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stop procrastinating for lifelong learners
To be a successful lifelong learner you need to overcome procrastination.

I’m a lifelong learner, and I’m sure that most of my blog readers are as well. Being a lifelong learner makes you well-rounded, keeps you competitive, and helps you to succeed in life. However, one of the obstacles that can get in the way of learning new things—whether it’s learning a language, acquiring computer skills, learning business skills, and so on—is procrastination.

onehouradayformula banner longI recently took a MOOC called Learning How To Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help You Master Tough Subjects.  It was created by the University of California, San Diego, and is taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley, who’s a professor of engineering (and others). One of the topics covered in the course was procrastination. Although conquering procrastination is important for any life area, it’s particularly important for learning. This is because in order to learn well, you have to do it bit-by-bit. It’s similar to a body builder building muscle through day-to-day exercise.

If you cram before a test or before you need to demonstrate what you’ve learned, you won’t be building a solid neural foundation. By getting started early and spreading your study sessions over time, you’ll learn better. That’s why tackling procrastination is so important for learners.

Below you’ll find 8 tips for beating procrastination for lifelong learners which I came across in the Learning How to Learn MOOC.

1. Get Over the Negative Stimulation

When you think of doing something that you would rather not do—such as study for an exam, work on your video course, or listen to another lecture of a MOOC you’ve enrolled in—you activate the areas of your brain associated with pain. Therefore, your brain looks for ways to stop this negative stimulation.

It does so by switching your attention to something else. The process is as follows:

  • You feel discomfort at the thought of sitting down to learn how to use a new software program.
  • You switch your attention to a more pleasant task—maybe you watch a YouTube video, chat with a co-worker, go on Twitter, or work on an easy low-priority task.
  • You feel better–at least temporarily.
  • A while later you start to feel bad because you still haven’t gotten around to the software program.

The good news is that there’s a way to overcome the discomfort that you feel when you think of working on a task that fills you with apprehension. Researchers have discovered that not long after someone starts working on a task that they would rather avoid, the neural discomfort disappears.

The trick, therefore, is to tell yourself that you’re going to work on the task for a small amount of time – say, fifteen, twenty, or thirty minutes.

By committing yourself to a limited amount of time during which you’re going to work on an uncomfortable task, it’s a lot easier to get started. In addition, as was just stated, once you get to work on the task you’ll discover that the discomfort disappears.

2. Process vs. Product

In order to stop procrastinating, focus on process instead of product. Process refers to the flow of time and the actions that you take during that time. On the other hand, product is an outcome. Here’s an example:

  • If you want to create a video course, the video course is your product. The product is what triggers the pain that leads to procrastination. If you place your attention on the video course that you want to create, it’s very likely that you’ll procrastinate.
  • What you have to do instead is focus on the process. That is, the chunks of time that you need over days or weeks to complete the course. Focus on each work session, instead of focusing on completing the course.

By focusing on process you can relax into the flow of the work, instead of worrying over whether the video course is going to be good in the end, if you’re almost done, what your customers will think of the course, and so on.

Here’s a quote from Chilean writer Isabel Allende that perfectly illustrates this point: “Don’t be paralyzed by the idea that you’re writing a book; just write.”

3. Identify the Triggers that Make You Procrastinate

Procrastination is an automatic habit, so most of the time you’re unaware that you’ve begun to procrastinate. In order to stop procrastinating you need to identify the cues that trigger the habit of procrastination. These triggers could be things such as the following:

  • You decide to check your email for a moment and end up spending half an hour reading and answering emails.
  • You decide to look something up quickly on the Internet and find yourself surfing the web for forty minutes.
  • Your cellphone rings, you answer, and then proceed to chat away with a friend for twenty minutes.
  • You decide to get to work on your video course but you feel uncomfortable since you’ve never created a video course before and you’re unsure of what to do. You find yourself organizing your files instead of working on your video course.

Once you’ve identified the triggers that make you procrastinate, and how you respond to those triggers, you’ll begin to get better at noticing when you’re procrastinating so that you can stop yourself and get back to work.

4. Create Positive Study/Learning Habits

By creating positive study/learning habits you’ll be able to overcome procrastination. There are three steps to creating a new habit. The steps are the following:

  • Cue
  • Routine
  • Reward

A cue is a signal to begin a specific action. As an example, putting your fork down as soon as you’re done having lunch can be your cue to start studying. The routine is the action that you’re going to take once you receive the cue. That action could be to shut the door to your office, turn off all distractions, sit at your desk, and start studying.

Once you’ve taken the action that you planned, reward yourself. Your reward can be things such as the following: savoring the fact that you completed the task, getting a cup of flavored coffee, having two squares of dark chocolate, taking a quick nap, doing a puzzle, playing a video game, and so on.

5. Believe You Can Do It

In order to overcome procrastination, it’s vital that you believe that you can do it. Believe that the steps that you’re taking in order to create positive habits that will allow you to stop procrastinating are going to work. Gain trust in your new system.

6. Plan Your Day the Night Before

Research has shown that if you prepare your to-do list the night before, then during the night–as you sleep–your subconscious will grapple with the list and come up with ideas on how to accomplish the items on the list.

If you don’t create a list of what you need to do, then the tasks that you need to get done will lurk in your working memory, taking up valuable mental real estate. Once you make a task list, this frees up working memory for problem solving.

7. Make Notes About What Works and What Doesn’t

As you work to create an efficient system that allows you to overcome procrastination, make notes about what works and what doesn’t.  This can include things such as the following:

  • Write down which environments you work well in, and where you find yourself getting distracted.
  • Are there certain times of day when it’s easier for you to get to work on important tasks?
  • Do you need to sprinkle more fun activities throughout the day so that you can really get yourself to sit down and get through the most important tasks on your to-do list?
  • Do you need to plan your quitting time at the end of the day in order to give yourself an artificial deadline that you’re going to work hard to meet?
  • Those times in which you succeeded in getting things done, what did you do? How can you replicate what you did?

By keeping notes you’ll be able to tweak your system until you’ve perfected it.

8. Give Yourself Some Leisure Time

Time and time again, those who give themselves some leisure time outperform those who doggedly pursue an endless treadmill. Once you’re done with all of your tasks for the day, relax and have some guilt-free fun.

You can meet friends for dinner, play a game of tennis with your significant other, go out dancing, and so on.

Conclusion

Live your best life by being a lifelong learner. In addition, use the 8 tips above to make sure that procrastination doesn’t stop you from learning new things.

 

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you're richer than you think

Stop telling yourself that you don’t have the money to pursue your goals.

How often have you told yourself that you would pursue your goals, if you had the money to do so? When you tell yourself that you don’t have the money that you need to do what you want, your actions will support this. That is, you’ll act in ways that will prevent you from achieving your dreams.

onehouradayformula banner longAccept that telling yourself that you don’t have enough money is an excuse that you’re using for not making the effort that is needed in order to achieve what you want. It’s similar to the excuse of saying that you don’t have enough time. As you’ll discover by reading this post, you have more than you think you do. The mental energy that you’re using to convince yourself that you’re not rich enough is energy that you could be using to work on your goals.

Below you’ll find 10 ways to realize you’re richer than you think.

1. You Have More Than You Think

In order to come to the full realization that you’re richer than you think, take inventory of everything you own. You may be surprised by what you come across.

I recently had an experience that perfectly illustrates this point. Right after Christmas I decided to take inventory of the books that I own. First, I realized that I had over one hundred books that I was definitely never going to read or refer to again.

I debated over what to do with these books, and I decided to place an ad in a Panamanian website that’s similar to Craigslist and see if I could sell them. Within a week of placing the ad on the site I had sold the books for $300.

That is, I exchanged what to me was basically clutter occupying space in my apartment for a good chunk of change. I then placed that money in my “Dreams Jar”.

Second, I realized that I own Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. Why is this important? Because I had just been having the following conversation in my head:

“I really want to read ‘War and Peace’. I’m not going to be able to find it anywhere in Panama, and I’m going to have to order it from Amazon and pay a hefty shipping fee.”

And all the while the book was sitting right there on my bookshelf. By taking stock of what you own you’ll achieve the following:

  • You may realize that you already have several things that you need to achieve your goals (even if some of those things need to be re-purposed).
  • You may realize you can make money off of things you own—by selling it, renting it, or teaching others how to use it–and then use that money to get started on your dreams.

One way to realize how rich you are is to take stock of everything that you have.

2. Change Your Mindset

In my post “Five Mindsets That Will Transform Your Life” I wrote about the Wealth Mindset. People with this mindset understand that being rich isn’t necessarily about having lots of money in the bank. Instead, it’s about the following:

  • Being very clear on what you want.
  • Knowing that you have the ability to create value for others that will allow you to make the money that you need to pay for what you want.
  • Working hard to deliver that value.
  • Taking the money that you make by delivering value and using it to buy what you want.

As long as you have that mindset you’re rich, even if your bank account doesn’t currently reflect this fact.

3. Add Free Stuff to Your Bounty

There’s a lot of free stuff out there. And, if it’s free, it’s yours for the taking. This means that you can count all of the free stuff out there as part of your riches. Here are three ways in which I’ve recently made myself richer with free things:

Acquire New Skills

Last week as I was making the list of 197 Ways to Improve Your Life in One-Hour-A-Day, I decided that I was going to start working on my computer skills for one-hour-a-day.

Specifically, I decided to take a MOOC offered by Harvard University called Introduction to Computer Science CS50. Just think about that: I’m taking one of the most popular courses offered by the world’s number one university, for free.

Exercise, Beauty, and Nature

As soon as I’m done writing the rough draft for this blog post, I’m going out for a run. As I’ve said before on this blog, there’s a gorgeous running path right in front of my building that runs parallel to the sea for several miles.

As I run along this path not only am I getting exercise out in nature, but I also get to see the ships lined up to traverse the Panama Canal. And running outside is free!

Knowledge and Education

A while back I decided that I wanted to read “The Death of Artemio Cruz” by Carlos Fuentes. I went to a small library near my house to look for it, but they didn’t have it.

I then proceeded to convince the librarian that Fuentes’ book is one of the great works of Latin American literature, and that it would be a great addition to the library. A couple of weeks later I was notified that the library had bought the book. I checked it out and read it for free.

There’s free stuff everywhere, and all of that free stuff is part of your bounty.

4. Find Out How Much Your Goal Really Costs

How many times have you said something like the following to yourself: “I wish I could do X, but it’s too expensive”? The truth is that a lot of things don’t cost as much as you think they do.

If you’re currently telling yourself that there’s something that you want that’s out of your price range, sit down and find out how much it really costs. You may just discover that you can afford it after all. Or, at least, that you can afford a stripped down version of it.

For example, a lot of people think that starting a business or traveling is too expensive for them to even consider. At the same time, there are countless people starting businesses and traveling on a shoestring budget.

The next time that you want to do something, ask yourself these two questions:

  • How much does it really cost to do this?
  • How can I do this on the cheap?

Realize that you’re richer than you think by acknowledging that a lot of things really aren’t as expensive as you think they are.

5. Reassess Your Potential

In my post “Seven Essential Ways to Build Wealth”, I write that when you see people who have the things that you wish you had, you should ask yourself: “Why not me?” That is, instead of telling yourself that you could never have those things, realize that you do have the potential to have those things.

Look at the following: 1 in 20 households in the United States have assets of over one million dollars. That statitic should tell you the following:

  • You don’t need to be a genius to have a million-dollar net worth.
  • You don’t need to have star-quality talents to have a million-dollar net worth.
  • Although hard work is necessary, you don’t need to work yourself to the bone to have a million-dollar net worth.

Could you pursue your goals with one million dollars? You almost certainly can. And if 1 out of 20 households in the US has that kind of money, then why not you?

Realize that you’re richer than you think you are by accepting that even if you’re not there yet, you have the potential to be there in the not-so-distant future.

6. Redefine “Being Rich”

What does “being rich” really mean to you? Look at the following:

  • Would you rather have $25,000,000 or be healthy?
  • Would you rather have $25,000,000 or have a fulfilling relationship with your spouse and children?
  • Would you rather have $25,000,000 or have peace of mind?

You have two options:

  • You can define “being rich” in a way that will prevent you from ever getting there.
  • Or, you can define it in a way that lets you say, “I’m already rich”, or “I’m on my way”.

Realize that you are richer than you think by redefining what it means to be rich.

7. Evaluate Your Spending

Contrary to what a lot of people think, rich people don’t throw money around. In fact, they do exactly the opposite. They’re very careful about how they spend their money (in large part, that’s how they got rich in the first place).

Right now you’re probably wasting money on all sorts of frivolous expenses you could easily do without. And the money that you’re spending mindlessly is money that you could be setting aside to achieve your goals.

Create a budget and stick to it and you’ll probably discover that you’re richer than you thought you were.

8. Rethink the Value of a Dollar

You probably think that a dollar won’t go very far. However, by setting aside $1 a day you can do all of the following:

  • Donate the money — become a philanthropist.
  • Buy the best business books you can find on Amazon and get a high quality business education on your own.
  • Invest the money in a DRIP –DRIPS, or dividend reinvestment plans, allow you to invest small amounts of money into dividend-paying stock by purchasing directly from the company.
  • Start putting money in a dream jar, even it’s just $1 a day.

Take out a dollar bill, hold it in your hand, and allow yourself to feel rich by thinking of all the things you can do with that dollar.

9. Stop Comparing Yourself to Those Who Have More Than You Do

I’ve already written about the importance of not comparing yourself to others. Yet another reason to stop comparing yourself to others is because it will never allow you to feel rich. After all, there will always be people who have more than you do.

Look at the following:

  • You just bought yourself a new car and you feel great. Then, someone pulls up next to you at the traffic light in a Lamborghini. You compare your car to theirs, and now you feel lousy.
  • You’re sitting in a plane flying to your dream destination, and you’re full of excitement. Then, you happen to glance over toward the first class cabin and you start wishing that you had all that leg room, and that you were being served champagne. You conclude that this isn’t your dream trip after all.

If you’re constantly comparing yourself to people who have more than you do, then of course you’re going to feel like you’re coming up short. In order to realize that you’re richer than you think, stop comparing yourself to others.

10. Help Others

One of the best ways to realize just how rich you are is by helping those who are not as fortunate as you are. Look at the following:

  • The moment in which you buy a meal for someone who’s hungry, you realize how much you really have.
  • When you buy a Christmas gift for a child whose parents are going through difficult economic times, you grasp just how much abundance there is in your life.
  • By helping an entrepreneur in a developing country through Kiva, you are saying to yourself: “I have so much, I can afford to give some of my riches to help others”.

Realize how rich you really are by helping others.

Conclusion

I hope that after reading this post you’ve realized just how much you really have. Live your best life by dropping the excuse that you don’t have the money to go after what you really want. You are richer than you think.

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personal power

Your personal power is your ability to influence others and your surroundings.

We all have personal power–the ability to impact the world we live in– albeit in different degrees. Clearly, the more personal power you have, the greater your influence. So, where does personal power come from?

onehouradayformula banner longI believe it comes from ten different sources. These sources are the following:

  • Network Power
  • Interpersonal Power
  • Technical/Expert Power
  • Image Power
  • Formal Power
  • Resource Power
  • Physical Power
  • Attributes Power
  • Knowledge Power
  • Moral Power

In addition, there are ways to increase each of these sources of power, as well as ways to leverage each one so you can get the most out of it. Why would you want to increase and leverage your personal power?

Because the more powerful you are, the easier it is for you to realize your full potential and achieve your goals, whether those goals involve achieving financial security, traveling, helping others, impacting the world with your ideas and creating a legacy, and so on.

Below you’ll find an explanation of the ten sources of personal power I’ve identified, as well as five ways to increase each one. That will give you a total of 50 ways to increase your personal power.

1. Network Power

Your network power is who you know. Knowing the right people can vastly increase your sphere of influence. You may have heard the saying that your network is your net worth. This is because other people can do all of the following for you:

  • Offer valuable advice;
  • Give you important information which keeps you “in the loop”;
  • Open your eyes to new opportunities;
  • Help you kick start or accelerate your journey toward the achievement of your goals;
  • Find new clients, partners with complimentary skills, or potential investors;
  • Introduce you to others who may be in a position to help you; and so on.

Here are five ways to increase your network power:

  • Create a personal networking plan.
  • Work on your networking skills. You can read books on networking, attend seminars, and/or do research online.
  • Write down your goals and identify who you need to know in order to achieve those goals. Then, get to work on finding ways to meet those people.
  • Target networking opportunities that best fit your needs and personality.
  • Position yourself as a resource to others.

In order to increase your personal power, you have to make the right friends and surround yourself with the people who will help you to achieve what you want.

2. Interpersonal Power

Your interpersonal power is your ability to get along with and influence others. It’s related to your “likeability” index. Obviously, the more likeable you are, the more interpersonal power you have. In addition, the more persuasive you are, the greater your interpersonal power.

Here are five ways to increase your interpersonal power:

  • Work on becoming more charismatic.
  • Work on becoming more conscientious.
  • Work on your communication skills.
  • Work on improving your nonverbal communication.
  • Acquire negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

The more interpersonal power you have, the more you’ll be able to get others to act in the ways you want them to.

3. Expert Power

Expert power comes from your technical abilities, skills, competence, and experience at your job, ventures, the roles that you play, and so on. If you have some particular skill or expertise that others value, then you will have power over the people who want or need that particular expertise.

Here are five ways to increase your expert power:

  • Hone your skills and work to perfect your craft.
  • Keep up with changes in your career/industry/area of expertise.
  • Become a thought leader in your area of expertise. One way to do this is to get published in respected journals.
  • Compete for awards and other forms of recognition that are highly visible to others.
  • Teach your skills to others, whether it’s by blogging, creating courses or tutorials, writing a book, or getting a teaching position at a school or college.

People trust those with expert power, defer to their opinions, and believe that they have the wisdom to stir them in the right direction when it comes to their area of expertise. Your expert power will allow you to command respect and ask for more money for your services.

4. Image Power

Your image power is how much power others perceive you have, whether that perception is based on truth or not. Although one can argue that image is superficial, it’s powerful. The world judges people not for who they are, but for who they seem to be.

As the 17th century Spanish Jesuit scholar Baltasar Gracian says in The Art of Worldly Wisdom:

  • “Do, but also seem”.
  • “Have merit, but know how to present yourself.”

And if you haven’t achieved much yet, you can make others think that you have by the way in which you present yourself.

Here are five ways to increase your image power:

  • Take control of your image – decide how you want others to see you and then craft your image so that they start seeing you that way.
  • Build your personal brand and reputation.
  • Look the part.
  • Work on your game face – even if things are not going the way you want them to, other people don’t need to be made aware of this fact.
  • Curate carefully what you post on social media.

The perception of power is critical.

5. Official Power

Your official power is the power that comes from your role and level within an organizational hierarchy, as well as within key projects and committees. It’s the authority that comes inherent in a job title and role.

Here are five ways to increase your official power:

  • Actively seek to get a promotion at work;
  • Ask to be made the Project Manager of any project that you’re working on with others;
  • Look for ways to be made leader of any committees you’ve been assigned to;
  • Run for the presidency of any group that you belong to, whether it’s a Gardening Club, your city’s Chamber of Commerce, or your Rotary Club.
  • Run for public office.

This is the traditional form of power. Although official power may be difficult to acquire, once you have it you’ll be able to exert power over others in the form of rewards, punishment, and asset allocation.

6. Resource Power

Resource power is the extent to which you get your personal power from the resources that you control. Resource power can come from access to money, property, information, tools and equipment, and other assets which can help you to achieve your goals.

Here are five ways to increase your resource power:

  • Look for ways to acquire more resources.
  • Increase your earning potential.
  • Learn how to get a better return on your investment on the resources at your disposal.
  • If you have few assets at your disposal, learn to be more resourceful.
  • Look for ways to get others to allow you to use their resources.

The more resources you have at your disposal, the more powerful you are.

7. Physical Power

Physical power is the extent to which your personal power comes from your physical characteristics. Like it or not, this aspect remains potent. Look at the following:

  • Attractive people are more likely to be employed;
  • They earn more;
  • It’s more likely that they’ll be approved for loans;
  • They’re perceived as being more competent;
  • They’re thought of as being more trustworthy; and
  • They marry attractive and highly educated people.

Fortunately, there are ways to increase your physical power, even if you didn’t win the genetic lottery when it comes to good looks. Here are five ways to increase your physical power:

  • Eat well and exercise so that you look healthy and fit.
  • Be well groomed.
  • Make the most of your looks – wear clothes that flatter your shape and accentuate your best parts (and minimize the not-so-great-ones).
  • Be energetic – people who exude confidence, joy, and enthusiasm are highly attractive.
  • Project strength by the way in which you carry yourself.

Like any other source of power, physical power can be increased.

8. Attribute Power

Your attribute power refers to personal characteristics which make you more powerful, such as your intellect, grit, confidence, determination, and resilience. Look at the following and ask yourself which person is more likely to get support from others when they’re striving to achieve a goal:

  • Someone who has shown grit and resilience in the past.
  • Someone who gives up easily and has a tendency to leave things half-done.

Obviously, the first person is going to get more support from others—whether it’s financial support, encouragement, and so on. Also, look at the following:

  • People are more likely to back a confident person than they are to back a person with low self-esteem.
  • People are more likely to want to help those whom they perceive to be smart and talented.

Here are five ways to increase your attribute power:

  • Create a personal development plan.
  • Ask yourself what your goals are and what attributes you need to achieve those goals.
  • Read personal development books and blogs.
  • Follow Benjamin Franklin’s lead and develop your character.
  • Develop positive habits and drop negative habits.

Being self-assured, tenacious, and determined, and having positive habits, can make you very powerful.

9. Knowledge/Education Power

Knowledge and education power come from your level of education and the quality of the educational institutions that you attended. Your educational credentials can open many doors for you. In addition, people tend to respect those who have a good education.

Here are five ways to increase your knowledge/education power:

  • Go back to school and get an advanced degree.
  • Enroll at Harvard’s Extension School or take continuing education programs.
  • Get certified in an area that will help you in your field.
  • Find other ways to show that you’re committed to lifelong learning.
  • Create a portfolio showcasing your knowledge and skills.

Knowledge and education are power.

10. Moral Power

Your moral power is derived from your perceived moral stature. It affects how you’re perceived, as well as your ability to persuade and affect the actions of others. In essence, moral power is your ability to convince others that what you’re asking them to do is morally just.

Here are five ways to increase your moral power:

  • Volunteer.
  • Start a nonprofit.
  • Build a reputation as someone who has strong values and lives up to those values.
  • Champion a worthy cause.
  • Donate money to charities.

Moral power is often not given its proper due, but it’s an important factor in social life.

Conclusion

How much power do you have in each of the ten power sources explained above? Apply the 50 ways to increase your personal power that I’ve shared with you in this post, and become unstoppable. Always remember to use your power wisely and for the good of yourself and others.

Live your best life by increasing your personal power.

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ways to improve your life in one hour a day

All you need to achieve your goals and drastically change your life is one-hour-a-day.

In my post, “The One-Hour-A-Day Fast Track to Goal Achievement” I gave you ten reasons why you can fast track your goals with just one-hour-a-day. Now in this post I’m going to share with you 197 ways to improve your life in one-hour-a-day. You’ll find the list of ways below.

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five mindsets

Your mindset will have a huge impact on your success.

Mindset is a way of thinking that determines your behavior, outlook, and mental attitude. As Wilson Kanadi once said, “To change your life, you have to change yourself. To change yourself, you have to change your mindset.” Your mindset will determine the kind of person you’ll be and the goals you’ll be able to achieve.

onehouradayformula banner longAll of the following depend on your mindset:

  • How you handle risk.
  • Whether you succumb to fear or overcome it.
  • How you respond to challenges and setbacks.
  • Your levels of motivation — how much effort you’re willing to put into an endeavor.
  • The opportunities you’ll be able to notice and how you’ll respond to these opportunities.

The five mindsets that will transform your life are the following:

  1. The Creator Mindset;
  2. The Growth Mindset;
  3. The Abundance Mindset;
  4. The Wealth Mindset; and
  5. The Entrepreneurial Mindset.

Each of these mindsets is explained below, along with a few suggestions on how to adopt these mindsets.

The Creator Mindset

Those who have a Creator Mindset understand all of the following:

  • No one is going to hand them what they want, and things are not going to magically happen by themselves. If they want something, they have to go out there and get it for themselves. They have to make things happen.
  • If they’re having a problem, they have to solve or fix it themselves. No one is coming to the rescue.
  • Nothing is being done to them. Whenever they find themselves in a negative situation they accept that they created the situation themselves; they contributed to the situation; or at the very least they permitted it to happen.
  • They always have a choice.
  • They’re responsible for themselves and their actions.
  • Even if there’s not much they can do to influence any given situation, at the very least they can choose their attitude.

If you want to adopt a Creator Mindset, start by asking yourself questions such as the following:

  • What do I want?
  • How can I get it?
  • How can I solve this problem?
  • What can I do in this situation?
  • How can I get the money to do this?
  • What’s the best thing I can do in this situation, right now?

By adopting a Creator Mindset you’ll develop the capacity to envision the outcomes that you want and then start taking steps to manifest these outcomes.

The Growth Mindset

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success , Carol Dweck, Ph.D.–a professor at Stanford University and a social psychologist–explains that there are two different kinds of mindsets:

  • A Fixed Mindset; and
  • A Growth Mindset.

One mindset leads to risk aversion and feelings of limitation, while the other leads to success.

People with a Fixed Mindset believe that intelligence and talent are fixed traits: they’re born with a certain amount and that’s that. People with a Growth Mindset believe that abilities and talents can be cultivated through instruction and practice.

You develop a Growth Mindset by accepting the following:

  • With effort, you can train your brain to get smarter.
  • You can learn any skill, as long as you’re willing to put in the practice.
  • Failure doesn’t define you; it’s just a temporary setback.
  • See mistakes as feedback. Analyze the feedback and do better the next time.
  • Seek out new experiences that will challenge and stretch you.
  • It’s OK if you don’t understand at first. The point is to understand little by little. Ask yourself: “What can I try next?”
  • You can change your mindset so that your thinking patterns help you to succeed.

As I write in “The One-Hour-A-Day Formula“, if you’re one of those people who have a long list of skills that they want to learn–such as learning a language, taking up an instrument, learning to code, and so on–, having a Growth Mindset is vital.

The Abundance Mindset

The Abundance Mindset is often contrasted with the Scarcity Mindset. People with a Scarcity Mindset think that there are few resources out there, and their thoughts are centered on lack.

On the other hand, people with an Abundance Mindset think that there are enough resources for everyone, and their thoughts are centered on plenty. In order to adopt an Abundance Mindset, do the following:

  • Instead of feeling lack by focusing on what you don’t have, feel abundance by being grateful for what you do have.
  • Instead of fighting over what you perceive to be limited resources, actively look for ways to expand the pie so that everyone can get a piece.
  • Instead of staring at the door that just closed, start looking for a window that’s open.
  • Instead of constantly worrying about the future, be mindful of the gifts contained in the present.
  • Instead of comparing yourself to others, stay in your own life.
  • Instead of thinking that you have to be more or have more before you can he happy, choose to be happy with what you have, and with who you are, now.

Having an Abundance Mindset will open possibilities and allow you to see more alternatives. In addition, it will make you more resourceful and creative.

The Wealth Mindset

Another way of thinking of “mindset” is as a series of beliefs and thinking patterns. Therefore, if you want to adopt a Wealth Mindset you need to identify the beliefs and thinking habits that make up this mindset. So, what are the beliefs and assumptions that make up the Wealth Mindset?

Here are some of them:

  • Wealth creation is simply about acquiring the necessary knowledge on how to create, build, and protect wealth.
  • You should strive to become financially independent instead of relying on an employer for your financial well-being.
  • Money is good — money allows you to develop yourself to your fullest potential.
  • Building wealth is about having your money work hard for you.
  • To build wealth, you have to constantly learn and grow.
  • You are unique and valuable. In addition, what you have to offer to the world is unique and valuable, and you deserve to be well compensated for it.
  • If you want to make more money, you just need a better idea, and you need to bring focus and discipline to the process of turning that idea into reality.
  • Money doesn’t discriminate – it doesn’t care about your gender, race, ethnicity, and so on. In addition, it doesn’t care if you come from wealth or if your parents lived paycheck-to-paycheck. If you do what it takes to make money, and to take care of that money, you’ll become wealthy.

To create a Wealth Mindset, set financial goals. This will get you to think seriously about money and how to make it. Then, adopt the beliefs above and get to work.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Some people have an Employee Mindset, while others have an Entrepreneurial Mindset. People with an Entrepreneurial Mindset think in terms of finding opportunities and creating value. They’re driven and they know how to take calculated risks.

Here’s what having an Entrepreneurial Mindset is all about:

  • It’s about being self-directed, instead of waiting to be told what to do.
  • It’s about giving yourself permission, instead of waiting for permission from others.
  • It’s about being daring, bold and audacious.
  • Entrepreneurs see opportunities instead of problems.
  • They’re constantly thinking in terms of value creation.
  • They see constraints—such as limited resources—as a good thing. After all, it eliminates the paralysis of choice that would otherwise prevent them from getting started. They do what they can with what they have.
  • They’re constantly looking for problems that other people are having which they can solve.
  • They can tolerate discomfort and ambiguity.
  • It’s about getting up each time you fall, learning from your mistakes, and tolerating rejection.
  • It’s about getting good at learning new skills.
  • It’s about realizing that the buck stops with you.
  • It’s about being action-oriented.
  • It’s about learning to promote yourself and sell your goods and services.
  • It’s about creating a strategy, and then executing that strategy.

You can’t succeed as an entrepreneur without having an Entrepreneurial Mindset.

In addition, even if you currently work for somebody else, people with an Entrepreneurial Mindset are more valuable to their employers than people with an Employee Mindset–after all, they need less supervision and get better results.

Conclusion

Make your mind your friend by adopting the right mindsets. Live your best life by developing the five mindsets explained above.

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time quotes

Time is our most precious resource.

Here are 59 time quotes to help you make the most of your time.

1. “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” ~ Bruce Lee

2. “We give our time away all day long, to emotions that gain us no advantages, to people who do not value our time, to inefficient habits. If you want to take back this time, you need to cut to the chase.” ~ Stuart R. Levine

3. “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” ~ Lee Iacocca

4. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~ H. Jackson Brown

onehouradayformula banner long5. “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might as well put that passing to the best possible use.” ~ Earl Nightingale

6. “Either you run your day, or your day runs you.” ~ Jim Rohn

7. “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” ~ Golda Meir

8. “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” ~ Charles Richards

9. “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.” ~ Lord Chesterfield

10. “All you need to achieve your goals and drastically change your life is one-hour-a-day.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

11. “You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time.” ~ Doc Childre and Howard Martin

12. “It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.” ~ Marcia Wieder

13. “Your greatest resource is your time.” ~ Brian Tracy

14. “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~ Michael Altshuler

15. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” ~ Carl Sandburg

16. “Those who make the worse use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.” ~ Jean De La Bruyere

17. “In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.” ~ Sir John Lubbock

18. “The real problem of leisure time is how to keep others from using yours.” ~ Arthur Lacey

19. “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” ~Richard Whately

20. “Up until now you’ve probably heard the terms ‘investing” and ‘return on your investment’ only in relation to money. However, you have to start applying these concepts to your time as well. Make wise time investments and then enjoy the positive returns that you receive on your investment.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

21. “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” ~ Karen Lamb

22. “While we are postponing, life speeds by.” ~ Seneca

23. “The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: ‘I did not have time.’” ~ Franklin Field

24. “With perseverance, the very odds and ends of time may be worked up into results of the greatest value.” ~ The Royal Path of Life

25. “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” ~ Lord Chesterfield

Make It Happen!

26. “I recommend you take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.”  ~ Earl of Chesterfield

27. “How long will you wait for the right time to come? The right time is now, and the right place is here.” ~ Dada J.P. Vaswani

28. “Your purpose should dictate how you spend your time.” ~ Brenda Johnson Padgitt

29. “Stop allowing time to control you; instead, take control of your time.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

30. “Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year — and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” ~ Anthony Robbins

31. “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” ~ Charles Buxton

32. “Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.” ~ Carl Sandburg

33. “Managing your time without setting priorities is like shooting randomly and calling whatever you hit the target.”
~ Peter Turla

34. “The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business–or almost anywhere else for that matter.” ~ Lee Iacocca

35. “Spare moments are the gold dust of time.” ~ Bishop Hail

36. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey

37. “If you want to be more productive, you need to become master of your minutes.” ~ Crystal Paine

38. “You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” ~ Tony Morgan

39. “If you don’t set aside some time each day to create the life you want, then you’ll be spending your time surviving instead of living your best life.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

40. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~ Peter Drucker

41. “Don’t spend a dollar’s worth of time on a ten cent decision.” ~ Peter Turla

42. “We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things.” ~ Jim Rohn

43. “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

44. “You wake up in the morning, and your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of un-manufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions. No one can take it from you. And no one receives either more or less than you receive.” ~ Arnold Bennett

45. “A man must be master of his hours and days, not their servant.” ~ William Frederick Book

46. “Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.” ~ Horace Mann

47. “It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.” ~ Marcia Wieder

48. “The time for action is now. It is never too late to do something.” ~ Carl Sandburg

49. “Until you value yourself, you will not value your time.” ~ M. Scott Peck

50. “The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: ‘I did not have time.’” ~ Franklin Field

51. “We say we waste time, but that is impossible. We waste ourselves.” ~ Alice Boch

52. “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” ~ Brian Tracy

53. “What comes first, the compass or the clock? Before one can truly manage time (the clock), it is important to know where you are going, what your priorities and goals are, in which direction you are headed (the compass). Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going. Rather than always focusing on what’s urgent, learn to focus on what is really important.“~ Unknown

54. “We realize our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities. We confess, we have left undone those things that ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.“ ~ Charles E. Hummel

55. “To get all there is out of living, we must employ our time wisely, never being in too much of a hurry to stop and sip life, but never losing our sense of the enormous value of a minute.” ~ Robert Updefraff

56. “If, before going to bed every night, you will tear a page from the calendar, and remark, there goes another day of my life, never to return, you will become time conscious.“ ~ A.B. Zu Tavern

57. “We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.“ ~ Henry Ward Beecher

58. This is the key to time management – to see the value of every moment. Menachem Mendel Schneerson

59. “Use some time each day, one-hour-a-day is all you need, to bust your regrets. What do you regret not having done in the past? Start doing it now.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

Conclusion

I hope your found these 59 time quotes useful. Live your best life by improving how you manage your time.

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how to move more

Humans were made to move.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) only 20 percent of American adults meet the minimum national exercise guidelines of at least 150 minutes per week of mixed aerobic workouts and strength training.

onehouradayformula banner longIn turn, a lack of physical activity has clearly been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers. In addition, being inactive can add to feelings of anxiety and depression. It can even lead to premature death. On the other hand, here are some of the many benefits of moving more throughout the day:

  • Control your weight.
  • Improve your mental health and mood.
  • Combat disease.
  • Increase your chances of living longer.
  • Improve your sleep.
  • Have more energy.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Improved brain function.

The human body isn’t designed to sit bent and scrunched up in a chair all day, day after day – it’s designed to move. Fortunately, any movement can be considered physical activity and is beneficial, even small amounts of movement. In this post you’ll find 24 sneaky ways to move more.

1. Set the Goal to Move More. In my post on 29 New Year’s Resolution Ideas – Make 2016 Your Best Year Ever I recommended that you set the resolution of moving more. If you didn’t set that resolution at the start of the year, you still have time to do so. Set the goal to move more for what’s left of the year, and make a commitment to stick to that goal.

2. Maximize Your Daily Movements. Look for ways to add more movement to things you’re already doing. Look at the following:

  • When you drive to work, forgo the coveted parking space right next to the building’s entrance. Instead, choose a parking space farther away from the front door and add steps to your day.
  • At work, visit the restroom at the other end of the building. Taking the stairs to the restroom on another floor is even better.
  • Refill your coffee cup at the machine farthest from your workstation.
  • Use the printer or copier furthest away from your desk.

A few extra steps here and there can go a long way.

3. Move Faster. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines moderate aerobic activity as “anything that makes your heart beat faster.” That means a wide variety of daily activities can become exercise if you do them faster or more intensely.

Picking up the pace, even if you’re just walking to your car, will help you burn more calories and strengthen your legs. I walk to the gym, and I run errands by foot (my apartment building has a great location). I’ve now resolved to walk to these destinations more quickly.

Get more out of your movements by doing them faster.

4. Increase the Beat. A lot of us listen to music while doing things like walking or exercising. As stated in the point above, you can get more out of your movements by increasing the speed at which you do them. And a great way to pick up the speed is to listen to music with a faster tempo.

As I wrote in my post, 12 Easy Ways to Bring More Music Into Your Life, songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) make you work out harder. I, for one, am going to look for songs with this BPM so I can start jogging faster.

5. Get a High Energy Dog. Having a dog will force you to move more. After all, you’ll have to take it out at least once a day so that it can get some exercise, or risk having your furniture destroyed as punishment for keeping it cooped up inside all day.

I’m currently considering getting a Husky, which is a gorgeous, sweet-tempered dog breed that needs lots of activity to stay happy.

6. Make Moving Fun. Moving more doesn’t have to be one more task or chore to add to your to-do list. Instead, you can categorize it as “play”. How? By making it fun! Here are some ideas:

  • Get a mini-trampoline –rebounding is great exercise, and it’s lots of fun.
  • Join a dance class.
  • Try the latest exercise class that’s all the rage. These include Pound, a class created by a drummer that uses lightly weighted “drumsticks” called Ripstix; pole workouts; and rowing-based strength classes.

7. Devote One-Hour-A-Day to Fitness. I devote one-hour-a-day to fitness. As I’ve written previously, I run three times a week, and I lift weights at the gym three times a week. Although I’m currently resting one day a week, I’m looking for a good stretching DVD I can do for one-hour on the seventh day.

Keep in mind that even if you do devote one-hour-a-day to exercising, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to move for the rest of the day. The benefits of exercise can be reduced if you spend most of the rest of your day sitting. So make sure that you still squeeze in as much active time as possible throughout the day.

8. Walk Indoors.  Most experts recommend that you take at least 10,ooo steps a day– which is roughly the equivalent of 5 miles. The good news is, you can walk those miles indoors. If it’s raining out, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, or you simply don’t want to leave the house, walk indoors. There are many great walking workout programs you can get on Amazon.

As an example, there’s 10,000 Steps Weight Loss – Walk On: 5 Fat Burning Miles Walking Exercise DVD. Each of the five walks is about 15 minutes long, and one mile in distance. Do all five walks at once, or spread them out throughout the day; it’s your choice.

9. Maximize Your TV Watching Time. Most people spend a lot of time watching TV. And what does that mean? It means that they spend even more time sitting. However, there are many ways to be active while you watch TV. Here are some ideas:

  • Get a treadmill or a stationary bike and use it while you watch TV.
  • If you don’t want to be in full out exercise mode while you watch TV, at least get yourself a portable pedal bike.
  • Use the commercials –hold a plank during commercial breaks, do burpees, or do some jumping jacks.
  • Preset the timer on your TV to turn off after an hour to remind you to get up and go do something more active.
  • At the very least, hide the remote control so that you have to get up to change the channel.

Turn TV time into active time.

10. Use Temptation Bundling. In my post, Adopt Good Habits With Temptation Bundling, I write about Wharton professor Katherine Milkman. Her guilty habit is listening to low-brow novels on audio tape. So she came up with the following idea: she could listen to those audio tapes only while she was exercising.

You can follow this same approach in order to move more. What are your guilty habits? Tell yourself that you can only engage in these activities while you’re exercising, squatting, standing, or moving around.

11. Incorporate Movement Into Your Morning Routine. One of the best ways to have a great day is to start it off with a morning routine that will set you up for success. Get moving from the moment your feet touch the ground in the morning by incorporating movement into your morning routine. Here’s three ways to do this:

12. Spend More Time In Nature. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and I’ve already written about the many benefits of spending more time in nature. An added benefit is that when you’re out in nature it’s highly likely that you’ll be moving around. After all, the outdoors was made for all of the following:

  • Playing Frisbee at the park, or throwing a ball back and forth.
  • Playing with your dog or your kids on the grass.
  • Flying a kite.

Whenever you can, head outdoors and move around under the clear blue sky.

13. Use Your Commute. Rethink the way you get to and from work. Do you drive? How about walking, rollerblading, or cycling to work, instead? You’ll be adding movement to your day, saving on gas, and maybe even saving on parking.

If you ride public transportation, try standing up for most of the way. A European Heart Journal study found that standing instead of sitting an extra two hours a day can lower blood sugar and boost good cholesterol.  In addition, get off the bus or subway a stop early and walk part of the way.

14. Set Goals for Your Amount of Sitting Time. lan Hedge, a professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, explains that both sitting all day and standing all day are bad for you. He recommends that you break up your activity throughout the day.

Hedge indicates that for every half-hour working in an office, people should do the following:

  • Sit for 20 minutes;
  • Stand for eight minutes; and
  • Move around and stretch for two minutes.

There are apps that will remind you to get up and move around every so often. These include the following:

  • Breakpal.com–a reminder will pop up on your screen to get up and exercise, and you’ll be directed to a short exercise video.
  • TimeOut, which blacks out your screen for 15 seconds every 10 minutes, and for 10 minutes once an hour, forcing you to take short breaks.

15. Fidget More. A study involving over 12,000 British women found that those who fidgeted while seated staved off the negative effects of sitting much better than the non-fidgety women. In addition, people who fidget tend to be thinner than those who don’t because they burn more calories throughout the day. Do yourself a favor and fidget around a bit.

16. Play a Fitness Board Game. Board games can develop thinking abilities and life skills. In addition, you can get board games that will help you to stay fit.

One option is the Fitness in a Box Board Game — to move around the board you have to perform activities like jumping, stretching, and adopting strength-building poses. Bakari Fitness Memory Game is another fitness board game; it doubles as a memory game.

17. Go On Active Dates. When you want to spend some quality time with your spouse or significant other, instead of going to dinner and a movie, do something active. Challenge them to a game of tennis, go hiking, or go kayaking. Other ideas include the following:

  • Visit a new town and take a walking tour.
  • Go geocaching.
  • Go on a city-wide scavenger hunt.

You know the saying, the couple that sweats together, stays together. 🙂

18. Same With Catching Up With Friends. When you want to catch up with friends, instead of going out for coffee or a drink, go to the museum or a gallery exhibit. Other ideas include going to a planetarium, going bowling, or playing golf (meeting for a round of golf isn’t just for men).

If your friends live nearby, you can even start a walking club: get together for speed walking before work.

19. Use Stolen Moments. Any time you have a few minutes to spare here and there, use that time to get some movement in. Here are some examples:

  • If you’re waiting for your son or daughter to finish soccer practice, walk a few times around the field.
  • Got some errands to run nearby? Try walking to get your errands done. Typically, if it’s within two miles from you it can be considered walkable.
  • Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.

20. Take Up An Active Hobby. Hobbies aren’t just a way to pass the time. They can also improve the quality of your life. To squeeze more activity into your life, take up a hobby that involves moving around, such as birding, nature photography, or indoor rock climbing.

21. Try Active Meditation. If you’re thinking of taking up meditation to relieve stress, become more mindful, and improve your focus and concentration, instead of sitting in the lotus position consider taking up a form of active meditation.

Forms of active meditation include Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Yoga.

22. Encourage Your Boss to Make the Office More Exercise Friendly. Many employers are  looking for ways to get their employees to exercise more. After all, people who exercise are healthier and take less sick days. In addition, they’re more creative and productive, and they tend to have better attitudes.

Here are some of the things you could recommend:

  • Propose walking meetings — have walking-and-talking meetings instead of the usual sit-down ones.
  • Start a company team — you can play softball, soccer, or tag football.
  • Start a mid-morning stretch group.

Round up all the studies out there which document the many benefits to companies of having a healthy, active work force, and impress your boss with your initiative.

23. Use the Rule of Threes. If you don’t have time to exercise for 30 minutes straight, break it up into three 10-minute segments. Get 10 minutes of cardio in the morning, 10 minutes of cardio after lunch, and 10 minutes of cardio in the evening.

24. Volunteer in Ways that Allow You to Be Active. A popular goal is to help others by volunteering. If volunteering is one of your goals, tie it to the goal of moving more. Look for volunteering opportunity that involve movement, such as these:

  • Participate in clean-up days in your community.
  • Volunteer to run/walk for an event, like Race for the Cure or Relay for Life.
  • Volunteer at a community garden.
  • Volunteer to coach little league. You’ll spend more time with your kid, get to know his or her friends, and get some exercise in. Three for one!

Volunteer and become more active, at the same time.

Conclusion

Improve your life by becoming more active. This includes not just exercising or playing sports, but also adding more movement to your day. Live your best life by moving more.

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bold, daring, and audacious

“Fortune favors the audacious.” – Desiderius Erasmus

You’ve probably heard that the people who succeed in life are those who are smart and have a good education. However, not enough is said about the need to be daring, bold and audacious.

Brilliant people with Ivy League educations probably won’t get very far—or, at least they won’t get as far as they could–without these three qualities. At the same time, people who didn’t graduate at the top of their class and who went to community college can get far if they do have these traits.

If you’re looking for ways to be more daring, bold, and audacious, you’ll find seven of them below. (You can read the post below or watch the YouTube video.)

onehouradayformula banner long1. Stop Being So Scared of Looking Foolish. I jog three times a week along a jogging and cycling path that runs parallel to the ocean. In the last few of weeks, I’ve seen a woman—she looks American and is probably in her early fifties—rollerblading by. She doesn’t rollerblade very well at all. Frankly, she looks a little bit ridiculous—she teeters back and forth, and from side to side, and she looks like she’s scared of losing her balance and falling.

That being said, I sincerely admire the fact that she doesn’t seem to care how she looks. She wants to go rollerblading and that’s what she’s doing, regardless of what other people may think.

I used to rollerblade when I lived in Washington, DC—in fact, I’d rollerblade on Pennsylvania Avenue right in front of the White House—but I haven’t gone rollerblading in years. A few times I’ve thought to myself, “I want to start rollerblading again.”  Nonetheless, I kept putting it off because, at least at first, I’m going to be wobbling along and I’m going to look foolish.

Last week I decided that it was really dumb of me to put off rollerblading—which I remember was lots of fun—for fear of how I may look to others. I proceeded to do the following:

  • I found a place that teaches rollerblading;
  • I asked my 8-year-old nephew, who’s pretty much up for anything, to take classes with me.

Tomorrow I’m going to get myself a pair of rollerblades. I’m no longer going to stop myself from doing something that I really want to do because of what others may think. That is, I’ve made the decision to be more daring.

Ask yourself: “What is one thing that I want to do but I’ve been putting it off because I’m scare of looking foolish?” Then, go do it.

2. Give Yourself Permission. As I wrote in my post, 50 Things to Give Yourself Permission For, we each need to outgrow the need to ask for permission before going after the things we want.

As children we’re indoctrinated that we have to ask for permission for just about anything we want to do, and a lot of people enter adulthood still thinking that they need approval or consent from others before they act.

Be bold and realize that the only person you need permission from is yourself. Whatever it is that you want to do, give yourself permission to do it.

3. Start Before You Think You’re Ready. When I lived in Florence, Italy I met a girl from Mexico who was also living there. We both went to the same Italian language school, and then we both applied to, and got into, L’Universitá per Stranieri di Firenze (The Florence University For Foreigners).

Later when the girl went back to Mexico and I returned to Panama I got a letter from her. She was teaching Italian in her hometown. I was taken aback by this because it would never have occurred to me to go to the Accademia Italiana here in Panama and apply for a teaching position.

I’ve always thought that you need to have all your T’s crossed and all your I’s dotted before you do something.

Although when I left Italy I spoke Italian fluently, I didn’t take the C2 DELF test so I wasn’t “certified” as someone who spoke advanced Italian. But my Mexican friend hadn’t taken the test either, and that certainly didn’t stop her.

Because of that experience, I created a new rule for myself: “When I want to try something new, I’m going to give it a shot when I feel that I’m 80% ready.” I put that rule to practice when I wanted to get a realtor’s license.

To get a realtor’s license here in Panama you have to take a course and pass a test. I took the course and, although I didn’t feel 100% ready, I took the test the very next day after the course ended (most people wait a month before taking the test so that they can have time to study).

I passed –just barely, but I got the necessary score to get a realtor’s license. This meant I saved myself weeks of studying and worrying about the test.

To be bolder, more daring, and more audacious, get started before you think you’re ready.

4. Constantly Push Against Your Comfort Zone. Always be pushing against your comfort zone to keep it pliable, malleable, and flexible. Do things like the following:

  • Try a new restaurant at least twice a month – preferably restaurants that serve a cuisine that you’re not familiar with.
  • At least once a month go exploring. Visit a part of your town that you’ve never seen, or take a day trip to a city nearby that you’ve never been to before.
  • Four times a year try a new sport – one for each season.
  • At least once a year take a MOOC just because it’s on a topic that interests you or that you’re curious about.

By doing this, when the time comes to try something new which will have a big impact on your life, you’ll have an easier time doing it. After all, your comfort zone will no longer be tight like a corset, limiting your every move. Instead, it will be flexible and easy to move in, like a well-worn pair of jeans.

5. Break the Rules. Learn the rules, and then break them. Look at conventional guidelines as a framework. However, once you know how things are done, give free reign to your own self-expression. Ask yourself questions like the following:

  • Are all of these rules really necessary?
  • Is it essential that things be done in this order?
  • What do I think I should do now?
  • What is my gut telling me to do?
  • What if I were to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing?
  • How can I inject my own personality into this?

Stop thinking that you need to do things like they’ve always been done, or like everyone else is doing them. Instead, be bold: make up your own rules and do things your own way.

6. Do Something You Think You Can’t. We all have a list of things we think we’d be really bad at or could never do. Here are some things that often make it onto people’s lists:

  • “I can’t run a 5K, I’ve never been athletic.”
  • “I can’t draw anything other than stick figures.”
  • “I have two left feet; I can’t take part in that dance class.”
  • “I’m really bad at public speaking. I can’t possibly give a speech in front of 50 people.”

Pick one thing on your “Things I Can’t Do List” and give it a try. You may not be fantastic at it, but it’s almost certain that you will be able to do it. And the more you realize that you can do anything that you put your mind to, the more daring, bold, and audacious you’ll be.

7. Hang Out with Daring, Bold and Audacious People. Let’s face it, the people we hang out with rub off on us. If your friends are constantly shying away from trying new things, it’s very likely that you’ll become more hesitant when it comes to trying new things yourself.

On the other hand, if you’re part of a bunch of people that loves trying new things, it’s highly likely that you’ll find yourself tagging along and having lots of new experiences yourself. Watching people who are close to you take risks will encourage you to do the same.

I already mentioned my 8-year-old nephew above – he’s one of the boldest and most daring people I know. I look forward to spending more time with him now that we’re going to be rollerblading buddies, and I hope some of his audaciousness rubs off on me.

Conclusion

We could all use more daring, boldness and audacity and our lives. Live your best life by being more daring, bold, and audacious. Start with the seven ways listed above.

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stop comparing yourself to others

When you compare yourself to others you’re engaging in destructive behavior.

We live in a competitive society, which often means that we end up comparing ourselves to others. Am I prettier than she is? Do we make more money than they do? Is he a better father than I am? Comparing yourself to others can easily become a habit; and an incredibly destructive one at that.

onehouradayformula banner longHere are just some of the reasons why you should stop comparing yourself to others:

  • Comparing yourself to others often leads to self-doubt.
  • Constantly comparing yourself to others can fuel mean-spirited competitiveness versus collaboration.
  • Comparing yourself to others makes your self-worth dependent on the achievements of others. If they’re doing poorly compared to you, you feel good. If they’re doing better than you are, you feel bad. Do you really think it’s a good idea to make how you feel about yourself depend on how other people are doing?
  • Comparing yourself to others sucks the joy out of life.

Below you’ll find ten ways to stop comparing yourself to others. You can read the post, or watch the YouTube video I made of the post:

1. Recognize You Are Incomparable. Why would you compare yourself to others, when you’re one of a kind? It may sound like a cliché, but the truth is that there’s no one else out there who’s exactly like you. Comparing yourself to others is dishonoring your uniqueness and your individuality.

After all, when you compare yourself to others you’re basically saying: “I should be more like them”. When you’re feeling down because you think that you’re coming up short, instead of telling yourself that should be more like so-and-so, tell yourself the following:

  • “I’m going to become a better version of myself”.
  • “I’m going to start living up to my potential.”
  • “I’m going to become the person I was meant to be.”

Life is about being the best that you can be, not about trying to become someone you’re not.

2. Realize that Comparisons Are Unfair. Life isn’t a level playing field, so it’s not really fair to make comparisons. Look at the following:

  • We begin at different starting lines. Let’s face it, someone born to a wealthy family with college educated parents starts off much further ahead in life than someone born to poorly educated parents living on welfare.
  • We’re all running a different obstacle course. Think of two obstacle courses: one has 5 obstacles on it and the other has 20 obstacles on it. Obviously, it’s much easier to run the first obstacle course. It’s almost a given that the person running that course will have a better finishing time than the person running the obstacle-ridden course.
  • We don’t all get the same breaks. I know people who stepped out of law school and walked straight into cushy jobs at the law firm where their mother or father was a partner. That’s certainly not a break I got. You can’t really compare yourself to people who have gotten more breaks than you have.

A lot of the time people are “ahead of you” in life simply because they’ve had it easier than you have: they started out further ahead, they’ve had to face less obstacles, or they’ve been given more breaks. Is it really fair for you to compare yourself to those people? No, it’s not.

3. Dance to the Beat of Your Own Drummer. Just as you’re incomparable, your journey is incomparable. The path that you follow toward your destination doesn’t have to be the same path that someone else is following, even if you’re both trying to arrive at the same place.

Maybe your path has more detours than their path. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that their path is better. The reason your path is longer could be any of the following:

  • You’re more curious than they are, and you got off the main path a few times to go take a look at something that caught your eye.
  • You’re bolder and more adventurous than they are. Perhaps they wanted to go down a different route a few times, but they were too scared to do it, so they missed out on some great experiences.
  • You’re taking the time to smell the roses. You’ll both end up at the same place, but although your journey will take longer, it will also be more enjoyable.

If someone is standing at the spot where you would like to be, instead of feeling bad because you’re not there yet, tell yourself that you’ll get there when the time is right for you. And when you do get to where they are now, you’ll be a better-rounded person than they are, and you’ll have better stories to tell.

4. It’s a Waste of Time. The time that you’re wasting thinking of others and comparing yourself to them is time that you could be using to improve yourself. Instead of spending forty minutes cyberstalking other people, use that time to do any of the following:

  • Learn something new;
  • Spend quality time with someone you love; or
  • Do something that recharges your battery.

Your time is sacred. Why waste it thinking of the achievements of others?

5. Count Your Blessings. I once read that jealousy results when you count the blessings of others instead of counting your own.

The next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself because your best friend’s career is advancing more quickly than yours, or because the people down the street just bought a car that you can’t possibly afford, shift your focus from what they have to what you have.

You do this by counting your blessings.

6. Do What You Can with What You Have. Maybe the person that you’re comparing yourself to does have talents which you don’t possess.

As an illustration, your co-worker might be more charismatic than you are and, therefore, better at closing deals and making sales. C’est la vie. Instead of pining for their gifts, identify your own gifts, and then do the best that you can with what you have.

7. Compete With Yourself. Let’s face it, we live in a society that’s obsessed with measurements: height, IQ, GPA, rank, and so on. And the people with the high numbers never let others forget how well they’re doing. It can be hard not to compare yourself to others when other people are intent on letting you know how well they’re doing.

However, you have to resist the urge to compare your numbers to theirs. Instead, compare your current numbers to your past numbers. Look at the following:

  • Instead of asking yourself if you’re making more money than your neighbor, ask yourself if you’re making more money now than you were last year.
  • Instead of comparing your career to the careers of the people you went to high school with, ask yourself if you have more job satisfaction now than you did the year before.
  • Instead of comparing your physique to that of the guy next standing next to you at the gym—who let’s everyone know how much he can bench press—ask yourself if you’re in better shape now than you were six months ago.

As long as you’re making progress, who cares how everyone else is doing. Instead of competing with others, compete with yourself.

8. Realize that You Can’t See the Whole Picture. When you look at other people you’re only seeing what they allow you to see. Keep in mind that you can’t see the whole picture. You don’t know what’s really going on underneath the surface, or behind closed doors.

As an illustration, I remember when I was in high school I knew a girl who had a fantastic figure. Later I discovered that she had an eating disorder.  I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience yourself, maybe something like the following:

  • The glamorous woman living in your building who was always traveling and taking fancy vacations confided in you one day that she wished she had a husband and kids, like you do.
  • The couple you thought had a perfect marriage that ended up getting divorced.
  • The guy down the street with the Lamborghini in the driveway who started his own tech company had to file for bankruptcy.

No one’s life is perfect, regardless of how hard they try to make others think that it is. That person who you think has it all may just be really good at faking it and keeping up a façade. In fact, they may even be comparing themselves to you and thinking they’re coming up short.

9. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Metrics. Make sure that when you do measure how well you’re doing, that you measure the things that are important to you, instead of applying the metrics that others think are important. Here are some examples:

  • Maybe your parents are always pushing you to make more money, so you can be rich like your cousin. But the reality is that, as long as you can pay for what you need, money isn’t that important to you. What’s important to you is helping others. So, measure how well you’re doing based on how many people you’re helping, not based on your net worth.
  • Maybe your son has a friend who’s always getting new toys, and you’re tempted to think that you’re falling short because you can’t buy all that stuff for your kid. However, you passed down a promotion at work, so that you could spend more time with your son. So, measure your success as a parent based on the amount of quality time that you’re spending with your child, not based on how many toys you can buy him.
  • Maybe there’s a girl at your gym who wears a size zero, and you’ve always been curvy. So stop measuring yourself based on how much you weigh or what size of clothes you wear; instead, measure yourself by using metrics related to health – your waist to hip ratio, your cholesterol level, your blood pressure, and so on.

Don’t let other people push you into comparing yourself to them based on the metrics that they think are important. Instead, when you want to gauge how well you’re doing, choose your own metrics based on the things that are important to you.

10. Use Other People as Inspiration. Now that I’ve written over 1750 words on why you should stop comparing yourself to others and how to do it, I’m going to do the exact opposite. I’m going to encourage you to compare yourself to others. However, you’re going to turn this into a positive.

If you look around and you notice that there are certain people who are doing better than you are—these people can be your friends, co-workers, peers, and so on–, use this as inspiration to try harder yourself.

In addition, you can use them as a role model. Ask yourself: What are they doing that I’m not doing? How can I learn from them? How can I replicate their success?

That is, instead of despairing because someone else is more successful that you are, use the comparison as motivation to improve.

Conclusion

Use the ten tips above to stop feeling inferior because someone else seems to be doing better than you are. Live your best life by dropping the habit of comparing yourself to others.

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Use the Mind-Body Connection

The body and mind are inextricably connected – use that to your advantage.

You’ve probably heard of the mind-body connection countless of times. What goes on in the mind—what you’re thinking and feeling—affects your body. Negative thoughts and feelings can lead to pain and disease. Positive thoughts and feelings can lead to health and physical well-being.

onehouradayformula banner longLook at the following:

  • If you’re constantly worrying about your finances, this can lead to headaches and stomach problems.
  • If you’re going through a stressful time at work, this can cause muscle pain and high blood pressure.
  • Optimism can help people avoid or healthfully manage diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and depression.

The body-mind connection is the reverse of this. Your physical state, your posture, gestures, facial expressions, and your movements can affect your mind, your mental well-being, and your brain’s health. In this post you’ll discover how to use your body to heal, center, and strengthen the mind.

Below you’ll discover ten ways to use the body-mind connection to your advantage.

1. Stand Like Wonder Woman. You can use your body to create the mental state of confidence by standing in a power pose. As I explain in my post, Seven Ways Your Body Language Can Positively Influence Your Life, there are certain levels of hormones that are associated with success. Here’s the winning combination of hormones:

  • Successful people have high levels of testosterone–which makes them confident and assertive.
  • Successful people have low levels of cortisol — which means they’re better able to deal with stressful situations.

In turn, your body language–your stance, gestures, and movements–has an impact on your hormones. If you want to achieve the ideal combination of testosterone and cortisol, stand like Wonder Woman — this applies to both women and men. To stand like Wonder Woman, stand tall with your chest out and your hands on your hips.

The next time you feel your confidence taking a nose dive, use your body to replicate the hormonal balance of someone who’s in a confident state of mind by striking a Wonder Woman pose.

2. Clench Your Muscles. You can use your body to give yourself a willpower boost by clenching your muscles. Willpower is your mind’s ability to make the choices that are best for you, and that are aligned with your goals, regardless of impulses to the contrary. So, how can clenching your muscles help your mind make good decisions?

Just as your body takes cues from your mind, your mind takes cues from your body. We associate flexed muscles with endurance and striving for goals. Studies show that when your mind notices that the your muscles are flexed it takes this as an instruction to stay strong and make the right choice.

By clenching your fists the next time that you’re about to reach for a brownie instead of an apple, you’ll increase the chances that you’ll stop yourself and grab the apple.

3. Put Your Awareness On Your Body. You can use your body to become more mindful by putting your awareness on your body. As I write in my post, 13 Ways to Bring More Mindfulness Into Your Life, your mind is usually busy time traveling. Look at the following:

  • Every time you remember something from the past, your mind time travels to the past.
  • Every time you think of something in the future, your mind time travels to the future.

All that mind time travel is not conducive to mindfulness. After all, mindfulness is being fully in the present.

However, regardless of where your mind might be at any given moment, your body is always in the present. When you feel your mind going on one of its time travel expeditions, pull it back to the present by focusing on your body. Here’s the process to follow:

  • Focus on your feet and notice any sensations that are there.
  • Focus on your ankles and notice any sensations that are there.
  • Focus on your calves and notice any sensations that are there.

Continue in this way slowly moving up your body until you reach the top of your head. Keep your mind in the now by focusing on your body.

4. Pinch Your Nostrils. You can use your body to de-stress by pinching your nostrils. That is, do a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing. Here’s how to do it:

  • Block your left nostril with your finger and inhale through your right nostril.
  • Then close the right nostril and exhale through the left.
  • Inhale through the left, then close the left and exhale through the right.
  • Continue following this sequence for 1 to 3 minutes.

Alternate nostril breathing will help to calm an agitated mind. If you’re under a lot of stress and you feel like there’s a barrel of monkeys screeching in your head, tame your monkey mind by inhaling through one nostril and then exhaling through the other.

5. Go for a Run. You can use your body to learn to ignore the little voice in your head telling that you can’t—you can’t become a writer, you can’t start your own business, you can’t travel alone, and so on—by running. When you go for a run, the little voice in your head will begin to complain almost immediately. Here’s what it sounds like:

  • I’m so tired. Why don’t we just skip the run today?
  • Slow down; I can’t do this anymore. My lungs are going to burst! (The little voice in your head is very melodramatic.)
  • Is this really necessary? Why can’t we just walk really fast?

You may want to quit. But, you’re a runner. By running you’ve trained yourself to ignore the little voice in your head. So you ignore the little voice and you keep going, until you’ve reached your running goal for the day.

Then, you apply this lesson to other areas of your life:

  • You keep writing your business plan even when the little voice in your head tells you that you’ll fail.
  • You keep practicing your French even when the little voice in your head makes fun of your accent and mocks you when you make a mistake.

And you can do this because–by running–your body taught you how to ignore the little voice in your head.

6. Hold a Warrior Pose. You can use your body to increase your mind’s ability to focus with yoga. Yoga is great for the body – it can help you lose weight and keep you toned. But it also has many benefits for the mind.

Certain yoga poses–or asanas–produce different mental states, including patience, mental clarity, increased confidence, and courage.

In addition, a study from the University of Illinois conducted a couple of years back showed that practicing yoga for 20 minutes can improve brain function. Researchers said that after practicing yoga, “the participants were better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly, more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information.”

The next time you need help focusing the mind, sit on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you, and fold forward from the hips. By holding a yoga pose your body can help your mind to focus and perform better at cognitive tasks.

7. Turn Up the Corners of Your Mouth. You can use your body to give yourself a mood boost by turning your mouth up at the corners – otherwise known as smiling. If you think of something funny or pleasant, you smile. But the opposite is also true. If you smile you’ll affect your thoughts, in a positive way.

When you’re feeling down, use your body to give yourself a pick-me up by smiling. This works even if you have to hold a pencil horizontally between your teeth to force yourself to smile.

8. Move Like a White Crane Spreads its Wings. You can use your body to improve your memory and thinking by moving like a white crane spreading its wings. That is, by doing Tai Chi. In its simplified version, the mind-body practice of Tai Chi contains 24 postures, and one of these is White Crane Spreading its Wings.

Tai Chi has been shown to boost brain volume. A 2012 study revealed that it makes your brain bigger and can improve memory and thinking. When you need a mind boost, take out a Tai Chi DVD, open your arms like the wings of a white crane, and shift your weight over to one leg.

9. Go For a Hike. You can use your body to allow your mind to frame success by going for a hike. Do the following:

  • Plan a hike to the top of a small hill.
  • Start at the bottom, plan your ascent, and get going.
  • Once you’ve reached the top, you’ve succeeded. Allow yourself to savor your success.

You can then take this success frame of mind and apply it to your other life goals. By achieving physical goals, your body can teach your mind how to succeed in any life area.

10. Knead Your Feet. You can use your body to reduce anxiety and increase feelings of mental well-being by giving yourself a self-massage. Self-massage releases serotonin and dopamine into your system, which are also known as the feel-good hormones. These feel-good hormones will help to calm and anxious mind.

You can give yourself a head massage, a face and ear massage, a neck massage, a foot massage, and so on.

Then, once you’re loaded up with dopamine and serotonin, your head will be in the right place to write the next great American novel, compose that film score, or launch your next product.

The next time you’re working on something important and you start to feel anxious, calm yourself down by giving yourself a massage.

Conclusion

The body can influence the mind. Live your best life by using the body-mind connection to your advantage. Start with the ten ways explained above.

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