You’re a Product of Your Choices

By Azugbene Solomon

The more you love and respect your decisions, the less you need others to love them.

We are a product of our choices, that doesn’t mean bad choices make us bad people, it means we should find fulfilment in our choices to create fulfillment in ourselves. Seeking approval from others is a slippery slope, and that thirst won’t turn off once you get enough imaginary applause from the imaginary audience. Loving your choices is loving yourself, we can’t make everyone happy, many of us struggle to make ourselves happy, but that’s where we should start. Once we create happiness for ourselves we can share that with others, and motivate them to do the same.

Everyone faces tragedies, trials, and obstacles in life. That’s just part of life. No one ever promised life would be easy. And the fact is, life’s heartaches are often opportunities where we can learn and grow the most.

The way you choose to respond to life’s tragedies will determine whether you develop the attitude of a survivor or a victim. You can choose to think and behave in a productive manner, even when you feel pain and sorrow.

Avoid Wallowing in Self-Pity

So often, people waste time feeling sorry for themselves when they encounter a problem. They spend precious minutes of their lives complaining to others about how bad things are or they sit around and dwell on their negative emotions. Each minute they waste complaining and wallowing is a minute that they could have spent trying to improve their situation.

Choosing to wallow in self-pity will only make you remain stuck. Feelings of self-pity will hold you back from making healthy choices. Feeling sorry for yourself will waste time and precious energy.

Time doesn’t heal anything. In fact, if you choose to allow yourself to wallow in self-pity, you’ll feel worse as more time passes. Choosing to take action is the only thing that can make your situation better.

Remember, you aren’t the only one in the world with problems. In fact, there are many people in the world who choose to overcome much bigger problems every day.

Choose to Overcome Adversity

Behaving in a productive manner will reduce your feelings of self-pity. It will help you find strength. Just because you feel pity for yourself, doesn’t mean you have to behave in a pitiful manner.

When you experience problems and adversity, it’s up to you to decide how you want to respond. You can choose to allow it to define you, or you can choose to make it a defining moment. Choosing to face problems head on with an open-mind will help you become a stronger person.

Choose Your Attitude

There are plenty of things in life that aren’t within your control. You can’t control other people, certain health problems, or how the world around you operates. You can however, always choose your attitude. Choosing to go through life with a positive attitude and a desire to be a survivor rather than a victim is up to you.

No matter how bad things are, you always have choices. You can choose to get back up when life pushes you down, even if you don’t feel like. Learning how to tolerate distress will give you more confidence that what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.

Conclusion
You were put on this earth because you’re strong enough to live it. Don’t waste time wishing things were different or insisting that life isn’t fair. Life wasn’t meant to be fair. It was meant to be lived, no matter what circumstances you encounter. Make a conscious choice to live a life that’s worth living, even when you don’t feel like it.

Reference
1. You’re a Product of Your Choices Not a Victim of Your Circumstances by The Poet Project.

2. You’re a Product of Your Choices Not a Victim of Your Circumstances by Amy Morin, LCSW

Give young people meaningful roles

By Azugbene Solomon

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“Having a voice” means more than making a sound when you sing or shout. The ways people express ideas, energy, and insights make each person unique. Helping young people find their voices is one of the best ways to help them be a positive force in their families, schools, clubs, teams, or neighborhoods. This is good for them—and for your community. Young people have a lot more to contribute when their opinions are respected and their talents are tapped. Listen closely to the opinions of young people around you, and you’ll all benefit.

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Research shows when young people have useful roles in their community they feel good about themselves and their future, do better in school, and get into less trouble. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard and appreciated. Only 26 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report that they’ve been given useful roles in their community, according to Search Institute surveys. Allow all young people to have a voice in issues and decisions at home, school, and in the community.

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Building this asset means valuing young people’s talents, skills, interests, and opinions. It means setting aside the belief that adults know more than the younger generation. When you see children and youth as valuable resources, they feel more empowered to contribute to the community, and at school, and home in meaningful, thoughtful ways.

This post originally appeared on Youtherie

You Can Make a Difference

By Azugbene Solomon

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In times of experiencing the “what in the world can I do?” feeling, it’s important to remember that you hold your own personal power at every moment. There are many things you control – your actions and reactions, your communication approach and what you say, your treatment of others, your choices and the steps you take. In times of powerlessness, it’s important to find every way you can to exert your positive energy and positive power. Try not to get drawn into the negativity and morass, but rather keep your head level and objective and decide what you CAN do differently. What is the one step you could take? The one thing you can control and influence? Every flap of the butterfly wings has an effect – how much more can you influence as a human being?

When you start to think you’d be better off staying under the covers someday and just not dealing with any of it, instead resolve to get out of bed and take some of the following steps:

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1. Focus your attention on those things you can control and influence. It can be important to write down all of the things you are concerned about, or that are obstacles for you right now. Make a list and be sure to capture everything. Once you have finished the list, go back and circle those things you can control and influence. Start to plan steps you can take for the things you could control, and – for the time being – ignore the things you can’t. Once they are written on your list, put them to the side mentally as well as physically, and put your energies toward something you can do.

2. Take one small step. Recently with the gun debate, a group of concerned suburban mothers got together for a postcard writing campaign at a local Starbucks. They had cards made up and sat together to write letters to companies who support assault weapons. In another case, people were outraged that a retiring police officer could not retire with his canine companion, who was due to be auctioned off for sale. Almost half a million people signed a petition, and the decision was made to allow the K-9 cop to retire with her partner. These are a couple of examples of large issues that may seem insurmountable, but people took steps to do something. You may agree or disagree with their perspective on either of these issues, but remember the quote by Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. If you are upset about something, and you care, then take a small step and contribute to your own cause or interest.

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3. Find someone to be nice to today. What difference would this make in the overall global issues you may be concerned about? Because how we treat one another is like the butterfly’s wings. If you were to influence a person today with positivity, it’s possible that person would influence the next person, and then the next. You could start a tide turning by just taking one small step. The “wave” at the local sporting event starts with one person, and then others follow along. Start a wave – make it positive.

4. Take that one step you are afraid to take. You might have read about a local meeting where people are getting together to talk about issues they want to part of. You might think “Those are strangers and I don’t feel comfortable,” or maybe it is a march you wanted to attend but you are worried “Will I be safe?” or it is information or education you need to get but you think “I don’t know enough.” Your self-talk is often going to stop you from taking that next step, so be aware of what you are telling yourself. You can try something. Yes, you can.

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5. Remember that life is fluid. While worrisome things are happening everywhere, they have been happening since the beginning of time. Life ebbs and flows – some times are more difficult than others, but human beings are resilient. You are resilient, and you have the opportunity to make a difference right now. Make it.

This post originally appeared on Psychology Today

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TIPS TO HELP YOU BECOME ENCOURAGED AGAIN

By Power of Positivity

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We all feel discouraged from time to time. Some days, we might run full speed ahead and tackle life with no problem, but other times, we might feel like throwing in the towel. Life contains ups and downs for a reason, so that we may appreciate the good times and learn from the hard ones. If you ever feel like giving up, just consult the following inspiration to get you through another day.

HERE ARE TIPS TO HELP YOU BECOME ENCOURAGED AGAIN:

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1. CLAIM YOUR JOY.
When life seems a little boring, realize it’s because of us, not because of a task, our job or the lack of a nightlife. We have the ability to create joy and excitement in everything we do, and it starts with our thoughts around the situation. It is not so much about trying to fix the situation or even ourselves as it is learning new things, finding the good, and focusing our energies on activities that have personal meaning.

2. FREE YOUR MIND.
We need to take the time to look after our emotional well-being by putting time aside every week for a yoga class or a little meditation. The relaxing breathing strategies involved in both will help eliminate stress and reduce anxiety. We will feel better, and will look at things differently.

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3. MAKE LITTLE, POSITIVE CHANGES.
When we make small changes to our daily routine, it brings back the excitement. Take a new exercise class, read a book, or even just doodle – these can get you out of a rut and ignite your creative self. You will soon realize that the act of starting and doing something new can give you some confidence to continue creating.

4. REFRAME NEGATIVE THINKING.
Negative thinking is common, but it’s how we handle the thoughts that will either drain our excitement for life, or build on it. We can’t stay in the midst of negativity and hope to be our best selves. Understanding our negative thoughts and reframing them into thoughts that better serve us keeps us from getting stuck.

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5. PRACTICE OPTIMISM.
An optimist is more excited about everything, not just life! If you’re not presently an optimistic individual, don’t worry – optimism may be learned. And it’s not whether the glass is half full or half empty, it’s knowing you can fill it up.

Teach yourself to see the other side, even with the small setbacks, little adversities, frustrations, disappointments, and letdowns in daily experiences. Look for the lessons and trust things will work out. When you do, it’s easy to get excited about the possibility.

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6. ELIMINATE WASTED TIME.
When we start to look at our day, we’ll probably notice quite a bit of time wasted on non-value added activities like Candy Crush, Facebook or mindless television. Wasted time is energy draining, and as mentioned earlier, it’s hard to get excited when your energy is drained. When you know down deep you need to do something, you will find the time and the energy. But beware, because time fillers have a way of creeping in.

This post originally appeared on Power of Positivity

5 Ways to Become the Person You Aspire to Be

By RIZZARR

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As you go through life and work toward your dreams, knowing who you are and who you aspire to be will remain the keys to your success. Except becoming who you want to be isn’t easy. It requires tremendous courage, perseverance and a steadfast belief in yourself.

The road to becoming your best, most successful self can feel challenging at times and it can take a lot out of you. There will be moments when you might want to give up on yourself and your dreams. You must believe success is possible, because as you continue on your journey, you will eventually embark upon those moments, the ones that you have always imagined coming true.

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To motivate you on this pursuit, here are five ways you can become the person who you aspire to be:

1. Be authentic.
You cannot grow if you are not true to yourself. You have to be honest with yourself about what you are passionate about and who it is you really want to be, despite critics and naysayers.

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2. Have vision.
People’s dreams perish for lack of vision. Without having the idea in mind of who you want to be, you will not know where or how to aim for it. Keep your vision top of mind as you reach each milestone to motivate you to push forward.

3. Embrace a never-give-up attitude.
Curveballs will forever be coming your way as you pursue your dream. You might have moments when you want to throw in the towel because you just can’t keep fighting all the challenges and setbacks you encounter. But you have to push through and realize you really do have everything you need to reach your full potential.

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4. Remove the naysayers and self-doubt.
Most people settle for less. And many of those same people will also convince you to settle for less. That’s when that self-doubt invades your thoughts. You might have moments when you no longer believe in your dreams—you have to push aside those moments, people and your own self-limiting beliefs. Always move forward.

5. Believe in yourself.
As author Richard Bach once wrote, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.” So no matter how discouraged you might get at times, you must know that if you can dream something, then you will always have everything in you to make it come true. You just have to believe in yourself and your abilities to achieve what you set your mind to.

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This post originally appeared on RIZZARR.com.

The Purpose of Youth Work – Youth Work Essentials

Youth work contributes to young peoples’ learning and development. The key purpose of youth work is to:

“Enable young people to develop holistically, working with them to facilitate their personal, social and educational development, to enable them to develop their voice, influence and place in society and to reach their full potential.”

Youth groups, youth workers, leaders and volunteers apply this by:  

Building young people’s self-esteem and self-confidence.Developing young people’s ability to manage personal and social relationships.Creating learning opportunities for young people to develop new skills.Encouraging positive group atmospheres.Building the capacity of young people to consider risk, make reasoned decisions and take control.Helping young people to develop a ‘world view’ which widens horizons and invites social commitment.Where does youth work take place?

Effective youth work takes place in a wide range of settings: youth clubs, uniformed and voluntary youth organisations, youth counselling units, outreach and detached projects, youth cafes, youth arts groups, youth action and participation groups, drug and alcohol projects and other health education groups.

What are the values and principles of youth work?

Young people choose to participate

The young person chooses to be involved, not least because they want to relax, meet friends and have fun.

Youth work must build from where young people are

Youth work operates on young people’s own personal and recreational territory – within both their geographic and interest communities.

Youth work recognises the young person and the youth worker as partners in a learning process

The young person is recognised as an active partner who can, and should, have opportunities and resources to shape their lives.

Curriculum for Excellence

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) supports young people as they learn how to be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

CfE supports the idea that learning and achievement can take place in a variety of formats and settings; not just schools. The Building the Curriculum documents make it clear that all agencies that work with young people have a role to play in CfE.  This includes youth clubs and groups.

There are strong links between the Nature and Purpose of Youth Work and Curriculum for Excellence, particularly with regards to the young person-centred approach and an emphasis on empowerment and health and well-being.

More information about the links between youth work and Curriculum for Excellence can be found in Youth Scotland’s Quick Guide.

This article was first published at Youth Work Essential.

The Greatest Advice for Young People

10 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Read Right Now.

Are you on the 20 something scratching your head?
Worrying about problems?

Don’t worry about it.

I’m here to remind you that you will get trough it.Let’s face it: We are groomed from child. We are trained to become something we are not.

There is a lot of pressure when we are at this age.

Are you on the 20 something scratching your head?

Worrying about problems?

Don’t worry about it.

I’m here to remind you that you will get trough it.

Let’s face it: We are groomed from child. We are trained to become something we are not. There is a
lot of pressure when we are at this age.

lot of pressure when we are at this age.

Get a job. Get Married. Graduate. Get a Dog.

1. It is Okay to Feel Lost.

Everything is happening at the same time, and we just want to chill. Right?

— “What am I doing right now?”

 — “Where am I heading right now?”

 — “Why I feel like this right now?”

You feel lost because, just maybe, everything you’ve been preparing to do is coming to fruition.

And you don’t want to do it anymore.

But realize that you don’t have to have everything solved,

you are still young and with a lot of life ahead.

Change for Better. 1% everyday is enough.

2. The World Is Not a Fairy Tails Anymore.

Everything is happening at the same time, and we just want to chill. Right?

— “What am I doing right now?”

 — “Where am I heading right now?”

 — “Why I feel like this right now?”

You feel lost because, just maybe, everything you’ve been preparing to do is coming to fruition.

And you don’t want to do it anymore.

But realize that you don’t have to have everything solved,

you are still young and with a lot of life ahead.

Change for Better. 1% everyday is enough.

2. The World Is Not a Fairy Tails Anymore.

You are starting to see the world as it really is.

You are starting to realize that things are not as they seem to be.

And from your research, you realized that most of what we’ve been told is full of lies, used to fuel the matrix system. The 9–5 work to live system.

But it’s okay to have a change of heart.

To reanalyze things, to get a grasp on the whole situation.

What keeps me grounded is to realize that I’m always learning anyways.

Nobody was around when I started to see the truth about the Planet Earth.

Enlightening is knowing how much you don’t know.

Change is the only constant on the universe.

Get used to it, baby.

3. People Come and Go, The Right Ones Always Stay.

When we are at 21 everything is very confusing.

— “What happened to my friends when I was 4 years old?”

As we evolve, we start to meet new people based on how we see the world. Sometimes we hung around people as we hung clothes in the wardrobe.

And it is okay to let go when they no longer serve our higher interests.

4. Food Experimentation is Very Natural

You might been drinking milk, and then you want to try rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, oat milk. Vegan Cheese. Seitan. Tofu.

Just making experiments with your food.

You are never content, and not ever satisfied with a fixed diet. Eating the same mixed eggs with salt and oregano does not satisfy you anymore.

It is key to pick a food diet that works for you. The best way to do this is experimenting. It takes a lot of time to perfect what your body accept most.

Food is the fuel to our life, and the better we eat, the better we become. You don’t know if you can be a vegan until you try it.

I encourage people to do it.

Try The 7 Day Vegan Challenge and see how it is to live without eating those beautiful little cows for a week. You might even be surprised.

5. No Is A Very Important Word.

When we are at 21, everyone wants to pull us to different directions.

Parents want to pull us this way. Friends want to pull us that way. Girlfriend want to pull us in the opposite way, and we want to pull to here and now.

It’s like a total war out there.

No is a important word. When you have the confidence to say no, it’s okay. You know free yourself from the burden of trying to please everyone.

Learn to say no. You are not letting anybody down if you stay true to yourself.

6. It’s Your Life, not Theirs.

This might seem too simple, but it is very important to understand it.

We are living someone else’s life. We are doing everything our parents want. That is why so many people are screwed up on the planet. Because we are listening to it.

But trust yourself. Listen to your heart. Trust your instincts.

Parents? They have opinions.

Friends? They have opinions.

How you feel is hat matters the most. You have to remind yourself that every single day.

7. Straight and simple: It’s Okay To Fail.

Is not the end of the world to get rejected, to make mistakes, to fail.

There are no failures, only stepping stones to help you become your greatest version. You got to go through many of them to lean how to be successful.

If you dind’t get the grade you wanted — who cares?

You still have time! Even tho The Buda said that “the problem is that people think they have time”.

8. Life Would Be Pretty Boring If You Figured All Out.

Sometimes, what I found is that when you don’t know what is going to happen, it’s more exciting.

You don’t need to know what is going to happen tomorrow.

Let go of worrying about the future. Concentrate on being in the here and know and life will be more fulfilling.

We take care of the future when we learn how to take care of the present moment.

9. Get Information From Alternative Sources.

If you are studying in college or somewhere else, get information elsewhere.

You pay for real education with time and energy, not with money.

Just because you are studying something, doesn’t mean you learn it all. There is so much that they don’t teach us. The good news is that you can learn it right now.

Don’t wait until you are 30 to start learning.

10. Where You Are Right Now Does Not Define Where You’ll Always Be.

Don’t let problems shape you. This does not define you.

You can change it up.

The problems are not you, is just a phase. So push forward and keep in mind that you can have pleasant experiences by learning certain lessons.

Nobody is perfect.

It is okay to be mad, to be angry sometimes.

Everybody you see has messed up.

Everybody has been terrified along their journeys.

Your life isn’t perfect and It wasn’t perfect when you were 5.

A beautiful thing is never perfect.

If you are 20-something, you maybe going trough a crazy identity crisis.

The secret to it is that we are not our identity. We are not who we’ve been told.

We are all united, just inspiring each others.

Have a beautiful day.

Reference

Medium.com, Article by Fernando Aguilar

5 Ways to Discover Your Talent

By Azugbene Solomon 

Is talent born or made? The dictionary says talent is a “natural endowment” of a person—so we’re all born with our talents. It’s up to us to grow and develop them, but the seeds are in us at birth. Talent is an ability or natural capacity or potential that we have, which may range from our creativity or intellect or social skills to our athletic abilities. We all have talents, but we’re not always so good at identifying what they are. In fact, our best talents can be right in front of us, and we miss them. We’re so busy searching for a talent we think is hot or lucrative, or sexy or fun, or more like how we imagine our life being, that we overlook the actual tremendous potential we have sitting there waiting to be discovered.

If you can determine what your talents are, you can tap into an amazing resource that can help you in every aspect of your life, including your business. Whether you are searching for the perfect type of business to open or you want to find ways to grow the one you have, you may find the answer in your personal talents.

Ways To Discover Your Talent

1. Listen to others. 

You may be clueless about your talent, but your friends aren’t. So ask them. People around you usually know what your talents are, even when you don’t, because when they need something done well—you’re the one they’re always asking, or sending their friends to. Have you ever wondered why everyone wants you to help them negotiate that new car deal? Or help them with repairing their credit, or fixing their car? If you think about it, people have likely been telling you that you are good at something for a long time. You just weren’t listening. Now is the time to listen!

2. What comes easily to you? 

Are there things that you find really easy or obvious to do, while others may struggle or muddle their way through? If you have things that you find super easy, you assume they’re easy for everyone. They’re almost always not. Just because you believe that they should be just as easy, or obvious, for others, that’s not how it works. In this scenario, they struggle while you stand there feeling like it was a cakewalk! If that’s you, chances are that’s a talent.

3. What you enjoy most. 

Your talents may be demonstrating itself in other ways. For examples, are there magazine topics that you just can’t get enough of? Are there shows you love? Think about what it is that you love to do most when you have free time. If you are drawn towards it, fascinated by it, and enjoy playing with, exploring or practicing it, it’s a natural talent.

4. Shut up already! 

Is there a specific subject that you love to talk about, often to the point that your friends want to shoot you? Consider the subject, perhaps it may be one of your hidden talents or is connected to one.

5. Just ask. 

Ask everyone you know who is willing to give you an honest assessment about what they think your talents are. Ask them to, for the moment, ignore your bad habits and have them share the one or two things that they think you are hands down most talented at. Ask a lot of people who know you, but always ask them one-on-one. Compile the results, and whalah! There is your hidden talent!

Key Components

When you know what your talents are, you feel more in tune with your life. The sun shines brighter, jerks are less jerky, and all is well with the world because you’re on track. You have a purpose. Add a vision and a plan to your talent and you can also use those talents to excel in the business world. Whether you leverage those talents in your product or service, or you use them to network and make quality connections, it’s important to know what your talents are. When you capitalize on your talents, it no longer feels like work, it just feels like living. And anything that makes business and life more enjoyable is bound to be a good thing!

Reference

Eradicate Entrepreneurial Poverty by Mikemichalowicz.com

How to Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement

By Maria Jensen

Today, most people like the idea about self-improvement. It’s trendy.

But before you can improve yourself, you have to get to know who you are, what you want, and why it’s so crucial to know the answers to those questions.

Once you know who you are, what you stand for, and what you want, then you can go on to work on self-improvement.

This article will take you through the main reasons why you should take the time to get to know yourself, how to get to know yourself, and then finally how to seek self-improvement.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Why You Should Get to Know Yourself
  2. How to Get to Know Yourself
  3. How to Seek Self-Improvement
  4. Final Thoughts

Why You Should Get to Know Yourself
Many people go through life without getting a clear understanding of themselves. There’s a difference between wanting to be someone and then the actions that creates a person. It’s easy to tell people who you are, but can you actually walk the talk?

We have a tendency to brush away our shortcomings and play a certain role that we’ve intentionally or unintentionally created for ourselves. It may work for a while, but it won’t help you achieve anything in the long run.

Yes, you can say you’re a good spouse. People will believe you when they see the picture-perfect image on your office, but if you go home to a different story, it doesn’t really matter.

In the end, the opinion that matters the most are the one we hold about ourselves. A lie will drain you, overwhelm you, and unresolved emotions will resurface.

Maybe you choose a certain path many years ago and now you feel stuck. You look in the mirror and you don’t recognize yourself. The week seems endless and it’s only 7am on a Monday morning.

These are just examples. It doesn’t mean that only unhappy people need to get know themselves and seek self-improvement. Even if your life is truly as great as it looks like, it’s always worth checking in with yourself.

It’s natural to change throughout life, but too many people are afraid of reacting to this change or realize that the path they once choose may not be right anymore.

Change is scary, but it’s even more scary to ignore your emotions and not react to them. For better or worse – change is the only constant. If you get to know yourself now, then you’ll be able to handle change better. Obviously, you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.

There’s no time limit for getting to know yourself or window of opportunity. Remember that:

“Self-improvement and success often occur together. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the same thing.”

You can be at the top of your game to the outside world, but still feel the need to get to know yourself and seek self-improvement.

It’s never too late to get to know yourself, because once you do, then you’ll be ready for whatever comes next. When you know yourself, a new road won’t seem scary because you already know whether you’re planning on turning left or right.

How to Get to Know Yourself
So, it’s settled. It’s a good idea to know this person that you wake up to every morning and look at while brushing your teeth. The person in the mirror that kind of looks the same, but yet somehow seems different over time. Here comes the million dollar question: where do you start?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick answer (or solution) to this. It isn’t math. There’s no right or wrong. You can’t find a page with all the secret answers and ace the test.

Most people will get a better feeling of who they are over time by simply looking back at their previous actions, reactions and decisions. But you can also choose to take an active part of the progress right now.

Here are some active actions you can take to get to know yourself:

1. Increase Your Self-Awareness
It’s all about you now. Let the outside world exist on its own. It’s not about your neighbour or the guy from high school that posted yet another sunny picture from Dubai. It’s not about them.

Take some time to look at yourself. What have you been doing? How do you react to certain situations? What makes you smile?

And if you keep going back to comparing yourself to a specific person, then ask yourself why you’re so fixated on them. Figure yourself out. You’re worth knowing.

2. Face Your Fears
It might seem obvious, but for some reason you keep avoiding that one thing.

A lot of people let fear stand in their way even though they know deep down they have the ability to face it. It’s easy to say of course, but if you manage to overcome your weakness, it will change you for the better. You will learn from it, and you’ll know a whole lot more about your character.

Not sure how to conquer your fears? This guide can help you:

How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

3. Focus on Your Strengths
It’s always a good idea to focus on what you thrive at and nurture it. It will help you become more successful, but you’ll also get a better understanding of yourself as our strengths are a big part of who we are.

Even if you’ve been running towards the wall for a while and your head is really starting to hurt – you’ll always have some strengths in you that you can return to. Go back and focus on them and see where they’ll lead you. Maybe a talent will turn into a career. Maybe a character trait will turn into a new path or relationship.

Now, let’s move on to how to go further and seek self-improvement.

Ryan Holiday said:

”You can’t learn if you think you already know. You will not find the answers if you’re too conceited and self-assured to ask the questions. You cannot get better if you’re convinced you are the best.”

How to Seek Self-Improvement
It’s important to leave ego behind and realize that you’ll never move forward, if you don’t accept that you’re not the best. You can always become better. Maybe you’re currently the best at your job, but you should never stop competing against yourself. It’s not about putting endless pressure on yourself. It’s about keeping yourself in movement.

Maybe you did some soul-searching and you realized that you did choose the right path. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to improve yourself. Or maybe you just realized that you want a completely different life. You quit your job, bought a dog and moved to a new city. Great, but you’re not done yet.

Once you tell yourself you have done what you set out to do, then you’ll run into the same wall that knocked you out in the first place.

Self-improvement is not about putting yourself down. Self-improvement is about lifting yourself up higher. The only way to do that is by accepting that you’re not the best. You can always become better. Even (or maybe especially) if you’re only competing against yourself.

Final Thoughts
Self-improvement can be applied to anything from learning a new skill, learning to deal with your anger, or putting yourself in a new situation that scares you. Some people need to change their scenery completely. Some people just need to attend a meeting every Thursday. Others may need to take up a self-defence class to feel in control again.

Sometimes life is not about gaining or achieving. Sometimes life is simply about losing and letting go.

People are capable of doing (almost) everything that the people they admire are doing. You can’t limit yourself by saying you can’t do a specific thing, because you’re you. It all comes down to mind-set and commitment. Get to know yourself and then set out clear goals.

Aristotle once said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Reference
[1] ^ Mark Manson, The subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, page 3
[2] ^ Ryan Holiday: Ego is the enemy, page 41

This article was first published at Lifehack

These 5 Skills Are More Important for Entrepreneurs Than Any Fancy Degree

By Bill Green

One of the great fallacies about building a professional career is believing where you went to school dictates how successful you become.

This is one of the most heavily debated topics in the business world: the effective return on investment for attending college and/or pursue an MBA. Now, I’m not saying formal education is a poor investment, by any means. For many people, school is an opportunity to “know what you don’t know,” and that in itself makes it a worthwhile pursuit.

Where people make the mistake, however, is in thinking the degree itself is all that’s needed.

They believe that because they attended the classes and passed the tests, then where they went to school will carry them to professional success–and that’s simply not true. As someone who didn’t end up graduating from college, I can tell you firsthand that over decades of building businesses, it’s the working skills I value in my partners and employees over a fancy resume. I would much rather hire the kid who has tried and failed, than the one who passed his or her classes with flying colors, but never attempted to put their theoretical knowledge to the test in the real world.

This is a topic I speak about at length in my book, All In. Again, I’m not saying a formal education or an MBA is a waste of time or money. Just make sure that, in addition to building your resume, you make it a point to acquire the following 5 skills.

These are the things that ultimately make you a professional success story–whether you climb the ladder of a larger organization, or you build your own from the ground up:

1. Honesty (With Yourself)

Lots of people have ideas.

Students, especially, before stepping into the real world, tend to get caught up in their ideas. They love thinking about them, brainstorming them, and sharing them with their friends and family. Unfortunately, ideas without execution don’t go very far. And while there is absolutely value in coming up with great ideas, an idea cannot become “great” until it faces its first customer.

One of the most valuable skills you can acquire early in your professional career is knowing the difference between what sounds great in theory, and what holds real value to a paying customer or a loyal user. And the only way to acquire this skill is to try a lot of different things. The more you create, and the more you try to build yourself, the faster you will learn what people are willing to pay for and what they would rather do without.

You’ll learn how to be honest about whether your idea has real potential or not.

2. Leadership

Entrepreneurship, working within a startup, or being part of a smaller team within a larger corporate environment, all require some capacity of team interaction.

Many entrepreneurs or “intrepreneurs” (those who bring massive value inside larger organizations) tend to forget that the best business ideas in the world require more than just plug-and-chug execution in order to be successful. All execution requires teamwork, and all teamwork requires a lengthy list of soft skills in order to keep people motivated, focused, and loyal. One of those soft skills is the ability to communicate your vision and lead those around you to victory.

The best way I’ve found to acquire the skill of leadership is to put yourself in environments where you either have the opportunity to learn from a talented leader, or to be forced to step up and become a leader yourself. Ideally, you’ll have a number of both of these experiences in your professional career.

3. Discipline

The kind of discipline school encourages is not the same discipline the real world asks of you.

In school, the punishment for not being “disciplined” with your work is quite inconsequential, all things considered. You might fail a test, or get a bad grade for the semester. But when you’re starting a company, or working within someone else’s company and handling paying clients, suddenly the consequences become very real. Your mistakes can be measured in cash.

Taking the idea of discipline a step further, school plans the path out for you. What is much more difficult is determining where you want to head on the path, while simultaneously dealing with unforeseen challenges at the same time. Persisting in the face of uncertainty, pressure, or the potential of failure, requires a level of discipline that cannot be acquired in a semester.

Discipline is something that takes years to master.

The best way to get started, then, is to find as many things in life to become disciplined about. If you can become disciplined with your finances, your daily schedule, your health, etc., then you are creating the habits that will set you up for success.

4. Optimism

This is a skill many don’t consciously acquire.

But the truth is, entrepreneurship and professional advancement is tough work. Every day isn’t great. The wins are far less frequent than the losses. And it can be very easy to fall into a state of mind where your day to day is seen as stressful, overwhelming, and a pain.

Listen, if you want to make it to the summit, remember this: it’s all in your head.

The ability to be optimistic and positive, even in the face of great obstacles, is not to be undervalued. You’re the one who chose to pursue a path of success. You’re the one who wanted to build something great. You’re the one who chose this life, for yourself. So, don’t look for the bad, the ugly, and the stressful. Instead, look for things to be thankful for: like the fact that you even have the opportunity to pursue what you’re passionate about in the first place.

Optimism isn’t a weakness. Optimism is the state of mind that will give you endurance for the long road ahead.

5. Resilience

Last but not least, I firmly believe it’s imperative that every young individual find opportunities, any opportunity at all, to build the skill of resilience.

For me, I gained this skill-building my first company, Wilmar, starting as a teenager in a flea market. There I was, selling hand tools off of a fold-up card table prices–I heard the word “No” dozens of times each day. But when I would eventually hear a “Yes,” I learned the importance of resilience and persistence. Had I accepted the first, or second, or twenty-third “No,” I might never have built Wilmar, a company that ended up eventually being acquired by Home Depot.

The reason why I always take fancy resumés with a grain of salt is because a resumé doesn’t always show you how resilient someone is. Sure, I want to know where you went to school, but I also want to know about a time in your life when someone told you, “No, that’s not going to work,” and you pressed on anyway. Regardless of whether you were successful or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that you tried, and you became a little more resilient in the process.

This article was first published at Inc