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Finding Gratitude

It’s easy to feel like life is one big storm of pain. And when we’re in the midst of that storm, it can be hard to find anything to be grateful for. But research has shown that gratitude can benefit our physical and mental health. So even when it feels like there’s nothing good in our lives, it’s important to try to find something to be grateful for.

For one thing, gratitude can help reduce stress and improve our mood. It can also help boost our immune system and help us sleep better. And grateful people are more likely to experience positive emotions like happiness and joy. So even though it might be hard, looking for things to be grateful for can make us feel better.

So the next time you’re feeling down, try to think of something you’re grateful for. It might not make the pain completely disappear, but it can help you get through it. And who knows? Maybe someday you’ll even be able to look back on this time and find gratitude.

How to Develop a System of Memory Recall and Learning

How to Develop a System of Memory Recall and Learning

Do you ever feel like you’re struggling to remember everything? You’re not alone. Many people have difficulty with memory recall, especially when trying to learn something new. This guide will teach you how to develop a system of memory recall and learning that will help you remember everything you read or learn. We’ll also provide tips on improving your productivity and getting the most out of your learning experience!

The basics of memory recall

Many people think of memory as either there or not, but the reality is much more complex. Memory is a process that involves three different stages: encoding, storage, and recall. To better understand how memory works, let’s take a closer look at each location.

Encoding is the first stage of memory and refers to the process of taking in new information. For information to be encoded, it must be noticed and given meaning. This can happen through sight, sound, touch, or other senses. Once information is encoded, it can then be stored in either short-term or long-term memory.

Short-term memory is like a holding tank for recently encoded information. It has a limited capacity and can only store information for a few seconds to a few minutes. The reason why short-term memory is so limited is that it is not permanent. Unless the information in short-term memory is transferred to long-term memory, it will be quickly forgotten.

Long-term memory is where permanently stored memories are kept. Unlike short-term memory, long-term memory has an almost unlimited capacity. Once information is encoded and stored in long-term memory, it can be recalled at any time. However, recall does not always happen automatically. In some cases, people may need to use specific cues (e.g., smell, taste, sound) to trigger the recall of a particular memory.

By understanding the basics of memory, you can become more aware of how you encode and store information. This knowledge can be helpful in both everyday life and academic settings. When you know how your mind works, you can better control the recall process and access the information you need when you need it.

How to develop a system for learning and memory recall

Learning anything new can feel daunting at first. So much information to take in and remember! However, there are some techniques you can use to make the process easier and improve your chances of recalling what you’ve learned later on. First, try to create a personal connection to the material. If you can relate it to something you’re already interested in or have experienced, you’ll be more likely to pay attention and remember it better. A great way to do this is by relating to a story you have read or watched a video of online.

Next, break the material into smaller chunks and focus on one thing at a time. Try to understand it before moving on. Work your curiosity into the mix. Have you ever visited Wikipedia and found yourself going down a rabbit hole? The same principle applies here. As you are exposed to some new information, try to learn about that small chunk individually. Become curious about it.

Tips for using your system to improve productivity and academic performance

As any student knows, there are only so many hours in the day. Time management is essential for making the most of those hours and ensuring that you are productive inside and outside the classroom. One way to do this is to develop a system for tracking your tasks and priorities. This can be as simple as maintaining a to-do list or using a more sophisticated task-management app. The key is to be consistent in using whatever method you choose. Another way to boost your productivity is to take advantage of technology. Several apps and online tools can help you stay organized and on track. For example, you can set up alerts to remind you of upcoming deadlines or use a virtual assistant to help with research or scheduling. By taking advantage of the resources at your disposal, you can set yourself up for success both in and out of the classroom.

Or, you can go simple. I keep a small notebook in my pocket everywhere I go. As I learn something new, I write it down and reference it later.

How to keep your system organized and effective over time

No matter how carefully you plan and how streamlined your system is, it will lose its organization and effectiveness over time when you start using it. This is simply a fact of life, but there are things you can do to combat the decline. By regularly taking some time to review and revise your system, you can keep it running smoothly for years to come. Here are some tips for keeping your system organized and effective: Make sure everything has a home: One of the main reasons systems break down is because items don’t have a designated place to go. When you can’t find something, it throws off the entire system. So take the time to assign a home for every item in your system, and ensure everyone in your household knows where things go. Periodically purge: Just as your system gradually accumulates new items, it will also suffer from old items that are no longer needed or used. Every once in a while, go through your system and get rid of anything that no longer serves a purpose. This will help to keep your design streamlined and prevent clutter from accumulating. Be flexible: As your needs change, so too should your system. Don’t be afraid to change things if something isn’t working anymore. The goal is to have a system that works for you, so be willing to experiment until you find what works best. Following these tips can keep your system organized and effective for years.

Following these tips will help you create a system for learning and memory recall that is effective and organized. You’ll see an improvement in your productivity, academic performance, and overall grades. Don’t let yourself forget the importance of a robust memory recall system! A sound memory recall system can be a great asset in any area – from school to work to personal relationships.

The Importance of Having a Purpose

The Importance of Having a Purpose

What is the purpose of life, and what are some common purposes people choose to pursue?

The great question of “what is the purpose of life?” has been asked since the dawn of time, but it remains a mystery to us. While we may never know the answer to this universal question, there are many different purposes that people choose to pursue in their own lives. Some common examples include making a difference in the world, seeking happiness and fulfillment, or leaving a legacy. Ultimately, the choice of what purpose to pursue is personal, and there is no wrong answer. Whatever you choose, make sure that it brings you joy and makes you feel like you are living your best life.

How do you find your purpose in life if you don’t know what it is yet?

As famously said by Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And so it is with finding your purpose in life. The first step is acknowledging that you don’t yet know your meaning. The second step is to start exploring and experimenting. Try new things. Join new clubs and organizations. Volunteer for different causes. Travel to new places. The third step is to pay attention to the things that make you feel alive, happy, and fulfilled. These are the things that are in alignment with your purpose. And finally, trust that you will find your purpose. Have faith in yourself and the universe. Know that everything happens for a reason. When you are ready, your purpose will find you.

What are some benefits of having a purpose in life?

Many people go through life without thinking about what they want to achieve. They float daily, month to month, year to year, without any sense of purpose or direction. However, there are many benefits to having a purpose in life. A sense of purpose can give you a greater understanding of satisfaction and fulfillment, motivate you to succeed, and provide a sense of direction when you feel lost. It can also help you to build strong relationships, as people are more likely to gravitate toward others who share their values and goals. So if you’re looking for something more out of life, consider finding your purpose. It could be the key to unlocking a happier and more fulfilled version of yourself.

How can you stay motivated when pursuing your purpose in life isn’t always easy or fun?

It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when you don’t see immediate results or when the going gets tough. But persevere – remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Are you looking to make a difference in the world? To be an inspiration to others? To leave a legacy? Whatever your reasons, keep them at the forefront of your mind when things get tough. Also, remember that the road to success is seldom straight; there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way. Embrace the challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. Finally, draw strength from those who believe in you – your family, friends, and mentors. Their faith in you will help to keep you motivated even on the darkest days. Pursue your Purpose with passion and determination will lead you to a fulfilling and rewarding life.

What happens if you lose sight of your purpose or change your mind about what you want to do with your life?

Losing sight of your purpose can be a scary feeling. It can feel like you’re adrift in a sea of uncertainty with no idea how to turn. However, it’s important to remember that everyone goes through times of change and uncertainty. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself and open to new possibilities. If you’re unsure what to do with your life, it’s okay to experiment and try new things. The important thing is to keep moving forward and growing as a person. Eventually, you’ll find your way back to your purpose. And if you change your mind about what you want to do with your life, that’s okay too! Life is all about growth and change. Embrace it!

Are there other important things to consider when pursuing a purpose in life?

Of course, there are a few other essential things to consider when pursuing a purpose in life. First, you need to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself whether you’re passionate about the thing you’re seeking. If not, you’ll likely find the going tough and may eventually give up altogether. It’s also essential to have a realistic outlook. Pursuing a dream can be difficult, and there will be challenges. It would be best if you were prepared for setbacks and willing to put in the hard work required to reach your goal. Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Often, it’s the process of pursuing our dreams that brings us the most satisfaction, not necessarily the attainment of them. So savor every moment and relish in the challenge. After all, that’s what life is all about.

If you’re not sure what your life’s purpose is, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Trying to figure out what you want to do with your life can be a daunting task, but there are some things you can do to make it easier. Start by considering what things give you joy or make you feel fulfilled, and then look for ways to incorporate those into your life more meaningfully. Remember that your purpose doesn’t have to be something grand or world-changing; it could simply be something that makes you happy and helps you live a fulfilling life. And finally, don’t forget that it’s okay if your sense of purpose changes over time – as long as you keep moving forward, you’ll be just fine.

How To Regain Control Of Your Schedule And Get Your Life Organized

How To Regain Control Of Your Schedule And Get Your Life Organized

The demands of being a first responder leader can be overwhelming. You are constantly needed by others and are expected to be available at a moment’s notice. This leaves little room for anything else, let alone time to focus on your well-being. It’s no wonder that so many leaders burn out. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can regain control of your schedule and organize your life with simple tips.

Wake Up Early

One of the best ways to get ahead of the game is to wake up early. Use those extra morning hours to plan your day, catch up on emails, or take some time for yourself. Not a morning person? No problem. Just set your alarm for 5 minutes earlier than you usually would and work your way up to waking up at least an hour before you need to leave for work. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you start your day with a clear head.

Create A Daily Schedule

Another way to regain control of your time is by creating a daily schedule and sticking to it as much as possible. Of course, there will always be days when things come up, and you have to deviate from the schedule, but having one in place will help you stay on track the rest of the time. Be sure to include buffer time in your program if something arises. That way, you won’t fall behind because you didn’t consider the unexpected.

Take Time For Yourself

Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. To be effective in your role, you need to care for yourself mentally and physically. Make sure to schedule some “me” time into your day, even if it’s just for 15-20 minutes. During that time, do something that brings you joy or relaxes you. This could be reading, walking, listening to music, or other things. The important thing is that you make time for yourself every day to recharge and be ready to face whatever comes your way.

Conclusion

Being a first responder leader is demanding, but it doesn’t have to consume your entire life. Following these simple tips, you can regain control of your schedule and organize your life.

The Power of Sacrifice in Leadership

The Power of Sacrifice in Leadership

As a leader, you are always looking for ways to motivate and inspire your team. You want them to follow you into battle, no matter the odds. And one of the best ways to do that is by being willing to sacrifice your time, effort, and energy. You will earn their respect and loyalty by showing your team that you are eager to do whatever it takes to achieve success. And that is the foundation upon which great teams are built.

The Importance of Sacrifice in Leadership

When you are willing to sacrifice your own time and resources for the good of the team, it sends a strong message that you are committed to their success. It shows that you are not just paying lip service to the idea of teamwork; you are willing to put in the hard work and make the sacrifices necessary to make it happen. And when your team sees that, they will be more likely to follow your lead.

Of course, sacrifice is not easy. It requires a lot of time and effort and can be physically and emotionally draining. But as a leader, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. If you can show your team that you are eager to make those sacrifices, they will be more likely to do the same.

Making Sacrifices for Your Team

So how can you go about making sacrifices for your team? Here are a few ideas:

– Put in extra hours when necessary

– Go above and beyond your regular duties

– Take on additional projects

– Be there for your team members when they need you

– Offer words of encouragement during difficult times

– Celebrate successes together

– Help out with personal problems

As a leader, it is essential to be willing to make sacrifices for the good of your team. You will earn their respect and loyalty by showing your team that you are committed to their success and by being willing to put in the hard work and make the sacrifices necessary to make it happen. And that is the foundation upon which great teams are built.

The Hidden Sacrifices

Not all sacrifices made on behalf of the team are outwardly visible. Some sacrifices require more than the obvious. They require letting go while simultaneously holding on.

I’m talking about emotional vulnerability.

Each of us has a background story that shaped us into who we are. Yet, increasingly I see leaders trying to hide this part of their lives. They act as if their lives are perfect, the way we expect them to be. When was the last time that you, as a leader, were willing to show the not-so-glamorous parts of your life?

But this is not the reality of leadership today. Modern teams need leaders who can open up, show vulnerability, and demonstrate that there’s more to them than just what meets the eye. After all, genuine authenticity is only possible when you’re willing to be vulnerable.

So if you’re ready to make sacrifices for your team by embracing your vulnerabilities, don’t be afraid to let your guard down. Show them who you are, and watch as they grow closer and more connected than ever before. Because that’s when real change and growth can begin to take root, and authentic leadership happens.

How a Midlife Crisis can be an Opportunity for Growth

How a Midlife Crisis can be an Opportunity for Growth

A midlife crisis is often spoken about in negative terms. It’s a time of uncertainty, self-doubt, and even depression. But what if we looked at midlife crises differently? What if, instead of viewing them as a period of turmoil, we saw them as an opportunity for growth? Below, we’ll explore how a midlife crisis can be a positive turning point in your life.

The Benefits of a Midlife Crisis

A midlife crisis can be an unsettling time, but it can also be a time of tremendous growth. If you view your midlife crisis as an opportunity instead of a challenge, you may find that you can achieve things you never thought possible. Some of the benefits of experiencing a midlife crisis include:

• It can help you reassess your priorities.

A midlife crisis can be a wake-up call that allows you to see what’s truly important to you. It’s often during this time that people realize that they’ve been chasing the wrong things and that they need to make some changes in their lives.

• It can give you a sense of perspective.

When everything is going well, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of the bigger picture. A midlife crisis can help you to step back and see the forest for the trees. You may find that you can put your problems into perspective and see them for what they are.

• It can motivate you to make positive changes.

A midlife crisis can be just the push you need to make some long overdue changes in your life. Maybe you’ve always wanted to start your own business or get in shape but haven’t had the motivation to do so. A midlife crisis can provide that much-needed push to make those changes finally.

• It can help you find your true purpose.

Many people go through life without knowing what they want to do with their lives. If you’re lucky, a midlife crisis can help give you some clarity on what your true purpose is. Once you know what you’re meant to do with your life, you can start living with more intention and meaning.

A midlife crisis doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you can embrace it and see it as an opportunity for growth, it can be one of the most transformative periods in your life. So next time someone tells you they’re going through a midlife crisis, wish them luck—they just might come out on the other side better than ever!

Be UN-apologetically You

Be UN-apologetically You

There are many ways to answer the question, Who are you living for? Looking at it from an altruistic perspective, we could say that we live to serve our communities. Answering the question from a parent’s lens, we could say that we live to provide and support our families. From an individualistic perspective, we might say that we live to achieve our dreams and fulfill our potential.

No matter how we answer the question, it is essential to remember that the way we live our lives should reflect what matters most to us. If we live for ourselves, then our lives should be about selfish pursuits. If we live to serve others, our lives should be focused on giving back.

The important thing is that we know the reason behind our actions. Why are we working so hard? What motivates us to keep going even when things get tough? Knowing the answer to these questions can help us lead more fulfilling lives.

Are you living for other people?

When we post to social media or go out of our way to help a stranger, what drives us to do that? Do we want to portray a life on social media that makes us look like we have it all? Are we trying to show perfection? Are we helping the stranger because we want to be seen as a good person? Or is it because we genuinely care about other people and want to improve their lives?

It’s essential to think about our motivations behind our actions because that can help us live more fulfilling lives. If we only do things to get something in return, we might feel empty or dissatisfied. But if we do things because we genuinely care about others and want to make a difference in the world, we will likely find more satisfaction in our lives.

Immanuel Kant spoke about our motivations as well. He said that we should always act so that we can also will our actions to become a universal law. In other words, we should only do things that we would want everyone else to do.

Putting your life out there

There are a lot of people that like to live their lives out loud on social media—posting pictures of food, posting every update imaginable about their lives. There are a lot of people that are anxious about their portrayals on social media. They are worried about what other people will think of them if they post too much or don’t post enough.

This way of living can be draining, and take away from our genuine connections with others. We might find ourselves comparing our lives to the lives we see on social media and feeling like we don’t measure up.

It’s important to remember that social media does not accurately portray reality. People only post the highlights of their lives, not the mundane day-to-day tasks that make up most of our lives. We shouldn’t compare our behind-the-scenes footage to someone else’s Hollywood production and feel bad about ourselves.

What’s the point?

We need be comfortable with ourselves. As we are, not the fake version. We need to live for ourselves, and act in ways that serve our personal moral and ethical needs. If we act solely for the benefit of image, we have missed the opportunity to be ourselves. IF we post the picture with the thought of “I wonder how many likes this will get?” We have lost before we have begun.

If you have ever been afraid to show who you really are, look inside and discover why? Why bother to worry about the opinions of others? Do you think they are worrying about you?

Probably not.

Live for yourself. Be a good person. Work hard. Do these things for you. Not because you feel you need to to appease your friends/family/followers.

Be unapologetically you.

Benefits of Mentorship

Benefits of Mentorship

Becoming a mentor can benefit both the mentor and the mentee. Mentors often enjoy a sense of satisfaction from helping others reach their potential. In addition, mentoring can help keep you sharp and up-to-date on industry trends, as you constantly learn new things from your mentee. And finally, as a mentor, you develop essential networking connections that could lead to future opportunities.

Sounds great, right? Yet, I am frequently asked how to get started when discussing mentorship. Most companies boast mentorship abilities yet, have no official guidebook on where to start.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a professional willing to offer a mentee career advice and leadership skills. The mentor’s responsibilities include meeting with the mentee regularly, providing support and guidance, and answering any questions the mentee may have. Some common yet unsurprising questions mentors are asked include:

  • – How can I change careers?
  • – Should I go to graduate school?
  • – How do I network?
  • – What are the best ways to market myself?
  • – How do I negotiate a salary?
  • – What should I wear for my job interview?

What’s in it for me?

The benefits of being a mentor are many. Mentors often enjoy a sense of satisfaction from helping others reach their potential. In addition, mentoring can help keep you sharp and up-to-date on industry trends, as you constantly learn new things from your mentee. And finally, as a mentor, you develop essential networking connections that could lead to future opportunities.

Mentors have the opportunity to develop essential networking connections with other professionals in their industry. These connections could lead to future options, such as job openings or business partnerships. In addition, mentorship relationships often result in solid friendships that last for many years. According to a study by the National Mentoring Partnership, mentored youth are 52% more likely to enroll in college and are almost twice as likely to be employed.

How do I become a mentor?

There are several ways to become a mentor. The best way to find out how to become one is by contacting your local chapter of The Association for Talent Development (ATD). They will be able to provide you with more information on becoming a mentor and connect you with other professionals in your area who are also mentors. You can also search online for resources that cater specifically to mentoring relationships. Many websites and articles offer tips on how to be an effective mentor.

How do I find the right mentee?

The best way to find a mentee is by networking with people in your industry or field. You can also reach out to professional organizations or schools that offer programs for mentor-mentee relationships. Once you have found a few potential mentees, setting up an initial meeting is crucial to get to know each other and see if there is a good fit. During this meeting, you should discuss expectations, goals, and commitments. It is also essential to ensure that you are both on the same page in terms of frequency and duration of meetings and communication style.

What to do during the mentoring process?

During the mentoring relationship, meeting regularly and discussing both the mentor’s and mentee’s goals is essential. The mentor should offer support and guidance while allowing the mentee to take charge of their career development. It is also vital to provide feedback and be available to answer any questions the mentee may have. In addition, the mentor should help the mentee develop a network of professionals in their industry.

Possible challenges of being a mentor

While being a mentor can be an enriching experience, some challenges come with the territory. One challenge is finding the time to commit to regular meetings and discussions. Another challenge is dealing with difficult personalities or situations. For example, if a mentee is going through a career transition, they may feel frustrated or anxious. Mentors must be patient and understanding while providing honest feedback and guidance.

Mentoring can be an advantageous experience for both the mentor and mentee. It is an opportunity to learn new things, gain essential industry connections, and make a difference in someone’s career. If you are thinking about becoming a mentor, reach out to your local ATD chapter or search online for resources on how to get started.

Mental Health and Mentorship

Mentorship is also an excellent way for people to gain access to mental health services. Many times, people do not feel comfortable seeking help from a professional or may not have access to mental health services. A mentor can provide emotional support and guidance during difficult times. They can also offer advice on how to deal with mental health issues. In addition, mentors can connect their mentees with resources such as therapy or medication if needed.

The benefits of mentorship are vast and diverse. Mentors have the opportunity to learn new things, make valuable connections within their industry, and provide guidance and support to those who need it most – all while improving their own and their mentee’s mental well-being in the process.

You can’t do it alone

You can’t do it alone

Years ago, I stumbled upon a book titled Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers. Despite the fact that the book is primarily about fly-fishing, the title of the book has long since stuck with me.

The simple fact in life is that we need other people. We were not meant to live a life of solitude simply. In order to be the best versions of ourselves, we need a little help along the way.

That is why it is so important to surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends. These are the people who will help you through the tough times and celebrate with you during the good times. But it doesn’t stop there. If there is anything I have learned in my professional career, it is that anything that needs to get done almost always relies upon knowing who the right person to call is.

Investment is the only way to guarantee the person on the other end will take your call. Investment in them, yourself, and the relationship between the two of you. All relationships require a give and take. At the end, keep the scorecard balanced in a way that you are always willing to give a little more than you take. When the balance begins to sway the other way, you become known as “the person who only calls when you need something.” That is not the type of person anyone wants to be.

So the next time you feel overwhelmed or like you can’t do something alone, remember that you don’t have to. There is always someone who is willing to help – you just have to be willing to ask for it. And when you are in a position to help someone else, do it with enthusiasm and without expecting anything in return.

Through a little dumb luck and other people’s kindness, we can accomplish anything.

You can’t do it alone

9 Reasons Why Backpacking is the Perfect Way to Find Yourself

When most people think about finding themselves, they imagine sitting in a therapist’s office, exploring their childhood and discussing their feelings. But there are other ways to find yourself, and one of the best is through backpacking. Here’s how it can help:

It encourages you to be present.

Backpacking requires your full attention. You must be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to your footing, so you don’t trip and fall. This forces you to live in the present moment, which can be a great way to find yourself.

It helps you appreciate nature.

When you’re out in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to appreciate the beauty around you. Seeing firsthand how beautiful and vast the world is can help put your problems into perspective and give you a greater appreciation for life.

It allows you to disconnect from technology.

In today’s world, it’s easy to get wrapped up in technology and forget about the world around you. But when you’re backpacking, there’s no cell service or Wi-Fi, which gives you the perfect opportunity to disconnect from your phone and social media and focus on the present moment.

It gives you time to think.

You have a lot of time to think when you’re out on the trail. This can be an excellent opportunity to reflect on your life and figure out what you want most out of it. You can also use this time to brainstorm ideas and devise solutions to problems you’ve been having.

It helps you meet new people.

Backpacking is a great way to meet new people. When you’re out on the trail, you’ll meet other hikers looking for the same thing: an escape from the everyday grind. You can bond over your shared love of nature and adventure, and you may even make some lifelong friends.

It allows you to reset.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out in our fast-paced world. But when you’re backpacking, you can forget your worries and focus on enjoying yourself. This can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated like you’ve hit the reset button on your life.

It teaches you about yourself.

Backpacking can teach you a lot about yourself. You’ll learn how to push yourself physically and mentally when you’re out on the trail. You’ll also find out what you’re capable of and your limits. And as you overcome obstacles and reach your goals, you’ll gain confidence and learn more about who you are.

It helps you appreciate the little things in life.

When you’re backpacking, you must carry everything you need on your back, which means you can only bring the essentials. This forces you to think about what’s important to you and helps you appreciate the little things in life.

It gives you a sense of accomplishment.

When you finish a backpacking trip, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. You’ll be proud of yourself for pushing your limits and reaching your goals. And you’ll have memories and stories to last a lifetime.

Backpacking can be a fantastic way to find yourself. It encourages you to be present, appreciate nature, disconnect from technology, and think about what you want most out of life. It also allows you to meet new people, reset, and learn about yourself. If you’re looking for a way to explore who you are, backpacking may be perfect.

On Self-Improvement

It has been said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Many people would agree that self-improvement is one key to a good life. But what does it mean to improve oneself? And how should one go about it? And, how do we do it without falling trap of a hokey salesperson marketing their product as self-improvement? These are some of the questions that philosophers have wrestled with for centuries.

There are many different ways to improve oneself. One can work on their physical health, economic status, or relationships with others, but, at its core, self-improvement is a process of becoming a better thinker. To improve as a thinker, one must become more introspective and reflective. They must be able to examine their thoughts and actions and see where they can improve. This is not an easy task, as it requires a great deal of honesty and humility. But, if one can do it, they will find that their life will become much more fulfilling.

There are many resources available to help one become a better thinker. There are books, courses, and workshops on critical thinking, logic, and argumentation. These can all be helpful in learning how to examine one’s thoughts more critically. However, some of the most valuable resources for self-improvement are found within oneself. One of the best ways to improve as a thinker is simply to think about things more deeply. When faced with a problem or challenge, take the time to really consider all of the possible solutions. Weigh the pros and cons of each option, and try to come up with the best possible solution. This may seem like a lot of work, but it is well worth the effort.

President John Kennedy took the time to ponder why Khrushchev decided to place missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy likely avoided an incredibly deadly nuclear war by taking the time to improve his thought pattern and delaying the natural tendency to react.

Sometimes, self-improvement starts with a pause.

What does it look like?

When you think about improving yourself, what does that look like in your mind? If you’re anything like most people, you probably think about making some physical change, such as going to the gym more or eating healthier. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s all you focus on, you’re missing out on a lot of other potential areas for self-improvement.

We are more than just our bodies; we are also our minds and hearts. If we want to be truly well-rounded individuals, we need to take care of all three parts of ourselves. Focusing too much on the physical aspects of improvement can lead to neglecting the mental and emotional aspects of our lives.

That means finding ways to challenge and stimulate our minds so that we can continue to learn and grow. It means taking care of our emotional health so that we can be happy and fulfilled. And it means taking care of our physical health so that we can be strong and active.

Mental Resilience

Improvement of the heart and mind is incredibly important to become mentally resilient. A lot of people think that being mentally tough means never experiencing negative emotions, but that’s not the case. Mental toughness doesn’t mean you’re immune to hardship; it just means you have the ability to keep going even when things are tough.

That might mean taking on a new project at work or learning a new skill. It could also mean facing your fears and doing things even though they make you feel anxious or scared. By pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll become stronger and more resilient.

It’s also important to take care of your emotional health. This means making sure you have a good support system and taking time for yourself when you need it. It might mean reaching out to a friend or family member when you’re feeling down or taking a break from work to relax and recharge.

There is no one “right” way to improve oneself. What works for one person may not work for another. The important thing is to find what works for you and to stick with it.

Starting small is a key to making improvements work. In the book Atomic Habits, James Clear suggests combining new habits with existing habits to increase the likelihood of developing new habits. If reading more is your version of self-improvement, start by placing a book on the couch next to your TV remote. Having the book out and near something you are used to reaching for creates a habit of being able to grab the book and read a page or two prior to turning on the television. Small steps lead to great improvements throughout our lives. It is never too late to get yourself where you want to be.

On Goal Setting

Most people think of goal setting as a way to make themselves feel better about the past through achievements, but it is so much more. When we set goals, we acknowledge we are not where we want to be in life. That is a hard pill to swallow. It takes guts to say, “I want more.” And it takes an immense amount of courage to take the steps necessary to reach those goals.

When we set goals, we acknowledge that we are capable of so much more than we currently are. We are admitting that we have the potential to grow and improve. This is a mighty mindset to have. When we believe in our own potential, anything becomes possible.

Reaching our goals requires us to step outside of our comfort zones. It means taking risks and facing challenges head-on. It means embracing the unknown and trusting that we will figure it out along the way.

The process of goal setting is not about making ourselves feel good at the moment. It’s about committing to ourselves to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. It’s about taking our dreams and turning them into reality.

Goal setting can be used to create a better future for ourselves and our loved ones. It can also help us find direction in life when we feel lost or stuck.

Are we lost, or are we stuck?

Being stuck implies that we have a defeatist attitude. It caters to the notion that I cannot improve my situation no matter what I do. Immanuel Kant would say that this results from our cognitive faculties being in a rut.

Kant believed that we can break out of these ruts by using our reason. Reason, for Kant, is the faculty that allows us to think for ourselves. It is the ability to question why we believe what we do and think critically about our world.

When we set goals, we use our reason to create a plan for ourselves. We are taking control of our lives and charting a course for success. This empowering process can help us achieve anything we set our minds to.

We are not stuck. Stuck is infinite. We are lost.

Acknowledge it. Grow from it.

Being even 1 degree off from where we start equals thousands of miles of separation at the end. That is how we got here. Now, we need a little more guidance.

The first step is admitting that we don’t have all the answers. This can be a difficult thing to do, but it is essential if we want to grow and improve our lives. Once we admit that we don’t know everything, we open ourselves to new possibilities. We become willing to learn and experiment. We become open to change.

We evaluate the difference between where we are and where we want to be. That is the gap where genuine improvement lies. Do you want to be an expert? Why haven’t you taken the class, gotten the certification, or marketed yourself as such?

Lack of goals.

Goals aren’t the ‘shoot for the moon’ approach. Goals are rungs of a ladder. Each step closer to where you thought or wanted to be by this point in your life.

Goal setting is not about making ourselves feel good at the moment. It’s about committing to ourselves to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. It’s about taking our dreams and turning them into reality. When we set goals, we admit that we have the potential to grow and improve. This is a mighty mindset to have. Reaching our goals requires us to step outside of our comfort zones and embrace the unknown. The goal-setting process is not easy, but it is worth it!

Mentally Recharging

It’s easy to become bogged down by the routines of daily life. We all have the good and bad habits that we fall back on without even thinking about it. But sometimes, it’s essential to take a step back and mentally reset yourself. This can be done in several ways, but the most effective is often to change your environment. If you can get away from your normal surroundings and spend some time in a new place, you can open yourself up to new possibilities and see things in a different light. This can help you break out of any ruts you may have fallen into and start fresh.

In a recent survey, hundreds of high-performing upper management personnel were surveyed. The results were astounding. To stay mentally sharp, the high performers overwhelmingly chose activities that included an element of solitude.

Whether knowingly or not, the findings are consistent with zen philosophy. The goal of zen is to achieve a state of mind called “mushin,” which can be translated as “no mind.” This state is characterized by complete focus and concentration on the present moment. To achieve mushin, zen practitioners engage in activities that require complete focus and attention, such as meditation.

While the survey did not specifically ask about meditation, it’s clear that the respondents who reported the most significant mental productivity were those who had found a way to balance social and solitary activity in their lives.

Respondents reported participating in activities such as motorcycling, fly-fishing, and listening to music through headphones: no work e-mails, no phone calls, just themselves.

The key is to find an activity that allows you to focus entirely on the present moment without distractions. This could be anything from painting to hiking to playing a musical instrument. The important thing is that it’s something you enjoy and can do regularly.

Mentally disconnecting is often underrated. It can be so important to take some time for yourself, just step away from everything and relax. This can be especially beneficial if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out.

It’s also important to remember that mentally disconnecting doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. You can spend time with friends or family or simply enjoy peace and quiet. Whatever you do, make sure to take some time for yourself every day. The point is to find a way to disconnect from the stressors of life.

There are a lot of benefits to mentally disconnecting. For one, it can help reduce stress levels. It can also give you some much-needed time to reflect on your life and figure out what’s important to you. Additionally, it can help boost your mood and improve your overall outlook on life.

Mentally recharging allows us to hit the reset button and start fresh. It’s an integral part of maintaining our mental health and well-being. Maintaining our mental health and well-being allows us to continue to be there for other people. Whether we are first responders, parents, friends, etc., we need to be able to maintain ourselves and guide others where we can.

On Evaluating Progress

In ancient Greek philosophy, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a story that describes people who are chained inside a cave and can only see shadows cast on the wall. The shadows represent what they perceive as reality. These people tell each other that these shadows are real things. They believe in them more than anything else. Those outside of the cave, who have seen reality with their own eyes, know better and try to convince those chained inside to come out into the light and see how wrong they are about what is true and what isn’t. But this doesn’t work because those inside don’t want to leave their comfortable place where they feel secure. After all, “they know” everything there is to know while believing nothing could be better than what they have.

The problem with this story is that it’s not just a story. It’s an allegory for the human condition. We are all like the people in the cave, perceiving shadows on the wall and believing them to be reality. And, just like the people in the cave, we don’t want to leave our comfort zone because we’re afraid of what we might find out.

What is real?

The only way to break out of this cycle is to challenge our beliefs and ideas about what is real and what isn’t. We need to be willing to question everything we think we know and be open to the possibility that we could be wrong. Only then can we start to see reality for what it is.

We can question what we think we know by examining our proclamations and asking ourselves if they stand up to scrutiny. If you think back to five years ago, there is a chance that the thoughts and beliefs you held then are no longer valid. You have progressed.

We see this routinely when we think back to our twenties or even teen years. We say things like, “I wish I would have known then what I know now.” We are not the same people we were then. We have a different perspective now.

We change as we experience more of life. Our perspectives change as we learn new information and grow in our understanding. This is progress.

It can be difficult to evaluate our progress because it’s not always easy to see how far we’ve come. We may not realize how much we’ve changed until we look back on our old beliefs and ideas and see how different they are from our current ones. But it’s important to try to do this to see just how much progress we’ve made and how much further we still have to go.

We have a habit as a species of evaluating ourselves from where we think we should be. When we think in this manner, we are thinking from the end backward. Memento Mori, which means “remember you will die” in Latin, is a way of thinking that can help us remember our mortality and appreciate the time we have been given.

It allows us to see that each day is a gift and not a right. It’s a reminder that our time is limited, and we need to make the most of it. It helps us focus on what’s important and not get caught up in things that don’t matter.

Most importantly, in the context of evaluating our progress, it eliminates us from thinking about how much further we have to go. While reading this, you could die from an aneurism where you think your endpoint should suddenly become irrelevant.

Instead, evaluate yourself on how far you have come. Not compared to anyone else. Not compared to where you think you should be. But, actual evidence is proof of the gap between where you started and where you are now.

This is progress. And, it’s the only thing that matters.

If you feel stuck or like you’re not making the progress you want to be, take a step back and look at how far you’ve come. You’ll be surprised by just how much progress you have made. And once you see it, you can use it as motivation to keep going.

On Favorite Days and Challenges

I’m sure many things made up your favorite day from the past week, but I’ll bet one of them was an activity that stuck out above the rest. Think about what activities come to mind when thinking back on a great time in the past week.

Your favorite activity from the past week was probably something that challenged you and made you feel good. Maybe you rode your bike for the first time in years or cooked a complicated recipe from scratch. Whatever it was, it gave you a sense of accomplishment and made you feel good about yourself. And that’s precisely what we need to do more to improve ourselves.

We need to be challenged.

Too often, we get stuck In the game of complacency. We sit around waiting for things to happen to us rather than actively pursuing the life we want to live. We become content with just getting by, and our days start to blur together into one big, indistinguishable mass. But if we’re going to live our best lives truly, we need to find ways to regularly push ourselves out of our comfort zones.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we need to put ourselves in danger or do something that makes us unhappy. But it does mean that we should challenge ourselves intellectually, physically, and emotionally on a regular basis. By doing so, we keep ourselves sharp and prevent ourselves from becoming stagnant.

As Marcus Aurelius pointed out, “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” In other words, it’s far better to challenge ourselves and fail than it is to play it safe and never truly experience life.

When was the last time you felt happy?

Ask yourself an honest question. When was the last time you felt happy?

Chances are, it was during some period of growth. The combination of humility and eagerness to learn allowed you to accomplish something great, and in the process, you found joy.

Humility is needed to acknowledge we are still a work in progress. Eagerness to learn is needed to improve upon our position continually. The key is not to dwell or obsess about becoming happy. Arthur Schopenhauer said it best:

“The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.”

Focus on the process, not the result.

The problem with constantly seeking out new challenges is that we can become so focused on the outcome that we forget to enjoy the journey. We get so caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the view along the way. We become fixated on summiting the mountain instead of enjoying the climb.

It’s important to remember that life is a journey, not a destination. The goal is to enjoy the ride, not just arrive at the finish line. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Our natural tendency is to focus on what lies ahead, which can often lead to anxiety and stress.

It’s not about winning or losing.

In our culture, we tend to see life as a competition. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others and striving to be the best. We keep score of our successes and failures, and we define ourselves by our victories and defeats.

But what if we stopped seeing life as a competition? What if we stopped trying to win or lose and just focused on enjoying the game? Would we be happier? Would we be less stressed? I think the answer is yes.

Growth is not a straight line. It’s full of zig-zags and starts and stops. But if we want to experience true happiness, we need to be okay with embracing the chaos.

On Motivation and Productivity

When it comes to getting things done, there seems to be a sweet spot for timing. You want to be productive, but you don’t want to overdo it and feel burned out. So what’s the right balance? How do you know when you’re in the zone?

Do feelings predicate action? We typically think that we are motivated when we FEEL like doing something. We feel like working out, so we are motivated to go to the gym. We feel like eating healthy and losing ten pounds. We feel like connecting with an old friend, so we call them.

What if the algorithm is wrong? What if doing predicates feelings?

In other words, take action first, and the motivation and feelings will follow. It’s the same reason we tell people struggling with depression to “fake it ’til you make it.” When we do things that make us happy, we USUALLY feel happier as a result. The problem is that when we’re depressed, it’s hard to do something that make us happy. That’s where the “faking it” comes in.

Theory: Doing something — anything — will eventually lead to a feeling of motivation. As long as you get started, the motivation will come.

This theory can be broken down into two parts:

1) Doing begets doing.

2) Feeling begets feeling.

Laws of inertia

When it comes to getting things done, the best way to get started is to start. Once you’re in motion, it’s much easier to keep going. And as you keep going, you’ll find that your motivation will begin to build. The same is true of feelings. When we take action and do something, we often find that our feelings start to change. We may not feel like working out at first, but after doing it for a while, we may see that our attitude has changed, and we enjoy it now.

If you want to be more productive and get things done, the best way to do it is to start. If you want to feel like going to the gym, go to the gym. The results you see will likely motivate you to come back again.

One way to control your time is to set a daily routine and stick to it. This will help you structure your day and make the most of your time.

Another way to be more productive is to batch similar tasks together. This means doing all of your errands at once or tackling all of your emails in one sitting. Batching can help you save time by eliminating the need to switch gears between different tasks.

You can also try setting a timer for yourself to help you stay focused on a task. Once the timer goes off, you can take a break or move on to something else. This can help you stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed by a project.

And finally, remember that it’s okay to say no sometimes. You don’t have to do everything that’s asked of you.

Confidence Following Tragedy

Confidence has its roots in a Latin word. It is derived from confidentia, which means “to be bold” or “to have faith in.” In English, it was first used in the 1500s, and it means “a feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something.” Confidence is a crucial ingredient in success. It allows people to take risks and achieve their goals. Confident people tend to be happier and more successful than those who are not.

Confidence, unfortunately, has been used against successful people. People who are not confident will often try to bring others down to feel better about themselves. This is known as “sowing seeds of doubt.” However, confidence cannot be destroyed. It is a quality that comes from within and cannot be taken away. No matter what someone says or does, confidence will always exist. It is up to the individual to find and nurture it.

So, what is wrong with having trust in oneself? Plenty to an insecure person. Their ‘confidence’ borders on narcissism and is nothing more than a mask to hide feelings of inadequacy.

Insecurity is a virus that eats away at our confidence, making us question everything we do. It can make us shy away from opportunities and prevent us from achieving our goals. Insecurity can also cause us to doubt ourselves and our abilities.

A lack of self-esteem or self-worth often causes insecurity. This can be due to a number of factors, such as childhood experiences, bullying, or negative comments from others. If you are struggling with insecurity, it is essential to address the root cause. For first responders, self-confidence is key to success on the job. For individuals in a public safety profession, confidence can be the difference between life in death and a high-stress situation.

Unfortunately, confidence can be the first to escape our mental resilience arsenal following a traumatic event. Studies have shown that first responders who experience PTSD or other mental health conditions are more likely to suffer from low self-confidence. So, how can we build and maintain confidence following a traumatic event?

Acknowledge your feelings:

It is normal to feel scared, sad, or angry after a traumatic event. Give yourself time to process what happened. Most departments have debriefs or after-action reviews to process events. Do this at the individual level and be prepared to be open and honest with yourself.

Seek professional help:

A therapist can help you work through your feelings and develop healthy coping mechanisms. One of our goals at Frontline Freedom is to break the stigma associated with mental health. Remember, you are not broken. You are not an object. You are a human being. Human beings are social creatures. Talking is important. Talking to trained people on the best practices is even more critical.

Challenge negative thoughts:

Our thoughts influence our emotions and behavior. If you constantly think negative thoughts, it will be challenging to feel confident. Pay attention to your self-talk and challenge any unhelpful thoughts. Take the time to analyze each thought and ask yourself if it seems logical. We tend to catastrophize, which is a form of cognitive distortion.

Practice self-care:

Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is crucial for maintaining confidence. Make sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest. When you don’t feel like doing something, that is the exact time to force yourself to act. There is a misconception that feelings drive actions. Motivation does not work that way. Actions drive feelings. If we aren’t motivated to eat right and exercise, we will likely wait around for the feelings of motivation to fix it for us. However, if we force ourselves to do those things, typically, the motivation to continue follows shortly after that.

These are just a few tips for maintaining confidence following a traumatic event. If you struggle to cope with your emotions, please reach out for help. There is no shame in seeking professional assistance. Remember, you are not alone.

As the healing process continues, there are things to keep in mind.

Practice self-compassion.

It is ok not to be ok. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Give yourself time to succeed.

Don’t expect too much of yourself too quickly. Expect to have some reservations about certain actions or triggers. A specific building, smell, sight, etc., may trigger your anxiety. Expect that to happen. Be prepared for the occasional setback and be ready to talk about it with someone.

Celebrate your accomplishments.

We take things for granted sometimes. Simply walking into a restaurant may trigger us following a traumatic event. When you recognize that you can do things without thinking of them again, pause and take time to express self-gratitude. These are the signs that you are progressing.

Surround yourself with positive people.

We all need good influences. If we don’t surround ourselves with positive people, we cannot expect a positive result in life.

Above all else, trust.

Trust in yourself and your abilities. One of the first things in life taken from us following a tragedy is our confidence. Simply put, we stop trusting ourselves. We second guess everything. We get anxiety over the decisions we make. We listen to the doubts of those around us. What does that mean for our ability to live a full life?

It means we have to put in twice the effort. It means relearning how to trust not only ourselves but also the process. Trust that things will work out even when we can’t see how they could. Trust that we have what it takes to overcome any obstacle. Trust that we are capable of so much more than we think.

Start with trusting yourself enough to do the things you usually avoid because of a lack of confidence. If you’re afraid to speak in public, give a presentation. If you’re scared to try something new, sign up for a class. These small steps will build your confidence over time, and eventually, you’ll be able to do the things that once seemed impossible.

When we trust ourselves, our confidence grows. And with that growth comes a more positive outlook on life. We become less reactive and more proactive. We let go of the need to be perfect and learn to embrace our mistakes. We focus on what we can control and let go of the things we can’t. Most importantly, we learn to live in the present moment.

If you’re feeling lost or struggling with insecurity, the most important thing is to reach out for help. Talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or anyone who will listen. And remember, you are not alone. The more we share our struggles, the less power they have over us.

Why Productivity Is Trendy

Entrepreneurs are focused on productivity because they know that being able to produce more with fewer resources will make them successful and sustainable, and profitable. Personal productivity hacks show up everywhere as people attempt to do more with less.

Type in “productivity” into the search bar of YouTube and be amazed at the creativity of the modern entrepreneur. The new productivity mindset is one of frugality, sustainability, and profitability. It’s a massive shift but necessary to build a better future.

The global economy is shifting. The old model of consumer spending and debt-based consumption is no longer sustainable. Entrepreneurs are focused on productivity because they know that being able to produce more with fewer resources will make them not only successful but also sustainable and profitable. The largest resource for entrepreneurs is time. If they can find ways to be productive with their time, they will be able to accomplish more.

The rise of the gig economy.

The gig economy is composed of independent contractors and freelancers who are not tied to a single company. They often work on a project basis and are paid for their productivity, not for the number of hours they work. This means that they need to be highly productive to make a good living. Hacks to increase productivity are popular because they work. There are a number of productivity hacks that can help you get more done in less time. Whether productivity is aimed at learning (schoolwork) or methods applied to work/home life, the bottom line is productivity hacks are focused on saving the precious resource of time.

Technology is changing the way we work.

We can now work from anywhere in the world and have constant access to information and resources. This has made us more mobile and flexible, but it has also increased the expectations for our productivity. We are now expected to be available 24/7 and to be able to work at a moment’s notice.

This has led to the rise of productivity apps and tools that help us manage our time, stay organized, and get more done.

The productivity mindset is about more than just getting things done. It’s about doing things most efficiently and effectively possible. It’s about using the resources you have to their fullest potential. And it’s about constantly striving to be better.

We are living in an age of anxiety.

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world, and we often feel like we need to be doing more to be successful. This can lead to burnout if we’re not careful. The key is to find a balance between productivity and rest.

It’s essential to take breaks, disconnect from technology, and unplug from the world’s demands. We need to recharge our batteries so that we can be productive when it matters most.

As the next generation of leaders enters the job market, the focus is less on traditional measures of success. More focus comes from the ability to have a successful blend of work success and life balance. To have this balance, productivity is key. It helps to set boundaries between work and life so that we can focus on what’s important to us.

Having the ability to travel for pleasure while still working is a new concept. Remote working makes the world the new office. No longer confined to the city or a home office, people are free to live the lives they have always dreamed of. To truly capitalize on the ability to live, work, and play as desired, productivity must be mastered.

Accomplishing 8-hours of work in only 5 hours affords the traveling worker the ability to genuinely enjoy the world around them.

The productivity mindset is the key to a better future. A future where we can all achieve our goals and dreams without sacrificing our health or well-being. It’s a future where we can have it all.

Now that you understand why productivity is trending, it’s time to learn how to increase your productivity to achieve your goals and live the life you want. The world is changing, and so is the way we work. The productivity mindset is necessary for success in the new economy. Productivity is the key to a better future. a future where we can all achieve our goals and dreams without sacrificing our health or well-being. It’s a future where we can have it all.

The Solution Mindset: How to Focus on What You Can Do for Employers

Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

It’s no secret that the job-seeking process is arduous. But what if you could approach it in a whole new way, one that would guarantee success? According to career experts, a fundamental mind-shift needs to take place to achieve this goal. And it all comes down to one word: solution.

When you think about it, job seekers are always looking for solutions. They’re seeking a way to solve the problem of finding a job. But so often, they go about it in the wrong way. They focus on their weaknesses and what they don’t have instead of on their strengths and offer.

The good news is that there is a better way. And that’s where the solution mindset comes in. With this approach, you focus on what you can do for employers rather than what they can do for you. You think about how you can help them meet their goals and solve their problems. And when you do that, you become the solution they’ve been looking for.

So how can you shift your mindset and put the solution approach into practice? Here are a few tips:

Stop thinking about yourself in terms of “I need a job.” Instead, start thinking about yourself in terms of “I can provide solutions.”

When you go into an interview, don’t sell yourself as someone desperate for a job. Sell yourself as someone who has valuable skills and experience to offer. Emphasize what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you.

Make a list of your strengths and brainstorm ways to showcase them in your job search.

When you’re compiling your list of strengths, think about the unique things that make you special. Maybe you have a knack for public speaking or are an expert at problem-solving. Whatever your strengths may be, make sure to focus on the ones that will set you apart from other job candidates.

Once you have your list of strengths, it’s time to start showcasing them in your job search. One way to do this is by tailoring your resume and cover letter to match the job opening. You can also highlight your strengths during interviews by giving specific examples of how you’ve used them in the past. For example, if you’re applying for a position that requires strong communication skills, highlight any relevant experience you have in this area.

No matter how you showcase your strengths, be confident and emphasize your unique selling points. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of landing the job you want.

Stay focused on what you can do for employers, not what they can do for you.

Remember that your job search is all about what you can bring to the table, not what the company can do for you. Don’t focus on the benefits that a company can offer you, such as health insurance or a 401k plan. Instead, focus on the specific skills and experiences you have to offer.

Talk about your strengths and how they can benefit an employer. For example, if you’re a great problem solver, talk about how you’ve been able to solve problems in past jobs successfully. If you’re a hard worker, talk about how you never miss a deadline. Be specific and highlight your unique skills and qualities.

By focusing on what you can do for an employer, you’ll show them that you’re a motivated and qualified candidate. And that’s what they’re looking for!

The job search can be a long and challenging process, but you’ll be more successful if you stay focused on what you have to offer an employer. Remember that your goal is to show the company that you’re the best candidate for the job. Don’t focus on what they can do for you. Talk about your strengths and how they can benefit the company. Be specific and highlight your unique skills and qualities. Stay motivated and keep pushing forward! You’ll get there eventually.

Daily Tasks of Successful People

People often wonder what it takes to be successful. Success is not an accident; it is the product of daily habits. If you want to be successful, you need to develop the proper habits and stick to them daily. Many different practices can help you achieve success, but eight of the most important ones are here.

1. Successful people read every day

Reading is one of the most important habits for success because it allows you to learn new information that you can use to improve your life. The more you read, the more opportunities open up for you. Those who are successful in their respective fields almost always spend time reading every day.

If you are looking to maximize your potential and jumpstart your journey, I recommend the following books:

  • Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k – Mark Manson
  • Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
  • Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman

2. Successful people write daily

Think about how much writing has been done by successful people throughout history? Some of the greatest works in all areas of study were written by authors who became famous precisely because they wrote well. Journaling, not just the ‘dear diary’ type, but actual reflective writing, is a sure-fire way to ensure you are successful. Writing things down helps us organize our thoughts, set goals, focus our energy, and put plans into action. Journaling has long been documented to help overall mental health.

I use the leuchtturm1917 classic A5 hardcover in black.

3. Successful people know that they have to set goals and take focused action every day

There is a strong link between setting goals, achieving those goals, and becoming successful. Those who want to become successful need to look at what it takes to reach those goals. They need to figure out the exact actions they need to take every day to achieve success. This is not as easy as it sounds because you can’t control everything that happens in your life each day. But you can control how much effort you put into making things happen by consistently taking focused action daily.

4. Successful people are always busy working on something important

The way successful people see it is when you stop working, you stop producing, and when you stop producing, you stop getting paid. Successful people find a way to keep working on something at all times. They manage their time effectively and set priorities to get the most important things done first no matter what is going on in their lives.

Scheduling specific times in your day to maintain your relationships is a critical factor to long-term success.

5. Successful people do not dwell on mistakes

Every day we face new setbacks, challenges, and even disappointments. The key to achieving success is not to give up when problems happen or when we fail; it’s about handling those obstacles. Those who achieve success learn from mistakes instead of discouraging them from quitting. They understand that every failure brings a lesson that can help them succeed next time. While others may see obstacles as reasons to give up, successful people see them as opportunities for success.

6. Successful people do not try to do everything themselves

No matter how talented and intelligent you may be, no one person has all the skills and knowledge required to succeed in life. It’s essential for those who want to achieve success to realize that we can’t become successful by doing everything ourselves; we need the help of other people. By surrounding yourself with other competent and supportive individuals, you’ll gain access to new ideas and information that will make your dreams come true. Pursuing success on your own is often a recipe for failure.

7. Successful people take care of their health every day

Successful individuals know that they must take care of their bodies to live healthy, productive life. They eat healthily, get plenty of sunshine and sleep, and exercise daily. Successful people know that they have more energy to be effective when they take care of their bodies.

8. Successful people do what is necessary, even if it’s difficult or uncomfortable

Success means achieving goals you set for yourself today and tomorrow. It means living a life worth celebrating. However, doing what is necessary every day makes this possible no matter how hard it may seem. We all have goals we want to achieve, but sometimes things pop up that seem to get in the way. That’s why successful people get up each day, expecting that today will be just another step towards success. The link between achieving what we want in life and making the sacrifices necessary is a fact.

9. Successful people think positively about their future

People who have been successful know that when you live in the past, it means there’s no hope for your future. They try not to dwell on what could have been or should have been because they know that you don’t get anywhere by looking back. To achieve success, you must maintain a positive mindset about your next steps and work hard towards them every day. When you start thinking negatively, you attract negative things into your life; but good things come into your life when you think positively.

10. Successful people treat failure as an opportunity for growth

Failure doesn’t mean you should give up; it means you’ve learned what not to do. Successful people know that failure is a necessary step to success. They don’t get discouraged when things get difficult but instead use the experience as an opportunity for growth and improvement. It’s important to remember that something won’t work out so you can figure out how to make it better next time.

The key to success is not being discouraged by failure. Successful people know that they learn from every challenge and obstacle in life, no matter how hard or uncomfortable it may seem. The more complex and painful it gets, the more success is in your future!

Success is not something that will come to you; it’s something you chase. It takes dedication and determination every day to be successful. Successful people know that every day is another opportunity to learn and grow into a better version of themselves than they were the day before. If you take these ten lessons from successful people, I guarantee that one day your life will be filled with happiness, joy, and everything else good in life!

Growing through failure

Most people are terrified of failure. They do everything possible to avoid it. But if you want to achieve anything significant in life, you have to be willing to fail. Failure is a necessary step on the road to success.

In order to grow and learn, you need to make mistakes. And to make mistakes, you need to take risks. That’s why failure is essential to personal growth. Every time you try something new, and it doesn’t work out, you learn something valuable that can help you be more successful next time around.

It is said that growth comes from being uncomfortable. Why? As we get settled into our careers, we become complacent. We have what C.S. Lewis calls the curse of knowledge. We take for granted the journey that got us to where we are. We forget how learning is associated with not knowing all of the answers.

Growth is a function of a lack of knowledge mixed with a desire to improve your current position. Your current position seeks to make you comfortable, complacent, and settled. You want to be a little uncomfortable to improve your current situation. The only way to grow is not to know all the answers and move forward anyway.

But this requires a certain amount of failure. We have to take risks and learn through experience what doesn’t work to reframe our strategy for the future. This is not an easy process, but it is necessary if you will achieve anything genuinely unique with your life. Have you ever thought about how Thomas Edison invented the first light bulb? He invented hundreds of them failed hundreds of times until he got it right.

Failure Defined

You must understand just what failure means before taking on this philosophy of experimentation. Failure does not mean giving up on an idea or goal because it’s too hard or you don’t like it. It means giving up your old way of thinking and acquiring new knowledge through experience that will allow you to move forward more effectively.

Failure means trying out something new without knowing if it will work, sharing an idea with someone even though they may criticize it, or giving yourself permission to mess up and not stress about it.

When you want to achieve something in life, you will do whatever it takes, regardless of the consequences. It would help if you stopped caring what other people think and start thinking for yourself. You can’t let the fear of criticism hold you back from reaching your full potential.

Stop Worrying Yourself

IF we are going to be uncomfortable, we have to accept not having all knowledge. This humility is what leads us to actual growth. Set the ego aside and not worry if others will judge you for not having a solution for each problem you are presented with.

When you are not afraid of failure, failing is just a part of the process of reaching your goal. We have to stop worrying about what people think of us. We have to be willing to stand alone if that’s what it takes for us to keep moving forward.

If you are entirely focused on your goal and are willing to fail, you can accomplish anything. The first key is being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

A young man was walking on a beach one day when he came across a sign that said, “You cannot step in the same river twice.” This puzzled him, so he asked a wise older man what it meant. The old man replied, “It means that you can never go back to the same experience twice.”

This is very relevant to the philosophy of failure. Failure doesn’t mean giving up on an idea or goal; it means learning from your mistakes and moving forward. You can never go back to the same experience twice, so you have to keep trying new things to grow and learn.

When you are comfortable in your present situation, be it work, school, life, et cetera, you are complacent. You may be going through the motions of life. Perhaps you feel dissatisfied, stuck, and have felt a lack of meaning. To break through these feelings, push yourself. Try new things. Seek out discomfort and challenge it.

This can be a scary thing to do, but if you fail, so what? You have to stop worrying about what people think of you and worry about the facts instead. It’s only one moment in time.

The facts are that your current situation is not good enough for you, so get out there and find something better. If you keep doing the same old things day in and day out, nothing will change for the better.

In other words, never settle for anything less than everything that life has to offer; after all, if we don’t take risks, then how would we ever know where our limits lie?

When you are focused and driven, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals. Failure is just a part of the process, so don’t let it discourage you. Keep trying new things and learning from your mistakes until you reach your destination. Don’t be afraid to stand alone if that’s what it takes; after all, nobody ever accomplished anything significant by following the herd. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable and never settle for anything less than everything life has to offer.

5 Tough Decisions

Some of the most important decisions we make in our lives are made when faced with a fork in the road and don’t know which path to choose.

The thing to understand about decisions is that when we make them at crossroads in our lives, they tend to be exclusive. If we take Job offer A, we cannot accept Job offer B. The consequences of the decision will have a lasting impact on our future. The best way to make a crossroads decision is with careful preparation and anticipation.

1# The Career Decision

A career decision is very closely related to the crossroads of our lives. It may not be the most important at all, of course, but it has more impact on our daily lives than many other decisions.

So, how do you make the right decision? It’s essential to take into account risk factors like changing careers. You don’t want to end up doing something that you hate – it will be far too easy to fall into depression and desperation for income. Don’t let money be your primary motivation for choosing a job; try not to expect to make lots of money as soon as possible. There are people who do work they love, and they don’t get paid much at all, but they’re happy with what they do.

How can we know if we made the right choice? How can we recognize when a particular job is a good fit for us long-term? What makes most career choices difficult is that there’s no simple or easy answer to that question.

The one thing you should do when deciding on a job is to anticipate your future in it. Ask yourself if you could see yourself doing this job every day for at least five years, ten years? How long can you really see yourself working in this particular field? Only choose a career path where the answer is positive.

2# Going back to School or Getting an Advanced Degree

If two choices are equal – let’s say they’re both excellent career paths and have similar salaries, then sometimes going back to school or getting an advanced degree is what makes the difference. In some cases, it might be what will open up more doors for us down the road. You need to think about whether or not you want to learn more about the profession you have chosen or whether it will be better for your career goals to go get another degree or complete a certificate program.

There are many positives to going back to school. For one, you will be able to gain more knowledge in the field you have chosen. Additionally, you will be able to learn new skills that can help you in your career. You may also be able to network with other professionals in your field and get advice on how to move forward in your career. Going back to school can also help you stay current in your area and keep up with changes in the industry.

Making the decision to go back to school can be a difficult one. It’s essential to weigh all of the pros and cons before making a final decision. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:

  • -How will going back to school help you achieve your goals?
  • -Can you afford to return to school?
  • -Do you have the time to devote to studying?
  • -Will you be able to find a job once you graduate?
  • -Is the program you’re interested in reputable and accredited?
  • -What are the living expenses like in the city where the school is located?

These are just some of the things you need to think about when making your decision. It’s not an easy one to make, but it’s an important one nonetheless.

3# Moving to Another City/Country

This is another of the most critical decisions in our lives that come at a crossroads. Sometimes there’s no way around it – especially if you have family somewhere else, then moving becomes an inevitable decision. If you’re thinking about moving, though, think carefully before choosing where to go next. Make sure this city or country will make you happy because it may not be so easy to bounce back once you’ve moved somewhere new. Think how good are your chances of finding employment there; are there any other opportunities for professional development? Check out all the pros and cons of that city or country before making the decision.

Making the decision to move to a new city can be daunting. You need to consider all of the pros and cons before making a final decision. Here are a few things to think about:

  • -How will moving to a new city help you achieve your goals?
  • -Can you afford to move?
  • -Is the city you’re interested in reputable and accredited?
  • -What are the living expenses like in the city?

4# Marriage/Having Children

This is an important life choice that will inevitably change your life forever. It is one of those crossroads decisions you need to make at a certain point in your life because it’s hard to bounce back once you’ve gone down the “family” path. Make sure this is what you really want; think about how marriage will affect your career goals, if any, and whether parenthood fits with them. Be honest with yourself before taking this huge step – make sure there’s no other reason than true love behind the decision if you do decide to marry someone. Nobody wants to get divorced, but not everybody realizes what it means till they’re in it. Talk to someone you trust before making this life-changing choice; more often than not, they’ll be able to give you some perspective on what you’re planning.

The biggest thing you can do here is to communicate. Know what you want in life and be prepared to talk about that openly with people that you date either early in the relationship or long-term.

5# Leaving A Long Term Relationship

Sometimes the most difficult “crossroads” decisions are the ones about love and relationships. There comes a time when we need to make a tough decision whether or not to end up our long-term relationship with someone we love very much. We all get used to people who are always around us; seeing this person every day, sharing moments together – it’s something that becomes part of our routine pretty quickly, but is this regular routine that will make you happy? If there’s somebody out there who makes you more comfortable than your current partner, then you should move on from your relationship. But make sure it’s the right thing to do – never justify your decision with “I’ll be happier without you anyway.” Make sure this is really what makes you happy and not just an easy way out of a challenging situation or a bad but comfortable habit.

Five Tips for a Healthy Work / Life Balance

One of the most challenging points about being a young professional is balancing work and life.

It can be easy to find yourself starting to feel like you’re either too busy or not productive enough.

Or that you don’t have time for anything outside of work – friends, family, exercise – because there’s never any time left over once your day is done. But if this sounds like you, here are five tips on how to make your life balance better:

Start the day with a plan.

The best way to set clear plans for your day is by starting it with a to-do list.

Make sure every task you need to accomplish – and even those you’d like to – is right there in front of you so that nothing slips through the cracks. And don’t forget to add in some time for yourself!

Keep a journal of your progress.

Keeping a detailed account of how you spend your day is a great way to help figure out where the balance in your life needs to be improved.

By making sure that you write down each task and putting them into two separate categories – work and personal – it becomes easier to see what tasks are taking up most of your time, which can help you figure out where adjustments need to be made.

It may sound simple, but there’s no better way than writing something down when it comes to committing it to memory.

And who knows? You may even find this habit starting to spill over into other areas of your life, helping you feel more on top of things in general.

Make the most of lunch breaks.

That lunch break is meant to be a time to re-energize yourself by taking a break from work and giving your mind some time off.

Avoid the pitfalls of constantly working through your lunch. This is an excellent time to schedule a time to meet with friends clients or just get out of the office for a few minutes. Grab a coffee, sit at a park, do something that brings you joy. Just don’t sit in front of your desk.

Learn how to say no (responsibly)

This is another excellent way to take advantage of technology – and an important lesson not just for work, but also for life.

Being able to say no to your boss without sounding like you’re lazy or uninterested can be difficult.

Set healthy boundaries with your time. You must respect your time as much as you respect your employer’s needs. Be respectful, and understand that being respectful is a two-way street.

 But by explaining that you already have something planned, even if it’s only a quick lunch with a friend, it makes it easier for your boss to understand.

Use weekends wisely

The weekend is meant for relaxing and recharging – not stressing about all the things that are piling up because you weren’t able to get anything done at work.

Sunday isn’t for stressing and getting the ‘Sunday Scaries.’ Sunday is a great way to look at your week ahead and make a game plan to win your week. Write out and prioritize tasks that need to be accomplished. Just make sure when you’re planning your workweek, you aren’t jeopardizing your downtime.

Conclusion

It can be tough to find a work-life balance when just starting your professional career. But by using some of the tips I’ve provided, such as keeping a journal of your progress, making the most of lunch breaks, and learning how to say no responsibly, you’ll be on your way to finding more equilibrium in your life. We hope these tips have been helpful! And don’t forget that it’s essential to take time for yourself – weekends are meant for relaxing and recharging so you can start fresh on Monday morning.

A (very) Brief Introduction to Stoicism

Stoicism is having a huge comeback in popularity. A quick search on Amazon turns up dozens of self-help books describing the philosophy as a sure-fire path to happiness, success, and tranquility. So, what is stoicism? Below is the brief version of stoicism to help you get started in understanding, and more importantly, applying this ancient wisdom in your daily life.

What is Stoicism?

Zeno founded the philosophy of stoicism in the 3rd century BC. He taught me that the best way to deal with difficult situations was to remain calm and rational. People who followed his teachings were known as Stoics.

The philosophy of stoicism teaches that you should always try to be reasonable and logical, no matter what is happening around you. You should never let your emotions get in the way of your decisions, and you should always stay calm under pressure.

To put it simply, you don’t have to react to everything.

Principles of Stoicism

The stoic philosophy teaches that you must control yourself, even if everything else is out of control. This means never letting your emotions rule over your mind. When you act on emotion, it’s usually because something horrible has happened, and now you’re reacting to the horror instead of the facts.

You can allow yourself to be happy after doing a good deed or experiencing a positive result from a goal you’ve been working toward for some time – but only then! Don’t buy into temporary joys. Temporary joys are distractions that separate those with passion from those who like the idea of being passionate.

The stoic philosophy teaches a simple lesson: don’t be a slave to your emotions. When something bad happens, remind yourself that this is not the end of the world; it’s simply an event. Then use your mind to analyze why this happened and how you could have prevented it. And if nothing can be done, then accept it and move on.

Do Stoics have emotions?

You should feel emotions, too; they make you human. But you should never let them control you because doing so will prevent you from living your life to the fullest extent possible. So instead of acting like an animal whenever something good or bad happens, use your head first.

Your emotions are powerful forces, but they also cloud your judgment. Before doing anything important in life – whether you’re speaking up for yourself at work or asking someone out on a date – always ask yourself how you would act if there was no possible negative consequence. You will never get anywhere being timid!

I’m in control, now what?

To have a fulfilling life, you must do more than merely exist. In other words: get off your rear and do something already! Either get busy with your goals by using your head and acting logically, or get a busy living by using your emotions appropriately.

Great men are not born great; they grow great through hard work, responsibility, and getting out there to create the opportunities necessary for growth.

Stoicism and Pleasure

Pleasure is one of the most dangerous things because it is fleeting. But if you can transform your pleasure-seeking drive into an energetic drive for fulfilling important goals, then you will be unstoppable! Whatever is most pleasurable in life becomes average over time, but whatever you use to push yourself toward accomplishing something that excites you will provide endless enjoyment.

The stoic philosophy teaches that nothing great is achieved without some kind of sacrifice – whether it’s money, time, effort, energy, blood/sweat/tears, or something else. Most people fail to do something great because they want everything at once and free of charge.

If you want to have a big house with a white picket fence, then you must be willing to put in the effort required to buy that house and work hard enough to keep it clean, well maintained, and inviting for guests (or perhaps extra bedrooms if children are in your plans). If you don’t like what’s available in your price range, then save up faster; don’t complain about how difficult it is!

Stoics always try

The stoic philosophy teaches that the only real defeat in life comes when we stop trying. The countless hours of lost sleep missed opportunities, forgotten words during an argument, etc., are nothing compared to the reward of living life on your terms. If we give up on ourselves and our dreams (whatever they may be), we might as well have died even before our bodies did.

So, set yourself free. Don’t let yourself be controlled by your emotions. Do not allow yourself to be a slave to your passions. And never forget that you only get one chance at this thing called life, so make it count! Live in the present and continue to push yourself for better each day.

The stoic philosophy is a powerful tool to help us live our lives to the fullest. It teaches us not to be controlled by our emotions and instead use our heads first before doing anything important. We must do more than merely exist; we must get off our rear and take action! Pleasure is fleeting, but if we transform it into an energetic drive to fulfill important goals, we will be unstoppable. Nothing great is achieved without some kind of sacrifice, so be willing to put in the effort required for your dreams. The only real defeat in life comes when we stop trying, so never give up on ourselves.

Are Video Games Negatively Impacting Your Life?

We all have our outlets for dealing with stress. We pick up hobbies or join sports clubs to blow off steam. But what about video games? Seldom do people count video game playing as a hobby. However, a significant amount of time is spent playing videos games. Is your video game hobby negatively impacting your relationships with your spouse, family, or friends?

Most people would say that playing video games is a hobby. It is an escape from the real world for some, a way to relax and have some fun. However, for others, video game playing has become an addiction. An addiction that is negatively impacting their relationships with friends and family.

Ask yourself these questions to see if maybe its time to put down the controller:

Is your gaming taking priority over other hobbies or social activities?

People need to find time for the things they enjoy doing. If you use the phrase, “I used to…” and are playing video games instead of your past hobbies, you may have a problem. If your hobbies are having to take a back seat to video game playing, it could indicate that something is wrong.

How long do you play video games without interruption?

Video game addiction may sound like an exaggeration, but research shows that almost 10% of gamers display problematic symptoms. Playing longer than three hours in a row at any time is an indicator of a larger problem. The longer one plays, the greater the chances of becoming an addiction.

Do you dream about video games at night?

Dreams are important in helping us recall memories and provide us with solutions to our problems. Video game addicts have reported vivid dreams about specific games.

Many addicts report dreaming about playing their favorite games when it comes to video game dreams. These dreams are often very vivid and can provide a sense of satisfaction that the addict may lack in real life. Dreams about video games can also help the addict work through any problems they may be facing in their life. For example, if an addict has trouble with a certain level in a game, they may dream about beating that level and resolving the issue.

While dreaming about games may not be bad at face value, it shows us that our minds are attached to the games we play even when we are not playing them.

How do you feel when you are not playing video games?

There is a difference between simply enjoying your hobby and having an addiction. Addicts often find themselves lost without their drug of choice. Not only does this person neglect their duties or responsibilities for their gaming, but they also become anxious or irritable. Are you constantly thinking about playing when you should be focused on family, work, or other activities?

How much time do you spend with family or friends?

Involvement with video games can take away from personal relationships. It is important to maintain both to have a healthy outlook on life. The most pervasive myth about the social consequences of video game playing is that it creates anti-social personalities. People who play video games excessively are not necessarily anti-social; they simply need to limit their gaming time to maintain healthy relationships.

A lack of attention and care for loved ones or a complete disregard for household rules or responsibilities could be due to excessive time spent playing games. Self-awareness of how your action or inaction impacts others is a known key to a successful life. If you ignore the people around you and their needs, you may need to impose limits on your playing.

Impacts of excessive gaming:

Lack of communication is one of the most common side effects of a dysfunctional relationship. When someone is addicted to anything, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or video games, their inhibitions lower, and they become less inhibited in social situations. Someone with an addiction will not make time for friends and family because they prefer to stay home and play video games than go out with others. Family members may feel like they are becoming replaced since their loved ones would rather play games than spend quality time together. Even though individuals may say they are trying to get better, they could just be lying so that others do not leave them. This behavior can cause stress on the family members left at home.

The second negative impact on relationships is that it affects one’s mood. Video game addiction can cause someone to feel very isolated. When someone feels isolated, they are more likely to become depressed and even contemplate suicide. Since psychological issues are frequently linked with video game addiction, some patients undergo counseling for both their video game addiction and their mental health issue(s). Although this may not directly affect one’s relationship, if a person neglects other areas in his life such as school or work, this could create a rift between those around him or her.

Life is about balance. I’m not advocating for not playing video games. That would be hypocritical as I enjoy numerous hobbies. Find a balance between games and other areas of your life. Meet friends. Spend time with family or significant others. Play games, but also do something productive.

Give yourself goals for what you want to accomplish during the day. Maybe these goals are not things that directly benefit you right now but could be things that will help you in the future. Or maybe you want to read a book or two. Whatever you do, do it with balance.

Scheduling Friendships

Maintaining friendships is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Friends provide social support and can help us through difficult times. However, it can be challenging to find the time to keep in touch with our friends, especially if we are busy with work or other commitments. That’s why scheduling time on your calendar specifically for contacting friends is a great way to ensure that you don’t lose those valuable relationships!

Research into human relationships shows the importance of friendships. In the everyday hustle of our lives, we become a follower to what is on our calendars. If we want to stay connected with our friends, we must schedule a time to talk and catch up. Even a 30-minute phone call with a friend can have huge, lasting impacts on our mental health.

When we make time to talk with friends, it strengthens our relationships. Research has shown that people who speak on the phone more than once a week are less likely to experience depression and loneliness. This is because talking with friends releases oxytocin. Oxytocin makes us feel good, and it helps to reduce stress levels.

Additionally, unlocking time off on your calendar allows you to have more control over what you do in your day. When you know you have the appointment time blocked out, you are less likely to schedule other activities or meetings in its place. This way, you can make the most of your time with friends and not feel guilty about taking some time for yourself.

One of the reasons people tend not to schedule open blocks of time out on their schedule is the phenomenon of negative forecasting bias. This is the idea that we tend to think negatively about the future, and so don’t bother making plans because we assume they won’t happen. Or, we dread not having an open space in the future.

For the police world, the best example of negative forecasting bias is when we dread going to or attending a training event. We think, “I don’t want to go. It’s going to be terrible.” It could be as simple as in-service training, which is nothing more than annual updates and maybe firearms qualifications. By all means, it is typically an easy day.

Yet, despite this, we dread going. We see it on the calendar and immediately get anxiety over attending. Once we attend the training, we think to ourselves, “that wasn’t so bad.” However, when it rolls around again next year, we are back to dreading it.

Negative forecasting bias can also prevent us from taking time for ourselves. We might think, “I don’t want to block out any time on my calendar because something might come up.” But by doing this, we are more likely to have something come up. Having time blocked out for you on your calendar gives you a sense of ownership over that time and shows that it is crucial.

When it comes to our relationships, we should be proactive and schedule a time to catch up with friends. This will help us maintain those valuable relationships and reduce stress levels. Plus, it just feels good to talk with friends.

In a chaotic world, it is easy to feel lost. Control what you can; schedule a time to call a friend. It’s not intrusive and can easily be accomplished. By taking some control over our lives and improving interpersonal relationships, we are preventing mental anguish for ourselves in the future.


Taking control of your life can help improve your relationships with other people. If we are busy or overworked, the best way to maintain relationships with friends and family is by scheduling time on our calendars specifically for them. This helps us avoid the pitfalls of negative forecasting bias and not having any open blocks of time in the future. This can lead to reduced stress levels and a better overall feeling.

How do you develop a personal philosophy?

A personal philosophy is a basic framework for making decisions. It describes how you view the world, your place in it, and what you value. The more thought you put into developing your philosophy, the better equipped you will be to make tough decisions in line with your values when faced with difficult situations.

Why should we bother with a personal philosophy?

Having a personal philosophy gives you a personal set of guidelines to follow when it comes to specific instances in life involving morals, ethics, and how we see ourselves fitting in the world. Do we always do what is right? No matter how painful? Do we see ourselves as independent actors? Or, do we see and understand how our words and actions directly impact the world around us?

What is our personal code of ethics? What is our personal response to adversity? What is our reaction when someone wrongs us?

Having a personal philosophy prevents us from acting selfishly. Having a personal philosophy allows us to persevere in the face of adversity. Having a personal philosophy prevents us from stooping to the level of another person who has wronged us, just for revenge.

A personal philosophy keeps us mentally resilient. A personal philosophy helps us to grow.

How do you develop a personal philosophy? What are its steps, phases, and pitfalls?

The first step is to ask yourself some fundamental questions about life: How do I see myself? What are my goals? What are my priorities? These answers should guide everything else that follows. Next, try to understand the meaning of various concepts like truth or honor or virtue or justice and how they relate to your life. A good place to start is by reading the philosophy of others who have grappled with these questions before you, such as Socrates or Confucius. Once you’ve developed a basic framework for thinking about the world, test it out in specific situations. For example, let’s say you want to know if something is virtuous; ask yourself if it fits within your definition of virtue. If not, then that thing cannot be virtuous. By applying this framework in different areas of your life – like family and work and friends and money – you’ll ultimately develop a set of values that guide how you live and what decisions you make on a day-to-day basis.

When examining personal philosophy in the modern world, it’s important to remember that your opinions and values are not something inherent in who you are. Rather, they’re a collection of decisions made over the course of your life. Once you understand this, it becomes clear that developing a personal philosophy is about taking charge over what you believe instead of just accepting it as an unchangeable part of you.

For instance, I used to get angry when things did not go my way. I would verbally lash out at anyone who would listen. Now, I understand that I may not get my way. Rather than lash out, I focus. I control what I can and improve where needed. My personal philosophy has developed me into a more emotionally stable human being, ready to tackle the world.

Personal Philosophy

Personal philosophy is defined as the system of values that guides how you live your life. It describes how you view the world, your place in it, and what you value. While everyone has a different personal philosophy, it typically reflects the decisions someone has made about his or her own identity and existence. There are many components to this framework for thinking about the world – ranging from concepts like truth or honor to attitudes toward wealth or family – but all can be tied back to an individual’s fundamental beliefs.

What are some examples of important questions to start with?

Some other questions that might provide insight into an individual’s philosophy are: How do I see myself? What are my goals? What does virtue mean? Are people inherently good or evil? What is a just society? Asking these questions might lead to answers that align with things like an ethical code, a political philosophy, or a religious faith. Each of those areas contains different value judgments about what’s good and bad, which leads to specific choices in how someone lives his or her life.

How does personal philosophy relate to identity?

Your philosophy represents the overarching view through which you interpret everything else in your life. It’s the lens through which you see truth or justice or virtue, and all of your opinions are made in light of that framework. When someone says “that’s just how I am” or “it’s just my personality,” it reveals a lack of awareness about how his or her actions reflect on their personal philosophy. People who think deeply about who they are, have a greater capacity to make good decisions because they know what type of person they want to be, beyond just being “themselves.” Additionally, having an extra awareness of self leads to greater awareness of how your thoughts, actions, opinions, and attitudes impact those around you.

Is it possible for two people to have the same personal philosophy?

People often think others with similar circumstances will hold similar positions on issues like politics or faith. They assume there must be some underlying logic that determines why someone thinks one thing or another. But two people can look at the same issue and come to wildly different conclusions while still having a shared personal philosophy. That’s why knowing someone well is often necessary to begin to understand their value system; it might take years before you even glimpse their full perspective.

How does personal philosophy relate to identities like race and gender?

It’s impossible for these identities not to affect your approach to life because everyone has some separate category they fit into based on traits like skin color, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Race and gender are obvious examples of this, but there may be others that play a role in how you see yourself – such as your nationality or family background or religion. They all inform who you think you are on the outside, which determines who you think you are on the inside. It is undeniable that the deciding factor isn’t really about outward appearances or where we grew up geographically. Our identities are shaped upon experience.

What makes someone’s personal philosophy unique?

A personal philosophy is more than just a set of values that guide an individual; it’s also about how he or she uses those values to make decisions and react to others. For example, there are some people who would put their family ahead of everything else in life, whereas others might say following your conscience is most important. Those differences represent two different ways of thinking about what’s more important, even though they’re both operating under the same general framework. Personal philosophies become uniquely identifiable when they’re filtered through specific contexts like culture or nationality or religion because these things change the lens through the world is viewed.

How do emotions affect personal philosophy?

Emotions can be useful because they help connect us to our values. If we didn’t feel anything, we wouldn’t have any reason to care about acting morally or pursuing meaning in life. Without empathy or sympathy, our grandparents would not have intervened during World War II to stop the third Reich. Without emotion, laws protecting all of us from crimes of violence would not exist.

But it’s important not to let our emotions drive every decision without thinking them through and applying some rational thought as well. People who are ruled by their feelings often find themselves saying or doing things they ultimately regret. The trick is finding the balance between rational thinking and emotional feeling so you can make decisions based on your personal philosophy.

How does someone continue refining their personal philosophy?

Ideally, you’ll constantly come back to your beliefs and ask yourself if what you’re doing matches up with them. It’s not always easy to do because you’re probably busy and distracted by all sorts of things, but it can be helpful to think about your personal philosophy when experiencing certain situations. For example, if someone gets angry with you or hurts your feelings, you can ask yourself how that person fits in with the values you want to hold dear. If they don’t make sense together, try to identify why so you can use this knowledge to make better decisions in the future.

What are some common traps people fall into when developing their personal philosophy?

It’s easy for someone’s personal philosophy to become jaded or biased because of a bad experience they’ve had or something they were taught growing up. A judgmental parent might convince a child that people who don’t believe in God are evil and deserve to be punished, and this belief might stay with the child for life. For some people, it might even lead them to reject their religion or spirituality completely because they assume anyone who’s part of a church is just as judgmental and hypocritical as their parents were. Or, someone who is mistreated by a member of a certain race might use that experience to justify prejudice against all members of that group, even though there’s no logical reason to do so. What these individuals don’t realize is they’re allowing the actions of one person to ruin everything for them and completely miss out on getting to know an entire culture or community.

How can you apply your personal philosophy?

Your personal philosophy should guide more than just what you say; it should also determine how you act on a day-to-day basis. Every decision affects not just you but others around you, so once you figure out what matters most to you and how best to use those values and beliefs, make every effort to make decisions accordingly. Even if things don’t always go according to plan, try not to let that affect your belief system. As long as you’re trying the best you can and acting in line with what really matters to you, then your personal philosophy is healthy and rewarding.

What do people find most satisfying about creating a personal philosophy?

People like knowing who they are and why they make certain decisions because it gives them an identity outside of their job or family roles. Setting goals for yourself based on what’s important is often more fulfilling than just going through life without any particular purpose in mind…most people enjoy having a reason for everything they do from morning until night. Not everyone needs a set way of thinking, but those who have carefully developed their beliefs feel confident about themselves and are happy with what they’re doing.

Life is about the journey’s and growth we take. Not the destination. After all, the destination for all of us is mortality. We all die. What we do on our way to our impending death is where purpose and meaning come from.

That same framework can be applied in almost every facet of life. Think about it. If you have ever earned a promotion, you were ecstatic to get it. Yet, within just a few short years, we are looking towards ways to advance even more. It is the quest for our continued journey that fuels us forward.

What are some common pitfalls of creating a personal philosophy?

Just like people can get caught up in their emotions, it’s easy to fall into the trap of overthinking everything. Too much self-analysis wastes time and energy limiting someone’s capacity to actually live life…people who focus too much on figuring out their personal philosophy often spend years without ever taking the leap to explore the world around them or form meaningful relationships. They might be able to fit things together perfectly into some sort of grand philosophical puzzle that makes sense on paper, but it doesn’t mean anything if they never actually put these beliefs into practice. At the end of the day, having a clear philosophy is great, but it’s more important to see if it actually changes anything in their lives.

People who are introspective spend a lot of time wondering what happens after death, whether or not free will exists, whether people are truly aware of their consciousness if there’s any way to prove God exists, if life has any purpose at all…there are so many different questions to ask, and no one person can come up with an answer for everything. The more someone thinks about these questions though, the more they realize how much is still unknown…which can actually be incredibly exciting because it gives them plenty of room to try new things without worrying too much about what might happen next.

How would you define your personal philosophy?

Ideally, everyone has a clear understanding of what they believe to be true and feels comfortable sharing this information with others. It’s impossible for one person to know everything about another person because there are just too many factors involved…although it might be nice if everyone shared the same view of the world, that wouldn’t leave much room for individuality or creativity at all! As long as people try not to judge others based on their personal philosophy, they should feel free to share whatever they think is important without constantly worrying about whether other people will agree with them.

How does your personal philosophy shape your worldview?

Someone’s personal philosophy affects their perspective on just about every aspect of life because it’s the basis for everything they believe to be true. If their worldview changes, then their personal philosophy shifts along with it…even people who are introspective enough to develop a system for understanding the world around them can’t help but learn new things and expand their set of beliefs as time goes on.

I don’t think it is an unfair statement to argue that you are not the same person you were five years ago. By that reasoning, we can assume in another five years, our growth will continue to mold us into someone different than our current state. There are always more questions to ask and answers to find, but someone’s personal philosophy helps guide them through this process without too many surprises along the way.

Conclusion

Your personal philosophy is an incredibly important tool for living a fulfilling life. It helps you make sense of the world around you and guides your decisions based on what you believe to be true. Everyone’s philosophy is different, but as long as you stay true to your own beliefs, you’re sure to find happiness and satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to share your views with others, and always be willing to learn more about what makes life meaningful to other people. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to defining your personal philosophy, so don’t stress out too much about it! Just take things one step at a time and continue exploring the world around you.

Are you living an enriching life?

Five life areas can lead to total happiness and well-being. Any improvement within the five results in happier you.

According to research, these are five fundamental categories or types of well-being. They are not “stand-alone” pursuits in themselves, but they are three things that can lead to greater fulfillment in life overall. For each category, I’ll include a question to help you determine if it’s something you need to focus on more in your life.

Relationships

Relationships are about the quality of time you spend with other people in your life, whether that’s a partner, spouse or family member, friend, colleague, or anyone else you enjoy spending time with. It doesn’t matter how long you have known them for either. The important thing is that you have people in your life that are good for you, care about you, and who you enjoy being around. If this isn’t something that comes easily to you, if there are many people in your life but no one really stands out as unique, then it might be time to start thinking about making some new friends or investing more time in your existing relationships. And suppose you don’t have as many people as you’d like in your life. In that case, it might be time to look at opportunities for meeting new people and expanding your social circle. Relationship questions:

Do I know the names of all my neighbors?

Do I have a best friend or group of close friends that I enjoy spending time with?

Do I have at least one person to whom I can say anything without fear of judgment or consequences?

Health and Fitness

If you keep up a healthy lifestyle and eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly, then your physical well-being will improve. This means you will have more energy, be less prone to illness and generally feel better about yourself. If this isn’t something that comes naturally to you, or if it’s been a long time since you’ve looked after your health, then perhaps now is the time for some basic improvements. Start with small changes – eat healthier or start exercising – and build up from there. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Health and fitness questions:

Do I exercise regularly?

Do I eat healthy foods most of the time?

If you answered no to those, then it might be time to take another look at your lifestyle and ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to make things even better.

Career and Finance

This is about how you feel about your job, as well as whether or not you earn enough money to meet all your needs and those of people close to you. If you like what you do for a living and feel confident in your abilities, then it’s likely you’ll be happy with your job. If this isn’t the case, if you would like to make a change or even start your own business, now might be the right time. And if you’re lacking in confidence and don’t feel as though your work is valued, then it’s time to focus on building skills and gaining experience that will allow you to take a more confident, proactive stance at work. Finally, if you’re unhappy with your financial situation and feel as though your job isn’t providing enough money to meet all your needs, it might be time for a change or even a new career. Career and financial questions:

Do I enjoy going to work every day?

How does my job make me feel about myself?

Do I earn enough money to cover all my needs and the needs of people close to me?

Is it time for a career change or at least some further education to boost earning power? If you answered no to any of these questions, then your attention should be focused on working towards positive changes in this area.

Value Systems

Value systems are an often overlooked area of our lives. Where we get our values and, more importantly, how we can improve them are essential to our overall success. While there are many different value systems, we often only think about our personal ones.

Our family, friends, and community all play a role in shaping our values. However, we also have to be careful not to let others control us. We need to find our voice and figure out what’s important to us. This can be a difficult task, but it’s worth it in the end.

Once we know our values, we need to start living by them. This doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect, but it does mean that we need to try our best. We also need to be aware of our surroundings and how they might influence us. It’s not always easy to stay true to our values, but it’s worth it in the end.

When we live by our values, we’re happier and more fulfilled. We know who we are and what we stand for. We also have a sense of direction in our lives, which is essential.

Bottom line; we are what we consume. If we constantly scroll social media, we become the content we scroll. If we watch argumentative television, we become confrontational.

Self-Improvement

The final category is self-improvement. This is about doing the things that make you feel good, improve your life and help you grow as a person. It’s about finding fulfillment in what you do. If this isn’t something that comes naturally to you, if there are aspects of your character and personality that you’d like to change and develop, it might be time for a bit of personal development. And if you feel as though your life lacks meaning or purpose, perhaps the source of this problem is in how you choose to spend your time. Consider what positive changes would make a significant difference in your life and go from there. Self-improvement questions:

Do I make time for things that enrich my life?

What would be different if I spent more time doing what makes me happy and fulfilled?

If you answered no to the first question and are stumped on the second of those, then here are a few ideas to get you started. Identify one thing you could do every day that would add value to your life and take steps towards making that happen.

What are the most important things in my life?

Who do I spend time with?

Do those people bring out the best in me or tend to bring me down? If they don’t enrich your life, it’s probably time to either spend more time with people who inspire you or find strategies for dealing with the negative people in your life.

It’s time to take another look at your lifestyle and ask yourself if there is anything you can do to make things even better. Consider what positive changes would make a significant difference in your life and go from there. Whether it’s about career, finance, or self-improvement, the key is not making excuses for where you are but taking actionable steps towards improvement today.

Rebranding yourself: A practical guide

It’s no secret that the job market is tough these days. With so many people competing for a limited number of jobs, you need to do everything you can to set yourself apart from the pack. One way to do that is by rebranding yourself.

Rebranding yourself doesn’t mean changing your name or your appearance. Rebranding implies that you’ve grown. You are not the same person you were a few years ago. You have been shaped by the experiences that have made you who you are today. It’s time to reflect on those changes. And to show them to the outside world.

Rebranding means taking your professional and personal growth and sharing that new image for yourself based on who you are and what you have to offer. It means emphasizing your strengths and downplaying your weaknesses. And it means communicating your brand clearly and consistently across all media channels.

It is not enough to have a resume that shows that you go to work. Everyone (for the most part) does. You need something to set you apart from the rest of the pack. Volunteering to sit on a board of a non-profit adds extra skills and knowledge to your resume. To effectively rebrand yourself, you must re-think how you fit into the job market.

If you’re reading this, you most likely are thinking to yourself, “I need a job. I want someone to give me a chance.”

That starting point is defeatist from the beginning. To effectively rebrand yourself, you must learn to think about solutions you can offer. The most significant mindset change you can make is acknowledging that you solve a potential employer’s problem. The employer would not be putting time and effort into recruiting or hiring without a problem or situation they are trying to solve. Therefore, it stands to reason that you are the solution.

If you’re ready to rebrand yourself, here are some tips to help you get started:

CREATE YOUR BRAND

The first step is to determine what your brand stands for. Start by examining yourself and your skills. What kind of impression do you want to give people? Think about the qualities that make you unique. What differentiates you from everyone else in the job market? For example, if most of your experience is in sales, but you’re applying for an office position, you might want to downplay your background in sales. Instead, emphasize the transferable skills that will help you succeed in the role, such as leadership or time management.

FIND AN OPPORTUNITY

Once you’ve determined your brand’s focal points, look for a job that aligns with those qualities. If possible, try to find a company whose brand is consistent with yours. For example, if your brand emphasizes diligence and hard work, it would be a good fit to apply for a business consulting firm where managers and peers alike highly value those traits. Don’t limit yourself geographically either – sometimes traveling can give you access to opportunities outside of what’s available in your local area.

BUILD YOUR BRAND

Before you apply for the job, build a brand around yourself that matches the company’s brand and reinforces what they’re looking for. One way to do this is by creating a website that highlights your skills and experience and links to any work samples or past projects you think would be relevant for employers to consider. You can also promote yourself on social media – make sure all of your posts and pictures reinforce your branding message.

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED

Like every other aspect of the job search process, rebranding takes time and requires effort – there’s no quick fix or magic bullet. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out right away. The more you rebrand yourself, the better your chances are of finding employment in your desired field or with a specific company.

BE PATIENT

Rebranding yourself isn’t just about applying for one job. It’s about creating a new image that will help attract multiple opportunities in the future. Remember, even if you get the job you’re looking for now, your employer values more than just what you can bring to this position – they want to know that you’ll be valuable to them in future roles as well.

REBRAND YOURSELF AGAIN & AGAIN…& AGAIN…

Like any good product or service, rebranding yourself doesn’t stop once you’ve found employment. You need to tweak and update your brand with each new role continually. Every time you take on a new responsibility or challenge, make sure it’s consistent with your brand’s image. This will help strengthen your value proposition and make you more appealing for future opportunities.

If you’re looking for rebranding inspiration, here is an example of self-reinvention from history:

Alan Shepard – Before becoming America’s first man in space, Alan Shepard was a pretty average astronaut trainee. He had good performance reviews, but he wasn’t considered an exceptional candidate by his peers or managers at NASA. But before his historic flight, he underwent extensive training to prepare himself mentally and emotionally for the mission ahead. After taking on this extra work, Shepard became known as “the right stuff” among his former and current co-workers who noted that he exhibited exceptional courage under pressure when faced with the unknown. And just a year after his historic flight, Shepard was given the Chief of the Astronaut Office position.

Shepard took on extra work rebranded himself as a hard-working, stop-at-nothing person. The extra work paid off.

Rebranding oneself can be a daunting task, but the right approach can also lead to great success. So don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out immediately – rebranding takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run. Remember to update your brand with each new role and responsibility continuously.

How we become unhappy.

The unhappiness we feel didn’t start overnight. It began long ago, back to when we were children. Long before any of us could have imagined where we are today…


Back then, it was the oppressive adults who held all the cards. And they laid them on the table for their kids, just one at a time. Rules, homework, chores. These are mine! That’s yours! You can’t have it until you are done! No, you can’t go out and play until you finish your work.


We wanted to call the shots. We tried to make the decisions. And then, we were thrust into the world of options. As soon as we are barely old enough to drive, we start making a long-range plan. Do we go to college? Do we join the workforce? If we decide to go to college, what for? What classes should I take? What career am I after? The list goes on.
Each time we make a decision, we force the decision of another. Our choices are interlinked with one another. If I choose to take the chemistry class, I must sacrifice music theory. And so our lives go. Boiling down to a series of choices. Each with its own unique consequences and sacrifices.


We hit a point in our lives where we start to question our choices. We come to the realization that there are trade-offs to each action. We had to sacrifice important things in our life to get to where we are today. Now, we begin to question whether our choices were the right decisions for ourselves. Think of it this way, have you ever described or thought of someone as “the one that got away.”? This is just one example of how your choices today can affect your entire life.


Is it possible to go back in time and change a decision that negatively affected your life? As humans, we become obsessed with looking back at our life choices and thinking of how different life would be if we went back in time. When we think about it, our ability to travel through time has been an ongoing theme in fiction books, movies, and various other forms of media.
That line of thinking directly impacts our current happiness. The older we get, the more difficult it is to let go of our past. It seems as though each year, the desire for time travel or having your younger self make better decisions grows even stronger. We begin to lose our youthful spirit and seek out any way possible to revert back to that state.


We question things because there is a finite number of choices anyone can make in a lifetime. The world is too big a place to do everything we are interested in doing. I can’t have a career and try to devote hours of practice to a piano to play in the world’s most renowned theatres.

I also can’t devote hours of practice to become an astronomer when I already have a full-time job. As we age, our interests change, and thus the decisions we make will change. We are in control of what decisions we make but not necessarily in control of how they will affect us in the long run.


Unfortunately, when we think of the decisions we could have made, we tend to think of the best-case scenario for the outcomes. For instance, if we think about the option we had in our youth to apply ourselves and become a doctor, we often imagine a fancy lifestyle that accompanies it. We don’t think about the hours of hard work to see patients each week. We don’t see continual research to keep our skills sharp.


In another example, we may think about how we should have stuck with photography. We imagine ourselves as National Geographic photographers, living life as an adventurer. We don’t see a lack of income if our pictures don’t sell. We don’t see the hours spent away from family. Most importantly, we forget that chasing that lifestyle negates all of our current family and friends.


We are trying to make that we humans don’t like to think about the bad parts of life. We only think of the good aspects and tend to gloss over all negative ones. This isn’t exactly helping us when we begin thinking about how our decisions could have been different.


As humans, we are biased towards thinking about our futures. This is why when we think about our past, we decide on what changes we should have made that impact our current and future lives. Philosopher Derek Parfit used a story about a time machine to help us mentally solve this dilemma.


He would tell people to imagine a machine that could take you back to the past. Whenever you wanted, for as long as you wanted, and with no cost or consequences. Would you use it? Most people would say yes because they tend to think of all the good things they could do.


However, if you think about it deeper, this isn’t a good idea. You would essentially live two lives with no guarantees that the second one would have a different outcome than the first.


Just because we had a bad day at work doesn’t mean that line of thinking can be applied to every other moment in our lives. If we let one wrong decision ruin the rest of our lives, then we have genuinely wasted our lives. This is why we should stop living in the past and move forward while looking at our decisions objectively. Unfortunately, I have seen too many people get fed up after a bad day at the office and altogether leave their profession. Now they spend all of their time reminiscing about the good times and what could have been had that one day never happened.


We need to accept that we will make bad decisions but also realize that we shouldn’t think about them constantly. It’s more essential for us to focus on what can be done in the present moment instead of incessantly thinking about all of the good decisions we could have made in the past.

What is Catastrophizing and why it is making you miserable?

Cognitive distortion theory is a branch of psychology that deals with the way people think about and interpret situations. It was developed in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron Beck and has been expanded on by other researchers. Catastrophizing is one of the cognitive distortions that can occur when dealing with a difficult situation. This happens when a person takes an adverse event or situation and blows it out of proportion, imagining all sorts of terrible things that could occur as a result.

Catastrophizing refers to the magnifying events into disasters that cannot be tolerated. For example, suppose you think that something like public speaking will lead to your becoming wholly humiliated and embarrassed. In that case, you are catastrophizing about what is likely to happen. When catastrophizing occurs, you are more likely to become anxious about what is happening or avoid doing things that involve the situation. For example, if you think some mild illness means you will be bedridden for a week and lose your job, then the illness may lead to anxiety and depression.

How to Recognize Catastrophizing In Yourself

Catastrophizing is often related to how you interpret situations. Often, people who catastrophize expect extreme outcomes in a situation when something wrong happens. For example, suppose someone bumps into you in a crowded room and does not apologize. In that case, you might think that they are “intentionally trying to make your life miserable” or that the person is “out to get you.” Catastrophizing often feeds the belief that a situation is horrible and unbearable, leading to feelings of anxiety.

One strategy for dealing with catastrophizing is identifying it when it occurs. You can ask yourself some questions if you think you might be catastrophizing:

(a) What is the worst possible thing that could happen?

(b) How likely is it to actually happen?

By doing this, you can make an objective prediction about what will happen. You may find out that it’s unlikely for something terrible to actually occur, and by realizing this, you’ll feel less anxious.

What does Catastrophizing Look Like?

A person thinking about starting their own business might catastrophize about the potential failure and risk of bankruptcy. Someone making plans with someone they like might catastrophize that if the person doesn’t show up for their date, or if the person cancels, they don’t want them anymore. Someone thinking about asking their boss for a promotion might catastrophize that their boss will say no and that they will be “stuck in this awful job forever.”

Catastrophizing can also occur when someone experiences a traumatic event. For example, a police officer who has witnessed the death of another person might catastrophize that they could have done something to prevent what happened or that it’s their fault. Someone who has experienced a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or an earthquake, might catastrophize that another event like this will occur again and lead to destruction. This is where anxiety is born. We have experienced a bad situation in the past. Our minds allow us to assume events will always be harmful in the future.

In interpersonal relationships, catastrophizing can also take the form of negative beliefs about yourself or someone else. For example, have you ever been left on read? When someone doesn’t respond to a text or a phone call, you might catastrophize that they are angry with you or don’t want to talk to you. Quite simply, the other person may have just been busy. People who have experienced an unfaithful partner may assume future romantic interests are cheating on them when they fail to immediately respond.

How To Handle Catastrophizing

Identify when catastrophizing is occurring: consider asking yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” and “How likely is it to actually happen?” Challenge yourself to come up with an alternative explanation. For example, if you think your partner doesn’t like you because they did not respond immediately after a date, consider asking them why they didn’t reply.

Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. Sometimes these thoughts can appear when you feel overwhelmed or stressed, and reducing your anxiety will help counteract the thinking style before it spirals into a negative cycle of catastrophizing and further anxiety. Use behavioral experiments to test out the validity of your belief that something terrible will happen. Try doing something, and if the worst possible thing happens, practice accepting it. For example, you can tell yourself that you will be okay if your boss says no to your promotion request.

Change Your Focus

Think about how things could go well instead of focusing on the worst-case scenario. For example, “there’s a chance I might get this promotion, and if not, there are other opportunities out there.” Tell yourself that bad things could happen but that you can cope. For example, “It’s a possibility my boss will say no to my request for a promotion, but if she does, it doesn’t mean I’m going to quit my job.

Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, do things you enjoy, and learn how to be resilient. If something wrong happens, have an optimistic approach. Try to look at the situation from other perspectives or find the silver lining. Make time for activities that are meaningful to you. It is important to remember that although catastrophizing can feel like it is helping you cope with difficult situations, it isn’t. Try to find more effective coping strategies by speaking to a therapist or taking up mindfulness meditation if the issue persists.

It is normal to think catastrophically in certain situations. Still, suppose your negative thinking is so overwhelming that it interferes with your daily life and makes you unable to manage the situation effectively on your own. In that case, it is time to seek professional help.

Cognitive restructuring is an effective way to change your thinking style and reduce anxiety while catastrophizing. As we mentioned above, it makes anxiety worse and does not allow you to find solutions to the problem at hand.

Many cognitive behavioral therapy techniques can help you manage your negative thoughts and catastrophizing. Still, it is essential to know that the effects of therapy are long-lasting. This is because it changes how you think, not just how you act.

For some, catastrophizing is a common and normal thought process. But for others, it can be so overwhelming that they cannot manage the situation at hand on their own. If you find yourself in this position, then seek professional help as soon as possible with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques such as Cognitive Restructuring or Mindfulness Meditation. These will allow you to change your thinking style and reduce anxiety while also providing long-lasting effects because of how these therapies work, changing not just how you act but how you think about things too!

How your sleep impacts anxiety

How Sleep Impacts Your Anxiety Levels

Most people know that getting a good night’s sleep is essential, but many don’t realize how closely linked sleep and anxiety are. In fact, there is a strong correlation between the amount of sleep you get and the severity of your anxiety symptoms.

The reason why is because your body releases serotonin while you sleep. Serotonin is the neurochemical in the brain that regulates anxiety levels, so when you get enough hours of quality sleep, your serotonin levels are higher than if you do not get enough sleep.

On the other hand, if your serotonin levels are low, it will be challenging to stop anxiety. There are exceptions, of course, but this is typically the case. So while it may seem difficult to believe that something as simple as getting enough sleep can have an impact on your anxiety levels, it’s actually very accurate. Getting at least 6 hours of high-quality sleep each night can help to decrease your anxiety.

But it’s not as simple as that. To fully understand how to best use sleep to your advantage, you need to know the different types of sleep and what they do for you.

The sleep cycles

 Throughout the night, your brain goes through different sleep cycles. Each cycle is about 90 minutes long, and each one brings you closer to being asleep.

Non-REM is a deep, dreamless state that most people experience only a few times each night. It plays a vital role in helping your body recover from stress and build new cells, including those responsible for learning and memory. The non–REM cycle is where you have more profound and slower brain waves and decreased blood flow to the brain. On average, this type of sleep comprises about 75% of total sleep time.

REM – is a stage of sleep during which your eyes move rapidly, and you have dreams. When you experience your typical four or five REM cycles per night, each typically lasts from 10 to 30 minutes.

The amount of time spent in different stages of sleep can vary from night to night for any individual. However, suppose one consistently spends less than an hour in slow-wave sleep. In that case, they are probably not getting enough restorative rest with their current sleeping schedule. For this type of essential recovery to take place, it is critical to allocate at least six hours for a regular sleep period in addition to allowing the body sufficient time for going through all four stages before waking up.

Healthy sleep habits

Some healthy sleep habits you can use to ensure you are getting the best sleep are:

– Avoid caffeine at least six hours before your regular bedtime.

– Exercise during the day instead of just before you go to bed. The rise and fall of body temperature from exercise can interfere with sleep quality.

– Limit your alcohol intake as it leads to fragmented sleep and frequent awakenings throughout the night.

– Avoid checking your phone or watching TV in bed as these activities can interfere with sleep quality.

– Find a sleeping pattern that is best for you and stick with it (fall asleep around the same time every night).

Habits like these can help your body create an internal “sleep clock” that is more in tune with when you need to sleep. On average, adults should try to get at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep each night; however, an average of seven to nine hours is recommended for anyone who is trying to recover from anxiety. 

Suppose your anxiety symptoms occur during the day. In that case, it can increase nighttime stress levels and interfere with your ability to fall asleep. The less you can rest properly, the harder it will be to function during the day and overcome your anxiety.

Suppose you are struggling to get good quality sleep. In that case, it may increase your anxiety, which can lead to further insomnia, creating a vicious cycle. Remember, some people with anxiety can struggle to fall asleep due to elevated stress levels.

This makes it essential to discover what is keeping you up at night so you can begin dealing with the root cause instead of allowing your anxiety to escalate further.

Suppose you have trouble falling asleep or become dependent on sleep aids. In that case, it may be time to chat with a therapist about whether an alternative strategy would work better for you.

Having difficulties sleeping can be frustrating if you are trying to heal from anxiety. Think of restful sleep as your number one ally in the fight against your panic disorder. It will help decrease overall anxiety, but it is also crucial for long-term health and wellness. By maintaining good sleeping habits and getting proper sleep regularly, you will experience a more restful and productive day.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, don’t despair. Healthy sleep habits and a regular routine can help your body establish an internal “sleep clock” that’s better in tune with when it needs to be resting. Practices like these will lead to more restful nights and promote higher levels of productivity during the day for those who have difficulty managing their anxiety symptoms, which may occur during daylight hours due to elevated stress levels.

I suggest tracking your sleep with a good old-fashioned pen and paper or using a smartwatch. You can help uncover patterns in your sleep patterns and get yourself on the path to correcting your sleep hygiene.

Consistency is Key

Like anything, consistency is key. Healthy sleep habits are dependent upon a routine. Apple iPhones have a bedtime reminder (what I personally use). Each time it goes off, I stop what I’m doing, brush my teeth, and go to bed. Starting this routine has helped me decrease the number of weird dreams I have (you know, the one all cops have about trying to pull a trigger and can’t). Additionally, I feel more restorative when I get up.

The other thing I do is keep my alarm set for each and every day. Even on weekends, I’m up by 0530. After a couple of months, I really don’t need an alarm anymore.

Sleeping well is crucial for anyone who wants to overcome their anxiety. It’s essential to stick to a regular sleep schedule, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and get up at the same time each day. Suppose you’re struggling with insomnia or have become dependent on sleep aids. In that case, it may be time to chat with a therapist about whether an alternative strategy would work better for you. By establishing good sleeping habits, you can help your body regulate its own “sleep clock” and get the most out of your restful nights.

Art of the Sidebar

We have underestimated the importance of the sidebar conversation. In the business world, people have stopped talking to each other. But it is not because they are from a different generation or have different political views. The reason is that they work from home. The precious time spent with one another before or after meetings is where ideas used to be shared. Friendships were built. Conversations were more than about the next project.

In the digital age of teleworking, is it time to re-think the importance of the sidebar conversation?

What is a sidebar?

Sidebar conversations are where relationships are built before and after meetings. They help build trust and understanding and allow for better decision-making. A sidebar conversation is any informal, unplanned side discussion during a meeting. They are frequently used in team meetings or brainstorming. They allow more ideas to be expressed than the time allocated to the regular meeting.

Sidebar conversations can become very important when people meet for an initial discussion. Sidebar conversations are the small talk that naturally occurs before or after meetings. They can be used to build relationships among people, learn about their interests, and understand their motivations. These informal discussions foster creativity and allow for deeper reflection on topics being discussed in the meeting.

When was the last time you had a sidebar conversation? Like most, it has been too long since your previous sidebar chat before a meeting, over coffee, lunch, or drinks. But now, team members are across town or on different continents. That socializing has been replaced by e-mails, instant messages, social media, and video conferencing. In the digital age, it is easy to tap into someone’s enthusiasm or thoughts from anywhere around the globe. This has led to a focus on virtual business relationships instead of personal connections.

The sidebar conversation was where we expressed new ideas. However, those sidebars are where ideas used to be shared before and after meetings. Perhaps we subconsciously wanted to vet ideas to a friend before bringing them to the entire workgroup.

It’s easy to forget the richness of the sidebar conversation when you don’t have face-to-face time. It becomes easier to jump on an idea and dissect it with a digital scalpel than the face-to-face encouragement we give one another. But when everyone is virtually present in a meeting, some of the personal creativity we all shared is beginning to wane.

This is how creative ideas die. Not because they were not great, but because we didn’t engage in the sidebar conversations where we encouraged creativity. Mostly out of fear of showing too much enthusiasm about an idea that isn’t yet fully formed.

Great ideas, just like tree seeds, need time to grow and develop through encouragement from people who care for the well-being of the overall forest. This is where empathy comes in. To encourage others to feel safe sharing their thoughts, even if they are not fully formed.

So the real question becomes, how can we build connections and safety in a digital environment? How can we build empathy for the ideas of others?

How to create a digital sidebar:

Organizations must emulate the safety of the sidebar conversation. This means providing time for people to bounce ideas off one another outside of meetings, encourage new ones and engage in face-to-face discussions without a plan.

And what better place than during office hours? Yes…office hours have a whole new meaning! Office hours can create a dialogue between staff and their peers. This is where brainstorming ideas, the sidetracking into something completely different or even uncomfortable, happens. And this is where new ideas are born! In the digital office hours landscape, schedule time on your calendar labeled “office hours.” The time signals to others that you are free for random phone calls, video conferencing, or other virtual distractions.

Create guidelines for your group that encourage the atmosphere of the sidebar conversation.

  • Create an office hours badge on your avatar or social profile to signal others when you are available
  • Make it OK to schedule blocks of time on someone’s calendar so they can be interrupted during random times
  • Leave yourself open for random virtual sidebars that could turn into something amazing

The digital golf course

Since virtual teams are becoming more common, what does that mean for business relationships? There is no digital golf course. The golf course used to be where deals were made. Not the board room.

In the digital age, it is time to re-think the importance of the sidebar conversation. We must fight for digital interactions, even if it comes down to scheduling it on our calendars just to have a relaxed chat with team members. Without that socializing and non-business conversation, we will lose something in the personal dynamics of business. If we remove that part of human behavior, we all lose, regardless of what our social media friends say. (And social media friends are not the same as your organizational ones.)

This is where empathy can come into play. The idea of empathy isn’t just about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes…it’s also understanding what we lose without those sidebars and how our relationships suffer because of it.

Having the ability to digitally collaborate could be the ‘it’ factor that drives your organization into the future, but only if you engage in conversations that matter. So let the digital age take us back to the basics of relationship building. Schedule time on your calendar that allows for random sidebars with your peers just like you would on the golf course.

Conclusion

We all need to find ways to make our lives more meaningful and fulfilling. And sometimes, that requires stepping out of your comfort zone or trying something new. Enter the digital sidebar. It provides a space for people who share common interests or goals to talk about their ideas without fear of judgment while also getting some advice from others on potential pitfalls they may encounter along the way. This type of dialogue can help us see things differently–and provide motivation when we don’t think there’s any left inside ourselves. It may seem like an odd thing to do. But, building time in your calendar in which you encourage interruption may be the very thing that sets you apart from other managers.

Creating a Conscious Mindset: A Key to Success

Most people operate on autopilot most of the time. They go through the motions of their day, doing what they’re supposed to do and not thinking about it too much. This is especially true when it comes to working. We all know that if we just do what we’re told and don’t think too hard about it, things will go more smoothly.

But this mindless approach can also lead to stagnation and boredom. If you never challenge yourself and push your boundaries, you’ll never grow as an individual. You need to be willing to experiment with new ideas and ways of thinking, even if they make you uncomfortable. By having a conscious mindset, you can take control of your own development and genuinely start to live the life you want.

To have a conscious mindset, you need to know your mindset. You need to be aware of the thoughts and ideas going through your head daily. This awareness can open up a whole new world of possibilities for yourself. The more conscious you are, the more you’ll realize how much control you have over yourself and the situations you are presented with.

What is the conscious mindset?

So what does it mean to have a conscious mindset? It involves actively examining situations that seem familiar, recognizing patterns of thought and behavior that might be holding you back, and making a conscious effort to change things. In essence, it’s all about choosing how you respond to stimuli – both physical and mental – that come into your life.

Part of having a conscious mindset is also recognizing when you’re not acting consciously. Most of us tend to revert to autopilot mode after a long day at work or school. If your mind tends to wander to other things when you’re supposed to be focused on the task at hand, this is a sign that you need to make an effort to stay in the moment.

What are the benefits of having a conscious mindset?

Being conscious also entails being aware of your own thoughts and feelings. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about a person or situation repeatedly, stop yourself. See the thought, and choose to let it go. This frees up mental space for more empowering thoughts.

Being conscious can help you connect with other people on a deeper level. Let’s spend time focusing on ourselves and what is happening inside of us every day. We become more attuned to our own feelings, desires, and needs. When we understand ourselves, we become more accepting of the people around us. We can then speak from a place of empathy and understanding rather than reacting from a place of fear or anger.

Having a conscious mindset can help you achieve your goals faster. When you have clear intentions for what you want in life, it becomes much easier to stop wasting time and energy on the things you don’t want. You become more driven toward your goals and end up taking better care of yourself because you’re living a life that is right for you.

How can you adopt a more conscious mindset in your own life? Consider these three steps.

The conscious mindset is how you look at your own personal situation. It includes understanding how your belief system has been created and then deciding what should change to create a more positive atmosphere for yourself. The first step toward changing your life begins with examining who you are right now. Once you do that, you can move forward and create a future that works better for your needs.

First, understand why you think the way you do right now. You should consider what has shaped these thoughts. No one just wakes up in the morning and decides that they would like to be unhappy or unfulfilled in their lives; instead, deep-rooted beliefs have built up over a long period, and those experiences create the basis for how you see your world.

Second, decide what you should change about that mindset to help yourself feel better. You may find that some changes could be made in how you think or behave right now, especially if any of your current beliefs are not helpful to you. There may be old ideas from your childhood that still influence how you make choices today, and those should be considered something worth changing.

Third, come up with a plan for putting those new changes into place. Deciding to make a few adjustments will not help if you don’t create a specific action plan to back up that intention. You should detail exactly what you need to do and in what order so that it becomes easier for you to visualize your desired outcome.

You can also employ other tactics while trying to achieve this mindset change, such as taking time out of each day to sit quietly and think about what you have done so far or what you would like to change about your current daily routine. You could also maintain a journal where you write down any personal insights that come to light during this time of introspection.

The conscious mindset is not always easy to achieve. Still, it can be accomplished relatively quickly and easily with some effort and regular practice.

What challenges do you face when trying to live more consciously??

The biggest challenge is getting out of autopilot. We all have automatic responses, some helpful and others unhelpful. When we go on autopilot, we tend to default to our less useful patterns and stories because they’re what we’re used to. Often we don’t even realize this is happening, mainly if it’s a pattern we live by for many years. To be more conscious, I need to notice when I’m on autopilot to get back into my conscious mindset.

How can you overcome these challenges?

When we start to practice noticing when we’re on autopilot and becoming more aware of our patterns, we gradually begin to see them in action all the time. It’s then that we have a chance to start consciously challenging these patterns instead of following them blindly, or worse still – without knowing what is going on. The best way to do this is with the help of mindfulness practices such as meditation and everyday mindfulness.

The most effective way for me is to take one small step at a time. It doesn’t work if I try to do too much or too drastically because my brain goes into panic mode and stops thinking clearly. One step at a time helps the brain relax. Always aim high but start small!

How to stay mindful/conscious?

My favorite way to stay conscious is by setting intentions for the day. My second tip would be to practice mindfulness throughout the day, which can be as simple as taking one deep breath, noticing a flower out of the corner of your eye, or hearing the wind in the trees. If you do this throughout the day, you’ll find your mind starts to relax, and it becomes easier to come back to this mindset.

How does living more consciously improve our life?

Living more consciously is about being aware of how we affect others and the planet on a moment-to-moment basis. By practicing mindfulness we can begin to live with

Conclusion

The conscious mindset is the most important mindset for success. It’s the only way to be in control of your life and make yourself better. You can’t let others do it for you or wait around for them to change their minds about you because they won’t. The key is to focus on how you want things to be instead of how they are right now, which will give you a sense of power over your situation. Your thoughts create reality, so if all you think about is what isn’t working, then that’s what will keep happening. If this sounds like too much work, consider taking up an instrument. Learning anything new activates the conscious mind and makes it stronger!

Caffeine Isn’t All Bad: The Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee

Starting your morning with coffee is more beneficial than you might think. Caffeine isn’t all that bad. In this post, we will look at the pros and cons of drinking coffee.

Caffeine has been linked with several health benefits, such as protecting against type II diabetes and reducing the risk of liver cirrhosis. It even appears to have a protective effect against Parkinson’s disease.

However, we still don’t completely understand how caffeine affects our bodies in the long term — and in particular in terms if its impact on the brain.

How does caffeine work?

A new study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience suggests that caffeine might boost our memory and make us smarter by changing connectivity patterns in the brain.

The researchers found that caffeine changed functional connectivity within specific neural networks, which then enabled improved performance on memory tasks. This effect was seen even 15 hours after consumption — so if you drink a lot of coffee over the course of a day, your memory will remain enhanced.

After you drink a cup of coffee, caffeine molecules quickly reach receptors in the brain that are normally targeted by a brain chemical called adenosine — and because these two chemicals resemble each other, caffeine can stick to these receptors.

As the neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of tiredness, adenosine acts as an inhibitory signal in the central nervous system. Adenosine slows down nerve cell activity by making them less excitable. Caffeine, on the other hand, increases neuron firing and speeds up function by blocking or inhibiting adenosine’s effects. When caffeine blocks adenosine, it results in increased neuron firing and heightened neuronal activity so that brain functions are sped up.

Is caffeine safe for you?

A lot of people these days are wondering if caffeine is safe for you to drink. Many say that it is not only addictive, but also makes the body dependent on it. This means that as soon as a person stops drinking caffeine, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and sluggishness.

A new research has shown that caffeine can help ease the withdrawal symptoms of alcoholics. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and showed that this was due to inhibition by caffeine of adenosine A2A receptors, which are known to be related with addiction. Moreover, after being exposed to caffeine, mice showed a temporary increase of dopamine (DA) in the shell of nucleus accumbens.

According to researchers, this is an interesting finding as caffeine consumption has been linked with lower risk for depression and anxiety–both disorders that often require treatment of people who are recovering from alcoholism. Additionally, such findings might provide support for new clinical trials (and specially for those recovering from addiction) that include caffeine.

However, until these studies are done, scientists urge caution because there is evidence showing that caffeine could worsen anxiety symptoms. Moreover, the benefits of caffeine in withdrawal symptoms might be limited to people with lower levels of chronic stress or depression.

Some of the negative side effects of coffee have been confirmed in a scientific study. The researchers studied caffeine consumption and its effects on the aging process. The study found that caffeine accelerates the aging process in several unexpected ways.

Coffee drinkers who also smoke cigars were found to be the most at risk; however, all individuals who drink coffee are subject to these side effects. The study reports that the accelerated aging process is due to decreased collagen production in the body. The majority of individuals studied who drank coffee regularly had approximately 40% less collagen in their skin than non-coffee drinkers. This causes the skin to become wrinkled more easily, which may explain why caffeine has long been associated with aging.

The study also found that while drinking caffeinated beverages speeds up the aging process, it does not appear to affect life expectancy. So rest assured, even as you age, you are not limiting your life.

How much caffeine is safe?

The FDA says 400 mg a day for adults is safe. But many health experts say that’s far too much. Many people get more than 400 mg by drinking one cup of a specialty blend (starting at $11) or two cups of drip coffee (about $4 total).

A 12-ounce cup of drip coffee has about 150 mg, but many specialty blends have more than twice that amount. The caffeine content of a pre-made brew varies widely depending on the brand. Many energy drinks include some combination of caffeine, guarana, ginseng and taurine.

When is the best time to consume caffeine?

Most people know that caffeine can give you a temporary boost in energy, helping you to be more productive. But when is the best time to drink caffeine in order to get the most out of it?

A recent study suggests that it’s more effective to drink caffeine in the morning, rather than later in the day. This is because our bodies produce less cortisol at this time, which has a slowing effect on the body and helps us feel more relaxed. Cortisol levels naturally increase as we get closer to bedtime, making us more alert and improving our memory. Researchers suggest that if you want to be more productive, it’s best to avoid caffeine in your daily cup of tea or coffee later in the afternoon or evening.

So far, we’ve looked at two scientific studies that seem to suggest coffee isn’t all bad. The first study showed that caffeine might help people recovering from alcoholism and the second showed that coffee drinkers have less collagen in their skin, which causes wrinkles more easily. But before you start stocking up on your favorite blends, there is one more thing to consider: caffeine’s negative effects.

What are possible negative side effects of caffeine?

A recent study found that the caffeine in coffee might increase the risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition characterized by an irregular and often abnormally fast heart beat, also known as a “fluttering” heartbeat. AFib is associated with about 15% of strokes and can cause people to feel lightheaded, short of breath or fatigued.

This study looked at the effects of caffeine on the cardiovascular system by testing blood flow in a group of participants who consumed varying amounts of caffeine. The researchers found that after ingesting 200 mg of caffeine, there was a significant reduction in cardiac output (the amount of blood sent to the heart) and stroke volume (the amount of blood sent to the brain).

The researchers concluded that, at least in the short term, there is an association between caffeine consumption and reduced cardiac output. And remember, 400 mg is considered safe by the FDA. So maybe it’s time to switch back to decaf…

Though the long-term effects of caffeine remain inconclusive, it’s important to weigh both the pros and cons before making a decision about whether or not to drink coffee. Some studies suggest that caffeine has negative effects on the cardiovascular system, while other studies show that caffeine can help recovering alcoholics and have anti-aging benefits. The bottom line is that everyone reacts differently to caffeine, so it’s important to experiment and find out what works best for you. And if you’re looking for an alternative to coffee, there are plenty of other caffeinated beverages available that might be a better fit for your lifestyle.

For me, I’ll stick to my good ole’ drip coffee from home. Drinking coffee is part of my normal routine at this point. With the knowledge of some the data, I’ll be sure to limit myself to less than 400 mg.

How to Build a Mental Resiliency Plan

We have all heard about resiliency to help with our mental health. But, what exactly is resiliency? And more importantly, how do we become more resilient? In this post, we will dive into how to build a mental resiliency plan.

What Is Resiliency?

Resilience is defined as a biological or psychological ability to cope with stress. It also includes the capacity to maintain a healthy emotional state when faced with challenges and adverse conditions. When we talk about resiliency in mental health, we are often talking about the second part of that definition, the capacity to maintain a healthy emotional state.

Resilience is how we cope emotionally with challenges and hardships. So, the bigger question becomes, how do we make ourselves more mentally resilient?

Many things can make us more resilient, but mental health professionals agree on some of the most important ones. Here are four key ways to help improve mental resilience:

1. Optimism

The first way mental health professionals suggest increasing mental resilience is through optimism. When faced with a difficult situation, it can be easy to become pessimistic and focus on the negative. But, mental health professionals suggest that you can become more resilient to mental illness symptoms by developing an optimistic attitude toward challenges.

There are many ways that you can become more optimistic. Mental health professionals suggest finding outlets for positive self-talk. It is essential to avoid using language that focuses on negativity, like “I will never get better.” Instead, mental health professionals suggest using language that focuses on the positive.

They also recommend that you take notice of small successes, like when you can go a day without using negative language and acknowledge them. Mental health professionals suggest increasing optimism by finding a creative outlet or learning something new. Using mental health techniques in your daily life also helps improve mental strength and resiliency to mental illness symptoms.

2. Purpose

The second way mental health professionals suggest increasing mental resilience is by finding purpose. This includes establishing goals that increase feelings of meaning in your daily life, like spending more time with loved ones or trying to get more exercise.

This is where finding a hobby can give your mind something else to focus on to help you find meaning in life. I know many people who suffer from depression, and this has helped them quite a lot. It gives them something to work for. I personally love to fly-fish or tie my own flies. It’s incredible how much better I feel after a morning spent in a river. The act of immersing myself in an activity that places me in the middle of nature with all of the sounds, smells, and sights has been incredibly beneficial for me.

Another great way to add purpose is to volunteer. Volunteering has long been shown to elevate mood and mental health in various ways. It can give you a sense of purpose and belonging. Doing good for others releases mental health chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, making us feel good. It can also increase social ties and provide a positive distraction from mental health struggles.

Having trouble finding volunteer opportunities? Check out your local Rotary club. Rotarians are a worldwide business organization, and professional leaders are united to create positive, sustainable change in their communities. If that isn’t for you, check out the local Kiwanis or Lions clubs. Both are community-oriented service organizations that strive to meet community needs. Through volunteer service, members develop leadership and team-building skills and a sense of personal responsibility and empowerment.

Working in the trenches as an adult can be deeply satisfying. Still, you can’t deny that there is something exceptional about volunteering. There’s just something extra rewarding about helping those in need and making a positive impact on your community and yourself in the process.

When mental health symptoms take over your life, it can be easy for your days to blend together and become unfulfilling. When this happens, you might lose focus on the most important things in your life. However, mental health professionals suggest that by finding meaning in your daily routine, you can improve mental resilience.

3. Positive mental health practices

The third way mental health professionals suggest increasing mental resilience is through positive mental health practices. This includes getting enough sleep every night, avoiding alcohol and drugs, eating good food, exercising daily, meditating or praying, and surrounding yourself with supportive people.

In my experience, this is the most challenging goal to accomplish for first responders, especially for police and firefighters. There is a closed culture that exists in these professions. The result is that our first responders tend to only associate and talk to other first responders. The result of this tight social circle is a lot of complaining.

Its human nature to sit around and complain about the organization or profession as a whole. At the end of the day, all of this complaining amounts to nothing. Nothing is changed, nothing is solved, and in fact, you’re left with more feelings of negativity and hopelessness.

To break that cycle:

  1. Expand your social circle.
  2. Join a new social circle.
  3. Join a running club.
  4. Join a Crossfit gym.
  5. Join a church group.

Literally anything. Just make sure it’s not filled with people in the same industry.

I tend to not talk ‘cop’ with other people when I’m off-duty. I made that change years ago, and my mental health has never been stronger.

4. Stable relationships

The fourth way mental health professionals suggest increasing mental resilience is through stable, positive relationships with others. This includes getting help from other people, whether your therapist or friends and family members. Having other supportive people in your life can help decrease mental illness symptoms and make you more resilient to mental health challenges.

Previously in this article, we talked about finding friends outside of your industry. Really commit to them. Find ways to open up and openly share with them so that you can stay mentally healthy. It’s about having healthier mental habits.

On the flip side, there are also unhealthy mental habits that you should try and stop. These include: trying to do everything yourself and never relying on others for help; avoiding talking about your mental health with others because of fear or shame; shutting down if someone confronts you – instead take their feedback and adapt it to your mental health habits.

Being resilient does not mean that you have to go it alone and always be okay. It actually means facing mental illness without falling apart or giving up hope that things will get better. Many mental health professionals can help with this journey, so do not hesitate to reach out for support.

Conclusion

As mental health professionals agree, resiliency is something that you can learn and improve upon. They suggest focusing on optimism, finding purpose in your daily routine, practicing positive mental health practices, and building good relationships with others as ways to increase mental resilience. As mental health symptoms decrease, mental strength and resiliency to mental illness symptoms increase too.

Developing Grit: The Best Way to Improve Your Life

You know that feeling you get when you’re at the bottom of a canyon, looking up? You can’t see anything but the sky. And it’s so quiet all around you. The only sound is your breathing and maybe some water dripping from rocks in the distance. It’s like nothing else exists because there are no other people or buildings to remind you this world isn’t yours alone. Suddenly, it feels like anything is possible – which sounds ridiculous considering how many things are stopping us from doing what we want with our lives every day. But that feeling doesn’t lie – grit breaks through barriers by sheer force of will.

Ok, maybe you’re not a rock climber, but you can relate to the symbolic context here. Because in the real world, there are barriers. There’s always something stopping us from doing what we want with our lives. Except for this time, it’s not water dripping down a rock face but real-life responsibilities like mortgages or car payments. Maybe it’s disappointment or the loss of a loved one. The point is, something is standing between where we are and where we want to be.

So, how do we get to where we want to be? The answer: grit.

Grit is a hot word in the business and leadership world. It’s a new buzzword. We want to know, what is grit, and how do we get it?

What is Grit?

Grit is defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. It’s the ability to overcome challenges while staying focused on success. Grit can be considered determination or courage in an objective, especially compared to IQ or talent. Some studies have found that grit is a stronger predictor of success than other factors, such as social intelligence or IQ. One study showed that students with determination and focus were more likely to earn higher grades in school. Other studies have shown that people passionate about their interests and willing to work hard to achieve them tend to do better in life.

The Gritty Formula

Is the formula for grit really that simple? Determination plus focus equal grit?

Grit is a hard thing to quantify, making it very important in the world of mental toughness.

It all starts with passion. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, then you won’t have the drive required to succeed.

But passion alone isn’t enough to succeed.

You need discipline, focus, and determination if you want to turn your passion into reality. And it’s these attributes that combine together to form grit. When someone is gritty, they are determined not to give up until the goal has been realized. Their determination is on their goals, and their discipline means that they will work diligently to achieve those goals. In other words, grit is the stick-with-it-ness that you need to succeed.

Now that we know what grit is let’s look at how to get it.

How to get Grit?

We saw previously that grit is a function of determination plus focus. Determination is a function of passion. So, the first thing we need to do is become passionate about something. But, this isn’t always easy because many factors influence passion. It is essential to recognize that everything requires effort and energy. For example, if you want to be passionate about reading novels, you need to make an effort to do it every day. Of course, this may not always be possible because of external factors. Sometimes you might be too tired. Sometimes you may not have time because of other activities like school and work. It is essential to prioritize these things and make an effort every day; otherwise, your determination will falter. People who lack passion also lack determination. Once your passion fades, your goal accomplishment rate drops.

The formula for passion is simple. Think about it every day. Never get tired of thinking about it. When you are not thinking about it, remember to do so. Keep doing it every day. That’s what passion is all about. It’s a straightforward concept, but many people don’t find the time in their busy schedules to think passionately even though they want that in life. Passion Comes from familiarity and expertise.

What is focus?

The second part of grit is a focus. Not regular focus, but an extreme focus. Most of the time, you will find yourself focusing on a specific skill to improve. Still, sometimes it’s just knowing what target to focus on is the most important. This is where focusing on the actual process becomes essential. Like most remarkable achievements, the real accomplishment rests in the journey that got us there. Don’t get caught up in the destination, the final product, or the goal. Get lost along the way in what you can learn and how far you’ve come. This is when the magic happens.

Be determined to hit your goals. Focus on the process to get yourself there. Be prepared to do whatever it takes. Success requires hard work and sacrifices. Take pride in your career. Bring your best every day. Enjoy the journey. One way to focus on your journey is to look to where you want to end up. Work backward to set goals from the end product. Be focused on each small task along the way. Let’s be honest. No one wants to struggle. No one wants to work hard and get little in return. No one wakes up excited for the next challenge or opportunity to make you feel like you can’t breathe.

Grit and success.

In a recent study, a research team at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed data from a large sample of university students and found that grit was the best predictor of academic performance. In another recent study led by Duckworth herself, researchers tracked 875 teenagers for two years. They found that those who possessed a combination of self-control and grit were less likely to exhibit problem behaviors than their less gritty peers—and more likely to succeed in life.

Grit is challenging. Being gritty means accepting new challenges and finding ways to master them. Grit is not a talent. It’s a lifestyle, and it can be learned. The people who tell you grit is something you’re born with are wrong. In fact, developing grit might just be the most important thing you can do to improve your life, both at work and beyond. A large body of research shows that people who stick with difficult things are more likely to succeed than those who don’t. A similar factor may also determine life satisfaction. As Churchill once said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Be Passionate

It is essential to be passionate about your goals and not get tired of them. Passion comes from familiarity and expertise, so if you want more passion in your life, spend time every day thinking about it and doing what you love. Grit means accepting new challenges and finding ways to master them; grit can also come with a lifestyle that needs self-control or willpower. Acknowledging the struggle will lead to success in life at some point! Be gritty when faced with complex tasks because it’s worth the effort. Even when challenging, there are many benefits for being determined enough to see things through.

Whether you are struggling through a difficult period in your life or stuck in your passionless job, there’s something for everyone to learn from this post on grit! Sometimes, it is challenging to find motivation and joy in life sometimes–the best way to do so is by working towards a goal.

Encourage Innovation

As a leader, you likely have some formal role or authority over a person or group of people within your work environment. As such, do you recognize when you are stifling their innovation?

Leaders must take into account the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their subordinates in their daily routines. While having a hand in the development of employees is an essential task of a leader. It can, however, stifle innovation within the organization. Take for example an employee who is performing at or above an acceptable level of performance. Continued intervention within the employee’s progress can stifle their growth. Simply put, at some point, we, as organizational leaders, must stop guiding and directing in such proximity. We must have the self-awareness to take a step back and allow our people to flourish.

Additionally, leaders must be so engaged as to observe a developmental struggle unfold and take action accordingly. If the employee is beginning to fail, intervention is necessary. Failing to intervene and offer guidance before failure can disrupt an employees confidence. As confidence is directly related to commitment, as confidence diminishes, as do commitment levels.

Sometimes, relinquishing control may seem hard to do. Taking a step back and allowing your people to grow in their way can breathe new life into your organization. Additionally, there are indirect consequences including increased buy-in from employees as they feel they have a say in the overall vision of the organization. Other benefits include increased commitment levels to the organization, opened lines of communication and one of the most important things, a succession plan.

3 Tips for Teaching Engagement

We have all seen the leader who seems to be checked out. Seemingly aloof and uninterested in anything from the organizational level. The leader who is possibly distracted by outside superfluities of modern life; television shows, sports, personal issues, etc. Conversely, we have seen the exact opposite. We have seen the leader that seems to know a bit about everything. They are in tune with the organization and have a healthy balance between ‘being in the know’ and knowing what and when to act on accordingly.
The age-old question of higher level management is; “How do you get supervisors engaged?
At the root of disengagement are several factors. Perhaps the supervisor is experiencing a personal stressor such as divorce, death in the family, financial strain. The list goes on. Possibly they are experiencing burnout symptoms. For the sake of this article, let’s focus on one of the most common explanations. The supervisor is either new as a supervisor or even have been supervising others for years but, never made the change mentally into supervision.
Being a supervisor and leader requires a shift in mindset from doing to getting others to do. Becoming a leader also requires the ability to think more broad scope than what a front line employee is used to doing. To think more globally, answering for others, looking at organizational consequences and being an invested party to the company is sometimes a hard thing to teach.
To teach engagement, a leader nearly needs to force the role of the supervisor. Below are three keys to getting engagement:
1 – Ask questions. Ask frequently and in-depth. In the beginning stages of developing other leaders, there is a lot of leg work and extra effort you, as the organizational leader must put in. Ensuring that items are being followed-up on and asking what the follow-through plan is an essential step in creating engagement. The idea is to get the person used to being asked a follow-up and continuing plan questions that they automatically have them in their head as their day is unfolding. As the leader begins to predict your questioning, you can start to decrease the frequency in which you ask questions.
2 – Create interaction opportunities. Find reasons for you and the new leader to interact. This can be weekly briefings over coffee to see what news they have to bring or even a daily staff meeting. Again, you are opening a line of communication. An opportunity for you to ask questions as well as them to sell their people and ideas to you.
3 – Give ownership. As often as you can, let the world see their thoughts. Let them be the owner of a solution. You are building their confidence. When an employee is confident, they will often take the proverbial ball and run with it. Let them be the leader that they need to be by empowering them at every step of the way.

Five Tips for ‘Tough Talks’

Having what it takes to be in a leadership position is more than just being able to manage resources. Being a leader involves being there for people. Sometimes, being the leader that is there for people, also means having to have tough talks. Tough talks are, at times, essential to help other people grow and develop in their personal or professional development.

The most uncomfortable moments of your career will yield the most growth of those you share those moments. The tough talks you experience, if done correctly, can set a person up for a reflective look at their performance as well as the direction they are heading. Below are some tips to make the most out of an awkward conversation.

1 – Start with a goal in mind.
When you start to have your tough talk; know where you are heading with it especially if you are addressing a performance issue. Failure to do so on your part will make it look as if you are merely attacking a person. Remember, offer solutions, not just bring up problems.

2 – Be specific with examples.
It is a very frustrating thing to endure a conversation in which someone is being critical of your work, actions, or thought process but has no specific example of how you portray the deficiencies they are mentioning. If you critique someone as having a generally poor work performance, be sure to cite what makes the work product substandard.

3 – Address the issues promptly.
If you recognize an issue developing, do not let it fester. Address it quickly, do not allow it to become either acceptable performance or a bad habit. Additionally, if you are meeting with someone to discuss an issue, jump right in. Don’t sit around and circle the issue while making small talk. Chances are, the person may already know something is up, killing time adds to their anxiety.

4 – Point out good deeds.
There must be a building phase in addition to reprimanding. Surely each member of your team has some good quality about them. Either work-related or not, there is something about that individual that got them the job. Find that quality and build upon it.

5 – Develop a plan.
As a leader, it is unacceptable for you to identify performance issues, discuss them, and dismiss the employee back to their normal routine. To grow, you must develop the plan of action for them. You likely have the experience or resources to help each employee be successful. Garner input from the person having the issue and make sure there is a plan in place to rectify any problem presented before the end of the meeting.

By looking at these five tips before having a ‘tough talk’ with a member of your team, you can maximize your chances for success after the meeting. Remember, as a leader, you win with people. Please don’t allow them to fail and the organization will thrive.

Advocate for Others

An often overlooked tactic to build trust within a team is the art of advocacy. No, not advocating for a cause, instead advocating for people. Specifically, people who are not present when you are promoting for them.

We all know that humans are social creatures. As such, they tend to share various tidbits of information. As a leader, use this to your advantage. If you are trying to build a team, make it on the accomplishments and personalities of the team.

I can think back to when I took over a new facility. I knew that my employees would probably have some relationship with different work units outside of my scope of control. As such, I knew the quickest way for me to get buy-in with a new group of employees was to brag about them to other workgroups simply. I hedged a bet that if I continued to speak positively about the workgroup outside of their immediate social circle that eventually, they would hear of how their leader spoke about them in public.

I took advantage of learning specific positive traits of as many of my people as I could. Every chance I got, I brought them up to people. Completely unsolicited. Eventually, word got back to them that their leader believed in them. With the comfort of knowing they had the support of the formal leader, they became much more innovative and more committed to the work we were trying to accomplish.

As a leader, advocate for your people. Show others you value them. Believe in them so that they can believe in themselves.

Millennials Vs. Gen Z’ers

It’s the new generation that is challenging employers to find new ways to lead. These are not the millennials we have heard so much about. These are the next generation of employees. How you interact and guide them will undoubtedly have a profound impact on your organization.

In an open group, I sat down with members from Generation Z and picked their brains about what they see in the workplace. Admittedly, I found that some of my own tactics were missing the mark. I was treating them as if they were Millennials. Quickly, I realized they were something much more than that and I could not be more optimistic of the future.

One of the biggest takeaways from meeting with members of Generation Z was that I learned just how independent they are. They are almost polar opposites of the Millennials in this regard. Millennials were the generation that wanted to do only what was asked and nothing more. They wanted bean bag chairs and safe spaces to hang out. They wanted work to fill the void of the social connections they were missing as social media exploded around them.

Generation Z’ers on the other hand want to work independently and show the world what they are capable of. They want face to face contact and frequent feedback to ensure their decisions are being made satisfactorily. They prefer working on separate projects that fit into a bigger system. A collaborative effort of individuals.

One of the biggest gripes that Gen Z’ers had was how they were perceived by their employers. The group strongly felt that in communicating with their superiors via text/e-mail they were dismissed as being young or not having value. Part of the reason they stated that they valued the face to face contact of others was because they felt they offered more to the organization than they were being given credit for. An E-mail is easily deleted but a face to face conversation created a dialogue. It created the sharing of ideas and the Gen Z’ers are full of great ideas.

To put it in their words; “Millennials were too worried about which bathroom a person should use based upon their self-identified gender. Meanwhile, we were trying to figure out how to make the bathroom more sustainable for future generations by trying to develop water-conserving bathrooms.”

If we want our organizations to be successful, we must first learn the differences in the generations and lead them accordingly. The Gen Z’ers are full of incredible ideas and should be empowered to act. Meet frequently, keep it short. With an 8-second attention span the information needs to be to the point and genuine.

With acknowledgement of their value as a generation, we can be successful in leading, guiding, and inspiring the future leaders.

The Three Sentence Rule

It all started when I noticed that an employee was in her supervisors office for far too long. Like many things in leadership, questions must be asked.

Why was she in the office for two hours, discussing a seemingly minor performance issue? She had made a minor clerical error that had been committed by numerous employees over the years. A learning mistake, not a mistake of incompetence.

Her direct supervisor was taking a coaching/mentorship role while explaining the issue to her. His heart was in the right place by taking a good employee and trying to further her knowledge. Unfortunately, a good intention with a bad execution is still a negative outcome.

When she walked out of the office, she looked defeated. I could see it on her face, low morale at its finest. She had just endured a 2-hour lecture about a small clerical error that was unintentionally made. Sure, it needed to be addressed, but how?

I watched this same interaction with two other supervisors and their subordinates. I was witnessing an outdated model of addressing performance issues with employees.

Enter, the three sentence rule.

Generation Z has been well researched to show that they prefer face-to-face contact with their supervisors. The research further shows that the generation that grew up with twitter, likes to keep that interaction brief. In line with asking questions in reflective leadership, how many sentences does it take to address an issue?

  1. State what is wrong. 2. Explain how to fix it. 3. Ask if any clarification is needed.

This brief model of addressing problems may seem impersonal but if done correctly, directly speaks to what Generation Z values most; being genuine. Gone are the days of over-explaining things. The next generation is highly educated and has a strong capacity for being quick learners. Keep it brief, provide frequent feedback and above all else, be honest.

Owning Your Role

When we think of Leadership, we often think of the boss. The one in charge. We relate everything from the perspective of some person who has been instilled a formal role of authority. In a lot of cases, that is correct. What do we do then when that isn’t the case?

When things go wrong, who do we look toward? In most leadership classes I’ve been in, the finger points to the ultimate head of the workgroup. They are expected to take all of the responsibility. Conversely, when things go right, they are expected to take none of the credit. These are basic leadership lessons taught time and time again.

Pointing fingers up works in a top-down leadership environment (think military); the person in charge is supposed to know every little thing that goes on. Further, they are responsible for every thing that happens.

What if we changed that perspective? What if everyone was a leader? What would we do then?

When we think it is easy to pass the mistakes up the chain, it creates a culture of non-compliance. In order for the organization to succeed, each person must own their part of it. If everyone cared for the organization as if their own name were on the side of the building, how much better would your workgroup run?

Do you expect your employees to ‘own it’? At the heart of success is an idea of ownership. It is not enough to pass it on to the next person and simply say; “not my problem.”

As a leader, do you encourage people to own it? In order for people to feel that they have ownership in something, they must feel a sense of control and accomplishment for it.

Simple ways to encourage ownership are:

1 – Give choices instead of mandates.

2 – Ask for input in decision making.

3 – Share information as frequently as possible.

When we share information and include our teams in the decision making process, it not only empowers our people but also develops them. When we empower and develop them, we create a culture. The culture we create is one that is based upon everyone thinking at the next level up.

We create ownership. The process becomes more important than the product. Successful teams are able to gather ideas from each member, rather than have ideas dictated from one person down.

Communication for Effective Leadership

Communication is a Cornerstone of Leadership

As a leader, communication is paramount to the success of your ability to lead, motivate, and inspire.  Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Communication – as a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.  Are you communicating with your employees, do you assume someone is doing that for you, or worse do you assume they will just figure it out?  Depending on where you are in your organization, are you sure you are clearly communicating the vision and mission of your organization.  Do your employees and subordinates know what you stand for and where your passion comes from?  At the lowest level, do your subordinates know what your expectations are and the performance benchmarks they must meet?

These are all questions that if you have not asked yourself as a leader, you are not only failing yourself, more importantly you are failing those who work for you.  You must take a look at how you are communicating not only verbally, but also through written communication.  Emails, texts, directives, memos, procedures and policies can be confusing.  Clear, effective, and efficient communication is paramount to your ability to lead others to their full potential.  This will help you achieve your organization’s goals and objectives while assisting you in being successful as a leader.  

How is your communication?

Avoiding being unhappy does not lead to happiness. – Hector

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