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

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

2 Ideas That Could Immediately Improve Your Life

By Azugbene Solomon

Dave Asprey, founder of the Bulletproof Brand and New York Times bestselling author of multiple books, recently released his newest book, Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators, and Mavericks Do to Win at Life.

It includes a lot of fascinating and useful ideas.

In this post, I’m going to highlight two you can immediately use.

1. Update your environment to change your personal evolution.
Asprey is known for being one of the world’s top biohackers. In the book, he provides the definition:

“That exactly meets the definition of biohacking: changing the environment around you so you have full control of your own biology.”

This quote reminded me of Marshall Goldsmith, who said:

“If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.”

Put simply, human beings are the product of their environment. Some environments are domesticated whereas others are more “natural.” Every environment has different rules and different possibilities for growth and development.

The environment you select determines to a great extent what you evolve into. That, actually, was the concept of Willpower Doesn’t Work, the book I published in 2018.

Here are some of Asprey’s specific recommendations:

  • Get some indoor plants. (Be sure to get organic plants without pesticide on them and control for mold growth in the soil. I use Homebiotic spray, which contains natural soil bacteria that combat indoor fungus.)
  • Go for a hike in nature every time you travel.
  • Let your kids play in the dirt. Better yet, join them.
  • Take a walk in nature once a week. Increase your return by adding community (bring friends!).
  • Eliminate antibacterial cleansers and bleach.
  • Bring potted plants (including dirt!) into your home to benefit from soil bacteria.

2. Gratitude rewires your brain.
According to Asprey, gratitude is stronger than fear. Here’s specifically what he says in Game Changers:

  • Overcoming fear that does not serve you is necessary to access your greatness. Courage works, but it takes a lot of energy to maintain. Save courage for when your life is actually on the line. The rest of the time, use gratitude to turn off fear at the cellular level. Freedom from fear leads to happiness, and happiness is what makes you perform your best at whatever you choose to do.

Throughout the final chapter of the book, Asprey explains with loads of science how gratitude not only rewires your brain but also completely resets your biology. That is biohacking at its finest.

Change your environment to enhance your biology.

Say three things you’re grateful for every night to rewire your brain and reset/upgrade your biology.

This article was first published at Inc

How to Stay Away from Friends Who Are Bad Influences

Featured photo credit: Getty Images

Azugbene Solomon

It can be difficult to stay away from friends who are a bad influence on you. Take time to notice which friends pressure you, are disrespectful, or try to manipulate you. These friends who are a bad influence are likely stressing you out and not treating you like a true friend should. If you can get help from others, set healthy boundaries, and make priorities for good friendships, you’ll be better able to manage or stay away from friends who try to influence you. Just remember your values and needs, and that sometimes bad friendships have to end.

Recognizing Bad Friendships

1 Notice who feels like a bad friend.

Notice who makes you uncomfortable, pressures you to do things you or parents don’t agree with, or teases you when you don’t want to do the things they want to do. These types of friends are bad influences, because they don’t respect your opinions and values. Instead, they try to pressure you and make you feel guilty if you don’t agree with them. Look out for friends who :

  • Boss you around
  • Use drugs
  • Are disrespectful or mean to others
  • Are destructive of property or violent
  • Try to manipulate you
  • Make you feel bad about your eating habits or body
  • Belittle your ideas or opinions

2. Realize the effects this friend has on you.

You’ve probably been noticing for awhile that this friend has a bad influence on you, but maybe you’ve been trying to give them more chances. You probably even defend them to your parents or other friends who object to the way they treat you. Take some time to think about the effect these friends have on you. Ask yourself if you feel:

  • Used
  • Drained
  • Stressed out
  • Unsupported
  • Trapped
  • Guilty for things you’ve done with the friend

3. Ask for help.

If you are having trouble saying “no” to or walking away from a friend who’s a bad influence, ask for help from a more trusted friend, your parents, or the school counselor. These people can help support you and make you feel better for the next time you face that friend. Other people can help give you a more objective opinion about if the friendship is a good one or worth saving.

  • Depending on what your friend has been doing, your parents may want to talk to their parents. They may also want you to spend less time with those friends or spend time with them in safer ways, like at home.

4. Talk to your friend.

Confronting someone who has upset you or is a bad influence can be hard, but you’ll have to take responsibility and try, otherwise they’ll just keep treating you the same way. By talking to them, you’re showing you care about yourself and them. Keep in mind that they may become angry or not understand. Try to focus on your friend’s behavior you disagree with, rather than criticizing them.

  • You can say, “I know you’re a good person and I know you’ve been having a hard time since your parents divorced. But I don’t want to be around your smoking and drinking at school. I feel unsafe when you do that and I’m worried about you.”

5. Set boundaries with your friend.

To protect yourself if you still want to be around the friend, you’ll need to set some boundaries so that they know they can’t treat you that way anymore. You’ll have to be direct and clear about what you need from them and what is not okay with you.

  • Limit the time you spend with that friend
  • Express your feelings and needs honestly
  • Leave situations where your friend offends you or puts you in danger

Don’t force them to change, that’s up to them

6. End the friendship.

If your friend continues to drain you, stress you out, or otherwise remain a bad influence on you, end the relationship. You cannot force them to change, but you also have to respect yourself and listen to your needs. Let your friend know that you’re ending the friendship not because of who they are as a person, but because of their actions and how they’ve made you feel.

  • You can say, “I really care about you, but our friendship isn’t working for me. It doesn’t seem our interests are the same and I don’t feel good about myself in this friendship.”

Moving on From Bad Friendships

1 Stay away.

Once you’ve ended the friendship, it may be difficult to completely avoid friends who are a bad influence, particularly if you’re in the same classes, live close to each other, or have mutual friends. It will be awkward for awhile, particularly if there are hurt feelings involved, but it’s important to be firm in your decision in taking time apart. To help you stay away you can:

  • Defriend or unfollow them on social media
  • Avoid talking about them with your mutual friends
  • Avoid answering any texts or phone calls from them
  • Avoid sitting next to them in class or at other events

2. Overcome hurt caused by the bad friendship.

Even if you were ready for the friendship to end, breaking up with a friend can take a toll on you. Take time to move on and overcome the hurt caused by your bad friendship. Allow yourself to process any feelings you have about the friendship ending, either on your own, with a parent or loved one, with a good friend, or with a counselor.

  • Cry and let yourself be sad
  • Write a goodbye letter, but keep it for yourself

3. Determine what you want in a friend.

Ask yourself what qualities most troubled you about the bad friendship, and how you can keep that from happening again. Good friendships are well balanced. Each friend gets their needs met fairly equally, and you’ll feel safe, supported, and appreciated in a good friendship. You’ll want friends who are there for you in good times and in bad. Look for people who :

  • Build you up
  • Genuinely care about how you are
  • Don’t focus only on themselves

4. Try to make new friends.

Once you know the types of people you want to be friends with and the types you’re trying to stay away from, put yourself out there. Look for people who have similar interests as you and ask to spend time with them. You can also try new activities to meet new, different kinds of people.

It might be uncomfortable or scary at first, just like asking someone out on a date. You can say, “Hi, I noticed your t-shirt. Do you like that band, too? I heard they’re coming out with a new album this weekend. Do you want to go check it out at the record store with me sometime?”

5. Spend time with yourself and your family.

If you’re having trouble making new friends, or just aren’t ready, focus on yourself. Make time for yourself by exploring new hobbies, focusing on school, and doing extracurricular activities that you like. Spend time with your family doing things you enjoy. Remember that friends are an important part of life, but they’re not the only part! Take some time away from friends to build back up your sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Helping Your Kids with Bad Friendships

1. Take a step back.

Before you’re tempted to talk to your child about their bad influence friend, think about what’s making you react to their friend in that way. You might be putting all the blame on your child’s friend, when in fact there’s something going on with your child that’s pushing them toward that friend. Understand that it’s normal during adolescence for your child to try to fit in and imitate their peers, so it might not be only about peer pressure or negative influence from the friend.

2. Avoid always criticizing.

Even if you don’t like your child’s friends or the way they treat your child, it’s important to avoid only giving negative feedback about their friends. This will only push your child further toward those friends and push them away from you. They’ll get angry and defensive and will be less likely to come to you about that friend in the future.

  • Seek out positives. You can ask, “What do you like about your friend?” or “What do you get from this friendship?”
  • Let them know they have choices. You can say, “You don’t have to spend time with those friends. You don’t have to be treated this way.”

3. Be clear about inappropriate behavior.

When your child’s friend does something you’re not happy about, like talking back to you or stealing something from your home, be clear and direct with your child about the behavior you don’t like. Don’t judge the friend’s personality or character. Be clear about what limits you’ll have for your child and that friend from now on.

  • You can say, “I’m sure your friend is a good person, and I don’t know everything they’re going through, but I don’t like that your friend stole beer from our refrigerator. I don’t want you to think it’s okay to do that, here or at someone else’s home. He isn’t allowed to come back over until he apologizes to me.”

4 Set limits and structure.

Sometimes you won’t be able to keep your child or teen away from friends who are bad influences just by talking to them. Instead, you can keep your child busy with structured activities during the week. Control more of their schedule by setting limits on who they spend time with, when, where, and for how long.

  • If you have a child 12 or under, you can plan visits to relatives, schedule doctors’ appointments, or schedule time with other friends instead of allowing them time with bad influences. When they do spend time with the bad friend, make sure it’s at your house or that you’re nearby and can listen in on interactions.
  • If you have a teenager, you can limit the nights they’re allowed to go out and make sure you know what their plans are when they do go out. Let them know their activities with friends have to be approved by you first, and enforce consequences if you find out they did something other than what they first told you.

5 Be patient.

Friendships come and go during adolescence. Once your kids reach high school, their brains and identities are developing even more. They’ll start to feel more secure in who they are and what they believe, and they won’t be as easily swayed by friends and peer pressure. Be patient with this process and trust that as long as you support their independence while providing them with some structure and limits, they’ll make good choices in friends.

Reference
Stay Away From Bad Friends by wikihow.com

The Reasons Why Other People’s Success Should Inspire You


By Azugbene Solomon


I have seen this many times and, honestly, I have been guilty of it myself: Facebook posts about amazing new jobs or acceptances into top schools. Instagrams littered with drunken photos of full moon parties in South East Asia. Her engagement. His new car. Their cute baby. The list goes on.

As you witness your peers start to take these steps, you will begin to reflect on your own life and what you’ve done with it — or rather, what you haven’t done.

You will feel left behind, as if others’ progression is your regression. You will feel envy and resentment of others for their achievements, status and possessions.

There are many reasons, however, why success should be celebrated and not condemned. Below are three all-encompassing examples of why we should meet peoples’ successes with positivity.

LEARN FROM OTHERS

Work to feel admiration and good will. Provide encouragement. Learn from people. If you want to start a business, do it. Propose to your girlfriend, travel in Europe, learn a new skill; chances are, you probably know someone who has already done it, so gain whatever valuable insight you can.

Look to the people who are doing what you want to do and ask them for counsel and advice. Which hostel in France was best? Where did you buy that engagement ring? What platform do you use for your blog?

Can you take a look at my business plan? These, and countless other questions, are things you can run by experienced peers.

Get all of the free advice you can because the people you are asking will likely be more than happy to help. These people understand the value of exchanging ideas, working together and collaborating. Use their wisdom to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes as those who came before you.

ABSORB SUCCESS

Surely, we all wish success could be contagious, like the common cold — make out with a millionaire and wake up an entrepreneur. Sadly, this is not how it works; but, spending time with happy and successful people can inspire you to reach your potential.

Of course, luck and chance do play their roles in our lives, but it is also about seizing opportunity, being resourceful, adapting and making the most of any and all situations in which you may find yourself.

This is the key to success: The right combination of luck and being ready for an opportunity. Take action and experience the results.

You really are the product of those with whom you associate. We may suffer from delusions of grandeur, but really, if your friends are not living up to their potentials and challenging themselves, you likely aren’t either.

By spending time with and learning from driven, ambitious and successful people, you will start to adapt and, in turn, adopt their mentality. Put yourself in situations that hold the promise of adventure and opportunity.

This will allow you, in a sense, to absorb the successful traits of those around you so that you can incorporate them into your lifestyle.

ENVY IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE

Being envious of others will not affect their success but will only deter and prolong your own lack of it. You are wasting time instead of creating and seizing opportunity.

Do not compare your life to anyone else’s because you will never know the whole story. This will only lead you to second-guess every decision you make and further delay your eventual success and growth.

Separate yourself from the negativity because it will do nothing but bring you down. Examine other people’s successes with hope, not jealousy. Allow their successes to ignite your perseverance and determination. When you’re true to yourself, your life will be better.

Things That Will Happen When You Enjoy the Success of Others

While jealously is a normal and common reaction, learning to stifle it can open up more doors than you could ever imagine. Take, for examples, these 10 things that happen when you learn to enjoy other people’s success:

1. You will feel happier

Emotions are contagious and self-replicating. Negativity breeds more negativity and positivity breeds positivity. When you enjoy the success of others, you start a positive feedback loop of positive thinking in your own mind. It works even if you have to fake your enthusiasm at first.

2. You will be liked

When you learn to celebrate other people’s accomplishments in a sincere way, you will stand out from the pack of people who only superficially support them. They will be able to tell when you really mean it and they will feel like you are a real ally. And it never hurts to have successful friends.

3. You will learn new things

When you stop feeling jealous and actually start celebrating other people’s victories, you will start to recognize patterns of behavior that lead to success. By internalizing what different people do to achieve their goals and remembering which strategies work and which don’t, you will gain a better understanding of what is required to move yourself forward.

4. You will be exposed to opportunities

Successful people are smart enough to remember the people who legitimately supported them on their way up. For that reason, when you enjoy the success of others you imbed yourself in the mind of a person who might be able to help you out later on.

5. You will surround yourself with success

If you choose to attend the party celebrating your co-worker’s new promotion instead of hiding in a dark corner plotting your revenge, you might just find yourself in a perfect networking opportunity. Just like emotions, success itself is contagious. When you immerse yourself in the culture of success, you increase the chance that some of it will rub off on you.

6. You will become a more confident person

When you incorporate positive thinking into your default response to events that happen around you, the world will start to seem like a brighter, more friendly place. You will recognize and remember opportunities and you will begin to internalize that trait that have helped other people achieve success. The upshot is a more confident and self-assured you.

7. You will stop comparing yourself to others

When you start celebrating other people you will take energy away from actively comparing yourself to them. Nothing will make you feel more free than letting go of the feeling that you always have to measure up to those around you. Step into the role of a student and see what knowledge you can gain from the successful people you know.

8. You will be inspired

Following the life stories of people who have accomplished what you are working towards can inspire you. They will show you that success is possible and present you with ways of achieving it you may not have considered. Use that motivation to work towards your own success.

9. You will inspire others

When people see you supporting a coworker in their recent success, they may reconsider their own negative reactions. By setting aside petty jealousy you can set a good example for the people around you and teach them to celebrate the positive things in life, even if they may not directly effect you.

10. You will increase the likelihood of your own success

As we have seen, celebrating the success of other people will help you expand your social network, learn new things, feel better, and identify alternate paths to achieving your own goals. For that reason, when you enjoy the success of others, you increase the likelihood of your own success. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

Reference
1. Elite Daily: 3 Reasons Why Other People’s Success Should Inspire Rather Than Discourage You by NICK HILL

2. Lifehack: 10 Things That Will Happen When You Enjoy the Success of Others by Steve Kux

28 Reasons You Are Not As Successful As You Should Be


By Azugbene Solomon


I’m guessing that you’re holding yourself back because of one of the following reasons.

Everybody wants to be successful in some way, shape, or form.

The trouble is, most people want to be seen or known as successful–more than they want to break the necessary bad habits required to actually be successful.

That’s because the lifestyle and rewards that come with success make everything seem easy.
People think: “Once I’m successful, I’ll have all the time in the world to do whatever I want.”

People think: “Once I’m successful, I’ll never have to work hard again.”

People think: “Once I’m successful, I won’t have to worry about things like money.”

And since those are the rewards they’re after, that’s all they focus on:
If they still don’t have “all the time in the world,” they’re unsuccessful.

If they’re still working, they’re unsuccessful.

If they’re still worrying about money, they’re unsuccessful.

As a result, they stay focused on all the wrong things–and ironically, never truly become successful.
People that fall short in life do so by their own volition. Unfortunately, they never realize it. They move through life chasing all the things they see other people enjoying at the end, without also seeing the habits, behaviors, and decisions those people had to make all along the way.

If you want to know why you’re not as successful as you should be, it’s probably because of one of these reasons:

1. You’re Lazy

This is the first and the most common reason that someone is not successful, according to author Jim Kukral. He adds, “Every single successful person works their butts off to get where they are. It’s ok to be lazy if you want to. Just admit it. But don’t whine about not being rich and successful, okay?”

2. You Keep Asking “Why Not Me?”

Speaking of complaining, stop wasting your time asking why other people are successful and you’re not. In most cases it wasn’t because they have inherited wealth or won the lottery. Every person in this world has either gone through – is going through now – or will get their chance for struggles. Everyone get to take their turn at hardship. Maybe it’s your turn. Instead of complaining, make a positive change that will help you pull out of your slump and find success.

3. You Get Stuck in Your Head

You’ll notice that there’s a common theme with successful people. They act on their dreams. Instead of only dreaming and overanalyzing everything that could go wrong, they start on the dream – they start laying the groundwork. As NHL legend Wayne Gretzky once said,”You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” Make your shot.

4. You’re Spending Too Much Time on Social Media

Did you know that the average American checks their Facebook, Twitter, or other social accounts a whopping 17 times a day? I know engaging your customers and influencers is important, but you don’t need to spend every free moment on social media. I have found that the best schedule for social is news and articles in the morning and make these quick reads, and make a quick personal and family social connection in the evening when things from the day calm down a little. Determine the amount of time you will spend on each of these times and stick to it.

5. You Never Finish What Your Started

Plenty of wise men have said, “Starting is easy, finishing is hard.” While it is important to know when to throw in the towel, you have to be patient and willing to see a project through. Remember, success never happens overnight, and anything that is really worth doing takes time and effort.

6. You Don’t Think a Business

Whether you’re a freelance writer or owner of an eCommerce site that sells basketball shoes, you’ll never be successful if you believe that you’re not actually a business. If you’re relying on this income, then it’s a real business and you need to start treating it like you would any other 9-to-5 job.

7. You Don’t Believe in Yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself, then are you willing to make any serious attempts? Even if it’s celebrating a small victory, like getting the contact information of a potential client, you need to find ways that will give your confidence a boost. Don’t run yourself down to others or even to yourself. It usually takes effort and doing the hard work that give actual better self-esteem.

8. You Feel Entitled

You’re not owed anything. If you want something badly, you’re going to have to go out there and earn it. Believing you are entitled slows you down and causes you to be waiting to see if something great will happen for you. Make it happen.

9. You Obsess Over Things That Aren’t Important

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have any other hobbies or interests outside of work, but when you’re more concerned about whether or not Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ will be available to stream on iTunes, as opposed to following up with a lead that has the potential to make some cash, then that’s a problem.

10. You Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is a place where you feel safe and assured. While that comfort zone is needed from time-to-time, staying in your comfort zone ultimately leads to stagnation and sometimes it can lead to fear. You’ll never be able to grow and develop if you stay in one place.

11. You’re Not As Productive As You Could Be

Just because you’re working 8 or more hours a day doesn’t mean that you’re actually productive. Between distractions, breaks, and spending too much time on one task, you may actually only be working a couple hours a day. Invest in time management and time tracking tools to discover how productive your days really are so that you can make the appropriate changes.

12. You Focus Too Much on Money

If you start a business just because you think it will make you a billionaire, then you’re doing wrong. The most successful entrepreneurs and business owners aren’t fixated on money. They are focused on a making a great product first. There is a saying that says if you find what you really love to do, you will never work a day in your life.

13. You’re Not Passionate

If you’re not loving what you do, you’ll put 50% effort when you should be putting 100%. Without passion, you won’t stay inspired and motivated – especially when times get tough.

14. You’re a Negative Thinker

If you’re a negative thinker, or just a pessimist, then you’re going to put-up roadblocks to success – before you even try. In other words, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Work on a becoming a positive thinker by surrounding yourself with positive people and becoming more aware of your surroundings. Be aware of the self-talk conversations you have with yourself. Notice if your main conversations with others are ones where you dump all of your grievances on them. If that is the balance of your conversations – change it.

15. You Haven’t Established Goals

You plan nothing. You believe that someway everything you are hoping that will happen will magically appear in-front of you. It doesn’t work like that. Set goals and go for it. If you are not a big planner and not a big list maker – great. Start with being a small planner and a small list maker. One goal and one thing on the list at a time is fine.

16. You Don’t Know Who You Are

Sun Tzu wrote in ‘The Art of War,’ “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” This means that you need to know what you’re good at, what skills you can bring to the table, you have a set of values, and you establish specific goals in your life. Knowing who you are will guide you to success. What are your likes and dislikes? Start noticing.

17. You Give Up Too Easily

We all have those moments when we can just throw everything out the window. In fact, that feeling may last day or weeks. The thing is, success doesn’t come easy. It’s a part of the journey. Just because things aren’t going your way right now doesn’t mean that you should give-up on your hopes and dreams. Baby steps.

18. You Think You Can Do Everything On Your Own

There’s a myth that successful businesses were built by just one individual. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg all had assistance from Wozniak, Allen, and Saverin. Think of it this way, you could be a talented construction worker, but how far could you get when building your own house? No matter your talent or experience, you’ll still need to bring in others, such as a plumber or electrician, to help you complete construction. Even a friend along the way will help you. Begin setting up a support system for yourself if you don’t have one.

19. You Haven’t Managed Your Money Properly

Not managing money properly is one of the main reasons that a small business fails. Even in your personal life, however, this can be an issue. If you’re spending too much money in contrast to what you’re bringing, then how can you expect to pay your bills and set money aside for emergencies or retirement? Set a budget and stick to it. If need be, get in touch with a financial adviser. Many cities have financial help for free, teaching you how to take care of money. Adult education classes are also held on this subject for a smaller fee. The very first step is to add up exactly what your set bills are and have that figure in your mind all the time. Instead of eating out, go home and have a can of soup once in a while.

20. You’re a Perfectionist

That doesn’t mean that you should slack and deliver sub-par work. It means that no one is perfect and instead of wasting your time trying to perfect, just keep working on getting things done, such as accomplishing your goals. One foot in front of the other, on a daily and consistent basis helps. Timing yourself and doing your best work and then you’re finished works pretty well, too.

21. You Think Too Small

Don’t focus only on your short-term future. Have big enough dreams that will take you years ahead into the future. What have you always wanted to do. If you have always wanted to play the violin and you are 45 years old, you probably better get started.

23. You Aren’t Constantly Learning

Successful individuals are always looking for ways to enhance their lives by learning new information or skills. Whether it’s reading a book or participating in a webinar, don’t pass up any opportunities that can help you grow as a person. One of the best ways I have found to keep learning is to be interested in things that others are doing. Everyone is an expert at something. You can get a great mini-class from that expert. This can build great friendships, too. Sometimes you have to set aside a fear.

24. You Don’t Network

Regardless if it’s at local networking event or interacting with an industry leader on social media, networking is one of the best ways to improve your chances of success. For example, if you just published an article on your blog and an influencer shares that article on Twitter, you just got free publicity that could lead to increasing your brand awareness and landing a new lead. Be a connector and someone who includes everyone no matter who they are. Don’t be someone who excludes a person that is different or unusual. You never know when that person will be the one you need or the one who needs you – and you can do some good for someone. You can also learn new information when you network.

25. You Don’t Know When to Let Go

I mentioned earlier that you shouldn’t give up too early. But, you also need to be aware of when it’s time to let go. As Lolly Daskal says on Inc.com, “Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting; it just means you have learned your lessons here and now, and it’s time to embrace new challenges.”

26. You spend more time thinking about how you could work harder than most people–rather than actually doing the work.

It’s amazing how many people can talk, and talk, and talk about all the things they’re going to do.

But it’s even more amazing how many people claim their ability to work harder than the next person, without ever putting in the work themselves.

It’s a brutal truth that we all like to believe ourselves to be more capable than we actually are. And we also like to think that anyone who has achieved success was just lucky, or “knew someone.”

But the truth is, unsuccessful people say those things so they can avoid acknowledging the real issue: someone else is doing the work, and someone else is reaping the rewards.

27. You spend time instead of investing it.

I believe there are two types of people.

The first is someone who sees time as a token for consumption. They can spend their time consuming movies, TV shows, social media. They can spend their time on vacations and travel and adventures. They can spend their time on friends and outings and concerts and events. Time is theirs to spend, and they’re always looking for new ways to spend it.

The second is someone who sees time as a token for investment–and when invested correctly, can reap the rewards of compounding interest. They invest their time in people and relationships that provide positive value. They invest their time into activities that nurture a desired skill or teach them something new. They invest their time into projects and pursuits that encourage growth in some area of their lives. Time is theirs to invest, and the more they invest in people and things that show compounding interest, the richer they become in knowledge, understanding, and even money.

Unsuccessful people spend time.

Successful people invest time.

28. You don’t understand the concept of opportunity cost.

Every successful person I know lives their life by the rule of opportunity cost.

They understand that for every hour they spend doing X, that’s an hour they cannot invest doing Y. And they are hyper aware of the delta between those two variables–meaning, while they might be making a fair amount of money doing X, they are missing out on the potential long-term gains of forgoing that immediate reward for a future payoff result for doing Y.

Unsuccessful people don’t understand opportunity cost. All they see is what is in front of them–not what they could potentially do now to reap bigger, better rewards later.

The challenge with adhering to the rule of opportunity cost is you have to stay true to the vision you have for yourself that has not yet been manifested. It’s not easy giving up what’s immediate, what’s gratifying now. However, that’s the small price you have to pay in order to invest your time.

There are only so many hours in the day. If you spend them all, there will be none left to invest.

Reference
1. Inc: 3 Reasons You Are Not As Successful As You Should Be by Nicolas Cole

2 Inc: 25 Reasons You Are Not as Successful as You Should Be by John Rampton

Don’t ever give up, keep trying


By Azugbene Solomon


We all would have heard these Lines:

“Failures are the Stepping Stones of Success”

How many of us have succeeded in what we try in the first attempt? Not many. This proves that success cannot be attained in one day. There are exceptions where success can be achieved easily. But when it comes to a competitive task or a tough task it takes a lot of patience and needs many attempts to bring success to our side.

We would have heard about the great scientist Thomas Alva Edison. His success story is really motivating. Edison on his experiments to refine the light bulb failed 1000 times. But his attitude towards failure was simply great. He confidently said “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. I found 1000 ways of how not to make a light bulb”

In life, what matters is our attitude. If we give up easily, we cannot taste the flavors of success. It takes years for a tree to give a tasty fruit. Similarly it will take time to make success, sometimes even years. The path of success can be rough and hard, but if we keep going without any lack of confidence the day to success is not really far away.

If we want to win in life we should not stop till we get what we are looking for. The only that helps us to make an achievement is self confidence. If we believe we can make wonders, we will. So, we should believe ourselves before expecting others to believe us or support us. When life gives us a thousand reasons to quit trying, give yourself one reason to try one more time. “Never Give Up” till you become a great achiever.

Life is a race which is all about winning. But winning is not the only end point. In life, we should understand no one has made great achievements in the first day. World famous Cricket Player Sachin Tendulkar did not become popular in one day. He took him lot of failures and challenges to become what he is today. When he faced failures, he did nit give up; he kept trying till he met success in life. Similarly, in our life we should wait with patience. Hard work pays. So we should “Never Give Up” until we reach what we are focusing.

Regardless of whether you slow down or not, you should keep on trying. One of the main drivers of success is persistence, perseverance and a resolution to keep on trying. Even when your body aches and the scars seem to be wearing you down; do not accept in your mind to quit.

Do not say no to your dreams. It is important to preserve as opposed to being lazy and letting defeatism take a toll on you. We tend to learn these negative vices from the society, our surroundings and our peers. Do not allow your environment to plunge you into despair; instead always have hope that in turn fuels perseverance.

What It Means to Never Give Up

1. Life isn’t about talk; it’s about commitment.

A dream isn’t worth anything until you try to put it into practice. When you dedicate yourself to your dream, whatever it may be, you find yourself at the intersection of perception and reality. This idea has probably existed in your mind for years, taking on a particular shape and existing entirely as a function of your own imagination. Now, when you put it to the test, it’s time to get real. It’s time to give birth to the idea and fully commit to nurturing that dream the same way you would nurture a child.

2. Resilience and adaptation are the keys to a vibrant life and healthy mind.

When you are trying to manifest any idea, there will be setbacks, failures and disappointments. Newsflash: Setbacks, failures and disappointments are good for you! They are the best education you can get, as they teach you to adapt. Giving up is like dropping out of school; you miss out on critical experiences and important lessons, and do not learn the enormous value of failure.

3. Quitting can become a habit.

If you give up on the things that matter most to you, you will likely establish a pattern of giving up on anything when things don’t go the way you hoped. You will not learn the importance of persistence — and anything worthwhile requires persistence.

4. Values are the most important thing.

Persisting with goals that are important to you means placing most significance on your values, rather than convenience or expedience. Hopefully, you wouldn’t ever give up on your values, and you wouldn’t give up on the ideas that reflect those values.

5. Self-belief is everything.

Giving up on your important goals is tantamount to giving up on yourself. You are a unique person with your own gifts and talents and no one will invest in them more than you. Perhaps millions of people have had the same goals and dreams as you, but everyone manifests these aspirations differently — and uniquely.

So what does never giving up really mean? It means believing in yourself. It means willingness to accept “failure” so you can learn the critical skill of adaptation. It means not compromising on your most important values, and walking the walk, rather than just talking the talk. It means living the life you want and are passionate about.

13 REASONS WHY…IT’S IMPORTANT TO KEEP TRYING EVEN WHEN IT SEEMS SO HARD!

Some days, happiness seems so, so difficult.

Some days, happiness seems so, so impossible.

Some days, sadness and depression seem so overwhelming and it’s hard enough to find the energy to get up and out of bed…let alone do anything meaningful or constructive.

But today I want to reassure you that even on the most difficult days, in fact especially on the most difficult days, it’s well worth trying to do what ever you can to do “the right things” even if it doesn’t seem like they’ll pay off in the near future.

So here’s 13 reasons why it’s important to keep trying…

1. Happy and successful people focus more on the process, rather than the outcomes; so it’s important to keep trying to do the right things even when the results don’t seem to be coming.

2. Even if you don’t achieve anything noteworthy, it feels good to try.

3. Even if you can’t see the results now, making an effort will (in some not insignificant way) contribute to progress (even if it’s in the medium to longer term).

4. And If you reinforce yourself for trying, you can enjoy at least some satisfaction and positive emotion, which can then kick-start the positivity needed to do and achieve and enjoy more.

5. Trying is better than the alternative; it very rarely helps to give up completely.

6. Even if or when you can’t find the motivation or reason to do it for yourself, do it for others because your efforts and motivation will “spread” to those who’re nearest and dearest to you.

7. Furthermore, trying sends a positive message to others that we can all, even during our most difficult times, do and try something.

8. Sometimes if you begin by “faking it”, you can create your own inspiration that will then make it real (see my previous post HERE).

9. Movement creates momentum; effort leads to energy.

10. The more you do the easier it becomes; practice makes better.

11. Trying something might lead you down a path you hadn’t considered which might then contribute to a positive outcome you’d not imagined possible.

12. Which suggests another important consideration; if you’re going to be trying something it might, at times, be worth trying something completely different.

13. And finally, remember, that sometimes you’ll surprise yourself and something great will happen!

Conclusion
You can develop the nature of not giving up by accepting that you can be persistent, appreciating its importance and having clear goals. Luckily, you do not need special talent to persist until you achieve your objective. With practice, hard work and determination, you can have all it takes to keep on trying till you get what you need.

Reference
1. EdgeArticles: Why It Is Important To Never Give Up? – Essay

2. Your Home Teacher: Never Give Up

3. Huff post: What It Means to Never Give Up

4. Dr. Happy: Reasons Why…it’s Important to Keep Trying Even When It Seems So Hard!

How Parents Can Help Raise a Good Child.


By Azugbene Solomon


Many parents focus attention on their children’s grades and extracurricular activities, such as by making sure kids study, do their homework, and get to soccer practice or dance lessons prepared and on time. But all too often, we forget to put time and effort into nurturing another component of child success and development — one that is just as important, and perhaps even more essential, than good grades, awards, and trophies — being a good person.

In today’s “me, me, me” and “I’ve gotta have it now” society, it can be easy to forget the importance of countering these pervasive messages of instant gratification, consumerism, and selfishness. If we want to raise children who are pleasant company and genuinely nice people, we can help guide our kids toward habits and behaviors that promote positive character traits like kindness, generosity, and empathy for those who are less advantaged or who need help.

Parents can also help in raising a good child by teaching their children how to care.

Children won’t know that caring about others will make them feel better unless you teach them.

Kids learn about care and respect when they are treated with care and respect, psychologists say. The best time to give them care and respect—when you’re doing something fun together!

It’s as simple as reading your child a bedtime story or playing tennis together. “Build one-on-one time into their weekly schedules rather than leaving it to chance,” the findings suggest. That way you’ll treat it just as importantly as that work meeting, and it’s more likely to happen on a regular basis. Asking questions like “what was the best part of your day?” and “what did you accomplish today that makes you feel good?” can help them learn to think beyond the surface level of their actions and identify their feelings.

Parents should pay close attention to their children, whether or not they are practicing honesty, fairness, and caring for themselves. “Nobody is perfect all the time, that is why it’s important for parents to model for children humility, self-awareness, and honesty by acknowledging and working on their mistakes and flaws.”

Your kids know you’re not perfect—or they will when they get to their teenage years—so own it and use it as a chance to talk through your mistakes with your child.

7 Easy Ways Parents Can Help Raise a Good Child

The key to raising a good child is to establish a solid support system at home so that she grows up satisfied with her achievements and ambitions. “The goal as a parent is to help your child feel competent and confident, and to help her develop a sense of passion and purpose,” says Susan Stiffelman, MFT, an educational therapist and author of Parenting Without Power Struggles. It’s the education that happens before she sets foot into school that is crucial in bringing up such a child.

“If you want to enhance your child’s learning abilities to eventually boost her academic performance, it will take consistency, dedication, and patience,” says Michele Borba, Ed.D., an advisor for Parents and the author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. Consider these seven techniques if you’re looking to raise a child who is well-balanced, healthy, and happy with her accomplishments.

1. Encourage Special Skills

Every child has unique gifts and talents. These special attributes can show up in a traditional school setting, but there are plenty of children who shine after the final bell has rung for the day. Activities like a mommy-and-me music class or karate lessons can open their minds, but your wallet does’t need to be involved. “Do not underestimate the power of unstructured play,” says Stiffelman. Playing catch in the yard, dancing in the living room, and chasing after lightning bugs provide opportunities for intellectual, physical, and personal development. Stiffelman also suggests finding a hobby or two for yourself. “Allowing your child to see you trying something new may inspire her to do the same.”

2. Applaud and Praise Efforts

Research conducted by Carol Dweck, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a leading researcher in the field of achievement and success, discovered that a person’s mind-set can influence behavior. When it comes to parenting, she suggests praising your child for his hard work instead of labeling him as “smart” or “talented.” People with a fixed mind-set are usually reluctant to take on challenges because they believe their achievements come from innate abilities. Those with a growth mind-set are usually more willing to face challenges with hard work because they believe in always learning new skills. “Above all, keep in mind that the grade is not what motivates a top student to succeed—it’s his inner drive for learning,” adds Borba.

3. Respect Different Learning Styles

Just because you need complete silence while typing an e-mail or balancing your checkbook doesn’t mean your child needs a noise-free environment when doing his homework. Harvard researcher Howard Gardner established eight kinds of intelligences, or ways kids learn best, some that include musical, logical-mathematical, linguistic, and interpersonal traits. The trick is to pay attention to how your child learns best so you can identify her specific learning style. For example, if your school-age child is visual, consider using flash cards when she’s trying to memorize multiplication tables. If your child falls into the interpersonal intelligence category (that is, he has people smarts), help him improve his vocabulary by connecting descriptive words to people like friends, relatives, and historical figures.

4. Read, Read, Read

When it comes to picking up a book and having story time with your kid, there is no such thing as starting too early. Reading to preschoolers—and keeping books at home—encourages language development, reading skills, and future success in school. “Even if your child is still too young to understand everything you’re saying, he will learn to notice the rhythms of language, which will help him build a listening vocabulary,” explains Susan M. Heim, author of It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence. In fact, reading to your child has been proven to help him emotionally: A government-funded study conducted by The Institute of Education in the United Kingdom found that 5-year-olds who were read to daily by their parents were less likely to have behavioral problems in school.

5. Eat Dinner Together

Don’t worry if cooking isn’t your strongest skill — your child will reap the educational and emotional rewards from conversation, not chicken cacciatore. “Informal discussion topics (‘How was your day?,’ ‘What are you discussing in science?’ ‘How will you study for that test?’) lets your child know your family values learning,” explains Borba. A study conducted by Columbia University showed that children who eat at least five meals a week with their families are more likely to achieve higher grades in school and are less likely to develop an eating disorder. If everyone in your home is on a different schedule and can’t enjoy dinner at the same time, find another meal (like breakfast or an evening snack) when your family can sit together and review the day’s events.

6. Balance Bedtime

Establishing a bedtime—and keeping to it every single night—can be highly effective, but Borba further suggests turning off the computer and TV at least 30 minutes beforehand. If your child has access to a cell phone, she recommends taking it before bedtime because “62 percent of kids admit they use it after the lights go out — and their parents are clueless!” In 2005 researchers at Tel Aviv University found that missing just one hour of sleep can be enough to reduce a child’s cognitive abilities by almost two years the following day. Borba says that a sixth grader who loses precious zzz’s the night before a big test could end up performing at a fourth- grade level.

7. Dole Out Endless Hugs

Giving your child a number of hugs throughout the day will help ease any tension she may be feeling. “There’s nothing like the human touch to give a child a sense of security,” says Heim. Studies of neglected children have shown that kids who don’t receive affection can suffer from chronic stress, which can disturb the parts of the brain involved in focusing, learning, and memory. A study in the American Journal of Public Health, published in 2005, reports that touching another person gently has the power to alleviate symptoms—emotional, behavioral, and physical—related to stress. Not only will hugging your little one improve her ability to concentrate, it will also have benefits for you (and make you feel like a million bucks).

Featured photo credit: The Impossibility of The Good Black Mother via Time Magazine

Reference
1. Very well family: How Parents Can Raise a Good Child

2. Parents: 7 Ways to Raise a Well-Rounded Kid

3. Redbook: 7 Ways to Raise “Good” Kids, According to Harvard Psychologists

Rules To Lead A Fulfilling Life


By Azugbene Solomon


Being fulfilled is an awesome feeling, but unfortunately, it’s a feeling that many have trouble finding. Fulfillment is an easy concept on the surface, yet it’s so elusive. However, living a fulfilling life is well within the reach of everyone. Here are 18 ways to discover some fulfillment.

1. Come to peace with the way things are.

“If only I had more money, I’d…”

Or, “If I had more time, I’d…”

How many times do you hear people say these daily? Many times, I bet.

People are so obsessed with what they don’t have that they never allow themselves to be satisfied with what they do have in life. Constantly having a mindset of wanting more and more will squash any chances you have of acceptance. Embrace acceptance and watch your stress levels go down.

2. Take timeouts in life frequently.

Every so often, it’s good to hit the pause button on life and soak in the moment. Life can get hectic with work, relationships, and stress leading us to not realize how awesome life is.

Take time out of your busy day and smell the roses.

Finding the beauty and joy in the everyday mundane will allow countless little epiphanies and revelations, which will not only broaden your horizons, but make you grateful for all the things that are overlooked on a day-to-day basis.

3. Include some gratitude in your daily life.

Focusing on the negative leads to you becoming a toxic individual. Practicing gratitude has a myriad of benefits, such as happiness, more optimism, and better health. Challenge yourself to practice gratitude by writing or telling someone one thing you’re thankful for each day.

4. Spice up your life with some daily thrills.

Life is meant to be one big adventure, so get to exploring. Become daring and start saying yes to things you always talk yourself out of. Learn a new skill such as ballroom dancing, or go skydiving.

5. Treat yourself like royalty.

Do you beat yourself up over things that happened in the past? If so, then you need to stop that immediately. It’s time to forgive yourself and stop living in the past. If you don’t show respect and kindness to yourself, then how can you expect someone else to? How can someone else see how awesome you are if you can’t see it yourself?

6. Eat in a way that is satisfying and healthy.

Eating healthy doesn’t entail the daily consumption of boring and bland meals, such as steamed chicken and broccoli. If fat loss is your goal, living a fulfilling life and eating awesome, tasty foods is very doable. Eating healthy should please your palate and your fitness goals.

7. Make exercise a priority, not an exception.

If you care about living longer, having more energy, and wanting to look hotter, then look no further than exercising to take care of all those needs. From improving your mood to improving your sex life, exercise is a no-brainer. If exercising isn’t your favorite activity, then read this article to help change your mind.

8. Stop making life so difficult.

Sometimes, life is meant to be simple. Stop overanalyzing everything and making every decision complicated and complex. Life isn’t meant to be filled with stress. Chill out and take a walk through the park or go have a quiet and relaxing dinner.

9. Punch fear in the face and get to living.

Fear is a natural part of our lives. Conquering fear starts in our heads and the mindset that we approach fear with. Experiencing failure provides value when it comes to living a fulfilling life and being the best version of yourself. Through failures, you’ll learn lessons that will make you a better person down the road.

10. Stop letting others determine your self-worth.

When you compare yourself to others, you’re devaluing yourself. Looking at someone else’s life from the outside is the same as looking at a highlight reel. Who knows how long it took them to get to their current position? Don’t compare your life to others.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”– Eleanor Roosevelt

11. Kick all your negative company to the curb.

Life is far too short and awesome to deal with negative people who are full of toxic thoughts and habits. Keeping negative people around guarantees you’ll be unhappy and miserable. Equate negative people to mosquitoes and put some repellent on so they can’t suck the life out of you.

12. Learn to enjoy your own company.

Don’t become reliant on other people’s company or feel the need to be in a relationship to feel complete. Being in a relationship needs to come from a want, not a need. Embrace the notion of being your own BFF.

13. Commit to being a lifelong learner.

Those who desire to live a fulfilling life need to have a curious and hungry mind. By being a lifelong learner you realize that there’s a vast world out there that is waiting for exploration and adventures. By constantly learning, you’re increasing your knowledge and perspective of the world.

14. Escape from all the craziness that lives in our head.

The story that exists in your head is not even close to the actual day-to-day story that you live. Eliminate all those negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Positive thinking leads to positive results.

15. Challenge yourself to become a social butterfly.

Make an effort to connect with more people, smile, and maintain eye contact a little longer than normal. This forces you to become more open to the world, leading to greater connections. When meeting new people, choose people from all different backgrounds and beliefs. This allows you to become a more well-rounded individual.

16. Embrace living outside your comfort zone.

If you never take yourself outside of your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you’re capable of in life. All the magic in life happens outside your little box. By staying inside your shell, you will only produce a mediocre version of yourself. Start living outside your comfort zone today by doing something you normally wouldn’t do.

17. Go for your dreams and let no one take them from you.

You can’t be afraid to go after what you want. Following your dreams is a vital part of living a life of fulfillment and shouldn’t be overlooked. Everyone says to follow your dreams, but few do. You only get to live through this thing we call life once, so you might as well make the best of it and live it on your own terms.

18. You should quit being so serious 24/7.

Would you please have a sense of humor and smile? Not everything is a matter of life and death. Feel free to take time off from playing the role of Captain Serious and joke around and act stupid.

Laughter helps people live longer, while also reducing blood pressure. The world would be a better place if we would all quit taking ourselves so seriously and get a little stupid. One of my favorite ways to get stupid is to start dancing. Here are some videos to help you get your dance on.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend and leave a comment below. Thanks!

Reference
Lifehack: 18 Basic Rules

Stop Blaming Yourself


By Azugbene Solomon


Do you constantly cast blame on yourself for feeling the way you feel or for desiring the things you desire? Do you feel guilty after you express your emotions to someone else? Do you constantly fear hurting others when making a choice that’s best for you, but then find that you stop yourself and hurt yourself instead?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are just like me and many of us on the planet who suffer from existential guilt whereby we think, on some level, that our mere existence is a burden.

The fact that we are surviving should be enough, right? We should all be grateful and satisfied to have food, water and shelter, and can accept it as “normal” to live with tons of guilt, right? Asking to thrive, to achieve our dreams and goals is simply too much to ask.

If you can’t already tell, I am being sarcastic. It is not wrong to want to enjoy our lives, our relationships and our bodies to the fullest. It is not wrong to desire fulfilling work that has meaning, but which also pays the bills, puts food on the table, and eventually provides the financial freedom to never feel trapped somewhere we don’t want to be.

The root-cause of the guilt and fear that so many of us are far too familiar with goes back to our early childhood. Raising children is a huge sacrifice for parents. We realized this as kids, and absorbed the sense of being a burden. Hopefully, your parents or guardians welcomed and supported you and your feelings, needs, desires and dreams — not just your survival. But the feeling of guilt, even if it was deep-rooted and not quite conscious, still was there.

As children, we depended on our parents/guardians. We were vulnerable. So we learned, by default, to fear losing our parents’ love and support. We don’t want to feel too much, need too much, say too much or do too much. It’s early on in our lives that we develop this impulse to self-censor.

We don’t need to fear being rejected and abandoned as adults just because we feared being rejected and abandoned as children. We now can have greater self-awareness, or at least a desire to cultivate self-awareness.

To do so, we can develop a few simple habits to start to learn how to think we are right — that our feelings, desires, and thoughts are OK, not blameworthy. Here are five …

1. Welcome everything about yourself.

Everything. What you think, feel, desire, need and dream. Plant your feet firmly in the present without making it wrong or rejecting it out of fear. Try slow, deep breathing through your nose to help with this process significantly. Make it a meditation!

2. Establish an affirming mantra.

You might consider, “It is my birthright to be healthy, happy, fulfilled and valued. My feelings, needs, desires and dreams matter.”

3. Forgive yourself. No matter what.

So you may have judged yourself, or felt wrong, guilty, bad or overall negative in the past — for things great and small. But forgive yourself regardless. Forgive yourself for holding yourself back and causing yourself so much pain, but don’t dwell on it. You are now letting yourself live an authentic and fulfilling life that you love now.

4. Find your courage (it’s there).

It’s in there, you just need to tap into it and use it! Find the courage to speak and act based on your true feelings, needs and goals in every moment and situation — even if you’re scared. It will energize and inspire you.

5. Give yourself permission.

Rather than betraying yourself because you fear feeling guilt, hurting others, or losing love, really allow yourself each day to be true to yourself and only engage in relationships, situations, work, and activities that make you feel good, alive and well. Your life should feel no other way.

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Reference
1. Mbg: Stop Blaming yourself all the time