17 Remarkably Inspiring Quotes to Spark Real Joy in Your Life

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Life is not without its highs…and its lows.

If you’re going through a rough patch, there is always something you can do to put an extra spring in your step. For example, Marie Kondo, author and Japanese organizing consultant, recommends decluttering your space and ascribing to a radically tidy philosophy. But it’s not the decluttering that matters most. Kondo explains, “What matters is keeping those things that bring you joy.”

Here are 17 remarkably inspiring quotes to spark real joy in your life.

1. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

2. “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” — Rumi

3. “Try to make at least one person happy every day. If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word. If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought. Count up, if you can, the treasure of happiness that you would dispense in a week, in a year, in a lifetime.” –Lawrence G. Lovaski

4. “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” — Mark Twain

5. “You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.” — Louise Smith

6. “Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” — Don Miguel Ruiz

7. “Life is a game, play it; Life is a challenge, Meet it; Life is an opportunity, Capture it.” — Unknown

8. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” — Oscar Wilde

9. “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” — Anne Frank

10. “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” — Gordon B. Hinckley

11. “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” — Marianne Williamson

12. “Live life to the fullest. You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece. Laugh some every day. Keep growing, keep dreaming, keep following your heart. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” — Albert Einstein

13. “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” — Henri J.M. Nouwen

14. “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.” –Tony Robbins

15. “If you obey all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun.” — Katharine Hepburn

16. “Do anything, but let it produce joy.” — Walt Whitman

17. “You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.” — Oprah Winfrey

These 5 Questions Can Help You Set Better Goals

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If your goal follows all the rules — specific, measurable, etc., — but you are still struggling to achieve it, it may be time to consider the core of the goal itself. In other words, how important is the goal to you? Instead of being driven by productivity or meeting simple tasks on a to-do list, you must also do the work to achieve your goals.

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Jeff Rose points out it is not simply enough to sign up for a gym membership or buy new tennis shoes; you have to get yourself to the gym and physically commit to working out.

Rose also challenges you to ask a group of five “why” questions. By analyzing each facet of your goals, you can get to the root and make conclusions about their importance to you.

Click the video to hear more from Jeff Rose about analyzing your goals.

Related: Here’s How to Find the Best Members for Your Mastermind Group

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

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How to Keep Your Motivational Mojo When the Chips Are Down

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How to Keep Your Motivational Mojo When the Chips Are Down

Image credit: John M Lund Photography Inc | Getty Images

Tiffany Delmore
GUEST WRITER
Co-founder of SchoolSafe
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The road to entrepreneurial success isn’t paved in gold. It might, in fact, be strewn with nothing more thrilling than horse manure. After all, according to the list of startups to watch from The New York Times and CB Insights, many next-gen business entities are in the booming agricultural technology space.

Somehow, the visual of a road dotted with the droppings of our four-legged friends fits. After all, any serial entrepreneur will tell you that being an early founder can feel crappy. Late nights turn into early mornings, and all the while, you’re wondering if the time spent is worth it.

If you can stay motivated, it will be worth it — beyond your wildest dreams, perhaps. But you have to stay the course, and far too many would-be founders let go too early in the journey.

It’s about finding bliss amid the cow chips.

The key to staying the course is to unearth the innately wondrous aspects of working at 2 a.m. to tweak a product design or construct an airtight elevator speech. In that vein, Thomas Corley’s five-year Rich Habits Study gives a peek into the behaviors and motivations shared by folks who hit the million-dollar mark.

What Corley found is that even though entrepreneurship can be difficult, the difference between winners and losers is a matter of perspective. Those entrepreneurs with self-confidence, passion for their work and eternal optimism found love for their work, even in the midst of frustration.

Related: 7 Life Lessons From My Entrepreneurship Journey

Most entrepreneurs who have made it can attest that enthusiasm and motivation amid hardships kept them plodding along, despite the temptation to give it all up. If you want to join their ranks, you must accept what they learned: Nobody can authorize or deny your entry into the hall of entrepreneurial heroes — except you.

In other words, get out your waders because it’s time to go knee-deep into what may stink today but provide rich soil for a fertile tomorrow. Use these three strategies to stay motivated:

1. Identify your raison d’étre.

Once you’ve started a business, you’ll constantly be asked to validate your commitment. If you have no answer to the question “Why do you want to do this?” you’re already done. Dig deep into your psyche to find out what makes your venture important to you. For Chase Jarvis, the CEO of CreativeLive, the biggest concern was not allowing the desire for money to become his No. 1 focus. “Be careful if you’re only committed to something for the next two weeks or the next paycheck,” he advises. “Pretty soon, that eroding mentality of constantly chasing the next thing will hurt you. Alignment provides a level of hunger that can’t be achieved when you’re just working towards a paycheck.”

Shift your thinking to mirror Barry Turner, one of the founders of Lenny & Larry’s protein-rich cookies. He still has a palpable commitment to and enthusiasm for the company he founded 25 years ago. As he told one interviewer, “I always dreamed when I started this that it will be sitting between Oreo and Chips Ahoy.” Put your own “why” in language just as colorful and specific, and your hustle will feel worthwhile.

Related: 5 Learnings From an Entrepreneurial Journey

2. Go for four.

Forget about a seven-day workweek. Chances are good that it will only drive you crazy and make you less productive than before, according to one Wharton professor. If you really want to get good at managing your finite moments, try budgeting your tasks within a four-day workweek. This challenge should leave you asking yourself how you can boost your efficiency. And if you manage it, you’ll find you have the time you need to take care of yourself and spend time with friends and family.

To be sure, pulling off a quick-as-lightning workweek takes some chutzpah and discipline. Rather than use day five as a chance to veg out, concentrate on making it count in other areas. It might be a day of personal development or an opportunity to research new business opportunities. Just keep it free from all the operational stuff so you can focus on adding breadth and depth to your business and yourself.

3. Hunt down your missing skill.

What would you never list on your résumé? Public speaking? Coding? Networking? Identify your underdeveloped skill set, and then do something about it. Chances are good that you’ll find some important stuff you need to know — or will if your company takes off. For example, when he moved to Texas, Ignitia Office co-founder Josh Bobrowsky realized that business deals happened at the gun range. The trouble was that he wasn’t a gun-toting guy — yet. After taking private lessons for months, he nailed the ability to shoot from the shotgun and the hip.

Be aware that what you lack might not seem important today, but it could be critical in the future. For instance, if you’re having trouble building your business brand, why not begin by developing a personal brand through social networks like LinkedIn? Your self-discovery could open new doors and launch you into opportunities you never realized existed.

Is it tough to remain curious and optimistic while trudging through what looks like mud but smells otherwise? Sure. But getting through the bad stuff with a smile on your face will help you persevere — not to mention appreciate the beautiful crops that will one day burst forth from the entrepreneurial soil you’ve laid.

5 Surprisingly Underrated Habits of Super Successful People

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Success is often no accident.

It requires patience, effort, and consistency. The most successful people know that the daily routines we have make up our journeys to success — or towards failure. Today’s leaders are aware that even the small habits someone has can leave a huge impact on the kinds of accomplishments achieved.

If your daily habits are in need of some fine-tuning, or your performance at work could use some improving, consider adopting these underrated habits successful people are known to practice.

1. Ask questions.

Don’t be afraid of asking too many questions. Successful people stay curious, and they care about details and how things work. If there is something they are not sure about, or something they do not know, they ask for an explanation. Asking too many questions doesn’t make you look stupid. In fact, you are more likely to look foolish if you don’t ask enough.

2. Analyze feelings and emotions.

Successful people don’t suppress their emotions. Although these leaders yield great results and are highly efficient, they are still human at the end of the day. Try regularly monitoring and managing your emotions. Be aware of how your emotions influence how you think and act, and understand that success will require you to sometimes keep your emotions at bay.

3. Stand up to inner critics.

It’s easy to beat yourself up after making a mistake, isn’t it? If you’re looking to succeed, remember that self-compassion is something you should practice regularly. Forgive yourself for what goes wrong, and speak to yourself as if you were speaking to a loved one or close friend. Practicing compassion for yourself will help you become mentally strong and successful.

4. Say no.

Psychotherapist Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, says, “Every time you say yes to something, you’re really saying no to something else.” Practice setting and maintaining boundaries — successful people know progress comes from saying yes to priority items and projects and no to those that aren’t. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

5. Leave the office.

Working from home might not be a bad idea. In fact, one 2016 survey revealed how the most innovative employees divide their time between in-office and remote work. The survey suggested the ideal proportion of the workweek that you should spend in the office is 80 percent. This leaves 20 percent — or one entire workday each week — outside the office.

Each day is comprised of hundreds of decisions and actions, which ultimately determine your levels of productivity. No matter how innocuous your habits may seem, the reality is that these habits shape the course of your life, professional or otherwise. Try examining your current habits, and see if you can experiment with new ones.

10 Small Habits That Have A Huge Return On Life

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Over the years, I’ve adopted many different “positive” habits.

To me, a habit is positive when it improves the quality of my life. A lot has been written about forming habits.

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How hard is? How long does it take? What’s the best way to break habits? How do we adopt new habits?

My experience is that everyone can adopt any habit they want. There’s only one condition though: You need a good reason to make a change (I talk about that in-depth on this podcast episode).

And in 99% of cases, the reason to change comes from personal suffering, sadness, and hurt. At some point, you can’t stand your current behavior anymore.

Don’t worry about how you will change. Focus on what habits you want to form and why.

After one of my friends recently asked me about my current habits, I decided to share them here — with a brief explanation of what the habits are good for.

1. Do a full-body workout with weights 3 times a week
Strength training has several benefits. It protects bone health, muscle mass, keeps you lean, increases energy levels, and prevents injuries.

I’ve been lifting weights since I was 16. It’s the only habit on this list that I’ve been doing for that long. Like many people who lift weights, I started with split routines.

That means you work out different muscle during every session. With most routines, you’re training a specific muscle only one time per week. It turns out that muscles need more stress to become stronger.

Ideally, you want to train all your muscles, 3 times a week. That’s why I’ve been doing full body workouts. It’s simple, practical, and it works.

2. Set 3-4 daily priorities
This is one of the best productivity strategies there is. We all know that focus is what brings us results.

No focus? No results. So how do you focus? By limiting your options and tasks. Elimination is the key.

Be very clear about what you want to achieve every single day, week, and year.

Every day, work on 3-4 essential (and small) tasks that will bring you closer to your weekly and yearly goals.

3. Read 60 minutes a day
I get it, you’re too busy to read. Or maybe you just don’t like to read.

Well, you’re not getting off that easily.

Reading is essential for your cognition. But you already knew that. How about this? Reading will also turn you into a better thinker and writer.

“But I still don’t like to read.” Well, there are many things in life we don’t like, but we still do them. Instead of telling yourself you don’t like to read, learn to enjoy it by doing it every day.

And like magic, one day, you’ll love to read.

4. Sleep 7-8 hours a night
I never sacrifice my sleep for anything. I recently canceled a meeting in the morning because I slept late. The night before, I was reading a good book that totally consumed me.

After reading, I started taking notes. And before I knew it, it was 2 am. I had to wake up at 7 am to make the meeting.

I canceled the meeting. I’m not going to sleep for 6 hours so I can make a meeting when I know that I’ll be tired the whole day.

Some people can perform well with 5 hours of sleep. But most of us need more. If you’re part of the latter group, make sure you get enough sleep. And be dead serious about it. If you’re not in a position to cancel meetings etc, sleep early.

5. Walk 30 minutes a day
If you can’t MAKE the time to go for a daily walk, you’re not in control of your life. I don’t even walk for the health benefits. Sure, walking keeps the body moving and is good for you.

But I go for a daily walk because it breaks the pattern of our mundane lives. Look, we can’t deny that life is routine. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But when you walk outside, you’re forced to be one with the world. It heightens your senses. You can go alone or with someone else. You can have a good conversation. Or you can simply enjoy the surroundings.

6. Follow the intermittent fasting eating pattern
I don’t eat anything after my dinner. And I skip breakfast. That means I “fast” for 15-16 hours every day.

There are some health benefits associated with intermittent fasting. But we have to be careful with making claims.

The reason I like it is that it makes me feel and look better. Plus, I can eat whatever I want during the day without gaining any weight.

I don’t eat junk food. I stick to whole foods with high nutritional value. Also, my first meal contains a lot of unsaturated fat and protein. And finally, make sure you consume the calories your body needs to operate (2000 for women, 2500 for men, on average).

7. Be present
We’re so focused on our goals that we forget to enjoy the present moment. This is one of my biggest pitfalls.

I really need to remind myself EVERY SINGLE day that I should enjoy the now.

We’re always waiting until we achieve something. “I will be happy then.”

Nope, you won’t if you’re always stuck in the future. Find a trigger that brings you back to the present moment.

For example, I recently bought a new watch. During the same time, I was reading a lot about this spiritual stuff. Now, every time I look at my watch, I say, “What time is it? NOW.”

8. Practice kindness & love
We all treat our love like it’s a depletable resource. That’s false. Love is unlimited and never runs out. You can give it away as much as you like.

But your ego stops you from doing that. You always want something in return.

So give this a try. Realize that you have an unlimited resource. Give some of your love and kindness away every day. Don’t worry about keeping score. You have enough love anyway.

9. Journal or write 30 minutes a day
I need to get my thoughts in order every day. I do that by writing. That helps me to focus on what matters to me. That’s why I journal.

Even when I’m not writing articles, I sit down and journal — only for myself. I don’t write in my journal for others. Journaling is also an excellent tool to become a better thinker and person.

10. Save 30% of your income
If you can’t save 30%, save 10%. Saving is not about how much. It’s about how often.

You save by cutting out useless things you do daily or weekly. You don’t need to buy a latte every day. You also don’t need to buy “organic” cashew nuts for $10.

Save on the small things. They will turn into big lumps of cash in time. Especially if you invest that extra cash.

And that is also the secret to these 10 habits. They are all small. And the daily progress you make seems insignificant.

You will only see the return it has on your life over time. You must stick to these habits until your life gets better.

And when that happens, you’ll keep going — not because you have to, but because you want to.

This article first appeared on Darius Foroux.

17 Powerfully Inspiring Quotes for Enchanting, Fascinating, and Influencing People

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Need a skill that can bolster your personal and professional relationships in incredible ways?

 

Learn how to enchant others. An enchanting person has a special aura about them — they have a unique ability to attract and fascinate, to charm, to be down to earth, sincere, and open-minded. Who wouldn’t want to be enchanting?

 

Here are 17 quotes that will show you the power of enchantment.

1. “Charm almost baffles definition, yet it is quickly recognized by the world.” — Grevillea Kleiser

2. “Enchantment is the oldest form of medicine.” — Carl Jung

3. “When you enchant people, your goal is not to make money from them or to get them to do what you want, but to fill them with great delight.” — Guy Kawasaki

4. “We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” — Laurie Buchanan

5. “Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it.” — Brigitte Bardot

6. “‘Aura’ is what one reflects in the heart, what you bring into the world, and what people want to learn from you.” — Ozuna

7. “Sometimes your joy is source of your smile, but sometimes, your smile can be the source of your joy.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

8. “Influence is like a savings account — the less you use it, the more you’ve got.” — Andrew Young

9. “The aura given out by a person or object is as much a part of them as their flesh.” — Lucian Freud

10. “Unleash your influence not authority.” — Joseph Wong

11. “Charm is the ability to be truly interested in other people.” — Richard Avedon

12. “I have always tried to live by the ‘awe principle.’ That is: Can I find awe, wonder and enchantment in the most mundane things conceivable?” — Craig Hatkoff

13. “In order to be enchanted we must be, above all, capable of seeing another person simply opening one’s eyes will not do.” — Jose Ortega Y Gasset

14. “Nothing’s more charming than someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously.” — Melissa McCarthy

15. “One of the best ways to influence people is to make those around you feel important.” — Roy Bennett

16. “Charm: the quality in others that makes us more satisfied with ourselves.” — Henri Frederic Amiel

17. “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” — Brené Brown

Whether you’re about to enter a job interview or want to improve at making small talk, don’t forget to bring out this powerful skill of enchanting others.

PUBLISHED ON: MAR 28, 2019

How to Keep From Hitting Your Breaking Point

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Though life has not been easy, you’ve always found ways to keep moving forward. But now it all feels like too much, and you might even feel like you are coming apart. Maybe you encourage yourself to just push through–“No pain. No gain.” But it’s not working and you feel weak and like a failure. Many people get stuck in this dilemma, not seeing a solution. The reality is that there is a way out, but it’s counter-intuitive. To reach new heights, you must accept your limitations.

This may sound like accepting failure, but it’s not. If you are someone who likes to think you can do anything you put your mind to, you may be setting yourself up for feeling like a failure. We all have very real limitations that will cause pain and suffering when we deny them. Just try putting your head through a brick wall and you will smack into that very hard reality.

One area where many people deny their limitations is in taking on increasingly more tasks and responsibilities as though they can do anything and extend themselves limitlessly. But we all have the same number of hours each day to accomplish tasks– no matter how well we manage our time. We are all limited by how much we can realistically control in our lives. And, whether we like it or not, none of us can lay claim to an endless fund of knowledge and abilities. So, there are times when we undoubtedly benefit from accepting these limits.

This can be one of the most difficult “accomplishments” in your life. Yoga teacher David Swenson explains that doing yoga is most difficult when, for whatever reason (such as being injured or too tired), people choose to leave out parts of their practice. Noting how people are often self-critical when this happens, he says, “Much of our experience will be determined by how we choose to perceive the situation we are in.” And so it is with the rest of life.

When you repeatedly hit against a limitation, it won’t help and will certainly hurt – just as surely as it would if you keep trying to pound your head through a brick wall. At those times, it’s good to remind yourself, Doing that hurts! Stop it! Then, to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, when you eliminate trying to do the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, is a true path forward. And that path may include learning how to find a bridge from where you are to where you want to be.

For instance, Helen repeatedly attempted to get her partner to stop demeaning her, but her efforts seemed to have no effect and she was becoming increasingly unhappy. Finally, by accepting her limitation of not being able to make him change (no one can make others do anything), she was left with having to consider an alternative path. She thought about either trying couples therapy or just ending the relationship so she could open herself to a healthier one.

Sharon faced a similar moment of choice in the work arena. When her supervisor directed her to use information collected by their software to develop of marketing plan, she panicked. She was not sufficiently proficient in using their software to do this well, and she was terrified of being found out. But once she reasoned that she didn’t need to know the software better until this point, she could accept this limitation as simply a fact – not as proof of her incompetence. Then she knew what she had to do – either find someone to teach her the software or partner with someone who knew it well enough for this project.

In the end, it is your choice – be self-critical of your limitations or accept them as part of being human. When you stop trying to get out of a room by knocking your head through the wall, you may notice an open window, or even a door. If you don’t, you can at least recognize that hitting your head is not going to help. Who knows – maybe when you stop the self-abuse and drop to the floor in frustrated disappointment, your new perspective will reveal a trapdoor. Whatever your situation, not only can acknowledging your limitations provide clarity, but you may also save yourself from a terrible headache!

How To Make Yourself Do Something You Don’t Want To Do

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How to make yourself do something you don’t want to do
[Photo: Olga1205/Pixabay]

I am so grateful that I get to write for a living. I also really, really don’t want to start writing right now.

That’s more or less my constant mind-set. When I manage to get started I get a lot done, but I rarely want to get started on something that I know will take a lot of time or effort. This leads to me to fall back into the dopamine-rich environment called “internet,” where algorithmically designed distractions devour time until it’s 5 p.m. and oh well, I’ll seize the day tomorrow.

You’ve been there. We’ve all been there. There’s a “thing” you should be doing, but for some reason just can’t get started on. Maybe the thing is setting up a website. Maybe the thing is a coding project you’ve been putting off. Maybe the thing is something small like a phone call you need to make. Whatever the thing is, you just can’t get started.

I can relate. Which is why over time I’ve found ways to force the issue on myself. Here are a few tricks I and a few of my coworkers use to get started, even when we really don’t want to do the thing. In other words, how to motivate yourself to start a task when you don’t feel motivated.

SCHEDULE THE THING ON YOUR CALENDAR, SO YOU ACTUALLY DO IT

I’m very good at feeling like I have plenty of time to get things done. When I feel this way I take it easy, only to wonder at the end of the day where all of my time went. That’s why I started planning things in advance. Every workday morning, after breakfast, I look at my to-do list, my inbox, and my calendar. I then figure out how I’m going to use my unscheduled time in order to accomplish what needs accomplishing by putting each task on my calendar.

This does two things. First: It forces me to see my time as a resource I have to allocate. Second, adding things to my calendar means notifications on my phone and computer throughout the day, reminding me of the intention I set for myself. It’s amazing how that reminder can keep me motivated.

TELL SOMEONE ABOUT THE THING SO THEY’LL KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE

I’m really good at lying to myself. I can convince myself that watching a YouTube video right now will help me get this article done because it will help me relax, which will make it easier for me to write. I can then convince myself that the next video will help me relax even more, and so on and so forth.

You know who doesn’t fall for that? Literally anyone outside my own brain. Which is why telling someone else about the thing I need to do is a good idea. Find someone you trust to keep you accountable and tell them what you intend to do.

DO SOMETHING ELSE (THAT YOU WANT TO DO EVEN LESS THAN THE THING)

Still can’t make yourself do the thing? Find some chore you like even less than doing the thing, then do that instead for a while. You’ll be itching to do the thing in no time.

The idea is that you’ll hate doing whatever chore it is you’re doing so much that you’ll be excited to do the thing instead. Cleaning is a particularly good task for this because it’s almost totally mindless, meaning your brain can wander a little while you’re doing it. That scattered thinking is perfect for brainstorming, helping you think up ideas that will come in handy when you finally get back on task.

Don’t open your browser when you’re struggling to get started. Clean the bathroom instead.

TELL YOURSELF YOU’LL DO THE THING FOR FIVE MINUTES

In your head the thing is a massive project that you will never, ever finish or will be painful to do, so you don’t even want to get started. But can you handle working on it for five minutes?

Next time you don’t feel like doing a thing, simply set a timer for five minutes. Force yourself to work on the thing for those five minutes. Everyone can focus for five minutes, right? But the trick is that by the end of those five minutes it won’t feel too bad to keep going.

Oh, and if you’ve got something on your list that will only take two minutes, just do it. Now. Make a habit of doing small tasks immediately, and they will never clutter up your to-do list, leaving you with more mental energy to tackle the big projects.

BREAK THE THING INTO SMALLER THINGS

It’s easy to put off big projects and instead focus on smaller, more manageable tasks, which is why your kitchen looks so clean during tax season. But every overwhelming project consists of smaller, more manageable tasks.

If the thing you keep putting off is some large project, consider breaking it down. Outline all the small steps you need to do in order to complete the thing, then get started on one of those small steps. You can do this using a to-do list application, a text document, or even a pen and paper. Just take the time to break the thing down into smaller things. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to get started on something small.

BRIBE YOURSELF FOR DOING THE THING

Every dog owner (and parent) knows that bribery is a very effective way to reward good behavior. Use that on yourself. Promise yourself something, then only let yourself have that treat if you actually do the thing.

Food works, sure, but so does the promise of time outside, a TV episode, or a phone conversation with a friend. Reward yourself for getting things done and you’ll find getting started that much easier.

This same strategy is the thinking behind the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for 25 minutes then taking a five-minute break. The five-minute break is a reward for getting through the 25-minute work session.

ASK YOUR COWORKERS FOR HELP WITH THE THING

Are you still not doing the thing? Why not ask your coworkers to help you brainstorm about the thing. The ideas you generate could help you bring new energy into the task, which will make it more likely that you’ll get started.

Okay, you caught me. I couldn’t motivate myself to get started writing an article about getting started at doing a thing (and the irony was not lost on me). I turned to my coworkers for help, asking for ideas. It worked.

People need each other. There’s no shame in it. If you’re stuck in your own head, unable to start doing the thing, ask the people around you for ideas. It will help.

It’s Never Too Late To Succeed—And Here’s The Secret

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Everett Collection
Julia Child was 50 when she hosted her first TV show.

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org.

In his new book, “The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success,” Northeastern University professor of network science Albert-László Barabási offers lessons we can learn from men and women who’ve achieved success after 50 based on his research. The following is an excerpt from this book.

When, at the age of 50, John Fenn joined the faculty at Yale, he was old by academic standards. He was 35 when he got his first academic appointment, at Princeton, where he started working with atomic and molecular beams, research that he continued to pursue at Yale. Though Fenn was hardworking and diligent, he was largely a low-impact scientist. His department chair must have felt some relief when Fenn turned 70 and they could force him to take mandatory retirement.

Yet Fenn had no interest in stopping. Three years earlier, at 67, he was already semiretired at Yale, stripped of lab space and technicians, when he published a paper on a new technique he called “electrospray ionization.” He turned droplets into a high-speed beam, allowing him to measure the masses of large molecules and proteins quickly and accurately. He saw it as a breakthrough and he was right.

A late-in-life Nobel Prize

After idling at Yale, he relocated to Virginia Commonwealth University and opened a lab. What he did in these later years was revolutionary. Improving upon his initial idea, he offered scientists a robust way to measure ribosomes and viruses with previously unbelievable accuracy, transforming our understanding of how cells work. In 2002, in his mid-80s, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Fenn’s story embodies a simple message: Your chance of success has little to do with your age. It’s shaped by your willingness to try repeatedly for a breakthrough. Realizing this was transformative for me — I started seeing Fenns everywhere.

There’s Ray Kroc, who joined the McDonald’s MCD, +1.02%   franchise at 53; Nelson Mandela, who emerged after 27 years in jail and became his country’s president at 76. There’s Julia Child, who was 50 when she hosted her first TV show.

Key to success: the Q-factor

But these late-in-life successes had something else in common besides tenacity. Their pathways to success were guided by a hidden factor that unveiled itself throughout their careers. My team and I named it the Q-factor, and it helped us answer the question: Where do highly successful ideas and products come from?

Your ability to turn an idea into a discovery is equally important, and that varies dramatically from person to person. A person’s Q-factor translates the process of innovation into an equation. Each of us takes a random idea, with value r, and using our skill, we turn it into a discovery or “success” S, which captures its impact on the world. Multiply your Q-factor by the value of your next idea, r, and you get a formula to predict its success. Written as a formula, it is: S = Qr

In other words, the success of a product or a deal, or the impact of a discovery, will be the product of a creator’s Q-factor and the value of idea r.

Give your work qualities a chance to shine

Once my team and I figured out how to measure a scientist’s Q-factor, we learned it remained unchanged throughout her career. That’s right. The data was clear: We all start our careers with a given Q, high or low, and that Q-factor stays with us until retirement.

Well, I had a hard time believing that I was as good a scientist when I wrote my first research paper at 22 (the one with absolutely zero impact) as I am now. And you probably feel you weren’t anywhere near as good a teacher, writer, doctor or salesperson in your 20s as you are now. However, we spent six months rechecking our findings, and we came to the same conclusion.

The key to long-term success from a creator’s perspective is straightforward: let the qualities that give you your Q-factor do their job by giving them a chance to deliver success over and over.

In other words, successful people engage in project after project after project. They don’t just count their winnings; they buy more lottery tickets. They keep producing.

Prime example: J.K. Rowling

Take writer J.K. Rowling, who followed “Harry Potter” by creating a successful mystery series (under the name Robert Galbraith). Each time she publishes a new book, her new fans go back and read the older volumes as well. Each new book, then, breathes life into her career, keeping her whole body of work present and relevant.

A high Q-factor, combined with Fenn-like persistence, is what drives the engine for career-long success. People like Shakespeare, Austen, Edison, Curie and Einstein are not remembered for a single work that changed everything. They tower over their fields thanks to their exceptional Q-factors — and their willingness to test their luck repeatedly.

Stubborn creativity, combined with a John Fenn—like tenacity, not only gives our lives their essential meaning, it also provides the true secret to career-long success.

Stubborn creativity + tenacity = career-long success

The Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai is one perfect, parting exemplar of that. “All I have produced before the age of 70 is not worth taking into account. At 73 I have learned a little about the real structure of nature,” he wrote at 75. What followed made my day. “When I am 80 I shall have made still more progress. At 90, I shall penetrate the mystery of things. At 100 I shall have reached a marvelous stage, and when I am 110, everything I do, whether it be a dot or a line, will be alive.”

Hokusai lived to be 89, and he created his most memorable works in the final decades of his life, including the iconic woodblock print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” The image is of an enormous white-capped wave that slowly unfurls over a half-drowned skiff, dwarfing Mount Fuji in the background. It’s an apt depiction of how success ebbs and flows over a lifetime, building sudden momentum and crashing over us, only to start all over again.

Albert-László Barabási is a Northeastern University professor of science and author of “The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success.”

Excerpted from the new book “The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success by Albert-László Barabási.” Reprinted with permission from Little, Brown, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Copyright © 2018 by Albert-László Barabási. This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org, © 2019 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

How To Practice Yoga At Home If You’re An Absolute Beginner

Author Article

PHOTOGRAPHED BY MOLLY CRANNA.

There’s an image that comes across my Instagram feed about once a day of a wellness blogger in their light-filled apartment, surrounded by house plants, doing yoga and looking very casual about it. The thought of doing yoga at home sounds ideal; you don’t have to deal with people, spend any money, or even leave the house. But in actuality, when I try to do yoga at home, I get distracted and end up scrolling my phone in child’s pose on a yoga mat.

“One of the best things about yoga is that it can be done almost anytime, anywhere — including at home,” says Jade Alexis, a yoga trainer on the audio-based workout app Aaptiv. The problem is, without a yoga teacher around, or a proper app to walk you through the workout, it’s tough to know what exactly to do. You need to at least have a plan or intention each time you flow at home.

So, whether you also aspire to be an at-home yogi, or you just want to do yoga in private, ahead are some tips from Alexis and Sinikiwe Dhliwayo, yoga instructor and founder of Naaya Wellness (New York), a wellness collective for people of colour. With a mat and the right attitude, you too can be a yoga-flowing homebody.


1. Know a few basic poses.

When you’re starting out with your at-home yoga practice, it’s a good idea to have a vocabulary of postures that you can work with. Alexis and Dhliwayo suggest learning: cat cow, child’s pose, downward-facing dog, plank, cobra pose, upward-facing dog, warrior one and two, chair pose, and low lunge. If you know those, you can piece them together a beginner flow, like Sun Salutation B, Alexis says. Look up videos or images of the poses to get a sense of how they’re supposed to be done, but try not to get wrapped up in what they look like; how you feel is more important.

2. Listen to your body.

Form is essential in yoga, but without an expert to guide you through the poses or make physical corrections, it can be difficult to know if you’re doing it “right.” The best way to make adjustments or tell if you’re making mistakes is to just pay attention to how you feel, Alexis says. “Regardless of wherever you are, it’s important to listen to your body,” she says. “If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your body and ease of the posture.”


3. Try an online class.

The internet is full of tons of free yoga classes and resources for you to take advantage of — arguably too many. Dhliwayo is a fan of yogis Sara ClarkRocky Heron, and Dianne Bondy. The beauty of taking an online class is that you can stop it at any time, or rewind a section if it gets confusing. And of course, the Aaptiv app has lots of audio yoga classes that you can try that are varying lengths, styles, and levels of difficulty.

 

4. Get some gear.

You don’t need much to do yoga, but ideally you’d have a clutter-free space to practice, a good yoga mat, and most importantly a positive attitude and patience, Alexis says. Blocks can also be super helpful if you’re just starting out, because they essentially bring the floor up to you, which is imperative if you don’t have flexibility yet, Dhliwayo says. Other props like blankets help you be more comfortable in a pose, and can be nice to have during a restorative practice, she says. Music and calming essential oils can also help make your home practice feel more special, but those aren’t must-haves.

 

5. Don’t stress the names.

Often in yoga classes, teachers will use the Sanskrit names to define yoga poses, which can make it seem way more confusing. “Many people are concerned with knowing the names of poses, but that comes with time and I tell beginners to not worry about names when they get started,” Alexis says. Instead, just find beginner classes that will walk you through the individual poses, she says. With enough repetition, it’ll eventually click.

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