shortly before going to bed:

  1. Stretching or yoga.
  2. Visualization (e.g, visualize sleeping peacefully and waking up refreshed).
  3. Meditation (do so only if you already have some experience with meditation).
  4. Breathing exercises (e.g., abdominal breathing).
  5. Progressive muscle relaxation.
terimakasih0/Pixabay
Source: terimakasih0/Pixabay

If these methods do not give you all the help you need, you may also consider these three practices: Challenging your thoughts, paradoxical intention, and sleep restriction.

Sleep restriction

Sleep restriction is a practice that may help you sleep better, by initially limiting the time you spend in bed. To practice sleep restriction, you need to limit the hours in bed to the hours you have actually spent sleeping (though it is recommended to not go below five hours).

For example, if you slept only six hours last night (even if you were in bed for, say, ten hours), then remain in bed for only six hours tonight.

As your sleep improves and you spend more time actually sleeping, then you can increase your hours in bed.

Challenging your thoughts

Certain beliefs can worsen insomnia. For instance, some people assume that the consequences of not getting enough sleep is much more severe than it really is. Such beliefs result in unnecessary anxiety, making it even more difficult to fall asleep.

Not all anxious thoughts are sleep related. They may also be related to health issues, finances, relationship difficulties, etc. One thing that can help is keeping a journal and writing down the anxiety-provoking thoughts and concerns that arise during the night or right before sleep.

After a good night’s rest, it will be easier to return to these thoughts and concerns, to rationally assess them, or if need be, to do something about them (e.g., make a medical appointment, call the bank, etc).

Paradoxical intention

This is one of my favorite mental techniques because it is so simple and yet can be quite effective.

The way it works is that instead of anxiously trying to force yourself to sleep (“I can get at least six hours…five hours…if I sleep now I can get at least four hours”), you try to stay awake as long as you can.

In other words, paradoxical intention does not oppose the anxious intention (of trying to force yourself to sleep), but guides it in the opposite direction (toward forcing yourself to stay awake)

If you are not convinced that this helps, recall the times that your favorite program was on, or when you had a lot of work to do, but sleep overpowered you. You were forcing yourself to stay awake, but eventually allowed sleep to happen.

So next time you can not sleep—and neither can stop trying to force yourself to sleep—simply intend to stay awake. But mean it. You can not fake it or the body will know. Then, if or when you really sense sleep coming over, you can allow yourself to fall asleep.

***

PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay
Source: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

I hope you found at least some of these suggestions and reminders helpful.

As I once told a friend, good sleep is like a famous writer, a well-known dream weaver, one also happens to be reclusive and shy. Be ready to receive this wonderful guest, but at the same time, keep busy with your own work in the meantime.

Who knows, maybe you’ll get a visit tonight.

Love Is Not Always Convenient

See ThoughtCatalog Article Here
By Leena Sanders

I think we have this huge misconception about what love is what love is not. Current day we are so determined for everything in our lives to look and feel so perfect, so molded, and so edited that the second something feels bad a lot of us first think about just leaving whatever doesn’t feel great. We’d rather swim on our own than ride the waves to mellow water. Don’t get me wrong, some relationships are destined to end and it’s a beautiful thing that they do. However, when the amount of effort and dedication is the problem rather than the people and their habits + who they are, that’s where love gets lost.

The truth is, love is not always convenient.

Love is not always steamy sex and beautiful handwritten letters.

Love does not always sound appealing, you do not always crave it.

Love does not always feel like date nights and cloud nine.

Love is not always planning your future and falling in love with the same vision of it.

Love is not always convenient.

Love is asking how your person’s day was when you are exhausted.

Love is feeling mentally drained but still showing appreciation for the fact that your socks have been folded and there is a love note on the mirror for you.

Love is seeing the bigger picture, it’s being willing to ride the waves because you see the bigger picture.

Love is selfless, it communicates, and it even communicates when the words that are being spoken don’t feel so good.

Love does not always happen in the moments that you want it to, sometimes the timing of love accompanies the timing of grief in ways that are unimaginable.

Love is not always a steady pace at sea but love rides waves to shore.

I think we need to remember that love has more to do with our own commitment to unconditional appreciation and gratitude and less to do with temporary moments that we don’t feel full.

Love is about learning your own personal map to fulfillment while still crediting and honoring your experience with another.

Love is knowing it’s not convenient and still daring to show up anyway.

The Morning Routine That Can Completely Change Your Productivity Levels

See Author Article Here
By Jack Canfield

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Jack Canfield talks about some of the small tweaks in your morning that can lead to more success.

A few habits successful people to each morning may sound familiar to you: meditation, exercise and something uplifting.

Another habit Canfield emphasizes is the tendecy of being an early riser. Canfield mentions that many successful business leaders wake up before the sun rises, mainly to get ahead of their days or begin diving into reading early. This habit feeds into Canfield’s personal habit of a morning power hour. Canfield explains that this slice of time has drastically improved his mental health, as well as empowered him to make better decisions.

Canfield ends with this: Small changes in your routine can have a big impact on your daily results.

Click the video to hear more about the optimal morning routine.

Last week we talked about obtaining goals. To continue on that path let’s talk about setting your priorities. Going from day to day without a set plan makes us lose control of our time. To be able to do what is necessary we need to set our general priorities first. There are different ways to […]

via Focus on the important things in life —

12 Damn Good Ways To Rediscover Your Motivation

See ThoughtCatalog Article Here
By Amy Horton

You’re dragging. Your life feels like an endless, meaningless repeat of the same old routine for the foreseeable future. It’s become difficult to get yourself out of bed in the morning because you simply don’t want to do what you need to do for the day. Don’t imagine you’re alone – everyone goes through this, and a lot of people get stuck in it. If you have no interest in becoming one of them, then read on.

1. Change your morning schedule.

It can be tough to do, especially if you feel no motivation to get up in the first place. Start small. If you’re a snooze button fiend, change up your alarm method – or placement. Switch to a different, delicious kind of breakfast if you can. Set ten minutes aside to meditate, stretch, or practice yoga. Choose anything that will help you personally succeed.

2. Find something that inspires you to kickstart your day.

What do you like to do to energize and push yourself forward? It matters, because if you’re consistently dragging in the morning, you need a special kind of nudge. Find what makes you want to jump out of bed and get into the thick of things. The list of possibilities is endless – it all comes down to finding the spark that works for you.

3. Meditate on a regular basis.

Whether you do so in the morning or not, it’s a good idea to engage in some sort of daily meditation practice. If that sounds daunting, approach it incrementally. You don’t have to set aside an hour or two – the regularity is what matters, not so much the length of the meditation. Once you make your ten or fifteen minutes into a daily habit, you’ll find it easier to expand your practice. It’ll feel so good that you will want to stay longer.

4. Dig deep.

You might be having a tough time finding motivation to try something new. Perhaps the problem is that you’ve lost your drive for what you’re already doing. Either way, you have to get down to the root of the issue. Is it fear? Is it a lack of inspiration? Does it relate to some other issue happening in your life? If you want to rediscover the drive that you need for a fulfilling journey, then you have to put in the internal work.

5. Reprioritize.

It’s so easy to get sidetracked in the day-to-day chaos of the hectic world that you live in. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It happens to everyone and most are completely unaware of the problem. They don’t understand why they feel overworked, stressed, and discontent. Sit down and make two lists – one with the activities you engage in that bring you joy, and one with those that cause you stress. Make the decision to incorporate more of those that are joyful and also to put them first as much as possible. Starting with the positive will make those tougher tasks easier to bear.

6. Get moving.

It may be well-worn advice, but it’s true – revving up your heart produces endorphins and motivates you to get the rest of your day in order. If you can stand it, try to start your morning off with some exercise, even if that just means getting outside and taking a walk in the fresh air. If you combine a workout with time in nature, you double the potential benefits. You’re almost guaranteed to be in a better mindset post-exercise.

7. Be brutally honest with yourself.

Is there an actual issue interfering with your motivation, or have you let yourself get lazy? Sometimes the truth is difficult to face. Everyone gets comfortable and complacent, but it’s your job to keep things fresh and rediscover your zest for life. If you don’t have that going for you, what’s even the point, right? Take a good hard look at the underlying problems.

8. Rest – but really, truly rest.

In today’s world most people don’t really take breaks. You may tell yourself something you’re doing counts as “rest”, but odds are you’re still letting the rest of your life interfere with your relaxation. You have to set aside time to honestly let go, and if you’re lucky, there are people around you who can assist you with that. They’ll probably be glad to lend a hand if you express the crucial necessity – and it won’t hurt if you offer to do likewise in the future. There is no shame in relying on those who care for you.

9. Try something wildly outside your comfort zone.

Part of your problem could be a lack of new elements in your life that pique your interest. When you fall into a rut, you must pull yourself out of it – and one way to do that quickly and effectively is to attempt something that scares you. It’ll keep your enthusiasm alive and inspire you to go above and beyond where you are now.

10. Dance!

Seriously. Dancing is incredibly freeing and it brings the best out in everyone. It awakens your inner child and puts a smile on your face – what can possibly be wrong with that? Let everything go and dance like nobody is watching you. Life is too short to care, and nothing feels better than giving your body license to move in the ways that feel primal and true. It’ll take you out of your head and into your heart.

11. If you don’t like your life, step back and try to pinpoint why.

There’s nothing worse than feeling dissatisfied with your existence, but a staggering number of people out there aren’t happy. Most likely you’ve been plodding along and haven’t taken stock of where you are and what’s keeping you from satisfaction. Has something changed, or is the issue that nothing’s changed at all? Figure it out.

12. Be as completely present in the moment as humanly possible.

Your unhappiness could stem from the simple fact that you are living in the past or the future instead of the here and now. If you’re dragging, take note of every moment as it happens, and you’ll forget to worry about anything else. Your inherent motivation lies in the fact that none of us are guaranteed the next month, day, hour, or even minute. Take charge of your life and enjoy it fully as long as you hold its preciousness in your grasp.

The Single Most Important Action To Take Right Now To Make You Successful

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Throughout the year we make personal commitments of things we want to change for the better. Diets, exercise, family, work, travel etc. For many of us, we take on multiple resolutions with every intention of improving ourselves for the better. Too often, we fail to kick start and sustain the new “US.” Goals become overwhelming and we fall into the trap of never achieving what we set out to do.

The complex formula of success
So much information exists on what success is and how to achieve it. Articles with headings such as “30 Things Successful People Do Differently” capture our attention with the hope of inspiring us to take meaningful action.

The problem is that’s 30 things we are to remember and implement to supposedly achieve success. One article I recently read listed their number one step to success being “Internalizing your locus of control.”

Locus of control? What does that even mean?

These articles can provide meaningful insights but they often overpower us and end up being nothing more than an informative read.

Inspiring? Sometimes. Actionable. No.

Success is not a complex formula. It is far simpler.

Excuses over results
Success can come at any time. We get caught in the trap at looking at success as this grandiose plan that must start and be completed by self-defined timeframes and prescribed results. It becomes so daunting that we give up because we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. As we try to achieve our goals, they don’t come fast enough and we use this as an excuse to give up. We end up being our own worst enemy.

You can either have results or you can have an excuse, but you cannot have both.

Take someone’s plans to lose weight. They set a goal to lose 30 pounds which includes a diet plan and workout regime. They are initially dedicated to working out multiple times a week and stick to a strict meal plan. It’s tough at first but as several weeks go by they start to feel better about themselves. More energy, clothes feeling a little looser and an overall more positive attitude. Then they step on the scale at the end of the month to find they have only lost 2lbs!

The minimal weight loss is deflating after all that dedicated, hard work. They start to lose steam. Workouts get missed. Diets get blown. Before long the excuse “I can’t do this” enters the mind and the weight loss plan is in the scrap bin.

The amazing results achieved in a single month get buried and forgotten. More on those amazing resulting in a minute.

The secret of success: One step
One small step. That is all it is. A single step is all it takes to move towards success. It’s so fundamentally simple and yet so easily overlooked.

It’s the greatest secret never to be told by successful people. We read about other’s success and can’t imagine how we could ever achieve the same. They are so successful and have achieved so many amazing things that we see them in a different league. What we fail to realize is that these successful people all started with a single, first step. Then they took another step and another. Before long they had a mile of steps behind them and the second mile didn’t seem so bad. They kept going and went on to build massive momentum. Always looking forward. Never back.

Sure there are missteps. People outside of the successful stream of consciousness look at missteps as failures. Successful people don’t’ see failure. They see opportunities to learn, reflect and move forward. Always achieving greater success than when they started.

Celebrate each step
Each small step you take is a pause for celebration. Your decision to spend more time with the family. The first day at the gym. Booking that amazing trip abroad. Deciding to make a career change. Those are all small steps worthy of applause

Celebrate each and every step of success along the way.

Imagine how many of us would stick to our weight loss plans if we instead focused on the many positive steps we took in the first month and not the actual loss of weight.

Let’s break it down. Attended the gym. Ate healthy. More energy. Looser clothes. Multiple small steps all worthy of celebration. Each step building on the previous. It’s all about changing your perspective. It’s amazing when you change your frame of mind how you can view something that seemed so insignificant really isn’t. Two pounds is no longer weighing you down. That’s worth celebrating and continuing with your step journey.

You can start your new YOU whenever you chose. Start small and take one little step at a time. Push yourself forward because no one else is going to do it for you. All it takes is a single step.

Clark Glassford is the founder of My Practice Interview. The company’s purpose is to inspire others to achieve their dream career. My Practice Interview provides industry-leading services including tailored resume writing, curated LinkedIn profiles and expert interview coaching delivering results beyond expectations.
www.mypracticeinterview.com